The Five Riders And The Land Of Mythical Beasts
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J. A. Vinton
Mattithias Lesdain, Scott Biar and Tim Curly had known each other for ten years now and were all best friends. Their fathers were all at war with the harpies and when the news came that they were all coming back they were all excited and they threw a party. But what Mattathias Lesdain did not know, was that his father was one of five men who was recognized as a hero.
His name was Jonathan Lesdain. He was well known now by his first name along with his four friends. They had been called directly to the castle for a meeting. The three boys were all happy that their fathers were on their way home alive. The boys all went to Scott’s house which was placed upon Emin’s Hill.
Most houses looked the same in Carron. They were made out of stone with wooden frames on them, and wood arches coming out of them in varied places. But Emin’s Hill was a little different. The larger houses sat on top of it. Max Citile was another friend who also lived on Emin’s Hill. His father was also coming back from the war, and like Mattathias, he did not know that his father was also recognized as a hero. Max was also meeting the friends at Scott’s house and when they got there, he was already there.
“Hey guys,” he said. “What have you been doing?”
“Same stuff as usual.”
“Just waiting for our dads to get home.”
“It’s so hard to keep waiting. It’s already been two years since I’ve seen my father.”
“Aye, and mine too.”
And so the four remained waiting.
In the hazy mist hanging over the weary knights, they made their way on their trip back to their castle to announce their incredible victory against the harpies. The war was long, and much suffering of injury and death accrued during the intense battles. But these five knights fought from beginning to end. They were easily the best knights of the King’s army.
Jonathan, Thomas, Eric, Micah, and Jeffery were the bravest and the best. And the King saw that in them and there for called them to a meeting held in the castle. The army had fought in the land of Mordacia, but their homeland, which was Mondea; was one hundred miles away, so the trip was long. It was also dangerous.
On the way back to Mondea they had to go through marshlands, thick, dense forests and through the land of the Gnomes. The Gnomes weren’t usually looked at as dangerous, but no one has ever thought of what they can do in groups. Many men were killed during their journey across Gnomelandae.
“How many harpy heads did you take off?”
The five laughed as John counted his fingers.
“Don’t know; ran out of fingers.”
Everybody laughed again. It was good for everyone to hear joy again. They hadn’t heard it since they began the war-that was two years ago. The mist had become a thick wall, and the navigating became complicated.
“Maybe we should stop and camp here until the fog clears up.” Said Eric, as he squinted his eyes and looked around for any sign of direction.
Jonathan peered hard into the fog. His eyes didn’t catch any glimpse of trees or swamp, or anything.
“That’s probably a good idea.”
“Are you crazy, we’re in the marshes, it never clears here.” Said Jeffery
Jonathan shook his head.
“I don’t know Jeff, maybe not, but I’m not so sure I’m willing to risk walking blindly into thick marshes, that will engulf our horses and us.”
“I’m up for camping here, but I’m almost certain that the mist will be here when we awake from our rest.”
“It’s always worth a try Jeff. Well just see how it is when we wake from our sleep.”
The five agreed and jumped down from their horses. But what they landed in was not a pleasant feeling. It wasn’t a firm soiled ground, but a thick gooey mud-they had already entered the marshland.
“Get back on your horses, quick!” Yelled Thomas, and they all did what he told them to.
They yelled at their horses to turn around. The horses though had been in the mud for already a few minutes, and it was hard for them to move out of it.
“We’ve got to get out of here!” Cried Jeff. “There’s also swamp monsters out here that are rumored to have jaws the size of our bodies.”
The horses undid their hooves from the mud and the five began galloping back towards the fields from were they had come from. They made it out okay without any swamp monsters attacking or eating any of them. When they came out of the forest it was clear skies, and also nighttime. The five set up camp and started a fire to eat dinner. All of them hadn’t had anything to eat yet that day; do to low ration supply. Bacon, a slice of cheese and a piece of stale bread was all each of them got for dinner. But they were used to that by now. They had lived off those three things for the past two years. When they were done with it, they decided to tell some of their war stories. Thomas went first.
“So I was hiding behind a rock, waiting for a harpy to pass by so I could chop her up. Nothing happened for a few minutes, when I guess I was seen and then reported by the harpies. Suddenly three jumped over the rock. I was all alone against three killer harpies. But did I panic? Of course not! All I said was ‘Taste metal you friekin’ birds’. I ran at the one in the middle and ran my sword straight through her heart. One tried to go behind me and get me in the back with their long talons, but I was too fast. I wheeled around on her; and as I was still turning, I stuck my sword out and before she could do anything to stop me, my sword severed her head. I completed the full rotation and faced the final harpy. She had witnessed my sword skills and went to run. But just as she turned around and took the first step I saw a sword come out of her back. I looked closely to see it was only by luck that Huck was standing…”
At the mention of Huck’s name he fell silent. The five witnessed their young friend get shredded by six harpies. Jonathan stood up.
“Maybe we should just go to sleep.”
Jonathan hesitated, and then continued.
“I don’t know why he was even in the army. He wasn’t even old enough.”
“He wasn’t even very good.”
“Yeah, but he sure brought a lot of cheer with him, and reminded us what being happy was like during the war.”
“Maybe we should just call it good for the night and get some sleep. I’d like to be at the castle by day after tomorrow.” Suggested Jonathan again.
The others agreed and made beds for themselves. And soon, sleep had drifted over them.
When they awoke in the morning the fog was gone, and they could see clearly were they needed to go.
“See guys, I told you it would go away.”
Eric looked at him curiously.
“No you didn’t, you said that it wouldn’t clear up.”
“Uh, yeah. I guess I did huh.”
“Well, we better get going if we want to make it back to Mondea by tomorrow afternoon.”
The five hopped back onto their horses and started around the marshlands. The trip around the marshlands Thomas figured would take half the day. Thomas was the navigator of the group. He was also tall, thin and strong; like the rest with dark brown eyes and black hair. Eric was tall, had blue eyes and red hair, and was master bowmen. Jeffery was average size with blonde hair and blue eyes, and was one who was rather stupid, but thought that he knew everything. He was still likeable however and was a good knight. Micah was the quite one. He also had blonde hair and blue eyes. What lacked in size however was made up in wisdom. He could think of any plan to get out of any situation in ten seconds flat. Not once had a plan failed them either. Finally there was Jonathan. He was a born leader. He was tall, had black hair and green eyes. He was easily the strongest of them all. He was the best for close up combat too.
“How far away are we Thomas?” Asked Eric
“Still a full day’s worth of a journey to go. Around two hours and we’ll be around these marshlands. Then we get to go through or around the forest. Your choice.”
Everyone looked at Jonathan for guidance.
“I’ll make that decision when we get there.”
The five took off faster than they were going. They needed to get to the castle by tomorrow afternoon in order to have one night’s sleep and be all set for the meeting that night.
“Anyone got any good war stories?”
“I have one.”
Everybody looked at Jeffery.
“You have one?” Asked Eric in amazement.
“Yeah. You wanna hear it?”
“Sure go ahead.” Said Micah
“Well there I was, six harpies around me. I took out my sword and cut all of them in two.”
Nobody said anything; they just stared at him like he was an idiot.
“That’s it. That’s the whole story. Why aren’t you amazed?”
“You’re an idiot.”
“You couldn’t do that alone.”
“Shut up. I could too do that alone, and I did. I have the bloodstains on my sword to prove it too.”
“Whatever Jeff. You can have your six harpy killings in one session, but that’s no match for my eight.”
Everyone looked at him in amazement. Micah nodded his head at them.
“It’s true. I saw him kill every one of them. I was nearby killing off two more harpies.”
Everyone knew after that, they had chosen well on their leader. No one else could possibly be a better warrior. Thomas pulled out a map from inside a bag hanging on the side of his horse. He studied it for a few moments and then put it back.
“According to my map, we only have about an hour left to go ‘til we get to the forest.”
“Alright!” Yelled Jeffery.
The five could start to see the shadow of the forest in the far away distance. They knew they were approaching a bad thing.
“Prepare yourself guys, we’re coming near to what looks to be our deaths.”
Everybody checked to see if they had all their weapons from the war. Jonathan had two knives, a long sword, and a shield that was as big as his back, which was where he wore it. Thomas only carried a long sword and shield with him. Eric had a knife, a small sword, a crossbow and a shield. Micah had a double sword where he could pull the same sized sword out of the other one, and he had a shield. Jeffery carried a double sided axe on his back, with one throwing axe at his side, and two small knives, a large double sword, a fold-in crossbow, a body shield, which he hung over his horse, and last a small sword for cutting paths in long grass; Jeff came from a rich family. Thomas suddenly realized that he had read his map incorrectly because they were about to enter Gnomelandae.
“Are you guys ready like I warned you to be, because we’re about to enter a small little gnome town. Get ready.” Commanded Thomas.
The five took out their favorite weapons and climbed down off their horses. Jonathan had his sword in one hand and his shield in the other, with his knives ready to throw. Micah had his double sword still together in one hand and his shield in the other. Jeff had no shield out yet, but held in both hands his axe. Thomas had out his sword and shield. Eric had out his crossbow with his arrows on his back.
The gnome colony was now in sight the five ran at it with a charge keeping memories in their heads about friends lost to gnomes. The gnomes spotted the five running at them and they began piling out of their holes with little knives in their hands.
An ear-piercing screech came from the gnomes. It was their war cry. It was repeated several times in different tones. Its purpose was to throw off the enemy’s concentration. Suddenly the five collided with hundreds. Gnome’s blood covered Jonathan, Thomas, Micah, Jeffery and Eric right as they hit. In a matter of just a few seconds the five had killed over forty gnomes. The five spread out to give themselves room for combat. Especially Jeff. He was swinging his axe in wide circles. Any gnome that came within five feet of Jeffery was no more. Micah put his shield away and took out his other sword and started fighting the gnomes of on each side of him at the same time.
Jonathan threw one of his knives into a gnome’s eye and then wheeled around to kill four more. He grabbed his knife out of the gnome’s eye, put his sword away, and took out his other knife. He threw one knife into a skull of another gnome and managed to throw the other knife into the belly of another gnome. He grabbed his big sword and finished off that gnome. Jonathan retrieved his two knives and replaced them back into their small sheaths-one on each side of his calf.
Eric was shooting an arrow a second. He retrieved and re-shot each arrow, until his arrows alone had killed twenty gnomes. Thomas ran into a group of gnomes with his shield and knocked a lot of them down. Before they could regain their feet, they were dead by the sword of Thomas.
Jeffery was struggling with his axe. The sides had become dull, and he needed perfect timing to get rid of it and grab his next weapon. He found his chance as he made his final three sixty-degree turns. He threw his axe aside. The gnomes knew that this was their chance to get him. Jeffery was too slow to get his sword so he grabbed his throwing knives and sent them into two gnome heads. He placed his hand on the double sword and just as he was about to pull it out, he was introduced to a searing pain in the back of his right shoulder. A gnome had climbed up on him and had stabbed him with its knife. Luckily for Jeff, the knife was small; no permanent wound could come out of this.
Eric saw Jeffery in trouble, and he took his concentration off of his own surroundings. He aimed hard at the gnome on Jeffery’s back, but just as he shot off the arrow, Jeff fell to the ground from loss of blood. The last thing Eric saw of Jeff was two more gnomes stabbing at his chest. Eric was about to run over to help him when gnomes overtook him too.
“We’ve gotta help Eric and Jeff!” Yelled Micah, as he killed off three more.
Jonathan, Thomas and Micah ran over to Jeffery first fighting off gnomes as they went. Thomas was the first to get to Jeffery for he could run at full speed bent over behind his shield and just knock over whatever was in the way. Several gnomes were crushed by the heavy blow of his shield. Micah and Jonathan finished those who weren’t killed off as they passed behind Thomas.
When they got to Jeffery he was unconscious and knife holes were all over him. He was lying in his own blood. In a few moments though, all the gnomes who were around him were killed by the rage of Thomas, Jonathan and Micah. Micah was left with Jeffery as Jonathan and Thomas ran over to Eric. He too was hurt, but wasn’t unconscious.
“Help me!” He screamed.
Thomas bashed and sliced, as Jonathan threw his knives around at them. After more cutting in half and stabbing and bashing, they were able to pull Eric up and to his feet. Then the three together began the same routine as before until they got back to Jeff and Micah.
Jeff had regained consciousness, but still didn’t have enough strength to stand. By now what was left of the small town of gnomes had retreated to their holes to regroup. This gave the five a chance to get back on their horses and get out of that town. The five got back on their horses and started riding again. Jeff’s horse rode behind them as Jeff rode with Micah.
“We’ve gotta get to the castle quick! Yelled Micah. “Jeff is really hurt.”
“I’m afraid it’s going to be a long journey still. We have just reached Gnomelandae.” Thomas called back to Micah.
A faint smell of smoke could start to be made out. They were nearing gnome camps. But not ones of which they had just been in. Some were at least twenty times bigger. Jonathan knew it would be a long day.
It seemed that a sudden cloud of discouragement hung over the five. With one man already unable to fight, and in dire need to be attended to soon, it seemed to them they would all surely be killed before leaving Gnomelandae. Thomas checked his map. Thomas could remember where anything was, and there fore while on the way to fight, they had to go through Gnomelandae, and he charted down all of the towns they went through; and that was thirteen.
“Hey guys, it looks like there’s a trail we can take that takes us right through the middle of Gnomelandae, but know gnome towns.”
“Good, we’ll take that route then.” Said Jonathan. “We need to get to a town in Mondea as quick as possible for Jeff’s sake.”
“Well, according to our map, it’s almost a perfectly straight road. We could ride pretty fast through all of gnomelandae if we wanted to.”
“Then that’s what we’ll do.”
The four kicked their horses and they began a fast gallop through the land. They tied Jeffery’s horse to Micah’s so that they wouldn’t lose it. As they passed through Gnomelandae however, it seemed that Thomas had some work to do in putting the closeness of the towns in correctly. Some gnome outposts started shooting arrows out of them at the five. Those outposts were all around the Empire of the gnomes.
The Empire was where the king gnome lived. I know it sounds ridicules, but it’s true. The king has a large hole serving as his castle. Most of the gnomes’ technology came out of the Empire; it was where the school was for all the gnomes too.
“Put your shields up!”
The four kicked their horses harder to try and get away from the Empire, but they all knew very well that they would be dealing with this for at least twenty more minutes. And then they were to begin making their way either around the dark forest, or straight on through it.
After a while, the gnomes began to run out of the Empire’s surrounding walls and straight at the five with their small knives raised high in the air and with them screaming their annoying war cries. Eric pulled out his crossbow and he started shooting at a few of them; this was a big mistake. Now an alarm could be heard sounding within the city. Hundreds upon hundreds of gnomes began pouring out of the gates. Many were on small dogs. Some were dressed in full suits of armor with a shield in one hand and a sword in the other.
