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Lowenna 1 new begining: chapter 1

A young woman awakes on a beach unsure where she is or what is happening.

This is an alternate and cut down opening chapter with a new intro. Please let me know what you think.

The King of man walked over and stared out of his balcony. It had been the third rough night in a row. The storm, even though it had been so far away had rocked the entire kingdom.

It had been a violent eruption of force and magic, which sent the ground-shaking crashes of thunder over all the land. Nothing like that had ever been recorded or seen since the dawn of the age of man.

The waves had battered the coast, the fury of the winds had shaken the city towers and ice fell from the sky. It had been like Demons had risen from their hellish realms.

Still, the storm had stayed isolated to the coast, just off the Isle of Garock. Where it had appeared, from nowhere.

The king’s Storm-Guards dared not approach the island in fear of their lives. His Oracles had not seen it coming, nor could they tell where it had come from, or how long it would last.

The Church of the White Light had produced doom and destruction. Claiming the Angelous and the Demon-Gods were at war. Ending peace, which had lasted since the beginning of time. 

His mystics and soothsayers had stated it was a convergence of nature and magic, one so powerful it could rip the very planet apart, and some even believed a darkness was returning to walk Orkenza once more. The King had feared for his people almost believing this was the fall of their world.

Whatever had caused this dangerous, unnatural storm, had finally passed. The king would have to wait for reports from the island and the other kingdoms. He paced back and forth, as he worried how his nation had been affected and if the danger was truly over.

He returned to his chamber to hold his wife as he did every morning. Hoping the damage wasn’t beyond repair and that they would never have to endure another storm like that.

The Orcs on the island had detected the storm first, their shamans in tune with the air and the earth. By the second moon, they were convinced it was the end. They all dressed in they battle armour swords, axes, and shields ready facing into the gales, rain, and lightning. Showing the storm they were not afraid of death.

The Elves had detected it next. Noticing a sudden change in nature, followed by a powerful destructive force, which threatened all life. They went deeper into their forest, going into a suspended dream, only the high elves stayed awake to watch and wake the others if any of them survived.

High up in their mountains, The Dwarves had seen the unnatural storm form. They sent signals to all the Dwarven kind on the island, signalling them to hid in their caves. They were not cowards, but they knew if the storm crossed the land, very few would survive. Only the deep, dark caves of the mountains offered the best protection. It was a dark time for the dwarves. Their faith had weakened over the generations. Had the gods sent the storm to punish their lack of faith?

The hydra scouts looked out to sea. They were the closest, and therefore would be the first to feel the storm's might. They took cover and scattered back into the jungles and forests where they have been born. Their simple minds believing the danger would pass, but not knowing what and how many of them would survive.

Humans were not the bravest or the strongest. The Island of Garock was in the kingdom of man. They were afraid. No one had ever seen anything like it. The Islanders recalled their ships and secured the city and settlements. No one was allowed in or out. Some ships were lost, being caught by the sudden appearance of the storm.

It lifted a mighty galleon out of the water and smashed it into kindling. Even the mightiest ships were nothing to the storm. Anything too close to it would be destroyed.

The humans like all the races on the island believed the gods had sent the storm, and their lives could soon be forfeited.

No amount of preparation, hiding, praying or defiance, was going to change the outcome of the storm. As time passed the races all noticed something strange. The storm never reached the island unnaturally staying in one place.

The wind had been fierce, and lighting eliminated the dark sky for three suns and moons but finally the calm had returned. The new sun had risen, and Orkenza had survived. Damaged yes, but survived. All the races on the island slowly returned to their lives.

The Orc's celebrated with a great feast, believing their proud warriors had scared the Gods and forced the storm to stay away.

The Elves were awakened, and they gave thanks to the Angelous and sang hymns to Daleana for protecting them.

The Dwarves returned to their work, now believing the stories of the Angelous and Demon-Gods once more.

The Hydra came out of hiding gathering in small groups returning to their hunting and scavenging ways.

Even the humans got on with their lives, acting like nothing had happened while they cleaned up the mess the gales and rain had caused.

The Storm had been brutal. Most humans would not speak of it fearing the gods would hear and punish them.

As the new sun shone down on the settlements, cities, and villages, one woman knew it was not over. She sensed something was coming. Something that could lay waste to the cities of men and either save the world or cause it to burn. Over the next seasons, life would hang in the balance. This was the birth of a new age, and for a chosen few, life was never going to be the same.

