Legend of 3
*Disclaimer:Obviously I do not own Mabinogi. That belongs to Nexon and its affliates and whoever else is legally responsible for Nexon. Nor do I own the places, the generations or the NPCs. The only thing I lay claim are to the characters of Arlanta,Valmayrick and Yojimbo as they are that of myself and my brothers.
Author's Note: This is the story as promised by my teaser 'Legend of 3'. You want a summary go see that. If you haven't played through G1 yet I strongly suggest you finish it before reading this as this will eventually contain spoilers. Proceed ahead at your own peril. BTW not all chapters will be this long. I'm planning on the next ones being just 2500 or so words. Anyway grab you bread and meat and let the tale begin...
Chapter 1: The Beginning
She came to slowly, conscious of something hard underneath her. As she opened her eyes the first thing she saw was white. White surrounded her, with not a splash of color anywhere. Sitting up with a groan, she noticed the hard surface was a raised platform with an intricate Celtic knot in the center. Fog surrounded the platform in thick swirly mists, making it difficult to see beyond. Where was she anyway? She cast her mind back, trying to recall something, anything but nothing came to mind. It was if she had just come into being HERE, wherever here was. She had barely stood up, brushing imaginary dust off of her, when a brilliant white light blinded her.
A beautiful girl in a black dress with intricate patterns stood in the center looking at her. Her deep azure blue eyes reminded one of an endless blue sea full of mystique. With her pale skin and her distinctively sublime silhouette, she seemed as if she belonged in another world.* She tipped her head and smiled a little smile as she waited for the girl to run up to her. "Hello, Arlanta. Welcome to Erinn."
Arlanta looked at her with huge eyes. "How do you know my name? And what's Erinn? Where am I now? Who are you?" As she peppered the other girl with questions, she felt the name 'Arlanta' settle over her like a glove. It felt right, appropriate though she had no memory of ever being called that before. Then again, she had no memory of anything.
"I am Nao Mariota Pryderi but you may call me Nao. You are in the Soul Stream, a special place where people like you are called to before you go to Erinn. Erinn is a wonderful world filled with people and adventure and many things to do. As for knowing your name, why I called you here."
"You called me here…?" She echoed.
Nao nodded. "Yes, I did. Now I can't answer any more questions of yours as it is time to send you on your way. I can't delay your journey into Erinn. When you get to Erinn, find the village called Tir Chonaill and seek out the Elder called Duncan. Give him this letter from me. It'll explain everything and he will aid you as best he can. Take this bread too in case you get hungry along the way and…this book might help." She handed over a letter sealed in an envelope, a small brown book, and a warm golden brown loaf of bread.
Arlanta took the things and put them into the backpack she realized she had. She looked up again after putting the backpack on but Nao was already rising up into the air and suddenly that brilliant light returned, blinding her once more…
When her vision cleared, a scene spread with color and texture popped out of her, startling after the pure white of the Soul Stream. She stood on a gray black platform where four arches met in the middle over her head, inscribed with mysterious runes too faint to make out. Verdant green grass grew all around the platform, and a brown dirt path going south led downhill. Trees with swaying leaves surrounded the place, and the sun shone brightly from an azure blue sky with not a cloud in sight. "Wow…" she breathed, her face lighting up with a smile at the lush scenery. Nature always seemed so…intense and beautiful. She ran foreword, possessed of the need to move but had only run a few feet when she tripped over a small stone. The ground rushed up at her with incredible speed, and suddenly she slammed into it, hard. The air rushed out of her lungs, leaving her gasping for breath as she sat up quickly. Then she heard the laughter.
Turning her head, she saw a young man bent over in laughter, his dark red hair shining in the sunlight. Dark eyes were crinkled in laughter, and his white teeth flashed. He wore long red pants with a purple band across the knees that were topped by a purple blouse with under sleeves of red and simple brown shoes. When he recovered from his pearls of laughter, he said in a surprisingly deep voice, "I can't believe you just got here and already you're tripping. What a klutz."
Jumping to her feet, she glared at him with burning indigo blue eyes. Her golden blond hair framed her face while falling to her waist in a waterfall of hair, and her fair skin was rapidly turning red with embarrassment and anger. She wore a dark purple over shirt with black under sleeves, a black mini skirt, and the same simple brown shoes. "At least I'm not a jerk that stands still waiting for people to fall so I can laugh at them instead of doing something productive." She spat out.
He rolled his eyes, amused by her response. "Well since you're the first person I've seen or talked to all day, I suppose I'll call a truce for now. Besides, this place is too cool to spend time mocking others."
"Fine. Wait you mean you haven't seen anybody all day? Not anybody?"
"That's what I said Blondie. Are you deaf or something?"
She bristled. "DON'T call me that! And no I'm not. Are you naturally rude or did you learn that?"
"Are you always this easy to piss off, or did somebody teach you that? Anyway what's your name? I'm Yojimbo." He stuck out his hand.
She eyed it suspiciously before shaking it reluctantly. This guy really made her angry for some reason she couldn't explain. And oddly, she felt as though she ought to know him from somewhere.
"I'm Arlanta. Where do you think we are, anyway?" She said, looking around.
