World of Cobalt

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The Origins of Humanity:

(Excerpted from the personal journal of Pog Quillsharpener)

The beginning of humanity on Cobalt is a near-total mystery. There isn’t a single story about where humans came from, but many. which makes my job of researching them an infuriating task. In the current stage of my research, I have discovered at least four myths. All from different people on different continents. These myths, I have discovered, all have a few variations from one another, but a singular thread runs between them all. The exception to this observation, annoyingly, comes from the loose coalition of islands south-east of The Cradle. At present, I have half a mind to omit their story and its blasphemies from my research. If not for the similarities between the stories of the Islanders, and the Ghost Nation of Wildland, I would have removed it by now. 

Despite the number of legends about the origins of humanity on Cobalt. Commonalities in legends over great distances in many of the myths are astounding. Take, for instance, the aforementioned Ghost Nation and the Islanders. These two groups live on opposite sides of the world. One group is landlocked, and the other has naval capabilities on par with the Minotaurs of The Isle of Horn. Both of their creation myths focus on a “Creator” sailing in a canoe on the open ocean. Their creator sends something down to the bottom of the sea to pull up the land. The heavy prominence of certain symbolic items also goes also explains the cultural significance of these symbols. Despite the work of the Crypt and the Acquisitions department in general, many unanswered questions still exist.

According to Acquisitions, their first encounter with the Ghost Nation was at a shared audience with the Elven lords of Aquamarine. Their reports all say that the presence of humans already on the island was a rather surprising discovery. The colonisation project had just begun, and our researchers were amongst the first to venture to the new world. To great confusion, humans with lighter skin than those of the Desolation, and darker than the Suomi, greeted our investigators. Acquisitions agents pressed their Elven hosts on where these humans came from. According to the head of the expedition, the Elven delegation replied, “They emerged centuries ago.”

It is my current hypothesis, that the Islanders and the Ghost Nation were the first humans to ever walk the world of Cobalt. I also believe that the humans who lived in the Archipelago before the inquisition shared a connection to the other two tribes. Unfortunately, ruins are poor storytellers, and the two hundred years of oppression by the Isle of the Gods has obliterated anything that could have been learned.

Of course, this is all conjecture, but it makes logical sense… at least to me. Many of the humans I have spoken to and read about from both Suomi, and the Desolation claim to have been created by the gods. I believe that some of the gods found out about humans, and tried to make their own. Unfortunately, I lack irrefutable evidence to support this theory. I feel I have come to a dead-end in my research. With no access to the stories of the pre-God War humans from the Archipelago, I do not see how my path can continue forward, short of speaking directly with one of the gods.

–Pog Quillsharpener: Historical researcher of the Obsidian Crypt

-998 AGW, Age of Expansion  


The official story will continue, January 2nd 2020.

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Written by: Sweeney

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Inquisitive Loss

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Inquisitive Loss

 Wyanet and I jumped to our feet, weapons at the ready. A hulking cloaked figure pushed into our room. Phebes staggered backwards. The Fae scrambled for a place to hide.

“Why have you been following us?” Wyanet demanded.

The figure closed the door it blocked. Phebes tripped and fell hard on the floor. I kicked my chair out of the way and moved as close to the wall as I could. The figure stepped closer to us, its hard-soled shoes thunked on the floorboards.

“Who are you and what do you want?” I put my sword in a low guard and got between Phebes and the figure.

The figure reached two meaty, fur-covered hands to the hood of its cloak. “I mean you no harm, lest my company.” A deep voice spoke as it pulled the hood back, revealing a horned Minotaur. “My name is Bucephalus. I am a priest of The Silver Armed, and soldier of the Inquisition force of The Isle of the Gods.”

“Are you here to kill us for attacking that priest?” Phebes whimpered from beneath the table.

Bucephalus’s jaw dropped. “What did that old fool do now? Never mind, it doesn’t matter. I’m not here to kill any of you. Quite the contrary, I need your help.”

I slid my sword back into its scabbard. “You’ve come to the wrong place. We’re passing through on our way further South.”

“YOU MUSTN’T GO SOUTH!” Bucephalus’s eyes got large. “Pardon my outburst. I meant to ask why your companions spent their day asking questions around town if you do not plan on staying?”

“Information is a valuable resource. You can never have too much.” Wyanet moved around the table. She held her dagger in a reverse grip, the blade pressed against her arm.

“Please, at least sit down and have drinks with me. I’ll tell you what I know. After that, if you still don’t want to help, so be it.”

“Are you paying?” I asked.

