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Chapter Three: Curses and Quests

granthorgranthor Member
edited August 2020 in Community Creations
I had a dream the other day, and my story wants me to continue the tale, so who am I to say no. So, when you see the coming soon taken down, that will be the start of the new part. I hope everyone is enjoying this story so far, and I hope I am getting better by telling it. I have been told I have come a long way from my early writings, and I have been given a few pointers from an author I touched base with. I will be adding that advice to his next part. I hope it works out. Until then, keep an eye out for the next part, I will not make you wait that long. Thank you all for your support.


  • I know this is irrelevant here and probably not the right place but would anyone be willing to read the first three chapters of my fantasy novel? I finally finished it after 2 years and have been looking for an agent. Be nice to get some opinions from others
    Where there is light, there is shadow. I am the shadow without the light. The shadow of nothingness. The VoidShadow
  • NagashNagash Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Cant wait to read chapter three @granthor ^^

    Also @voidshadow if you post it I will most likely read it so go-ahead

    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 am posting two parts now, with a 3rd coming later today, I hope. lol, Voidshadow, I will read your work tomorrow, and I will post what I think. But I will tell you now, just by you posting it, you're don't a great job. So keep it up. So I hope everyone is being safe, and please let me know how this next part is shaping up. I am trying something new. I would like to know if it's working thx again everyone for your support.
  • Her name is Shelur, a half Orc of great beauty by any race standards, but she is also very strong by many others. She sports a tightly presses padded chain mail just exposing a low V-cut, with her midsection exposed showing off a very tight muscle grouping. Her armor is press firmly against a muscular body of greenish skin, acting as a second natural layer of skin to buff her hardened body. Her hair is jet black and tied in a short tail, that sports a long red ribbon and a matching pair of short red tassels hanging from both wrists. From her mouth are a pair of short tusks poking out from the corners, that barely draw attention to them due to the pointed shape of her face. Even when she finds time to smile, the tusks don’t extend out like other fully blooded Orcs
    She matched her people, along with her brother, into the dwarf city of Kel Daruhl, under the orders of King Rodagog, her orders were to defeat whatever monsters and hold the city. The unit she commanded had the honor of marching ahead of the main battle forces, who were lead by the king himself. An honor she didn’t take lightly, as her forces moved quickly to face what was to come. She took her brother along to earn him points of honor too, for he was treated as an outcast within the clans, and no one but her would let him fight by their side, or give him a seat at the table of feasting. He was like his sister, a half Orc, but he didn’t share in her beauty, as he was deformed badly in the face and body. Parts of him looking to be Orc, but others took on a more human side. It showed more in his arms, as his left was of Orc build, but on his right was human in size. He still worked his body to be as strong as he could make it, but the clans still saw him as a freak of nature, and never treated him as an equal. But his sister never looked down on him, and if not for her, who knows what his life would have been like.

    Shelur leads her forces into the old city, and to her surprise, a small group of humans and one elf beat them to the prize. The battle was long over before her people could begin it, now watching them with a heavy heart, as they stood over a battlefield of broken bodies. So much planning was put into place, she even was gifted a prized ax-staff type weapon, a weapon given to only a select few in the tribe. But after the failure to calm the treasure for her people, the weapon was taken from her and broken in half, then tossed at her feet in shame. Along with her title in the official ranking, as her command was stripped away. If the king must be put into a shameful position of losing the treasure with the humans, then the one that leads the troops to the city must answer to this failure. It doesn’t matter she battled the best of the tribe to win her post or silenced many a voice against her. No, this was a blow to the pride of the clans, and she, not the king, had to answer for this failure. Not many in her tribe dare to challenge her authority within the command ranks, before that day, not until the troubles at the dwarves' treasure hold.

    Many months have passed since that day in the mines, with spring in full bloom now, and many races coming and going within the town of Widerock. Trade is very good with the mine now in full operation, as the town has grown a level with all the new traffic. Also, the newly found Dwarf city of Kel Daruhl as come back to life, thanks to a clan of Dwarfs who came down from the far north. Word found its way to them, and they came to claim the old city for themselves. Of course between the guild of Ravenslight and the underworld clans run by King Rodagog, they both voiced objections to the new invaders, but after the leader named Lorrus Goldhood said they could keep all the treasure of the one vault, and offered other gifts of the Dwarves wealth, all parties agreed without question to the new ownership of the old city. Plus the fact no one wanted to go to war over the old city, so a deal was made to keep the peace.
    As time went by, whispers did go around town about there being far more treasure vaults within the city, even some adventures went looking for it, but the Dwarfs limited their access to the deeper parts of the city. Keeping all eyes from what they claimed were Dwarf only areas, and they had to stay within the local trade and logging sections only. So no one was able to confirm that rumor, and it was left just like that a rumor.

    So with the coming of spring, jobs were plenty for all who needed work, and Shelur found herself working for a local blacksmith with her brother The smith shop is called The Lucky Sword, a simple smith shop, that sales both armor and weapons to anyone that needs it, or even offers a few repairs if it can be done. It has the standard forge for getting metal from ores, and anvil to shape it well, along with the variety of tools and grinding wheel needed to get the job done right. The place is run by old man Morgan, an older man with a bald head and very little edging of grey going around the sides. He wears a pair of short rimmed glasses and a standard brown leather apron. From the neck up he has the face of someone who has aged a long time, but from the heck down he has the body of one of the strongest men in town.
    He also has two sons named Finley and Jasper, he trained them to work in the smith shop, but they also like to go out and find their own ores. There was a time when supplies were low, and the cost of buying from others was just too much. They figured it would be best to do it on their own, as it was the best they could do to keep the business running at the time.

    The family treats Shelur and her brother as one of them, as they have shown to be loyal and a hard worker. They are paid a fair wage in good coin, and the old smith even gave them a place to stay above the shop, as they were shamed from their tribe months earlier. Shelur keeps to herself these days, not going out into town much, and only going out to get things they need. She doesn’t speak much to anyone, only keeping an eye on her brother’s care, and even Morgan found it hard at first to deal with her. But he was still glad to have the extra help these days, with his two sons now working in the mines. Plus the bonus of Shelur’s work being of very good quality, he did good work of his own, but she wasn’t too far behind what he could do with different armors. She was even better at some weapons like the mace and staff types, but with simple blades, she outshined even his best work. He found himself watching her strike the hot metal with a huge force, and after a few grinds on the wheel, they had a very sharp edge. Her blades sell the best in his shop, and these days business has been good with all the new people in town.

