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D.T - The Frigid Prince: Chapter 1

The story of the Icy prince begins.

The Frigid Prince: Chapter 1

North a few leagues from Galleic Hall, the great castle of the Tarrock family, was a small river stream descending from the northern mountain. The waters in the river were ice cold year round, which is why prince Enaguille loved it so. Whenever he was troubled he would go there, his brothers knew where to find him there easily and pick on him. But during the winters they seldom came, if they wanted to pick on him in there they would need to go into the icy waters and get him.

Today however he sat on the snow covered grass near the river staring out into the lands beyond, white snow blankets covered all the hills beyond him but to him the sight was serene. Numerous footsteps crunching in the snow caught his attention and he rose to his feet, hand on his blade.

It was none other than his elder brothers, Thaemes, Beornid and Angrim. Though Enaguille was a bit taller than them he was far more slender and looked nothing like any of his family. His hair was frosted blue and his skin pale and never seemed to darken shade. His brothers however, all six of them, had skin varying in tanned shades of brown. Some had shaved their head entirely like their father Abaron, others kept it very short.

Their eldest brother Torrith was the only one of them with long hair; it was tousled and dark, like their mother's. Angrim was the fourth son of Abaron and the oldest there at the time so he was the one to speak; he also took the most pleasure in harassing Enaguille. "We knew you'd be here," he said smugly. "And whatcha plannin on doin with that blade, cutting us? Hah as if you could, you're so frail you'd drop it just from hitting a tree."

The others laughed but what Angrim said was only half true. Enaguille may not have the strength they possess or the speed but he was far more durable than any of his brothers and had stamina to burn long after they would tire.

Enaguille removed his hand from his sword and let it go to his side, turning his head from his brothers he wished in quiet that they would just leave him alone. They stepped closer and Angrim continued, "Your birthday is in a fortnight, you know what that means don't you? Means another beating for you, you excited, I figure by now you like them beatins don't ya?"

Enaguille remained silent and kept his head turned from them, afraid to look them in the eye. Angrim grew angry by this and half shouted, "Look at me you little shit!"

He complied and turned his head to face him and Angrim punched him right in the face hard as he could. Enaguille was forced a step back but no more. Hoping for a better result Angrim grew even angrier and then kicked Enaguille in the chest knocking him down into the snow.

His piercing blue eyes illuminated for an instant of rage but immediately faded away as Enaguille got control of his anger. He started to rise up to his feet but Angrim was atop him now and placed a foot on his chest pushing him back down into the snow. "Father want's you home by tomorrow night at the latest. It's about your duel this year on yer name day, this time its going to be different." Angirm leaned closer to Enaguille's face and half whispered, "This year your duel will be to the death. Father is tired of you mocking our family name with your sorcery powers and weak will. Says this time either you prove yourself worthy of the name 'Tarrock' or you be erased from our family line for good."

With that Angrim and his other brothers left, content they tortured Enaguille enough for the time being.

With his brothers gone Enaguille returned to his former position, looking out onto the northern lands of Aladorn and was consumed with the thoughts of recent news. Angrim was many things, cruel among them, but he was not a liar, least not a good one. What he said had to be true, his father finally decided he prove himself once and for all, probably on his mother's wishes.

So consumed in his thoughts he failed to notice the small group that had approached him from behind until one of them spoke up. "Another ass kicking?" the voice asked from behind.

Enaguille gave a small jump, startled by their presence. He turned around to see, Tom, Roward, and Dodmir, they were outcasts just like him and lived in the eastern village a couple leagues away from the mountain river that Enaguille frequently visited. They met on the hottest day of summer many years back where even the northern wind blew hot air. The only place they knew to cool down was that river stream where the water would be chilled no matter what.

The people of Aladorn were not accustomed to hot days, even in the summer time the hills and mountains had a cool breeze to them; but that summer was something different. Most the common people went around naked during those summer days, men and woman, they all stopped caring. Even Enaguille was wearing lighter cloths then he normally did, the cold never bothered him, he could walk stark naked in a winter storm and feel better than ever; but the heat irritated him greatly.

"Nothing I cannot handle," Enaguille said. "I didn't think to see you here until spring."

