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A Hero Without a Sword

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It was a tragic day, 16 years ago when Dundrasil fell. All but one thought the Luminary had fallen, and that was Chalky. Chalky had seen his birthmark, knowing of his origins in Dundrasil, but what he found was terrifying when raising him. The boy could barely walk. Even at Chalky's old age, Eleven's bones were always so fragile and weak, he needed a cane to even get around the village. The boy was perfectly healthy otherwise. At first, Chalky worried he would never live up to his destiny, but he had a hope in his heart that Eleven would grow up big and strong. Though behind the scenes, a different darkness was unraveling.

5 Years Before...

Eleven was well... eleven years old. All the other kids by now were climbing trees, playing catch, and helping maintain the town. Eleven? He could barely lift his arms over his head. To get anywhere, Chalky had given him a metal cane he had bought on his travels long ago. It was beautifully crafted, being made out of Damascus steel, having the handle crafted to have eyes on the sides. It was a lovely cane, but regardless, it only allowed him to go place to place. he had to have at least a hand on his cane if he were to stand, let alone move around. To Eleven, he looked pitiful, like a sick puppy. He couldn't help his friends with work, or really play with them either. No one was really slowing down to help him, expect for one. Gemma was very patient with him, often staying inside with him and doing more things that didn't require him to stand like sewing. It was the only real morale boost he had. At least he was of some help, though it was never good enough.

Sewing being all he was good at, he couldn't help but feel even weaker. This envy he had of the children around him he had bottled up, kept tucked deep inside his soul, until one night it seemed to snap. He was kept awake that night, trying to find some strength beyond what he could already do. He left his house in the middle of the night, setting out for the Cobblestone Tor.

That night he had discovered his hidden power. The power... of darkness. While climbing up the path to the Tor, he nearly fell off the cliff. Nearly. What had saved him was his own dark magic, it taking the form of a hand that grabbed him before he fell too far. This darkness was just the beginning. Of course, he was terrified of this darkness. It was the opposite of everything he yearned for. In response, since that night, he's never used it since. It started small, but it would grow beyond what he could ever expect the more he suppressed it..


Yesterday, he had just completed his trip up the Tor with Gemma. He had nearly fallen off the edge again while being attacked by a monster. The mark on his hand had summoned a great lightning, striking the monster to send it spiraling down. Once having gone down, they were congratulated, having finally become adults. Though that night, his mother told him of the mark on his hand, how he was to be this hero of light. Even he, was a bit in doubt but... what other explanation was there? 

Yesterday's events led up to today's departure. He was given light clothing that wouldn't hold him down and put more pressure on his cane. He had taken his bag, sword, horse, and Gemma's charm to head off into the world beyond, being told to set off to Heliodor by Amber before he left. The trip to Heliodor was rough, as he needed to avoid monsters at his slow pace. He did stop at the campsite that night, trying his hardest to find such strength, but to no avail. All it was good for was holding his body up, no better then the cane he wielded. The only thing he could use to fight was the magic he had obtained, such as his fire and healing spells. 

The next morning, he noticed more and more that monsters in the area seemed to actively avoid him despite how much of an easy target he was. He didn't quite get it and probably wouldn't for awhile. Just a struggle up the hill to Heliodor and he had made it. Upon entering through those stone walls, he was greeted by the most colorful town he felt he would ever see on his journey. With stone roads, it was much easier to walk around with his cane. He saw bards playing their tunes, merchants at every corner selling a variety of items, and young children playing around in the streets. It was near magical going to the big city, being from such a small village. 

While his main goal there was to go to the palace, he couldn't help but explore the vast city. He spent some time around the stands selling various foods, listening to the tunes the bards played at the stage, and took a moment to stop at the beautiful church they had by the wealthier area up ahead. All seemed well until he decided to go to the castle and meet King Carnelian.

Once the guards had let him in by showing his necklace, he had gotten a bad feeling in his stomach. The guards had to stay slow to keep up with his pace of needing a cane. He needed some assistance getting up the staircase in the hall. For the soldiers, it was hard to believe that this boy was the luminary at all. He was so frail, so sluggish, yet there was no way he wasn't the real deal. His mark and necklace proved it all.

