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New tales from Verra!

granthorgranthor Member
edited February 2022 in Community Creations
Hello everyone. Its been a long time since I posted a story on these boards. I know that last one was a bit unfinished. Sorry about that. I got so tired up in a book I am still trying to finish, plus RL stuff happened. Now I find the need to write a new story within the land of Verra. It might help me workout a few things I am trying in the book I am doing. Its all about the details, so I will see if I can make it work here. So stay tuned for my new installment for the Land of Verra, I hope someone likes it. FYI: Once you see the Coming Soon taken away, That's the signal for a new chapter being dropped. Until then Verra Forever!


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  • granthorgranthor Member
    edited February 2022
    With a swirl of colorful lights and the feeling of weightlessness, Edwin Cooper moves within a void of energy. He feels it moving him quickly forward, but he isn’t moving his body at all. People have told him to just stand still, and let the gate do all the work. He never imagined the entire experience would be so stimulating. His stomach has the feeling of butterflies, and from time to time he feels as if he is falling, but only for a moment. The swirls of light appear to be moving faster and faster. However, with one tremendous flash, he stands on a massive stone floor inside the ruins of a building. He lets his eyes adjust a bit to the changed lighting. It was dark back in Sanctus where his hometown is located. It’s the land where the Goddess of Creation made so the people of Verra could escape the Apocalypse. So the story was told to him, passed down generation after generation.

    He looks at the ruins of the divine gate in awe. One of four, he has been told, but this one was closest to his hometown of Dalry. Why venture out to other cities when a perfectly working gate was just next to his hometown? Most of his friends have already migrated ahead of him, and even some locals are looking for a fresh start. It’s what he is looking for, as he rubs his auburn hair on his head, then he checks his clothing a bit. A tight brown vest covers his ordinary white shirt, and his brown slacks go well with the vest. Ending with a pair of fine black leather boots, as he stands next to two of his travel sacks. He bends over to pick up the two bags that rest at his feet, slinging one over his left shoulder that holds his supplies, while opening the second that has his hunting gear. It’s all still there, the bait, the sent covering, and a skinning knife, along with a short sword and a few other items. His father gifted it to him as a going away present. If nothing else, he can hunt for his food. His father always worried about him, and going to the old lands of Verra wasn’t making it any easier. But here Edwin stands far from home, and a solid weapon he places on his side. His mother also made sure they well fed him before leaving and packed more food supplies for him. He is very sure there is good food in the bag, things he can easily make, and others that are made for a long road trip.

    Edwin looks outside of the ruins, the bright sunlight making him squint a bit, to the sight of two guards waving him over. They look well armored and hold the standard of the local government at their sides. A banner of a blue eagle with a white background, along with a gold border. One guard continues to motion to him, as he now makes his way out of the ruins.

    “Move along! Don’t be lurking about! Others will come through the gate. Move along already!”

    As Edwin sees he is in the way of others venturing into this world, he quickly steps outside. The guards keep their focus on the gate. But he doesn’t really know where to go next, as there are only a few tents close by, and from the looks of them, it’s only for guards’ use. He turns to one guard for help, as they stand firm, keeping watch over the gate area.

    “Excuse me sir, but I was wondering. Where do I head next? I had never been to this side of the gate, and I was hoping to be pointed in the right direction.”

    The guard eyes him for a second, then returns his attention to the gate as more people enter the area. He waves them over, and points them to the area down the road.”

    “What’s all this about? You think I am here to be your personal tour guide? Follow the path of the others. You will find your way soon enough.”

    Edwin can see the guard is busy enough without him asking for directions. Maybe it was a question others had asked before him. As he walks along the road, he follows a few others who have come from the gate. It doesn’t take him long to find wagons waiting on the side of the road. Each one has a banner of the town they are from. There are banners of different towns waving over the wagons, military, science, merchant, and divine, with wagon masters waiting for the newcomers at the gate. Edwin, confused about where to go next, watches the people climb into the different wagons. He studies them a bit to figure out what town is most suitable for him from behind.

    “Are you Mr. Copper? Edwin Cooper?”

    He turns to see an enormous man in a tattered old brown coat. He wears over-sized tan slacks, and a huge black beard covers his face that runs down half the length of his coat. A brown wide brim hat sits atop an enormous head, with a long black ponytail flowing down his back. Edwin doesn’t know what to think of this odd fellow, as this person speaks to him again.

    “Why, it is you, Mr. Copper. Your friends gave me a fairly accurate description of you, and you’re just as they say you would be, right down to the black leathers on your feet.”

    “Sorry, you are?”

    “Oh, where are my manners? Just call me Barney. I will be your driver for today. Your friends, Lilly and Jack, sent me to pick you up. They wanted to make sure you made it to town without getting lost.”

    “Oh, they sent you. How did they know I was coming?”

    Then he remembers telling Lilly he would come through the gate two weeks after his birthday. He is now sixteen years old and has become a man. He almost forgot, he told her, as Barney smiles at him, now moving to take his bags.

    “Please, let me take your bags and follow me. You should count yourself lucky to be crossing over now. In the early days, everyone had to walk out on foot. There were no wagons to be had.”

    “Really, but thought there was a town setup just by the gate here? I was told there would be one.”

    Barney helps him into the wagon, as he now climbs in to take control of the horses. And with a slight laugh, he continues to talk.

    ‘That was true. There was a small village here, but I don’t remember the name. They thought they could go off on their own, which explains the different wagons with banners displayed on them. Each of those towns wanted something different from the others, so they developed the towns as they saw fit.”

    “I see. So where is your banner?”

    Barney looks at him with a laugh as he drives the horses down the road. The very thought of him placing a banner on his wagon was funny to him.

    "Well, Mr. Copper, the town we are traveling to is a reasonable distance away. You could say it’s in a newly developed area. It’s why your friends sent me to pick you up. So you didn’t go off to one of the other towns. They are part of a group that is trying to start a new town called Caister. Last I saw of it, they got to the village level of their node.”

    “A node? What’s a node?”

    “You can think of it as the heart of the town. The more people pour their heat and soul into building up an area, the wider the nodes make towns. So I was told, but I think there is more to it.”

    “I see. So how long until we reach the town?”

    “We will be there by dark, Mr. Copper. So you just sit and relax, and I will get you there soon enough.”

    Edwin can only sit back in the wagon, as he watches the gate behind them get smaller and smaller. This is This is while the wagon continues down the road to the start of his fresh adventures. He closes his eyes at the sound of Barney humming a tune. It is one he seems to have heard before. It sounds like a song the locals back home would sing from time to time. As Barney continues to hum, the melody echoes in his mind.

    “just wait, though, while he may roam,
    a hero comes home
    he knows of places unknown,
    but always,
    a hero comes home”

    To be continued
  • Edwin drifts off to sleep while riding in the back of his wagon. Old memories flood his dreams, visions of tasty meals back home. Things his mom would make like cakes and cookies, along with her cherry pies. He always looked forward to the sweets after the main meal, but was told he could have none of it if he didn’t finish his plates. He can almost smell the sweetness of everything in his dream, as he reaches out to grab hold of the cake. But a sharp bump in the road wakes him from his dream, as he now looks around to see it has gotten a lot darker. He didn’t realize he was asleep for so long, but he had a very busy day before coming to this world.

    Now rubbing his eyes a bit, he can see Barney is still driving the wagon while whistling a tune. The road outside of the wagon is wild and untamed, with tall trees lining both sides of the dirt road. The sun just kissed the edge of the horizon as the stars replaced it slowly in the darkening sky. Ahead of them up the road, we can see torches lining the road, we can see the tents on both sides. Edwin wonders if this is the town his friends are meeting him in, but before he can ask, Barney speaks to him in an upbeat tone.