Jonathan spotted a group of fifteen gnomes. All seemed to be archers. They were in three rows of five. The first row stood up from their kneeling position and shot off their arrows. They ran to the back and the second row did as the first row did, while the first restrung their bows with arrows. A shower of arrows filled the sky; for more groups of gnomes began to do as the fifteen archers were doing. The five did not want to risk getting off their horses and having another one of them get injured or killed.
After fifteen more minutes of being chased by gnomes, they reached a small town of gnomes giving hint that they had reached the outskirts of Gnomelandae. Now the forest was plainly visible to the five, and once again they looked to Jonathan for his answer of what they were to do. Would they go through it, or around it?
“We go through it.” He said clearly with no hesitation.
Thomas began sweating with fear. He knew about there being few, but still some trolls in this forest.
When the three entered, they became a little chilly; no sun came in through the trees and no warmth either. Sounds of birds could be heard as they went here and there, but besides that, it was really pretty quite.
“How is Jeff doin’?” Questioned Jonathan, who was becoming more worried for his friend.
He feared that the fact of not being able to make it to Mondea in time.
“He is doing okay I guess, he has two wounds in the front, and then a nice sized one right here in his back.”
“That’s where I saw him get stabbed first.” Remarked Eric.
Thomas pulled out his map and studied it for a while, looking up occasionally. What he saw was a good four hours worth of riding through the forest. Then there was crossing the river, where they could drink, and rest, and then there was their journey through Mondea into the large city of Carron, which was where the castle was. If the pace kept up as it was going, they would make their planned arrival on time.
“Four hours to go.”
The five couldn’t go any faster than they were going now, like they had been able to do when they were out in the open. If they picked up a lot of speed, they might now be able to steer around all of the trees and bushes and creatures in the area.
“We also have to be aware of ferocious creatures such as Trolls, and some werewolves.”
“Werewolves?” Asked Jonathan. “I knew about Trolls, but not werewolves.”
“Oh yes. There are actually quite a few of them too.”
As the five continued they began to hear a low rumble. It sounded as if they were walking in its direction. It sounded like trolls walking around.
“Should we keep on going?”
“Don’t worry Micah, it’s only a waterfall. We can drink, and let the horses drink also.”
Soon, some light showed through the trees, and the five came out to an open clearing. There was a waterfall coming out of the mouth of a cave upon a cliff. They were standing at the bottom. A river ran west from there.
The five drank, including Jeffery, but Micah helped him. The five sat down on the grass for a while and talked amongst themselves. When they had arrived, it was a calm cloudless day, but now some wind began to pick up. A swooshing noise started to come near. It grew louder, and louder, until it was a howl. The five stood up and drew their weapons. The water helped Jeff recover; therefore he drew his weapon also. Soon a large bird, with large wings and a head of an eagle came into plain view.
“It’s a griffin!”
The griffin softly landed in the grass next to them.
“What are these people doing in my home?”
It sounded as if he was talking to himself. He had a deep voice. His eyes were fierce, and his talons were at least seven inches long each.
“We’re sorry, we didn’t know that this was your home.” Thomas said apologetically.
The griffin cocked his head to the side, and blinked his eyes repeatedly a few times.
“You understand me?”
Thomas nodded his head.
“Well, it’s okay that you have entered my home, but I ask of you not to stay long.”
“Because I will surely grow hungry, and I will eat all of you for my night meal.”
“Oh. Okay; we will leave.”
The five, returned to their horses, including Jeffery, and they crossed the river.
They left the light of the clearing, and returned to the darkness. The five were uncomfortable though when they reached the darkness. They felt something, like someone was following them. Watching their every move. But the five had no time to stop and look around to see. They had to get to the castle by tomorrow afternoon.
“Two hours to go.” Declared Thomas.
Fifteen minutes later the five climbed down off of their horses and retrieved their canteens from their waists. They had refilled them while they were at the river. They drank as they leaned themselves up against trees.
Micah was worried. He was part elf, and he felt a nearby presence-a dangerous one.
“We must move, and quick!”
The five returned their canteens to their sides and hopped back on their horses. The ground began to rumble.
“GO! GO! GO!”
A tree not twenty feet behind them came crashing down. And then two more came down. Then another fell, and a very large monster came into plain view.
It roared sounding like twenty lions. It’s large arms, were like tree trunks. He swung them violently around at the five riders.
The horses’ gallop though could not be picked up for all the trees in the way. Every second, the troll became one step closer to the five, as he ran; knocking the trees over as he went. The troll was about to strike Eric’s horse when he tripped over a tree stump. The five now had a chance to gain a good distance between him. But the troll got up too fast to have a lot of room between them.
Once again he was closing in on the five. He was again within striking range when he came to a complete stop. The five kept on going, somewhat confused of why he stopped. They soon came out into a clearing, and found out why. The sun came down clearly in this open area. A forest troll was the only troll that could not be in the sunlight. The rumbling of the troll’s strides could still be heard as the five crossed the clearing. When they got to the edge they saw a hunched over shadow, of what looked like a figure. Should they risk it? They thought to themselves. They did. When they entered, the shadow figure stood up, revealing himself as the troll. Before the five could do anything, he knocked the five off of their horses and they fell helplessly to the ground. They drew their weapons and formed an attack position
The troll first struck out at Eric. He shot off an arrow in the troll’s leg, but that hardly stopped him from proceeding with the attack. Eric had to dive out of the way, as the gigantic fist came crashing down to the earth. Where Eric had been standing, was now a small holing at least a foot deep.
The troll’s back was to Micah and Jeff, and they found this a good chance to damage the troll well. Micah ran one of his swords into the thigh of the troll, pulled it out and sliced a deep cut into its calf. Jeffery held his double axe high in the air and gave a good three whacks into the troll’s stomach. The troll sat down hard, making the ground shake beneath the five knights’ feet. He held his stomach, and Jonathan ran at him as fast as he could. With his arm outstretched, and his sword held in it, he jumped onto the troll’s leg, and severed his large head. He then fell to his knees in exhaustion. His sword fell to the forest floor.
The four ran over to Jonathan.
“Good job Jonathan!”
“That was some pretty good head choppin’.”
Jonathan took out his canteen and drank what was left in it. His back was in pain from when he landed on the ground after being thrown off his horse by the blow of the troll’s arm.
“Are you all right?” Asked Jeff, looking concerned.
“I should be asking you that question. I’m not badly hurt, just a bruised back from the landing. Are you okay? I mean your cuts from the gnomes.”
Jeff felt his chest and back.
“I’m fine. They’re just small wounds soon to be some scars; good for telling war stories over.”
“Glad you’re okay.”
Thomas was smiling from ear to ear.
“What’s so great that has you smiling as big as you are Thomas?” Asked Micah.
“According to my map, and from all the running we did away from the troll, we’re now only fifteen minutes away from the edge of the forest.”
The fives’ strength suddenly returned, and the five hopped onto their horses as fast as they could. They had their horses run as they were when being chased by the troll. A distant light could be seen showing itself through the clutter of trees.
“We’re almost there!” Yelled Jeff excitedly.
The light came closer and closer. The horses picked up their speed. Twenty feet away. Fifteen feet away. Ten feet away. Five feet, four, three, two, one!
The five horses burst out into open plains. It was hard to see, for it was now dark. The moon was giving enough light however for the five to see their surroundings. The five had planned their trip perfectly. They were right on schedule to where they wanted to be. The five wanted to be a little further though away from the forest before they set up camp, so they rode for another ten minutes at full speed on their horses, and then stopped. They made a fire, and for the first time all day, they finally got to have something to eat. With their stomachs pleased, they made beds for themselves, and they fell into a long deserved sleep.
As the five resumed their trip to Mondea, the sun became extremely frustrating. Sweat trickled from their foreheads, and it stung their eyes. If the five could only bear five more hours they would be at the castle. It was only two more hours till they reached Mondea.
“How long have we been going today?” Asked Jeff as he struggled to not pass out of dehydration.
“I’d say about an hour or so; not too long though.”
Jeff couldn’t take it any more. He was planning on saving his water for when he got to Mondea, but his memory faintly remembered a well not too far into the country, and so he drew his canteen from his waist and slowly drank-savoring every drop of it.
Jonathan placed his hand on his forehead to shade his eyes, as he looked for the borderline towers, but they were still too far away to see them. Mondea was lined with eight large towers. Each tower was seventy feet in height, with fifty pro bows men in each one to protect the city from invasions and massacres. Jonathan sighed heavily, wishing that he were in his room lying comfortably in his bed in the small hut within the city of Carron. He thought of the days before he had been called to war. When his mother was still living. Jonathan thought about his mother for a while. She had blue eyes and blonde hair. Her name was Aliah. But she had died of the plague as it went around. Jonathan became sad; he would have loved to see his mother when he returned home.
Two hours slowly past for the five riders. They finally were at tower six. A tall long red haired man approached them from a door within the tower.
“Who are you, and what may I ask is your business with Mondea?”
“I am Jonathan, and this is Thomas, Micah, Eric, and Jeff. We have been called here by the king to meet with him in the castle. We have just returned from the war with the harpies, and we are to claim our prize.”
“Alright, you may pass.”
The five continued until they were ten minutes away from the towers. They then climbed down from their horses and took out their canteens. They were now all very thirsty and they drank all that remained within them.
“So Thomas, how long till we get to the city of Carron?” Asked Eric, growing eager to get a decent night’s sleep in a real bed.
Once again Thomas pulled out his map and studied it briefly.
“An hour and a half,” was his short response.
Jeff was about to ask if they were near to the well, when it appeared in sight on what seemed to be the horizon far, far away. But the five got to it faster than he had expected.
“This is a good spot to stop and rest. We can drink, and allow our horses to do the same.”
The five agreed with Jonathan and they all climbed down off of their horses and removed their canteens from their sides.
“I don’t know about you guys right now, but after two years of moving from camp to camp I cold sure go for a good night’s worth of rest in a real bed.”
“I can defiantly agree with that.”
Just that one single thought of having a bed made all five of them happy. After drinking for a few minutes, the five resumed to their riding. The horses were now growing quite tired. The five would possibly have to walk if their horses grew too tired to carry them.
Then the five decided to have their horses run at full speed. If they were going to have to walk, they would rather only have to go half an hour’s worth than an hour’s worth. The horses were now growing extremely tied, extremely fast. The five were almost there. If the horses could just last till they got to the city, then they would be treated to the best horse-care in the whole city.
The city gates were now in plain view. They were coming closer, and closer. So close were the five. And then, at last, the five made it. Once again a guard approached them from within the gates of he city.
“What business do you have in Carron?”
“We have been called here by the king. A meeting is being held tomorrow night, and we have been called to join. We have just returned from the war with the harpies.”
“Very well, you may enter.”
They rode on. When they entered the city, they climbed down off of their horses and walked them through the town. Now even the castle was in plain view. The first thing the five wanted to do was look for a good stable to put their horses in. The continued down the main road until they saw the stable that faintly remained in their minds. They turned right and started down that road. Not too far down was the stable. Jonathan knocked on the stable’s door a few times and then stood back to wait. A few short moments later, a man came to the door. The man was stout with a long black beard, and deep gruff voice.
“Hello there, what can I do for ya?”
“Yes, may we leave our horses with you? When we return for them you will be paid.”
The man stroked his chin, and looked up into the sky as he thought.
“I’m pretty sure I have at least six spots open. Are these five the only ones you’d like me ter watch?”
“Yes, these are the only ones.”
“Okay then, come back when you’d like to pick them up and we’ll discuss a price.”
“Great, thank you.”
The man opened the large door and motioned for them to follow. The five grabbed their horses and entered the stable. The man led them near the end of the stable and showed to them the five spots for them. He opened the gate for each of them and the five stored their horses.
“Alright then, just come back when you need them.”
The five left the stable, and headed back down the road. When they returned to the main road, they were only five minutes walking distance away form the castle. They had finally made it!
The Castle and the King
The main road soon became narrow, and the castle was in plain view, along with the very gate that they would enter into.
“Well, there it is.” Said Jonathan astonished by the amazing structure. “The castle!”
The five began to jog out of sheer excitement to get there faster. Soon the narrow road ended, and the five reached the gate. The castle had seven large towers rising from different sections of it. The largest tower was in a large square shape. That tower was where the meeting rooms were, the guest rooms, the king’s chambers, one of three dining halls, a weapon storage room, and the gallery.
For the third and last time, a guard approached them from the castle’s gate.
“What business do you have with the castle?”
“We have been called by the king for a meeting.”
“Ah yes, you must be the five that have recently returned from the war, am I right?”
“Yes, that is we. Or at least we are five men who have just returned.”
“Very well then, you may proceed. I will have my guards open the gate so that you may pass.”
Jonathan nodded his head in thanks and the five stood back as they opened the castle’s gate. When the five walked under the arched wall of the castle, they entered a large courtyard, where many noble men were congregating amongst themselves. The five looked for where they wanted to go. The castle was very perplexed in its design. There were halls among halls, with rooms upon rooms. There were staircases leading up, and staircases leading down. The five found the doorway that they needed to go in and they did so. Within it was a small hallway, with two doors on the right, and one door on the left. The doors however were not where they needed to go. At the end of the hallway was a spiral staircase leading upwards. The five needed to take this to the next floor.
Once up the stairs they were in another hall. Four doors on the right, and four doors were on the left. The third door on the right led to where they needed to go. Inside that door was a small staircase consisting of five small stairs going forward instead of spiraled. Those led into one of three magnificent great halls.
The five entered the deserted great hall, and looked for the two doors mentioned that would be in there. They were in the back of it, one on the left and one on the right. The one on the left is the one that they took. It was another spiral staircase. This was the biggest staircase in the castle. It had sections where you could leave it, and into other halls. The five took the staircase up to the third drop off. Once again they had departed into another hallway. Two doors were on the left and two doors were on the right. The second door on the left led to a small hallway with six doors, three were on each side. This was one of twenty-five guest room hallways. There were six in this one, but only five would be used.
The king’s chamber was in the first door on the left that the five had just come from. Within that door was another small straight staircase that led into a small square shaped room with a door on all three walls. The one on the left was his room, the one in the middle was his personal weapon room, and the door on the right was his weapon bearer’s room.
“Well, lets get to our rooms, store our weapons, and change into some finer clothes. Then we shall go into the deepest great hall. There the king should be.”
So the five went into their rooms and did what had been decided. When they left their rooms they were in formal tunics with nice pants on. They regrouped outside of the their rooms and began their descend back to the third floor of the castle. They departed from the long staircase two floors down. They followed that hallway to the end there; there was another spiral staircase. At the end was a straight normal sized staircase. At the bottom was a long hallway. There were three doors on the right, which were more guest rooms, and one door on the left. The door on the left was at the end of the hallway. This door is the one that they took. It led to another great hall. This one was filled with lots of people now, including the king who was sitting at the royal table enjoying his meal. The five walked to the end of it and stood before the king. They bowed to him in respect when he saw them.
“My king. We have come under your request. You have called us to join your meeting tomorrow. We have just returned from the war with the harpies. My name is Jonathan. This is Jeffery, Eric, Thomas, and Micah.”
The king’s face turned into a wide smile. He cleared his throat and silenced the room.
