Scotland 994. A.D
A castle, near the edge of a cliff overlooking the water, is under attack by a band of Vikings. Catapults hurl huge boulders into the battlements and the castle's defense is failing.
“Stand fast! We can hold them back!” The captain encouraged his men as they fought.
“Aye, and catch boulders with our teeth while we're about it.” one of the soldiers disagreed.
“It's your choice, then, me lads. The catapult, ”The captain draws his sword, “or me?”, “Back to your posts,” the two soldiers rush back to their posts, “ In a few more minutes the sun will be down, “He glances up at the stone gargoyles perched on the tower, “ and then we'll see some fun.” He chuckles.
“Indeed we shall, captain,” Athena said as she walked his side and aimed an arrow at the Vikings, “And those Vikings will rue the day that they ever dare attack castle Wyvern.”
Another boulder was then launched from the catapults by the Vikings throwing back some soldiers as it hit the castle.
“Attack!” The leader of the Vikings shouted.
The Vikings did as their leader told and storm the castle. They overrun the defense and ascend the tower. Athena races to the top of the tower and as the sun sets just as she and the leader reach the gargoyle at the top of the highest tower. He stares unbelievingly as the statue's stony exterior cracks and falls away, revealing a living, breathing gargoyle underneath. The Vikings back away in fear as the other gargoyles come to life as well. Goliath, leader of the gargoyles and named by the humans, notices Viking leader and picks him up by one arm.
“You are trespassing,” Goliath said to the Viking.
Undaunted, the Viking leader swings his sword at Goliath, who catches it. A slow trickle of blood oozes from Goliath's palm.
“Fight men! They are not invincible!” He shouted down to his men.
The Vikings swung their swords and fire their arrows at the gargoyles but they were unsuccessful and missed. The Viking leader managed to get a footing and lean back while he held onto Goliath causing both of them to fall over.
“Father!” Athena shouted. She ran over to the edge and saw the Viking leader swinging away on rope and Goliath was gliding down to the battle. Knowing that her father was safe, Athena rushed over towards the next towering, and when she arrived at the top of the tower she saw three gargoyles watching the fight. The first gargoyle was red with long white hair and a beak for a mouth. The second gargoyle was small, green, bald and his wings were attached to his arms in a web-like structure. The third gargoyle was large, round, and bluish green-skinned.
She walks up behind them and says, "Are you just going to sit there and let your brothers and sisters have all the fun or are you going to join in, uncles."
The three turned around and looked at her. The red gargoyle then jumps off the tower and glides down to join the other gargoyles in defeating the Vikings.
“Not afraid are you?” The green asked the blue.
“Afraid? Me? Huh. Why, all of nature trembles at my passing,” The blue gargoyle said before he pushed up his stomach making it look part of his muscular chest but it didn’t hold long.
“I can see why,” The green gargoyle joked as he pokes the other’s stomach before gliding to join the others, and soon the blue one jumped off and joined the fighting.
“No matter how many years will pass, those three will still act like hatchlings,” Athena said before running off to fight the Vikings and defend her home. With each Viking that passed her she defeated, she then spotted the eldest gargoyles fighting a Vikings as another was sneaking up behind him until Goliath picked the Viking up and tossed him aside.
“Watch your back old friend,” Goliath advised the elder gargoyle.
“Watch your own,” He said back.
“Why don’t I watch them both for you,” Athena said as she joined them and threw a bolas at a Viking that the two did not see. The three then carried on with the battle.
Athena fought every Viking that she crossed paths with until she comes across the leader of the Vikings running away from the blue-skinned dog-like gargoyle who is like a pet to her. When the Viking leader reached the doorway he saw a female gargoyle with light blue skin and with hair and eyes as red as blood.
“Face me, human, if you dare,” She hissed as she revealed her fangs.
The Viking leader turned around only to have the end of a sword in front of his face and holding that sword was Athena.
“Not so fast, Viking,” She said.
The Viking leader was now surrounded by the female gargoyle, to his right, Athena and the dog-like gargoyle, to his left, and a stone wall behind him and soon Goliath glided down in front of him.