“The church will take care of us this evening.”

“Let’s go downstairs.” I helped Phebes out from under the table. “You’re buying me a new dinner as well.”

I lead the group down to the common room. Half a dozen people sat in ones and twos around the room. Raisa floated between the groups, topping off drink cups and delivering food. Bella leaned on the bar, chatting with another guest. The murmur in the room silenced and all eyes settled on Bucephalus. We crossed the room and took the table by the roaring fireplace. Bucephalus sat first, facing the main door.

Raisa crept her way over, she stood as far from Bucephalus as she could. “You folks didn’t have a Minotaur with you earlier? Did you?”

Wyanet sat opposite Bucephalus. “No, he wandered up to us.”

“I don’t remember seeing him enter the tavern even.”

I sat with my back to the fire. “He’s paying for our food and drinks tonight.”

“Okay then,” Raisa shrugged. “What can I get for ya?”

“A keg of stout, a bottle of whatever aged spirit you have and some house wine if you have any.” Bucephalus listed off.

Raisa’s eyes bulged. “That’s a lot of liquor.”

“I can handle it.”

“Cider if you have any,” I added. “And a bowl of stew if you have any left, please?”

“Cider’s gettin’ low, but I’ll see. Same for the stew. These girls not save you any?”

“We did, but it got spilt when we got interrupted,” Phebes said.

‘That’s a shame. I’ll be right back with what I have for ya.”

“Talk,” Wyanet ordered.

Bucephalus leaned in over the table. “I and a group of five other Inquisitors got ordered to Spinel to investigate reports of Lycanthropy.”

Raisa brought our order to the table and sprinted back to the bar.

Bucephalus popped the cork off of a clear glass bottle and drained the contents before he continued. “We uncovered a demon-worshipping cult after three days.” Bucephalus cracked open the keg and dunked a tankard into it. He took a long drought of the dark liquid. “We spent a week trying to eradicate the cult. The rest of my Party died at the hands of undead and other abominations to order.” Another long draught. “With her last breath, the Captain ordered me to escape, and bring back a proper company to finish our task.” Bucephalus polished off his tankard and reached for the wine bottle. “That happened a month ago. I’ve been trying to leave Crescent Moon Bay ever since.” He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

“That still does not explain why you followed us.”

I shifted in my chair to look at Wyanet. “He wasn’t following us. The person I saw looked human, and they were much smaller.”

“I did follow you this morning. I had to make sure I could trust you.”

“I’m telling you, someone else followed us when we entered the city.”

Phebes sipped on her cider. “Why don’t you ask one of the local churches to send you home? Can’t they do that?”

“No, I can’t.” Bucephalus shook his head. “Part of our mission was to investigate corruption in the local churches. The movement of Inquisition forces is secret. Much of the world does not trust our existence.”

“That’s your own damn fault.”

Bucephalus snorted at me and clenched his fist. “The actions taken by the Cardinal Conclave several hundred years ago have been forgiven. Not to mention no victim of that particular slight is alive today.”

“Tell that to Sweeney,” I whispered under my breath.

Bucephalus slammed his fist down on the table, sloshing liquid from all our cups. “The Inquisition is a force for peace and good in the world.”

 The tavern went silent again. Everyone stared at us. Bella detached herself from the bar and started marching toward us.

A woman’s scream pierced the windows of the tavern. 

Bella froze in her tracks. Wyanet and I rushed toward the door. Phebes kicked at our heels.

We sprinted into the night. Cool moist air cut through our clothes. Half the oil lamps lining the street stood dark, the other half flickered in an unsteady breeze. Thick clouds blanketed the stars. Most of the windows on the street stood dark.

We waited, and listened.

The woman screamed again.

“This way!” Wyanet sprinted up the street into darkness. 

We ran right behind her.

After a block, we found a young woman bathing in a pool of her blood. Wyanet vaulted the woman and studied the dark, foggy street. 

I knelt beside the woman, her blood soaked into my leggings. Deep gouges crossed her chest, and another lined her neck. She reached up to me, gasping for breath. I grasped her cold, sticky hand in mine. I placed my other hand over the slashes in her chest. “We’re here to help.” I focused my mind and energy. A dull flash of light pulsed from my palm into the girl. Blood continued to well through my fingers. “Wy, my healing isn’t working.”

Wyanet spun around and knelt opposite me. “Let me try.” Wyanet placed her hand where I had mine. A brighter light pulsed from her hands. 

The woman took a deep breath. She gasped and choked. A cough sent another spurt of blood from her wounds.