    One day after selling out most of his inventory, Morgan stands to look out the from the window of his shop, and with a sigh and smile, he tells the clerk to closed up shop early and calls out for Shelur to come up from the back. He looks down at a package he has hidden behind the counter, as she walks in from the back of the shop. She wears a headband around her head and a standard smiths apron with an old shirt and pants and heavy leather boots. She gives him a questioning look, as he picks up a large coin bag, then he presses it hard into hers with a big smile.
    “ You do very good work, my dear, very good work indeed. Now, I gave you a little extra there. So you and your brother go out and have a good time. “, says Morgan
    She looks down at the larger bag she normally gets, plus the fact it’s not payday then looks back at the man who has been more than fair to her.
    “ I can’t take this, it’s not time to be paid.. “, says Shelur now trying to return the coin.
    “ Oh, I am closing the shop up for a few days my dear, I have made more than enough coin this week. Now I am giving you time off from work, so go enjoy yourself these next couple days. “, says Morgan with a big smile.
    Shelur doesn’t know what to say, then thanks him, as she turns to leave the shop. But old man Morgan calls her back with a quick wait.
    “ Hey. I almost forget I went out I got you something. I know you keep to yourself and don’t buy much to look nice. But here, it would mean a lot to me, if you wear this and try to go out and make a few friends. “, says Morgan now holding out a package of brown wrapped paper tied in a cross by a simple string. he had behind the counter.
    “ You are too kind to me, I can’t take……….”
    “ No, you listen to me ok, you’re a pretty girl, and you need to go out from time to time. Not locked in your room with your brother, and only coming down to work. I want you to take this, and go out and have fun. Please, just try, it would mean the world to me to see you happy and a smile on your face. “, says Morgan now placing the package on the counter.
    She stands there staring at the package, not looking at Morgan, and he walks out from behind to counter to head out the shop's front doors. He watches her for a bit, and he can see she has a small conflict over his gift, and with a smile, he speaks to her once more now moving to her side.
    “ I don’t know what happen to you my dear, but whatever it was, you can’t keep living that out forever. Life goes on, and the past is the past. You have to move on with your life. Now get out of her and live. “, says Morgan with a whisper to her ear.
    She can only watch him leave for the day, as she opens the package given to her. With a few careful rips of the paper, she can now see a nice dress. It’s a simple one, but one she now can see will fit her, as she extends it out, and presses it against her body to see how long it is. The dress almost touches the floor, and she can its reddish color with white trim. It’s very soft to the touch, and a small smile crosses her face, as she calls out to her brother in the back room.
    “ Yam, go get cleaned up, we are going out tonight. “
    “ Aw, Shelur do we have too? “, says Yam from the back room.
    “ Yes brother, it’s time we went out, so go get cleaned up.”, says Shelur now stretching the dress against her body.
    There is a mirror in the front of the story, to let buyers see how the new armors look on them, and she moves to see how the dress looks against her body. As she turns from side to side, the dress looks to be fine, old man Morgan was great at guessing people's sizes. But her face, was full of coal dust and dirt, she can’t go out looking this way, so a good bath as in order. With the shop now closed, she was free to use whatever she needed for the night. Morgan keeps an old tub in the back of the building for extra water, and it would be great for bathing in. She wastes little time, as she goes into the back of the build, and gets ready for a long night ahead of them.
  • granthorgranthor Member
    edited July 2020
    Elsewhere, Crystal an Arch-wizard walks with her brother Luke a healer through town, a daily excuse she does to help keep her mind off things. Her jet black straight hair flows down her back, and her nicely chiseled face can be seen by all. Her big round blue eyes are set high within their sockets, now watching over passing strangers, as they give her a friendly look in return. She also wears a dark blue dress with gold trim, with shoulders almost fully, and flows down into a tasteful sweetheart neckline. It's a close fit which makes the dress look comfortable, yet elegant and stylish. Her arms are only covered at her shoulders. Which not only helps accentuate her gorgeous skin, it also keeps the focus on other parts of the dress. The dress's waist is wide, but it's a tight fit. It's not decorated with anything in order to create a graceful, flowing look. Below the waist, the dress fits snug around her and has a draped style. The dress reaches to just above her ankles and is the same length all around. She's wearing peep-toes, an ideal match for this dress. To top it all off she's wearing a gorgeous wide hat that matches the color of the dress and an ornate bracelet.
    She tries to keep in good spirits these days, but after Richard, a warrior professes his undying love to her, then getting what he wanted and running off. She has been in a very bad mood these last few months, letting her guard down that night, and letting that fool in to just hurt her. It wasn’t like her at all, how could she let him get away with it? How did she get so stupid? No, one of these days she will make him pay, but for now, its time to visit the pub named the Pink Pirate.

    From the outside, it looks folksy, enchanting, and homey. Large stones and wooden pillars make up most of the building's outer structure. Large stained glass windows line the outside walls, and the cheerful sounds come from within and can be felt outside. She gives pause before entering, looking at her brother once more. Seeing he still wears simple healer robes and keeps his face covered so no one can see his face. She gives a slight sigh as she speaks to him.
    “ Dear brother, when we get inside, go find us a nice table in the back. I will go speak with Zack behind the bar.“
    He gives a small nod to his sister, as they enter the tavern through the heavy wooden door. Inside they welcomed by excitement and clapping hands. The bartender is buried in orders but still manages to welcome them with a short wave. It's very nice inside as it is on the outside. Wooden beams support the upper floor and the rows of small lights attached to them. The walls are clear of anything, though signs do show plenty of things used to hang on the walls, though they've probably been knocked off by customers who had too much to drink. The tavern itself is packed. Tourists seem to be the primary clientele here, which is probably the best clientele for the owner. Several long tables are occupied by, what must be separate groups who have bonded over great food and conversation. The other, smaller tables are also occupied by people who are playing games and, judging by their laughter, are either telling jokes or great, perhaps embarrassing tales. Even most of the stools at the bar are occupied, though nobody seems to mind more company. Crystal sees a table in the too the far back, and points it out to her brother, as he now moves to quickly take it for their own. With the smells of grilled and cooked food coming from the kitchen, she moves to the bar to find an open seat. She manages to find a seat and prepare for what will undoubtedly be a great evening.

    Sometime later on the other side of town, Hayden a knight sits on the side of the road pondering his life, as tears roll down his face. How could someone like him, so beautiful, so strong, and so rich be shamed to the point of lost honor? He had the best in weapons and armor, he put together one of the best parties money could buy, but yet he still failed to finish the job, and over half of his party got killed in the process. The guild leader wasn’t too kind to him after that day and marked him as a failed leader, and no one within the guild will team up with him again. It’s a hard life in the guild to be branded a solo adventurer, but if he wants to regain his honor, then he needs to prove himself again within the guild. But how can he if no one will give him the chance, not even on simple hunts. The only job he can get is a simple escort for caravans, and killing bandits wasn’t the best way to climb up within the guild. If it wasn’t for the failure in the mines, with the creature that surprised them, life would be far better these days. But what is life as a rich man, when you have no friends? When people only pretend to like you, as long as the money is there. More tears roll down his face, as he now takes out a small flask.
    The salesperson said it works fast, and you will feel no pain. A poison to end the life of whoever you didn’t like, or if you wanted to past from this life in a peaceful way. He wondered how someone of their nature could sell something like this in town, then he remembers he didn’t by this from within the town. He got it from some passing alchemist on the road leading from town, and it seems like they knew he would be on the road that day. Hayden never questioned who they were or how they came to that place at the same time as him. Maybe someone in town told the person of his state of mind, maybe it was a blind chance. No matter what it was, now he is holding the tool to end it all within his hands. He looks deeply at the greenish liquid, and turns the flask from side to side, watching a small bubble journey within the fluid. Now placing two fingers on the cork, and readies himself to open the potion of death. Then from the corner of his eye, he sees a familiar face.
    He turns slightly to see a beautiful Orc girl, walking down the street with a large hood figure, and he knows that face. It’s the Orc that enters the mines so many months ago, he heard she killed herself over the shame of losing the treasure and her ranking. But here she was walking down the street fully alive, and looking to be in great health. Hayden looks back at the death in his hands, then grips it hard as he looks up at the Orc women now vanishing into the crowds on the road. If she can face life after her shame, then why can’t he? So Hayden puts the flask away deep into his travel bag and moves to a horse trough to wash the tears from his face. Then as quick as he can, he rushes to find the Orc women, if for nothing else, to thank her for saving his life.

    To be continued...
  • Damn. Really enjoyed Hayden's part the most. Unliked just so i could like it again.
    Where there is light, there is shadow. I am the shadow without the light. The shadow of nothingness. The VoidShadow
  • NagashNagash Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I really need to step up my game to keep up with you both

    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
  • Are you writing too? look forward to seeing it if you are
    Where there is light, there is shadow. I am the shadow without the light. The shadow of nothingness. The VoidShadow
  • NagashNagash Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I've posted a bit of a story before on the forums but I didn't really like 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
  • Only way to grow is to keep writing. It took me two years to complete my novel. I actually started from scratch after finishing the first draft because of how disgusted i was with it. Its been a great learning experience for me.
    Where there is light, there is shadow. I am the shadow without the light. The shadow of nothingness. The VoidShadow
  • voidshadow wrote: »
    Damn. Really enjoyed Hayden's part the most. Unliked just so i could like it again.

