The Callindra Chronicles Book 2: The Rise of Evil – Chapter 50

Callindra was awakened from her half slumber by a familiar sound; the jingling of her Mithril chain and sat up, suddenly fully awake and confused as to how she had forgotten. The curtain parted and Beliach stood there, holding a strange looking blade in his hands.

It was nearly five feet long from blade tip to pommel, perfectly straight and double edged whereas the Brightfang she knew had been single edged with a graceful curve. The tip of the blade was split, making the end into two razor sharp points. The steel was jet black, a flat color that light seemed to fall into and silver fire was fading gradually from an intricate set of runes that were scribed on the blade. This sword looked heavier and less refined than the delicate whisper of steel she was used to. Even the hilt was different; instead of a simple wire wrapping it was covered with intricately laced leather that seemed to have come from several different animals. Only the pommel remained the same.

Callindra approached and reached for the sword, hands trembling. Beliach slid the cuff back over her wrist and watched it shrink down to exactly the right size. It felt good to have it back on, but even the cuff had been changed. The one on her left wrist was tarnished and pitted in some spots where the original magic it contained had been forced out. A foot of chain still hung from it, she was unable to remove the cuff or the chain. The other now resembled a bracelet, it was delicately carved with twining vines being blown by strong winds.

She looked at her left wrist and then her right, “This is a reminder of what was. This is the promise of what will come. I will re-forge myself even as my weapon has been re-forged.”

The new blade was light and flexible despite being much larger than Brightfang. She walked out into the forge room and gave it an experimental swing; the balance was flawless. As it passed through the air the strange forked tip made a dangerous whistling sound. Callindra ran her hand down the polished blade and transformed a touch of Weave into a blast of wind that caused the forge fire to flare up. Once the spell was released she could hear the blade hum like a tuning fork.

“He sings!” She gave Bleach a smile.

“You are going to need to re-learn your Stances.” He was pointing to her right forearm which was bleeding from a deep cut. “This blade has two edges and they’re both sharp enough to shave with.”

“Sister, let’s spar so you can test out your new blade.” Cronos was hefting a bastard sword from Beliach’s huge rack of weapons, “You don’t mind if I use this do you?” The smith grunted and stumped back through the curtain to get himself a drink.

The siblings squared off and Callindra took the defensive Stance ‘Patient Avalanche’ and when Cronos began his attack she brought her blade circling around his ‘Cyclone Serpent’, attempting to wrench his sword away. Although he had anticipated this attack and jumped a quick half step backwards the chain attached to her wrist snaked out to wrap around the crosstrees of his sword. With a rapid motion Callindra pulled the loops tight and stepped down on the end of the chain, tearing the sword from his hand at the same time she brought the twin tips of her new blade to within a hair’s breadth of his chest.

“Pretty good chain work sis, but you really need to remember that you don’t have a flat edge anymore.” Once again she had managed to slice herself on the wicked edge that she was used to being blunted.

“Damn. This thing’s so sharp I didn’t even feel it.” She sighed, “This is going to take some getting used to. I can barely feel him at all. This isn’t Brightfang anymore I’m afraid, that Bond is gone forever.”

“I thought the Bond was permanent.” His brow furrowed, “Are you going to be OK?”

“Don’t worry, I won’t slow you down Cronos. Since the core of the power that connects us remains eventually we will become one body again. I just have to earn his trust and he has to learn some respect.” She flexed the blade in her hands, feeling the springy strength he contained and managed to cut herself yet again. “Ouch. See what I mean? No respect at all.”

“Well you’re certainly in a good mood all things considered.”

Callindra turned and fixed him with a rare bright eyed smile. “He said WHEN Cronos. WHEN I rescue Glarian, not IF.” Her eyes narrowed, “I will master and name this blade, then that bastard Dergeras had better be ready because I’m coming for him.”

“You wish to learn to fight?” Corrine Skystriker asked, leaning on his axe.

“No.  I do be wishing to show you how to fight.” Durrak replied.

“I am a disciple of Hammersmith Style.  What could you possibly show me?”

“I do be Durrak son of Storgar.  I will be showing you how to feel pain.”

Corrine threw back his head and laughed, “I’ve heard of you.  They say you’ve been going to every school on the range, challenging every master you come across.”

“That do be correct.” Durrak said, folding his arms across his chest. “Do you be hearing about the results of those challenges?”

The laughter cut short, “I’ve heard rumors.” Corrine said, fixing him with a skeptical but wary eye.

“They do be true.  Not one of those self-proclaimed ‘masters’ did be able to stand against me.”  He said with a feral smile, “You do be thinking you will fare better?”

“Corrine, is there a problem?” An ancient dwarf tottered out of the building, leaning on a shepherd’s crook. “Who is this gentleman?”

“Mistress Caverstorm, please.  I apologize for the disturbance, please go back to your tea.”

“But Corrine dear, who is this youngster?  A friend of yours?” She asked, looking askance at Durrak with a sly smile on her face.

“Please Mistress, go back inside.  I’ll take care of this.”  Corrine said, concern in his voice.

“Take care of it?” She asked, “What needs taking care of?”

“I do be here to defeat the master of the school mistress Caverstorm.” Durrak said, “No do be worrying, I be done shortly.”

“The master of the school?” She said, gesturing to a nearby bench. “Well then.  Corrine dear, why don’t you go sit down.”

“But Mistress-” He began.

“NOW!” she snapped, turning to point her crook at Durrak, “I am the master of this school.  I am The Master of the Drakranda style.”

“Drakranda? You do be the master of forge tongs?”  He asked with a chuckle.

“Yes.” She said and attacked without warning.  Her staff swung out, covering the ten feet between them in a blur and catching him behind the left ankle.  A swift tug was all it took to knock him flat on his back.  Before he could sit up, the end of her staff was at his throat.

“You did attack without the speaking of a challenge.”  Durrak said, anger heating his voice.

“If you expect your enemies to give you that courtesy you are a fool.”  She removed her staff from his neck and turned to walk back inside the building.  “You are welcome to come and learn here if you wish.  However, you should know we teach two styles here.  I am undisputed master of Drakranda and my counterpart teaches Korda.  Here you shall learn to be the tongs and the hammer.  Here we forge the destruction of our enemies.”

He watched her go and a smile began to creep across his face.  Durrak rose and strode into the building without even giving Corrine a second glance.

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