First Fey (WIP revisited and continued)

The party had been following him for days. This was the closest they’d been to catching him in a month. To be fair, it was the closest anyone had been to catching him ever. Barrus was a wanted man in three separate courts, at the same time, he was also venerated in several more.

They had followed him over the mountains out of the nation, over into the wild-lands. Out there, man, beast, ork, and all manner of civilized and uncivilized beings lived and called home. Much of the land wasn’t fertile,  just open plains with few resources not really suitable to build a nation on. It had been free land, land of nomads, tribes, and small kingdoms for countless generations, simply because the land was otherwise of no value.

They continued to follow him still. Up into the mountainous regions where the hardy elven peoples toiled endlessly inside the earth. Then they followed him south, nearing the true elven lands. Here, one could get lost and never seen again, or simply walk right past or through a grand elven city, and never realize they’d been in anything other than forest. Here, the world was thin, worn away by existence, closer to the aether almost than to the earth. Simple folk called it enchanted, magical, mystical, or even arcane. For those who don’t understand, those words work well enough. For those who do understand though, they simply called it Fey.

Unfortunately, Rothick knew Fey. And Fey is just what had found them.

***

“Hurry up! You don’t want to get left behind!” Charlz called out. He was half jogging away in chuckling, half running for his very life. He’d managed to shoot a deer in the forest for dinner for the troupe, but before they had managed to clean half the carcass, a larger, nastier creature had set upon them.

“You half-monkey arse wipe! I’ll be damned if you leave me here! I’ll eat you myself if we don’t make it!” Meje called back, more running for his life than anything, burdened by his gear. The two of them made it back to camp with barely enough meat for a small stew split between everyone.

“I tell you it was a giant ursid! Teeth and fangs as long as my knife! Longer than a mans hands! Ugly as hell, came right upon us! Lazy creature, running us off from our deer, I bet you it just waited for us to clean it for it, damnable animal.” Charlz half mused half sulked.

“Aye it was ugly, I’ll give you that. But it wasn’t an ursid like I’ve ever seen. It was big, but I think it was more like a great wolf.. beast.. Thing… like an ugly overgrown hound. Did you see how it came at us? Ursid don’t jump, they don’t pounce. This did. It was a dog type creature for sure.”

“Are you daft?! No dog gets that big, not even great wolves! No, it was a bear thing I’m sure of it” Charlz retorted. The two of them continued to banter back and forth as they helped Huck cook dinner for the ten of them. Descriptions of the strange beast went on, each more fanciful and more descriptive than the last. By the time they were done, the beast could have had two eyes or a dozen, it’s head big a an ox, and a maw that could eat a man whole. Every person at the fire had a different image in their head. Rothick had heard of strange beasts before, and seen several himself, though he suspected that whatever happened upon his fellows here was probably nothing more than a half-seen local beast.  It was probably no scarier than a simple bear, and whatever the half-unseen part had been filled in by their imagination and competitive storytelling.
The next morning they continued on the old road through the forest. By nightfall the follow day they would have reached their destination, the first of the small courts, an elven city. Rothick had hoped they’d have reached elven lands sooner, but they had to follow every lead found tracking Barrus down. The last they’d heard he’d retreated to the elven lands through this city, but not after they’d been sent the wrong direction into the mountains. Wrong elves it seems. But what could he expect from people who’d never traveled more than a few days from their home? They couldn’t tell a mountain dweller from a forest denizen from a sailor when it came to elves.

Koontz was the first to go down. Pounced on from behind, then carried off into the forest in the confusion. Rothick was snapped into attention by his screams. He had no care nor compassion for Koontz, who was a simple hired sword on the journey in it only for the reward, but hearing a man getting eaten by a predatory beast simply wasn’t something someone didn’t notice.

“Body of God! Oh dear sweet merciful~!” Charlz was loosing a stream of curses, profanity, and swearing “Where is my sword? Out of my way you~” tripping over himself and Huck, and anyone else nearby “There! It’s over there jackass! Shoot it! Dear lord shoot it!”

“Quickly! Follow me!” Rothick commanded. He saw the beast running off into the forest, and quickly gave chase. The Piper, and another of the mercenaries where the only ones to follow at first, shortly followed by Meje and then everyone else with Charlz and Huck once they’d picked themselves up.
Piper and Rothick ran after the beast, which came to a small clearing and turned around. Koontz was beating at the beast with his fists, desperately trying to free himself. The beast threw him up in the air, caught him with his maw yet again, and thrashed him about a few times, then threw him into the ground. His body bashing into the ground, Koontz would move no more. He was broken, and the last bit of his life faded from his eyes. The beast was now protecting it’s prize.

In the clearing, one could finally see what the beast looked like. Indeed it was the size of a bear, but it had far more canine features. . It’s shape was probably closer to that of a bull-dog and a jaguar combined. Large fore-limbs, with large paws, clearly suited for climbing and lifting it’s bulk into trees, but it’s face was alien. The beast had short fur, but it’s head was almost just bare skin. It’s maw was long and narrow, but still large enough to consume a small child whole, and it did indeed have more than just one set of eyes. Someone shot at the beast with their bow, and it impacted and sunk into the meat of it’s shoulder.

“EEEERRRROOOOOOOOOAOOAOAOAOARRR” it howled, charging into the group in rage. It’s paws came down on Huck first, slashing his chest open and throwing him onto his back. It then lashed to the side with it’s maw and threw the captain and one of her men back as well. Charlz and Meje lunged in and slashed down on it with their swords, wounding it, but then were thrown back handily themselves. The beast then went in to finish off poor Huck who it still had pinned to the ground.

Rothick murmured a few un-words that he had been taught, and that had been inscribed into his sword. No one could have heard what he had said. Equally so, no one could have NOT seen the oily blue and purple fire dribbling off his sword. The runefire burning brightly off of the hidden inscriptions, they now shone in the daylight as if a lantern was shining out into the darkness. Smoke dripped down from the weeping runes as Rothick near silently spoke in the eld-tongue and moved in. It was so staggering to see, that Meje who was about to lunge back in at the beast was given pause; the beast was terrifying, but this, this was arcane secrets that any normal man rightly feared. The Piper was the only one who seemed unperturbed at this, and merely gave Rothick an acknowledging nod.

Rothick gave a great underhanded swing up into the beasts throat right before it bit down into Huck. He cut through half the throat of the beast and nearly severed it’s head. He reversed his sword and with a cry plunged the sword down into the beasts skull, killing the staggered beast. It collapsed where it stood, half crushing Huck.

Everyone helped move the beast off of Huck, who would survive his wounds, but would scar badly. The Piper set to work bandaging him up the best he could. The other mercenaries checked Koontz’s body. No one got close to Rothick. The captain was the first to make a comment.

