We Are Helven
Another kingdom falls…
The walls crumbling, the populace either killed, or living in fear. One of the smaller kingdoms to the west of the Mannate Empire, flayed and gutted. Not even a coalition of heroes could stop this.
The king's chamber, once proud and full of grace, not long ago became a home to corpses and ruin itself. The king himself lies on his throne, his face frozen in the pain of death, and his queen in at least two pieces at his feet.
"Humans, what a waste of space."
Against the wall, a loyal servant to the throne lays, clutching a deadly wound in his chest. The King's Mage, a Wister Elf born centuries ago, winces as he feels his life fade. He peers through pained eyes to see the owner of the voice.
A tall entity stands before him, his long black hair falling almost to his waist, his pointed ears are elf-like, but this can't be any ordinary elf. His light blue skin and yellow eyes…unnatural! His sick face twisted into a grin of what could only be known as pure evil.
"You think you're some kind of elf?" the mage cries out, "you're just some sick freak!"
The large elven looking being glares at the mage, his grin falling into a slight frown. Slowly, he walks over, placing his sword into the sheath on his back. He raises his hand, placing it on top of the elfs, his fingers press into his head.
"An elf?" he chuckles, "no, we are Helven!"
Blue electricity crackles and sizzles in random spots all over his hand.
"You will not see our reign but your descendants will, take comfort in this, they will live a fruitful life where you could not."
The electricity moves through the mages body, his last feeling isn't of being shocked to death, but somehow, a strange burning feeling coursing through his body. His last scream resounds throughout the chamber as he is slowly reduced to ash, the powerful entities words resound in his spirit for eternity.
"Malakar! Malakar!" a voice cries from the hall, "is the-"
The figure runs in, his long black coat almost covering the mace at his side. He also shares the same yellow eyes and pointed ears, but he is a bit shorter, and his white hair only barely touches his shoulders. His skin a very light red, one could almost say pink.
Malakar watches as his servant slides to a halt as he runs in, a sadistic smirk slowly covering his face.
"I can see I missed the real fun."
"Yes, Drelic," Malakar says, "I see you were having too much fun wiping up the peasants, again."
Drelic scratches his head.
"How do you expect to fully be my second in command when you're always being so reckless," Malakar says, "when there is work to be done."
"Sorry," Drelic smirks, "these fools are just too much fun."
"Perhaps Bulkar would be a better fit." Malakar says this as he gestures to a large figure kneeling by the throne.
The large Helven creature stops cleaning his large blade and stands, standing a good two or three heads taller than Malakar himself. His bald head and dark green skin almost ignoring the fact that there is torchlight nearby. He is different from each of the others, in that his eyes are a light blue, possibly an effect of the power he was given.
Now it is Bulkar's turn to smirk, and Drelic would never admit the fact that this makes even his skin crawl.
"I think that title would suit me well, don't you think?" Bulkar says as he turns to the dead king, and holds his large blade up to the light.
"Where diplomacy fails, might resides."
In the castle courtyard, the agonized corpses of men, women, children, nobles, servants, knights and rogues lay still. Their cries already carried off by the wind, and thrown into the depths of the sorrowful ocean.
Malakar walks through the field of dead, bored with this victory. Another kingdom falls, another worthless challenge. Can no one give him a worthy fight?
Three figures approach, each tall as Drelic, yet not so distinct as he, Malakar, or Bulkar.
Two of the Helven before Malakar's trio share the same dark hair, yellow eyes, and height. But they are all the same shade of light green. The first, Crouley, whose only distinguishing feature is his eye patch over his right eye, almost as menacing as Malakar, and as devious as Drelic.
Crouley lets out a laugh.
"We really showed these bastards not to screw with us!" he gestures to all the dead, "heh, didn't we , Gaviro?"
The next, Gaviro, wears a muzzle over his mouth. The muffled sound of insane laughter coming out from underneath it. The chain wrapped around his body rattles as he laughs, and the spear tip at the end almost scratches the ground. Small white spikes protrude from random portions of his body, and his bulging blood shot eyes never blink.
The shortest, and perhaps physically weakest of all the Helven chuckles. While he is similar to the other two lesser Helven, he was created with some other purpose. His light blonde hair has cream colored tufts dispersed throughout, he produces a wad of paper. He takes a moment to clean his monocle before continuing.
Entiro flashes a smile, very rare for his kind indeed.
"They didn't stand a chance sir," he says to Malakar, "as I predicted, they barely put up a fight this time. We even managed to save some for assimilation."
"Very good," Malakar says.
Before he can continue, a sobbing sound is heard from among the sea of corpses.
"Hear that?" Malakar says, "It came from over here."
