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Journey to the Black Gate

ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
edited October 2017 in Fan Stories

I stand with my father in his large blacksmith shop, while he rubs the gray beard on his face, and his workers are busy making new armor for what is to come. The King has sent out dispatches to all the free lands, Marisa has gone ahead to the capital, for war is coming to his gates. I know all to well what is to come, so I make ready for battle with my family. I find myself looking around the shop full of odds and ends, and seeing many stacks of ingots of different metals. Victor, Samuel and Peter are sizing up different armor pieces, as the smacking of hammer to steel goes on behind them.

The forges are burning hot today, and different workers shape armor to help in the coming battle. Grinding wheels spinning, putting an edge on the blades, they are doing fine work for my father in here. I almost miss this part of my life, I know enough to keep my weapons sharp, but I am far from a grand master in the art of weapons and armor. Yes the open road was my life, but now as I grow older in years, maybe I should have studied under my father longer. 

I get my sword and shield pushed into my chest hard by my father, waking me from my deep thoughts. That's right I traded my fathers things to get these new ones, and he wasn't to happy with me returning without his hand made brand. But I got a new kite shield with a dragons head in the middle, and its a dull silver with pointed edges.

 It will work great with my bash forward attack, I am told to be the best at knock the enemy on their backsides.

Then I look at my new sword, its fairly long, broad, smooth blade made of a strange steel like metal, that glows a yellowish red, like its on fire, but it fades after a short while to shiny slivery color. It feels very smooth to the touch, and is very strong and very sharp so I am told by my father. He tested the blade on an oak block, and it cut in clean through, and did lose it's sharp edge. In fact it look to get even sharper after the strike.

I look at the cross-guard that has a decorative dragon head on each side, a large dragon coils around the blade for it's holder. Father tells me he has never seen a blade such as this, and to take care for it looks to have powerful magic built into it.

Now my father hangs a large golden amulet of a dragons head, with many blue gem eyes, and it holds in it's mouth a shield ringed with more blue stones. It feels warm to the touch, and I take it in my right hand to look at it closer. My father takes it from my hand, to place it against my chest, then he presses on the largest stone with a click.


I can't believe what happens next, as metal seems to pour from the edges of the dragons head, taking shape around my body. Before I can react, it forms armor around my body, and I am completely covered in golden plate armor from my neck to my feet. I try to understand what just happened, what type of magic is this, not knowing is the worst part. Was this amulet part of the alters gifts to me?

" It looks almost like the same armor I gave you son.", says my father as he wipes a cloth over the chest plate. " But that charm looks to have fused itself with my work and changed it a bit.", then he presses another area on the collar of the plate, and a helm shapes itself over my head.

" Yep, that's my armor I gave you alright, every piece of it in place. Whatever that amulet is, it looks to have taken your armor and made it into some thing more.  But what I wonder? ", then I watch as my father takes up a sword, and he strikes at me.

I step back away from his blow, but he still finds his mark, and the sword shatters into pieces. My father looking at the hilt that is left behind, lets out a whistle at what he just seen.

" That's a powerful suit you have their son, very power indeed, you best take care of that. I just wish I had more time to test out the limits of what it can do. "

" But father I don't remember getting this charm with my sword and shield. I don't even know how I got back home. ", I put my sword and shield down on a table next to me, and press the jewel in the middle once more. The armor just as quickly as it formed to my body, not retreats back into the charm around my neck.

" Yep, that is something special you have there, never lose it or give it away son. At least to anyone not part of this family. But we have no more time to play around, I need to get your brothers ready for war. "

" What?  I thought you where against them fighting? That's what you told me when I left years ago, that I shouldn't be a fighter, and take up your craft to carry on the family name making armor and weapons.  ", I say giving my father a concerned look.

" I know son, but these be bad times now, and I will fight to protect my family and friends. Your brothers have already signed up to join the other troops on the front lines. They are men now, and have to follow what their hearts tell them too. So I will join them in battle too, and protect our home as best I can.", says my father as he looks back at his other three sons.

" Now Granthor my son, take up you sword and shield, go to the capital, and bring honor the name of Stormhand. We will be fine over here, so go my son, make me proud of you.", he grips me on both shoulders, then hugs me.

My other brothers come over to wish me well, and I say my goodbyes to them. They return to finish up getting ready, and I can't help but wonder. Will I see them again? I don't let bad thoughts enter my head, as I grab up a travel pack, and head off to the Capital to see what the King wishes of me.

To Be continued................. 


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    I got the idea from Wraeven to add images to my story, after reading one of theirs. So going forward I will be keeping up with this format, unless everyone doesn't like it. Then I will stop. If you do like it, I will revisit my other stories, and add images to them as well.
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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited October 2017

    They all came to answer the call to arms, From over seas, to the far south, and even the deep western mountains. the Kings allies came from near and far to protect the land. I watched as the banner men enter the city walls, going before their leaders, as there troops made camp in the farmlands. There were three banners of human lords, one of the dwarf lord and one of the elven lady.

    First into the city is Lord Deiniol Samson of the Mountain folk from the northwest, bore the red banner of the eagle. it is said his men are very disciplined fighters, who move as one when fighting in a line. Followed closely by Lord Ean Fletcher with the purple banner of the lion, He comes from the western lands of the great farmer fields, they feed most of the other lands with their crops, but also are know for their great skills with the long bows and pikes. Ah yes Lady Zoe Heart, I figured her father would make this trip, but he is long in years, maybe she took up the yellow banner in his place. Her people come from the grassy fields in the deep south, and have the best Calvary horses in the whole kingdom, even their skill with the mounted bow is unmatched by anyone. Not far behind her comes the dwarf King Bruraer Oaksword from the mountains north of the city, he has sworn an oath to protect this land, and would come when needed. I am not surprised to see his green banner coming into the city, to honor his word given to our king. His dwarf honor guard might be small, but they are some of the best fighters in all the lands. The last of the five banners is the light blue wolfm it belongs to Lady Leilatha Pawynn, the elf queen from across the sea, her people mainly trade with our lands, but are know to have one of the best battle fleets around, they are also very good with the bow, and shield fighting with long sword. Very good for ship to ship battles, I would love to see them in action one day.

    A horn sounds in the distant to get my attention, then another, more people have answered the call to arms, but who, the five banners of the lands have came, and I can think of no other. But the answer to my question comes quickly, as a new banner can be seen riding up before it's honor guard. I can see it's of a red dragon, and I can't believe my eyes, as I see Ash riding out from with sword extended.

     Well that answers the question of who took one of the four crowns, and he looks to carry it well, as he passes me going into the city gates. He looks to me for a moment, and give me a smile with a nod. Then rides off with his honor guard to meet with the king.

    I get ready to leave for my meeting too, but the sound of the horns fills the air once more, and I look up to see honor guard coming up the pass. They carry a red banner with a black sword in a middle.

    Who could this be, I don't know this banner at all. Then I finally see the answer to this question, as Amber Kahn rides up with her new warriors.

    She sports red armor, and a new crown on her head. She carries one of the banners of her new people, and a long fur piece around her neck. I can't believe my eyes, as she rides past me with a wink, and rushes up the pathway into town with her guards. Both Ash and Amber took one of the four crowns, now I am thinking maybe I should have taken that last crown, but who took the third crown? A question I guess will be answered later, for there isn't another banner coming up the pass, so I make my way into the king's castle, to meet with all the leaders, so we can plan for the coming war.

    I walk the gloomy streets to the castle, and all is quite for this time of day. I believe with this coming battle, some of the towns people have left for the safety of the mountain forts.

    But there are still a few merchants around, maybe trying to get a bit of coin from the troops, but I can tell from the looks of them, they are very scared of what is to come.

    After a few more turns of the road I find myself outside of the main gates tot he castle, they are well guarded, so I show my kings pass and they allow me to enter. With no honor guard of my own, I figure they wouldn't let a lone fighter enter without the proper papers, but even without it, my families name carries the weight of office, and I don't believe they would have questioned me, knowing who I am.

    The castle is a beautiful place, well maintained, and very nice gardens with a pond.

    The king keeps an enchantment cast on the grounds, to keep it looking bright with colors, and even a rainbow for an add touch of color. I wouldn't bother with such a spell, but he is the king after all, and the king gets whatever they want.

    I find my way past the gates of the castle, and enter the halls of this magical place. The main hallway the leads tot he war room is well lit, not sure of the light, as I can see no torches, and the fine chandeliers just add to the look of the place. There are hangings of large paintings here too, maybe of the king's family, or of those who came before him. But it's still a grand sight.

    I can hear arguing coming from the doorway ahead of me now, so I quicken my pace, and enter the room. I see all the leaders pointing at areas of a huge table, it have the troop banners of the different houses. I look over to see Amber talking with Ash, their guards stand close by, and Marisa gives me a small smile as she moves to my side.

    " Your late Granthor Stromhand. The others are already done with introductions, and now the debate begins. Who will go where, and how to best defend the city from the undead army with it's allies. ", she points to the areas just outside of the city, as we move over to the table for a closer look now. I can see the Bay area, and my fathers town, but there is the city of Rockfort. It guards the southern gate into the mountain bay area. I look tot he king now, as he tries to calm the voices in the room.

    " Your highness, king Cunningham, may I state the obvious for a moment? "

    He looks over to me, and gives me a slight nod, as the room quiets down from all the chatter. I begin to point to the table, as I make my points.

    " We have four fronts that must be defended, with the western mountain past now blocked off. There is the town of Rockfort, that holds the only way up from the southern road, it's walls and gates are heavily renforced to help protect it, but if the enemy passes that point, then you have my fathers town next in line for a defenses. Over to the east of the city is the eastern passes, with the mountains on one side and the sea to the other. It's a narrow path, but still large enough for an army to match down. Then you have the Northern passage, it's larger than the western pass, but you have the tower watch lining this area, with mountain roads over looking the path. And finally we has the bay its self, a huge water way into the very heart of the city. The bay is guarded by tower, with ballistic weapons of different designs. "

    The king frowns at me for a moment, then speaks to me.

    " We know this Master Stormhand, I have already sent what forces I have to reinforce the potions at hand. But the argument is what other forces will be joining them. We need to find a good balance, one that will not leave us weakened in a different area. Once the armies are in place, their will be where we put them, the distance is to great to move them across land to help if the enemy breaks the line. "

    Before I can speak another word, Ash steps forward.

    " Then I will take my forces to the eastern pass my king, we will hold the line there. "

    " And I will take my forces to the southern town of Rockfort, we will defend it with our last man. ", say Amber as she steps forward now.

    King Cunningham nods in agreement with them, and looks to the others now. I listen as the dwarf king pledges to guard the northern pass, and the elf queen will take her ships to guard the harbor. Lord Samson and Fletcher pledged their forces to defend the city walls and gates, each with 25,000 force of fighting men. Lady Heart says she will hold her forces in reserve, and ride to the area they are needed the most. She has 10,000 light cavalry, 15,000 heavy, and another 5,000 bowmen on horse.

    The king makes final plans when the doors quickly push open, and in steps a beautiful woman with a wisp of clouds around her. She looks me over slowly, as I grab hold of my sword now, and then she looks to the king.

    " Father, this war will fail, I have seen your end. But there is hope........... ", she moves over to Marisa now, looking her over slowly. Then she walks over to the king slowly, while letting her fingers slide over the war table.

    " So speak of what must be done my daughter, I know your visions are true, so speak of what you have seen."

    She turns as to look at everyone in the room, then her eyes go ghost white, as a sphere takes shape in the middle of the room, right above the table.

    We see in it a black gate, it's huge, then the image quickly moves to the land behind the gate. Its dark and cold looking, it fades to mist, and finally a face forms within the mist.

    The vision fades away, and the kings daughter speaks once more.

    " I can not see past her, the one who makes war with us, but there is a power behind her so great, it blocks my sight frm it. I only know to beat her, you must journey to the Black Gate. There will with find the true power behind this war, and only then will we win this war.", with that she faints into her fathers hands. The king calls forth aids, and they help her back to her room in the castle.

    " Well that settles it, Master Stormhand, you will ready an expeditionary force at once, and go forth to that dark island. Take what forces you need on this quest, we must fight this war on all fronts if we are to win, and I am counting on your to do your part. ", he says while look me in the eyes with deep concern.

    I agree to his request, then bow and leave the chambers, with Marisa rush up from behind now. I have no idea what we will face on that island, I only know of it from whispers, and no one has every come back, that has sent foot on it's shores.

    " You worry to much my love, I can see it in your face. ", Marisa takes hold of my arm now, as we leave the castle. " But I have faith in you, we will be ok, after all you have me at your side.

    I give her a slight glance with a smile, she does know how to keep things light. We reach the guard post outside to the castle gates, and I can't believe who is waiting for us. None other than Elyenvis, and she is all about business right now.

    " So..........where are we headed? "

    To be continued.....................

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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited September 2017

    Word has gone out to all the forces, we will send a ship to the black gate on the dark island. So a few solders from the kings ranks volunteer to sail with me, I count them as 100 and 15 good fighters. All the others want to say behind to help defend the capital, but this mission is just as important. Marisa and Elyenvis have already gone ahead to ready a ship we will be using, and I tell the men to pack their gear for the trip.