Chapter1 Alone On A Beach

A young woman awoke to the sound of the sea splashing around her. Her head was pounding, and she knew something was wrong. She slowly noticed she was cold, wet and laying face down in the damp sand. The ocean was lapping at her face as the tide flowed slowly in. 

She pushed up with her tired arms, removing herself from the seas mighty grasp. She could taste the salt and grit from the sea.

Slowly she looked around as she tried to stand, only to fall back to the sand, spasms of pain shooting from her leg. 

The young woman sat on the ground for a while, with her eyes closed. “Keep calm,” she whispered, as she slowly she opened her eyes.

She noticed she wasn’t wearing much. Her clothes were shredded and ripped, hanging off her slender body. There were several cuts and scratches on her legs and arms. The worse wound was a sharp finger length chunk of wood, sticking out of her thigh. She grabbed it and pulled, crying as it finally came out.

Blood was now running down her leg. She forced herself to stand and limped into the water washing off the sand and blood, hoping the salty water would clean the deep wound.

As she washed, her hand brushed against something hanging around her neck. It was a dark pink almost red crystal secured by a metal clasp. She held it in her hand, staring at it, thinking, “How beautiful,” her eyes getting lost in the little imperfections. The gemstone was the same length as her middle finger and felt slightly rough ending in a point.

The young woman squeezed it, feeling warmth flow through her. Immediately knowing this was her’s, and it was important.

As hobbled up the beach, the young woman had a good look around. The golden sand seemed to go on forever. There were large rocks weathered by nature and bits of protruding, broken wood and other bits of debris scattered along the coastline.

She looked to the edge of the beach where the sand stopped, and a jungle started. There were enormous trees with large colourful leaves, but beyond that, it looked bleak and uninviting. "That is not the way to go," she thought.

She couldn’t remember how she had arrived on the beach, or where she had been heading. All she could remember was lightning and some horrific kind of storm. Had she been on a ship?

The young woman breathed slowly, trying to take in all the sensations from her surroundings. “What am I going to do now?” she asked herself as she ran her fingers through her long tangled red hair picking a few bits of seaweed and splinters of wood out. This simple action helped calm her, as she gazed up and down the desolate beach.

She had no idea where she was, and she was practically naked. Suddenly panic seized her mind. She couldn’t remember her name, where she came from or any of her people.

“Who am I?” she whispered to herself, not knowing the answer. “Who am I?” she said louder as if someone would answer her, but there was no one she was alone. “Who am I!?” she shouted, but the sound of her voice was unfamiliar. “Who am I?” she whispered once more as a tear ran down her face.

The cold numbness from the sea had passed, causing the wound in her leg throb in pain. She looked around again, hoping for any type of answer, or something useful. She spied some shredded strips of material, on top of a wooden post. "The remains of a flag or small sail," she thought. 

She hobbled over to the post, stretching to grab the pieces of material. She managed to free them with a firm tug, but she overbalanced, and fell back to the sand, her leg screaming in pain. 

The young woman sat on the sand, waiting for the pain to subside. Slowly she stood up and wrapped the pieces of material around her, the largest piece around her waist, making a short skirt, one around her breasts, and the smallest she tied around her leg, making a bandage, covering the bleeding wound.

She breathed slowly, before stumbling over to a rock, sitting down and resting. She stared out to sea, hoping a ship would be on the horizon coming to rescue her, but as the time passed, she realised there was no ship coming. 

She looked at her crystal again. It was the only thing that felt familiar. She spent a few moments staring at it, wishing she could remember something, anything but there was nothing there, nothing at all. 

The sun had continued to rise. The young woman could feel its effect on her unprotected skin. She glanced up and down the beach again. There was a shipwreck far in the distance. “If anyone is looking for me, there is a good place to wait,” she mumbled to herself as she got up, tucking her crystal into her makeshift bra. 

The pain in her leg seemed to have dulled somewhat. Maybe her body was finally adjusting to the pain, or had seeing the wreck and making the decision to go over to it, raised her spirits enough that the pain didn’t bother her as so much? Either way, she felt a little better

As Lowenna limped along, she wiped her brow wishing it wasn’t so hot. She saw that her leg was bleeding again, the bandage turning red. 

“Keep moving,” she whispered, but with every step, the pain was increasing, it wasn’t just her leg, everything seemed to sting and tingle. “Just ignore the pain,” she said out loud, determined she was going to survive.

