A Golden Hero
An explosion rang out through Taben's Peak. The Ratite that had charged at Jenna fell lifelessly to the ground in several bloddied pieces as the girl had just turned in a last second chance to avoid the attack. She was stunned, her scimitar dropping to the ground with a clang as she turned her attention to the source of the explosion. What she saw was what had been a pile of yellow, red, and orange on the ground before their wagon a few moments earlier. Only, in it's current form, it was a young man, holding what appeared to be a long, metallic object, shaped similar to a stick, though with an obvious amount of detail. The man wore a deep, crimson flowing cloak, yellow tunic, boots, and gloves with orange sleeves and pants. His golden hair settled in the light breeze, and a claidmore was strapped at an angle along his back. He was knelt, in what would be a rifle firing position as Jenna stood in awe of him and his strange weapon.
"You are unhurt, correct Madam?" He stood and took a moment to strap the odd weapon against his back, smiling gently at Jenna as he did so. He finished working with the object and approached Jenna slowly, as she hadn't moved since he spoke. "Madam?"
"Hey Jenna, thank the lad, you'd have been ratfood had he not done whatever it is he did." Genn chuckled slightly as he placed his axe against his back as well and headed over to the awestruck young girl. "Lass? You still in there?" He shook his head and looked at the young man with another chuckle. "Seems she's frozen laddy."
Jenna blinked her eyes for a moment, then finally knelt down to grab her sword, and sheath it at her side before looking at the rather flamboyant young man and nodding. "Th-thank you sir." The slight red tint on her cheeks would give away either embarassment from being saved from a situation she was helpless, being in that helpless situation in the first place, or from the fact that this young man was perhaps the most attractive man she'd seen in her life. She would never tell the real reason for that slight blush however, and would likely throttle anyone who mentioned it. "Weren't you the one injured in the road though?"
The young man laughed slightly as he approached Jenna with a smile. "My lady, your concern for my well-being touches my heart. No, I am unwounded, you simply caught me before I had awakened from a peaceful night's sleep." He smiled, a charming smile that could steal a womans heart quite quickly.
Genn chuckled and patted the young man's shoulder with a rather stern, father-like smile that gave warning of murderous intent should he persue his current path much longer. "The middle of the road is not the place to sleep young lad, though, I thank you for saving Jenna's life. What do you call that strange magic rod you used? I don't think I've ever seen anything like it."
The young man nervously stepped away from Genn, and with good reason, the forboding aura of impending doom that radiated from him was rather apparent, at least to anyone with a sense of masculinity. He recomposed himself and looked back at Jenna, earning another rather devilish glare from Genn, before he opened his mouth to speak again. "This, it's an ancient weapon from the Blue Star, it's called a Rifle. I was surprised it was still in working condition when I found it, and the documents I found with it taught me how to create pellets so that I can use it."
Genn nodded looking the rifle over a bit as he circled the young man. "I see, an ancient weapon you say. So tell me boy, you have a name, or do I continue to call you lad?"
Jenna took a few steps closer as well, she and Genn had been avid treasure hunters for years, and any ancient artifact was well worth taking a look at. This one in particular, being an ancient weapon, an obviously powerful one at that, seemed like an object the Magic Guild of Vane would love to examine. On that note, the magic guild meant money, and lots of it at that. Jenna grinned as she reached a hand out to touch the rifle, only to have it slapped away by Genn.
The young man looked warily at the pair as he rubbed the back of his head and pulled his cloak around the rifle to conceal it from view. "My name is Aguinar. I am known as the Golden Bolt of the Heavens, the hero who will save Lunar from the approaching darkness. And who might you be?"
Genn shook his head, either the boy was delusional, or somehow just not right in the head, spouting off useless titles that meant nothing, and likely had never been heard anywhere across the lands of Lunar. "Aguinar was it lad? I am Genn, a treasure hunter, this young lady is my apprentice, Jenna, and the yellow cat over on our wagon is Demos."
Demos's head popped up as he glared at Genn for a moment. "I'm not a cat you idiot,"
Jenna chuckled slightly as she patted Demos's head, illiciting a slight purr from him. "He does have a point, according to historical texts, Hiro, the hero who defeated Zophar, and Dragonmaster Alex both had similar creatures traveling with them, and they both turned out to be dragons. Who knows, this little guy might be a member of the dragon tribe as well."
