Fan fiction:Bane Hero of the North/Prologue
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Bane Hero of the North is a fan fiction piece by Bane, originally posted on The Dark Library. The fiction series was recovered on April 14th 2010. You can find more information on Bane:Hero of the North article.
A hero is born
“I am not completely sure of Bane’s origins; although from what I have heard from himself and his friends in the north I have been able to compile some written information that will hopefully show people an insight to this man’s life and as a tribute to a man who has spent his whole life protecting others without a mutter of complaint (well what I’ve heard anyhow). I have had the fortune of travelling with this man, even if the circumstances that brought him to my hometown were dire (detailed later in this volume “The Writings of Sanett Volume One”) and my life to be altered forever from the sights we both saw. To Bane, may his soul rest in peace.”
The cold night wind chilled Arran to the bone. He could feel the bite beneath the heavy thick furs he wore which covered his powerful chest. The village looked better laid out in white snow he thought, but the cold winds which blew down the Peaks was almost too much to bear. He clenched his right fist and leaned upon the low fence of an empty paddock. Snow fell lightly to the ground. Arran was a tall man, standing at almost seven feet tall, with shoulders wider than that of an oak trees trunk. His gaze went back to the small hut besides the paddock where the screams were coming from. He shook his head and looked to his companion.
Galdaran was a much smaller man than Arran, almost a clear foot shorter, but his wide shoulders and muscular arms proved to others he was not to be taken lightly. Arran looked into his friend’s eyes and felt a hand press against his shoulder.
“She will be fine Arran, Erin is a strong lass.” Arran gave a small smile but he knew the truth. His wife was going to die, as the druid had said earlier and would not see her child. In frustration he hit the fence, shaking off most of the snow.
Galdaran lowered his head; he hadn’t seen Arran like this for some years. It saddened him to think of Erin’s death, for he knew it would happen. But what effect would it have on his friend. Arran was the village’s hero, its champion, and he would always smile and laugh through the hardest of times. Another wail came from within the hut forcing the pair to both look in its direction.
“Do you know what she has intended the name of the child to be?” Arran raised himself to rest his back against the fence.
“It will be Tae if it is to be a girl and Bane if it be a boy.”
“Fine names.” Arran nodded his agreement.
“Aye, they are but I believe the child to be a boy.” Arran raised his head towards the night sky. Stars sprinkled its surface. He gave a cough and sent up a prayer. Galdaran shifted uneasily and clapped the taller man on the animal hide roughly on his chest.
“I am sure everything will turn out for the best, as for me my friend, I am off to sleep after I down some proper ale.” The comment made Arran smile but it quickly vanished. He gave a nod and the smaller man walked away.
The wind blew slightly more coldly as Galdaran disappeared behind another small hut. Crossing his arms Arran thought back to the summer when Erin had told him she wanted children. Well you got one Erin, you got one. He scratched an itch that had been irritating him for some time behind his neck, and brushed his long brown hair back, knocking off the falling snow. From a small pack tied around his thick waist he pulled out a simple red cap, which he placed over his head.
Not many people were out at the moment, and those who were, were tending their herds. That is what I should be doing now he thought as he tried to ignore Erin’s cries of pain. How was the old bull Dragg getting on in this weather? He had left his herd in the protection and care of Tay, and his sons the morning before winter, after leading them away from the grazing fields to Tay’s house and crop farm twelve miles east of Flay Corns.
He winced as a sudden pain rendered his right arm almost useless. The cold had gotten to his wound he thought as he rubbed at the spot with his left hand. Damn that Vor spearman and his horse! Why did they have t constantly hassle the Kamidian’s?
“Arran!” Turning to the voice of the one of the midwives, Arran started towards the hut. He looked at the girl as he passed, a young woman who he believed was to be wed to the oldest son of Tay. Her name was Winowa and she was a pretty girl, with long curling blonde hair that reached her shoulders and large blues eyes, which were at current filled with tears. He placed his large hand onto her shoulder and gave a smile.
