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It was night time in the mysterious lands of Lithian. Lithian was known as the wild
lands from many around the world Lanoth. Many of the parts of the land was
untamed and unconquered by the six races that took residence in Lithian. Many
who resided there were spiritual and made great monuments for the kings and
queens of the past. It was also home to many of the mythical beasts that other
continents have never seen. Travelers came and went to trade their possessions for
the rare and valuable ornaments the dwarves and elves crafted made of the beautiful
and powerful metal of mythril.
At the beginning of the second age, the races did not trust one another. They
were secretive and suspicious of one another, yet none was more hated than the
country of Lunas. They destroyed and burned the land they treaded upon for their
resources. They were powerful do to their skills in weapon design, none of the other
races could compare. That is when the country of Clorshank (home of men) and the
tribe Lothindel (home of the elves) of the forest of Shawshire, formed a union to
defend against the forces of the wolves. The wolves did not stand a chance for they
were weakened in strength during the light of day. That is when the Luniathin
(wolven for moon medallion) was forged. Falen, king of the wolven country of
Lunas had it forged, empowered with magic and filled with power of triumph. It
was said that whichever race owned it would be given luck, fortune, and power
above all the races. No longer were the wolves hindered by the sunlight and thus
began the war of Night and Day. The races chose sides; the goblins sided with the
wolves while the harpies and dwarves sided with the men and elves. The wolves and
goblins made base in the north while the men, elves, dwarves and harpies seeked
refuge in central Lithian. They fought hard and relentlessly and battled, it took quite
a toll on the humans. The human race was all but destroyed fifteen years into war,
twenty thousand or so men survived. Though the hardest toll they suffered was the
loss of their king Maras at the battle of Swords Edge.
Though hope was not lost. After the death of her husband, the king’s wife
and other refugees were being cornered in a small village upon the borders of the
Shawshire. At the last moment when the line of kings was to be severed forever, an
infantry of elves and men marched against the armies of Lunas for the sake of the
queen. The elven queen’s son had helped the queen of Clorshank escape before the
village was taken; though this came at a heavy cost. The queen’s son Aromen fell to
a wolven blade helping queen Vallodein escape to Mondia, beyond the reach of
Falen. After the escape of Vallodein, the elven queen Gabrianna severed all ties with
Clorshank in her anger and grief for Aromen was her most cherished son.
So hope still lived, for the queen of Clorshank had escaped to Mondia with
her husband’s son safely in her womb. After the loss of the royal family Clorshank
had become grief stricken yet they knew hope remained, the queen had lived.
Though how long will it be before they ever saw a king sitting on the throne in the
great tower of Farthclin? Meanwhile both sides had suffered heavy losses and the
king of Lunas and lord of the Luniathin forgot about Clorshank and set his eyes
upon the queen. All of his power was used to find Vallomein he never found her. So
the war had ended with no real victor and only grief to look forward to . . . And so it
was for four and a third thousand years.
By the end of that time, the free lands of
the north fell to the power of Lunas, and the power of the medallion. The elves,
men, dwarves, and harpies populated the southern lands of Lithian. Peace had never
really come, their ancient hate had remained strong. Though Lunas seldom attacked
its foe, it had been carefully planning it’s downfall ever since the time of Falen.
The Lunas crest of the wolves was handed down from one generation to the
next and finally found it’s way around the neck of lord Mideon. A ruthless warrior
he was in battle and the strength and power of the crest he wore added to his own.
Though worse of all he may have been the smartest king to ever sit upon the throne
of Lunas. The time for war had come.
Wolves and goblins seemed to have come from every which way attacking
Clorshank in small groups. All apart of Mideon’s plan. A large army was at his
command though he used smaller infantries to attack Clorshank. The governor had
called Mideon a fool, if only he knew what Mideon was planning. Mideon’s plan
was to soften Clorshank like a stream of water slowly wearing down on a stone.
These attacks started to take a its toll on Clorshank. Worse of all the governor
was not fighting back, he took no action against Lunas and instead of attacking
Lunas directly he spread out his army all over Clorshank to rid itself of smaller
problems. This was exactly what Mideon wanted.
So like in chess Mideon set his pieces up waiting for the precise moment to
strike. Checkmate. The rest of Lithian grew concerned, none of them was strong
enough to fend themselves against Lunas so letters were sent to every race to gather
their most courageous fighter in a attempt to take Luniathin away from Mideon,
leaving the wolves vulnerable to the sun making them very vulnerable to an attack.
It was desperate time and the hour was late, if this alliance could not take the
Luniathin, a flood of darkness would consume them all.
It was cold in the mythical land of Lithian and a lone hunter was crossing the border
between Mondia and Lithian. He crossed over and was entering the meadows of
Marnas Sharithe, it was a strange land he was entering. Being a bounty hunter, he
was constantly traveling between the two continents and knew much about them
both. The night sky was filled with millions of tiny stars, like a million candles lit in
a dark room, it was a new moon. The ground beneath him was much softer than the
coarse dry lands of Mondia and the air smelled fresher. His path was lit, from the
stars above him and the light of the tiny forest sprites around him replaced the
hidden moon. The bounty hunter’s name was Deante, son of Tioshin heir to the
throne of Clorshank and king of the race of men.
A feeling deep within his heart had told him this was the right thing to do. He
wore a dark, long-sleeved shirt with a laced collar and a worn pair of dragon hide
boots upon his feet. He was a wanderer constantly searching for work from the
people of Lanoth. He wore a dull green cloak and a the clasp in the shape of a four
point star named the Polaris star, given to him for his services from the elves of the
Drinadud forest. Over his shirt he wore a dark gray tunic. Beneath his shirt he wore
another shirt of steel chain mail with sleeves that reached down to his elbows. Upon
his left hand he wore a platinum ring in the shape of a tied rope. He wore a pair of
dull green gauntlets and dragon hide arm guards on his forearms. Around his waist
was an iron buckled belt, attached to it was: a pair of curved daggers, a crystal bottle
containing Nurien (an enchanted liquid with powerful healing properties), and a
black scabbard with a steel tip and a metal ring around it’s middle containing the
legendary blade Wolfbane. Wolfbane the sword his family had passed on from one
generation to the next was battle worn, chipped in many places, yet it was still very
sharp.On his back he carried: a small sack of clothing and food, a human made bow,
white and unadorned, a quiver containing fourteen arrows, and his ancestor’s shield
that he kept strapped around his shoulders. He wore his hood which concealed his
face in a mask of darkness, beneath you would see brownish red hair that went
down to his shoulders and a very short brown beard. He was younger than what
most people would expect for he acted much more mature than others his age. He
looked at his surroundings with an unsmiling face and his sharp green eyes. He rode
a horse that he did not name for in his line of work, a horse will not live long. he
reached a hand into the pack and pulled out a long wooden pipe, a small bag of
tobacco, and a few sulfur matches. He dumped a little tobacco into his pipe and lit
with his match. He inhaled it’s smoke and it calmed his nerves, harpish tobacco was
the best you can find. He chewed on it’s end as he usually did and he scanned his
surroundings, in the distance he saw the lights of a small town.
He pulled back on the reigns of his horse to properly get a feel for his
surroundings. He looked around and saw nothing more than trees and sprites, yet he
gripped the hilt of his sword. He was hearing quite an unnatural noise, like the
fluttering of giant wings. His horse neighed in terror and he pulled his sword free
preparing for anything. He looked around and saw nothing, but then a gust of wind
blew the hood off his head. The ground was engulfed in a dark shadow, he looked
up and saw the culprit, it was a Drozlin, elvish for dragon rider. He scowled at the
figure as it flew away, the Drozlin were ruthless scum that destroyed entire towns
without second thoughts, he had hunted and caught many in his lifetime.
He wondered if the town before him was the town he was searching for.
Since he was an infant, he had known a wizard by the name of Titus Tolshem. He
was of the race of shadows, his skin was completely black and his eyes were of the
color amber. He was the wisest man he ever knew, he always seemed to know what
to do and he knew much of the lands of Lanoth. Titus had requested for him to meet
him here in Lithian in the town of Stonemine and in Underhill tavern. He had told
him that it was of great importance and it involved the lives of many.
He knew much of Lithian and the legendary alliance between men, elves,
dwarves, harpies and the war of Night and Day. He knew though that he was king
of men in this land, though he did not want to claim it. Being leader of an entire race
scared the living daylights out of him, he couldn’t possibly do it. The life of a bounty
hunter was enough for him, and perhaps his friend Titus had another mission for
him in the land of Lithian.
He turned his pipe upside down and tapped the ash out of his pipe and then
put it away. It was cold in Lithian, it wasn’t the type of cold that just reddened your
skin, it was the kind that seemed to reach into the very depths of your soul. He
rubbed his hands together and his breath was a white mist. He slipped on a pair of
warm gloves and wondered wether or not he should put on his coat. After a while
he thought better of it, the town was near and there would be plenty of warmth and
shelter in the Underhill. His shoulder long hair kept his ears considerably warm
despite the dropping temperatures of his ambience. He clutched his cloak with a
single hand and the chattering of his teeth was the only thing that could be heard. A
thick snow began to fall in heavy white sheets clouding his sight.
He peered into the never ending white and saw a black door. He led his horse
to the door and suddenly heard the voice that belonged unmistakably to an elf,
“hello? Is anybody there?”
Deante responded, “yes! Over here!”
He looked towards the direction he heard the voice and an elf riding a pure
white horse. His face was hidden beneath the hood he wore yet he could see his
platinum blonde hair sticking out. The stanger wore a green cloak like himself and
had a large warm hammer strapped to his back. Holding his cloak together was a
Polaris star clasp of the Drinadud forest. “Are you from the Drinadud forest?” He
asked putting his cloak under his nose.
The elf on the horse came nearer and he outstretched a hand in friendship,
“yes I am.” Deante shook it and the elf removed his hood revealing who he was, “I
am Vegari of the Drinadud forest, son of Orafin of Drinadud. And who might you
Deante smiled happily, this elf was an old friend of his, “an old friend.”
The elf was intrigued by his words and looked closely at Deante’s face.
Memory at last came to him and he too smiled, “oh Deante my friend! It is you!”
Vegari hugged his friend hard half jumping off his horse, Deante hugged him back.
Many a season had passed since the last time the two had seen eachother, Vegari
used to be his partner in the hunt for the corrupt. Vegari was almost as cunning of a
hunter as Deante was, Deante was more experienced. For years they hunted
different people of different races for a bounty, Vegari was a very important elf to the
people of Drinadud yet he was a restless spirit. Two winters before this the two had
seperated Vegari thinking it was time to live up to hs duties as a protector of the
forest. They released one another and Vegari said, “We should be entering the town
now. What brings you here Deante? Has Titus also invited you to come?”
Deante was shocked both Vegari and himself were asked to come by Titus?
“Why yes Vegari! Did he by any chance tell you anything about this?”
He put his hood back on and responded, “no not really but he did say it had
something to do with the problems of Lithian and a magical artifact called the
Luniathin. I have feeling that we shall never go back,” Vegari was stern faced as he
always was and Deante stroked the hilt of his blade. They rode to gates of the village
and Vegari shouted, “we are travelers from the south. My name is Vegari of the
Drinadud and my friend is Deante Lezdain, we wish to stay at your inn.”
A grim looking dwarf with a snow caked beard looked down upon them from
the tog of the gate. He brushed the snow from his beard and the helm he wore and
shouted back angrily, “an elf! These are dangerous times Deante and Vegari of the
Drinadud, how am I to know you can be trusted? Especially since an elf is never to
Deante was alarmed, he knew of the history between elves and dwarves,
things could go sour. He looked at Vegari’s face, though his face was concealed in
shade, he could tell his brows were arched and he was grinding his teeth. Vegari’s
hand he could see was griping one of his throwing daggers, he had no tolerence for
dwarves. “We mean no harm dwarf, we only wish to meet a friend in the
“Oh, and who might this be?” He said with a frown upon his face.
“He is Titus the wizard, he is of the shadow men,” he shouted back.
The dwarves eyes grew wide, “th-the wizard? Oh yes please come in lads!”
He walked away and rang some sort of bell and the gates creaked open. The grip on
the throwing dagger loosened and the two entered the town. As the gate closed once
again the dwarf shouted, “don’t tell the wizard!” Vegari smiled broad and Deante
scratched his chin, he still didn’t understand why dwarves and elves hated eachother
Vegari stopped his horse briefly and read a sign, “welcome to the
underground village of Stonemine.” They left the front hall of the gates leading into
the town and realized the walls were surrounding nothing more than a large rocky
hill. Deante looked around and saw a large open door leading inside the mound.
They put their horses in the dwarves public stable and saw a elegant black horse that
belonged to Titus. They exited the stable and went through the entrance into the
village passing some unhappy looking dwarves with bright red noses, not even
noticing Vegari was an elf. The yellow light from the flames spread warmth
throughout their body and illuminated it’s gracefully carved black marble walls.
Vegari took off his his coat and shook the snow off of his hair. Vegari had deep blue
eyes and a pair of thick eye brows. He wore a light elvish suit of leather and a gray
cloak fastened by the Polaris star. He too wore a shirt of chain mail that reached
down to his wrists. He was taller than Deante and slimmer too, though Deante was
more skilled in the art of sword fighting and melee attacks.
The great hall went ever deep into the heart of the hill and only the fire of the
torches prevented condensation upon the walls. The hall finally ended and it lead
them into a marvel of architecture; The Quarindell Lobby. Even Vegari, a person
that loathed the dwarves stood in awe at the amazing work of art they had entered.
“The Quarindell Lobby!” Deante proclaimed with a smile upon his face.
The Quarindell was an amazingly large lobby, while the floors and walls
were crafted with black marble, the pillars were created with alabastor stone. The
pillars were cut into the shape of trees holding the roof of the mine up. The tree
pillars were gracefully carved, it looked no different from a tree. The lobby was
crowded with people of all races excluding the goblins and wolves, the dwarves most
of all populated the town.
It was then a dwarf clad in full dwarvish armor and a spiked ball mace
strapped to his back stood beside them. “A marvel of the eyes it is!” He said with a
smile upon his face. The dwarf had dark brown hair with a long beard that almost
reached to his belt and a long pony tail. He had stout strong legs and he wore a steel
helm upon his head. His height reached to only about Deante’s chest. He looked at
Deante with a smile and frowned at Vegari, only to receive a frown in return.
Deante bowed, Vegari’s back was stiff, and Deante asked, “what is your
name master dwarf?”
He threw his chest outward and replied, “my name is Ryern son of Gorin, I
live here in Stonemine, though I shall be leaving soon. Welcome to Stonemine, I
hope you do enjoy your stay.” Ryern walked away and Vegari muttered something
under his breath that sounded a lot like, ‘dwarves.’
They traveled to the western wall of the Quarindell and saw a sign that told
them where the corridor next to them would lead. It read: Left corridor leads to the
business vicinity, travelers come here if you wish to stay at our inn’s. Right corridor,
residential vicinity. They took the fork and traveled downward to the business
locality. This corridor seemed to travel down in a spiral, they had begun to wonder
how far they were underground. They finally exited the hall and found themselves
in the Westard Quarry, quite large yet very confusing. The room had at least ten
different passages, some were set upon the higher places in the room so you had to
take the set of stairs that led to them. Rather than signs written in the common
language, the names of where they led were inscribed upon the marble in the
dwarvish tongue. They looked around and saw no dwarves they could ask for
directions or possibly an interpretation. “I know nothing of the dwarven language,”
Vegari said running his fingers down the inscription of a hall.
When Vegari had left the business of bounty hunting to tend to the needs of
his people, he had a few dealings with the dwarves. While accepting a few of their
missions he learned a little bit of there language and could read it to some extent.
Deante stepped forward and he peered closely at it. “It reads,” he said to himself and
Vegari, “the mines. This hall leads to the dwarven mines I guess.” He walked over
to the other hall an interpreted it, “this leads to where they sell their food.” He
walked over to the next, “This leads to their inns.” He entered the passage and
Unlike all of the other corridors, this hall led them upward rather than
downward. The trip was short lived for they exited the hall within seconds. The
room they had entered, named the Cavern of Galawin, consisted of two floors. The
first floor was one acre large, the second was half that, it was filled with nothing
more than shops for the travelers spend their money at. In the central region of the
chamber was a large stalactite, completely hollow and filled with hundreds of sprites
filling the room with a gentle white glow. The Chamber of Galawin was filled to the
rim with travelers of distant lands. They did not travel long before they saw a
wooden sign with the picture of hill and the name, ‘The Underhill.’ Vegari was the
first to go in, he tugged on the doors brass knob and they stepped in.
The Underhill was filled with harpies, elves, dwarves, and men, dangerous
folk in Deante’s opinion. They even saw the dwarf Ryern in the corner eating a vast
amount of food and drinking pint of malted beer. They walked to the front counter
and Deante and knocked on it for service, “hello?”
He looked over the counter and saw a gray haired dwarf getting on a foot
stool. He was wiping down a pint glass, he set it down and said, “Good evening!
And how may I help you?”
Vegari answered for them, “we are looking for the wizard Titus, can you tell
him Vegari and Deante have arrived?”
The innkeeper stroked his short beard, his face was drenched with sweat, “Oh
yes! The wizard is staying at me inn, do not know where he is--”
A dark sooty hand fell upon the dwarf’s shoulder, “I am right here my dear
The smile on Mortimer’s face began to tremble, “master wizard! I was just
about to look for ya!”
Titus nodded his head and a smile upon his dim face appeared, “well thank
you never the less Mortimer.” He removed his hand from his shoulder and he turned
to them, “Vegari, and Deante my old friends!” He hugged Deante for they were very
good companions, he led the two to a table in the corner of the tavern and sat them
down. He grabbed the staff leaning against the wall laid it on his lap, and tilted his
pointed hat down to darken his face further more. With a wave of his hand he
extinguished the candle on the table.
Titus was an extremely knowledgable person, he knew things that others had
probably forgotten. The wizard had nicely combed gray hair and he always wore a
grayish blue robes. He was an old old man, he has been alive for hundreds of years
for the shadow men aged much slower than the other races, much slower. Despite
his old age he was an avid traveler and had many friends in the world of Lanoth, he
gave aid to those who were in need. The color of his skin made it difficult to see his
face for it was the color of a crow’s feathers. Though if could see through the
darkness you could see his wrinkled, yet gentle face. The center of staff was made
with the magical root of a silver elm and was covered with the wood of an oak; upon
it was a beautiful crystal. He wore a brown belt around his waist and on it was the
legendary sword of shadows, Baranos.
