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Chapter One: Winter comes to Verra

granthorgranthor Member
edited December 2019 in Community Creations
The wind blows softly over and through the trees, stirring up swirls of powder as it dances in the breeze. Blankets of deep snow cover the land, while rivers are now frozen in a solid crystal greenish-blue. Gone are the green fields and blue waters, with only the kiss of frost, as flakes of white powered dance with each passing breeze of subtle wind. What life hasn’t moved on to greener pastures or gone into a deep sleep in the winter land, has adapted to this way of life. Most animals make their way through the snow fattening their bodies, while still keeping an eye out for warmer places. And what food is left has become harder to find, as other creatures glean what little they can find.

In one part of the forest, a small white rabbit hops through the deep snow, peaking out ever few jumps, keeping a careful watch for others that would take it for its meal. It moves quickly to some never by underbrush, trying to find a few bits of uncovered roots, or even a few leafy shrubs or even a few small planets. It takes a few more hops to what it finally sees as food and begins to consume the small bits of planets just sticking out of the snow. It eats as fast as it can, knowing time is short, at any minute something can come for it, and at that moment it does. Down from the heavens, a hawk dives down to claim the small rabbit, but at the last second it jumps away just as the crawls of the hawk was about to sink deep into the rabbits' flesh, and it quickly escapes deeper into the under brushes of the woods.
The hawk lets of a squeal at the disappointment of losing a quick meal, but something gets its attention from the trees above, and it quickly flies away from the area. A scraping of metal to wood very slightly can be heard from the treetop. It’s so slight it would go unnoticed any other day, but the air is claim and even the smallest sounds can be heard very clearly in the deep woods today. Again the scrape of metal and then the sound of a gentle breath of air, pushing out from between a pair of lips can be heard.
In the tree above sits a female on a tree stand, it’s hooked to a large branch and the back of the trunk, a large white poncho mounted over top of her covers her from the weather, and a small heated lamp hangs below it that gives off just enough warmth to keep the chill away.. She is dressed in light white leather armor lined with fur, a bow hangs from a knife mounted in the side of the tree, and a quiver of arrows slung over her back. She has long golden blonde hair, that is made up into two long brads hung over both shoulders that go down to her chest, and she sports a fur white winter hat, made from a creature she hunted weeks before, and her cover is covered with a wooly white scarf to help keep the chill off her face. A pair of light blue eyes are the only thing exposed on her face, and she eyes her creation a little closer, checking every small detail of the wooden bird. The curve of the body, the details of the founded wings, and even the small beak with a park of tiny craved out eyes.
She makes a few more cuts into the wood bird she is holding, tinny pieces of wood flake away with each flick of the blade. Her skill with the craving can be quickly seen, as the shape of a small bird takes its final form. With a few more flicks of the wrist she is done, and she looks over her work very carefully, It’s a small sparrow, one she only just seen a moment ago resting on a branch just above here, and it came within a few feet from her, then quickly flew away just as quick as it came. She pulls down her scarf slightly to give the wooden bird a final blow to remove the tiny loose wood fragments, then a small smile crosses face.
Her smile quickly fades, as the sounds of people in the woods gets her attention. They are about a mile away, but their words travel over the crisp air. Hearing them, she quickly puts away her little wooden bird, then puts on her fury white boots that were hanging just below her seat. And by the numbers takes up everything else she had close by, ending with placing the white poncho to cover her body, and with a bow in hand to quickly moves from the hidden area of the tree to the ground below to head towards the voices in the woods.
She quick moves along an old trail between the trees, it’s not too deep with snow, and travel along it has been used by creature great and small. So much so that some areas have been worn down to sheets of ice. She listens for the party now about half a mile away, trying to get a fix on their position in the woods, but two arrows come singing from the treetops to land at her feet. She knows this was only a warning, if they wanted her dead, she would be on the ground bleeding out.
A voice comes from above calling to her.
“ Why are you out of position Ebrae? You shouldn’t be here!”
“ I know Ryfon, but those people are moving into our kill zone, they are in danger. “, says Ebrae with concern now gripping her bow tightly.
The older Py’rai elf lowers himself down from the higher branches of the tree to where she is standing.
“I can hear too you know Ebrae, we can hear them too”
He is dress in the same type of fury white leather as she is, and he is much thinner than she is, you can see long dark green hair draped down his back from under his winters furry hat. She takes a couple of steps back, knowing he is a lot stronger, even at his age, and pulls down his scarf to show his face to her. It’s a stone-cold expression, one she knows all too well, as he moves forward to take hold of her chin with his right hand.
“ I told your mother I would keep you safe, and here you are on the very trail I told you to stay off, and in the middle of the great hunt. Why do I put up with you Ebrae? “, say Ryfon removing his hand from her face.
“ Cause your in service to my father as well, and you don’t want to disappoint him. “
“ Yes, your Kaelar father, what your mother saw in him I will never understand, but they made you and here you are. As they keep telling me the best of two worlds. “, he says now whistling and signaling to unseen figures in the treetops.
At the moment ten more Py’rai elves come down from the treetops and quickly move to Ryfon side. All of them sport to same winter leather, and they stand ready for their next order.
“ Ebrae might be half a Py’rai and too young to understand how we do things yet, but she is right. Our target is moving off towards fresh meat in the woods, and we need to go save them and this hunt. Ebrae, you think you can keep up with us? “
She pulls her scarf down to show a small smile.
“ No can you keep up with me? “
With those words, she dashes past the group of Py’rai elves, as they quickly rush in behind her.
In the distance screams and calls for help echo through the woods, and the sound of battle fills the air as armor and shields can be heard taking a beating. Ebrae grows deeply concerned now, the beast they have been hunting has turned to attack these fools in the woods, she wonders will they be too late to save them?

To be continued?


  • NagashNagash Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Its so nice to read your stories again and this one is already fantastic i need a chapter 2 now ^^

