Legends of Cobalt

If you enjoy our content, please sign up to receive an email anytime we post, donate to our Ko-fi page, or follow us on twitter.

Consider supporting our ad-free content by donating to our Ko-fi:             https://ko-fi.com/sweeney

Visit our friends at Dice Envy  for all of your dice needs:  

http://bit.ly/2tUG9va

Follow the author on Twitter: 

@oceansoul316

Subscribe to be notified when new content is posted

Read Legends of Cobalt from the beginning: 

https://dreamforgeproductions.com/2019/03/21/desperate-times/

donate directly

$1.00

Another Adventure

Mugs frothed with amber ales and dark stouts. Horns ran over with golden mead and crimson wine. Somewhere in the Gild Hall, a stranger sawed away on a fiddle while another plucked the strings of a lute. The steady thrum of dancing feet and clapping hands kept time with the musicians.

Phebes and I sat at a rickety table tucked in the back corner of the room, ignorant to the jubilation around us.

“Hey, Percy?” Phebes flicked her eyes at me then back down to the table. Her cheeks turned pink in the soft candlelight. “I…”

William, a woman on each elbow, slammed mugs in front of Phebes and I. “Come on you two! You look so dour. Get drunk, enjoy the party. It’s for you guys as much as any of us.” William shrugged off one of his women and extended a hand to Phebes. “Come dance with me. I want to see if you can move those hips as well as you fight.”

Phebes’s face went from pink to dark red and her eyes locked onto a knot in the wood. “Maybe later, I don’t feel like dancing right now.”

“Suit yourself, you’ll know where to find me when you’re ready.” William and his posse walked away.

Rory the blacksmith slid into the chair opposite me. Olivia, her customary tight dress replaced by a loose blouse and trousers, place her hands on the back of the chair opposite Phebes.

“Please excuse the rudeness of my partner. Do you mind if we join you?”

“Go ahead.” I waved at the chair. “How are your wounds healing?”

Olivia held her hand to the slash wounds under her shirt. “There will be a scar, certainly, but they are healing well.”

“I think they make you look even better.” Rory leaned closer to Olivia and tried to steal a kiss.

Olivia smiled and pushed Rory away. “Later, darling, right now we’re talking.”

Rory turned back to me. “I heard you broke one of my swords.”

“Sometimes swords break when you use them, it wasn’t my fault.”

“Must have been using it wrong.” Rory wiped beer foam from her lips with the back of her hand. “My swords don’t break.”

“How could I use a sword wrong?”

Olivia swatted Rory on the chest with the back of her hand. “That’s enough. Now isn’t the time and it doesn’t matter.”

Rory feigned pain and flashed a mischievous grin at me. 

Bucephalus pulled a fifth chair up to our table. Phebes scooched closer to me to make room. Tears matted the fur on the minotaur’s face.

“You look like you need a drink, big guy.” Rory pushed her cup toward Bucephalus.

“Are you okay, Ceph?” Phebes rubbed his arm.

Bucephalus sniffed and rubbed at his eyes. “I’ll be okay.” He pushed the cup away. “No, thank you. I’m not drinking tonight. It wouldn’t be proper.”

Rory pulled her cup back. “How so? You won. Isn’t that cause enough for celebration?”

“We won, yes, but I lost many I loved to get here. Tonight I mourn and remember them as much as celebrate our overall victory. Drinking and forgetting their memories tonight would not be fair to them.” A fresh round of sobs racked Bucephalus’s body. Rory fell silent. Phebes and Olivia soothed him.

The music died down. The massed patrons made up of Spinel locals, River Runner warriors and soldiers from Vercingetorix stomped their feet and chanted ‘speech’ in unison. William disentangled himself from a young woman and hopped onto a table. The crowd burst into thunderous applause and cheers. William waved his hands and the room fell into near silence.

“Take your pants off!” A gruff voice shouted from the second-floor balcony.

The crowd burst into laughter. William pointed in the direction of the voice. “Find me later tonight.” Another round of laughter shook the crowd and drifted back to silence.

“I won’t take long,” William announced. “Not only because no one wants to listen to someone brag about themselves during a celebration, but also because I’m several drinks past tipsy. Tonight we celebrate the liberation of Spinel, an event graciously sponsored by the looted stores of the former Duke Sofka. Tonight, drink deeply, dance until you can’t and find someone to share a bed with. Our job isn’t finished yet. Tomorrow, we start down the long road of rebuilding Spinel and restoring Crescent Moon Bay to glory.” William scooped a mug of ale from the table and finished it in a single swallow. He stumbled back a step and caught himself. “Maybe the next day.”

