Authors: Kenneth Champion
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Action & Adventure, #Fantasy, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Coming of Age, #Epic, #Sword & Sorcery, #Epic Fantasy Sword and Sorcery
It Rained Red Upon The Arena
Glory Beyond Battle Book 1
Copyright © 2015 by Kenneth Champion
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
Dedicated to Dani and Nick
Rest Eternally My Friends
A brief introduction into the land of Hentrio
Hentrio is a vast and beautiful land that is made up of five cities.
The city of the north is Ralton, known for its abundant Cendon Forest, in which the city was built.
The city of the east is Vincot, the smallest of the five cities. Vincot is a lush and beautiful city split in two halves by the Baston River. Four bridges connect the two sides of Vincot and the river brings diverse agricultural life, which is the heart of the city’s economy.
The city of the south is Ameros, known for its unique architecture. As opposed to using wood or stone to build its city, Ameros architects designed the city using various types of animal bones, hide, and fur to build its homes, taverns, and trade shops.
The city of the west is Bounch Hill, known for being built on top of a tall grassy hill overlooking the Oron Sea.
The Oron Sea is immense as it surrounds Hentrio on its east, west, and south coasts.
At the center of Hentrio is its capital, Genold City, the largest of the five cities. King Dedan Hudson lives in the massive Castle Teon in Genold City.
There are three races that live in Hentrio. The first is the Paplon race. They are a race of fair to dark skin color. The Paplon are born with genetics that enable them to master various forms of fighting techniques in a short amount of time. Paplon are masters at swordsmanship, bowman-ship, and hand to hand combat. They are fast, strong, and hard working beings. The Paplon make up the majority of the work force which include farmers, builders, and the Refect with their genetically inclined strength and resilience. The Refect are the protectors of the realm. They guard each city with their lives and do their best to prevent and solve crimes. There are thousands of Refect throughout Hentrio and the Paplon make up the slight majority of them.
The second race is the Reza. They are a race of blue skin. The Reza are genetically gifted with the ability to use magic. They can practice and perfect the use of destructive magic coming from their hands that ejects either a fiery or icy blast. Rezas have the ability to heal faster. Flesh wounds on a Reza heal nearly ten times as fast compared to other beings. Magic spells can be used to transfer their healing powers onto their less fortunate peers. The Reza are well known for their intellect. They are book smart and make up the professors, inventors, and scientists of the Hentrio society. King Dedan Hudson is a Reza himself. When utilizing their magic well, Rezas can become superior Refects.
The third and final race of the land of Hentrio is the human race. They are the minority and they look similar to the Paplon race. They migrated from the north a few centuries ago and have slowly increased their population size within Hentrio. Sometimes it is very hard to distinguish between a Paplon and human, but humans have much more narrow shoulders and jaws whereas the Paplons are much broader. Humans take up the less favorable jobs such as janitors and cashiers. They are also looked upon as lesser beings, no matter how hard they try to match the genetics of Reza and Paplon.
One race cannot mate another and expect a child. The DNA has to match up only with the same race or nothing will happen of the act besides enjoyment. However there are many married mixed race couples who are happy with never having a child.
King Dedan Hudson and the Refect strictly enforce the laws of the land. All civilians are allowed to carry a weapon in public for their own safety; however, their weapons must remain sheathed at all times. They may only be used for self defense. All Reza must wear gloves on their hands in public, which prevents them from using their destructive magic. Failure to sheath a weapon results in a fine and possible prison time.
Murder has always been a problem in Hentrio. There are so many gifted individuals with the ability to inflict deadly harm onto another so swiftly and easily. Because of this fact, the Arena Act of 486 was instituted. Men and women of either the Paplon or Reza races found guilty of murder are sentenced to two years of the harshest penalty. Attempted murderers, rapists, and attempted rapists can share the same fate as one who actually murders another, depending on the judges ruling. Judges always have the final say.
Humans who commit the same crimes suffer the same harsh penalties. However, humans suffer in a separate and more isolated location than that of the Reza and Paplon.
Hentrio is the land of five cities. The land of unique possibilities. The land of peace. But also the land full of death, havoc, and misfortune.
Screams and terror were rampant through Vincot City. Nick Bint heard cries coming from outside his second story guard tower room, which was near the main gate of Vincot. Nick looked towards his roommate and fellow Refect Joshua as he walked into the room and asked him, “What is going on?” The two men rapidly put on their dark tinted red armor.
“Commander Jacob said there is a clan of five who have robbed Mrs Tally’s fine jewel shop of the east end of Belfat Market,” said Joshua. “They are fighting our brothers in the streets and have slain a few innocents along the way, trying to get out of Vincot. All guards are being called to the scene.”
Nick put the last piece of his armor on. It was a red helmet which covered his entire head, only leaving his eyes and mouth visible. The red tint represented Vincot’s color and the pride of those who served to protect its civilians.
They rushed down the stairs and both picked up a steel long sword and steel shield from the armory. As they stepped outside into the cold winter night, they began the quarter mile run to the Belfat Market where the clan was reportedly fighting the Refect who had first arrived to the scene. Civilians ran and screamed in the opposite direction to the safety of their homes. They all had the look of horror on their faces. Snow fell steadily onto Nick’s face and his adrenaline fueled him. He didn’t feel the cold, he didn’t fear the fight ahead.