“I see you've met our watchdog. And my second-in-command, and daughter as well,” Goliath grabs the Viking leader by the collar,” I grow tired of this. Take what's left of your men and begone.” He then throws him into a cart of hay.
As the Viking leader gets out of the cart he is covered in hay and shouts, “Argh! This isn't over, monster, I'll be back.” He and the rest of his men then flee from the castle as arrows were shot at them. When the Vikings were far enough the soldiers at the castle cheer in victory and all of the gargoyles gathered at one of the towers, and the second-in-command banged Goliath’s injured hand.
“Goliath, we owe you our lives,” The captain thanked.
“As we owe you ours, every day,” Goliath said to the Captain before turning to his daughter and placed a hand on her shoulder,” And I am very proud of you my daughter. You showed great courage tonight.”
“Your father is right my daughter. You have the spirit of a gargoyle,” The second-in-command told her.
“Thank you, Mother. Father,” Athena said before hugging her parents.
“Goliath, I want to invite you, your second-in-command, and daughter to the celebration tonight to be recognized for your bravery,” The Captain offered.
“We are honored,” Goliath accepted.
Later that evening, there is a celebration in the dining hall. Goliath, his mate and second-in-command, and Athena walked through the halls of the castle and to the dining hall. The door to the dining hall opens. Goliath, his mate, and Athena enter. The attendees at the banquet are outraged by the appearance of the gargoyles.
The Captain walked up to the princess and said, “Your pardon, Your Highness. I took the liberty of asking them to appear and be recognized for their bravery.”
“Captain, we are most seriously displeased,” She scolded.
“To allow beasts in the dining hall You speak wisely, Princess. These are unnatural creatures. No good can come from associating with them,” The Magus agrees.
The three walked up to them, the princess backing in fear of the gargoyles, and Goliath folds his wings into a cape and bows to the Princess.
The Captain walked up to him, “Goliath, we named you well, it seems. You are as good a soldier as the Philistine giant who fought David.”
The princess stood up from her seat and spoke, “You would do well to remember, Captain, that the biblical Goliath was also a bully and a savage.”
This caused Goliath’s mate and second-in-command eyes to turn a bright red and growl at the princess, but she is soon calmed by Goliath.
“If you will excuse us, Your Highness,” Goliath said before he led his mate and daughter out of the dining hall. The Captain follows them down a hallway
”My apologies for this, Goliath,” He apologized.
“No apologies needed. We are what we are. Her opinion will not change that,” Goliath told him.
“Have you no pride? No sense of justice? We saved their lives and they repay us with contempt,” His mate argued.
“Mother is right, Father,” Athena spoke up, “You deserve better than this. You have protected them night after night and they still treat you so ungratefully.”
“These cliffs were our home ages before they built their stone fortress. They should bow to us.”
“It is the nature of humankind to fear what they do not understand. Their ways are not our ways,” Goliath took his mate’s hand.
She sighed, “There are times when your patience astounds me, my love.”
“It’s almost sunrise, Goliath. You all could use some rest after tonight’s festivities,” The captain informed them.
“Come, my loves,” Goliath said. He led his mate and daughter up to the tower. After saying their parting words before all of the gargoyles took their places and were turned to stone by the rising sun. After Athena finished watching her family enter their stone sleep, she returned to her room and fell asleep in her bed waiting for the moon to rise.
Moments before sunset, Athena awakens and rushes to the top of the tower to watch her family awaken from their stone sleep. When the sun sets, each of the gargoyles’ stone skin cracks and each of them gave a roar as they awakened.
“No matter how many times I witness this it never ceases to amaze me,” Athena said.
Goliath comes down from his perch, while his mate gilds up, and hugs their daughter but it is soon interrupted by the captain.
“Goliath, we need to speak,” He said.
Goliath removes the bandage from his hand, which has now healed.
“Those Vikings may return at daybreak, Goliath. I say, take all your gargoyles and make sure they're gone,” The captain continued.
“I agree,” His mate said,” Let us go out in force and put an end to these pigs once and for all.”