Wyanet let go of the woman and shook her head. She extended her hands over the woman and began to sing in her native language. 

A dome of warm light encased the dying woman. She stared into my eyes, pleading for help.

The woman’s hand went limp in mine. Her eyes went dark, and her jaw slacked.

I folded her hand on her chest.

A small figure in a green cloak removed itself from the dark alleyway beside us. “Another whore dies.” A little girl giggled. “He is still hungry, but the children won’t be.”

I rocked back onto my feet and approached the little girl. “Do you know who did this?”

A strong wind extinguished the remaining lamps. A dense fog surrounded the girl. Her giggles surrounded us, and she vanished.


The story will continue, January 2nd 2020.

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Written by: Sweeney

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Strange Encounters

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Strange Encounters

The Atropa Belladonna, a sturdy inn off the main plaza of Vercingetorix, dominated its city block. Riverstone walls climbed two stories from the street and dark timber walls soared another four.  No other buildings touched it, save its two-story stable and carriage house.

The interior of the Atropa Belladonna matched its exterior grandeur. A long polished bar occupied the entire back wall of the common room. Wide stairs climbed to the ceiling and vanished there. Two private rooms with glass doors flanked the main entrance, giving the common room into a squat ‘T’ shape. A roaring fireplace guarded the eastern wall, banishing the frigid morning. 

A bored human woman in her early twenties leaned against the bar, studying a spread of playing cards. She looked up at our entry. “Bella, we’ve got guests.” She called through a door behind the bar.

A pot clattered down and glass shattered in the back room. “Shit.” A deep throaty voice exclaimed before its owner appeared wiping her hands on a towel. “Hello there.” She smiled. “And welcome to the Atropa Belladonna. I’m Bella, the owner of this fine establishment.” Bella extended her hand like a princess. “A pleasure to meet you all.”

Wyanet took Bella’s hand and shook it. “We are searching for food and lodging for the next several days.”

Bella took her hand back and rested it on her wide hips. “You’ve come to the right place darling. The Atropa Belladonna is the best inn in all Vercingetorix.” Bella leaned over, resting her ample chest on the bar top. “Rooms are a dragon a night and you’ll get half off drinks for the duration of your stay. How many rooms do you need?”

“A single room will meet our needs.” Wyanet placed three dragons on the bar. “We will be staying the next few nights, perhaps more.”

Bella deposited the coins in her cleavage. “I like it when my guests pay upfront but are you sure you only want one room sugar? They only have one bed in them.”

“We will manage.”

Bella shrugged a shoulder and winked at me. “Of course, who am I to judge.” She pulled a dyed green leather book and battered quill pen from beneath the bar. “I’ll need you all to sign in before I give you a key.” Bella opened the book to a middle page and placed a stained inkwell beside it.

Wyanet took the quill and scratched her name into the book, then gave the quill to Phebes who did the same. I took the quill from Phebes and scribbled down my fake name. Bella sprinkled a coating of sand over the fresh ink and examined what we had written.

“Wyanet, that’s a beautiful name. It matches its bearer. And Phebes… that’s a unique name, but you Elves always have strange names. And Per… Pers…” Bella looked into my eyes. “We’re going to call you Percy, that will save everyone time.” Bella put the book away and handed a ring of keys to the barmaid. “Raisa here will show you to your room. You’ll be in room thirteen for the duration of your stay.”

Raisa took the key and smiled at us. “Follow me.”  

Wyanet placed another dragon on the counter. “Could you bring us breakfast, if you have time?”

Bella collected the coin and put it with the others. “I certainly can, sugar. Food’s getting scarce nowadays, but I’ll see what I can put together for ya.”

“This way.” Raisa insisted.

Wyanet and Phebes followed Raisa up the steps. My foot landed on the second step and an earth-shattering grip latched onto my wrist.

“We do things differently in my tavern.” Bella hissed into my ear. “If I find out you’ve treated one of my girls improper, I’ll flog you myself. Got it?”

I pivoted to face her and gave her a bow. “Yes, ma’am. I would never do anything dishonourable.”

Bella released her grip. A smile broadened on her lips. “Enjoy your stay.”

I sprinted up the stairs to catch up with the women. Raisa lead us to a room overlooking the street on the third floor. She unlocked the door and handed the key to Wyanet.

“I’ll be back soon with your food.”

We entered the room. Two small tables flanked the spacious bed. A knee height round table surrounded by four chairs sat at the foot of the bed. A writing desk occupied a corner beneath a window. Every flat surface hosted a pewter three-armed candelabra with fresh tapers.