“I know child, there was little we could do for her.” She began to weep and Arran took her into an embrace. “I have to see the baby now, run along home and sleep.” Winowa nodded, wiped away her tears and ran off almost slipping, towards the direction of her home.
Arran closed his eyes as he heard the wailing of the child from inside, and could feel his heart beat faster. He opened the door slowly at first and when he saw the druid holding the babe in his hands his heart began to calm, but tears flowed from his eyes as he looked towards Erin. She was still alive even after the prediction and was smiling if a bit pale.
“Quickly now Arran, what is the name of the child, it is a boy.” The druids white flailing beard was wrapped up into a tidy bundle so not to irritate the child, and his brown robes were crusted with blood. The druid held out the boy, who was wrapped in a white cloth and told Arran to call out the name of the child. He looked into the boy’s eyes and noticed the colour dilution of the iris; his eyes were a light red.
“Bane.” He cried out, and as he did the druid held out a small bottle that he proceeded to pour over the head of Bane.
“Call it again.” The druids voice was calm but held authority. Arran called out again, louder this time.
“Bane.” Lightning flashed outside, and thunder roared in the sky.
- - -
It was a bright cool morning, and Arran had spent most of it riding around the hills of his land. His giant chestnut steed stooped low to graze.
“That’s right girl, when you get back I will feed you the finest grain in all the land.” He patted the horse’s flanks and turned to look down to Dasht-e Tul, otherwise known to many as Flay Corns, his village, his home.
He dismounted and took the horse by its rains. From the mound he stood on he could see the whole village, all sixty-three houses of the Kamidian’s and its neighbour village Craylim separated by the great Lake Kavir. He could see the vast hills used for grazing and crops and the mountains beyond them. The blacksmith was piling out smoke through its large stone chimney that was blowing north in the light and gentle wind. Surrounding the village and the hills were giant mountains, mountains that made up the familiar barbarian homeland.
As he led the horse down the slope he was greeted by a group of small boys, led by a fierce-eyed warrior with black hair. They wore pots for helms and carried sticks as weapons.
“Halt!” Cried out the small leader. With a smile on his face Arran threw up his large arms as if he was surrendering.
“You have me at your mercy little warriors.” The group of ‘warriors’ that numbered five in total started whooping and shouting their joy.
“We beat him Bane, and was easy like you said.” The speaker was the smallest of the group, with light brown hair and a large smile. The comment also made Arran look at Bane, who stopped laughing.
“Easy Tuku, I told you!” Bane said with a smile.
“Easy ‘ey boy.” Quickly rushing forward Arran scooped up Bane and started to twirl him around in the air. The boy started to laugh and cry out as if he was beaten.
“Have you had enough little warrior. I thought I was easy prey.” Bane squirmed out of the big mans grip and hit the grass hard. One of the other boys started to laugh.
Within a flash and before Arran knew what happened Bane had rolled up and landing a punch square into the face of the laughing boy. Sayed fell back, his nose broken. Sayed’s older brother Osto, the same age as Bane swung a punch at the wild-eyed boy, who ducked the blow to land a punch into the boys belly, finishing off with a right hook into the boys jaw, spinning him around. Bane stepped back only to feel the force of Arran’s palm as the big man clipped him with a slap to the back of the head.
Osto and Sayed ran off back down the hill followed by the small boy Tukuram while Arran helped the sprawled form of Bane to his feet.
“I don’t know how you do it boy. Why are you always getting into trouble?” Bane shook his head and looked angry.
“Sayed laughed at me.” Arran smiled and patted the boy gently on top of his head.
“They were some pretty good punches boy.” Bane laughed and through a hug around Arran.
“I know. Can I go hunting with you tomorrow?” Arran smiled and looked at his son. He had never felt so much pride since the day Bane could walk and talk.
“Run along now boy, I think Tuku is waiting for you!” Arran turned Bane round so that he could see his friend, who stood at the bottom of the hill. Bane struggled free of his fathers grip and rushed off down the hill to join his friend.