“Ladies and gentlemen. I am proud to present to you the five heroes of the war!”
The crowd burst into applause. The five bowed at the crowd and then continued watch the king, waiting for what he had instructed for them next. The king stared back for a few moments before saying, “Well, what are you waiting for? Enjoy yourselves and feast!”
The first Attack
“So what was it like in the second year of the war? I was there the first year fightin’, but I was given permission to leave when my leg was deeply wounded.”
Jonathan and Amos sat next to each other and talked of old memories recalled from the war. Amos had become the king’s right hand man in the kingdom. They had eaten a very large dinner and the five now sat back and enjoyed the night while talking to old friends. Jonathan enjoyed talking to old friends, but the one thing he longed for the most was to see his wife and son-Julie and Mattathias. But for now, he would dine and talk with the king and his fellow men. King Andrew was a good king, and been so since he had started his reign over Mondea-five years ago. While talking, desert was brought out on large trays. There was pumpkin, strawberry, apple, peach, and raspberry pie, there was chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla cake; there was cookies of all sorts and much more.
While the five ate, they searched and found lots of friends that had joined them in the war.
“So, what are you doin’ now that the war is over?” Asked Eric as he sat next to Micah.
“I plan on moving North West to go live amongst my people.”
“To Goldenhan? Where the elves live?”
“What are you going to do there?”
“I don’t know yet. Probably live with my family for a while, and then… I don’t know really.”
“Hmm. I still don’t know what to do now. I already have a house, now I just need to get a job.”
“Well, I’ll probably just live in a house peacefully with no job to worry about. Stay home all day, and tell exciting tales of the war to my little brother and sister. If you’d like to come up there, you could build a house right next to mine if you wanted to.”
“I don’t know Micah. I mean, I just got back to Mondea-my home land; and, well I’m not so sure I’m ready to leave it again.”
“Well, I’m here for another three months so you have plenty of time to think about it, which I would recommend doing so, because it’s a rare chance that a human comes and lives wit the elves. Only a human may do that, if an elf invites him, which I have just done.”
“I don’t know yet; but I’ll defiantly think about it.”
“It would be good for Goldenhan to have another strong fighter, because of what I’ve heard recently, the trolls have been making a lot of attacks on them.”
“The trolls are attacking them? But why?”
“I don’t know. I’ve always known that the trolls can be vicious, but that’s only when you step into their territory. Plus they live right next to them in Lonaway. Their attacks haven’t been too harsh, but still, we’re losing more and more men.
“I see. Like I said, I’ll think about it. Right now, I think I’m gonna go back to my room.”
“That’s a good idea. I’m getting tired. I’ll go with you.”
So Eric and Micah left the dining hall; went back up the stairs, back down the hallway, up the other stairs, and back into the door on the left; down that hallway they went to their rooms where they went to bed and had a good night’s sleep.
As the dining hall emptied out, all who remained were Jonathan, Jeffery, Thomas and Amos. And soon Jeffery and Thomas went to bed.
“Well, it’s been good to talk to you again Amos.” Said Jonathan as he yawned. “But I need to get to bed so that I can be ready for the meeting tomorrow.”
“Oh, you’re going to that too?”
“Are you going?”
“Cool, then I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Jonathan left the table and went back to the room. That night, as Jonathan was sleeping, he had a nightmare; one that he would always remember.
He was back on the battle fields with Thomas, Micah, Eric, Jeffery and Huck. They were all doing good together, killing harpies left and right. But suddenly, something went wrong. Suddenly Huck got picked up by one of the harpies and carried off. The five followed as quick as they could, but when they finally got caught up with him, there were eight harpies around him. He managed to kill two of them. The five ran at them as fast as they could run. They thought that Huck might make it. He had managed to wound another one, but the harpy didn’t go down. Instead it stuck its claws into him. Huck let out a scream of pain. And then suddenly, the rest did the same. They clenched their fists within his body and went to fly in all different directions, which literally shredded his body to pieces.
Jonathan woke with cold sweat all over him. Tears suddenly swelled up in his eyes, and he knew that if any of the other four had, had this dream, they would have cried too. Huck had been almost like a brother to them. The rest of the night Jonathan was not able to return to his own sleep. So he got up and out of bed and got one of his pieces of parchment and a quill. He decided that he would make a small story out of his experience in the war with the harpies. It wouldn’t take that long he thought to himself, and if he wrote all night, it would be almost done by morning.
By four o’ clock in the morning, Jonathan had written quite a lot and decided that he would read it to see how it was. When he finished reading it, he realized it was a pretty depressing story. Tons of the caricatures that were really in the war were killed, and by the end there weren’t even two thirds of the caricatures that started out in the beginning of the book made it to the end. But he had to admit to himself that it was pretty good. Maybe he could it published he thought to himself. By then, he was pretty tired.
He crawled back into bed and went back to sleep. But he only got a few hours of sleep. He was awoken by the calling guard at eight o’ clock. Slowly he arose from the warmth of the blankets and got dressed into proper clothes and walked out into the hallway. As he entered the far great hall, he felt a strange eeriness about the place.
Jonathan walked up to the king and bowed.
“My king, is there something wrong? Has something bad happened?”
“Something terrible had happened my dear Jonathan. Sit down, and I will tell it to. News had just arrived that four days ago, a troll named Yato and his gang, which he calls the
Yato gang killed the head of the trolls. He then made a huge siege on the elfin city called Goldenhan. You see, before Yato killed the king of the trolls, the leader wouldn’t allow large attacks on any elfin towns, but that has all changed.”
“How many were killed?”
“Several hundred. But that’s not the worst of it. Now they’re headed for here: Mondea.”
“No way. Well, they’re not going to get anywhere. We’ll stop them my king.”
“Thank you Jonathan. I ask of you a favor now. If you could teach the younger soldiers how to be better warriors. Could you do that for me?”
“I’m sure I could. When would you like me to start?”
The king stroked his chin and thought for a moment.
“I guess you could start tomorrow if you’re okay with that. I mean, the trolls will be in Mondea in three days.”
“Sure. Then I’ll start tomorrow.”
“Good. Thank you very much Jonathan.”
“No problem king. I’d like to kill some trolls anyway.”
Suddenly the doors to the great hall burst open and standing in the entry was Micah; he was in full armor with all of his weapons with him.
“I’ll kill them! Everyone of them trolls will have no head when I’m through with them.”
Eric and Thomas stood up from a nearby table.
“And we’ll go with Micah.”
Jonathan ran over to Micah. Micah fell on his knees. Jonathan could see that he had tears in his eyes. Micah looked up at Jonathan.
“They killed them; everyone of them.”
“Killed who Micah?”
“My family! And I wont stop killing them until they all are gone!”
Jonathan walked back over to the king.
“My king, do you know why suddenly the trolls are going berserk?”
“That’s the worst part Jonathan. Dimitry. He’s the ruler of Faigh. It’s a country down…”
“I know where it is king. But why did he do that?”
“He suddenly has the urge to take over the world.”
“This isn’t good.”
“No Jonathan. No it’s not.”
The Long Awaited Meeting
Up in their rooms the five got dressed for the meeting. After four days, the five were finally going to attend it. The meeting room was the farthest room in the castle. It took the longest to get from the entrance. It was at the top of the tower of the tallest tower so that no one could get there without being spotted. You had to take the tallest staircase to get there.
Surprisingly the five ran into the king right outside their hallway, and so the six went to the meeting room together. It wasn’t as complicated to get to meeting rooms as it was getting to all the other rooms. You simply went all the way up the staircase until you were at a wooden door. They opened it and entered into a small hallway with no doors on either side of them. At the end there was a single door. Guards were on all sides of them as they walked down the short hallway. When they got to the end of the hallway they opened the door and walked inside the room.
There was a large oak table in the shape of a rectangle in the middle of the room. There were already twenty men sitting around it. When the king entered they all stood up and bowed to the king. The five sat next to each other, and next Jonathan as Amos.
“Good to see you Jonathan. So did you here of the attacks?”
“Sadly, I heard. I will kill them all, for Micah’s sake. Poor Micah lost his whole family in the attack.”
“Micah’s an elf?”
“He’s half elf, half human.”
“Hmm, I didn’t know that. Speaking of elves I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine.”
Amos stood up and had the person next to him stand up.
“Jonathan, I’d like you to meet the current king of the elves. His name is Boaz.”
Jonathan reached out his hand.
“Good to meet you Boaz.”
“And you too.”
The king cleared his throat in order to silence the room.
“If I could have your attention please. Now at first, I had called this meeting to honor our heroes of the war, but it seems that something new has come up. As you all know, there was an attack on Goldenhan, and that cannot be overlooked for now, they are headed to here to attack us. The worst of it though, I have not mentioned yet. Dimitry is the one who has encouraged the attacks. He has the sudden want of the world, and has already converted the trolls; and word has it that he persuaded the werewolves to join him too. Next will be the orcs I am sure. So now, we must take action and convert armies of our own. I think that we should start with the gnomes and ogres.”
Groans filled the room when they heard that they would have to befriend the gnomes.
“Now, now, it won’t be that bad. If we are able to have them in our army, I’m sure that they could of much use.”
“Yeah for shields!” Jeff yelled.
Everyone began shouting such things and laughing.
“Be quite! All of you. If I could have your attention again please! After we get the gnomes, I would like to get the goblins.”
“Now, I know that they are a little weird…”
“A little?” Jeff yelled.
“Okay. So they’re really weird. But they are nice creatures, and are very large in number. They have more of them than any other creature. So it would be good to have them rather than Dimitry, right?”
A murmur of agreement arose.
“We need the goblins the most probably. They are friends with the six dragons of that land.”
“We can’t forget,” Boaz had stood up. “You have the elves to help you also. We have still at least three thousand able for war.”
“Good. Thank you Boaz.”
Boaz nodded and returned to his seat. The meeting seemed to be going well.
“All right, now we need to discuss where we’re going to set up camp at. Any suggestions?”
“I say we set up camp just far enough away from the trolls to give us enough time to prepare ourselves and then go meet them head to head in battle.” Said a tall hooded figure.
He was wearing a black cloak and his face could hardly be made out.
“I’d say that’s reasonable. Thank you Titus.”
Jonathan leaned over to Amos.
“He’s a shadow person.”
“A shadow person. They are hardly known because they are rarely seen. But there are a lot of them out there. I’m not quite sure of where they come from however.”
The king began talking again.
“So does everyone agree with Titus?”
Everyone did, and so the meeting ended, and everyone there was assigned to fight. So the meeting that the five had originally planned to come to, and then be honored by the king with gifts, had come to a battle plan. Some disappointment hung over them, but excitement for fighting again made them forget most of it.
Later that day, the army was ready to move out, and so they did. Jonathan, Micah, Thomas, Eric, and Jeffery also went with the army. So did Amos, Titus and Boaz. They said that it would take a day to get to where they wanted to camp.
Jonathan and the others had gotten their horses out of the stable and that’s what they were riding on. Riding next to them was Amos on his horse. The sound of a horse galloping began to come near to them. The six looked back to see that Boaz was going fast to catch up to them.
He had to large sacks hanging over each side of his horse.
“Hi. I would like to give you gifts from the elves. I ask that you please take them. My horse is getting tired.”
The seven stopped and Boaz reached into one of the sacks. He pulled out what looked like a shirt but was made of thin chains.
“It’s mithril. It’s impenetrable; weather it’s spear, sword, arrow, axe, knife, or anything else like that; cannot cut you where you have mithril on.”
The six took the gift right away, without any hesitation.
“Thank you Boaz.” Said Jonathan.
The five put the mithril on, expecting it to be heavy; but they found it to be as light as a shirt. They all began to think that they were crazy to believe that it would stop swords, spears; even; fast traveling arrows.
“I don’t know guys. Do you really think that this will stop things from penetrating us?”
“Of course it will.” Said Amos. “It’s made by the elves.”
“If you say so.”
So the six continued riding with their newly equipped mythril on. Jonathan watched Boaz as he rode up to Titus. But he saw Titus shake his head as Boaz offered it to him.
“That’s odd.” Said Jonathan, as he watched this.
“What’s odd Jonathan?” Asked Amos.
“Titus didn’t except the mithril from Boaz. You think that he would want it for his own protection; wouldn’t you?”
“Well, if you know Titus as well as I do, I think you’d understand. You see, there are quite a lot of mysteries about shadow people. One is the way they live.”
“How do they live?” Asked Thomas; who was fascinated in adding new information to his maps.
“They live in shadows. At least most of the time that’s what they do. But every thousand years or so, they stop for about a hundred years so that they may live among people, not in their shadows.”
“Whoa. So you’re saying that I could have a shadow person living in my shadow right now?”
Asked Jonathan as he looked back at his shadow with suspicion.
“It’s possible I guess. I’m not exactly sure of how they are. I do know that they are like the elves-they’re immortal.”
“Really? I thought only the elves were immortal.”
“Me too. Until I met Titus and learned more about the shadow people.”
“Yeah. The most fascinating thing, I think is about Titus, is that he is half shadow person, half wizard. So he has the strength to come out of the shadows, and be amongst us. That also means he can use his magical powers on his enemies, making him nearly invincible.”
“Wow. That’s incredible. So are we going to try and recruit the shadow people also?”
“I don’t think so. It would probably take too long. You know, we’d first off have to find where their towns and cities are. And then we also have to get the ones amongst our shadows.”
“Oh, I see.”
“Yeah; basically it would just take too long.”
As the six were talking, the sun slowly sank into the west, giving off a beautiful cream-colored sky. Soon, they had made their destination and began to set up camp. There were over a hundred little camps crammed around the area. There were about thirty men to a camp.
In one camp were Jonathan, Thomas, Micah, Eric, Jeffery, Amos, Boaz, and Titus. Also there were some people that they met while camping who they became friends with such as: Edward, Timothy and a dwarf named Gondi.
They especially liked Gondi. He had a deep hearty laugh in which he did quite often. He told wonderful stories of his homeland in the minds. He lived in an elfin city called Cloreshank. It was the only city open to all mythical creatures. Living within it were dwarves, elves, humans, gnomes, goblins, pixies, even harpies, and few griffins were all able to live in peace while helping one another to build a legendary city.
Gondi’s voice was deep, and he had a long brown beard. He was always holding a mug. Every time he filled it up, he would quaff it down quickly.
“So, where’d you lads come from?” He asked the six.
Amos answered for them.
“Oh Mondea aye? I’ve ‘eard of it. Nice l’ttle place ya got there.”
“Well actually, it’s the biggest country in the world.”
“Right, right. Whatever.”
The five started a bond fire a little later when it was completely dark out now. As they looked around they could see that the other camps were doing the same. Soon it seemed that they were in a lighted city. There were fires lit everywhere.
“So, are you guys ready to fight tomorrow?” Asked Amos starting up more conversation.
“I know I am.” Said Micah sternly.
“I know I could defiantly go fer some killin’.” Said Gondi.
“I’m ready to fight.” Said Jonathan. “To tell you the truth, I almost miss it.”
