Kathena – an original story by Jitter Josef Johann Quilonia

Kathena looked across the VAST-HORIZON. The sun was just a bright orange glow, hidden from the tall mountains of the kingdom ruled by an evil sorceress . Today, she will start her journey towards Grimaldi, the castle where  the woman she loathed the most, lived. The woman who held her precious son captive , and the same woman who bewitched and killed her husband Thorab, the king of Grimaldi. Today, she will embark on a very long and dangerous journey, to regain her son, her kingdom, and her life back.

 

As the surveyed the vastness of the land before her, it would take her days before she reached the castle. She had planned this years in advance,while recuperating from the injuries inflicted on her by the evil sorceress,Gaura.. With the  help of the powerful enchantress Maia , she slowly regained her superhuman strength and mastered the art of hand to hand combat. Everyday, she trained with Maia and her trusted servants, the only people left after  the onslaught by Gaura and her evil army. Their journey towards regaining her kingdom back starts today.

 

They had prepared food , provisions,  and horses for the long journey. Her WHITE-STALLION, Silverwing has been fed and fitted with special hooves to withstand the long and rough ride. Silverwing is no ordinary horse. She comes from a special breed of horses, sired and genetically superior from the others, one of the very few in the world who can run faster than a speeding bullet ,and even fly when faced with danger.

 

Just before they set off, Maia handed her the pouch containing rare metal coming from the very depths of the caves and caverns of Grimaldi. These metals were her protection against the evil spell that was cast against the entire kingdom. They were also fitted with a special armour to repel arrows and sharp objects.She now only lacks one more object to complete her arsenal and to make her almost invincible, a hat owned by a nasty elf named Zaos.

 

They set off just before sunrise, riding their horses furiously, only stopping for a meal , or to drink from the bubbling rivers and brooks they passed by. On the fourth day, they reached the Ural mountains, where the ferocious Orcs lived. These small but malevolent human-like creatures could overpower and devour people like a pack of hungry wolves. The leader of the Orcs, a one-eyed elf named Zaos, had the ability to put every living thing to sleep at the drop of his hat and gobble any creature while it is asleep. Kathena came  prepared for that encounter. She had everything planned for years. She would lure the Orcs inside and cave and set them on fire.

 

When she approached the cave, she had  instructed her trusty servants to be on their guard while she made a run for the caves. Upon her arrival, hundreds of Orcs immediately chased her, unaware that it was a trap set to corner them and set them a fire. Led by Zaos, the Orcs cornered her . Kathena looked above the cave’s high ceiling and screamed, fly silverwing fly! Silverwing, who at that point was panicked at being pushed against the corner of the cave, sensing danger, spread her magnificent wings and leapt across the air, high across the roof of the cave, while Kathena tossed a cask of flaming gas towards the surprised Orcs. This instantly set them ablaze. The SMELL OF DEATH and BURNING FLESH was everywhere while Kathena made a mad dash towards the cave entrance.  Meanwhile, her trusty servants were at the cave entrance, slaying each exiting Orc, one by one until all was left but the most powerful one.

 

Zaos stepped out of the cave, his magical hat on hand. In an instant he cast a magic spell that immediately had Kathena’s servants dropping to the floor, fast asleep. Howling with glee, he took a step towards the first servant to devour him . He then heard a voice from behind him saying “ are you having fun yet ?” . It was Kathena, who had placed a rope around Zaos’ neck, pulling him upward. “Come, Silverwing, let’s take Zaos to a place where he deserves to be,” Kathena playfully pulled the rope side to side. “Please spare my life , Madam, and I will give you anything you want. “ Zaos pleaded.

 

I have what I want, she said, holding the magic hat. “ I now want you to wake my servants up”. With a snap of his fingers, Zaos woke the sleeping servants up. “ Tie him up and puts him inside the cave, so he can terrorize no one anymore “ She ordered her dazed servants..

 

Kathena and her men set off after Zaos was disposed, hoping to reach the castle that evening. They arrived just before the sunset and waited outside the castle premises until night. Hiding under the CLOAK OF DARKNESS, they stealthy moved towards the palace grounds. Kathena saw her former army generals having dinner at the courtyard. Nobody would recognize her, not even her own son, because their memories have been erased by the evil sorceress.

 

She made her way towards her family room, where she knew her son would be  . Wearing an outfit she took from the maid’s room , she walked across the hallway unnoticed. When she saw her son, she was awestruck. He had grown a few feet since she last saw him. He would ten years old by now. He was but a child when she thrown out of the kingdom, left for dead. She was overwhelmed with so much love and longing for her son , she suddenly came “out of hiding and called out to him.  “ Joehn” she said. The boy look at her, startled , and backed away from her. “ Don’t be afraid my darling, it’s me, your mother”. She whispered.

 

I don’t have a mother, the boy replied. She died when I was very young. “ Come closer, and let me show you something” said Kathena. She raised her long raven hair and showed him a birthmark behind her neck. “ Just like yours, my son”. I am your mother. I did not die when our castle was attacked by the evil Gaura . They left me , thinking I was dead but I was found and nursed back to health by Gaura’s bitter enemy, Maia. I’m here to take you and our kingdom back.

 

Joehn’s maids, who had seen her had reported her to the guards. By the time the guards arrived, she and Joehn had fled outside to the waiting servants ready to take him to safety. “ “Take him to Maia”, she instructed her servants.” There is one more thing I need to do”.

She went back into the palace grounds and started to search for Gaura.

 

She found her in the palace lounge, having dinner. Gaura  merely looked up from her meal of roasted baby goat and summoned her bodyguard , a fearless half -man, half gargoyle named Ragnor who was several times Kathena’s size.

 

Seeing the intruder, the gargoyle  pulled his pointed sword and started charging towards Kathena. With the ease and agility of a trained athlete, Kathena overpowered the monstrous gargoyle with the combat and fighting skills she learned while in hiding . She finished him off with a swipe at his head, killing him instantly.

 

“ You’re next , Gaura” , she said gleefully. The sorceress rose from her seat and , wearing her magic gloves, started chanting magical incantations whilst transforming into an ugly sorceress. Kathena, who came prepared with the precious metals to ward off evil spells, was unscathed. She gave Gaura a quirky smile and said “ Your magic doesn’t work on me anymore”. Now, let me show you what real magic is . She pulled the stones out of her pocket and threw them on the levitating enchantress, quickly immobilizing her. She then took Gaura’s dagger and pierced her heart, killing the enchantress with her own sword.

 

She then heard a loud thumping on the door. It was the palace guards trying to get in. Kathena knew what to do next. She opened the door to greet them cheerfully saying “ good night, boys” while wearing Zaos’ hat. Everyone dropped to sleep. One could have heard a pin drop , when Kathena walked across the sleeping soldiers to her waiting horse, Silverwing.

 

Her journey was over. She had come home. After an emotional reunion with her son, they celebrated and started the long and arduous process of restoring her kingdom back to the glory that it once was.

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