The crowd laughed and clapped. The band strummed up a new tune and some people helped William off the table.

Jacquline bounded up to our table with Katsu at her heels. She threw her arms around Olivia and kissed her cheek before doing the same with Phebes and I. Jacquline kept her distance from Bucephalus.

“Thank you for helping me back to my family.”

“Your family?” I replied, “I thought you grew up in Vercingetorix.”

That’s where the priests took me. Master Serephina, Katsu and the others are my real family.”

Katsu placed his hands on Jacquline’s shoulders. “Jacquline is one of our younglings. The night Master Orryn died she disappeared. We searched for months and couldn’t find her in the city. We owe you an unexpected debt.”

Aramil clapped me on the back. A small jolt of pain made me wince.

“And an apology. Our blind trust of Fayaad almost got you killed.”

Rory pushed back from the table in surprise. “Where did you come from?”

“I’m good like that.” 

“We all made it out alive this time, you have nothing to apologise for.”

“What are your plans now?” Althea appeared at Katsu’s side.

“I think I’ve had enough to drink.” Rory dumped the last of her cup on the floor. “I’m seeing double.”

“I don’t know about them,” Bucephalus wiped his snout, “but I’ll be heading back to the Isle of the Gods on the first available ship. The Cardinal Conclave needs to know what happened here and I’ve been away for far too long.”

“I don’t know,” I replied. “Wyanet and I haven’t had a chance to talk about it.”

Phebes slid her arm around mine. “Where they go, I’m going too.”

Althaea replied, “You are welcome to stay here. Like that man said, we have a long road ahead of us. We’ll need help.”

“I would appreciate your company,” Olivia interjected. “And I know William and my Father will need your help.”

“I could always use a good sparring partner if you stick around.” Aramil thumbed the hilt of his ever-present knife.

“There is much I believe you could teach us if you choose to stay in Spinel. You are welcome among us if you choose to stay, but the choice is yours.”

Wyanet approached the table. A woman who looked and dressed in a similar way walked beside her.

“You have much to discuss.” Althaea linked her arm to a man’s heading for the dance floor. “I’ll leave you to it.”

Aramil scowled and chased after his sister. “Do you even know who he is?”

Katsu bowed to me. “Whatever you decide, you are welcome here.” He turned and bowed to Wyanet and the other woman. Wyanet returned the bow. Katsu led Jacquline away to much protesting.

“We should go as well.” Olivia pushed back from the table.

“Finally!” Rory jumped up. “I’ve been waiting to use our bed like an anvil all night.”

“How can you use a bed as an anvil?” Phebes pondered, “Wouldn’t the hot metal set the bed on fire?”

Wyanet and the other woman took the vacated chairs.

“This is Sokanon,” Wyanet gestured to the woman beside her. “She is Chieftain of the River Runner tribe and my mother’s sister.”

“You are the friends Wyanet has told me about. I wish I could say our meeting was under kinder circumstances. Two days before I led my warriors South to join William, some of my hunters rescued a horned woman and a raven-haired elf from the forest. They claimed to know my sister’s daughter and begged me to take them south with us.”

I held a silent conversation with Wyanet. She nodded and waved at the bar. Two people wearing cloaks with the hoods pulled low over their faces made their way to our table. One of the figures pulled back their hood to reveal a lavender skinned woman with a pair of ram horns curling around her ears. A shy smile showed the tips of pointed canine teeth.

“What are you doing here, Kalista?”

“Clas sent Katerina away a few days after you left. I need your help getting her back again.” Kalista grinned from horn to horn. “Are you ready for another adventure?”

Thank You for Reading

Subscribe to be notified when new content is posted

Leave a comment below!

Written by: Sweeney (@oceansoul316 on twitter)

https://ko-fi.com/sweeney

http://bit.ly/2tUG9va

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.

Legends of Cobalt

If you enjoy our content, please sign up to receive an email anytime we post, donate to our Ko-fi page, or follow us on twitter.

Consider supporting our ad-free content by donating to our Ko-fi:             https://ko-fi.com/sweeney

Visit our friends at Dice Envy  for all of your dice needs:  

http://bit.ly/2tUG9va

Follow the author on Twitter: 

@oceansoul316

Subscribe to be notified when new content is posted

Read Legends of Cobalt from the beginning: 

https://dreamforgeproductions.com/2019/03/21/desperate-times/

donate directly

$1.00

Fang and Sword

Nellie got to her feet and smiled at us. The other three children dropped their playthings and followed Nellie.

“Are you here for our mama?” The youngest girl asked.

The four of us spread into a loose line. Phebes stood on my left and Fayaad on my right outside of my peripheral vision. Bucephalus crept up on my extreme right.

