The Crimson Minotaur: Chapter One

This story is heavily inspired by DnD concepts. It revolves around a minotaur named Rintra, a champion among his people and and leader among his mercenary crew. This isn’t really a serious novel. Just a mini series about his past.

More stories from Nathaniel "Nate" Hall

The Crimson Minotaur: Chapter One

Chapter 1: Stone

Early in the morning, 7:00 so to speak, the caravan had finally reached Hexonia, a small town on an island with no name other than “The Core.” While the fog continued to set on the ground, the smell of pine and campfires filled the air. 

A group of mercenaries stepped out of the caravan: Murk, a short grung (frog-like species) who happened to be a bard; Jeffery, a short goblin archer; Nigel, a humanoid male rogue; Iris, a behemoth of a woman and a barbarian; and Rintra, a minotaur, seemingly the leader. 

This group was tasked to find a man named Finnin. He was part of some strange prophecy. The minotaur didn’t care. He was promised to be paid in ale and a home out on the coast of Shult, the abandoned island he was born on. He wanted nothing more than to be away from these rotten humans. 

The minotaur looked around. “Let’s go, we shouldn’t waste our time. This is Finnin’s last known location,” he said, walking into a building, named “The Steel Lantern.” It seemed like a pretty old-fashioned tavern: gothic exterior with a wooden sign hanging above the door.  Small lanterns hung by each window. Pretty cliche. The inside was aesthetically pleasing. Plush leather seats lined the patron side of a solid oak bar with a shiny epoxy finish. Paintings hung on the wall near each table, a tapestry hung over the fireplace, and a huge axe mounted over the booze shelf. 

Rintra sat at the bar as his fellow team members scattered around the place, investigating their surroundings. “The special, please,” he ordered, placing a copper piece down. 

“Rintra, come check this out. You might find it interesting,” the grung said, pointing to what seemed to be a bulletin board.

Rintra stood up from the bar and walked over to the bulletin board. “It’s a quest board. Every tavern has one, Murk.” Rintra examined the board. “Raging basilisk in the north Akalla region, fishing contest, hydra nest near the desert, and a request for exotic fruits. Hm,” he read, a bit interested in a few of them. “Let’s see, we have five members in this group. I think we can handle a basilisk.” Rintra spoke, in sort of a boastful tone. “Looks like it pays well too,” he added, chuckling.

He stepped out of the building, forgetting the breakfast he paid for, and got in the caravan. “Let’s go. Akalla isn’t too far from here,” he ordered, getting prepared for what is about to come.The party did as he said without question, excited to finally fight something. 

The caravan pulled off and headed north, about two hours away. About a mile left to go, the beast’s roars could be heard. It sounded more scared than angry, or so the party thought.

The party headed toward the sounds, hoping to find the basilisk. They found it, but it was mortally wounded, crying out for help. The stench of rotten flesh and burning blood filled the air. “That’s just a juvenile basilisk. Keep moving. An adult should be near.”

 The team trudged through the sludge that spilled from the young basilisk. Nigel lifted his blade and casted an aura over the beast, easing it into a faint death. Soon, they reached the den. Bones and stones covered the ground. “Murk. Some tunes would be nice. Iris, Nigel, secure the arena. Let me know if there are any more creatures lurking. Jeffery, get a vantage point,” Rintra demanded, dragging his hand over the blade of his greatsword. The blood ignites, creating a beautiful yet deadly weapon smothered in flame.

Iris grabbed what seemed to be a pole and slammed it into the ground. Nigel spoke in a strange language. A beam casted from the pole and created a dome-like structure around the area, about 800 feet wide by 300 feet long. Murk began to play some music on his fiddle. This caught the attention of the beast, drawing it out of the cave. The bellows of the beast shook the bones of the allies except for Murk. Rintra was unphased. 

You see, Rintra is what some may call a “Blood Hunter.’’ His blade is a tell-tale sign that he is one. Blood Hunters are considered a monster to fight monsters. They can inflict pain to themselves, just to wreak havoc on others. Rintra knew that this beast would be slain. Murk, however, was unphased due to a different reason. He was hypnotized by the melody he created with his fiddle. We’ll get back to that later. The team was ready, and so was the basilisk.