They were all wrapped up in thick fur cloaks of whatever animal they caught or could afford to wear around them to protect them from the cold. They were low born but neither they nor Enaguille took matter on that sort of position and enjoyed their company as if they all came from the same levels of society. "All these years and we still cannot fathom how you can be so fine in the cold like this," Roward said. "I mean look at you, leather boots, silk robes, and no gloves and you are not even shivering for warmth."

Enaguille was quiet in thought for a short time then said, "Maester Leana says it's all due to my strange magic powers. She says it's a gift from the gods but my family disagrees, say's I'm cursed and a stain on the family legacy. One of the few magic people born in Aladorn and I had to be born into the royal family Tarrock. For generations our family has been the greatest warriors in all of Aladorn, 'it's why we rule' father says." He sighed and solemnly said, sometimes I wonder if I am indeed even their child, they wonder too."

"Well my prince you know we would be here for you any other day, but we were out here to hunt and were chasing a score until it lead us around here and we lost track of it. So unless you can conjure a couple rabbits with that magic of yours we have to keep hunting, lest we starve."

A silver coin then flipped through the air at Roward and he caught it. "Please don't leave," Enaguille pleaded. "That will buy you whatever you need for your next few meals. I could use your company after the news I received."

The three looked at each other then Roward said, "We can stay with you then, but can we keep moving, the cold does affect some of us here."

Enaguille rose to his feet and began walking with his friends, they moved with their backs to the wind.

"Angrim and the others came by today," Enaguille said. "Say's father want's me back at the castle within a fortnight; it's about my sixteenth name day."

"Who are you supposed to be dueling this time?" Tom asked concerned.

"I don't know, but Angrim say's this year it's to the death. Say's father either wants me to prove myself this time or wash away the stain upon our family legacy."

"And you believe Angrim? He's not exactly been kind to you in the past, this might be a new torture he has for you."

"Angrim is many things cruel, but lying he was never good at; too stupid to be I think. Anyways yeah I guess I saw this coming, I'm the only son to have lost all his name day duels. Even Thaemes managed to win his duel by fifteen, I think it's also because I'm not like them that father is pushing this. I don't know if he believes in me or just wants to get rid of me."

"What did your father normally say to you after you lost your duels?" Roward asked.

"Called me weak and beat me," Enaguille said.

"And what about your mom?" Tom asked.

"She just beat me harder, managed to break a bone or two one year."

"You think it has something to do with that Dark Tower that sprouted up in Evercain few weeks ago?"

They all turned their heads to the east to stare at the mysterious tower beyond their lands. Many speculated that the tower is the Evercain's new defense. Others say it's a dark omen of a great storm to come and consume the lands and all of Grimnar. Enaguille never gave it much thought; it was very peculiar, at first, but quickly became a distraction he couldn't afford in his life. He had to worry about his next coming duel to prove himself a man when he has not improved much with his weapon skills or hand to hand. And now he finds out this duel may be his last if he cannot find a way to win.

"I don't know, and I don't really care. The fact is that my duel is coming and now it's to the death. So I need to spend what little time I have left preparing for it, with any luck my father has selected someone who isn't a renowned warrior... or a soldier." He let out a somber sigh and said, "The gods hate me, I cannot fight with swords, axes, or even my fists. I wasted enough time here I need to go home and prepare myself."

They bid farewell and turned opposite ways to go home. All except Dodmir, the quiet one of the group, who had chased after Enaguille for a final word. He spoke in a low tone but loud enough to be heard easy enough from the short distance. "You may not have the same speed or strength as your family, but you do have your own power. And when it's live or die it matters not how you win, it's the fact that you do. Honor serves only those with the shorter life spans my prince."

With that Dodmir was off, his strange cryptic message forcing Enaguille to think from a different perspective.

Galleic Hall, the royal Tarrock family castle; built into the base side of the small mountains. Though over the many generations the mountain has crumbled away, disappearing back into the Dorgal kingdom, the castle still remains. As legend has it the castle will stand until the end of the Tarrock family line when the last great 'Iron Warrior' falls, so too will the castle of their forefathers.