“Move closer to me,” he said gesturing them forward. The two leaned
forward, “this mission I am about to unfold to you is of great impoprtance, no one
other than us are to hear.” He cautiously all around him and licked his lips, he then
began to speak for slowly. “Do any of you know of the Luniathin?” They shook
their heads, “Then I shall explain it to you. The Luniathin is a magical artifact that
is known to the wizards as the most powerful magical relic ever created. It has the
power within it to prevail above all else. Great craftsmen are the wolves yet they
alone could never forge something of such power. that is why we suspect a wizard
was in dealings with them. The wolves did not know exactly how powerful it was
and for thousands of years the goblins and were-wolves studied it. They tried in vain
to unmask it’s full potential, they even tried to unmake, though they could not.
“It was not until the dark lord Mideon solved it’s puzzle, it is still a mystery
to me. The power of the Luniathin could be used for the powers of either good or
evil, unfortunately, it is under the control of a terrible evil. The power ot the artifact
is much more powerful than I imagined, for Mideon has developed a third eye. He
can see and do things some of us sorcerers can not, he can now see everything the
alliance is plotting. We can no longer keep secrets from him, he may even possibly
seeing what we plan right now, and that is to take the relic from the demon himself!”
“ ‘Tis impossible to do so,” Vegari suddenly said very silently. “My uncle
Seralim has seen the horrors that the Luniathin could unleash. It removed the
ground itself from the forest Shawshire in which they live, leaving pools of fire and
ash. ‘Tis folly.”
“We must try Vegari,” said Deante with a new found fire in his gaze.
“Very well, I will aid you upon this burden, I will avenge the death of the
elves of Shawshire, “Vegari said. “Are we the only ones that will take upon this
“No my dear elf, more will come with us yet only us four shall travel in the
beginning parts of this quest.” The wizard took a single look at their puzzled faces
and laughed. “Forgive me for I have forgotten to introduce you to our other
companion. He will be helpful on the arduous road to the castle Aeris, home of
Mideon. He is a dwarf by the name of Ryern. Ryern will you please join us?”
The dwarf that they had met earlier walked toward them with mace slung
over shoulder, taking a long draught of beer. He set his pint cup down and wiped his
mouth with his sleeve and took a seat next to Titus, the presence of an elf bothered
him. “I met you two earlier! What a coincidence, I do not know your names
Deante answered first, “I am Deante Lezdain.”
“And I am Vegari of the Drinadud,” he said with slitted eyes. Ryern frowned
and grasped the handle of his weapon more tightly.
“If we are to succeed we must put our petty differences aside,” he said
looking from Ryern to Vegari. “The power of the Luniathin has powerful vision, it
may even know what we intrigue to do.”
The two nodded and the dwarf asked, “right, when do we leave?”
“As soon as possible,” answered Titus, “If we linger Mideon will know
where we are. I trust you are all packed?”
They nodded and Deante said, “Are we to leave now.”
“Yes,” Titus answered.
They all got up yet Vegari remained quiescent. “Vegari, let’s go,” Deante said
studying his concerned face.
Rather then walking with them towards the door he walked towards the
stone walls of the tavern. “I hear something,” He walked by a table of drunk humans
and put his ear up against the wall. “The sound of heavy iron shoes echo throughout
these walls. And a foul voice speaking in some unknown language, chanting
something. Only the wolves and goblins would where a shoe so heavy, how did they
“We must flee before they fing us!” Titus shouted, rousing the other people in
As they began to walk towards thr exit, the light from the flames and sprites
grew dim, soon all of the lights dissapeared leaving them in a world of darkness. A
cry of dismay rang throughout the mine and Titus struck the ground with his staff
lighting the crystal at it’s tip, illuminating everything within ten cubits of him in
white light. The other three companions gravitated towards the light and Deante
cried, “what devilry is this!”
“A wizard caused this, that was the voice you heard Vegari, we must go!”
As the four bolted out of the door, Ryern managed to see the innkeeper
Mortimer ducking behind a counter holding a metal tray over his head. As they
charged outward and into the Cavern of Galawin, many of the travelers had drawn
blade, only to fall victim to the intruders arrows. The crystal stalactite on the roof of
the chamber had shattered into many pieces, giving a new entrance for the goblins.
Dozens of goblins crawled in from the ceiling, legions of were-wolves poured in
from the halls. The travelers fought valiantly against them, but the goblins and
wolves were simply too strong. The invaders were unhindered by the darkness for
their eyes could see things when there was no light.
As they were running, a wolf chased them from behind with a spear with an
eye on Deante. As the wolf charged forward Deante, a man familiar with sour
confrontations, was unafraid. He moved to the side, grabbed the shaft of the spear,
and shoved his sword through it’s chest. “Come Deante! We musn’t linger,” cried
The enemies around them were much to busy with other things and did
notice them escape through Granite Hall. The hall was a short cut to the Quarindell
Lobby, it was slim and winding. Fear crept into the hearts of all of the travelers,
especially Deante for he was in the back and nothing but darkness and the glowing
eyes of the enemy could be seen. They charged forward and Vegari heard a strange
noise come from the roof of the hall. As he looked up the ceiling burst and a goblin
pummeled him to the ground. Vegari arms was pressed to the ground so he could
not defend himself against the goblin. “Why an elf! I’lll enjoy this,” as he was about
to shove his scimitar through his heart, Deante had run to his aid and slain the
goblin. Getting up immediately, they continued their escape yet the wolves had
caught their scent and had begun to chase them. Titus stopped and stared them in
their glowing and slammed his staff upon the ground. The wolves cried aloud in
terror and the entire hall from where Titus was standing to where they had entered
They had finally reached it’s end when a brigade of wolves and goblins
dressed for war had charged towards them and only the shine of their eyes could be
seen. “Come to me! You shall pay for what you’ve done!” Ryern bellowed. Two
wolves came upon him, sbaers raised and eyes full of fire, no one loved war and
fighting more than the goblins and wolves. The two didn’t get far for with a mighty
swing of Ryern’s mace, they were knocked lifeless. The other three followed Ryern
for with his powerful attacks, he was clearing a path.
It was not too long before
Ryern was overwhelmed, it was then the enemy had encompassed them. Deante
had drawn both his sword and his bow, Vegari’s hammer was raised high, and
Ryern was ready to die for his people. Titus had at last drawn his blade and the grins
upon the enemies faces had vanished. “Baranos!” They cried frightened by the blade
for it struck fear in evil hearts.
In their moment of weakness, Titus pointed both his staff and sword at the
ceiling and cried a spell, “Faradum Sharanoth!” Stalactites from the ceiling broke
free from the roof of the lobby falling upon the goblins and wolves, thinning them
out. It was then the three fighters began tearing down their numbers, fearlessly they
charged into the crowd killing many for they were too distracted to defend
themselves properly. The fallen stalactites created holes in the ceiling letting streams
of wondrous white light spill onto the mine’s dark floor, revealing the bodies of the
The distraction did not last long for they soon fought back. A goblin had
rushed Deante, weaponless it grabbed his throat, attempting to choke the life out of
him. Since Deante had accidently dropped Wolfbane when the goblin attacked, his
hand instead fell to a dagger. He pulled it free and stabbed his assailant in the throat,
the goblin released a final cry of pain and fell limp to the floor. His safety was short
lived for a black wolf in full armor wielding an axe charged towards him. He
managed to crouch in time as the wolf swung his axe, the wolf instead struck the
wall, leaving a large cut. Deante sheathed his dagger and dove for the sword he
recognized in the gloom. The wolf swung his axe downward in attempt to chop off a
leg off. Missing by a hair’s width, the wolf screamed in frustration and brought his
axe upward once more. Yet Deante had regained his sword. The hunter outstretched
his blade and the wolf had impaled itself upon it’s point. Rather than dying, the wolf
had dropped it’s axe and had grabbed the base of the swords blade and had pulled it
deeper. Deante’s right hand remained faithful to the swords hilt though his left hand
had freed another dagger. He pierced the beast where the neck meets the shoulder
and the arm he used to grip his blade went limp. He pulled his sword free, and he
kicked the wolf in the side, freeing his dagger.
Titus slayed a goblin and saw in the distance the entrance to the Great Hall.
“Come! The Great Hall is near,” he cried waving his glowing staff to let them know
where he was.
Vegari and Deante ran to Titus but noticed Ryern was still fighting a mob of
wolves. “Die savage beasts! Ryern cried as he brought his mace down upon the head
of a wolf.
Deante ran up and began dragging Ryern towards the hall, “Ryern you fool!
It isn’t worth it!
“They’ve killed my people! They must pay!” All of the enemies had retreated
from the Quarindell except for one. A wolf with saber outstretched came charging
towards them, Vegari didn’t care much for Ryern yet Deante was his friend. The elf
had let his throwing dagger fly, hitting the wolf directly in the gullet. Deante
retrieved the dagger and all of them finally made their way to the Great Hall.
“I can see light!” Vegari cried for the end of the hall and the entire town of
Stonemine was near. A single wolf stood in their way, Vegari clutched his hammer’s
both hands. As the wolf was about to impale the elf with a spear, Vegari had
brought his hammer down with a loud crunching noise. The snow outside had
become knee deep, waist deep for dwarves. Rather than having to walk through the
snow, Vegari simply walked on top of it for an elf’s feet were light. Vegari kicked the
stable door open and got upon his horse, the others followed. The horses in the
stable were much too tall for a dwarf so Ryern selected a pony. Titus led the way
through the snow and rode to the town’s gates. Goblins and wolves were now on top
of the walls and were firing arrows at them. With a simple wave of his staff, a light
transparent bubble surrounded him and his steed. With all speed they galloped out
of the domain of the dwarves and to the neighboring hills in the distance.
Once they were at a safe distance they all unmounted and Ryern began to
weep. The elf couldn’t help but pity poor Ryern, to lose everything that you held
dear in a single night would’ve been more than he could bear. Deante looked up into
the night sky and wiped off the black and red blood of the wolves and goblins from
his sword with his cloak. “The enemy knew! Mideon must have known at least a
month in advance that this would take place, the power of the Luniathin is more
potent than I knew.” He sheathed Baranos and tossed his staff down in frustration.
“Where to now Titus?” Deante asked.
“We take the westard trail to the Hills of Aramothe, home of the harpies and
lord Mars. the trail is ten days away so I suggest we get moving. Hills of Aramothe
will be where we meet the other companions on our journey. We head west!”
Ryern wiped his tears and nose on the sleeve of his shirt. A fire burned in his
eyes and a smile creeped on his face, “Yes! Mideon shall now learn the
consequences of disturbing the dwarves!”
The all mounted their horses, Ryern his pony, and they set west to the
“Where are we any way Titus?” Ryern moaned as his ponies hooves sank into the
ground once more.
“We are almost there my dear Ryern! Only a few leagues or so,” the wizard
Since their escape from the mines there hasn’t been a smile on anyones face,
except for Titus of course. Titus had remained the most talkative and joyous out of
all of them. The snow had turned wet and slick, soaking them from head to toe
sending Vegari into a fit of sneezes. The land seemed to not change, constant rolling
hills and dead yellow grass was all they had seen since Stonemine. They hadn’t been
able to rest since the dwarven town for the enemy had a nose as potent as a blood
hound. Deante and Vegari had been the only ones to escape with provisions, Titus
and Ryern had lost theirs during their escape out of the mines, another thing to
worry about. The only thing keeping their morale up was Titus and his optimistic
attitude. When Titus wasn’t talking, he would smoke his pipe and think deeply
about the voice Vegari had heard in the walls. He was convinced it was not Mideon
that put out all of the lights but rather a wizard, a powerful one.
Deante had wrapped an extra cloak in his pack around the scabbard of his
sword to prevent it from sticking incase they were attacked again. This was the type
of weather he was used to, traveling upon a deserted road in the hunt for the
corrupt. He was cold but he did not care, there were more important matters at
hand. The Hills of Aramothe seemed distant yet he heard from the harpies of
Mondia that it was worth seeing.
Vegari felt horrible, he was too familiar to the harsh roads he and his friend
Deante were so prone to travel, he had thought he had left those days behind.
Though he so far hated the lands of Lithian, a new found excitement swelled within
him, he was where he belonged. His sister Marin had always thought of him like a
bird, he felt restless wherever he went.
“The westard trail is not far, ‘tis only over these hills.”
Deante reached into his pack took out a peach, only to realize it was frozen
and harder than a stone. This cold was an extreme hindrance to them, the snow
came down thicker and colder and the horses began to lag, especially Ryern’s pony.
He was sure he was not the only one who thought to rest, this snow storm was one
of the worse he had seen. “Titus!” He roared for the wind began to howl, drowning
out all noise.
Titus removed his pointed hat and it soon became evident to him that their
vision had been cloud by the white snow. Before Deante had even continued on with
his sentence, Titus had already known what he was about to say. “We will stop for a
bit and discuss what we should do.”
They lept off their steeds and landed in the snow, waist deep for Titus,
Deante, and Vegari; chest deep for the dwarf. “Bahh! This snow is no match for the
dwarves! We’ve delve through stone and mountains more trecherous than this!”
“I wish I shared your optimism, this is one of the worst storms I’ve
encountered,” Deante said digging through the snow with his sword.
“We should let the horses go, this is no place for them, or anything really.”
“You are right, let them go,” Titus said. They let the horses go and they
galloped away through the snow. “We shall continue our journey to the trail, only a
few more leagues remain.”
Titus led the way through the snow, followed by Vegari, followed by Deante,
followed by Ryern. The cold settled in to their bodies quickly and soon grew numb.
The trail through the snow was much easier for Ryern for a path was already made.
All track of time was lost, they did not know wether it was night or day. They were
covered from head to toe in snow, it had become an entire foot deeper.
ground they treaded upon began to slope leading toward what appeared to be a
large stone with a cave! Surely enough Titus had led them into it, though a strange
cave it was. It was extremely large cave with a wide opening, on the far wall were
strange carvings that were unlike any language Deante had encountered. Titus
removed his hat and looked around, light his staff in doing so. The cave was
absolutely barren, yet for some reason heat was emanating from the ground. Titus
approached the carvings and tapped them with his wand. He read aloud: “This is
the home of lord Stonefist,” he rubbed his dark chin and turned towards the other
three. With the combination of his eboni black skin and the darkness of the cave,
only his amber eyes could be seen. “The carving is written in the language of the
golems. The golems are extremely volatile beings, pray ‘Stonefist’ shall not return
while we are here.” He too looked only to see nothing, “we should rest, we need our
strength for tomorrow.”
Deante took the bottle of Nurien from his belt and said, “I think we should
all take a sip of Nurien to rejuvenate ourselves.” He removed it’s glass cap and
handed it to Titus, they all took one sip and Deante took the final, feeling strength
spread to every part of his body.
Soon after they spread out their sleeping material and fell into deep sleep.
Deante hadn’t slept well, not that he really slept well anywhere while journeying.
He had used his extra pair of clothing as a pillow and the the thin blanket he used
provided little warmth. He sat up and saw that Vegari and Ryern were still asleep
yet Titus was no where to be seen. He stood up and saw the light of the wizards staff
in the distance. He walked over and stood directly behind him, he was smoking his
pipe. He seemed to muttering things under his breath, things that sounded like
‘Elvamir.’ “Who is Elvamir?”
Titus turned his head to him and smiled, it wasn’t a real smile, it was full of
concern and worry rather than happiness. “Elvamir? Elvamir was an old friend of
mine and a shadow man like myself. Aloof he was with the outside world, like much
of my people. He too is a wizard, as a matter of fact he actually lives in Lithian in
his lighthouse Phoenix.” He arched his brows and continued, “I believe he is
involved with the incident at Stonemine. I am not completely sure but I would much
like to put my curiosity at ease.”
“If it is true, what then?”
“Then it is up to me to break his staff, making him a wizard no more for he
has broken the code of sorcery. The road is long to Aramothe, we should be off.
Rouse the others.”
Deante collected his things and awoke Vegari, and Ryern with much
difficulty. As Ryern was strapping his mace to his back he mumbled, “onward
through our sea of blasted white snow!”
“That is our road master dwarf, it is not a joyous one but it’s our only path,”
Titus said. Ryern grumbled angrily and said nothing more. They set out upon the
road again and traveled south west to the westard trail. In the midst of the white
tundra they marched through, the sun was seen, blazing ever bright through a gap in
the clouds, it filled their hearts with hope. The ice wolves were about, Deante could
here them leaping through the snow, he just hoped they wouldn’t catch their scent.
Deante took a large chunk of fruit cake from his pack and gave some to all, they had
not eaten since the dwarven mines. He wiped the snow from his beard, the snow had
lightened much since yesterday.
Titus had an acute sense of where they were going for he had been up and
down these lands many times. The westard trail was not far, it was maybe only half
a day away. As he hiked through the snow his thoughts once again fell upon the
wizard Elvamir. Long ago they had been friends, Elvamir used to be a moral and
wise wizard, though he changed. Unlike himself, Elvamir never had much faith in
the races, there was far too much evil and hatred. Soon he grew to hate the world,
he had always dreamed that one day the races would one day be united. Then the
day had come when Elvamir had forsaken his friendship with him. His mind was in
turmoil, half of him was certain that Elvamir was the culprit, his other half was in
denial, was it possible that Elvamir would become everything he had always been
against? Yet if he was why would he aid Mideon in his evil doings? It saddened him
much to think of the dark path that Elvamir was traveling down.
No matter what he felt he was going to lead them to Mideon’s domain and
take what is his! He had faith in them, especially in his friend Deante he will not fail,
a great king he would make, yet he knew in Deante’s heart that he did not want to
claim his throne. Titus knew from the time Deante was a child that he would
become a great leader. There was hope yet in the land of Lithian, the line of kings
were not broken, not yet at least.
Why did he have so much hope in the races? He often wondered, his people
disdained the things in the world and never wanted to be seen by the other things in
the world, Titus never thought that way. What his people did not understand, or
perhaps did not care for were the problems this world faced. He believed there was
still some good in this world and it was worth fighting for, no matter what the costs.
