Book 2: THE THUECADEM MONSTER
The Heroes search for answers
TO THE UNCLAIMED LANDS
The tower stood tall and proud in front of The Five Heroes. Thektow was its name. It was the tallest tower any of the heroes had ever seen. The five heroes’ names were Cornelious, Flitican, Asher, Elderain, and Sarnam. They had gone to Thektow to get a reward for winning a competition.
Cornelious was from Canlomba, Flitican was from Galendurous, Asher was from Allitica, Elderain was from Bacnaltica, and Sarnam was from Eltica. After some adventures that all the heroes had, they had reached their destination. Thektow Tower was seven miles high and was a world wonder among the Gabonese people.
A soldier in Bacnaltican armor approached the five winners from Thektow as they stood gazing at the towers’ magnificence. “You need to go to the council on the 400th floor,” the soldier said. “King Condronson is waiting for you there.”
The competition winners were brought into the castle. Elderain who had already stayed in the castle a few days showed them the staircase. Everybody except Flitican, as they began to climb the staircase, wondered why they had to go to a council before they got their reward. The ascent was difficult and lasted several hours. It didn’t take as much time to reach the four hundredth floor as it did for Elderain to reach the top. Sometime around 3:00pm the heroes reached their destination. They left the stairway and walked into a big room with a polished black wooden table. Around the table were red cushioned chairs. All but five were filled with people. The people sitting in the chairs were human and had pointed caps on top of their head. A red couch could be seen to the left of the table and chairs. The couch held a man laying down with a crown on his head. He was also dressed in royal robes. The figure had a cast on his leg.
“Here you are at last,” King Condronson said wincing as he sat up. “I and the rest of the royal court have been waiting for you.”
“Hello, my lord,” Elderain said with a bow. “I saw the other four heroes coming and ran out to meet them.”
“Heroes,” Cornelious asked, “Who said anything about us being heroes? I haven’t done anything heroic.” Cornelious was worried that he had left Canlomba all for nothing.
“You will very soon,” one of the men with the pointy caps said. “I am Zuch, the leader of the council of elders. I think you had better sit down.” The five competition winners sat in the empty chairs at the council, wondering what was going to happen.
“You will get a reward in the future,” King Condronson said very quickly. “The real reason you were brought here was to save Gabonland.”
Everybody but Flitican acted surprised. Flitican was the only one to know the real reason beforehand. “What happened to our reward?” Cornelious asked very surprised and very irritated. He stood up. His face was red and he looked as if smoke would come out of his ears soon. “The only reason I left my home was to claim the reward. I nearly died twice. Once I almost died of thirst, and I also almost got eaten by a Grimapolian! How does Gabonland need saving anyway?!”
“An evil lord from Malicina came here to Bacnaltica. He took a special scepter along with my daughter. The Scepter of the Visicite King is what it is called. It has the power to make an army of terrible two-headed monsters.”
Cornelious sat down, realizing his troubles were small compared to what was happening.
“He threatened to kill my daughter, the princess, if I resisted,” King Condronson continued. “I couldn’t send an army after her. If I did she would be killed. I needed a small number of people with heroic capabilities to go and save her, and take back the scepter.”
“So that was the reason for the competitions?” Asher asked, realizing what the horse race was for. “Everybody was wondering why a King would fund competitions he didn’t attend.”
“Yes,” Condronson answered, “I set up the competitions as a test to see who had the sharpest eyes in Canlomba, the best with the sword in Galendurous, the greatest horse rider, the best archer, and also the most balanced. You five passed the test.”
“What are we expected to do to complete this task you have given us?” Flitican asked. He was the only one who came knowing there was nothing in it for him. Now that he knew what was going on he felt it was his duty to save Gabonland. No matter what the answer to his question was he would try his best to follow the directions he would be given.
Zuch answered, “If you want to know the safest way, you must ask The Sensibles of Thuecadem.”
