MIGHT and MAGIC VII
Might Hero - Knight
Greetings, the brave adventurer, who prefers to fight with swords, and not with magic. You have already passed the long and noble path of many adventures and battles in Might and Magic VI, defeated the Kreegans, and saved Enroth. The time of earnest rest was short, but sweet. Your swords are singing for new battles, your fate leads you further in the world of Might and Magic.
One sunny morning, a messenger knocked at your door with the summons to the neighbouring continent of Antagarich, where some Kreegans were spotted recently. Perhaps they are trying to use the turmoil situation in Erathia after the sudden, unexpected death of the King Gryphonheart to their full advatage, and take root on the continent, who knows, but the problem required immediate attention.
The ship was already in the harbor, waiting for your arrival. As soon as you stepped on board, it raised it's sails and took the course to Antagarich. In the letter with the messenger, you were told that the Emerald Island is your destination, where you will be briefed for your next course of action. That was strange, but you were more surprised when you finally disembarked on the
Island. Seems, that you are not the only one summoned. The island is filled with the adventurers of all kinds. Some are just green kids, some others are known for their dubious reputation, there is even a couple of veterans as yourself.
Soon, everyone gathered on the Town Hall sqaure and the local Lord explained the situation. The contest for the best adventurer team will be undertaken and the winners will recieve the Harmondale estate on the mainland of Antagarich, with all duties and responsibilities of the new lords. The contest itself isn't that hard for you. But the problem is that you are alone, and even without any magical means. In the haste of the departure, you've left all the magical items from the last war at home. When you've remembered about them on the ship, it was already late, and anyway, you had a hope that you'd be supplied with some means of conducting the
art of magic. But the thigs looks like you are on your own, here on the island. All this required some careful thinking, and you've decided to gather your thoughts together in the local Tavern.
The Tavern was half-empty. You have found a quiet spot, ordered a bottle of wine and a half of a boar all for yourself, and began to consider the different battle tactics. Suddenly the usual noise of the Tavern, so calming to your nerves, stopped. You were jerked out of your contemplation by the so well-known hiss of the swords, drawn out of their scabbards. Instantly alert, you have jumped out of the table and landed in a defending position with your back to the wall. Your hands and legs moved by themselves - the many years of training and battles
tuned your reflexes to perfection. The people around you didn't even notice your movement, and they watched you with amazement when suddenly you were sitting calmly in your chair near the table, all in thoughts, and the next moment - you were standing with your weapons drawn, looking around yourself with a dangerous look in your eyes.
But you were not the target of the attack. The quarrel was between a lone, very old, one-armed veteran and a group of four young adventurers, whom you have marked before as the ones in great and urgent need of a good trashing for their lack of manners. Whatever was the reason of the fight, but to attack four against one, and on the customarily neutral Tavern territory was a grave transgression of the fighting ethics.
Meanwhile, the veteran had a difficult time protecting himself from all the four sides. You have checked the situation around - some of the serving barmaids already had run away for the City Watch, but the veteran hadn't much time, as the heated by the fight youths pushed him further and further, and at the moment there were only local peasants, craftsmen, and merchants in the Tavern. You cursed, "Where are all these useless adventurers when they are needed?"
You have reached a decision, and the hissing sound of your two great battle longswords drawn out of their well used, plain scabbards sounded sharp and loud in the room. The quartet heard and momentarily paused in their attacks. A battle growl escaped your lips, and you jumped into the fight. Apparently, the youths didn't expect that the veteran would recieve any help from the outside, and the shrills of the City Watch whistles were already near, so they dropped the case and hastily departed from the Tavern. It was just in time as the veteran tiredly sagged to the
floor. You helped him to your table, and filled a tankard for him. When finally the City Watch partol burst into the Tavern, they witnessed the peaceful everyday picture of people eating, drinking, card playing, talking, or snoring. Nothing suggested that thirty seconds ago, the life of a person was hanging on a thread there.
You waited until the veteran regained his breath, and drank his tankard, then refilled it again and pushed a plate with bread, meet, cheese and grapes to him, that were standing still untouched from your own breakfast. Done with this, you returned to your thoughts and your meat.
Finally, the satisfied sigh was breathed, and you found yourself looking at the veteran, who warmly smiled to you, and lightly clicked with his tankard. Silently, you poured the wine to him and yourself. You felt strange trust to the stranger, probably because you could understand each other without words.
Sipping the wine, you watched the old soldier. He looked at you from his tankard and shook his head.
"Words of gratitude wouldn't be too much help for you, I have something better to offer in exchange for my saved life." - He sighed. - "I'll be leaving this place today as these new youngsters and new rules are not for me, but you'll be going on and you would need all the help that you could get. You are new to Antagarich, aren't you?"
"As I have thought. By the looking of your swords," - and he waved at your longswords on their accustomed place across your back with the pommels above each shoulder, - "You are from Enroth and do not know that much about the locals. I can help you. I traveled and battled all around Antagarich and know many secrets of our trade, the trade of killing with the sword, and not magic."
You opened your mouth, but the veteran dismissively shook his head.
"Spare me this, soldier." - And he reached inside his plain tunic and took out a tight scroll. - "Here you can find everything you need to know about what to do on the Emerald Island, and the very first steps on Antagarich."
He pushed the scroll to you. Carefully, you opened it, and scanned the first lines.
"But it is written for a magic user, which I am not!" - the protest was on your lips before you even realized it.
The veteran chuckled.
"Like I don't know this, son. Relax, the first steps are nearly the same, what will lie after this, that differs. Just study the scroll and you'll see it by yourself."
His glance hardened.
"Now, listen to me very carefully if you want to survive in the dangerous land of Antagarich. You have saved my life today, my advises will save yours in the days that will come. So, let's start..."