They traveled through some rocky foothills and the sun’s light began to fade.
“How much farther Titus?” Vegari asked, he was now using his hammer as a
“A few more miles.”
He nodded and Ryern mumbled angrily.
Deante did not mind the cold, he welcomed it. This is where he felt he
belonged, this is what he did best, helping others. In a way, this was not just another
mission, this was his responsibility. These were his people wether he wanted to be
king or not. He would see this mission done.
Deante had seen much of the world of Lanoth, even the lands across the
ocean of Nara. He had only visted those lands briefly, they were much more
different than theses lands, much more care free and happy. Yet a place like that
wouldn’t make him happy, helping those in need was his life. People from all
around ridiculed him and even despised him, they did not believe he did it for them.
In Deante’s heart, he could care less for his payment, it just felt good to help
someone who is need. Their comments did not bother him, he would just silently
smile and walk away.
This.... evil in the north disturbed him greatly. This Luniathin, how could
any possible good come from it after being used by the ways of darkness for so long?
It felt like a wieght had been put upon his heart, this quest would most definitely
decide the future of Lithian and possibly the rest of Lanoth.
It was full dark when Titus decided to rest for the night. They had come upon
the base of a precipice and lit a fire to warm their shivering bodies. Vegari brushed
off a small boulder and slipped of his pack, it landed in the snow with a soft, thud!
He extended his hands palm first towards the fire and commented, “I believe we all
have deserved a nice meal.”
“I agree!” Ryern said rubbing his hands together.
Deante smiled and lowered his shoulders, sliding the strap of his pack into his
right hand. “As do I, I shall make dinner.” He took the meat out of his pack and
fried some sausage and bacon. The sound of forks scraping against tin filled the
night air and everyone ate to their heart’s content, even Titus who did not eat much,
put away ten sausages and several strips of bacon. Afterwards Ryerns boiled some
snow to drink, the water in their canteens were frozen.
“We should be able to reach the trrail by tommorow morning, the snow
should be less.”
“That’s good to hear,” Deante said for he tired quickly of snow. “It would do
my heart good to feel the warmth of the sun once more. Better yet to drink water
that hasn’t been boiled!”
After the water had been cooled, Ryern filled everyones cup with the boiled
water. They all took a sip of their drinks and grimaced at the water’s horrible taste.
“It would do us all good to drink from a fresh stream,” Titus said. “Who shall keep
watch while we sleep?” The wizard asked.
“I will,” said Deante, “I can not sleep with so much on my mind.”
“Very well,” Titus said.
They set their sleeping materials and Vegari lent Deante his spare cloak and
told him if he ever got tired he could switch with him.
Night was a lonely time, it was dark and quiet and all you had were your thoughts.
On night watch duty you sit and wait, yet for what? That was the frightening part
about it, you didn’t know what. Waiting was hard, sleep was ever so tempting
especially after a day’s worth of travel. You tell yourself you can stay up all night,
yet pretty soon your eyes begin to slip out of focus and sleep overcomes you. That is
when things become dangerous, your entire party has been put at risk and anything
could come without warning. Time seems to almost not exist, seconds slip into
minutes, minutes slip into hours, yet you could not tell the difference between a
minute and an hour.
This was especially true for Deante.
He sat upon the stone Vegari had sat upon earlier and waited for something
to happen. He smoked on his pipe silently nibbling on the end as he usually did. His
hands were cold though he had on a pair of gauntlets and a pair of gloves to cover
them. When he exhaled, a white mist would flow out of his mouth. The dying fire
kept his back warm and light snow peppered the gray cloak Vegari had lent him.
Ryern’s muffled snores broke the eerie silence of the night which actually made
Deante a bit more comfortable.
His pale eyes looked from Vegari, to Ryern, to Titus, to the moon and a smile
formed upon his travel weary face. The sky was a magical thing Deante had always
thought, it was beautiful yet haunting image in the sky. The snow had at last
stopped and the clouds gone giving him a perfect view of the stars and the moon.
When he looked upon the shimmering moons he would think of pleasant thoughts,
the good times he had experienced.
The days when he did not carry the worries he did now, more pleasant times.
The days of his childhood were the best for his mind was oblivious of the problems
of the outside world. The days when he was with his father Tioshin, the days when
he spent wasting the day away in the beautiful forest of the Drinadud with Vegari.
Times when he could sit in his mother’s lap and let the world drift away. Those days
were over. His smile faded, and a cloud passed over the moon, yes those were gone.
Will he ever see those days again? He wondered.
He will never see such happy times again, and no one else probably will if
this alliance they had failed it’s mission, darkness will take all happiness away. They
could not let everyone down, not with so much at stake, not with the fate of Lithian
and possibly Lanoth resting upon their shoulders. Failure was not an option.
A gust of wind blew and the fire went out sending of puff of smoke into the
air, like some sort of ghost. The warmth the fire had provided left him quickly and
cold settled in once more. Yet with that last gust of wind the clouds had parted,
letting starlight in and his smile returned.
They awoke earlier that day then they had the day before, it was only a few hours
after sun rise. The snow amazingly had gone away letting fresh sun light beat upon
their weary shoulders. The snow upon the ground had become soft and wet soaking
their feet and their pants.
The land before them dipped farther and farther down leading into a valley.
Titus pointed north/west and cried, “I can see the opening of the westard trail!”
They peered towards the direction Titus pointed and quickened their pace.
“Oh no!” Vegari suddenly cried. He was pointing towards the westard trail
and they suddenly all knew why. It appeared that a giant rock slide was now
blocking the opening of the westard trail. They rushed quickly toward the trail and
stopped short before the rockslide in utter dismay.
Titus stood back and watched as Deante, Vegari, and Ryern tried fruitlessly
to move parts of the rockslide. Deante grunted and pulled with no avail and he soon
retired, “how can this be? This is no rock slide, it is a giant boulder!”He slammed his
fist on the boulder, this boulder was just under one-hundred feet tall and much too
steep to climb.
The others also quit and Ryern shouted, “not even with an army of dwarves
could this boulder be moved!”
“We probably will not be taking this path,” the wizard said with look of
hopelessness in his tired face. “We will have to find a new path to the trail.”
Vegari dropped his pack and said, “I will scout ahead and see if there is
He took of towards the north and began searching. The westard trail was not
an easy place to get to for it was surrounded by the steep rocky mountains of the
Eodin Shield. Traveling towards the north would take you to the Serbain basin,
nothing more than festering marsh land that eventually led you to the Eodin’s tallest
mountains. The Eodin Shield led as far as into Mondia which would take weeks to
reach it’s end, time they could not waste. Titus hoped Vegari would find a path that
wasn’t too far north. The noon sun baked their cold bodies and they welcomed it.
The snow began to melt into slush and then into water and the brownish green geass
became visible. The sun started fall behind the horizon, the sky turned a startling
pink and the days warmth began to drift away. Still Vegari was not back and the
anxiety was becoming too much for them. Would he find a way? They all began to
Deante began to smack his canteen against the large to break up the ice
inside. He took a long draught and handed it over to Ryern who looked just about as
thirsty as a dog in the desert. He ate some more fruitcake and savored the rich taste
of pineapple in it, the four now sat in the shadow of the large boulder for the sun
was now setting in the west. “What is taking the elf so long?” He asked pounding
the head of his mace into the dirt. “If I didn’t know any better I would say we we’re
purposely wasting our time!” He said quite sarcastically.
The wizard was sitting on a stone smoking his pipe. He removed his pipe
from his mouth and said, “I like waiting just about as much as you yet the truth is
that we won’t be able to do much of anything until we can find a way around this
obstacle.” Ryern gave his usual dissaproval with his angry muttering.
Deante shifted his body towards the direction of the boulder and felt it with
his hand. Though the sun had came out that day much that was outside was
amazingly cold . . .
excluding this boulder. It was warm to the touch, much like the floor of the cave
they had slept in. But why? In his many journeys he had seen many things, he knew
a lot of the outside world yet he had never encountered something this odd. Another
question that popped into his mind was how did the boulder get here? The mountain
side didn’t seem to have split, that would’ve been a logical explanation for it. It must
have been moved here, he thought, for the stone of the boulder did not match the
mountain, the boulder was a shimmering volcanic glass.
When was Vegari getting back, he wondered, for he too was growing
impatient. He finished his fruitcake and watched as the sky turned into a light purple
color. The night sky was dotted with beautiful stars and a crescent moon shimered in
the southern sky. They built a fire again with wet fire wood with a little help from
Titus and lit a few torches. Deante rested his head against the boulder and heard a
mysterious thumping, it was at an even pace. Deante was alarmed by this and at that
same moment saw the lights of many torches in the distance. He lept to his feet and
the sound of the deep baratone sound of a wolven war horn broke the silence. He
drew Wolfbane and Titus cried, “were-wolves!”
It was then Vegari suddenly appeared beside Deante asking, “What is going
Not surprised by Vegari’s sudden appearance, Deante answered, “The wolves
must have caught our scent.” He scrunched up his nose and shifted his eyes to
Vegari’s eyes without actually turning his head. The look of battle left his face
momentarily, “What took you so long?”
“I was travling northard searching or accessible entrance to the trail, I headed
back at sun down, just in time for a fight I guess.” He arched his brows and lifted his
He looked toward the direction of the artillery of wolves and saw them
running in a neat formation cyring a battle cry. The captain wolf who carried a
deadly cutlass cried, “Fresh meat!.”
Ryern’s face was full of silent fury, he was ready, he did not care if would die,
they would feel the wrath of the dwarves through his mace! the wolves came upon
them like a plague of locus, they broke their formation almost immediately for the
four had attacked the middle. A wolf underestamating the size of Ryern, struck to
high leaving his unarmored stomach open for attack. The dwarf lunged forward,
head-first, right into the wolf’s gut. The wind was knocked painfully out of him,
letting Ryern bring down his mace open the soldier’s unsucpecting face.
Deante parried with his sword deflecting the blow of the wolf’s massive axe,
he went down to his knees and with his left hand smacked the soldier in the face
with his torch. The wolf backed away in pain and Deante tossed his torch into the
sea of soldiers, setting one of them on fire. He backed up against the boulder and
kicked an oncoming wolf in the chest giving him enough time to slip his shield off
his back and into his left hand. It came back again and Deante simply knocked him
down with a smack of his shield. Three advanced upon him, one brought their saber
down and Deante shifted down to his right foot dodging the attack. The hunter spun
around and sliced it’s back open leaving the wolf’s skin open in a flap. The first of
the remaining two swung his saber at his legs while the other swung at his side.
Deante leaped over the first’s blade and grabbed the hand of the second, stopping it
just in time. He thrusted his blade into and through the soldiers chest and used the
wolf’s slain body as a shield against the last wolf’s saber. There was an unsettling
squishing sound as the wolf’s saber delve deep into the others shoulder. Deante
pushed the carcass onto the wolf which he pushed aside easily enough, the soldier
swung his blade twice, first swing he blocked with his sword, second he block with
his shield. Finally he was able to stab him in the stomach while he was swinging his
More came to him and he blocked their blows with his sword. He was, at a
point, driven to his knees deflecting a wolf’s attack, wolves were incredibly strong
creatures, twice as strong than any man. While on his knees he thought he was
going to be killed until, “Yahh!” Titus had come behing the soldier and had run him
through with his mystical blade Baranos. He hit another with the tip of staff,
creating a loud cracking noise as his skull shattered killing him and blowing him
back about twenty feet into the foot of the mountain. Titus was siphoning his
magical energy into his sword giving it an unusual sharpness. Another wolf came
aimed at killing Titus, yet the wizard had gotten the better of him. Using the magical
attributes of his sword, cut the assailant neatly in half, steel mail and all.
The elven race always had an advantage in quickness over the wolves,
allowing Vegari a mysterious swiftness. He killed five alone at a distance with his
throwing daggers and winded two wolves by holding his hammer out long way. He
had spun around swiftly when a wolf had tried to sneak up on him, he shoved the
top of his hammer into the side of his face, and goodness how the teeth flew! He
swiftly spun it downward then up and smacked an oncoming wolf beneath the chin,
the wolf flipped onto his back and Vegari brought the hammer’s spiked end down
into it’s throat. He grasped the handle with both hands and swung it back, breaking
the leg of a soldier behind him. Gripping his weapon’s handle became very dificult
for the blood on his hands was making it slick. Two wolves came at him, thinking
fast he spun around in a circle, connecting with the both their faces. He smiled and
hastily wiped his hands on the grass, looking up he saw twelve coming at him, he
was hopelessly outnumbered. He backed up against the boulder and brandished his
hammer threateningly at them.
He looked to his left and saw Deante, Ryern, and Titus also against the
boulder with a heap of twenty or so soldiers slain at their feet. They were trapped
and the enemy was moving in for the kill, seventy-five by his count were advancing
upon them. The smell of fresh meat was thick in their nostrils. The enemy had
formed a cage around them, there was nothing they could do.
Deante grinded his teeth in fury, this is it, he thought, I’ve failed. The captain
pushed his way through the crowd, face covered in war paint and an evil wolven
smile was etched upon his face. The captain’s hand was raised, any moment they
were going to kill them, until--
The sound of thunder deafened them and ground rumbled angrily making
them all wobble. Deante turned around, it was the boulder! The boulder was
moving! The boulder was alive! It began to uncurl like an armadillo made of stone,
knocking chips of stone off the rock face. The wolves remained still yet their
attention was on the boulder, as was Deante, Titus, Ryern, and Vegari. The boulder
had grown twice it’s size, it was in the shape of a man, completely black. It stretched
out and it then opened it’s eyes, two large green flaws on the part that appeared to
be on the head. He looked down upon the gaggle of creatures, “Wolves!” He cried
with a voice loud enough to make the ground beneath them tremble.
Titus looked at the giant rock man and cried with dismay, “A golem! Get to
The four huddled together and got down low and was consumed in the
bohemeths shadow. The wolves were paralyzed with fear and the golem lifted his
giant circular foot above the soldiers. That second that lasted between the time he
held it in midair and the time he let it drop seemed to last for an eternity for the
wolves. They looked up dumb founded and then threw their arms over their faces
and fell to the ground in fear of what was to happen. The golem had let his foot
drop, barely missing the four, and a thunderous thwump! blew stone and dirt every
which way. The wolves howled in terror and ran, though they did not get far. The
golem stepped over them and with one last tremendous stomp, depleted the rest of
the wolves leaving two gore filled craters.
They were staring at the amazing creature, it had not killed them. The golem
turned around swiftly scooped them up. The giant unclenched his fist laying his
palm flat so he may look at them. It was hopeless, Deante, Vegari, and Ryern
thought, they could never defeat this golem. The only one of them who was smiling
was the wizard, “thank you friend,” he said pleasantly.
The golems face was sculpted in the image of an old man with a long beard.
He smiled broadly and replied, “Think nothing of it! Allow an old rock like me to
introduce itself: my name is Stonefist.”
They were all shocked by the golem’s name, though Titus was the only one
who did not show it. He sheathed his sword and used his staff to get to his feet. “A
pleasure to meet you, I am Titus Tolshem.”
Deante, not wanting to be rude, stood up and also introduced himself, “Hello
Stonefist, my name is Deante Lezdain.”
The others followed with his example, “I am Vegari of the Drinadud.”
“I am Ryern of Stonemine.”
“May I ask where you are going?”
Titus answered, “We are trying to get through the westard trail.”
“Oh! Why-- I could carry you through the trail!”
Their faces lit up, “We would be obliged if you would,” Deante said.”
“Very well then!” Stonefist set them upon his shoulder, allowing the weary
travelers a well deserved break.
The Rogues of
Stonefist had carried the four all throughout the night telling them stories of his life.
The snow sparkled in the horizon signaling the start of a new day, it’s beauty
magnificent. Only Titus and Deante were now awake listening to the giant’s tales,
Vegari and Ryern had fallen asleep quite awhile ago, Stonefist did not mind. He
talked and talked and talked, and they were interested in his stories, it turns out that
Stonefist had never had the chance to speak to someone in ages. As interested as
Deante was, he had begun to doze off for he had not had sleep the previous night.
Stonefist told them about the golems and the things he had seen, and had
even told them a little about the Luniathin, nothing they did not already know.
Their rears were sore from the constant up and down motion of his heavy footsteps
and the hard stone that sat upon, never the less, they were still very greatful.
Stonefist was about the last of his kin, the golems did not breed much and only three
other golems, excluding himself, lived on the continent of Lithian.
“--There really isn’t much to do if you are a golem, you walk all day if you
are awake and sleep most your time. I never feel hungry like any of you, I do not
need food, that is why being with you folk is a pleasure.
“Yet like most golems, I have found something to do with my spare time, I
help people. I protect the people in this area, that is why the were-wolves and
goblins make me so angry! They attack the things I protect, recently they have been
a concern in these parts.”
“Why is that?” Titus asked.
“They are coming in from the south, I do not know why, yet it has been quite
a problem as of late. Never before did they invade Lithian, I wonder why now?”
“Hmm . . .” Titus said thoughtfully.
Then all at once Stonefist came to a hault waking the others, “This is as far as
I will take you.” He opened up his hand and lifted it to the level of his shoulder and
they jumped on. He brought them to the ground and they hopped off.
“Thank you for all that you have done for us Stonefist, and bade you
farewell,” Deante said.
“Perhaps one day I shall meet you all again, until then, goodbye,” he walked
away noisily and dissapeared in the morning mists.
“Where to now?” Ryern asked.
“We go north until we reach the river Vaye, then we travel eastard until we
reach the Hills of Aramothe.” He straightened his pointed hat and urged them
onward toward the north.
A week had passed of ‘Twas a misty trail, yet it was refreshing change from the
miles of snow and slush they had recently marched through. Slivers of sun light
made it’s way through the mist like rain through a leaky roof. Though it was
midwinter, it was it was still pretty warm and the moisture of their surroundings
softened the dead leaves making them not so brittle. Footsteps were silenced and
their visability cut down to a minimum. Though his sight and hearing were impared,
air currents brushed alongside Deante’s body, this forest they walked through was
alive with beings other than them. What was in this forest? He did not know, he
could only hope that they were not a threat to them. He accidently stepped into a
puddle and it’s splashing sound crive a few birds out of hiding. A wind blew through
the trail washing his face with cold, wet air whipping his hair and coat back
It was then Ryern had tugged on his coat and wispered, “come near Deante!