“You sissy is sick,” Bucephalus replied. “My friends and I are here to take her to get better.”

“You’re not taking her from us,” A boy on the edge of puberty declared. ‘You won’t let them take her, right big brother?”

“You’ll see her again,” I assured the children. “We want Nellie to be healthy.”

“No! You’re not taking our mama!” A second girl a year or two younger than the boy balled up her fists. “Mama takes care of us. She gives us food and makes sure we’re safe. You’re not taking her.”

“We’ve got other friends who can take care of you until your mama is better.” Phebes’s hand twitched over the hilt of her sword. “I know what it’s like to grow up without anything. If you let us help you and your mama, you can have even more than you do now. Trust us.”

“Are you finished lying to the children yet?” Nellie stepped off the dais. The older two children flanked her and the youngest ran behind a support pillar. “I’m not leaving here with you. I do have an offer for you though. The elf girl and the human can leave.”

Bucephalus unslung his shield. “What about Percy and I? What happens to us with your offer?”

“I kill you where you stand.”

“That won’t happen either.” Phebes pulled her sword free. The ruby gem set in the pommel glowed with an internal fire and the blade quivered in her hand.

Nellie shrugged. “I beat you before, and there were more of you then. Why do you think you can win this time?”

“We know what we’re up against this time.” I drew my sword and angled myself toward Nellie.

Nellie giggled, “You still don’t know.”

Sharp piercing pain drove into my kidney. I screamed in pain and fell to one knee. I used my sword as a crutch to stay on my feet. The pain in my back receded with a wet squelch. Warm blood welled from the wound and ran down the back of my leg.

“Did I do okay, mama?” Fayaad stepped over me. “Weell you make me like my brother and seesters now?”

Nellie lifted Fayaad’s dagger to her lips and licked my blood from the blade. “Kill them, then I’ll think about it.”

Fayaad turned back to me, hunger in his eyes. He raised his dagger to plunge it into my neck. I rolled my weight off my sword and thrust the point toward Fayaad’s legs. My back erupted in pain. The point of my sword sliced through Fayaad’s thigh, missing his femur. Fayaad yelped and lashed toward my throat.

Bucephalus blindsided the assassin with an angry moo. Fayaad bounced across the floor. A hole in his abdomen from Bucephalus’s horns spattered a trail of blood behind him. The two older children jumped at Bucephalus. Phebes rushed in with a wide, backhanded slash. The tip of her sword connected with the girl and cut her from hip to elbow. The girl jumped back and hissed. The boy bunched Phebes with a loud crack. Phebes cried out and thrust her sword into the boy’s chest, missing his heart by a hair’s breadth.

Bucephalus hauled me to my feet and held me there. The pain in my back desperately tried to force me down. “Go after Nellie.” The platinum dragon head pendant around his neck glowed. The river of septic fluid draining from my back slowed, then stopped. “We can take care of the children. You’re the only one who has managed to hurt her. We’ll help you as soon as we can.”

The girl swiped at Bucephalus again with razor-sharp claws. He brought his shield up and the girl’s claws snagged in the wood. Bucephalus unhooked his war hammer with practised ease and swung the hammer into the lithe girl’s ribs.

“Go! Now!”

  I sank to my knees. Blood soaked my trousers. I took a deep breath and forced my mind to the beach in my dreams. I remembered the way the sun warmed the sand and the ocean cooled it again. The whisper of the wind in the leaves and the chatter of the animals. The babbling of the cascading waterfall. Radiant warmth bubbled within me. I opened my eyes and jumped to my feet. Glittering wings of light flowed out of my back.

“That won’t save you this time.” Nellie’s nails elongated and sharpened into points. The tips of her fangs glistened as she spoke. Fear danced in her eyes.

Fayaad limped at me as fast as he could. I ducked his first attack and cleaved through both of his legs in one motion. Fayaad screamed as he slid off his kneecaps. My sword at my side, I rocketed into the air. 

Nellie screamed and jumped into the air after me. She slashed at me with her claws. I dodged the first strike and parried the second. She stole an opening and buried her fangs in my neck. A pang of necrotic energy flooded my system. Liquor-like warmth coursed through my veins, searing away the icy necrosis. Nellie kicked away and hissed.

I dove at her. My wings pressed to my sides and my sword in front of me like the tip of a lance. The sword punctured Nellie’s chest. She screamed and hissed and wrestled to get the blade free. Light flashed from the edges of her wound. The smell of searing flesh filled my nostrils. Nellie screamed louder as I pushed my sword up to its crossguard. I punched her with my off-hand. Bone cracked beneath my fist. Nellie’s head jerked back. I followed up with a spinning heel kick and yanked my sword free. Nellie fell out of the air and bounced off the floor.