It didn't take too long to reach the throne room. Before him were guards all lined up on each side of the throne, all the way to the entrance. By the King's right was a knight in black armor with deep purple hair. He seemed to look at him sternly with deep concern. On his left was a knight in silver, having dirty blonde hair in a loose ponytail, who seemed more relaxed. the two guards from before kept escorting him up till about halfway, before they returned back outside the room.

"The guards told me you are in possession of the jewel of Dundrasil, are you not?" The king asked before anything else.

"I am, your majesty." Eleven's voice couldn't help but be a bit nervous sounding, since this was really the first time he was in front of someone with such power over the land. Gemma's grandfather didn't compare.

"..." King Carnelian was silent for a moment, seeing how frail he was, but having the Luminary's Mark on his left hand which grasped the cane. "Tell me, O Luminary, why are you so frail?" The King couldn't help but noticed the shriveled state of what was to be a legendary hero. It was confusing to say the least. The hero was to wield great magic and physical power, yet one of these were clearly missing.

"Well your majesty, my bones have been brittle from the beginning. I can barely hold my arms over my head without straining myself. Nobody knows why though, so my grandfather had gifted me this cane to be able to walk around on my own. Without this little old thing I'd be more then a goner." That was all he could really say. He hadn't had the slightest clue as to why himself.

"Is that so?" The king once again took a moment to think. Strange, in all his visions of the Luminary, this was not one of them. It seemed like more then a miracle that he made it to Heliodor with all the monsters on the outskirts. "Regardless, we shall rejoice that the Luminary has returned to us at such a time in our lives. We are grateful that you had not succumbed to death all those years ago..."

In King Carnelian's mind though, was a different entity, Mordegon himself, possessing his body. In his head, he could barely comprehend. Why is the Luminary so weak already? no prophecy or warning had ever foretold such a disappointment to the previous? I can tell, he is not playing me for a fool, this is really him. I shall play nice, for now...  "O Luminary, won't you tell us what place raised you to become such a fine young man? I wish to pay tribute to them."

"Fine?" Did he come out fine? He... didn't really feel so. "I did not come out fine I'm afraid your majesty. Only 3 people in my life I felt really helped me turn out somewhat alright. Paying tribute would be, well, foolish." Eleven said this all from the heart. The only people he really cared for there were Chalky, Amber, and Gemma. Not including Sandy, the dog Gemma owned, she was lovely moral support. All the other kids had left him out of everything, saying he would just break his bones if he tried. Other adults complained that he would never grow strong if they didn't make me work, despite his strength being eternally stagnant. Only Gemma truly was a kind friend, letting them do non physical work together.

"Oh? How unfortunate..." Mordegon mentally knew that if he kept pressing it, he would seem desperate. "At least you may make yourself at home here in Heliodor." Mordegon figured that luring him in with kindness would be the best approach after hearing that. The closer he becomes, the easier it will be to take it all away.

"Thank you, King Carnelian." That was all he could really say. It brought him joy that the king was being so kind to him at such a time, but he did not have the strength to really express that happiness beyond a weak smile. The king could see that though.

"Say now, you are more then welcome to stay in a guest bedroom here in the castle, dear Luminary?"

"I feel you've already given me quite enough, your majesty... Heliodor on its own has given me the warmest of welcomes." Practically since his arrival he was stuffed to the brim with childlike wonder. The city was like a dream nearly. "...But if you truly insist on fostering me here, I'm more then happy to accept." He felt he could have an easier time getting to know how things work from the top. It would certainly be an experience. He didn't want to go into the rest of the world completely blind now. 

"Excellent! I shall have the maids prepare you a room on the second floor. For now, you may go and explore the rest of Heliodor. Come back before night falls Luminary, all should be well."

"Of course your majesty, thank you for everything." He could only give his sincerest smile to the king, bowing as much as he could without falling, and going on his way with his third leg.

Little did he know this would be the beginning of a worse downward spiral into a wicked beasts mouth, having already been at the tip of its tongue