Those who have heard the mystical tales...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Battle of Kawan

In the days before the Bards came together, Badger was a free-spirited girl with the heart and power of a warrior. She learned many skills from her sisters, who had since left to defend the country of Bamah from southern invaders. These sisters, Karli and Kati, were known each for their fighting skill, and together for their many victories in battle. It was for this reason that a visitor came to Badger and her Mama Sinkus's home.
"Is this the home of Kati and Karli, the fearless warriors?"
"Yeah, why?" replied Badger.
"I have a job that I need help with, and I've been told they're the best."
"For one, they're kinda, you know, defending our lives. For two, I can do anything they can."
The stranger thought for a moment, smiled, and relented.
"I need someone... destroyed."

It was local legend that a dangerous being, Kawan, the Dark One, roamed the southeast region of Bamah. He was a deadly fighter, whose only reason for leaving King Carl and the Baman army was a feud between the two. By fear alone, Kawan held control of the people in the area. No one crossed him, and those that did were displayed for all to see.

The mysterious visitor made it obvious that Kawan was the target and that the best price would be paid to the best challenger. Mama Sinkus was asleep, but Badger thought up a good plan to keep her from worry. She agreed to the terms of the deal, and the visitor left.
When Mama Sinkus did rise, Badger told her that she would be traveling to Fort Ni Aps, to visit her sisters. It would be a week's stay, but the war could affect the amount of time she stayed. Badger left the next day.
She journeyed to a small village on the lower end of the Bamah River. It was bustling; the market town was small, but well populated. A man named Robert met her at the gate.
"Could you help me?" Badger asked
"I hope so. This whole dale, this valley, is mine."
"Where is the one they call Kawan?"
The man stopped. He spoke something about the rain and night, and hurried Badger inside.
"The Dark One is in this town. He is feared and fears none. He knows everything and has spies, everywhere. Look for him in the dark grey hut at the far end of the dale. For tonight, though, stay here. My wife and I'll do all we can for you."
Badger stayed the night at Robert's home. His son and daughter accompanied him in beautiful music that evening, and Badger learned to sing many songs that night.

The next morning, Badger woke up. She heard no noises from throughout the house. She ventured from room to room, but found no one. Packing her things, she prepared to leave. When she opened the door, she entered the deserted street. She started to the dale, when a voice froze her in her steps.
"So you're just going to leave like that? Fine? Don't say goodbye."
She turned around. Facing her was a dark-skinned war hero in full armor, which was as dark as he. He looked up from his polished gauntlets to her, and smiled.
"Oh, ok. I see how it is. Hi Badger, I'm Kawan. Or, the Dark One. Or, Robert. I do own the valley, though. The family is mine, too."
Badger looked on in fear and silent confusion.
"I told you I know about everything. I know about the hit on me, I know about your sisters, and I know how you think. I won't kill you; no, I'll let you go. If you can outrun the dragon. See, I don't hold the people in fear. Well, I do, but more so because of that thing." As he pointed, a dark shadow darted across the sky. A dragon made its way towards the two warriors.
"No, I actually need your help. No one stayed around here, except you."
"I sleep late."
"Oh, she talks? I see. Now, if you'll kindly draw your sword and draw that beast's attention, I'll see that it hurts no one, except maybe you."
Badger had no choice but to oblige. She drew her bow, though, and prepared to plaster the beast with arrows.

Her first fight. Nerves screamed, and she shook like a windswept tree. She took a deep breath, rethought her entire life, closed her eyes, and let go of the arrow. When she opened her eyes, she saw the dragon reeling in pain. A wooden shaft stuck out of its left eye. Kawan marched up to the dragon with the swagger of an undefeated champion, and removed the head of the beast in a heroic sweep.
Badger approached the dark warrior and his slain prey.
"Hmmph. That works."
"Did it? I--"
Kawan suddenly snapped.
"Listen. You get outta here. Go back to where you came from. We will end this, another day. I will find you, and we will settle our score. You want me dead?"
"Someone does."
"Tell them that you're delayed. I'm out of the country, and you're waiting to strike. I have more important fish to cook right now. Go. Go!"
Badger backed away, watching the crazed adversary look over the fallen beast. She turned to run, but stopped. Looking back, she saw the carcass of the beast, but no sign of the dark warrior.

Before she actually returned to her home, Badger visited Kati and Karli at Fort Ni Aps. While not completely out of the way, it would provide truth to her story. Karli saw her and ran up to her.
"Are you ok? I heard you fought... Kawan."
"What? How did you hear that?" Badger replied.
"Because someone sent a messenger to me asking us to fight Kawan. I sent him to you."
"Wait... who was it?"
"I, uh, don't know."
"Well gee thanks." Badger replied; she began to leave. Karli thought for a moment.
"Badger!" She called.
"The messenger was... Qabel, the king's new deputy. He runs errands for King Carl, does things for him."
Badger never forgot those words, but she never understood them, either. She made it home safely, but she never heard from Kawan again.