Wyanet and Phebes dropped their rucksacks on the short table and began stripping off their armour. I took my sword wrapped in my other cloak and slipped it under the bed. Raisa returned after a few minutes. She carried a tray of fresh scrambled eggs, diced pan-fried potatoes, and a handful of sausage links. Raisa put the tray of food on the low table.

“This is what we could find for you.”

“What is causing the food shortage around here?” I popped a chunk of potato in my mouth.

“Whole region’s sufferin’. We’re doin’ better ‘en most farther south, but we’re still strugglin’. Nothin’ll grow around the bay.”

Wyanet sat down at the table. “How long has this been happening.”

Raisa thought for a moment. “Close to five years now. I don’t remember the last time I saw the sunshine or had a day it didn’t rain. Can’t grow anythin’ in a bog.”

Phebes heaped herself a mound of eggs. “The weather here isn’t natural?”

“I’d be surprised if this gloomy weather was natural anywhere. It’s a shame, really, this used to be a nice place to live. Now people are gettin’ desperate. I’m lucky Bella took me in when she did. I was on my way to a brothel. It’s the only way for a woman to make enough to get by.” Raisa took a step back toward the door. “Anyway, If you need anythin’ else, give a shout.” Raisa closed the door behind her.

“So… what else are we doing today?” Phebes nibbled on her eggs.

“I’ll need to find the blacksmith, because, apparently, my sword isn’t good enough.”

Wyanet made herself a plate. “I wish to speak with more of the locals. I still do not understand what is going on here.” 

We finished our breakfast and put our gear back on. I wandered the streets by myself for several hours and got lost. I paused at an empty crossroads and attempted to get my bearings.

“Excuse me, Mister.” 

A twelve-year-old girl came towards me. Her ratty hair a tangled mess. Stains covered every inch of her tattered dress, which complemented the dirty smudges on her thin face.

 “Are you looking for some company?” The girl undid a couple of buttons on her dress revealing more blue-tinted flesh. “I’ve only been with a couple of men before, and I’m the cheapest in town.”

I stopped the girl. “I’m not going to do that. Keep your clothes on.”

“Please? I haven’t eaten in days. You can do anything you want to me.” 

“I’m not going to take advantage of a child.” I turned away, then turned back. “Tell you what.” I dug a dragon out of my coin pouch. “I need help finding Rory the Blacksmith and then getting back to the Atropa Belladonna. Do that and this is yours.”

The girl nodded. “You’re looking for Von Richten street. That isn’t far from here.”

I followed the girl down a twisting path of alleyways to a squat pavilion with wooden shutters on every side. The rhythmic sound of metal hitting metal sang in the air. The heat from the forge hit me like a wall as I entered the pavilion. A muscular girl in her mid-teens dropped her hammer on her anvil and shoved a glowing bar of metal into a bed of coals beside her.

“What do you want?”

“Are you Rory?”

“Yeah. What do you want?”

Rory looked past me to the girl standing at the threshold of the building.

“Get in here and get warm, but don’t touch nothing.”

My guide rushed past me to the forge and warmed her hands over the coals.

“I’m looking for a sword. I lost mine a few days ago and was told to come here for a new one.”

Rory went to a rack of basic broadswords as I spoke. She pulled the first one off the rack. “These are all I keep on hand. They’re fifteen dragons a piece. If you want something different, that’ll be a custom job. It’ll cost triple, and take a week to complete. Take it or leave it.”

I fished the coins out of my pouch and handed them over. “That one will work.”

Rory shoved the sword at me. “Good. Now get out of my shop. I have work to do.” She waved us away.

I strapped my new blade to my belt as I strolled down the street.

“Anywhere else you need to go?”

“Just back to the Atropa Belladonna. I need to meet up with my friends before I do anything else.”

“That’s an easy one.” 

The girl slipped her cold hand in mine and pulled me down another twisting path toward the tavern. Lamplighters moved through the city when we reached the right street.

“The tavern is down there.” The girl let go of my hand and pointed. “Can I get my money now?”

I handed the girl the coin I promised her. “If I need a guide again, where can I find you?”

“I’ll find you.” The girl smiled and darted down an alleyway. 

The entire tavern smelled of beef stew. I went straight up to our room, where Wyanet and Phebes sat eating stew from a small pot. I hung my cloak from a hook on the door and joined the two women.

“Get a new sword?” Phebes asked.

My Fae companions materialised and landed on the table, sniffing in the rich smell of the stew.

