Chapter Two: Call of the Dragon

granthorgranthor Member
edited January 6 in Community Creations
Ok, guys and gals, I can't fight it anymore, so I will be dropping a new part to the Story this week. Once you see the coming soon gone, the 1st part will be ready to read? Thx for all your support on this adventure. And Merry Christmas to all.

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  • granthorgranthor Member
    edited January 11
    Elsewhere, a lone man sits by a riverbank, with a fishing rod propped up next to him. No training today, so he went into town and found a fishing supply place, where they had a wide range of gear. The town’s merchant claims his rods are the best to be found, and it can hold its own verse anything in the river without breaking. So he has it held in place with a combo of rocks and sticks, as a nice breeze blows in from behind him. This is Henry a young fighter, he rests next to a clam wide river, not wearing his armor, while only sporting some light elfish brown plain clothes he bought in town. It’s not what he is used to, but he finds it surprisingly comfortable. It sits slightly loose on his muscular body, and it seems to have a relaxed fit for ease of movement.

    He flexes a little as he starring up at the noon sky, now watching puffy clouds slowly drifting overhead. In them, he can picture animals and the sides of people’s faces. Even one reminds him of his friend Richard, as it looks to sport a very long beard resting on a stone face. Ah, Richard, that reminds him, he has been hiding from Crystal these last few months, a mage that group with his party in the mines. There was a huge party in town with the boss of the mines being killed, and everyone got pretty drunk that night. He remembers seeing Richard and Crystal heading off somewhere quiet, and a few days later Richard has been on the run avoiding her. Henry finds himself laughing little at the thought of Richard running from any pretty lady, he has been known to be the one doing the chasing. Maybe he finally found someone that doesn’t just want a one night's stand, and it has him on edge.
    But he hasn’t seen his friends over the last couple of months, so he doesn’t know what came of the whole thing. Only Sam and Sarah followed him back to Fandralore, a place he didn’t want to return too, but he had no choice as he was summoned back to the town. He rubs the golden ring around his neck and it warm to the touch, and then cool just as his fingers leave the edge. Some call it a contract binder, others call it what it really is, a slave collar, as it binds you to its owner, and you must do as that command. Henry is still mad at himself for falling into this trick, he did try to pay off the money owed, but still, the collar remains.

    He now thinks about his friend Sam, who after returning went back to train and study more with the town’s clerics. He told Henry he is gaining a lot of extra skills from their training and would try to find a way to break that seal on the collar to free him. Then there is Sarah, she has never left Henry's side since the time in the mines, but from time to time she does give him space, only to return to be very annoying and clinging to him like a lovesick puppy. But Sarah he feels only does it to get under Ebrae’s skin when they are together, he finds she gets very close to him, and when Ebrae if off on her own so goes Sarah.
    With that thought, a pebbled is flipped through the air, and it bounces off Henry’s head. He turns to see who or what tossed a rock at him, as he reaches for his sword, but he reminders he left it with his shield in the training grounds. He looks around the area but no one can be seen. He slowly turns to take to relax, as he puts a hand on his dagger at his side, and a second pebble strikes him on the head, this time with the sound of a giggle.
    With a sigh, Henry calls out.
    “Ok, Sarah I know it’s you! You can stop hiding now! “, says Henry as he now relaxes his hand from his weapon.
    With those words, a fine figure of a woman with short black hair, and dressed in light black leather armor pops into view from a shimmer in the air. He sees that she is wearing newer armor that shows off patches of skin on her midsection, arms and legs giving her more flexibility in movements. But just like her older winter armor, this one hugs her body like a second skin. She told him she doesn’t like loose fitting armor, as it holds her back in a fight, but he thinks she wears it tight to get his attention.
    He looks up at her as she smiles back down at him with big brown eyes, now pointing a waving a figure at him.
    “Do you like it? I found it at one of the stores in town, and I just had to buy it. “, says Sarah waiting expectantly.
    Henry looks it over, as she now moves her hands too long her body, matching where Henry is looking with a teasing motion. He just sighs a little, knowing she is at her games again, and he stands to be picking up his fishing pole.
    “It looks ok Sarah, nothing that special. “, says Henry now reeling in his line.
    Sarah felt a little put off, pushes Henry in the chest, and gets his attention once more. He can see she wanted more of an ok for him, but he doesn’t care, as she stomps her left foot on the ground.
    “Is that all you have to say!? I bought this for you my sweet, and I figured you would love to see your sweetheart in something nice. “, she says now placing a hand on his arm.
    Before he can reply the line tugs hard in the water, and Henry finds himself grabbing the pole with both hands now. The line is dragged hard once more, as Henry pulls back to bring in whatever is fighting him in the water. Henry thought that the merchant boast about his rod not breaking is going to be tested, as it is pulled violently to the left then right.
    “That’s it, Henry! You got it, pull it in! “, yells Sarah now clapping with excitement.
    He finds as he digs his heels into the soil, he is being pulled toward the edge of the water. Sarah seeing this, grabs hold of his waistline and pulls as hard as she can to help. Henry feeling the power of this thing knows this going to be a long fight, and he takes out his dagger from its holder.
    “I am going to cut the line before I lose the pole! “, exclaims Henry as he reaches up with his dagger.
    With one masses pull, both Henry and Sarah get pulled into the water, and Henry finds his dagger arm is in the mouth of something huge. Who was fishing for whom he things, as a large mouth with prickle teeth clamp down around his arm, and it begins to drag him deeper into the water.
    Sarah grabs hold of Henry’s legs, as he grabs hold of the creature with his free hand, now trying to pull open the mouth with no luck. But he still feels he has his dagger in hand and with a few upward gabs with his wrist, he finds the death blow he needed. As he sinks the dagger deep into the brain, and the creature’s grip on his arm relaxes enough to pull it out.
    Henry now pulls with all his might, grabbing hold of the mouth with both hands of whatever pulled him in, and with one big toss he sends a dead river fish onto the shore, it looks to be about five hundred pounds, maybe more. But whatever it’s weight, it’s been the king of that river a very long time, and now it meets its end at the hands of Henry.
    Henry now feeling very tired, walks up out of the water and sits on the shore, then lets his body fall back onto the ground to rest a bit. Sarah seeing this, moves over to sit on top of Henry, and he is about to give her a few words, but she covers his mouth with her right hand, looks him deep in the eyes, and slowly moves to replace her hand with her lips and gives him a very passionate kiss.

    To be continued…….

