Medievia Mudslinger

March 24th, 2002

Locker of Memories - By Raye

Baron Urian, the Heroic Slayer of a Thousand Janitors, wandered into the dusty old storage building in the northern part of Medievia Square. He wandered over to the clerk, an old balding man dressed in a gray smock. The clerk quickly glanced down at Urian's claim check.

"I'm sorry sir, but you'll have to pay some back rent on your locker. Your tab'll come to..." he glanced at a sign on the counter. "500,000 gold coins."

Feeling his bank account growing ever smaller, Urian forked over the cash and dragged his bulging portable hole to a large locker, number 278. He pulled it open and was surprised as a huge cloud of dust flew into his face. With may a sputtering cough and a curse, he rubbed the dust from his eyes and stared inside. The entire thing was jammed full of, from what the hero could see, a huge amount of junk which he had put away and forgotten about. Seeing as he couldn't fit even a single ring or small gemstone into the cluttered storage space, Urian decided to take upon himself the tedious task of rooting out those items he would never use and donating them to the less fortunate.

The hero rolled up his sleeves and reached his hand into the very depths of the locker, hoping against all hopes that there was nothing back there that would bite him. The very first thing he pulled out was a battered old leather tunic, a piece of the first equipment he had received when he entered the realms so very long ago. He scratched his head and thought back to when this armor was the best he could manage to use.

"Sorry kid. There isn't enough money here for you to purchase this," Alamar the shopkeeper said, snatching back a piece of bronze armor from his customer's hot hands.

Urian the Pincher glanced mournfully at the small pile of gold on Harash's counter. He ran his hands over his leather tunic. "Aw... c'mon. Please? I'll-"

"Out, kid. Get outta here before I call the guards on ya. C'mon! C'mon!" the shopkeeper pushed Urian out the door before he could react, then hurled his money out with him. The poor thief scrambled for every last piece of spare change until his thin purse was at least a little bit full once more.

With a sigh, he wandered off into the crowded marketplace of Medievia. Soon, he vowed, he would be able to buy a whole new set of armor, the best the shops of the land had to offer.

Urian shook his head clear as he glanced back at his bulging locker. Thoughtfully, he regarded the tunic in his hands. Even though it was crumbling with age, he couldn't seem to bear to toss it to the ground before him and send it out for others to use. Instead, the hero reached into the locker again and tossed out a cloak interlaced with icy crystals and shoved the tunic into the dusty expanse once more.

With another shudder, he reached deep into the locker and after searching blindly for a moment grasped around another object. With a mighty tug he pulled free a small dagger, its blade rusted from the spilt blood of the monsters he had slain.

Urian regarded the weapon. Though it seemed a flimsy and useless instrument of warfare now, in the past it had been his best friend. This was the weapon he emptied the earnings from his first trade run on.

"RUUNNNNN!" roared the leader of the wagon caravan.

Urian the Thief whipped his head around, peering through the pouring rain in an attempt to spot the monsters whom had set themselves upon the hapless group of young traders.

"I- I can't see! Which way do we go?" he cried into the confusion.

"LEAVE THE WAGONS! RUN!" shouted the leader. "SPLIT UP-"

The distinct crack of a portal closing cut the shout short. Frantic cries were replaced instead by the fearful sounds of some terrible creatures rushing at top speed towards where Urian stood. Frightened and confused, he lifted his daggers and adjusted his shiny armor. Another one of their group, a cleric by the name of Orig, stood beside him. The holy man was trembling in fear.

"We- we're not gonna die, are we? Please tell me-" whispered the cleric as he glanced around. The horses pulling the wagons whinnied in fear as the beasts drew near.

"Cleric... don't you have any spells that can help us? Anything?" said Urian. "Keep your head together... please..."

Orig nodded and chanted rapidly. "Bet-Bet Sanct. Bet Sanct," A warm white aura wrapped itself around the two adventurer's bodies. The beasts drew still nearer; Urian could hear their breath now and could see their glowing eyes in the dim light.

In an instant they were upon the caravan: ten dogs, if they could be called that. These were not things of the mortal world. Half man and half beast, the spectral hounds charged down the path and attacked the two frightened traders.

What followed was a swift melee, a grim dance of death which, in the end, left only the cleric and the thief standing. Though weary and covered in bleeding wounds, they managed to find the strength to run down the path and away from the defeated roars of the demonic beast whom had spawned the hounds.

They arrived at the city of Tear, as it was then called, a day later, exhausted and frightened. After unloading their freight, Urian and Orig found themselves locked in a unique dilemma- what were they going to do with so much gold? As the two parted ways, Urian overheard a courier asking for bids on an excellent dagger. With a shrug, the thief decided to unload some of his money.

The hero smiled fondly at the old blade. So many memories from such a flimsy piece of steel! He shrugged as he shoved it back into the locker. Something else would have to be sacrificed for the sake of that dagger. He grabbed a fistful of knives, daggers, and traps and sacrificed them to the gods. No use for them now- after all, he could make his own traps at a moment's notice at his level of skill.