“No, I’ve had this one for ages.” I rattled the sword at my hip and ladled my dinner into a wooden bowl.

Three heavy knocks pounded on the door. I stopped mid-bite. Wyanet’s hand curled around her dagger. Phebes jumped up and pulled open the door.


The story will continue, November 14th.

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Written by: Sweeney

https://ko-fi.com/sweeney

Creating original content in an online space is a time-consuming process. If you find it in your heart, please donate a few dollars at the link above. Thank you, you are appreciated!

Show us your fan art at us with the hashtag #CobaltLegends on Instagram and Twitter for the chance to be featured on one of our posts.

Vercingetorix

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Vercingetorix

We Lounged on a hilltop overlooking a minor city. Walls cut a river of stone through the forest below us. Guard towers stood sentinel above the tree-tops. Heavy grey clouds cluttered the sky, blocking the dipping sun. An icy wind from the south shook the forest.

“We should camp here tonight.” I offered.

Phebes stretched her arms above her head. “Why? Doesn’t sleeping in a bed sound good after two weeks on the road?”

A gust of wind buffeted us. Wyanet pulled her cloak tighter. “We can make it to that city before nightfall. Why do you want to camp?”

I rolled a stone back and forth between my feet. “Something feels… off. I don’t know what it is, but everyone we’ve met since Bauerndorf seems to know more about me than I do. Also, I keep having these strange dreams about a tiger with blood-red stripes and a woman dressed in blue and silver.”

“That does not answer our question.”

“Everyone keeps telling me to hide who, or what, I am and I don’t know enough about either of those things to know what they mean. I wanted to spend a bit of time trying to make a fake identity before we go into a new place.”

Wyanet studied me in silence. “The spirits work in ways beyond our understanding. If you wish to stay out here tonight, we will.” Wyanet opened her rucksack and began setting up our camp.

“What’s a tiger?”

“I don’t know.” I pulled the hatchet out of Wyanet’s rucksack. “It looks like a really big cat, with stripes in its fur. I don’t even know how I know it’s called a tiger. The name sort of came to me.” I started walking towards the nearest tree. “Help me gather some firewood.”

“You should say that you’re a ranger,” Phebes said through mouthfuls of acorn cake. “You’ve got the long cloak, and know a bunch about nature. Plus, rangers passed through Last Oasis all the time. They were all so cool and mysterious, sort of like you.” She wiped away the dribble of honey on her chin. “You’ll have to figure out something for a different sword though.”

“What’s wrong with my sword?”

“That is not a bad idea,” Wyanet added.

“Okay, but what is wrong with my sword?”

“It is too curvy. most woodsmen don’t carry swords, but the ones who do use a straight blade.” Phebes replied. “What about magic though? All the rangers who came through Last Oasis could cast some basic spells.”

“The Fae can hide beneath his cloak, and use their magic to make it look like he can use magic.” Wyanet offered. 

“If I’m not carrying my sword, what will I use as a weapon? I don’t know anyone who ventures out into the wilds without a weapon.”

Wyanet stroked her chin. “Keep the hand axe in your belt. If anyone asks, you can tell them you lost your sword in a fight, and need to replace it.”

“Have you thought of a name? Names are important.”

“I haven’t decided.” I looked up into the pitch-black sky. A handful of raindrops spattered my face. 

“You two get some sleep.” Wyanet tossed a couple more logs onto the fire. “I will take first watch tonight.”

Phebes and I crawled into our makeshift tent. Rain pounded a steady rhythm as we wrapped up in a blanket and drifted to sleep.

I woke up several hours later.  Wyanet had replaced Phebes. Crickets and frogs screamed somewhere in the forest, occasionally drowned out by a popping log. I wrapped my new cloak around my shoulders and collected my sword before I ventured out into the night.

A shy full moon peeked through rolling rain clouds. Cold, wet, air bit down to the bone. A wolf howled a sorrowful note. Phebes sat next to the dying fire, her back to the tent. I put my hand on her shoulder.

“Ope! I was about to wake you.” She jumped at my touch. 

“Why’d you let the fire die down?” I sat down opposite her.

Phebes gestured to the handful of small logs piled beside the fire. “I wanted to save you some wood.”

I picked up a log the size of my wrist and tossed it onto the coals. Cinders floated on the smoke. “Get some sleep. It’ll be morning soon.”

Phebes circled to my side of the fire. She sat down beside me and put her blanket around both of us. “I’m going to stay up a bit longer. We’ve never had a chance to talk, just the two of us.” She leaned on my shoulder. “Is there anything you want to talk about?”