    As we now make our way to the docks, a company of 250 troops march up towards us, with a short solder wearing full plate and the rank of captain leading them. He holds up his right arm the halt their march in front of us, then removes his helm to show the face of an old friend.

    " You didn't think you were leaving me behind, after all we been through now, master Stormhand? ", Red says with a chuckle.

    " No you old bastard. Now why would I leave you? I was hoping to see you again, and hear you are. ", I grip his forearm in a warriors greeting. We lock arms for a moment, then let out a good laugh. Red tells me he was given the rank of captain, once he returned from the tome. He wasn't sure why, but it's what happened once he entered the town gates. Like they were waiting for him, like a returning hero, after along time away from home.

    I can also see he has a new weapon strapped to his right side, a single handed ax blade, with the image of a dragon in the middle.


    He still has the shield my father made for them, but this ax is new, along with his ranking. It's a little odd, that everyone who gave of something to the dragons altar, all got a dragon item in return. Even Ash looks to taken a kingdom of the dragon, but maybe it's his choice, seeing how he gained that power from the crowns in the first place.

    We update each other on what has happened since we last met, and it turns out we don't know what happened with Zadar or Garwen. But one of the solders over hears us, and speaks of a paladin by that name of Garwen Morgans. That she was knighted by the king, and given charged to take an expedition south the Greys Rock, to see what has come of it. We haven't gotten word from that outpost town in weeks, not since the fall of Trinsic.

    I nod a thanks to the soldier for the news, so Garwen is here too, that means Zadar must have taken one of the crowns for himself. But what will he do in this war, that is a new question that is now unanswered.

    We find our way to the docks, it's still busy, despite the treat of war that looms over the city, and I see Marisa waving to me to follow. She leads us to one of the empty docks, as one of the finest ships in the kings navy sails in from the open sea.

    It's the Goodwin, captain by Waterford Ridley, a fair and just man I am told. He has been in service to the king for over thirty years, and has seen lot of action on the open seas over his career. For him to be taking us to the dark island, is an honor unto itself, he isn't known to do anything lightly. But these of trouble times, and I am sure he knows it too, and is why his ship was pick over all the others I am thinking.

    As I watch the ship move to the docks, Red and I get a slap on the back, and a laugh can be heard behind us. I turn to see Max, oh how could I forget this thief. I check my pockets, as he laughs at me more.

    " You wouldn't be leaving old Maxy behind now would you? And after all we been through in the wilds. ", he gives Red a big smile now, as he hugs both hid shoulders with his hands.

    " Why you salty bastard of a rat's ass, why would you want to come with us? We are going into a dangerous place, and last I checked, your not a fighter on any level. So why not go hide somewhere safe, and let the real men do the fighting. ", says Red as he pulls away from Max.

    " You hurt me Red, you hurt me deep, but I forgive you. ', Max pats Red on the left face few times. " But now isn't the time to argue, after all, we are a team, and we should be watching each others back. "

    " Why you over blown squeeze box, I should............."

    " Now Red, lets give him a chance, after all he came back, and was gifted items like all of use from the dragons tome. Besides, even Max has something he can offer on this quest.", Says Elyenvis as she walks over to Red now, from behind a stack of crates on the docks.

    " Well what did the dragon altar give you anyway, I see not weapons or armor? ", Red looks him over carefully, check every inch of him.

    But I wonder about that too, all I see is a pack he holds close to him, so I take it that's where he is keeping what he got. But why hide it from us. Then he answers me, as if he heard my question in my mind.

    " I will show you what I got later, just know it's things a good thief can always use. ", he smiles at us, and heads to the now docked ship.

    Red looks at me for a moment, then shakes his head.

    " You know I think this is a bad idea, he will run at the first sign of trouble. "

    " Lets give him a chance red, he might surprise us, after all he did come back. He could have easily ran off with whatever he got from the tome. "

    " I know, but it still don't seem right for a thief to go into a battle like we are headed too. We will see like you say. ", with those words, Red motions for the rest of his men to board the ship.

    I stand with Marisa and Elyenvis now, watching the busy workers around the docks, then someone new catches my eye. An elf women walks over, and she is followed by two other males. They approach Elyenvis slowly and bow low to her.


    " My queen, we offer our services to you. "

    " Wait......I am not the queen, your still have my brother, and........."

    " No my queen, your brother fell in battle, your the last heir to the Northern Crown. we offer our service to you as heir, we are your humble servants." , the female elf takes out the crown of the Northern lands, and motions to put it on the head of Elyenvis. But she backs away, and turns from her.

    " I don't want it you hear, I am no queen. Find someone else to lead the people. ", she turns to walk away, but Marisa stands in her way.

    " Elyenvis.....please don't turn your back on your people. They need you know more than ever, if you don't lead them, then who? Will you put their faith in the hands of a stranger, or will you stand tall and do what your family would will of you? ", Marisa points back to the elf holding the crown.

    Elyenvis looks back for a moment, then looks at Marisa.

    " If you what them to have a queen, then you take that crown. Me, I have a job to do, so stand aside.", with that Elyenvis pushes past Marisa to enter the ship.

    I move to speak with the elf woman, to see what this is all about. She watches me closely, and I can tell they are a little disappointed. She returns the crown to is hidden pouch, and she studies me as I move closer.

    " What happened to the rest of your people? ", She turns away for a moment before answering my question.

    " Our people have gone up to the mountains to hide with the people of this city, the only ones here are what is left of the our troops. They are helping to protect the city, and we are what is left of the magic class. ", she says with a sad eye now.

    " Magic folk huh? So you come her to find Elyenvis? "

    " That is correct Master Stormhand, we were hoping Elyenvis would lead our people, but it seems she has other duties to handle.", she turns to walk away with the others now.

    What a waste of good talent, but wait maybe we can still use them. I yell for them to stop, they pause, then turn to face me once more.

    " What are your names my elf friends? "

    She walks back to me, and looks me in the eyes for a few seconds, then smiles to answer my question.

    " I am the sorceress Ava Keyris, these are my brothers Methild and Rhys, and we are the last of our house.", she looks back at her brothers for a moment. " Do you really want us to help on this quest master Stormhand?"

    " There is always room for those you wish to defend the kingdom. ", I motion for them to enter the ship.

    She bows to me slightly, then signals for her brothers to join her, and they join the others on the ship.

    Marisa walks to me, as I watch the three elves disappear below the decks of the ship slowly.

    " You know Elyenvis isn't going to like this. ", she says with a smile on her face.

    " You think I don't know that, but we might need a little extra help at the end of the day. You can never have too many magic folk on your side. ", she gives me a kiss on the cheek for saying that.

    " You know my love, I think I am growing on you, and to think you didn't trust anyone that used magic before me. How you have changed."

    I give her a small smile, and hug her is little closer.

    " I haven't change that much, I still have my concerns over magic folk, I just know how to tell the good from bad is all. ", she laughs at me now.

    With that we are the last ones to enter the ship, and shortly afterwards it casts off to head to the dark island.

    To Be continued......................

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    (Garwen's story)

    With a new commission and war horse from the king, I travel in the company of 500 troops, on the way to see what happened to the town of Grey's Rock. We are to provide what aid we can with the supply wagons we guard, and to rally more troops for help with the defense of the capital city of Stoneholde.

    I think back to what happened in the tome of the dragon, and I look to what I wear now. Gone are is the silvery chainmail I wore, along with my old mace and shield. All replaced with this plate armor, along with a new sword weapon and shield. I set my items on the altar, and before I could blight an eye, I was back in the capital, with a whisper in my ear. I am a Palladian now. I figured I would rank up to the levels of a high priestess, but never in my wildest dreams did I see myself becoming a Palladian. So few have ever joined those ranks, and I find myself counted as one of them. I was changed in that tome, I just hope I can bring honor to my new position in life.

    The country road is calm this afternoon, just the sounds of birds in the trees, and a soft breeze of the wind in my hair. I look around, and the men seem to be in high spirits today. The sounds of armor banging, and horses walking must have scared off much of the wild life, I just hope we don't get attack, that town need our supplies. But after a few more twists of the road, we see it just ahead, the town of Greys Rock. From the reports I was given, I figured it would be in ruins, but it doesn't look to be in too bad of sharp. I deploy the men across town, as I lead the supply wagons to the town center.

    This is mainly a mining town, set at the foot of a small mountain range. People cheer as we pass on by, our wagons full of what is needed, stop  begin to hand out items to the people of the town.

    I get off my horse to help out a little, so many in need, so many still wounded from the attack. The town doctors did what they could, but they ran out of potions needed to heal. Some of the people look to be on their last legs, so I try out one of my new powers, an area healing light, it's something that has become second nature to me now. I kneel down to pray with my sword drawn and place with it's point to the ground. I grip the base of it tightly, as I close my eyes to meditate, and a golden light heals those around me with it's warm touch.

    It only last a few moments, but I can feel the power of it, as it moves through my body, and as I open my eyes a knight stands before me.

    " Hello Lady Morgans, or should I just call you Garwen? Long time no see, I figured you would be stuck in some temple somewhere, praying to whatever gods you believe in."

    Only one man has ever spoken to me in such a way, the one man I turned down in marriage so long ago. He is Matthew Porter Captain of the Trinsic town guard. But what I read in the reports, his city was sacked by the undead, and he was lucky to get out alive.

    " Hello Matthew, it has been a long time. You look well after all you been through. ", I stand and return my sword to its holder. Not giving him a second look, I walk to one of the ten fat carts, and start handing out supplies to the line of people who have now formed on the streets.

    " Come now Garwen, after all we been through, is that all you have to say to me? ", he walks to my side now, looking at me closer.

    " I told you then I my heart is with the church, and I had to stay pure if I was to be a priest.", a little girl comes up to me now in rangy clothes, and I hand her a package of food. She smiles at me, with her golden hair in two long bares, tied off with two red bows, and she rushes off as quick as she came up to me. In away she reminds me of myself so long ago. Even with all that is going on around her world, she keeps a smile of her face. I watch her for a moment, and she rushes to two other children, and begins to share the food I gave her. There is more food to be given, so I take a few more packs and walk over to the young ones.

    I give them all a big smile, hand them more food, and they thank me for it. Without a second though they rush off, but I yell to them to stop. They don't respond, and disappear around the corner.

    " There are a lot of orphan in town now, many of the towns children lost their parents in that attack a few weeks back. ", says  Matthew as he moves up behind me now.

    " It's so sad, what will become of them? ", I turn to him now, looking for an answer. He rubs the back of his head to think, but I can tell he has no really answer.

    " Well the town folk have been helping out as much as they can, but they have their own issues to deal with. Some of the children have found new homes here in a town, but there are just too many of them to find homes for them all. "

    I can't believe what I am hearing, children on the streets, and not in a good home. I call the captain of my guard, and order him to round up all the homeless children off the streets they find, and send word to the towns people, to find any others that might be hidden. I want them all here by the night fall. The captain of the guard salutes me, and rushes off with a few men to follow my orders.

    " What the blazes are you doing Garwen? You don't plan to take these children with you? ", he puts a hand on my arm to turn me to him. I pull away and point to yet another children walking alone in the streets.

    " You mean to tell me, you didn't have a plan put in place for these children? Your a bastard Matthew, you should have sent word to the King! ", I try the scold him more, but he takes hold of me now.

    " Listen to me Garwen, I did send word to the King, but I only got word to keep them safe as I can here in town. There are more than just this towns children, but also the orphans from Trinsic. I am doing the best I can under the conditions I have been given. ", he gives me a deep frown now. I seen that look before, it was the same look he gave me when I turned him down for marriage.

    But now isn't the time to blame, and I think for a moment . Then a thought comes to mind, the ABBY over on the isle of St. Wallace. I have heard they will take in the needy, so I must get word to them at once.

    " Were are the town's messenger birds Matthew, I must get word out at once."

    " Over in city hall, but I told you the King has already turned me down. ", he gives me a questioning look, as I rush off now.

    I look back to let him know it will be ok, at least I hope so, and I quickly find the building in question and enter.

    Inside I find the city scribe, and have them send word to the Abby at once. The message is plan and simple, we have children in need, send help at once. With that the scribe finds one of his birds for the Abby, and they send it off in flight to the holy place.

    All I can do now is wait for an answer, so I return to the wagons to continue to help out and wait.

    Upon my return I find Matthew helping to give out supplies, he is a good man at heart, and in another life maybe I would have married him. I was once a Priest in training, and now a Palladian of the light. It's an honor to serve my King, and stay true to the holy light. But still deep down I wonder what life would have lead me, if I didn't follow the church so deeply.

    I reach the wagons and continue to help the needy, and Matthew speaks softly to me from behind.  

    " You know I do understand a Paladin Knight can marry, it's not forbidden in the order. So all I ask is to maybe find it in your heart to give me a chance. ", his words cut me deep. I don't understand it, why would I feel this way, after so much time as gone by. I dare not answer him, or turn to show my face. So I continue to work more, and I try to move away from him. But he puts a hand on my shoulder to stop me.