“I can relate to that feeling.” Said Eric. “There’s nothing more pleasing then to kill someone with my crossbow.”
“Yeah, and with my beautiful double-sided axe.”
“You ‘av a double-sided axe?” Asked Gondi with widened eyes.
“Yeah. I’ll be using it tomorrow on the trolls.”
“Wow! All’s I have is a regular axe to kill my enemy.”
Amos yawned and stretched.
“Well, I’m tired, and I would like to be in vest shape to fight the trolls tomorrow. So, goodnight.”
“I think I’m going to do the same.” Said Eric. “Maybe we should all just go to sleep and then we can talk in the morning.”
Everyone agreed and they all went to sleep.
In the morning, the five gathered their things up so that they wouldn’t be hard to get if they made it out of the battle. They then got onto their horses and began to ride. This time Jonathan, Thomas, Micah, Eric, Jeffery, Amos, Timothy, Edward, Boaz, Titus, and Gondi all rode together. Eric, Micah, Edward and Timothy talked most of the way to the where they would meet the trolls at.
“Yeah, we fought briefly in the harpy war.” Said Edward. “We came in with two months to go.”
“Did you kill a lot?” Asked Eric.
“Not to much. I sprained my good wrist so really, I only fought for a week.”
“What about you Timothy?” Asked Micah. “How much did you fight?”
“Not too much. I fought for the whole two months that I was there, and I didn’t do much killing. Only about twenty or so did I kill.”
“Not too bad for only two months though.” Said Eric; who killed well over three hundred.
As the army became nearer to where they knew they would run into the trolls, they could feel the ground begin to shake. Soon a long line of figures stood on top of a small hill marching towards them. The armies’ leader shouted out to them.
“You ready to kill trolls men?”
A very loud shout in which the trolls were sure to hear filled the air. The armies’ horses began to gallop. Axes, spears, swords and shields were raised into the air. And then, they hit. Jonathan started out by just holding his sword out and slicing trolls as he rode by. The archers got off their horses and stayed back behind the armies. They shot their arrows into the mass of trolls-knocking them to the ground all around. Eric was one of them.
Edward, Timothy and Micah stayed together. As they were going Timothy got knocked directly over the head with one of the troll’s clubs. He fell to the ground. His eyes were glazed over and blood seeped from underneath his hair. The blow had crushed his skull and it killed him. Edward ran to his side.
Edward chased the troll and beheaded him. He turned around and put his sword through another troll’s heart. He killed three more, and then ran back over to Micah’s side.
Not too far away were Jonathan, Amos, Thomas and Gondi. Jonathan should have been killed at least three times, and that’s when he found out that he was wrong about the mithril. Gondi was an excellent warrior. With his standard axe he was killing trolls left and right. Jonathan and Thomas were doing the same. Amos was also a good fighter, but his death counts weren’t near as high as the other two.
Eric, along with Boaz who was also an archer charged in shooting off their bows as they ran in together. Soon the troll’s army was likening in soldiers, and it was showing.
Titus had killed more than anyone fighting. All he had to do was wave his hand and explosions would suddenly pop up in front of groups of trolls, burning them to a crisp. Not even two hours in, the trolls began to retreat back to their homeland: Dylok.
“Victory is ours!” Screamed Edward with excitement.
But as the trolls were leaving, as one past by, it swung its club at him, and the blow sent him twenty feet. Micah ran over to see if he was okay, but his face was caved in and every rib he had was broken. And the battle with the trolls had taken his life too. Both of the friends he had made were dead. But that’s how it was in battle. Micah began to look for Jonathan and the others so that he could rejoin them. He found them not too far away. He was glad to see that they were all alive, including Gondi and Amos. Farther back were Eric and king Boaz. Just as Micah reached them, so did Eric and Boaz.
“Well. That was exciting!” Said Jeffery.
“Where are Edward and Timothy?” Asked Jonathan.
Micah turned around and pointed towards their dead bodies.
“Oh, sorry Micah. I know they were your friends.”
Micah nodded his head.
“Well, I guess we start heading back for camp now huh.”
“I guess so.”
So the nine including Titus began their decent back to camp.
The Lesdain Family
Back at their camps, the wounded were being treated, and the others were packing up. Gondi was going to ride back with others and join them in the banquet that the king had promised the army when they returned-if they did so. That promise had surprisingly encouraged some of the soldiers so much that it gave them the will to go on.
“Well, that was fun.” Said Jonathan.
“It’s a good thing you think so Jonathan, because there’s a whole lot more to come.” Said Amos.
A war had become an issue so suddenly with the trolls that the soldiers would be preparing back in Mondea the next week. The seven when ready took off on their horses back to Carron with many of the other soldiers. The journey back to Carron wasn’t as bad as on the way to the battle field. On the way there they lacked good stories of slaying trolls, now they had plenty and were excited to brag about them to each other. So on the way back, that’s what they did to keep themselves well entertained.
When the army entered the city gates of Carron, everyone around was waiting for them cheering very loudly and waving to them as they passed. All the way up to the castle’s gate people were lined up on the streets. When they entered the castle the king was waiting for them in the courtyard. He stood on a balcony coming which came out of the center tower overlooking the courtyard.
“Welcome back. Congratulations on doing so, and if you all remember my promise, you will be ready by eight o’ clock tonight, dressed in fine close and with empty stomachs. For tonight, will be a spectacular feast. And also, a reward ceremony will be held for five unparticular warriors who have just returned from the war with the harpies, and then without seeing their families, went straight into the battle with the trolls. That will be held after the feast. Now, I am through with talking, so you may return to your homes or rooms.”
The king walked back into the castle and the crowd of soldiers went of to go to their places where they were staying. When the crowd had cleared up and the six ad room to walk around they decided where they would go to stay.
Jonathan decided to go and finally see his family, while Eric would return to his home. And Micah would stay in his room, and Amos, though already having a very nice house decided that he would stay in the sixth room to keep Micah company, since Jeff and Thomas were going back to their houses also.
“I can’t wait to see Julie,” said Jonathan, and from there he took off on his horse back to his house.
The houses of Carron, or anywhere else in Mondea were made out stone; wood frames outline them to make them look nicer along with wooden arches. The houses were made of straw and the doors were mostly wooden also.
When Jonathan got to his house it looked the same, and so he left his horse in the front and walked on up to the front door. He rapped on it a few times and then waited. He heard approaching footsteps and soon the door opened. There stood Julie looking at him with as if trying to remember him. Jonathan had changed a lot during the war and for a few moments she didn’t recognize him. Then, suddenly tears filled her eyes, as she was overwhelmed with joy to see him again. Jonathan embraced her and then walked with her back inside the house.
The house was average size for the town of Carron, which was pretty big. When you walked in the house you were in a square room that had no wall on the North side, and no wall on the West side. The West wall led into another square room, which most people used for a study. There was a staircase up against the back wall that led up into a hallway. The hallway had two doors on the left, and one door on the right. The first door on the left was a gallery for Julie was a painter. The second door was their son Mattathias’s room. The only door on the right was Jonathan and Julie’s room.
The two walked down the hallway that led off of the North wall and into the kitchen. They sat down at the table that was placed at the far left corner of the room.
“I’m so glad to see you again Jonathan. I didn’t think that you had made it away from the war.”
“I am especially glad to see you Julie, I thought of you the whole time.”
“So where is my son?”
“Oh, Mattathias has gotten big. He’s out right now down in Emins Hill playing with his friends Scott Biar and Tim Curly.”
“Curly. I know that name.”
“You should, it’s become pretty popular. He was one of the five men that are being honored at the dinner tonight.”
“Yeah. His name is Jeffery or something.”
“Yeah I think so, why?”
“He’s my best friend.”
“You know him?”
“Yes. I’m also one of the five who are being honored at the banquet tonight.”
Julie put her hand over her mouth as her eyes widened.
“Yes, I am.”
She hugged him again and then just stood there speechless. Trying to break the silence, Jonathan asked, “So where’s Mattathias again?”
“He’s at Emins Hill. I’ll go with you if you’re going to go find him.”
“Alright. That’s what I wanted to do.”
Julie and Jonathan walked outside and started down the road. Emin’s Hill was half a mile down, and then from their Scott Biar’s house was down the first road. The walk was short though, for Jonathan enjoyed talking to Julie.
“So what has it been like at home?” Asked Jonathan.
“Well, it starts out the same way each day, with me waking up and then waking Mattathias up to do his chores, while I make breakfast.”
“Then I usually like to visit with Emily Biar, our next door neighbor. We catch up with the news, talk about our sons, and then talk conversations from the top of our heads.”
Jonathan nodded again.
“And then from there I have different schedules for the rest of the day. Sometimes I go down to the market and get eggs, bread, fruit, and other things. I read, take care of the house, and nap when I have time. I don’t know, there’s not much things that I do that are interesting. Probably not to you at least.”
“All those things sound so wonderful. After being in that war, all I ever want to do for the rest of my life is relax. Watch Mattathias grow up. Visit with old friends about what’s going on around here and not about a war. Those kind of things sound better than anything else I can imagine.”
Now it was Julie’s turn to laugh.
“What’s so funny?” Asked Jonathan.
“I don’t know, it’s just that those things to me seem so normal, boring really. I have nothing to look forward to except the return of my husband. And now that is done. To me it just seems that after so much action and fighting, that you wouldn’t want to completely settle down, but go an do more of it.”
“It would seem right for me to want those things. The only reason I don’t is because I only know that I’m going to get more weather I like it or not.”
Julie stopped walking and looked at him.
“What do you mean?”
“A man named Dimitry, is the ruler of Faigh. He wants to take over the world. He already has the trolls on his side. I had to go fight in that battle with them. Now he is already planning on taking over many more armies and attacking us in much harder hits.”
Julie was about to respond to all of this, when at the most proper time, they reached Emins Hill.
“Oh look, we’re here,” said Julie.
Emins Hill was small, but it looked big with the enormous houses that sat upon it. The first street was left of the entrance gate, which you walked through as you entered Emins Hill.
“This place has really been built up since I’ve been gone, huh.”
“I suppose it has been added onto a little bit,” said Julie. “I haven’t really noticed it though.”
They continued to walk, looking at the houses as they went by them.
“These houses are really big,” remarked Jonathan as he looked at them in awe. “Have you ever been in one?”
“A few. I’ve been in Scott’s quite a lot because of Mattathias.”
“Oh, right. They’re friends.”
Soon they arrived at Scott’s house and they walked up his front steps. Julie knocked on the door and soon Scott came and answered.
“Hi Mrs. Lesdain.”
“Hi Scott. Is Mattathias here?”
“Oh yeah, he’s right inside.”
Scott didn’t really take notice in Jonathan standing there, and so Jonathan just walked in with Julie. This place was massive. In the entryway was a high, arched ceiling with the support arch beams made out of oak. The floor was wooden and there was a room on every side of them. On the left was a room with a fireplace up against the wall and high backed chairs facing it. In the other room were two tables, some larger chairs, and long rectangular shaped table. Branching off of that room was another room, which looked like it was the dinning room. The room in front of them was a hallway, and that was the direction was where they went.
At the end of the hallway was a kitchen. To left of that was a meeting room. In there were four boys. They were all sitting around a large oak table talking to each other. Jonathan walked into the room.
“Mattathias, is that you?”
Mattathias looked up. He peered hard into his father’s face.
“Dad, is that you?”
“Hey son, what was it like while I was gone?”
Mattathias flew up and hugged his father.
“I missed you dad!”
“I missed you too son.”
Jonathan backed away and studied his son.
“Man, you’ve grown.”
“It’s great to see you dad. So do you have any cool stories from the war or anything?”
“Oh yeah. I have plenty. And I’ll tell you all of them in time. Right now I need to get ready for the banquet tonight.”
“You’re going to the banquet?” Asked Mattathias?”
“Yes, and so are you and your mother.”
“So are you Max. Your father is going too. He’s one of the five that are being held in honor.”
Max’s eyes widened.
“Really? My dad is one of the five war heroes?”
“Yes, he is.”
“Are you father? Are you one of the five war heroes?” Mattathias asked.
“I’m also one of the five heroes, if that’s what they’re callin’ us.”
For the next hour Jonathan, Mattathias, and Julie sat talking about things that had they had missed while being apart. After that the Lesdain family went back home to their house.
They got ready for the banquet and as they were about to leave, Scott came over. He had tears in his eyes when he asked for Mattathias. Mattathias walked outside.
“What’s wrong Scott?”
“I just found out that my dad made it home alive from the war.”
“So, what’s wrong with that?”
“Well, he made it back from the war all right, but he was killed in the battle with the trolls.”
“Oh man, I’m sorry Scott.”
Jonathan had over heard what Scott said.
“What was his name?” Asked Jonathan.
“My father’s name was Timothy Biar.”
“I knew him. Or at least I’m pretty sure that was him.”
Mattathias began to think for a minute.
“Hey dad, can Scott come with us?”
Now it was Jonathan’s turn to think.
“Yeah, I s’pose he could come. That would be fine.”
Scott looked up at Jonathan. He sniffed again.
“Thanks, but no thanks. I think I’ll just stay home.”
“Come on Scott,” pleaded Mattathias. “Your uncle Amos will be there.”
“What the heck? Are you related to everyone?” Asked Jonathan.
“I don’t know.”
Scott forced a small smile.
“Alright, I’ll come.”
Mattathias clapped him on the back.
“There you go.”
So the four began walking down the road, towards the castle of Carron. On the way, they ran into the stableman.
“Hi uncle Grutt,” called Scott.
The stableman looked up from the road.
“Oh, I didn’t see you there young Scott. And who are you with?”
“This is my friend Mattathias and his family.”
“Oh, I see. So where you all headed?”
“The castle,” replied Jonathan, “we’re going to the banquet. Are you?”
“Nah, not tonight.”
Jonathan nodded his head.
“Well, I can’t keep you waiting forever, so I guess I’ll see you folks around. Enjoy your banquet.”
And the five went their different ways. Up the road the four continued to head for the castle. The gates came into view as they climbed the hilled main road. People were coming out of different streets; some of the soldiers still clad in their armor.
As they walked past the last street, they saw Jeff and his family coming. The Citile family: Jeff, his wife Moraine and his son Max were all together. When Jeffery noticed Jonathan and his family, he picked up his pace.
“Hey Jonathan. What did you do today?”
“Lots, to tell you the truth. I was finally able to regroup and see my family again for the first time in two years.”
“Ah, same here. It’s great isn’t it?”
Jonathan smiled as he nodded his head.
“It sure is. Well, we better hurry up if we want to here the king start the banquet, huh?”
Jeffery nodded his head.
“I guess so.”
So the two families and Scott Biar walked together up the road and to the castle gates.
This time there was no guard, and people just walked inside the castle. Inside the courtyard soldiers were helping people with directions on how to get to the third dinning hall. Jonathan went up to one and Jeff followed.
“How do you get to the third dinning hall?” Asked Jonathan.
The guard smiled. He reached out his hand and shook Jonathan’s.
