Hi there, folks, and welcome aboard. My name is Tophat Dragoneye and you may know me as the author of the fanfic, Flames of a Revolutionary. This time, however, I wanted to start my own, original story next to my fanfic (don't worry, I'm still going to continue write Flames of a Revolutionary). I've always enjoyed reading fantasy novels and had always wanted to write my own, original story. As such, Thor's Hammer is an original fantasy story set in a different world than the one we know. Bear in mind that I have some schoolwork at the moment, so you shouldn't expect a new chapter at least this month. With that out of the way, I hope you'll enjoy reading it.
It has been rated Teen for violence and possible swearing, you have been warned.
TABLE OF CONTENT:
It was awfully quiet in the gorge. So much in fact one wouldn’t believe there had been an earthquake there earlier the same week. New cracks had formed as a result, creating several new pathways through the gorge and, if rumors were true, revealing large veins of manastone ores. That was why Marcus and Lia were in the Northern Orion Gorge.
Marcus and Lia were both ordered by their guildmaster to investigate whether or not the rumors were true, and if possible, secure the ore so that individuals with ill intends would not. While Marcus’ impressive height of over six feet and muscular build would be more than a deterrent to anyone facing him, his guildmaster nevertheless recommended him wearing some armor and equipment in case he met an enemy, which he followed without questioning.
Thus, he had chosen a set of brown, leather armor that covered his torso and his red coat, shoulders and upper legs, while bracers covered his lower arms, legs and black trousers. He had chosen not to wear a helmet, which would have otherwise covered his long, dirty-blond hair that was tied into a ponytail and a diagonal scar to the left of his left blue eye that went down to his cheek, because he never felt comfortable with one outside Hammerball. For his hands, he had chosen a light brown leather glove on his right hand and a black one to his left hand, which had a round, manastone attached to the back of it. Aside the war axe attached to his belt next to some pouches, he was rarely wearing the black glove during missions unless it was necessary. But considering what could possibly be at stake, Marcus preferred to be on the safe side.
After arriving at the Northern Orion Gorge, they had decided to split up in order to have a better chance at finding a vein or two. While he was searching at the bottom of the gorge, Lia kept an eye on the top, but so far, none of them had any luck of locating one.
“You know Lia, I’m starting to think that those rumors are a lot of bogus”, Marcus expressed his opinion to a communications-manastone attached to his belt with a deep voice.
“You know Master Greywolf’s orders, Marcus. If there are indeed some newly exposed veins here, we have to secure it so that it won’t fall into the wrong hands. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry”, he heard Lia tell through the manastone, which pulsed with blue light in the same rhythm as Lia’s voice.
“I’m well aware of that, Lia. It’s just that I am annoyed about my Hammerball training being interrupted for this mission. There’s an important match with the Ocean Wolves next week after all”, explained Marcus with a hint of annoyance.
“Look at the bright side, ace-hammer of Thorium Hammers; if you find something here, you got something to brag about to your teammate. Besides, all that climbing in the cliffs might be better training than what you could get back home”, Marcus could hear Lia teasing him.
“Although I’m not climbing right now, I can’t help but agree with you, Lia”, Marcus laughed.
But his laugh was interrupted when the ground beneath him suddenly disappeared as it crumbled down into a hole, leaving him little time to react as he fell down into it. All Marcus could do was bracing for the inevitable impact with the bottom, which happened much sooner than anticipated. The moment he hit the ground, he instinctively rolled forward in order not to break his legs. However, the next he knew was that everything went dark just after he hit the ground.
“Marcus! Marcus, are you there? Come in!”, Marcus barely heard Lia frantically trying to contact him through the communications-manastone. He opened his eyes and realized that he was lying on cold and moist stone and that he was in a dark, dome-shaped cave.
“Ugh… I’m fine, Lia. I only lost consciousness after falling down through a hole”, stated Marcus as he staggered his way back up to his feet before realizing he was standing on a small hill. “How long have I been out?”
“A few minutes at least. From what I heard when you fell, it must’ve been a nasty one!”, said Lia with an obvious hint of concern.