“Where your sword hurt the beast, the flesh is charred, as if it was burned, but it is also as if it has been frozen and crackled… What are you?” She demanded. Everyone else stood behind her, using her as a shield between themselves and Rothick.
“I am a man just like the rest of you, that’s all” Rothick said casually, as if this weren’t out of the ordinary.

“No, you are not. That was magic, that was something arcane. Normal men do not possess such power. Who are you and why are you with us? You’re not just a mercenary like the rest of us are in for the reward are you? And neither are you piper, you are the only other person here un-alarmed by this sorcery” She was calm, but also fierce. She was angry. This was her band of men, and their journey after this bounty. They had accepted a few more mercenaries to go along with them, bringing their number from six to ten. Charlz and Meje good woodsmen and guides, the piper was an other sword, and brought his music along with him. She had thought that Rothick was just another sword after the bounty. She liked men who were simple and only in it for the money. They were easy to understand, predictable. You knew how they would act, and what they were after. But now, Rothick, to her, was no longer a sword. He was something she didn’t know how to predict, which made him dangerous, and a threat.

“I demand to know who you are and what you’re doing with us.” Her words had steel in them, they rang with finality. Rothick took a breath, and looked at her. He knew there was no dancing around what he’d just done at this point.

“I told you. I’m just a man. But I’m after more than just the bounty. Once I had heard where Barrus had head off to, I decided to follow along. My journey leads me to the Elven lands, and since he came this way, I decided to join up. Why not earn money and go along with a heavily armed band in the process? I need to eat as well afterall. And my journeys are not free. I just happen to have some extra skill and knowledge your men do not possess.”

“You are dangerous, and I do not like that, I do not trust you.” She almost spat the words. She almost wanted to send him on his way, but she feared his magic, and did not want to have to fight him. She did not know if she could win.

“You have my word. I’m no threat to you, but I do not need everyone to know my secrets either.”

Huck was the next one to speak up. “Ma’am. He saved my life. He may have saved several of our lives. If nothing else, I trust him for that. If he was going to do anything foul to us, he probably would have done so weeks ago.”

She looked at Huck, then back to Rothick. “Fine. You can continue to travel with us till this is over, but I will be watching you. And you! Piper! I’m watching you too! You weren’t alarmed at his magic, so there is something about you that I do not find all too settling.”

With that, she walked off back to her men, and started issuing orders to strip Koontz of his gear and to bury him. It was not the first time she had lost a man, and it would not be the last. It was never a pleasant thing though. And she had not had a very good day at all so far.
They reached a long large stone bridge about midday the following afternoon. It was across a large chasm, beneath a large beautiful river coursed through the ravine, then out into a lake off in the distance. They could see the start of a large city at the edge of the lake below merging and disappearing off into the forest that surrounds it. They were close to their destination.

Before they had walked halfway across the long bridge, something materialized at the end of the bridge. Materialized as if out of smoke, since they simply didn’t walk up to the bridge, but they didn’t just appear either, they were masterfully stealthy. They, because there were many of them, and made even more impressive by their large goat-like horns that protruded from their skulls and back around their ears like a ram, and the fact that each stood half again as tall as the largest man of the captain’s group. In fact, they looked like rams or goats, given human form, and made the size of a giant.

“Elthwere took nacht newiend Dallos” said the large one in the front, seemingly the leader. Taken aback, the captain looked behind them, and unsurprisingly, they were trapped in the middle of the bridge.

“Swords! To arms, with me!” the captain rang out, and her men followed. There was no escape, the only way was through, and they had no advantage but to turn the ambush into a surprise counter attack. If they had hoped for a quick surrender, they would not find it with her.

With a grin (if you could call it that, Meje later said how that visage gave him nightmares), the leader drew his sword and waited the charge. The captain was the first in, sword falling and slashing and bellowing in rage. Each of her blows was deftly deflected by the goat-man’s greatsword. Her men fell in around her swinging, chopping, slashing, raging, all desperate to break through.

At first they seemed to gain a few steps through, almost to the end of the bridge, they just needed to break through so as to not be surrounded. They then failed. They had not managed to hurt a single one of the goat-men. Their slashes would hit, but slide through as if moving through thick black smoke, then the smoke dissipates and the goat-men remain unharmed. Quickly their charge turned to folly, and they where thrown back. Charlz was lifted off the ground by his shirt and thrown three paces back. Someone gave a scream as their arm was nearly slashed through, and the captain herself was kicked in the chest by a hoof that threw her back messily in a pile next to Charlz. They were failing, and they were being pushed back. Clopping could be heard as other goat-men closed in from the other side of the bridge. They were trapped, and the trap was closing in.

Rothick quickly spat out some eld-tongue un-words, “Nicht Elthwere, Dos lemn-du TOOK CHA’R’WE NAH!” The charging goat-men were staggered as a sudden wind blew across the bridge. Anyone over six feet tall was hit with an iron wind, blown from the east. This mostly messed up the human’s hair, but the goat men standing so much taller, took it in the chest and were pushed over. This gave Rothick a chance to close in on his own terms.

“Ta’r’e Du, Nicht dos Haw-THRoom, Na’iervahre” A voice rang out, but not in the ears, but in the minds of all those present. The words their mind heard was an echo of the words just spoken by Rothick, the echo “Turn you, Not to, Hand Thrown, never there,” Astonished, the goat-man gave pause. Rothcik punched through the first goat man, and the force threw all those before him back. The next unwords he spoke ignited the bindings on his sword and the runes began to dribble their oily smoke and fire, and he lunged in. The lead goat-man back on his feet met Rothick, but he was unprepared for such an attack. Each time their steel met, Rothick’s sword would freeze and chip into the other’s, biting it. The goat-man began to lose ground, but it would not last. Rothick was outnumbered and eventually he could not keep up the blows enough to hold them all off.

Slashed, lower left leg. Stabbed, right arm. Cut, right rib, hit, left hand. Kicked, left leg, knee down. Blocked, then staggered back. Rothick fell. He was losing the fight. One of the next few blows would be the last. One of the next few blows would end him.
They did not fall.

“Dallos nacht Niewiend, nicht-tach, I have an offer for you” said the Piper. Squinting into a grimace, the goat man held off his fellows and spoke spoke in Anglic. “Who taught you how to speak our language, little man? You are not of the Fey-land, and have no fey-spirit in your blood. This one here  now’s some of the eld-tongue but speaks it as most of your kind do. Awkwardly, haltingly. And here you speak our language as if you were reared it.”

The next few words spoken by the piper were not understood even by Rothick, since they weren’t just un-words, they were true language. The eld-tongue is the mother of all the fey languages, and share many things in common, but Rothick was still learning more and more of it, and it is not spoken as a language even in the elven lands. He could not however speak fluently in the elven tongues, much less the dialect spoken by the goat-men.

“What’s going on?” The captain asked Rothick, pulling him over to the rest of their small group, those left standing or not. “I don’t know. I don’t really understand what they’re saying. Something about a song, or their mother, I don’t know..”