    Thx, I had an author tell me to try adding a little conflict to the story, so I did. Glad it worked out so far.
  • Nagash wrote: »
    I really need to step up my game to keep up with you both
    Well, I will try to keep it coming as fast as I can. But, I still have to share one computer, which makes it hard to keep writing. lol

  • MakinojiMakinoji Member, Warrior of Old, Kickstarter
    Great to see you still motivated. Loving the story.
  • Makinoji wrote: »
    Great to see you still motivated. Loving the story.
    Thx, I was wondering if people are still reading, guess I go tan answer to it. lol
  • granthorgranthor Member
    edited July 2020
    No one really pays her any attention, as Shelur walks with her brother through town. But why should they, as many Orcs, Humans, and Dwarfs come and go with their own business at hand. She even sees a few elves doing business at the local shops that are still open. But night has come, and really the only places that are very busy now are the local travelers and pubs. That lights from the street post-dance in the night air, joined by the lights that are hung from nearby buildings. As she walks the streets, her brother stops to look into the window of one of the local pubs, they can hear the sounds of laugher and singing, as the place is pack with people. Shelur looks at her brother, as he continues to peek into the window with drool hanging from his mouth, and a bit of sadness crosses her mind. Look at him she thinks, ‘ He still hide well under his hood and cloak, all you can really see of him are his hands from under his coverings. But this place has far too many people in it, and he still hides his face from public view. No, we can’t go in there, he wouldn’t like it.’
    But to her surprise, her brother turns to her and says.
    “ Let’s go in. I want a drink. “
    “ Are you sure Yam? We can go find another place, one that’s not so busy.”
    “ No, I want to go in there, it‘s my choice tonight. “, says Yam now taking hold of his sister's arm with his human arm.
    He leads her through the heavy wooden doors, as she feels someone is watching them from across the street. Was she being followed, or is it just her feeling out of place? No, when she turns to look at them, they quickly turn away and walk off with the movement of people outside. Whoever they were, she hopes it doesn’t bring trouble this night.
    As they enter the place is full of loud talking and laughter. Someone is playing music, as others sing the night away, even a couple of dwarfs are dancing on one of the larger tables. The drinks flow heavy and the smell of good food floats through the air. Yam seeing an open table leads his sister to the middle of the large room, where he takes a seat and motions for her to sit across from him.
    “ This is a great spot for us, don’t you agree? I mean it’s in the middle of everyone, and we get to be in the center of all this fun. “, says Yam now calling to a barmaid with his human hand.
    “Yes, it’s nice, but don’t you want too……”
    A barmaid comes over cutting off her words and places a tray of hard bread and cheeses on the table, mostly very sharp cheese with a couple of other milder types.
    “ Well if it isn’t good old Yam. You come to pay me a visit love, or do you want your usual? And who might this lovely be with you? You be on a date? “, says a large barmaid with reddish long hair.
    “ No, she is my sister, we are just out for a night of fun. Just bring us the special, and two mugs of honey ale. “, says Yam peaking out at the barmaid from under his hood.
    The barmaid looks at his sister with a bit of a smile and gives her a very slight bump with her hip.
    “ Oh you better keep on eye on that looker, the girls will be after him. He is so shy but very strong. If I wasn’t taken, I would be all over him, I love me a strong man. “ says the barmaid with a wink.
    Shelur can only watch the large woman walk away to the back, then she turns her attention to her brother Yam.
    “ Why didn’t you tell me you come here a lot? All this time I thought you stayed home like me.”, says Shelur with a slight frown.
    “ I didn’t want to worry you, so when you went to bed, I shuck out at night. It was hard at first, but most of the townspeople don’t care about my looks. “
    “ Then why do you still cover your face in public? If they don’t care, I don’t care as well. “, says Shelur with concern.
    “ Most might not care, but some do. “, says Yam now pointing at a table full of Orcs.
    Shelur turns slightly and overhears them speaking about what race of Kaivek orc is the best. Most of the table of orcs say it’s the Ren’kai, as they focus on power and honor, they make the best fighters. While others say the Vek is great, due to the fact they are great thinkers, who look to the stars and try to find what is best for the people as a whole. One Orc looks up to see Shelur looking their way, then gets the attention of the others while speaking aloud.
    “ So brothers. What type of Orc would you say soiled themselves to makes a half-blood? I mean they would have to be the very lowest form of Orc to do something of that nature. “
    With those words, the table of Orcs burst out into loud laughter, as Shelur turns to look back at her brother, as he now looks down at the table.
    The sound of many chairs can be heard sliding on the floor, and footsteps come up from behind Shelur, as another Orc speaks.
    “ I don’t know Grung, but I hear that half-blood makes the worst type of leaders. Being born from a whore like they were.”
    Shelur puts a hand on a small blade she carries with her, then grips it very hard., but Yam reaches out to grab hold of his sister's freehand with his orc arm to keep her in place. More laughs go up, as the room grows a little quiet, with the Orcs now the focus of most attention. She wants to cut the tongues from these fools mouths, how dare they speak to about her in this way. But she quickly remembers, she no longer holds rank over them, so of course, they will trash her to the point of action.
    She feels a hand push hard against her shoulder.
    “ Naw, this little one is just worthless, they were given a simple task and failed to do it. Isn’t that right half-blood? “, says an orc as they push her again from behind.
    Shelur can’t take anymore, as the bartend yells for them to take it outside, and she quickly pulled away from Yam too stand and face the Orcs. But to her surprise, a female mage stands between her and them. How did she move so quickly in the room, and to get between the two parties without her feeling any movement of air? But here she stands with a staff in one hand, and a book of magic in the other. The pages flip as the mage woman speaks to the group.
    “ Now, now boys. Let's play nice, why don’t you go back to your business at your own table, and leave these people to theirs. Or do I need to change some of you into something unnatural? “
    The Orcs watch the mage closely, as the room as gone completely quiet, and they see the pages of her book have stopped. That can only mean the mage has picked a spell, and one by one they all turn to return to their table, with one giving off a snort before he joins the others. The tavern grows loud again, as the show is over, and everyone returns to whatever they were doing. She looks at the mage, as she smiles back at her.
    “ I didn’t need your help, but thank you anyway. “, say Shelur now taking her hand off the hilt of her blade.
    “ Oh, those Orcs are always starting something in here. Why last week they got into a huge fight with a bunch of Dwarfs. “, says the mage
    “ Oh, I heard about that. It was them to got the town into a twist? “
    “ Yes indeed, so they are under town watch at all times, but tonight the town's guards were off with other business, so I stepped in. I don’t think they will trouble you again. ”
    The mage paused for a moment for example the two Orcs then continues.
    “ By the way, my name is Crystal. You are Shelur, right? “
    “ Yes, that’s my name, and this is Yam, my brother. But how do you know my name so freely? “
    “ I was part of the group you encounter in the mines that day. We never got a chance to talk, and I heard what happened to you later that day, I am so sorry. No one should be treated in such a manner. “, says Crystal with sad eyes.
    “ What’s done is done, so what is it too you anyway? You got the treasure and the fame of it all. So why do you care what happened to me? “
    “ I can’t change what happened, the gods only know we all had our troubles following that day, .but, for now, let's enjoy the night, and I will leave you two for now. We can talk more in the morrow. “, says Crystal now tipping her hat to leave.
    Shelur can only watch her return to the back of the room, as a new face now crosses her view. A handsome man in worn-out clothes steps in from of her, as the barmaid returns with her food and drinks. Then he reaches out to slowly take her hand, and bends down to kiss it, and looks back up to her with tears in his eyes.
    “ Thank you for saving my life milady. I am forever in your debt. My sword is your sword from this day forward. “
    Shelur pulls her hand away and glares at the man.
    “ Who are you! I never met you before!”
    “ Why I am Hayden milady, and I will be your humble servant from this day forward. Please, allow me to explain myself to you, and then you will see why you saved my life. “, he says now sitting with them at their table.
    All Shelur can do now is listen to his words, as she looks over to Crystal in the back of the room. Things will be changing very soon, but should she take this new road that is starting to be mapped out for her? She takes a deep drink of ale, as Hayden continues to speak of his life. Yes, things will be different going forward, she only hopes what is to come is worth the risks.

    To be continued…..

  • Heads up, I will be dropping a new part tonight. Thx
  • NagashNagash Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    granthor wrote: »
    Heads up, I will be dropping a new part tonight. Thx

    Looking forward ^^

    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 August 2020
    A dark hooded figure slogs along the long hall of a castle with a slow limp, with staff helping support their weight, and footsteps echoing off the walls with each step. Guards stand to each side every few feet apart, dressed in silvery armor and unmoving, but they all watch this person with a careful eye. The shadowy figure steps quicken a bit as they drag their left foot, now reaching the main doors at the end of the hall. But they are stopped by a pair of large guards, who cross their staff weapons at the door. The figure can only stand and wait, as a voice calls out to let him enter from inside, and they quickly return to a ready position as the doors slowly open.

