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The Godungava

The Godungava

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The Godungava

241 pages
3 hours
May 26, 2018


During the day, Seidus is just a simple blacksmith. At night, nevertheless, he becomes the hero of a world that exists only inside his head. However, few ideas come to the isolated village where he lives and, over the years, his inner world has become repetitive and boring. Accompanied by Iriáris, a childhood friend, he leaves in search of new ideas, but they quickly become involved in a dangerous quest for an ancestral artifact that can save their nation from the invasion of a powerful enemy: the Godungava.
As they follow the clues leading to the artifact, Seidus, Iriáris and their new companions are forced to visit the most dangerous places in the Theocracy of Charglassume and encounter undead, kappas, veloryans, hydras and even dragons, while attempting to prevent their rivals from reaching their goal before them.
Filled with adventure, fantastic locations and creatures, magic and battles, this is an ideal book for any lover of epic fantasy and sword and sorcery.

May 26, 2018

About the author

Joel Puga nasceu na cidade portuguesa de Viana do Castelo em 1983. Entrou em contacto muito cedo com a fantasia e a ficção científica, principalmente graças a séries e filmes dobrados transmitidos por canais espanhóis. Assim que aprendeu a ler, enveredou pela literatura de género, começando a aventura com os livros de Júlio Verne. Foi nesta altura que produziu as suas primeiras histórias, geralmente passadas nos universos de outros autores, cuja leitura estava reservada a familiares e amigos.Em 2001, mudou-se para Braga para prosseguir os estudos, altura em que decidiu que a sua escrita devia ser mais do que um hobby privado. Isso valeu-lhe a publicação em várias antologias e fanzines portuguesas abordando diversos sub-géneros da ficção especulativa.Vive, hoje, em Braga, onde divide o seu tempo entre o emprego como engenheiro informático, a escrita e a leitura.Joel Puga was born in the Portuguese city of Viana do Castelo in 1983. Since an early age, he has been in contact with fantasy and science fiction, mainly thanks to dubbed films and TV shows transmitted by Spanish channels. As soon as he learned how to read, he got into genre literature; starting his adventure with Julio Verne’s books. It was during this time that he produced his first stories, generally using other author's universes as a backdrop, the reading of which was reserved to family and friends.In 2001, he moved to Braga to follow his studies, a time in which he decided his writings should be more than a private hobby. This granted him several publications in Portuguese anthologies and fanzines of various sub-genres of speculative fiction.Today, he lives in Braga, where he divides his time between his job as a computer engineer, as well as writing and reading.Joel Puga nació en la ciudad portuguesa de Viana do Castelo, en el año 1983. Desde muy temprana edad, mostró interés por la fantasía y la ciencia ficción sobre todo gracias al doblaje de películas y programas de televisión para canales españoles. Tan pronto como aprendió a leer, se sintió atraído por la literatura de género, iniciando esta fascinante aventura gracias a los libros de Julio Verne. Durante ese período, produjo sus primeras historias, las cuales, por lo general, estaban inspiradas en el universo de otros autores. La lectura de sus primeras obras quedaba reservada a familiares y amigos.En 2001, se trasladó a Braga para continuar con sus estudios. En esa época, decidió que sus escritos deberían ser algo más que un pasatiempo privado. Como consecuencia de esta decisión, publicó varias obras en antologías portuguesas y revistas de varios sub-géneros destinadas a fans (fanzines) de la ficción especulativa.En la actualidad reside en Braga, donde divide su tiempo entre su trabajo como ingeniero informático, y su pasión por la escritura y la lectura.