The group heads over to the sound, the source of which causes a chuckle throughout, Malakar remains grim. Bulkar steps to the side and watches intently.
In front of them, a small girl kneels, her hands shaking the body of some knight. Her cries fill the air, and the tears stream down her cheeks. Her eyes are brown, and her hair a light brown. A scar crosses her right eye.
"Well well, looks like the knight's squire....servent? Has come to claim her master," Malakar says.
The girl gasps and looks up, having not noticed the group heading towards her. She cries out and stands, but is unable to move as her legs tremble.
Malakar walks up to the trembling child, almost looking on her with pity for just a moment.
"Your master, is dead," he says, "you should have taken your freedom when you had the chance child."
Malakar takes a step closer.
"When you learn that freedom is for the strong to take," Malakar says, "only then can you truly be liberated."
The young girl takes a step back, unsure of how to process this.
"Alas," he says, looking at the scared child before him. Could she be assimilated? Work in the fields? Maid? Malakar's gaze shifts over to the other Helven, taking particular notice of Crouley's sinister gaze.
Malakar raises his hand, his index finger lighting up with a yellow glow. He places his fingers on the girls stomach, her face winding up in fear. Roaring he sends a blast of pure yellow energy straight through her, the blast only dispersing when it hits the stone wall behind her.
Her mouth quivers and her eyes widen, she clutches the wound as she falls, and within moments her trembling ceases.
"There, it is done."
Malakar signals for his trio to follow him out of this place.
One last victim lays killed among the rest…..or so they would think.
The super race would continue on, slaughtering innocents and conquering kingdoms for years to come, until someone would finally come to stand in their way.
The wind plays over the deserted courtyard, bringing with it the ever growing stench of death and decay. Another kingdom, another graveyard. But among all of this, something stirs.
A little hand clutches the dirt, trembling as pain racks their body, letting out a small groan as they try to pull themselves forward. She crawls over the body of the fallen knight, one eye scrunched half way shut and face twisted in agony. Her eyes widen and a small, terrified cry escapes her lips as she feels a pair of hands grabbing her and rolling her over.
"Ah-aaahh!" she cries as he feebly lifts her arm in preparation of the doom to come.
Her brow furrows as she looks at the two creatures standing above her. One, is the kindly face of an old lady, a small, sad smile appearing on her face. The crows feet, and wrinkles adorning her face tell of many years of hardships, victories, and a great knowledge of the world. Her pale, white eyes have seen true madness and suffering, while managing not to have been completely absorbed by it.
The other, a terrifying image. His eyes appearing red and bloodshot, eyebrows furrowed into what appears to be eternally contorted rage. The black rag pulled up over his face covering his nose, mouth, and whole bottom half of his face. Scars creep up from underneath the rag, crawling up towards his cheeks and the sides of his head, dark hair covering his head, his light bronze skin covered in dirt. His brown cloak tattered and weathered, the metal bracers on each arm as worn and scarred as he is.
"Hello there, child," the old woman says with a voice as sweet as honey, "you poor, poor thing."
She slowly lifts the child up, who cries in pain as her body is racked in agony. The small hole blasted straight through her abdomen still vaguely smoking from the shot.
"I know child, I know." The old woman says as she waves a hand over the wound, "that'll ease the pain for now, but we need to get her proper treatment."
"Then let's hurry up," the man's voice sounds like his vocal cords have been through a cheese grater, "you know they like to come back sometimes."
The man keeps an eye out as the old lady scoops up the child, and they make their hasty escape.
An odd feeling of peace envelops the little girl, and slowly she stirs. The warmth of the fire ahead soothes her, as does the gentle crackling of the flames as more wood is thrown in.
She tries to raise her arms to rub her eyes, and pain courses through her body. She lets out a cry of pain.
"Try not to move too much," the voice of the man, "you should be dead with an injury like that. But I think Lady Geralmine should have you up again in a few weeks."
The man glances back to the child.
"Hmm, can you talk at all?"
"Yes," her voice is hoarse and low, one of his pointed ears quivers slightly.
"You sound almost as bad as I do," the man says, "let me get you some water."
While he is gone, a large, hulking figure enters the doorway. Half as tall as a man and wide as a bear; a green, slimy…thing walks in. Little white spikes cover its body, it's face contorted and twisted, teeth protruding, a waterfall of drool dripping from its mouth.
As its mouth opens it lets out a low pitched, gurgling sound. The girls eyes widen and she tries to call out. In a moment the man is standing over her, his eyebrows finally peeling up to reveal he actually has more than one facial expression.
"Heh, don't worry about him," he says, "that's Poodle. He's a good….dog, he won't hurt you."
As the little girl sips the water with his help, the man ponders something.
"Is that better? I just realized we don't even know your name yet."
"I'm…Luciana," she manages to squeak out.
