Reality crossing fantasy madness
Nathan struggled to stay awake on the train but after last night's two hours of sleep, he wasn't surprised though. But he had been fine tuning his body for all nighters for months and finally he was as close as humanly possible without getting sleep deprivation, to him there wasn't enough hours in the day between school, rock climbing on weekends and gaming, he had to push himself to the limit. He stood and watched like a hawk for a seat, his green eyes scanned the train for someone who may be about to move. Spotting a commuter that shifted in his seat Nathan moved forward darting through the busy train, he knew that this man was getting off at the next stop, he knew this because he had just put away his phone into his back pocket. Meaning he didn't want to keep using his phone as it was slippery outside and you would easily fall if you weren't paying attention. Sliding comfortably into the seat just as the man stood (making other commuters watching the spot give him a dirty look) Nathan shifted away from the creepy old lady occupying the next seat and rubbed the scar from his left lip to his jaw, he always did this when he was agitated. Something seemed off today but he couldn't figure out what. Deciding to ignore it he leaned back and shut his eyes, just resting them for a few moments.
The cold was the first thing Nathan felt when he awoke, it was all around him and seemed to be closing in.
“Lets get 'im buried, can't 'ave the body rottin' before 'is partner gets 'ere.,” cried the voice from above, Nathan had no idea who this man was but he did know that he had to get out of the snow that was slowly piling on top of him.
“Arggg” The snow was too thick to be dug out from underneath he just hoped whoever decided to bury him dug him out when they heard him.
“What was dat?!” Another man exclaimed. The shovelling stopped.
“Arrgrulhag!” Nathan yelled with all his might, they needed to get him out before the snow either crushed or suffocated him.
“GET DIGGIN” The first one exclaimed. After very loud digging for 30 seconds light blinded Nathan. He flinched from the light and was pulled up. Snow crunched under his feet as he was lifted out of his ice prison. Looking around he saw pine trees covered in a layer of snow, and a beautiful blue sky high above him. The first man he saw was short and stocky, wearing a linen shirt with a simple pair of leather pants, Nathan thought he must be freezing. He had red hair and a thick beard that was perfectly groomed. Turning to the second man he saw he was less of a man and more of a boy, somehow he managed to be shorter than the other and twice as muscular, and looked like he packed a decent punch. From what he already heard both men sounded Scottish.
“Thanks” he managed before he collapsed into the first man, who barely caught him before he slammed into the closest tree.
“Lets get you to the town, and warm you up” said the second man. Nathan could barely walk, let alone do the trek that was ahead of him. He saw there was a cliff on one side and a forest on the other three of the area in which they were standing. The mountain they were on top of seemed to be in the centre of a range. It was taller than any within looking distance and a desert was off in the distance.
“Who are you?” Nathan croaked as he got his bearings, rubbing his arms vigorously to warm up. He went to rub his arms and realised he wasn't wearing his normal jeans and a T-shirt. He looked at his attire and was shocked to find his usual Jeans, sneakers and T-shirt had been replaced with thick tan leather pants, large boots and a black trench coat on a cotton shirt. Nathan wondered what was in the pockets but didn't have time to check
“'Ere, you'll want tis for the trek down, as you know” The first man said as he handed Nathan a sword. “Name's Beleak Dagarkin. I took over the smithy after, y'know, the raid.”
“What rai-” Nathan began but was cut off.
“No time to splain,” The second man said “I seem a bit rude not introducing meself now don't I? I'm Thotiln Lorearthen, Beleak's cousin and town guard.”
Nathan was completely confused but realised the urgency in there faces, accepting the sword. Instantly it felt at home in his hand, like it was tailor made for him. Examining the blade he saw it was in fact a silver and steel alloy blade and hilt with a leather wrapping. The wide blade was sharp on both sides and curved inwards halfway down and then outwards to match the width of the hilt guard, about twenty centimetres.
“I assume you want your other equipment” said Beleak and handed him a wrist bracer and small backpack. Nathan took these and decided to ask questions later when he heard howls in the distance.
“So where too then?” Nathan asked as he put on the bracer and inspected the contents of the backpack, which seemed to be a few small rune like objects about two centimetres across and a few multicoloured vials. The bracer was gold with seemingly no markings on it what so ever, like the sword it may as well have been tailor made for him, deciding he would inspect it further later Nathan swung the pack onto his back.
“To Westfield of course, oh you'll just love the renovations” replied Thotiln, drawing his own sword at the sound of the wolves.
“Follow me!” cried Beleak who charged down the mountainside path right next to a not so inviting cliff face. Still quesy Nathan followed and let Thotiln bring up the rear. After a few minutes of scampering down the mountainside, wall hanging and a few death defying leaps that could not be performed without being a great rock climber (As Nathan was) they arrived at a small rocky plateau. The circular outcropping looked like a popular spot for pick nicks (sheer cliffs are so romantic) and Nathan decided to rest while he had the chance.
“How- much- longer” he panted Usually he would have no trouble with this, but after 2 hours sleep and waking up in a snow grave on the top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere, he was kinda tired.
“Not much longer, you can see the town from 'ere in fact” said Beleak “Thataway” he pointed to the side right from Nathan's comfortable wall resting spot.
“So uh, why were you burying me?” Nathan knew this couldn't be real and was probably a dream so he decided to get some information out of these small men before he recounted this to his friends later, remarking on how strange it was.
“You died Sir, or at least we thought you did” said Thotiln.