“Silence manling! Piper. You may play.”

The goat man rested his hands on the pommel of his sword, standing with his sword tip on the ground, and closed his eyes and listened as the piper began to play.

“I don’t get it, what’s going on Captain?” Meje was the first to ask after a minute or two of silence. Rothick was the one to answer him “The Piper is playing something, but it’s not something for our ears to hear, it’s not in a tone we can possibly hear.. How he learned to play something like that I don’t know.”

Minutes passed. The sun slowly moved overhead. A few low melancholy notes here or there could be heard occasionally. The goat-men stood silent, all listening attentively, and stood as if they were stone. After what seemed like an age, the piper stopped playing.

“You may pass. Thank you Piper.” The goat men stood aside, and a path was cleared for the group to pass through, helping the wounded along slowly. The Captain, Rothick, and the others could see tears streaming down the eyes of many of the goat-men. They all stood silently with their eyes closed until they had passed, they then turned and walked away as if walking into black smoke and they were gone. More than a few of the men were wild eyed and bewildered. No one knew what had just transpired.

“Piper, what did you just do? What was that song?” Rothick questioned. These were a type of the Fey to be found here, and an armed band of them, highway bandits, but on a much higher level than could be found in human lands. They should not and would not have survived but for this odd series of events.
“All-mother’s song. A song I wish never to have to play again.”

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First Fey

The party had been following him for days. This was the closest they’d been to catching him in a month. To be fair, it was the closest anyone had been to catching him ever. Barrus was a wanted man in three separate courts, at the same time, he was also venerated in several more.

They had followed him over the mountains out of the nation, over into the wild-lands. Out there, man, beast, ork, and all manner of civilized and uncivilized beings lived and called home. Much of the land wasn’t fertile,  just open plains with few resources not really suitable to build a nation on. It had been free land, land of nomads, tribes, and small kingdoms for countless generations, simply because the land was otherwise of no value.

They continued to follow him still. Up into the mountainous regions where the hardy elven peoples toiled endlessly inside the earth. Then they followed him south, nearing the true elven lands. Here, one could get lost and never seen again, or simply walk right past or through a grand elven city, and never realize they’d been in anything other than forest. Here, the world was thin, worn away by existence, closer to the aether almost than to the earth. Simple folk called it enchanted, magical, mystical, or even arcane. For those who don’t understand, those words work well enough. For those who do understand though, they simply called it Fey.

Unfortunately, Rothick knew Fey. And Fey is just what had found them.

***

“Hurry up! You don’t want to get left behind!” Charlz called out. He was half jogging away in chuckling, half running for his very life. He’d managed to shoot a deer in the forest for dinner for the troupe, but before they had managed to clean half the carcass, a larger, nastier creature had set upon them.

“You half-monkey arse wipe! I’ll be damned if you leave me here! I’ll eat you myself if we don’t make it!” Meje called back, more running for his life than anything, burdened by his gear. The two of them made it back to camp with barely enough meat for a small stew split between everyone.

“I tell you it was a giant ursid! Teeth and fangs as long as my knife! Longer than a mans hands! Ugly as hell, came right upon us! Lazy creature, running us off from our deer, I bet you it just waited for us to clean it for it, damnable animal.” Charlz half mused half sulked.

“Aye it was ugly, I’ll give you that. But it wasn’t an ursid like I’ve ever seen. It was big, but I think it was more like a great wolf.. beast.. Thing… like an ugly overgrown hound. Did you see how it came at us? Ursid don’t jump, they don’t pounce. This did. It was a dog type creature for sure.”

“Are you daft?! No dog gets that big, not even great wolves! No, it was a bear thing I’m sure of it” Charlz retorted. The two of them continued to banter back and forth as they helped Huck cook dinner for the ten of them. Descriptions of the strange beast went on, each more fanciful and more descriptive than the last. By the time they were done, the beast could have had two eyes or a dozen, it’s head big a an ox, and a maw that could eat a man whole. Every person at the fire had a different image in their head. Rothick had heard of strange beasts before, and seen several himself, though he suspected that whatever happened upon his fellows here was probably nothing more than a half-seen local beast.  It was probably no scarier than a simple bear, and whatever the half-unseen part had been filled in by their imagination and competitive storytelling.
The next morning they continued on the old road through the forest. By nightfall the follow day they would have reached their destination, the first of the small courts, an elven city. Rothick had hoped they’d have reached elven lands sooner, but they had to follow every lead found tracking Barrus down. The last they’d heard he’d retreated to the elven lands through this city, but not after they’d been sent the wrong direction into the mountains. Wrong elves it seems. But what could he expect from people who’d never traveled more than a few days from their home? They couldn’t tell a mountain dweller from a forest dweller from a sailor when it came to elves.

Koontz was the first to go down. Pounced on from behind, then carried off into the forest in the confusion. Rothick was snapped into attention by his screams. He had no care nor compassion for Koontz, who was a simple hired sword on the journey in it only for the reward, but hearing a man getting eaten by a predatory beast wasn’t something someone simply didn’t notice.

“Body of God! Oh dear sweet merciful~!” Charlz was loosing a stream of curses, profanity, and swearing “Where is my sword? Out of my way you~” tripping over himself and Huck, and anyone else nearby “There! It’s over there jackass! Shoot it! Dear lord shoot it!”

“Quickly! Follow me!” Rothick commanded. He saw the beast running off into the forest, and quickly gave chase. The Piper, and another of the mercenaries where the only ones to follow at first, shortly followed by Meje and then everyone else with Charlz and Huck once they’d picked themselves up.
Piper and Rothick ran after the beast, which came to a small clearing and turned around. Koontz was beating at the beast with his fists, desperately trying to free himself. The beast threw him up in the air, bit down on him again, and thrashed him about a few times, then threw him into the ground. His body bashing into the ground, he would move no more, he was broken, and the last bit of his life faded from his eyes. The beast was now protecting it’s prize.

In the clearing, one could finally see what the beast looked like. Indeed it was the size of a bear, but it had far more canine features. . It’s shape was probably closer to that of a bull-dog and a jaguar combined.Large fore-limbs, with large paws, clearly suited for climbing and lifting it’s bulk into trees, but it’s face was alien. The beast had short fur, but it’s head was almost just bare skin. It’s maw was long and narrow, but still large enough to consume a small child whole, and it did indeed have more than just one set of eyes. Someone shot at the beast with their bow, and it impacted and sunk into the meat of it’s shoulder.

That set the beast off. It charged into the group in rage. It’s paws came down on Huck first, slashing his chest open and throwing him onto his back. It then lashed to the side with it’s maw and threw the captain and one of his men back as well. Charlz and Meje lunged in and slashed down on it with their swords, wounding it, but then were thrown back handily themselves. The beast then went in to finish off poor Huck who it still had pinned to the ground.

