Falkier Inalumin has spent the past six years imprisoned by the king whom he had served under as a scribe. He hadn’t attempted to escape even when the opportunity arose until one night when a stranger comes to break him out of prison at knifepoint.
After his escape, he is granted the power of the Dragon Sword, a weapon imbued with the power of one of the Ancients who created the world. He is also tasked with assembling a suit of armor imbued by the rest of the Ancients so that he may kill Rakar Gorxand, a man who had been granted a set of armor by the Ancients which was corrupted by the evil he was chosen to eliminate.
On this first leg of Falkier’s journey, he becomes a mercenary, learns a sword style which allows him to fight without sight, and faces off against a man with the power to weave the fabric of the universe.
Targeted Age Group:: 13+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
The idea for this story started with a doodle I drew on the back of a writing assignment in seventh grade: a sword with a hilt in the shape of a dragon. From there, I built the idea of multiple weapons or pieces of armor imbued with the spirits of different deities that needed to be gathered together. Once I had written a few chapters, I shared them with someone I knew who enjoyed fantasy and her enthusiasm and the enthusiasm of a few others inspired me to continue writing until I finished.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
As authors are wont to do, I based many characters on people I knew. The appearances of some early characters are based on how they were in middle school and high school when I created the character. The characters' personalities are caricatures of things I observed about that person, like a tendency to stammer or propensity for machismo.
A couple of the minor characters are references to literature or theater characters which are meant to act as little Easter eggs for a reader to find.
Falkier pulled the sword from its scabbard, the weight foreign to his hand. If it really was a sword meant for him as the dream said, shouldn’t it be more comfortable to hold? The knuckle-bow on the thumb side of the hilt seemed out of place and close to unnecessary. Why make them bladed to begin with? The only time a bladed knuckle-bow would make sense is if you were hitting someone with it, and isn’t the point of a sword to keep a little more distance from your opponent?
Falkier would have other times to question how functional his Ancient-given weapon was for him, as the mustached man swung his sword at Falkier’s feet, causing him to step back out of the way, barely blocking the follow-up swing. He swung at the man, who easily parried and struck at Falkier’s leg. Clearly, he’d been trained in swordsmanship.
Falkier winced as the blade sliced across his thigh, blood soaking the leg of his trousers. He struck back, stabbing at the man’s stomach. The mustached man moved the blade out of the way with a flick of the wrist and smacked Falkier’s wrist with the flat of his blade. Falkier’s grip faltered for a second, but he recovered enough to pull his sword back in front of him. All the while, the mustached man watched him, smirking. Was he playing with Falkier? The man blocked Falkier’s next couple swings with ease, retaliating with a few nicks on Falkier’s arms and legs. This is pointless. 'He could kill me without breaking a sweat. He must need to take me in alive, so he’s just letting me wear myself out. '
Falkier looked at the longsword in his hands, a supposed gift from heaven he was destined to wield. He was no great warrior, how could he ever do anything with this piece of metal. He couldn’t even find a comfortable way to hold it.
"Touch the black gem in the pommel and say ‘Vatinp, yqab’, " a voice growled in his head. It was the voice from the woods before he blacked out.
Falkier obeyed, putting the fingers of his right hand on the pommel. Despite the freezing air around it, the gem felt slightly warm. “Vah-tinp, ee-cob?” Falkier said, the words feeling odd in his mouth. Whatever was supposed to happen, didn’t.
"No! ‘Vatinp yqab!’ Say it with more confidence!"
Falkier took a breath and focused. “Vatinp, yqab!”
Warmth flooded through Falkier’s body, and his wounds stopped bleeding. He watched in amazement as the sword transformed in his hand. The leather of the hilt took on a scaled appearance. The blade broadened into that of a falchion, the end becoming rounder and the top edge becoming blunted. The thumb-side knuckle-bow disappeared, while a hook grew downward from the hilt over the blunt edge. The hook bore a jagged edge that gave it an appearance resembling the jaw of some sort of carnivorous beast when paired with a matching adornment that extended along the bladed edge. Falkier’s eyes and mouth felt strange, almost like they were also going through some sort of transformation.
The mustached man’s eyes widened in terror. “Are you some sort of demon?” His stance quickly became more aggressive as he began striking at Falkier.
The newly-transformed sword felt easier to handle, and Falkier was able to protect himself, catching the man’s blade across the blunt edge. After a few more swings, Falkier managed to hook the man’s blade. He twisted his wrist and wrenched the sword out of the man’s hands. The sword clattered to the ground, and Falkier rushed him, punching the knuckle-bow that still remained on the bladed side of his sword into the man’s throat. The man wheezed as he collapsed to the ground. Falkier put the point of his sword to the man’s throat.
“So this is how you managed to kill six men on your own,” the man croaked. “Demon magic.”
“I was not alo-“
The man spat at Falkier. “Kill me, you worthless cheat. I would rather die than listen to you try to corrupt my ears with your lies.”
Falkier drew the sword back to deliver the final blow and stopped. He’d never killed anyone before. Swagin and Jofalk had already finished the other two men off and were rummaging through their possessions. He looked into the man’s eyes, defiant and prepared for what was to come. The sword descended, opening the man’s throat. Watching the man’s body collapse in a pool of blood, Falkier ran his tongue across his teeth and was surprised to find all of them sharp and pointed. He raised his sword and looked at himself in the blade’s reflection. His eyes were the color of polished brass with slits for pupils. Smiling confirmed that his teeth had all grown to sharp points. 'I really do look like a demon.'
"Not a demon," the voice growled, "a dragon. Touch the black gem again before your comrades can see."
Falkier obeyed, and the warmth rushed out of his muscles. The sword remained a falchion, but the leather hilt lost its scaliness and the hook lost its jagged edge. Falkier looked at his reflection on the blade again and was relieved to see that his eyes and teeth had returned to normal as well. 'What is going on? What happened? Who are you?' There came no response.
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