    Inside, massive golden braziers half encompassing each of the ten travertine columns light up every part of the throne hall and engulf everything in a flickering radiance yellow flame. The illustrations of a kingdom in the mountains on the layered ceiling dance in the flickering light while stone effigies and sculptures look down upon the marble floor of this lavish hall. A magenta rug runs from the throne to the doors and is matched by smaller ones on either side of the hall while embattled banners with gilded quilting swing gently from the walls. Extensive, colored glass windows are framed by curtains colored the same magenta as the banners. The curtains have been adorned with jewels and burnished corners. A stately throne of silver, gold, and ivory sits below a grand chandelier and is adjoined by three smaller and less elaborate seats for visiting dignitaries. The throne is covered in divine marks and fixed on each of the ornate legs is a gem-encrusted demon wing. The dense pillows are a dark magenta and these too have been adorned with ornate tips.
    To each side of the hall is plain-looking sandstone benches, all of which are facing the throne in a wide V-shape. Those of higher standing can instead take a seat in the embellished balustrades overlooking the entire hall. On the throne sits a pare white face man, dressed in fancy black wear with reddish trim, who sports greasy hair tight in a ponytail revealing a round, wild face. Gentle hazel eyes, set dreadfully within their sockets, watch wearily over the dark figure, as they now kneel before the man on the throne with a silvery sword on their hip, and the staff now resting on the floor to his right.
    This is the face of Lucian, a true necromancer in the dark magic circles. He stands seductively among others, despite his scraggy frame. There's something ambiguous about him, perhaps it's a feeling of anguish, or perhaps it's simply his painful past.
    He watches the figure while swirl a red liquid in a glass he holds, then he drinks in down slowly savoring every drop. Returning his gaze upon the hooded figure, he watches them slowly remove their hood with snaky hands, ones that look to be lacking flesh to barely cover the bones. Now with his hood slowly uncovering his head, an aged face of a very old man looks up at Lucian, who wears black scaly armor. They have silvery white short hair, and their face is like cracked old worn-out leather. There are a couple of scares on their left face, but with the wrinkles of time, they are hard to make out over the many lines of wrinkles.
    “ I live to serve my master. “
    Lucian smiles at the man, then claps his hands a couple of times, as a female servant quickly rushes out in a fancy white dress. It leaves her shoulders mostly uncovered and flows down into a deep v-neck. It's a snug fit that emphasizes her breasts in an elegant and dignified manner. Her arms are only covered at her shoulders. Which not only helps accentuate her gorgeous skin, it also keeps the focus on other parts of the dress. The dress's waist is wide, but it's a slim fit. A cloth red ribbon has been wrapped around her and is tied on one side.
    Below the waist, the dress widens and has several asymmetric layers towards the bottom. The dress reaches to just below her knees and is longer at the sides and back of the dress. She's wearing platforms, a perfect choice in combination with this dress. To top it all off she's wearing a gorgeous gold necklace and large jeweled red earrings.
    The old man's attention is drawn to a few small cuts on both her arms, but he sees she has tried to cover them with bits of makeup. She walks toward him, now extending out a small box he didn’t notice before, as he turns his attention back to his master.
    ‘ My, my Lord Chandler Grimsbane, you haven’t been taking the medicine I gave you. If you’re going to be of any use to me, you must continue your treatments. If you don’t continue them, well……….. Do I have to explain what will happen to you again? “, says Lucian now raising a hand toward the servant.
    Grimsbane can only look at the servant, as they remove one blue vial from the box, and holds it out to him. With shaky hands, he takes the vial in both being careful not to drop it, then looks over at his master. Who in return, only smiles wide watching him greedily drink down the potion. Within moments, his body begins to get younger, and he stands from the ground feeling much stronger.
    “ Good, good, now that is much better Lord Grimbane. I would hate to lose you now, not when we are so close. Now, I need you to go to Elmwood and wait for my orders. I have a new target for you to deal with. “, says Lucian now waving his servant closer to him.
    The emotionless servant girl pushes the box into Grimbane hands, then walks over to join her master.
    He begins to examine her bare arms, then pats the left seat next to him, as he looks over to Grimbane once more.
    “ Take whatever resources you need, but do not move without my orders. Do you understand me? “, says Lucian as he takes the right arm of the servant girl as she sits next to him.
    “ Yes my lord, it will be as you say. “
    He bends over to pick up his staff, but is told to leave it, then with a bow he turns to leave, as he sees the flash of a small blade in Lucian's hand. There isn’t a scream, or yell, or any sound from behind him. Only the sound of Lucian speaking to the girl, as he overhears.
    “ So, where shall we start today my love.”
    He leaves the throne room quickly with his new supply of potions, and the doors close quickly behind him.

    It’s been a few days from the time at the bar, and Shelur is busy making a new sword while old man Morgan watches not far behind. She started on it two days ago, picking a good grade of the metal, then heating and shaping it to what she wanted. More heat then shaping and back into the fire, and when she was done hammering, she gave it a few grinds on the wheel. Only this was going to be the best sword she made to date, even old man Morgan was impressed with her work. But this was the day she was going to finish it, as the hot metal is ripe for shaping, now gripping the cooler end in her left hand while striking the hot red-orange tip of the other end with a large hammer. Sweat drips down her face and arms, as she hammers the meat into the shape she wants.
    Smack, smack, she swings down hard, sending small glowing arcs off to each side with every hit. She can do this work in her sleep, it’s come as a second nature like when she learned to walk so many years ago. She gives it a few more smacks of the hammer, then a quick cooling I a bucket of water next to her. The steam shoots up high into the air, as the meat quickly cools. Again into the fire, bringing it red hot once more, and again under the hammer, it goes, then back into the water to cool. She repeats this step a few times. Until it's tempered to the level she was looking for, then one finally cooling in the bucket.
    Old man Morgan walks over to look the new sword over, and with a couple of chuckles, he grins wide at her.
    “ You really do nice work. I must say, this is a fine blade. I don’t think I could make one better. “
    He looks it over with a deep example and flips it over to see a fine edge she hammered into the side of it. Then he turns to her once more to speak.
    “ If you wouldn’t mind, I would love to finish it off for you. I will give it a good polish and find a good hilt to add to it. “
    “ I don’t mind, after all, this is our place. I am just a worker in your employ, plus you have been very kind to us. “
    She watches as Morgan begins his special touch on the blade she crafted, as he spins the grinder to take off the rough parts, and add a sharp edge to the blade. She doesn’t get to watch too much longer, as a voice calls to her from the front of the store.
    Grabbing a rag from the table nearby, she wipes to sweat from her forehead and walks over to see who has called to her.
    It’s Crystal, the mage, she met her the other day at the bar. The mage that got between those Orcs looking for a fight. She watches her closely wonder what she wants with her, as Crystal takes a few steps her way.
    “Hello again, I have need of your service, and I would like to hire you. “, says Crystal now walking around the shop.
    “ I have a job. “, I don’t need the money.
    Crystal turns to look back at her a bit, then looks around at all the different swords and armors. Then slowly walks over to Shelur with a big smile.
    “ What I have to offer is just a quick job. When we are done you can return here, and do whatever you want. I am just looking for people to join m party. I figured with your reputation and all, you would like to regain some good standing with the Orcs. I know about your history, and I know we can help each other. “, say Crystal now picking up a small sword off the counter.
    Shelur looks at the well-dressed mage woman, how she fumbles with something so simple to handle like a sword, but after all, she is only a mage. A mage doesn’t waste time using melee weapons, they are range fighters, and if something gets to close, they pop out of danger, only to strike out from a different area of the battlefield.
    “ If I agree to go with you, can I bring along anyone I wish with us? “
    “ Of course, of course. You can bring your brother along, so do we have a deal? “, says Crystal now extending her hand.
    Shelur pauses a bit, then takes her hand to seal the agreement to meet. Crystal then explains she will return in the morning with all the details, and that she will not be sorry to join her. With that Crystal quickly leaves the shop as Hayden, the knight enters,. Shelur can only shake her head at the sight of him, as he now expresses his happiness at seeing her once again. Hayden might be a good guy deep down, but he has been a pain in her side since the night at the bar. But maybe this new job is something she can use to finally be free of him.