I poked the coals in the fire with a stick. “Why did you leave Last Oasis?” 

Phebes yawned. “There aren’t any real warriors there. I wanted to learn how to fight, so I could protect those I care about.”

“Why? Nothing ever attacks there, it’s too isolated.”

“The council thinks so too, but a few months ago an Ice Goblin raiding party attacked us. A lot of people died. Despite that, the council still doesn’t think we need any warriors. So I left to find someone to teach me to protect my home.”

“You’ve only been out in the world for a few months, and you thought you could fight Dark Elves?”

“I’ve known how to fight…” Phebes yawned again, her speech slowed. “The woman who raised me wanted me to know how to stand up to the other kids.”

“Weren’t you raised by your parents?”

A soft snore responded. I tossed another log on the fire and listened to the chatter of distant wolves.

The clouds on the Eastern horizon glowed. A heap of cold ashes rested where the fire had been. Phebes slept in my lap, using my legs as a pillow. My breath formed wispy tendrils in front of me.

“Have you noticed the weather has gotten colder the further South we have come?” Wyanet offered me a strip of jerky.

I took the meat and bit a chunk off. “I have. Something unnatural is at work here, and I don’t know what.”

“Perhaps someone in town will know more.”  

“Some super powerful magic creatures can affect the weather.” Phebes piped up. “I read about some of them when I was back home.”

I looked down at Phebes. “We should still ask around. They might be able to tell us what is causing it.”

Phebes realised where her head rested and shot straight up, stiff as a board. “I’m just ready to have a roof over my head again.” A nervous giggle escaped her lips.

“Let us break camp and be done with it. There is no point in waiting any longer.”

“Agreed.” I got to my feet and broke down our tent.

“Morning folks!” A guard in a ringmail shirt covered by a violet and silver tabard called to us. He carried a steaming wooden cup in one hand as he approached us. “You’re the first ones to enter Vercingetorix through this gate today.” He paused and sipped at his beverage. “Actually, you’re the first travellers I’ve seen since the relief group last month. What can I do for you?”

“We have covered a great distance. We seek beds and a warm meal.” Wyanet replied.

“Sure, sure, those should be easy enough to find.” The guard pulled a leather book and a reed pencil from the pouch on his hip. “Lord Tiarna just wants me to take everyone’s name down. He likes to know who is entering and leaving his city.”  The guard set his cup on the ground and looked at us, the nib of the pencil sat on the paper.

“I’m Percival von Veltliner. These are my companions, Wyanet of the First People, and Phebes of Last Oasis.” I replied.

The guard scribbled the names down in his ledger. “Last Oasis, huh, you’re a ways from home.” He finished writing the names and tucked the book away. “Right, My name is Irven, I’m the captain of civil security. If you need anything, let me know.” Irven took two steps toward his post. “Oh, I almost forgot. Food has been scarce for a while. Don’t be too surprised if you can’t find any.”

I Stepped forward. “Irven, I lost my sword in an encounter with some bandits on the road a few days ago. Do you know where I could get myself a new one?”

Irven looked at the hatchet in my belt, then back at me. “You should talk to Rory. She’s young, but she’s the only blacksmith in town, now that her master is dead. Good kid, rough life.”

We entered the city. Dismal buildings lined the narrow cobblestone streets. We wandered toward where we thought the city centre was. Sad, thin, angry faces sneered at us as we walked past them.

“We are being followed,” Wyanet whispered as we entered into a plaza.

I glanced at the roofline behind us. A lithe hooded figure in a green cloak ducked behind a balcony wall.

“I see them. I bet they’ve been following us since we entered the city.”

Phebes stopped in front of me and looked around. “Where are they?”

I bumped into her and pushed her forward. “Keep moving, we don’t want them to know we’ve seen them.”

“What in the Nine Hells are you doing here?” A chubby man in priest robes demanded of a woman who looked like Wyanet. “You heretics are the reason our crops keep failing!” The priest struck the woman across the face, sending her sprawling across the ground. “Get out of my city.” The priest kicked the wares the woman had set out on a blanket.

A child screamed, the woman’s husband rounded their wagon and went to his wife’s side.

Wyanet pulled her war club from her belt and sprinted across the plaza. Phebes and I sprinted after her.

Wyanet hooked the ball of the club around the priest’s ankle. She swept his leg and shoved him to the ground.

“How dare you heathens assault me!” The priest bellowed.

Wyanet knelt with her people and spoke with them in their language. I stepped between the priest and the First People.

“Walk away, while you still can, priest.”