    “If you’re wondering about those tents coming into view, Mr. Copper, this isn’t the town your friends told me to take you to. We still have a bit of way to go. That is the trading post at Timberfalls Retreat. There you can find just about anything you need, and what you can’t find, they will find it for you. It’s a very popular location out here in the wilds.”

    “So why are we here?”

    “I need to pick up a few supplies for the town. I won’t be long. But have a look around, but don’t go too far. Okay, Mr. Copper?”

    Edwin realizes he has no choice but to agree to Barney’s request to stay close, since the wagon has now stalled in the camp's heart. People are coming and going about their business within the camp, trading items of different types within the tents dotting the area. As he watches Barney disappear into the sea of bodies, Edwin needs to take a deep breath. It all surrounded him with so much going on. The camp feels more like a new town being he inspects a few of the wagons that just came into the area. It becomes quickly clear this is only a resting post for caravans moving on the main road. The new comers move quickly to unload some supplies, while under heavy guard, there must be goods of high quality being traded by the tall tents. Other wagons come in with what look like basic items, and they stop next to the smaller tents and trade off their wares. It all happening at a dizzying pace, and Edwin doesn’t understand it all.

    A short distance away from all the bustle, he hears vendors yelling out to sell their wares. From weapons to armor, along with potions and bits of fabric for making basic items to wear, this market looks to have it all. He now catches the scent of fresh foods over the air, and he moves to find where it’s all coming from. He pushes past a few people, as he now sees stalls lined up on both sides. There are fruits and vegetables, along with different meats grilling over open fires. It all looks alright to him as his stomach rumbles a bit. I stall gets his attention, as they have meat kebabs hanging over an open flame pit, and the smell of it gets his mouth to water a bit. He doesn’t hesitate to ask for one, and he hands over five copper coins from his money bag. Then, with a quick inhale, he takes in the sweetmeat’s smell. Following that, he blows a bit of air into his mouth to cool it down a bit. The taste of it seems to melt in his mouth, as the juices from the meat flow along his tongue. This delights him since it is so tender, and it falls apart easily after only a few chews. He takes another bite to savor it a bit, when a voice comes from behind him.

    “That’s a really sweet looking sword you got there. How much do you want for it?”

    Edwin turns to see a tall hooded man standing behind him, as he chews on a third piece of meat. He can’t see this person’s face, but he knows it’s an older man by the tone of his voice. They look down at him, as Edwin now drops the last of his meal on the ground, and he places his right hand over the hilt of his blade.

    “Sorry, it’s not for sale.”

    “It’s an old Empyrean blade, if I am correct, one that is very rare to come by these days. You don’t seem Empyrean or Pyrian, but I will give you ten gold pieces for it. Is it a deal?”

    Edwin watches as the hooded man extends out a small bag of coins, then puts his other gloved hand out, expecting the sword to be placed there. But Edwin doesn’t want any part of this transaction, and he takes a few steps back away from this person. His father gave him this sword, telling him it had belonged to his great grandfather a long time ago. So this sword has special meaning to him, and he doesn’t have the right to sell it off as if it were common goods.

    “Sorry, this sword isn’t for sale. If you don’t mind, I would like to finish my meal.”

    This gives the hood man pause, as he looks down at the ground as the last bits of kebab dropped from Edwin’s hand. Then, from under the hood, a smile comes, as the man points down to where it rests on the ground.

    “Looks like you have finished what you started. So I will make this easy, twenty gold for your sword, and not a penny more. So, is it a deal?”

    The man takes a step forward as he takes out a second bag of money, but before Edwin can reply, a voice comes from behind him.

    “The young master has already told you no! Now get out and buy your wares from someone that is willing!”

    It’s Barney, and he pushes past Edwin to stand in front of him as the hooded man watches them both a bit. Then, with slight discussion, he turns to walk away as he disappears past the crowd of people. Barney then turned to look at Edwin, as he led him back to the wagon.

    “Sorry, I should have warned you about these traders. Some of them can get very pushy when they see something that they want. Your Empyrean blade is rare indeed. True, there are others in the world, but yours is from the old days before the world turned upside down. So if I were you, I would keep that handy gem hidden when you’re not using it.”

    “Oh, I did not know. I will be more careful in the future. Thank you for coming after me.”

    “No worries, they paid to see to your safety and wellbeing. If you know what I mean, Mr. Copper. But we have made it to the wagon, and it’s fully packed and ready to leave. If you will be so kind as to get on board, we will be on our way.”

    Edwin sees there isn’t a place to sit n the back of the wagon, so he moves to sit up front with Barney, who gives him a big smile, as he starts the horses in motion again. The sights and sounds of the trading post slowly fade to the rear, as the night’s starry sky and a bright moonlight light up the road ahead. This concerns Edwin a bit, as he turns to Barney for a second.

    “Barney, do we have much further to travel? You said we would be there by nightfall.”

    “That is true, Mr. Copper, but we are not too far off now. I should have you there before bedtime. So relax, as old Barney will get you there safely.”

    Edwin can only watch the stars in the night, as his new friend sings another song on the way to meet his friends.

    “see me now, a ray of light in the moondance
    see me now, I cannot leave this place
    hear me now, a strain of song in the forest
    don’t ask me, to follow where you lead”

    to be continued…..
  • Thank you for your work, it's great keep going o:)
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  • granthorgranthor Member
    edited September 2022
    Erected next to a large hill by a crossroad is the village of Fandralore, and it is home to Kaelar humans led by Mrs. Chilton, as told by Barney. Edwin can see the road has gotten a lot easier to ride over. No longer are the bumps and knocks of the long trip. Barney can only smile at Edwin when he looks at the surprised expression on Edwin’s face. This crossroad comprises cobblestones, each in a shape of a hexagon, making up a tight network on the open road. Barney knows this road is solid and well constructed. Whoever designed it in the past knew what they were doing, but they were no longer around in today’s world.

    There is an old tomb near the crossroads that is of significant importance to the people of Fanralore. Adventurers come from far and wide to explore the place, and to this day, it is still only a quarter of it that is fully mapped out. No one knows how far it extends, or what might be in the deeper parts of it.

    Edwin can now see a large walled off village, complete with gates leading from the main road into town. Barney stops for a moment to show off his paperwork to a guard posted by the gates, while another glances at Edwin a bit. This makes him a tad uneasy, as the guard looks to the other for a sign of trouble, but they continue on their way. Barney stops the wagon on the side of the road in town, then looks at his passenger while reaching back to take up his bags.

    “Well, Mr. Copper, this is where we will part ways. I have business to attend to on the other side of town. Follow this road a short distance and head left. You can’t miss the Happy Dragon, the tavern your friends are staying in. It has been a pleasure, Mr. Copper. I hope you enjoy your stay here.”

    Barney extends a hand to shack his hand, and Edwin thanks him as he leaves the wagon. He can only smile and wave to his new friend, now watching him slowly disappear down one of the side roads in town. Now, taking in the sights, the settlement itself looks mediocre. With its birch wood roofs and faded brick walls, Fandralore has an intriguing atmosphere. Edwin can see from walking down the road that the major attraction of Fandralore looks to be the market. This gives it a developing economy based mainly on crafting, medicine, and weapon smiting. But Barney told him their biggest strengths are alchemy and strong enchantments, and they also have people skilled in animal training. He also told him that Mrs. Chilton was going to lead the village into the golden age of the other towns. But this remains to be seen, as the other villages are fighting for control of the area’s nodes.

    After following the road as told, then turning to the left, Edwin finally sees the tavern called the Happy Dragon. From the outside, it looks welcoming, delightful and warm. Bricks and marble details make up most of the building’s outer structure. It’s tough to see through the large stained glass windows, but he can hear the music and voices from within outside. Being greeted by clapping hands and a smile from a server as he enters the tavern through the decorated wooden door. The bartender is quite busy, but still welcomes him with a friendly nod. It’s as engaging inside as it is on the outside. Tree logs support the upper floor, and the chandeliers attached to them. The walls loaded with hundreds of memorabilia, all signed and most likely donated by customers.

