The Trial of the Battle Born (Story)

quadraptor's picture
"He's just not ready. We've been patient enough, but he has yet to do his task.", the god-stag snorted.

"But he's done everything else we've asked of him. Maybe it's not the right time for him to fight Iugulare.", the god-doe replied.

A moment of silence. Michael sighed, "The longer he waits, the more innocent lives suffer her darkness. We must encourage him to take the necessary steps toward the final battle."

Auriea thought a moment, "Maybe he needs some...incentive..."

Michael tilts his head, "I think I know what you're talking about, but I don't know if he'd even survive the journey."

The god-doe smiled, "Come on, Michael, you're not giving Quad credit. He's lived some incredible moments in his life, and still walks and carries on with his life as if it were nothing."

"...Very well, we'll send him on the Trial...I only hope you know what you're doing.", Michael nodded.

Auriea reached over and kissed him, "I'm never wrong, remember?"


The antelope approached the gods' statues, and bowing down, he spoke to the stone on the hill, "You wanted to see me, Twin Gods?"

The stones responded, their eyes glowing, an slight blue aura emerging around them. "Yes, Quad. We have summoned you here to send you off on a very important task.", the gods' collective voices replied to him.

The blackbuck sat up, blinking a few moments, "S-sure, I'm alright with going somewhere else...what is it you need me to do?", he asked.

"Quad, we want you at the peak of your strength when you face Iugulare. This task is of the utmost importance, for accomplishing it will be among your greatest moments.", the gods replied.

Quad tilted his head, " this some kind of t-test?", he asked with a little stammer in his voice.

"Yes, Quad. It is known as the Trial of the Battle Born. You will be going to the Arctic circle to meet an old friend of ours, Qana, and if you pass his test, you will be granted his blessing. It is known as the Sigil of the Battle Born, and will bestow upon you the title of Battle Born. You will be more than ready to defeat Iugulare with his blessing.", they replied.

The antelope was silent for a moment, before asking, "O-okay, then...where exactly am I going, and what do I need to do?"

"Find Qana, ask for him and him alone. We do not know what his trial consists of, so you will need to be vigilant.", the gods replied. "And you are going to the Arctic Circle."

Quad blinked again, "A-arctic circle?! You mean...oh deer...", he was already dreading this trip, being a plains animal, he was not accustomed to cold terrain, "O-okay, when am I going?", he asked.

"Just close your eyes...", the gods replied. He knew what that meant, it was their way of saying 'immediately'. He sighed again, and shut his eyes, and almost at once, he felt a blast of cold wind brush into his fur, his legs ankle-deep in snow, and a light snowfall starting to cover him. He opened his eyes, and exhaled, his breath lingering in the air as he shivered at once. "How in the world am I supposed to find this...Qana?", he asked, but with no answer, he would start to look around for someone to ask directions from. Looking down, he saw a trail of stones in the snow leading off in one direction. The Twin Gods didn't leave him here without pointing the way, and with that Quad would begin his journey.

The falling snow would soon turn into a flurry, while Quad climbed up a steep, snow-covered hill. He shut his eyes and kept going, having to turn his head at the peak of the storm. Once he cleared the hill and was on the other side, the flurry faded and the antelope shook off the snow from his face. There he caught sight of something moving nearby. "H-Hey...hey!", he called out. The arctic fox looked up, and immediately ran. "Wait, I need to...", Quad called, but slipping, he tumbled down the hill. He was lucky he didn't break his legs, but it left him weary, and he stumbled to his hooves, but collapsed and rested. He shut his eyes again, feeling like this was incredibly hopeless.

"Eh? You lost?", a voice spoke close by.

The antelope opened his eyes, and before him was a caribou that had seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. "O-oh, umm...I'm...I'm looking for someone...", the antelope spoke, sitting up to look to the fairly large buck.

"I'm not surprised, you stick oot like a sore thumb with that black fur of yours. You're lucky the huntres haven't godden you yet.", the caribou spoke with a bit of a Canadian accent, and walking closer to him, he sat down with his side just pressed against Quad's, enough to share body heat. "So who are you looking for, eh?"

The antelope took a breath, "Well their name is Qana...I...I don't really know what...species they are...could be a caribou like you, may be a human...", he admitted the information he had wasn't the best.

" that's a name I haven't heard in a long time. You're going in the right direction, just keep going this way until you start to see the lights in the sky. You'll know what I'm talking aboot.", the caribou nodded confidently. Quad smiled just a bit, even though the cold was already starting to get to him.

"Th-thank you...", the antelope replied, and slowly rose to his hooves. He looked to the direction the buck spoke of, and began to go that way.

"Of course, buddy! Oh, and one last thing, just keep moving. The moment you stop and rest, you'll...become one with the land, if you know what I mean, eh?", the caribou replied, following him a few feet just to be sure he was good to continue on.