"Hmm, my name is Keros," the man says, "nice to meet you."
The girl tries to say more, but Keros raises a hand.
"It's alright, we can talk later. It's probably best if you just rest now."
Just like that, the little girl Luciana, slips back into the realm of sleep.
Malakar enters the halls of his newest kingdom, flanked on either side by Drelic and Bulkar. The large chamber is filled with mercenaries, beast people of all sorts, kings, and down trodden peasants. Their prisoners all kneel on the floor. It seems the Helven have some mercy after all.
"All hail Malakar!" they cry.
"All hail the Helven!" they cry.
"Long live Malakar, our liberator!" they cry.
One man stands, quietly. The contempt written on his face, his arms crossed. As of late the Helven have tested out new methods of taking what is theirs.
"King Arius, our newest guest," Malakar says, "will you not bow and swear loyalty to your new ruler?"
King Arius raises an eyebrow, before letting his arms fall to his side.
"I've heard of you, Malakar," Arius says, "I'm surprised you haven't just killed me on the spot."
"There is more need for you than mere....play things."
Malakar shoots an icy glare at Drelic.
"A lesson more of us would be better off learning."
"So what do you want from us?" Arius asks.
Malakar surveys all the prisoners in this very room.
"First, I want your loyalty, then your soldiers," Malakar says.
"And?" Arius asks.
"Tax and tribute, a portion of your crops, and produce us your finest equipment. We will negotiate the finer details later."
Malakar puts one hand on his chin.
"Hmm, and we'll establish trade with the other liberated kingdoms and communities. In return for your loyalty and effort, you'll have our protection, and my gratitude."
Arius takes a step back, his brow furrows.
"That's it?" he asks.
"As I said, we will work out the details later. But you'll be allowed to run your kingdom however you wish, provided you do as I have asked. Let none say that Malakar ever infringed on his citizens."
Arius looks to the group of his fallen peasants, chancellors, generals, and citizens. This is a much better deal than most others had gotten in the past. But who is this interloper to tell him what to do? He who ruled with a gentle hand, and built this very kingdom from the ground up? Who else can say they went from a life of barbarianism, only to rise to this esteem in so short a time?
He looks once again to all those he used to rule, and would continue to rule. The Helven…thing, Drelic's hand crackles, a red misty substance quickly surrounding his hand, fingers twitching. The look on his face as he looks over all the prisoners. If he had been in charge, this would have ended much differently by now.
The king's throat visibly bulges as he swallows down his pride, and kneels down.
"Good choice," Drelic says, "I-"
Malakar raises his hand, silencing his underling. With this, Arius recites the oath to his usurper.
So it was, and so it shall be for eternity.
Yeah you commended them lol, forgot to let you know
Mmm, probably a couple of years
And yeah, he didn't seem as even keeled as I would have liked him to be. OG Malakar was more of a dick, and while this one still is I would say making him a bit more mellow suits him better.
I actually have something like that planned out, and while its less of a confrontation it'll be pretty clear there's a shift in overall values once it happens.
And yeah I was thinking he should be able to run a stable kingdom, and not have everyone hate him. I do want him to have some fanatical minions and followers after all.
And regarding the last part that certainly plays a factor into multiple aspects of the story, and the Helven timeline. Things I really want to share but I think it's all gonna play out epically.
Think I might write the next part now that some of the ideas are fresh in my mind.
The moon sits high in the sky, master of the chaotic night. The wind remains silent, letting the nothing speak for itself.
Dirt and leaves burst into the air as a horse tramples through, then followed by another and another. Upon the horses sit lightly amrored warrirors, the light glints off their steel blades and what little armor they wear.
At the front of the line one Helven rides, enjoying the quiet of the night, but he smells fear in the air, his fingers twitch on the reigns, a smirk plays upon his lips.
More lands, and more servants must be taken for the glory of the Helven, and these peasants and their lords spit in the hand of Malakar. For this, there must be recompense. The village lies ahead, one of many on the path of war.
His hand twitches as he raises it, a red mist forming over his palm, between his fingers. It grows in size as he rides on, and bearing his mace, he comes across his first victim....
The sun beats down, heat envelops him, a small boy of seven or so toils. Drenched in sweat, his muscles strain, the two large buckets of water threatening to rip loose from his grip. But he can't let go, people need this water, and he didn't carry it all the way from the river for nothing!
He closes one of his grey eyes as a bead of sweat drips down into it, and he attempts to blink it out.
Step by step, his bare feet leave prints in the mud, and with muscles burning he makes it. The boy sets both buckets down sloppily, panting and tired he waves to the butcher. The butcher is a jolly man, and he waves back.
"Glinn! What a job, lad!"