    " Garwen, why not answer me, don't you feel anything for me at all? "

    " Please Matthew, stop this, I...I must help the others now. Please lets just be friends for now. ", I remove his hand from me without daring to look upon him, and move quickly to the other side of the wagon. I look back to him slightly, as he now smiles at me, By the gods, I still have feelings for this man, I catch myself smiling back, then fight to put a frown on my face as I walk away. What have a done? Now he knows, but is it a bad thing? I continue with the job at hand, these carts need to be emptied, there are lots of people who need these supplies.

    Later that day into the evening hour, as the sun begins to set. The orphan children have all been rounded up by my troops and the towns people. By the gods there are so many of them, I had no idea. I try to get a count of them, and it looks like they number over 200 but just under 220. I much sure they all have good clothes on their backs, and food in the their bellies. It breaks my heart to see so many without families now.

    I have my troops circle them for their own safety, as I wait for word from the Abby. It it's not long of a wait, as a portal opens in the towns square.

    Then a beautiful elf priestess steps thought the opening, and walks towards me when seeing me.


    " Your Lady Garwen Morgans correct? The Palladian who sent a request for help? "

    " That is correct holy one, I have children in need here, and I was hoping the Abby could help.", I bow low to this holy person of light. She walks closer to me, and puts a finger under my chin to lift my head to face her now.

    " No need to bow to me my child, we are all children of the light here, so lets talk as equals.", she turns to look at the children, then she turns to look at Matthew. She smiles at him, then turns to look at me again.

    " I will take all the children with me, we will care for them as best we can, until new homes are found for them. But I sense there is something more that must be done here. ", with that she takes me by the right hand. Then she walks me over to Matthew.

    " Do you love this woman Matthew? "

    He doesn't hesitate to answer a yes to her. My face now flushed red, and my heart pounds hard in my chest. These feelings, I never thought I would feel them again, they were lost in time, but now they have return with full force. Is the Priestess doing something to me?

    " My child, do you love this man? ", she looks into my soul, she knows, I can see it in her eyes. 

    " I can not lie. I still love him. But my duty...........", she cuts me off.

    " Your duty is to live your life as best as you can, loyalty to the church and to the gods, doesn't mean you give up any chance of happiness for yourself Lady Morgans. ", she puts my hand into his.

    " If you wish it, I can bond you two right here and now. ", she takes out two rings from a hidden pouch. " I have watched you for a long time Garwen Morgans, and I have watch you as well from afar Matthew Porter. Both lives over time lost in duty, when you could have done so much more as one body. I can correct this now if you wish it, just say the word, and I will bond you for life. "

    I look at Matthew now, as he holds my hand a little tighter. He looks into my eyes and tells me.

    " I have not been with another Garwen, I only wanted to be with you, or no one at all. I have always loved you, and you alone."

    I turn to look at the Elf Priestess, and she nods to me, that he speaks true.

    " I don't know what to say Matthew, how could you stay loyal to me, after all this time, so many women would have..........", He kisses me to quiet me. Oh by the gods, this is a kiss? This has done me in now, whatever feelings I tried to keep down, have now exploded to the top, and I can't hold them back any longer. He pulls back away slowly, he knows he has me now, and my heart jumps even harder.

    " Do you wish to be bonded? ", the elf Priestess asks again.  

    I tell her yes, as I continue to look into Matthew's eyes. Then she says a few words, passes a blessing over us, then tells us to look at our hands. I do, and I can see we wear the rings she was holding on our left hands, and then she tells us, I am no longer a Morgans, now I am a Porter. Blessings to us all.

    With those last words, she tells the children to enter the portal, and one by one the disappear into the light, all with smiles on their faces after what they witnessed. The Elf Priestess smiles at us one last time, and enters the portal, as the last child walks ahead of her. The portal closes with a soft poof, and I turn to look at my new husband. By the gods, I got married? But in my heart of hearts this is what I always wanted, so I will love this man for ever more.

    The mood is broken as horns sound in the distance, and Matthew calls out for his men to get ready. I question what is going on, and he tells me it's a raiding party. They been hitting this town from time to time. I grab onto my horse to ride him, and tell Matthew, it's time to end this once and for all. I call my troops to my side, and we form up to ready a charge. This day the enemy will know that Garwen Porter will break their spirits, and end their sad lives.

    With sword in hand, I charge with my new husband at my side, and together we meet the enemy at the gates. This is a day that will long be remembered by me, and one the enemy will never forget.

    To be continued..........................

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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited September 2017

    (King Ash's Point of view)

    When I took up this crown, I never knew the wonders I would find in my new kingdom. I was transported to a seaside town, a simple fish port, and they were surprised to see me with the old crown.  I was told the crown which I now own, belonged to a kingdom of people who were turned to stone. I learned of it from old folk tails, from some wise men of village, and they tell me it was a curse put upon the people. It was to be in place, until a new king of pure heart would be found. A curse that an ancient sorceress place on them so more years ago, because its old king was so rotten to the core. It was so many years ago, that the world has forgotten them. It all changed once I set foot in the main castle, and they were all set free.  

    Now I sit upon my horse, watching my forces march to the eastern gate. Is it fair that so soon from their icy tome, that I send them into battle? But this war will touch us all sooner or later, we will fight, and if we must fight I pick this day to draw the line.

    The King of this land, has taken what forces that are not guarding the city north, to help support the dwarf army. It's a very wide passage, and one that must be held at all cost. Of all the ways into this area, that one will have a float of troops raining down on us all. The southern gate Amber has sworn to guard, she has already taken her forces to the southern town of Rockfort. It's not easy to break though that fort, so I don't see an issue there. The harbor I have added my own ships to help guard it, With the Elf queen and the Kings navy, that too should hold fast from any attack. It's the eastern gate that might be an issue, whatever forces that don't making it though the north passage, will be pours down to the eastern side, so we will need to hold the line when that happens.

    I ride off with the rest of my troops, we have brought with us heavy weapons, to help fight off whatever comes out way. I just hope they will do the job, I have heard of what comes with these battles, and each one seems to be greater than the last.

    I look around at my men, and they seem ready to fight. The sound of heavy armor, and weapons smacking as we march on. It's a loud thunderous sound, as we make our way along the empty streets of this part of town. Then I see a gates, and some of my men are already reinforcing the area. I see the Kings bowmen are already in the towers here, and some of my bowmen have joined the others on the walls. There are a few mages here too, then are casting different spells in the area, must be for protection. I hope it's not a waste of time, the Elves in the northern lands had powerful magic casters too, and that city fell very fast to the enemy even with their help.

    A long blast of a horn sounds out from the tower over head, signaling the approach of a large force. Blast it, they have come already? I ride past the gates with my horsemen, and signal for the archers to stand ready, and motion for the troops to form a line just outside the gates. They will not get past me, not on this day.

    My troops pour from the gates and form a shield wall as quick as they can. Then to ready spikes and spears to ready for what is to come. I sit ready with my horsemen, as they watch for my signal to charge forward. Then we hear the sound of thousands of troops marching toward us. The sound grows with every passing moment, and I drawn my sword to get ready to launch our attack. Closer and closer they come, then I see them. An army of Orcs move down the road, but they move in a formation.

    A single horseman leads the way. I can barely make him out, then it strikes me hard. Zarad! 

    I wave the others back, as I ride out to meet this friend, at least I hope he is still a friend. He answers in turn, as he stops the forward march of his men, and he rides out to meet me. We stop just short of each other, and he just gives me a scowl look in return.

    " I have come to pledge my support of this land with my force, and we will help defend her with our last Orc. "

    " Is that all you have to say to me King Zadar? After all we been through, you could at least have a drink with me, like old time. ", I watch him closely now.

    He reaches for a flask he carries on his side, and takes a deep sallow of the brew that's within. Then he tosses me the flask, and he watches me closely. I look at this leathery container, then drink down what ever is inside. It taste god awful, and has a strong bite going down. Orcish swill no drought about it. Never like that brew, but this is Zarad, and it's what he shared with me when we first met.

    " You would think after all this time, you would have something better to share with me. ", I toss the flask back to him.

    He lets out a big laugh now, and calls for one of his generals to approach us.

    " I have Orcs and Half-Orcs within my forces. We will help to defend this gate is you wish it, or we will move on to were ever we are needed. But know this, we will not let this land fall, I swear it as a friend, and as the King of my people! ", his general rides up next them him now.

    " I have faith in you my friend, we have swore an oath to each other, that we would be there for each other no matter what. ", I call for one of my officers now.

    " This is General Gunug, he lead the attack of the elf city of Moonborn, but he was following the orders of Lord Muk. I have deal with Lord Muk personal, and it is why we are here now. To right a wrong done by my people. "

    " The general will do what I command, so he can be trusted king Ash.", he motions for his troops to fan out over the area in defense positions.

    " I am glad to hear it king Zadar, I will have my officers work with General Gunug with setting up more entrenchments. I have a feeling, we will need all the help we can get on this day." , I turn to tell my troops to stand down.

    Then everyone with the orc armies help, continue to fortify the eastern gates. It's help well needed, and who am I to turn down help from an orc.  

    To be continue......................

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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited October 2017

    (Amber's tale)

    We arrived at the southern Gate town of Rockfort, and I must say I am impressed. I hear of this place back at the Capital, but never have I seen it up close until now. Its a huge walled gate, that block any passage into the mountain pass, and a small waterfall feeds a small stream that flows tot eh south of the wall. In the distance is a smaller castle that sits high above the town below, where the king is said to stay when he is looking to escape the daily grid of the Capital.

    But now I am here with my forces, and I have to fan out over the wall, and what forces don't have bows or weapons of range, I send them down below to have reinforce the gate door. I will not lose this town on this day, and from what I see of the place, this will not be an easy victory for the enemy. I will make sure of that personally.

    As I walk the walls of the place, I come across an odd old man. From the looks of him, he is one of those magic users, and he is busy with his own work from what I am seeing.

    " Greetings Queen Amber Khan, its an honor to finally meet you. I am the Grand Royal Mage Gardner, I am sure you know my daughter Marisa? "

    "Yes, I have heard of you, but I didn't know Marisa is your daughter. It's an honor to meet you sir.", I slightly bow to him.

    " Please, please please, your royal highness, you should never bow to anyone, not even one such as me. ", he finishes up his spell, and closes his book. It fades from view, as he moves closer to me, then he gives me a smile across his aged face.

    " I seen you the the bars around town..Yes, I have seen you before, but that was before your new powers." He waves his staff over me a couple times, not sure what he is up too, as he walks away from me now. " Yes, yes your that Khan lady from the bars, you had money troubles back then, but look at you now. Found the tome of the dragon I see, and claimed one of the four crowns. Well good for you, but do you have what it takes to be a good leader? "

    I watch him for a moment more, as I think about what he said. A good leader isn't something you just walk into, you can be a good one, or a very bad one. So which one am I? He is right to question me on this, for I now lead an army, and do I have what it takes to lead them to a victory?

    " Well your highness, I know it's not an easy question to answer, but in time you will know what type you are. ", he turns to walk away from me now.

    " And what if I don't know what type of leader I am? ", he pause to look back for a short moment.

    " That my child, is a question many a man still has a hard time answering. But I feel you will be fine, and the answer to that question will come to you sooner vs later. ", with those words, he turns and disappears from sight.

    I look out over the edge of the great wall, and it's so far down from where I stand. I think to myself, did I make a mistake in taking a crown? I shake that question from my head, of course I maybe the right choice. I now run a kingdom to the far southwest. I reveal the great plains kingdom just east of mine, as I have been told my kingdom was the parent of the theirs. Long ago it was lost in a great earthquake, it sank the main city underground, and the people were covered over quickly. They were save by a powerful mages spell, but only to the point of being locked away, frozen in time and never aging. Those that survived the disaster, made the new kingdom of the great plains.

    Now I have come, and with the crown, I raised the old city, and broke the spell place upon it. Time continued on, and I was name the queen of the land. So now I am here at the wall of Rockfort, getting ready to battle whatever comes our way. I can't help but wonder what is coming for us next. Then a horn sounds, it's long and deep. It's the signal we all have been waiting for. I draw my swords, and turn to see what is to come.  

    The ground trembles, then is shakes, as the sounds of heavy armor can be heard coming up from the south. I turn to tell the guard to signal the watch, tell them to light to signal fires, we have engaged the enemy.

    I order the bowmen to stand ready, I rush to get a better look at what is coming, as the sounds get louder and louder. The marching of thousands of heavy armor feet, then the sounds of something very large walking with them. On the horizon, I can see it's head, dear god they have....they have a giant man mountain. With smoke coming from it, like from the fires of hell itself. And the soldiers, I have never seen creatures of this type, heads like bulls, and eyes deep red.

    We have our work cutout for us now, blast it all, from the looks of that monster. it will take down this wall in a few blows, but it's time to get busy, as I give orders for all the heavy weapons to be at the ready. What mages and other magic users we have, rush off to get into better positions. There is a little time, this army isn't on the gates as of yet, but they will be upon us any minute.