    The dead do not squabble as this land’s rulers do. The dead have no desires, petty jealousies or ambitions. A world of the dead is a world at peace
  • Ok I can drop a 2nd one, wasn't sure if anyone was still here lol.
  • granthorgranthor Member
    edited December 2019
    A heavily armored fighter stands over his fallen friend, with sword and shield in hand, as three others from his group try to fight off a monstrous beast that surprised them from behind the tall trees. It roars as it glares at the with reddish eyes, then charges forward to crash into the others, as they block its attack and they all strikeout with their own. One fighter stands frozen with fear, as he watches the battle for survival, he wants to rush to help, but his body doesn’t move. His mind raced at the sight of this huge brown furry monster, with its thick muscular body, a long thick tail, and a large head that looks to be a bear with fangs. But this is no bear he was ever seen, for it looks to be more monster than a beast. He gets a slap on the back that shocks his system from being frozen, and he turns to see the group's healer tending to his fallen friend.
    “ Go on Henry! Help the others, I will tend to Richard. “
    Henry gives him a nervous nod, as he sees the healer now casting spells over his friend, then he turns to face this danger once more.
    As he readies to take a step forward, another fight is knocked to the ground unconscious from a massive blow from the beasts left arm, and it turns to face the other two roaring loading at them as drool drips from its mouth. They yell to Henry to help them, as sweat now pours down his face, and he swallows hard while lifting his sword to take steps to attack the beast from behind. He manages to rush in through the deep snow, raises his sword to strike at the monster, but is met with an attack from the beast tail. He gets his shield down in time to block the block, but the force of it sends him flying back ten feet. The snow mound softens his fall, but he feels a sharp pain in his left arm where he took the hit with his shield. Pain spikes wildly up and down his arm, as he finds he can’t move it well. He tries to stand, but he finds he can’t use his left arm, as he drops the shield, and his arm hangs to his side now dripping with blood. The pain is almost too much to handle, but he must help the others. Henry uses the sword to help him stand to his feet, but as he looks over to the battle, he sees another of his friends get mauled by the beast's massive mouth. He watches as it tosses him aside like a rag doll, and turns its attention to the last fighter standing. The fighter slowly makes his away over to Henry’s side, seeing that he is hurt badly, and he stands guard in front of him.
    “ Henry, when I tell you too, make a break for the trail, I will hold this monster off as best I can. “, says the fight now gripping his board sword tight in his hands.
    “ But I can help you! Let's do this together!”
    “ No lad, you get the others out of here, my time is up. Now go while you still can!”, says the older fighter as he charges forward to meet the beast head-on.
    Henry can’t watch what he knows is coming next, as he hears his old friend yell a battle cry rushing toward the monster. Henry struggles to return to the side of the healer and his friend while trailing drops of blood behind him, as the old fighter, strikes the monster with his sword a few times, sending rivers of pain through its body.
    “ Come on Sam, get Richard up, we have to go now!”
    The pair help up a semiconscious Richard, who is still feeling the pain of the attack on his body. Henry fights off his pair while they move off as best they can to get away in the deep snow, Henry can still hear the battle yells of his old friend, as they make it to the forest path, then the sound of a death cry then nothing. Henry's heart sinks as he knows his mentor has just met his end, then the sound of a roar echoes in the air. He slightly looks back, then looks down and can see he has left a blood trail right to them.
    As they enter the tree line, and he hears the sound of heavy breathing, the monster now rushes their way. His heart almost stops, watching this creature now rushing to end them, and he takes up his sword as best as he can.
    “ Sam get Richard out of here now!”
    He turns to face the beast head-on, as he lifts his sword as best as he can. He thinks to himself, he must stand firm to defend his friends. It rushes closer and closer with every step, roaring louder with each passing beat of Henry’s heart. He knows this is his end, and he readies himself to give his friends time to escape. He braces his body for the attack that’s almost upon him, and he can almost feel the heat of the breath of this monster on his face.
    With stabbing pain in his left arm, he steadies his right arm ready to strike, a glint of light shines off the edge of the blade, as he raises it to swing down with a deadly blow. But a strange sound now gets his attention for a very brief moment, as whistling moves through the air, and he feels something pass his face. Now Henry watches as arrow after arrow sinks deep in the skull of the beast, and it lets out a deafening cry and falls to the ground sliding to the feet of Henry. He falls backward onto his butt, now looking at the dead creature that was about to end him. He counts there are about twenty arrows in the beast, most in his head others in its neck. Henry now shaking from fear, drops his sword and reaches out to touch the creature, but he feels a tap on the top of his head. He freezes in place and looks up fearfully to see a young beautiful woman with golden long barded hair looking down at him with a smile.
    “You're Welcome.”
    That’s the last thing he hears, as he passes out unconscious on the ground.

    To be continued…..
  • Hmmm now I am wondering if I still should drop a new part. Doesn't look like anyway is here. lol
  • MakinojiMakinoji Member, Warrior of Old, Kickstarter

    Please continue.
  • NagashNagash Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    fo some reason it didn't show up for me. I love this story granthor you really do have a way with describing the scene

    The dead do not squabble as this land’s rulers do. The dead have no desires, petty jealousies or ambitions. A world of the dead is a world at peace
  • granthorgranthor Member
    edited December 2019
    Later in the day, after the hunting party of Py’rai elves claim their prize and tend to the wounded survivors. They make ready to head back to town. Sledded wagons are moved into place, as the group of elves struggles to get the lifeless beast place into one, it's a hard task for them, but after some time of trial and error the job gets done. One elf from the group even talked the others into binding two wagons rear to rear, to help hold the mass of this beast.
    Ebrae, after helping the others finish binding their prize to the wagons, gets on her white horse with black spots, and rides over to the wagon with the Alea humans, then looks them over slowly. She sees the one that died trying to protect the others, her people wrapped him up in burial cloth that they keep on these hunting trips, and there he lays on the floor of the wagon at the feet of the others. The healer she watches tends to the badly wounded fighter the beast had in its mouth not long ago, as one other holds him tight in his arms, and another bind their wounds as best they can. She can tell this one is in very bad shape, better to kill him now to end his suffering. Then she turns her attention to the one that faced the beast hurt, still unconscious or sleeping, the poor little fellow she thinks, why was he out here at his age?
    She doesn’t give them another thought, as a scouting party returns with two wagons and horses trailing behind. Ryfon must have sent scouts off to gather up their camp, even though they are on this land trespassing, he's still going out of his way to help them.
    The caravan now rides off back to town, and Ebrae rides ahead of them with six guards following her close behind.

    As the sun sets on the Western side of a forest, the settlement of Fandralore begins to light torches for the night. This is the home to a faction of Py’rai elves. This settlement was built after the destruction of the main city, as a great dragon ran wild in the countryside. So that story was told by those who lived through the ordeal. Some say they will rebuild the old city, which is of great importance to the people of Fandralore and its success to date.
    The settlement itself looks majestic. With its elmwood rooftops, mahogany wood walls and frozen waterfalls, Fandralore has a mystical atmosphere. The town has a healthy economy, which is mainly supported by hunting, weapon, and armor-smiting along with some of the best baking in the land. But their biggest strengths are rare animal training and refined carpeting. There are also highly skilled Py’rai elves in animal breeding, they pride themselves on producing high-quality animals to sale to the other towns and cities across the land.
    But now was the time of joy, as the town is making ready to celebrate. The town square was busy with all types of comings and goings after all the winter festival was only a few days away, and there were still things that had to be done. Small triangle banners of red, silver and gold, each space about an inch from each color, are tied together and line the streets along both sides on each path in town. Each of the town's businesses along with the homes has lined their windows and doors with green trimmings from evergreen trees, still a few more have lined their pointed, sloping rooftops to match. Those who have an eye for art have added a few well-placed drapes, that have tassels hanging from the ends.
    The townspeople look to be in good spirits, as they prepare the town with smiles on their faces, and words of good cheer are spoken to each other as they pass. Even the children of the town help when they are not at play in the snow, making trouble as kids do in the snow-filled streets.

    In a window of the town's center tall building stands Madris, a beautiful elf woman with bluish hair with golden streaks going back her back. She watches all the busy flow of bodies from her room. It has the best view of the market square, and she can see most everything from the quiet of her space. She brushes her long hair that passes her thin waistline, making it as straight as she can. It looks to be silky from the light in the room, and it covers most of the white cotton robe, that is slightly open in a V-shape from her neck she is wearing. Her skin still a little wet after the long hot bath she finished only a short time ago, as droplets of beaded water roll down her neck to her chest. A cup of hot tea with a bit of hard bread sits on a table not far from the window next to an elegant cloth-backed chair, with golden trim and flowery design. She places her brush down on the table and takes up the tea. Looking out over the town once more, she takes a few sips of the bittersweet brew.

