The Dark Alchemist: A Fantasy Short Story

I’ve been playing a lot of video games lately so I thought I’d throw out this fantasy dabble. I always seem to put way too much thought into my character’s mindset when I’m playing the games so I thought I would share it.

It’s so quiet. The small fire in front of me is slowly fading to embers, the dying light casting large, spooky shadows on the slick cave walls. The only audible sound is a continuous plink, plink dripping noise somewhere far off in the unexplored cavern. This part of the cave is free of monsters, I was certain to check thoroughly before I made camp for the night. Beyond where the firelight reaches and through the twisting and turning of the cavernous reaches of the unlit cave, though, I have no idea.

I carefully sit down, resting my weary back against the wall. The cave is somehow a greenish, yellow color- maybe from some sort of unusual stone, or a type of cave dwelling bug or plant. I don’t know. This area is foreign to me, with strange places and undiscovered monsters, and unique individuals with different customs and languages. The stench is rancid in this place in particular, but that is most likely attributed to the hundreds of dead creatures strewn around the space, and could be partly myself, now as well. My long leather jacket, knee boots and sturdy chain pants are spattered in two shades of green blood, and my left elbow-length glove is soaked in blood and a putrid slime mix. The tip of a small black arrowhead is embedded right in the front of my heavy metal helm, the enchanted helmet, albeit a little odd looking, once again saved me from a deadly strike.

I sigh, pulling my enormous, legendary battle hammer into my lap. It’s huge, nearly six feet long, with a hammer head as long and thick as my entire torso. It’s heavy and unbecoming, especially for a mage. If the temple embermages that worked so hard to bless me with my magical skills saw me now, wielding a greathammer like a common rogue, they would be sorely disappointed. The enchanted greathammer was a gift from a forgotten king, and no matter how hard I try I can’t give it up. It is a beautiful gold color, and enchanted with lightning abilities, the entire hammer buzzing and crackling like it was blessed by the God Thor himself. It is something truly unique, and as I have carried it halfway across the world now, it would be a shame to give it up to carry a simple wand like a normal embermage, even though it would be the respectable thing.

I eye the dying fire, considering whether I should let it go out, or let it burn a little longer. Once decided, I press my hands together, fingers making a pointed motion, with my two forefingers curling in. Sparks shoot out my pointed fingers and shower the embers, a gigantic pillar of flame spiraling up from the small fire with enthusiasm, hitting the ceiling and billowing off to the sides before calming, the fire brighter and alit again.

There is silence again, nothing but the plink, plink in the chasm to be heard, and the crackling of the newly re-kindled fire. I never really stop to think about what it is like, being alone. I had left my small village with companions- but they were all gone now. One stopped in a village and stayed there as a forgemaster. A second heard of a quest that he could not pass up, and he was not seen again. The third companion died in a cave much like this. But that was long ago, much time has passed since then, and the memory has just turned into a cold scar of regret. Now the only companion I have is Lovecraft, my hawk. He rests peacefully on my shoulder for now, every so often lifting his foot to chew at his talon absentmindedly.

The cave doesn’t have us on edge, not really. Not the monsters, not the journey, not the dark. But the end destination makes us both anxious.

We were recruited about a year ago at a simple desert village. We were charged with hunting the worst type of monster: a human. A human like myself- a mage. A mage, and worse, someone I had known my whole life. My friend. They now called him ‘The Dark Alchemist.’

The Dark One. The Destroyer. The one who was trying to tear a hole in the fabric of the universe. Who was trying to kill everything. My friend. The one who had taught me magic. 

I pressed all five of my fingers together and held them up, looking at the blue sphere forming in the air above my fingers. I held it, charging it for just a bit, before letting go, shooting it up in the air. The sphere hit the roof of the cave and harmless, light snow puttered down, melting as it hit my overcoat, the fire, Lovecraft’s beak and feathers, and the bloodied floor of the cave. 

The Dark Alchemist.

Or as I knew him, just Antony. 

The last time I had seen him, he was next to me on a bar stool, so far from here, on our island city of Etheria. He banged his wooden mug on the counter, sloshing ale all over the bar, his crystal blue eyes squeezed shut in laughter. I was relaying a story of one of our earlier adventures to the barkeep, a tale in which all my hair got singed off by a fire drake when I attempted to steal the legendary beast’s treasure. Antony saved the day by freezing the dragon and helping a (bald) me escape with the secret treasure we had entered the forbidden tower for.

Honest to God Hyacinth. You’re one of the best embermages I’ve ever met. But I swear to shit you’ll be the death of me.

I squeezed my greathammer around the end, mindlessly scratching some dried guts off of the handle. I had laughed then, too, and followed up with some sort of hilarious zinger that got him laughing again. But I wasn’t laughing now. No one was.

Antony. My friend. The Dark Alchemist.

What made you this way…what drove you to this madness, and why is it me that has to cross swords with you at the end of it all?

I stared into the darkness, expected someone, somewhere, some God to give me a merciful and just, reasonable answer to it all. But there was nothing. No one. No answer at all.

Plink. Plink. Plink.

#fantasy #games #dnd

Published by Hannah Eileen

Jesus. Cats. Podcasts. An introvert full of strange thoughts and musings.

4 thoughts on “The Dark Alchemist: A Fantasy Short Story

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