The heavy yew doors at the entrance to the hall exploded off their hinges. Two bear sized wolves bounded across the wreckage.

Nellie jumped back up and slashed me twice across the chest and climbed for my throat. Blood ran down my torso.

I caught her on the edge of my sword. Nellie hissed and tried to get away. Locking my hand around her throat, I hurled her back to the ground. The wolves watched her land and sprinted toward her.

The smaller wolf got to Nellie first. It clamped its jaw around her arm and shoulder. Nellie hissed at the wolf. She buried her claws in the wolf’s side and pulled. The wolf yelped and let go. Nellie hefted the beast over her head and tossed it away before jumping into the air again.

The larger wolf hopped on its hind legs and caught Nellie by the foot. It pulled her back to the ground. Nellie balanced on one leg and battered the wolf’s head, neck and face. It didn’t let go. 

I landed behind the vampire and slashed her twice across the back. Nellie screeched and lashed out at me. The wolf tugged her off balance. Her claws scratched down my thigh. She landed on her face. Nellie rolled onto her back. The wolf pounced and clamped onto her throat. Nellie clawed at the wolf, each blow weaker than the last. The power and rage in her eyes faded. I spun my sword into a reverse grip and plunged it through Nellie’s forehead. All emotion ran from her eyes. Her limbs fell still. Nellie’s body shrank away and became mist.

The smaller wolf bounded toward us. Midstep, its body shifted and changed into Olivia. Five angry slash marks dripped blood from her right breast to her left hip. Modesty forgotten, Olivia held up her hands. She chanted a few words in the arcane tongue. Light as bright and warm as the noonday sun on the solstice flowered over my head. The mist recoiled and burned away. Olivia ran two more steps and slumped to her knees. 

“We won.”

The story will conclude, December 17th,  2020.

Subscribe to be notified when new content is posted

Leave a comment below!

Written by: Sweeney (@oceansoul316 on twitter)

https://ko-fi.com/sweeney

http://bit.ly/2tUG9va

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.

Legends of Cobalt

If you enjoy our content, please sign up to receive an email anytime we post, donate to our Ko-fi page, or follow us on twitter.

Consider supporting our ad-free content by donating to our Ko-fi:             https://ko-fi.com/sweeney

Visit our friends at Dice Envy  for all of your dice needs:  

http://bit.ly/2tUG9va

Follow the author on Twitter: 

@oceansoul316

Subscribe to be notified when new content is posted

Read Legends of Cobalt from the beginning: 

https://dreamforgeproductions.com/2019/03/21/desperate-times/

donate directly

$1.00

Shadows and Sacrifice

“We need to move.” Bucephalus pulled Phebes and me to our feet.

“We can’t just leave Wyanet,” Phebes pleaded.

“She didn’t give us a choice. She wants us to go. We can’t waste her sacrifice.” Bucephalus grabbed the collar of Katsu’s armour and pulled the whimpering hobgoblin to his snout. “Can we get around him?”

Katsu’s eyes stayed locked on the duelists in the courtyard below.

Bucephalus shook Katsu. “Answer me. How do we get past him?”

Katsu met Bucephalus’s eyes but didn’t focus on him. “Follow the wall. It leads to a stable yard and servant housing. From there you can get into the rest of the castle.”

“We can’t waste any more time. Let’s go.” Bucephalus dropped Katsu.

“Go.” Katsu bowed to us. “You know what you have to do.” He grabbed onto the wooden barricade with a shaking hand. “No one should face Ironhelm alone.” Katsu vaulted himself into the courtyard. 

Bucephalus scrambled to grab Katsu before seizing our arms. “Stop making this harder. If we’re all going to die, let’s at least bring the vampire with us.”

Bucephalus dragged and pushed Phebes and me along the wall until we rounded to the backside of the keep. Ember filled braziers shed a faint glow around the rear yard. The smell of rotting flesh poisoned the air. A sloped roof of clay tiles butted against the wall. We dropped the foot down onto the roof and crept to its edge.

Phebes wrinkled her nose. “Is this the stable yard?”

“What else would it be?” Bucephalus replied.

“I don’t smell or hear any horses.”

I dropped onto my stomach and lowered my head over the edge. Rundown stalls of viscera painted wood and mouldy hay lined the building below us.

“We’re in the right place. Do either of you see any movement?”

Shambling footsteps shifted the dirt in the yard below. Phebes and Bucephalus laid down beside me.

Phebes pointed to a brazier opposite us. “There.”

