OK. I have no idea if anyone is going to be interested in reading this, but this story has been nagging my brain for months now and it's reached the point where I can't concentrate to work on my other stuff! This is based on my character I created for my D&D games. Hope you enjoy!
The Adventures of Jasmine Coldrain
The man walked into the small home. It was late in the evening and he had finally finished stacking the pile of wood he had cut up earlier that day. He was tired, but his fatigue was quickly forgotten when he was quickly embraced by a giggling little 5 year old child. He smiled and scooped her up, causing her to squeal with laughter.
"Well, my little Jasmine!" He said as he looked into her bright brown eyes. "And why are you still awake?"
"I wanted to see you before going nuh night," Jasmine replied unabashedly. "I want a story."
Father's smile broadened. He carried his daughter into her room and laid her down on the bed. He sat down next to her and brushed a lock of brown hair from her face.
"Hmm… a story, eh? And what story did you want to hear?"
Jasmine smiled. "I wanna hear about the knights… the stories Grandpa told you," she replied quickly.
"Ah, you mean the knights of Darien."
She nodded excitedly. He chuckled.
"Well, it was a long long time ago. There were these knights known as the knights of Darien and they protected the people throughout the lands. They were very brave and honorable. They stood for the just and righteous. They traveled all over the lands, fighting monsters and evil people."
"Tell me about the knight and the princess," Jasmine pleaded her eyes wide. "Tell me the story about them!"
"Ah yes, the story of Princess Vanessa of Aramon and Cornelius, Knight of Darien. Well, one day in the land of Aramon the Princess' kingdom was under attack by the vicious lycan that infested the forests. The king and his army did everything they could to protect the kingdom, but were running out of ways to feed the people. When they heard of the kingdom's the Knights of Darien took up their arms and traveled to Aramon. They helped slay the lycan and drive them out of the kingdom.
The king was quick to thank the knights and offered them anything in his gratitude. In the mean time, Princess Vanessa and Cornelius had met and quickly fell in love. They spent their days together walking the palace grounds together, handing hands, talking about how they would do anything for each other and would never be parted."
Jasmine listened with rapt attention, hanging on his every word.
"Unfortunately, Princess Vanessa had been promised to another and the king would not end her betrothal."
Jasmine frowned. "What is… betrothal?"
"She was promised to marry someone else."
"But she loved Cornelius."
Father smiled knowingly and nodded. "Yes, she did."
"Did she love the other man?"
"No. She had never met him."
Jasmine thought for a moment. "Why would she hafta marry someone she never met?"
"Well, the man she was to marry was a very powerful warrior king from another kingdom. Princess Vanessa's father wanted to make an alliance with them."
"What's… what's an al-li-ance?"
"An alliance is when two groups agree to work together."
"Oh," Jasmine thought for a moment again. "So… marrying the other person would make a… al-li-ance?"
Father nodded. "Yes, in this case. I have told you this before, Jasmine," He chided gently.
Jasmine smiled. "I know! I forgot!"
He chuckled. "Well, Princess Vanessa and Cornelius were quite upset about her betrothal and they decided she couldn't marry the warrior king. So, one night, they ran off together and took a boat to another land where neither of the kings would ever find them. Cornelius gave up his knighthood to be with the princess and they spent the rest of their lives together."
She cocked her head curiously. "Was her father mad?"
Father thought for a moment. "I suppose he probably was."
"Am I gonna have to marry someone I don't want to, Father?"
Father smiled gently at his little girl and brushed her hair with his fingers.
"I will never make you marry someone you do not want to, Jasmine," He promised. "I want you to marry a man you love."
Jasmine smiled happily.
"Then I'm gonna marry a Knight of Darien too! Just like Princess Vanessa did!"
Father chuckled at the determination in Jasmine's words.
"I see! But, Jasmine, the knights disappeared hundreds of years ago. They are no more."
The little girl hesitated a moment before responding.
"Then I'll find them! And I'll marry one and we'll be together forever like Princess Vanessa and Cornelius!"
Father smiled lovingly at his daughter, the daughter who so resembled her mother who had passed while bringing her into the world. The daughter who had her mother's spirit and determination. He gently kissed her on the forehead.
"And I believe you will, my little princess," He said.
