Read Mighty Hammer Down Online

Authors: David J Guyton

Tags: #fantasy, #magic, #politics, #libertarian, #epic, #epic fantasy, #greek, #series, #rome, #roman, #greece, #sword, #high fantasy, #conservative, #political analogy, #legend of reason

Mighty Hammer Down

BOOK: Mighty Hammer Down
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MIGHTY HAMMER
DOWN

By David J.
Guyton

Legend of Reason Series

Book One

Published by David J. Guyton
at Smashwords

Copyright 2010 David J.
Guyton

 

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For Paige

 

 

Chapter 1

 

The knife struck him hard, sending him
right to his knees.

"Well now soldier, you didn't expect
another one of us here in the shadows did you?" he
whispered.

The Medoran soldier gasped a few
times, but he did not cry out in pain. It was to be commended, for
the wound was fatal, and the man was as tough as the granite walls
around them. He tried to stand but his body was no longer
responding to his commands.

"That will teach you to kill one of my
men. How dare you meddle in the business of the Mages?"

When he received no answer he twisted
the knife hard between the ribs in his back. He didn't do it to
demonstrate his savage charm; he just thought that a painless death
was meaningless. He was simply showing the man that he deserved
more than that. The man jerked violently several times before
falling limp to the floor, his face slamming into the cold stone
with a sickening smack.

He heard the whistle of a blade
swinging through the air behind him. He was quick enough to step
aside, the sword catching only his robes. The blade met the stone
wall with a piercing ring, sending showers of sparks and chips of
granite clattering to the floor.

His eyes met his attacker's determined
gaze. It was another Medoran soldier, this one even larger than the
one had had just killed. He couldn't imagine how they could have
found them, but they did. He had to dispatch this nuisance before
half a Legion arrived and put his head on the end of a
spear.

The sword came around again in a wide
arc. He dropped to his knees to avoid it and punched the man square
in the groin. The man let out a cry and hit his knees too. He was
hoping he would have dropped the sword, but his fist still held it
tightly, and in an instant it was sweeping through the air
again.

He reached for his knife but realized
it was still jutting from the back of the first dead soldier. He
retrieved it after a carefully planned roll, coming to his feet and
immediately lunging at his enemy. The soldier was able to avoid the
stab but he stumbled, and was unable to bring the sword around
again for an effective attack.

The soldier's own momentum made
driving the blade into his belly rather easy. He thrust the blade
into the man over and over, not wanting to take any chances. When
he collapsed to the floor, he still held the hilt of his sword in
an iron grip, but a few swift kicks to his hand freed the
blade.

The soldier lay there on the floor,
his blood and soul seeping out into the world beyond his body. It
was only fair to end his miserable existence, so he picked up the
man's sword and with several gruesome hacks severed his head from
his neck.

He spat at the corpse. "Some soldier
you proved to be. You should have worn more armor."

"Red Master," came a voice from across
the room.

He looked down at his companion in
black robes several paces away. "You're still alive? I thought for
sure the soldier had killed you."

"I'm afraid he has Red Master. I feel
the world fading around me," the man said between ragged
breaths.

The Red Master smiled and pulled his
dark hood off of his head. "Then why do you call to me? Go meet
Inshae and be at peace."

"Soon Red Master. I must tell you that
I found it. It is there, under the cloth. I hid it before they
could see it."

His smile widened. "You have done well
my friend. If you really did find it, then you will have
accomplished the most important task in the history of the
Mages."

"Thank you Red Master. It is an honor
to have served you," he said, coughing up blood with his
words.

He knelt by the dying man and put his
hand over where he grasped his stomach wound. The man flinched, so
he pushed a little harder, just to see the man grimace. "You did
not die for nothing Blue Master. I will ease your pain for
you."

The man tried to shake his head and
pull away, but it was too late. He stabbed him in the neck and
sawed through his windpipe as he thrashed about in protest. Soon
enough, the thrashing stopped. The horror of life had ended and the
man's soul went to serve the great god Inshae.

"Now go to Inshae Blue Master. You
have served me well; now serve our god in the lands beyond our
sight."

He sighed in relief. His heart had
been pounding ever since he saw the Medoran soldier sneak up on his
companion. It was excitement as much as it was fear. He knew right
away that he was going to watch two men die—watching three men die
was even better.

But that's not what excited him most.
In the corner was a black cloth thrown on the floor. He followed a
trail of blood over to the shiny satin cloth. Carefully, he pulled
the cloth away to reveal the priceless treasure beneath. His eyes
went wide and he felt his heart pumping hard in his chest. He felt
dizzy as he bent to pick it up.

In his hands he held the most
dangerous object the world had ever seen.

 

 

Chapter 2

 

Rommus sat on the rock that he and
Mirra called theirs. He always arrived before her, and sometimes
she never showed up at all. He didn’t mind the waiting though, not
under the bright sun in the clear Medoran sky. When he was alone
like this, it always seemed the world moved slower, as if the gods
were not quite finished painting the world, but were in no hurry to
finish it. Rommus loved that painting in all its colors; from the
icy blue and purple world under the moon to the deep blue waters
lapping at the cliffs beneath him. He leaned back and let the sun
hit his face. In only a month or so, the seasons would shift and
the sun would not burn with such fury.