    The sound of horns echoes throughout the air now, signaling the return of a hunting party, and with that Madris takes another sip of tea. Focusing her eyes toward the city gates, she can see the party returning, and they are not alone. She can see Ebrae riding in the lead, followed closely by Ryfon, but who are the strangers coming in behind them? She puts her teacup down and claps her hands twice, as female servants rush into the area to attend holding clothes and items in hand. Turning her back to them, she drops her robe to the ground, exposing her nude milky white body. They quickly move to dress her in a fine white and silver elegant dress, place fine ribbons to tie her hair and add jewelry around her neck and wrists. She turns to face them and claps her hands once more, as one servant brings up a mirror so she can see her face. Turning her head slightly left and right, looking at the flawless lines on her face, not one mark or blimpish, not even a hair out of place. With a smile she dismisses the group of servants and looks out the window once more, the hunting party now broken up, and Ebrae leading the strangers to here with Ryfon. She can tell something bad happened, as one is wrapped in a death cloth. Who are they and why are they in her father’s lands? There are questions to be asked and answers to be had. So she quickly moves to greet these strangers to her family's land.
  • NagashNagash Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I think I sense political drama soon ^^

    great read as always granthor

    The dead do not squabble as this land’s rulers do. The dead have no desires, petty jealousies or ambitions. A world of the dead is a world at peace
  • MakinojiMakinoji Member, Warrior of Old, Kickstarter
    I'm biting my nails from anticipation lol...this was awesome.
  • granthorgranthor Member
    edited July 2019
    Thx guys, I fixed it up a little, darn those edits haha. should read a little better now. All 3 parts I mean, let me know if it needs work.
  • granthorgranthor Member
    edited December 2019
    Polished braziers hanging from eight positions equally spaced out around the great hall, engulf the hall in a brilliant glimmer, only to be overpowered by the flames from the masses fireplace on the far wall. There are humongous chandeliers hanging from the curved ceiling dance in the flickering light while statues and carved images of fallen heroes look down upon the hard oak floor of this monumental hall.

    A saffron rug runs from a large oak doorway down the center and loops back from both left and right while rectangular banners with adorned corners swing gently from the walls. Next, to the large door on each side are two smaller doors, and next to the rows of banners. Between each banner stands a tall candle, none but a few have been lit and in turn illuminate the paintings of other members of this house's family below them. Grand, clear glass windows are edged by curtains colored the same saffron as the banners. The curtains have been adorned with burnished corners and gilded linings.

    Large chairs are spaced close to the fireplace, to welcome visitors who need to warm their bodies, and a few kegs of the finest ale sits close by to help warm their bellies. Each has stiff pillows of dark saffron and these too have been adorned with ornate corners, along with a footrest and a place to keep their weapons close so they can relax while enjoying their stay. Those seeking an audience with the home’s keeper can do so on the several brightly decorated wooden benches, all of which are facing a throne in a wide V-shape. It too has pillows of saffron along with a fur piece to help with warmth.

    The doorway outside opens wide into the hall, and in steps Ryfon, now removing his winter wear, and heading over to the fireplace to warm his hands. Behind him, the four Alea humans carry in a fifth member of their party, who is still very badly wounded. Servants quickly rush in to attend them from the smaller side doors, being in the food and warm clothes to give comfort to the house guests.
    “ What is this, no. no, no… You can’t bring this person into this clean house, dripping blood and smell of death! Out! Take him out at once. The medical house is only four doors down, take him there to die before the house mistress sees him. Quickly now! “