“Too dangerous. I don't want to leave the castle unprotected,” Goliath told them.
"Their leader swore he'd be back,” The captain reminded him, “It's best to hurry them far away now and not take that chance.”
“Very well,” Goliath reluctantly agrees, “ But I shall do it. I can scare those cowards away without any help.”
“That's too dangerous for you,” His mate argues, “Let me come along, at least.”
“You and the others will stay with the castle. You are my best warrior. I leave you in command.”
“No. I cannot let you," she argues.
“I won't go alone,” He reassures her, “Remember. You and I are one now and forever.” He then takes his leave.
Her mother turns to her, “Why don’t you go join the others and make sure they won’t get into trouble.”
“Of course, Mother,” Athena nodded and walked down to the bonfire in the courtyard, she sees the blue one eating, the red and green gargoyles tossing the ham back and forth keeping it away from the dog-like gargoyle like playing a game. Athena sits down on one of the crates and watches in amusement as the dog-like gargoyles catches the ham. A boy from the nearby camp walks over to them.
“I'm Tom,” He introduces, “What's your name?”
“Except for Goliath and Athena, we don't have names.” The green gargoyle replies.
“How do you tell each other apart?” Tom asked.
“We look different.”
“But what do you call each other?”
“Friend,” The red gargoyle replies.
Tom’s mother runs over with a stick in her hand, “Tom. Get away from those monsters and the traitor.
“But they wouldn't hurt the lad, ma'am,” Athena tried to reason.
“Keep away from him, you traitor,’ She threw the stick and it hit Athena on the face making a small cut on her cheek.
Her mother glides down in between Athena and Tom’s mother, and her eyes were filled with anger.
“How dare you harm my daughter!”
“Stay away beast.”
“You're the beast, not us.”
“No,” The red gargoyle stood in front of the second-in-command, “If they think we're beasts and monsters-”
“Then, perhaps we'd better live up to the name.” The green gargoyle finished.
Their eyes glow, and they growl and advance toward the humans, who run away when the dog-like gargoyles barks at them. Goliath and the elder land in the middle of the foray.
“You three, down to the rookery until I return. I'll deal with you then,” Goliath said angrily. He points at the dog-like gargoyle,” And take him with you.”
Goliath, his mate, and Athena followed the four gargoyles to ensure that they would go to the rookery. The green one pushes the doors open and they look back before they enter.
“We meant no harm,” The red gargoyle apologies. But Goliath is not swayed, and they sadly go down into the rookery.
“Are you blind?,” His mate scolds him, “ They were not at fault. The humans were. They harmed our daughter, her own kind, and called her a traitor.” She pointed at Athena’s injury.
“No matter who was at fault, I cannot condone fighting between their people and ours,” Goliath said,”Our daughter may have been born a human but she was raised as a gargoyle, she follows our ways not theirs. I will make it up to them later. Now I have business to attend to.”
Goliath then leaves his mate and daughter as he goes to finish the vikings. His mate stood there in a moment of silence before turning to her daughter.
“I suggest that you get ready for bed, my daughter. The sun will be up soon.”
“Of course, mother. I will see you under the pale moonlight.”
“And I you my little starlight.”
Athena leaves her mother in the rookery and returns to her room. She looks out her window and sees that moon setting before laying on her bed and letting sleep welcome her. Athena was suddenly awoken by the screaming and shouting she heard, she looked out the window and saw that the vikings were attacking and that the sun was up, and that her family was stone and vulnerable. She grabs her sword and runs down to battle the vikings and to protect her family.
Her heart raced as she rushes towards the tower where her family sleeps. When she arrived, Athena saw the captain.
“Captain! Captain! We have to protect them!” She said.
“Don’t worry lass, they are safe.”
“Not that I'm ungrateful for your help, but why? Why betray your own kind?” The viking leader asked.
“They're not my kind,” The captain replied.
“Captain, what is going on? Why is he here?” Athena said as she placed her hands on the handle of her sword. She then notice that the people of castle wyvern in chains and being led away.
The viking leader walks over to one of the stone gargoyles and raised his mace, “Well, to work. There's little enough time for it.”
