Prelude: I've wanted to enter the awesome weekly writing contests put forth by @steemmonsters, but was not inspired to write fiction unless it was to continue my Selenia Sky - Her world, her love, her story storyline. Surprisingly, the Skeleton Assassin turned out to be the character to continue with my story plus enter into the Steem Monsters Common Card Fantasy Story Contest! 🙂.
Andorin the Skeleton Assassin
Andorin saw the magical aura swirling around the sleeping figure. Through the eyes of a dragon, he saw flames of red, with the light of blue, weaving in and out in rhythm to an intimate dance of lovers. She beckoned to him, this mysterious person awash in the glow of magic. Andorin knew naught her name or her origin, but golden hair shimmered as the light of the stars illuminated her small frame. Even in sleep, he could tell she was haunted by a painful memory. Tears streaked down her pale cheeks.What memory haunts her dream? The dragon blinked, and in that action, Andorin was returned to the stillness of the cabin. He directed his attention to the blind Oracle sitting in the rocking chair by the hearth.
“In life, you were bound to servitude. You killed as your master willed. You cared naught that your victims were lord or peasant. You had no remorse twas man or maiden that begged you to spare their lives. Andorin of the Barrenland, one moment of mercy led to your death. It is this very act that will lead to your salvation.” The blind Oracle’s quiet voice echoed off the cabin’s walls.
Frail slim fingers reached for the cup of tea lying on the table next to Andorin. He reached to move the cup closer, but spirit hands passed through the cup. Andorin had no presence in this realm of life. His spirit was a mere shadow that had drifted aimlessly in the night until he wandered to the Oracle’s cabin, as if here was where he had meant to come all along.
The Oracle sipped from her cup of tea and continued her tale.
“In death, you are no longer bound in servitude to your master. You are free, Andorin of the Assassin Guild. You have paid homage to the Dark Summoner with the blood of your victims. Redemption is yours now, if you wish it.”
“Why do you call me Andorin of both the Barrenland and Assassin Guild?” The fog of cloudiness slowly dissipated. Had it been days since his death?
“You are both from the Barrenland and the Assassin Guild.”
The Oracle gentled her tone. “It has been decades since your death, Andorin. In these years, your spirit wandered aimlessly in the realm of the living. Long passed your time to journey to the realm of the dead. Your spirit lingered in this world you no longer belong, and only you can say why.”
The memories of his life flooded him. It was the last meeting with the Dark Summoner that conjured in his mind.
“One last victory from you, Assassin, and you will be free of my servitude. You will be free to live in my kingdom as the Lord of peasants.”
Andorin hid his disdain at the Dark Summoner’s mockery. He was an elite assassin of the Assassin Guild and was well trained in the art of killing and apathy. His placid face revealed no emotions.
“Do as you wish with the Prince. Leave the boy alive.”
Andorin left the kingdom that very night. One last kill and he would be free. He traveled the turbulent sea to the Baleon lands, to the narrow strait in the Baleonian Sea. Baleon was a kingdom of sea folks and travelers. Andorin cared not for the scenery or the people of the lands he visited. He journeyed to the kingdoms for one reason only and returned home to the Barrenland soon after his victory kill.
He had been informed of the Prince’s whereabouts for the night. A side door will be left open, the servant had promised after pocketing the bag of gold. Andorin entered the side door that was open, as had been promised. He quietly climbed the stairs to the tower of the stars. His Lord will be watching the stars tonight in the tower. There you will find him.
Andorin climbed the stairs, sword in hand. Muffled voices drifted down to him from the open doorway on top. He was to be alone, Andorin muttered quietly to himself. No matter. It mattered naught if tonight was to be one or two kills. He will etch one more mark of death on to his back. Andorin was trained to be a ruthless assassin, but in the quiet stillness of the night, he would run his fingers along the scars on his back. In those quiet moments, he would wonder of a life that could have been if his peasant parents had not sold him into the servitude of the Assassins Guild. A fool’s wish, he told himself every night. He made out words as he neared the top landing.
“Father, will my dreams come true too?”
Andorin saw the two figures in the light of the moon. The sandy-haired Prince had a hand placed on his son’s shoulder. The boy of the age of ten and no more, stared up at his father with bright blue eyes. In them, Andorin saw unfaltering love, admiration, and joy.
"Yes my son,” the Prince chuckled. “One day, not yet mind you since you have some growing to do still, but one day, you shall meet a woman you will adore more than life itself. You too will have a family of your own. You will have a son you will be proud to call your own, as I am proud to be your father. Your dreams will come true, as my dreams came true when both you and your mother entered my world.” The Prince tousled the boy’s hair, and both father and son turned their attention back to the telescope.
