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Tim Fisk

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The Last Fight:

The Downfall of the Kai Monastery

"Zazdak!" The captain was in a foul mood. His regiment was acting surly, and he didn't want to deal with it. "Hagor zinoz." After he had finished putting everyone back in their places, he told the Gourgaz that he was ready, and that his troops should be too.

Two miles down the treacherous path, the Gourgaz, Tukor-Tadzar, saw a good place to stop. They needed the rest. Tukor-Tadzar just hoped that his time schedule was right, or Darklord Dakushna would have his head, if he didn't feed it to his pet Xaghash first.

Great Bear was truly enjoying the Feast of Fehmarn, his favorite holiday. The Kai annually feasted for three days to celebrate the birthday of one of the first Kai Masters. Roast boar, bread, sweet water, and all other foods were prepared for this wonderful event.

At the end of the first day, Great Bear went to his room with his friend, Silent Wolf. Silent Wolf looked strange, as if something terrible was going to happen soon. He said, "I don't know, but I feel like the worst thing that could possibly happen is going to happen, on the third day."

"But you've hardly even mastered your first five skills, let alone the mastery it takes to predict the future. I'll bet you've just had too much to eat. Go to sleep and I'll see you in the morning."

"That was strange," Great Bear thought, after Silent Wolf left. Silent Wolf was usually quiet and somewhat somber, but not this much. If something bad was going to happen, what? The Darklords had been quiet for a while now, and most people were happy. Maybe Silent Wolf was going to get sick, but that wasn't the worst thing that could happen.

Great Bear thought about what the worst thing that could happen to him was. He could be eaten by wolves during the next hunt, but that would be after the Feast. His town could be attacked by Giaks and his family could be killed, but what were the chances of Giaks attacking a tiny village like Corm. It would be stupid. Great Bear let it go and went to sleep.

That night, Great Bear had a horrible nightmare. He dreamed that he was being attacked by Giaks and he couldn't fight them all at once. It was the worst dream he had ever had. He woke up a dozen times, chilled to the bone, scared out of his wits. Every time he fell asleep again, he started back where he left off. By morning, he had almost died at the hands of the Giaks in his dreams.

He reported to the Kai Master, as was required. When he got there, two other initiates were already speaking about their dreams of Giaks. One was Silent Wolf. The other was Wise Owl, known for his skeptical attitude toward dreamers. "It was so real, you could almost touch the Giaks, smell the Gourgaz, feel the clanking of Drakkarim swords. I don't know what to make of it." Wise Owl was obviously scared.

Silent Wolf was more relaxed, less haunted. "I've had this feeling for a couple of days. I just thought that I was worried about my family, but tonight I dreamed. I dreamed of running, running from Giaks on Doomwolves and Drakkarim. I'm kind of worried that the worst thing that could ever happen is going to happen on the third day."

The night was bad, the morning worse. The Drakkarim armies met with the Giak forces. Tukor-Tadzar made every Giak wash, twice! Darklords inspected every Giak and Drakkarim. One hundred lashes were given for a speck of mud. The commanders were especially scared, for they were executed if a soldier under their command was dirty, drunk, or slouching.

Tukor-Tadzar was about to run away when the Darklord inspected his troop, but they passed the inspection. Tukor-Tadzar breathed a great sigh of relief. Then the march began. They had to be at the monastery in a day, and they were just within Sommerlund's boundaries.

Now they were halfway there, but there was still a long march ahead of them. The captain was so tired, he fell over. As troop began to rest, the Drakkarim caught up to them and forced them onward. As they marched down the road, the captain, Orgadak-Sheggim, thought to himself. Regiment Lajakaan would be proud, if they could really pull this off.

The second day of the Feast of Fehmarn was even better than the first. Food and wine flowed freely. Great Bear and Silent Wolf, even after their dreams, had a great time. They were so full at the end of the day that they could hardly move. Happiness abounded, no one went to bed unhappily.