Arran smiled and watched Bane bounce down the hill, it had been a quick seven years he thought as he remembered the day he son had been born, a quick but joyous seven years.
- - -
Bane hopped alongside his father, his hand gripping the knife Arran had given him earlier during the day, a weapon that still remained sheathed. He was excited; at the age of ten years old he was out hunting, the first out of all his friends! And his father had given him a weapon to kill animals with. He had never been so happy. But that was hours ago now, and they had been wondering through the dark for what seemed like an age, now he was bored, he had not imagined hunting to be so dull.
Bane looked up at the night sky, through the branches of the trees and could make out the stars. Arran stopped and looked up at what Bane was staring at.
“When you hunt Bane, the stars should be remembered, so that you can find your path home.” Bane nodded and studied them in greater detailing, picking out formations that he thought he might remember. Arran continued. “The stars are not the only thing you should pay attention to,” his father paused and looked around at the dark thick forest that found its home on the mountains. “You must keep your senses open to your surroundings, sight, sound and smell are the best ways to track our prey.” Bane nodded and looked rather confused.
“Shouldn’t we be using our hands?” Arran chuckled quietly and patted Bane on his head.
“It would take to long to teach you today, if we whisper we should do okay.” Bane nodded. Arran walked forward and crouch gesturing Bane to stand besides him.
“Tracks, fresh too!” Arran said, noticing the change of expression on his sons face. Bane looked excited.
“What kind of tracks?” he asked swinging his knife about in the air, he had become happy again now that they were doing something. Arran was glad the boy had not taken the blade out of the sheath.
“Deer, from what I can tell.” Bane watched his father trace round the print with his finger. “They went this way not long ago now.” Arran stood and looked at his son.
“Are we going to hunt something now?” With a smile Arran nodded and raised his bow forwards, notching an arrow to it ready for release.
It had become dark, incredibly dark, more so than usual even with his people’s natural ability to see well in the dark. Arran was worried; something unnatural was on the wind and he hated magic with a passion.
He looked down at Bane and notice the lad had wrapped himself up to stop the chill of the night getting at him. Arran could understand this, it had also become cold, as if they were in the middle of winter, but that was still seasons away. Bane had also attached his knife to his belt. He sensed the boy wanted to go home.
“Bane, we shall go home now, something is not right out here.” Bane simply nodded then jumped as a wolf howled, from what Arran could tell it was close.
“Stay close to me Bane, and keep your eyes open, we are no longer the hunters.” A shiver went down Bane’s spine, he knew what that meant, he had heard of many deaths of his people through hunting ‘accidents’.
Suddenly something to Bane’s right moved, and Bane drew out his knife, this time the blade was out, ready to defend himself if needed. Arran saw it too, and raised his bow. The moving creature bolted out of the undergrowth quickly, bouncing along at speed. Arran relaxed, it was only a deer, but released his arrow towards the target. The arrow sliced through the air with ease and hit its speeding target in its side, knocking the deer into a tree. Bane watched as his father rushed at the injured creature, a knife in his hand now instead of bow, which had been slung with haste over his shoulder.
Arran landed on the beasts back as it tried to stand on wavering legs and wrapped his large arms around the deer’s neck stabbing it with the knife in his other hand. The deer lashed out before it fell to the earth. Bane had watched in awe, his father had hit his target as it had run and it had run faster than any animal Bane had seen in his life. He rushed over to Arran who had stood up from the beast.
“We can go home now Bane.” Bane smiled and looked down at the deer. It was a large one and pride filled his heart, he had helped his father catch a good meal. It was then that a growl sounded behind them, loudly. Spinning round Bane could see the wolves. Fear rushed through him as he began to stare at one of the animals more visible than the others. It was snarling, mouth open revealing sharp teeth capable of ripping flesh from body, saliva dripping from its maw. Its eyes revealed its wild spirit. It growled and leaped forward. Bane raised his knife in shaking hand but the wolf did not make it to him. Blood splattered onto Bane’s face and he watched as the wolf crumpled to the floor under heavy blade.