Cleaning continued at a rapid pace until Urian came across another trinket which piqued his memory. A large, crushed egg from deep within one of the most dangerous areas of Medievia rested before him. As he recalled, it was from his first foray into the place.

Squire Urian the Assassin grinned evilly as the leader of his clan marched the small group of adventurers farther into the dark, twisting tunnels of the catacombs. His sack bulged with eggs that would net him quite a few interesting deals back on the surface.

"What's so funny?" asked his companion, Orig the Greater Demon Slayer. They spoke through a mind link that had been set up between members of the group to bypass the strange echoes that rang through the caverns.

"Nothing, nothing. This place is fun, that's all". Urian thought back at him.

Orig rolled his eyes. "Right. You'll see."

"Quiet, you two!" snapped the leader. "Keep your eyes and your ears open. Watch for the wind."

"Wind? What wind?" questioned Urian. He rubbed his head as he ran into a stalactite, then rushed to keep up with the group. To his surprise, they were all sitting down, each and every one of them looking terrified. "What's going on?"

A sudden roar answered his inquiry. Huge gusts of wind shot down the cavern ahead, slamming the thief into the rocky cavern walls. After what seemed like an eternity of pain and chaotic noise, the winds finally passed on, leaving a battered Urian to slump to the ground, panting and covered in eggs.

"Told ya so." An unharmed Orig thought at the humiliated thief. He laughed, creating an eerie echo which passed through the lonely caverns and into the unknown.

Urian glanced at the egg in his arms. Somehow, in some strange way, he just couldn't seem to part with this little souvenir. Instead, he tossed away some treasure that he had found in one region or another, which one he couldn't remember.

The hero's locker was almost empty now. Still, he searched through the last few layers of random objects, those last pieces of the mosaic that was his adventuring life. Some of the objects were shiny and almost new, others were quite worn down. After a bit more cleaning, Urian drew out one of his most treasured objects. He grinned, having almost forgotten about this unique piece of his history.

In his hand was a ball of gray cracked glass. Such a small object had been obtained at such a great cost after a huge struggle. For this was no ordinary extinguished light- this was the light of a dragon, a dragon which he, with his own two hands, had slain.

"Look out!" cried Baron Urian the Overlord.

He ducked just as the huge dragon swung its tail around, attempting to knock away his assailants. Urian, along with a large group of heroes and powerful fighters and mages, had chased the dragon from its lair and perused it to the small town where the stood. The dragon vented its fury by striking out at the buildings of the place, harming innocent civilians and wreaking havoc wherever it went.

He had been through many adventures in the past few years. His restless spirit had not allowed him to stay in one profession; Urian had since become a cleric and a mage. Now as a warrior he was strong, though still not nearly strong enough to defeat a dragon on his own.

The dragon roared in triumph as it felled yet another member of the warrior's group. He shuddered in disgust as still another fell to desperate swipes of the dragon's claws. With every movement, the wounded beast dropped a bit of blood onto the cobblestone street on which it stood, splashing the weary combatants.

"Volingak the dragon! You'll be my death yet," murmured Urian as he lunged toward the winged animal, his two-handed sword held high. With a battle cry he plunged the blade through a gap in the dragon's defense and deep into its breast.

The dragon let out a final shrieking roar and toppled, a huge bundle of muscles and scales, over to the streets below. When the dust cleared, a bewildered Urian was left standing between two of the mighty beast's claws, his blade at his side. A cheer rose from the ragged group: the mighty dragon Volingak had been slain!

Cheers from the victorious fell on deaf ears. Urian felt strong, incredibly more powerful than he had been only a few moments before. With a gasp, he let his blade drop from his hands and sunk to his knees.

Suddenly, a swirling mist shot up from the ground. Urian shuddered and fell backward, then looked up to see a glowing figure standing before him. The face was unmistakable.

"Orig? Is that you? What are you...?"

Orig smiled down on the cowering Urian. He opened a clenched fist and extended his hand toward the warrior.

"I thought you might want this. It's from the dragon, a little something to remember the day you became a hero by," said Orig.

Urian accepted the little ball of light with trembling hands. "I'm- I'm a hero? Are... what are you?"

Orig chuckled softly. "I am a god. I built parts of this world, creating people and places from nothing more than dust and water, and," he tapped his head, "a little imagination."

With a warm smile, Urian stood and grabbed his sword. Immediately, he was mobbed by the other warriors. Orig chuckled and faded away into the sunny day, leaving Urian to bask in his newfound fame.

Smiling fondly, Urian placed the cracked ball of gray glass next to his other valued items, beside the tunic, the egg, and the dagger. He was just about to shut his locker and walk away when a voice called out from behind him.

"Say! You're a hero, aren't you? What's with all of that junk, then?" asked a young man dressed in a battered leather tunic, his arms crossed over his chest.

Urian simply smiled. "You wouldn't understand. Not yet, anyway. You see, the most valuable items aren't those that cost the most- they're the ones with the best memories attached."

With that, he shut the battered locker and walked out of the storage building to make a few new memories.


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