"It doesn't matter Jenna, he looks like a cat, acts like a cat, eats like a cat, I'll call him what I want. Now, get the wagon prepped, we can't dawdle about too long, we have treasure to find." Genn turned his attention back to Aguinar for a moment before he moved back towards the wagon. "You should get a move on too lad. Thanks for your help, but the road is a dangerous place to sleep."
"Thanks for the advice Genn, actually, would it be too much trouble to travel with you to the next city, you know, as a repayment for helping you?" Aguinar smiled softly and looked at the wagon, a comfortable place to sleep, an obvios store of food, things he'd neglected to bring with him on the journey, as evidenced by the rumbling in his stomach.
Jenna chuckled and gave Genn a sweetly smile, and puppy dog eyes, a look he could never turn down. "Alright, you can come with us, but only as far as Meribia. But, while you're with us, you are going to work, and you will help us in our hunt." Genn stepped up into the driver's seat of the wagon as he looked at the golden clad warrior. "Now, get on, we're not staying her any longer."
Aguinar nodded in agreement as he hopped into the back of the wagon, where Jenna was already preparing a small meal. It wouldn't be too bad, this side trip from his journy, at least, he couldn't imagine it being bad. Afterall, he had shelter, food, and the company of the beautiful young Jenna for at least four more days before they could make it to port city. Aguinar smiled inwardly to himself, for now, things were going his way, and he couldn't possibly be happier.
Several hours of travelling had passed when the wagon arrived at the ruins of Taban's peak. The place hosted the home of the Dragon Riders, a group that had in historic times, had a different name, and consisted of orphans raised by the white dragon, Nall. The Dragon Riders still took orphans in, however, the adult members dedicated themselves to the sword, hoping to one day protect the world of Lunar in time of crisis, or die in an attempt to do so. Genn himself had been a Dragon Rider in his youth, and as such, was the only treasure hunter offered permission to rummage through the ruins of Taban's Peak.
"Tis been way too long since I been back home, aye lass?" He smiled taking in the sights and sounds of the compound and ruins, as he brought the wagon to a halt. He stepped down off the wagon and greeted a pair of guards into the ruins with a smile. After exchanging pleasantries with his former comrades, he moved to a gate leading to the ruins and waited. "You three coming, we haven't got all day."
Jenna loved the ruins of Taban's Peak, it was one of the rare places that she could see a different side of Genn, a more child-like side that only surfaced in his old home. She gathered her excavation pack, and handed Genn's to Aguinar as Demos landed on her shoulder. "You might want to hurry, Genn get's impatient here. The Dragon Rider's boss found a new room in the ruins and wanted us to check them out."
Aguinar shrugged as he put the excavation pack against his back and followed Jenna. "Fine fine, but do we have to work so soon, we just got here, shouldn't we eat lunch first or something?"
Demos chimed in smiling at Aguinar. "Genn's too impatient here to eat, you'll have better luck around dinner time. Now quit blabbing and start moving."
An hour into their trek and they came to the room that the leader had recently discovered. The door was still sealed, and nothing Genn could do would open it. He sighed after one last attempt then stepped back to examine it more closely. There was some ancient writing on the door, and it would take Genn a while to decipher it. As he was reading and re-reading it, Jenna and Aguinar had set up a mini-camp and prepared a small snack to pass the time.
"Hey Genn, you find anything out?" Jenna smiled as she looked at her father figure.
"No, nothing yet, this isn't a language I recognize." Genn sighed as he sat on a rock, looking more closely at the writing. There was an obvious pattern, but nothing jumped out at him.
"Well, have something to eat, it'll help you think better." Jenna smiled and stood, then headed towards Genn with a small bowl of stew. As she was about to step in front of him to hand it to him, she tripped on a rock and fell against the door. The writing began to glow briefly and the door activated, slowly opening itself.
Genn blinked a bit in dismay and surprise. Jenna had always had a type of clutz-luck that seemed to always show up when needed. "I guess that's how you open it. Ok, everyone, we move in and look around."
The room was huge, like the throne-room of some long forgotten castle. In the center was a pedastal with a large blue gem in it. the rest of the room seemed rather empty, made up of support pillars, and white painted walls. The group approached the gem, the only object of true note in the room aside from the throne on the opposite wall of the door. Genn looked at the gem closely and placed his palm on it, causing it to glow with a blue light. An image of a old woman of nearly sixty years.
"Welcome travelers." The voice echoed through the room melodically. It was a beautiful voice, like that of a goddess. "I am Luna, or rather, you might know me better as Althena."