    To be continued…..
  • I have not forgotten about you guys, I will try to drop a couple of parts tomorrow on the 11th. I would do it tonight, but a lot of storms in the area, it's playing with the power. Thx again for your support.
  • NagashNagash Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    granthor wrote: »
    I have not forgotten about you guys, I will try to drop a couple of parts tomorrow on the 11th. I would do it tonight, but a lot of storms in the area, it's playing with the power. Thx again for your support.

    No problem Its been stormy here as well

    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 August 2020
    The next morning, Shelur woke to an empty room, her brother who would normally be at her bedside was already gone. This of course wasn’t unusual, due to the fact he would sneak off from time to time to beat her to work or was in a rush to be first to have breakfast with old man Morgan. Who in turn was a great cook, on top of being a great smith? But there wasn’t the smell of breakfast in the air this day, or of anything else cooked up. A very odd thing from the time she been living here with her newfound family. But, it wasn’t uncommon at the same time, maybe there was a rush order that had to be done, or something very important was needed in town. All in all, after looking out her window, she could tell the morning was almost over, so she figured they all let her sleep in a little longer.
    After washing up from the night's sleep, and getting dressed in her work clothes, Shelur cleans up her area and makes the bed she was in. A practice she has done all her life, no matter where she lives, never leave it in a messy condition when you leave. So to the best of her abilities, the room was put in order, even the simple area where her brother bedded for the nights.
    As she makes her way to the door, a note rest on the middle and reads, “ Take care of yourself, my dear, I made you a few things to go with your sword, I wish you safe journeys and safe return. Your friend Old Man Morgan. “
    She frowns a bit after reading the note, then opens the door to see a table with a large package and her finished sword in the hallway, with the light of the day shining down on it from a window. She slowly moves to get a better look and takes up her new sword. She pulls it from the casing and examines it slowly. It’s a long, broad, curved blade that gleams in the sunlight, and a golden hilt is wrapped in green snake leather. The sword is perfectly balanced, and engraved on the cross-guard is Morgan’s name next to hers. She sheaths the sword and places it carefully on the table, then opens the package that was sitting next to it. Inside is a new set of armor, it’s of a higher grade than her older armor, and she takes out the pieces as a smile crosses her face.
    The breastplate is made from many v-shaped leather pieces, with chain links on the sides. It gives protection from the neck down to the groin, leaving the shoulders exposed for better movement. The next pieces are rounded shoulder guards, that is decorated with several small spikes, with each round reaching from back to front. The upper arms are pointed, layered metal rerebrace that sits nicely under the shoulder pads. The lower arms are cover by vambraces that have layers of crafted lather that mimic the dragon scale. The upper legs are covered by shorts made from exotic animal hides with chain mail to help reinforce key areas. The last thing she removes is a pair of long boots, made from scale runner hide.
    She lets her fingers slide along the face of the leather, as a feeling of pride now slowly washes over her. Piece by piece she puts on the new armor while shedding the old clothes from her body. Each part of the armor fits tight against her strong frame, but at the same time, it seems to move freely like a second skin. After a few flexes of muscle, and a couple of adjustments, the armor is now in place. She finishes by tying off her long black hair into a ponytail, then sheathing her sword to her back. Then, as quickly as she can, she quickly goes downstairs to thank old man Morgan. But as she reaches the area downstairs everything is locked away, and the front of the shop is closed uptight.
    Going outside, the town is still just as busy, like any other day, as people come and go on the busy road just outside the shop. Turning to look at the door, old man Morgan placed a note. It reads, ‘ Have gone fishing, will be back in a few days. “
    She then feels silly, as she now remembers what he told her, that the shop will be closed a few days, so this was just a reminder of what he had planned. She gives off a slight sign, as she turns to see her brother, now waving to her from down the street, and without a second thought, she quickly moves to his side.
    “ It’s about time you woke up, I been waiting for her all morning for you to wake up.”
    She can see he is still wearing his old brown hooded cloak, but it seems a little bulkier they normal, and he is also carrying a couple of travel bags, one he removes to hand to her.
    “ I put together a travel bag for you too, now where is this friend of yours? “, asks Yam while gripping a staff he was holding.
    “ I am not sure, she only said she would meet us today, but I am not sure where she was planning to meet. “
    Just at that moment, and fancy enclosed carriage of white and gold flowered trim comes down the road from the town center, and it quickly stops next to the pair kicking up slight dust from the road. The driver comes down to open the door, and inside sits Crystal with her brother Luke, who in turn keeps himself covered from sight with his own black hooded robe. The driver moves over to take their travel packs, then put them in a secured place, as Crystal comes out to greet her new friends. Shelur sees she is wearing top quality mage’s robes, ones that have been altered a bit to show off her shoulders and a deep neckline while styling it to look like a fancy dress. The robes of a mage are very special to each caster, as it gives protections equal too, if not better than most top grade armors.
    Crystal gives Sheller a light hug and takes a step back to admire her new armor.
    Wow, you really have the body for that armor, it looks so good on you. I wish I had your body, you’re making me very jealous now. “, says Crystal with a wink.
    Shelur hearing that, takes her hands, then pats Crystal along her hips. She looks up with a smirk, then replies, “ You seem to have a good sharp of her own, I wouldn’t worry too much about your looks. Besides, with your good looks, and your shape, I am sure the men can’t keep their eyes off you. “
    “ Oh stop it, you’re going to make me blush. “, says Crystal turning her face away shyly.
    Then she turns to give Yam a light hug, as she greets him next, but a thunder of horses gets Shelur’s attention now. She turns to see a knight riding up with a group of six guards, as they stop next to the Carriage. The knight is riding a white horse, that is lightly armored in leather padding, and he is wearing top graded shiny plate armor from head to toe, with a sword and kite shield mounted to each side of the horse. He lifts his visor to show his face, and Shelur can see it‘s Hayden, as he speaks to Crystal.
    “ Here we are milady, right on time for your escort to the next town. We will see to your safety, so have no fear. “, says Hayden with a smile.
    “ Well, I hope you do better with escorting, as I remember you lead team six to their death in the mines. As I recall, the guild leadership wasn’t too happy with you after that, and you were stripped of all ranking to lead anymore parties. “
    “ Hey, not all of team six died that day, some lived another day!”, says Hayden showing a little anger.
    “ Sure, and that’s why you were not kicked out of the guild. What happens to you Hayden, you had the best of us all? “, says Crystal with a frown now motioning Yam into the carriage.
    “ I will not make that mistake again Crystal, I know your group held your own in the mines, but now I am a new man. I will see to your safety, I promise you that much. So let's leave the past in the past ok.“, says Hayden now looking at the beautiful Orc woman.
    Crystal can only shake her head at the thought of him leading her escort, and she enters the carriage. He gives Shelur a slight nod, as she gives him a small wave in return, then she follows Crystal into the carriage. With that Hayden gets the front of the group, with his men riding on both sides, and he leads this valuable cargo to the next town.
    Inside the carriage, Shelur leans out to watch Hayden for a bit, here was a man that didn’t judge her. One that treated her as an equal, even though he was very annoying at first, she grew to like him as a friend over the last few days. She now turns to turns her attention over at Crystal., who looks to be worn out and very tired.
    “ So, where are we going? “
    Crystal can only yawn a bit while giving her arms a bit of a stretch. She looks over to Shelur, this greenish-blue beauty she has hired, and tosses her a small bag of coin from her inside pocket.
    “ Why, to the city of Elmwood, it’s a very important place nowadays. I have important business there, and I need you to help in that city. “, says Crystal now closing her eyes for the trip.
    “ Help you with what? “
    “ My safety silly. Now let me rest, I had a long night. I will pay you more once we get to our destination.“, says Crystal as she rests her head on a pillow she propped up.
    Shelur wonders what she got herself into, not knowing where they are going, or what this job is really about. She never heard of the city of Elmwood before, but it must be a very important and dangerous place if Crystal needs protection there.
    She looks out the window as they exit the town, and a figure she has seen before watches them leave. They stand with a group of people, and this person looks up at her, then quickly speaks to a few others, and they quickly rush off into town. This gives Sheller a bad feeling, it’s a good thing she is a skilled fighter, so if trouble is coming she is ready for it.