The priest scrambled to his feet and adjusted his robes. “You would betray your people for savages?” 

Phebes stepped to my side, an arrow rested across her bow.

“I betray no one, but defend those who would be victims to power abusive people.”

The priest studied his situation and turned away. “Wait until my superiors hear about this. They will certainly send an entire Inquisition company to eradicate all of the heretics and heathens here.” The priest stomped away.

The woman of the First People appeared at my side. “You sit on a throne of opulence while your people starve.” 


The story will continue, November 7th.

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Written by: Sweeney

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It’s Dangerous to go Alone

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It’s Dangerous to go Alone

I walked ahead of the women. Silver and Gazer, my Fae companions, lounged on the cratered top of my rucksack. Neither of them had turned invisible after we left the glade. They revelled in the attention poured on them by Phebes and Wyanet.

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Did you kidnap them and kill their parents, so now they don’t want to leave you because you’re the only thing know?” Phebes gasped. “Did they kidnap you and kill your parents?”

I stopped dead in my tracks. “What? No, no one kidnapped or killed anyone.” I started walking again.

“How do I know you’re not lying? If you’re in danger, blink twice.”

“Phebes, if Damian does not wish to tell you anything, he does not have to.”

“My mother died giving birth to me, and my piece of shit father ran off before I was ever born,” I replied. 

“How do you know the faeries didn’t kill her?”

“Death during childbirth is not uncommon amongst humans,” Wyanet interjected. “Even amongst the First People, there is no guarantee a woman will survive the ordeal.”

“Ceannaire,” Gazer stood up and braced his arms on my back. “We should just tell them. What can it hurt? We’ve been with the dark-skinned one for months, and I don’t think the Elf girl is a threat to anyone.”

“Rude. I can be a threat if I want to.” Phebes grumbled. “Wait! You speak Common?”

“It is a common language.” Gazer chided.

“I don’t remember what happened,” I replied to Gazer in Sylvan. “If you want to tell them, I won’t stop you.”

Gazer sat back down. “Ceannaire saved our lives.”

“How did he save you?” Wyanet asked.

“I was out on patrol with my partner. We heard someone pleading for help in our language and went to see what was going on. A group of boys had caught Silver. They tortured her. My partner flew back to our settlement to get help. I tried to stop the boys, but one of them caught me.”

Silver hugged her knees to her chest.

“I thought we were doomed, but a bright light streaked past us from dayward. The light sang in a beautiful, ethereal, language. The boys ran away, the light vanished, and Damian appeared. We’ve been with him ever since.”

‘What power did you use to save them?” Wyanet pondered. “I have never seen you use it before.”

“I don’t know.” I scooped a rock up from the narrow path. “I don’t even remember saving them,” I whispered an arcane word into the stone. The stone glowed with a cool white light. “After that day I knew how to do this.” I held the stone up. “It scared Sweeney. It scared him so much he sent me away to live in a monastery.” I tossed the stone back into the woods, the light dimmed as it flew.

“Sweeney? As in the Mad Druid?” Phebes whispered his name. “You were raised by the Mad Druid?”

“He found me in the woods after my mother died and took me in.”

“HO THERE TRAVELERS!” An old man in travel-worn clothes called out to us. Lumpy bags hung from his shoulders and he lead two laden mules blocking the path.

“Well met, Wanderer,” Wyanet called in response.

The Fae slipped into my rucksack. The four of us stopped when we got close enough.

“Well met, my friends, well met, indeed.” The Wanderer clutched a wooden holy symbol that hung from his neck. “The Everlight told me I would meet two beautiful women and a man on the road today, and indeed I have. The Everlight is kind to people like me.”

“I’d say you met some travellers, old man, but the Everlight certainly isn’t kind to you.” Another man with a shaved head and ratty armour stepped out of the forest. “But she decided to bless us today.”

Five more bandits wearing mismatched hide and leather armour emerged from the forest, armed with simple farm tools. They surrounded us.

“I think we’ve been here before don’t you Wy?” I shifted my stance and inched my hand closer to my sword.

Wyanet shrugged her rucksack off and gripped her shield. “Except last time I was outside of the circle.”

Phebes looked around at the bandits. “What’s going on?”

“You’re being robbed, honey and that sword on your hip is our first prize.” The bandit captain extended his hand. “Give it.”

“Do you not know it is bad luck to steal from a Wanderer? Even my people know that.” Wyanet lowered her spear point and hid behind her shield.

A teenage girl wearing snug boy’s clothes stumbled out of the trees. She carried a slender bow in one hand and half a dozen arrows in the other.