"I will, thanks agai--", Quad began to say, and looking back, the caribou was gone. He blinked a few times, wondering if he was just imagining this whole scene, or if the local cervine really was there. He tried not to let this phase him, and looking forward, he would plod on. By now, the storm had passed, and he could see much farther in the distance - an open land with few trees and many small valleys and rivets where the snow collected.

He walked on for what seemed like hours, keeping the caribou's advice to keep going without stopping. He would soon find himself standing at the edge of a deep ravine, and looking down, all he would see was the white snow that had been collecting in it. His eyes caught something once he looked back up, and as he raised his head, he saw a brilliant light show in the sky. An aurora appeared out of nowhere, the dazzling display of colors mesmerized him for several minutes. He would never hear someone approaching him from the side, until he heard a distinct roar that made him jump back.

The polar bear had come up to him making almost no sound, and raising up, he swiped the air, just barely missing Quad's head. The antelope stumbled back and hit the ground, about the time the bear began to speak with a deep, booming voice, "What are you doing here, little morsel? It's not every day my prey offers itself so easily."

The antelope cleared his throat, though obviously terrified and stunned by the sudden turn of events, "I-I'm...I'm looking for Qana..."

The bear blinked at this, but then burst into a deep laughter, "You're looking for falling snow? What nonsense you speak! You understand 'Qana' is the word in the native tongue here for 'falling snow', do you not?"

Quad blinked right back, incredibly confused at the response, "N-no, I...I didn't know that's what that meant, but...but it's supposed to be someone's name. I'm here to become something called a 'Battle Born'."

The polar bear's laughter ceased, and he looked down at the antelope with an odd expression on his face, "You? You're looking to become a Battle Born? Hah! This must be some joke, no scrawny little prey like you could ever take on such a title.", he went back onto all fours, now looking at Quad at eye-level. "Take my advice, go home before I decide I'm hungry enough to end your life here. I'll even give you a head start to go.", he turned away here and began to walk off.

Quad went through a myriad of emotions here - while not only tired and starting to question the Twin Gods' reasons for sending him here, he was becoming increasingly frustrated, to the point where he had a poor choice of words here. "Tell me who this Qana person is before I hurt you!"

The polar bear stopped, and grumbled before he turned back toward the antelope. "You dare challenge me? You don't deserve to meet Qana, and you hardly deserve to become a Battle Born either! This is your last chance, you little fool - leave now or you're dead!"

Quad stayed still, actually taking a step forward, ready to charge at the bear. "Tell me what I need to know and I'll be on my way!", he yelled.

The bear snapped, and roared loudly at him before going into a sprint on all fours, kicking snow up all over the place as he charged at the antelope. Quad reacted at once, charging right at him. Once the two were in close proximity, the bear swiped at him, the antelope just barely ducking out of the way. He didn't react fast enough once the other paw hit him on the side, knocking him to the ground. The bear quickly raised up and slammed a hind paw into Quad's gut, pressing down onto his ribcage. The antelope cried out at once, squirming to break the hold. All the while the bear scoffed, "No match at all. Why would Qana even bother with you?"

Quad was losing focus once the pressure got to him. He was starting to fade when he did the only thing he could think of - he jabbed the bear's leg with his antlers. The larger animal roared in pain and toppled back, giving Quad enough time to stumble to his hooves, but his ribs were causing him a lot of pain and he wouldn't stay standing for long. The bear recovered quickly from the punctures in his leg, and raising up once again, he would slam his paw into the antelope's side and send him hurtling into the air. The bear inadvertently hit him in the direction of the ravine close by, in which Quad hit the edge before tumbling off and falling into the abyss.

The blanket of snow at the bottom buffeted his fall, the antelope hit it and caused a hole in the shape of his silhouette, where he lay motionless. The bear looked over the edge, assuming he had killed his foe, and sighed, "So much for that."

And just as he was about to walk off, he barely caught a glimpse of Quad moving. The antelope raised his head just a bit, and moved his legs a little. The bear blinked at this, surprised that the antelope had survived the fall, and called down to him, "If you've still got fight in you left, climb up here and face me. If not, enjoy your grave. You're not the first to die down there."

The bear was not joking at this remark, for there were a few bones in the snow, of other animals who had fallen down and couldn't make the climb back up. Quad wouldn't notice them, as he was so dazed from the fall that his vision was blurred, and he rested his head back on the ground, shutting his eyes, starting to accept defeat....

"One last thing, just keep moving. The moment you stop and rest, you'll...become one with the land, if you know what I mean, eh?"

He remembered the advice the caribou gave him. His eyes opened again, and with a gasp of air, he forced himself to sit up, his sides instantly causing him pain, but he tried his best to ignore it.