The butcher takes the buckets in hand, and motions for Glinn to follow him. Upon reaching his shop, the butcher hands Glinn two loaves of bread, and a plethora of vegetables, and even some meat.
"Thanks, Mr. Pigarse!"
The lad makes his way home, humming a merry tune. Glinn soon reaches the other side of the village, walking into his house and setting the days earnings down on a shaky wooden table.
"Hey, Glinn." A tall, thin woman with a gaunt face greets him, a streak of grey hair going down one side of her head. "Worked hard today, son?"
"Yes, ma'am." The boy beams as he points to the food placed on the table.
She runs a hand through his light brown hair.
"That's my son," she smiles warmly, embracing him.
The sound of a saw through wood reaches Glinn's ears in this quiet moment.
"Father is working pretty late again?"
"Yes....hmm, he might appreciate a hand."
The woman grabs Glinn's shoulder before he can bolt outside. "But first, have some water."
The boy drinks, gulping down the water before rushing outside. He runs some small distance. Before him....father stands, sawing into a log. He stops to catch his breath, sweat drips down from his light brown hair and onto his forehead.
Glinn looks in worry, they haven't been the same since last winter. They are no longer sick, but it did a number on them. Luckily the stranger that came through had a very special potion. The stranger, who radiated warmth, yet his gaze was cold as ice.
"Hey, boy!" The man grins, "mind giving your ole' dad a hand?"
Pulled out his thoughts, Glinn eagerly gets to work. They work until night falls, when the light fails and the time to rest is here.
Laughs are shared, stories are told, jokes are made. The family sits by the warmth of the fire, as sweet dreams invite the small boy.....
Thunderous claps fill the air, horses. A shout.
Glinn sits up, wiping the sand from his eyes, shaking off the grog filling his head. He stumbles to the door, cracking it open. Somewhere people shout and what sounds like the blacksmith hammering a sword or something....that's not quite right.
Something lands next to the lads foot, a bolt of fire...an arrow! Arms grab the boy and pull him away.
"Glinn! Glinn!" a frightened voice says, mother.
"We have to go!" She takes his hand, her dress filled with red specks, it stains her hands too.
A blaze lights before the boy, and they rush, out the other door.
Buildings in the village burn, the roads filled with men in strange armor, their blades chopping...people. Glinn's eyes widen, about to shriek in terror when his mothers hand covers it, heading through the back end of the village.
The butchers shop is alight, two of the strange men throw Mr. Pigarse to the ground.
"You bastards, away! Away!" he scrambles up, tossing a rock at one. The man's head jerks back as the rock bounces, a sick cracking sound resounding as he falls.
Mr. Pigarse stares at the man, mouth agape. Something flies by Glinn, leaving a wave of hot air behind it...a red...orb? More like a mist.
It softly lands on the butchers back, he recoils arching his back, mouth gaping but no sound comes out. His shirt starts to deteriorate in the spot it landed, then his skin, blood oozes down as his back is opened up. A large splotch of skin just....disappears.
Mr. Pigarse falls, twitching and trying to say something. The soldier brings his sword down, right through his back, twisting it before pulling it out.
Glinn is pulled back, his mom no longer transfixed by the scene before-
They stumble back, having knocked into something.
"What is that?" Glinn says.
Drelic stands before them, drops of blood lightly dripping off his mace.
"Who, is the proper word." The reddish pink creature says, his pointed ear twitching, as a sick smile creeps across his face. "Drelic, of the Helven, servant of Malakar. Blame your lord for this."
The mace thuds, the spike driving through mother's skull, her eyes roll up and she simply drops. Glinn cries out, legs shaking. He scrambles back, and away from the hell beast before him.
"What are you so worried about....this?" Drelic holds the mace out, the child watches as his mothers blood drips from the spike.
"You don't have to worry about this....no, we'll let you go. Tell your people, tell your lord what happened here today."
Drelic waves his hand over the fallen woman's face, then over Glinn's leaving a red streak.
"This is on your lord's hands, boy." Drelic grabs the terror stricken child by the shoulder, "I know, it's not really fair. but that's not what matters."
The boy tries to turn in terror, before something flashes. It feels as though fire burns through his face, a long cut across his cheek, turning down right before his nose and trailing across his lips. He stumbles and blood oozes from it, the soldier holds the sword up where the boy can see it.
"This is all that matters kid, remember that."
Head adaze, the child tries to run, Drelic grabs him and turns him around.
"Hint, your lord lives that way." He points.
The boy just runs, as fast as he can.....nothing welling up into his soul. Leaving the burning village behind, he runs, for what feels like hours. Darkness falls, and the forest surrounds him, all he can see is an inky black clotting his vision....and running water somewhere...running like he is.
Glinn topples over......