Rothick murmured a few un-words that he had been taught, and that had been inscribed into his sword. No one could have heard what he had said. Equally so, no one could have missed the oily blue and purple smoke and fire dribbling off his sword. The runefire burning brightly off of the hidden inscriptions, they now shone in the daylight as if a lantern was shining out into the darkness.The beast was an animal, but this, this was arcane secrets that any normal man rightly feared. It was so staggering to see, that Meje who was about to lunge back in at the beast was given pause. The Piper was the only one who seemed unperturbed at this, and merely gave Rothick an acknowledging nod.

Rothick gave a great underhanded swing up into the beasts throat right before it bit down into Huck. He cut through half the throat of the beast and nearly severed it’s head. He reversed his sword and with a cry plunged the sword down into the beasts skull, killing the staggered beast. It collapsed where it stood, half crushing Huck.

Everyone helped move the beast off of Huck, who would survive his wounds, but would scar badly. The Piper set to work bandaging him up the best he could. The other mercenaries checked Koontz’s body. No one got close to Rothick. The captain was the first to make a comment.

“Where your sword hurt the beast, the flesh is charred, as if it was burned, but it is also as if it has been frozen and crackled… What are you?” She demanded. Everyone else stood behind her, using her as a shield between themselves and Rothick.
“I am a man just like the rest of you, that’s all” Rothick said casually, as if this weren’t out of the ordinary.

“No, you are not. That was magic, that was something arcane. Normal men do not possess such power. Who are you and why are you with us? You’re not just a mercenary like the rest of us are in for the reward are you? And neither are you piper, you are the only other person here un-alarmed by this sorcery” She was calm, but also fierce. She was angry. This was her band of men, and their journey after this bounty. They had accepted a few more mercenaries to go along with them, bringing their number from six to ten. Charlz and Meje good woodsmen and guides, the piper was an other sword, and brought his music along with him. She had thought that Rothick was just another sword after the bounty. She liked men who were simple and only in it for the money. They were easy to understand, predictable. You knew how they would act, and what they were after. But now, Rothick, to her, was no longer a sword. He was something she didn’t know how to predict, which made him dangerous, and a threat.

“I demand to know who you are and what you’re doing with us.” Her words had steel in them, they had finality. Rothick took a breath, and looked at her. He knew there was no dancing around what he’d just done at this point.

“I told you. I’m just a man. But I’m after more than just the bounty. Once I had heard where Barrus had head off to, I decided to follow along. My journey leads me to the Elven lands, and since he came this way, I decided to join up. Why not earn money and go along with a heavily armored band in the process? I need to eat as well afterall. And my journeys are not free. I just happen to have some extra skill and knowledge your men do not possess.”

“You are dangerous, and I do not like that, I do not trust you. I want your word that you are with us.” She almost spat the words. She almost wanted to send him on his way, but she feared his magic, and did not want to have to fight him. She did not know if she could win.

“You have my word. I’m no threat to you, but I do not need everyone to know my secrets either”

Huck was the next one to speak up. “Ma’am. He saved my life. He may have saved several of our lives. If nothing else, I trust him for that. If he was going to do anything foul to us, he probably would have done so weeks ago.”

She looked at Huck, then back to Rothick. “Fine. You can continue to travel with us till this is over, but I will be watching you. And you! Piper! I’m watching you too! You weren’t alarmed at his magic, so there is something about you that I do not find settling.”

With that, she walked off back to her men, and started issuing orders to strip Koontz of his gear and to bury him. It was not the first time she had lost a man, and it would not be the last. It was never a pleasant thing though. And she had not had a very good day at all so far.

And that’s all I have for you guys today. I am no where near done with this section, but it’s been too long since I’ve posted! I assure you though, tomorrow is my friday, and something fey this way still comes! I’ve not yet shown you what that was a reference to, and this beast is not the only worry our troupe will face on this day! I’d say I’m about half way to two thirds done with this part of the tale. This tale will be much longer than the first one, consisting of several chapters as they search for Barrus. Let’s just consider this the first chapter though. Let me know what you think, and I will edit this later, and tomorrow and the next few days I’ll be writing much much more!

~Jace

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And now for something entirely different:

He saw several brighter flashes, brief, but encompassing. Some of the larger ships had clearly been breached, their fusion reactors opening up into the void, reactions stopping in a brief expulsion of venting plasma, silencing their crews as quickly as a bubble to a needle. He noted one of his targets was no longer there, and then reallocated the firing solution to his first torpedo to a secondary target. Five minutes to engagement.

He and his wingmates were doing a lightning strike pass across the enemy escort corvettes. They would let their engines roar to max acceleration, to ensure their vector coming in was too high to give the enemy any time to retaliate. With the other fighters already engaging at relativistic speeds, the enemy already had their hands more than full, and would hardly be able to focus much on the three little fighters coming in late to the scene.

His Lancer was a bit of an aging fighter, but still one of the premier fighters used in the forces, widely adopted and it’s strength being it’s highly adaptable mission package. These particular fighters were definitely out of the ordinary though. Each had everything stripped out of the mission pod that made up the bulk of the machine. In the space each had three anti-capitol ship torpedoes, modified versions normally found on long-range missile cruisers, same warhead, but far smaller packages, with just enough fuel to be used at a knife-fighting range equivalent instead of the normal dozens of kilometers away.

Everything was going according to plan. He could see the twinkling stars ahead. Each twinkle wasn’t a star, but an explosion. A plasma blast. A flash of light for each little act of war. Three whole wings had engaged with the fleet a handful of minutes ago. No doubt the exos had closed in at higher velocities. Slower than fighters but more agile humanoid forms, they were vulnerable closing in; they had to get in fast right behind the opening waves. But he was certain the off-blue flashes he was seeing were their signature attacks. Plasma Lances. Giant beam sabers used to gut slower starships, when they survived to get in close enough that is.

From out here though, everything was silent, peaceful. He could over-hear some of the battle-zone chatter, but since they were on radio-silence, nothing was specifically coming in to them, and they were sending nothing out. From here, he just let the rumbling of the engine propel him faster and faster. In a few minutes, it would all be over: In, out, and away. Everything but for a moment of action was silence and waiting. He idly wondered if any of the enemy had any idea they were coming in, or what they were doing. He doubted it. If they did though, they wouldn’t have much time to react, and even if they did, he’d never know, either they would be gone, or he would be gone, all in an instant. Much better to not worry about it. Nerves were better without dwelling on it.

The roar and rumble of the engines were felt more than heard. Pushing over 2g’s he felt his body pressing firmly into the back of his seat and harness. It was comfortable in an odd way. His movements were sluggish, weighed back far more than he was normally used to, but it was a reassuring weight. The lights on his console were lit up with a few warnings, but all indications were well within normal parameters. Everything was proceeding according to plan.