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It took him several moments to pick himself up, and once he had caught his breath and regained his vision, he looked up the cliffside. He didn't know how far he had fallen, but he knew one thing - giving up wasn't an option. He tried to pull himself out of the hole he had made in the snow, but his thin legs sank through, so he had to plow and push through the snow to reach the side of the ravine. Once he had gotten on solid ground, he pulled himself up and began the slow ascent up the rock face.

The polar bear was watching this from the top, surprised the antelope had chosen to climb rather than give up. He had to admit, the herbivore had heart. But he knew that this effort was wasted, and patiently paced back and forth while Quad climbed. The jagged rock face had many uneven steps, and the cold weather caused several to ice. The antelope would slip just a bit on one of these, but regained his footing and pressed up onto the side. The bear laughed, and called down, "Just give up, fool! No point in you suffering unnecessarily!"

Quad didn't respond, but continued to climb, with each stone that he slipped on, he would step back, and find another stone, maybe one closer, at times one he had to reach for. There were a few times he literally jumped, nearly falling back to the bottom of the ravine but luckily making it. Other times, a stone he stepped on would break off and plummet to the abyss, nearly sending him with it. But he continued to worm his way up the wall.

He would just make it about halfway when several of the stone platforms gave in from his weight. He lost his footing, and slammed into the side of the cliff, falling a short distance and losing ground. He managed to catch a stone with his front hooves, and painfully pulled himself up. Stopping, he would gasp for air and shiver from the cold, his body already starting to give in to the freezing weather as well as the exhaustion.

"What are you afraid of?", he questioned himself, and looked up the cliffside. The bear was watching, they made eye contact. Quad shut his eyes and looked away. This seemed far too hopeless.

But then, there was a spark of inspiration, or rather...a guide to aid him up the wall. The antelope caught a glimpse of a mountain goat, who was watching him as well. The newcomer effortlessly glided up the cliffside close by, demonstrating how much easier it was to just keep moving and not to stay in one spot too long. Quad now knew the correct way to scale this wall, and mustering up the courage to begin, he would mimic the goat, bounding up the wall, nearly falling at first but regaining his composure and climbing on. He lost visual of the goat after a while, but it didn't matter, he had gotten much farther than before, climbing up at an angle. The bear continued to watch, and as he never saw the goat, he wondered where this sudden spark of courage came from.

Quad was almost there. He pressed on, even when his legs cried out to stop, even when every breath of the arctic air chilled and pained him, he kept going. He was just to the top when he stopped to catch his breath.

The rock beneath his hoof gave way, and his exhaustion got the better of him. He couldn't hold on, and slipped, now free-falling and plummeting for a second time to the depths of the ravine.

Almost on instinct, the antelope burst into his Grand Talux form, his four white wings emerging from his back and correcting him, slowing him to a hover just above the bottom of the ravine. The bear watched in surprise at this turn of events, staring as the antelope was able to ascend to the high ground and even fly over him, now landing a few yards away. Though still as exhausted from everything that had happened so far, he managed to stay on his hooves, using his wings to keep him balanced.

The polar bear grunted, enough to where his breath was visible in the air. "Wings or not, you're not becoming a Battle Born! I will make sure of it!", and at once he charged at Quad. The Grand Talux, only having a few seconds to breathe, acted purely out of instinct and soared back into the air just as the bear would have rammed into him. His foe stared up to him with a look of anger in his eyes, "Get down here and face me, you coward!"

Quad took a moment to slow his breathing, before he finally landed and faced the bear. "Ready when you are.", he accepted the bear's challenge, even if he wasn't fully recovered. He was not going to leave without what he came for.

The bear charged him again, and Quad did the same, his wings flapping and giving him a burst of speed. As the two nearly collided, the bear was hit with an unexpected surprise - Quad's body burst into a brilliant white light, causing the bear to flinch and shield his eyes. Temporarily blinded, the antelope rammed into his stomach at full force, knocking the bear off his paws and hitting the snow with a loud thud. The bear clamored and stood up, but his eyes were still trying to recover from the blindness, and he began to swipe the air at shadows he thought were Quad. The bear neared the edge of the ravine, and Quad was left with a choice - strike him here or spare him.

It was a split second decision. The antelope charged, head down, wings out and flapping. His antlers collided with the bear's body, sending him over the edge and into the depths he had been in a moment ago. Quad watched as the bear roared and landed in the soft snow, motionless and phased.

The antelope waited a minute for him to move. Not seeing movement, he did the exact opposite of what the bear did in the same situation. Quad jumped into the ravine, gliding down on his wings and landing close to the bear, who had landed on his back and caused a significantly larger crater in the snow than Quad did earlier. He approached cautiously, and then sat by him, pressing his ear into the bear's chest and listening for a heart beat.