“Good to have you back at the castle.”
“I was only gone for a little bit of the day.”
“All the same Jonathan. Alright, to get to the dinning hall you’re looking for, you go into the main hallway, go up the staircase, down that hallway, through the first door, and you enter into the dinning hall. Good luck!” He called as they walked away.
When they had gone through the halls, staircases, and doors they were in the dinning hall; filled with what looked to be thousands was a magnificent site. Jonathan and Jeffery looked around for a few moments until they found Thomas, Eric, Micah, Amos, Gondi, and Boaz all sitting together at a large table, with their families along with them. Jeffery, Moraine, Max, Jonathan, Julie, Mattathias and Scott Biar walked over to the table.
Amos looked up and saw Scott.
“Hey Scott,” he said, and scooted over and patted the spot next to him, “here’s an empty spot where you and I could talk.”
Scott accepted his proposition and took a seat next to Amos, while the other two families found spots between others. Jonathan squeezed in between Amos and Gondi, who had two other Dwarves sitting next to him.”
“Hello there Jonathan,” said Gondi through a gulp of his drink.
“Hello Gondi, good to see you again.”
“Aye, and you too. I’d like you to meet my two friends: Falendor and Herideen. Falendor’s a Dwarf Lord. Ruler of the mountains us Dwarves come from.”
“And what mountains are those?” Asked Jonathan as he shook the hands of the two Dwarves.
“Why of course the Mountains of Red.”
“So you’re a Dwarf Lord?” Asked Jonathan as he looked at Falendor.
The Dwarf grunted and went back to talking to Herideen.
“He doesn’t talk much,” said Gondi.
Jonathan nodded his head.
“That’s become pretty clear. Is he a good King?”
Gondi nodded his head a little bit.
“He’s a heck of a warrior, but not too good on speeches. He leads us fine though.”
Jonathan turned to Amos.
“Where’s Titus? I haven’t seen him anywhere.”
“He left to go do some studies in a small town called Kubulant.”
“Kubulant? Where’s that?”
“It’s a small town about a half a day’s journey from here. It’s in Mondea.”
“Hmm. Too bad, I would have liked it for him to have been here for the banquet.”
“He’s coming back.”
“I’m not sure, all I know is he’s doing some studies for his maps.”
“He makes maps?”
“I’ve heard some of the best.”
Jonathan was about to reply when the dining hall went quite, and the king stood up in his seat and cleared his throat.
“May I have your attention please? Thank you. As you know, we have defeated the Harpies in the war…”
He was about to go on but was interrupted by loud applause.
“Yes. And now, we have just defeated the Trolls in a battle.”
There was a lot of applause in that too.
“But there are five men who were in both of those happening and I would like to call them up here please. Jonathan Lesdain, Jeffery Citile, Thomas Ridford, Eric Sallaman, and Micah Rollen.”
The crowd cheered as the five made their way up to where the king was. The king continued to speak.
“These five men have fought bravely against Harpies, Trolls and soon probably a lot more things. Therefore I would like to present them with these gifts, the eye of the world. What it does is it allows you to see things you normally could not see; invisible thing and other stuff such as that. I’d also like to give each of you the belt of iron. You where it as a belt, it’s as light as a feather, and it gives you the strength of ten men. And now my favorite one: the cap of darkness. You where on your head and makes you invisible, and with your eye of the worlds on you can still see each other. Finally a bottle of dragon’s blood. Bathe in it and every part of your body that it touches will become impenetrable to sword, arrow, spear, lance, anything.”
Four servants handed the five their things and the crowd of people stood up clapping.
“If I my have you attention again please.”
Everyone went silent again.
“I have one last thing I would like to give to you five.”
Five servants came in carrying each a sword. They were beautiful swords with jewel-incrusted handles. The sheaths they were in were also magnificent.
“I would like to dedicate these swords to you. Each one will be hung on my wall of weapons; where only the best men to ever fight for Mondea’s weapons get hung.”
The room was filled again with applause as the king excused the five to go sit back down. They thanked him and did so.
“Now, the moment for the reason that I’m sure we’re all here for-the food.”
Suddenly many platters were brought out by the servants of the castle. They were placed before everyone and opened. They revealed many different delicious looking foods.
People grabbed what they could and began to eat the best meal they had had in years.
Near the end of the meal the deep conversations struck up again. Jonathan started talking to Falendor and Herideen and Amos, and other of his friends.
“I think we should go to Kabulant and find Titus,” said Jonathan to Amos. “He could defiantly be a good addition to our army. We will need all the men we can get if we’re going to go up against huge armies such as the ones being talked about.”
“I don’t know Jonathan, I mean there’s a lot of thing about Titus that remain a mystery to us all, and I don’t know that going to bother him is the best idea. He’s an odd one Jonathan.”
Jonathan frowned at this.
“I’d like to start a small little army of mine. I’d like us all to stay together too. We already have a bunch of good fighters. Me, Thomas, Jeff, Eric, Micah, You, Boaz, Gondi, Falendor, Herideen, and I thought that Titus would make a good addition to us.”
“It’s a good idea Jonathan, and we can still be a group of those people you mentioned, but Titus is more of an independent person. He likes to be left alone.”
Jonathan thought for a moment and Amos could see that his point was not getting to Jonathan. He thought for a second and then tapped Jonathan on the shoulder.
“For instance, remember when we were on our way to fight the Trolls, and Boaz offered Titus the mithril?”
“Yeah, and your point?”
“He didn’t even look up at Boaz or except the mithril. He doesn’t like the company of others.”
“Alright, you’ve made your point. I’ll start heading for Kabulant first thing in the morning.”
At this Amos screamed. The room went silent and they all looked at him. He slouched down in his seat and after a moment, they resumed with their talk.
“Alright Jonathan,” he said, “If you want to do this so badly I’ll go. But I know this will not be pretty.”
And with that Jonathan left the dinning hall with his things given to him by the king. He would have liked to take that sword with him but the king was keeping it for his wall of weapons like he had said.
While walking out Jonathan gathered Mattathias, Julie, and was about to get Scott but he said that he would like to stay with Amos. The Lesdain family left the banquet and headed for home. Jonathan knew that there was a lot of preparation for the trip he was going to take.
When they got home he began to do so.
“Hey dad, what are you doing?” Asked Mattathias as he looked at him.
Then, Jonathan had an idea.
“Hey Mattathias, would you like to come with me to Kabulant?”
“Sure that’d be great.”
“Well, start packing, I’m leaving tomorrow.”
Julie was in the doorway listening.
“You’re leaving again Jonathan?”
“Just for a short trip Julie, it’s not like I’ll be fighting anything or being attacked. It’s a harmless trip to go find a friend.”
Julie shook her head and rolled her eyes.
Then she left the room, and Jonathan and Mattathias continued packing their things for the trip.
“This is gonna be cool, huh dad?” Said Mattathias.
“I don’t know Matt. It could be dangerous, but don’t tell your mother.”
“It will be fun though,” said Jonathan.
After packing a few more shirts and pants and maps and weapons, they were all ready to go to Kabulant. By that time it was late and so everyone went to bed.
The Trip To Kabulant
After a good night’s sleep, and at the break of dawn, Jonathan and Mattathias said their good byes to Julie and headed out of the house. Before Jonathan had left the banquet the previous night, he had asked Amos to inform everyone of the trip. And they were to meet at the castle’s gate.
When they arrived, there were only four people there: Gondi, Falendor, Herideen, and an Elf Jonathan had never seen. When the others saw Jonathan and Lesdain coming, they walked over to greet them. Jonathan shook the hands of the Dwarves with a brief ‘hello’, but when he went up to the Elf he hesitated before shaking his hand.
The Elf understood what Jonathan was trying to get out of him and so he bowed and then said, “Hello. I am Arhomor; son of Boaz the king of the Elves.”
Jonathan shook his hand.
“Hello Arhomor, thank you for joining me on this trip. But why couldn’t Boaz come?”
“My father was called back to Treesparrow, for without a king, and with the recent attacks from the Elves, chaos is beginning to become a problem.”
“I see. Well, you look to be about my son’s age, so I’d like to introduce you to him.”
Jonathan gave Mattathias a little nudge, and he went up and shook Arhomor’s hand.
“Nice to meet you,” said Mattathias. “My name is Mattathias, but you can call me Matt; it seems to be much easier for everyone.”
“Hello Matt, I’m Arhomor, and I have no other name.”
He gave a short laugh, and from then on, the two hung out together.
Soon after, Amos, Eric and Micah arrived from the castle for they had no home to live in.
“Good to see you two,” said Jonathan.
“Aye, and you too Jonathan.”
Gondi approached the two with the Dwarf Lord and commander at his sides.
“Hey there you two. I’d like you ter meet me two friends. On my right is the great Dwarf King.”
The king shook their hands.
“My name is Falendor Ranflit the 3rd, and it’s a pleasure ter meet ya.”
“And I’m Eric, and this is Micah, and it’s an honor to meet the great Dwarf King.”
“And on my left,” continued Gondi, “Is the leader of the Dwarven army Herideen.”
They shook hands also. Amos was already accompanied with the two Dwarves and so no introducing was necessary for him. As Eric and Micah were done meeting the Dwarves, Jeffery and Thomas arrived. They greeted everyone, and the process of meeting the Dwarves was repeated again and again, until everyone had arrived.
Seven Humans, three Dwarves and an Elf were present and ready to be off on their trip to Kabulant. Except for one more thing that they had to wait for. But not for long did they have to do that.
Van Biar, the stableman, whom was unknown that he was yet another relative of the Biar family came walking up the street with eleven horses, tied together so that they wouldn’t split up.
“Ah, there he is, and just in time too,” said Amos.
When Van saw his brother he gave a wave and smiled.
“Hey there little brother,” said Van, as he pulled up next the small crowd with the horses.
He hopped down off the horses.
“Hey Van,” said Amos smiling, as he gave him a hug.
“Well, here are all the horses you wanted, including the five that you guys dropped off when you arrived in town.”
He pointed out Jonathan, Thomas, Eric, Jeff, and Micah as he said that.
“Thank you Van, this was a huge favor, and I appreciate you fulfilling it.”
“Ah, no problem little bro, it was nothin’. Oh, and good luck on this trip. I’ll be havin’ a welcome home party at my house for when you come back, k?”
“Sounds good to me Van,” said Amos with a small laugh.
With that the eleven people climbed up onto their horses as Van undid the rope tying them all together. When he was done they all took off.
By now the sun was fairly high, and it’s hot rays bore down on the eleven as they went. The time was exactly eight o’ clock when they got started and by the time they were hitting the outskirts of the Carron, people were beginning to wonder about the town with their business.
As Jonathan examined the others he noticed something. And that was that he had four friends, one being half Elf. Well, Mattathias had three friends, and now an Elfin friend that were all the same age. He put them together and began to hope that one-day, when he, Thomas, Jeffery, Eric, and Micah couldn’t fight anymore, that there would be a whole other line of five good warriors to be Mondea’s heroes.
“Why are we doing this again?” Asked Falendor while talking to Herideen.
“I’m not sure, ask Gondi.”
“Why are we doing this Gondi? Where are we going?”
“We’re on an adventure you could say king.”
“I don’t care what we’re on! Where are we going and why are we doing this was my question.”
“We’re going to Kabualnt to see if we can find a man named Titus to come with us.”
“Who is this Titus?”
“He’s a Shadow person. Half wizard too. Or so I’ve heard,” said Gondi.
Falendor grunted with satisfaction on knowing enough of the subject. The only thing making Falendor interested was he mention of adventure. Ever since he had left the Mountains Of Red, on the matter with Trolls attacking, he hadn’t had any adventure. And he had planned on fighting Trolls, within many battles.
“How long is it going to take to get there?” Asked Jeffery.
Thomas pulled out his map, but before he could answer, Amos replied with, “Half a day. We should be there around three o’ clock.”
Thomas looked at Amos with annoyance, for Thomas always liked to be the one knowing the lay of the land. To the far left of everyone were the two Micah and Eric as usual, talking about seeking out total revenge against the Trolls. Usually they would have known that overcoming one troll by themselves is nearly impossible, but with the five things that the king gave them-including their new swords, they would easily overcome the army of Yato.
Speaking of whom, they had not heard of him much after the Trolls’ great loss against Mondea’s forces. The last act known to everyone was the Trolls attacking their own brethren, the Ogres.
The three Dwarves were all congregating amongst them, Mattathias and Arhomor were talking about Treesparrow, and the rest were talking about the excitement of knowing of the adventures within the Land of Mythical Beasts that lay ahead of them.
“The part I look most forward to,” said Jeffery, “Is trying to recruit the Goblins. I love Goblins, they’re cool.”
“The only reason you like them Jeff is because they’re the only thing you’re actually smarter than,” said Jonathan. “I mean, come on! Their capitol city is called Idiotical.”
“Shut up Jonathan. I’m starting to feel like you all think I’m a moron. It all started when we were back in the marshes on the way back from Mordacia.”
“Sorry Jeff. We still like you.”
The trip that took half a day seemed like it took three days for the eleven exhausted men. But finally, they had made it to Kabulant. It was an old looking town.
“Man, this place looks ancient.”
“It should Jeff. Some say the antiquity of this place is impossible to figure.”
The buildings of Kabulant were made out of clay. A clay wall, with one city gate, surrounded the town. The streets were packed however with people. Though the population of the town was supposed to be only three hundred people. Merchants were pushing around carts, and people were buying and selling things all around them.
“Well, were do we look first leader Jonathan?” Asked Amos sarcastically.
“I don’t know. We should probably split and then meet back here at the gate tonight.”
“Sounds good to me,” commented Micah.
“Alright then, lets start.”
“The dwarves stay together,” said Gondi. “The king will need our protection.”
“Alright. Then Thomas, Eric, Jeff, Micah, and me will go, and Amos, Arhomor and Mattathias will go together. Alright then, lets get going.”
There was one bug street to take when you entered the gate of Kabulant, so the eleven took that until other roads branched off of it. The Dwarves took the first road to the left. The group of five took the next road, which went left, and the other group took the next road on the right.
“So are we looking for any buildings unparticular?” Asked Micah, as gazed around at the buildings with fascination.
“I’m not sure about buildings, we’re really trying to keep a look out for Titus; whom if you can remember wears that black cloak, with the hood on. He’ll probably stick out of the crowd.”
Eric looked around at the people. He noticed that a lot of them were wearing cloaks-some even black such as Titus’s was.
“I’m not so sure Jonathan,” said Thomas, as he noticed that everyone was wearing cloaks, like Micah had.
Jonathan frowned as he thought of what to do and where to go.
Meanwhile, Gondi, Herideen and Falendor were having a hard time. Their round, four and half foot tall bodies were not easily looked past.
“I don’t like this Gondi,” said Falendor in a deep gruff voice; hoping to scare some passerby’s. “They’re all eyeing us as if we’re about to break out and start lashing people with our axes.”
“Just keep your eyes on the road and no one will suspect a thing.”