    The four Alea’s set their friend down by the fire, and look over to see a tall well dressed Py’rai servant with white long hair, from the looks of him, he must be the head housekeeper. He wears fine jewels around his neck, to display his standing in the family, his ears sport fine rings along with its points, and he wears a set of keys that hang from a fancy brown belt around his waist.
    He claps his hands a few times, then waves them in a manner to dismiss them from the grounds. He voices a few more unkind words, as the one Alea named Richard steps forward and stands face to face with the servant now.
    “ Look here you fancy pants, we will be staying where we like! We were invited, and this is where we were staying! “, he says now pushing a finger into the chest of the servant
    The head servant rolls his eyes, then looks over to Ryfon, who in turn only looks away to get a drink.
    “ Why you barbarian! Get your dirty paws off my nice clean shirt! I shall call the guards on you, and have you and your friends tossed out on your ear. “
    “ You will do no such thing Hagas, now behave yourself a get the family doctor.”, says a voice from the outside doorway.
    Hagas knows this voice all to well, as he calls over another servant, and whispers in their ear then send them off quickly to leave the building.
    “ Milady, I wasn’t expecting you home now. Please let me apologize…”
    “ You can start by apologizing to my guess Hagas, they are here cause this is where I wanted them to be. Is that clear? “, says Ebrae now removing winter wear and handing it off to a servant on the side.
    Richard saw the headstrong servant now backing off, returns to his friend's side, as Ebrae now moves to joint them.
    “ How is your friend doing? “, she asks with slight concern.
    “ Not so good I am afraid, he doesn’t look to be getting better. His wounds are too deep.”, says Henry now taking hold of his friend's hand.
    Ebrae puts a hand of comfort on his shoulder, as the doctor now rushes into the hall with the house servant. The doctor moves quickly to examine the fallen fighter, and he orders the others to help take him to a back room, showing great concern after see how badly he is wounded. Ebrae knows they have what is needed, but she never tried to understand how to use the doctor's tools.
    More servants rush in to help carry off the wounded fighter, as Richard and other fight leave with the doctor, leaving Henry and Sam behind in the great hall with Ryfon and Ebrae.
    Now shortly after, Madris enters the hall and moves to take a seat on the throne at the far end. She is joined by the house pet and a very large cat-like beast. It has a dark orange color with three long black strips on this back, its paws are huge, anyone taking a blow from them wouldn’t be standing to tell the tale of the strike, and there are two long fangs sticking out from the corners of its mouth. It gives her comfort, along with protection from anyone that might try to bring her harm. She rubs it slowly, as it now lays at her feet, and she smiles wide now turning her attention to the people in the hall, with Hagas quickly moving the right side of the throne.
    “ I am so glad you returned to us in one piece Ebrae, our father would be so upset if anything happened to you. “, say Madris now looking down at her pet with a few kisses.
    Ebrae looks over to Ryfon, who in turn just shows her his back as he takes another deep drink of ale, he’s been here before, and will not get in the middle of a family fight, no matter who is going to start it this time. She frowns a little, now looking over the guess of Sam and Henry, who in turn gives her a confused look back. Her sister is showing off in front of the guests in the room, so she gives her sister a crossed look, as she heads to the back of the house.
    “ You know what, I had a long day Madris, I need a long hot bath, I leave these guests to your good nature. Try not to bore them too much. “
    With those words, Ebrae bids the two Alea humans a good night, as she storms out of the hall to tend to her needs.
    Madris just smiles while watching her sister leave in a huff, then returns her attention to the Alea humans, as the other two now return from the back.
    Another servant quickly rushes up to whisper in Hagas’s ear, who in turn whispers to Madris while she continues to rub her pet. While watching the four Aleas interact, she can tell they all have the same news, so she stands to move closer, as her pet moves in step with her, with Hagas standing off to the side and rear.
    “ So, I understand our doctor has stabilized your friend, that’s good news for you. But first, if you would be so kind as to tell me your names, see how my dear sweet sister neglected to do a proper introduction. One fighter who wears heavy fur with leather armor and bows to her, his head wrapped in a heavy bandage from where he was hit.
    “ I am Korneel Veldman, son of Noud van den Veldman. “, he steps back and gives her a stone look, showing no emotions.
    She sees he is sporting a fresh couple of scars on his face, one is from the top of his nose crossing down past his mouth, and the other just missed his left eye and ends at the tip of his nose. She also sees he has auburn colored long hair and amber-colored eyes. She slight bows to him, as the next person speaks.
    “ I am Richard Mason son of Christopher Mason, and I be one of the finest swordsmen in the land. “, he says with a bow.
    Madris gives him a smile with a slight bow, as she looks over his beat-up chain armor, but he covers most of it with a black fur piece. He has short dirty blonde hair and drake blue eyes, he too has bandages covering parts of his body.
    She turns her attention to a thin male, who is dress in heavy robes, and their face doesn’t show the signs of long years.
    “ You’re a healer, right? “
    “ Yes Milady, I am Sam Wright son of Coby Wright. We are a family of healers that have gone back many generations. “, he says with a bow.
    She returns the bow slightly, as she turns her attention to the last of her guests. She can tell he is even younger than the groups' healer, with his black short hair and dark brown eyes. Outside of his bandaged left arm, he doesn’t have the signs of years of combat.
    “ And you are? “
    “ I am just Henry Milady. “, he says with a bow.
    “ You have no family name Henry?”, she asks with a curious tone.
    “ No milady, Henry be an orphan. He has not lived his mother or father to speak of. He joins the fighters guild, and we gave him a home. “, says Richard getting her attention.
    “ I see, and he is so young. Do you take your fighters out into the wilds at this young of an age? “, she says now taking a closer look at Henry.
    “ I am fourteen Milady, more than old enough to hold my own.”, says Henry now looking crossed at her words.
    “ Ah yes, but while holding your own as you say, you still have a broken arm. So I think I was right to question why you're out in the wilds. “, she says now drawing attention back to his left arm with a smile.
    She walks over to Ryfon, as he pours her a cup of ale, then she continues to speak to the Alea humans.
    “ I think after everything that happened today, I will allow you to stay a few days in my town, I will give you a chance to get your stories right, for I have so many questions for you all. But tonight isn’t the time for that, so enjoy my hospitality, and don’t try to leave town. Remember I still have your friend within my house, I am sure he will not like you abandoning him. “, she says with a smile.
    “ We won‘t leave without him, you have my word. “, says Richard with a bow.
    “ Hagas show them to one of the best Inns, and tell the Inn Keeper I will be paying for the food and lodgings.”
    Hagas bows to her and leads the Alea humans out of the hall into the night.
    Ryfon drinks down the last of his ale, then bow to Madris.
    “ On this note, I will take my leave too.”
    “ Do you think these Alea will be the trouble? “, she asks with slight concern.
    “ It’s not for me to say, they are not my guests Milady. But I will alert the town's guards to keep watch over them. “, he says now turning to leave.
    “ Thank you Ryfon, and I hope Ebrae wasn’t to much trouble for you today.”, she says as he pauses in the doorway leading out.
    Ryfon turns to look at Madris, then replies to her.
    “ You know Ebrae is a very good fighter, one of the best I have ever seen. She saved those Aleas today, she has the ears for the hunt and the nose to smell out trouble. Even her skills with the bow have far surpassed many of the best fighters in the town. You should give her credit with her skills, it might ease the air between you two.”
    “ Thank you again Ryfon. “, she says to him now wishing him a good night.
    She watches as he disappears into the night, and she takes another sip of ale, now returning to her room upstairs.

    To be continued……………………………

  • Ugh, I hit a fork in the road, not sure if I should go left or right with this story. I will figure it out once I get home, then drop the next part.
  • WololoWololo Member, Phoenix Initiative, Hero of the People, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    nice read
  • NagashNagash Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    do as you wish granthor. this is your story we are just here to enjoy it ^^

    The dead do not squabble as this land’s rulers do. The dead have no desires, petty jealousies or ambitions. A world of the dead is a world at peace
  • shkevi wrote: »
    nice read

    Thx, I know I said I would drop a new one last night, but my son had the computer all night. lol Sorry
  • granthorgranthor Member
    edited December 2019
    Hagas wearing one of his finer furs, walks with the four Aleas humans through the streets of Fandralore, passing citizens of different sizes and shapes, along with a few lamplighters. Who begins the task of lighting the street lights for the night, climbing up ladders in some cases to replacing older candles that have burned too low, and in others using long poles to light the others still in good use.
    He leads them to one of the better inns in town, The Old Owl Inn, a place well known in many circles around town. From the outside, it looks enchanting, intimate and modest with icicles lining the awnings. Large and small stones and wooden pillars, with snow packed in along the edges where the building means the ground, make up most of the building's outer structure. It's near impossible to see through the small frosted curtained windows, but the music and voices from within can be felt outside.

    As they enter tavern through the decorated, wooden doors, they are welcomed by cheerful singing and the smell of alcohol. The place as colorful hangs draped long all the high overhangs, as the bartenders are very busy with a packed house for the night, but one still manages to welcome Hagas with a friendly nod.
    It's as alluring inside as it is on the outside. Hard oak pillars support the upper floor and the large candles attached to them. The walls are packed with rows of painted portraits. The head bartender on one of them, so the others must be either friends, family or previous owners.
    There don‘t seem to be many open tables, except four that look to be reserved for a special group, it’s been roped off from the rest of the area. Hagas now moves off to speak with the owner, as Henry looks around with the others and sees there are many other races within the place. There are a few Dunir Dwarves that have come down from their mountain forges, and a few Ren’kai Orcs, Henry has seen these types of Orcs before, they go between villages looking for contests of strength and courage, as a few have only just visited his home town just before he set off into the woods on his first hunt.
    As he scans the area a little more, he sees a few Alea, but it looks like they are getting ready to leave for the night, with the Py’rai elves becoming the primary clients here, far outnumbering the other races in the room. There are several more long tables that are occupied by a loud group, a mix of Orc and Dwarf types, as a couple of each group pair off to arm wrestle. Bets are placed and cheers go up on each side, as arms lock and bodies strain to force the other to give up. In another part of the Inn, smaller tables are also occupied by people who are probably starting to reach the point of having drunk too much, though nobody seems to mind. Even most of the stools at the bar are occupied, though nobody seems to mind more company, as wild stories drift just under the song of an upbeat melody. It’s great-sounding music playing and many people begin to dance, as the live band who just started playing. Hagas beckons the group to follow him to the back, he manages to find them a seat and they prepare for what will undoubtedly be a great evening.

