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Library :: The Origin of the Barbarian Brothers

By an unknown author

 Many moons ago, in another dimension, near the heart of the realm of Nez, there lied a titanic mountain that literally rose into the heavens. This lonely old mountain was actually a long dead volcano called Paradis.

Much of this mountain consisted of hollowed-out caves. Some of these caves stretched all the way down into the very core of Nez. Within these near-bottomless caves lived a rather large barbarian tribe of Fire Giants. And on top of this very same mountain, in the frozen tundra of it's highest peak, there lived yet another race of giants, a barbaric race of Frost Giants.

Needless to say, knowing the nature of Fire and Ice, these two races never got along. In fact they were almost constantly at war with one another. How and why these two races had even colonized this same mountain in the first place remains a mystery. Possibly it had been a gag played out by Noirceur, the Goddess of Evil of Nez, to amuse herself, or maybe just some type of ironic coincidence. But whatever the case, neither of these tribes were going to give up the mountain to the other. At least, not without a fight.

So for centuries these two races fought amongst one another. At times the Frost Giants would win a battle, and at other times the Fire Giants would win one. But neither side could ever win the war, for Fire and Ice are perfect matches for each other, neither one can completely extinguish the other.

One winter's day a caravan of Humans had gotten lost in a snow storm and ended up on of the higher reaches of the mountain. The Frost Giants attacked the caravan in hopes it carried supplies that might aid them in their war with the Fire Giants. All of the Humans were slain except for one, an exquisitely beautiful Human girl named Alia.

It was because of her beauty that Alia had survived. She had light blonde hair, ice blue eyes, and skin that was as pale as new fallen snow. Alia was enslaved and given to the Frost Giants greatest fighter, a barbarian named Slyce.

Alia spent many of her days cooking and cleaning for the Frost Giant. Alia was treated quite kindly for a slave by Slyce. He had given her the finest silks, and the most elegant of jewels. Apparently it seems that Slyce had fallen in love with the woman the instant he hand seen her. How could he not have, she was gloriously ravishing even for the standards of a Frost Giant. After a time, because of his kindness to her, Alia fell in love with the barbaric Slyce.

Several weeks past as the lovers spent their days and nights within each other's arms, until one day Alia discovered she was pregnant with Slyce's child. This distraught the lovers for they both knew that in the purists' ideals of the Frost Giant tribe it was considered a bad omen for the birth of a Half-Breed child. So Slyce decided it best to keep the pregnancy a secret. Alia had given him the hopes that the child when born would look enough like a Purebred Frost Giant to pass as one. And if it did, Slyce could claim that he had found the child, abandoned on one of the peaks of the mountain.

So the months past as Slyce kept Alia hidden from the rest of the tribe. At those times she did go out, Alia bundled herself up in as much clothing as she could, to disguise her growing belly. This went on until finally the baby's due date approached. Unfortunately for the lovers, Alia went into labor in the early morning of the dreaded Longest Day.

The Longest Day is a time feared by the tribe of Frost Giants living on Paradis for it is a time when the three suns of Nez form an eclipse directly above the mountain. The subsequent radiation from eclipse causes the clouds that constantly cover the highest peaks of the mountain to dissolve, and the magma that remains in the center of the mountain to heat up. The temperature on top of the mountain can rise to a couple hundred degrees Celsius, melting all the snow and ice on the mountaintop. This heat can kill all but the strongest of the Frost Giants within a matter of minutes, and those that can survive it, became extremely weak and ill for days. To survive the unbearable heat the whole tribe evacuates to the Ice Chamber. A cave where a massive ice crystal was stored by the Frost Giants who had first colonized the mountain top. The crystal was completely consisting of some magical element that prevented it from melting. The magiks of the crystal were so powerful that anything within a hundred-yard radius could freeze.

So as the tribe hid within the frigid confines of the Ice Chamber, Alia went into labor. At first the Frost Giants thought that Alia was possessed by some demonic force, but as Slyce cradled her within his arms, calmly telling her to just allow the child to be born, the tribe understood what was going on. And so the Half-Frost Giant boy was born to the delight of his parents and the dismay of the rest of the tribe.

The Chief of the Frost Giant tribe saw the birth of the Half-Breed child at the time of the Longest Day as a definite bad omen. Fearing that the birth of the child and the coming of the Longest Day were somehow related, the Chief ordered that the child must be sacrificed to the Gods. Alia and Slyce protested this, but they knew that there was nothing they could do to save the child. So the child was branded on the chin with a word of sacrifice in Cimmerian writing and brought out of the Ice Chamber and placed within the blistering heat of the peak of the mountain. Alia and Slyce cried in each other's arms for the many hours of the Longest Day. They both knew that there was no hope that they would ever see their son alive again.