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The Godungava - Joel Puga

The Godungava

by Joel Puga

Copyright 2018 Joel Puga

Smashwords Edition

Table of Contents


The Pioneer Mountains

Out There in the World



The Forgotten Swamp


The Heathen Hills


Toward the Dead

The Vermillion Island


Battle Preparations

The Mines Mountains


The Battle of the Gods




About the Author

Other Works by the Author


Seidus ran through a narrow granite cave, his long brown hair fluttering chaotically behind him. The exit was already in sight, and he promptly reached it, finding a huge chamber dimly lit by the sunlight that came through some openings in the ceiling. Rocks of varying sizes interrupted the seemingly level ground, some heaped up in piles against the rough walls, but Seidus didn't even notice the geology of the place, for all his attention was focused on something more important. On the opposite wall, shackled by her ankles and wrists, about twenty-five feet from the ground, was Iriáris, her lover. She said nothing when she saw him, but he knew that was only because of her pride and he could imagine the fear in her brown eyes, hidden in the gloom.

Next to Iriáris, a ten-meter-tall dragon covered in red scales noticed Seidus's presence and turned his huge, flat, elongated head toward the small entrance.

- What do you want from here, human? Asked the creature in a deep, menacing voice that hurt the ears.

Free her or die, Seidus said confidently.

The dragon laughed deeply at the seemingly vain threat, and the human drew his sword, running toward his gigantic enemy. The creature filled its chest and ...

Seidus, get up and go to the workshop! cried his mother. Torlérus is already on his way!

As on almost every day of his thirty-one years of life, his mother interrupted his imagination. And, as usual, he decided to continue the following night, after going to bed. After all, there was no reason to hurry. He had imagined fights against dragons more often than he could remember.

Seidus took off the bearskin that had covered him all night, rose quickly, ran to his cloak, made of bearskin as well, and wrapped himself in it. Even though it was already Spring, cold still gripped the Pioneer Mountains. Then he crossed the house's single room to the pine table in its center to get some bread, on the way looking at his father's bed. As he expected, his old man had already left to set traps for the bears.

Late to work, Seidus decided to eat on the way and immediately left the house. Then he walked along the dirt streets of Surne, lined with houses made of hewn stones and thatched roofs, similar to his. The route he chose took him to the wooden fence that separated the village from the cliff, for Surne lay on a small plateau.

As he walked, Seidus looked down into the valley and saw flowers of all colors of the rainbow opening as the warm sunlight, which still peered shyly over the mountain peaks to the east, reached them. A beautiful sight, he had to admit, but nothing compared with those that went through his mind every night.

Seidus turned his attention back to the street and saw that his boss was already waiting for him by the door of the workshop.

Good morning, Seidus, said the affable Torlérus, one of the few elves who lived in the village. Let's work. Today, we have a lot to do, and we’re already late. Get ready to leave after sunset.

Good morning, said Seidus, after swallowing his last piece of bread.

From what Torlérus had said, it was going to be a hard day's work, but Seidus didn't care. His boss was not overly demanding, and fortunately, his duties didn't require too much concentration, which freed his mind for other thoughts.

Upon entering the small building, he tied his long brown hair with a strip of leather so as not to disturb him while working. Next, he then went to the tool stand and picked up a pair of pincers, that he then used to pull an iron bar out of a wooden box. He heated it in the forge and carried it to his anvil, where he took a hammer and began the lengthy process that transformed the bar into a long knife. As the blows of his mallet began falling at a steady pace, he let his mind drift into the adventure that he would continue that night. What was he going to do to escape the dragon's flames? Dive behind one of the rocks in the cave? Would someone show up to help him? Or was he simply going to get out of the way?

In the middle of the day, the two blacksmiths took a short break to go home and eat something. As he walked, Seidus fought with a thought that had been troubling him for a while. What triggered it this time was the fact that despite trying all morning, he hadn't been able to decide how to continue his current imaginary adventure. All the ideas that had happened to him had been used several times, but he wanted something different. His inspiration came from the books kept by the village priest, who taught had him how to read, and from stories told by travelers. Unfortunately, both were rare, and it had been years since they last stimulated his imagination with something new.

Involved in these thoughts, Seidus entered his house and sat down to eat. He tried to drive them out of his mind, which was becoming increasingly difficult, and he only succeeded when he returned to work. There, hypnotized by the cadence of his mallet, he lost himself again into that night's adventure.