    “ Nice place you found for us Hagas, but why put us so far in the back? I can barely hear that music playing up front. “, says Richard looking back at the four reserved tables.
    Hagas just rolls his eyes and motions for a barmaid to come over, then he looks to the group scowl on his face.
    “ Listen Alea, you lucky to be getting these seats. After all, this is a special night for us Py’rais, it’s the first night of the winter festival, and every tavern and bar in town are full of celebrations and happy times. So try to not spoil the fun for us tonight, and stay in the back. Ok!? “, says Hagas now giving Richard a nasty look.
    Before Richard can respond, Korneel steps forward to place a hand on his shoulder and gives him a couple of taps. A signal to stay calm, as he now moves forward to reply to Hagas.
    “ I am sure this table will be fine, please give your mistress our thanks. “
    Hagas scowls at Richard once now, as he bows slightly to Korneel, then he takes his leave from the group.

    They all take a seat at the table like a well-endowed barmaid, with long bluish hair tied back exposing her long pointed ears with a red ribbon, as she shows off her curses in a low cut brown and white dress that hugs her body tightly. With one motion she brings over a tray of assorted aged cheeses and hard rolls of bread, then from out of a large pocket on the front of her dress, she pulls out a couple of menus to hand over to the group.
    “ What will you find men behaving tonight? If you don’t mind a small suggestion, the special is good. It’s royal venison with a side of mixed vegetables of corn, peas, and carrots, along with a large baked potato. “, she says with a big smile.
    The dancing and hand-clapping get louder, as the band plays a different tune. Richard orders a round of ale for the table, and Korneel asks her to bring them the house special, and she takes the menus away and rushes off with a smile.
    “ I hope the food is food here, the last place I been the food was a little rotten. “, says Sam taking a bit of cheese to smell a few times.
    “ I am sure it’s good Sam after all this place wouldn’t be so packed if the food was bad. “, says Henry now taking a cup of ale from the returning barmaid.
    She passes out the last three cups to the others, as Richard watches her walk away.
    “ I don’t know what you lads, but I see something that is good in this place.”, he says now taking a deep drink of ale.
    “ Richard, I hope you're not going to start any trouble tonight. We are guests here. This isn’t the bars back home. “, says Korneel now taking a sip of ale.
    “ I know, I know Kron, but she is a looker. I heard rumors about Py’rai women, I was just wondering if it’s all true. “, says Richard now drinking down the last of his ale.
    The barmaid returns with a new bigger mug of ale and places it down in front of Richard, and quickly takes his empty one away.
    “ Now see that is service gents, she saw I was empty, and returned with an even bigger mug.”, say Richard now drinking down his second ale.
    “ Take it, easy friend, we haven’t even had our meal yet. The night is long, and we need to pass ourselves. :, say Korneel now taking a second sip of ale.
    Richard just dismisses his words, as he finishes the second mug, only to have the barmaid return with a large pint size mug, and she places in down on the table and takes away his second glass.
    This time Sam takes up a roll of bread, and pushes it into Richards's hand, as he reaches for the pint of ale. He smiles at Sam, then takes the bread begins to chew it all down in a few bits. Henry can only watch the bread vanish as quick as it leaves his hand. Then the barmaid returns with the night's meal, and takes away the other three mugs of ale, as a second barmaid places a small keg on the table.
    “ This is on the house gentlemen, it’s the house special honey ale. Now if there isn’t anything else, please enjoy. “, she says now leaving with a smile.
    “ She has a sweet body gents, I got to know her name.”, says Richard as the other begins to eat.
    “ You better leave that alone Richard. Again we are not home, and we are guests here. So behave yourself. “, says Korneel now giving him a very concerned and crossed look.
    “ Hey Korneel, I know we are guests, I will be good. “, he says with a smile.
    “ You better, now eat your dinner, and enjoy the music. “, says Korneel now taking deep cuts of the meat on his plate.
    The four now enjoys the meal, and the band plays on, as the dancing continues. Henry looks up to see new people entering the Inn with gifts, and they all head to fill the four tables out front. They look to be special VIP types, all of which are Py’rais. These ones wear clothes of a higher order, and very fancy quality, also some are draped with fine jewels along with gold and silver necklaces. There are a lot of smiles to be seen, as the group now places gifts on the table in front of a younger male. He looks to be about Henry's age, as the band stops playing music, and the tune switches to one of a birthday tune. Henry continues to watch, as an older couple walks over to hug the younger Py’rai male, he smiles and hugs them back as the song ends, and the band returns to play a general upbeat tune for the rest of the Inn. The dancing continues with a lot of singing and hand clapping. Now Henry stands from the table and calls to the barmaid.
    “ What’s wrong Henry, is the food spoiled? “, asks Sam.
    “ No Sam, I am just feeling tired, I think I will retire early.”
    The barmaid comes over, and Henry asks for the key to his room, and she quickly rushes off to get his room number. Henry looks over one last time at the birthday party, as a tear rolls down his left cheek. The barmaid returns with his numbered key and gets concerned after seeing his tear.
    “ You ok love? “
    “ I am fine, thank you for the key. “, he says now turning a rushing up the back stairs.
    Sam looks to Korneel, who just continues to eat, but when Sam looks at the birthday party it hits him. That’s right Henry doesn’t have family, so he gets the room number from the barmaid, and he excuses himself to check on Henry.
    Richard just shakes his head at the pair rushing off, then takes his fifth cup of ale. Not being able to see clearly, he calls for the barmaid, and she of course quickly comes to the table.
    “ Hey little missy, do you have anything stronger? This stuff got no bite to it. “
    She looks over to one of the bartenders in the back, as he motions to her with a nod.
    “ Of course sir, we have fire mead, it’s the finest in the land. “
    “ Now your talkin, go fetch me a few mugs of that stuff, and be quick about it. “, he says now slapping her on the bottom as she turns away.
    This action now gets the attention of a few Py’rai males, as a small group walks over to speak with the pair of Alea humans.
    “ Hey you, that wasn’t very nice. You need to apologize to the nice lady. “, says a tall Py’rai fighter.
    Richard looks up from the table now, seeing double, then stands and staggers to face the group.
    “ Apologize for what may I ask? “, he says now take hold of the table and let out a huge burp.
    The tall Py’rai looks him up and down, then repeats himself again, but Richard just laughs in his face. The Py’rai frowns deeply and moves closer to grab hold of him, but Korneel quickly gets in the middle of the two.
    “ Now hold on, he doesn’t mean anything, after all, he is drunk as you can see. I am sure once he sobers up, he will say he is sorry. “, says Korneel while trying to get Richard to sit down.
    But he fights Korneel from pushing him back away from the group, as more people enter around the argument, a few Orcs come over as well with a couple of Dwarves. Richard seeing the newcomers laughs at the Py’rai.
    “ Well now, looks like…… everyone has come over to see……. You…… get your arse beat. So whenever your ready sweetheart………… make your move!”, says Richard now pushing Korneel aside.
    The Py’rai slightly laughs at the thought of this drunk being able to even lift a finger, tells Richard he can have the first swing.
    Korneel looks around as the setting has changed, the barmaids have all gone, the area that was once open is now closed off from the front, and there are more fighter types in the room with him and Richard. Before he can stop his friend, he rips into the Py’rai tall fighter, sending him crashing through a table knocking him out cold. One of the Py’rai’s friends grabs hold of Richard’s shoulder spinning him around to punch him in the face but misses as Richard falls to the floor. The punch missing its mark hits one of the Dwarves square in the face since the crowd was pushed in so close. That attack, in turn, gets a very nasty response, as the Dwarf takes hold of a chair, sending it flying, and it breaks into pieces after hitting the head of the Py’rai sending him flying to the floor. The rest of the Py’rai go after the Dwarf, as the other Dwarves rush to protect their friend. The Orcs, of course, now seeing a good fight, don’t want to be left out, and join in attacking anyone that is closest to them. As bodies and furniture go fly left and right in the area, Korneel crawls on the floor to grab hold of Richard, and he drags him off to a quiet space in the room from chaos.
    “ I don’t know why I let you get me into these situations Rich. I think next time I will let them kill you. “, he says now hiding behind an overturned table.
    “ Well, I hope you're ready for a little more fun friend, I don’t think we are getting out of this without a scratch.”, say Richard now pointing up.
    Korneel looks up and sighs a little, above them are two Orcs look down over to edge of the table on its side. With one move the table is sent flying, as Korneel and Richard are grab up onto their feet.

