Tales of Zalonia: First Age 4

Zalonia - First Age 4

Image Via Wikimedia

Isgard walked toward the edge of town and looked across the barren wastes. He could feel fear grip him without the comfort of his master being around. He felt angry with himself for needing Agonis to make him feel safe. He soon returned to the inn and went to sleep.

It was early morning, and it seemed like the whole village had woken up, as people out going about their business.  Agonis and his servants walked up the street searching for the village doctor. People who walked by gave them suspicious looks as if they weren’t supposed to be there.

“It seems this town has grown paranoid. Can’t say as if I blame them with what has been going on.” Agonis said. He was accustomed to not being wanted since he was a Knight of the White Rose. Many people didn’t like the knights because they represented war. The knights were trained to ignore the sneers from the common people and were taught that they represented the highest honor.

They came upon a house that was larger than the rest. It was two stories tall and was made of white stone. Agnois knew that only the richest of people could live in a two-story home such as this. There were various flowers that decorated the pathway up to the stone stairs that lead to the porch. The grass was greener here than it was in most places in the village, and Agnois guessed that servants were hired specifically for the job of hauling water.

This was where he was told the doctor lived. He was rather surprised, as where he came from, doctors generally didn’t live in this kind of luxury. These kinds of houses were reserved for village leaders and nobles. He walked up to the porch and knocked on the front door.

A well-dressed man answered and beckoned him in. The inside was large with a shiny wooden floor and a solid large table. There were plants hanging from the ceiling and on the walls. A woman entered the room dressed in a white robe that flowed down to her ankles. Agonis was taken back by her beauty with her wavy golden hair and curvy body. He knew by her white robe that she was a healer.

“Greetings, my name is Arlina. To whom do I owe the pleasure?” The lady said, her voice was a tad deeper than Agonis was expecting, but still beautiful… almost seductive.

“I am Sir Agonis from the land of Nagur. The pleasure is all mine.”

“From Nagur huh? You have traveled from a far. I hope you have found rest and comfort in Red Tree. Although, I must admit, the village has seen better days.”

Agonis nodded, “So, I have heard. We were on our way to Tarvon when we were passing through here. Upon our arrival, we heard of troubles within the village with citizens breaking out in scales and becoming stronger than usual.”

Arlina frowned, “It is true. I would say once or twice a week an incident occurs.”

“Can you tell me more about this my lady?”

“Garvin, fetch the gentleman a seat, make it a comfortable one.” The man who had answered the door quickly left the room and returned carrying a large cushioned chair. “Have a seat Sir Agonis. There is much to tell.”

Agonis sat down while his servants stood in back of him. Arlina took a chair herself and began the story. “It was a few months ago when the strange events began to take place. The first person to be affected was the village shoemaker. I remember it clearly. At first, it seemed like a normal day, as everyone went about their business. I was treating patients like normal when the shoemaker came to me. He told me that his skin had a green tint to it.

“I examined him closer and saw what appeared to be green patches on his back. I had never seen anything like it before. I gave him some herbs which I use to treat the skin and sent him on his way. Night came and suddenly there was commotion going on out in the village. I went out to see what was going on and the shoemaker was in the street yelling in some unknown language. His skin was covered in green scales. A couple of guards came out to restrain him, but he grabbed them and tossed them several feet in the air.

“After a minute or two, he ran off into the night, never to be heard from again. Since then, similar incidences have occurred with 13 villagers. The guards just keep their distance now and let the victims run off. The victims sometimes damage village property and even harm other villagers. I’m not sure what to do. The shoemaker was the only one who came to me before the outbreak, so I haven’t been able to examine anyone else before the transformation.”

Agonis pondered all this information. “Have all the incidents occurred at night?”

“They have, always when the green moon is at its brightest.”

“Yes, the green moon. I have heard that the green moon is a symbol of a plague.”

“That is correct, and being the village’s healer, it makes me feel responsible. I can’t even tell if it is something contagious or even figure out where this thing starts at.”

“Well, let’s try to figure out if these 13 people have had anything in common. Did they visit the same area during the day? Did they know the same people? What did they eat?”

“I have often asked that, but it is hard to get that information when they just run out of town and disappear. We have no idea where they go. Some people have looked for them the next day but found nothing. Even our trackers are running into dead ends. It’s like they just vanish and leave no trace behind.”

“So, you don’t have any leads to go on at all?”