All Gondi could here for Falendor’s response was grumbling. Herideen-who had not been listening to the conversation of the other two, was transfixed on one building. Dwarves were not usually considered bright, but Herideen had done many studies, and was one of the smartest.
The building he watched was one he figured a Shadow person would like to stay at. It was larger than most of the other buildings, with pinnacles coming out of it.
“I think that we should go over to that building to look for Titus,” suggested Herideen, when he had made up his mind about looking there.
“Why should we look there?” Asked Gondi.
“I don’t know, it just seems like it would be dark inside, and a comfortable place for a Shadow person to go.”
“Alright, we’ll go then.”
And so they started making their way over to the large building.
While Amos, Mattathias and Arhomor wondered helplessly down the neighborhood. They knocked on each door to get a short response being ‘I’m not interested in anything’. And then the door would close.
“Well, we’ve haven’t found the slightest clue of where Titus may be. What do we do now?” Asked Amos.
“Keep looking is our only option,” said Arhomor.
And so they kept on knocking on people’s doors, and getting no clue as to where Titus was.
Not too far away from the Dwarves were the other five. They were getting the same idea as Herideen, and soon they had confirmed it between themselves that they would go look in the large building. They were able to get over there just as the three Dwarves did.
“What are you guys doin’ here?” Asked Herideen.
“Yeah, I thought we split up.”
“Good question,” said Jonathan, “But this is obviously a good place to look if we have both wondered here.”
The Dwarves nodded their heads in agreement.
“Alright then,” said Micah, “Lets go in.”
Titus, The Shadow Man
Once Amos had realized that knocking on people’s doors was not working, he began to search the town buildings that he imagined Titus to be in. He too finally came to the conclusion that Titus was in the building the others had thought he was in. When Amos, Arhomor and Mattathias walked in, they nearly ran into the other eight.
“I see you made it,” said Gondi.
Once inside the maculate structure, you stood in a hollowed out room, with nothing but rows of benches. To the right there was a small hallway that went for a ways until it turned left.
“So where do we look?” Asked Falendor; his voice bouncing loudly off of the walls.
A small man came running up to him with his finger pressed to his lips. He placed his hand on Falendor’s shoulder and was about to speak, when Falendor jumped back and pulled out his war axe.
In horror, the man ran off down the hallway.
“He was just telling you to be quite,” said Micah, letting out a small laugh.
“I don’t what he was doing, I would like to be ready for any assault.”
Soon the man came walking back down the hallway being guided by Titus.
“Hello, Jonathan. This man says that the Dwarf was on the verge of killing him.”
Falendor examined his axe that was still gripped tight in his hands, and he slowly put it away.
Why have you come to Kabulant?” Asked Titus.
“To ask you to join the army of Mondea,” was Jonathan’s brief response.
“I had already planned on doing so,” said Titus.
“Than why did you come here?”
“So I could study more about Werewolves and Gargoyles.”
“But why study those creatures?” Asked Micah.
“Because Gargoyles are Dimitry’s right hand creature army, and I know that he has his heart set on getting the Werewolves. I just fear that it may be too late to find out any more about the two creatures.”
“We must leave tomorrow Titus,” said Amos. “Will you come back with us?”
“You may stay here for the night. I will pack my things and when you are ready to leave, I shall go with you.”
“Thank you,” said Jonathan happily.”
After the long day’s search it felt good for all of them to stretch out on a bed and a get a good night’s sleep.
In the morning, when everyone was awake, they prepared their horses, and started out of Kabulant and to Carron. It was a longer trip than the day before. No body talked much, for it was still early in the morning, but by ten o’ clock the conversations began.
They kept the twelve entertained all the way back to Mondea. Even Titus joined in talking of exciting stories he had had in the past days. He hadn’t fought with the Harpies though; his stories were mainly of wild adventures of roaming the land.
He even planned on making his own country, which he was going to call Lythian. A race of men called the Solmen would live there. He would also try and have the Elves go live there too. But that was planned for the time to come.
When they arrived back in Mondea, it was not a pleasant sight. Dead bodies littered the roads. The twelve galloped as fast as they could up to the castle were an awkward gloominess hung in he air.
None of them could find the king anywhere so they asked a near by guard.
“It was terrible. It happened late last night. A siege by Werewolves and Trolls attacked us. They set to blaze houses, livestock and other things. They killed wondering people. But worst of all, they killed our king!”
The twelve bowed their heads for they had loved their king much.
“His last request,” the guard went on, “Was to place Amos, his right hand man, the new king of Mondea.”
The other eleven looked back at Amos who looked really confused. Usually being announced as king was a very happy thing but at that moment, it was obvious that there was nothing to be happy about.
A Want of Revenge
Amos stood transfixed with the wall as he thought over the new happenings in Mondea.
“Well, what are you going to do first as new king over Mondea?” Asked Jonathan.
Amos didn’t look away from the wall, but they could tell that he was thinking hard on the decision.
“First, I want you to gather the army,” he said while pointing his finger at the guard.
And he ran off down the corridor.
“Secondly, I want you Jonathan, to take Thomas Jeffery, Eric, and Micah to go and fetch your swords of the weapon wall. If you can’t find it, ask a guard.”
The five began towards their rooms, for across from them was the kings chambers, where the wall of weapons were.
“Third, I want all of you here, including the five that just left to fight with me against the Werewolves and the Trolls.”
“We shall do anything you ask of us,” replied Titus.
“If I may,” asked Falendor, “I would like to take my two Dwarves with me back to the Mountains of Red please. I will gather my army and return in fifteen days.”
“That is fine.”
“And if I may return to my father Boaz, I’m sure that he could gather a great amount of Elves to help you. With an army of Humans, Dwarves and Elves we will surely come over the Werewolves and Trolls,” suggested Arhomor.
“Go, but be quick please Arhomor, we will need these armies ready in at least twenty days. I shall send four guards to accompany you.”
“Thank you king. I shall hope to return in fifteen days also.”
Amos called four guards over and commanded them to go with Arhomor. After that, they were off.
Evryone was gone now except for Titus and Mattathias. Titus looked over to Mattathias. He examined his small and dull sword, and the worn leather sheath that it comfortably was held.
“Do you know much about fighting?” Asked Titus after looking Mattathias thoroughly.
“Not very good, if at all,” was his abrupt response.
“If you would like, I could teach you.”
“In time. We’re obviously going to spend some time together if you plan on traveling the world with your father.”
“This is true Matt,” said Amos. “And we’re also going to be doing much fighting with foreign creatures while traveling. You will need some experience with the sword.”
“And that, I can teach you,” continued Titus.
“Sounds good to me. When can we start?”
“If you’d like to get up in the morning fairly early, you could meet me at the castle gates. We’ll come back inside and train in one of the great dinning halls. Those rooms are open and big, that way we have a lot of space to move around in.”
“Okay. In the morning, at the castle’s gates.”
“If you don’t mind, I’d like to come and watch, I’m also fairly good with the sword. And maybe you can teach me a few things,” said Amos.
“You’re welcome to come, even if I said no; you’re the King of all of Mondea, remember?”
“I still would like to act as a normal citizen of Carron though; asking when I may do things, instead of just doing them. This is a very drastic change for me, I just need some time to get used to it.”
“I understand king.”
“And as wanting to be a normal citizen, please call me by my normal name. You are all close friends to me, and that seems weird for you to do so.”
Just then, Thomas, Jonathan, Eric, Micah, and Jeffery returned with their gleaming sword sheaths hanging at their sides; the beautiful handles of the swords glittering and sparkling at their waists.
“We’ve returned wit the belts king.”
“Now, I just got through telling the other two this, and I’ll say it again. As your friend, I’d like you to still just call me Amos please.”
“Sure thing, Amos,” said Jonathan.
“Alright, thank you.”
“Should I gather the army of Mondea Amos?”
“Yes. That would be a good idea to do so.”
“I’ll go start then.”
And Jonathan left.
“I think I’m going to go home and check to see if my mother is okay,” said Mattathias, and he too left.
“That’s a good idea,” commented Jeff. And he left.
Thomas, Eric and Micah decided to go to their rooms up in the higher areas of the castle, while Titus and Amos decided that they would go make good swords for themselves for when they were to fight the beasts.
When Mattathias began down his street, the odor of the dead grew stronger; once kind and friendly neighbors lay still with death in their front lawns. Once beautiful houses now had doors ripped off along with boards, windows, and other things, with claw marks everywhere. And as Mattathias neared his house he saw something that he wished had had not seen. His mother was lying in the road, blood covered her back, and she was dead.
“No!” He screamed.
He ran up to her. She wasn’t breathing, and she was defiantly dead. He began to sob in the middle of the road over who had raised him while his father was gone.
As fast as he could run he ran back to the castle to tell Amos. When he got there, he couldn’t find him. The castle was so maculate that Amos could be anywhere. Mattathias hurried to the nearest guard.
“Where’s Amos? I need to talk to him immediately!”
The guard looked with annoyed eyes at him.
“Have you no respect boy? You call the king by king. And I do not know of where he is. I suggest you take the main staircase to the top, to get to his chambers. Do you know how to get there from here?” Asked the guard.
“No, I don’t believe so,” said Mattathias, still panting hard from the long sprint up to the castle.
The two were at the far west corner of the castle’s courtyard.
“Go to the other side of this yard, and in the middle of the wall is a small hallway with a staircase at the end of it. Take those up to the next floor. Your first door on the right is one of the great dinning halls. Walk through that and there will be two door at the back. Go on the one on the right side. There will be the staircase. And I was wrong about going all the way up. That’s the king’s meeting room. Go up two stories ad take that branch off. There will be a door on the right and left. Once you enter that there will be a door on you left, right and one right in front of you. Check everyone until you find the king. And remember to knack first.”
“Okay, thank you.”
Mattathias hurried all the hurried up to the king’s chamber and found them in the king’s bedroom. He and Titus were talking about the new country being planned. The elves were going to live in it. It would be called Lythian.
“Amos. Amos,” called Mattathias from the doorway.
He turned around, startled at the sudden yelling.
“Yes, yes, what is it Mattathias?”
“It’s my mother. She was killed by the attack!”
Amos walked over to him and put an arm around his shoulder.
“We have all lost loved ones in these tragic attacks, and I know it hurts. I am truly sorry Matt, but I’m afraid that even as king, I can do nothing to bring her back. Except for fighting the armies of Dimitry.”
“And I will surely be by your side when we do fight them, guaranteed.”
The Turning Of Tides.
After telling Jonathan about his wife, and after many ceremonies held around Carron, the soldiers were gathered and lined up at the city limits. Later that day when Mattathias had found out about his mother, Amos had also found his brother Van; the stableman was slain too. Amos had immediately gathered the army. Now he was at the front line along with Jonathan, Thomas, Eric, Jeffery, Micah, Mattathias and the whole army of Mondea. Together they made nearly twenty thousand.
“Are you ready?” Screamed Amos to his men.
Nearly everyone had lost someone in the surprise attacks, and the armies returned his question with a loud shout. Everyone wanted their revenge on the army that had attacked them, and had sworn to themselves that if they were going to get killed they would kill at least three of each.
Amos dropped the word that he was holding to his side, and shouted, “Lets ride!”
The men took off at a fast gallop, staying in their ranks of horses. The army would first go to Treesparrow to gather the army of the elves. And then they would go to the Mountains of Red to gather the army of the Dwarves.
It was a cool day with a slight breeze. The sun was hidden behind many gray clouds, which filled the sky. It would defiantly rain on the armies, but that would defiantly not discourage them to stop.
“How long is it to Treesparrow?” Asked Jonathan to Thomas.
Like usual Thomas pulled out his map, and quickly glanced it over.
Jonathan nodded. He looked around to get a good look at his surroundings. He noticed that they were on a road that he was not familiar with.
“What road is this?” Jonathan asked Amos.
“It’s the road of Clinteo,” was his response.
“Oh. What’s Clinteo?”
“It’s an Elfin town. This road will lead us right to there. That’s where they keep their armies. They should already be there if Arhomor did what he said he was going to do.”
Jonathan again nodded his head.
“I see. How long will it take us to get out of Mondea?”
“A day I think. Can you stop asking questions Jonathan?” Asked Amos.
From that point there wasn’t much conversation, and the ride was slow. The day seemed to go on forever and when it came to setting up camp, it got worse. Everyone was arguing of whether how to set up the tent right, which wasn’t even that hard, or where to put the horses at, which didn’t really matter. Amos could see things were getting out of hand, and so he decided to do something about it.
Standing up on a box he shouted for everyone to here, “Alright, everyone set up their own tents, put their horses where you want, for it doesn’t matter, and if I hear one more argument spring up between any of you I’ll send who’s ever doing it back to Mondea.”
A long silence followed these words, and until it was completely dark and the camp’s fires had started up did the conversations start too.
In one camp again were Titus, Jonathan, Thomas, Eric, Micah, Jeffery, Mattathias, and Amos.
Their conversations were about the future of the world.
“So what do you think will happen if Faigh takes over the world?”
“A thought that doesn’t need to be thought about,” replied Amos.
“What do you mean?” Asked Mattathias.
“Well, it’s not like Dimitry is even going take it over anyway, right Matt?”
Amos smiled and patted him on the back. Mattathias suddenly straightened up.
“I just forgot. Father, can I go over to the camp where Max, Scott and Tim are?”
Jonathan shrugged his shoulders.
“Fine with me.”
Mattathias got up and walked over to another camp while the conversations of the world ceased, and everyone just began to talk what they felt like talking about.
Soon the campfires were put out and the warriors crawled tiredly into their tents to sleep and prepare for the next day’s marching.
“Goodnight,” called Jonathan to his son; whom was in the camp next to his with his friends.
“Goodnight father,” he called back.
The lanterns were also put out. The guards of the camp kept watch. Everything was in order and ready to continue the march in the morning.
A small wind whistled through the night. At least that’s what the guard believed what shook the trees and bushes. A low rumble from the eastern horizon surprised the watch guards.
Suddenly the three guards guarding the southeast corner of the camp were gone, along with their horses. A guard guarding the Middle East side of the camp had become aware of something strange as yellow eyes began to peer from within the forest.
“Uh, Sean, come here, I think something bad is happening.”
A full-grown Werewolf flew out of the forest and onto the guard’s horse.
“AH! We’re under att…”
He cut short as the Werewolf shredded his throat.
Sean; the nearby guard called the alarm just before he too was slain.
“We’re under siege!”
Werewolves were pouring in from all over the southern and eastern borders of the camp. Then, the stupidity of the Trolls shown as their clubs, now serving the purpose of spears filled the sky. The damage though, was well worth each through.
The camps had been raised and most of the men were suited and ready. People were being carried off and killed all over the place. But the men of Mondea killed an equal amount as they struggled to push out the Werewolves, and now some Trolls; who were squeezing their gargantuan bodies through the Werewolves.