"Well it must be Erinn like that hot lady Nao said. Man did you SEE those…" He trailed off noticing her glare. "What? She's HOT."
"Why don't you try thinking of other things than the physical attractiveness of a stranger you don't know? Like where we ARE."
Yojimbo sighed but before he could answer a voice said from his side, "Perhaps it would be wise to search the forest rather than insult the lady. Inaction is a sin."
"Who said that?" Yojimbo and Arlanta cried in unison.
"I am Musashi** the spirit of Yojimbo's sword." The sword resting on Yojimbo's hip rose out of its sheath and floated in the air before them. "I am his spirit guide, here to aid him during his stay in this world."
"I got a spirit guide? Sweet! I can't wait to charge into battle with you swinging through the enemy, defeating them with a single sweep!" He cheered.
Arlanta rolled her blue eyes. "Okay if you're done acting like a child, why don't we try taking Musashi's advice and do something."
"An excellent suggestion Arlanta." A male voice came from her back. A short bow slipped off her back, showing itself.
"Okay so what's your name Mr. Spirit of the Bow?"
"Kajiyumi. I am pleased to make your acquaintance."
"The same to you." She slipped the bow back on her back and noted Yojimbo had sheathed the short sword.
Arlanta and Yojimbo set off, walking through the forest, peering about for somebody. Almost suddenly they came across a clearing of dirt and grass where a small boy stood on the far side. He wore a huge helmet that obscured his face, and a fist was propped up to his chin in thought. The boy looked up, and the travelers got the sudden sense that he was annoyed.
"Well, look who finally showed up. How do you get lost in this place anyway? It's not that big."
"Man, don't be all upset. I was just waiting for um someone else to come before I came to you…kid." Yojimbo eyed the little boy with curiousity.
"Tin." He supplied. "Don't lie, it doesn't become you. I know you got lost. And I'm not really that young. Certainly older than you two."
"Does this forest have a name?" Arlanta asked.
"This is the Forest of Souls. It's where everyone from the Soul Stream comes before truly entering Erinn. This place is west of Tir Chonaill but once you leave, you can't come back so don't even try. I made this a secret path on purpose."
"Why do we have these…spirit guides?"
"They're to help you learn how things work here. I thought they would've explained that already. Anyway just follow this path and you'll get to Tir eventually. Goodbye." He waved them on, already staring ahead with intensity in his eyes-or least with the sense of it anyway.
"Come on." Yojimbo led the way confidently.
"Don't get lost again, Yojimbo."
He scowled. "Why would I get lost? I have a GREAT sense of direction."
"Yea sure, it's only a coincidence that you failed to find Tin before I arrived. Honestly if it wasn't for me, you'd have been wandering around here for ages."
"Careful Arlanta, your heads swelling up. Don't scrape it on the branches."
"Oh shut up already."
"Only if you shut up first."
"I don't hit girls."
"No only bad guys. Fortunately I have no such scruples."
"Oh please, you and what army?"
"My mighty bow."
"Do you even know how to shoot that thing?"
"Do you even know how to swing your sword?"
Before their argument could continue, they came upon a wide clearing filled with young raccoons and…chickens. There were signs all over the place with different sayings on them, and two paths split off. The one to the right and the one to the left.
"Which way now?" Arlanta looked uncertainly at Yojimbo.
"This way!" He turned to the left.
"How do you know that?"
"Simple. It leads downhill and I think I see a town…plus on some of the signs it says not to go the right unless you're a powerful warrior."
"Oh so you're not almighty?" She said sweetly.
"Well no. Not yet anyway. But I am strong." He flexed nonexistent muscle.
"Come on Hercules. Sooner we get to Tir sooner I never see you again."
"Funny I was just going to suggest that."
Rolling her eyes, she led the way and began running in excitement.
He followed and called out,"Don't trip!"
And then they ran out of the Forest of Souls.
Another flash of light later and Arlanta found herself in a strange village with houses of stone and roofs of thatch. This must be Tir Chonaill right? She sincerely hoped so. Now, where was that elder…what was his name again? Ducan? Duncan? She walked around, watching as people dressed in simple rough clothing hurried about intent on their business, not paying any attention to the stranger in their midst. As she walked in what seemed like circles, she finally stopped when she reached a stone depression in the ground with steps leading down to it. This was hopeless. How was she going to ever find the elder when nobody would even talk to her? She didn't even know what he looked like, much less where he could be found. She wished her spirit guide would say something. Anything would be better than this state of invisibility. Like nobody even saw her.
"Do you need help Miss?" A kind voice reached into her despair.
Blinking against the noon sun, she shaded her eyes with her hand and peered upwards. A young man about the same age as herself and Yojimbo stood over her, looking concerned. He had blue gray hair and deep macha blue eyes. He was dressed in an outfit like Yojimbo had worn except his top shirt was a dark blue and his sleeves and pants were light green. At his side was a broad sword.
She bit her lip with relief. She must've looked really lost. "You really mean it?"
"I really do." His voice was calm and patient, and somehow she got the sense of great wisdom.
