THE VALLEY OF WAR
THE VALLEY OF WAR
Without Sarnam, five of the Six Heroes walked through the gate of The Eltician City and out into The Entil Lands. The Thevian Mountains could be seen far off. It was like a great jagged wall rising up above them barring their way into Malicina. The sun shone on the entil making it shine with a nearly blinding light. They all had to squint to see where they were going, with their heads down to avoid the sun. It was sweltering hot. The entil had absorbed all the heat from the sun. Their shoes and sandals offered little protection. When they took their shoes off later that night they found their feet were red.
For hours Cornelious, Flitican, Asher, Elderain, and Terenious walked. The Thevian Mountains in the west seemed to never get any bigger. The Eltician City now looked as far away as the Thevian Mountains did. Flat landscape can be deceiving when you are determining distance. Cornelious thought it was like Thuecadem, just instead of the green grass, there was the shining blue of Entil.
“We are almost there,” Asher said sounding agitated after the third day. As if the sun wasn’t bad enough sweat dripped into his eyes and made them hurt. “We will finally reach the Thevian Mountains in a few hours.” He didn’t know if this was true but he guessed it was. They would have to reach The Valley of War… eventually.
“Sarnam would probably know for sure how far it was,” Elderain mentioned. “In fact, because it is his country, he would be a good guide.”
“But he is blind,” Asher said angrily. He wanted to think that he was the leader of the heroes. It made him angry that Sarnam’s name kept coming up. “He can’t lead us anywhere if he can’t see. He would be a danger to us, and to himself.”
Asher’s estimate was a bit off. The other heroes made sure to tell him this because they were so hot and annoyed. Like they knew, Asher thought angrily.
After two more misreable days of walking in the sweltering heat and in the flat entil lands they came close enough to the mountain range to touch them. Because of their longing for something new to appear on the landscape they chose to walk between the mountains on the first path they saw.
“Are you sure we shouldn’t rest first?” Cornelious requested, setting down his pack. “We won’t get another chance until we have reached The Valley of War.” But the others were too excited that the boring walking was over and entered without stopping.
Cornelious sighed, picked his pack back up and followed. After they had weaved their way through Thevia for a few hours they began wishing they had listened to Cornelious. The heroes felt extremely tired but they knew that stopping would result in an attack from thieves. They also wished they were back in The Entil Lands because the mountains were stuffy and very hot. The Entil Lands at least had a breeze relatively often.
After a few more hours with aching limbs and feeling sore all over, Cornelious, Flitican, Asher, Elderain, and Terenious found that the path opened out into a valley. More mountains could be seen on the other side. This valley appeared to have entil in the ground but it was not smooth and pure like it had been before they came into the Thevian Mountains. Ashes and rubble were scattered about on the entil. Holes in the ground could be seen where the metal had been mined for military use. Bones were lying about in large piles.
“We are here,” Asher said. “This is The Valley of War. Malicians and Elticians fought here before Lord Vallan made New Malicina. This is where the struggle for entil happened. This is a terrible place.”
Nobody said anything as they looked at their surroundings. There seemed to be nothing to be said. The sudden silence was breath taking.
“We can set up camp now,” Flitican said. “I’m so sore.” Then all of the blankets were taken out. A camp fire was made. The packs were finally set down. They had a little bit of dinner which was sausages cooked in a pot over the fire. After the longed for meal they set out blankets and pillows and went to sleep. They went to sleep unaware that nearby was the home of Sarnam’s parents who had died in the fight for the land they lived in.
Thieves were known for sometimes coming out of the mountains to kill and steal. As the rest of the heroes went to sleep Terenious and Elderain stayed awake and looked at the dark mountains. The moon was above them like a sideways smile. Stars covered the sky. It was now colder. The breeze felt wonderful after the stuffiness of the Thevian Mountains and they felt comfortable as they looked up at the stars.
“It is beautiful,” Terenious commented. Elderain automatically knew what she was talking about.
“Yes, it is,” Elderain agreed. “I haven’t seen such constellations in Bacnaltica.”
“Do you think it is possible to touch one of them?” Terenious asked. “I mean, are they touchable? Could people go into the sky?”
“I don’t know. Touching a star seems like something that could never happen. But we can never know.” There was a silence. “But you can touch a star figuratively. I know that for sure.”
Terenious then pulled something out of her pocket. She showed it to Elderain. It was a chain of silver with half of a purple heart. She had a meaningful expression on her face. Elderain immediately understood that what she was holding was very special.
“What is it?”
Terenious dropped the valuable looking item into his hand.
“It was a gift from my birth parents,” Terenious said, touching the purple half heart. It appeared to be made of amethyst. “I managed to hide it from the thieves when they first searched me long ago when my stepparents were still alive. I have had many close calls but I managed to keep it.”
“I wonder where the other half of the heart is.”