Andorin backed down the stairway. An assassin has no heart. An assassin has no emotions. Those were words drilled into him at a young age. Yet Andorin could not bring himself to kill this last victim. Andorin’s heart thumped with its’ usual calming beat, and in that moment, he foresaw his own death. He knew his days were now numbered. He would be a hunted man. His death would befall in the hands of his former assassin companions. He wouldn’t make it easy for them, he vowed. He knew that he stood a chance with outrunning the assassins and killing any that crossed his path, but not with the Dark Summoner with his demon dragon. They would find him one day and take his life for not fulfilling his obligation. It was the way of the assassins.
He only had to kill the Prince and he would be free of his servitude. He knew the Assassin Guild would come and finish the job. It was pointless for him to forfeit his own life when he knew the lives of this father and son would still be forsaken. It shall not be by my hands, Andorin thought. No, he would not let their bloods spill onto the ground.
Andorin made his way back up the stairs taking no care to quiet his movements. The Prince stood defiantly facing him, his body protecting the young boy behind.
“The Dark Summoner wishes you dead. I know naught what ill deed brought you to the attention of his Lord. Pack up your valuable possessions. Leave this kingdom tonight with your wife and son. Breathe not a word to anyone in your castle of your whereabouts. Buy a farm in a land far away and live out your lives in simplicity. Do not bring notice to your family. If you do not heed my words, your son will not live long to see his dreams come true.”
With those words stated in the air, Andorin made his way back down the tower steps and exited the balmy stairway into the chilled night air. His days were numbered now, but at long last, Andorin felt peace in his heart.
The words of the Oracle brought him back to the present. “You see, Andorin of the Barrenland, it is your act of mercy that will now be your redemption. The kindness you had shown to the Prince and his family was not forgotten by them. They heeded your advice that very night. The young boy grew to be a powerful Summoner, more powerful than his Prince father. It was through your mercy that the Prince lived to teach his son the righteous power of a Summoner. The Dark Summoner would have taken that boy from the kingdom and taught him his dark powers. Your mercy spared the boy a bleak future.”
“The Prince is now with the spirits of the dead. He had never forgotten your mercy. With the last of his Summoner’s power, a gift was bestowed upon you. A gift you could choose to accept or not. You are needed in this time of darkness, Andorin the Assassin. The Dark Summoner’s power is amassing. Alone, the Prince’s son is too weak to combat the Dark Summoner. He will need help.”
“Andorin, the Prince has bequeathed life back to you, if you so choose to accept his gift. To the world, you will have solid form as any other human. You will appear as Andorin of the Barrenland.
“In the eyes of the magic beholders, you will be seen as the bones you are. You will be known as the Skeleton Assassin, a unique being that is blessed from the light of the Prince Summoner. No human made weapons may kill you and you will need rest and time to heal as any living being. Your life may only be forfeited, once again, from the curse of another powerful Summoner. Even then, the Summoner would have to deplete his life essence to curse your death.”
“The Prince asked me to express his gratitude to you, dear Andorin. The young Princeling grew in the righteous ways of a Summoner because of your act of mercy many moons past. Your act of kindness will help to bring light back to this world that is growing darker by the day.”
Andorin allowed the words of the Oracle to flow to the core of his essence. The Prince lived a full life. His son, the Princeling, is now a powerful Summoner. He was their reason for being alive. Contentment filled his heart. He heard the first thump of a heartbeat.
Thump, thump, thump.
“What shall you have me do? How am I to repent for my sins?”
“Seek the Queen with the golden heart. You saw her earlier in your vision. You can find her through the eyes of another being gifted with magic. The Queen travels with a dragon friend. Go to her side and help her in this time of darkness. She has a long journey ahead and will need trusted companions by her side. Your destiny can be more than an Assassin of the Guild. You are the Skeleton Assassin, blessed by the virtuous light of life. Offer your friendship and swordsmanship to the Queen. You will find you both share a common enemy in the Dark Summoner and his demon dragon.”
“In time, she will meet the young boy whose life you saved. She and the Summoner Princeling will become allies. Together, they will be a formidable duo.”
Andorin trailed his fingers along the scars on his back. He no longer had to wonder of a different life. Here was his chance to begin anew.
“What is the name of this Queen I am to seek?”
“Selenia Sky, young Andorin. Your friend’s name is Selenia Sky, Queen of the Isle of Light.”
Author's Note to my few fans following this storyline:
I hadn't planned on writing! I was listening to this song as I was walking to my car after work last night, and thought of this character. Who says assassins have to be evil? One more character to journey with Selenia Sky!
The vision of Selenia Sky in the first paragraph is from Adelaine the Dragon Queen - Selenia Sky's dragon friend