Finally the Longest Day ended. The clouds returned bringing fresh snow, frost, and ice. After a few hours of cool down, the Frost Giants began to leave the confines of the Ice Chamber to view a miraculous sight. The Half-Breed child did not die in the hellish heat of the Longest Day. Somehow the child had survived. Both Alia and Slyce were relieved to see that their son had been spared by the Gods, but feared that the tribe would attempt to sacrifice the child another way. But rather the complete opposite happened.

The Chief beholding that the Gods had allowed the Half-Breed to live saw that this was the Gods' way of saying that this child was intended for great things. So the child was taken into the home of the Chief and was given the name Crom, which was the name of the most powerful of the Frost Giants' Gods.

Not more than a few days after the Longest Day, the Fire Giants attacked the Frost Giant encampment. The Frost Giants were able to repel their bitter enemy, due to fact that the Fire Giants' iron swords started to freeze within their hands from the cold. However, during the battle the powerful Slyce was killed and his beloved Alia was kidnaped.

Alia was taken back to the Fire Giants' lair and given to their General, Cinder, as a great prize. Alia was once again a slave girl, but this time not on the frozen tundra of the upper peaks of the mountain but rather within the fiery pits of the Fire Giant's caves.

Several years passed and Alia matured further into womanhood as she tirelessly slaved day in and day out for General Cinder. Cinder spent most of this time planning out ways to rid his people of the vile Frost Giants that lived atop of his mountain. But as the time passed Cinder began to yearn for Alia's virtues.

The many years within blistering heat of the caves had changed Alia's appearance. When she had first been taken there, the slave girl had looked much like a Frost Giant with her pale skin and near white hair. But somehow the furnaces of the Fire Giants' home had changed her. Her blonde hair had turned firey red, and her complexion became almost as dark as soot. This appealed to Cinder's loins and caused him to want for her.

Eventually Cinder began treating her with gentle kindness. This reminded Alia of her beloved Slyce so much that she grew to love General Cinder. Eventually the two were wed and Alia was pregnant with yet another child, yet this time she carried a Fire Giant Half-breed.

And so the Half-Fire Giant boy was born. He was given the name Garg which was the name of one General Cinder's most militaristic ancestors. And since Garg was the son of a General, he had to go through 'The Initiation'.

On the day of his birth, he was taken down to the core of Nez. Down to the deepest and hottest of all the Fire Giants' forges. It was there that the Sword of Incineration resided. The sword's blade was completely made of flame. The mere touch of the blade on the flesh of any person other than the most powerful of Fire Giants would instantly turn that being into a pile of molten ash.

And thus Garg was brought to have the Sword of Incineration touch his bare flesh to make sure that he was rightfully the son of a General. As the sword was about to touch Garg's newborn chest, the child grabbed hold of its blade with both hands and let out a giggle. In all the thousands of times the initiation had been performed, there had never been recorded such a reaction from a child.

Many years passed after Garg's initiation, and during this time it was evident that Garg wasn't like any of the other Fire Giants. He was smarter than the rest of the tribe, which of course isn't saying much, after all they were Barbarian Fire Giants, not one of the brightest groups in all of the known dimensions, but a feat nonetheless. He was still dumb by human standards, but was a genius when compared to the rest of the tribe. Fire Giants usually have brown or red eyes, but not Garg, he had his mother's blue eyes. His human genes were beginning to show.

Crom also was showing his human traits. Heat did not bother him as much as the rest of the Frost Giants. When the Longest Day would come, Crom would not evacuate into the Ice Chamber with the others, but rather stay outside and play in the melting snow. He also was much smarter than the tribe, although he could still be considered mentally retarded by human criterion.

Finally when Crom was 13 and Garg was still nine, the Frost Giants and the Fire Giants fought yet another battle. The conflict was extremely brutal and the Fire Giants took many losses, causing them to retreat into their caves. Crom sensing that this could be the chance to rid his tribe of it's bitter enemy, and hoping to avenge the loss of his parents, took the initiative and led a group of Frost Giants into the home of the Fire Giants.

Garg, who was still a year shy of being old enough to be allowed to fight in battles, was with Alia in their Royal cave as he heard the screams of his tribe members and the clanging of swords. Not listening to his mother's cries for him to stay inside, Garg ran out of the cave just in time to see Crom mortally wound his father, General Cinder, as the rest of the Half-Frost Giant's little group of barbarians beat back the Fire Giants further into the caves. Garg, sensing that his tribe would surely be slaughtered if something wasn't done, decided to take it upon himself to find a way to stop the Frost Giant attack.