    Upstairs, Sam sits with Henry, trying his best to cheer him up. It took a little time, but he finally got a few smiles out of him, they are good friends after all and been together in the fighters guild from day one. The mood in the room goes from smiles to concern, as a loud knock if heard of the door.
    “ Open up! It’s the royal guard! “
    Henry looks at Sam with a questioning look, as he returns a very puzzled look in return.
    “ What’s going on Sam, they sound mad? “, he says now moving carefully to open the door.
    Outside are four guards with swords drawn, now motioning for them to follow. They are given little choice, as they are taken downstairs. The first thing Henry sees, is Richard and Korneel with their hands tied and bruises all over their face, along with piles of unconscious bodies, and broken furniture all around the area.
    “ By the gods what have you two done?”, asks Sam.
    But Richard can only laugh and smile at them, as Korneel just looks at him with discuss.

    To be continued………………….

  • NagashNagash Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I really like Richard :D

    The dead do not squabble as this land’s rulers do. The dead have no desires, petty jealousies or ambitions. A world of the dead is a world at peace
  • Dropping a new part tonight, almost done with it.
  • granthorgranthor Member
    edited December 2019
    It’s been a couple of days past, and Henry is lead into the great hall with a chained collar around his neck, followed by Sam, Richard, and Korneel, all of who are linked together by the neck in one long row. The collar is fastened tightly around Henry’s neck, he tries to adjust the fit of it, as it rubs him deep, but he can’t move it much. He looks back to see Korneel and Richard have their hands bound with ropes, but Sam only has the collar around his neck as well. He also sees Richard has been gagged, to keep him from talking, the guard grew tired of his complaining and made sure he was silenced for his stay in the jail cell. Henry didn’t mind as much as Richard, seeing how he did make a big fuss, and it made for a couple of good night sleeps on the stiff bed. All in all, they were treated well, outside of gagging Richard, but still why lock up Sam and him for what the others did?

    Guards stand watch on both sides of the center throne, as the fire dances high in the great fireplace off to the right side. They are lined up just ten feet away from the throne, as a couple of well-armed guards stand to the sides and just to the rear of the group. Henry knows they are not playing games with them if they try to make trouble, within a half a step they will be on the ground fast. He has heard about the Py’rai warriors, and they are not to be taken lightly.

    He finds himself looking at the paintings of the house leaders, and one gets his attention from the rest. A portrait of a battle harden Alea human with blonde hair with a few white streaks, he has a firm chin and deep blue eyes. An Alea here in this hall, Henry finds himself studying to picture more closely, wondering how this person is, so much so he didn’t see Madris enter and take a seat of the throne in front of them.

    “ That is Peter Stormhand, my father and leader of this clan. “, says Madris now watching Henry carefully.
    Henry snaps his attention towards her, as she gives him a small smile. She is dress in a golden elegant dress with white trim, with fine jewelry and necklaces draped over exposed skin. A tiara rest on her head with white diamonds decorating most of its surface, taking the attention away from the golden streaks in her bluish long hair. Standing off to her right side is Hagas holding a quill and parchment. He is dressed in official state dress, for conducting business affairs in an official capacity
    “ You favor him a little Henry, you have his eyes and chin, but your not one of us are you……Henry? “, she slight questions with a little tease.
    “ No Milady. I must apologize for my rudeness. I was just admiring the portrait is all, I didn’t know you have an Alea in your family. “, says Henry with a bow.

    “ In time Henry, you will learn a great deal about my family, but for now we have some business to attended too. “, she says now looking past them.

    Korneel speaks up to question her, but the main doors to the hall open from the outside, and in steps the owner of The Old Owl Inn. He is wearing a fine brown winter fur coat, along with a heavy furry hat on his head. All of which he removes to hand over to a servant, and he now shows off his fine business suit of deep red and golden trim.
    “ I want justice Matriarch, these hooligans destroyed my back meeting room, and cause a lot of damage to my fine Inn. I demand payment and justice now! “, says the Inn owner now pointing a finger at the four prisoners.
    “ Now wait a minute, Sam and Henry weren’t even there, It was just Richard and I. They are innocent of any charges, they shouldn’t be part of this. I will take the fall for what needs to be done. “, says Korneel stepping forward.
    Richard now turning red in the face, and motioning to have that gag removed, he looks to have a lot to say. So Madris motions to one guard to remove it, as he takes a deep breath now beginning to speak.

    “ Now see here! If anyone is to blame, it’s these fools at the Inn, they started this whole mess, to begin with, and they should be the ones to pay for that damage! “, he says now staring down the owner.
    But the Owner just rolls his eyes at Richard’s words and takes out a scroll, and it unrolls and ends at the feet of Richard.
    “ Here is a list of everything that I would like to have replaced or repaired. “, says the owner, now handling off the list to Hagas.
    Hagas looks it over carefully and takes a few notes, then nods to Madris while showing her what he wrote down. She turns to the group once now, watching each carefully, she knows what the owner wants they can’t pay, so she addresses the group once more.

    “ Well now, it looks like you owe over five thousand gold pieces, payment due now. But if you can’t pay now, you have to work off the debt, so what will it be gentlemen?, says Madris, now looking toward Henry expectantly.
    “ We don‘t have that type of money with us, but I am sure the guild will pay our fine, let us send word to them, so we can…..”,
    “ No good enough! We can trust that guild, they are been known to not pay off debts. In the past. Why should we trust they will now?”, states the owner.
    “ Yes, that is correct, we have had issues of payments from your guild in the past, so that’s not good enough. With that, one of you will need to pay off the money owed by the others by working it off, so who will it be? , she asks now watching Henry even closer.
    Without the others noticing, she finally locks eyes with his, then with a whisper to his mind, she planets a thought that changes his actions.
    Before anyone else can reply, Henry fines himself stepping forward, and speaking out loudly.
    “ I will work off the dept.! “
    All eyes turn to him in disbelief from what he just said, the owner of the Inn accepts the offer, and Madris confirms the agreement, and sends Hagas over with a contract for Henry to sign.
    “ Henry wait, we can find another way, don’t do this! “, exclaims Korneel trying to take hold of Henry.
    But he pushes past him, with whispering in his mind, he takes up the quill, it pricks his finger as a drop of blood moves to the tip, and he makes his mark on the contract. With a flash of light, the contract rolls up and quickly flies to the left hand of Madris.
    “ It is done, and can’t be undone until the task is finished.”, says Madris now motioning to have to chains removed.
    “ Now go, return to your city, with your fallen friend, your wounded man, and your hunted game. Return to your people, but Henry is bound to us here. Do not try to take him away by force, this contact is binding and legal. “, says Madris with a cold look now.
    The guards move to surround the others, as Henry moves next to the Owner of the Inn, but Sam moves to his friends' side and can tell he was bewitched. His training in the healing arts showed him the signs of it, so he does what any good friend would do, and stands by his side.
    “ I will stay will Henry, tell the others I will look after him, we will be ok.”
    “ But who will look after you Sam? “, asks Korneel.
    Richard moves to hug them both, and gives Madris a dirty look as he storms out of the hall, followed closely by Korneel, who gives the two friends a final nod before he leaves to join the others.