He carefully tucked the blankets in around her before finally standing up and picking up the lantern next to the bed.
"Sweet dreams, Jasmine," Father said softly as he stood up and went to her door, closing it behind him.
"Sweet dreams, Father," the little girl echoed as she closed her eyes and fell asleep.
Jasmine awoke to the sounds of screams and sounds of fighting outside. She bloated upright in her bed, clutching her doll tightly in her arms.
"Father!" She cried out fearfully.
Suddenly, the door to her room flew open revealing her father, his face tight with worry. In one hand he carried a lantern and in the other was a large sword. He quickly set the lantern on the stand next to the bed and scooped Jasmine up in his arm. He also grabbed the lantern and carried her out to the small kitchen area. He knelt down, setting the sword down beside him. He moved aside a rug to reveal a trap door. He opened it and a small crawl space could be seen beneath it.
"Father, what's happening?" Jasmine whimpered fearfully.
Father looked at her, his eyes more serious than she had ever seen them before.
"Jasmine, I need you to listen to me and do exactly as I say, alright? I need you to be a very brave little girl right now. I need you to hide down here for me. I need you to hide and be as quiet as you possibly can, alright? You have to hide down here and you cannot come out, no matter what you hear. The orcs are outside and their attacking the village. You have to stay down here and be quiet so they don't find you."
"Are you going to hide with me?" Jasmine whimpered anxiously.
"No, baby girl. I have to stay up here and make sure they don't come inside. I'm going to keep you safe, Jasmine. I won't let them find you."
Tears rolled down the little girl's cheeks. She wrapped her arms desperately around his neck.
"No! No, don't leave me!" She sobbed into his shoulder.
Father wrapped his arms around his daughter, tears filling his eyes. He didn't want to leave her alone. But he also knew he had no choice.
"I love you more than anything, Jasmine," he said, his voice thick with emotion. "I have to go, though. Stay down here for me. I need you to do this for me. Please, baby girl."
She continued to cry, but reluctantly nodded. He gave her one last hug and kiss on her forehead before gently lowering her down into the crawl space wrapped in the blanket. Their eyes met one last time before he gave her a gentle smile before closing the trap door and covering it back up with the rug.
Jasmine laid in the dark crawl space, sobbing quietly. She could still hear the screams and fighting outside. She heard Father go out the front door, yelling something she couldn't understand. She covered her ears with her little hands, trying to do as Father had said. She tried to be brave like the knights in the stories always were. She envisioned Father outside, a brave knight, bravely battling the orcs outside to protect her, the princess. He'd soon slay them all and come rescue her, just like in the stories.
After what seemed like hours, she heard the front door slam open. She heard heavy footsteps on the floor above her, but they sounded nothing like her father's boots. Her breath caught in her throat as she heard someone began speaking in low, guttural tones that she could not understand. Suddenly, she heard crashes directly above her, as if some had begun overturning the furniture in the room. She cowered back in a corner of the crawl space, terrified. She desperately wanted to scream for Father, but his words rang loudly in her head. She had to keep being brave for him. She had to stay quiet not matter what like he had said.
She heard the footsteps suddenly move closer to the trap door above her, stopping nearby.
The old ranger picked his way through the remains of the ravaged village. The dead littered the ground, the bodies being belonging to both humans and orcs. He cursed under his breath the orcs' savagery as he saw the body of a young boy lying dead in a doorway. His eyes came upon his friend's house and he quickly made his way over to it. As he drew closer his eyes fell upon the body lying on the ground nearby. The ranger slowly walked over to his friend's body which had been savagely hacked open, his innards showing through the gaping wounds.
"I am sorry, my friend," The ranger said with a sigh before turning to look at the house. He knew his friend had a young daughter, but he had little hope after seeing the devastation in the village that the child had survived.
The front was wide open and he could see as he entered the place had been ransacked. He carefully began searching through the home for any signs of the child, but saw nothing. He thought that perhaps the child had run off or the orcs had carried her off.
He was preparing to leave when he suddenly heard a muffled whimper. He stopped for a moment and looked around the room. His eyes fell on an overturned table that was on top of a small rug. He moved the table aside and pushed away the rug, revealing a trap door. He quickly opened it and peered inside.