Cornelious’s eyes widened as he heard this, “You mean we should go to Thuecadem?” Cornelious lived in Canlomba which was Thuecadem’s neighbor, so he had heard stories about it in his childhood. No one knew if the stories were true or false. He heard about dragon lizards that were blind but sensed motion. He heard of trees that could walk, deep holes that had no bottom, and large serpents. But worst of all he had heard of The Thuecadem Monster. Tricrantry was the name of The Thuecadem Monster. It was told to be scaly with three heads that breathed smoke and had enormous claws. Cornelious had no wish to go to Thuecadem.
“Who are The Sensibles?” Flitican asked curiously.
“They are very smart humans,” one of the men with the pointed caps answered. “In fact, they are so intelligent their heads swell like watermelons because their brains are so big. They are the only people clever enough to survive in Thuecadem. They are a very interesting people.”
Cornelious then complained, “If they are the only people smart enough to survive in Thuecadem, then how are we going to reach them before we die?”
Flitican responded back, “With Courage and the skills we have.” This statement made Cornelious very concerned because he believed he had no courage and he won the competition with luck. Flitican won a sword fighting competition and was armed with an axe. Asher the horse tamer had no horse. Elderain had shot an arrow only once before. Sarnam was the only person who seemed to have won the competition without luck. The Five Heroes were being sent on an impossible mission. Cornelious knew they would need more than courage or the skills they apparently had to live through this quest.
The sun rose on 5 beings all from different countries. The Five Heroes were heading east. They had been traveling for 4 days since they had left Thektow Tower, so the Bacnaltican city, Corpolongo, would soon appear. Bacnaltica was green as far as the eye could see. Large hills rose above The Five Heroes and the land sank down below sea level. The Thevian Mountains could be seen standing in the south and east.
“Just a few more miles,” Elderain said.
Cornelious was not enjoying the hilly landscape. He did not exercise much and so spent most of the trip lagging behind and panting. “A few more miles will be the death of me,” he muttered under his breath.
The Five Heroes climbed up a very large hill. When they were at the top they saw a longed for sight. Corpolongo was before them. It was a great walled city covered by a gigantic sized glass dome.
“We are at our first checkpoint,” Sarnam said. “At this rate we can reach the Sensibles in ten or eleven days.”
When they entered Corpolongo a warm draft hit them. The city had a controlled climate. A big bonfire was made in the town square during cold times to trap heat into the domed city. The Five Heroes saw this bonfire when they entered. The embers were bigger than men, and whole trees appeared to be burning in the flames.
“I have never seen anything like this,” Asher said. Elderain was staring in awe.
The five of them split up for the moment. Asher and Elderain went to get an inn where they could rest for the night. The others went to buy food at the markets. It always seemed to feel, to The Five Heroes, that they were behind a window not actually in the world. In a sense they were not outdoors. The huge glass dome above them gave them a feeling that they were indoors at all times.
“It is a bit too hot in here,” Cornelious said. He was not on board with what they were going to do, so he was determined to complain as much as he could. “They may be able to control the climate but they don’t let the smoke out. I am going to get sick.”
“It is okay, Cornelious,” Elderain said. “The smoke rises to the top of the city. It is let out through some doors in the dome at the end of every day.” He had heard about Corpolongo in Cortanin and was fascinated with the place.
After all of the work was finished, Cornelious, Flitican, Asher, Elderain, and Sarnam went to sleep in a bed for the first time since their stay at Thektow.They slept dreaming about the journey ahead. Some were positive and some were negative. Cornelious had a particularly bad dream. He saw in his dream a city surrounded with smoke. He also saw a pirate ship coming towards them from the Thevian Mountains and Asher battling a black cloaked figure. There was a tall tower falling into a deep abyss. Lastly he saw himself being picked up by a terrible three-headed monster. He woke up hoping that it was only a dream and not a premonition.
Coming March 31st
Coming March 31st