    I look at my two swords, I wonder if I really did make to wrong choice. They start to glow as if on fire, and I look around to see the old mage casting a spell my way. He nods to me, then rushes off to cast more spells over the others. Not sure what he is up too, but I hope it can only help us.

    The ground shakes and rumbles, yells go up, and I tell the men to fire. This is going to be a very bad fight. and all I can do watch right now. I need to get into his fight, it's the warriors way. So I point one of my weapons out of frustration, and fire launches into the huge monster. I watch as it stumbles backwards a few steps in shock, but it regains it's footing, and continues forward. I point the other and it sends a bolt into the monster like the first, and again it's sent back. This time some of it's stone armor falls away, the old fool gave me power to fight from here, so I will not waste this opportunity. I can see this is going to be a long days fight, but now we have a chance.

    To be continue.......................

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    ( Marisa's Brother )

    The city feels empty, as the civilians have all but left for the safety of the mountain forts, with only a few brave foolish souls walking the streets. My sister has already left on a mission for the king, and my father is far off to the southern gate city. I am left with a few other casters, some have made strong guardian type creatures, a spell forbidden in may circles. But they are in the sorcery class of caster after all. As for me, I am good at what I do with the ice magic, and I have tried my hand with a few elemental summoning spells. So far I can only call forth a smaller animal guardians, but I feel with the right motivation, I can call on a larger being. I must do it, I know I can summon up something better, so I begin to try.

    I concentrate now, as I draw power more with both hands now, focusing my will with my magic.


    I feel the surge of power through my veins, as I build up more power from deep within me. More, I must draw out more power, I concentrate harder. The ice grows thick around my hands, as I call upon a guardian, and the pain of it all cuts me deep. But I must not stop, I need to do this, if I can only call up one guardian, I will..............

    And with a blinding flash, A form takes shape before me.


    I did it, but wait it's a female form, who did I call forth to aid me. She turns to look at me, and bows with her ice bow in hand.

    " How may I aid you my master? "

    She speaks to me? I have heard of these living forms coming to some of the grand masters, but how could I have done it at my level. It is said they will come to those who are in need, and we are in a big need on this day.

    " What is your name? ", I ask watching it closely now.

    She moves to look around the area, a mist of cold pours from her, and she turns to look at me once more.

    " My name is Crystal. How my I serve you? ", she turns to scan the area once more. She seems to be looking out into the distance, as if something has cause her eye.

    " I have called your forth to help defend this city, and to help protect me from harm if need be.", she turns to look at me once more.

    " Then so be it my master, we must stand ready, for look they have come. ", she point to the sea out past the bay.

    I try to see what he is looking at, I can't see a blasted thing, then the sounds of battle on the open sea fills the air. The war begins with the fleet of ships, and the wall guards begin to rush around to get ready for what is to come.

    A horn sounds from the south, the signal the says we have an army at the southern gates. My father is there, I should rush to his side, but wait another horn blasts out. It comes from the eastern gates now, how can this be? We have a second land force marching on us from there too? I must do something, standing in conflict now, I can't stay here on the walls doing nothing. Then a third blasts comes from the northern area, the king is there! The mountain pass must be under siege now, I should go to him if nothing else!

    Now all fronts to the city are under attack, I try to figure where I should go to help, when Crystal draws back her bow, and fires into the city.

    Her arrow finds it's marker quickly, as it takes down a ratman trooper. What the hell, how did they enter the city unseen? Then it strikes me hard, of course the main sewer line. I call on all able bodies to follow me down to the main grate, Crystal rushes past me just keeping me in sight, as she drops a few more ratmen. We quickly rush through town, as I rally what troops that are in the city, be it elf or man, we head over to where this enemy is coming from.

    We reach the spot of this new attack, as I find some of the town guards fully engaged in battle with these vermin.

    Casting what I can quickly, I strike down a large number of them, shooting ice shards into a large group. But that has drawn the attention of others, as they now charge toward me, but they are quickly dispatched by Crystal with her icy arrows. Her arrows continue to take down more large groups of them, I feel there is powerful magic behind those attacks. Normally I would stop to admire what is done, but there is no time of this, as I must get to the area these creatures are pours out from.

    Then I see it, the grate is wide open, but who opened it? This area was well guarded, so I was told. Then I see why, as the guards who were on post, are all dead around the opening. All I can do now is cast more attack spells to drive them back, more of those beast at trying to pour through the opening.

    I finally get them to retreat back into the hole they are coming out of, when I am met with a counter magic attack, it knocks me off my feet for a moment. Blast it all, it's a ratman mage! It's attack knocks the wind out of me, but I don't let it phase me long, as I return my own spell towards it. I strike it hard, sending it flying back into a new group of monsters.

     Crystal now steps forward and sinks an arrow into the heart of this mage, and it explodes out with a blizzard of ice shards. She is a powerful elemental, I still don't understand how I could have called her here, but there isn't time to think of these things. We have a battle to win here and now.

    What guards and troops are left push these monsters back into the sewers. Then I draw up has much power as I can, and send I huge blast of ice into the opening.

    The others grab what they can find, to help block this opening, and they seal it as tight as they can. I add a little touch of my ice wall magic to the covering, I know it will not hold long, but we must buy some time for the others.

    As I cast the spell, Crystal walks over, and puts her hand on top of mine, and she says a few words. I feel extra power crossing over into my spell, and the ice wall I was forming, now turns it's a huge ice block.

    " There master, that will hold them for a few days. ", she then fires two more arrows behind me, they sail past my head within inches, as they dropping two more ratmen that where left behind. She motions for me to follow her back to the wall, as she kills off more left over monsters from the sewers.

    The men in the area look stunned by what they just seen, but there is no time to stand around, battles are being fought on all sides of the city now. I am just glad we closed off one area that was almost over looked.  

    To be continued....................

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    ( The King of Stoneholde)

    We march north of the city walls, to the mountain pass, all eyes seem to be trained on me. I am the King of the land after all, and there is concern for my safety on this trip. Even this short trip just north of the wall, my officers feel unease with me being out here away from the safety of the places. But with this coming war, where am I truly safe?

    We march to re-enforce the dwarves army position in the north pass, I know they are great fighters, having seen them in action many times before, but I just have a bad feeling about this coming battle. Better for me to take the lead on this one, no time to hide behind the city walls.

    We ride up to see King Oaksword, organizing his men into well guarded positions. The northern pass has a guard post with a gated wall and two towers, as the dwarfs have setup just on the other side. I have a company of bowmen with mage support with me, and I send them up on the walls, then I move down to where the dwarf king is sitting with his men.  

    So many of them have come, that's a good thing, as I have divided up what forces I have to protect the different areas of the city. I am glad to have so many friends like King Oaksword, I feel this battle would be over before it started.

    I send the last of my troops to stand with the dwarves elite guard, and I move over to the my friend as he hands me a cup of brew,

    " Well Mr. Cunningham, your highness, this is as good as it's going to get. I have my mages up on the sides of the mountains, my heavy troops stand at the ready, and my throat is dry. ", he drinks down the brew in his cup and pours another from a keg close by.

    " Should you be drinking before a major battle my friend? After all the reports we have gotten, this army won't be easy to over come. ", I drink down the cup he gave me.

    I understand it does help to calm one down, this brew of his, but who knows how much he as taken before I got here. But he just looks at me with a laugh, and quickly drinks down another cup.

    " Don't you be worrying about me, I do my best fighting after a few cups of this stuff, so I will be fine.", he pours one more cup and drinks it down. " Besides we got heavy hammers, large axes, long pikes, and thick armor with shield. I have yet seen an army that can best my men.

    I sip back a little more of the brew, it taste sweet, must be the honey ale he has special made. It's good stuff, I have to remind him to send me a few barrels of it , if we survive the day. We watch a few of the mages he has down behind his line begin to cast spells over the men. One of them walks off alone and cast something a little different, he waves his staff over his head, and fire starts to circle his head.

    I watch in amazement at his power, as he moves in a dance like movement, then he strikes his staff down hard to the ground. I watch as fire births from the ground, and a something begins to take shape, it grows larger and larger. Taking on the shape of a person, then I can tell it's a woman, at least it looks like a woman, but on fire.

    She in turns takes out a sword she has, and holds it over her head. Fire pours from it, and strikes the ground around her, and more figures grow from the ground. This time a lot of them begin to take shape, not as well defined as the 1st, but she is growing a small army of elementals.

    They are a little bigger than the dwarf, and I number them to be about 100. That is some spell that mage casted, and too call forth an elemental that can make more, just shows he is truly a grand master in his art.

    I now hear the sounds of a rider coming up from behind us, it's one of my scouts, and he stops quickly next to us.

    " My king, the southern gate town of Rockfort is under siege, we have gotten the signal of the attack not long ago. "

    " Have my force gone to their aid? ", I ask with concern.

    " Yes my lord, they left long ago, but word has come that a giant as sent upon the gates. The captain of the guard fears they will not last long. "

    Before I can answer him, I hear the horns sound from the city, it tells me the eastern gate is now under siege of an attack. Blast it, maybe I should have stayed back in the city after all. Then we hear the echoes of the advance scouts in the pass, they are blowing their horns, and riding hard to return back behind the lines. I turn to see what is coming our way, as I drawn my sword from it's holder.

    King Oaksword tosses down his cup, and picks up his heavy hammer. He walks in front of me in shock, as I am just as in shock right along with him. So many of them, just so many of them marching on us. They fill the pass from side to side, and it's like a seas of black washing our way. I raise my sword to the air, then give the orders to ready bows and spells. King Oaksword moves down to were his men are, and he orders them to form a shield wall.

    Here they come, no more time to get ready, no chance to run away, for if we fail here, we lose it all. But there isn't time for that kind of thinking, we have a battle to win, for the undead has come to city of Stoneholde.

    I given the order to launch an attack into the very heart of this wave of death, and I pray to the gods, we will win this day.

    To be continued...............

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    (Zadar's tale)

    We stand with Ash's army at the eastern gate, some of the Kings men are here too, along with a few of the elves from Moonborn. They give us very dark looks, I can't blame them, after all some of us Orc kind did kill off their people. I look down the road to leading away from the gates, and I wonder, what this coming battle would look like, if I wasn't the King of the Orcs now? The witch of the dead wanted an answer from me, and I gave one by sending the head of that trader Lord Muk to her. He was the one that lead that attack on the elf city of Moonborn, and took our people toward the darkness, but I rescued them from the abyss. I can not undo what was done, but we can follow a new road from the one they were on. So we stand with the humans, and what is left of the elven army.  

    A horn sounds in the distance, word comes it's a signal from the southern gate town, it is now under siege. So it begins, I tell my men to get ready, and all eyes turn to the road ahead, for we know what is coming. I wave for my archers and mages to rush to the flanks of the troops in the middle, then once they set themselves we see them coming. Thousands of Lizard men pour onto the road and rush towards us. So we sound our horns, to let the others know in the city, we have invaders at the gates.

    With the smacking of weapons to shields, a roar goes up from some of my men, and they are ready to take on these fools rushing to their deaths. I raise my right arm with sword in hand, and give orders to fire arrows into the charging horde. Ash's bowmen answer with their own volley of death from above, along with a volley of mages fire and ice.

    The attack rains down on the 1st group, sending them to hell, and I call for a 2nd then 3rd wave of attacks by air. But still they come, as bodies begin to pile up before us. Their numbers are to great for the bowmen to keep up, even with the mages adding waves of attack spells, they still come. I move forward and ready my sword, as I grip the reigns of my mount, then Ash moves up next to me.

    " Let's meet this foe together my friend, just like old times! ", he nods to me with those words.

    " Yes, together let us ride forth, and put an end to them! Together! ", with that I send up a roar.

    Then riders from all armies rush forward, and we crash through the wave of lizard men on the road. My orc troops rush up from behind, and those of us on mounts trample and knock back whatever is in our way. I swing my sword hard to the left, and take off one head, then to the right cutting half way through another. I don't dare stop my advance of my attack, the sounds of flesh smacking against the armor of my heavy war horse is deafening, for if I do I will be in the heart of this wave of death. More and more bodies fall under my powerful mount, the armor is wears does it's job, thick plate with spikes, it keeps my mount from harm as we ride forward deeper into this blood bath of bodies.

    Yells and screams of death echo in the air, as I swing to kill more. I look around me for a slight moment, and see Ash hasn't left my side. He in turn is cutting down his own foes, as we are joined by the rest of the troops on mounts. Now we do a final push through the ranks of this army, and we reach the end. I look back down the road to the gates, and I can see some of the enemy have reached the gates, but the defenders there hold the line, while death rains down from the walls and towers above. In our wake a sea of dead bodies litter the ground, it looks like the day is ours, but Ash calls for us to rally around him. I turn to see a new wave of attackers, but this one isn't of Lizardmen. It's an army of humans, that wear no banners of loyalty. Blast it all, my ground troops are still engaged with what is left of the first wave. Now we are faced with these mercenary dogs.