Two shadowed figures with green glowing eyes shambled past the glowing embers and blocked it from view. Every step they took moved them closer to us.

I rolled onto my side to face Bucephalus. “When they get close enough, we drop on them and take them out. Try to be as quiet as you can.”

We turned back and watched our targets shamble closer. Five minutes passed in an eternity. The guards shambled to the edge of the stable. Bucephalus pushed himself over the edge. His impact sent a spray of dust and pebbles in every direction. The guards gurgled and turned to face him. Bucephalus grabbed a helmet in each hand and bashed the guards’ heads together. The guards crumpled like their helmets. The green glow faded from their eyes.

I dropped beside Bucephalus and rummaged in the guards’ pockets. “I planned on each of us taking one.”

“Couldn’t take the risk.”

Phebes lowered herself and let go of the ledge dropping the rest of the way. She landed on her back and gasped on impact. Phebes took a few deep breaths and sat up. “Where are their horses?”

“The dead have no need for horses,” Bucephalus replied.

Phebes limped over to us. “How do you know they’re dead? I mean before you killed them. Undead?”

Bucephalus pointed to the guards’ skeletal hands. Thin strips of flesh dripped from the bones. “Also they smell like rotten meat.”

“Got it!” I pulled an iron key the size of my pinkie from a dead guard’s pouch. “Let’s go before more show up.”

We used the key to let ourselves into a steep stairway leading underground. Bucephalus walked hunched to make it to the bottom. The stairs ended at another doorway. I picked the lock and pushed the door open. A cloud of dust from a tar-black room tickled my nostrils. I pulled my sword out and cast my light spell on the blade. I wiped my nose on my sleeve as I stepped through the door.

The light from my sword threw shadows across moth-eaten lounges. A table of rotten wood bowed under the weight of long-unused cast iron cookware. A handful of doors on the outside walls lead to other areas.

“Where do we go next?” Phebes’s cloak stirred more dust into the air.

Bucephalus’s hooves clopped on the uneven stone floor. “How are we supposed to know? We were never told anything about the layout. That’s why Katsu came with us.”

“Check the doors, one of them should lead somewhere.” 

I made for a door on my right. Opening the door tossed more dust into the air and ignited a new sneezing fit. I wiped the water from my eyes and peaked into the new room. Three small pinewood coffins sat in the centre of the large damp room. A pile of smashed beds littered one corner.

“I found the stairs,” Bucephalus called from the door opposite the way we came in. “Douse your light.” He leaned through the door and looked up the stairs. “I think it’s clear, but we don’t want anyone to see us coming.”

The second set of stairs lead to a large, equally dusty, kitchen. A basket of rotten fruit hidden from view perfumed the air with a sickly sweet smell. Heavy pans dangled from a rack above a table in the middle of the kitchen. They shifted and thunked together like wind chimes. A dull orange and blue glow flickered through some of the windows high on the wall.

“There’s something in here,” I whispered to the others.

Phebes whispered back. “How do you know?”

Bucephalus nodded and made two half-circle motions with his hand while hefting his war hammer. I pulled out my sword and. The steel blade whispering against the leather scabbard sounded like thunder in the deafening silence. Bucephalus and I tiptoed around the central table. We got to the other side and prepared to strike.

A cloaked and hooded figure lunged at us with a dagger. I parried the dagger with my sword. Reflex took over. My free hand shot out and closed around the assailant’s throat. I could feel their pulse thrumming beneath my tightening grip. At the edge of my vision, Bucephalus coiled to strike.

“Wait! Stop! eet’s me!” The assailant gasped and dropped their dagger.

My grip tightened.

“Eet’s me. Eet’s Fayaad.” Fayaad yanked his hood down and pried at my fingers.

“What are you doing here?” I released my grip on the assassin’s throat.

Bucephalus grabbed Fayaad’s collar and hoisted him off the ground with a single hand. “Why did you attack us?”

“I deedn’t see Ironhelm in the cloister.” Fayaad latched onto Bucephalus’s arm. “I came to help. I thought you were guards.”

Bucephalus dropped Fayaad. “Where do we go from here?”

Fayaad pointed to a door in the back left corner of the kitchen. “That door leads to a small corridor that ends in two more doors. Take the door on the right.”

“Lead the way.” I shoved Fayaad toward the door.

Fayaad led us through the corridor into the empty great hall. Our footsteps across the hardwood floor echoed against the high ceiling. Nellie sat at the base of a tiered platform on the opposite end of the room. Three younger children played with dolls around her. An ancient man on a broad throne atop the platform watched over the children with dead eyes. Four vicious slash marks across his throat dripped blood down his chest.

Nellie watched us approach and smiled.