Rommus lived for days like this, but
he kept the real reason a secret. The bright colors reminded him of
when he was younger and times were simpler. A time where hope still
shined brilliantly at his horizon, guiding him to some great
unknown destiny. His life he felt had become a stark contrast to
that vision. His dreams were now gone. Nothing ever worked out the
way he intended. He had done well in the Medoran army, serving as a
Captain in the Moon Legion for several years, and after his service
he continued to work for them making weapons and armor for two more
years. This would be considered noble and patriotic, except that
his father was Tannis Tirinius, Commanding General of all seven
Legions. His father never judged him harshly for leaving the army,
but he could see the disappointment in his eyes. He could also see
people turn and whisper whenever he passed, keeping to the shadows
to spread their little rumors and lies.

No, that was not the life he wanted,
but what frustrated him most was that he had no idea where he
wanted to end up, or what path to take to get there. He had always
thought that he would end up doing something great, something to
change the world, but here he was just sitting on a rock waiting on
a girl who might not really care for him at all.

But for the time being, he
could lose himself in the Medoran summer. The gods–if they even
existed
¾
were at least willing to let him have
a few moments in the sun before they kicked his legs out from under
him again, granting him a little peace to dull his overwhelming
sorrows for a while. He closed his eyes and smiled, not at some
happy thought, but at the absurdity of his life.

"Excuse me, sir?"

Rommus jumped and shook his head at
himself for not being alert enough to fend off some would-be
attacker. He looked to his right where the voice had come from, and
his breath caught in his throat. Beside him stood a woman of such
stunning beauty that he was unable to remember even his name. He
hoped she wasn’t in a hurry to ask what it was.

"Sorry, I must have dozed off. Can I
help you?"

"I hope so. I am on my way to Brinn.
Is that it up there?" She was pointing at the shining city up the
road, but he couldn’t take his eyes from her face, her deep blue
eyes, her long blonde hair. Her sharp jaw line caught the sunlight
in such a way that it made him unable to think straight.

After an uncomfortable silence, she
asked "Have you never spoken to a woman before?" adding a smile to
tease him a little.

"Of course I have." He shook his head
again and scratched at his arm that didn’t even itch. "Yes that’s
Brinn."

"Beautiful, huh?" She was still
smiling and he caught her sarcasm.

"You mean the city? Yes it is
beautiful. Almost every block is pure white marble you know. But
that road is a dangerous place for a lady to be walking alone.
Would you like me to take you there?"

"No, thank you," she said as she waved
her hand dismissively. "I think I can manage."

He could see she carried a small
dagger at her belt so maybe she wasn’t as defenseless as some other
women. He sat there, not knowing what to say next, not wanting to
sound like some fool.

"You aren’t from around here I guess?"
He caught himself too late; even a fool would know that anyone from
Medora would know Brinn if they saw it.

"No, I am from Vindyrion. My name is
Alana Irith. I don’t mean to be rude but I am in a bit of a hurry
and I can’t stay here and chat with handsome men all
day."

With the smile never leaving her face,
she turned and was off to Brinn. He watched her walk into the
distance with a swaying grace that was so captivating that he
forgot everything else; even the salty sea breeze and the trees
dancing to its quiet song.

He felt a small stab of guilt as he
remembered Mirra. Mirra was beautiful, but this Vindyri made her
seem so plain. He wondered what this Alana was like. He wondered if
she would show up when she was supposed to meet someone at a
certain rock by a certain sea. The hot rains of irritation fell
within him as he shook his head. She had done this to him so many
times. He felt as if she cared less for him with each passing day,
and somehow he took up her slack and cared for her more. He turned
his face up to the sun once more, took a deep breath, and jumped
down off the rock.

He took the road back to Brinn with no
exact destination in mind. Mirra deserved to be left there alone at
the rock, but he would pass her on the road if she was on her way
anyway. He cared so much for her, but she was always so caught up
in anything but him. She seemed to need to be persuaded to keep an
interest in him, and the game was getting old. Like everything else
in his life, things with her looked dismal and unpromising. But
regardless of the pains she had put him through, he focused all of
his efforts on her. He did so not only because he wanted things to
work, but also to take his mind off of the other things that were
slowly spiraling into that dark pit in his soul that eventually
spat him out into the world of the dead anyway. What did any of it
matter?

He walked the rest of the way to Brinn
lost in his dreary thoughts, casually picking up rocks and throwing
them at the trees as he passed them. He walked slowly in case the
Vindyri saw him coming and thought he was following her. The
thought of her chased his gloom away for a few sporadic moments,
but he always arrived back at that wall in his mind that kept his
life stagnant; the fruits of his labors not sweet but rotting. Why
couldn’t those fruits ferment into wine? Not that he cared for the
drink anyway, but the symbolism moved him.

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