Galleic Hall was built into three main levels of castle, each ascended by only one large stairway with many sublevels in them; each level had its own great dining hall. The first level was built on the ground; it serves as the main defense and only entrance into the castle. The main castle guards are stationed on the first level, sleeping barracks and training grounds. The second level is where a majority of the servants sleeping quarters are and many other of the castles functioning utilities such as the main kitchen or blacksmiths armory.

The third and final main level of the castle is home to the royal family chambers, the throne room, and most important to king Abaron the primary dueling grounds. For generations the Tarrock family has proven their might as either young soldiers on the battlefields, or if there is no war for their time, they prove themselves as men to the mighty war gods in the third level dueling grounds.

The grounds themselves are located as separate floor one-hundred feet in diameter above the third level of the castle. It's carved mostly into the mountain side but the ground is flat and the weather has total access to it. Many generations ago the duels up in there would always be to the death to simulate a real life battle. But as time went on the Tarrocks abandoned that ancient rule, given that they would either lose one of their own blood, clearly not ready for battle, or they would lose a great warrior whom they would need for war.

Knowing all this Enaguille was still somewhat surprised when his father wanted to meet with him out on the dueling grounds to discuss his sixteenth name day duel.

King Abaron was a massive and brooding figure to Enaguille; he looked up to his father, admired him greatly, and feared him just as much. His head was shaven completely and his dark brown skin remained the same shade of color year round, no matter how much or how little he was outside in the sun. Abaron was a very powerful man, his fists hit as hard as hammer and he stood above most men.

The two stood outside on the primary dueling grounds with just them out there. "I assume you have heard by now the circumstances around your sixteenth name day duel this year?" Abaron asked.

Enaguille always had a hard time looking into his father's eyes, the yellow gleam in them was frightful to everyone; but he did not turn his head away from him either; he felt it was too disrespectful. "Yes father, Angrim told me a few days ago," Enaguille said.

Abaron nodded and said, "I wish it had not been this way for you, I sense you have a power of your own that will take more time to mature and bloom then your brothers, but your mom insisted it so. And at the end of the day she is right, no Tarrock has ever lost a duel past his sixteenth name day. Most our family would have earned their first victory by fifteen at the latest, whether it be single combat or in a full battlefield."

Enaguille looked down at his feet, disappointed with himself. His father placed both his hands on his shoulders and he looked back up. "You make me proud to call you my son this coming week, right boy?"

He hesitated to answer but then spoke up and said, "Yes my king."

Abaron nodded and said, "Aye, soon you will be a man. We'll speak more after your duel, so you spend this time preparing. I already told your brothers no one is to disturb you until after your name day so you won't have to worry about interference. Good luck boy, next time we meet I will be calling you son."

He turned and left Enaguille alone after that. Those words were exactly what he needed to hear, his father believed in him when no one else, did; not even himself.

Enaguille spent the next ten days he had before the duel practicing with a spear. He knew he was too slow to wield any other weapon properly so his best chance was to keep the distance between him and his opponent as great as he could, while still being able to attack.

In those short day's he made little progress with the spear; and on the eleventh day he turned sixteen: it was time for his duel.

On the far edge of the dueling grounds, right in front of the staircase leading out, sat King Abaron, his wife Bethany, and his six other sons. In addition to the many lords and ladies of Aladorn kingdom, those that received the invites at least. Near thirty people that day were watching Enaguille and his duel, the one that would either make him a worthy man of his family name or kill him.

All eyes were on him but the only eyes he cared about were his father's. His father's face showed confidence in Enaguille and he too felt confident. Even if he had to fight without honor, or go tooth and nails with his opponent he would do it, and he would win. He was armed with his spear and double layered leather armor; he needed as little additional weight as he could get in order for his strategy to work.

The crowd began to part out of the way for his coming challenger, his father had not said who it was but he knew he would find someone who would give him as equal match as possible. Out of the crowd emerged a moderate sized bulky man, with black hair pulled back tight and braided into a tail. His skin was dark, darker than even the Tarrock family, where theirs was closer to shades of brown his was like almost completely black.

Sir Darriec he was called, and he was known as one of Aladorns greatest warriors. Enaguille was in utter shock at his chosen opponent and turned to look at the crowd, and his father. Everyone there was as shocked as him, even his brothers and his father; everyone except his mother Bethany, who wore a smug look on her face. What chance had he against the great Sir Darriec?