The story will continue, December 10th,  2020.

Subscribe to be notified when new content is posted

Leave a comment below!

Written by: Sweeney (@oceansoul316 on twitter)

https://ko-fi.com/sweeney

http://bit.ly/2tUG9va

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.

Legends of Cobalt

If you enjoy our content, please sign up to receive an email anytime we post, donate to our Ko-fi page, or follow us on twitter.

Consider supporting our ad-free content by donating to our Ko-fi:             https://ko-fi.com/sweeney

Visit our friends at Dice Envy  for all of your dice needs:  

http://bit.ly/2tUG9va

Follow the author on Twitter: 

@oceansoul316

Subscribe to be notified when new content is posted

Read Legends of Cobalt from the beginning: 

https://dreamforgeproductions.com/2019/03/21/desperate-times/

Donate Directly

$1.00

Knight of the Sapphire Flame

We sat in the Gild Hall’s common room with half a dozen strangers. A handful of candles flickered around the ransacked room. Fayaad slunk into a dark corner behind the bar and the twin sea elves leaned against the front of the bar. The strangers followed their movements, hands on their weapons.

“Thank you, friends, for coming here.” Serephina descended the stairs. “You all know our city is in danger and we’ve been powerless to help it.”

“Why are we here Serephina?” A broad-shouldered man in a simple tunic and farmer’s hat demanded. 

“We’ve run out of time. Alone, we haven’t been able to change anything, now we need your help.”

A dwarf, who’s beard clinked when he spoke, slammed his fist on a table. “Git on wit’ it or imma go ‘ome, drink meself t’ bed an ‘ope I don’ wake up tomorrow.”

Serephina waved her hand at us. “These people claim they can help solve our biggest problem.”

“What’s the ‘but’?” A gnome woman in worn, stained leathers scratched the head of a giant wolfhound beside her. “There’s always a but with these kinds of things.”

“We need more manpower. They need a distraction to break into Spinel castle.”

Katsu emerged from the kitchen in full plate armour. He clutched an ornate helmet under one arm and a spear tipped with a sword blade in the other. 

The farmer crossed his arms. “How are we going to do that?”

Aramil flipped a dagger in the air and caught it by the hilt. “An all-out assault on the Iron Cloister.” A wide grin split his face.

The strangers laughed.

“Ye brought us ‘ere to ask us t’ fight an army wit’,” the dwarf paused to count everyone in the room. “Eleven of us?” He slapped his table and spread his arms wide. “Throw in some pipes an’ we’ve got a rebellion. Death ‘as got t’ be better than this sack o’ shit.”

“Ten. Not eleven.” Katsu walked around the bar and bowed low. The various metal pieces of his armour tinked together. “Master, with your permission, I will go to the castle with the others. I feel my talents will be better utilised there and give us the greatest chance of victory.”

Serephina looked back to us and nodded.

“Thank you, master.” 

“More for me.” The dwarf twisted the handle of his great axe. “When are we startin’?”

“We will travel in the parade of phantasms.” Serephina replied, “Until then, you are all welcome to our armoury.”

“Thees ees a bad idea.” Fayaad stepped out of his hiding spot. “We shouldn’t allow these people een our sanctuary.”

“It is my decision,” Serephina chastised. “These are our allies, and we will offer them what we can.”

“I steell do not like eet.”

***

“Are you ready?” Katsu held the door a crack. The eerie glow of the parade of phantasms illuminated the common room.

“Do we still get a choice?” Bucephalus tossed his empty flask away. “Let’s get this suicide over with.”

Katsu pulled the door open the rest of the way. “Remember to stick close together. Follow the flow of the spectres, don’t fight against it.”

Phebes locked her arm in Bucephalus’s. “Come on Ceph, I think we’ll be okay.” 

The two of them vanished into the river of ghosts. Wyanet followed me to the door. She stopped at the threshold, the tip of her spear hovered below Katsu’s throat.

“I do not trust you.” Wyanet moved her spear closer. “If you get in our way, I will kill you.”

Katsu nodded as far as Wyanet’s spear would allow.

Wyanet and I waded into the shifting mass of wraiths together. The ghosts moved around us, driven by an unseen current. The ghosts pushed the five of us together and drove us toward the castle gates. We forced our way out of the ghost river and hid in the shadow of a curtain wall.

“We need to wait for the distraction,” Wyanet whispered.”

Bucephalus whispered back, “How long will that take?”

“It should start soon, they left before us.” Katsu glazed at the wall above us. “Percy and I should scout ahead while we wait.” He cupped his hands and put his back to the wall. “I’ll give you a boost.”