The three of them appeared on burn-signatures with only a few minutes for the enemy to react accordingly. By the time they reached the conflict, the enemy would only have scarcely a few seconds as they streaked in and out of firing range. But the three of them had already picked targets, uploaded firing solutions, and only had to hit engage buttons, and it was all over.

Maxwell wasn’t so lucky though, an automated Point Defense System, far from able to shoot down the torpedoes, was instead able to burn across his fuselage. His Lancer was burned clean through before he even knew what happened to him. Gone, in an instant, his remains to be hurtling through space until eventually his orbit pulled him into the sun years and years later.

As the remaining two of them streaked pass, in his rear-view screens, he saw bright flashes. All of their torpedoes had found their mark, and he noted that indications of several enemy vessels ceased to exist. “Mission complete, continuing onto the rendezvous poi–“

 

Again, silence. He opened his eyes. All he saw was darkness. He felt himself being pulled in an odd direction, almost as if his seat was upside down. Only that was impossible. He felt out, and turned his helm light on. He was still inside the cockpit, but something was wrong. He realized his Lancer was spinning end over end, he wasn’t accelerating anymore, but just in a constant rotation, and it was lifeless.

Radio. Dead. Emergency power, not online. Ejection systems. Not online. Nothing in the cockpit was responding. He unbuckled himself, and made to push the hatch open. He had to kick it open.

Light. But the sun was off in the distance. No, the light was coming off the white-hot metal right behind his cockpit. Right where his Lancer had been cut in two. He didn’t know if it was by a laser, or by a particle beam, but the rest of his fighter was gone. It was just him, and this part of his craft, carving through space spinning endlessly…

He hoped his emergency beacon in his suit would be strong enough that they could find him. He didn’t want to die frozen in space with no oxygen left in his suit…

And he could still see the twinkling stars of battle kilometers away, slowly getting further and further away. At least the stars from here were beautiful.

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First tale. Edited, and Finished.

“So have you heard of him?”

Tallow-Biggs gave the man questioning him a look not quite of scorn, but the kind of look one would give a child asking a question they should know the answer to.

“Every person who lives within the land of the Baron Gelflow would well remember the wizard man you’re looking for.”

Rothick sighed in irritation; he grew weary getting indirect and superstitious answers from towns folk wherever he perused this story. Looking to the sky and taking in a breath to collect himself, he set himself upon the positive news at least and decided to continue.

“So you have. What can you tell me about him, and why would everyone here remember him? I’ve been chasing loose ends and small tales of him for months now trying to find more information, and here in this hamlet everyone knows about him? This had got to be quite a story.”

“Indeed there is a story you whelp! But why should I tell an arrogant bastard blown in from who-knows-where like yourself? All caught up in your own grand-ness? You don’t know what the Biggs family did those years ago! You should be begging me! Instead you come in here insisting this, questioning that, like you’re some important noble!”

Tallow-Biggs puffed up some. Rothick could tell he’d both struck a nerve, and had also found something that this middle-aged man was quite proud of. Tallow-Biggs was nothing but a herder and tradesman, at most in his early forties, and absolutely… Spectacularly… Unremarkable… If it weren’t for his frustration searching for a lead amidst a streak of dead ends and dull know-nothings, Rothick might have been a little more appreciative of the gem of information he’d just found.

“You have my apologies”, Rothick sighed, “please, let me hear your tale. I’ve just become a bit more worn out traveling than I’d suspected, I meant no disrespect to your line.” Time to eat some of the dirt off his own shoes perhaps, but humility was his last resort. Besides, he was tired from walking the past few days and sitting and listening with a good tankard seemed like a good idea.

“Hmnf. Fine. We’ll go down to Bark’s for a drink and if you give the ale I’ll give the tale.” Tallow-Biggs walked off chuckling to himself obviously thinking he was quite clever. With another sigh, Rothick went off to the tavern of ‘Bark’s’ to secure lodging for the night and wait for the herder to arrive. This hamlet consisted of nothing but maybe forty buildings all told, consisting of less than a dozen families near the edge of a small forest. The land was owned by a rural baron that he’d never heard of, and in an old and near worthless part of the kingdom.

Finding the inn was simple enough. This one road town, if one would pass the dirt between shambling buildings a road, was small enough most buildings could be seen at once. The inn itself was also equally unremarkable. Inside was a small bar, a few scattered tables and chairs, a mantle with a fireplace, and a set of stairs leading up to a grand total of three available rooms for rent. After settling in and locking is room, Rothick went downstairs for some food and drink to wait for Biggs to arrive.

After some time the man made his way into the inn, and quickly found himself a seat across from Rothick. The ale Rothick had purchased for Biggs was now quite warm from waiting.  “So, you have a tale of your family, the Biggs, that has to do with him?” Rothick shot him a questioning look. All his gear secured up in his room, he sat comfortably next to the fire at a table, in a simple yet comfortable set of travel clothes, with his cloak drawn up about him for extra warmth.

“Aye I do. My grand-pappy met him in the flesh as it were. Went along with him to banish the sorcerer 80 years ago, that tried to take the baron’s lands for himself by trickery and foul magics!”

Rothick kept back a chuckle, bemused by the peasant’s superstition. “Go on.”

“Well you see, there was a sorcerer who’d been gathering stories and old tales best left forgotten, trying to learn all the dark arts that he could. He was related to the barony, but was some sort of cousin, just outlying family not in the line of rule. But his heart was after that which his cousin had, so he spent his years misering all sorts of odds and ends. No one really knew it at the time though.”

The man’s name as history remembers it was Nahrbee the Crook, but his real name was Nahrbee Gallew. So called Crook because of his stealing of the barony for a short while, and the dubious methods he’d used to gather his knowledge and items. He’d managed to kill his cousin using some powerful but simple magic that he’d managed to crudely cobble together, and then was able to stand in his place for a few weeks before anyone outside the mansion had really noticed. He lured his cousin into being recluse, and used his habits of sending out self-written messages, instead of dictated letters of decree to a messenger directly. Rothick found all this information out  later at a nearby imperial academy that kept local historical records and nobility patents for the king’s ledger-books.

“My grampy though, he knew something was amiss, he tended the baron’s herd, but hadn’t seen him come to pick his weekly beast in nearly three span, so that’s when he alerted the others. Knowing wisely he could do little on his own though, he got a posse of folk together to confront the baron, and find out what was going on. We folk rightly fear the evils of the world, and if the baron had run afoul, it was our folks duty to the king to rout him out! And rout we did! But it wasn’t as easy as telling him to show himself, he’d cast powerful magics on his mansion!” Tallow had finished his ale, and sent for another. When the bar maid had arrived, Rothick had to drop a few small coin to pay for it.