Dwarvish lore tells many tales about these forests, they say it is haunted!”
“Do you believe in such superstitions?” Deante jested.
“They are true!” He pleaded. “they say a swift attack comes from no where
followed by yet another!”
“ ‘Tis foolishness Ryern!” He answered. “Though on the other hand,” he said
thinking aloud, “You can never know if something truly is fact or merely a story.”
“Well no matter what may haunt this forest they better not underestimate the
likes of Ryern the Strong! I could wrestle a mother bear from her den-- ooo!”
A twig snapped and they all suddenly found themselves encased in a net and
surrounded by a dozen or so armed men being led by a gaunt-faced man. The man
was wearing a blood-red coat with fur cuffs and many pockets. He appeared to be
the youngest one there, his lang black hair drooped over his face, it was parted to the
sides of his face so he may see. He was leaning against a tree wearing a strange little
smile, revealing his yellowing straight teeth. In his hand he held a long dual edged
claymore, it appeared to be freshly forged for it appeared flawless. He had a thick
black goatee and dark dismal eyes that could frighten the most stout hearted
“What is the meaning of this? cut us down at once!” Titus demanded.
He grinned a cold smile and said to everyones surprise, “as you wish . . .”
The gruff looking man beside him cut the rope and the four tumbled to the ground.
“Though I may be known as the king of the Rogues of Tethanor, I am no fool. I
know better than to mess with the likes of the wizards, let alone one who is a
shadowman.” Titus stood up with the help of his staff and the gaunt-faced man
shook his hand firmly. It would be fair to say that Deante, Vegari, and Ryern were
bewildered. “My most solemn apologies Titus,” he said sincerely.
“You should be more careful with these traps Gerafim.”
Gerafim snarled and spoke in his low, deadly voice, “These are dangerous
times Titus Tolshem! My trust for the people outside of my forest and my town
hangs by a thread, you are one last few that I can trust outside of my jurisdiction.
With things as they are, trust is a rare gift I can give to few. With weekly attacks
from the goblins and wolves, this is the most you can expect from a man like me in
this current situation.”
He looked a the others with a glare of mistrust in his eyes. “Who are they?”
Titus placed both hands on his staff and answered, “They are with me on a
mission of great importance.”
Gerafim waved his hand and his men unfitted their bows and he sheathed his
sword. “Any friend of yours is a friend of mine wizard. I would be honored to have
the four of stay the night in my home Tethanor.”
“We would be glad to, our bones are weary and our feet worn,” He gestured
them to his left and they all followed.
The mist had grown much thicker yet Gerafim and his rogues seemed to
know the way by heart. “Our home should meet your accommodations dwarf, it is
Ryern snorted, “I would enjoy to see an underground village that could meet
the craftmanship of the dwarves!”
They walked to and fro between the trees and up and down rocky hills until
noon. They were now traveling westard towards the great ocean and it’s salty warm
breezes tickled their faces. As they traveled Deante recalled a tale he had heard in a
tavern many years ago, it was about the rogues Gerafim had spoke of. The tale had
said the rogues stole much from travelers, though he had been through the forest
many times and never had he seen another living soul. “Nor a dead one,” he
thought remebering what Ryern had said. He ran his hand down the hilt of his
blade, when they were captured in that net, he was more than ready to kill Gerafim
and his men yet Titus had once again resolved things peacefully. Titus, where would
I be without you?
They had come upon a clearing that was pretty flat, with the exception of a
small hill. Deante had stopped and rubbed his short brown beard, the hill appeared
alien to the clearing. “Gerafim!”
They rogue had turned his dark eyes toward Deante, “Aye?”
“I have been many places and I have seen many things, from my experience I
could tell you that hill does not belong,” Deante said.
This was the first time Deante had ever seen Gerafim smile. “You have sharp
eyes friend. You are the first of my visitors to have noticed. To think I could fool a
bounty hunter! Especially Deante Lezdain, head bounty hunter”
“You know my name?” Deante said.
“Yes I do hunter, your name is oft mentioned in the taverns and inns I have
He strode to the hill and pulled of a veil of grass revealing a small wooden
door. His men and the four entered and Gerafim entered last and shut the passage
with a loud a bang, being careful to replace the grassy veil.
It was nothing like a dwarf mine yet it was underground to conceal them
from the prying eyes of visitors they did not want. “Not all is beneath the ground,”
Gerafim began to explain, “A great portion of Tethanor is actually built upon the
beach. The underground portion is for the men that serve in my militia.”
“Why a militia?” Vegari asked.
“The Rogues of Tethanor are brigands, not soldiers, it is our way. I will not
force them to fight for me if they wish to not.” His men had left his side and had
gone on to do whatever they will and Gerafim continued to lead them through the
halls. He finally led them to a door and said, “This is where much of our town lies.
Relax and rest while the maidens tend to your needs; I shall see you later.”
He walked away and Titus began to chuckle softly, “Gerafim is a very
apprehensive man, yet kind in heart with the people he trusts.”
Deante opened the door and the smell of the sea struck them like a knife. It
was beautiful. Seagulls flew high above and the sea sparkled like a blue sapphire.
This was nothing new for Deante and Titus for they were avid travelers, but Vegari
and Ryern stood in awe of the spectacle they witnessed. “ ‘Tis even more beautiful
than my forest home in the forest of the Drinadud!”
Yet their attention was disrupted by the happy shouts of children as they
romped through the sand. A young woman approached them and asked, “What
may I get for you sirs?” She was blushing furiously.
Titus answered first with a smile, “A little tea would serve me well.”
Deante who usually asked for either water or beer thought better of it and
simply answered, “Tea please.”
“Water thank you,” Vegari said.
Ryern began to stroke his long brown beard furiously and thinking longer
than the others. Unlike most folk, the dwarves took full advantage of good service,
as Ryern did in the given moment, “A nice pint of beer would do me well. And I
would most enjoy some good cake . . . carrot cake if you have it!”
“Yes we do master dwarf! And I shall get it for you all in a moment!” She
rushed away hurriedly and disappeared inside a house and they soon followed. They
had followed her into an inn, very large yet filled with much space for few were in it.
“Alas very few men are here!” They turned and saw the innkeeper, the
innkeeper was a venerable old man with a pleasant smile and clever hands that had
a golden ring on his right’s index finger. “Most of master Gerafim’s militia are out
on patrol in the forest.”
The innkeeper’s name Bharnabus, a name that Titus knew well in this hidden
town. “My dear Bharnabus! Perhaps you could tell us a bit more about it.”
“Well there is not much to tell rather than that large armies of were-wolves
and goblins have been coming up from the south, destroying our crops and killing
our men. Never before have they done so,” Bharnabus answered. “Well make
They took a table near the entrance and the young maiden, whos name was
Seawind, served the them their food and drink. They just about gobbled up the
carrot cake almost at once and ordered some more. Ryern took a long gulp and
burped unabashedly, though making the others raise their brows. He wiped his
mouth with his sleeve and said, “I think it is about time we begin to fellowship about
Vegari, unlike the others, was standing with his arms behind his back with his
water sitting upon the table, nearly full. “I agree with Ryern, many strange affairs
have been occuring as of late.”
Titus sipped his tea and removed his gray pointed hat and placed it upon the
coat hook where Deante’s green, and Ryern’ and Vegari’s red ones were. “I too am
troubled by these current affairs and I can only guess that they have been summoned
by what? I am not sure, yet once again I find myself thinking it is Elvamir who
draws them here--”
“Elvamir!” Bharnabus suddenly cried in an angry tone that was unlike him.
“We know much of that wizard, he has been causing trouble, disguised as an old
man in pale robes with a pale hood. Yet we know it is he! He bears the symbol only
Elvamir and his minions bear, the black star. The rider wanders these lands
capturing our men in rippling puddles and uses them for whatever dark deeds he
might have intended.”
“ ‘Tis heavy tidings to bear,”Deante said sympathetically. “When was this
‘rider’ first seen?”
“The eve of the Octomnul Equinox.”
“Another question that needs answering,” Titus mumbled irritably. “I
wonder,” he said half to himself, half to the others, “Why would Elvamir do such a
Then suddenly Bharnabus smiled and picked up a pint cup and began to
shine it with a rag. “I am very sorry that I have even mentioned it! Sometimes this
foolish old mouth runs by itself. Do not be troubled, just sit and relax.”
Titus also smiled though it was hardly visible on his black, shadow like face.
“Do not apologize Bharnabus for you were only telling us information that we
needed to know.” He then turned to the others and took another sip of his tea, “Let
us not be troubled and enjoy the rest of our day.”
They all seperated and left to explore the rest of Tethanor.
It was now around five o’clock and Deante walked alone on the Ocean’s warm
shores. Titus had parted with them to go to the hall of records to do some studying;
Vegari had left to explore the rest of the town; Ryern remained in the inn and spoke
merrily with Bharnabus and a few others. Deante took this time to think, now was a
great time for the sun felt great on his damp skin and sand felt great between his bare
toes. His hands were tucked neatly into his pant pockets, he had left his pack and
extra clothing in a room at the inn yet he kept his sword, daggers, and bow with him
and ready for battle. These were unsafe times and no one could safely venture
anywhere while they were unarmed. A seagull flew lazily overhead, it’s shadow
dancing upon the sand like a playful chipmunk. From the very first day of their
quest, things had grown to be more complicated: the possible attacks of from
Elvamir, enemies coming in from the south, giant yet friendly golems. He really has
not had a good nights rest for what seemed to be ages yet his discomforts were minor
compared to the threat of Mideon.
Even if they did obtain the Luniathin things would probably escalate into
war, yet who would fight? The races could hardly tolerate one another and the only
race who would probably go to war would be Clorshank, yet with no avail.
Clorshank would never be able to win even with the wolves’ and goblin’s weakened
state for even Clorshank was no longer strong enough. To triumph over this evil the
races would have to unite, which was highly unlikely. He would not give up even
though it all seemed hopeless. He made vow to his companions and himself to
obtain the Luniathin in life or death. This was his solemn oath, he would not forsake
“In my life or in my death,” he whispered finalizing his pledge. His hand fell
upon the hilt of his blade, he drew it and looked at it. Wolf bane was not in it’s best
shape, full of scratches and nicks along the edges. He rubbed his thumb along the
edge and pulled it back with a grunt. Blood trickled out of the wound and he smiled,
still sharp, he thought. He sheathed his sword once more, he would have it forged
anew when they arrived in Aramothe.
“Hello Deante,” said Vegari walking towards him, stepping lightly in the
Deante and Vegari sat down together on the beach, the elf looked perturbed.
“What is troubling you?” Deante asked.
Vegari’s pale hair shimmered in the sunlight and his green eyes sparkled like
emeralds. “ ‘Tis this mission friend, my heart wishes to believe that it is not all in
vain, though I can not truly believe it. The enemy is growing in power, especially
now that the wizard Elvamir is aiding the dark lord.”
Deante frowned and said, “I am sure we will, Mideon’s dark powers hold no
sway over you, Ryern, Titus or I. The powers of good will always prevail over the
likes of darkness,” Deante felt much better.
Vegari frowned also, “What do you suppose the traitor Elvamir is up to
“That is a question with an answer I would like to hear.”
It was dusk and Deante and Vegari both retired to the inn with Ryern, Titus was still
at the hall of records. The stain-glass windows painted everyone yellow. The elf
looked outside from the doorway and looked upon the stillness of the water. “The
water is stilled, there has been death this day.” Ryern and Bharnabus stared at
Vegari but not Deante, he knew him just about as well as he knew himself. Vegari
had a keen sense of nature as did all elves, he was usually right about these things.
A few moments after Vegari had said that, the heavy foot falls of men was
heard. Deante stepped out and there was Gerafim, clad heavily with armor bearing
the crest of the rogues; a leafless cottonwood tree. He was a hideous sight, drenched
in black blood and a little bit of red blood from his own wounds. His upper right arm
was bandaged and he was limping. His claymore was sheathed yet he an extra two
other swords that he carried in either hand. He stopped in a large plot of barren dirt
and shoved the two swords into the ground. His men came behind him, some more
badly wounded that others, some carrying soldiers who were marred horribly.
Everyone free man that walked carried an extra weapon with them following in their
Gerafim’s face was filled with great sorrow, “Many died today,” he said,
“Defending Tethanor, defending our very way of life. Let us take a moment of
silence to remember those who paid with their lives to protect us. All was still for
many seconds, many were crying except Gerafim who’s face had become like a
stone, withdrawing his first expression yet his eyes kept his original look. He lifted
his head and said, “you may all go.” Half of his men left to go home while the other
half left to the infirmary. Gerafim, however, went inside the inn.
Before Bharnabus had even said anything, Gerafim mumbled, “brown ale.”
He nodded and quickly fixed him a pint mug. He sat it down in front of Gerafim and
he chugged it down quickly. His eyes were red and he did not talk to anyone.
Night had finally come and mre men poured in, quietly gulgping their ale
and beer. A silent Gerafim left around eight o’clock, he left Bharnabus a large
copper coin. Titus entered just about when Gerafim left, “Titus-” Deante began
though before he could finish the wizard answered, “I know.”
Deante and Titus remained at the inn’s tavern for quite some time though
Ryern and Vegari had left for bed. One by one the soldiers of Tethanor left for sleep
all the while Deante and Titus remained, quietly smoking their pipes. The innkeeper
kept the hearth filled with firewood and the night rolled on soon leaving the two
alone chattering quietly about happier times. It was midnight and the wizard stood
and said, “Goodnight friend, get some sleep, we set out upon the road at dawn.”
Deante nodded, “Goodnight I shall see you in the morning.” Titus went up
stairs to the rooms and it was not long before Deante had joined the others at the
room though he himself could not sleep.
He paced back and forth in the four bedroom chamber cloak swishing behind
him. The others slept peacefully; Titus appeared almost invisible upon his bead, he
would be impossible to see if it was not for his long iron grey hair; Vegari slept flat
on his back, arms folded neatly over his breast in a soundless yet thin sleep; Ryern
layed curled beneath his blanket snoring loud uneven snores. Deante wanted badly
to join his companions in rest though he was not tired. Back and forth he walked
waiting for his eyes to droop. The hunter sat down on his bed and looked outside of
the window to see the stillness of Tethanor. He looked farther out towards the beach
and saw Gerafim under the pale light of the waning moon. He decided to join him.
When Deante met Gerafim on the beach, he was in his regular coat and he appeared
much cleaner then he was earlier that day. Though his eyes remained the same,
always the same. He did not turn to look at Deante, his eyes remained at the
never-ending ocean quietly chewing a mint leaf. “You should rest hunter ‘tis late,
you have a long day ahead of you tomorrow.”
“I can not sleep. I know how hard it is to lose someone that you hold dear.”
The rogue’s eyes flashed dangerously at him. “And what,” he said in a
menacing voice, “would a bounty hunter know about such matters? Have ever seen
the people loyal to you, the people that trusted you die defending you? They trusted
me with their lives, has anyone ever trusted you with such responsibility?”
Deante was not angered by Gerafim’s harsh words against him, he
understood. “No, I have not, though I know what it feels like to lose someone that
you felt responsible for.
“Some years back in the late summer I was journeying through eastern
Lithian when I had happened to come upon a town. I had passed through there not
a week before, normal as always. Though when I had passed through that day it was
decimated, burned to the ground. I investigated and learned it was the doing of the
goblins Eastern Range. Burnt rubble was not all that I had found that day. As I was
leaving I heard the faint whimper of a child, I looked around and found a young
lass, hurt and partially buried beneath the remants of her house.
“I took her to my home, a cave on the foothills of the Eastern range. I cared
for her until she got better yet in that time she recuperated, I had gotten to know her,
I even began to love her as my own daughter. It was late fall and I was out hunting
for food when I had come upon a lone flower growing in the middle of a field. I
plucked it with intention of giving it to her, give it to Avowyn. When I had looked I
saw in the distance many goblins and a mountain troll heading towards what
appeared to be my home. I raced to get there and get Avowyn before they came
thoigh I was too late. They were already in my home, I killed many goblins and
managed to hamstring the troll, many ran yet their damage had already been done. I
the corner I saw her, she was cut to ribbons by the goblins scimatars,” with saying
this Deante’s voice seemed to become sharper frightening Gerafim ever so slightly.
“I had let her down Gerafim, her and her dead parents,” Deante’s eyes were hard
like steel and his face like a stone, unchanging. He felt his stomach twist and he felt
grievous within though he kept it in, he knew he had to let it go.
“Forgive me for my earlier comment Deante Lezdain, you are a bolder man
than I. I was not ready to bestowe upon such responsibility, I was young when my
father died and I was left to watch over Tethanor. I do my best to watch after my
people, though with constant ambushes by the wolves, we may pass like the setting
“Ambush? What had happened?”
He spat out the residuum of his mint leaf and sighed. “Alas Deante ‘tis a
onerous thing to tell, but I shall answer your question.
“A scout had spotted a platoon of fifty wolves marching towards Northrow.
We hunted them down and followed them though they had been ready for us. On
the outskirts of the row they had stopped and their captain had fired a flaming arrow
straight into the sky. We had soon discovered they were not alone. Many goblins
bearing the symbol of Mideon jumped from out of the trees catching us all by
surprise.. Their reinforcements were not many though they were heavily armed and
well armored. The wolves escaped to the north and that was when a dragon rider
rained fire down upon us.” When Gerafim had said that Deante’s body stiffened and
his eyes grew wide with rage. As I have said earlier, Drozlin were widely known for
their excessive wanton destruction. “It was because of the rider that many of men
died and that many of Mideon’s infantry had escaped along with the wolves.
“Wolves and goblins love destruction and death though for some reason they
did not stay to fight. My best guess is that they are building army against the people
Deante looked at Gerafim with a look of urgency, “Clorshank? Are you
Gerafim shook his head with a stoical look upon his face. “I am not fully sure
yet what other force could stand strong against the dark one’s power. Clorshank is
strong, it would have to be to keep the forces of evil at bay. I am not even sure that
Mideon’s plan would work for the wolves will have to pass through Clorshank to
“That is true though drops of water can pierce through a stone if given
“That is also true though all we can do is hope for now. ‘Tis late and the road
leads ever on, you should rest while you can.”