  • granthorgranthor Member
    edited January 20
    The gardens of the cultural center are second to none. As a fresh plot of grass is flanked by luscious hedges, bushes, and shrubs. The gardeners tend the freshly cut grasses, as the winter last sting has left the region. Along the main path to the library, a single ornamental piece stands near the right edge, as nature has already claimed it for itself. It is tamed just a little, so it isn’t too wild of a look, but the areas the wild outgrowth is lined with a bed of red roses. Down other pathways coming and going, rows of flowers are forming a miniature world of their own, full of mysteries and wonder; they're like a cloud of color. The hedges, bushes, and shrubs reach high, but this is thanks to great care and a lot of effort. Here and there lies a smooth flat large stepping stone, leading people through the garden, and making sure all the best spots are marked. Plants and flowers are seemingly content with their positions in the garden, none trying to reach beyond their borders. This is the garden of the great library of Fandralore, a place where mages and clerics come from far and wide, given the location of the town within the region, it’s the nexus of learning and new ideas.
    Under a large old tree in the garden, Sam rests his back against it while he studies from a book of healing and blessing, given to him by the Cleric know to simply as the Doctor. Sam learned so much from him the last time he was in town, and with his return, he has given him a few more new lessons to help expand his knowledge. A cool breeze blows through his reddish hair, a color he picked out from some hair dyes, with help from a local girl, he changed his look just a bit for the spring.
    His mind drifts a bit while he rubs the hairs on his head, then the sound of a large fizzle gets his attention. Looking up from his book, he notices a puff of smoke drifting by, nothing major, but all the same, it’s smoke in the garden. He looks around but sees no one, then returns his attention to the book he is holding.
    In it, he sees a chapter on sleeping spells and poisoning both applying and cures. An odd combination he thinks, but in some ways they can be related, just depends on how one applies the mix or one or more.
    As he takes out a small pad to write down a few notes, a very loud fizzle can be heard again, and with it comes the smoke drifting by him once more. Sam finishing his notes from the book, stands up to look around, then picking up his area’s mess, as he doesn’t want to be labeled an untidy sort, then heads off to find the source of the smoky clouds.
    As he makes his way along the rows of flower beds, he enjoys the different sense of the flower planted in this large garden, some of which he is seeing for the first time. But his attention is drawn by a large fizzling in the air, but this time a small bang quickly follows, as smoke now drifts over a large hedge in front of him. Sam slowly moves to peek around the edge and sees a lone young mage flipping the pages of his spellbook while muttering someone under his breath. Sam cans see he is dressed in the student robes, a simple blue-green with black trim along all the edges, and his hair is jet black and cut short to his ears. Sam looking closer at his ears can see he is no elf, as there are no points to be seen. He watches as the mage lifts his hand in the air, then begins to cast whatever spell he was trying, but this time there isn’t a fizzle as a small flame takes shape in his left hand. The young mage begins to smile, knowing he finally got the spell to work, and Sam claps aloud to applaud him with his book underarm.
    With a small scare, the mage jumps around, as the spell fizzles and then crackles away in the air. He takes hold of the area of his heart, while breathing a little faster, then clams himself a little now looking at Sam.
    “ I didn’t mean to scare you, friend, it’s just I noticed you were at it a while this day, and I wanted to express a little congrats to you for finishing your spell. So at you a new mage if I may ask? “, says Sam now coming closer.
    “ Oh no, I am not new, just trying out a new spell is all. I have been a mage all my life, and know a few very good spells, and a few very powerful ones too. “, boast the young mage.
    “ Well, what do they call you friend? I am known as Samuel Wright, but friends call me Sam. “
    “ I am Rowen Read, it is nice to meet you Sam. “, says the mage now putting his book away. As he continues.
    “ I came to this town to seek some new spells, I heard it was one of the best places to do so, and where I claimed this new book of spells. “, says Rowen with a smile now.
    Sam can tell he isn’t much older than himself, so when he boasted about being a mage all his life, that would mean he has about ten years of training. But ten years is still pretty good, as long as he had some adventuring under his belt.
    “ So, I take it you have been adventuring over the coarse of your experience? It’s one thing to learn it from books, but very different when you apply it while questing. “, says Sam watching his closer now.
    Sam can see his smile fade a little at his words, then it strikes him this young mage has never been questing before. Sam has gotten very good at reading body language, and his mages mood now screams he has never been out in the wilds.
    “ I must confess master Sam, I have only been learning my art from town to town, and have yet to do a quest. “, says Rowen turning away from Sam in shame.
    Sam moves to put an arm over the shoulder of Rowen and gives him a huge smile as he speaks kindly to him.
    “ That’s ok friend, you stick with me, and I will see to it you get to practice your art on questing. My friends and I do it all the time. “
    "You will take me with you on adventuring? “, says Rowen with a surprised look.
    “ Sure why not? You need to use your skills outside of the town’s walls, so stick with me and I will help you. “ says Sam now smiling wider.
    Rowen thinks to himself, no one ever gave him a chance to join a party to adventure on, they always wanted higher level mages. But look at Sam, he feels maybe he finally has someone that might help him gain the very need experience he has been looking for. So he agrees to join up with Sam, as the two head off to have an evening meal.

    To be continued…..

  • granthorgranthor Member
    edited January 24
    Hi everyone just a quick update:

    I will be posting a few more parts this weekend, sorry if I was a little slow on the newer parts, but RL calls. I had sick kids on my hand, that time of the year and all that fun stuff. I will push to give you more than one part, I feel I owe you guys at least two lol. I will do what I can, as I have set this ball in motion. If you're new to my writings, know that I am far from perfect, and I know I make a few mistakes here and there, but I try to give you the story as I see it. I hope everyone is still enjoying the story so far, and if you're new here, go back a read, Winter comes to Verra, it's the 1st part of what I am writing here in the link below. And again guys thank you for all your support.

    https://forums.ashesofcreation.com/discussion/42712/chapter-one-winter-comes-to-verra/p1
  • Hiya @granthor - thank you for sharing your amazing community creation with us! We featured you for #FanFriday today, and can't wait to see where these adventurers head next! <3

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  • granthorgranthor Member
    edited January 26
    Later in the week, it’s a special day in the town of Fandralore, as banners and flags are placed high along the different streets, and the people wear their best clothes for the day. They came far and wide from each part of the town, and even from the farming fields on the border, as a parade route is set up along the main road through town. Not long after a large band of bards dressed in gold and silver clothes, play every instrument ever made the march in step, lead by a small team of banner and flag bearers who wear green and red with golden buttons. The bards don’t miss a beat as they play the town's favorite marching song, and the people clap and cheer at the sound of the wonderful music as they pass by.
    Not far behind a caravan of covered carriages of white and golden lined flowers ride down the main street. All in all there count is about ten, as important people from city government wave to the people as they ride past the crowds. They too are dress in their very best of outfits, and sport the ranks of power for each station very proudly on their green dress jackets.
    Madris too rides through the town with a heavy guard escort in her personal royal carriage. It’s an open-air type with the same color white and golden flowers lining the edges. She wants the whole town to see her, as she is sporting a new hair color for spring, one of a dark blue with light green high lights on the ends. She even has taken out one of her best dresses for the day, a spring gown she saves for special days. The light blue dress in uncovered from the shoulder area, and flows down into a fancy deep neckline, showing off very expense necklaces fitted with fine gems. The sleeves start out loose and tighten more towards the bottom, where it meets with golden brackets on both her arms. The dress hugs her body closely, but at the same time has enough given to not restrict her movements. On her feet, she wears silver slippers, which seem to sparkle in the sunlight.
    The parade of horses and carts make their way to the town center, as the town’s people cheer and toss flowers of every type on the road, as they wave to Madris as she rides by. This is a very special day for the town, as they have worked very hard to gain what is needed. This is the day of new growth, one that comes only when all conditions are met, and today is that day when its time.
    At the center of town sits a large bronze statue of her father and mother, he stands with his sword pointed to the heavens, and she is aiming with her bow in the other direction, both looking to the sky. The carriage stops to the front of it, as the people cheer loader. Hagas who was riding in a different carriage quickly exits to rush to his master's side. He puts a hand out to help her step down, then he bows low as she focuses on her parent’s statue.
    From another carriage comes Ebrae dressed in honor guard colors of green and red with a golden sash across her chest, and she has a long sword at her side and white gloves on her hands. She is followed by closely with Ryfon, the captain of the guard, and he bows to Madris as she takes notice of them both.
    “ I am not bowing to you dear sister. “, whispers Ebrae, now moving to her side.
    “ Of course my sweet, why would you do something so silly? “, says Madris with a small smile as she continues.
    “ Where are your friends? I would think they would be here for this important day.”
    “ They are off in the crowds watching, I told them to mingle while we attended to this business. “, says Ebrae now looking to Ryfon with a knob.
    He in turn signals for the honor guards to line up on both sides of the statue, and they draw swords and motion them up into a salute.
    The people cheer more, as the sisters look at each other for a short second, then they take a slow walk up to their parent’s statue. The honor guard now quickly extends their swords to make an archway for the two, while keeping as still as they can.. Step after step the two walk until they reach the foot of the large statue. Ebrae pulls a glove off her right hand, as her sister moves to put her left hand on a smooth plate at the base. The sisters place a hand on the plate and speak the words aloud.
    “ We the children of the founders give our blessing to this town, so it may grow and expand to become greater than it is now. May the gods bless this town, and may we be blessed by the power of the dragon. “