“Several went with my grampy to his house, to demand he show himself and prove that he was fine all along, or if he was ill, so they could send word for a medicae to come or summon the apothecary to brew him a cure. But when they’d arrived at his door, my grampy went to knock, being the boldest of them all. Wasn’t a wise move though, bravest or not, for the door knocked back a hundred times harder, throwing his hand backwards and hurling him into the crowd that stood behind him. Purple smokes seeped from where he touched the door, and dark glowing words of evil made themselves appear, seeping the same wicked smoke, written all over the door.” Tallow had nearly finished another drink, and was already motioning the maid to return again. Several of others in the in were sitting around listening to the tale at this point. Most had heard it a dozen times, but any excuse for a story would be taken in a sleepy hamlet like this. Everyone gasped and oh’ed and aw’ed at the appropriate times. Rothick was unsure if it was genuine interest in the story, or just more entertained by Tallow’s animated retelling of his story. Either way it was a captive audience.

Arms waving all about, he’d have spilled his second ale if there was anything left to it, but the tankard tipped over dramatically, spilling but a lone drop on the table. “Evil! Foul evil was all over mansion! The Crook had taken the baron’s life, and held himself ruler closed off in his mansion, with dark magic keeping him safe! My grampy left, and this time he came back with more folk, all armed, some with pitchfork, some with family swords. But he was no fool, he knew he had to break the magic of sorcerer before they could get inside. A drifter had come through recently, unwelcome mostly due to his being soulless, but he knew the drifter knew how to fight powerful magics all on his own. So first they stopped at this tavern here, and summoned him along. They told him of the foul magic and offered him a reward from the baron’s estate if he would come with them to defeat the magics there.

My grampy led him to the house, and told him of the foul magic. The man said there was no such thing as magic, but my grampy knew better, he was wise you see, and knew the man was lying about magic, so he made him knock on the door to prove his point. Grampy was surprised though, instead of being knocked back like he was, the man’s hand simply pulled back as if burned. And burned he was! The smoke seeped it’s sickish purple color, but also the man’s hand seeped out some blue smoke of it’s own, thick, and oily… My grampy had seen through his lies about magic and saw that he was a powerful sorcerer as well who could break the magics. Grampy had the man break the spell, who had them all stand back, and then said a few magic words, and punched the door. The doors burst open before him, shattered, a burst of smoke went everywhere. You see, the man you seek knew stronger magic, and broke the spell! My grampy then led him into the mansion, and they hunted down the sorcerer!”

Rothick was beginning to become more entertained by Tallow’s continued use of waving his hands around to illustrate his story, almost as if the story couldn’t be told any other way, than that of the story itself. The man alternated between breathlessly drinking his ale and telling his tale, animated as a child is who’s telling a story about something that amazes them that they direly absolutely must tell you. The ale wasn’t lasting long between parts of the story at all however, which made Rothick smile a little bit less than he could have. Oblivious to this, Tallow-Biggs continued on.

“Grampy charged into the study where the sorcerer was reading over his foul texts, and demand that he surrender, but instead, the cravening form of the Crook lashed out using evil words and flinging evil spells at the folk. Most at this point fled in terror. Inspired by my Gramps bravery, a few halted. Gramps held the man you’re seeking aside him, and bade him to counter the spells, and he did! Bellowed out from him came words that weren’t words, old things barely fit to be called a language  came out of his mouth, countering each wicked word spat out by the sorcerer. As the man kept the sorcerer at bay, my gramps ran forward and impaled the him on his sword! He ended the short reign of the Crooked Barony thief. But he couldn’t have done it without the help of the man you seek. No one around here had ever seen such evil magics, and surely my gramps would have died where he stood if it hadn’t been for the powerful wizard you’re seeking. After my gramps had killed the sorcerer, the man, saying his un-words cleansed the taint from each one of the folk who were there that day. He broke the spells placed on the mansion, broke the spells placed on the rightful Gelflow family, and spent a whole day using magic to undo the evil about the whole town brought on by the sorcerer.”

Tallow had finished several more ales at this point, each time draining Rothick’s purse surely as he drained his own tankard. Clearly Tallow’s tale had been embellished to make his gramps the hero. Rothick didn’t believe that this herder’s grandfather was some legendary hero, just as surely he knew that the man he was seeking was no mere wizard. But he appeased Tallow, knowing that within the tale were enough kernels of truth to find out more about where the man had went next.

“So, what happened after the evil baron had been killed and his evil expelled by him? Where did he go?” Rothick Questioned. This tale did little to help him really. He had heard far grander stories than about some family squabble and a little knowledge of old hateful things, and he needed to find out where he went next, not so much what he had done here.

“Well, my gramps thanked the man and gave him a place to stay for a few days. I don’t know what all the man was doing here, but he was on a search for something. He spent a few days asking pointless questions around here before he made his way north, up towards the pass of Eagle Rock, or so my grampy told me.”

Rothick bade the man good night and worked his way up to his room for the night. The day had been long, the wait for Tallow to come tell his tale longer, and the road ahead even longer yet. Tomorrow he needed to ask a few more people around here what these questions were, and find out more about Eagle Rock before he departed for them. Eagle Rock was two days to the north, and he’d never been there before. If he could find a decent horse, he could make it there by nightfall, but the chances of a spare horse in a small place like this were slim to none. Rothick wrapped himself up tightly under his quilt, and drifted off to sleep.

********

Haw-THRoom, Na’iervahre, Da-Gothe, Cha’n’ichthr-EY

The words seemed almost in-human, starting as a statement, ending as a shout, just as he slammed his fist into the door. Of course the words weren’t entirely human, they were something much older, but spoken by a near-human mouth, but spoken with strength and clarity. They were commands, but they were also names, just as much as they were also truth spoken. Knowledge of these words were one of his strengths, but far from his most important strength.

Soon as he hit the door, it burst into uncountable shards. Not wood splinters like one would get from breaking a tree over with sheer force, but like that of a a thick piece of glass being hit by a strong metal. Shattered. Purple smoke drizzled both up and down from where the crude old words had been imprinted upon it to seal it, as if the door were still there, they hung in the air dissipating. He walked through them and they swirled around his form, just wisps now.

“Quickly, with me, we must get through to him now while he is unprepared.” he bellowed: loudly, but not to anyone in particular. Biggs, the man he’d questioned about this place, was following him, showing more white in his eyes than he had white in his smile. And behind him, hushed now since the shattering, followed the rest of the townsmen who remained.

Through ill-written hexagrammic wards, speaking un-bindings and counter-thoughts, he strode calmly and determinedly through the mansion. They were impossible to see through a normal human’s eye, but through the eyes of one who was enlightened to their existence, they floated in the air, half in the mind, half in sight, but impossible to look at directly, always seeming to be on the edge of one’s vision.

“Show yourself. You are done. You cannot stand to me, and you shall break. You will submit or I shall end you.” He spoke the words with a demeanor that one would use when giving out orders, with a finality in them that is only gained through the comfortable experience of command. These were the words of a man that are set in stone, unquestionable.