    The tavern itself packed. Locals seem to be the primary clientele here, which often means splendid company. They occupy several long tables by, what appears to be one large group of people. Those who occupied the smaller tables appeared to be close with the owner, although they happily welcomed others into their midst. Most of the stools at the bar occupied, though nobody seemed to mind more company. Edwin notices there is a fair amount of women in this tavern and most of them subtly eye the bartender. It’s probably his good looks and charm. It’s not his business what they do with their time. After all, he is a newcomer to town. So why should he care about something he feels is silly? He finds a seat and prepares for what will undoubtedly be a great evening, as he feels a slap on his back. He turns quickly to see his friend Holly, who gives him a big smile. She has brown long hair that is held in place by a red cloth tied around her head. Freckles cover her face, and she has deep green eyes. She is wearing a common tan dress, with brown boots on her feet. She then places a hand on his right arm and gives him a tug.

    "Figures, you would show up on ladies’ night, of all nights to come here. Come on, birthday boy, the others are in the back.”

    “Wait, Holly! Give me a second to get my bags!”

    But she doesn’t listen to him, as he now watches a barmaid pick up his bags, while he is being forced to the back of the building. Clapping and cheers go up all over the place, while other groups continue to have fun and party through the night. He can’t get a word in, as he is now pushed through a set of back room doors. Inside the large room, a new cheer springs up, as he sees the rest of his friends raise up a flagon of ale for him. They are almost all here? Ryia, Knox, Eddie, Justin, Owen and Jade? Just about everyone that left before him is in this palace, but where are Lilly and Jack? He figure they of all people would be here to great him. He doesn’t have the words to ask about them. He knew he was meeting them, but it looks like they were getting a party ready just for him. But maybe they went off to do something important, while everyone else were already deep in their drinks this night. He watches as Knox, the largest of his friends, walks over to him with a second flagon in his hand. Like a brick, as his muscles look to be chiseled from stone.

    “Happy sixteenth, my friend, here’s to your new adulthood!”

    “My birthday was two weeks ago. You all know that, right?”

    “Just drink up will you, and don’t say that too loud. They have a birthday special at this place. You being the last of us to use it, if you know what I mean.”

    He gives him a wink, as he takes a deep drink of his ale. But before he can drink his own, a barmaid enters with a large cake, and it’s lit with sixteen candles on top. They covered the cake in white icing and had red and blue flowers on the sides. Holly again pushed him forward, as the others sing to him, as the barmaid now places the cake down on a table in front of him. It all makes him feel so happy, as the song ends, and they tell him to make a wish, and he blows out the candles.

    In that same moment, the ground shakes, and the building rocks back and forth. Everyone grabs hold of whatever they can, as the ground settles down, and those that didn’t lose their footing help up those that did. What has happened at the moment in time?

    Jade, one of Edwin's friends, looks into his eyes and asks him as he helps her up.

    “What the heck Ed, what did you wish for?”

    He knows it wasn’t him. He doesn’t have any type of magic that would have that type of influence on anything. No, this was something else, and they need to find out what has happened.

    To be continued....
  • Thank you for your work, it's great keep going o:)

    Glad you are liking it. I will try my best, I just posted a small part tonight. Thanks again.
  • VirtekVirtek Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
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  • Edwin Copper is a simple man who just turned sixteen a few weeks ago. He is as regular as one can be, not looking for fame or fortune, but would like to explore the world before him. With his short auburn hair and his plain looks, along with his plain clothes, he keeps a low profile as best he can. After the ground shake, he takes a quick glance at the surrounding group. There is his friend Holly, a red-headed, freckled young lady, who has light green eyes and is very outgoing with her personality. She is a very skilled rogue that uses blade weapons, and has taught him a few moves while on adventures. Then there was Ryia, the summoner, a long-haired woman of black color, who keeps a small summoned pet close. If for nothing else, something to keep her company. She and Holly are about the same age, each older than him. He glances at Knox the Tank, an eighteen-year-old powerful man, and remembers how protective Knox is of his sisters, which is why he was the tank of the group. Eddie the Bard and Justin the Ranger are twin brothers, around his age, and they play jokes on people, but know when to take it seriously. Owen the Cleric is the oldest of the group. Being twenty-one, he hides his silky blonde hair under his hood mostly, and has deep blue eyes that seem to look into people’s souls. Finally, there is Jade. She sports blueish hair and is a talented mage. Edwin finds her beautiful, but lacks the courage to express his feelings for her. For a moment, they are just friends, and he is happy to have her as one.
    Shortly word gets around the pub that Mayor Chilton has called for calm, and has ordered everyone to return home for the night. Edwin’s friend hears this news, quickly drinks down what they can, then Knox comes over to push Edwin back over this cake. With a huge smile on his face, he patted him on the back twice.

    “Come on, let’s cut your cake. It will not keep all night.”

    Edwin can only smile back at his friend. He knows his love of all things sweet, and cake is one of his top foods in this area. So, not wasting anymore time, he picks up the knife that was next to the large cake, then cuts a few pieces as evenly spaced as possible. He wants to make sure everyone gets a piece of this lovely cake that was made. Then he sees a pile of small plates nearby, and divides up the cake for his friends. They give him one last cheer, as he now hands each of them a slice of cake. However, before he can pick up for himself, a hand grabs him from behind. He turns to see its Holly again, but this time she is pulling him out of the room.

    “Come along now. We have to get up early in the morning. No time to waste down here! Come along now or I will box your ears!”

    She was always the pushy type and never wanted to waste much time if things needed to be done. He feels exhausted, and Holly could always tell when her friends were not at their peak. She also knows how difficult it can be for him to wake up from a sound sleep. So this is her way of making sure they are ready for the next day.
    Edwin can only wave to his other friends, as Holly whisks him up the stairs to a room she had secured for him. The hallway up stairs is dimly lit, and they pass a couple doors, until she stops at the end of the hall. It’s not locked, so they enter to see if it has only the basic needs for a night’s stay. There is a bed, and a table with a couple chairs, and a nightstand with lit candles. Next to his bed are both his bags, and his short sword rests on his bed. He puts a hand on his belt and feels it was missing. Until now, he didn’t know what was missing from him. Holly must have removed it from his body when she first saw him.

    “When did you take my sword away? I didn’t know it was missing.”

    “You were always easy to pickpocket, just be more careful in the future.”

    She waves him goodnight with a smile and closes the door behind her, leaving him in a quiet space. He turns to look out a single window in his room, now picking up his sword, as light from the outside dances along the sides of the blade. This was a gift from his father, and he needs to take better care of it, no matter who he was dealing with. To lose it now will bring him much shame, and not even his closest friends should take it from him.
    He now stares out the window at the sight of empty streets, but he figures there must still be people around. He looks as far as he can, but he is not visible from his view of his room. Several of the buildings seem different, as do the edges of the village that appear further away than he remembers. The gates of the village look a little different too, but maybe he was just imagining things. It was pretty dark when he came here, and he only noticed a small part of the area. From his window, he notices an oddly shaped black stone that is large and black. It rests in what looks to be the town center, and he is sure it is giving off faint pulses of light. He tries to strain to get a better look when he hears a light knock on his door. Look back behind him. There is a second knock on the door, then a voice calls to him.

    “Ed, are you still up?”

    It’s the voice of Jade, the girl that he likes a lot, but why is she knocking on his door? He moves quickly to open it, to the sight of a darkened hall. There is only the flicker of a single small candle on the top of a slice of cake. The small light shows it is being held by two small hands. As he can see, it’s Jade standing right in front of him. His heart drops a bit, while his face twitches. The one girl he likes so much is standing outside his door alone, and now he feels himself panicking a bit, as she speaks to him again.