    " It's a trap to draw us out! Form up a line, quickly men, form up a line! ", Ash sounds off orders. His men quickly move their mounts into a walled line, followed by the elf riders, and they ready long pikes for a new charge. I tell my own orc mounts to get ready as well, and we move to flank this new coming army. I can see their leader, he is the one I am aiming for, as we sound horns to ready the charge. He is easy to the spot, the only fool on horse back in a wave of ground troops. He is the one I want, and I will have him.

    Before we rush forward again, one of Ashes mages rides up next to him, it's a female, what the hell is she doing out this far from the wall?. Where did she ride from, but them magic users always have their ways I guess.

    I watch as the mage waves their staff in the air, and I feel an odd tingle on my skin. The very air feels electric, as my hair not stands on end. Then she holds the staff into the air with both hands, and I can hear some type of chant. I watch as the ground before us rubbles and shacks, the sky darkens and then ...............

    She calls down a huge lighting elemental, and it does the job it was called to do very swiftly. It dives down into the middle of the advancing army, and explodes in a violent wave of energy. Troops fly off into different direction, and this is our chance, so we take it. Forward goes our charge once more, with pikes in hand and swords, we meet this enemy head on. The clash of armor is loud, but with the advance attack, we find our way past the front line, and into the area I was hoping to be. Blow after blow, bodies drop before me, then my horse finally gives out, now I am in the middle of a fight for my life.

    I take out more troops, before my horse takes it's last breath, and it drops to the ground hard. I planet my sword in the ground, as I take my hammer from it's side, then drive my body into the closest enemy I can find. I don't know if there is a friends close to me, so I swing my pole hammer true. One after the other I cave in heads, break bones, and smash armor flat against the wearers body. I have gotten the attention I was looking for, now here he comes, the bastard leading this crew. He charges me on his horse, I hate to do this, but I take down his horse sending him flying through the air. He hits hard on the ground, and I quickly rush over to end him. he turns in time to block my attack, and he grins at me.

    " You got to do better than that boy! ", he laughs at me, as he swings out with a smaller bladed weapon.

    He misses me, and I don't wait to give him another free try at my life. I swing down hard to end him, but he dodges my attack, and answers with his own. It just misses me, as I find myself grabbing for my sword now, the hammer is too slow for this attacker. I take hold of my blade, and swing to back to deflect another of his blows, now we face off in the sea of fighting on all sides. Blow after blow, we clash swords together, we make sparks fly with the strength of each attack. He is a powerful man, not many can stand up against my strength.

    Moving swiftly now, he finds his way to my blind side, and gives me a deep cut on my left side. The pain shoots through my body, as I swing around to block his killing blow to my back. Blood pours from the wound, and I grad hold of it with my right hand. Blast it, he forced me to use the sword in my left now. He smiles at me widely, as he now toys with me now, then with a mighty swing of his sword, he knocks away mine then kicks me to the ground. He puts his blade under my chin, and laughs very loudly.

    " Any last words oh might King of the North? ", he watches me close now.

    I have no weapon within my reach, I can only think, is this how it will end for me. I watch as he readies a killing blow, then a huge sword pushes out of his chest. What was an expression of joy and laughter, now turns to horror and shock. He slow turns to see Ash holding an orc blade, as one of my officers pushes the blade deeper into his back. The mercenary leader drops to his knees, and Ash removes his head with one swing of the sword.

    Ash looks to me and extends a hand, I take it of course, and he pulls me to my feet. I look around and it looks like we did win the day, What is left of the mercenaries have run off into the woods, and lizardmen are now just piles of bodies, and our troops are cheering.

    " We lets get you patched up my friend, this day isn't over yet. ", Ash calls for a healer.

    There are many around helping who they can, and the one he called to me does quick work on my open wound. I don't have time to stand around, we still have battles to fight. I tell my officers to rally the men, then a new horse is given to me, and I ride back to the city with Ash.  

    To be continued.................

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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited October 2017

    (Red's Story)

    There she is the black island, or as others call her the island of the damned. No mage or warrior has even come back from her, and here I find myself standing on the deck of a ship, ready to set foot on it's shores. It doesn't look so bad, but still I have a funny feeling about this place. I can't help but wonder what evils are hidden within this cold place.

     I get a slap on the back from Granthor, waking me out of this slight trace, and he walks over to Marisa. Those two are so close now, and him not wearing his armor. But that's right, he wears it around his neck now. The gift of the dragon altar, new set of armor, that he can call upon when it's needed. I asked him to trade with me, but he just laughed in my face. Nice friend I have, he could at least let me try it on. But I have my axe, what powers it holds I will just have to wait and see, it still not clear what this axe can do. It looks deadly with its dragon shaped into the very handle of the blade, and it does feel like a part of me now.

    I turn now to watch the ship's Captain drop anchor in the shallows of this place, but he doesn't drop boats to let my men off. Instead he turns to that female elf we took on this quest, along with her two brothers, the only magic folk the survived the Moonborn siege. What was her name again? Oh yes it's Ava, along with her brothers are Methild and Rhys, they are an odd group.

    I watch as the older brother Methild walks to the edge of the ship, then he takes out his book of magic, and begins to cast a spell over the waters below.

    The ship shakes a bit, then rocks left and right, as the waters shoot up into the air. I watch as land starts to take shape from the ship to the shore, and when the spell is done, we have a land bridge that looks as sound as any docks back at home.

    Before I can gives orders for my men to go over board, Elyenvis comes up from below decks, wearing her full Rangers outfit, and she leaps to the edge of the rails. She looks back at all of us, then speaks to us with fire in her eyes.

    " Well.........what are you dogs waiting for? We have a job to do! Get your lazy asses to the shore, there be killin that needs to be done! "

    With those words she does a back flip of the rails, and lands on the surface below. Now anyone else might have broken a bone and even their necks. But this lady went over light a feather on the wind, and didn't even make a sound when she did touch down. I can only watch as she rushes off without us, and this concerns me deeply. I order all the men over the side, and they rush off as fast as they can. There is no way we will be able to keep up with Elyenvis, she has a quest of her own to do, and there isn't anyone on this world that will stop her from the looks of it.

    I go over the side with the men, and I look back for a moment at Granthor standing with the other elves and Marisa, they don't look to be coming just yet, but I know they will be coming shortly, as I make my way down the ladder on the side of the ship. We are a noisy bunch climbing down, and I hit the ground running to the shore now. My men rush behind me, and the last of them who was on ship, now rush to the beach ahead. I still see no signs of Elyenvis, blast that woman, she should have stayed back with us, but with the fire in her belly, no one can tell her anything.

    I reach the beach now with some of my men, and I get a deep chill from the looks of this place.

    Nothing here but sand and rock, and that cold wind. It just sends a chill tot eh bones. I gather up all the men, and it looks like we have all 365 men with us. I look back tot he ship, and watch as Granthor and the others walk toward us. But someone is missing, right that bastard Max, where the devil is he? I bet he is hiding on the ship, I knew he wasn't cutout for this trip. Then I get a slap on the back again.

    I turn to see that bastard smiling at me. Where the blazes did he come from?

    " You didn't think old Max would leave you in your time of need, now did you Red me boy? I told you I will help out on this quest, so where do we go from here? ", he puts right arm around my shoulders now.

    Pushing him back, I give him a good dressing down.

    " Look here you rat faces, son of a ..............", he cuts me off.

    " Now, now Red, would you be talking to your mother this way?  Besides, I know you have deep true friendship type feelings for old Max here, so don't you be cursing up a storm just to play up in front of your men now. So let's get going, we have business with the devil of this place, and I am sure it will be wanting to see us soon. " , he checks his leather armor and weapons quickly.

    But he is right, at least about the owner of this island being ready for us, I can't shake this feeling, something is watching us. I been feeling it since we hit this shore. I look back to Max, as he smile at me in return.

    " Look Max, don't play the hero out here. You might be a good fighter, but your no warrior. Let the troops go first, and you stick with the magic folk. ", he nods to me still smiling wide. I wonder what he claimed from the altar, he seems to be over confidant, like he can't be touched. I guess we will see soon enough.  

    A death scream goes up in the distance, the men look a little uneasy, then there is silence once again. It didn't sound like Elyenvis, I hope it wasn't her, blast that woman. I order the men to form up a defenses formation, we form a horseshoe with shields at the ready. The magic folk move to the middle of it, and Ava begins to ready a spell to cast now. Another scream goes up into the air, this time it sounds more like a female human. Is it Elyenvis?

    Rhys rushes past me down the trail ahead of us, I call to him, but he doesn't answer me. Granthor tells me to take my men and go with him, I don't want to divide up the group, but he might be right, and I take my 250 troops and quickly rush down the path. I turn back to see Aya casting her spell, and a giant creature forms from the ground. Then the path closes up with thick thorns and vines. A trap? May the gods help us all, I have no choice now but to press on with the men I have, and hope that Granthor and the others will be ok.

    To be continued......

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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited November 2017

    (Elyenvis's Tail)

    The others are too slow, so I leave them behind. I know I shouldn't rush off alone on this island, but someone has to pay for what they done to my friend and there family. So if by rushing off alone will draw them out, so be it. At least I hope to gain the right attention, while the others gather themselves.

    I stop for a moment to take in my surroundings, this area is nothing like the beach I left behind, for a dark forbidding forest takes share before me.

    The ground and trees are covered in a mist, the forest is thick, and I search the area for signs movement. No animals, trails or tracks of anything that was here before. I can see nothing as of yet, but still I have a strange feeling of being watched. I have learned over the years to always trust that feeling, so I continue on with my guard up. Never travel without your guard up at all times, my old teacher told me, and those teachings have always proven right.

    Deeper I go into these woods, looking anything to will show me where to go next, but I find nothing but dead ends. This is leading me nowhere, so I turn to head back to the others. But before I can, an arrow sings past my right ear, just missing it striking a tree next to me, so I turn at the ready to face what is coming from the shadows.

    More arrows whistle through the air, but I am ready for them, as I dodge there attacks with easy. I send my own answer of arrows back into the shadows, and I can tell I have found my targets. My years of hard training have paid off, as I hear the sounds of hollows in the dark. Then I see one walk forward, before it can attack, I put it down for good. I walk over to get a closer look, and I see the body of a bone archer. It's more bone then flesh of a creature, it sits on the ground motionless, with my arrow sticking out of its head. This worries me, for they do not go off alone, there is always a puppet master close by, when you dealing with bone warriors of any type. And sure enough that is what I find going after me next. A Lich Lord, but it's not alone, as I hear the sounds of laughter now crossing the air.

    With arrow ready to take flight, I keep my distance from this creator, as a voice speaks to me from the shadows.

    " Well done ranger, I must admit, your very good at your skills. A lesser foe would be dead by now, and made into fuel for my army. "

    A second voice cries out over the first one.

    " You mean our army dear brother, after all, the master gave us the power we needed. "

    The second voice is a female, and she has a cold calm to it. I watch this Lich Lord keeping its eyes on me, but it doesn't advance toward me. Why does it wait? Of course its master hasn't give it the order to strike. I could end it now, but that would chase off the other two, and it looks like I have done the job I came here for, now to finish it.

    " So which one of you sent those armies across the lands? You both are here now, so who is in control? ", a laugh goes up again at my words.

    " You know nothing of our power Ranger. But I will tell you none the less, you see that creature before you? They are the key to the armies your people face. Without them, we wouldn't be able to hold the undead in this place for long. "

    " Hush brother! You say to much! She doesn't need to know how we control our undead armies. Besides, there is more than the undead the march over the lands. ", I hear a concerned vibe in the voice of this female.

    Watching this creature, and get ready to make my move, I know they are about to make one in return against me. So I ask one last question, as I know they are watching me even closer.

    " So which one of you sent forces to attack the town of Grey Rock? It was a small out of the way town, why attack that place. It had no value. ", I wait for an answer, as I hear the sounds of breaking branches from behind me.

    " Oh but your wrong, that place had a small item, one that is now in play at the capital. I gave that order to attack the meaningless town, so we could get what was needed from the mine. I told my army to kill anyone that got in the way, or just kill to draw attention. Ether way the job was done that was needed. ", the female says with pride.

    More sounds move closer from behind me, so I make my move, before I am trap in this place.

    " You know I had friends in the place, and I swore to get revenge for them! For that I thank you from coming to me. ", with those words I send a volley of arrows in many directions.

    I hear a shrill scream in the dark of a female, one of my arrows found its home in her, and another has taken down the Lich lord. I have to draw my sword now to block an attack from behind me, as I am now under attack from undead fighters. I am quicker on my feet, so I am able to dodge their attacks, as I return my own strikes removing a few heads with my sword. But they have me surrounded now, and I do all I can to keep them at bay.

    Just when I figure my time in the world is coming to an end, I fireball strikes down on the ground of undead fighters, blasting them into fine powder. I look up to see Rhys charging toward me, with dagger in hand,  as he sends another blast of fire into another ground.

    That is all I needed to regain my edge, as I take down a few more of the undead. Dodging and swing my blade, I get into a clearing to ready my bow, and send out a few more arrows to take down what is left. Rhys moves to my side, and I look around for those bastards. They are long gone now, but they did leave one this I can track, a blood trail.