When Seidus finally left the workshop, the Sun had already set behind the mountains to the west.

Seidus, Iriáris called, pulling away from the outer wall of the workshop. I'd thought you'd never leave.

Seidus's friend since childhood, she would often pick him up to go for a walk.

We have a lot of work, the blacksmith explained.

Let's go to our spot? she asked.

Let's go.

The two friends started walking side by side, as always telling each other the events of the day. Blacksmith wasn't a very eventful profession, so Iriáris, a huntress who scoured the forests around the village daily, usually talked more, and that night was no exception. Sometimes his mind would wander, and she noticed it because of the short answers she started receiving, but she didn't care. After more than twenty-five years, she was used to it. For some reason, his presence had always been enough for her.

The two of them traversed Surne and got out through its single gate, crossing the narrow and precipitous passage that connected the small plateau to the nearest mountain. They then climbed through a forest for some time, until they reached a place in the slope devoid of trees from where they could see the lights of the village and the valley beneath it lit by the full moon. The two friends sat side by side on a boulder that rested almost in the center of the clearing.

Did you see the valley during the day? asked the huntress.


Just looking at Iriáris invoked an image in Seidus mind of them kissing, an image that constantly raced through his head when he was with her and sometimes even when he was not.

There are already flowers. Summer will be here soon, she said.

That's true.

But like everything in his imagination, the images where he kissed Iriáris were always the same, always in the same places. And they were always with the same person because no other woman in the village paid any attention to him.

After a few moments of silence, she nudged towards him until their bodies touched.

You know, I really like spending time with you, said the huntress.

It wasn't the first time she said it, but he never seemed to hear. Would she have better luck this time?

His imagination was limited by his life experiences in Surne, from where he had never traveled far, and by the little information about the rest of the world he had access to.

He didn't answer, didn't even react. She was more than used to it. She was sure that he didn't even listen. Still, Iriáris continued. It could, at least, be a cathartic experience that would help her sleep that night.

And I always thought you were handsome.

As much as he wanted to believe that his mind was free, he felt shackled by that village.

You're the only person I feel good comfortable around.

I have to get out of Surne! said Seidus, rising abruptly.

Iriáris looked at him, frightened. Had he actually been listening? That wasn't the reaction she expected. And certainly not the one she hoped for.

Was it something I said? she asked, nervously.

Seidus smiled and replied, No! I'm leaving because of me and me.

Can I go with you? the huntress asked impulsively.

Seidus stared amazed at her for a moment. He didn't expect her to volunteer to go with him. But the idea pleased him. Besides having the company of the person who was closest to him, two would always be safer on the dangerous road that awaited them than just one.

You're welcome, he said at last. We'll leave tomorrow at dawn.

I'll wait for you by the village gate after the sun rises, she said.

Then maybe we should go to bed and rest. We'll be walking a lot in the next few days.

Sounds like a good idea.

The two of them got up and started down the slope to the village. As soon as they crossed the gate, they parted, each one going to its own home.

Only now that she was alone did Iriáris realize the implications of her sudden decision. It was amazing how one sentence could change a life in an instant. The next day she would be leaving Surne, the village where she had been born and she had never left. She was scared, of course, but she wasn't going to back out. Maybe it would be for the best. If she let Seidus go alone, she would be constantly worried. She wasn't even sure if he could survive alone on the road.

Down the street, the huntress was already seeing her house. She had only a few seconds to decide what to say to her parents and brothers.

Lying in bed, Seidus tried to fall asleep and rest for the start of his journey the next day, but the fear of leaving Surne didn't allow him. That was going to be the first time he would leave his home, a place where he had the stability that allowed him to direct his mind to his imagination, while out there he knew he wouldn't be able to do it, for the mere thought of being in a situation he wasn't familiar with was going to distract him. He knew that, for the sake of his inner world, he needed to go on that journey, but that didn't make him feel better.