    “You forgot your slice of cake, so I figured I would bring it up to you. I also put in a lighted candle, so you can make a new wish.”

    She extends it to him with a big smile on a pretty face, and he shakes a bit as he moves a hand to take it from her. He feels his heart racing a bit as he turns away to shake off the feeling.

    “Ed, are you feeling okay?”

    “Y-yes, I am fine.”, he says in a shaky voice.

    He turns around to take the plate from her hand, a little more steady now, as she moves closer to him, and she places a hand over his forehead. This sends his emotions into overdrive, as she now takes a step back to look into his eyes with a bright smile.

    “You don’t have a fever, maybe you’re just tired. But you should hurry and make a new wish before your candle burns out.”

    She is right, as the candle has become much smaller. He focuses on the flame, then thinks of the only wish he ever wanted in life. Looking up at Jade, he takes a few deep breaths, and then blows out the flame with a puff of air from his lips. She claps for him a bit, then moves forward once more. This time she gives him a small kiss on his cheek, then she steps back, waving a single finger at him.

    “Don’t you tell the others I did this for you, okay? Keep it between us.”

    “Keep what between us?”

    “Oh Ed, you’re such a boy. How about I give you something a little more to keep you quiet?”

    She reaches out to him, as his emotions heightened. She takes the plate from his hand, then looks into his eyes with her amber eyes, as he steady himself a bit more. He can’t lose it in front of her, not now of all times. He figures she might give him a kiss, so he closes his eyes and puckers his lips a bit. But instead of feeling a kiss on his lips, he hears a whisper in his right ear.

    “If you want a proper kiss from me, ask me to be your girlfriend, silly. Happy birthday again, Edwin.”

    He feels a second kiss on his cheek, then the sound of a giggle as a gust of air rushes into the room. Jade is nowhere to be found when he opens his eyes to see only a closed door. He has the slice of cake in his hand once again, and at his feet is a suit of padded leather armor. It’s much better than what he brought with him into this world. Jade must have gotten it for him, or maybe the other did. He will have to thank them all tomorrow. He takes a bite of the cake, savoring the sweet flavor of the mix of cake and icing. Then he puts a hand up to his cheek, and he can still feel the wetness from her lips on this face. It brings a smile to his face as he takes another bite of cake. Tomorrow, he will have to summon more courage and ask Jade to be his girl.

    To be continued....
  • note: ( I have not forgotten you all, I have some real life stuff going on, but I will try to drop a couple parts later this week. Sorry for the delay.)
  • A brand-new day begins, and Edwin rises to greet it with a long stretch of his arms. He lets out a slight yawn while still feeling the effects of the night before. He slept little. How could he? Coming to this new land was the adventure he was seeking, and now that he had met up with his friends, they can all embark on it together. To him, this day will be a great one indeed. He pulls himself up from the bed. Then, he heads over to a wash bowl that was setup for him. The water is cool to the touch, as he washes the sleep from his eyes and face. After a few more slashes, he turns and looks out the window.

    A commotion of noise draws his attention, as he now looks down at the street below. People are in a mad rush with their comings and goings. Others are busy expanding the surrounding buildings, adding a few levels to what I have already done before. He doesn’t recall the town being so big. It was more of a village size when he first arrived, with a few official public buildings with homes. But somehow, this town has grown, feeling much larger than before. The locals look to be very busy taking calms in newly discovered areas, while guards have blocked other places off. No doubt the mayor wants to keep these areas for more official use, at least that is how it looks to him.

    But this isn’t his concern, as he now gets ready. He removes his nightwear and puts on his clothes for the day. It’s not special, just his normal clothes from back home. He has a bit of pocket money to get more, but wanted to wait and see what the local styles looked like first. From what he can tell, it’s not much different from what he has on.

    After he finishes placing his sword on his side, he picks up the two bags he brought with him from home, when he hears someone knocking on the door. It’s funny. Someone is greeting him so early, but maybe it’s Jade coming to walk him down stairs. Now he might get the chance to tell her how he feels, before they met up with the others. With a slight bit of excitement, he opens the door, but is quickly disappointed to see only Justin staring back at him with a broad grin on his face. Before he can say anything, Justin quickly moves to his side and speaks in a friendly manner.

    “Well, good morning, Edwin. I see you are all ready to start. But really mate, leave your bags in your room. There is no need for them today, plus we secured your room for the week, so no one will come and take your things.”

    After saying his piece, he takes Edwin’s bags. He tosses them both on the bed behind them, as he now slaps him hard on the back to move him forward.

    Come on, the others are downstairs. We have a very busy day.”

    “So, where are we going?”

    To shop, of course, we need to get a few things from the armor and weapon shops, along with a few other supplies. Plus, I am sure you need some clothing for yourself, too. You don’t plan to spend the day adventuring at what you’re wearing, right?”

    “Of course not Justin, I have money for what I need, but I don’t know which shops are more reliable in this area.

    Justin gives him a couple more pats on the back, and walks him out of his room, then down the hall, still grinning wide. Edwin knows something is up, as he watches his friend’s expression not change too much, as he continues to talk with him.

    “Well, I would worry too much about that. We have been here awhile, and some really terrific shops have opened up over the last few weeks. Besides, I think two girls want to take you out shopping.”

    “They do? Who?”

    “You will see soon enough. For now, let’s get a quick bite to eat.”

    Knowing that two of his female friends will take him shopping gets him a little excited. He hopes Jade is one of them, and wonders who the other is.

    As they reach the bottom stair, the place looks almost empty. There are only a handful of people having a quick breakfast. Some of his friends seated at a nearby table with food already placed for eating. Displayed are trays of fish and bread, along with soft-boiled eggs with mixed fruit on the side. Around the table is Ryia, sitting with Holly, talking away about whatever girls talk about, as a black kitten rests on Ryia’s right shoulder watching him with green eyes. Eddie sits playing his lute, with his feet up on a nearby chair, watching Edwin from the corner of his eye. His brother quickly moves to his side with a whisper in his ear, and a grin forms on his face. Owen, Knox, and Jade are missing. Edwin wonders where they are, as he feels a sharp pain in his right arm. He turns to see a tall man pass by with a smile on his face.

    “Happy birthday, young one.”

    Before he can reply, a second person strikes him on the other arm, and then shakes his hand to wish him a happy birthday. But why are they hitting him? A question quickly answered, after Holly rushes up behind him and rips off a parchment from his back, then balls it up and tosses it at the twins.

    “When will you two stop playing these stupid games? Just grow up already!”

    “Oh come on Holly, it was only a bit of fun. It’s our way of welcoming Edwin back into the group.”

    “Yeah Holly, loosen up a bit. Justin, what is life without a bit of fun?”

    “Well, this isn’t fun or funny, so stop picking on Edwin, got it!”

    The two brothers laughed a bit, then took their leave of the group as they made their way out of the pub. Then Holly walks Edwin over to where she is sitting, as a plate of food is waiting for him there. He can only laugh as Ryia pours him a mug of red wine. Everything looks and smells so delicious to him, so he cuts a piece of the fish and takes a bite. The flavor is so smooth and melts in his mouth. The seasoning is spot on as far as he can tell, as he takes a bit of wine to drink behind the fish. Then Ryia speaks in a low voice to him, as her kitten walks down onto the table.

    “So, Edwin, where would you like to go first? We have a big day planned, so you get to pick where we are starting the day.”

    The kitten sits in front of his plate of fish, as it eyes it then him with a slight pawing of the edge. He can tell it wants a bit of his meal, so he throws a nice size piece of fish next to the kitten. It quickly picks it up, but Ryia scolds it a bit.

    “Now, now Albert, I gave you more than enough fish. Leave Edwin’s food alone. Return!”