    Before I can rush off again, Red comes rush in with his troops, a little last I think to myself, but still good riming before I continued on. But some of us are missing.

    " Blast it woman, can't you wait for us? You shouldn't have rushed off on your own. ", Red says with a concerned heart.

    I smile at him, but I begin to worry now.

    " Where are the others? Granthor and Marisa? ", a frown cross my face as I watch his expression change.

    " We got separated rushing to find you. I turned to look back, and the trail closed up, cutting us off from them. "

    Blast it all, that doesn't sound good at all, looks like some other power is at play here, and I hope the others can handle their part. We can't turn back, or we risk ourselves to more blind side attacks. Best to press out, and beside I have a trail to follow now. The blood is very fresh, the smell of it, the feel of it, we need to hurry our steps.

    " Come on Red, have your men follow me, and stay close and on guard. And lets hold our friends will be ok. ", I rush off ahead with Rhys in tow, Red calls me, then the sounds of troops running to my rear. That's right Red, you need to keep up with me now, there is no time to go back, only time to press on.

    To Be continued................

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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited November 2017

    (Granthor's Tale)

    Our only path has been cut off by huge spiked vines, and I watch as Ava's creation begins to rip away at them. But for each hand full it pulls away, more just fill in to replace what was taken. It's a powerful looking creature, with spikes on its back, and very nasty looking fangs for teeth. I am glad it's not a foe to be facing, I believe it would takeout over half my men.

    In any case doesn't look like we will be going that way, so we must find a new path to go. There are tall walled cliffs lining the beach, and they show no way to go over them. I order what men we have with us to search for another way off the beach, and I turn to Marisa now, as she is speaking with a raven. Where in the blazes did that creature come from, but I remember that the ship captain has a few, he uses them to send messages but to the mainland. I watch as she whispers something to it, and she sends it on its way. Off across the sea it flies, until I can see it not more. But what did she send off with it, and can it make it to where she is sending it?

    " No worries my love, I gave it a little boost, before I sent it on its way. It's doing a little business for me, one that may be needed later on. ", said Maria turning to look my way.

    Can she read my mind I wonder, what new talents has she gained? I don't question what is was, I have learned to trust her fully. This mage that stands before me, the woman I love so dear.

    I am worried about the others, as some time has pass by, when a scout calls to me from the far side of the beach. He has found a new way off the beach, so we quickly move to his location, then we see it. A passage that leads into a dark cave, I don't like the looks of it at all, but what choice do we have.

    I feel a hand grab onto my shoulder from behind, and I turn to see a worried looking Max gripping his sword hilt tightly in his right hand.

    " We're not going in there are we? There must be another way right? ", said Max nervously.

    " Come my friend, your in the company of friends, we will face whatever comes together. "

    I give him a good pat on the back, but I can see it has not calmed him. But who can blame him, I feel on edge myself. So we all gather round, and Ava's creature leads the way into the cave, whatever comes it will take it on first, and we will come in from behind to finish off what is left. At least that's the plan in my head, as the mages with Max walk with me, and the men we have left march behind the great beast, as it sniffs the ground like a hunting dog.

    The cave is dark and damp full of moss covered rocks, drippings echo in all directions, and water streams back out the way we came. Its not a place you would ever want to visit, but it's the only path we have, so we use it moving as quickly as we can.

    We walk for what feels like miles, then the cave system ends at a huge caved wall, and a slightly open doorway. 

    It looks to be of dwarf make, but the style doesn't match any of the know families of today. I am sure normally this would be a great find, but for now it's just a question for another day.

    We push open the door to this place, and on the other side is a huge hall. The air is stale, doesn't smell like anyone has been here lately. But then their is a strange smell of musk mixed in. Marisa sparks a little more light, and we see huge statues of look to be dwarven nobles lining the hall.

    We begin the walk over the stone bridge that goes down the middle, and I can't help this feeling of us being watched. I turn to look out pass the edges of what is lit up, and I see nothing. From time to time we hear the sounds of movement, and what sounds like voices, but nothing moves on us as of yet. Maybe it's because of Ava's pet, it still leads us up the passage, and it looks to be ready to strikeout at whatever comes from the shadows. The men seem to like that fact it's here, they keep close to it, minus the rear guard that watches our flank. For now whatever is out there, is keeping its distance, maybe gathering its forces, or is scared of what they see with us. No matter, looks like we will make it out of here at least, without a fight. So I thought.

    I hear the whistle of an arrow flying toward my head, and I react with my shield to block it, sending it falling to the ground. Another arrow whistles through the air, hitting the beast in the side. It screams out in pain, then rushes off to find what attacked it. Ava tries to call it back, but it's not answering, as it disappears into the shadows of this place. Blast it all, there goes our edge down here, and sure enough I hear them coming.

    We rush down the path to get off the bridge, and make it too another doorway, the leads into a different hall. The men circle the mages to keep them safe, and I join them in their defenses line around them. The sound of many feet can be heard rushing toward us, and we drawn swords and stand ready to fight. Marisa with the others begin to call up spells, I don't think more on what they are doing, as more arrows sing through the air, striking shields and armor, we must have a spell over us all now. The arrows don't look to be getting pass am invisible wall now. Max moves up behind me, with his sword drawn, then whispers in my ear.

    " I will be right back mate, I will go find our little friend. "  

    I turn to look for him, but he is gone as quick as those words enter my ear. I didn't see him leave, or did I see anyone leave our ranks, but he is gone none the same. I have no time to worry about that now, as the sounds of thousands of small feet now rush our way, then Marisa with the other mages launch magic attacks into the shadows. Screams go up into the air, as body hit the ground, but still they come. Then I see them.........

    A hoard of goblins begin the attack us, but we stand ready. They come on all sides of us, as they crash into our shields. The men fight bravely, and we send more of this bastards to meet their maker. But still they come, swinging that blades into our armored wall, and throwing their bodies into us. But still we stand tall, and cut down more of these creatures.

    The blood flows fast and hard, as I remove the heads of a few more, and still they come. Marisa sends a few more blasts of fire into the group, blowing huge holes in their lines of attack, but they just quickly close ranks to attack even harder. They press hard into our shield wall, but we answer back with our own shield bash pushing them back. I strike down hard cutting a few in half, then swinging left I remove a few arms. It's a hard fight, but my men stand tall against this foe.

    I think the battle will be never ending, with the sea of goblins still flooding from the shadows, when a loud roar goes up in the air. The goblin charge stops from the sound of it, and they turn to see Ava's beast rushing from the dark, with Max running up from the rear. Some of the goblins turn to face this new attack, but they find a quick end to their lives. The beast rips a few in half, and others are crashed under foot. The other seeing how quickly this monster is ripping through their ranks, make a quick retreat back into the shadows of this place. From the sounds of the screams they made while running off, I don't believe we will see them again anytime soon.

    Ava's beast walks over to her, and she claims it as if the creature was a pet. I will say again, I am glad the beast is on our side, after seeing it in action, just reinforces that belief. Max walks over to me, he is wearing a cloak I have not seen before.

    He tells us he has found a way out, so we quickly found him to the exit. We find that no more goblins try to stop our advance now, but I can tell we are still being watched from the shadows. I keep my guard up, as we reach the area max found when he rushed off. It leads up and out into the foul air of outside.

    We follow a path the leads us down a winding trail of tall trees. There isn't a sign of life moving in these woods, or of anything else hear for that matter, but we still press on.

    After a few more steps the trees part ways, and we see the goal of what we came to find. The Black Gate.

    We hear the rush of hundreds of feet with armor from a side path, and with our guard up ready to strike, Elyenvis, Rhys and Red appear with their men. I am glad they are ok, but from the looks of them, they had their own fight.

    " Did you see a pare of witches come this way? " asks Red.

    " No my friend, we only just got here now, your the only ones we have seen in this place. "

    I can tell that answer isn't what Elyenvis wanted to hear, and we all turn our attention of the gate. I can see a light coming from the cracks of it, but I see no way to open the huge gates. But that doesn't stop Marisa, as she steps forward, says a few worlds of power, and we watch as the gate opens slowly.

    Elyenvis was about to go in ahead of us all, but I pull her back this time, and explain to her, we will do this together. I can tell she doesn't like what I told her, but she agrees to it under protest.

    The opening to the gate was full of light, but now has turned to darkness. I take the lead to enter this foul place, and the others follow me close from behind. All have they weapons ready, for we don't know what is to come. But in my mind this is the end game, and we must face this together, if we are to win this day. As the last man enters, the gates close behind us, and we hear the sound of a voice in the distance.

    " Welcome travelers to my home. Please make your comfortable. "

    The hall is full of mirrors, at least that's what it looks to be. There is a low light in the area, and it's enough to show us our reflection in the mirrors. The lighting begins to flickers wildly, and before I can make a move I am alone. It's pitch black, and the others are gone. Then I see a single flame spring to life in front of me, then another behind the first, until a trail of flames stand before me. In the distance I see a door way, my guard is way up now. Where are the others, what has happened? I slowly make my way to the end of this hall, and enter the doorway that's in front of me.

    I enter to see a long table set with fine wares, and food fit for a king. The chairs around the table are of fine make, and the room has high quality of furnishings.

    " Please have a seat........ enjoy yourself......... relax. I only wish to enjoy your company Master Granthor Stormhand. ", says the voice from the shadows.

    " Where are the others, and who am I speaking with? "

    I watch as a figure comes from the shadows of the room, it's a female.

    " No need to concern yourself with them. I am the goddess of darkness, and your most welcome in my home. Please.......feel free to take anything I have to offer. I just want to enjoy your company. "

    She is toying with me, trying to get my guard down, I don't know what happened to the others, but I know I am in danger now. So I will play along for the moment, until I can find away out of here.

    To be continued...............

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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited October 2017

    (Amber's tale)

    The gates still hold for now, as the giant monster hammers the walls, but we did manage to beat him back a few times before. Yet it still hammers the walls, as rubble falls from the tops, and cracks form in many places along its span. I ordered the troops to fall back from the top area and towers, as I stand with the mage Gardner. We watch this monster closely now, as I have notice the glow of my weapons has gone, I must have used up the last of its power. But I did manage to knock some of the stone armor off this beast, and now it gives us a chance to bring it down.

    But it is still very dangerous, as the walls shake more and more with every blow, it's not safe up here any longer. I make my way down to where my men are standing ready with the old mage, as the archers continue to fire arrows over the top of the wall. More warriors rush to my side, ready to take on what comes through the gates about to fall, and I can only watch as the walls begin to come down in pieces.

    " Do you have any more spells to cast on us old man? What you gave me earlier is all used up. "

    " Sorry Your Highness, but I need all my power for one last attack. ", said Gardner as he mutters some words from a book floating in front of him.

    I turn to watch the gates crash down in front of us,  and the walls come crashing down along with it. The enemy outside stand ready to enter, but pause letting their giant monster lead the way into the city. The cowards all of them! I don't care if they send in ten of those things, we will cut them all down to size.

    Here it comes stomping and shaking the earth beneath its feet, knocking back the front line defenders, and tosses other men aside like dolls. My brave solders didn't stand a chance, but we will make it pay for their deaths.

    I get ready to give the order to change forward with the rest, but Gardner walks out in front of us all. I yell for him to get back, but he doesn't answer me. All I can do is watch him walk right up to the giant monster, and I pray for the best. Then it happens, he finishes the spell he was casting.

    He fires the spell point blank into the very heart of the creature, punching a hole right through it. The beast stops in it's tracks, and Gardner teleports back to my side, right as the beast crashes to the ground. A cheer goes up from all my men, and I lead they in a counter attack past this dead giant. We catch the army outside off guard for a moment, it's all we needed, as we meet them on the field of battle.

    Both sides crash hard together, and with swords in hard I take down the fools that dare come at me. They learn very fast that I am not an easy target to be had, as more enemy meet their end by edge of my swords.

    My men don't let me down, as they battle at my side, moving to make sure there is always a good number of them watching my flanks. They fight with such pride, never have I see such loyalty and self sacrifice.

    The battle is very bloody, as weapons clash, and armor breaks. We fight what seems like a never ending sea of bodies being tossed at us like waves on the shore. I swing true with my swords to the left, and down goes a Troll, then to the right cutting some half bull looking creatures head off. The sound of battle is deafening, as I am in the fight of my life, and this battle looks to have no end. 

    Arrows fly over head with mage fire now, striking down into the back ranks of this army, and they answer in kind with their own arrows of death from above.

    " Shields! ", screams out the captain of my guard.

    And my men quickly form a wall around me, keeping me safe from the attack from above. The enemies arrows strike our shields with thuds, and I hear the sounds of screams from in front of us, they don't care they are hitting their own men. What are they playing at, why fire into their own? Then I quickly learn I am the target of this new attack, and they mean to have me one way or another.

    " My queen we must fall back, before they over run our position! ", says my captain.  

    I look past the one shield protecting me, to see a new line of attackers forming up quickly, and they wear heavy armor with shields of their own. A mighty wall takes shape in the middle of this chaos, and I have no choice but to fall back. I watch as this new heavy armored line marches forward, some of my men try to directly attack them, but get wiped out just as quickly as they strike their shields.