“Like I told you, I’m fine. I just need to… stand up. By Yggdrasil!”, muttered Marcus in surprise as he looked up.
What he saw was glowing, blue and white, crystal-like minerals covering the majority of the walls in the cave he fell down into. There was almost no doubt what he had stumbled upon, but he wanted to be certain. As such, he concentrated on his clenched, left hand with the black glove and held it above his head, followed by blue lightning emanating from the hand that provided light throughout the cave. Marcus looked in awe over what he was seeing. Every wall in the cave was covered in a fine layer of manastone ores, decorating them in a web-like fashion. By his estimation, there was more than enough to provide fuels for vehicles for several years, or even create tools of every possible kind.
“Lia, I think I found our manastone”, said Marcus with a small chuckle, having a hard time believing his luck.
“I’ll go and call for backup so we can mine it all. See if you can find an exit so you can get a bearing of where you are in the meantime”, said Lia through the communications-manastone.
“Don’t worry, I will”, said Marcus before he started looking around the cave to see if there was an exit aside from the hole he went through.
However, as he was looking for that exit, he heard some footsteps that echoed in the cave, followed by the sound of something flying through the air and towards his direction. Before he knew it, the ground beneath him exploded in fire and rubble, sending him flying backwards to the foot of the now non-existing hill. Marcus quickly stood up and saw who was responsible for trying to kill him. Half a dozen men and women dressed in dark leather armor and clothes. What he found noticeable, however, was the red raven motif on their torsos and he realized all too well who he was dealing with.
“Lia, about that backup… tell everyone I’ve made contact with members of the Crimson Raven!”, Marcus quickly said.
“What? Marcus, what are you *bzzt*? The Crimson *bzzzt* is *bzzt*”, Marcus heard Lia attempting to say to him.
Surprised by the static, he detached the communications-manastone from his belt, and saw to dismay that the manastone had cracked and the golden ring with runic inscription around it were broken in two. Realizing that the explosion earlier was the likely culprit, he repeated the same sentence from before again and again to be certain that Lia got the message. Despite that, he knew very well what kind of situation he was in; until backup arrived, he was alone against half a dozen, armed members of the Crimson Raven and in severe disadvantage. However, he still had one element of surprise that could help him. Taking out from his pouch a small, black smoke bomb with one hand and the war axe with the other, he readied himself for the inevitable fight.
“Fair warning, folks, If you want the hammer, you’ll get it”, he said to the members of Crimson Ravens with a brave face before throwing the smoke bomb at them. The Crimson Ravens looked surprised by having something thrown towards them, but even more so when it exploded in from of them in a cloud of black smoke.
Taking advantage of the chaos, Marcus ran towards the smoke with his axe high in the air. The first person he managed to see a silhouette of, were unfortunate enough to be hit by his axe in the chest, while the second one he noticed got hit by lightning emanating from his black glove. Both individuals lifelessly fell down to the ground with little resistance.
By that point, however, the smoke already began to clear up and the remaining opponents were drawing their weapons. One lone woman instead created fire from her hands, causing Marcus to realize that she was the one who fired that fireball aimed at him. He also realized that if she hit one of the manastone veins in the cave, if could be a catastrophic for them all. Knowing that, he went for her first to neutralize that threat. But before he could strike his axe down on her, the woman, in her panic, launched her fireball, but missed its intended target and instead went flying towards one of the cave’s walls where manastone veins covered it.
By the time Marcus had cut the mage down, it was already too late. The fireball had hit the veins, which began to glow dangerously red. He knew that he had little time to act and escape before the entire cave exploded and buried them alive, but the remaining members of the Crimson Raven, who were charging towards him, were between him and the exit, between life and death. With little time to react, he created non-lethal electricity from his black glove that spread itself among all of them, causing all of his opponents to fall down in paralysis.
However, one who was close enough managed nevertheless to swing down his sword into his right shoulder before collapsing. The sword wasn’t embedded very deep into his shoulder, but Marcus nevertheless cursed out loud from the pain as he tried to pull the sword out of the wound. With a final scream, he finally pulled it out, but knowing he had no time to tend to the wound, he started to run into the tunnel and towards the light at the end of it.