As Garg glimpsed one of the Frost Giant's ice blades, an idea popped into his head. Garg rushed down to one of the forges of the Fire Giant blacksmiths, and started pumping all of the bellows. The fires of the forges began to climb and the heat within the caves with it. After several minutes of this heat the Frost Giant's ice blades began to melt, so Crom was left with no other choice but to call a retreat.

The nine-year-old Garg had been victorious against the unstoppable Frost Giant army, and saved his tribe from certain destruction. But alas he was too late to save his father from the wound that would eventually kill him. As General Cinder slowly began to die, he gave control of what was left of the Fire Giant army to Garg, knowing full well that the boy would one day lead them to great victories. Alia sobbed deeply as her husband, Cinder, died the same way her first love, Slyce, had, from fighting in a battle for the abhorred mountain.

Back on top of the mountain Crom was greatly upset by his loss within the caves of the Fire Giants. Total victory was within his grasp, and then it was suddenly taken away from him. He felt that he had somehow betrayed the memory of his lost parents.

Within his gloom and sadness Crom went into the Ice Chamber praying that the magic there would help guide him. There he stayed for many days, without food or water. As he sat there, he contemplated what he could have done differently. What could have been done that would have finished off the dreaded Fire Giants once and for all?

After a week without anyone spotting hide nor hair of Crom, the Chief went into the Ice Chamber to see what had happened to the Half-Breed. As the Chief came into the frigid cave Crom looked up at the Frost Giant. The Giant, who had been the only father he had ever known, yet he knew that his real father had died not long after he was born. Crom looked at the Chief and wondered if his real father was anything like the Frost Giant that stood here before him. Was his father as tall as the Chief? Was he as strong as the Chief? Did his Ice Blade look like the Chief's?

Suddenly it occurred to Crom. He finally had reached the enlightenment he had been searching for in the cave. He hadn't failed when he fought in the Fire Giants' cave, his weapon did. Just as, he had been told, the Fire Giants' weapons failed them when they attacked the day Crom's parents was taken from him. That's why the two barbaric tribes could never fully defeat each other; their weapons were faulty.

So Crom left the Ice Chamber, and began to design new weapons for his tribe. He knew weapons of metal and stone were no use against Purebred Fire Giants, for their skin was so hot it could melt these materials. But ice on the other hand could kill the Fire Giants, yet ice melted within their caves. Now the ice crystal never melted, not even small pieces of it, yet these shards were far too brittle to be used as weapons. So Crom needed a combination of these elements. Crom chipped off small pieces of the ice crystal and then created blades of steel around them. The magic of the crystal shards were enough to keep the blades eternally cold, even when left out in heat of the Longest Day.

No matter how many times Crom tried to show the Frost Giant icesmiths how to create the blades, they just could never make them correctly. It appeared that he was the only one with the skill to make the weapons. Because of this, Crom was given the nickname, Master of 'The Riddle of Steel'. It took several years for Crom to make enough weapons for the entire tribe, but once he was finished, the Frost Giants prepared for one last battle with their bitter enemy the Fire Giants.

During this time, Garg began training the Fire Giants in better strategies of warfare. Through his victory against the Frost Giants that had invaded the caves he called home, Garg had realized how powerful an ally the heat of the inner mountain could be. So Garg decided to use this heat to his tribes' advantage.

Garg ordered massive lengths of tubing made, enough tubing to stretch from the inner depths of the Fire Giant forges all the way to the outer edges of the uppermost caves. He then had every member of the tribe erect the tubing throughout the caves. After the tubing was all in place, he ordered his men to prepare for battle and the blacksmiths to start pumping the bellows.

The heat from the forges flowed out of the tubes and started heating the whole mountain. The heat was so bad that the snow on the mountain peaks was beginning to melt. Crom knew this had to be the Fire Giants doing so he begged the Chief to order a full assault on upon them. The Chief did as he was asked, and the Frost Giants raced down the mountainside towards the Fire Giant army.

Garg sat waiting with his Fire Giant army for the onrush of Frost Giants to come to him. Yes his army was outnumbered but the heat would weaken the Frost Giants enough to turn the odds more into his favor. Especially since the heat would also melt the Frost Giants' weapons, little did he know about Crom's knew ice crystal blades.

So the heat weakened Frost Giants clashed against the outnumbered Fire Giants. Both sides began losing troops left and right. Garg was surprised to find his enemies new non-melting weapons. And Crom was worried about how fast the heat was weakening his tribesmen. The Chief of the Frost Giants was suddenly cut down by Garg which put Crom in charge of the Frost Giant tribe. Crom charged towards Garg and their swords came clashing against one another in mortal combat. The Half-Brothers finally met face to face, in a bitter battle to the death.