Turning from his window to face the intruders, stood Nahrbee. He was thin, almost hunched over from inhuman sustenance, living more off of his own greed and ambition than he did that of food, and it was clearly warping him into something else entirely. He peeled back his lips, showing teeth black with corruption and spat out un-words, to ruin them all.

“Cha’ak-NOth, Vehr‘ne, Var’nkockChthu” said back the man, casually, almost as if he were bored. Unperturbed he strode into the room, countering each un-word spat out from the tainted Nahrbee. He seemed calm, annoyed, and bored. One could almost not comprehend how vast the difference between how his demeanor was, and that of the fleeing terrified people behind him. Few stayed around, as most ran soon as they heard Nahrbee say his ‘dark magic’. The man had but a few who stood behind him, unsure who to be more scared of: the wicked evil man, or the man who was completely unphased by him.

They both said an un-word. No one heard the word that Nahrbee said, since it was drowned out from the word the other man spoke, but no one remembers what they heard the man say, since their minds could not comprehend it’s sound. It was silent, and yet it was all sound, all noise; it filled the air, their eyes, and their lungs, just as it filled their ears. What they all do remember is it hurling Nahrbee back against the window, breaking it out sending shards flying down to the courtyard stones below.

As if awoken from a mesmerizing spell, the townsfolk could finally see clearly, and in front of them was a ruined form of a man, who clearly was not the Baron, but they felt nothing but loathing for. Unnaturally set upon their course of hatred, they charged across the room, past the motionless man standing in the middle of it. His head was tilted forward, his mid-length hair blown forward in the rush of air from the charging towns-folk. His face was completely hidden, both naturally from his hair, and unnaturally from his own willing it to be. They did not even see him standing in the room as they impaled Nahrbee, Biggs leading the charge.

Soon as Nahrbee’s last breath escaped from his lips, the world snapped back into clarity. The words of hatred about the house lost their resolution. The words of hatred, written in the air, the thoughts of loathing, vanishing from their minds. The air seemed normal, less heavy, no longer thick with things that were not meant to be there.

The silent man then said some incomprehensible words, and it was as if an invisible wave of water rolled over the towns-folk, cleansing them, freeing them from the taint. They seemed almost as if they had woke from a dream. Seeing the evil baron upon the ends of their weapons, they let out a cheer, and carried off back into the town, victorious.

None of them could quite see what really had happened though. It was beyond them. Their stories reflected what they could remember, reflected what they could see, what their minds could comprehend. They would never know it was his own words of hatred, his own loathing, his own wards set upon the house to keep them away, that had spurred them forward once they were there. The man had broken much of what he had done there to make their way inside, but left just enough left of it, that it would affect them. He had turned Nahrbee’s own work against him, and let the villagers have their victory, them only remembering a few parts of his work there.

The next day he asked them questions about the Eld, questions about things often found only in old children’s stories, that don’t quite make much sense when you think about them, but that children had fun singing back while playing their games. Then he departed to Eagle Rock, to see a man there, before continuing deeper into the forest beneath the large mountains.

The mountains faded from sight, but a memory.

********

Rothick woke from his dream. Another one. This dream was more vivid than normal dreams one would have. He knew that the part about the man heading to Eagle Rock and beyond were true. He knew in his heart it was the truth, even though it were but a dream; there was something special about the dreams he had of him. If he heard a story that was true, or based well enough on the truth, he would dream about it. He would dream of how he saw it happening. They were just dreams, but they always happened, ever since he was a child. He dreamed them as if he were the man, or watching the man, as he imagined they would happen, rather than what he heard in the stories. He knew they were only dreams, but they were what drove him. The prophecy must be true, it just had to be. He would seek the man out and make sure the prophecy was truth, even if it meant devoting his life to it. He had to find the man, and also find out why he had these dreams every time he heard a story about him.

Rothick gathered his belongings, and went to the town square to see what he could find out, and then to set upon his path to Eagle Rock. Rothick knew he had a long way to go. This was just the beginning of this adventure.

I hope you all enjoyed this first chapter here. And I hope you all understood the second part was Rothick’s dream about the story Tallow-Biggs had told him. This is but a beginning to this story, but this little part is self contained. The story will be continued, through little tales like this one, each adding to the fullness of the story. Please let me know what you thought of it, and give me some feedback!

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Starting point

The following is the first few minutes of creative writing I’ve done in ages. I’ve not yet finished it, but it was all I had time for the other night. Once in bed I continued to dictate ideas and story to my recorder so I could go back to where I left off with the same frame of mind, and also not forget any of the ideas and points I wanted to keep within the story.

I have not edited this yet, I have not even re-read it yet. This is a start, but it may not be the actual start to the story, but it’s what was in my mind at the time. That said, tomorrow, I will be adding much much more. I contented myself tonight with simply getting this set up. Also, I must be up for work in 5 hours…

Here you are, I would love feedback, but please since this is just the very barest start, please have mercy upon my soul:

“So have you heard of him?”

Tallow-Biggs gave the man questioning him a look not quite of scorn, but the kind of look one would give a child asking a question they should know the answer to.

“Every person who lives within the land of the Baron Gallow would well remember the soulless man you’re looking for.”

Rothick sighed in irritation; he grew weary getting indirect answers from towns folk wherever he persued this story. Looking to the sky and taking in a breath to collect himself, he set himself upon the positive news at least and decided to continue.

“So you have. What can you tell me about him, and why would everyone here remember him? I’ve been chasing loose ends and small tales of him for months now trying to find more information, and here in this hamlet everyone knows about him? There has got to be quite a story to this.”

“Indeed there is a story you whelp! But why should I tell an arrogant bastard blown in from who knows where like yourself? All caught up in your own grand-ness? You don’t know what the Biggs family did those years ago! You should be begging me! Instead you come in here insisting this, questioning that, like you’re some important noble!”

Tallow-Biggs puffed up some. Rothick could tell he’d both struck a nerve, and had also found something that this middle-aged man was quite proud of. This hamlet consisted of nothing but maybe forty buildings all told, consisting of less than a dozen families near the edge of a small forest. The land was owned by a rural baron that he’d never heard of, and in an old and near worthless part of the kingdom. Tallow-bigs was nothing but a herder and tradesman, at most in his early forties, and absolutely spectacularly unremarkable. If it weren’t for his frustration searching for a lead to end the streak of false rumors, he might might have been a little more appreciative of the gem of information he’d just found.

“You have my apologies”, Rothick sighed, “please, let me hear your tale. I’ve just become a bit more worn out traveling than I’d suspected, I meant no disrespect to your line.” Time to eat some of the dirt off his own shoes perhaps, but humility was his last resort. Besides, he was tired from walking the past few days, sitting and listening to a good tankard seemed like a good idea.