Deante clapped Gerafim’s shoulder and said, “I shall.”
As Deante walked towards the inn Gerafim called, “Deante!”
“Do you carry any armor?”
“Yes I carry a shirt of chain mail . . . why?”
“The forest Tethanor is no longer a safe place to travel, not with the wolves
and goblins using it as passage and my men no longer patroling it’s borders. I would
recommend for you and companions to wear what little armor they have, any
protection is good protection.”
“Thank you for your warning.” When Deante reached their room he fell
asleep almost instantly though it was a thin rest. A treacherous road awaited them.
It was an hour before dawn and the sky outside was still black. Droplets of water
had condensed on the window Deante had used the night before to see Gerafim.
Was resting peacefully upon his bed when Vegari’s gentle hands shook him awake.
The elf was now wearing elvin shoulder armor and leather gauntlets, he to wore a
shirt of chain mail beneath his shirt. “You knew?” Deante had said now sitting
upon his bed, hastily slipping on his cloak.
Vegari nodded, rather than keeping his hammer strapped to his back he
carried it in one hand ready to use it. “Gerafim woke Titus not to long ago. He
roused me and Ryern after he was ready and he told us of Gerafim’s warning.”
Deante was dressed and his weapons throughly secured to his belt. There
was clicking of boot heels and Ryern was in between the two. “Well let us go,” he
said with a frown, “Titus awaits us outside.” Ryern was the only one of the three
who wore his armor the entire trip, he was fully clothed in dwarvish armor. His long
sleeved shirt of chain mail upon his stout body, dragon hide boots, steel helm.
“Eager to set out upon the road master dwarf?” Vegari had said with a smirk.
Ryern smiled broadly, “Why of course master elf, the dwarves are as hard as
mythril when it comes to long traveling. Besides . . . I have a present I wish to give
to any goblin or wolf that passes our way!” He brandished his mace and shouldered
The three laughed and exited the room and left the inn and saw Titus
standing with the support of his staff next to Gerafim. His amber eyes glowed bright
in dark of the early morn, his eyes were gentle and kindly. “Our road leads us to the
Northrow and then east to Aramothe. ‘Tis a more dangerous road than before, keep
on your toes for any sign of danger.”
“Be on your guard, avoid being seen at all costs, a simple mistake can mean
your life,” Gerafim said. He handed Ryern a knapsack full of honey and bread.
“Here are some more rations for you to carry master dwarf.” Ryern wordlessly
slipped the sacks straps around his shoulders. “May the light lead you to your
He led them to outside of Tethanor’s entrance, he gave the four one last look
with his dark brooding eyes and shut the door behind him. The lone hill appeared to
be no more than a hill now. The forest was misty and dark though the crystal at the
tip of the wizard’s staff illuminated them in white light. Unfamiliar noises echoed all
around them and the four were armed; Titus was holding both his staff and his
sword, Deante held his shield in his left and sword in his right, Vegari twirled his
hammer in his hands, Ryern with his mace raised to his chest. They started upon the
trail once more and Titus spoke, “Keep wary of your surroundings gentleman. The
dark lord summons more than goblins and wolves to his throne.” They clutched
their weapons tighter and set forth into the dark forest.
High above the world of Lanoth a man that rode upon a dragon approached the
caste Aries. The man was hooded and his face was black from its shadow. He was a
heavily armed man, he carried with him a cross bow that was set and ready to fire, a
black tainted dagger, two spears criss- crossed upon his back, a long and menacing
curved sword, and not to mention a fire breathing dragon at his command. He wore
steel scale mail beneath the plate armor that bore that mark of Mideon; a gray sun
with a corona and a white moon that was set where the sun’s bottom left part of it’s
corona. He wore armor for his shoulders, shins, and forearms. He wore heavily
padded leather and iron gloves for his hands and leather, iron soled boots. Two
spurs of mythril were set behind either boots heel. He had dark blue eyes and thin
lips. He was a young man, many a year younger than Deante though he was wiser
and more cunning than his looks led others to believe. He was a strong man, as
strong a bear and tough as too. He was clean shaven and had a flat face. His hair
was as black as the night and reached down to his ears. Though this rider was young
his hair was streaked with brilliant white and he carried many scars and burns. His
chin was clipped much like Deante’s and his hands were thin and bony though like
the rest of his body it was decieving for they were strong. This Drozlin’s name was
none other than Daragon, master of the dragon riders and loyal servant of the dark
Daragon’s loyalty to the dark lord was unflagging. The rider would give his
life to his services and do it with a smile (a thing he did not do much).
The rider rode a dragon by the Emniwiin, quite possibly the fiercest dragon
that ever flew through the skies of Lanoth. Emniwiin had a loyalty to Daragon that
was as strong as it’s master’s fidelity to Mideon. When around his master, he is as
tame as any horse, when in battle he is as vehement as a consuming fire. Daragon
had known his dragon since he was a lad, he loved nothing more than Emniwiin. As
a matter of fact, he was the only thing Daragon truly loved.
Emniwiin was cover from head to claw in pure black scales. He was of
average size, forty cubits in length from head to tail tip with a sixty cubit wing span.
His eyes were two blazing orange coals in the center of his face with cat like pupils.
The under part of his wings were coated a glorious orange that made it appear that
it’s wings were ablaze. Smoke was exhaled from it’s nostrils and a random sput of
flames fluttered out. Emniwiin’s scales were sleek yet as strong as mythril and as
smooth as polished glass. A row of sharp, dagger like spikes down from his hip to
his menacing thorned tail. Within the monsters mouth were two rows of incisors
that were deadly sharp, set in front of his forked tongue. It’s bill was hooked
downward and it’s neck was long and strong to support it’s head. It had two frontal
legs that were slightly smaller than his back legs which were massive. It’s front arms
were much slimmer too though they supported a row of sword like claws. Emniwiin
wore a steel bridle upon it’s black face with a long rein made of mythril chain that
Daragon held firmly in his heavily shielded hands. Upon it’s back where it’s master
sat was a brown and worn saddle with saddle bags yet without stirrups. This saddle
was wider than most and was terribly uncomfortable for new riders though after
Daragon’s long years of riding he was use to it. The only part of this flying army that
was weak was it’s underside, terribly soft and vulnerable to most attacks. To fix this
Emniwiin was set up with armor for it’s underside made by some of Mideon’s most
talented blacksmiths, it was made with tempered steel. Carved directly in the middle
of the dragon’s chest armor was the mark of Mideon, carved rather than painted like
The dragon and it’s master flew at amazing speeds with Emniwiin’s feet
skimming the clouds. In the distance he could see that the clouds had grown black;
he had reached his destination. He released a hand from the reins and pressed ever
so gently on the base of his dragon’s neck motioning him to go down. The dragon
sloped downward and the entered the black clouds. Cold air rushed past his face and
whipped off his hood revealing his dark and evil facade. He enjoyed the sensation of
flying downward with his faithful steed, it was high he could never match. The
clouds dissipated and rain water dampened his travel worn clothes. His ornate cape
fluttered behind as did his hair. He looked before and saw his master’s home, the
He pressed his hand harder upon the base of Emniwiin’s neck and sloped
even more towards the castle. The castle Aries was in the heart of Lunas and above
all else had the tightest defense. It was seldom an attack ever came to Aries for other
fortresses and villages oft stopped any possible attack from the soldiers of Clorshank,
though not always have they been stopped. Unlike Clorshank The number of their
soldiers has not dwindled over the years for the power of the Luniathin draws every
last wolf and goblin to the shadowy lands of Lunas. The power of the medallion has
even reached to northern Mondia and spreads farther day by day. The great castle
lies upon a wide promontory stretching outward to the sea of Fateed. To it’s front is
a canyon that leads to it’s gates, a canyon that is guarded day and night by an army
of archers and soldiers that are ready to strike with much fouler things than arrows.
The Trail Wenowhem is very small, many cubits high between the two cliffs and
very slim, a trail just wide enough for two caravans to ride abreast. At the end of this
trail was a tall gate where many have died trying to get through. The gate was a
standing memorial to all the attacks that Aries had faced, charred black marks and
cuts were upon it though it stood strong. The gate was never repaired for the gate
was made over three millenia and never before had it been breached; The wolven
lords believed it added good fortune to the Luniathin. The gate was a cubit thick
made of iron and oak. Never before was the gate breached. Beyond the old gate was
An extremely large valley covered in ash and dust not because it was battle worn,
but because of the activities of the enemies. Soldiers trained here and miners mined
here also, many knew this valley as the Ashland. Open mines blew smoke from their
openings, the goblins mined and the wolves forged the weapons. Day and night they
worked their bellows and hammers forging Mideon’s vast army with mighty
weapons. The gate to the actual castle is never closed for things are alway coming in
and out, wether it be food, soldiers, weapons, fuel, and other such things. It’s heavily
guarded by Mideon’s 1rst infantry who’s only job is defending the castle at all times.
Since the castle never is attacked, their job is awfully boring. The walls surrounding
the castle were made to match the height of the canyon, many cubits thick and
reinforced with iron. The surrounding area inside the walls and surrounding the
castle was known as Outlook courtyard, a place where no other race other than the
goblins and wolves had seen and lived to tell the tale. The courtyard was bald,
nothing grew upon it’s dead soil other than weeds.
The reason why the castle Aries was never taken or breached was because the
lords of Lunas were always tight on security. They took no chances for an attack
could come at any time, the Luniathin had saved the gate more than once. Dozens
of archers stood upon and around the castle at all times, always wary of what may
The archers upon the castle gave Daragon no second glance as he flew
towards the castle, he was the dark lords faithful human. The rider did a loop
around the castle’s central tower and pulled back on his steed’s reins. Emniwiin
drifted down slowly and with a soft thwump. Daragon rubbed his steeds neck
lovingly and hopped off of his back. The dragon tossed his head furiously towards
the oncoming stablegoblins. The master shook his head at Emniwiin who
immediately stopped. The stablegoblins were heavily clothed in protective garmets
and thick gloves. With great effort the five goblins managed to secure the dragon to
a steel ring set deep into the castle wall with the dragon’s mythril reins.
A light rain began to fall upon the castle and Daragon looked into the black
sky to see the thunder bellow like an angry giant. The Drozlin entered through the
northard entrance and shut the door behing him with a bang. Upon the door was
carved the mark of Mideon. The dingy halls were lit with burning torches, revealing
the red ornate pattern carpet that covered the bare floor. He walked to his left
corridor, five doors were set to his left, six were set to his right. He clip-clopped
down and turned to his right, the council chamber he wished to attend was upon the
castle’s third floor. He took a right and found himself in a corridor painted black, the
doors were ebony and the ring knobs were painted raven to match. This hallway was
a frightening place for many people for this was the corridor where they would
torture captured spies. A door way open at the end of the hall caught Daragon’s
attention, bloody scratch marks covered the doors otherside. As he passed he shut
the door hard, echoes rang throughout the halls rousing goblins and wolves at either
side of the corridor, He finally made it out and entered a circular room where a wide
spiral staircase was placed reaching the top floors of the castle. Many soldiers ran up
and down the stairs, going up towards the mess hall or going down to report outside
for further duty. He climbed the stairs and the soldiers made sure to stay out of the
rider’s way, they knew better than to cross a drozlin. He looked up and looked at the
stairs, they seemed to reach to heaven. Up he walked with a steady pace, the soldiers
‘round him seemed to stomp their way up and down the stairs. He stepped off the
stair case and walked to his right, entering a large finely crafted door.
The door closed softly behind him and he was engulfed in a consuming
blackness. He took a sulfer match from out of his pocket and ignited it on the side of
the wall and used it to light an unlight torch upon the wall. He held the torch high
and washed the book shelves in orange light, he was in a library. The library was off
limits to all except high ranking officers and generals in Mideon’s army. Many did
not come here for it was here where his lord would spend most of his time. Many
books remained untouched though some were read, books of lore were the most
popular though Mideon prefered reading about the history of his people. Dust rose
and fell with ever foot step and he stopped to stiffle a sneeze. Embers scattered
around like the red sprites of Leehiegh, this made him smile. The floor boards
creaked under his weight, the library wasn’t tended to very often and holes exposing
the floor beneath were visible. It was then a shaft of light from a slight hole in the
wall, this was where he wanted to be. He set down the torch and moved a book shelf
to the side. Behind the shelf was a secret room where both a goblin and a wolf stared
at him from their chairs.
Daragon stepped inside and put the book shelf back in it’s place. “Good
evening Daragon,” said Barunz the goblin general of Mideon’s goblin armies.
“How fairs the outside world?” said Garin wolven general of Mideon’s
Daragon set his torch upon a pocket in the wall and bowed ever so slightly. “
‘Tis nice to see you my generals.” The table in which they sat around was five sided
for the five people ment to sit there. At the far end nearest to the wall was an
elaborate dark iron chair for the dark lord that it belonged to. Daragon took a seat to
the chairs right, only three of the five chairs were filled. “As for your question Garin,
I shall not tell until our lord arrives.”
Garin nodded slightly and took a swig of mead from his brass goblet. Barunz
rubbed his foul chin, “Where is the wizard?” He said in a high, bitter voice.
“Elvamir does as he pleases and comes when he wishes, patience! They shall
arrive shortly Barunz.”
Barunz seemed to hiss momentarily, his orange eyes filled with malice.
Barunz and Garin were old members of Mideon’s army and were completely loyal
to the dark lord, though they despised Daragon above all else. Daragon had become
Mideon’s most trusted servant of many years of loyal service to his dark purposes.
The fact that they had to take orders from a human was an insult, his choosing a
right hand ‘man’ over a right hand ‘wolf/goblin’ was infuriating. The two believed
that the human was below them though Mideon had thought likewise. What did the
human have that they did not? They seldom dwelled upon the subject for they did
know the full potential of the Luniathin. They thought dark thoughts about their
lord but did he already know what they had thought or thought or were going to
think? Could a mere medallion give you sight into the minds of others? they sure
hoped not, for their sake.
The council room was a dark and dingy place to be, spider webs loomed
above them and decrepit bricks and stones surrounded them. There were no
windows within the chamber, nothing but a slim chimney to allow the smoke from
the torches to escape.Water from the rain leaked through the rough sending droplets
of water down the sides of the walls and dripping onto the table. A single candle was
upon the table, dancing with the wind from their breath. Garin and Barunz’ eyes
shifted constantly while the humans laid dormant, they looked at eachother and at
the book shelf that concealed them. Where was the wizard? Their patience had run
terribly thin . . . all except for Daragon. Ever waiting, ever patient for the late
comers. They refilled their mead and drank slowly fearing to be drunk in the
presence of their calm, yet volatile lord.
Garin looked straight at Daragon and frowned darkly. He could not
understand it, why would his lord place a human higher in his ranks than one of his
own kin? The kings of old would be appaled at the choices of the king, humans
could never be trusted, surely his lord knew that! Yet there a human sat, sippind the
wine of Lunas, sitting in their chairs, situated next to their lords throne. What if the
human was a spy? Giving Clorshank the much needed information to bring about
the downfall of the kingdom? Something should be done about the human, maybe
not but perhaps later, yes later.
The were-wolves are a very peculiar race, wolf-like in appearance though
human-like also. Their fur is much thicker yet shorter than that of a wolf’s and eyes
set directly above the muzzle. Their canines are much smaller yet pointer, enabling
normal speach. Their fur tends to be black and their tales are unusually short. Their
body is made in such a way that it is akward for them to run upon all fours. The
were-wolves are very clever creatures though think much slower than the other
races. Wolves are incredible at weapon making much like the race of the dwarves.
The light of day made the wolves incredibly weak before the Luniathin was forged.
The goblins are incredibly sly creatures like the fox and cunning like a
panther on the prowl. Many wonder why the goblins allied with the were-wolves,
many have different answers though there is only one that is true. The goblins take
advantage of oppurtunities, when they were faced with the threat of the wolves, they
joined them in their dark quests and averted destruction.
The goblins are known for the many piercings, particularly upon their faces.
They’re usually shorter than humans though some grow to be much larger than the
race of man and as strong as a bull. Goblins are the greatest war mongers of the
entire world of Lanoth, they see death and destruction as the best entertainment so
many usually join an army. No goblin should ever be belittled for they are deadly
swift and usually carry tainted blades. Goblins are known for their odd
brownish-green skin, their menacing orange eyes, and their pointed. Goblins are
usually bald and have large, powerful hands. The dark lord usually put’s them to
work forging his armor and manufacturing special tools of war.
‘Twas an hour before midnight and the two still hadn’t arrived. The two
generals were just about ready and Daragon’s face remained unchanging, angering
the two even more. Barunz reached out his hand to grab his goblet of mead when it
suddenly fell over spilling onto the table and the floor. He looked up at his comrades
who were looking at his goblet. An eerie filling swelled within them and the
shadows in the far wall near Daragon somehow seemed darker. Then the wall began
to ripple and the fist the drozlin had placed firmly under his jaw was removed.
Rather than grabbing his sword, he waited to see what happened yet the other two
were more spontaneous. They had attempted to draw blade though they had only
managed to pull it from it’s sheath a quarter of the way. Their blades seemed to be
stuck in the scabbard and for some strange reason they could not let go of the hilts.
“Be still generals,” said a voice that was gentle yet with a hint of malice within. “
‘Tis only I.”
Then as if they were puppets their hands forced their swords back to it’s
sheath and were pulled back into there seats, unable to move. Then a silver, pointed
hat much like Titus Tolshem’s revealed itself from the shade. A tall figure appeared
from the shadows, holding a brilliant staff of of white. There did not seem to be a
face nor a head to support the hat, all they could see was a strong color of dull iron
making facial hair upon it’s face. The robes he wore were of the same color of his
shining pointed hat with black trimming almost black enough to match his face. A
sooty black hand grasped his wand, It almost seemed the shadows had somehow
wrapped it’s self around it. Other than his steel hair, the only thing that could be
seen were his piercing blue eyes that sometimes actually appeared to smoke. His
finely combed hair reached a bit farther than his shoulders like a certain magician
you’ve become accustomed to. The two generals were stunned as their eyes followed
the ‘man,’ they would never get used to the wizard’s strange entrances. They to did
not care much for the magician though they dare not say, he frightened them to
some extent. He outreached his right hand pulled the chair out so he may sit. He sat
and with a wave of his hand the two were released from their hold. “Sorry I am
late,” he said trying to sound sincere, and he was. Though sincerity to a person like
him never truly meant much to him.
