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I don’t believe in magic, either.

  • As quoted in “Success of Harry Potter bowls author over” at CNN.com (21 October 1999)


In his darker days, Norman Daegoln had served as a mystery knight in the Imperial army. This is where at the age of thirteen he had participated at the battle of the Five Armies, where Arius’s forces had decisively defeated Theodius Oursifer. This had sparked the beginning of the end of the short-lived Oursifer Dynasty. Theodius still lived and he was no emperor. He was a burnt man in a red armour who led an army of bandits and murderers, the Iron Company, and dreamt of carnage, bringing an end to Arius’s rule, and Norman Daegoln couldn’t blame him.

The Free Companies were the legacy of the kings’ folly, one that lasted during a century of wars, dark marquises and failed crusades.

Convinced that Borothar couldn’t match a Free Companion, Norman Daegoln focused on his belly and his eyes turned red. He entered the wench’s mind again, and exalted her stress. She would be haunted by her demons while fighting Borothar, which should be sufficient.

Standing, he put his gloved hand on the pommel of his rapier. Sculpted, the pommel was tangled with golden wings – sign of the Griffincliff style of swordsmanship – and Norman’s “Golden Eye” – which had nothing golden – grew red. There was a reason why he preferred the medium of performance rather of war like Dantena van Torquaz and Richard Frates. War was ugly and his skills in particular were hideous. They who worshiped or feared him didn’t know the price he – and only he –  could have paid to achieve supreme prowess.

Cling! His rapier was ready. He faced the corridor, standing before his squire. He had turned his body in a fake guard, using his left hand. His red eyes glowing frightened the wench in particular, but the fair lady who led the enemy party didn’t shiver. Quite the contrary, she seemed to have strengthen her resolve to battle.

Approaching, Norman ignored Borothar’s voice.

“Yield!” He was negotiating the Free Companions’ surrender.

He had no clue.

Norman Daegoln, one who had ended the line of demonlords – the Al-Kruls themselves – and secured the throne of Arius the Great, lunged forward. His Golden Seen had seen a breach in the lady’s guard through the labyrinth of time and probability and prepared to jab her in the forehead. For what would be a clean and painless death.

But Borothar charged right before him.


Borothar wanted to show his Eldarnei the power of initiative, still angered that they could have been discovered. His broadsword performed a circle before clashing with the wench’s axe, blocking with dexterity. Her eyes carried a furious agony, if she were plunged into a nightmare. She doesn’t want to fight… She is a kind soul… As their blades disengaged, Borothar saw that the old man had stopped moving. She had killed that old bandit to escape her life of misery. Lost in the trance of probabilities, Borothar noticed her rich necklace. It didn’t fit his interpretation of her. She leaned forward, mocking and inviting him to fight, cursing atrocious words, very mean words.

Borothar stepped backwards quickly as she jumped forward. As she did, he caught her eyes, full of rage, shutting suddenly in oblivion. A blade had pierced her from an ear to the other, a squish had echoed and a piece of her flesh had fallen to the ground. Borothar gasped as his eyes followed the blade to the griffin pommel and… master Daegoln, who redrew his sword. He had blasted away a chicken and killed the wench with great precision. If was sure impressive, but Borothar felt somewhat resentful. He had imagined the murder of a girl a villainy not a knightly deed.

His master had already removed the blade and the girl laid already motionless on the ground when he jabbed at the last remaining member of the three. She ducked fast and opened her palms. Between them, vapor rose and from it sparked lightning. The same spell that defeated the chicken. The lightning raced towards Eldarnei who simply stepped on the side, dodging it. Yes, it was fast and graceful but Borothar had excepted a magical shield at the very least. His master rushed after her, but from the pound below, vapor arose. Golden Eye Daegoln stopped at looked on the side. From the smoke rising, a tormented voice echoed. Borothar concentrated into the smoke and he saw a face, and two, and other dozen. All green faces of deadmen and women, people who had their own throat slit and who had the face of the drowned. Their cry echoed and Borothar understood their pain. As if they had died in this pound and sorcery had made their suffering alive. He screamed as he saw their horror, as he felt their dread as the knife had slit their throats and the world had grown darker, darker as they drowned, dropped into a burning pound of water in a cave. He felt it. All of it. No Kyai breathing could make him forget that.


She is good, Norman acknowledged. She had opened her magical mind quickly and from it she had allowed the Fog to emerge. From the pound below irradiated a pure energy, pure vial. Norman didn’t know about Arks and spectres, but he knew this was a mana lake, and the presence of the Iron Company was a threat. If Theodius had spellcasters such as she and a mana lake, he could do great wrongs to the Rubaron princedom. It wasn’t good.

Therefore, Norman decided it was time to bring an abrupt end to their confrontation. Holding his sword tightly, he pulled vial from his belly and he turned his blade white. Now, the illyrian steel blade carried a burning power and he rushed forward, jabbing the wall of drowned men. All were cast away, sent back in the abyss of torment that they came from, into that malevolent universe from which the Fog, monsters and magic came from.

Facing back at the blonde lady and dark witch, he realized she had vanished… and Borothar laid there, coping with the suffering of a hundred drowned men.


Aveline Flintshire had passed them and now emerged from the cave, gazing at the waves. Water slapped her face, but fleeing the demonslayer was worth evading the ocean’s fury. Norman Daegoln had come for the Iron Company. Could the Empire have found her trace? She thought not. After all, the Dark Lord’s plans were unshakable. Never would they understand the scope of His reach. Never. An arrogant smile painted her angelic face, and she left the demonslayer and his foolish squire to what was hiding down below… Even the great Silvertongue, Golden-eyed Demonslayer Norman had no idea what hideous truths history had laid down the face of the earth, and Aveline Flintshire, the Sinistros, felt lustful when she imagined her gorgeous raven-haired knight torn melting in the burning belly of the toad prince.

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