Even as he ran, he could hear the manastone starting to explode bit by bit, but it was only a matter of time before a very big one would appear. Knowing that, he ignored the mining equipment placed to the sides of the tunnel and the wooden logs that supported the ceiling. All he thought of was running and hopefully, coming out alive.
Bit by bit, his hope grew bigger as he got closer and closer to the light at the end of the tunnel. But with only around thirty feet left until he reached it, the big explosion he anticipated appeared. He was caught completely unguarded by the roaring shockwave that sent him flying through the remaining bit of the tunnel, followed by a hellish, blue fire that burned him even as he were sent flying outside of the tunnel. He landed at least twenty feet outside of the tunnel before he continued to roll at least ten feet more like a ragdoll.
When he finally stopped, he faded in and out of consciousness many times, but between those brief moments, he realized that he still alive, but badly hurt. He could feel several bones in his body had been broken, and even some numbness here and there. He could feel his blood coming from somewhere on his head, causing him to curse in his thoughts that he should’ve taken a helmet with him anyway. There was also some blood in his mouth he could taste, most likely coming from his lungs and his skin were hot and in some places, missing. All in all, he knew he probably wouldn’t be able to participate in the Hammerball match against the Ocean Wolves the next week. But at least he was alive.
As Marcus stopped losing consciousness, he could faintly hear footsteps in the distance. With the remaining members of the Crimson Raven in the mine likely dead from the explosion, he imagined that it was Lia and their fellow members of their guild. He imagined Lia being horrified by his injuries, but relieved that he was alive. Captain, as everyone called him, his coach and captain of the Thorium Hammers and his best friend, telling him that he was going to secure some first class seats for future games until he had recovered, but also jokingly telling him to behave nicely in front of the nurses. He imagined Jack, the guild’s doctor, constantly asking him questions of where it was hurting and if he could feel anything, but also telling him never to put himself in harm’s way like that ever again. But he knew that the doctor, while harsh at times, meant well and didn’t want anyone else to treat him. He imagined his fellow guild members and team members from his Hammerball team visiting him in the hospital, all wishing him well and a swift recovery. Lastly, he imagined his guild master, Regulus Greywolf, telling him a job well done preventing the Crimson Raven from securing the manastone and even helping carrying him back to their home.
But as the footsteps stopped next to him, he could feel his arms being lifted before being dragged at his feet to locations. He realized all too well that whoever held him was not from his guild. Before long, they all came to a stop and Marcus was forced to stand up on his injured legs, while his arms were still being held. He looked up and realized that he was looking at Crimson Raven’s second-in-command. He was a bald individual, who’s only bit of hair in his head were on his chin that were shorter than Marcus. He had a vertical scar on the left side of his lower lips and his gray eyes pierced Marcus with anger seething from them. Like the previous members of Crimson Raven Marcus fought in the cave, he was dressed in dark leather armor and clothing, but he had black chainmail that was just visible underneath his clothing. His clothing and the black raven were also more detailed, signifying the second-in-command’s rank.
“Marcus Thunderfang, do you realize how much work you’ve just managed to waste for us?”, the second-in-command asked Marcus without hiding his anger and contempt.
“Loki, it’s been a while”, Marcus casually said to the man in front of him before coughing up blood. “So, where’s your master? Shall I really not receive the privilege of greeting him as well?”
“Never mind him! I am my own master!”, Loki angrily said before his right hand was glowing with mana, forming a blade he immediately used to stab Marcus on his left chest, causing him to flinch and scream in pain.
“Any more QUESTIONS?”, Loki angrily asked while his hand was still embedded inside Marcus’ chest.
Marcus looked in shock at the hand that had just stabbed his chest, before seeing it being dragged out of it again. As he fell down to his knees, he could feel his life vanish from him and realized that he would never see the others from his guild anymore, never play a game of Hammerball with his team anymore or ever see Lia again. Silently telling everyone that he was sorry, Marcus Thunderfang passed away before his body hit the ground.