Hi everyone! I'm ILoveBooks123, or 1DJatD as my name is for now, and welcome to my first fanfic ever! Strangely, even though my username is ILoveBooks, my first fanfic is actually about a game, DragonFable, and one I don't play very often. ^_^ The plot is good, though, and I like the characters, especially Artix von Krieger! *fangirl squeal* But I've always had ideas for this story someplace in my mind after I played (my character actually was Mariel), so I was really excited when I realized fanfiction existed! (Yes, I'm deprived. :P) I'm so happy I could write this out AT LAST, and I hope you all enjoy it! :DDD
Oh yes, I almost forgot -
DISCLAIMER: All of these characters are from the game DragonFable and, thus, are products of Artix Entertainment. I do not own them (except Mariel is mine 'cause I created her for my account! :D)
Chapter One: A Not-So-Standard Day
"You are way off target, Mariel! What is wrong with you today?" Nythera's sharp voice penetrated the depths of my muddled brain. I had been training with Warlic, the Blue Mage, as an apprentice, but today he was out replenishing the stockroom with supplies (for his many mysterious potions and suchlike) and I was stuck with Nythera. The Purple Mage was true to her name - short, curly, dark purple hair cascaded around her pale face and set off her flashing, indigo-colored eyes. Even her tight-fitting clothes were a deep violet, and she stood three inches taller than me on her stiletto-heeled boots. Short dragon's wings flapped loosely behind her, a relic of the time she had tried to destroy Warlic, but had failed and atoned for her wrongs before it was too late.
She was already a mage, being a little over the minimum age of twenty and having completed her training three months earlier than me. Which meant that since I was still nineteen, she could act as my substitute instructor when Warlic was away. This situation often produced interesting results, as we had always kept a cold distance from each other prior to the arrangements. But I soon found that behind all her aloofness and (sometimes feigned) apathy, Nythera could be kind as well, and we eventually became good friends.
I looked up, brushing a stray brown curl out of my face. "I'm sorry. I guess I need more sleep." I steadied myself, brought the target into my vision, and began to summon the magic again, bringing it to my hands so I could shoot towards the round wooden plate ten feet away.
"No!" Nythera commanded as she pushed me roughly down onto a nearby wooden bench. "Sit down! You are obviously in no state to continue training! Why do you always overwork yourself, Mariel?"
"I don't want to spend several centuries like Warlic to become a fully trained mage," I muttered. "I certainly won't even live half that long."
"You have to know your limits, you foolish girl," Nythera chided. "And who says you can't become a mage when you turn twenty like me? Now rest! You need it!"
Soon I found myself walking away from the blue-painted wooden house (rather than the woefully inadequate lean-to from a year ago) that now served as Nythera and Warlic's base of operations. Nythera had decided to end my lessons for the day (I still had pitiful aim, plus she insisted that I get some rest), even though it was still early in the afternoon. But though my mind felt a little numb from the less-than-four hours of sleep I had managed last night, I didn't feel all that tired. I was used to little sleep, ever since I had taken up a job at the Falconreach Inn - literally, to survive. I had no parents or relatives that I knew of, and I didn't want to accept charity, as my pride would not permit it, so a job was in order. Today was Saturday, in the weekend, the only time I could spare to get the mage lessons I yearned for. I didn't complain, because these lessons were hard to come by, and I was lucky that Warlic had even decided to accept me as his second apprentice (after a thorough screening done by Nythera).
I decided not to head home immediately, and veered off the cobblestoned street that led to Falconreach's marketplace, walking instead in the direction of the Keep. It was my first home, aside from the small cottage in Falconreach that I had managed to purchase about two years ago with my saved-up earnings from the inn. I had been found near the Keep when I was several months old, abandoned in the surrounding forest (so said Sir Jing, who had found me) and taken back to the Keep, where I grew up.
The Keep was an old stone fortress, on the very border of Lore, overlooking a vast sea that stretched as far as the eye could see. According to the books of Lore, there was nothing beyond that mass of roiling waves, and those who had been foolhardy enough to traverse it had never returned to tell the tale. Still I loved watching it every day with Rolith, who was now the captain of the Keep, and my very best friend.
It had been a dream come true, learning swordsmanship and getting my first training in magic along with the rest of the knights-in-training there. Borrowing books from Maya to read was equally entertaining, and I used to spend long nights poring over the ancient histories of Lore, attempting to learn more about my ancestors, whoever they might be. When I was sixteen, however, since I had decided to become a mage and not a warrior, I had to leave the Keep and find Warlic, and doing so landed me where I was now. There was also the fact that many of the young Keep knights paid a little too much attention to me (it really was a male-dominated place - Maya must have been so lonely).
Now, though, I was back to the fortress that I had once called home. Of course, I had visited several times, to the great joy of Rolith and many of the knights, but recently I had been especially busy with my training and work at the inn (Falconreach had become an especially popular city these days). This was a good time to visit.
I walked through the dark, silent forest that led to the Keep fairly quickly, but after a while, I got the feeling that I was being followed. I kept as alert as I could and, thankfully, made it to the Keep without any incident (perhaps it was my dark green dress that blended in with the trees, but I wasn't too sure). The gate to the Keep was open, as usual, and there stood Rolith, leaning on the handle of his great battle hammer (which I had once tried to lift many years ago, and had nearly been smashed as a result). He looked quite the captain now that he was twenty-two; he was giving some sort of order to a knight, looking bored with it all. When he saw me, though, his face suddenly lit up as brightly as his sun-bleached blond hair, and he gave a great whoop that could probably be heard all the way across the Keep.
"Mariel!" he shouted joyfully, running towards me, and I was suddenly almost crushed in a bone-breaking hug (added to the fact that he had his armor on). He laughed as he released me to look at me. Over the years Rolith had accumulated a great height as well as strength, while I never seemed to grow any taller. So now I almost had to crane my head to look up at him (perhaps I am exaggerating - I am not that short, I think).
"How have you been?" he asked. "Is city life good?"
"Great," I said. It was beginning to take much effort to keep standing. My body felt numb all over from all the walking, but I was glad that no traces of fatigue showed on my face. "My mage training lessons are going along pretty well ..." Suddenly, my legs buckled beneath me and I braced myself for my extremely uncomfortable landing in the hard, pebbly dirt. But it never came. I felt a hard plate of metal digging into my back. Rolith had caught me, and was now glancing at me worriedly.
"I thought you said you were fine, Mariel!" he said reproachfully. "You should not have been traveling in this state!"
"But I am perfectly fine!" I protested, using his arm for support as I stood up tentatively on shaky legs. "Just a little tired, that's all." I attempted to take a step, but the world spun before my eyes, and I found myself teetering dangerously. "Whoa..."
"Mariel!" Rolith cried, and I found myself being crushed to his armored chest, my face inches from his. "Are you all right?"
I tried to reply, but speech was clearly beyond my limited range of abilities at the moment, and the world lapsed into blackness.
How was this for a first chapter? Please Rate and Review, I'd love to hear your opinions! And on to Chapter Two (which was published less than a minute after this one! :P) Enjoy the journey!