    The Inn Owner takes hold of Henry’s good arm, but its slapped away by an unseen force. He looks puzzled as he is tossed a bag of gold coins by Hagas.
    “ The price was five thousand gold pieces correct? “, asks Madris with a smile.
    The owner nods a yes, and she tells him to go away. Now turning her attention to Henry and Sam, she watches as Sam breaks him out of her trance, and Henry looks around a little confused. He knows what happened, but doesn’t know why he did what he did.
    “ No more tricks, or spells Milady. I might be as powerful as you, but I still can’t be charm so easily. I stayed behind to keep my friend safe, we will both work off that gold, but if your plan is to harm us, we will fight you to the bitter end. “, says Sam with a hard glare.
    She can only laugh at the thought of this young healer being so bold with his words, the very idea he could stop her from doing anything to them. But that isn’t why she wanted Henry, and Sam staying behind just changes the plan. She claps a couple of times and has the house servants take the pair to a guest room, and she looks to Hagas now, as he gives her a concerned look.
    “ I don’t like this, it was only supposed to be just one, not two. What are you going to do now? “, asks Hagas with concern.

    “ You worry too much, just have faith, the plan hasn’t changed, just altered a little bit. Now go find the family doctor and then my wonderful sister, there is much to be done. “, she says as Hagas bows then takes his leave.
    She tells the guards to leave the hall, as she now moves to the fireplace. She looks into the flames while motioning with her hands, as a ghostly image appears within the flames.
    “ Is it done? “
    “ I have him as requested, but he has a friend with him. What do you want me to do with him? “, asks Madris
    “ Train them both, do no harm to him, and when the time comes to send them on their way to me. I will finish what you started. “
    Madris bows to the image as it fades away in the fire, then she quickly leaves the hall, to attend to other matters.

    To be continued. ……..

  • NagashNagash Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    the plot thickens

    The dead do not squabble as this land’s rulers do. The dead have no desires, petty jealousies or ambitions. A world of the dead is a world at peace
  • Yes it does, I hope I don't paint myself into a corner. haha
  • VirtekVirtek Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I'm digging this, @granthor!
    We highlighted your post on our "The Golden Feather" podcast today, and we're hoping it brings you a few more readers.
    We livestream our community-centric podcast on Fridays at 7 pm EST where we take topics from the Forums and Reddit
    Nexus Gaming
  • NarysNarys Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    A lot of hard work went into this, a really great story @granthor !
  • Thx guys, Now I will try to post a lot more over the next few days.
  • Hmmm, was there an issue with the login last night? I couldn't get in on my home computer.
  • granthorgranthor Member
    edited December 2019
    The next morning Ebrae waits in a training circle just outside of town, as other Py’rai elf fighters practice in different areas of the huge circle. Normally it would be freezing cold, but there are enchanted torches mounted of tall poles that make up what the circle is, and with them, in place, it keeps the snow levels very low and the air within the circle at a nice temperature. So much so it is a fine warmth in the air, most of the fighters have removed much of their winter gear while they practice a little more. Some sparring while others practice on wooden dummies. Ebrae too is in lighter wear, now showing off her long golden hair, as she takes out a blue ribbon from her pocket, and begins to tie it all back so it’s not in her way. She isn’t wearing her leather armor, but she does sport a fine tailored green outfit with red trim on the edges with two pockets on each side, that look to have something stuff in them. She also wears black long boots that go up to just below her knees, they have a couple of buckets that hold them on her legs tightly.
    As she looks at a few targets about a hundred feet from her, the wind blows an up to a few twists of snow from the ground, but it’s quickly disbursed as it hits the heat of the torches. Hanging on a large pole close by are her bow and arrows, close to that is a smaller pole that shows a long shadow along the ground. All the poles cast a shadow of course, but this one Ebrae continues to watch a little more closely.
    “ They are later you know, typical Alea humans, never on time for anything.”, says a voice from behind her.
    She turns slightly to see it’s only the family doctor, and she gives him a small smile. He is wearing his full fur winter outfit, it’s a type of bear fur, very warm on the coldest of days, along with a large fur hat, to keep the heat from escaping the top of his head. She knows he is a very skinny man, but the winter wear makes him look to be three times bigger than he is. He looks at here through wired glasses that rest on a long pointed nose, now warming his hands blow on then, as she now grabbing up her bow and arrows. She looks at the round targets downwind of her, then she takes out three arrows, holding two facing down, as she takes aim with the third.
    “ You don’t need all that heavy coat in the circle, it’s warmer than you think. Look how I am dressed after all.“, says Ebrae as she fires off one shot.
    “ Oh it’s still too cold for now taste, I wish those two would hurry up, I have a warm fire waiting for me inside, along with a good cup of warm brandy.’, says the doctor continuing to warm his hands blowing on them.
    “ Relax, they will be here soon. “, she says now firing off the second arrow as it hits the center mark next to the first.
    She quickly fires off the last one, now watching it sail through the air, as it sinking right next to the first two making a tight triangle.
    The doctor smirks at her.
    “ Your slipping.”
    She smiles back at him, as she takes up one more arrow, and while looking right at the doctor, fires the forth arrow into the center of the first three.
    “ Bah, now you're showing off. So where are these two Aleas?”, asks the doctor now growing very impatient.
    Ebrae turns to point at the two Alea now walking up to the training circle, being lead by one of her house servants.
    Henry walks over with his left arm still in a sling, and bows to them both, as Sam in his old robe stands to the rear keeping a close watch on them all.
    “ What is this?!? Do you still have your arm in a sling? Don’t you have a healer with you? “, asks the doctor now moving close to example Henry’s wound.
    Henry looks to Sam, as he moves over next to Henry to watch what the doctor is doing. The doctor, in turn, looks at Sam with a shameful expression, then puts his left hand on Henry’s elbow and his right on his wrist.
    “ What are they teaching you in those Alea healing schools boy? This is the basic first years' lessons here. “, says the doctor as he chants a few words now.
    “ Here watch me closely now, boy, and learn. You take hold like I am doing now, then focus your energy into his arm, keeping your focus on the breaks like this. “