Nick and Joshua crossed the south bridge to get into Belfat Market and saw three men on the street fighting five of their brothers, the Refect. Nick and Joshua were the first reinforcements to arrive. Nick took a glance at the members of the clan on the street. Two were Reza and one was Paplon. The Paplon clan member was fighting off two Refect. Both Reza clan members were blasting off fireballs towards the Refect with a bow and the Reza Refect who were standing on the opposite side of the street in front of The Crown Jewelry Shop.
One Reza clan member spotted Nick and let out a scream to let his men know of Nick’s position. He sent two fireballs summoned from his fair blue hands. Both Nick and Joshua crouched behind their armored shields to protect themselves. As Nick peeked his head above his shield after the fiery attack, he saw a Refect drop to the ground mid swing of his mighty axe. As his body hit the snow covered dirt Nick saw an arrow pierce through the front of his neck and the snow turned red.
“A fourth is on the roof to the left with a bow!” shouted Nick. He turned to look towards Joshua and said, “I’m going after him. You go over to the store front and help the others.”
Joshua nodded and made a run for his brothers in battle.
Nick ran towards a balcony on his left hand side so he could hoist himself up to get on top of the conjoined rooftops of the market. His brown eyes were set on the cowardly archer. His shield was on his left arm, protecting him from the inevitable arrows that would come his way. He wielded a steel sword in his right hand to drive into his foe’s skull. The snow stopped falling as Nick made his way to the first rooftop and the archer looked at him. The sky made a thunderous roar and an arrow landed beside Nick’s right foot. A golden arrow, one like he has never seen before.
Nick realized the archer had not sent this arrow. Three more landed around Nick; he looked up and a gold array of arrows covering the dark sky. Thousands upon thousands of arrows were falling simultaneously. Nick put the shield above his head to somehow protect himself from the inevitable death all of Vincot would soon experience.
A curse from the Gods perhaps
, Nick thought as he prepared himself for the arrows to pierce his flesh.
Death. No man could ever escape its grasp.
“Wake up!” shouted Thomas, “We haven’t got all day. It’s already an hour after breakfast and you promised we would train by this time last night.”
Nick slowly opened his eyes to discover his best friend Thomas Bell eagerly standing by his bed. The sunlight was coming fully through his window; it was a sunny and hot day in Vincot. The pillow on which he slept did not make it all too inviting to leave such a comfortable state. But as his consciousness awoke from the dream state he was in to the realization that today was the day that training could go on for much longer than any other day, his body sprung up in one swift motion.
“You should have woken me up earlier. I’d say we have lost over an hour of training,” said Nick. “Please tell me you remembered to bring your practice sword this time.”
“Of course, I did,” replied Thomas. “I have only forgotten the sword once and it can never happen again. Can you imagine if I show up unarmed at the Refect Academy?” Thomas unsheathed his wooden sword and playfully hit Nick’s bed. The bountiful red sheets produced small creases in each steady swipe of his sword.
“Calm down,” said Nick, laughing at his friend’s disgruntled face as he tried to slay his comfortable piece of furniture. “When we enroll into the Refect Academy, you and I both know we will have a great chance of being the top soldiers of our class. We have been preparing for this moment for half of our lives and in a few short months our dream will come to fruition. No need to worry about forgetting your sword; I’m only messing with you.”
“I’m just being a bit ridiculous, I suppose,” said Thomas, “Let’s stop this chit chat and get to work outside, Nick, the one who can never wake up on time.”
Nick walked over to the right side of his room where he stored his wooden practice sword and his boots. He tied his laces as quickly as he could and got his black cloth boots on in no time. His adrenaline had already started to kick in as he thought of the best routines to go through with Thomas. He eagerly grabbed his practice sword and the two headed for the front of the house.
Nick’s dad Christopher was already working in his study. The two Paplon boys, both seventeen years of age, had spent numerous days watching Christopher as he perfected his skills as a weapon forger. In the city of Vincot, Christopher Bint was known as a master forger of steel weapons sold to many satisfied customers, both residents of Vincot and travelers that came from the other cities of Hentrio. As the two boys walked by his study they saw Christopher finely tuning a new blade. He swiped a cloth left and right in long motions to produce an effective shine. If he wasn’t working and forging at his shop, he would be at his study perfecting a new blade.
“Off to training already, boys?” asked Christopher. They both nodded simultaneously with a slight grin on each of their faces. “Practice well and practice smart. You two have about three months until you are eighteen and can join the Refect Academy. I have already promised this to my son, but Thomas you are like family in my mind. As long as you progress in the academy, I will personally forge your first steel sword free of charge.”
“No way!” replied Thomas, “I will work harder than ever and I won’t let you down, Mr. Bint. Thank you so much!”
Nick had never seen such excitement on his friend’s face. A smile from ear to ear and a slight watering of the eyes was all that was needed to prove just how much Thomas appreciated the generous offer presented by his father.
It was a normal practice for the majority of children to not carry a weapon, although some defied the norm and chose to have a weapon for the sake of self-defense. Both Nick and Thomas always carried a concealed dagger with them in their cloaks, or inside one of their boots. They had done so since they turned sixteen and they both agreed that they should use it only in self-defense if the situation should arise. Hentrio has had its fair share of wicked men and women who would kill a man just for a few gold coins. Nick knew his father would never approve of him owning a dagger because he believed more wrong could come out of wielding a weapon before the academy than good. Nick always had to hide it from his father’s view.