I put my foot in Katsu’s hands and he lifted me halfway up the wall. My fingers latched onto the tide smoothed rocks of the wall face. I took my time scaling the rest of the way across the sallow grips and breathed a sigh of relief as I hauled myself over the crenelations. I rolled across the catwalk and crouched behind a low wooden wall. Nothing moved in the courtyard below and no torches flickered. Katsu clanged onto the catwalk behind me and pressed against the wall beside me.

“Where are all the guards?” I ducked back below the cover of the wall. “I can’t see anyone.”

“I can’t see anyone on the walls either. It shouldn’t be this easy.”

North of us, a deep horn sounded the attack. An alarm bell screamed its metallic warning and green beacon fires burned against the clouded night sky.

I pulled a rope from my bag and tossed one end over the crenelations. “We’ll take the wins while we can.”

We helped the others scale the wall.

“Where to next?” Bucephalus wound up the rope and handed it back to me.

A single plume of blue fire flared at the far end of the courtyard opposite us. The blue fire marched into the centre of the yard. All the braziers and torches in the yard and along the wall ignited with the blue flames. The five of us pressed as close to the wooden wall as we could. The first blue flame flowed from the crown of a great helm seven and a half feet off the ground. A full set plate armour supported the great helm. Two points of roiling blue flame burned deep within the eye holes of the helm.

“This is bad.” Katsu tried to crawl away from the edge of the wall. “They shouldn’t be here.”

Wyanet grabbed Katsu and pulled him back. “Who is that?”

“I know you’re out there,” A voice called. The voice sounded hollow and distant. “The Mistress and I know your plan. If you want to get to her, you must go through me. Come out now, and I will make your deaths quick. If you beg for my mercy, I might even resurrect you to fight in my army.”

“What colour I could make out on Katsu’s face drained. “That’s Ironhelm. We can’t beat them. If they’re here, then we’ve already lost.”

Wyanet grabbed my shoulders and pressed her forehead to mine. “Go finish what we came here to do.” She let go of me and repeated the process with Phebes. “I will hold them here as long as I can.” Wyanet collected her spear and shield. “I love you both. Go free these people.” Wyanet stood up.

Phebes reached for an arrow. “No, we can fight them together.”

Wyanet smiled a sad smile. “Not this time, Phebes.” Wyanet jumped off the wall into the courtyard.

The story will continue, December 3rd,  2020.

Subscribe to be notified when new content is posted

Leave a comment below!

Written by: Sweeney (@oceansoul316 on twitter)

https://ko-fi.com/sweeney

http://bit.ly/2tUG9va

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.

Legends of Cobalt

If you enjoy our content, please sign up to receive an email anytime we post, donate to our Ko-fi page, or follow us on twitter.

Consider supporting our ad-free content by donating to our Ko-fi:             https://ko-fi.com/sweeney

Visit our friends at Dice Envy  for all of your dice needs:  

http://bit.ly/2tUG9va

Follow the author on Twitter: 

@oceansoul316

Subscribe to be notified when new content is posted

Read Legends of Cobalt from the beginning: 

https://dreamforgeproductions.com/2019/03/21/desperate-times/

donate directly

$1.00

Lies and Plans

I swam through the frigid waters of Crescent Moon Bay until my hand scraped across smooth pebbles. I walked out of the surf onto the stone covered beach of Dawnsky Wharf. Salty water dripped from every inch of me, pulling what little heat remained in my body with it. Orange and red flames of the burning lighthouse on the cliff above illuminated the sky. Fayaad walked out of the water behind me and flopped down on an overturned rowboat.

“What happened?” Althaea hauled katsu out of the ocean.

“Percy keeled Sypax. One of hees expereements tried to keel us.” Fayaad wrung the water out of his cloak. “I had to eemprovise.”

Kastu hacked half a litre of water onto the beach. “We didn’t come here to kill Masinissa.”

Althaea helped Katsu to his feet. “We shouldn’t linger here.”

“I killed him?!” I rounded on Fayaad. “I’m fairly certain I remember you jumping on his back and ramming a knife through his spine.”

“Does it matter who killed Sypax?” Nellie appeared above us and floated out of our reach. “Whoever did it saved me some time. I should thank you for it. Sypax’s experiments started raising questions I didn’t like.”

I pointed my sword at Nellie and stepped between her and the others.

“No, silly.” Nellie giggled, “I’m not here to kill you and your new friends, not yet anyway. I’ve got all sorts of fun games planned for us.”

Fayaad hurled a knife at Nellie. She caught the knife and threw it back into the ground in front of Fayaad.

