Dagonet's story

On the quay of Rendarion, opposite the place where the ships landed, Dagonet’s uncle used to have a fish shop. His uncle, Ernst, was a quiet man whose greatest aim in life was to live in peace with his family. Dagonet helped him every day in the fish market. Because he wanted to help him, but mostly because he liked to observe the people getting off the boats.

Merchants, pirates, gentlemen, ladies, prostitutes, children playing, and once, he even caught a glimpse of the group of people surrounding the King. He did not grab a glimpse of the King, although he always said he saw his crown. After telling his story 17 times, by the 18th time, he believed it. And by the age of 30, he was sure that he had indeed seen the King’s crown.

But of those times, Dagonet was most impressed by the heroes. He rarely saw one alone; they were usually accompanied. He learned later in life that heroes like to ride together and explore the mountains. But heroes behaved differently than the rest of Rendarion’s population, and they tended to attract stares.

The royalty treated Dagonet’s uncle with indifference. And some merchants were rude to him and all people. They shouted, jumped, punished, and offended those who had less. The pirates always seemed to be drunk and broke everything in their path. And most of the population of Rendarion was more concerned with surviving another day than observing the behavior of the people.

But the heroes offended no one. And they treated Dagonet’s uncle with the utmost respect. Dagonet’s uncle and everyone else, for that matter. Dagonet watched them. He wanted to be like them.

When Dagonet turned 15, he began training as a Knight with a sword and shield. And at 19, he decided to trade the sword for the bow and study to be an Archer. At that time, too, he decided to leave Rendarion and travel all over the cities of the Harshe continent and beyond. Training, traveling, learning, exploring.

At the age of 21, he came across a group of Heroes who were going to liberate a city besieged by orcs and offered them help. The heroes hesitated because Dagonet looked no older than 19 at the time. But the group leader, the elf wizard -Thrinas-, accepted his help as long as he did not get too close and stayed from behind with his bow covering the rest. Dagonet did so, and Thrinas and his group adopted him as one of their own.

Dagonet finally saw his goal of being one of those mysterious heroes who roamed Azargath, doing tasks and missions, and protecting people fulfilled.

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Dagonet woke up exhilarated. The clanking of swords and shields sounded like a fight to the death a few paces away. He instantly grabbed his knife and leaped to his feet. He watched Evandros fight as if his life depended on it against a stranger. When Dagonet finally recognized the other individual, it was… Evandros?

“Evandros?” shouted Dagonet. He grabbed his bow and arrow and aimed at one of the two Evandros. And then the other. An the other one. Which one was the real one?

Thrinas, Kalda and Alena burst out laughing as Evandros continued to fight his other self to the death.

“Sit down, young archer,” Thrinas told him, as he tried to light his pipe with fire coming straight from his staff.

Kalda, the forest elf, said, "Thrinas used his magic to duplicate Evandros so that he can train with himself without harming anyone. Have you never seen a Knight training with himself before?

Dagonet denied it with his head. “That’s amazing, Thrinas! I didn’t know wizards had that power. I want to try it too”, he finally replied.

“You’re not ready,” Thrinas replied coldly and continued to settle the tobacco in his pipe. “Actually, we wizards don’t have that power. Arcane magic flows through all living things, not just wizards. The energy being used to summon the other Evandros is coming from himself. I am merely channeling it”.

“That’s why you’re not ready. You don’t know how to control your energy yet. But you will learn, young archer. All things come,” Thrinas said as he could finally enjoy a puff of his tobacco.

Dagonet was puzzled. He had never been much interested in magic. He used to watch the young wizards train, but most of the day they spent levitating while they meditated in silence. He used to think being a wizard was boring. Finally, he understood: they were learning to control their energy.

“Orcs,” said Alena, the tiefling. “To the south. Between 20 and 50. They bring beasts.”

Thrinas stood up and picked up his sword as Kalda shouted, “Evandros, orcs are coming!”

“Kalda, Dagonet, go to that hill and climb the tallest tree. With my signal, start attacking as many orcs as you can,” Thrinas said, then turned to Dagonet, “There is no room for doubt, young archer. Prove what you are made of…”

Dagonet looked at Kalda, trying to figure out what he should do. Kalda felt fear and doubt in his eyes and shouted to him: “Let’s fucking go!”.

Kalda jumped towards the tree and climbed it with a single leap: she propelled herself with one foot on the trunk and launched herself towards a branch, supporting herself with her hands, and with another leap she was already at the top. In 5 seconds, she was already on the tree’s highest branch, while Dagonet had not even finished arranging his arrows. His hands were shaking. He had never faced a pack of orcs before, and hearing that they were “between 20 and 50 and brought beasts” didn’t help him.

As he ran towards the tree, he thought about trying Kalda’s technique, but a millisecond later, he dismissed it. So he reached the trunk and mounted the tree like a child, climbing one foot supporting and one hand behind the other. Kalda watched him with a mixture of tenderness and despair. The orcs had already spotted them and were heading straight for the heroes.

The orcs released the beasts that were sprinting towards the heroes. Wild animals, resembling a wolf and a hyena mixture, but twice the size and with foam at the mouth, were running desperately towards them. As if they had not eaten for three weeks.

Still at a very long distance, so much so that Dagonet didn’t even think of aiming yet, Kalda drew her bow and shot three arrows simultaneously, killing three of the beasts. She did it again. And again. The beasts had not yet reached Evandros, the hero closest to the orcs, and none were left.

Alena stuck her two swords into the ground, turned to the two archers in the tree, and shouted with a slight smile, “Leave us some, Kalda. Archer, are you going to help her?”. Dagonet knew Kalda’s skills, strength, and technique, but was overwhelmed. Not even three minutes had passed since he was placidly thinking about the wizards’ education, and he was already mounted in a tree, and Kalda had killed nine beasts with three shots.

The orcs were running towards the heroes while some of them stopped. Dagonet and Kalda aimed and began firing while the orcs did the same. Fifteen orcs fired arrows. Dagonet felt dazzled by the sun, but he could only see arrows falling straight toward his face.

Thrinas took his staff and whipped it against the ground, and a blast of air bounced from the foot into the sky. Magically, the orcs’ arrows stopped in their tracks and fell faintly like sheets of paper.

Kalda and Dagonet were still firing. The young archer hit every third shot, while Kalda missed none.

Alena and Evandros were in front of the heroes. The few who managed to avoid their swords and head towards the archers were stopped by Thrinas, who was also a superb swordsman since his youth -when he served in the elven army under the mythical general Bialar in the Centaurs war, in which the elves and the centaurs united against the water dragon, Apalala.

The orc archers, the ones who stayed behind, turned to look at each other and ran away.

In less than 10 minutes, the battle was on and over. Dagonet was still trembling when Kalda turned to him and, with tender eyes, said, “Not bad for your first time, little archer”.

“But the boy has to learn to climb a tree faster than my grandmother,” Evandros shouted from afar before bursting out laughing.

Dagonet smiled. He survived his first orc attack. Suddenly, he felt energized, more motivated than ever after seeing his companions’ impressive display of strength, skill, agility, calmness, and cool-headedness.

“We’d better get going. Those cowards can call out a whole army,” Thrinas said. And the heroes set off, as they laughingly commented on all that had happened, and one after another, they mimicked Dagonet’s failed attempt to leap up a tree.

Tomorrow would be another day, and Thrinas was in a hurry to reach Rendarion. He had heard that some heroes were beginning to plan a rebellion against the newly appointed Seneschal of Serion, Nandor.