    My captain moves me quickly to the rear, he doesn't want to lose me as he press me back, and more troops guard my retreat. More enemy charges us, and they are quickly dealt with by my rear guard, and I watch after as mage fire flies over head. I turn to see it do no damage, and this line of death now cuts down more of my men.

    " You men form ranks quickly, we must protect the queen! ", says the captain.

    I don't want to leave the field of battle, we still have more fighting to do, We can't let the enemy past this gate. But my captain is right, we must reform our ranks to the rear. We need to hold the line in a better position, we might be over run if the line doesn't hold, and all is lost if that happens.

    We quickly find our way back to were Gardner is standing with a few other mages, and I can see they have a concerned look on their faces.

    " What's wrong, why have you stopped your attacks? ", I question them.

    " They must have some type of anti-magic armor on, we can't do anything to halt their advance. ", says Gardner.

    " Anti-magic armor, what type of trickery is this? ", I ask with concern.

    " It was reported Greys Rock was raided of anti-magic ore, they must have forged it into that armor. It repeals all direct attacks from us, so we are trying to think of a new attack to try. "

    I look to my archers in the rear, and there are fire pits close to them. I get an idea, as I turn to Gardner once more.

    " Can you turn the ground in front of the enemy to thick tar and pitch?"

    " With the wave of a hand my dear, it's a very simple spell, but I don't see how that will help. " 

    I tell the old man to just do it. If magic will not win this day directly, we will met this foe with something that will. I need to turn the tide of this battle to favor us, and I have an idea that should work. 

    I leave the mages, as they talk over what they can do next, and I call for my archers to stand ready. My elite guard form up in front of them, and I tell archers to ready flaming arrows.

    I signal to Gardner to cast the spell I asked about, and a few mages follow his instructions to turn the ground into tar. Gardner in turn casts a second spell, causing it to rain down pitch from the sky, and it covers the heavy armored invaders.

    With that I give the order to fire the flaming arrows, and they do the job I was hoping for. Their armor might repel magical flames, but you can count on old fashion to do the job. I watch as the enemy break ranks, the very ground they stand on burns deep, and they run in all directions fighting to escape the blaze, The heat of the fire has broken their lines, as flames burn on the pitch covered armor, and I order a new attacks to cut them down.

    We keep them within the flames, any invader that tries to leave the huge fire pit, are quickly dealt with by my elite guard. Others are taken down by my archers, and after a few more moments, we put an end to these heavy tanks.

    A cry goes up, as I hear screams from behind the flames, they are to late to save their friends. A spell of ice and sleet quickly quite the flames we started, but it's already finished the job I wanted.

    As the flames die down, I see a lone mage standing before us, and Gardner walks to my side. I can see this is no man, but a horned demon, and it begins to cast a spell toward us.

    Gardner casts his own spell to counter this creatures, and the two strike out over the battle field with a huge explosion of power from both spells. Many of us are knocked to the ground from the blast, I quickly regain my footing, as the beast readies more attacks, and sends rocks and boulders flying our away. Gardner counters that spell with his own, sending up a shield wall of magic, to stop the attack cold, and a few mages return a few attacks toward enemy mage.

    I can almost see it smile at us, as the attacks are deflected away, and more enemy troops now move in front of their mage. They form up to get ready for one last charge toward us, and my men to get ready in response. I glare at us with hateful eyes, teeth gritting, howls and war cries, along with banging of weapon to shields. They want to break us, but they can't break what will not bend.

    We get ready to meet his enemy for one last charge, then over the air I hear a horn sound. The enemy turns to look behind them, as the horn gets loader, and the sounds of horses can be heard in the distance. The enemy quickly retreats from what is left of the gates, and return to the outside. They rush to face what is quickly coming up on their rear, and this is the chance we needed. I order the men forward once more, as I lead the charge crashing into their rear guard, and we kill whatever gets in our way.

    In the distance I see the banners of Trinsic, and a woman leading a mounted attack into the enemy forces. By the gods it looks to be Garwen, and she has brought her own army.

    Her forces run down anything that gets in their away, crushing the enemy under their horses. They cut a path of death before them, and we do the same in the rear. Her forces have saved this day, and the enemy now broken, run for their lives in all directions. The enemy mages abandon their army, leaving them to face death alone, and I try not to disappoint any that choose to stay and fight. After a few more fights, the battle is over, and my blades have tasted the last days blood.

    Garwen rides over to me and bows, and she is joined by a strong looking fine man. Captain Porter I believe of the once proud city of Trinsic, I have heard of him. He is a very honorable man, and very loyal to the Crown. The city he was sworn to protect, sits on the edge of my new kingdom. After this war is over, I will have my work cutout for me, so much must be done. One being to bring Trinsic back from the ashes, and make her a great city once more under my banner.

    " My queen, we are glad your safe. We came as fast as we could to your side. Once we gotten word you were here.  ", say Garwen getting my attention.

    " You called me your queen? When you can just call me your friend. "

    " We will always be friends first my queen, and I will always stay by your side if you need me. "

    Garwen has always been a good friend to me, even when we just knew each other in the bars of the capital of the old King. And now things are different for both of us, I see a new light in her, she has been changed in that place. The same place where I gained my crown, and it looks good on her whatever that change was.

    The battle is over for Rockfort, but the war continues, as we care for our wounded. We need to rally what's left of our forces we can, if called upon, we must be ready to leave to face what is to come. So many have died here, and there is still fighting that needs to be done. I just hope the others are holding their own.

    To be continued.......

  • Options
    ( I have not forgotten this story, just got very busy lastly. I will be finishing off this one soon. The war can't go one forever you know. )
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    (Marisa's Tale)

    We enter the black gate into what looks like a hall of mirrors. The lighting is very low, with small flicking points of light, like stars in the night. Everyone is on edge now, with weapons drawn, as we walk carefully in the hall. Our reflection can be seen in the mirrors as we walk, and I now get a feeling of being watched. The mirror slow begin the spin now, and a voice can be heard echoing in the hall. My staff now glows bright, and it pulls me forward motioning me to strike the ground in front of me. I strike it down hard with a word of protection, but I am too late, as some of the mirrors have moved to take a few of out party.

    I extend my spell over the rest of the party now, as I take count of the group. Gone are Red, Max and Elyenvis, also the battle mage Rhys. The other two mages are still here doing their own counter spells, and the group of brave warriors in our company. Bun my heart sinks as I can not find my beloved Granthor, he is gone as well, in that split second he was taken with the others.

    But I have no time to search for them, as a familiar tone now floats on the air. The pitch is sweet to the ears, and I watch as everyone begin to freeze in place to its tune. Even the great beast we had with us can't move, this isn't good at all. Then it strikes me hard, as I can't move as well.

    It's the Piper! Now I can see him as he stops his tune to glare at us for a moment, his face oh how if turns my stomach, he grins wide knowing he has us all under his spell. I can't move, but I feel the energy of the dragon within me start to grow in power. I can move a finger, now my hand, I must free myself now, or we are doomed.

    " You stole from me! Now I will end you sweet Marisa, but first, I will let you watch as I take down all of your men with just one tone. Watch as you pet turns on you all. ", he says with a laugh.

    He blows one last tune, and the beast that was once on our side, now slowly turns to face us, and slowly moves to make the killing blow. Closer and closer in comes, with every blast of the Piper's tune, it moves to strike the first group of men. I can see Aya is trying hard to move, but even she can't move from his musical spell. I feel my powers growing even more now, a fail safe maybe, but now whatever hold he had over me is now slipping away.

    The beast with drool dripping from it's mouth, not raises a hand to strike down the closest group of solders next to him. Then I feel my body break free of the spell, and with one word of power, I send the beast flying backwards.

    Now before it can regain it's footing, I strike the ground hard with my staff, and break the spell of the Piper on all of us. Aya waste no time, and dispels her beast from this world, as the Piper still had a hold on it. With a swirl of mist, it vanishes without a trace.

    The Piper can only watch as his plan to get revenge on me has fallen apart. But he stares at me once more, and speaks to me before he rushes off.

    " I still have your friends Marisa, if I can't get you, I will get them. "

    He turns and jumps through one of the mirrors, a portal of some kind, blast it he means for me to follow him. I am sure of that, and I will not let him down. If he is going after the others, I must follow to help save them. I can feel his power will no longer affect me, the power of the dragon within me tells me so.

    I move to look at the mirror for a moment.

    Then turn to look back at Aya and her Brother. I tell them to go on ahead, and find the heart of this place. Do what needs to be done, as I will go after the others. Aya voices concern about my plan, but agrees with me.

    Knowing I am chasing the Piper, they don't have to worry about him over powering them again. But just in case, she will call up a new pet that can't be enchanted by musical tones.

    I nod to her then slowly enter the mirrored portal with my staff leading the way. I am not sure what I will find on the other side, but I know I am well protected. I just hope I am not making a mistake leaving the others, but Aya and her brother are still powerful mages. They are very capable to handle anything in this place, plus they are on guard to watch for the Piper if he returns. But I don't think he will, he wants me to follow him, and I will not let him down. He has my friends, and my love, I will chase him through hell itself to get them all back. I know it's a trap, but there isn't a trap that will stop me now. Bring what you will Piper, I am ready for it!

    To Be continued.......................

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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited December 2017

    (Max's Tale)

    What the blazes! Where am I? This place is so empty, like a void of darkness. I can't even make out my hand in front of my face. Where are the others? They were just standing in front of me.

    (The air is still)

    " Hello! Anyone out there, Hello! "

    I will give anything for a torch right now, blast it all, I can't see a bloody thing.

    (Feet shuffle)

    " Hello! Is anyone there? "

    ( Low moans cross the air)

    " Blast it who is out there, are you hurt? "

    I better feel around in the cursed darkness, but I don't feel any walls. Did I die? is this hell, or some on other cursed place. That moaning was just ahead of me.

    (Steps echo from behind)

    No who is that coming up from behind me? I wish I could see. That moaning was coming from right in front of me, I need to feel around on the ground. But those steps behind me, who the blazes is it.

    (Moans are louder )

    Whoever is in front of me, they sound hurt, I need to see if I can help.

    " I smell something tasty. ", a voice calls out.

    Oh by the gods, that voice, I know that voice. It can't be! Not in this place, but how? I need to find that hurt person now, and get out of here. There I can feel a body of the ground.

    " Who is this, are you hurt? "

    " Oh your rat bastard, your stepping on my hand! Get off it Max! "

    " Red is that you? How did you know it was me?"

    "Even in this darkness I can still smell you Max."

    " Now help me to my feet you big dummy. "

    " What happened to the others Red? "

    " I don't know? One minute I am with the group, then I am here on the ground with a huge headache. Then here you come stepping on my hand. "

    (The steps get closer)

    " Little piggy, little piggy, come to me quick. I wants to be eats you, and your little friend too."

    (The steps get closer, now something is clawing at the ground)

    I can hear Red searching his gear bag, even in this darkness, he seems to know where everything is. I find myself gripping my short sword, but in this darkness, I can't see a bloody thing.

    " You both smell so tasty, I think I will take the small one first, then you piggy I will save for later. Here I come, it's dinner time."

    " Quick close your eyes Max? "

    I do what red says, and I hear the sound of flint striking metal, then a huge rush of flame shoots up into the air. I can feel the heat from the flames. Then our host screams out in pain from the flash of sudden light.

    I open my eyes to as well let up cave, and I see Red getting ready to fight, as I turn to look for our target. I find in on the ground in a moment in pain covering his eyes. I take a looker closer at it, and I can see two small dragon head axes in it's side. Red motions for me to follow him quick, and a drawn my sword ready to kill this thing once and for all.

    " Try to eat me will ya! I think not! Max, is this that same creature from that island? "

    " It looks to be the same Red, so now we kill it for good. "

    The creature slides back across the ground away from us, and then it speaks once more.

    " Nooooooo No, no. no. You must not hurt the one, the one will help you, the one swears it! The one knows the way out, please no hurt the one! "

    " Why should we trust you! After all you tried to eat us. "

    The creature fights to look at us both, but the light of the fire still has it blinded. Red seeing this, takes out two more torches, and he lights them  both, tossing one to me. Then he pushes the flame toward the creatures face, and it backs away even more.

    " Look you nasty piece of filth, show up the way out, and I will not kill you. Plus if you get us there fast enough, I might have a bit of food for you as a reward. So you can lead us out and get fed, or get the end of my blade though your heart. Your choice. "

    The creature agrees with Reds request, but I don't trust it one bit. Red pushes a package into my hand, and whispers for me to get it ready. It's a package of salted pork, and I know what he is planning. So I take out a vile I had with me, blast it all, it's just a heavy sleep potion. No time to mix up a deathly poison one, it will have to do. It's still odorless and tasteless, so the creature will be none the wiser.

    After a few twist and turns, we reach a set of steps going up. The creature begs for the food promised it, and I hand Red the package, then he is turn tosses ito to the beast. I chews it down in a few bites, then in a few more seconds, it drops to the ground fast asleep.

    " Blasted it Max, you put it to sleep again, don't you carry poisons of any kind? "

    " Sorry it's all I got right now, but at least it's not going to be following us. So now what do you do?"