    to be continued....
  • Lighting flashes and thunder rolls, followed by the steady rain from the evening sky. The road grows muddy, as puddles begin to take shape on the main pathway to town. The beating of the rain drowns out most of the natural noise in the area, as the mud thickens, and travel becomes a little harder on this day. Now coming into view, as he rain falls a little faster, a slow-moving caravan of six wagons, two of which carry passengers, as the others hold supplies. They in turn are guarded by guards on foot and on horseback. There is a wagon master, an older man, who as driven loads on these roads for years, and seeing the condition it’s turning into fast he grows very concerned. It’s slow going now, which some of the wagon wheels sinking into the deep mud. A few of the guards find themselves helping to push the wagons along, keep the pass of them going as they slow in the mud on the road.
    With a few cracks of the whip, the horses pull with all their might, but at the end of the day, the mud is just too deep to continue. Not far away is an old outpost, just a few tents and old small buildings. But it is something he can use at a time like this. This place was abandoned by other travelers in the past, but it still makes for a great rest point for this horse team from time to time. So the wagon master orders the caravan to pull off the main road, and he sets up a rest spot for the group.
    “ Say now, why are we stopping! I have a business in Auburn Woods, I need to get there as soon as I can! “, yells out one passenger.
    Others voice concern too, but the wagon master yells out to everyone., as the lighting flashes wildly ad the thunder booms louder.
    “ We can’t continue on the road right now, the weather has made travel to hard on the horses, so I decided to set up camp here until the weather gets better. “
    “ Well I can’t wait, the town isn’t that far off, stay here if you want, but I need to go! “, says another man.
    The wagon master can only watch a few of the passengers leave with the angry man, after taking their things, and he returns his attention to his horses removing the harness to let them rest. He leads a few of the horses into the old stables, along with the help of a few of the guards, and as he brings in the last horse a voice calls to him from behind. His guards wave good night to him, as they go off to bed down for the evening.
    “ Tell me about Auburn Woods, I never been there before. “
    He turns to see a small person, who looks to be the size of a small child, but his face is far from that of a child. They are wearing a simple tan tunic with brown shorts, with their arms exposed showing off tribal tattoos. A weapons belt rests on their waste, and it holds two short swords and a few daggers. He knows this person has to be a dwarf, but not one of the mountain ones not without a full beard, no this must be one of them Nikua types. But this one is so far away from the coast, what are they doing this far inland?
    The wagon master turns to look at the small man and begins to tell him about the town.
    “ Well, what can I say about the town? Let's see it looks dreadful. With its black wooden rooftops, blackened walls, and murky woods, it has a dark atmosphere. The main attraction is the dueling arena, which was built thirty years ago and designed by orcs. Auburn Woods has a failing economy, which is mainly supported by baking, crafting, and animal breeding. But their biggest strengths are advanced medicine and complex crafting. However, it lacks people skilled in blacksmithing, that Is why we do this caravan runs daily.
    Despite its strengths and weaknesses, it is most likely headed towards a macabre future under the leadership of the new mayor. But this remains to be seen.
    “, he says with a smile.
    His horses get uneasy, like a blot of light cracks overhead, sending down a loud shock wave of thunder. The wagon master turns to claim them, but when he looks back at the doorway, the dwarf seems to be gone. He looks around the area, but nothing can be seen of them. So he returns his attention to his horses, only to have someone new call to him.
    “ Hey you, we only want to money box, and no one will get hurt. “
    He turns to see two bandits holding their swords out, and motioning for him to walk towards them. He has been robbed before, and those must be the same ones from last time, if he calls out to the guards, he might be killed for being stupid. If he is to slow to give them what they want, again it's not going to end well for him. The heavy rain outside makes in hard to hear, and he knows no one will come to his aid.
    As they walk to the wagon to the far end of the formation, then the small sound of a flute's sweet tune floats though the air just under the sound of the falling rain. The bandits stop to look around, but can’t see from where the sound is coming from. One of the first bandits pushes the wagon master in the back to keep him moving, and with a flash of lightning, the sound of the flute stops. The first bandit by the wagon master looks back at his friend, as they stand still, then slowly the second bandit falls to the ground dead with two daggers deep in his back.
    The first band gets very scared now, as a new tune of a flute crosses the air once more, now echoing with the sound of the thunder and rain. it’s a very haunting tune, and the first bandit grabs hold of the wagon master and put a blade to his neck.
    “ Who is out there, show yourself, or I will kill him! “
    The tune of the flute grows louder and louder, as the lightning flashes and the thunder rolls. The bandit walks the wagon master to the back and tells him to open the chest now. The blade still at his throat, now pressing on his skin. The bandit watches as the chest is unlocked, then a flash of light blinds him for the second, as he feels a slight breeze then the sting of something on his left side. His arm quickly goes limp, and he can no longer hold the wagon master in place, who pulls away from him. The bandit turns around to see a small dwarf, now playing the flute, and with another flash of lighting as the tune stops, his life is ended before he can blink.
    The wagon master looks over to the little Dwarf, and he feels thankful his life wasn’t taken this day. But who is this person that stands before him, now giving him a small smile?
    “ What is your name friend? “
    “ Why I am Befod Warbrand, at your service. “., he says with a bow.
    Then he takes up his flute again and walks off playing a new tune.

    To be continued…….

