Daybreak Implores Vax to Change His Plans

    Bert Godding

    Vax sat on the back of the Eater of Worlds as it sped beneath the sea towards the Isle of Swaldune.  He and the other Heroes stared ahead wordlessly in the murky depths with only Squee’s constant singing breaking the silence.  Each targ, elf, man and gnome was lost in his own thoughts as they pondered the future.  After nearly half an hour, Vax’s brooding thoughts were interrupted by a voice in his mind.


    *This is wrong!*


    Vax started to look around to see who had spoken but quickly realized the voice was of Daybreak, the godly boon of Po.  The blade-less hilt was tucked into his belt.


    *Daybreak?  What do you mean?* he responded with his own thoughts.


    *This!  This upcoming naval battle is a distraction.  I – We – belong on the battlefield.*


    *I’m afraid I don’t understand.* Vax replied.  *The Cold Sea Pact navies are vast in number and brimming with dragons and targ berserkers.  The Eater is the only thing that could give the rest of the navies any chance at all.*


    *Nothing that happens on the oceans of Kempin means anything!  Observe.*


    Suddenly, images sprang into his mind, unbidden.  He saw the mechanical emperor Jestak holding a familiar sword.




    He recognized Vikos the storm priest as he held aloft a large, ornately crafted battle axe and let out a war cry.




    He saw his ally Javier strumming a harp and singing.




    Next, an image of Sir Remington Goldmont appeared, holding a tall tower shield, its surface silver and bright.


    *Long Refuge.  And the only man to ever wield two godly boons.*


    The images faded.  *Other godly boons are gathering on the field of battle, or are on their way.  We must go there as well.*


    Vax’s mind was reeling from the images, and the connotations.  He felt a tingle of fear crawl up his spine.  *Wait a moment.  Are you sure that’s wise?  If all the boons are gathered in one place would that not trigger the prophecy of the gods -the Fata Deum?*


    *Damn the gods!  Damn their prophecies! And damn their schemes and games!* Daybreak shouted in his mind.  Vax blinked in surprise.  He had never before heard the sentient weapon speak with such anger and vehemence.


    *Damn the gods?  You are a boon created by the god Po.* he replied.


    Vax heard a rueful chuckle in his mind.  *I am a creation of my god, as are you.  He gifted me with thought and free will, as he did you.  I am the living avatar of light and hope.  My purpose on this mortal plane is to fight the darkness, to push it back, to bring the hope of a new dawn to this fallen world.  If Po the Redeemer does not approve of that, perhaps he should have made me an unthinking hunk of steel.*


    Vax chuckled at Daybreak’s passion.  Vax too thought that a man (or a sword) should do what he felt right, no matter how straight the gate, how fraught with punishments the scrolls. His smile faded, however, as he contemplated the sword’s wishes.  *But what of the danger to the world from the Fata Deum?*


    *The world is falling into darkness right now!* Daybreak exclaimed.  *If we do nothing, there will be no world left to save.*


    *Please!* it begged.  *I believe that this coming darkness is exactly why we boons are all appearing now after being dormant for so long.  Fata Deum or not, if we do nothing, or if we falter, the darkness will consume the world.  I will NOT let that happen!*   


    Vax said nothing at first.  He thought about the coming war and what could happen if Swaldune won.  They were called the soulless ones for good reason.  The Swalduni wizards and mages derived their power from pacts with demons and devils.  Competing factions of their government jockeyed and fought for power by controlling seals that bound demons to their will.  They were a nation dedicated, literally, to evil.


    But that wasn’t what truly worried him.  He thought back to his dream, if that was indeed what it was, of Rindwind the Seer before they left Eldermont.  What was it Rindwind had said?  “But there is a king you have left out of your discussions. A king that is hungry for attention. Hungry for vengeance. Hungry to be given his due. Beware the Carrion King, my liege. He always gets his due.”


    He felt that sinking feeling in his gut again, as he did in his dream.  What would it matter who won or lost this war if the Carrion King plunged the world into death and darkness?


    Vax shook off such thoughts and gave a slight smile.  Defying the gods and the odds appealed to him.  And there was perhaps a touch of vanity in his thoughts as well.  Vax Eldermont did not want to be left out of the tales of the bards when they sang of the battle of the boons.


    *Gods be damned!  Prophecies be damned!  Fata Deums be damned!  We will stand shoulder to shoulder with the other boon wielders and make the heavens themselves tremble!* Vax shouted in his mind.


    He felt a wave of relief wash over him from the sword.  *Thank you, Vax.  You honor me.  I will not fail you.*


    Vax looked out at the murky darkness of the ocean.  *Um.  What about the Eater of Worlds?  How will we get to the battle from here?*


    *Have I taught you nothing, my friend?* Daybreak chided good-naturedly.  *You have to have hope.*