    With that last word, the kitten fades from the table. A few seconds later, it lands on the wooden table. The fish bit floats high in the air. She looks over at Ryia for a quick second, catching her flicking her long black hair to one side. A few words later and a wave of her hands, a brand-new pet comes into view. This time she called for a large dog, a shepherd type, and it sits down by her side at the ready. He can never get over the fact she has come a long way from summoning small creatures, and he can’t wait to see what else she can do.

    After a few more bites of food, Holly stands up, then takes hold of Edwin, as Ryia can see it’s time to leave and quickly heads outside. Edwin wants to finish his meal. However, as he turns to Holly to complain about being rushed, he can see she is giving him that look. The one look that tells him, if he doesn’t get moving fast, she will make him move. The last time he tried to fight her was a big mistake. She quickly put him on his back, and he was in pain for a few days after. No, now wasn’t the time to test her, as he took one last bite of fish, and quickly stood to follow her outside.

    The morning sun blinds him a bit, but once his eyes adjust a bit, he can see the streets are a buzz with people. There are many people doing their daily business in local markets, while others rush in to buy what they can from these local vendors. From what Edwin can tell, there is a mad rush to gather supplies that are needed by different groups and individuals. The next thing he feels is a hand grabbing hold of his arm, and Holly pulled along the side of the road toward him. She wasn’t the one to waste time, and she saw his eyes were on the people of town. Now wasn’t the time to explore the comings and goings of the day to day. No, this was the time to get him ready to go out adventuring. But Edwin wasn’t the little boy she once knew, or the one that let her lead him along blindly. Instead, he is a man today, and he pulls back to let her know who he is at this moment.

    With a quick tug at his arm, he pulls his arm from her hand. This only gets the response he wasn’t ready for, as she now turns to glare at him with her greenish eyes. He knows that look, as he swallows hard and opens his mouth to speak.

    “Now, Holly, I am not your child or a little boy anymore. You will let me know where we are heading, and I will gladly follow you, okay?”

    She doesn’t speak a word at first, but walks up to him to look into his eyes. Then, with a grin, she utters one word.


    Then she motions for him to stay close, as she quickens her pace, with Edwin now trying to keep close through the sea of people on the street. Holly walks past them with ease, but Edwin feels himself falling back, until finally he loses sight of his friend. Maybe he should have stayed with her, as she knew how to navigate these busy roads, since he now finds himself lost in the middle of the crowds. This isn’t helpful, as Edwin is now being pushed along in a different direction, he tries to press on the same way Holly headed for, but he finds it very hard to get past the busy traffic of bodies looking for the best deals of the day. He is moving left, then right, and move back to where he started. The crowds on the street are in a mad rush to gain the advantage of the new day, one that has seen the expansion of the city, and Edwin really doesn’t understand why everyone is so much in a hurry.

    He is about to give up when he hears a familiar voice over the rumble of voices from the crowd.

    “Edwin! What are you doing? Can’t you do a simple thing by following one person?”

    He can tell it’s Holly scolding him now. Maybe he should have let himself get dragged behind her. At least she knows where she is heading. Then a hand grabs hold of him again. It’s Holly, and she pulls him along like before. It amazed him at how she finds the cracks between people, dodging left and right, all the while finding hidden paths around people of different sizes. Their pace quickens, then slows, then quickens again, until finally they reach the shop she had planned for the day.

    Under a large sign he can’t read from his angle, and under it stands Ryia with a beaming smile along with a new pet shepherd dog she summoned. The pair quickly move to her side, as she speaks to them in a friendly tone.

    “What took you two so long? I thought you were right behind me.”

    “You know, Ed, he has to do some sightseeing, so I had to rush to get him.”

    “Hey! That wasn’t what happened. The people in this town just made it difficult to move along the street, is all. We would have been here sooner if it wasn’t for the mad rush of bodies coming and going.”

    “Well, we are here now Ryia, so let’s let Ed pick out his first armor set.”

    “What is this place you guys have brought me, anyway?”

    It’s just the premier place to find the finest in adventuring sullies in the entire region, says Ryia.

    She moves to put an arm under his, and she escorts him inside, with Holly close behind them. He can’t help but wonder what fresh surprises he will find inside. The girls have taken him to a place called Explocity.

    To be continued. 
  • Sorry guys for cutting the story short. Had a ton of real life issues popup, one being I had to buy a house. It's starting to settle down again, so i will try to add a few more bits here. Again sorry for the huge break in the story.
  • Inside the building is a sight to behold, as armor sets line the right walls, and weapons to his left. The middle of the shop has much of other items for every type adventurer, from cloaks to padded armor for the healers and magic types. Even with a few other things he has never seen before, it all makes his head spin. He gets pulled along again, this time by Ryia, with Holly putting a hand to his back to help push him along quicker. He wants to voice a word of objection, but is cutoff by the merchant of the shop.

    “Well now, what will it be, young master?”

    He looks up to see shoulder-length white hair awkwardly hanging over a full, cheerful face. Small speckles cover heavy blue eyes, set concealed within their sockets, and a beard delightfully compliments his eyes and mouth. His clothes are what you would expect to find in a shop of this type, just the basic merchant dress you find in just about every place in town. But there’s something wonderful about him. Perhaps it’s his personality, something he will find out in a short amount of time. But he shops, as his lady friends have already spoken with the merchant, as he listens to what Holly has to say.

    “This is our friend we spoke of. We told you he would come to town, not ready to go out into the dungeons. So we need for you to size him up, and put together a suitable set of armor if you would please.”

    The merchant looks over Edwin a bit, while letting out a couple of gasps at what he sees. This is turn concerns Edwin as Holly walks off to do a little shopping, while Ryia stands at his side.

    “So, young master, what class have you picked, if I may ask? This is very important to picking out the best armor for your use.”

    Edwin pauses for a moment. He knows his dominant class is a fighter, but the training he has done under Holly was more of a rogue. Not much with fighter class. So, he looks up at the merchant to ask a question of his own.

    “Sir, what do you have for a fighter with training in rogue arts?”

    “Hmmm, well now, a fighter with a rogue’s training. That is something special. I will be right back, young master. I think I have just the right setup for what you will be needing.”

    Edwin watches as the merchant disappears to the back of the building, as Ryia smiles wide at what is about to happen to him. She knows all too well from her own armor set she got from this same place. Before he can question her, the merchant returns with a set of leather armor, and a what looks to be a plain dark cloak.

    This set of armor has are fairly squared shoulders, quite narrow and quite large. They’re decorated with a lion’s head on one side. It protected the upper arms by rounded, layered metal rerebraces which sit well under the shoulder plates. Vambraces, which have a small axe head attached on each outer side, sharp enough to be used as a weapon, covered the lower arms. They made the breastplate of one large piece of leather, which sits perfectly just under the shoulders. It covers the entire front and backside, but the attachment straps leave the sides under the arms exposed. It covered the upper legs with squared, layered leather cuisses. Leather shin guards, which have a layer of chain-mail covering the outer sides, protected the lower legs. They wear thin cloth pants beneath this all. To finish it all off, the merchant rolls out the black cloak with a smile. It seems to shimmer in the light. Little it’s not really there, but it is.

    “This should do nicely, young master, found what you told me. This is the best I can do for you.”

    Edwin inspects, but is a little disappointed that it’s not a pure fighters armor set, and gives the merchant a puzzled look. But he still gets a smile in return, as the merchant now points to the far side of the room to a dressing area, and Edwin knows it would be rude to not at least try on the outfit.

    “Go on, Edwin, hurry and try it on. I want to get a good look at what we paid for.”

    That ended the sound argument before he could say a word. If his friend got this for him, he better at least try it on. So he takes up the items and quickly heads off to put it all on.