I guess by the time you’ve come to this part of my tale of the quest to retrieve the
Luniathin, you have probably come to the conclusion that Elvamir is a very wicked
shadow-man (And in case you have wondered what the true name of the
shadow-men is, I shall tell you that in the common tongue of man it is impossible to
pronounce so I shall leave it as shadow-men). No, I do not believe that it is true that
Elvamir is a wicked shadow-man, he has been many things but never wicked.
To me, I would describe him as a confused man, a man with deep flaws but
just want’s to do what’s right. Elvamir is a man that is very knowledgable but is
confused by the way things are and why the races do what they do. He was once a
wanderer like Titus and saw many things yet these confused him.
Before I go into the history of Elvamir, I would like to tell you a thing or two
about the race of shadows.
Most of their lives they in a dimension parallel to our own and that of of the
other races of Lanoth, a place called Elgoroth (Land of Shadows in the common
tongue). In tales Elgoroth is oft reffered to as Paradise, the top layer of Hell. In these
tales the name of Paradise is not an insult, quite the contrary really. In our world,
the catholic religion teaches that the top most layer of Hell is actually quite a
pleasant place, as the churches of Lanoth also teach. It was taught that Paradise was
a better place than our world and the world of Deante and company, just sadly short
of heaven. Paradise would, in fact, be a proper name for Elgoroth and Paradise are
very similar places. Well . . . other than the fact that the shadow-men were not
spirits but actual living beings. Oh yes the shadow-men did experience the same
temptations you and I face, but to a lesser extent making Elgoroth (or should I say
Paradise?) a much happier place that our world and Deante’s world.
In Elgoroth many of it’s beings were very ignorant of things and well . . .
quite stupid. Though there were a chosen few who were not, two of which were
Elvamir Maloowighte and Titus Tolshem. Two very bright shadow-men that took
up magic and sought to help those on the outside world. Shadow-men are a very
nifty beings for all of them seemed to possess a little magic. All shadow-men could
pass from the dimension of man to the dimension of shadow-men at will. Yes the
other races could come into Elgoroth but only with the help of a shadow-man. This
never really occured often for the shadow-men are very dark and cryptic creatures
that did not like being seen by the other races and would normally be annoyed if
seen, then suddenly disappear as if they were never there.
Titus and Elvamir were very peculiar shadow-men indeed. They had a taste
for adventure and knowledge and wanted to help the other races, at first that is.
Titus in particular loved the outside world and soon became accustomed to the
many races and languages of Lanoth. Elvamir, however did not. Titus had managed
to see through the flaws of the outside world and understood the personalities of the
races. The humans gallant yet weak; the elves noble though doubting; the dwarves
stalwart but rapacious; The harpies intelligent yet aloof; the wolves assiduous but
corrupt; and the goblins clever though deceitful. Titus had grown a strong sense of
what was right and what was wrong so he was better known with the elves, dwarves,
harpies, and humans.
Elvamir, however, was familiar with the likes of the wolves and the goblins.
Rather than seeing the wolves and goblins for what they were, he aided them in their
quests and fought against Titus. Once again that word comes into view, confused, he
was confused. Who was Titus to say what was right and what was wrong? He went
down his own path though never got to involved for he truly did not know who was
correct. For over a thousand years Elvamir Maloowighte passed out of all
knowledge though he somehow managed to mantain his friendship with Titus.
Elvamir was never very good at seeing deeper than the skin, all he saw was on the
outside. This was the case when he looked upon our race of mankind. When
Elvamir first visited Clorshank, he was appalled at the nature of man. He saw the
race of man as slovenly greedy creatures that had no sense of morals or decency. He
never saw past our drunks and beggers. He never gave a second look at the new, yet
temporary government in Clorshank, the governers that worked night and day
keeping the peace within it’s borders and bringing justice to it’s enemies while they
awaited their king.After Elvamir had left he returned to his lighthouse on the edge of
the sea of Fateed. Another reason why you may believe that he was evil was the fact
he studied black magic. There’s two types of magic that exist, black and white. Many
wizards turn to black magic for it is a great deal easier to do than white magic,
though inferior to it’s power. The path of light is a difficult road to journey upon and
many wizards lack the talent to perform this white power. Titus Tolshem was one of
a chosen few who were capable of conjuring white magic. White magic takes a great
deal of time to learn andm practice, the result was that Elvamir could do more than
double than magic spells Titus could. When I said black magic was inferior to white,
I didn’t mean to imply that black magic was weak, black magic is extremely
powerful,n though never quite as strong as white sorcery.
When Elvamir arrived at his living quarters of his lighthouse (The dungeons
beneath to be exact) a dark figure sat upon his chair. Elvamir sensed an amzing
magical force coming from this, this, thing. He sensed a magic coming from the
creature yet a much stronger force, stronger than anything he had ever felt was
hanging around the creatures neck. He knew imediately who this thing was, king of
Lunas, lord of the Luniathin. It, he, was lord Falumtin. Hanging around the
creatures neck was the beautiful Luniathin, a magical medallion forged into the
shape of a sun with pointy triangles as it’s corona and a moon overlapping the sun.
Both sun and moon were flawless and gleaming made from a metel rarer than
mythril and bound with the power of the most powerful magicians that ever lived,
decades before either Titus or Elvamir’s time. Elvamir peered at the medallion,
trying to sense what sort of power it held. After a few seconds of trying, he couldn’t
sense either white or black magic within it, then what kind of power did it hold? He
removed his silver hat and tossed it to the dank stone floor, he raised his staff and
pointed it threateningly at Falumtin. He wasn’t sure how much damage he could do
against a creature of such power. “Why have invaded my home? Why do you sit in
my chair as if you are an old friend? Speak-o-lord of the Luniathin!”
The entire time Elvamir spoke, the wolf’s face was turned away from his
silent, almost oblivious of Elvamirs appearance it seemed. Though he did know he
was here, and he did know what spell the wizard was preparing to use, a powerful
binding spell. He turned his head slowly towards him faced concealed beneath a
mask of mythril and the shadow of the hood he wore. His pale eyes met Elvamir’s
and a cold, merciless grin etched itself upon his face. Elvamir stared, unafraid of the
intruder though the power emitted from the medallion focused upon him. He felt
horribly cold suddenly and white mist billowed out of his mouth. His piercing blue
eyes narrowed at Falumtin.
“Hello, Elvamir . . .” A voice sow low yet so frightening, goose flesh formed
upon his skin. Elvamir shook his head trying to clear voice from his head. Had
Falumtin spoke? He did not think so for his mouth never moved. If he did not speak
then how did I hear his voice speaking to me. Pin-pricks of sweat stood out upon his
face. To enter the mind was an impossible feat in the world of sorcery, or something
so close to it it might as well be named it. For years Elvamir had practiced how to
enter ones mind and had failed time and time again. He had learned how to read
ones thoughts through looking at his eyes but this was totally different . . . The
Luniathin was much more powerful than he thought.
“What has brought you here lord of Lunas?”
The beast exhaled, “Have have come for I seek your aid . . .”
Elvamir slowly lowered his staff and tried to stop himself from shivering.
That voice was like a nightmare from his sleep. The voice was similar to the one he
heard in his head, only darker, more demonic, like the voice of a snake . . . “My aid
in what may I ask?”
“I think you know Elvamir. I wish for you to aid in my conquest of
Clorshank, my conquest of Lithian, my conquest of the world!”
The wizard furrowed his brow, “Why should with your dark deeds?”
“I can make it worth your while Elvamir, riches beyond your wildest dreams
. . .” As Elvamir opened his mouth to respond with a, “no” Falumtin raised a hand,
or should I say claw, to silence him. “Ah yes, I know, it isn’t wealth or power that
you want is it Elvamir? What you want from this world is a better understanding of
it isn’t it? To understand why the races act so, to know why they do such evil. Sit,”
he said and without questioning, Elvamir sat in the chair opposite of his. He was
curious he wanted, no, he needed to know more. “If you join me, I can’t promise I
can change the ways of others, no no, though I can promise to stop it from
“Should the races be bound under a single power, I can command and
control them from doing evil to one another. No more war, no uncessary blood
shed, united in harmony.”
“United in harmony . . .” he echoed. He released his wand and it clattered to
the floor sending up clouds of dust.
“To achieve this goal I need the help of one so educated and as unique as
you, to add your power to my own. Blood shed will be required to do this task yet
that wont be a problem if you join me.” He held out the back of his armored claw to
him, “Help me Elvamir and we shall change the world.”
For a moment the wizard hesitated when he reached out to take his claw
though he followed through. He held his claw in front of his black lips and
whispered, “I pledge my allegiance to you my lord Falumtin.” He kissed the back of
his claw and sealed his fate with the Luniathin. He never saw the that evil grin upon
Falumtin’s shadowed face.
So you see, Elvamir was a confused shadow-
man, you could even say a naive shadow-man for joining Lunas in it’s dark deeds
for a chance at world peace. Alas, I personally do not believe such a thing like world
peace can ever be achieved, not as long as people remain individuals, with different
ideas and person-
alities. So I would never say he was a wicked man, just hooked in by an appealing
idea that in his mind could work.
So there’s the background of Elvamir Maloowighte, a wise, though unwise
wizard. Who was stronger, Elvamir or Titus? You might ask. To tell the truth I am
not sure who was the better wizard even after a deadly confrontation that I shall tell
you later about later.
“What took you so long wizard?” said Barunz stroking the hilt of his blade.
Elvamir looked at the three and rested his wand upon his lap. “I was
attending to personal business on the Black mountain, ‘tis all you need to know.”
Barunz suddenly felt a chill run down his spine, he found it odd the suddenly
realized his master was here. “No longer must you wait, I am here,” A hoarse
whisper said. They all turned to see Mideon sitting in his chair as if he had been
there the entire time. “What news do you bring me?”
Garin was first to speak. He cleared his throat and spoke, “The state of the
kingdom is quite well my liege. There was a brief uprising in the north though it has
been taken care of-”
“Any useful news about your assignment?”
Garin fought an incredible urge to scratch his muzzle with much difficulty.
He beat his urge and continued, “Things are gong quite well my lord-”
Garin was gripping his chair so hard he left claw prints. “F-forgive me my
king. Breaking Clorshank’s northern border has proven to be quite difficult. Defense
is clearly on their side and the necromancers have also become a problem. After
every battle every corpse seems to dissapear, human, wolf, and goblin alike. Every
time we return, they aid the men with the bodies of the slain. Each time they return
there army of the undead grows larger.”
Mideon was clothed from head to toe in ebony clothing and a full plate
mythril armor, the only part of him that could be seen were his yellow wolf eyes.
“Then what are we to do about this problem Garin?”
Garin was nervous. “I am not sure-”
Lord Mideon was always an unsually calm were-wolf, Hee always calm no
matter what occured. “You are my General Garin,why do you not know?” He said
Garin was becoming annoyed. “I am not sure-”
Mythril was a rare and powerful metal that was very hard to mold and forge,
Though every bit of armor Mideon wore was made of that metal. The Two dual
headed axe Mideon used in battle. “I sympathize for thee Garin, being general must
be very difficult, am I correct? So let ask for the help of the council.” Without
turning to see, he then said to Daragon, “Daragon . . .”
Daragon stood, this upset Garin greatly. I should have done that, Garin
thought. “Yes my kingship?”
“Tell dear Garin how to fix this problem.”
Without even pausing to think he began. “Necromancers have a power over
life and death, giving them the ability to raise the deaceased. If the necromancers
controlling the undead were to die, they would lose control of the undead returning
them to their lifeless state.”
“Very good Daragon, perhaps with such advise such a victory over those
fools .” The entire time he spoke he was looking at Garin. Though his face could not
be seen, Mideon had a very slight curve on his wolven lips, he was grinning, ever so
Garin gripped the edge of the table so hard his nails were fully submerged in
oak. The lord of the Luniathin stared a moment longer and turned to clever Barunz.
Garin was always stupidest of council, though he was clearlt stronger . . . yet he was
not sure if he was stronger than Mideon. The armor and robes he always wore
concealed the size of his muscles. Barunz as I said was very clever and always
thought long and hard before he spoke as was the case now. “How fares the Gap
Barunz stood, knowing this would please his lord and anger Garin. “All goes
well my king. Every goblin with fifty leagues of the Gap of Windrush is under my
power. From the last Census I took, several thousand goblin soldiers are in my
army. I should have an army fully trained by summers eve, the downfall of
Clorshank is insured.”
“Very good Barunz, you shall be rewarded for your loyalty.”
Barunz bowed so low his gray nose brushed the floor. “Thank you m’lord, I
would fight and die for you.” He went up slowly and flashed a quick smirk at Garin
who just ripped off a piece of the table.
He turned to Daragon, “My ever faithful Daragon, are you prepared for
Daragon stood and nodded his head slightly, “I am m’lord. The men of
Lotrin are willing to die in your service. ‘Tis time for the harpies to pay for a
thousand years of repression and the people of Clorshank to fall to the power of the
“My men have done much to prepare for this final battle at Clorshank. Lord
Elvamir has allowed us to set our base upon the high mountain of Black. I ache to
spill the blood of our foes. Farthclin shall fall soon and the only thing standing
between Lunas and victory are a few villages.”
Of everyone in the council, Daragon was the most clever at planning out an
attack. The drozlin knelt down picked up a rolled up map from his coat pocket. He
rolled the map open and placed a weight at every edge and produced a charcoal
pencil from his pocket. This map of Lithian was intricately detailed and included
every town, city, and land feature in it. As usual Daragon’s face was stoical; he
tapped a spot on the map that was labled, ‘Farthclin.’ “Here I tap the great walled
city of Farthclin, the very we aim to break. As you all know the tower of Farthclin as
easily the greatest fortress we’ve ever seen and it’s defense and the protection
surrounding it is even greater. Though the number of soldiers they possess dwindles
we will need tens of thousands soldiers to bring the walls down and thousands more
to invade it’s keep. I hate to be the sceptic my lord Mideon though I do not believe
we possess the strength to bring it to it’s ruin.
“Silence Daragon, I know what it is that we face. My ancesters and I have
spent centuries preparing for Clorshank’s downfall. I am quite aware that Lunas has
waged may a battle with the walled city and none of it’s soldiers have returned, yet
now we have the numbers to bring about it’s end.”
Daragon glanced at him, “If you are sure m’lord, I will fight even if I thought
otherwise.” He stopped for a moment and continued, “How many soldiers precisely
are we sending to Farthclin?”
“Well let’s see now, one-hundred of your best trained riders, several thousand
goblins from the Gap of Windrush, seventeen thousand from Lunas and how many
are under your control my servant Elvamir?”
He smiled and said, “Twenty thousand of the best trained soldiers you’ve
Daragon’s face remained unchanging though he muttered a number, a
number that will bring down Farthclin and the rest of Clorshank, “fourty-four
Mideon chuckled darkly, “Have more faith in me my servant Daragon.”
“Forgive me my lord,” he sat and folded his hands.
“I know believe it is my turn to give my summary of my current position,”
“Do enlighten us wizard,” Barunz said with a sneer.
Elvamir continued to smile and quite simply, “Do tell me Barunz. How
would you like to live out the rest of your days sweating fire?” Barunz’ eyes widened
and he fell silent. “Hmmm, now shall I continue without interuption?” He looked at
everyone all were as quiet as Barunz, the only one who was not afraid was, of
course, lord Mideon. “Since the time of lord Falumtin, I’ve have been breeding the
wolves and goblins upon the mountain for war. For many a year I have trained them
in the ways of the shadows. They eager taste the blood of manand to lay waste to
Clorshank. With the diversion of the wolves of the south heading north, they still
believe the mountain is haunted and uninhabited. Our one advantage other than
numbers is the element of surprise.
“Now onto other more important matters,” He looked at Barunz and said,
“In the beginning of the Winter were you not suppose to destroy the dwarven
city of Stonemine? Not only that, but leave no survivors?”
“I felt something there, something powerful, you better have done your job or
I gaurantee you will be sorry.” Mideon didn’t sound so calm then, what he felt there
was very powerful.
Barunz was ennuyé, he hated nothing more than to be interrogated about the
quality of his work. “Yes wizard and sire, I attacked Stonemine and I reduced it to
nothing more than a graveyard.”
“If you did half as well of a job that you claimed you did, you would have
known that four escaped.”
Barunz slammed his fist down on the table, not so much in anger but in
“Oh yes I see,” said Mideon angrily. “A human, an elf, a dwarf, and . . .” He
looked at Elvamir, “an old friend of yours, Titus Tolshem.” He held the Luniathin
high, “And they wish to have this . . . I doubt that they will succeed though with the
help of this wizard they may if they are cunning enough.”
“I shall take care of Titus Tolshem though I do not meddle with the others.”
“That is fine for I shall take care of the others. Now Garin, I am not pleased
at all with your work so I am going to send you on a special assignment.”
“What is it?” Said Garin angrily.
“You are to bring me the head of the chief necromancer by winters end. I
want you to personally slay him and I wish to see his blood upon your blade. It will
either be his head set upon the spike of Aeris central tower or it will be yours!”
“Yes my lord,” Garin said with a heavy voice, slaying necromancers was a
dirty business though he did not wish to oppose his king.
“You are dismissed.”
Upon the misty foothills of the Northrow, Deante stood alone upon it’s peak. His
left hand was set upon the hilt of his blade and his right above his brow to shield his
eyes from the sun. The morning sun always seemed to be the brightest. Deante’s
mahogany hair wafted in the cool breeze and his boot soles were in an inch deep of
crunchy snow. His eyes scanned the rolling foothills and the face of the Northrow.
Not a single living creature could be seen. With a wave of his hand he continued
down the hill with his company following close by. Titus, Ryern, and Vegari moved
on Deante’s signal; the hunter was quite skilled at choosing the safest route.