“Well, there is one thing,” Arlina paused for a moment as if she were trying to figure out how to put it in words. “Early in the morning, on the days that there is an outbreak, there is an eerie mist that rolls into the village.”

Agonis stared at her in terror, “This has happened before. When I was a child, I had heard rumors about a village called Sanctity. The city would fill with a morning mist; however, that is all that can be remembered about that village. It simply vanished, as if it never existed. Not a person in that village has been remembered, and all its recorded history was wiped out. It cannot be found on any map. People only remember the name of the city and that there was a mist. Knowledge of where it was, how it got there, was just somehow wiped out.”

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Tales of Zalonia: First Age 3

Zalonia - First Age 3

Image Via Wikimedia by Edward Dodwell.

Agonis grabbed a hold of his sword, as he glared up at the green moon. He knew a sword wouldn’t do anything, but it was habit for him to grab his sword when he felt like he was in danger. How could another moon just show up? He wondered if the moon could only be seen from this particular village or if it was seen all over the continent.

He looked around to see if there was anyone else who noticed, but there was no one around. He thought about going out to the guards of the village and asking him, but he didn’t want to show them any weakness or fear.

He made his way back to the lodge and told his servants what had happened. “Do either of you know any legends about strange moons?”

Isgorn tried to recall the knowledge he had. He was well studied in the matters of the sky, so Agonis thought that he might know something. “There have been legends of mysterious moons, but I thought that they were only legands.”

“What do you know?” Agonis asked.

“Strange moons have said to come in all shapes and sizes. They all symbolize something different. The green moon was said to have come over the land a thousand years ago. It can only be seen by the village it is affecting. It is a symbol of a plague that has come upon the land.”

Agonis found this interesting, especially since he had heard about the problems in the city. Was there some sort of plague that was making people lose control of their minds? “Perhaps I will find the village doctor in the morning. I’ll also stop by the wizard’s home.”

“Why do you always need to investigate things, my lord?” Isgorn said with irritation in his voice. “I suggest that we leave as soon as we can, so we are not affected by the plague.”

“Don’t tell me what to do! We are staying to find out what is going on. It would be wrong to leave this village to whatever plague is affecting them. I was a seventh-degree knight for crying out loud. I have a code of honor that I must adhere to.” It had been almost five years since Agonis was a Knight of the White Rose, the most prominent knighthood in Zalonia. Agonis had acquired many skills while being a knight, and sometimes he missed being one, but he had other matters to attend to.

The Knights of the White Rose formed several decades earlier when problems began to arrive at Zalonia. Their intention was to establish order and law and teach a system of nobility among their members. They adhered to strict rules and were to uphold all the laws of the land or else one could be banished. Anyone could join the knights, male or female, and rise up in the ranks. At first, Agonis didn’t like the idea of females being among the knights because he considered them to be weaker. However, he found that he was wrong, as women could move up the ranks just as swiftly as men.

Lande was next to speak, “Is there a way we can help?”

Agonis had to smile at Lande desire of always wanting to help. “I can’t think of anything right now besides to be on the look out for any strange activity. If you see someone acting out of the norm, report back to me.”

“I will my lord.”

***

Isgorn didn’t like this plan and waited for his master and Lande to go to sleep. As they were sleeping, he quietly stood up from his bed and made his way toward the door. He wanted to do some investigating on his own. After years of being a servant, he was sick and tired of being under someone’s authority. He had long thought of escaping, and now the opportunity presented itself to him.

He walked out into the night and found that it was brighter than normal with the extra moon. He could sneak away from the village and leave his master forever. The light would guide him across the barren wastelands and back into his home territory. He would have to find a new place to live, so Agonis wouldn’t find him.

However, he was frightened at the same time. Freedom was a scary thought. What would he do with his freedom? Would he even be able to survive? The more he thought of it, the more he realized that just about everyone was a servant to some thing or someone. Humans were slaves to their own longings. Some longings were impossible to resist like food and water. However, humans had more longings than just that.

The streets were empty of people, as he walked along looking at the homes he passed by. Isgorn longed for love. He wanted to get married one day and share a home with the woman he loved. He didn’t know how he was going to meet a woman being a servant. Many servants got married, but they were still servants to their master and couldn’t really enjoy their marriage.

While Isgard was deep in thought, he failed to notice that he was being followed. A figure darted from one shade to another behind him, not making a sound. The figure was tired, for he had been following Agonis and his servants without being noticed for several days.