    With that final word spoken, an energy wave flows out from the statue and flows out over the whole town. In a blink of an eye, the borders of the town have been expanded out, and a few buildings have changed. The people let out a cheer, as flowers of different types are tossed at the base of the statue, and the honor guards return their swords to their sides, then escort the sisters back to the carriages.
    As she places a hand on her carriage, she turns to look at her sister once more.
    “ Oh if you would be so kind and to bring your friends to the hall, I have a request for them to do for me. “
    Ebrae doesn’t like the sound of how she said those words, why now after all these weeks. What is she playing at?
    “ Is there a special reason you want to see them now? “, Ebrae says now watching her closely.
    Hagas helps Madris into her carriage, then makes sure she is sitting comfortably before he leaves.
    Madris just smiles at her sister.
    “ Just bring them over later my dear. You can do that much for me, right? After all, it would be in Henry’s best interest to see what I want. “, she says with a grin.
    She orders the driver to take her home, as the people line up to touch the statue for luck, as the band continues to play their music. A practice that is done after the ceremony since the beginning of the first settlers. But Ebrae can only watch her sister leave, as she wonders what she is planning for them all.

    To be continued….
  • Sorry guys, I know I said I would post more than one posting over the weekend, but the family got in the way. lol I will try to give you two tomorrow. thx again.
  • NagashNagash Member, Leader of Men
    Take your time Granthor your stories are always worth the wait ^^
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    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 February 3
    Nagash wrote: »
    Take your time Granthor your stories are always worth the wait ^^

    Ugh, I need to invest in a new computer, my son keeps take the one I use for gaming haha. I will drop a new part tonight thx for your support.
  • granthorgranthor Member
    edited February 3
    Later in the day, Henry stands with his Friend Sam, along with the young mage Rowen, who looks a bit nervous standing in the halls of the Stormhand family. Sarah is also there, wearing a modest outfit of cloth and leather, the top of which sinks down to a low V-shape in the middle, and her paints hug her legs like a second skin. Each of the young men only wears the basics of dress for the day, as there wasn’t a plan to adventure, or seek any troubles this day. Plus with the way the town is set up with defenses and guards watching everything, there isn’t a need to be armored or armed within the town limits.
    Missing is Ebrae, who hasn’t come back from the earlier event from today, but she took the group to head over to the hall when they had the chance. She didn’t explain why and what Madris wanted, only to get here and it will be explained to them. Henry finds himself looking around the hall while waiting with the others. It’s still as he remembers it. The eight hanging polished braziers light the hall in a brilliant glimmer, the masses fireplace on the far wall has a small fire within it, and the hero statues are still in their places with flowers at their feet. Even the saffron rug still runs from a large oak doorway down the center and loops back from both left and right. The grand, clear glass windows in the hall are all opened, to let in the spring air from outside into the area.
    Henry feels a tingling on his neck, as the golden ring gets a little warm to the touch. He rubs the area as it feels more like itching, and a voice in his mind whispers to him.
    “ She is coming. “, say Henry now looking to the large doors leading to the hall from the back.
    The others move closer to him, as they open, and a group of servants enters with large chest carrying them in groups of two each, all in all, they hold four hug chests, that they place in the middle of the room then they leave. Hagas now enters giving each of the group a quick looking over, then look over the wooden large chests, he motions for each person to stand in front. Sarah does not like to be told where to go or stand, moves to sit on one of the wooden benches.
    “ Why are we here elf and what‘s in the chests? You have kept us waiting far too long, and I don’t like to be surprised . “, says Sarah now giving Hagas untrusting glare.
    Hagas frowns deep at her, then looks to Henry.
    “ Why don’t you keep your female inline boy, and make her show me more respect. The mistress on the house didn’t have too…..”
    “ That’s enough Hagas, you may go. “, says a voice from behind.
    Hagas knows that voice all too well, as he turns and bows low. He turns slightly to give Sarah an angry look, then quickly leaves the area.
    Madris walks in wearing a silvery dress, that sparkles in the light from the window, and she is holding a small white cat with blue eyes in her hand. She rubs it gentling, as she moves to sit on her throne. Now watching each of the humans, she smiles when after sees Henry. With a raise of her hand, she snaps her fingers, and the tops of the chest all open.
    “ I have given you all a gift, my way of thanking you. “, say Madris as she rubs the cat more.
    Henry moves over to look in the one chest closest to him, in it is a plate armor set. it’s a dull grey with a layered section to each piece, it looks to be a full-body covering, with solid metal, where the most regular plate would use the chain to cover the exposed parts. He picks up an arm of the plate, and it looks to be well crafted to fit the user closely. It feels light without a lot of weight to it, so it must be of special elf crafting.
    Each person, in turn, finds armor and items that suit their profession, but Henry doesn’t understand why she is giving them new equipment when they have their own.
    “ Why are you doing this Madris? We don’t need gifts from you! “
    “ I have a request. I need you to escort a small caravan to the town of Cenorias, it’s an elf village on the edge of the forest, and from there, I need you to go to the town of Braedon. There is something I need you to get for me there. “, says Mardis looking at Henry with cold eyes.
    “ And if we don’t go, then what? “, says Sam as he moves to Henry’s side.
    Madris smiles and stands up to walk over to Henry. She moves to within a couple of feet and looks him in the eyes.
    “ If you go, Henry, I will release you from your contract with me. If not, well…….”
    “ Ok, we will do it! As long as you keep your word, I will be free from you after finishing this job.”, says Henry now rubbing the ring on his neck.
    “ You have my word Henry, and it’s why I gave you some better equipment, you will need help on this quest, and I don’t want you to fail. “, says Madris in a cool tone.
    Sarah not liking how she is speaking to them, moves over to get in front of her, but Henry takes hold of her arm to pull her back, as Madris just smiles at them both.
    “ Let me go, Henry, I want to know what is she playing at, why not release you now? “
    “ Just do this job for me, and when you get to Braedon my contact will tell you where to go next. Now if you will excuse me, I need to go feed my cat. “
    Madris turns to walk away but yells to her to come back. Henry with no luck tries to calm her down. But Sarah turns and puts a finger between the golden ring and his neck.
    “ I don’t like how she has control over you, I wish I could rip this thing off your neck!”, says Sarah now putting a hand on his chest.
    “ I don’t like this either, but what can I do, if I don’t do as she asks, I might be a slave to her for a long time.”, say Henry now cracking a small smile.
    Rowen hearing this moves closer to examine the ring on Henry’s neck.
    “ Wow, I never have seen one up close. So you have a slaver collar on? Poor guy, I was told about them in my early training, not something you want to be locked into. But I have heard of Archmages that can break the contract of the rings, of course, that is just a story I heard once. “, says Rowen with a puzzled look.
    “ Well, what’s done is done, so let us take up what she gave us, and get on this quest of hers. The faster we get it done, the quicker your free. “, says Sam now slapping Henry on the back.
    The group agrees, and takes up all the things given to them, and leaves the hall.
    In a dark doorway stands Madris watching them go, and a voice in her mind echoes.
    “ Is it done? “
    “ Yes my lord, they are coming.”
    “ Good…………..very good.”, says the voice as it echoes and fades away.