It had been days since they had left Gerafim and his rogues and the road had
been treacherous. Many times they had passed a group of wolves and goblins, armed
to the teeth no more than one hundred meters away. They had become dangerously
close to being captured though it had been Deante who had saved them. As I had
mentioned earlier, wolves can smell like bloodhounds, so the wolves would’ve
known easily about there whereabouts. Although Deante had planned ahead ere the
journey and had packed a special sort of weed named mystflec, that has a strange
power of cloaking scents. They passed through Tethanor undetected and Titus had
happily let Deante take the lead.
Things have become quite complicated and Deante did not like it. Many
nights Deante sat sleepless upon a log staring into the infinite beauty of the night
sky, nibbling on the end of his wooden pipe. It seemed everything was beginning to
be connected to the Luniathin in one way or the other. The destruction of
Stonemine, the involvement of a powerful wizard named Elvamir, and the attacks
upon the rogues. The smoke from his harpish tobacco would billow from his
nostrils, releasing another bad feeling.
He worried about his friends too during these times. He knew very well that
the success and survival of this quest walked upon a blanket of parchment; step to
heavily and it would fail. He couldn’t bear the thought of Titus, Vegari, and Ryern
being brought to their bane by the edge of a wolf’s blade. All the more reason to do
what he could to make sure his party did not step to heavily upon that blanket.
Even after his pipe and his tobacco was put away sleep would not come
easily and it was oft plagued by nightmares of a giant were-wolf with a medallion
hung around it’s neck.
Upon the Northrow’s foothills, smoke still blew from out of his mouth; it was
cold. The hunter’s eyes darted from one side of the mountain to the other deciding
the best route. The Northrow was an easy range to cross though when caked in ice it
becomes deadly. During the winter many have died, slipping to their deaths from the
frozen face of the mountains so it was safest to climb it’s rockiest path to provide
better footing. His eyes spotted a good trail, “Upon the eastern side of the central
mountain is good trail for us to cross.”
Ryern scanned it, “Never the less it proves to be quite a dangerous path.”
“Quite right friend Ryern though it remains to be the safest trail these old
eyes can detect,” said Titus holding the brim of his hat.
Deante stopped and began sniffing the air, “I smell fresh smoke. Someone
camped not to far away from here I believe.”
“Perhaps the enemy is much closer than we suspect,” Vegari said.
“We shall see,” Titus replied.
Their path slowly began to incline as the sun made it’s daily journey to the
west. The closer they got to the Northrow the louder the dead grass crunched
beneath their feet. When dusk was finally upon them they were forced to set up
camp in the middle of an open field giving them no shelter from the prying eyes of
“Will we be forced to chew upon molded bread once more?” Mumbled Ryern
eyeing a green spot on the loaf of bread he got from his pack.
“I am afraid not master dwarf,”Deante said getting his bow off his pack. “I’ll
hunt us a real meal this night.”
Vegari began rubbing his hands together, “Make haste Deante, I do not
remenber when I last craved meat so much.”
Deante released a soft chuckle, “Do not worry friend I will not be long.” He
nocked an arrow into the bowstring and left to find some food.
The night sky grew darker and their camp was no more than a twinkle in the
distance. Deante was growing frustrated, the largest animal he had seen since
leaving camp was a brown field mouse that was dead from the cold. He was
extremely careful to not make any sound, his footsteps were quiter than an elfs. He
too could not deny the fact that he had an uncontrolable taste for meat and was
hoping to see animal worth eating.
He finally came upon a clump of half-dead bushes. In the center was the
decayed body of a goat and a little red fox tugging at piece of it’s meat. The fox
looked at him for less than a second and scampered off into the dark. As he was
about to bend down to examine the goat a male deer raised his head from the
bushes. Reacting immediately, Deante let his arrow fly, there was a momentary
grunt and then silence. Deante went to examine his kill and grinned in self
satisfaction. ‘Twas a fully grown male deer, his arrow had gone straight through it’s
throat, severing it’s spinal cord. A small bush branch poked out of it’s mouth.
The hunter knelt and plucked the arrow out of his kill and then stuffed it back
in his quiver. He grabbed the deer by the antlers and pulled it into a clearing. He
pulled out a dagger, prepared to gut the animal. Though he stopped short, the tip of
the dagger made a dimple in it’s underside. He suddenly had the feeling someone, or
something was watching him. He turned his head to the side and saw a pale horse
and a pale rider.
Deante was startled but not frightened, though this thing he saw was
extremely eerie. Everything about them was pale; the fur, the robes, the armor, even
the face he found very difficult to make out. They look like ghosts, Deante thought.
A chill went down his spine but he did not shiver. The rider was sitting cross- legged
upon the ground with a fire before him and it’s horse was not to far away shaking
it’s head wildly. But this rider was not looking at his fire, it was looking at him. His
eyes were not from this world, they were piercing blue, they were like daggers that
could gouge out your eyes if you looked at them for too long. Their eyes met for a
brief moment and a second chill ran down his spine. Deante blinked and they were
Nothing, they were gone. He sheathed his dagger and rubbed his eyes, what
had he just seen? Is this the rider Gerafim warned us about? Deante thought
curiously. He stood very slowly and approached the place where he saw the rider.
He pulled Wolfbane free from it’s scabbard and he raised it to head level prepared to
strike down anything that mat prove to be a threat. The riders camp was no more
than ten meters away from where Deante had knelt prepared to gut his dinner.
There was fire here that had been put out hastily, the kindling was still smoldering
and red embers still showed on it’s surface.
His shoulders eased and his sword dropped to one side. He prodded the logs
with the tip of his blade, nothing unusual about it. He rammed his sword home with
a sharp rattle and knelt once more to investigate what he had seen. The dead blades
of grass were bent and broken in a fairly large spot in front of the fire and not too far
away were the indents of horse hooves. He looked around and saw no imprints in
the grass around. The rider did not ride his horse to or from this place, nor did he
walk it. Was it a ghost? Deante would have liked to think not. He then pressed his
ear firmly to the ground, other than the sound of his distant friends, nothing could
With an aggravated sigh he stood and returned to his kill to finish what he
was about to start.
By the time the deer had been gutted, brought back to camp, cut up, and roasted, it
was full dark and quite late. Deante was complimented for the kill though he ate
with a heavy heart.
Titus savored the delicious juices of the deer in his mouth. It was a refreshing
change from bread though he couldn’t help but notice something was wrong with
his dear friend. “What is troubling you my old friend?” Titus said looking at Deante
who slowly ate his meat.
“I saw something very strange tonight, I saw a pale rider with a pale horse.”
Ryern nearly dropped his food, “What? I thought we left those worries
behind with that forest!”
“Distance is oft a poor resolve to worries Ryern.” Ryern grumbled though he
said nothing; there were wisdom in the the elf’s words.
“What happened?” Said Titus.
Deante tossed his food into the flames and folded his hands. “ ‘Twas an evil
thing I saw this night . . .”
He told his story and the appetite left them all. What was it thaat they were
facing? “Stones of the mountain! Who is this rider?”
“ ‘Tis a question I would like an answer to Ryern though the quicker we
reach Aramothe, the quicker we leave these woes behind.” He looked into the night
sky, “ ‘Tis late and we leave early in the morn, we must get some rest! We shall
worry about these problems later.”
Ryern and Vegari both began unraveling their bed rolls though the wizard
and Deante did not. “I shall keep watch tonight-”
“No you shall not Deante,” Titus said concerned and firmly. “You have been
pushing yourself much to hard. The body needs rest my friend and if you do not give
it to your body soon, it will wind down and quit working. I shall keep watch tonight,
you shall keep your pipe in your pack and rest.”
Deante sighed and took bed roll and unraveled it upon the ground. “I shall
do as you ask, I know you are right though sleep no longer comes easy to me.
By the time Deante had slipped into his bed roll and layed down his head on
a pile of clothes, Vegari was resting peacefully and Ryern’s glass shattering snores
were echoing throughout the Northrow. Deante was tired, more than he had ever
been in his life he thought. So instead of tossing and turning not getting a wink of
sleep, Deante’s eye lids began to droop. Moments later his eye’s were sealed shut.
There was a smile of satisfaction on Titus’s face. He knew that his friend
needed help resting and the spell he muttered seemed to do the trick. He then
produced his own pipe, a bottle of ink, a quill, and a diary. He put tobacco in his
clay pipe and lit it with a snap of his fingers. He wet the tip of his quill with some ink
and began to write under the light of the moon.
They awoke two hours before dawn and were no climbing the face of the Northrow.
They had a light breakfast of honey and oranges and placed the dried out meat from
the dear into their packs. Ryern was in his usual habit of complaining that morning
and the others were gearing up for a cold day in hell. Three inches of snow had
fallen that might and the temperatures were slowly dropping to unbearable.Every
piece of clothing they possessed was put on. Deante scanned the range for a moment
and picked the safest trail he could find (which was not very safe at all).
When they set out Deante held a rope with hook in it for climbing the range.
The hook was dwarvish made (much to Ryern’s satis- faction) and mythril tipped for
piercing the hardest surface.
The mountain face was as smooth as glass and its surface deadly cold. So
cold, Titus warned, that if touched with bare hands could freeze burn.
So at the foot of the icy foot of the mountain, Deante spun his hook. He
released and her the echo of a clink, with all of the weight he could muster, he
tugged upon the rope to see if it woulld hold. It did, didn’t even budge when Deante
tugged. This rope was over two-hundred feet in length, just long enough to hook
itself on a fairly large ledge that Deante had aimed for. Surely enough he caught the
ledge with a hook and logged itself in a vein of iron that was in the ledge; pulling
down, it wouldn’t be going anywhere.
“By the kings of old! These mountains are giant mirrors.” Ryern said stroking
“Aye, in ancient lore the Northrow was known as the mountains of Glass,”
Titus strapped his wand to his back and said. “I shall go first in line, should
any of you fall I will be able to help. Or should I fall, you will be able to catch me!”
The shadowman cracked his knuckles with a wince, rubbed his hands, and
began his climb. Deante went second, Vegari third, and Ryern fourth, he was small
though the strongest in the group and could catch any who should fall. The climb
required much upper body strength, and though Titus was having difficulty climbing
he never needed any help from Deante. Twenty feet up the mountain face, rock
were frozen in the ice giving their shoes a better grip. Not much talk was said in the
group, they were all focusing on not falling.
Titus’ very bones were weary, he did not know how much farther he could
climb. In his prime he could have done this as easily as any of them, though now he
was old and frail. Titus may not think much of his physical state though the average
person his age (In human years he would be sixty-five) would have fallen to his
death or have died have of a stroke.The only one who did this easily was the elf, he
was nimble and light on his feet.
There was a rumble upon the mountain. Deante had held his breath and
stopped. The rumbling ended and Deante released his breath. It wasn’t falling that
worried the hunter, it was the fear of what should fall. A stone half the size of your
fist could shatter bones. Many have died that way on the Northrow, Deante nearly
lost his own . . . yet of course that is a tale for another day. One hundred and twenty
feet into the air sweat pored down Ryern’s face like a faucet though his grip
remained strong. “Nary a mountain the dwarves could not mount.” Though Ryern
was a strong dwarf he was also an extremely . . . heavy dwarf. After that sentence
Ryern swooned and his grip was released.
Deante’s head swung around in horror, “Ryern!”
He had come to yet he was much to far to grab the rope once more and
Swift as a manticore on the prowl Vegari released one hand from the rope
and clenched it on Ryern’s braided beard. “And nary an elf that could not catch a
falling dwarf.” He pulled him down and Ryern landed flat on his belly hands
gripping the rope as tightly as possible.
“Hooo, thanks, Vegari.” Vegari’s smile had faltered. Did he really call me by
name? I think it would be fair to say that the elf was flabbergasted. Throughout the
entire trip their relation had been purely tolerance and none of them had actually
called eachother by their actual name. I would say it was here that tolerance turned
into to friendship.
“You are welcome . . . Ryern.”
Deante grinned, “Thank goodness. We are only ten meters away from the
ledge, keep strong.”
They had finally reached the ledge and everyone except Deante and Vegari.
“We rest fifteen minutes then we climb again.” Deante pulled the hook free and
spotted the next place to hook. At the end of fifteen minutes Deante was swinging
the hook about to release when Vegari stopped him. “What is wrong?”
“The ice wall, it is unnatural.”
Deante stepped back to ledge’s border and studied the ice wall. ‘Twas indeed
a peculiar ice wall. Cracks ran deep on it and it appeared darker than the rest of the
ice. He approached it and knocked on it. Rather than a thud, he received a tink.
“The ice is hollow.”
“Hollow?” Titus inquired.
“Yes, very hollow. Ryern?”
“Show me what a dwarvish mace can do to a wall of ice.”
With a grin he said, “With pleasure.” He picked up his spiked mace and
eased it back, then flung into the wall with all of his might. A rain of ice showered
them and warm air whipped their cloaks back. Deante lowered his arm from his
eyes, a carved tunnel layed before his eyes. A flood of water soaked their boots and
the sound of thunder filled their ears. The ledge they stood upon was beginning to
“Into the cave!” Deante cried. The ledge was beginning to slant and the
hunter shoved Titus into the cave. The others got in just fine though pushing Titus
into safety had Deante teetering. The ledge broke free and Deante’s footing was lost
and he went sliding. As swift as a rabbit his right hand swung back and founda hole
at the base of the stone tunnel and he gripped with all of the strength he could
muster. The ledge rolled down the icy slope a shatter like a bomb at the bottom.
Deante was kicking to stay up, he could only fit his middle and index fingers into the
nook; his left hand gripped onto his right wrist desperately. Water still poured hard
from the tunnel like a water fall and bats screeched as they left. The pressure of the
water was making it very difficult for Deante hold on though two helpful hands
lightened his burden. Vegari grabbed his left hand while Ryern grabbed his right.
They hoisted him up and set him down with the cave. “That was close,”Deante said,
kneeling down trying to catch his breath.
“Thank you Deante, I do not believe I would have made without a little
shove,” Titus said rubbing his friends shoulder.
He stood, “You are welcome.” He turned to Ryern and Vegari and put a
hand on each of their shoulders. “Thank you my friends.”
Vegari simply said, ‘thank you,’ though Ryern said more than that. He
rubbed his nose and grinned, “Ha! ‘Twas nothing for the race of the dwarves!
Swifter than lightening and-”
“And as mighty as the mountains, yes, yes Ryern, we know,” said Vegari
Ryern sniffed, “Well it is true.”
Vegari chuckled. After he was done laughing he asked, “So where does this
cave lead us to anyhow?”
“Thunder and brimstone, I have no idea. I am familiar with caves of this
range though I have never seen this one. Would you know Titus?”
Titus was studying the wall , writings unbeknownst to them. “I think I can
from studying these helpful words of long deceased goblins. According to this if we
continue going down this cave we should end up at a clearing on top of the
Northrow. We are in the Shinning Cave.”
“This Shinning Cave? What is that?” Ryern asked.
“Look around master dwarf,” Titus replied. They all looked around and were
stunned; the walls were covered in mirror. Before any of them could say another
thing, Titus slammed the tip onto the ground sending an echoe throughout the cave.
In the distance they heard the sound of shattering ice and the cave was illuminated
“That is why.”
The endless water had finally ended and they set off through the shinning
cave. It was much easier than mountain climbing though much more unpleasant.
There were clear signs of some sort of struggle here, parts of the mirrored wall were
shattered and the ancient bodies of slain goblins littered the ground. It was like a
graveyard though none of them felt any pity or woe, not for a single one of them.
Whatever happened to them happened, they probably deserved it. The were a
despicable race of beings that more than likely provoked the thing that brought about
What disquieted them was wondering what had done those goblins in? Did it
still dwell with these caverns? But perhaps the thing that disquieted them the most
was the clip, clop, of a horse’s hooves in the distance. Clip, clop, clip, clop, clip,
clop, that sound . . . that eerie sound sent chills running a marathon up and down
their spines and leavind their hairs standing on end. Was this the sound of the pale
rider? Deante prayed it was not though he deep down inside he knew it probably
All track of time had been lost, was it still the afternoon or was it night fall.
Who knew and who cared. They were only concerned with getting out of this
tunnel. Convenient? yes. haunted? Most likely. Stomach churning? Definitely.
Deante tried his best not to imagine the corpse’s moving, with new eyes
staring at them. He quashed such thoughts and put his mind on more important
matter like what trail would be best in taking them to their destnation, or how to
steal the Lunaithin. That last one Deante had racked his brain on most of his time.
None of them ever noticed the line of holes beneath their feet.
It was dark by the time they had exited the tunnel and none of them felt very
hungry, Deante had offered once again to hunt for rabbits though they all turned
down the offer. Upon the exiting the cave Titus had discoered what exactly slayed
those goblins. Written in blood was the name Gilathor, upon a moderate sized
boulder outside of the cave. According to Titus, the Gilathor was a mythical creature
the size of a house. It killed it’s unsuspecting prey by shooting a line of flames that
erupted from the ground at it’s target severely burning every inch of the its target’s
body. “No need for extra cooking,” Titus jested.
A more accurate description of the Gilathor would be more detailed. The
Gilathor seemed to be a mix between an arachnid and a lizard. As Titus said it was
about the size of a house though not quite as tall. It carried six scythe like legs that
could crack a boulder in two with enough force. It’s tail was twice the length of it’s
body, on it’s end was another scythe that dripped a poison that could kill a dragon if
even a drop fell upon it’s scales. Swirls of gray and red were upon it’s body,
everything on it was either red or gray except for it’s startling green eyes. What was
peculiar about this monster was that it traveled beneath the ground and only came
up to snatch it’s charred prey. It’s head was pointed making it easier for
underground travel. On it’s head was a grey cocks comb, it’s comb was made of hair
rather than skin and quite wiry. It’s tremendous legs took up much of the space on
it’s back; what parts of it’s back that could be seen appeared to be a boulder poking
out of the ground. When the Gilathor waits for it’s prey it usually fully submerged in
dirt, it seldom lets it’s back show. The Gilathor is quite clever though very foolish as
some have come accustomed to know. It likes taunting it’s prey by showing them it’s
back, though it appears to be no more than a stone. In the creatures mind it’s more
satisfying to know you let prey have a chance at killing you then to attack concealed.
Vegari kept watch that night, elves were very alert beings and never sat when
standing guard (as was the case now). It was three past twelve and Vegari was
leaning against a tree fighting the urge snuggle up with his bed roll and get some
shut-eye. Unlike Deante, the night sky never fascinated him at all so night watch left
him with nothing to do. What Vegari did do was observe his surroundings.