The excruciating heat of the caves caused Alia to come out of them and their protection. As she exited the caves, she caught a glimpse of the bloody conflict. She was so saddened to see the massacre below her unfolding. She could see that this war would never end until both sides were completely destroyed. Suddenly she caught sight of Garg fighting against an odd looking Frost Giant. Their swords clanging against one another as they tried killing each other. As Alia looked closer at the Frost Giant see noticed a small brand on his bearded chin. The sight of the Cimmerian writing branded on the Frost Giant's chin sent Alia screaming as she rushed towards the battlefield.

Garg and Crom fought against each other like Giants possessed. They were toe to toe, neither would give an inch as they fought for their own survival. Their swords clanged like thunderclaps, sparks would fly off the blades as they struck each other. The Half-Brothers snarled and growled at each other as they traded blows. In the sound of their furious battle they didn't hear the sound of the beautiful Human woman crying out to them as she closed ranks.

Alia was closing in on her two sons. Alia had believed for so many years ago that Crom had been killed in the same battle that had killed his father, just as he had thought the same about her, and yet here he was alive and fighting with Garg. She couldn't stand to see her sons die the same way the two loves of her life had died, especially at each other's hand. Alia was almost upon them as a stray sword blow from a Frost Giant had struck her in the side.

Alia's mortally wounded body collapsed upon the fighting Half-Brothers. Crom, not recognizing Alia, stepped aside to let the woman fall to the ground his sword locked against Garg's. Garg would have caught his mother, but if he had moved an inch, Crom's sword would have cut him in two. Alia landed on her back, as she looked up at her two sons, their swords locked against one another.

Tears filled Alia's eyes as she called out their names. Both Garg and Crom looked down at the woman. Garg sad to see his mother hurt, Crom curious as how this Human knew his name. As Crom stared closer at the woman, he noticed her ice blue eyes. Alia's eyes striked a chord in Crom's memory, the only memory he had of his parents was that his mother was human and the beauty of her eyes. And here layed a wounded woman calling his name with the same eyes his mother had.

Suddenly Crom started loosening his pressure against Garg's sword. Garg wanting to help his mother also began drawing his weapon away from Crom's blade. Garg dropped away from Crom and down onto the ground taking Alia in his arms, a tear of pure flame began forming in his eyes Crom looked down at the woman and asked a one-worded question. The question, mother.

Alia looked up at Crom, nodded, and smiled at his recognition of her. Crom dropped down to his knees next to Alia taking one of her hands within his own, an icicle tear began sliding down from out his eye.

Alia took Garg's hand and pressed it againt Crom's. She looked up at her two sons and told them that they were brothers. Crom and Garg looked up at each other strangely for a moment, then back down to their mother. And as life began to fade from her, Alia begged her sons to stop fighting and end this war that had robbed them both of their fathers, and now of her. As Alia breathed her last breathe, Garg's flame tear, and Crom's icy tear fell from their chins. The tears mingled in mid air turning to water. The wet Human teardrop fell on top of Alia's lifeless forehead.

Garg gently placed Alia's body on the ground as Crom released her hand. The two Half-Breeds stood up, picking up their swords from off the ground. The battle around them echoing in their heads. Crom and Garg looked at the cold form of their mother on the ground then up at each other for several moments. They both breathed in a deep breath as they sat there staring at each other.

Suddenly both Crom and Garg dropped their swords and wrapped their arms around each other. Both exclaimed the same word as they exhaled that long breath. The word brother, echoed through the battlefield. Garg's Fire Giants and Crom's Frost Giants both lowered their weapons at the strange sight of their leaders in each other's arms crying like babes.

Noticing the sudden stillness around them Garg and Crom released their embrace and looked around them at their bewildered tribes. At first neither of the Half-Giants knew what to do, but then they remembered their mother's last wish.

So Garg asked his Fire Giants to drop their wepons and Crom did the same with his Frost Giants. They began telling their tribes that it was time this war ended, before it destroyed them all. That yes, they were both either part Fire or part Ice, which have always been at odds since the beginning of the world, but they were also both Giants, and they both lived on the mountain Paradis. It was time that they came together, as one, essentially as brothers. Together they could share the mountain. Together they could share their powers, supplies, and wisdom. And together they could rule as one.

At first the tribes were hesitant to lay down their hatred for one another. But they idea of being one combined power seemed to appeal to them. So thus the Barbarian Brothers had fullfilled their mother's last request and ended the war of Fire and Ice for the mountain of Paradis.

But of course being Barbarian's they could not totally give up their violent ways. Eventually Crom and Garg would lead their combined army of Giants against the armies of many other races, crushing them into the dust. And through their powerful ruthlessness they caught the eye of the weakened Gris, God of Neutrality of Nez. So eventually they were sent through the portal into the realm of Distant Lands.

But that, is another story . . .

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