Medievia Mudslinger

January 14, 2001

Sole Survivor - By Monokun

As the sole survivor of the attempted attack on the Mellorian Citadel, Hallin had a right to be nervous. He had just received a summons from the Pirate King, Gulch, and was hurrying to his lord's rooms. He'd heard tales of the King's short temper, especially with regards to punctuality, and he knew that if he were late the king would have his head. Hallin knew what this was all about, he now had to explain to the king why the raid was unsuccessful.

He had never spoken to the Pirate King before, but he knew that the king was a very ill-tempered man. If he didn't like you or you told him some bad news, he usually had your head hung up on a pike somewhere - usually the city gates to show all the world how those who displeased him fared. Hallin thought that after having just survived the enemy it was too soon to have to go through this.

Perhaps half way to the throne room, Hallin passed one of his few very close friends. Runo and Hallin had instantly taken to each other ever since the time Hallin had joined the pirates, one of the few people he could trust.

"Wait up Hallin!" came the call from Runo.

"What do you want? I don't really have time to talk right now," said Hallin, a little irritated because he was really worried about being late with his meeting with Gulch.

"What? You don't even have time to speak to old friends anymore?" asked Runo.

"It's not that, it's just that I don't have time to talk. I have to go and speak to the king. He summoned me," explained Hallin, becoming even more nervous.

"Ha!! Oh, mighty 'Sole Survivor' how does it feel to be the only survivor of a failed attack?" bellowed Runo.

"You should be the last one to tease me. I wasn't the one who was 'sick' on the day that the invasion squad was chosen," retorted Hallin.

"I was really sick, Hallin. You know I'm not a coward'" said Runo getting a little red in the face.

"What a little too much ale not agree with your stomach... Anyway I have to go and speak to the king now, if I'm late he will probably cut of my arm or leg for my insolence," said Hallin, realizing he had been speaking for too long.

"Yes, well Hallin, I'll see you later then, after the meeting, in your room," replied Runo, his tone not hopeful.

"Yes, well if I still have my head on my shoulders, then I'll see you," agreed Hallin.

When Hallin finally got to the entrance of the King's rooms he quickly wiped the sweat from his face with his tunic. He didn't notice the filth on his clothing which left a black smudge on his face. This wasn't a proper nobleman's castle but rather a filthy pirate one, thus Hallin had no formal announcement. Instead he just knocked on the slightly-ajar door and waited for the reply.

"Is that you, Hallin?" a voice boomed from the other side of the door.

"Yes your magis... ah... highness," squeaked Hallin nervously.

"Well what are you waiting for? Stop quivering man. I don't cut peoples head off all that often, all things considered," bellowed the King, almost laughing at this pathetic excuse for a pirate.

Hallin walked inside, not daring to touch anything, just in case he did something wrong and got his arm or leg cut off.

"Well Hallin, You do know why I called you here or are you as thick skulled as the rest of this useless group that call themselves pirates?" demanded the King with an unreadable expression.

"Yes, Your Highness, if I am correct it is about the attack at the Citadel," answered Hallin still very tense but managing to keep his voice under control.

"Yes Hallin, that is exactly why you have been ordered to come here. I want you to tell me exactly what happened at the citadel and how I managed to lose all those men in a foolproof plan," said the king.

"Well my Lord... In the beginning everything went as planned. We forced our way inside and started to attack everyone, not giving the guards a chance to assemble and start a counter attack.

"I heard women, children, guards, blacksmiths and even bakers screaming for mercy as we slit their throats. Then, all of a sudden we heard our men shouting and screaming as something started to pick them off one at a time. The captain of our men started to panic and told me to find as many pirates as we could and tell them to regroup at the citadel entrance."

Hallin stopped his story for a breath of air and was suddenly interrupted by the King. "So your captain went against my order and called for a regroup?"

"Ah... Yes My Lord, but I was only following orders I had nothing to do with the decision to go against your rule," replied Hallin.