All around him were a lot of dead pine trees stuck in frozen soil; a bit
depressing though he wouldn’t let a few dead trees get him down. Nothing other
than them seemed to move, an ancient goblin town lay in the distance yet just about
as lively as a graveyard. From the direction they were traveling it looked like they
would have to pass the town in order to leave the Northrow.
The peak of this range wasn’t very pointed at all though very flat. The
southern side of the row was very steep and the northern side sloped down gradually
leading into the plains of Shaw. It wasn’t quite as icy on the northern side though
bitter cold all the same. The ground they stood upon was littered with holes. He
wondered why though he came to the conclusion that whatever made them brought
about the deaths of those goblins in the tunnel.
His stomach rumbled though he was still much to upset to eat. He
remembered his best friend offering to hunt for food and laughed. He had not seen a
rabbit since they left the forest.
He twirled his hammer with grace in his hands like some sort of baton ready
to knock some wolven heads if necessary. When it was only an hour into the next
day the only sounds he could here were the rattling snores of his dwarven friend;
that was about the time he heard the clip, clop of hooves upon the frozen dirt. He
jumped in surprise of the noise, his ears were sharp and that sound could have come
all the way from the Great Ocean (which was only a few miles away). Never the less
he held his hammer in his hand ready to defend against whatever may come.
Deante was the first to wake that morning an hour before dawn. He and Vegari
woke the others and cocntinued down the mountain. Vegari had said nothing about
what he heard.
Deante was wearing his brown leather coat and removed his extra shirts from
his body. They were indeed going to go through the goblin town and Vegari
stomach was starting to churn. Ryern was the first to notice, “What is wrong with
you? Ummm, Vegari?”
Vegari looked at him with solemn eyes, “I have a bad feeling about this town.
I fear something bad shall happen. I heard things last night, terrible things.”
“Like what?” Titus asked stopping.
“I heard the pale rider.”
“Ah I should have known, Elvamir wishes to bring us to our ruin. Keep on
your guard, in his pale form he is not invulnerable to a mortal blade.”
The slowly pulled their weapons from their sheaths and straps and continued
on. They stepped lightly towards the town, they would find solace here within it’s
walls, iron horse shoes make a loud noise when it’s on stone. They were close now
and they stood in awe of the amazing town. The village was made of white alabastor
and its walls reached high. A giant brass bell layed impaled in the stone of the town
entrance. Its high walls were scorched and the road that layed before them was
riddled with scorched holes.
“Who build such a town in this forsaken place?” Vegari asked.
“Come hither then,” Titus said gesturing them forth. He led them to a well
and the crystal upon his wand began to shimmer. “Look into this well,”he put his
wand above the opening and they all looked down. The well began emmiting a
blinding light, “Diamonds and mythril, our worlds most valuable resourses. And
this town was built on both.”
“Goodness . . .” Ryern muttered, eyes as big as wagon wheels.
They continued forth and looked upon the carnage. “This town was
massacred,” Deante said with a look of no emotion.
“Ah yes, Belanoom fell to the Gilathor, surprisingly, the beast has an
uncontrolable taste for riches, that is why it killed them.”
They traveled through the towns winding streets, not a single building was
left untouched by the beast. The buildings in Belanoom were no more than one story
tall for the part of the town that showed was only for show, most of the town was
underground; empty now. Eeriest part of this town was the fact that not a single
body was seen. Had the Gilathor taken them all?
When night was approaching They had all thought they had heard the sound
of a horses hooves. They instantly turned themselves around weapons ready to
strike, yet there was nothing there. Deante looked around and heard the noise again,
only to discover it was the sound of crumbling stone.
Full dark came once they were to leave the town and decided that it would
be safer to stay within the town, at least for that night. Deante took up night duty
once again and sat alone with his thoughts. They had no fire than night though
being inside made them warmer and surprisingly enough there was hay for them to
sleep upon inside. Goblin buildings were indeed very strange, the inside was
completely empty except for a door upon the ground that led into underground
tunnels were the goblins use to live. Rather than looking at the sky this night,
Deante was reading a book instead under the light of torch that hung upon the wall.
This book in particular was ancient records of the beginning of the second age and
about the war of Night and Day.
He had had this book for quite some time though he could never make
enough time to read it much. He licked his thumb and turned the page and came
upon the battle of Swords Edge and the death of king Maras. His eyes arched a bit as
he read. Then he began to read about queen Vallomein and he had to put the book
down. My lineage continues to follow wherever I go, Dente thought. He rubbed his
churning stomach. He knew deep down inside he would never be able to escape
what he is or what blood coursed through his veins. An empty throne awaited him
and he avoided it like it was infested with the burning plague. He never wanted that
sort of power and he wished royal blood was never in him. He knew he would never
escape that one fate that binded him to Clorshank and one day he would have to do
something about it.
He skipped a few pages ahead to the rebuilding of Clorshank when he heard
he tumble of rocks outside. Silently he stuffed his book inside his pack and stood
very quietly. He removed his bow from its latch and nocked and arrow into it. He
nudged each of them with his foot and woke them, for Ryern it took a sharp kick in
the ribs. “Huh?” Ryern said getting up.
“What is wrong?” Vegari asked.
“I heard a noise.”
Many would say he was overacting to a simple noise, truth be he was right on
the gold. Fifty or so goblins stood in wait outside of the house waiting for the captain
to issue an attack. The captain stood upon a building across the street from the
targeted house, looking at the blurred image of Deante’s back through a heat
tempered window. “There the fools are . . .” The captain said with a grin leaning on
his saber. He turned to the his second in command and an archer behind him. “Take
yer shot,”He said to the archer. The archer wore black plate armor bearing the mark
of Mideon and wearing a helm that completely covered his face. “All dis trouble just
to kill an elf, a dwarf, a human, and a wizard. Hmph, if we can bring their heads
back we will get quite a reward . . . Do not mess their heads up to much.” The
archer nodded and nocked an arrow into his crossbow.
As the other were getting to their feet Vegari saw blurry figures outside of the
window over Deante’s shoulder. “Deante!”
He reacted immediately rolled to the side of the window. A split second later
an arrow went through the glass, shattering it, flying no more than six inches from
his head, and struck between Ryern’s feet. The dwarf jumped a littleand swiftly
picked up his mace. As the arrow ricocheted into the hay, Deante rolled back into
the window’s veiw and loosed an arrow of his own. It flew true and struck the archer
in the chest, spinning him like a top.
The four charged out of the door and Deante loosed an other arrow into the
throat of an oncoming goblin while Vegari hurled a dagger into the face of another.
Between the two Ryern charged like an angry rhine and winded two goblins with his
heavily armored head. Ryern spun around and crushed the face of one soldier and
swept another of his feet. He swung his mace back and forth, breaking bones and
goring others. “For Stonemine!” He cried.
Not a single goblin in the fray could match the sword work of Deante. One
goblin charged Deante, saber ready to strike. Deante tossed his bow aside and
unsheathed Wolfbane. He dragged Wolfbane up the attacker’s body and slammed it
back down, almost cutting him in two. He twisted around and in two easy
movements sliced another soldier’s legs and his belly. As the soldier was catching his
falling guts Deante cut through another attacker’s face from cheek bone to cheek
bone. He ducked just in time to miss another attacker’s mace. With his left hand he
pulled out his dagger. He charged forward and punched a goblin in the face with the
edge of his dagger. He brought his left hand back and sank thirteen inches of steel
into a ready to strike goblin’s side. He swung his sword at a soldier to his right and
cut him terribly from the base of his leg to the base of his arm. He then grasped the
hilt of his blade with both hands and split some poor foot soldier’s head in two.
At the same time Vegari was putting his hammer to work. From his right a
goblin charged, saber raised high and ready to kill an elf. Vegari swiftly moved to the
side and swung around catching the attacker with the heel of his boot. There was
the sickening crunch of his breaking neck and the high pitched cry as the elf
slammed the pointed end of his clawed war hammer into the base of another
soldier’s neck. He swung his hammer left and right, bashing in the faces of two
goblins; he twisted around and literally swept a goblin off his feet. A goblin brought
his saber down on Vegari who managed to deflect with his hammer. He tried to
wrestle his hammer away yet the goblin kept a firm grip on it with his saber. He
gestured with his head and soldiers came charging in. The elf’s eyes widened and he
ducked just in time keeping his head connected to his neck. not even a second later,
a goblin came in low attempting to remove his legs. He jumped as high as he could
and did a front flip, hurling the soldier with the grip on his hammer into a crowd of
Ryern managed to block a goblin’s attack in time before he managed to
widen his naval. With all the ferocity of an angered bear, he shoved him backwards.
As the soldier charged again Ryern shoved the head of his mace into the attacker’s
face.The graceful destruction of Ryern frustrated the attacking dwarves, not to
mention the others that they not yet had even touched. Whenever a soldier got close
to the dwarf, they were sent flying from side and captain Mern was sick of it. “If you
want something done right yev got to do it yerself,” he sighed. He lifted his axe
charged his foe.
After slamming another casualty into the side of a building, he saw Mern
coming towards him, axe raised and painted face full of fury. “Another victim for
the graveyard I see.”
“Aye,” the captain said. “That would be you.”Ryern swung his mace, full of
energy and malice, expecting sweep the goblin off of his feet to deliver a fatal blow.
That did not happen. Instead Mern jumped above the mace and brought his spiked,
single-headed axe down. Ryern quickly deflected with the handle of mace though
just barely. Ryern took advantage of strength and reversed Mern’s hold on his mace.
He slammed the head of the axe into the stone and smacked Mern in the face with
the back of his hand, breaking his already flat goblin nose. Black blood squirted from
his nose though that did not slow him in his attacks. He freed his axe from the stone
and since Ryern’s mace was still upon it, knocked the dwarf off balance leaving him
wide open. Though like most enemies trying to behead dwarves, Mern had struck to
high, expecting his throat to be there. Sparks flew as he grazed the top of Ryern’s
helm and once again got his axe stuck in stone. Mern was a very good fighter
though his major flaw was that he always underestimated an enemy. That mistake
he payed with his life. Ryern gathered his strength once more and swung the head of
his mace into the goblin’s mid-section. Two spikes punctured his stomach and his
feet slid from the force of the hit. He howled in agony as Ryern removed the spikes
from his belly and he fell to his hands and knees and tried to breath. More black
blood drizzled down his brownish green skin. Ryern lifted his mace high and
finished the job by bringing it down on his bald head.
Sparks flew as Deante parried the attacks of a goblin who seemed especially
skilled in sword fighting. He stopped his blade with his own and kicked him in the
gut, sending him backward, and through a oak door. A soldier came charging his
way, he was close leaving Deante very little time to react. He moved but not quite
fast enough. The soldier’s sword grazed his shoulder leaving a long, one inch deep
cut. He grunted in pain and grasped his shoulder trying to stop some of the blood
flow. The soldier turned around and charged once more and the hunter managed
this time to block his attack. He was on his knees and his wounded left arm still held
one of his curved daggers. he swung his arm up and shoved his knife right into his
belly. He pulled his blade free and brained him with the hilt of his blade. He leaned
against the wall of a building to catch his breath and heard the sound of a galloping
horse. He looked down the street and saw the pale rider, sword raised with cloak
fluttering behind him. The goblins got out of it’s way and Titus emerged from the
shadows, sword in his right hand, staff in left.
The pale rider was closing in fast and was prepared to behead the old wizard.
“Splarenon!” Titus cried and a row of deadly silver spikes erupted fom the ground
that blocked the rider’s way. The spikes had slayed the goblins near it and flung the
rider off his horse and landed him before Titus. It got upon its knees and witnessed
Titus with Baranos drawn back ready to be plunged through his heart. “I am sorry it
had to come to this old friend.” Titus ran him through and the pale rider let out a
terrible shriek that sounded throughout the goblin village. All fighting had stopped
and all eyes were upon what they thought was Elvamir. The rider then began to lose
its shape and began to form a black and red puddle. Titus frowned darkly at what it
was, thousands upon thousands of black widows pouring from the rider like a
fountain. The riders form began to sag and finally it hung limp on Titus’s blade. The
black widows fled to every direction though they did not bite anyone. This surely
was not Elvamir.
“He, he, he, he, he . . . You always were a fool my old friend. Did you really
believe I would let you know I was actually following you?” The true Elvamir said
emerging fro the shadows. “If that is true than you must have lost your touch.” He
picked up a black widow and it turned into dust. “It truly is amazing what you can
do with a few thousand spiders is it not? Unfortunately now I must show a true
lesson in the art of magic. Garamasht shodithe!” A puddle of black appeared
beneath Titus and a giant black arm with a giant hand rose from it. It gripped Titus
in a powerful grip and slammed him against the wall.
The goblins ran in fear and the three charged Elvamir. With a wave of his
handthey were flung backwards into the walls of the buildings. None of them could
move a finger and Elvamir sighed, “You do not understand either? You devote your
lives to an unworthy cause and you are fools for doing so. I pity you--”
“We pity you for you are the one who acts the fool,” Deante interrupted
bitterly struggling against the force that was holding him back. “Are you sure you
have chosen the right side?” He added quite cooly.
“If I am the one acting the fool why is it you are the ones about to be
slaughtered, hmmm?” Elvamir retorted scowling. Elvamir had ignored his question
for now he was far beyond the point of return. Not many beings are usually brave
enough to speak to him like that. For that, Elvamir Maloowighte never forgot the
name Deante Lezdain.
And as he said to Mideon, he never a finger or cast a spell upon the three, but
rather turned to Titus to whom he would unleash his anger upon. Elvamir was
prepared to order the giant hand to slam Titus again, yet Titus was much more
clever and hardy than Elvamir ever gave him credit for. “Godune Wingarus!”there
was an incredible flash of light that seemed to reach into the very heavens. The light
consumed everything, Elvamir’s giant black hand wilted like a dry flower and the
other three were released from their bond.
He glared at Titus (Who was out of breath) and cried, “Gilathorin’” All five
of them were suddnely surrounded in a ring of green flames. “If . . . that . . . is how
you want to play . . .” Elvamir said blowing out the hair from his face with every
exhale with a face full of fury.
The other three tried to move in to help though they found themselves boxed
in by blue flames, they were not Elvamir’s, they were Titus’s. “Titus!” Deante yelled
frustrated that his friend would not let him help him.
“Do not interfere! This is between me and Elvamir!” Said Titus through
bared teeth. If Titus’s rage were a fire, it would burn hotter and brighter than that of
a dwarvish forge. Finally hearing and seeing first-hand of his friend’s treachery
seemed to have unleashed all the hurt and hatred he had ever felt. “I am sorry,
‘friend,’ but I must put an end to your wickedness!”
They both ripped off their hats and pointed their wands at one another. “I
guess I will have to beat sense into you!” Then at the exact same moment, they
shouted their spells. ‘Daradohm!’ Elvamir cried and ‘Bomoren!’ Titus shouted. A
white orb shot out from the tip of Titus’s wand and a purple spear erupted from the
others. Titus quickly chanted a counter curse and the purple spear collided with the
blue transparent shield that he summoned. Elvamir however let a hiss and
dissapeared and reapeared quite suddenly within the shade of a different shadow.
The dimly lit orb struck the building that had been to the wizards rear and light filled
the dark void. All sound departed as the orb shattered the building like a marble
hurled at a house made of playing cards.
“Maloshar!” Elvamir croaked face contorted with anger.
“Daolin!” Titus yelled back though quite calmly.
A silver jet of light came from Elvamir’s staff and a maroon eagle come from
Titus’s. The spells passed eachother by mere inches, the eagle’s wing collided
sharply with the bridge of his nose, breaking it cleanly in two making him do a
backflip. The silver jet of light struck Titus hard in the chest, makiing him fly off his
feet . . . though for some reason he would no longer touch the ground. Gravity was
no longer taking effect on him and the higher he flew. A smile formed on Elvamir’s
face though appeared only for a second. Titus came flying toward the ground,
wanted pointed downward. He finally hit the ground and a purple wave went flying
in all directions. With a flick of his staff the wave passed over him and he cried,
Another spear flew towards Titus, yet rather than a spell, Titus shouted a
command, “Defend!” The eagle that he conjued earlier obeyed and blocked the way
of the spear. The eagle and the spear exploded in a fury of white-hot flames and
scorched the stone within five feet in every direction around the blast black.
Yet before Titus regathered his senses Elvamir had muttered a curse,
“Manackalus!” Two manackles connected to very long chains flew from Elvamir’s
sleeves and they shckled Titus’s wrists. With a frown, Elvamir twisted the chains
making Titus drop his staff, his sword sheath, and Baranos. Poor Titus fell onto his
back, chained and unarmed. Titus groaned and Elvamir laughed a high and
disturbing laugh. “Fool, I tried to change your views years ago and now here you
are, flat on your back and at my mercy. Looks like I’ve won!” Elvamir stepped
backwards into the shade and seemed to have fallen down an invisible hole. Titus
was pulled helplessly into the abyss and with one sharp tug, fell through and knew
They all were shocked and Deante was shaking with rage, “NOOOOO!” All
of the flames had disappeared and he flung himself at the very spot they had fallen,
expecting fall with them. He scratched at the ground and began pounding it with all
of his might. He began pounding harder and faster when suddenly a hand clutched
his wrist. Quicker than sight, he pulled a dagger free a put it at the throat of Vegari.
The elf did not flinch but looked heavily at his friend and said quite simply,
“He is gone, there is nothing you can do about it.”
Deante’s face held the same severe expression for a few more moments then
let his dagger drop having the same heavy expression.
“You are right,” Deante muttered looking at the ground.
Ryern was not to far away, standing over a slain goblin wearing the same sad
expression. Deante sheathed his dagger and walked into the building that they had
stayed in. He walked out and was carrying four packs. He stuffed Titus’s rations into
other packs and stood up wiping away a tear from his eye. The top of the sun had
finally showed itself from over the peak of the mountain revealing the events of the
night. Deante looked at the sun and then looked at the ground, still very silent. He
tossed Titus’s sack to the side and handed them both their packs. He handed Vegari
Titus’s staff to carry and handed Ryern his sword to carry. He looked at them and
said, “Let us go.”
And with heavy hearts they set off into the wilderness.
To Be continued . . .