Side by side fought Jonathan and Mattathias, for Jonathan did not want his son to leave his sight. He had already lost his wife. But when he let down his guard for one moment a Troll grabbed his son. Jonathan had to dive from a blow of the club, but his foot got caught under a root, and he pulled his ankle. Desperately defending and fighting on his back, Jonathan could do nothing but watch in horror as the Troll carried off his son. Jonathan shoved is sword through the chest of a Werewolf and limped away towards the middle of the camp as fast as he could as he saw the lines of Trolls moving in from the edge of the camp that he was just laying at.
“Jeffery, Thomas, Eric, Micah, come here, I need help,” called Jonathan.
He had lain back down on the ground, his ankle was in much pain, and he could no longer use it to help him stand.
Thomas was the first by his side. He kneeled on one knee, and examined his to make sure that he had no wounds.
“What’s wrong?” He asked. “Are you alright?”
Jonathan shook his head.
“Yeah, nothing but a twisted ankle. But it’s not that.”
“What is it?” Asked Eric, who along with Jeffery had arrived by his side.
“My son, Matt was taken by a Troll!”
Micah, who had also shown up next to him, asked this question.
“Well, lets go after them.”
The Trolls and Werewolves were now retreating after a large loss of men, and doing enough damage to satisfy them. By now, Titus and Amos had also appeared.
“What happened?” Asked Amos.
The question had sprung up again. Jeff and Eric explained to Amos about Matt and how Jonathan had gotten hurt trying to doge the attack.
“Well,” said the king, as he scratched his head and thought, “I’m giving you permission to go after them.”
“What about you?” Asked Micah. “Aren’t you coming too?”
“No, I still have to lead these troops on to Treesparrow. Remember, I’m the king. I have to help my men.”
Jonathan understood. A person from behind Jonathan put his hand on Jonathan’s shoulder.
“Us three will come help you.”
Jonathan turned around to see Scott, Max and Tim.
“Thanks Scott, but…”
“We will come no matter what you say, so don’t try to persuade us not to.”
“Alright, but it will be very dangerous, and some us may die.”
Scott shook his head.
“I don’t care what happens, I want to save my friend. And I think that the others would agree.”
“I will come to,” said Titus as he stepped in closer.
“I know you will save Matt Jonathan, and when you do, find a nice spot for camp a little far away from the Werewolves and Troll’s camps. We will march into battle from Treesparrow.”
“Why don’t you stay here for the night though Jonathan? Your ankle is still hurt and by morning, it will be better,” said Micah.
“I don’t feel a thing in my ankle, I would like to leave now as to know where they go.”
“That won’t be a problem,” said Amos.
“Why not?” Asked Jeff.
“Because I know for a fact that they’re going to Dylok.”
Everybody looked at Jonathan.
“I don’t care,” he said. “I still would like to leave right now.”
“I’ll get you some torches and horses to take with you,” said Amos.
The nine stood waiting for Amos to come back, and when he did they climbed onto their horses.
“Thank you Amos.”
“Be careful,” said Amos as they rode away.
Into the dark forest rode the nine men in search of Mattathias. The footsteps of the Werewolves and Trolls could still clearly be heard.
“We’re not too far behind them,” stated Micah.
“I know, I can hear them too,” said Titus.
“If we keep enough distance between them, we can follow them all the way back to where they’re taking Matt.”
“We just have to make sure that we don’t follow them into a trap. Remember, Werewolves have senses stronger and better than both Elves and
Orcs,” said Thomas.
“That’s right,” added Micah.
“So do you know where they will go Thomas?” Asked Jonathan.
“My best guest is Dylok, which is about eight hundred miles from here.”
Jonathan shook his head and sighed.
“Will they stop and rest?” Asked Eric.
“Good,” continued Eric. “Because I’m getting pretty tired. I was in the middle of a peaceful rest and suddenly the attack happened.”
“You better get ready for a lot of things like that, because it will happen a lot.”
Everybody sighed on this one.
“Well, sighing and standing here doing nothing won’t get us anywhere. Let’s go, before they get too far ahead of us,” said Titus.
So the five kept on riding, slowly but steady behind the Werewolves and Trolls. The forest began to clear a little, and even the sun began to come up after an hour or so of riding. But with the sun, the nine would have to put a little more distance between the Werewolves and Trolls if they didn’t want to be seen.
“What do we do?” Asked Jeffery, for he too noticed and realized the new challenges of the daylight, and leaving the forest.
“Just put some space among the Werewolves and Trolls,” suggested Thomas.
Thomas had a new feeling of excitement, because without Amos there, he got to answer all of the questions asked.
Soon the nine stopped and got out here canteens and drank all they could; for Thomas had stated that there would be a small stream not too far ahead.
“I’m even more tired than I was when it was dark, when are we going to rest-meaning sleep?” Asked Eric.
“I’m tired too,” said Jonathan; “But I won’t sleep until the other army does, and that might even be three more days. I don’t want to lose them.”
Eric shook his head hard to try and wake himself up more, and he kept on doing it for the next two hours.
By then it was around noon, and the Werewolves and Trolls, stopped and made a quick camp where they would eat, some would sleep and other would do as they pleased. At the same time, the nine made their own camp, where Titus, Thomas and Eric went to sleep, Scott, Tim and Max talked of things that they had done when back in Carron, and the rest had lunch while talked of the excitement nearing them and their swords.
But all of that ended too fast, for the other army was already starting to pack p after fifteen minutes. So the three still sleeping had to be woken up, and the rest had to put away the food, and get on their horses. With the nine back on their horses, they began to ride, still close behind the enemy army.
“That time of sleep went way too fast for me,” said Eric through a yawn.
“I agree,” said Titus.
Now the other six were also exhausted, and they now longed for a needed sleep. But even when it became dark, the Werewolves and Trolls didn’t stop.
“This is going to go on until they get to Dylok. No sleep, no eating, or taking rests. No nothing,” complained Jeffery.
“Relax Jeff, I’m sure that there should be a small range of mountains soon,” said Jonathan.
“That’s right,” said Thomas as he examined his map. “The Goln Mountains.”
“The what mountains?” Asked Titus.
“The Goln Mountains. They used to be the home to the Goblins. They can hardly spell their own name, so therefore did the best they could. But don’t worry; the Dwarves helped them carve a tunnel right through the middle of it. It’s called the Tunnel of Ramus. He was a famous Dwarf Lord existing nearly one thousand hundred years ago.”
Everyone was glad of Thomas’s knowledge; for without it, they would hopelessly lost.
“Hey, their pace is slowing down, and I can see the mountains, we’re saved!” Proclaimed Eric.
Everyone began to clap at this wonderful news.
“Finally, we can get some sleep!” Said Eric.
When the Werewolves and Trolls finally stopped, the nine were able to stop and set up their small camp. They ate food, talked for about half an hour, and then finally got sleep. Titus, Jeffery and Scott stayed awake to no when the Werewolves and Trolls began to go on. But it wasn’t until six in the morning when they started out again.
“Wake up, they’re moving,” said Titus.
Slowly everyone got up. They packed their things up and the climbed wearily onto their horses. Another agonizing task which needed to be done.
“So will we go through the Goln Mountains?” Asked Jonathan.
Thomas nodded his head.
“That’s right. We’re going through the tunnel, and coming out on the other side, we’ll be just below the Elfin town of Clorshank.”
“Hmm,” said Jonathan, nodding his head.
The nine began to be hidden under the shadow of the large mountains. The Werewolves and Trolls though began to head to the left of the tunnel.
“What are they doing?” Asked Micah.
“I don’t know, they’re taking the route around the mountain,” said Thomas; who was as confused as everyone else.
“We all have minds of our own, therefore we make our own decisions, but I don’t think that they have a clue or thought as to what idiocy of a decision that they’re making,” stated Titus.
“Well, I don’t care what side around the mountain they’re going, we’re going through the tunnel where we’ll have guaranteed warmth through the night,” said Eric.
He was determined to get another good night’s sleep again tonight.
“That’s up to Jonathan to decide where we’re going,” said Thomas. “Well Jonathan, where do you want to go? Will you risk the chance of losing the Werewolves, Trolls and Mattathias?”
Jonathan looked straight ahead at a shadow; being the tunnel as he thought. He thought long and hard over this big decision. The other eight would easily pick through the tunnel, but would he risk it like Thomas had asked?
“We will go through the tunnel of Ramus.”
That was Jonathan’s final decision. The others sighed with relief.
“May I make a suggestion?” Asked Micah.
“Sure,” replied Jonathan.
“I think that it would be smart to stop in Cloreshank in an inn. We would get beds to sleep in; food to eat, and we could also get more supplies such as food. We’re already running out Jonathan; there are nine of us.”
“I’ve realized that, and I think that’s a good idea to stop in Cloreshank.”
“Good,” said Eric. “Because I’m not getting enough to eat and I’m getting hungrier and hungrier every meal.”
The nine were now at the entrance of the tunnel of Ramus, and began to enter. The tunnel was huge. The nine couldn’t even see the end of it from the entrance. It was about fifty feet wide, and five miles long; according to Thomas.
So how long will it take to get to Cloreshank?” Asked Jeffery.
“About two days,” replied Thomas.
“Do we have enough food to last us that long?” Asked Tim.
Each person checked their sacks of food. They each had enough to last them the rest of the day, and enough for breakfast and lunch tomorrow.
“We have enough to make it to Cloreshank,” declared Jonathan.
The farther in the nine got, the darker it seemed to get; that caused for Scott, Tim and Max to branch off from the others when they began to descend down a narrow passage off the right of the trail. The others also didn’t notice this, and so they continued to carry onward.
“So Jonathan, how much longer until we get out of this place?” Asked Scott, but he didn’t realize he’s talking to nobody.
“Hello? Jonathan, Thomas, anybody there?”
“I think it’s just us,” said Max.
“Not, I’m here too,” added Tim.
“Is it just us three then?” Asked Scott.
“I guess so,” commented Tim.
“Well then, where are we? And where are all the others?” Asked Scott.
At the same time, Titus was asking the same thing.
“I don’t know, they were here not fifteen minutes ago,” said Jonathan, as he began to worry.
“They couldn’t have gone far,” said Jeffery.
“Yes they could’ve,” said Thomas. “These caves go on for ever.”
“That’s not too good.”
“This is not too good,” said Scott.
“Tell me about it, we’re definitely lost,” said Tim.
After another hour, the six reached the end of the cave. It was dark out too.
“Maybe those three are already out here,” commented Jonathan, hoping he would be right.
“I’m sure they just got ahead of us.”
But when they came clear out of the cave, the three weren’t there.
“We’ve been away from the other six now for about two hours. I’m getting worried,” said Scott.
The three had attempted to retrace their steps back to the main way of the cave, but had just gotten them even more lost. They were now one mile deep into the ground. They also didn’t know of the deadly creatures that lay hidden in the shadows of the cave either.
“I’m scared,” said Tim. “I don’t think the others will ever find us.”
“Don’t worry, we’ll get out of here all right,” said Scott confidently.
On their horses still the three continued downward. They didn’t know of the danger they were rapidly coming closer to.
Back at the entrance of the cave, the six had decided that they were to go back into the cave and find where the road split and where the three had gone. They figured that if they hurried, they could catch up to them within an hour.
“We better get going then if we’re going at all,” said Thomas.
“They’re in a lot of danger,” said Titus.
“What kind is that?” Asked Jeffery.
“Sudden drop offs, molten lava if they get far enough down and monsters; very ferocious monsters.”
“What kind of monsters?” Asked Eric.
“Golems. They very dangerous, and you can never see them coming in places like these.”
“Why not?” Asked Micah.
“Because for one thing, it’s dark, and the other is they blend in to the walls as if they were a part of it,” finished Titus.
“Well, that’s a slight problem, but nothin’ we can’t handle,” said Jonathan smiling.
“Why you smiling?” Asked Thomas. “This is not a laughing situation.”
Jonathan shrugged his shoulders.
“I don’t know, I’m just excited that we’re in a dangerous situation, knowing that we may get to kill a giant creature.”
“That sure is one strange way of looking at it all,” said Thomas as he shook his head.
Titus laughed at this remark made by Jonathan; for he too didn’t have a clue as to why Jonathan was enjoying this.
No one could ever predict Jonathan. His son had been taken captive by vicious monsters, while three other boys were headed straight for death.
Jonathan was able to seem to brighten the others’ spirits with his crazy comments.
“Well, how far down do you think they went?” Asked Jeff.
“Who knows,” replied Thomas.
“Well, how far down do these caves go down?” Asked Eric.
“Thomas shrugged and answered with: “Not a clue.”
The six continued downward wile the other three, who were already far down began to hear what sounded like rushing water.
“Do you hear that Scott?” Asked Max.
“Yeah, it sounds like running water, that’s good news. We can now get a drink, and then try and follow it to lead us out of this place.”
But when they got nearer to the “rushing water” they found it to be a river of lava.
“That’s not good,” said Tim; he was very disappointed to find that it was not water, for he was quite thirsty.
“What are those?” Asked Scott pointing to what looked to be a bunch of large snakes swimming in the lava.
“I don’t what those are, but I have a good guess as to what that is,” replied Tim as he pointed to what was probably a Goblin temple.
It sat on the other side of the river, and there looked like there was once a bridge, for there was rope hanging from a in the ground on the other side. There was also two steaks on their side of the river too.
It doesn’t look like we can get over there,” said Max.
“Sure there does,” said Scott. “Over there is a bridge that’s made out of rock.”
He pointed to an arched structure that wasn’t too far away.
“I think we’ve gone far enough,” commented Tim.
“I thought we had gone too far when we had found out that we had split off from the others, but we kept on going,” said Max.
“Don’t any of you like a little adventure?”
“I like walking around the town exploring,” said Tim. “I f you’d call that adventure, then I like it.”
Scott shook his head.
“Oh yeah, since when did you become all brave and courageous?” Asked Max.
“Since I found out that we’re going into a war with hideous and deadly monsters! Don’t you realize that you need to face your fears, because you’re going to have to anyway when you’re in the frontline holding your shield and sword? And you’re going to see monsters that scared you at night when you we’re ten.”
“Whatever Scott, we’re not doing that right now are we?” Asked Tim.
“Lets just go across the bridge and see what’s inside the temple,” pleaded Scott.
“Fine, we’ll take a look inside, and then we’ll start heading back to the main part of the cave,” answered Max.
They headed across the bridge, slipping here and there, but making it across the bridge just fine. They saw a small sign in front of the temple. It couldn’t be made out however for it was written in either Elvish or Dwarven; they couldn’t tell. They were able to open the door to the temple.
The next thing the three knew was that they were being chased around a room filled with gold by a giant Golem of Stone.
“Is this your idea of adventure?” Screamed Max, as he nearly dodged a large fist.
The running of the Golem shook a lot of the cave, for he weighed at least nine thousand pounds.
Not too far up, where the other six were, the ground was shaking there too.
“What’s going on?” Asked Titus.
“I don’t know, but I’m sure that it involves the other three boys’ death,” replied Thomas.
“It’s a Golem! Hurry!” Yelled Thomas.
The six raced on with their horses until they ran to the edge of the river.
“They must be in that temple over there!” Yelled Titus.