Athena runs in between the viking and the gargoyles with her sword pointed at him,” Don’t you dare.”
“This is unnecessary,” The captain told the viking leader.
“Are you mad? He questioned, “ In a moment they'll be flesh again and my men will be their prey.”
“Once your band is out of sight, they won't follow. It's not their nature,” The captain explained in hopes the viking leader would leave the gargoyles.
“Ah, well. In that case,” The viking leader knock the sword out of Athena’s hand before shoving her to the ground, and shoves the Captain out of the way and pinned him to the wall.
“Care to discuss the matter further?” He asked in a threatening tone.
“No,” The captain answered.
“I haven't lived this long by taking foolish chances,” The Viking leader said before he smashes all of the gargoyles to rubble.
“No!” Athena cried in honor, she then cried as the captain held her close.
After sunset, Goliath and the elder return to find the castle in flames. He alights on His mate’s perch, picks up her crumbled remains
“My angel of the night,” He then notices a familiar sword out of the corner of his eye and as he picks it up, he realizes that it is his daughter's sword and he roars in anguish for his mate and daughter.
On the ground, The elder examines the bowstrings and sees that they have been cut, "These bowstrings have been cut.There was betrayal here.”
The four gargoyles come out of the rookery and gasp at the devastation. Goliath lands next to them with his daughter’s sword still in hand,”Were any more down in the rookery?” He asks.
“None,” The blue gargoyle replied,” Only us.”
The elder walks over, “All the humans are gone. Taken prisoner, most likely, along with Athena.”
“Then we will find them,” Goliath’s eyes glow with rage, “We will save my daugther and the humans. And we will have our revenge!”
They fly off, with the gargoyles dog following on foot, to have their revenge on the vikings.
At the Viking camp, a victory celebration is underway. Spirits are not so bright among the prisoners, however. In a nearby cave, the Viking leader and the Captain have the Princess, Magus, and Athena tied, who continues to mourn for her family.
“Hmm. The magus is worth more alive than dead. Barely,” The viking leader said.
“True,” The captain agreed before kneeling to the princess,” but I'm sure your uncle, the king, will pay handsomely to see his niece returned alive.”
“You blackguard. if I had my book of spells, l'd-,” The magus’ threat was interrupted by the laughter of the Viking leader.
“Might you be referring to this book, Magus?,” He picks up the book,”Magic spells. Ha! Makes me glad l can't read.” He then tears out a few pages and burns them.
“No! My spells!” The magus cried.
“Oh, traitor. I'll see you both hang for this!” The princess shouted.
“True as that may be, Princess. But you and your people have called the most kind-hearted lass in the world a traitor, the same girl with which you grew as a sister,” The captain said, he then pointed at Athena.
A roar, which made Athena smile, and the frightened cries of the vikings are heard outside. The viking leader and the Captain run out of the cave as the gargoyles attack the camp.
“You said they wouldn't follow us,” He questions the Captain.
“If you hadn't destroyed the others,” The captain snapped.
The viking leader runs back into the cave and grabs the Princess,”Your precious gargoyles have come, Princess.”
“The gargoyles? You're a dead man, Hakon,” She Tells the viking leader
“Maybe,” He agrees,” But not before you,” He draws a dagger. She breaks his grasp and runs off with Hakon and the Captain in pursuit.
“Let her go! Princess! Help! Somebody help! He's going to slay her! Princess!,” The Magus calls before he tries to free himself.
“Magus, my family will help the Princess,” Athena told him.
“All they’ve done is ensure her death,” He broke free of the rope and picked up his spell book,”Now I will avenge her.” He runs out of the cave. Knowing her time was limited, Athena used the dagger her had always hidden up her sleeve to break free of the ropes.
“You fools! She'd be alive now if you hadn't come,” The magus shouted as Athena broke free and sneaks up behind him, “ They would have ransomed us both, but you invaded their camp and now,” He opens the book and flips through the pages.
“What's all this? Where's the princess and our niece?” The elder asked.
