So yep, this is a story that's taking place before the events of the Shadow of the Colossus arc. This is the first of a trilogy I'm planning, if this goes anywhere. The other two will take place during and after the game, so that means there may be an alternate ending and all that jazz. XD
There really need to be more Colossus friendship stories.
NOTE: Thou means 'you' when talking to a young person or someone inferior. Thy means 'your'. Thee means 'you' when talking to a friend or superior.
Anyway, hope you enjoy.
Chapter 1: The Oath
It was a dark, stormy night. It had been raining for some time now, with no sign of stopping and had only increased upon nearing the bridge to the forbidden lands. The grassed plains were soaked and the fog became thick. The abandoned road to the bridge of the forbidden lands stretched on, silent with only the sound of rain gently tapping on the ground.
At least it was usually that way on these rainy nights. That night, however, there was another sound added to the ambiance of the rain. It was the patting of horse hooves.
A large snow white horse with a small, single, rider trotted along the abandoned road in a casual manner. The horse's sharp, black, hooves sank into the rock and the mud of the dirt road, staining their shine further. The rider rode bareback and wore a fancy hooded red cloak that seemed too big, and the sides hung over the wearer's legs and sank nearly to the ground. The wind caused the cloak to flow freely all around the horse's sides, causing the rider to shiver through the soaked garment.
The mysterious companions emerged from the fog and continued forward. Even in the horrible weather, the stone bridge was visible to them. The rider lifted her head, piercing green eyes glitter from the shade of the hood. Her face was covered by a black scarf wrapped around her nose and mouth, "Easy Nostoc, not much longer boy."
The stallion gave a snort in reply and trotted a little faster, eager to get his master to the bridge and out of harm's way. Though it would be faster to gallop there, they had been traveling for days now, and both individuals were sore, tired, cold, and hungry.
Riding bareback was not helping either her or the horse, but she had no time to grab the leather saddle when she ran from her home. The girl did not know exactly what they would find in the forbidden land. All she knew is that she had to get away from her world immediately. The only place she could think to run to was the Land of the Colossi, the home her ancestors were born and forced to flee.
According to legend, a plague took the land and killed nearly all of the human population there. The survivors, the uninfected, had to escape. It was barely a fraction of the populace.
The world was declared cursed, and forbidden to go back under any circumstances. Then it all fell into ruin.
She was a descendent of those people, hundreds of years down the line.
She had been told great things of the 16 stone beasts, unlike the popular belief of the Colossi being horrible monsters.
However, most of her kind was dead now. They were hunted down by tribes because they were considered cursed, just like the creatures of the forbidden land. This was because of where they came from and their unique, inhuman features. Even despite they were 100% human with some gifts. For example, her people live twice as long as a regular human because they were born in a land of immortals. Though she wasn't 'born' there, people left many, many years ago, it was passed on.
There were also a lot of physical features that distinguished them as being abnormal.
The two were halfway to the bridge, when she could hear the sound of several galloping horses from behind her. She turned and gave a small cry as she saw five horsemen coming after her. They had long black garments and their cloaks look old and shredded, like if they had seen a lot of battle or were just trying to look scary. She could not see their faces underneath their long black hoods and even their horses were huge and black, galloping at incredible speeds. (Think Ring wraiths).
From what she could see in their hands, three of the men in the front had dark swords that they held out at their sides, and the two men in the back held up bows and arrows.
She had no idea what organization or tribe they were from, but their aura was purely frightening and all she wanted to do was get away from the shadowy figures. She kicked her horse into a gallop and they sped through the fog as fast as they could. Nostoc was very big for the young girl and she had to hold onto the horse's white mane with her hands.
She didn't turn around, but she could hear the horsemen catching up to them despite their speed. She kept urging the horse to go faster and faster, desperate to escape their frightening pursuers. He was moving so fast that Nostoc was kicking up mud everywhere and the icy rain felt like glass shards slapping against her face.
In their haste, the child's red hood flipped down onto her shoulders, exposing her tan skin and her long hair as white as her horse. Her hair whipped around and pulled itself from under her cloak until it flowed behind her. It was long enough to already reach down her back, and, as part of her heritage, would keep growing until the day she died.
As she kicked the stallion to go faster, he was becoming exhausted. He hadn't eaten or rested properly in days and his strength was starting to fade, but his determination kept him going. He wasn't just going to fail his friend and let her die. He was a special breed, taken care of by special beings such as her and her family. He was given benefits himself just from being raised on the crops the humans gave him. This made him abnormally tall for a horse, and he had incredible strength, speed, endurance, and intelligence above a regular horse.
Not as smart as a human, but smart enough to know what he had to do. He also won't live as long as one of the humans, but he does live longer than usual for a horse. He was originally a brown foal, but as he grew from their special care he gained a bright white coat, same as his master's hair.
The girl could hear Nostoc panting furiously as he strained himself to go faster. She knew he was strong, but even this was pushing his limits. She hated to have to do this, but they can't afford to be captured by those things.
Finally they neared the bridge, and at the very end of it was what looked to be an enormous shrine. Before they could get across it the two horsemen with bows shot arrows at them. Two of the arrows hit her and pierced her back and shoulder all the way through. She cried out and collapsed onto the stallion's neck. The pain was unbearable and she nearly passed out, but she knew they had to keep going. Sensing his master's condition, Nostoc moved even faster until his hooves didn't smash the mud but instead trampled onto the stone floor of the bridge.
As soon as they started running across the bridge, the wounded girl looked behind her and saw that the five dark horsemen were no longer chasing her. In fact, it was as if something was holding them back. However, this only lasted for a second when the horsemen suddenly galloped after her again.