Thomas’s eyes widened as he realized what the temple was. He also knew of the bridge and began to ride over to it; the others simply followed.
“We’re coming!” Yelled Thomas.
The six charged into the ancient temple with their swords drawn. They hopped off their horses; they were just about to attack it when they realized that it was made of stone and that they probably couldn’t do anything to stop it.
“Just grab the boys and get out of here!” Yelled Jonathan over the thunderous footsteps of the giant Golem.
The other five hurried and grabbed the three other boys as they ran for their lives. Tim was extremely hard to grab for he was concentrated on grabbing the gold and not getting out of the room.
The three were picked up and carried out. The horses were on the other side of the bridge, so they would have to be fast about getting on them. As they had made it half way across the bridge, the Golem smashed through the temple, crushing some of the pillars that were in the front.
“Hurry!” Yelled Thomas.
As they reached the other side of the bridge the Golem was already crossing it. About half way across, the bridge began to crack under the weight of the Golem. Suddenly it snapped in half and the Golem fell into the lava, and was no more.
“Phew,” said Jonathan as he wiped sweat from his brow.
Once out of the cave, the nine began again. By now it was around three o’ clock at night, and all nine of them were very tired. They all knew that there was no way of catching up to the Werewolves and Trolls, and so they set up camp, and went to sleep.
Everyone was completely revived when they awoke from their long, needed sleep.
“We should get going if we want to make it to Cloreshank.” Jonathan yawned as he stretched his arms.
The nine sleepily managed to climb onto their horses with all their belongings. And then they began. After coming out of the dark mountain, everyone’s eyes were still adjusting to the sunlight. Stretching and yawning and mumbling things about getting up too early were what went on for the next ten minutes. After that silence, and after that, the nine began to take in their surroundings.
“How much longer ‘til we get to Cloreshank?” Asked Jonathan.
“Four hours,” was Thomas’s haste response.
And with that information, the ride was silent for a long while. The only ones talking were the three boys, of course. They never stopped either. They mainly talked their adventure in the cave with the Golem, which soon turned into an epic battle with three Golems and an army of Goblins. They had to fight all of them with their small swords and fists. They had almost one, according to Scott when suddenly it came-a Chimera; a three headed monster. It had the body of a Dragon and one head of a lion, one of a goat and one head of a Dragon.
Scott was about to go on as to how they killed the Dragon when Titus interrupted.
“That reminds me of a story I know. It’s quite popular down south, or so I’ve heard.”
“What story’s that?” Asked Jonathan, happy with the sound of talk from someone besides Scott.
“It has a Chimera, an army of Goblins and the only other thing in it that makes it different from the boys’ story, is that there’s a war with the Black dragon.”
The three boys began to grin.
“Tell it,” urged Scott.
Titus put up his hand to silence them from their jabbering incomplete sentences.
“Well, it starts out of course with a small town of Goblins named Flagon. They were known of course of the tribe of Flagon. Their army leader’s name was Flagon. Basically their society of life revolved around that name. Three different shops were called Flagon.
“The town was simple, everyone knew each other and got along pretty well. But there was one who everyone disliked. His name was, I’m sure you can guess it, Flagon Shere. I know, so the story wasn’t thought out too well, but I find interesting still.”
“Continue Titus, I’d like to find out more about Flagon town,” said Jonathan.
“Alright, so anyway, Flagon Shere had his own gang of what you could consider bullies. They were mean, everyone thought possibly dangerous too. It was finally decided to ban them from the town.
“They would go to Sace; a town ten miles north of Flagon.”
Titus told this story for the next hour, which allowed the trip to go much faster. The story had everyone interested in the caricatures. It wasn’t until after an hour that he was abruptly interrupted by Jonathan.
“Shh, I hear something.”
The others listened. Whatever it was it was big.
“It sounds like an army, possibly the Trolls and Werewolves,” said Jonathan.
Suddenly out of a group of trees came the army of Mondea. It looked much smaller than it had when the other nine had left. Amos was still in from leading.
Jonathan rode up to him as fast as he could.
“What happened to the army?” He asked.
“We ran into the Trolls and Werewolves again. We fought them for a whole day. They captured many of our men. We followed them for a while, and when we came to a large field, we attacked them. We managed to take them by surprise, and killed a lot of them too. After we chased them off, we found that they had killed all the ones the had taken from us, which had to have been at least four hundred men.”
“What about Mattathias?” Asked Jonathan urgently.
Amos shook his head.
“We looked for him the hardest, but all we could come to was that he had been slain by them, Mattathias was not found.”
For the next two days, upon horseback, Jonathan couldn’t keep his mind off of his son. Thomas kept looking over at him to see that tears would keep forming in his eyes. Thomas rode over to him.
“Hey, don’t worry, they didn’t find him. That doesn’t mean he’s dead,” Thomas continued to say.
Jonathan would never respond to this, he would just keep riding with his eyes drifting off; looking as if he were in another world. Thomas would continue to comfort him, but he never felt that he did anything.
In front of everyone was the king confronting his top men of what their plan was now.
“We’ve lost four hundred men less than what we had,” he had been saying, “And I don’t know what we’re going to do without them.”
A guard on Amos’s right named Leo responded his question.
“It will be hard sir, but we have eight thousand more in just this small group of men. At least a thousand were still recovering from the attack of the Werewolves and Trolls when we left Carron, sir.”
Amos nodded his head, and looked straight ahead.
“You’re right, and we can’t forget about the Elf and Dwarf reinforcements. Their armies combined would make at least fourteen thousand men.”
Leo smiled at the thought of reinforcements in that big of a number. While the king was doing that, in the back with everyone else was Titus finishing up his story of Flagon and the three Scott, Max and Tim, though they weren’t half as interested as they were; for one thing the story stretched on and on, and secondly, they were very sad still of their missing friend Matt.
The other three, Micah, Eric and Jeffery could only talk about the nice inn that they would stay in at Cloreshank. There, they could drink hot cider and have hot food to go with it. Winter had started coming around and being so far up north, it felt like the chilled wind ripped through your skin. And it had picked up since the attack on Carron.
“A nice warm bed, hot ale, a room to talk and laugh in, a decent sleep,” Jeffery talked with his eyes closed as to imagine it all to be right there in front of him.
His list went on for ten minutes. Sometimes he got so carried away in imagining it all that his words turned to mumbles. Eventually the others just stopped listening to him after he began to drool.
“I have to agree with Jeff on this,” said Scott who had given up on listening to Titus’s story-for now Flagon the three hundred and seventy ninth had just pick up the world and thrown it around the galaxy. “I can’t wait for a good night’s sleep in a real bed. It’s been awful on the bare ground.”
Try doing it for two years straight with no choice but to.”
Scott looked at the ground in embarrassment. He had forgotten that the five around him had all had to sleep on the ground. He had had to only do that for a week.
Jonathan noticed his embarrassment and tried something to help him forget it.
“I look forward to a good night’s sleep in a warm, cozy bed too.”
Scott Max sighed, unlike the other two, he had been thinking of Mattathias ever since he had heard the news that he was gone. A guard that was riding next to him could tell that he looked pretty sad.
“What’s wrong?” Asked the guard.
Max looked up from the ground to see who had just asked the question and saw the guard on his right.
Max looked at him. The guard was tall, with dark eyes that were nearly black, with black hair. He repeated the question after having Max stare at him for a few minutes.
“Anything bothering you son?”
“It’s just that, that night when the first attack happened my friend got taken away by them, and then when you found all the dead bodies of soldiers, my friend was probably with them.”
The guard thought of what he could say to this to help him cheer up.
“What was your friend’s name?” Asked the guard.
“C’mon, Mattathias Lesdain, The son of Jonathan Lesdain, he’ll never quit fighting, just like his father. I’m sure he’s still alive somewhere.”
The guard’s cheering up worked on Max for the time being at least, and after that, the guard and him talked all the way until they got to Cloreshank.
Cloreshank was only the miles away, and its vast walls were in plain view even from the distance that they were at. It was a magnificent view; the walls were outlined with gold that glimmered in the bright sun. Men with long spears marched back and forth.
At the sight of the city Micah’s eyes lit up. He had grown up in the land of Treesparrow. He lived in Goldenhan but had still visited Cloreshank a couple of times in his boyhood.
“It’s beautiful,” he said in a whisper.
And it was beautiful. It had changed a lot since the last time Micah had visited it ten years ago.
Scott, Tim and Max were all in the middle of talking, but immediately went silent at the sight of it. Within the town were spires spiraling high into the sky, houses lined the streets that were visible, it was also very crowded-thankfully with Elves, who were very patient and kind.
On the outskirts of Cloreshank, on the far side of the town, where the army of Mondea was approaching from, was the army of the Elves.
There, Boaz and Arhomor would be preparing their army still. The spires were rising higher as the army approached the town at a rapid speed. It seemed that Scott, Tim and Max weren’t the only ones who wanted to get into the inns. Some of the soldiers that were nearby could be heard grumbling about ‘not having a good night’s sleep in days’, or ‘we haven’t had a real bed in days and it’s becoming painful without ‘em’. Every time one of the five riders heard them talking like this, they would just shake their heads and remind the three boys of how they had to sleep like that for two years.
Luckily, the boys didn’t have to hear the story more than five times, for the front line had just reached the city’s gate, and in rows of ten, they entered. The procedure of getting the massive army of Mondea into the town, and then separated into various inns took the whole day.
Amos had pulled back to the end ranks where the Jonathan, Thomas, Jeffery, Micah, Eric, Titus, Scott, Tim, and Max were.
“I’m really sorry about your son,” Amos was saying as they entered the city.
Jonathan held up his hand and shook his head. After a moment he took in a deep breath.
“He’s not dead, I know he isn’t. I know my son well enough to know that he wouldn’t give up; never!”
Like everyone else after hearing the argument, Amos decided not to bring up the topic of Mattathias again.
An hour later, the ten friends, (including Amos) found themselves unpacking their things between four different rooms in an inn called The Snowy Owl. It was the nicest inn in all of Cloreshank, which was the biggest city in the whole land of Mythical beasts.
There were servants taking orders of food from the rooms, servants running around with trays of things in both arms, guests being moved into their rooms, and a lot more. It felt nice to the weary wonderers to be back in with civilization. People to sit down and chat with, a place to drink something besides warm water, a fire to get close to and warm yourself, and to have the company of your friends made it all a lot more enjoyable.
The rooms of the inn were upstairs, like most inns in Cloreshank, and downstairs were the common rooms, dinning rooms, private rooms, the kitchens, hallways, and the innkeeper’s office.
Master Raul, who was the innkeeper, was always running from kitchen to kitchen, room to room, common room to common room, but when he wasn’t doing that, he was very fun to talk to.
He listened with full attention to what was on your mind; that is until the common shout of, ‘Master Rayul, we have a huge mess in the kitchen! Come quickly, and hurry!’ That’s how it was everywhere in The Snowy Owl-everyone was all talking merrily, yet loudly, and everyone’s pace was about three times quicker than what the foreigners were used to.
Scott, Tim and Max decided that with Jonathan, Thomas, Micah, Jeffery, and Eric that they would go to one of the private rooms and have something to drink and eat, while talking about the cave and the Tunnel of Ramus.
“I’m sorry, but we don’t have any private rooms left,” said Raul apologetically after Jonathan had asked about taking one.
“There’s none at all left?” Jonathan repeated the question.
Raul shook his head.
Jonathan placed his hands on his hips, sighed and looked around the room as to think of what they might do now.
“Is there anything to do during the night?” Asked Thomas-for it was now well after dark.
Raul scratched his balled head, and the stroked his thick black mustache.
“Since you are all foreigners, I’m sure some of the shops may interest you, and if you’ve never seen Clreshank before, I’m sure they will.”
Jonathan nodded his head.
“Sounds fine to me if anyone else wants to go.”
“But I must warn you,” said Raul, “That there is a curfew. You must be back in the inn by twelve o’ clock. If you are not, than you could be thrown in jail for up to a year.”
“Why?” Asked Scott.
“They might think you are trying to steal something from one of the many closed shops.”
“But we’re foreigners that have been ordered to come here by the King Boaz himself, won’t they let us go when they find out the fact that we’re simply foreigners?”
“That would make it worse. Look, just take my advice and be back by twelve and no harm will come to you.”
From there, the eight went back up to their rooms, grabbed their cloaks and coats and all met up outside in the street. It was still reasonably crowded in the streets for this time of night.
They took the road that they were on northwards for a little while until they ran into a wonderfully lighted up shop, with fancy weapons in the front. All being in the army, the eight couldn’t let this golden opportunity of purchasing high-quality Elfin weapons pass.
Once inside the shop, they found it to nothing more than the common weapons that they had in their shops back in Carron. They got out of the shop and continued down the road.
Back at the inn, Titus, Amos and Amos’s top Soldier Leo had had more luck than the other eight in finding a private room to drink hot cider and talk of strategy and such things. But the subject Amos and Leo were most interested in hearing was the short adventure he had just had with the others.
“Well, it’s not too interesting,” he started. “It was a small chase after the Trolls and Werewolves, of course. We chased to the tunnel of Ramus.”
He told them everything he could remember, including the part the three boys had told him. How they got separated, and where they had gone. He talked about the ancient temple of the Goblins and the Golem inside it. To Titus’s surprise, he found that Amos and Leo were both very interested in his small tale.
By twelve-thirty, the eight were still looking around for open shops. They weren’t having any luck however-for all the shops were closed. They were nearing, finally to an open shop. Standing in the doorway, they pulled on the doorknob, but it was locked.
“Don’t move! You’re al under arrest!”
All of them turned around to see three Elves standing their with swords drawn. The eight stood shocked.
“But, we, we, but.”
Jonathan’s argument was a good one, but not good enough obviously.
“Just follow us and you won’t get hurt,” said the Elf that had told them not to move.
The eight figured that they had no other option but to do as they were told, and so they followed the guard down the road a ways. They took a few turns here and there, and soon ended up at the jail.
Once they were in the jail, they were asked what they were doing there and why. Jonathan threw out winning argument of about but and we, but it still did not over the hearts of the city patrol. Thomas decided that he’d give a shot at it.
“We are here under the request of King Boaz, along with the rest of the army of Mondea. We were here to meet up with the Army of the Elves, and then move southward to meet up with the Dwarves’ army. We are determined to defeat the Trolls and Werewolves, and then Dimitry himself.”
The city patrol nodded, and then huddled together as they talked out what they were going to do. One of them pulled out a pair of keys.
“Follow this man to your cell, we will see if you are really who you say you are in the morning now, won’t we?”
The eight sadly followed the man who had taken out the keys down a hallway. After the hallway, they took a flight of stairs downward, and another hallway, and then more stairs.
Eventually they had gone six stories downwards, and had gone through thirteen hallways. When they got to their cell, they became even more disappointed.
The cell was covered in damp moss, with a the smell of dead rats floating in the air. After the guard left, the eight sat in different benches.
“What do we do now?” Asked Tim in a shaky voice.
“We get some sleep,” replied Jonathan, and that’s what they did.