    After a few minutes, he returns fully dressed out in his new armor. It fit him like a glove, and even the hooded cloak bends in with the look of the leather armor. Somehow it all feels alive to him, like a second skin, one that makes his moves feel a little easier. The merchant moves over to get a better look, and checks the fit of the armor, then pats him on the back.

    “I knew it would look good on you. Nothing but the finest for a shadow blade like yourself.”

    “A Shadow blade?”, questions Edwin to the merchant while looking over his armor now.

    But Ryia walks over to adjust a few parts of the armor on his shoulders, then replies to him.

    “You have Holly to thank for that. Her training you in the rogue arts gave you the skills to make you a Shadow blade type, so we had this armor made to help you when using those skill sets.”

    “I know, but she told me it wouldn’t hurt my training as a fighter, so you telling me I can’t be a pure fighter now?”

    Holly, now moving from behind him with a few items, drops them on the table next to the merchant, then with her free hand smacks Edwin on the back of his head.

    “No, you bigger dummy. If you want to be a pure fighter, you can still do it, but as of right now, you are a more shadow blade. Why not embrace that life, and see if you like it?”

    “Yes, young master, why not try your skill in stealth? The cloak I made for you helps in that. It gives you a skill boost when using it.”

    “My Stealth skill? I don’t have a….”

    Edwin gets another slap on the back of the head, then turns to give Holly a hard look, then understands she showed him how to enter the shadows long ago. But it was a simple trick, one that didn’t last longer than a few seconds.

    “I can’t believe you forgot how to do a simple shadow walk. Do I have to show it to you all over again!?”

    “No! No, I got this. Just give me a moment, okay?”

    Now thinking back, he remembers the step, then the focus on how to move into shadows. The trick was doing it when people weren’t watching him, but all eyes were on him now, and he didn’t see how this skill will work being seen.

    “Young master, try pulling up your hood and let it hide your face.”

    Edwin looks puzzled by this, does as he is told, and a strange feeling rushes over his body. He looks down to see his arms are harder to see, like they phased in and out of sight, then his body phases out. How can this be he wonders? Then it hits him. It’s the cloak, so not wasting time, he does the shadow walk and vanishes from sight.

    Holly claps her hands to show her excitement. Knowing he finally did what they practice for so long. Even if it took the help of the enchanted cloak, it’s not something a person could do without the right training.

    He returns from the shadows, now looking a little amazed by what he did. Then Holly remembers his dagger, and motions for him to show it to the merchant. Edwin, pausing for a second, doesn’t feel it’s a good idea to flash it about, but he trusts Holly, so he takes it out to show it off.

    “Oh, young master, you have a very special dagger in your hands. But wait, where have I seen that one before?”

    The merchant thinks a bit, then his eyes widen, and he rushes to the back of his shop. Edwin and his friends wonder maybe it wasn’t a good idea showing the blade off. Then The merchant returns holding a long box.

    “Oh, it must have been faith that put you on my doorstep this day, young master. I always felt this dagger was one of a kind until you showed me yours. This is faith indeed.”

    They all watch as the merchant takes his dagger out of the box, and it’s a perfect match for the one Edwin holds. Both blades have the same elvish makings on the handle, and it slightly curved the blade at the end.

    When Edwin moves closer to get a better look, his blade feels warm to the touch, and the second blade looks to glow a dull green. He looks to the merchant to get his okay to pick up the blade, and he gives a friendly smile, saying it’s fine. But when he puts his hand up to take it, the blade lifts from the table, and the hilt moves to Edwin’s free hand. He takes hold of it out of pure reaction and looks back at the merchant with a bit of shock on his face.

    “Well, that settles it. That dagger is for you. It knows it’s master, and you look to be the one.”

    “But I only had the one dagger just given me a few days ago by my father. I have not seen this second one before, or knew there was one. How can I claim it as mine?”

    “Well, no, it’s bonded to you, and I can’t sell it to no one else. So, I will just added t to your overall cost at a discount. I think it’s only far, since you have the twin dagger to make a set. No worries young master, I am still making a profit on this deal. I am just glad that the dagger has found a suitable home.”

    Edwin, still with a puzzled look on his face, feels the weight of the new dagger, and just like his first one, it matches its weight equally. He finds these daggers are very easy to move around now, like they want to seek his targets, and make it very easy for him to strike out to end them.

    After waving them about a few more times, he looks up to see both Holly and Ryia getting a little annoyed with him trashing about with his new toys. So he quickly puts his old dagger away, and then the second one, as the merchant concludes his business with them. He waves a goodbye, as Holly now rushes both Ryia and Edwin out of the store. She knows they are a little behind time in meeting the others, so they quickly pick up the pace.

    Edwin can’t help but wonder where the merchant got this second blade from, and he turns to the sight of the merchant waving goodbye to him as he fades from sight. This makes him very concerned, and he turns to Holly for an answer. But all she does is point to the sign on the door as then leave. It states the store is closed, and with the can hear locks turning into place and the lights go out inside. Was this place open just for them? It’s a question he will ask later, as Holly quickens her pace to go joint the others, with Ryia in tow. He rushes to keep pass, knowing he better not lose sight of his friends, or he will get a good dressing down from Holly if he loses her again.
  • granthorgranthor Member
    edited October 2022
    The path was a quick whined through the woods, as Holly leads Ryia and Edwin to where the others were waiting. He can see the forest was humble, light, and rich. Dogwood, birch, and yew, who let through enough dancing beams of sunshine for a hodgepodge of sprouts to take advantage of the boulder covered grounds below, claimed its canopy. Coiling creepers embraced most trees, and a medley of flowers, which blossomed brightly, added some bright touches to the otherwise unvarying forest floor. A cacophony of beastly noises, most of which were birds and insects, brightened up the forest, and accompanied by the sound of the wind blowing gently through the forest.

    As they make a last turn, ahead of them are Knox, Eddie, Justin, Owen and Jade, all waiting around as a few other groups move ahead of them. This must be the area they told him about, the tome in the woods, where they been gaining experience during their time at the nearby town. He can see a pair of modest worn statues guarding an old stone archway, marking the entrance to this worn out place. But he stands looking at awe at the place, as a feeling of wonder fills his body. Beyond the worn statues lies a massive tome and has a ramp to lead underground in its face.

    Edwin turns to look at the others, but before he can say a word, Justin quickly moves to his side, now wrapping his right arm over his shoulder.

    “You’re not getting cold feet on us now? This place isn’t so bad, it’s got good loot, and a lot of experiences. You will be fine here.”

    “No, that’s not it. I look forward to the challenge. I just never seen a place like this before.”

    “That’s the spirit. Let’s take the bull by the horns and push onward.”

    Justin slaps him on the back, and rushes ahead to walk in with Knox, who takes the lead for the group of friends. As they enter the mouth of the tome, they enter a room full of broken pottery, moss and old books, and in the middle resting on a fallen stone Lilly and Jack sit waving. Both wear shiny armor, something you would see on knights or paladins. Then Edwin remembers Lilly is a paladin and Jack is a knight, and he gives them both a crossed look, as he was wondering where they were yesterday. But here they sit, smiling and waving to the group.

    “It’s about time you all showed up. I was thinking you changed your minds coming here today.”, says Jack, now jumping to his feet.

    “It’s not our fault, we had to get Edwin ready after all.”, says Knox with a frown.

    “Oh, don’t give them any grief Jack, it was his birthday, and we were off getting a gift. It took us so long, we missed the party.”

    Lilly stands up from the stone and walks over to Edwin. Then, with a smile on her face, she takes out something from a pouch on her side, then hangs it around his neck. It’s a medallion in the shape of a snake, with a red gemstone in the center. He gives her a questioning look, speaks to him once more.

    “It’s a charm to help keep you safe. A gift from Jack and I. I hope you like it?”