    to be continued.......
  • granthorgranthor Member
    edited February 3
    The day is still young, as a nice breeze blows in from the west, and Rowen rides of horseback along with a caravan while admiring the trees along the forest road going west from Fandralore. It was humble, radiant, and rich. Its canopy was overshadowed by spruce, birch, and oak, which provided just enough openings for light to pass down for all sorts of a diversity of plants in the rich grounds below. Thick branches dangled from the occasional tree, and a range of flowers, which grew all over the place, protruded from the otherwise mundane landscape. There is also a mixture of animal noises he hears, predominantly those of vermin, filling the air, and it adds to the sounds of the swaying of treetops in the wind.
    As Rowen rides with the others on the road to Cenorias, a trade town set far on the edge of the great forest, and once he has heard of before from the guild. He turns to question a guard close by about it, and he, in turn, tells him it is well known for the fine lumber they have. Also, there are crafters with great skill in wood carving, and they are skilled in works of art both wood and stone. He remembers his father purchased a few pieces of fine furniture from that town, along with a few pieces they were hung or mounted around the home. So it makes sense this had to be the same place.
    So now he finds himself riding as a caravan guard to that same town, with the new friends he made back in Fandralore. The caravan is made up of five large wagons, the contents were never told to him, but from the number of well-armed Elvin guards, it must be items of high value. He looks ahead while riding next to the first wagon and sees a very beautiful elf girl with long blonde hair. Sam has told him that is Ebrae, an elf ranger that has saved their lives a few times, and she also helped to train Henry his best friend in life. But Rowen can tell right away she isn’t a pure elf, just from that golden blonde hair in a long ponytail down her back, but there is a strange aura around her, it's faint but still there. He finds himself staring at her, as she rides on a Swift Claw when she looks over her shoulder to look back at him. His heart drops when she cracks a smile to him, and he looks away quickly as his face goes red. He has seen her around town before but never has been this close to her. He always wanted to introduce himself in the past but failed to work up the courage. He turns slowly to look back at her once more, as she is still looking him over, and tries to smile back, as she lets out a laugh then rides off down the road to scout it out. He finds himself lost if thought about Ebrae now, a half Py’Rai elf with a strange aura, as he wonders who her father is.
    “ Hey Boy! Get your ass to the rear! This is no place for the likes of you! “, says a booming voice snapping him out of his thoughts.
    Rowen turns to see an older human fighter with chestnut-colored hair, and a long-bearded that covers part of a long scar on this face. He is joined by a second man who he knows as Korneel, a seasoned fighter, as he introduced himself to him personally when they both came to town. But the other fighter didn’t want anything to do with Rowen, so he left it at that not wanting to get into any fights with the likes him.
    “ Excuse me, sir, I will fall to the rear out of the way, I am sorry.”, says Rowen as he turns his horse to ride to the back.
    Then he hears the older fighter yell out to him, as he is about halfway there.
    “ Don’t call me sir! You green ass! “
    Oh, he couldn’t ride back fast enough, as he passes a few more guards, and now Henry and Sarah, who in turn laugh at Rowen after his encounter with who he now remembers are Richard.
    As he circles round to the last wagon, Sam is there riding along with a few rearguards, and he rides over next to him. Sam in turn just gives him a big smile, as he puts away a book he was reading.
    “ Why did we agree to let them join us, Sam? He gives me the chills when he talks to me the way he does.”, says Rowen now trying to relax a bit.
    “ Oh Richard and Kornell are ok, they are good friends. Once they get to know you better, he will treat you better. “
    “ It’s not Kornell I am worried about, it’s your friend Richard. The way he looks at me, it’s like he wants to cut my throat on the spot. “, says Rowen now rubbing his neck.
    Sam laughs at the thought and begins to example what is going on to Rowen.
    “ Oh don’t worry about it, Richard never really liked mages, but after our adventure in the mines, He got a little too close to a female mage. Her name is Crystal, a powerful archmage mage that joined our party and let himself get too friendly with her if you know what I mean. “
    “ Oh…….So in the meaning of friendly, they were doing things in a private way?”, says Rowen turning a little red.
    “ Yes, just what your thinking. Well from what Korneel told me, Richard has been avoiding her at every turn. She, as I understand it, is looking to get married now, and knowing Richard, he isn’t ready to settle down yet. “, says Sam as the caravan slows a bit.
    “ Wait, you said her name is Crystal? As in Crystal Stone? “, says Rowen as the caravan stops.
    “ I am not sure about her last name, I just know she is a powerful Mage and sounds like she is hunting Richard down. “
    “ Oh dear, if its who I think it is, he is in a lot of trouble now.”, says Rowen with a worried look.
    Before Sam can ask what he knows, the guards close by getting a signal the road is blocked up ahead, and to fan out in a protective formation, while the road is being cleared.
    Sam tells Rowen to wait here, as he rides up to see what is going on. Rowen in turn feels is a good time to practice a spell he has been working on, a simple one, but one that is perfect for this moment. He takes out his spellbook, and the pages flip open and turn to a spot in the book he needs, then with the word, DETECTION, an unseen wave fan out from around the whole caravan. He calms his mind a bit to feel the motion of the trees, the brush, and the insects in the area. Then he sees them, a large group of figures moving from both sides of the forests.
    Sam rides back to his side, and sees his friend has a very scared look on his face., and with one word he gets Sam’s attention for a fight.
    “ Bandits!”
    Sam hearing that, signals to the guards to get ready for an attack, a signal that is sent up to every position long the caravan. Then Sam moves over to clam Rowen a bit, as he casts a few spells over him to help buff his spells and skills.
    “ I don’t know if I am ready for this Sam.”, says Rowen in a worried voice.
    “ Just say close to the caravan and the guards, I need to go buff the others. I will be right back. “, says Sam as he rushes off on horseback.
    Rowen not liking this feeling remembers a spell he mastered long ago, as the pages turn quickly in his hand. He finds what he was looking for and casts, AFTERIMAGE, as a double of him on horseback pops up next to him. It’s a perfect copy, and it will hopefully confuse any attackers coming his way. He doesn’t have to wait too long, and a group of bandits charges out from the tree line now, and the guards rush up to meet them in battle. A cling of swords can be heard on both sides now, and everyone is now fighting off the attackers.