“I died?” Nathan said, figuring that as you never died in dreams his mind started him in a grave.
“Yes Sir, defending the town from Wyrn” replied Thotiln confused why he had to explain this to Nathan.
“Wyrn-” Nathan was interupted for the second time today as a wolf-like creature jumped down from another outcropping a few metres above landing in the centre on the plateau and was quickly joined by 2 friends.
“What are those?!” Nathan said, he may have no idea what was before him but they sure didn't look friendly.
“Shen, the good cousin of the white wolves. I believe your first kill was on one of these Sir” said Thotiln getting into a fighting stance, Nathan followed suit, quickly adopting a fighting stance he had seen in a video game. Left leg forward, right leg back with the sword across the body. The Shen were strange creatures. Looking at though they could stand upright but preferred to be on all fours. They had long hind legs that look humanoid besides the massive claws and fur, there body was skinny and angular and led up into short a foot and half front arms with serrated claws. Then there was the head, the most wolf-like part of the creature seemingly copied and pasted from a wolf. It stuck straight forward and snarled, showing all of it's long blood dripping teeth. The two stout men took up the left and right sides of Nathan and prepared for an attack. The middle Shen lunged at Nathan. Somehow he knew what to do. Turning the sword sideways and raising it into the Shen's flight path Nathan then swung the sword down and to the right throwing the Shen sideways and off the side of the Plateau. Meanwhile Beleak was struggling with the left Shen that had attack him. It had come in from above like the one attack Nathan but as Beleak was shorter he hadn't stopped him before it lashed into his side, the claws slicing through the shirt and Beleak's flesh like it was nothing, the Shen quickly backed up as to not be hit by Beleaks flail.
“ARHHHH!!!” Beleak cried in pain, the sound amplified by the mountains around them. Nathan knew that he had to do something. Beleak fell to his knees and the Shen closed in for the finishing blow, only to be stabbed by Nathan's sword. Nathan had ran into the monster stabbed in through the chest in an upward motion, then brought it down in front of him sliding the monster off the end.
“Thanks” Beleak panted.
“Uh, No problem” Nathan said as he turned to see Thotiln being beared down on by two Shens, the one Nathan knocked off the edge had managed to climb back up. It was too far for Nathan to get to Thotiln quick enough, he needed something to throw, or fire at the Shens. Nathan heard what sounded like clockwork and looked at his wrist. Sure enough something had slide up the end of the bracer and into his palm. It had one of the runes like objects he had found earlier at the end of the spur from the bracer.
“HELP!!” Nathan was pulled back to reality when Thotiln screamed. He was being pushed to the edge and had run out of room to back up. The Shens had started to stand on there hind legs and were ready to kill.
“Use the Bracer!” Beleak yelled, what he meant by this Nathan had no idea, so he clasped his hand, pointed it at one of the Shens and hoped it did, well something.
Flame burst from his fist, a stream of fire went straight into the first Shen with so much force it knocked it off the edge and into oblivion, no coming back this time. Nathan opened his hand and was shocked to find it wasn't burned, his hand had been surrounded at the base of the flame and nothing had happened to it. The second Shen turned and snarled at Nathan, before it too was blasted off the edge by the Bracer.
“Beleak!” Thotiln ran to his cousin's side and helped prop him up against the mountain. “Your pack get out a health potion”
“Health potion?” Nathan stared with disbelief, the wounds on Beleak's side looked more serious than anything he'd ever seen, this was no dream. Whatever was happening hear, was actually happening and he'd just taken on a group of monsters and won.
“Yes a health potion! Us Dwarves don't have the same resistance to airborn infections as humans, that's why we live underground, the quicker we get this sealed the quicker we can get of this godforsaken mountain!” Thotiln looked at him as if he were stupid for not knowing this.
“Yeah” Nathan nodded “Right, what colour are they?” he asked as he looked through his bag.
“Red, and watch my back while I heal him, your little light show may have attracted more”
“Hey! I saved you from those, things”
“And I'm grateful, but if more come you should be ready, so no of us get injured again”
“Look I don't know who you think I am, or why you were burying me, I just want to get back from Wherever the hell this place is! To my home.” This 'Dwarf' was testing Nathan's patience, he didn't like not know what was going on.
“Look, you may have lost your memory after coming back from the dead, I don't know. The only way we can get answers is if we make it down this mountain.” Thotiln was obviously not pleased with the results of this fight, his cousin had been seriously injured and they still had a fair way to go. He let Beleak have a mouthful of the Health potion and poured the rest on the cuts. Even after he had shot fire from his hand Nathan was impressed with the results. Within a minute the cuts had been covered in scabs and within the next the scabs had fresh layers of skin over them.
“Ahhhh, Much better, thank you Thotiln” Beleak said after the third minute of application.
“We should get going, It's starting to get dark” Nathan may be totally out of his element but he knew that being out at night in a foreign place especially one with monsters, was not a good idea. Beleak moved towards the edge and looked down on the valleys and fields below them.
“You may be right, but I think it's best if we stay here for now. Our ride just go here”
“What?” Thotiln asked, but his question answered itself. An airship, maybe thirty metres long raised out of the valley and stopped a few feet away from the plateau. A sliding wood door hidden in the side of ship opened up and a plank slid out of the opening and slammed into the rocky ground.
“So coming back from the dead, that's a new trick” A familiar voice echoed from inside the boat and then, Nathan's best friend stepped out.