  • His name is Befod Warbrand, a Nikua Dwarf from the far western coastal town of Stonetide, a small dwarven village by the bay. He grew up like all the other small children did surround by love and honor, and good common sense a trait shared by most of the villagers. The Nikus had pride in everything they have done, not even the lowest of skills was taken lightly, as all members of the community did their best at whatever job was given them. Be it fishing, crafting of tools, or just simple cooking, no matter the task at hand, there were always hard-working members of the village to get the job done.
    But the village of Stonetide had a tradition, when any child came of age, they must venture out into the world for a time, then return to them as a new person. Befod when he was younger would watch some of the older children leave the village, only to return a year later. He did also remember some would return later or not at all. Oh, he heard the stories of the outside world, some of it full of wonder, and others of hidden dangers and bad places. It all was so exciting to him, and he dreamed of what life was like outside of his home.
    One side skill he learned at a young age, was that of playing the flute. He wasn‘t very good at it in the beginning, like all new students, but he had good teaches. His parents were great with other types of music and were excited when their son wanted to learn the simple flute. With time he became better and better, to the point of even mastering it. How his parents were so proud of him, seeing their son become so skilled in the art of music. He was so good, the very notes would almost hypnotize the listeners. He enjoyed playing his flute, and the people of the village loved his music.
    Then came the time to leave, and with a sad heart, Befod’s parents had a hard time letting him go. His mother made sure he had the supplies he needed, bits of dried fish, hard beard ad a few more items for camping. His father outfitted him with the best in leather armor he personally made from shark skins and gave him a pair of short swords and a set of small daggers made from sharks teeth. He was joined by five others, and the village made a big party on that day. He was sad to leave at the end of it all but now was his time, like so many others before him.
    A short time later, he came across a few bandits, seeing how it was his convoy that was being raided. His follow Nikus ran off with the others, while he stayed behind to see what these people were up too. They, to his surprise, only took items of low value and left most of the higher-end goods in place. They were strange to him, on top of being so big and tall, but then again he was very small in this world.
    As he lingered in the area a bit too long, a bandit named Robert Hawkins found him out, and to a bigger surprise took him as his prize for the day. Befod heard there where slave traders in the land, maybe he was doomed to be sold now, but this wasn’t the case. As more time past, Robert taught him the art of being a rogue, as he did see some value in a tiny person like him.
    Months past, and his skill gotten shockingly better, even Robert found him better at some of the things he was shown. So good were his skills, Robert’s band gave him the title of Trickster, seeing how he was great at playing music, he also took on the rouge skills to become something else. They took him on a few raids, but like before the group only took what they needed, and didn’t hurt anyone that wasn’t looking for trouble. They even sent Befod into a few small towns to steal a few supplies, and since he was already of small size, and looked like a child at the age of ten, no one gave him a second thought. They were a very friendly band of men and looked out for each other as best they could.
    But the time came went Robert’s group was hunted down, and Befod got separated from the main party. He found himself on his own in the wilds, but he wasn’t helpless as he knew how to survive. Hunting and getting raw martial to use was something he left back in the village, and it came in handy at this point in his life. Time would go by with him lost in the wild, not knowing where Robert and his crew had run off too, so he just did what he could on his own.
    The day came when he found an old man, who in turn worked on a caravan, and he welcomed Befod to travel with him until they got to the next town. But when they had to stop at an outpost due to the weather, he wanted to question the old man more, if for nothing else to understand where he was. But then came a strange pair of figures. Robert always told Befod, there are very bad men on the roads, not like his group who only take what they need. No, these fellows would be the worst of the worst, and only deserve to be taken out of this life. He watched them closely, as they took the old man to the rear wagons. Then with his flute in hand, he played a tune he used to stun wild animals for a bit. It worked very well on the first target, giving him a quick strike to take him down fast. Then it was off to the next one, and like the last one, he took him down without much trouble. The old man thanked him, but after he questioned Befod about who he was, he just played the old man a tune on his flute. The old man knows if people don’t want to talk about their life, then just leave them be.
    The next day, as the roads dried a bit for travel, the caravan continued on to Auburn Woods. The town wasn’t much to look at, but he would look it over away. He told the old man goodbye, as he went on to explore this small town. He took up a hooded cloak, so to help cover up his small body, and hide his tattoos from the public view. Robert always told him, when he moves to new places, look as young as you can, don’t let anyone know who you really are. So that’s what he always does, and he finds it works out each and every time. After all, he is small like a human child, so why not play that role as long as he can.
    As he walked in town, there are businesses for making arms and weapons, shops they sold different foods, and places to have a drink or two. People walked around town not paying attention to him, but that was how he liked it. He walked carefully around a few people, sizing up who they are as he moved, then when he came upon anyone with a rich coin bag, he took a few for himself. It was easy for him, as they were always busy talking down at someone else or had their noses in the shops giving the vendors a hard time. He remembered his training with Robert, always take what you need, don’t be greedy, and you can slip away very easily. But he also can tell this isn’t a normal town, as he sees a lot of fighters coming and going. He makes sure not to cross the path of these types, as he is a good fighter, but not on their levels.
    A cry in the distance gets his attention, as a small child was knocked down by a large man, one who looks to be in a rush to get somewhere fast. He knows he shouldn’t get in the middle of this, as he sees the child now being picked up by who he figures are the parent. So Befod seeing the child in caring hands move off to follow the fighter, who is still in a rush down the street. He watches the large man push his way tough the crowd of people, yelling at a few, and pushing others to the side. He goes up one road, then a quick turn down the right path, until finally, he comes to an arena. Outside of it is a long line of other fighters, and they talk and joke with each other as they enter a large doorway. Off to the side is a table with a young lady behind it, and she waves to the fighter to come to join her. He can see a second fighter standing with the lady, as he gives to the first one a big frown.
    Not to give himself away, Befod moves into a shadow form, and he listens to what they are saying.
    “ Richard! You almost missed the signup, it’s a good thing I convinced her to wait a little longer, or you would be out of luck. “
    “ Oh you worry too much Komeel, I am here now, so where do I sign up. “, says Richard with a wild look.
    The lady takes out a form with quill and ink and places it on the table, as Richard quickly makes an X mark on the paper. Then he takes out his log board sword, as it hums in his hands.
    “ Calm down Richard, save it for the arena, you’re going to hurt someone if you don’t take it easy.”, says Komeel as he leads him away into the building.
    Befod watches them leave, as he moves out of the shadows, and he tries to continue to overhear their words. But he only gets bit’s and pieces about the sword being hungry, and he is the best.
    He forgets himself for a second, as everyone can see him, now watching a side door open to the building. People begin to line up and pay a person, who has moved to stand outside the opening. He moves to join the line, but a hand takes hold of him from behind. He turns to see the young lady, and she gives him a big smile.
    “ Sorry little one, no children are allowed into the arena. Please go home, this is no place for you. “
    He can only smile at her words if she only knew his real age, but now wasn’t the time to blow his cover. So he smiles and waves to her, as he rushes off out of sight. After going around the corner, he makes sure no one is watching him, as he moves into shadow form again. This time he is more careful, and he makes his way back to the area. He waits for the line to come to an end, and he careful steps to the edge of the door. Using a slight detraction skill he learned, he gets the doorman's attention off the opening, and he slips right in.
    The crowd is loud inside, as he now finds a quiet spot to watch the events in a large circler area, withstands going around it on all sides. Down in the arena, he can see that fighter he followed, as they are fighting first. His opponent in a bigger muscular man, who wields two large axes, and he gives war cry as the crowd cheers them on. But the next thing he sees is a blur, as the one called Richard takes a step, then with one move cuts to head off the other guy. Befod then watches as the crowd goes silent for a second, then they loudly cheer for the winner. He had to turn his head at the beheading, but then he watches as the sword in that fighter's hand looks to be draining the blood from the fallen fighter. It was just a quick moment, an observation he was trained to do by Robert, a skill that was very useful to not miss the little things that happen. But the reaction of the crowd cheering, they didn’t see that small action of the sword, only the quick move to remove the head. What is this weapon, and who is this fighter? Befod can only wonder as he watches the other matches and waits to see this Richard person fight some more.
  • granthorgranthor Member
    edited September 2020
    Back in the ready area, as the crowds cheer on the other fighters, Richard finds himself lost in thought. This new power he has, given by the sword to him is incredible. Looking over the long blade slowly, as sunlight dances of the side, somehow a change has happened over his time of using it. Now one side is perfect for blocking attacks, while the other has gained a curved sharper edge for slicing and dicing. While holding it closer, he notices new runes have taken sharp on the one side of the bladed weapon, he can’t read them, but just the same they were not there before. A slight bluish glow plus from them, as a faint glow of the same color flashes from his eyes. A feeling of raw power floods his body, and he feels his muscles tighten while gripping the hilt. Time seems to stop at this moment, as not even the cheers of the crowd outside can behead. In Richard's mind, he sees a vision of him sitting on a throne of gold, drinking ale, and surrounded by beautiful women, as people from everywhere shower him with wealth and gifts. A smile crosses his face, as the vision shows him being worshiped now.
    He is snapped out of the vision quickly, as a strong hand slaps him on the shoulder. With a quick response, he turns with a sword in hand, stopping it short of Komeel’s throat, as he allows himself to relax a bit and puts the sword away.

    “ You feeling ok my friend? I have been calling you for the past five minutes. It’s your turn again in the arena. “, says Komeel slowly moving his right hand to the hilt of his sword.
    “ Aye, I’m am ok. Just lost in thought when you surprised me, I will be fine. “, says Richard now looking away from his friend.
    “ That’s good to hear, but you need to get going, or this whole trip will be for nothing. They will disqualify you if you’re not out there in right now. We need that prize money remember? ‘
    “ Oh stop whining over it Komeel, you worry too much. There are only a few more matches after the next one, then we will get the money and go find the others. “, says Richard with a laugh.
    He can only watch his friend rush off to the arena floor, as he shouts after him.
    “ We need to find the others soon! So don’t let me down! “
    Komeel doesn’t know if he heard him, but after they lost track of Henry and the others, it wasn’t a good day. He knew it was a bad idea to take on that last quest, one they sent them looking for some old charm. Only too fall into a teleport trap, in some ancient ruins, one that sent them all off to who knows where. Richard and he ended up in the same place, but there was no sign of the others. The path there was easy enough, but after entering the old city, that’s when the real fighting started. The whole place was overrun by trolls, ad they didn’t make it easy to advance to the center of it all. As a party, they took on the challenge of the trolls and found their way into what they figured was a safe place. But quickly found out the danger only got worst, as they slide into a nest of goblins. Oh, those nasty beasts didn’t ease up on the group, as they fought their way through the sea of what seemed like endless bodies. But they found an opening and took it fast. That’s when they found the trap, and that was the last he saw of the others.

    Komeel strikes a wall close by hard with the side of his fist, as he remembers back to that day, then looks up when he hears loader cheering in the arena. Well, nothing he can do about the past, best to finish their business in the town and move on. So he makes his way to a viewing booth, where others stand cheering, and he pushes his way to the front to get a better look. Down in the grand arena are a few groups of fighters, each paired off with someone else, but when Komeel looks to find Richard, he sees has three fighters positioning to strike at him, with a fourth one moving up from the rear. He yells down for him to watch his back, but he can’t hear him over the roar of the crowd. It doesn’t matter, as he watches Richard spin quickly toward his rear, giving that fighter a good slash across his chest, sending him flying down to the ground. The other three charge forward, to attack, as he blocks the blows of the first two, then with a quick double slash taking down the third man.

