Trinan stood up and almost fell back over from being malnourished. The human handed him a piece of bread and said, “My name is Braite, the guards are knocked out, as the wizard put a spell on them. I will carry you if you need me to, but we need to get outside the village before they awaken. I have gathered food and supplies outside, and you’ll be able to regain your strength once we get there.”
Braite helped Trinan stand up straight, as he gobbled down the bread. His adrenaline kicked in and he was able to walk. They went through a few doors and out of the prison. The guards were asleep, but they were starting to move around as if they were about to wake up. It was night out and the three moons were all shining brightly in the sky. The golden moon would help them see in the dark, but the guards would also be able to see.
Just as they passed through the gate to the village, an outside guard spotted them and yelled, “Hey! Stop!” Trinan could feel his legs burn, but he still pushed on. The guard stood up to give chase but fell back over. The spell hadn’t worn off yet. They entered the small forest, and found the wizard on the ground resting. He was worn out by the spell and couldn’t move very much.
“You two go on, there is no sense on all three of us getting captured.”
Braite said, “We are not leaving you. We need each other in order to survive, Zalod.” He pulled out his sword which was medium length. “If they attack, I will not go down without a fight. There is food over there Trinan. You will need to regain your strength quickly. Are you good with the sword?”
“I have not learned the sword, as I have been a slave most of my life, and they never give slaves the chance to learn a weapon. I think I could catch on quickly.”
“Well, we brought an extra sword with us that you may want to try out. You need something to defend yourself and if we escape, I will train you in using it.”
Trinan grabbed some food and then found the sword. He felt it fit in his hand perfectly as he held it up. It was a short sword and quite light. Braite smile, “I thought a short sword would be good for a stiminite, as you are thin and quick.” Trinan agreed. A long sword would be too heavy and burdensome.
Shouts came from the gates of the village as the guards came out to look for them. “Stay down and hidden,” Braite said, as he ducked into a bush himself. Trinan marveled at how well he blended with the night. He also did his best to blend into the bushes.
One of the guards approached the very area where Trinan was hiding as he held his breath. The soldier moved a few branches out of the way to get a better look. Just when Trinan was about ready to jump up and attack, the guard moved further past him and yelled out, “There is no one here!”
In the further distance he heard a guard yell, “They must have gotten away. We’ll keep the place heavily guarded in case they return. It wasn’t long before the guards stopped looking for them and Trinan breathed a sigh of relief.
Braite slowly made his way over to Trinan. “That was a close one. Now you and the wizard must rest for a bit. We need to be on the move before the sun comes up.”
Trinan was curious, “Why are you helping us?”
“Well, I have seen how we have treated the stiminites and how the so-called gods have treated us, and I have concluded that it is wrong. I have spoken to the wizard who claims to have come from the West, in the kingdom of Mohan. I have heard rumors of Mohan’s treatment of slaves and the wizard verified this information. We need to gather a revolt together and fight against the oppression.” Braite said with energy in his voice.
Trinin was glad to hear this. He never imagined in his life to be working with a human and a wizard to help fight the oppression. At the same time, he felt overwhelmed. How could the three of them fight oppression alone. They would need some help… but who would help them? The rest of the stiminites were used to being slaves, and the humans only wished to obey the gods.
The three of them rested for a bit until Braite woke them both. “I say we get a move on before daylight, so no one sees us leave. We have to find a safe area where we can start to plan on how we are going to do this.”
They both woke up and the wizard was still weak from casting the spell, but he could at least walk. Even though he could only walk slow, they were at least getting away from danger. They travelled all day only resting every so often. Braite had brought supplies that they all could use for eating and hunting if necessary. The forest they travelled through was full of fruit and other edible plants that would help sustain them on their journey.
After three days of traveling and Braite scouting the area, they figured that they were safe.
Trinan had to ask the question that was gnawing at his mind, “So, what are the plans? I mean the three of us can’t do this ourselves.”