    Rowen finds himself flipping pages to find a spell to help, when an arrow sings by his head striking his double, now popping it into a puff of black smoke. He looks up to see three bandits rushing his way, and his horse tosses him to the ground, as the second arrow sinks into its leg.
    He hit’s the ground hard, but he still holds his book very close. He scrambles to his feet, as a third arrow just misses hitting him in the left leg. The bandits let out a yell that sends chills up his spine, but this is no time to get scared, as they mean to end his life. So as quick as he can think, the pages of his book flip and a spell comes to mind, TENTACLES, and black coils of arms race up from the ground, grabbing hold of the three attackers. This gives Rowen time to retreat a little from the group, as he sees the other guards can’t help him now. His spell did save him, but it wasn’t perfect, as it breaks and the attackers rush forward once more. But with that first spell, it gave him a little more time to think, and with another word, ICE SHEET, it sends the three attacks falling down hard on the ground.
    One of the attackers gets very mad at Rowen, and quickly gets back to his feet.
    “ I am going to end you boy! “
    But with those words, Rowen cast another spell, ICE PRISON, freezing this one in a block of ice. The other two seeing this runaway, but a new attacker moves in from Rowen’s right side, just missing his head with the swing of a large club.
    With no time to think, he cast the only spell he can think of, one that his father always told him to make sure he learned and mastered, as he casts the spell MAGE’S ESCAPE. With a step to the right, he enters a dimension of rainbow lights and calming sounds like music, and with another step, he finds himself next to the second wagon. He feels a little drained now, but he remembers he has a potion in his travel bag on his side, it will help to restore him a bit. He quickly takes it out, then pops the top to drink the blue liquid. His strength coming back to him, but not fast enough, as a large attacker moves his way. It’s the same one he escaped from before, but he didn’t go far enough away. Panic floods his mind, as he tries to think quickly of a spell to use, only one comes to mind, as the large bandit walks closer and closer.
    “ IMPLOSION!”, exclaims Rowen with force.
    But the spell fizzles out, and he takes a step back to cast it again.
    “ IMPLOSION!”
    Another fizzle as the spell fails, and he now runs back to the first wagon, with the large bandit grinning at his victim while running behind him.
    He turns one last time, to cast the spell, IMPLOSION, and this time a fireball races forward to strike the attacker in the chest. An explosion goes up, and a smile crosses Rowen’s face that he pulled off the attack, but his smile quickly fades as the large bandit takes a step from the cloud, and rushes toward him to attack.
    Rowen’s mind races as he retreats back, with the book is flipping pages as fast as his mind thinks, and with that he finds a spell to use. But before he can cast it, his book is knocked from his hand, and the force of the blow sends him tumbling to the ground. He turns while scrambling backward to see the large hulking form of a large bandit, now looking down at his prey, Rowen knows he has no time to escape his fate now, as he closes his eyes to brace himself for death.
    The echo of battle fades now, as the sound of something large striking the ground gets his attention, and he opens his eyes slowly to see the bandit dead next to his feet. Then he feels a little tapping on his head, and he looks up to see Ebrae smiling down at him. She walks around and puts a hand out to help him up, but he just sits in awe of her beauty.
    He looks over for a second to the bandit on the ground, now with three arrows stuck in his forehead, then returns his attention to Ebrae who still has a hand out to him. He takes hold of it, and with one motion, she pulls him to his feet and steadies him.
    “ You ok Rowen? “, she asks now helping to brush off the bits of dirt from his robs.
    “ Yee..yes…I am….fine. Thank you.”, says Rowen now looking for his book.
    He looks around the area, but it’s nowhere to be seen, then a whistle gets his attention, and he sees it in Ebrae’s hand.
    “ You looking for this? “, she says with a big smile.
    “ Thank you again, but I seem to have lost my horse too. “, he says now taking his book.
    “ Your not the only one, but we are not too far from Fandralore, they would have run back there. We could return back to town, but with the bandit attack, I am sure we can’t risk the return trip. So you have two choices, you can ride with one of the others, or you can with me. “, she says now calling for her Swift Claw.
    Rowen looks closer at the lizard-like mount as it rushes up to its master, and it slowly takes a step in his direction, but Ebrae pulls it back as it snapped at Rowen.
    Ebrae laughs a little, as she climbs on her mount, then she puts a hand out to Rowen, who looks very scared at the beast.
    “ If you show fear to him, he will not like you. “, she says now looking him in the eyes.
    Rowen takes a deep breath, then takes her hand, and she pulls him to sit in front of her. He feels her body now pressed into his back, as he swallows hard, as he never thought he would get this close to her.
    “ Try to relax ok, now take the reins, and show him who is boss. Don’t worry I am here ok, so you have nothing to fear. “
    “ I never rode on a swift claw before, I was always told they don’t like humans. “, he says now gripping the reins as the swift claw shakes his head side to side.
    “ Oh that’s an old myth, they will let anyone ride, as long as you show them respect. “, says Ebrae now putting her arms around his waist.
    Rowen hearing those words takes his left hand and slowly rubs then pats the swift claw on the side. It lets out a few mutters, then moves when Rowen pulls the reins to turn it.
    “ There you go, see as I told you, show it respect, and it will respect you. “, says Ebrae as he now smiles.
    The caravan now coming back to some form of order, and the road now clear, Henry rides up with Sarah, and he tells Ebrae he will take point. She agrees as the caravan now is in motion again, and Rowen rides with Ebrae next to the first wagon. Richard, in turn, looks at the two ridings together, and mutters something under his breath, then rides up to join Henry in front of the caravan.
    “ He doesn’t like me much. “, says Rowen in a sad voice.
    “ Oh don’t give him a second thought, it’s not you personally, it’s what you are that is his issue. He didn’t like me too, but I didn’t give him reasons to continue that way of thinking. Just do your best, and it will be fine.
    “ I don’t know, but for now I will stay clear of him.”, he says now watching Richard from the back.
    “ It’s ok Rowen. But if you don’t mind, I will rest my head on your back, I need to take a quick nap. Wake me up if things go badly ok. “, says Ebrae now locking her fingers around his chest.
    Rowen doesn’t get a chance to reply, as he senses she has already gone to sleep, and he can only wonder what he got himself into.

