Emperor Marksus and the Dragon Knights of Aurndest



A short story by Nik Rector

Dawn rose over the rolling hills of Cerheth, the sound of the smith starting up and the call of the farmers roosters slowly awoke the townsfolk. The daily routine started up as people began to attend to their individual tasks. The smith preparing to make an order of horse shoes, the farmers attending to the animals, all seemed normal as the day began. Darius crawled out of bed and sluggishly put on attire for a day of adventure with his friends. As he wandered into the kitchen in search of his knapsack, his mother laid a breakfast of eggs bread and cheese on the table for him and his father. He ignored the delicious looking meal as he excitedly packed food, ran back to his room to pack a variety of equipment, and scurried back into the kitchen just as his parents were sitting down. “Ho, ho! Slow down son, or you’ll trip over yourself!” His father warned as the anxious Darius jumped into his seat and dug into the well prepared breakfast. “Father, me and the guys are going to explore upstream of the Bear River, past the Hikers Gorge!” Darius mumbled while stuffing as much food as he could into his tiny mouth. His fathers expression darkened and he frowned. Hikers Gorge was where the river flowed out of the Backbone, a range of mountainous forest area surrounded with an air of mystery and dangers. “Son, You’re but 15 of age, as capable as you may think your young energetic self, there are unknown secrets that the Backbone holds, and stories of men not returning after ventures into the forest are less than uncommon. I forbid you of hiking past the pass” his father said with a tone that sent a vibrating chill down the back of Darius’ spine. But he was his own person and his father didn’t dictate what he could and couldn’t do. With a sullen expression, Darius pretended to submit to his fathers will “Fine. You’re right father, it’s far to dangerous.” He tried to make it sound convincing and kept looking at his eggs that he was moving around on his wooden plate.



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