Most everyone believed he was going to die that day, for a moment so did he. But as he let out his breath and drew it in steadily calming himself, he began to remember his strategy. Darriec would no doubt underestimate him and if he could get in just one good jab at the man's throat he would win.

Darriec wore no armor either, he was so confident, he only wore a fur coat to protect himself from the frigid cold outside, for the dueling grounds were higher up and there it was always coldest. He wielded a large single sided axe and twirled it around in his hand like it was a stick.

They stood ten yards apart, waiting for the king to give his speech and then shout 'Fight' at the end of it. Abaron rose from his chair and everyone's quiet whispers stopped entirely as he began his speech. "On today the sixteenth name day of my seventh son, Enaguille Tarrock, we have gathered to witness his ascension from a boy to a man. Today being a special day I have brought back the old tradition of the name day duel where it to be a battle to the death.

"And so in the sights of the three War gods and the great men and woman of Aladorn I say let the best man win. And prove to the gods they are a true warrior." He hesitated an instant before shouting the final word. "Fight!"

Darriec twirled his axe a few more times in his right hand and slowly began walking in a round arc around Enaguille; with each step gradually coming closer to him. Enaguille moved with him, keeping his spear aimed at his opponent's torso but not too high to give away his intended target.

They kept up in this motion of movement in a full circle until Darriec was within Enaguille's range. He thrust the spear at Darriec's heart, the knight turned sideways to avoid it. As he turned Enaguille suddenly snapped the spear upwards in a swift and sudden slash movement catching his opponent and the crowd by surprise. They all gasped as the leaf shaped tip of the spear was stopped at Darriec's neck, with a small trinkle of blood flowing down it.

Around the tip of the spear Darriec's hand was grasped tightly, his eyes facing down, wide in disbelieve, his nose flaring as he breathed in and out of it rapidly. Enaguille tried pushing the spear closer and into his throat to finish the job but Darriec had a firm grip on it and it wasn't going to come any closer to him.

He smiled, after catching his breath and calming down, and took a small step back still holding the spear. The cut on his neck flowed a small trinkle of blood but it was not enough to kill him. "Incredible boy," Darriec said. "I will admit this is the closest I have ever come to death, in all my battles. Had it been a lesser man than Darriec Hazrin then that move would have worked, Gods be cruel had I chosen to wear my armor today I would not have been fast enough to catch that and would be dead.

"I see great potential in you and I would love nothing more than to one day challenge you again when you have matured into a finer warrior. But indeed the gods are cruel and this is a battle to the death."

Darriec stepped aside from the tip of the spear and suddenly pulled it towards him, Enaguille was forced to move with it or let go. Darriec raised his axe and with a strong down swing he cut through the wood past his hand and then let it go. The spear tip was lost and the spear now a useless blunt stick, but still Enaguille held it.

Darriec then charged Enaguille and Enaguille suddenly tossed his remaining spear at him. As Darriec swatted it away Enaguille met his charge and tackled him before he could swing his axe down upon him. Enaguille got in a few good punches to Darriec's face before he kicked him off and onto his back.

Quickly he got back to his feet just as Darriec swung his axe at him in diagonal fashion. He tried to evade the attack but wasn't quick enough and Darriec slashed through his armor and cut across his chest. Darriec followed up with a tilted kick into his chest knocking him once more onto his back.

As Darriec advanced, going in for the kill he said, "And now boy you die."

Enaguille's eye's radiated a sapphire glow and he put his hands out in front of him as Darriec raised his axe. "Fuck you!" Enaguille shouted. And out from his hands burst a brilliant stream of blue frost that froze Darriec into a statue of ice instantly. The crowd was amazed and stunned by Enaguille's sudden and frightening attack.

Enaguille got to his feet staring at Darriec's frozen form for a moment then with a strong blow he shattered the former great warrior into dozens of little pieces of frozen meat. He looked over to his father whose face was an array of mixed emotions. Light murmurs soon erupted from everyone in the crowd until Bethany called for the guards to restrain Enaguille.

She ordered him to be locked in the dungeon and he didn't resist, he won, that's all that mattered to him.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © © Jake Pendragon all rights reserved 2015

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