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The Quest for Wraithjaw

<strong>Part 1</strong>

Ryx stood silently in the doorway, waiting for his companion to finish the last few bites of their morning meal. They had stopped at the small inn, nestled into a cozy corner between a hillside and brook, just for the night to rest their weary bodies and fill their bellies to begin the trek anew. Dawn was breaking and they had much further to go before they would arrive at their final destination.

He thumbed the hilt of the sword secured at his side absent-mindedly as he took in his surroundings. The inn was well-shaded by both the hill and the surrounding forest floor. Dense enough to conceal beings and creatures that did not wish to be seen, but spread out enough to allow plenty of sunshine to bathe the local vegetation in warming rays of sunlight throughout the day. Calls of various types of birds and occasional grunting of larger wildlife could be heard almost in sync with the soft babbling of the nearby brook.

<em>I could settle down in a place like this,</em> Ryx thought, stroking the edges of his short beard lightly. <em>Someday, anyway.</em> He turned slightly to look back over his shoulder, a sneer forming on his middle-aged face. "Are you going to finish eating that," he mused lightly in his distinctly Vaelunian accent, "or should I take refuge in the other room with vacancy so that you can further share a more intimate moment with it?"

The other man guffawed, putting down his utensils and wiping the corners of his mouth as he stood. The cleric known as Tho'cthul donned a smile of his own, the corners of his mouth widened by the reddish tinge of his rugged cheeks beneath his slightly protruding canines. "Chokek thut," came the reply in the language of the orc's ancestors. "Always in a hurry, you are. Sometimes I wonder if you know the things you've missed."

Tho'cthul retrieved his cloak from its place near the door and draped it over his broad shoulders. He then took up his modestly runed staff, softly reciting an incantation under his breath causing it to glow lightly in the retreating darkness. He looked up at the fighter before him, winking. "Very well then, friend, let us be on our way."

The two stepped out onto the path of crushed rock and sand leading back to the main road. They each gave a slight nod to the elven innkeeper, tending to a garden nearby, as thanks for the comforts he had provided them. They soon found themselves at the edge of the well-traveled path that served as the main thoroughfare between two major cities, Sylencia and Thorrington. Though various villages and dwellings lay scattered along the roadway between the two cities, the two travelers had settled on The Humble Gnome due to its inconspicuous location.

A radiant beam of sunlight broke through the canopy of branches and shone onto the road leading toward Thorrington, acting as a beacon for the next step in their journey. Having chosen to undertake the trek on foot, both men had brought few belongings with them that risked slowing them down. Ryx kept his armor neatly bundled and slung at his back. Though the pieces consisted of dense leather mixed with metal plating, they were surprisingly light to allow him an ideal range of movement once equipped. The breathable cloth of his tailored pants and tunic kept him cool as they walked swiftly at a steady pace toward their destination.

The orc at his side was similarly dressed, though the deep navy cloak kept much of his physical features masked from the passing observer. Aside from his staff, he carried only a couple of scrolls tucked into hidden pockets within his cloak. Tho'cthul was also keen on keeping a full pair of waterskins on either side of his belted waist. Though there were many places along the road to obtain water or other beverage when necessary, he had insisted at the start of their journey to bring one for each of them for the sake of keeping them moving along. They had made good time thus far and would likely reach Thorrington by dusk if they continued at the same pace.

As early as they had left for their day of traveling, they did not meet anyone else on the road as they walked. The two kept mostly silent, allowing the forest's song to play through their ears in lieu of any forced conversation. Ryx had known Tho'cthul for some time and had grown accustomed to the often long void of chatter between them. The only sounds they generated of their own to join in the song of the forest was the occasional rubbing of armor on armor at his back and the soft footfalls of his boots and the orc's padded feet.

It was nearly mid-morning and they were likely a few miles from where they had joined the road from the path leading to the inn when they came around a bend and both stopped mid-step, halting. There before them just a bit further up the roadway lay a wagon, mostly destroyed but still smoldering, along with the bodies of half a dozen men in matching uniform scattered around it. Even from the distance they stood, Ryx could identify them as a part of a mercenary guard unit based out of Sylencia.

"Well this certainly puts a damper on what was shaping up to be a pleasant day." Ryx drew his blade as he visually searched the area surrounding the road near the ambushed wagon. "Hopefully their fate does not become ours as well." Observing no signs of any further traps laying in wait for them, he nodded slightly toward the wreckage. "Let's go check if your skills have any chance at saving one of these poor souls."


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    Reserved for Part 2
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    Reserved for Part 3
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    Reserved for Part 4
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    I'm loving this story, and an excited to see where it leads! Excellently done, and thank you!
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    [quote quote=23521]I’m loving this story, and an excited to see where it leads! Excellently done, and thank you!


    Thank you :)
    Hoping to have Part 2 done by early next week depending on what the weekend brings!
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