Bellerverse story draft.


You would think, after years of walking the flats, that you could move around with more in your step than a loose trudge, but alas, Lancer found finally blearily pulling his feet across the ground just the same as if he were a child from the cities.

He gazed at the sun, and contained a sneeze. Only three hours left of daylight. He would've sighed, had he the power.

He trudged lazily on.

People parted like the sea for a holy man, and he was compelled to carry himself with a bit more purpose. His image was everything.

Lancer placed his namesake pole in front of him and motioned his desired path, and watched as the people moved from his path again, but never left. He signed inwardly, the set about marching to the merchant of this place.

The merchant of course welcomed him with open arms, he'd visited before and gave the merchant a good deal, but that was merely to assure this, more valuable transaction, would be favorable to him.

"Come in fair knight of the sand, come in my friend!" The merchant greeted animatedly. Lancer responded with an outstretched hand, which was taken in a hearty handshake.
"What can this old lump of meat do for you?" The man's name was Iksander, and had originally come from a tribal village out west, but he'd kill if you so much as knew where they lived.

Lancer pulled his bag off and set about laying the valuable contents on the shops counter. Most of what he set down was mostly mundane, bars of metal, precious gemstones, a collection of taken daggers, but there was one item in particular Iksander focused on.

"Where did you get this?" he asked, gesturing at the glittering piece of bent metal. Old world metal always lasted the longest.

Lancer gestured west with his spear, twisted it four times, then north and twisted once.

"Four thousand steps eh?" Iksander scoffed. "No wonder you came in looking like you were about to meet Abirt" he again inspected the strange object. "It says something, you read?"

Lancer nodded, then with his weapon, pointed at the first letter of writing, then directly up. An unmistakable claim.

"This isn't the first time someone's come to me claiming to have an artifact of Geyre. You are an honest man Lancer, but what do you say to defend your claim?"

Lancer calmly gestured at the name again. It read 'Gears'.

"Anyone can recognise the names of the gods, and I'm not seeing it." Iksander scoffed.

Lancer motioned the path of the sun, time, and then over his shoulder, past. Forgotten.

Iksander stared for a long while at the object, weighing it, assessing it, before finally placing it back on the counter and wiping the sweat from his brow.

"Why you do this Lancer?" he asked, exasperated, pulling out a small box. "You're either the luckiest man alive, or a damn good liar." he opened the box, revealing a wealth in shimmering coin. Iksander divided it into three, then pushed one sizable stack towards Lancer. "I'll take the lot, and get out before I change my mind."

Lancer looked at the pile pointedly.

"Fine, fine, just don't expect me to be so good to you on our next meet." the shopkeep grumbled, tossing a few more shining pennies across the table. Lancer smiled, collected his fortune, and waved the man goodbye.

Once more people cleared the path of Lancer, but they never out of respect for the warrior he had become, but for the curses that made him become it. His skin, darker than most, was pockmarked with various pure-black runes, curses laid on him by the gods, by beast and by man. More curses were strewn over his body than the rest of the world before the sea, and so he had grown stronger. A curse over his lips kept him from speaking, he learnt to speak through his weapon. A curse over his hand stopped him handling a sword, he built his into a spear. A curse across his chest kept him from living, and so he lived a life that many would see as not worth living. He had once born a different name from Lancer, but through his actions, he kept that name lost, for if any of the curses should know his origin, he would have none. And so he built up his name again through his spear. A lesser man would have been killed long ago, but Lancer was more stubborn than a lesser man. Some called him son of Drakgin, or of Kalef, but he refuted all those claims, for to acknowledge the, would be to kill a god.

Still, for Lancer life wasn't too bad, he had more than his fair share of adventure, and he could talk the clothes off a beggar. He made more than enough money to survive, and soon near enough to start buying off his curses. He'd start with the one on his hand, he thought, it made his life near-impossible. He had a pretty good campsite nearby to the city, where he had stored away the thirty-odd identical strips of bent metal. He could forge himself a new pole-arm, or a halberd. It had been a long while since he had held a good halberd. Perhaps he could go to the next city, and pull the same scheme, but he knew not one of the merchants there, and would likely be unable to ascertain the favored god of one in a short space of time.

Most of his livelihood came from such schemes, and he was fairly good at making up good alternative names for the gods, he'd once managed to convince a devout theologian that his own god, Drakgin, had once simply been named 'God of Dragons' in the time of the first king. He smiled at his own fortune, a pleasure permitted to him by his curses, and watched people spread from his path. The gates were already closed for the night, he'd arrived late to the city, but for him the guards raised it anew.

A young boy was outside the gates, and rushed to try and get in, but the guards stopped him. With a flourish of his weapon, Lancer moved back the guards, and drew the boy within the gate, even as he himself left. No sense they both be trapped outside tonight he reasoned, and with a look of receding fear and growing awe, the boy bowed and ran into the depths of the city. In spite of the fear most felt for Lancer's curses, they accepted the boy into the ranks of onlookers, and returned to him the look of awe he himself had given to Lancer.

Lancer turned back to the dry cracked earth before him, and moved out into the depths of the desert as the gates finally closed behind him. Being the 'Knight of sand' would be a godsend, Lancer thought, as it would mean that he wouldn't have to walk these baked plains again.

And with that thought, Lancer left the city of Lita's Pride.