    “It’s different, but interesting to look at. I will treasure it always.”

    “Glad you like it, Edwin. Now, if everyone is ready, let’s press on into the tome. Before the other groups find all the good stuff.”, says Jack.

    The group lights touch and move on with Jack, Knox and Lilly in the lead potions, and Holly moves off to scout ahead of the group. Eddie and Justin move on the flanks of the group, with Own and Ryia in the middle. Ryia, being who she is, summoned an enormous wolf to walk next to her for extra protection in this place. Jade moves to walk with Edwin, who turn feels very nervous. He likes her a lot, and he wants to tell her how he feels, but the words never come out right. He looks at her with nervous eyes, as she now extends a hand out to him.

    “You need to calm down, Edwin. This isn’t the place to fear. Here, hold my hand f t will help.”

    “I am not scared of this place. That’s not the issue.”

    “Well, it’s’s something else.”

    “Well, what is it then?”

    Before he can answer, Justin yells out to them for all to hear.

    “He likes you Jade! Is that so hard to see?”

    Edwin goes red in the face, as a few laughs go within the group, and he can look at Jade now that she knows his actual feelings. But he feels a warm hand take his, and she gives a slight tug on it to get his attention. He she’s a big smile on her face, and with a few words of.

    “I already know, Eddy, but I just wanted to hear it from you and no one else. So do you like me, really?”

    “Y-yes, I do like you a lot. I just didn’t know if you felt the same is all.”

    “Oh Ed, you can be such a boy. Of course I like you, but let’s talk more about this at another time, okay? If we are going to be a couple, we need to know where we both stand.”

    He agrees with her, as this place wasn’t the best place to talk on personal maters. The smell of it alone was a mood killer, and the look of all the old broken items didn’t help.

    Their torches allow them to see broken tables and chairs, aged and butchered by time itself. Further ahead are two paths. They take the left. Its twisted trail leads past long lost rooms and tombs and soon they enter a humid area. There packed rows upon rows of shelves with books or remnants of books. In the center sits a single skeleton. What happened in this place?

    “I got a strange feeling about this place. Plus, where have all the other groups gone off to? We should have seen someone else by now?”, says Owen.

    “Oh, stop your worrying. We are in excellent hands here, and if trouble comes, I am ready.”, says Knox, now flexing his arms a bit.”

    Edwin can’t help but feel the same way, as Jade now moves into the middle with the others, while Owen moves to stand with him. It’s a better spot to be. If trouble does come, it gives them a chance to react to support the others. His job in the group is to help keep the casters and healers safe, while the others meet the danger head on. Holly is his backup, as she moves in the shadows.

    He then watches as Jack singles for the group to press on into a side hall, and with caution, they all move as one. They tread onward, deeper into the tome’s shadows, passing many rooms and passages. Some look awfully familiar, others stranger than everything else. They eventually make it to what is likely the final room. An ominous granite door blocks their path. Large claw marks are all over it, somehow untouched by time and the elements. Holly steps closer to inspect it and.. wait.. she hears a faint laugh coming from behind the door.
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  • granthorgranthor Member
    edited October 2022
    The laugh gives Holly pause for a moment, then she moves closer to get a better listen. The laugh sounds like a person she knows, as it trails off in the distance. Before it goes, she hears a low voice speaking under the other, laughing.
    “It will come for you too, beware, it has come for you now..”

    She backs away from the door with a worried look on her face, then she turns to look at the others with scared eyes. She knows they are in trouble, as the voice on the other side of the door was from a very experienced group. One she knows was one of the best in town, but what made them go mad?

    “So what is going on, Holly? Who is on the other side of the door?”, asks Jack with concern of his own.

    Before she can answer him, the ground shakes, an aftershock from the earthquake the other day, they think. Rocks and boulders fall from above, and the group tries to stay on their feet. Before anyone react, the way into the room was sealed off by a large cave in, and closes the opening up tight. The ground settles down now, and everyone regains their footing. They all stare at the closed doorway now, as Jade moved forward to cast a fireball spell. She focuses her energy on the spell, then lifts her hand to send it off to strike the rubble. A large explosion happens, but all the happens next is more rock fall covering the opening more.

    “It’s no good Jade. We need to find a different way out. I can see an opening in the wall to the left. It must have happened when the ground shook. It's our only hope of getting out of this area.”, says Jack.

    “I don’t know. What about the other behind the door? Should we leave them here?”, asks Owen, looking a bit scared.

    “I agree with Jack, lets find our way out first, then we can talk about returning to find the others. It will do us no good if we all get trapped down here.”, says Knox, picking up his weapon that fell to the ground.

    Edwin stands with Holly now, as she looked at him with a forced smile. He knows they are in trouble, but maybe they can find a different way out of the tomb. He watches as each of them squeezes through the large crack in the wall, as he gets pushed through with Holly to his rear. He knows she means best, but he is moving a little slowly for her taste, and that’s why he got a little extra push to let him know. He moves along the tight opening, pulling himself along, while he scrapes the sides with his body. It's tight in this area, but not got the point they can get through it. He finally makes it to the other side, and he can barely see what’s in his surroundings.
    A few torches are lit as the group fan out to inspect the opening. With the better light, Edwin can see two paths further ahead, but the left is a dead end. Its twisted trail leads past collapsed rooms and braziers scattered around. The group presses onward, passing various passages. Some have collapsed, others are dead ends or too dangerous to try. Edwin feels they will never get out of this place, as they turn another cross to lead down a large hall. Moving down there, they eventually make it to another large room. A tall metal door blocks their path. Dire warning messages are all over it, somehow untouched by time and the elements. Holly steps closer to inspect it and.. wait.. was that a growl coming from behind the door? She steps back from it, only to feel her foot sink into the ground behind her.

    “Blast it all. I set off a trap. How could I be so careless?!”, Holly thinks to herself.