Silent Wolf had to do chores the next morning, so he woke up earlier than even the Grand Master. He headed to the woods, to do his chores. As he entered the forest, Silent Wolf got that same feeling of doom, running from Giaks, and incredible sadness. He shook it off, but it still hovered in the background. He continued with his chores. Silent Wolf had no way of knowing what was going on at that very moment.

It had been a while since Silent Wolf had left, but Great Bear was enjoying this third day too much to notice. The food was excellent, the drink even better. Pies, cakes, and all other kinds of food surrounded Great Bear. Wise Owl sat away from the table, as if ready to fight for his life.

The Kai Master talked to Wise Owl momentarily, apparently asking what was troubling him. Great Bear couldn't quite hear it, but he thought he heard, "Silent Wolf is safe," and, "Giaks."

Great Bear started to worry. What was happening? He could no longer think about eating. The words, "Silent Wolf is safe," echoed through his mind. Safe from what? Safe from the Giaks? How could that be? Silent Wolf had no charms to protect him from Giaks. The entire thing was very strange.

Suddenly, a cry rang out. The Monastery was under attack. Everyone, from the lowliest new recruit who had yet to learn a skill, to the Grand Master, ran to the wall. Great Bear grabbed his huge battle axe, Wise Owl a long bow and a few arrows. Silent Wolf was still gone, deep into the woods. The Kai Master grabbed the Axe of the Kai, an enchanted axe that only a Kai could wield safely. A couple of the more powerful Kai grabbed a pair of magical broadswords once used by Sun Eagle himself. Most of the Kai began to advance, cutting down Giaks by the hundreds.

Then more Giaks arrived, with at least two hundred Shamans in their ranks. Their firepower was overwhelming. Great Bear watched as Sun Eagle's swords fell to the ground, quickly scooped up by greedy Giaks. He watched as the Grand Master, up on a high tower, dueled with three Darklords at once. The Grand Master was butchered, his silver-bearded head held high for all to see. Finally, the last artifact, the Axe of the Kai, was snatched from the slain Kai Master by a particularly ugly Giak.

Orgadak-Sheggim was happy. A beautiful enchanted axe had come into his possession. It was too long for the Giak to use in battle, but when sold, it would gain him at least 20,000 gold crowns, enough money to give his clan a huge advantage. The axe could also be given directly to a Darklord, to gain an enormous amount of power, favor, and fame. Orgadak-Sheggim could be made the lord of a territory for bringing such a wonderful gift. Yes, life was looking up for Orgadak-Sheggim, and the regiment Lajakaan.

Unfortunately, the artifact was noticed by Tukor-Tadzar and ripped from Orgadak-Sheggim's filthy hands. Tukor-Tadzar would use it in his own quest for greatness. Sadly, the Axe of the Kai was passed on by theft, treachery, power, and foolishness, until the final location of it was lost. The same thing happened to the Swords of Sun Eagle.

Great Bear was always eager to join a fight, but this battle was horrible. He watched as shamans and sorcerers roasted his friends. Even with all of his considerable might, Great Bear couldn't overpower the incredible swarms of Giaks. Forced to retreat to the wall of the monastery, to the dormitories, to the other wall, and finally around the top of the wall in a chase, Great Bear was heavily injured.

Even with his wounds Great Bear could still fight, mostly due to his recent training in the discipline of Healing. Bleeding from eight wounds, but still fighting, Great Bear was the last to fall. The last thing he thought of was Silent Wolf. He was the only one with a hope. If only he would keep running, until he was too far away to be threatened.

Wise Owl's experience was much different. He was not strong with weapons, so he stayed back. He used his skill in the areas of Sixth Sense and Healing to aid others in need. When the Drakkarim broke through, Wise Owl had no chance, as his weapon was a dagger he had been using as an improvised scalpel.

All of the Kai were supposed to have died on that day. But one survived. Silent Wolf is the last of the Kai, and he is also our last hope. May he have luck with him on his quest, for if he should be killed, Sommerlund will fall, and soon after, the rest of Northern Magnamund. May the spirit of Sun Eagle be with him on his quest.

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