“I wonder that as well. It is very special to me,” Terenious said. “It is the only thing I have left of my parents. I believe they are still alive and that this will lead me to them.” There was a silence. Terenious was happy to have shown it to somebody. She had been keeping it a secret for so long so King Thevian wouldn’t find it.
“We should have a talk like this more often,” Elderain said. “Maybe every night?”
“Sure,” Terenious said. “I haven’t been able to really talk to somebody in years.”
Elderain and Terenious continued talking. They talked about the past, the present and things they hoped for the future. They talked far into the night. The other heroes continued to sleep.
The next morning Cornelious, Flitican, Asher, Elderain, and Terenious woke up feeling sad and angry. The air was almost scalding hot. The rubble, bones, and ashes around them had a negative effect on them all.
They were going to have bacon for breakfast today. That might make them feel better. Usually they had Gabonese breakfast sausage. It was cheap and very nasty. There was a sizzling sound and all of them were hungrier, sadder, and angrier than ever. The heroes never thought that cooking bacon could take so long.
Asher suddenly bit Cornelious’ head off. The sudden shouts startled the others. Their bacon was sitting in a pile of ashes! They all glared at Cornelious. It was all his fault.
The Heroes didn’t feel like breakfast after that angering situation and started walking west again. Elderain got shoved when they had first started walking west because he stepped on somebody’s heel. It was obvious that they were all bad tempered because of the heat and headaches they had in The Valley of War. The air felt extremely thick as well as hot.
“Stop breathing so loudly, Flitican!” Terenious shouted at Flitican as he passed. Her head was throbbing like it had been struck with a mallet and Flitican, being short of breath, was not making things pleasing for her. “I have a terrible headache!”
“I have one as well,” Cornelious scolded. “And shouting at Flitican doesn’t make it any better. Silence will help.” He took off his blue cloak and put it in his pack. “It is dreadfully hot too.” The sun was directly above them. It was like an eye boring into their heads. If only a cloud would go over it and block it for just a moment, he thought.
For an hour they walked. The air only heated up more as they went west. They all felt like time bombs ready to explode when something bad happened. The Heroes had angry thoughts towards each other as they went on. Everything was everybody else’s fault.
If Flitican breathes loud enough for me to hear it again I will kill him, Terenious thought, cracking her knuckles hoping Flitican might hear and feel threatened.
I cannot believe Cornelious dropped all of our breakfast meat into a pile of ashes, Asher thought. He gave Cornelious an angry glance and then stared at the ground. The ashes completely ruined the beauty of entil that was all over the valley. The ashes also completely ruined their breakfast too. His stomach grumbled. New and untainted bacon would have made him happy just then.
Why am I traveling with a bunch of dumb humans? Flitican thought breathing heavily. Heat always made Galendars a little short of breath. That was why they lived in the north. He too was absolutely furious at Cornelious for ruining breakfast. Ruining everything was the words that came through his mind. He was furious at everybody.
It is sweltering hot here. We are going to cook in the sun and never make it to Malicina, Elderain thought. His armor that King Condronson had given him stuck as if it was part of him. It was very irritating. He couldn’t breathe. The air felt extremely thick. Why is it taking so long to get out of this valley?
Cornelious was not thinking any angry thoughts. He was frustrated like everybody else, of course, and was burning up but he was thinking about his childhood. He remembered tales he was told when he was young and tales that he had read in his library back in Canlomba. Bach Banderad and the Visicite Chieftain, Thuecadem’s Monsters, War of Jallend, Fashar the Evil Bacnaltican, The War of T.S.F and he also remembered Battle in the Valley of War. Cornelious began to hum a song from the story.
The Elticians stood their ground,
Watching the Malicians charge at the mound.
The Elticians drew their shinning, electric swords,
Hearing the Malicians yell cruel-
“Be quiet, Cornelious!” Asher barked.
Cornelious stopped humming. If what he was thinking was true then agitating somone is the thing he wanted to stay away from. Cornelious remembered the story was about a fight between Elticians and Malicians. The Elticians had taken heavy casualties and had to fall back to the mound which was the only place in The Entil Lands that wasn’t flat. The Malician’s would soon advance over The Valley of War. When they were almost to the eastern part of the valley of war a fight suddenly broke out. It was a victory because all the Malicians had killed each other because they were frustrated. Cornelious remembered that when the story was told he heard it was said that the valley was enchanted. The enchantment made people very angry and frustrated, causing them to hurt each other. Sometimes even kill each other. Maybe the stories were true.
Just then Terenious drew her pearl sword. Cornelious’s eyes widened in a panic. Had she given in to the enchanted valley and what was she going to do? Her eyes blazed and her face had turned bright red and then purple and then red again.
“Flitican!” She shouted, breathing heavily. The air was just so thick and hot. Cornelious guessed what had triggered this shout. “Why won’t you stop breathing so loudly?” She bounded over to the Galendar, raised her sword above the surprised and dreary Flitican, ready to kill him.
Coming May 17th