“The princess is dead, And could l but wield a sword, l would send you all to join her. But this will have to do instead. Dormiatis-,” As he began the spell he was cut off as Athena jumped on his back in hopes of bringing him down.
“Niece!” The gargoyles said with great joy but it was soon ended when the magus knocked her off his back and she fell to the ground, and he grabbed her by the throat.
“You will not interfere with my revenge,” He throws her down. She rolls the hill up the cave before landing near the gargoyles, whose eyes glowed with anger at the magus, “But you will not be left out,” He flips to another page and begins to recite the incantation, “Aterenae iuventutis, vitam aeternam, et ego maledictum nunc te ut aeternum hoc ambulare terra et nunquam iungere interitum!”
As the magus recited, winds surrounded Athena causing her to lifted into the air and a bright white light soon emerged blinding the gargoyles. When the light faded, the gargoyles saw Athena lying on the ground and unconscious, and they ran to her aide.
“What did you do to her, sorcerer?” The elder asked with anger in his voice and his eyes were still glowing.
“I cursed her to forever walk this earth, and now it’s your turn, beast!” The magus said as he returned to the page he was on and finished the incantation,” Dormiatis dum castellum super nubes ascendat.”
Goliath soon returns to the camp and finds the others turned to stone at night.
“Stone at night? What sorcery is this?” Goliath thunders.
“Sorcery indeed,” The Magus tells him, “And now you shall join them,” The Princess walks out from behind Goliath,” Princess?” He sees her and drops the spellbook.
“Oh, Magus, what have you done?” She asks.
“l l-l thought you were dead, your Highness. l was mad with grief,” He answers.
Goliath picks him up, “Reverse the spell. Bring them back!” He demands with a roar.
“l-l cannot. The page with the counterspell was burned.’
Goliath drops him and hangs his head, "Now all I have is my daughter,” He looks around, “Where is she?”
They soon heard a moan and saw a hand behind the rock Goliath walks around to find his daughter lying on the ground unconscious, he picks her up bridal style and holds her close in his arms. Her eyes flutter half open.
"Father..." She lightly said before falling back into unconsciousness.
Goliath walks back to the Princess, Magus, and tom, with his eyes glowing and his daughter held close to his chest, “What have you done to my daughter!” He roared.
“I cursed her to forever walk the earth, she is immortal. I’m sorry,” The magus said with a heavy heart.
“You turned them to stone forever?” The princess asked about the gargoyles.
“The terms of the counterspell were that they would sleep until the castle rises above the clouds,” The Magus replies.
On their journey back to the castle, Athena had fully regained consciousness. Goliath told her with a heavy heart of what had happen to the rest of their family. Athena cried in her father’s arms and apologized that she was unable to do anything to stop it but Goliath said that there was nothing that could have been done.
Back at the castle, Goliath gently places the rest of his clan on their perches.
“We have done you a great wrong, Goliath,” The princess apologized.
“l know that no apology can be enough, Goliath,” The Magus apologized for his actions, “l wish there was something l could do.”
“What will you do now, Princess?” Goliath asked.
“I'll take my people to my uncle. it's no longer safe for us here.”
“And you, my daughter?” He asked
“I will use my immortality to help others, and I make this vow to protect, for it is a gargoyles’ nature,” Athena told her father.
“l have a request,” Goliath said.
“You have but to name it.”
“The eggs in the rookery will soon hatch. They will need guidance,” He told the princess.
“Never fear. We will watch over them as if they were our own,” She agrees.
Goliath turns to the Magus,“There is something you can do for me, Magus. Cast your spell one more time.”
Goliath, the Magus, the Princess, and Athena walk up to the top of the tower to Goliath’s perch. When the reached the top, Athena and her father hugged goodbye.
“I will miss you father.”
“Do not worry, My daughter. We will see each other again, until then we will always be in each other's heart. This isn’t goodbye it is farewell, my daughter.”
“Farewell, father,” Athena said as a tear ran down her face and Goliath wiped it away.
Goliath takes his place on his perch before the Magus recites the incantation. The full moon shines over Goliath, sleeping until the castle rises above the clouds.