    Simple Max, we find the others, and kill whatever gets in our way."

    With those words he reclaims his small axes from the creatures body, its body moves a little once he pulls them free. Then he shakes off the blood, and tucks them away. Now we head up the steps slowly to meet whatever is on the other side.

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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited December 2017

    (Rhys tale)

    I find myself alone with Elyenvis in a dark place, the air is chilled, and we can barely see what's in front of us. I know a few spells to light the way, so I cast a simple torch light that floats over head. It illuminates the area to the point we can now see, but there isn't much to be seen. It's a huge carven area, with water dipping in from unseen areas.

    Still nothing around us, no troops, or friends anywhere close to us. I can see Elyenvis is on edge, as she grips her bow tightly, with an arrow at the ready.

    A small noise can be heard from ahead of us, and she quickly moves to investigate. I know she is only half an elf, but she still moves with a quickened pace, one with no sound to her steps. I am light of my feet as well, but she puts me to shame with her reflex reactions. I blame my lazy life style in the royal counts, those days are long gone now. Now I need to prove myself to our only queen, even if she will not take up the old throne, maybe she will make a new.  

    I follow her as quick as I can, in my old elfish light armor, and I am finding it hard to keep up with her. But we don't go to far in the cave, as we come upon an old man by a camp fire.

    We slowly approach him, as he tries to warm himself by the open flame.

    "It's so cold, hard to stay warm. The flame is high, but it's hard to stay warm. I am so cold........"

    " Old man who are you, why are you here? ", Elyenvis asks while carefully moving closer to him.

    He doesn't reply to her question, only repeats about being cold, but I can feel the heat of the flames from here. Who is this old man, and why is he here. It's an answer that has to wait, as the sounds of laughter echoes through the air. Now my guard is back up, as I look to Elyenvis, hers is just as high, as we turn our attention from the old man now.

    " Bravo! I must say you have givens us a good show, out in the woods, but now it's own turn. "

    I watch an a lone figure moves into the light, it's that bastard we were tracking earlier. But where is the female that was with him?

    " It's not everyday we face someone of your quality, I am so looking forward to facing you once more. " he motions at Elyenvis as she points her arrow at his head.

    I take out my long sword, and put a magic flame to it, getting ready to spring into action. I watch this fool closely, but where is the other one. I dare not let my guard down. I still keep an eye on that old man, as he moves closer to the flame, and still mutters about it not being hot enough top say warm.

    Our target moves slowly to the right, as he cast a spell with his left hand, and I can see him smiling at us. Then a second voice calls out from the shadows.

    " No dear brother, don't end them just yet, I want to make that female suffer a bit first. Let me play with her a bit, then you can have them both once I am done. I own that little bitch a good scare for hitting me with her arrow. "

    I watch as a female comes into the light, holding two swords in her hands. It's the Witch Queen herself, the one who leads those armies. She gives us both an icy cold stare, as she moves slowly next to her brother.

    " I will give you something to play with Witch! ", says Elyenvis as she fires a couple arrow toward them. But the Witch Queen just quickly deflects them away, and she gives us a evil grim in return.

    She nods to her brother, and he finishes casting his spell, and I watch as a lot of undead begin to rise from the floor. They fill the area quickly, and we find ourselves being surrounded fast. Elyenvis presses her back up against mine, and she pulls her sword from it's holder.

    " Looks like we are going to meet our end here Rhys, but I will not go without a good fight. Take out as many as you can, we will work our way over to the two controlling them."

    I agree with her as the undead creatures slowing move our way, and their masters sit back to watch the coming show. I raise my blade arm to strikeout at the closest enemy, but a hand grabs hold of me. It's the old man, he holds me back for a moment.

    " Please it's cold, help me with the fire, please give me the flame. "

    What the devil does he want, the flame he says, his fire is still going. But he eyes my blade of fire, and he keeps repeating himself. Elyenvis is already cutting down some undead that have come into range. Is this old man part of this game, is he here to stop me? He begs me for fire, and I utter a few words, and give him what he wants.

    In a flash he snaps up the flame I floated his way, and a smile crossed his face. Then it happens, he erupts into a huge wave of flames.

    " The flames, the beautiful flames! Yes, it warms me, now I am free! "

    The fire floods past us, burning down all the undead that was in the area, leaving only the two necromancers still facing us. They whisper to each other, and I can see they have a very worried look on their faces now. Then in that next moment, and voice calls to us.

    " Go now! This battle is no longer yours, the way out is open, so you must go now! Return to your friends, I will deal with our hosts, now quickly go!"

    A new form takes shape, and I feel a hand dragging me back. A portal has opened behind us, and Elyenvis waste little time to exit through it, dragging me along with her. The last thing I see is a huge fire god, and he doesn't look happy.

    Maybe he was a prisoner in this place, and they forgotten his power. All it took was a little of my magic to awaken him again, and as I leave that place, I watch him giving chase to two very scared brats, as the portal closes behind me. 

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    The End Game...................

    The room was of gothic design, with a high ceiling, and a very long dinner table at it's center surrounded by ten elegant chairs. The table is setup with fine wares fit for a king, with empty glasses next to each setting. A line of candles give off the only light in the room, and I see her again, the one that dragged me to this place.

    A female form stands next to the table, and she greedily eyes me up and down. I walk carefully now to the other side, and I can tell she is toying with me with that look. A smile crosses her face, as she takes a glass from the table, and I watch as it fills up with a dark liquid.  

    " Come, sit with me, lets us have some civil conversation. That's all I want right now, no need to fear me. "

    She looks over the table at the setting, then snaps her finger, and a small goblin dress in fine dress clothes brings out a small basket of colorless fruit. It sets down  the bowl on the table in front of her, and quickly leaves the area. She looks over the fruit for a moment, then picks up a black apple, then takes a bite of it. She smiles at me once more, as she tosses it away to someone in the shadows.

    " Come, have a bite to eat. Sit.....relax.........all I want is to enjoy your company. It's not everyday that I entraining a person of your standing. Please sit...and drink. "

    The glass in front of me now begins to fill up with that same black liquid. I don't believe it's poison, but its not something I want to have put into my body. 

    " No thank you, I will pass on your form of hospitality. All I want right now is to return to my friends."

    She laughs at me loudly.

    " Your friends?  Is that all you want right now, is just your friends? "

    She claps her hands together, and lights in the room flicker, then the setting spins and changes right before me. Now I stand before a huge mirror, at the other end of this hall is a huge doorway that is bared, and smaller doorways line the walls. I look back at the mirror, but it doesn't show me my reflection. It shows the heart of the kingdom, and everything sits in ruins. The capital is in flames, and death lines the streets.  

    " This is a lie! Your showing me a false image, it's all a lie! ", I draw now sword and spin to face my enemy.

    But she has taken on a different form this time, her hair has gone red, and she wears a tight rope line armor that matches her hair. I dare not move on her now, she is stands ready for my next move.

     " Your friends are all dead Granthor, are you so quick to join them in death? I offer you a chance to join with me, be my king over this land, and your children will be like gods to the men of this world. I offer this to you above all the men of this world, cause I see the greatness in you, and I want that greatness standing at my side. I will offer this to you one last time. What say you? "

    I give her a long hard look, the hate in me grows with every second. The images in the mirror, it has to be a lie. I lower my guard for a moment, then I hear it. A short sweet tunes crosses the air. I feel my body going numb, I can't move for an inch, and I can see her moving toward me, and behind her that blasted piper. He is using his magic against me.

    She moves closer and closer to me, as the music continues to play, then finally she puts a finger on my armored right arm. I can feel my armor repealing her touch, as she moves her hand toward my face. The armor feels so alive on my body, I can feel it moving as she touches my face, but it stops once she takes her hand away.

    " So..........What is your answer? Sweet, sweet Granthor. "

    : As I Fight the power of his magic, I try to look her square in the face as best I can. She puts a hand up, and the piper stops his musical spell, as I give her the only answer that feels right to me.

    " Go to hell witch!"

    With that my armor now forms a helm over my head, then I swing out to take her head off, but she is to quick for me, and deflects my attack. She retreats back with a couple of flips, then the piper moves to take her place in battle. He draws two swords to answer mine, and he charges at me with full force.

    We clash hard together, matching blow for blow, but unlike our first encounter in the tunnels of Trinsic, I can keep up with him. Maybe it's the armor helping me, or my skills have gotten better, I find myself keeping his deadly blades at bay, but at the same time he is keeping my killing blow from him.

    He dodges another blow from me, then swing back to slice at my arm, but I quick block his attack with my shield. I move to swing down hard again, but he jumps out of the way, and returns to the side of his master. I can see him breathing hard now, as she claps her hand with approval.

    " Bravo Granthor, Bravo. You have given me a very good show. Not many can keep up with my piper, let alone make him work hard and force him to retreat. But this game is over, and it's time to bring it to an end. "

    She looks at her piper, and gives him a nod, as she grips her own pole weapon and raises it slowly to point it my way. I start to rush toward them both, then the tune grabs me, and I find myself frozen in place once more. Sword at the ready, and shield up to protect me, but all for nothing if I can't move. Now here she comes, walking slowly toward me, her weapons tip getting closer with each step, and she eyes me with an evil wide grin.

    She stops just short of me, putting the tip of her blade close to the end of my nose, and begins to gloat a bit.

    " Oh Granthor, we would have be great together, but since you have pick the path of death. I will grant you the finally wish. ", She pulls bad her arm to make the killing blow. Blast it all how can it end like this, frozen to be carved up like on a butchers block. Her is comes, at least it will be over quickly. Down comes the blade, and it moves in slow motion to me, as it begins to touch my helm. Then it happens.................

    A huge explosion erupts right in front of me, but the blast wave only goes toward the enemy, and it's followed by a huge lighting strike hitting the piper square in the chest. His spell is broken, and I can move once again. I turn to look at a person standing next to me now, it's Marisa, and she doesn't look very happy.

    She sends a fireballs at the piper, it wraps around him in a huge blaze of fire, and he screams out in pain. I watch as he blows apart into a thousand pieces, leaving only his flute and sword behind.

    Before our other enemy can regain its footing, Marisa utters a few words, then strikes the ground hard with her staff. A earthquake shakes the ground under its feet, and cracks the boards baring the huge doorway. I watch too as a portal now takes shape in front of us, and out walks Garwen. She looks bright as the morning sun, a power beams from the core of her soul, and she draws her blade to point it at the red headed woman.

    " Away with you beast, for I know what you are! I am the light, and I have come to remove your darkness from the land! Let the light shine bright upon you now, and let it shake the very ground your standing on. "

    With those words a beam of powerful bright light beams out from her sword, and strikes the red headed female. I watch as her form changes again, as she is knocked back against the huge door. Marisa calls on a new spell, and blows huge holes in the roof top, then more sun light enters the hall, blowing in the huge doors now, and a vortex now begins to suck at the creature. That's all I can call it, as I see it's new face.

    It strikes out to attack Garwen, as it fights to walk away from the doorway, but she blocks it's attack with ease. She sends a new wave of light into the creature, as the vortex continues to suck it back toward the doorway. It fights to keep it's footing, but Marisa sends her own blast of lighting into the creature, knocking it off its feet, and sending it flying thought the air to the archway of the door, but it grabs hold of each side, as it's slowly pulled into the void.

    " You think you have beaten me! I am eternal! What is light without the darkness, what is day without night? You can never beat me! We are siblings forever. ", it slips more into the deep darkened hall.

    It fights hard to stay in our world, but whatever is pulling it, now turns up the power to drag it away. I can see it fighting hard to stay in our land, as it's nails crave deep lines on the walls.

    " No beast! You will return to the pit you came from, and trouble this land never again, I banish you from this place, now and forever more. " , said Garwen as she sends one last light wave into the creatures chest.

    I see the pipers sword on the ground, and pick it up, while looking at this creature. I take aim for it's center, as It looks into my eyes, and it knows this is it. I send the blade flipping through the air, and its blade lands in the chest of the creature. It grabs hold of the sword, and in that moment is sucked into the void screaming. The doorway that was once there, folds into itself leaving nothing more than a blank stone wall. I walk over slow and give it a tap, but nothing is there.

    :" So is it over? ", I turn to Marisa with this question.

    Then a few of the doors crash in, and I watch as the others come rushing in. They have their weapons at the ready, and I walk over to Marisa, as she gives me a big smile.

    " Where are they, where is everyone? Did we miss it? ", asks Red with a confused look.

    " Well better late than never Red, and yes it's over. ", I tell him with a smile of my own.

    I look around and find the pipers flute on the ground, I pick it up, then break it in half. With that action it turns to dust in my hands. Now I think it's really over, and Marisa takes my hand and leads us out of this dark place. But on the way back to the ship, the island takes on a different look, now that the darkness has been lifted.

    The voyage home is light hearted, the sailors give us a few songs, and men are feeling good, but I can't help but wonder what happened to the others. Garwen tells me all is well, and that she has gotten married. So I sit back and try to relax, with Marisa at my side, as we sail for home.

    The End.

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