"Okay. I'm trying to find Duncan a village elder but I can't get anybody to talk to me. As if I'm a ghost." Her lip started to quiver, but she stopped herself. She wasn't a child to cry at everything, she scolded herself.
"Duncan? Why you're so close. See that tree on the hill? Behind that tree are steps leading to his house. Duncan should be outside. Come on, I'll show you the way. I'm Valmayrick by the way. What's your name?"
"I'm Arlanta." She followed him up the steps and felt foolish for not finding the place. It was plainly obvious once you got past the big tree. "How long have you been here?"
Valmayrick turned back towards her and considered her question. "Hmm. A week or two. For me it's hard to keep track. Are you new here?"
She nodded. "Yea. I just got here this morning. I only know one person…besides you that is. Some jerk named Yojimbo. I hope I don't see him again." At least some people here are nice. Strange though, I feel as though I know this guy as well. But I've never met him before.
Valmayrick didn't respond as he led her the rest of the way to the Elder's house. He seemed lost in thought.
Standing in front of a house with a large porch was a tall elderly man dressed in a long coat over a tunic and trousers. His silver hair, wrinkles and distinguished looking physique gave him an aura of power and authority. His eyes gazed over the village and its people and there was little he didn't see or hear about. Upon spotting Valmayrick he rumbled, "Greetings Valmayrick. How goes your training?"
"It progresses well though I am still in study of the proper technique of smashing. I'm not entirely certain the way I'm doing it is correct."
"If you need help just ask Ranald. I'm sure he'd be happy to help." His sharp eyes noticed the young woman hesitating. "I see you brought a new traveler to see me."
Arlanta gulped and stepped foreward after Valmayrick indicated to with a sweep of his hand. "H-hello."
"You have been sent by Nao. Welcome to Tir Chonaill."***
"Thank you. I'm Arlanta and Nao said to give you this letter." She held out the letter in a shaking hand.
Duncan took the letter and read it, his eyes rapidly scanning the words, absorbing the information as he read it. When he finished, he folded the letter and put it in his pocket. He then reached up and appeared to be tracing letters in the air. "I'm letting the owls know your name so they can deliver messages to you no matter where you are or where you travel."
"Oh that makes sense. Travel? Just how big is Erinn?"
"Quite big young lady, but to travelers such as yourself, the roads of Erinn are as familiar as the people. Now, do you have any questions?"
"Do you know where I could learn things?"
Duncan seemed to consider this. "If you're seeking combat lessons talk to Trefor or Master Ranald at the School. Magic lessons are with Lassar but they are quite expensive when you are starting out."
"Where is this School?"
"Just go back down this path to the Square, past the Bank and the Grocery, and continue downhill. Past the Church is the School and Master Ranald is usually in the training yard. I'm sure Valmayrick could point you on the right path."
"Thank you Duncan." She bobbed a wobbly curtsey, and ran back to the Square where Valmayrick appeared to be pondering something important. "Um, Valmayrick? Could you show me to the School?"
He looked up slowly, with just the faintest sense of annoyance at being interrupted. Then he sighed and it was gone. Without saying a word he turned and walked down the proper path.
Arlanta ran to catch up. "Sorry to interrupt you but I don't want to get lost again. Anyway how much are Ranald's lessons anyway? Do they cost money? What do you learn?"
Another sigh. "They don't cost any gold and you learn how to fight. Something you need to live here."
She was silent for several moments herself, absorbing this information.
Then they arrived at the school. A long wooden fence surrounded the School keeping it separate from the village. In the back was a garden that was shared with the Church; in the front was a yard with several posts and training dummys where one could practice hitting techniques. In the middle of this property was a large building that was presumbely the school building. Just outside the archway leading into the school was a bulletin board covered with notices and a sign stated the prices of lessons and when they began. Lessons begin at 7am.
Valmayrick gestured to the building. "Here we are. The School." He led her into the school yard where the sounds of something hard being smack could be heard.
As she came into the yard the first thing she saw was the man yelling instructions. He was tall, dressed in what seemed to be a leather tunic and pants, and despite his middle age looked to be quite fit and rather handsome. Long fringes of dark hair covered half of his forehead and cheek, and sharp eyes peered out over a strong nose. "Hit that post harder Boy! You call that a strike? That's pathetic! 1! 2! 3! That's it!"
The rhythmic sound of a post being struck increased in pace as the student struck harder and faster at it.
Valmayrick had wandered to where Ranald stood, waiting for a pause to talk to him.
Arlanta wasn't far behind when she got a good luck at the student doing the training. As he turned around, she saw the sweating face of Yojimbo. Oh no.
*This is Nao's description as given by the Mabinogi Wiki with a few minor changes based on viewpoint.
**Musashi is the name of a feudal Japanese Samurai known as Miyamoto Musashi who was a legendary swordsmans known for his skill in winning duels. He was the founder of the swordmanship style of Niten-ryū and authored the book of strategy,tactics and philosophy titled The Book of Five Rings-which is still studied today.
***This is Duncan's traditional greeting to new players/Milletians.
Author's Note: Thanks for reading the first chapter! Next one should be up soon. In the meantime:Practice, pratice,pratice! Hit those posts! And send reviews so I get some feedback. Adios Amigos!