“Stand behind me Bane!” the urgency in his fathers voice alerted Bane to the fact that even his father was worried, possibly more for the safety of his child than that of himself. Arran stepped forward and roared out a cry. Bane had never seen him do that before, his father sounded like an animal, like he imagined the lion-ox to sound like.
Another wolf darted forward and leapt towards Arran, who stood firm, bitterness across his face as he slammed his broadsword into its body. The wolf cried out in pain and collapsed. Two wolves attacked the next time, both aiming for Arran. One leapt and landed on his back the other managed to get a grip on his free arm, biting deep.
Arran collapsed to his knees in pain and Bane rushed forward, knife in hand. The wolf on his fathers back clawed deeply into Arran’s muscled frame and was too busy trying to knock down the big target to pay attention to Bane. Bane slammed the knife into the wolf’s back, it growled angrily and turned on him. Bane suddenly felt fear like he had never before, but was lucky that the beast was caught up on his fathers bow. With courage still in his heart and body the boy lashed out again with the knife slicing deep into the creature’s throat.
“Bane… you must listen to me!” Bane turned to his father who was bleeding badly from the wounds on his back and arm. He noticed another wolf lying on the ground, its jaw ripped from the rest of its face.
“Run Bane, back to the village, it is your only chance boy, get help!” Bane did not understand. Why did his father want him to run? Would he not be useful to him here? As if understanding Bane’s problem Arran placed a blood covered hand on his sons face. He smiled warmly.
“I saw what you did to the wolf boy, I am proud. Now run home Bane, remember what I told you during the hunt, how to find your way home if you get lost?” Bane nodded.
“I want to stay here with you?” Arran laughed out loud and turned to the wolves that had backed away slightly, after a number of their pack had already been cut down. They circled the barbarians, waiting.
“Don’t be stupid boy, someone needs to get help, who better to hold back the wolves than me ‘ey. Don’t worry about me boy, I’ll be fine. Do as your father says!” Bane nodded, Arran leant forward and kissed Bane on the forehead. Bane watched as his father turned on the wolves with his bow. He watched as his father stuck his arrows in the ground before him along with his sword, and then watched as he sent an arrow off on its deadly chore. A wolf fell with a cry of pain.
“Run Bane!!! Get Galdaran and the others, go…” Bane nodded and turned. He heard wolves growl and howl out, he did not look back. He began to run.
He ran as fast as he could, and it seemed as though he had been running for an age although in reality it had been only a few minutes. Fear gripped his heart more so now than when he was with his father against the wild animals.
He was worried, for his father mainly, worried of failing his father, what would happen if he had not been paying much attention to all the familiar landmarks his father had pointed out to help him get out of the woods back home? He looked forward and stopped. He did not recognise the area he was in. In the darkness he could hear the sounds of his father’s battle against the wolves, but could not make out the right path home.
Scanning the area he recognised a twisted tree, its branches twirling around each other. His father had pointed it out earlier. Relief passed through him, maybe he was not lost, and maybe he could get the help his father needed.
- - -
Arran’s heart raced, as he threw the bow at his enemy that circled him mockingly. He had used all his arrows and the weapon was now more or less useless. He wiped blood from his face and looked at the bloody ground. He had slain five more wolves with the bow, and two more with his sword but there seemed to be no end to them. The pack seemed very large indeed.
“You have fought well warrior!” A voice drifted into his ears, it was deep and rough. Arran looked around and saw that the wolves backed away slightly. He desperately searched the area for the speaker perhaps all was not lost. Maybe his son had found help. He shook his head, it was quite a way back to the village, and in the darkness he doubted his son would have made his way back just yet.
“You will not survive Arran, son of Valrik. My wolves will see to that.” Arran stood up and shouted out in anger and frustration.
“Show yourself, fight me like a man!!!” The voice laughed a reply, one that sounded forced and not meant for human vocal cords.