    To be continued…..




  • VirtekVirtek Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty
    Enjoying the story, as per usual.
    Nice work!
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  • Virtek wrote: »
    Enjoying the story, as per usual.
    Nice work!

    Thank you very much. I will be dropping a new part today, keep an eye out. Thanks again.
  • Set between the edge of the great forest and a large river named Lotus Run, the town of Cenorias is home to a clan of Empyrean Elves. Unlike their Py’Rai cousins, the Empyrean have a higher structure of government, along with an elite military within their borders, and this outpost town of Cenorias reflects that in its structure. The townspeople also wear a higher fashion of clothing, more to the levels of being more civilized in their minds, as most peoples wear gaudy suits and dresses even in a town of this. As most Empyrean wouldn’t be seen in public without their very best on.
    As Henry and the others ride up closer to town, they can see its reinforced walls, and its silky oak wood rooftops, redwood walls, and white sandy beaches, the town blends well with the backdrop of the forest, along with their entrenched defenses, and the town hugs the edges of the great river. A garrison is set to the far left of the town, home to a division of highly skilled Empyrean soldiers, and within the town, walls are deadly archers that keep watch of all the comings and goings around town.
    Cenorias also has a prospering economy based on lumber and wood crafting, he remembers being told, but it’s also supported by beer brewing, fishing, and fine jewelry crafting. Along with the shipping docks, the town doesn’t lack a steady flow of traffic for income.
    Henry finally leads the caravan to the gates of Cenorias, after the run-in with the bandits not long ago, as a gate guard stops them to check for paperwork. Before Henry can say a word, Ebrae rides up with Rowen, with him still in control of the Swift Claw, and she hands the guard their official travel papers. After a short review of the documents, the guard signals an escort to meet them, and waves them through.. Henry notices right away they are being closely watched from the walls above, as the escort leads them into town, and his feelings now puts him on edge, but Ebrae takes over the lead now, letting Rowen dismount down to the ground, and Henry watches as Sam and him go off on their own, as Sam calls back to them.
    “ I will take Rowen over to the stables with the other men that lost their horses. We will meet you well at the bigs inn in town. “
    Henry signals to his friend he understands and continues on with the wagons. He still can’t shack the feelings of being watched, he knows they have nothing to hide, after all, they were told to come here by Madris. But would she put them in harm's way? This feeling still lasts for a bit, even as they make their way through town. It’s very busy in the merchant zone with people of every race buying and selling their wares. Humans, Dwarves, Orcs, and Elves all haggle everything from simple herbs to some of the best armors. Along the side roads can be seen as a few bars and inns, as well as the town residences of different sizes.
    They finally reach a large warehouse, and the owner comes out to greet them. An odd elf Henry thinks to himself, as he sees they are dress in a very rich and gaudy fashion, along with having an odd curly mustache and goatee.
    He can see he’s wearing a clean shirt that is buttoned up fully to support the graceful jeweled clasp he's wearing. On top of the shirt he's wearing a chic vest with seven buttons, it has a deep v-line, which causes the vest to remain hidden when the suit's jacket is buttoned up.
    The jacket perfectly wraps around his body. It has an elaborate checked plaid pattern that gives the suit a fancy affluent look. The four buttons of his single-breasted jacket are all buttoned up, it's the best way to wear a jacket like this after all. The jacket is the same length all around, it has vents at either side, there's a single pocket on one side and there's a breast pocket which contains a stylish pocket square.
    He's wearing pants that copy the style of the jacket, both in color and pattern and they perfectly complement his shoes. He's wearing a lavish pair of full strap loafers. To top it all off he's wearing a refined belt, which can be accompanied by cuff links and a tie clip.
    Ebrae moves over to hand him the paperwork, and with a flick of his left hand he takes out a pair of thin-rimmed glass. The merchant reads over the different papers, now walking the length of each wagon, check both as he turns each page. With a few more pages turns, he walks back to Henry to speak.
    “ I see everything is in order. The payment as agreed too will to sent to your master, and here is a small bonus, for bringing my goods here in one piece, as I can see your wagons have signs of an attack. “, says the merchant now tossing a bag of gold to Henry.
    Before Henry can say a word or thank him, the merchant has already called for his workers, a few Orcs he has under his employ, and they take control of the wagons to lead them away. The merchant has already retreated back into his office and is gone from sight.
    Henry turns to see the Ebrae leading the Py’Rai Elves away from the warehouse, back toward the gates of the town.
    “ Are you staying with us Ebrae?!? “, yells out Henry calling to her.
    She looks over her shoulder to him, then gives him a small smile with a wave, as she disappears in the crowd of people in town.
    Richard who was quiet all this time rides over to Henry with a pat on his shoulder.
    “ Well now, I think we need to go find some stables and stay here for the night. We can make plans on what we are doing in the morning. “, says Richard riding off with Korneel.
    He can only watch them ride off deeper into town, as Sarah now gets into his line of view. She smiles at him, but the smile fades fast as she looks at his blank look on his face.
    “ What’s wrong my love? You look like someone walking over your grave.”
    “ I don’t know since we were in this town, I get the feeling I am being watched. “, say Henry now looking around
    The area is very busy with people traffic, no one is really standing still, or looking at him to give two thoughts. He can’t shack the feeling of someone, or something has put their gaze on him, but there is no one he can see or tell where they are. Sarah wants to scout around for him, but he tells her it’s ok, as they head for the stables to bed the horses for the night.

    Later that evening, Richard walks down the main road looking for a local tavern to visit with his best friend Korneel, they pass a few on the main street, but Sam told them to find the biggest one. Each place they pass looks to be packed in with bodies, as the locals and travelers have their fill of food and drinks, along with few songs and good stories. Richard starts to get a little upset not being able to find Sam, then looks to his friend Korneel who has gone off ahead to check the other side of the street.
    “ Will check these places for Sam, you keep looking over there!”, yell Korneel
    Richard can only wave to him, as he is not getting frustrated, he looks into a couple more places, they are of good size, but still, no Sam to be seen. He walks down the busy street a little more and comes up to a very nice looking place, and he pokes his head inside to look around.
    This tavern is very clean with white walls and gold trim, and the mood of the place is very quite. Everyone inside is dressed in their very best, and it looks very cozy with the fine seating. Different people are smoking pipes, and having low tone discussions. Even the bar is dressed in fine golden trim, and the bottles behind it look to be of high quality. The bartenders are dressed in the best of wears, giving off the feeling of high class.
    Richard takes a step into the area but is quickly met by a doorman, who in turn stops him where he stands.
    “ I am afraid you type can not enter here dressed like that. “, says the large doorman.
    “ What do you mean my type, and what’s wrong with how I am dressed? “, says Richard now giving him a crossed look.
    “ You have to meet the dress code, and by the looks of you, you're just fresh off the roads. Why, your not even washed, your smell alone is very off-putting. “, says the doorman now putting a hand up to move him back outside.
    “ Why you big overdressed piece of cow crap, I have been in far better places than this, I was just looking for my friends, and……”
    “ And they are not here, so go take your foul smell to some other place, we don’t want your kind here. “, says the doorman now putting a hand on Richard’s chest to push him out.
    Richards blood begins to boil more, as he is getting pushed back, then with one motion he grabs the wrist of the doorman and flips the doorman on his ass. Then he points a finger in his face to say.
    “ Don’t you ever touch me again you bastard! I don’t like being touched. “
    A hand plops down hard on his left shoulder, and he is spun around. He turns quickly ready to fight the person that grabs him from behind, but he sees it’s Korneel, as his friend backs up just missing being hit in the face.
    “ Whoa there! I found Sam and the others, why are you over here starting fights? “
    “ I don’t want to talk about it, just lead the way, I need a drink badly. “, says Richard as he walks off with his friend.
    The doorman can only watch them go, as he is helped up to his feet. Then he yells out to Richard.
    “ That’s right you walk away, it’s trash like you that will never know how to be civil!”
    With those last words, Richard quickly turns to toss a small dagger at the doorman, but it only sinks deep into the door frame just missing his ear. Richard then turns around to expose his bottom side, and he pats his hand on one of the cheeks, then pulls up his trousers to walk off with Korneel.

    To be continued…..