    “Your friend is very good, he should fight in the mayor’s tournament next week, I think he will do very nicely in that fight too. “, says a voice from behind Komeel.
    “ Oh we are not staying long after today, we have business elsewhere. “, says Komeel turning to see an old man.
    “well it’s a shame, but we hold the event once a month, maybe if you find your way back around these parts, you will think about it? The people I the town love a strong leader, and I know he will be loved here. “, says the old man.
    The crowd cheers louder, and Komeel returns his attention to the arena floor, only to see Richard standing over the bodies of the last two fighters. A horn sounds, and the last of the standing fighters that number ten, are given a rest break. He watches as pretty young maids rush out with water and wraps to each of the standing fighters, and men with stretchers come out to remove the dead, while those that can still move to limp off out of sight. He can see Richard is loving this fighting a little too much, as a couple of maids fawn over him, as they tend to his light wounds. He is given a drink, while the clean him up, and they giggle as he whispers to them. He can only imagine what he is saying, knowing his friend, it can only be something dirty or lewd.
    A horn sounds again, as the maids who were tending the fighters rush off, and the last ten moves into a large circle. The crowd cheers louder now, and a chant slowly builds up speaking Richard’s name. Komeel watches as the fighters rush not at each other, but they rush Richard. He yells down to his friend in a panic, but he can’t hear him over the roar of the crowd. But to his surprise, Richard takes down each fighter one, by one, some with a double slash, and others with a strong cut removing a limb or two. The crowd continues to chant his name, louder and louder, with each fighter that is taken down by him. Until finally he is faced with the last two.
    Sweat drips from their faces, as they look down at the fallen fighters behind Richard. They each look at each other with fear in their eyes, then turn to look at Richard once more. Without a second blink, one fighter sinks the tip of his sword into the dirt, the turns, and runs. The second one seeing the first one runoff tosses his weapons on the ground, and bows to Richard then turns to walk off the battlefield. A horn sounds for the last time, call an end to the fighting, and people rush out of the stands to surround Richard. KomeHeel watches as they raise him up in the air, and they cheer and chant his name. The group marches off with him high in the air, and Komeel can only shake his head to this event. He knows they are not going anywhere soon, but he needs to try to reason with him. From what he can see, these people will not let him go easy.
    He turns to leave the area, and he feels someone bump him. It wasn’t a big person, still the same he felt someone slight bump him. He looks around, but most of the people have already rushed off to join his friend, and no one else was around him when he felt that bump. As he looks around more, he sees a small figure move from the shadows, and they toss a small coin bag again and again into the air. He looks closer at it, and he realizes it’s his money bag.
    “ Hey! Stop right there, you have my money! “
    Komeel rushes forward after the small figure, but they quickly vanish from sight. He looks around the area, but they are nowhere to be seen, He sees a piece of paper on the ground, and there is something written on it.
    It says, “ Meet me by the stables in one hour if you want your money back. “
    Blast it all, how could he let some simple thief take his coin bag, but why do they want to meet him? Maybe they did it to get his attention, well they go it, as he balls the paper in his fist, then walks off from the arena looking for a fight. If they want to play, then we will play he thinks to himself.
    Komeel doesn’t notice a pair of small eyes watching him from the shadows, and the figure carefully follows him from behind.

    To be continued……
  • Komeel rushes past people on a busy road, with fire in his eyes after being robbed not long ago. To be robbed He dashes past a few merchant booths then turns the corner quickly to push past a few groups of locals, until finally, he sees the stables from the short letter. He slows his pace a bit, now taking notice of who is in the area. The people nearby are only doing business with local vendors on both sides of the road. Shops of different foods, along with places that sell potions and even a few herb vendors. This part of town looks to be more for the farmers and alchemists to sell what they have, over what a fighter might be looking to buy from.
    But ahead of him are the stables, a simple barn with a couple of wagons parked on the side, and he doesn’t see much going on outside of the place. Shortly after he stops in front o the place, a figure peeks out from inside and waves him to go around back. He knows this must be a trap of some type, but he needs to get his money back if he can, or at least make them pay from stealing from him. As he carefully makes his way to the rear of the stables, he catches someone following him from behind for a split second, but when he turns to see who is following him they are gone from sight. This was a bad idea, now that he reaches the back of the stables, a stands before him are three men. Each one is dressed in cloaked hooded robes, as the center man removes his hood a bit, to show off a badly scarred face. They take out a coin bag, and toss it up and down in their right hand, as a smile crosses their dirty scared face.

    “ You friends with that bloke who won the area contest? “

    Aye, I am. What of it! “, say Komeel now gripping his sword hilt in his right hand.

    “ We don’t like his kind in these parts. You tell him he needs to move on to the next town.”, says the one still tossing up the coin bag.

    “ Aye, we be the ones that run this town, we don’t like new people upsetting what we have now. “, says a second man.

    Komeel hears someone new walk up from behind him, and he slowly draws out his sword, but the third man quickly draws him own before he can. Blast is all, to be drawn into a trap knowingly was stupid, but he had to know who wanted his attention. And to think it’s just local muscle, that thinks they own this town. Maybe the people of this place seen that Richard has what it takes to free them from these fools, but who is the more foolish now. After all, he is now surrounded with no way out of this position.

    “ Maybe we can work something out. I can talk to my friend, we really weren’t planning to stay here long. “, say Komeel now ease his hand off his sword.

    The man holding his coin bag smiles a bit, then tosses the bag toward Komeel. As he catches it, he senses two more people moving up from the rear, but they stand a bit far off. Maybe they have arrows pointed at him, just waiting on a single from the ones in front of him. Komeel thinks if they mean to kill him, they would have done it around. They want to send a message, and they have his attention now.
    Now he feels the point of a dagger in the soft spot of his armor, he dare not move now, this person is a very skill In stealth. So much so he didn’t hear them move upon him No, again if they wanted him dead he would be, this move was to freeze in place. He watches as the middleman moves closer to him, and he now stands face to face with him.
    Komeel can tell his person is well seasoned in battle, as the scares shown on their face are very old, and the wrinkles of time hide the others. He looks into his unmoving blue eyes, as the smile fades from the man’s face.

    “ Good…..very good. I know you will do the right thing, and continue your plans of moving on. Don’t disappoint us, cause we will be watching you. “, says the man as he smiles once more.

    With a quick hand signal, the others retreat from the area, and the dagger tip is quickly removed. Komeel turns to see who was there, but not a soul can be seen. He turns to look at the other three men, but they are gone as well. He takes a deep breath, now looking down at him coin bag when a new sound gets his attention. Turning to face the sound with sword drawn, he sees a small child-like figure. They look up at him with curious eyes, as he relaxes a bit at the sight of what he thinks is a child.

    “ What do you want boy? You should sneak up of people like that, you could have been hurt. “

    The small figure moves a little closer, so he can get a good look at one of his arms. They pull back their hooded robe to show off tribal tattoos, and right away Komeel knows this is no child. No this is one of them Nikua dwarfs, seeing how this wears no beard. But what does he want with him, does he work with the others too?

    “ What do you want with me? Are you working with others? “

    The small man just smiles and answers him.

    “ No, I am not employed with them, but I was just curious to see hat would happen to you. I saw them take your coin bag, then watched them surround you while you stood here. I was very impressed you didn’t use force to try and escape, seeing how you would have been dead before your next move. “

    “ Is that so, and what makes you think they would have killed me? “, says Komeel with questioning eyes.

    A single bolt is placed in his hand, as the dwarf moved slowly toward Komeel. He looks down at the dwarf then at the bolt in his hand. The tip of which looks to have been dipped in poison. This wasn’t good, knowing he was second from death, and who would have warned Richard? He looks at this small dwarf again, and can’t help and wonder what is their game.

    “ What is your name friend? “

    “ Why I am Befod Warbrand. At your service! “

    Komeel doesn’t feel he is here to do him harm, as he walks off with the young Dwarf to go find Richard.

    To be continued……..
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