"No worry, the heat of battle can change plans. Continue with your story," commanded the King.

"Yes lord. As I was heading for the rally point I saw someone... He was one of the biggest men I have even seen. He wielded a dagger made of fire, his armor was made out of dragon scales and he wore mystical talismans given only to true heroes from the gods themselves as a reward. He had just finished of killing two of our men with ease. I walked up behind him as quietly and I could and raised my dagger and landed the most devastating backstab that I could. The man turned around unaffected by this blow and sent me sprawling with one hit from his dagger - that's when I fell unconscious. He must have taken me for dead, because the next thing I knew I was being dragged out of the citadel by my captain with blood coming out of my nose and ears. The captain saw me rousing from my sleep, and then he started to hold my head up and let me drink some water from his water skin."

"So the captain made it out with you as well?" interrupted the king once more.

"No, my Lord. He was wounded quite badly in a fight with a Citadel guard and was poisoned by the guard's blade. He told me that I would have to walk on my own the rest of the way, because he didn't have enough strength to take the both of us. On the trip home I tried my best to leech the poison from his body, but all my efforts where in vain. The venom had spread too far by then. The Captain was a proud man and I don't think he would have been able to live up to having to tell your highness about this failed assault on the citadel. He died two days later, his heart had stopped."

"There is no space for pride in this line of work," said the King dismissively.

"Yes my lord, This line of work is full of stealing, killing and anything evil. There is no place for any king of pride or honor," replied Hallin attempting to impress the king.

"So, Hallin, tell me a little more about this "Shining warrior" that aided the Mellorians into destroying the army that I sent to the Citadel," demanded the King.

"Well my lord I cant tell you anymore about him than I already have. He looked like a giant and his armor gleamed in the light," answered Hallin.

"Hmmm... interesting. This 'giant' - was he wearing any mark representing the symbol of the Citadel?" asked the king.

"No, nothing that I recognized," replied Hallin feeling more confidant now that he had survived. For now, at least.

"So then if the Mellorians aren't hiring mercenaries to defend their citadel, who could this "glowing warrior" have been?" muttered the king to himself.

"You called for me, Your highness?" came a soft gentle voice from the door. Both men turned to see a young woman clad in very little, standing with one hand on the doorframe.

"Not now you stupid ignorant girl!" bellowed the king, "I said after this meeting!" The woman's face went deathly pale as she curtsied and fled.

"So... where were we?" asked the king.

"Ah... we were talking about the warrior that slaughtered your army at the Mellorian Citadel," Answered Hallin.

"Ah, yes well there doesn't seem to be anything we can do about that at the moment," said the king. "Not until we have more information, anyway."

"Is there anything else that you would like to know sire?" asked Hallin.

"No, I think that is it," answered the king

"So, can I be going then?" inquired Hallin.

"No... I like you Hallin, and as you may have guessed I need a new captain. Since I am not going to cut of your head I think I would like to promote you to that position," declared the king, almost laughing at the stupefied look on Hallin's face. "Do you accept?"

"Ye... Yes, My lord I accept," answered Hallin with a stupid grin on his face.

"Well captain, you may leave now then," said the king

"Thank you, my lord," said Hallin as he opened the door to leave the room.

He was thrust back by a huge man standing there, a strange smile on his face. "I am Arkanis," was the first thing that Hallin heard after staring dumbstruck at this monster. The king's face went deathly pale as he looked upon this giant.

"Yes brother, it was I who destroyed your army," announced Arkanis with an evil grin on his face.

The king's eyes went larger and whiter as he continued to stare at his brother, and then he suddenly started to scream. "NO! I killed you, you can not be alive. No..."

Arkanis swiftly lifted his blade and rammed it into the King's chest, splitting the man in an instant.

"You!" he shouted pointing at Hallin, "Go tell the people that there is now a new Pirate king."

Thus ends the story of the sole survivor of the Mellorian massacre, of the story of a pirate who not only attempted to kill the king's brother, but then ended up serving him.