    She retreats away from the door as it slowly opens in front of them. The others get ready to fight, while a fowl smell now floods the room, and in the doorway a pair of large red glowing eyes. A huge roar rolls through the air, as fear takes hold of them all. Edwin pulls his blades out, as his heart beats heavily, while he watches the thing come into the light. Two jagged horns adorn a swollen head, they cover it with glowing tattoos. The smell of death escapes the creature's thin nostrils set within a compact nose. Its swollen head sits atop a thick, fleshy body. The creature advances toward them, its four legs fumblingly carry its draconian body with a furious energy. A tendril-like tail follows behind it, which itself almost seems like a separate, serpentine creature. Two narrow wings extend themselves fully. Blackened bones and intense flames stretch upward as the creature's eyes were still affixed on Jade. She knows the fight is coming her way first, while the others move to guard her closely, and she launches fiery attacks into the creature. The flames seem to be absorbed by the creature, as it now sends its own flame attack toward the group. An explosion of fire sends everyone flying in different directions, knocking everyone to the ground.
    Edwin finds himself pressed against a wall, with his weapons now on the ground. He quickly takes hold of them again, now watching as the fighters of his group regain their footing quickly and launch attacks into the monster in front of them. The other are doing the best they can to fight this monster, dodging its attacks, while trying to cause as much damage as they can. He figures maybe he can get behind it with a shadow attack, but it moves with great speed, and the top attackers in his party struggle to keep pace with it. He looks over at Jade while she launches new attacks of lightning. Then the ground shakes once more. This isn’t good, as Edwin fights to keep his footing, then he sees the ground split behind Jade. He yells to her to get out of the way, but her focus is on attacking the monster. So he fights to keep his footing on the shaking ground, rush as fast as he can. She turns to see him jumping through the air, and she sees at the last minute the ground opening near her feet. Edwin pushes her out of the way, but the openings were too great for him to escape, and he falls into the darkness below him. He looks up at the sight of Jade looking down at him with an outstretched hand, yelling his name, as he figures this is the end of his life. At least he could save her, the girl he likes so much. If this is his last act in this world, so be it. The darkness takes him as he continues to fall.
  • It’s dark, too dark to see, but yet Edwin finds himself alone in this darkness. He figures maybe he is dead, but a shooting pain in his left arm quickly tells him he is very much alive. Maybe he broke it when he fell, but just how far down did he go? There isn’t any light to be found, and it’s dead quiet. It gives him great concern, as he tries to feel around with his good hand. There are large rocks he can tell next to him, then after feeling around a bit more, he feels his travel bag. He gives a slight sigh of relief as he feels for the opening to his pack. But how did he survive the fall in the first place? Then is strikes him that charm Lilly gave him, maybe it protected him from the fall. He feels the area around his chest where it rests, and he feels there is a small crack running through the middle of it. This charm might have saved him from the drop, but it feels like its power used up in doing so.
    The sound of a drop of water gets his attention in the darkness. It echoes off the walls, but it sounds like it’s not very close. The feeling of a slight breeze comes from that direction too, and he feels there must be a way out of this dark place. Before he tries to find the way out, he must deal with his broken arm, and he feels around in his pack t take out a potion. He knows there were only healing ones in his bag, so there was no danger of drinking down something else. With one motion, he pops the top, and drinks down the bitter sweet potion, as he feels his bad arm tingle. The pain quickly fades as he flexes his left hand into a fist. With the pain now gone, he feels around in his pack a bit more, and takes out the small torch he had packed away. Then he feels around his pockets, then finds his flint, and after feeling around on the ground a bit more, he picks up a small rock.
    This will not be easy to light it in this black void, but he makes slight movements, and keeps everything very close, as he readies himself to light the torch. He sits with the end of the torch between his legs, and he feels for the top of it. Then, with flint in one hand and the rock in the other, he quickly strikes them together. Sparks fly with a few flashes of light, showing his dirty face with each spark, until finally he gets the torch to light.
    He stands slowly with the torch extended, trying to see his surroundings, but with his limited light he can only see what’s right in front of him. There are more rocks at his feet, so he picks a few up. If he can’t see too far, at least he should get a starting point. So he takes one rock and throws it at his front. He listens for it to hit, but he hears in bounce off into the darkness. Then turning he repeats tossing a second rock, but still the same, then again with a third rock. But still the sound of it bouncing trails off into the void. Now the last rock he throws quickly hits an unseen wall, and bounces back toward him, and he gets a small wince of joy as he moves in that direction.
    With a few carefully placed steps, he stands next to the cave wall. It’s smooth and wet from moisture, and he can’t see if here is a ceiling higher up. But again the sound of water drops gets his attention, as the sound continues from his left. It only makes sense, seeing how there is water on the side of the walls, with a touch of moss, so he moves to find the source of the dripping water.
    Slowing, making his way closer to the source, he can make out a faint purplish glow. This gives him some hope of a way out. He quickens his pace a bit, being careful not to trip over fallen rocks by the side of the cave wall. Time feels like it’s slowing down with each step he takes, not knowing where he is going, or if he will find a way out.
    The glow ahead of him gets brighter, to the point he can kill the flame on his torch, and he has hope of finding his way out after feeling a blast of fresh air. He takes a few more steps until he finally reaches a huge opening from the cave he is standing in. The sight of it all is a wonder to behold, a huge underground area filled with tall glowing mushrooms and other glowing planets. Slowly, he takes a few steps into the vast underground world, and his mind is ablaze with excitement. Never has he seen such a sight. The hues of colors are mind blowing, from the lines of orange glow under the mushrooms to the purplish glow of a few of the plants. He even almost missed the part where there were glowing crystal dotting the area, giving off most of the lighting in this space, along with a small stream of fresh water cutting through the middle of it all. He wishes the others could be here, but right now, his focus has to switch to finding an exit to the wondrous place.
    After refreshing himself with a bit of water from the small stream, and doing an inventory of his items on his body in his pack. Edwin looks for the way out, but it doesn’t look easy as he walks in this vast area underground. He gets lost in this area, not in the wince of not being found, but more in the fact of how beautiful everything is. So much so he missed the part of a movement from behind him, but as he continues to walk among the planets, he hears the sounds of movement around him. This gives him pause as he takes hold of his blades. He looks around, and to his horror, smaller mushrooms look to be tracking him. They are a little bigger than him, and he counts about twenty. This isn’t a fight he can win, and using his skill to shadow walk, he quickly moves from sight.
    The large mushroom seems to stop in place. Maybe they track by sight, but it’s something he will need to take better care to watch out for in the future. He can’t afford to get into any type of combat down here without some type of backup. But he keeps his weapons handy just in case, as he moves away from the small group of enemies. He moves with better care now, staying clear of the mushrooms that move, and looking around for other unseen enemies. He sees other animal types down here, things he has never seen before, and he struggles to figure out what it reminds him of, but right now isn’t the time to explore and catalog new things. This is something for others to do, but in his case, he only ants to get back to the surface.
    After a couple more hours in this place, he gets a feeling of being watched. How can someone see him now? He was very careful to stay in the shadows? But there it was again, the feeling of someone watching him, not only watching but also tracking him. This was part of his training with Holly, to know when you’re being tracked, and to find the best way of escape. He knows that lesson all too well, as she hammered it into his mind so many times. But who ever is out there, they must have the rouge skills. Holly told him that only a true rough could track him easily, as he wasn’t a true rough at heart. So there he was, trying his best to hasten away from this person now placing their gaze upon him. But maybe it was someone that was looking for him? No, if that was the case, they would have called to him. He panics a little, then takes a fall into the middle of a group of mushroom, and they quickly spring into action to move his way.
    Edwin can’t believe he let himself get into this situation, and now it looks like he is in a terrible spot, as ten mushrooms move to attack him. He pulls his blades out to defend himself, then he feels a pain shoot up his leg. He must have twisted his foot when he fell. That’s not good at all, he thinks to himself, as the enemy moves in closer. Edwin fights to stand up, now getting ready to strike out, while a volley of arrows sings out to strike down all the enemies in front of him. He watches as all the mushrooms fall dead onto the ground, and he turns to see a group of green tribal people. They have pointed chins, noses and ears, each with markers on their faces, along with what looks to be jewelry. They all look to be much taller than him, along with being large and ‘buff’ in appearance. He hears more of them, and turns to see a couple of arrow tips pointed at him, with the bows pulled back, ready to strike. He figures he stumbled onto their hunting grounds, and now he was part of the hunt.
    To his surprise, a reddish female moves out from the shadows and walks his way. She is not buff as the others, but she shares the same pointed face with what looks to be tusks from her mouth. Her body is still tight with muscles, and she holds out her hand to Edwin, now pointing at his weapons. He knows all too well what she wants from him, as more hunters come up from behind him. He knows there is no escape, and he has two options he can see. Fight and die, or give up and see what happens next. The female moves in closer, looking him in the eyes, as she again motions for his weapons. So, he does what he figures is his only option, and hands over both is daggers. He then feels other hands grab hold of him from behind, as they took his bag from him, and his hands are quick bonded. Then, with a quick kick to his back knees, it forced him to the ground, and one of the larger males draws his sword out to end Edwin’s life. But the reddish female quickly stands between him and the large blade that was going to end him. He doesn’t understand the language they are speaking, it’s in the Orcish tongue and he doesn’t know it, but for what he knows of body language, she isn’t in agreement to ending his life.
    The reddish female then turns to Edwin, and picks him up from the ground, then puts a collar around his neck, and leads him away as the others cutup the fallen mushrooms. Is he to be a slave, or a pet for sport? Why did she save him, and for what reason? There were question on top of questions in his mind, as she leads him deeper into the vast area, and his only thought now was will he ever see his friends again.
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