“I am not a man, so how can I fight you so?” the speaker stepped forth from the darkness to stand by the tallest of the wolves that stood in the clearing. The figure was tall, as tall as himself Arran thought as he took in the new enemy. The figure wore thick black armour of such craft and design Arran had never seen, spikes of various sizes scattered about its thick carapace. It shined in the moonlight.
The figures helm was just as dark and twisted covering the man’s face, a long black plume hung like a horses tail across the side of the helm. In his giant gauntlet hands he held a sword than shimmered purple. The blade was like none other Arran had ever seen. Its base was wide but thinned as it travelled up the blade and widened again at the top.
“Who are you?” Arran demanded thrusting out his sword. The figure laughed.
“That would be telling wouldn’t it Arran?” Arran stepped forward.
“How do you know my name?” The man laughed once more and stopped petting his wolf.
“I know all names Arran, your son’s in particular.” The mere mention of his son caused Arran to rage. He charged forward screaming.
“Leave my son be!” Arran’s attack was quick, most would not have survived but something odd happened. The figure grabbed him by the wrist and forced him to the ground. Arran dropped his sword; he had never felt such strength before and was shocked; the man was stronger than a lion-ox.
“There is no point in resisting me, you cannot defeat me.” With that the figure let go of Arran’s arm and nodded to the lead wolf. To Arran the wolf seemed to smile, perhaps it was he thought.
Arran looked up at the figure with a disgusted face and spat on the man’s boot, Arran had no more time left before the wolves leapt in, ripping and clawing with maw and paw. He screamed out in agony as they slowly devoured him to the mocking laughter of the dark figure.
- - -
Bane heard the scream and knew it was his fathers. He dropped to his knees exhausted and wept. His lungs felt as if they were on fire, his side ached and his head pounded. Perhaps that was a trick of the wind. Bane shook his head; deep down he knew his father was dead. He had failed him.
A low growl made the small barbarian raise his head. Bane wiped his running nose and wet eyes and looked around him. He raised his knife in shaking hand. Before him was a large wolf, larger than the ones he had seen in the clearing with his father. It was an odd colour he thought, a sandy colour.
“Down Sandy, down boy!” He heard a voice from within the darkness, a soft gentle voice, and one that also sounded powerful. A figure stepped forth from the darkness to stand by the sand coloured wolf. The wolf seemed to relax and lay on the ground, resting its head on his front legs. Its eyes remained fixed on Bane.
“You have nothing to fear from me child but here me, there is someone here who should not be, a being capable of great evil, a demon called Horthistias. I know you do not understand me child but understand this, you must go back to your village quickly, for the demon will be upon you soon.” Bane studied the speaker suspiciously. The man was tall, taller than any other man he had seen, and he knew his people were a tall race of man. His face was fair and handsome, blond hair tied back into a short ponytail. His armour was white and shone brilliantly in the moonlight. Two peculiar lumps cropped up under the man’s simple brown robe he wore around his white armour. Were they wings? He thought as he saw feathers connected to a bird like wing at the bottom of the robe.
“I am Halizkiel, I am a friend.” Bane stepped towards the man and flung back the robe to reveal a giant white wing folded against his back. Bane jumped back, the man had wings!
“Do not be afraid little one but we do not have all the time in the world, you must flee now. Go back home to the safety of your village.” Bane nodded. He just wanted to go home, to forget this day had happened.
“Whatever happens know this, you have the blood of a king in you Bane, and destiny calls you, always follow your heart Bane.” Bane did not understand what the man was saying, in truth he was frightened, he no longer wanted to be in the forest. Without looking back he rushed off, he could see his village from here, torches burning in the watchtowers. Perhaps he could still save his father. As Bane rushed off Halizkiel withdrew his blade and looked down at his wolf. Without a word the wolf stood up.
“Come boy, we have a demon to catch.” He said simply and with that the pair wondered off, deep into the darkness of the woods.
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