His eyes locked onto a pair of wide frightened brown eyes staring back at him. His surprise was quickly replaced by the need to do the job at hand.
"Jasmine," He said somewhat gruffly as he reached out his hand to her. "It's Willis. Come here, child."
Jasmine hesitated a moment before crawling towards him, clutching her doll with one arm. She took Willis' hand and he carefully lifted her out of the crawl space.
"Where's Father?" She asked softly, her eyes filled with tears.
Willis frowned. He didn't know how to answer the little girl. He quickly stood up.
"He's not here. Go pack your things. You can't stay here," Willis said gruffly.
"Where did he go?" Jasmine asked fearfully, tears beginning to trickle down her face.
"Go get your things, I said!" Willis replied sternly.
Jasmine stared at him, but obediently went to her room and began gathering her things together as he had asked. She packed everything into the small backpack her father had given her and she put it on her back. She then went out to find the ranger.
She froze when she stepped out the front door. Her eyes were wide with horror as she took in the devastation in the village. Her neighbors that she had known all her life lay dead around her. The homes she had gone and played in were destroyed.
And then she saw him.
"Father!" She cried out and she ran to his body.
She dropped to her knees next to him and she began shaking him desperately.
"Father! Father, wake up! Father, you're hurt! Willis is here and he can help you! Wake up, Father! Why aren't you answering me?"
Father's eyes stared unseeingly at the little girl. Jasmine sobbed as she shook him.
"Wake up! Wake up, Father!"
A hand fell on her shoulder.
"He's dead, Jasmine. He's not waking up," Willis said somberly. "We need to bury him. Go inside and get a blanket for him."
Jasmine let out a wail of anguish at the ranger's words. She clutched her father in her arms and sobbed.
"No! No! Wake up, Father! Please! Please don't leave me!"
Willis swallowed hard, unsure of what to do. He finally picked her up and forced her to let go of the body. He then set her on her feet and looked her in the eye.
"Do not dishonor your father this way! He died to protect you and he will be buried a hero. Go inside and get a blanket we can put him in. Now!"
Jasmine looked at the ranger in anguish and looked back at her father. Finally, not knowing what else to do, she stumbled back inside and grabbed a blanket off of his bed and carried it back out to Willis. She watched him wrap her father's body in it and then heave it onto his shoulders.
"Come with me. We'll bury him next to you mother."
Jasmine sobbed quietly as she followed him through the woods to the small village cemetery. She watched him go to her mother's grave site and set the body down. He then pulled out a shovel from his pack and began digging a grave. It took him almost an hour before he had dug one that he deemed suitable. He lowered the body into the grave and then began covering it up with the dirt. When he had finally finished he knelt down on the mound of first dirt and motioned for Jasmine to come over.
"We must pray," Willis said gruffly to her. "We must pray to Obad-Hai for him to bless your father and to take him to the next world. And we have to thank him for your life."
Jasmine knelt next to the ranger and looked at him hesitantly.
"Who's Obad-Hai?" She asked quietly.
Willis looked at her with a frown, but answered.
"Obad-Hai is a god. He is God of Nature. You'll be praying to him now."
Willis then lowered his head and raised his hands. Jasmine watched him for a second before mimicking his actions.
"My God Obad-Hai, I pray for the soul of my friend. He was a true warrior as he died to protect his child and home. Please bring peace to his soul and to the soul of the child he left behind."
He finished his prayer and looked over at Jasmine. She looked back at him with large frightened eyes.
"You have any other family?" Willis asked.
She shook her head solemnly. He sighed in frustration.
"Well, then I guess you're coming to live with me. I'd drop you off in the orphanage in Westbrook, but your father saved my life once and I made a promise to him I'd repay him somehow. Guess this is gonna have to be it."
He stood up and gathered up his things and shouldered his pack. He looked at Jasmine.
"You best keep up. We have a long walk and I ain't carrying ya."
With that he began making his way out of the cemetery. Jasmine looked at her parents' grave, considering for a moment staying there, not wanting to go with the old ranger. But she was also afraid of being left alone and being found by the orcs. Casting one last look at the grave she turned and followed the ranger.
Thank you for reading! Please read and review if you want to read more. I have a LOT to write about so please don't be shy! : )