  • granthorgranthor Member
    edited February 13
    Sarah follows Henry along with Richard and Korneel through a large hardwood door, that leads into a very spacious tavern. They are welcomed by Sam along with Rowen, who has saved a nice sized table in the back for the group. Sarah takes in the surroundings, looking at the marble pillars supporting an upstairs, while admiring the old paintings of Elvin Lords, along with smaller statues of different animals.
    The tavern itself is packed. Workers along with groups of adventurers seem to be the main clientele here, which is a good sign to the type of service provided by the place. All the other tables are occupied by most locals, but there are still tons of foreigners and anyone else who wishes to join them. Even the bar stool areas are crowded, as more bodies press in to get the attention of the bartenders on the other side. The place is very busy tonight, and the barmaids spend little time at each table, as they quickly take orders, and rush them back to the kitchen.
    As Sarah makes her way to the table Sam picked out from them, she listens to different discussions from the people around her, with whispers of a few rumors crosses her ears. She knows from her training as a rouge, to always keep an ear open to any news, this was an easy way to score some quick loot from time to time. There are always stories to be told, and with them come opportunities on many levels. From simple odd jobs, too clue that can lead to fat chests of gold, what information passed around any pub is always valuable. But her skill issue that high in the rouge line, as she is mainly a fighter, but she still has a few tricks she picked up.
    She moves to sit next to Henry, now taking a mug for her own, as the table is packed with hard beads and different cheeses, with some fruits and pints of fine ale. Richard and Korneel call for food to be brought to the table, but the barmaids are still very busy tending to the others before them. While Sam and Rowen have books and notes on the table, going over the past few days events, along with chants and spells each need to perfect.
    Sarah sighs a bit, as she can tell it will be a little while before they can eat. So she pours a bit of ale and takes a few bits of fruit to snack on, as she now snuggles closer to Henry.
    He, in turn, puts an arm around her, as they both drink down their ale, then slam their mugs down at the same time.
    “ Are you two going to be doing that all night? “, asks Richard as he slams down his mug
    ‘ I don‘t need you to spoil my appetite while watching you two act like sick love birds. “.
    Henry can only laugh at his words, as Sarah rolls her eyes at him, but now she is focused on Henry as she gives him a warm kiss on the lips.
    “ Fine, have at it then. I will go find a barmaid, I am getting very hungry. “, says Richard now drinking down a second mug of ale, then leaving.
    “ I think he jealous of us my love. Knowing he can’t have me, and that I am all yours. “, says Sarah now smiling at Henry.
    Richard returns to the table, after overhearing her, and bumps into both of them as he takes a mug of ale from the table.
    “ Bah, I wasn’t in the mood. So he can have you, I have better things on my mind. “, says Richard now drinking down a third ale.
    He lets go of a huge burp that echoes around the table, and with a grin, he stumbles off to chase after a barmaid he just spotted.
    Sarah now looks over to Henry, who in turn has gone red in the face, as he tries to hide it by drinking more ale. She laughs at him, then tickles him a bit, causing him to spit out the ale in his mouth back in his mug.
    “ No fair Sarah, you know I don’t like to be tickled there. “, says Henry grabbing both of her hands.
    She smiles wide with a laugh, as the music begins to play, and a song echoes through the air. It’s a haunting sound, as it draws the attention of most of the people in the tavern. Sarah too finds herself listening closer to the words like it was calling to her, and time feels like it stops for a moment.

    “ When the sky burns with fire, the young one shall usher forth an era of harmony and the return of dragons….
    When the time comes that the world becomes shrouded in shadows,……… the false leader shall bring the rise of hope…….
    Upon the day the sky turns red,………. a pureblood shall usher forth the return of dragons.
    Once what's shrouded is revealed,…….. a broken man shall usher forth a new unity…… and strengthening of bonds.
    As the dragons return……”

    Before she can hear more, Henry gets her attention, asking if she is ok. She tells him not to worry, as the song ends, and people clap for the bard who sang the tune. She watches as more bards moreover to the first, and they begin to play a lively tune, one that gets the people in the mood for dancing. This, in turn, gets Richard to return to the table, now holding a keg of beer of his shoulder, and he puts on the table with a thud.
    “ Dinner will be a little late. “, says Richard.
    “ But I found this keg to keep us busy until it comes.”
    “ Good thinking my friend. , says Korneel.
    “ I have been trying to get their attention all this time with no luck. “
    After a few more beers and bits of cheese, the barmaids finally bring over plates of food to the table. A huge roasted wild boar, along with a few potatoes and different vegetables. The group eats their fill, while still drinking the night away. The sounds of laughter and good music fill the tavern, along with good pipe smoke from different parts of the room. Sarah holds on to Henry a little tighter, but she looks at him now staring off to his right, as he watches someone in a hooded dark cloak stare back at him. He turns to ask a barmaid about the person, and when they both look back the figure is gone.

    To be continued……
  • NagashNagash Member, Leader of Men
    Please never change Richard he is perfect
    nJ0vUSm.gif

    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
  • Nagash wrote: »
    Please never change Richard he is perfect

    Well, he is a character I wasn't planning, he just grew up there as I was writing about him. Thx for still reading BTW. Hard to tell if people are. lol
  • NagashNagash Member, Leader of Men
    granthor wrote: »
    Nagash wrote: »
    Please never change Richard he is perfect

    Well, he is a character I wasn't planning, he just grew up there as I was writing about him. Thx for still reading BTW. Hard to tell if people are. lol

    I may not spend as much time on the forums as I used to but I always love reading these stories
    nJ0vUSm.gif

    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
  • Nagash wrote: »
    granthor wrote: »
    Nagash wrote: »
    Please never change Richard he is perfect

    Well, he is a character I wasn't planning, he just grew up there as I was writing about him. Thx for still reading BTW. Hard to tell if people are. lol

    I may not spend as much time on the forums as I used to but I always love reading these stories

    Thx again. I am trying to post more than I am, but I have to still share 1 computer. lol
  • As the morning comes, the town's day starts off with nice spring rain, and it dances off the building and treetops. A slight breeze helps to push it just on a slight angle, giving off a small mist with each swirl of air. There comes a smell of earthy growth so after, as the rain from above feeds the many plants that line the town. From a large variety of trees and brush to the many versions of flowers and fine cut grasses, the scent of it all is a pleasant event. A few sparrows fly down from their hidden nests, some to find a quick meal, while others to wash off their feathers in the puddles that have formed on the ground. But they are quick to retreat to the safety of higher places, as the town now stirs to life.
    One group of adventurers head out to get fresh horses and new supplies, while one person in fine armor oversees the final plans for the long travel the awaits them. They seem to be in good spirits, as they secure all of their personal belongings, along with adding a couple of mules to carry the rest. They joke and express excitement about the journey, all the while as rain dances off them and their mounts, as some speak of treasures to be had at the end of the trip.
    Now overhearing their excitement by the stables, Korneel a skilled fighter, sees a familiar face. And walks up in the mud to ask a friendly question as to where they are off too. He gets the attention of an older human, a well-seasoned fighter type, his name is Iwan, and he is the leader of these adventurers. A man that Korneel knows all too well, as he was once under his leadership, but that was many years ago.
    “ Well if it isn’t my old student, all grown up now, and looking very age like a fine wine. What honor do you bring this old teacher of yours? “, says Iwan.
    Now greeting his old pupil while gripping onto his shoulders with a warm smile, to only have it returned in kind by Korneel who speaks in return.
    “ I thought that was you, your voice is one of a kind, hard and with a steady calming force. I just had to see if it was really you, after all, it has been a long time since last we met. “
    Korneel is given a couple of firm pats of his shoulders, then Iwan lets out a big laugh, as he now walks with him a few steps away from his group.
    “ Aye, lad. It’s been a few years, but time has still been kind to me, and from the looks of you, it’s very kind indeed. Why you look to be a fine measure of a man, not the same young clueless fighter I started with all the years ago. “, says Iwan as he continues.
    “ So, I hear things, and I was wondering. Is Richard still with you? He’s a good fighter, but I teamed you two long ago, in hopes your good nature would rub off on him.”
    “ Yes, he’s still with me, someone needs to keep him out of trouble, and it seems to always be a few steps behind him. “, says Korneel with a laugh.
    Iwan lets out a loud chuckle at his words, he knows Richard all too well, and by his words, he can tell he hasn’t changed much.
    “ Have you heard of the lady mage called Crystal? “, says Korneel.
    Iwan thinks for a bit, as the name does sound familiar, after all, he has played a role in training different arch types, and a mage would have crossed his path from time to time.
    “ Oh, I have heard of one mage by that name, a powerful caster they are, and one that is known in a few circles back at home. Why do you ask? “, says Iwan now with a concerned look.
    “ Well it’s why we find ourselves this far from home, Richard got a little too friendly with that one, and she, of course, took that as he wanted to be engaged. So……”
    Iwan lets out another loud laugh, cutting him off, then finishing what is clear to him now.
    “ So, you two are on the run hiding from her, and if he shows his face back home, she will be there waiting to drag him off to get married. “, says Iwan with a few more chuckles.
    His party calls to him now, and he says a few parting words of friendship to Korneel before he leaves. As he mounts up onto his horse, Korneel calls to him one last time to ask where he is off too.
    “ The town of Braedon, a place were a new underground area has been discovered. friend. “