“I have been thinking of that during our journey. I can’t say as if I have any great ideas yet, but if we can motivate people to rise up against the suppression, we might have a chance. There has been rumor of talk to the North that people are getting tired of living in an oppressive kingdom. If we could get them to side with us, I will teach them to do battle and we will hopefully be able to fight back.” Braite answered with doubt in his voice.
“You don’t seem so certain,” The wizard said whose name was Zalod. It was the first words he had spoken since they had left. He had gained his full strength back and spent most of his time committing spells to memory. He carried a book with him of spells of offensive war.
“Nothing is certain these days, Zalod. However, there is always hope that things will get better and we must stand by that hope if we have any chance at accomplishing what we hope to do.”
“Well, I will continue to study my spells. Maybe they will come in useful.” The wizard said with so much doubt that Trinan was feeling discouraged.
Braite only smiled. “Wizard, you will come in plenty handy. I am a good battle planner and have been trained in combat. We will work well together. I suggest I start training you with the sword Trinan. We need you and your motivation in this fight just as much as ours. I know you want to free your people, so I will train you to the best of my ability.
Trinin grasped his sword and Braite said, “Balance is the key. You want to keep your body over your feet. Don’t lean in when you jab, which is often the case with most beginners.” Trinan nodded and Braite pulled out his sword and swung it toward Trinin. Trinin hastily blocked it. “It seems that you will get the hang of this rather quickly.”
They practice dueled with the sword for a while until Trinin’s arm was swore from swinging it. Zalod sat on the ground and was memorizing spells from his spell book. Sun was setting, and they took shelter beneath a tree and Braite taught Trinin how to build a fire. They slept by the fire to stay warm for the night.
Day after day, Braite and Trinin practiced with their swords until Braite was satisfied that Trinin could handle himself in a real-life fight. Each night the moons appeared in the sky. The red moon and the blue moon appeared faint which seemed to indicate that there was neither danger or glory coming their way yet.
“I think it is time to head toward the Northern Lands and see if we can find some rebels who will battle on our side,” Braite said as he pointed toward the trail that they would need to take. “The Northern lands can be dangerous and trust no one at first.”
“What if we are attacked by an army?” Trinan asked.
“The army resides near their cities. We are going to start by those who live outside the city and make connections. It is going to be a time-consuming process but if we gather enough men, we may have some hope. The Northern Lands are also oppressed and people there are getting restless. They seek a purpose, but they don’t have enough men to stand against their government. With the right motivation, they will join forces with us and first we will fight to free the stiminites. Next we will head down to Zalod’s kingdom and continue our fight there. We will gather people on our way and I suspect we will have a strong army.
Trinin didn’t share Braite’s optimism. He figured people would be afraid, just like his fellow stiminites. Still, he would follow Braite’s lead, as it seemed to be his only option. Braite continued, “Beware of magic users as they can wield weapons from afar. They hide in corners and do their magic unseen. Approach every place with care.”
The journey to the Northern Lands was slow and it seemed like there was no one in site for days. They slept taking turns taking watch. Sometimes Braite would hunt for animals to help feed them so they didn’t only eat the bread that they carried with them.
They finally reached a small village with two guards stationed outside. “Looks like those are some of the guards of the Northern Lands,” Braite said, as they were dressed in solid blue armor. “Zalod, do you know any sleeping spells?
“This shouldn’t be too hard,” Zalod said as he waved his arms toward the guards while muttering some magical words. The guard slowly fell to the ground. “The spell will last about two hours.”
Braite smiled, “That should buy us enough time to get into the village and rally up some people.” They snuck past the gate and into the village. It was a small village of no more than fifty homes. “We will split up and start knocking at doors and try to be done within two hours.
Trinin felt nervous with this idea, but it seemed like the best idea to rally people. He walked up to the nearest home and knocked on the door. A middle-aged lady answered and looked surprised to see him. “What do you want stiminite?”
Trinin had to quickly find his words, “We are trying to gather some people to fight the oppression in the world.”
“How did you get past the guards? Do you have a magic user with you?”