The Ryllian Army
Short Story by: Shadow Summit
You squeeze through the door of your local tavern and the smell of alcohol and stew, drifts through your senses. It has been a long day and despite all their feeble attempts, your fellow workers had been of little help. You still wonder if perhaps you’ll get a raise this month, after all you’ve been doing double the work.
You approach the bar and jingle the few silver coins in your pocket, hoping that it will be enough to buy a stiff drink. A few of the tavern patrons turn to check you out, after all you are quite attractive. You ignore them, especially since none of them seem to be jumping to buy you that drink you are craving.
The barmaid seems bored and you could have sworn she rolled her eyes when she saw you take a seat. She still approaches to take your order however and after counting your coins secretly in your pocket once more you give a resigned sigh.
“One Lemon Twist, thanks,” you say, passing over a single silver coin.
The barmaid raises an eyebrow, obviously surprised by your choice, and picks up the coin. Only moments later you have a bubbling lemon drink sitting in front of you and you distract yourself by scanning the room.
The tavern is pretty empty compared to on the weekends and you’re grateful, because this allows you to actually breathe. The bar is fill with of the usual crowd and a couple of kids run around near the back of the room. Some may have found it unusual however what else could be expected when there were rumors emerging that dark goblins hid in the shadows waiting for a lone passerby. The town authorities had done little to alleviate the peoples fear and seemed to care more about their next meal than the fate of the townspeople.
Suddenly the door of the tavern is flung open and in walks a dark cloaked figure, dragging the familiar squat figure of a goblin. The attention of the room turns to the stranger and you sense a change in the atmosphere. The cloaked figure releases the goblin and jumps onto the closest table. The strangers boots click slightly on the wood and you can’t help but notice a dagger scabbard at their waist.
“I require the attention of the room!” a female voice calls from the darkness of the hood.
You raise an eyebrow since it is quite obvious that she already had their attention the moment she’d strode through the door.
“I believe there have been rumors flying around that goblins have been attacking people at night,” the stranger calls.
The room stirs with mutters of affirmation and several people sneered at the goblin who still stood by the door.
“Well, I am here to put your fears at rest,” the stranger says.
“About damn time!” a feisty elf calls from a seat nearby.
“You have absolutely nothing to fear from goblins,” the stranger continues.
The room erupts in a roar of appreciation and almost vulgar celebration.
“No, nothing to fear from them,” the stranger says, raising her hands. “However they weren’t the ones you needed to protecting yourselves from.”
“So there was never a real threat?” a woman from the crowd calls.
“Oh the threat is real, but it isn’t from the goblins,” the cloaked figure says. “And this is where you come in.”
The crowd murmurs quietly among themselves and the stranger takes a moment’s pause.
“Your town needs you, your country needs you, your realm needs you,” the stranger speaks suddenly. “I believe than anyone can enact change if they are truly determined to help. That is why I need your help in bringing down the corrupt organisations, groups and people.”
“And why would we do that for you?” the crowd asks back.
“I am not the one asking. I am here on behalf of the Ryllian Army,” the stranger replied.
“How do we know we can trust you?” a new voice questions.
“This isn’t about trust, it’s about doing the right thing,” the stranger calls back. “The Ryllian Army requires recruits and you would sit aside while people are hurt and killed?”
“And how does that concern us?”
“Good Lord, your own town authorities are killing you off and blaming it on the goblins! I ask you once and once only, who will stand by me and the Ryllian Army and fight?” the figure calls, raising a hand into the air.
The room is silent and not a single person steps forward. The hood turns as the stranger gazes around the room. The person next to you fidgets uncomfortably and yet still not a person moves from their seat. You sigh and then a smile spreads across your lips.
“Tough crowd,” you say loudly, downing the last of your lemon drink.
Everyone’s eyes turn to you and you get down from the bar stool. You walk across to the table that the hooded figure is standing on and reach up a hand. A slender hand accepts yours and shakes your hand firmly. You look to your right and see the goblin smiling across at her with delight. For some reason you always though goblins were ugly creatures but this one has a kind face.
“Come this way,” the stranger says as she jumps off the table and lands beside you.
The goblin follows close behind you, as the hooded figure walks to a room at the back of the tavern. For once in a long time, you actually feel adrenaline course through your blood and excitement fills your heart. The hooded figure beckons you to enter the room in front of her and you don’t even hesitate. You hear the door close behind you gently but you are too focused on the appearance of several new people, who turn to look at you when you enter.
“Welcome to the Varian Corp of the Ryllain Army,” the female voice says beside you.
You turn and are surprised to find a pair of emerald green eyes framed by a beautiful Eladrin face. Long black lashes matched a waterfall of black curls that fell over an athletic figure. The hood had been pushed back to finally reveal the stranger as a young female. For some strange reason she reminds you of a panther and as she graceful strides across the room, it just cements the feeling.
“My name is Shay’d Wrae’th and for now I’m the leader of this group,” the woman said, with a bow.
A middle aged human male steps forward from her side and also bows. He has a trimmed beard and short scruffy black hair, which both have streaks of grey. He is wearing black and grey studded leather armour, with a blue collar, and navy blue garrison cap. A short black cape moved as he bowed revealing that it was split down the centre. You also notice however that heavy crossbow is slung across his back.
“The name is Kenwin Merrinx,” the man said, his blue eyes serious.
A boy, who to be brutally honest, looks more like their servant than a member steps forward with a smile. He has brown hair and wears a simple tunic and breaches. He has his hands wrapped in black strips which confused you slightly.
“Dyl at your service,” the boy said, with a friendly smile.
“You can call me, Gob,” the goblin said, in a raspy tone.
They stand in front of you, with a kind of group spirit that you have always dreamed of being a part of. As far as you cared, you may as well have said goodbye to your dead end job that afternoon. You have no intention of returning there, not when such an opportunity is being offered to you.
“So, you are our newest recruit,” Shay’d says with a slight smile. “King Varian will be pleased to have you in our corp.”
Your eyes widen when you think that the King himself has authorized this group.
“Of course this won’t be an easy task,” Kenwin says seriously. “We battle many different threats both of this world and other worlds. Are you sure you are up to the task?”
“I’m not sure, but I will sure try my hardest,” you answer earnestly.
Kenwin gives a satisfied nod and shares a short glance with Shay’d.
“Well then, recruit, before we take you to fight for your Ryllia there is just one more question,” Shay’d says, her green eyes focusing on you. “What’s your name?”
You smile and lift your chin slightly. You are willing to take a step no-one else had been prepared to take in this town. You are prepared to fight and one day your name will be written alongside the other Ryllian heroes.
~ ❤ ~ ~ ❤ ~