    He thanks him with a smile and wave, as Iwan nods back to him, then turns to ride off out of town with his group. He remembers Henry telling him, that he needs to go off to this same town, but from whispers he heard in the tavern, there is a dark side to that place. Even though it’s a human town, they don’t like outsides much. So why is there word going out about a new area to explore, and why does Henry need to go there? A fact he never questioned, or was told as to why, but Korneel doesn’t like unknowns, and this town has a huge mystery to it. The rain begins to stop, and the sun peaks out from behind the clouds now. Korneel takes the hood from his head, and wipes the water from his face, now taking in the sun's rays upon his face. Then he turns to enter the stables to get everyone’s horse ready for a long trip.

    To be continued...
  • granthorgranthor Member
    Elsewhere in town, Richard enters a shop that sells armor and weapons. He asked around at the inn and it was said this one, called the Golden Blade, has some of the best gear for fighters in the town. His current equipment could stand an upgrade, as he had it since his time in the mines. It has served him well, but one can only patch up armor and sharpen blades for so long. After the run-in with the bandits, its time for a change to something new.
    As he enters the shop, a bell rings, and echoes, he can see it is well stocked with armor displayed of both sides of the room, and weapons are hung on hooks along the walls. It's not an impressive sight from what he sees, as a shop keeper comes out from the back. An older Elf male with short silvery hair comes forward, dressed in a simple leather apron and plate shirt, and he wears a pair of thin-rimmed glasses. He cracks a smile on his aged face and grins at Richard.
    “ Welcome friend, welcome may I help you. “
    Richard gives a slight grunt at the sight of him, then he walks up to the counter and tosses a small leather bag on the counter full of coins.
    “ I need some new gear, what do you have for fifteen gold pieces? “, says Richard now placing up a pair of older bladed weapons.
    The old merchant picks up one of the older blades with one hand, to get a better look while rubbing the short hairs on his chin with his other hand. Now looking back over to Richard, he smiles a little wider.
    “ I see you have been busy with your older blades, the wear on them is pretty bad, and I can see why you need replacements. The hilts alone have a few cracks in the wood. They will not last much longer without a few fixes. “, says the merchant.
    “ Here is a small selection of small daggers and short swords that just came in, and I have a few long swords on the east wall. All should meet your standards with durability and strength. ‘
    Richard eyes the different bladed weapons, as the old merchant pulls out a few smaller blades to show off, but he still wants something a little more this time around. A simple long sword or even a combo of long with short in each hand isn’t enough. He wants something a bit more.
    “ Do you have any good Broad swords on hand, I don’t want something to plain, and it must have a very good edge to it. “, says Richard looking him in the eyes.
    “ A good broad sword you say? Hmm, how about a special one? I have a one of a kind sword just out of sight. “, says the Merchant.
    He walks around the counter, and leads Richard to a side area of the shop, just behind a few sets of large armor displayed on wood figures. Behind them is hidden a simple table, and on it rest a long, wide, straight blade made of strange steel, and its grip is a tightly wrapped white boar skin. The blade has a wide crossguard, with markers of runes carved into the sides and on the blade is engraved a small name Witherbane the Worldbreaker.
    “ This here is a blade to come to me a few months ago, but I have not been able to sell it. The fact is this blade doesn’t like just anyone, so much so there is has stayed. “
    Richard gives the merchant a crossed look, with a few breaths of air passing from between his lips at the very thought. He moves to give the sword a better look, and it seems to slightly glow blue, but quickly fades.
    “ It has an enchantment on it, or is it cursed?
    “ Enchantment, yes. Curse. No. “, says the merchant now smiling wide as he continues to speak.
    “ Tell you what. If you can lift that sword from the table, I will give you the pick of the house in weapons, and you can take that sword too, all for the fifteen gold pieces. I will toss in a set of armor on top of it, for a couple of pieces of gold more. But if you can’t lift it, I will take ten gold pieces for my time you wasted. What do you say? “
    Richard can only look to the merchant and think he is a little crazy, but this is a deal he can’t turn down, and he agrees to with him. The merchant tells him he only gets three tries at lifting, and he backs away to give Richard room to move.
    He watches the old merchant back away more, and now he wonders want madness he got himself into. He moves to place a hand on the hilt of the sword., then with one motion Richard lifts the sword up a little from the table, and he smiles thinking this was to easy. But before he can claim it, a force takes hold of the sword, and it slams down hard on the table. Richard turns to look at the old merchant who is smiling at him now, and he holds up one finger. This only gets Richard a little mad, as turns to put two hands on the hilt now. Now taking a few deep breaths, he braces himself as he lifts the sword with ease once more, and just like before a force pulls down on the sword but this time Richard puts more force to pull back. He fights to lift the sword higher, as a hidden force pulls down even harder, but he doesn’t give way to it. He almost gets the sword away from the table, as the sensation of fire now hits his hands, and he loses the grip on the hilt, as the sword slams down hard on the table once more.
    “ That’s two times, one more my friend. Good luck to you. “
    Richard doesn’t turn to look at the merchant, as he keeps his focus on the sword. He glazes at it and thinks a bit, then he starts to remove all his armor and most of his clothes. He will not let this thing beat him, and he drops anything that he feels will stop him from finishing his task. He returns his hand son the hilt one last time, and with a few deep breaths he lifts the sword into the air, as the heavy force pulls back, and now the sensation of fire strikes out once more. Richard grips the hilt harder now, fighting off the pain of cramping muscles and burning hands. Sweat beads upon his forehead, and now pours down his face, as he fights to lift this blade higher. It now pulls away from him, as if something was trying to pull it out of his hands, but he pulls back with a cry of pain.
    “ You bastard blade, I am not letting go, so you might as well give up you hear me! “, he says now lifting the blade away from the table.
    It begins the glow wilding with the colors of the rainbow, as it now vibrates in his hand violently, but he only gifts in tighter. He feels as if the flesh of his hand was burned away, but he isn’t letting the hilt good, as he takes one last pull away from the table, but the blade pulls back away from him.
    “ Fine, you want to go back to the table, then let's go back to the table! “, says Richard.
    He lets himself move in the direction of the pull, and he takes a quick leap into the air, and crashes down through the table, breaking it into a pieces. With sword still in hand, the feeling of fire fades, and the force that was once there is gone, as Richard lays on his back now, holding the sword high in the air for the merchant to see.
    “ Very well, a deal is a deal. “, says the old merchant now walking back to his counter.
    “ You better have some good stuff for me after all this trouble old man.”, says Richard looking at his new sword.
    Now looking closer at the sword, he finds himself whispering the name Witherbane the Worldbreaker, as a smile crosses his face.
    To be continued……………..
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