The Golden Scepter - Prologue (9 ratings)
by Antavius S. Flagg
Page 1 of 5
She ran through the forest with a scream in her throat and a scream of pain
in her lungs. The night was bitterly cold, and the full moon had been covered
by a layer of thick ominous clouds from the north. Barefooted, she glided
across the brush of the undergrowth with only a gambler's luck. She tried her
best to ignore the symphony of the insects around her, and focus on the voice
of her assailants. She could feel their hideous light touching at her hair,
warming and slithering like snakes down the flesh of her legs. Somewhere in her
mind she wanted to stop and bath in the beauty of this light. But she knew
better. It was only a trick into making her stop, and to stand foolishly in the
night until they could reach her.
She calculated her course as best she could. It was she, however; who had
the advantage. She had lived in this forest since the time she had been born,
she knew every location and the paths to get there as if it were her sister.
Without even thinking she turned left and then right, confusing her assailants
for only a second. She looked down into her hands, into the bundle she was
carrying. By the writhing gleam of light from behind her, she could tell the
cloth was coming undone around it. Looking down she straightened it. She didn't
want any part of it being exposed to the harsh elements of the night.
She looked up and saw, from memory, a valley before her. She knew that it
would be covered in mist, but as the darkness of the night, it would hinder her
in no way. She came to the edge, and for a second looked behind her. The trail
of orange fire was advancing at a careful rate, as her assailants moved through
the thick undergrowth and did as best they could to maintain their pursuit. She
suddenly heard a scream as someone fell over a ledge into an icy river below.
She laughed in spite of herself, then turned and raced down the into the
valley. The mist was gentle, but slightly cooler than the night. The ground
beneath her feet had turned suddenly wet, but she had anticipated this, and it
did nothing to slow her down.
She ran blindly, only recanting directions from what she had learned from
memory. Her heart raced at the fact that she had only lived this long was that
they wanted her alive. Killing her now would do no good to help them recover
what she had stolen. Somewhere thorough the mist she could hear them shouting
commands, foolishly deciding to separate and surround her. She could see the
haze of their light breaking off from one another and venturing boldly out into
the surrounding mist around her. She suddenly stopped and bowed to the ground,
stilling her breaths, as she watched as to what they would do next.
They were expecting her to be moving, but she would not fall pity to their
game. She looked above her, wishing she could see the stars just one last time,
and maybe get a better grip on her location. Scowling, she bowed her head. It
was custom in her village that survival came from within, not from heavenly
bodies. The stars would do nothing to help her this night. She unwrapped the
bundle. The gleam of gold made her heart skip. Slowing her breathing, she held
the scepter before her face, mystified by the awesome power it could possess.
She had stolen it from their temple, a temple that would have been heavily
guarded had it not been for the Holy Holiday. Entering the temple had been the
least of her worries, but taking the scepter free of the altar had been another
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