As she limped towards the wreck, she noticed some personal effects sticking out of the sand. A small statue of a woman with a snake around her wrist, a metal cross, a wooden mask, a skull… the young woman shuddered as she stared at the last item. Sighing she knew there was no proof that this had been someone she had known, or even when they died.

She trundled on hoping for food and water, or at least something useful when she got to the wreck, “Going to keep talking, keep my mind busy, don’t think about what is happening just what you have to do to survive. And don’t go mad,” she added with a giggle, as a chilly gust of wind blue of the sea, cooling her skin momentarily.

It took longer to reach the wreck than she had hoped, “further then it look’s” she said as she looked down at the wound in her leg. The material was half red, as her blood slowly seeped out of the hole the chunk of wood had made.

She rested for only a few moments before searching around the debris of the shipwreck, but it had been more promising when she had set out. There was no food no water, and nothing of use. 

She looked again at the large piece of the shattered ship, which was protruding from the sand. Its jagged edges showed that whatever had happened to the ship, had been violent.

Now that she was closer, she noticed an engraved symbol on the body of the ship. It was of half of a dragon's head with the other half replaced with a shield and one word scratched, below it.

She tilted her head and looked at it as her mind tried to make sense of the letters. “Lowenna," she said as she read the name out loud.

The name echoed in her mind. She knew this name. “Lowenna?” she said again. She opened her eyes to look at the word and symbol again, but they had vanished, leaving no sign they had ever been there.

“What is going on?” she cried out loud. Was the image or the word connected to her? Was someone trying to tell her something?

“Lowenna,” she said for the third time. It obviously meant something. She could feel it. “Am I Lowenna?”

It was unlikely that was her actual name, but she sensed it was important, and a link to her past. “Am I Lowenna?” She asked herself again while she considered taking this name as her own.

The name echoed in her head again, images of fire and the dragon shield symbol, flashing through her mind, “I am Lowenna!” the young woman shouted, taking the name.

Time passed, the sun and shadows moved but the young woman did not. She was determined to stay by the wreck until someone came for her. 

Without warning Lowenna suddenly heard a loud crash, followed by a noise that sounded like a screeching animal. 

Quickly, she looked towards where the sounds had come from, and her heart skipped a beat. Jumping up, she could see five figures heading towards the wreck. 

They were examining the debris and smashing crates, looking for something of value. "I'm saved!" Lowenna whispered to herself hopefully, but sensing something wasn’t right, she slid behind the large piece of wreckage.

The figures walked like men, but they didn't look human. They had tails! The largest one was at least a head taller than the others and was growling at them like it was shouting orders. From what Lowenna could make out, it was wearing bulky armour and had a large axe in its hand that it was using to smash crates that it came across. 

The two smallest creatures seemed to have long capes and carried shoulder bags, and the final two were holding swords and didn't appear to be wearing anything except a loin cloth. Lowenna wondered if they were looking for her, or just looking for anything of value?

One of the creatures, which as they got closer, looked more reptilian than human, started screeching, causing the others to head towards it.

Lowenna looked across the sand to the Jungle. It was only fifty paces to the tree line. She glanced at the creatures once more, making sure they weren’t looking, and then ran as fast her leg would allow, and didn’t stop until she was in the safety of the bushes and trees.

She peered out over the grasses and giant leaves, trying to make out what they had found without being seen. Something had piqued the creatures interest.

It was a man. Lowenna could see the two smaller creatures holding his limp body up by his arms. “Is he still alive?” Lowenna wondered. She got her answer when the largest reptilian grabbed the man by the hair. The large reptilian growled, then the man screamed, followed by a tearing sound as the creature ripped his head from his torso.

In shock, Lowenna covered her mouth, trying not to make a sound. She could see the blood pumping out of the dead man, turning the sand beneath his body dark red. She looked away feeling ill but was relieved they had found him rather than her.

She turned back, watching one of the sword-wielding creatures charged towards the wreck. It stopped where Lowenna had been hiding, just moments ago.

It was looking down at the sand than at the jungle, then down again. “My footprints! The blood from my leg!” The thoughts rushed through her mind as the colour drained from her face. The reptilian creature screeched to the others, and they all started to head towards where she was hiding.

"You have to move!" Lowenna whispered to herself, and she turned into the jungle and began to run as fast as she could.

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Copyright © © 2015 by Robert Stevens All Rights Reserved

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