“Didn’t Percy tell you what happened to his last group of friends?” Nellie landed by Fayaad and ran a clawed finger along his throat. “Annoying adults brought their mutt and interrupted our playtime.”

I placed the blade on Nellie’s shoulder. “You killed my friends and tried to kill me, but I remember you running away from that fight.”

Nellie brushed my sword away and drifted back into the air out of reach. “Do what you want. I came here to tell you I know you’re hunting me, and I’m going to enjoy destroying that army on its way here.” Nellie locked eyes with me. “No worthless adults will ruin the Paradise I am building.” Nellie transformed into a bat and darted back towards the castle.

“That was Nellie? The adopted child of Sofka and the vampire child you’re scared of?” Katsu spit onto the beach. “She doesn’t seem that tough.” 

“You’ve never seen her rip out a man’s still-beating heart.”

Alarm bells further down the harbour joined the sound of pounding feet and cries of ‘fire’.

“We need to get back to the others.” Fayaad pushed past me and ran for the row-houses.

***

We pulled ourselves through the window into the secret library.

Phebes grabbed my arm and helped pull me up. “What happened?”

“Why is there a fire?” Wyanet asked.

I took a second to catch my breath. “Fayaad killed Masinissa and started the fire so we could get away.”

“Masinissa wasn’t supposed to die,” Serephina replied.

“Meestakes happen when we let the uneenitiated work with us.” Fayaad dropped his cloak and warmed his hands by the fire. “He keeled Sypax. One of Sypax’s creations tried to keel heem. I covered hees back.”

“Sounds like a botched plan to me,” Bucephalus snorted. “Which should all run now while we still have a chance.”

Fayaad unclipped his belt and dropped his weapons on his cloak. “We’ll be better off weethout you.”

Serephina scowled at Fayaad. “There is still more information you have not told us yet.”

Katsu fastened the window latch and sat down at the table. “Yes, Master.”

“She knows we’re here in the city,” I replied. “And she knows William is coming too.”

Wyanet asked, “How do you know this?”

“This Nellie came to us at the harbour.” Althaea shivered, “Master Seraphina, she appeared out of thin air.” 

“She let you live?” Bucephalus asked.

“She’s playing some sort of game with us,” I replied. “She must know we’re unprepared.”

Phebes asked, “Should we wait for William to get here?”

“Unless he’s got a legion from the Isle, bringing more soldiers here isn’t going to do anything.” Bucephalus sank into an armchair.

“We need a new plan.” Althaea stroked her chin.

“We have one,” Serephina replied.

Fayaad argued, “You can’t be serious, master.” 

Aramil cracked his knuckles. “A full-frontal assault. What we should have done in the first place.”

“I will lead my students in a raid on the Iron Cloister. We will spend the day tomorrow gathering what allies we still have in the city. We will move with the parade of phantasms to where we need to go.” Serephina pointed at Wyanet. “You and your company will break into the castle while we fight in the Cloister. You will kill the vampire and end this for all of us.”

Bucephalus rolled his eyes. “Great, another suicide mission.”

Katsu got up from the table and stripped off his wet gear. “Everyone get some rest. Tomorrow will be a long day, and it might be our last.”

***

The latch on my cell door clicked open in the dark. The old heavy door creaked slowly on its hinges. I slid my hand under my pillow, the cold steel of my dagger caressed my fingers.

“Percy,” Phebes asked. “Are you awake?”

I released my dagger and sat up. “I am now.”

“Sorry.” Phebes closed the door. “I couldn’t sleep. I’m nervous about tomorrow. I don’t know what to expect. Part of me feels like we’ll be fine, but a bigger part feels like we won’t. I don’t want you… or Wyanet or Ceph to die. I don’t want to die, and I don’t want others to die for me.”

I sat in silence and listened.

“Please, say something.”

“What do you want Phebes?” I swung my feet over the side of the bed. The stone floor curled my toes.

“I want to get stronger, so I can protect my…” 

“Not why you’re here. What do you want?”

Phebes fell to her knees. “I don’t know. I want to be happy and to feel safe. I want to feel loved, and like I never need to worry about going hungry.” Tears ran down her face. “I want to feel like I won’t be abandoned again.”

I slid to the floor and grabbed her hand. Phebes brushed my hand away and buried her face in my neck. Her cheek felt warm against me. Her tears tickled as they trailed across my skin.

“I can’t say everything will be alright.”

“That’s not helping.”

“I know, but we’re here now and I’m not leaving yet.”

The story will continue, November 26th,  2020.

Subscribe to be notified when new content is posted

Leave a comment below!

Written by: Sweeney (@oceansoul316 on twitter)

https://ko-fi.com/sweeney

http://bit.ly/2tUG9va

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.