The thin stone bridge rumbled from the sound of the horse hooves. The bridge was so long that there seemed no end to it. Then, when they neared the shrine, a searing light erupted from the building.
There was no logical explanation for it, as it was still dark and raining outside.
It was so bright it caused Nostoc to be blinded for a few seconds before he and his rider both crashed down onto the bridge, sliding across into the floor of the shrine and nearly tumbling down the circular stairway.
While Nostoc lay on his side, the girl crawled from him onto her hands and knees to look back at the horsemen. They and their horses seemed to be shrieking at the blinding light. The men all turned around and fled the light, leaving the girl and her horse behind. As soon as they were out of sight, the light dimmed enough so that it was no longer as intense and the companions could see with ease.
Wounded, the child weakly climbed onto Nostoc's back and he carried her down the circular stairway. Once they reached the end and went past a round pool of water, they came into an impressive hall, filled with ancient stonework and mighty bizarre-looking statues.
There was a circular hole in the ceiling with odd light coming from it. What was weird was there was no rain coming through, and yet it was still raining outside.
Something else about the light was it wasn't warm and comforting but instead seemed kind of…intimidating.
Nostoc slumped into the hall and collapsed in the middle of it, unable to continue out of exhaustion, his rider rolling off him and to the side.
The girl was bleeding profusely, and her body felt weak. The adrenaline was wearing off and her strength was failing her. As young as she was, she knew that she was going to die. Even though they escaped capture, she was going to bleed out and Nostoc would be all alone. She knew she had failed and that all of that determination of survival was for nothing.
Angry and hurt, she put her arms around her horse's thick neck and weakly sobbed into his mane. Nostoc simply laid his head on her shoulder, as if he was trying to comfort the child.
In the middle of her sorrow, however, a voice erupted above them, "Who art thou?" it said deeply.
It spoke in an ancient tongue she was familiar with, the tongue or her people.
The girl stopped sobbing and looked up at the light with tears in her eyes.
The light spoke to her, "Thou have no place in this Forbidden Land. So we ask again, who art thou? Why dost thou cry? Speak, child, and do not lie, for we shall know."
Scared, the girl pulled the scarf off of her face and weakly replied, "Wh-What are you? A demon? Or a god?"
"We have been called both." The voice spoke, "We are both. We are Dormin, child. And who art thou? Answer us this time."
She'd heard of Dormin before, but nobody really knew that much about them except that they were the light of the land.
The girl wiped her tears and said a little louder, "My name is Lyna, and this is my horse, Nostoc."
"Unusual names for a horse and a human. Then again thou art unusual, hmn?"
Lyna looked over to Nostoc, "I cry because soon I will die of blood loss. Dormin, if you really are a god or a being of power, please, can you heal my wounds? We have traveled very far to come here. I have nowhere else to go."
"Why art thou even here?"
She looked back to the light, "I am here because I was born here, and I seek shelter and protection from the outside world." She slumped down into a pitiful bow with her head to the floor, "Please, great one, don't let me die like this. I may be one of the last of my people. Please…"
The voice bellowed in loud laughter.
The sound nearly caused Nostoc to jump to his feet out of fright.
When Dormin stopped, they said, "We knew thou looked familiar! Thou were born in this land. How proud thy kind was. Now look at thy fate! A soaked wretch, barely fit to be in the same chamber that holds our presence!"
Their words made her angry and she looked back to the light with venom, "Do not look down on us! We have been through enough. If you are not going to help then fine! I'll accept my fate! But you will not insult my people's memory!"
They were quiet for a few seconds before he spoke again, "Mighty spirit for a child. We did not say we would not help. We can and will help. For a price..."
"Of course." Lyna spat, "Fine, what is it you want of me?"
"We will not say, but we will shall upon thou in time. Thou will be bound into our debt, and thou will repay it with whatever we ask, whenever. Understand?"
The girl, becoming tired enough to pass out, bit her lip. She knew she might be making a deal with the devil, but she didn't really have much choice here, "I…I agree. I will do what you ask, Dormin."
"Good." they boomed.
The light suddenly beamed brightly again. The light seemed to envelop Lyna and Nostoc, blinding them both. She cried out as she felt the arrows disappear from her shoulder and back. Soon after the wounds closed and the pain faded away. When the light dimmed, she fell back down onto her hands and knees. While she was in that position, she glanced over to her right hand that suddenly tingled. To her surprise, her hand had a glowing symbol on the surface. It looked like a hollow head with two horns.
Then Dormin spoke again, "Thou will be weak because of the loss of blood, but thou will live." She stood and stumbled back into Nostoc, "Now thou art bound to us. Remember thy promise. Thou will not speak of it to anyone and not break it or will suffer the consequences."
The symbol on her hand faded from view.
She gripped Nostoc's mane with her fingers and gritted her teeth, "I guess I can take my leave then?"
"Yes, be off into our world child. Do not attempt to leave, and do not forget thy promise. We will never forget."
She just nodded and weakly pulled herself onto Nostoc. She slouched as the horse trotted out of the altar chamber and into a grassy plain that stretched far into the Forbidden lands. It had stopped raining, but it was still night time.
She shivered, as her clothes were still soaked. Lyna put Nostoc into a fast trot as they looked for a place to rest for the night.
They made a camp near a large river of clear blue water. She and Nostoc slept on the ground near each other. This was shortly after she hung most of her clothes up to dry.
As the girl slept, something was moving in the water. It watched them from the deep; attracted to a feeling it had since she got there. Its brilliant blue eyes beamed with hope and it quickly swam away from the sleeping companions.
I bet you can guess who that is in the water. XD
So, what do you think?