    As Sam watches the doctor work closer, Henry feels a warmth move through his left arm, then he feels his muscles grow tighter and with a snap, the pain in his arm is gone.
    “ Go on now, you can take the sling off, your arm has been healed. It should be a lot better, maybe better than it was to start.“, says the doctor with a laugh.
    Henry slowly removes his sling and lifts his left arm in the air. The old elf is right, there isn’t any pain, and his arm feels great. He flexes his hand a few times, as he feels his left arm with his right hand, not one bit of pain can be felt. Henry thanks the old doctor, but he waves him off. This was child’s play to a master like him. Now the doctor looks to Sam and tells him to follow him back to town. Sam gives Henry a concerned look, but he just smiles at him in return.
    “ It will be ok Sam, I will be fine, you go take your lessons.”
    Sam gives him a nod as he follows the old doctor closely back into town, then Henry turns his attention to Ebrae, who is now looking him over slowly. She now taps him along both arms with her bow and gives a big sigh then taps his chest plate along with his leggings. With a couple more sighs, she hangs her bow and arrows back on the hook. Then he places the edge of her thumb and forefinger between her lips and whistles loudly.
    “ Take that junk off Henry, your not training in that armor.”, she says as five fighters rush to take a knee by her side from where they were training.
    Henry frowns at her words, he was told this was fine armor when he paid twenty silver for it, but he can see she isn’t in the mood for wasting time, as he is getting a dirty look now.
    She speaks to the others in an elfish tongue, and they all rush off when she is done talking.
    One fighter returns with a very large wicker basket, and he opens it and places it in the ground next to Henry.
    :“ Ok now, stripe that armor off, and place it in the basket.”, she says now giving him a crossed look.
    “ Your Ebrae, the one who saved me in the woods right? I never thanked you for that day/”, says Henry as he starts placing the different armor pieces in the basket now.
    “ I don’t understand one thing, Henry. Why were you hunting so far away from your home? Don’t your people have a closer game to your village? “, she questions him while he finishes removing the last of his armor.
    “ We were following a new trail of game, when a storm hit us, then we got lost. Thomas, the one your doctor fixed up, was off looking for firewood when he ran into that beast. I think you know the rest, as we rushed off to save him, but you ended up saving us.”, he says now placing the last piece of armor in the basket.
    The fighter that was standing there closes the lid and takes the armor away from the area. Henry now only wears some basic brown and white travel clothes. His neckline is open, showing off a golden band around his neck, one that gets Ebrae’s attention. She moves in closer and frowns.
    “ What is she playing at? “, she says in a low whisper.
    Henry questions her, but she blows him off as the other fighters return. They set up a long table, on it they place training weapons of different types, from board swords to simple daggers and a few weapons that look like maces.
    “ Now Henry, what type of armor do you want to wear? “, she asks already knowing his answer.
    “ Well, Milady…….”
    “ Stop! Don’t call me that, just call me Ebrae ok, no titles! I agreed to train by my sister’s request, but it doesn’t mean you can call me that ok?!? Do we have an understanding?!?”, she exclaims pointing a finger at him looking slightly mad.
    “ Yes Ebrae, but I would like to wear plate armor. I was told it has the best protection.
    “ You sure Henry? Are you sure you can handle the plate? Maybe you should start off with light leather.”, says Ebrae now motioning for someone to come up from behind.
    “ No I was told Plate is what I should be using, so I will stick with it.”, says Henry with a smile.
    Once the words leave his lips, someone begins to dress him from behind in a heavy padded vest, the weight of if pulls Henry down a little, but he fights to stand tall, as weighted pads are tied to his legs now then his arms. Finally, an iron helm is placed on his head. The smile he once had now fads fast, as he can feel the weight of what’s on him, this was done to him in the fighters guild, but this is far heavier than what they used on him before. He looks at Ebrae as she gives him a stone-cold look in return. He thinks she is trying to break him, and as she stares into his eyes he knows she means business. But that is one thing he will not let happen, he isn‘t going to let a young elf girl break him, not today or any day. He looks her over a little, as she doesn’t look much older than him.
    “ If I may ask, how old are you anyway? ’, he says with a questioning look.
    “ I am sixteen if you must know. But I am very skilled at combat and very good with the bow. So don’t think because I am young I don’t know what I am doing, it will be your biggest mistake.”, she says now glaring at him a little.
    “ Oh no, I don’t think that at all, I am fourteen myself, so if you have something to teach me, I will listen to what you have to say. “, he says now fighting to take a few steps towards her. Ebrae can see he is struggling to move, then she takes a short sword from the table, then hands it to him, he can tell it’s a wooden practice weapon, but he fights the weight of it. Henry places a second hand to hold this heavy wooden sword, why is it so heavy he wonders, as he has no choice but to let the tip of it hit the ground while he still holds it.
    “ Come on Henry! You're telling me you can’t handle a simple short sword in the outfit? “, she says now picking up a flexible thin reed off the table.
    Henry strains to lift the sword from the ground, but the weighted pads are making the job ten times harder. He manages to stand up in a defenses position, as Ebrae tells him to attack her now. He has a questioning look on his face, as she repeats herself. So Henry takes his best swing he can manage, and gets a few good smacks with the reed she is holding. She tells him to do it again, and this time he fights to privet to her left to swing down on her, but again she strikes him a few times with the reed she holds knocking him to the ground.
    “ Come on Henry is that the best you can do, hit me already!”, she says now holding the reed extended out, and one hand behind her back.
    He begins to get angry now, seeing a small smile cross her face, she is playing with him, and with every bit of strength he can manage, he stands and rushes her. But with one move she sends him flying off his feet again, and he lands hard on the snow-covered ground.
    “ Well, Henry looks like we have a long way to go with your training. So today I want you to work on your strength, tomorrow I will see where you stand after a day of walking around in that outfit. As far as your fighting skills, you need a lot of help.”, says Ebrae now helping him up off the ground.
    “ Hey I am not a bad fighter, I can hold my own!”, exclaims Henry now tossing the sword to the ground.
    Ebrae moves in closer to look him face to face now. She can see he thinks he is a good fighter and replies the only way she feels he will listen.
    “ If your such a good fighter, why did I have to save you, and why did your friend have to die? Answer me that Henry. So you listen to what I have to say, and how I tell you to do it. Then maybe, just maybe you will be a great fighter. Until that day comes, your just scum under my boot.“, says Ebrae now picking up the sword and pushing it into Henry’s chest.
    She walks away telling him to run around the training circle ten times, don’t stop, and if he does it’s ten more times. She watches him closely as he slowly jogs around, and she tells him to move faster.
    All Henry can do is obey her orders, as he fights the weight of clothes he wears. He doesn’t know why he must listen, like a whisper echoes in his mind like before. It tells him to be good, and follower her instructions. So he listens, and for some reason, he starts to not feel the weight of the padded armor anymore, as he begins to run faster.
    Now Henry thinks, she is right after all, what did he do that day but stand up in fear. What good was he? He couldn’t even save his friends from harm. So he will use that to fight on, she will not break him he thinks. He must get stronger and better at fighting. He looks over to Ebrae once more, as she yells for him to speed up, and he tries not to think about the pain now forming in his legs, as he continues to run his second lap. he runs a few more laps, as a voice continues to whisper in his mind, now taking his pain away.

    To be continued………
  • virtek wrote: »
    I'm digging this, @granthor!
    We highlighted your post on our "The Golden Feather" podcast today, and we're hoping it brings you a few more readers.

    Hey, do you have a link to that podcast? thx
  • LexLex Member, Phoenix Initiative, Avatar of the Phoenix, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Ohh, I've missed this gem. Great story @granthor !
  • Lex wrote: »
    Ohh, I've missed this gem. Great story @granthor !

    Thx, I will be trying to post every other day. Hope it's better than the others I posted before.
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