Thump thump...thump thump...thump thump..., he was alive, and at this moment, his eyes opened and he looked down, almost in disbelief that the antelope had come down to his aid. "I will admit...", he finally spoke, as he sat up, rubbing his eyes, "...I'm impressed...and if I had known you were the Grand Talux before, I would not have said what I did. For that, I would hope you accept my apology."

Quad smiled and nodded a bit wearily, "It's okay...I understand. You were only doing your job.", he spoke, and did his best to help the bear up. Once he was upright and his vision recovered, the bear would jump onto the cliff wall, climbing up with such strength in his arms that it seemed effortless for him. Quad of course flew back up before he let his wings vanish.

Once the bear was back to the high land, he faced Quad and bowed his head, "Congratulations, you passed the test."

Quad tilted his head at once, "Wait...aren't you going to tell me where to find that Qana person?", he asked in confusion.

The bear laughed, a deep, booming laughter before he explained, "You're looking at Qana. The locals like to refer to me as 'Falling Snow', hence the name."

The antelope nearly toppled over, thinking that this bear was only one step in his journey, and not actually the person he was looking for to begin with. "You're Qana?! Why didn't you tell me earlier?", he questioned at once.

Qana chuckled, "All part of the test, my friend. I do not trust my name to all those I meet, as I'd prefer my test only to be known to those who truly take the journey to find me, rather than being approached by the common rabble on a daily basis. Which reminds me...", he approached the antelope, and placed his right paw on Quad's forehead, "You have proven yourself worthy of my blessing. I bestow upon you my Sigil, and declare you the title of Battle Born."

As the words were spoken, something incredible happened. The aurora that hung in the sky seemed to pulsate and glow brightly, before descending down upon the bear and antelope much like a wispy fog. The incredible light passed through the bear's paw and was absorbed into Quad's forehead, and once Qana removed his paw, a strange glowing emblem radiated on the antelope's head, expanding down his cheeks and neck until it covered his entire body with intricate glowing patterns. Once he was fully covered, the markings faded, permanently etched into his skin but hidden underneath his fur. Quad felt a sudden energy from this, feeling revitalized but also feeling a surplus of strength in his muscles. He knew now why this blessing was sought after.

"Go now, Battle Born. Let those who face you fall to their knees before you, and let the strength in both your muscles and your mind command and inspire.", Qana spoke, before turning away.

Quad bowed to him, "Thank brother...", and turning the opposite direction, he would walk off into the wilderness, unsure how he would ever get back to the Endless Forest. Qana chuckled, shaking his head to this, "Defeated by an antelope...I am thankful no one was watching..."


Quad opened his eyes, sitting up and looking about. Somehow he had managed to appear in the Blue Bowl of the Endless Forest. He yawned and stood, shaking his fur a moment and feeling oddly energized. He remembered everything that had happened, but began to question if it was all real, or if he dreamed or imagined it to happen. However, he ran off to the Pond, and looking at his reflection in the water, he inspected his head closely, now seeing a slight mark beneath the skin. He would continue this a few more moments, finding the markings along his legs, back, and belly, though well hidden under his fur. It confirmed that the entire thing happened, but more importantly, it sparked a level of confidence in him that he had never had before.

He looked to the sky, smiling as he spoke the words to himself - "Battle Born...I am Battle Born..."

He was ready now. This would be the moment that would begin a chain of events that ultimately led to the final fight between light and dark, good and evil...Quad and Iugulare...

The End
Seed's picture

Well, this shall be

Well, this shall be interesting to see play out indeed.
Pegasicorn's picture

This has my interest. >>

This has my interest. >>
Zergarikiaka's picture

*Parks here*

*Parks here*
quadraptor's picture

As you probably know, most of

As you probably know, most of the inspiration for my stories sparks from music. This one is heavily inspired by the Killers' new album, called none other than...Battle Born. There will be a song inclusion near the climax of the story that sparked the idea for this one.

Also you'll find out what Qana means. I picked it on purpose Eye

I wrote a bit more, and will try to finish this tomorrow.
Apoidea's picture

(No subject)

<3 It's wonderful to see another story by you, Quad. I missed these.
quadraptor's picture

Written up to the climax,

Written up to the climax, I'll probably finish it up tonight. Glad you guys are enjoying it so far.
Snowsauria's picture

This is great so far, look

This is great so far, look forward to read the rest. n_n
quadraptor's picture

Haha Snow you ninja, I was

Haha Snow you ninja, I was just about to edit my post.

I wonder if I need to put a violence warning up for that fight scene I just wrote
quadraptor's picture

Finished this tonight. Enjoy

Finished this tonight. Enjoy guys Eye
Apoidea's picture

I definitely enjoyed this,

I definitely enjoyed this, Quad.
CydaLuva83's picture

That was epic! Man, I wish I

That was epic! Man, I wish I had writing skills like that.
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