Wanting desperately to sleep, he tried to direct his mind to the battle with the red dragon that he had interrupted that morning, but when he imagined the Iriáris' face, his thoughts went in another direction. She had volunteered to accompany him, but before that, she had said a few words that Seidus, lost in his thoughts, hadn't heard but sounded tender. Was the woman known in the village as a tomboy and that no one thought would ever marry trying to tell him something? It didn't matter. The romance with Iriáris was beautiful in his imagination, but, like everything in life, imagination was better than reality, and he didn't want to spoil the images in his mind by making that relationship real.

Seidus turned in his bed and again directed his mind to the encounter with the dragon, this time successful. Shortly after, he fell asleep.


The Pioneer Mountains

A rooster crowed as the first rays of sunlight crossed the gaps between the mountains to the east, waking Seidus. Usually, the blacksmith would stay in bed a little longer, resuming his adventure from where he had left it when he fell asleep, but this time Iriáris was waiting for him, and he got up quickly. Alone at home, for both his mother and father had already left for their daily chores, he began preparing for his journey. Not knowing what expected him, he put on the scale armor he had made in the workshop with scraps of metal that his master had considered useless and secured a mallet, the only weapon he knew how to handle well, on his leather belt. Then he put on his backpack, where, the night before, he had packed rations and other useful items, and finally wrapped himself in his bear fur cloak, since the cold in the mountains was still biting.

Finally, he left the house where he had been born and that had harbored him ever since.

A little later he saw the village gate, where Iriáris was already waiting for him. She wore her hunting clothes: thick green trousers and sweaters and a cloak of the same color, but in a darker shade. As weapons, she carried her longbow on her back, and a long knife in her belt. Seidus also noticed a backpack and a quiver full of arrows.

It took you a while, Iriáris joked when her friend approached.

You have an unfair advantage. You live closer to the village gate, Seidus replied with a smile. Let's go?

Sure, but where are we going? she asked curiously, because the night before she got the feeling he hadn't thought of that.

The blacksmith looked at her and said, First we get out of these mountains, then we'll see.

Walking side by side, they began their voyage. A few steps later, they passed through Surne's gate. The two friends had crossed it countless times, but this time the weight of the journey ahead accompanied them. Who knew when they would cross it again? Or would they never do it again? And when they returned, how much would the village have changed? And them?

Dismayed by those thoughts, they silently crossed the narrow passage that connected the Surne plateau to the mountain and entered the dirt road that would lead them to a world unknown to them.

Around noon, Seidus and Iriáris reached the top of a slope, after which the road descended behind the mountain. Realizing that it was the last chance they would have to see their home village, they turned and stared at it in silence, wondering if and when they would return. Tears appeared in the huntress eyes, and Seidus noticed them. He put his hand on Iriáris shoulder and said, I need to make this journey, but you don't have to come with me, even though you're welcome.

She turned slowly to her companion as she wiped away the tears.

I want to go with you.

Then we'd better go on. It won't do us any good to stand here looking back.

She nodded, determined, and followed Seidus as he turned and resumed the voyage.

The dirt road descended to the foot of the mountain, and then accompanied it through highs and lows. The two companions advanced looking closely at the trees and cliffs that surrounded them, for the orcs and goblins of the mountains often attacked travelers who ventured too far from a civilized settlement. Several streams interrupted the path, and the two friends had to cross them using stepping stones. Often, these were almost totally submerged, since the thawing of early spring had substantially increased the water flows.

When night fell, they decided to camp in a small grove. To avoid being seen by unfriendly eyes, they didn't light a fire, which forced them to wrap themselves in all the skins they had in their backpacks and to eat dried meat. Even though it was Spring, the winter chill could still be felt on the mountain nights, and they decided to lie down early in an attempt to ward off the cold with sleep.

Since we don't have a fire, we should lie down against each other to make the most of our body heat, said Iriáris, who, during her many years as a huntress in the mountains, had found herself in some similar situations.

Seidus nodded, and

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