“It doesn’t matter. I’ve got mouths to feed, and you lot will keep our bellies full for awhile. Now hand over everything you’ve got.”

“Are you sure you want to do this?” I took my hand away from my sword. “This isn’t going to work out the way you think it is. If you let us all go, no one will get hurt.”

The other bandits shifted where they stood and glanced between us and their leader.

“What are you going on about? Bog, Vestili, take the old man’s mules. Kill them if you have to.” 

The two men flanking their leader came toward us.

Wyanet hurled her shield at one. She charged at the other twirling her spear above her head. She cracked it against the second man’s skull and knocked him off his feet. She rounded on the first man, thrusting the butt of her spear into his abdomen. The first man gasped and doubled over. Wyanet spun her spear around and smacked the first man in the jaw with a swift blow.

“Can’t we find a more peaceful solution to our problem?” The Wanderer pleaded.

The bandit captain grabbed the girl by the arms and shook her. “Nika, you have to shoot them. Like Daddy taught you.” He pointed at me. “Him first, shoot him right in the chest.”

“I don’t want to.”

“DAMN IT! Shoot the bastard!” 

Nika knocked an arrow on her bowstring. Tears glittered in her eyes as she pointed her bow at me.

“Nika, you don’t have to do this. You can all walk away.” I raised my hands and took a step towards her.

“Don’t think you can talk to my baby. She will only listen to me.” The bandit captain pointed his rusty sickle at me. “Shoot him, baby. Shoot him now!”

Nika locked eyes with me. Tears rolled down her cheeks. She drew back her bowstring. “I’m sorry.” Nika loosed her arrow.

The missile whizzed towards me. I snatched it out of the air and threw it into the ground. I rushed the bandit captain. I smashed my elbow into the side of his head. The bandit captain’s eyes rolled back and he crumpled to the ground.

“Does anyone else wish to make a bad decision?” Wyanet demanded.

The three remaining bandits tucked their weapons into their belts. One of the bandits put his arm around Nika while the others collected their fellows.

“We didn’t mean any harm.” The bandit with Nika offered. “We lost our wives and most of our children. My brothers and I wanted to get our niece away from the horrors around Crescent Moon Bay. It’s been a longer journey than we expected, and we ran out of food a day ago.”

Wyanet moved to my side. “A few days north of here, there is a farming settlement called Bauerndorf. Speak with the tavern owner there. He will help you all find honest work.”

“I understand. Thank you for your mercy.”

Wyanet turned to Nika. “Do not let others tell you what to do. It takes courage to stand for what you know to be true, more when you have to defy the ones you love. Do not lose that part of yourself, child.”

The bandits drug their unconscious companions away and disappeared into the woods.

“The Everlight told me I would have a great service done in my favour.” The Wanderer started to rummage in his packs. He pulled out a basic longbow and two dozen arrows. “Saving my life is indeed a great service. As a thank you, I want to give each of you a gift.” He handed the bow and arrows to Phebes. “This might be a better tool for you than that sword.”

“I, um, I don’t know, I um, didn’t do anything, okay, thank you,” Phebes mumbled.

“You are welcome child, although, if you have left home, you are likely older than I am.” The Wanderer winked at Phebes and went back to his packs. He pulled out an elegantly carved Ghost Nation war club. “A kind man from the Third Nation traded this to me some time ago. I must admit, I’ve never been much of a fighter, but this seems suited for you.” He handed the club to Wyanet.

“You are too kind, Wanderer.” Wyanet slid the club into her belt.

The Wanderer stared at me and tapped his chin. “For you, let me see.” He dug through the packs on both of the mules and pulled out a heavy wool cloak. “My best cloak. Crescent Moon Bay is a cold and rainy land. This will serve you better than that linen one you’re wearing.”

The Wanderer made sure his packs were secure and started down the road. “Oh, I almost forgot.” He turned back to me. “Hide who you are Damian. The servants of evil will stop at nothing to corrupt you, and many on the Astral Ocean still seek your Sifu.”

“How do you know my name?”

The wanderer smiled and walked away whistling a happy tune.

The story will continue, October 31st.

Subscribe to be notified when new content is posted

Written by: Sweeney

https://ko-fi.com/sweeney

Creating original content in an online space is a time-consuming process. If you find it in your heart, please donate a few dollars at the link above. Thank you, you are appreciated!

Show us your fan art at us with the hashtag #CobaltLegends on Instagram and Twitter for the chance to be featured on one of our posts.