“Hmnf. Fine. We’ll go down to Bark’s for a drink and if you give the ale I’ll give the tale.” Tallow-Biggs walked off chuckling to himself obviously thinking he was quite clever. With another sigh, Rothick went off to the tavern of ‘Bark’s’ to secure lodging for the night and wait for the herder to arrive.

Some time later the man made his way into the inn, and quickly found himself a seat accross from Rothick, who already had an ale now quite warm, waiting for him.

“So, you have a tale of your family, the Biggs, that has to do with him?” Rothick shot him a questioning look. All his gear secured up in his room, he sat comfortably next to the fire at a table, in a simple yet comfortable set of travel clothes, with his cloak drawn up about him for extra warmth.

“Aye I do. My grandpappy met him in the flesh as it were. Went along with him to banish the sorcer 80 years ago, that tried to take the baron’s lands for himself by trickery and foul magics!”

Rothick kept back a chuckle, bemused by the peasant’s superstition. “Go on.”

“Well you see, there was a sorcerer who’d been gathering stories and old tales best left forgotten, trying to learn all the dark arts that he could. He was related to the barony, but was some sort of cousin, no where in the line of noble rule, just outlying family. But his heart was after that which his cousin had, so he spent his years misering all sorts of odds and ends. No one really knew it at the time though.”

The man’s name as history remembers it was Nahrbee the Crook, but his real name was Nahrbee Gallow. So called Crook because of his stealing of the barony for a short while. He’d managed to kill his cousin using some powerful but rudementry magic that he’d managed to hapazardly cobble together, and then was able to stand in his place for a few weeks before anyone outside the mansion had really noticed. He lured his cousin into being wrecluse, and used his habbits of sending out self-written messages, instead of dictated letters of decree to a messenger directly.

“My grampy though, he knew something was amiss, he tended the baron’s herd, but hadn’t seen him come to pick his weekly beast in nearly three span, so that’s when he alerted the others. Knowing wisely he could do little on his own though, he got a posse of folk together to confront the baron, and find out what was going on. We folk rightly fear the evils of the world, and if the baron had run afoul, it was our folks duty to the king to rout him out! And rout we did! But it wasn’t as easy as telling him to show himself, he’d cast powerful magics on his mansion!” Tallow had finished his ale, and sent for another. When the bar maid had arrived, Rothick had to drop a few small coin to pay for it.

“Several went with my grampy to his house, to demand he show himself and prove that he was fine all along, or if he was ill, so they could send word for a medicae to come or summon the apothecary to brew him a cure. But when they’d arrived at his door, my grampy went to knock, being the boldest of them all. Wasn’t a wise move though, bravest or not, for the door knocked back a hundred times harder, throwing his hand backwards and hurling him into the crowd that stood behind him. Purple smokes seeped from where he touched the door, and dark glowing words of evil made themselves appear, seeping the same wicked smoke, written all over the door.” Tallow had nearly finished another drink, and was already motioning the maid to return again. Several of others in the in were sitting around listening to the tale at this point. Most had heard it a dozen times, but any excuse for a story would be taken in a sleepy halmet like this. Everyone gasped and oh’ed and aw’ed at the appropriate times. Rothick was unsure if it was genuine interest in the story, or just more entertained by Tallow’s animated retelling of his story. Either way it was a captive audience.

“Evil! Foul evil was all over mansion!” Arms waving all about, he’d have spilled his second ale if there was anything left to it, but the tankard tipped over dramatically, spilling but a lone drop on the table. “The Crook had taken the baron’s life, and held himself ruler closed off in his mansion, with dark magic keeping him safe! My grampy left, and this time he came back with more folk, all armed, some with pitchfork, some with family swords. But he was no fool, he knew he had to break the magic of sorcerer before they could get inside. A drifter had come through recently, unwelcomed mostly, due to his being soulless, but he knew the drifter knew how to fight powerful magics all on his own. So first they stopped at this tavern here, and summoned him along. They told him of the foul magic and offered him a reward from the baron’s estate if he would come with them to defeat the magics there.

My gramy led him to the house, and told him of the foul magic. The man said there was no such thing as magic, but my grampy knew better, he was wise you see, and knew the man was lying about magic, so he made him knock on the door to prove his point. But grampy was surpised, instead of being knocked back like he was, the man’s hand simply pulled back as if burned, and burned he was. The smoke seeped it’s sickish purple color, but also the man’s hand seeped out some blue smoke of it’s own, thick, and oily. My grampy had seen through his lies about magic and saw that he was a powerful sorcer as well, who could break the magics. He bad the man break the spell! The man had them al stand back, and then said a few magic words, and punched the door. The doors burst open before him, shattered, and a burst of smoke went everywhere. You see, the man you seek knew stronger magic, and broke the spell! My grampy then led him into the mansion, and they hunted down the sorcerer!”

“Grampy charged into the study where the sorcerer was reading over his foul texts, and demand that he surrender, but instead, the cravening form of the Crook lashed out using evil words and flinging evil spells at the folk. Most at this point fled in terror, a few halted, inspired by my Gramps bravery, who held the man you’re seeking aside him, and bade him to counter the spells! And he did. Bellowed out from him came words that weren’t words, old things barely fit to be called a language spoken by man came out of his mouth, countering each wicked word spat out by the sorcerer. As the man kept the sorcerer at bay, my gramps ran forward and impaled the him on his sword! He ended the short reign of the Crooked Barony theif. But he couldn’t have done it without the help of the man you seek. No one around here had ever seen suck evil magics, and surely my gramps would have died where he stood if it hadn’t been for the even more powerful wizard you’re seeking. After my gramps had killed the sorcerer, the man, saying his un-words, and he cleansed the taint from each one of the folk who were there that day. He broke the spells placed on the mansion, broke the spells placed on the rightful Gallow family, and spent a whole day using magic to undo the evil about the whole town brought on by the sorcerer!”

Tallow had finished several ales at this point, each time draining Rothick’s purse surely as he drained his tankard. Clearly Tallow’s tale had been embellished to the point to make his gramps the hero. Rothick didn’t believe that this herders grandfather was some noble hero, just as surely he knew that the man he was seeking was no mere wizard. But he appeased Tallow, knowing that within the tale were enough kernels of truth to find out more about where the man had went next.

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The beginning.

This place will contain all my writings in progress in bursts. Please, critique, advise, comment, criticize, and otherwise provide any means of useful or encouraging feedback. Starting with a post of the work I did last night, up next ^_^

What I specifically want help with, is people to actually read what I write, and give me comments, critiques, and slap me up side the head if I English wrong. Seriously, I want to improve as a writer, for a multitude of reasons, and the only way I’ll get there is by doing it and having people give me feedback. That, and I sincerely hope you all find what I’m writing interesting. Or at least those of you who like fantasy and world-building. I’m going to be doing it as a series of short stories, maybe into a book someday, who knows.

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