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The Kilted Crusader
Tue, 8th Oct '02, 3:52pm
Dawn struck over the valley, a man with jet black hair, tied back by a silver circlet stood mesmorized by the sight, his bronze breastplate glinting from the newborn light. Rolynd Dantes had seen it a thousand times over, but it still never failed to amaze him. This was his favourite part of the day, all his troubles seemed washed away as he bathed in the sunlight, he closed his eyes to soak in the heat & smiled, the moment seemed almost magical. The feeling was suddenly interrupted by a voice, "Sir," Dantes whipped round, his sabre sailing out of the sheath & into his hand. He stood on the balls of his feet, slightly hunched ready for an attack. Dantes straightened & sighed, realising it to only be seargant Guillaume, he sheathed his sabre.
"What is it seargent?" Dantes asked
"The tents are packed, & the men are ready to move, we should reach the city by sundown, ahead of schedule" Guillaume seemed unsuprised by Dantes reaction to his approach, every man was on edge from the orc attack the previous day. It had been a close encounter as the orcs took them completely by suprise, diving out from the bushes & cutting several men down mercillacly, but Dantes reacted quickly & formed up ten of the soldiers & led a Cavalry charge into the main bulk of the orc raiding party, the orcs had scattered & fled, only to be chased down & cut down by the sabres of the horsemen.
"Very good seargent, we shall leave immediately" The seargent saluted & jogged back to the camp.
The noble Dantes & his men were escorting had paid him handsomely for his protection, & he had performed to the best of his ability, but he had been scolded from the noble for the orcish attack, & he warned the men to be much more alert & disciplined the following day.
Dantes strode back to the camp to find the men ready to ride, & the nobleman & his wife clambering into the carriage. Dantes got onto his horse next to seargent Guillaume, the seargent nodded & said, "The scouts just arrived back, all is clear," Dantes nodded his acceptance Then stood high on his horse & waved his hand forward, symbolizing the movement of the expendition. The carriage lurched as the driver flicked his whip & released the break.
Tue, 8th Oct '02, 4:22pm
This is kinda good, but STOP using '&'s. That is just plain annoying.
The Kilted Crusader
Tue, 8th Oct '02, 5:58pm
sorry about the '&'s thing, bad habit, my english teacher gets on at me about it too.
For the next few hours Dantes and his exhibition rode on, ever aware of there surroundings. A rider came up by Dantes side "Sir," The soldier saluted "Lord Darnel wants to see you," He saluted again and returned to formation.
"Take the lead seargent," Dantes rode back to the carriage, wondering why the nobleman wanted to see him. Dantes knocked on the shuttered window and said "My lord?" The shutter was unceremoniously flung open by the Lord Darnel. "You wished to see me lord," asked Dantes,
"We are stopping here for a time," it was more of a statement than a question,
"But sir, we won't make it to the city by nightfall," said Dantes, he was desperate to make it to the city, otherwise he may have trouble getting the guards to open the gates.
"Are you questioning my authority, Commander Dantes?" said Darnel, squinting his eyes to look menacing, it took little effect,
"Good, then we'll stop," Dantes nodded, he feared to say anything, his anger had been building up through out this trip with the noble to a state so immense, he could hit the man. He rode to sergeant Guillaume, muttering 'arrogant ass' as he rode.
"stop the expedition Guillaume" said Dantes through clenched teeth
"what, why?" sergeant Guillame started
"Do it!" ordered Dantes, raising his voice, Guillaume saluted & shouted
"HALT, DISMOUNT!" most of the men looked at each other confused, from the start of the expedition they had ridden throughout the day, only stopping at nightfall. Soon the Noble shifted his large bulk out the carriage door, and some of riders shrugged and dismounted, followed by the rest of the soldiers. They walked they,re horse in a few large circles before tethering them to the trees, of a forest only around twenty paces from the expeditions western side. Dantes sent scouts ahead and into the forest. He sat down with sergeant Guillaume & two other of soldiers on the opposite side of where the noble man was waundering. One was Corporal Samuel Mortan, he had been one of the ten soldiers to join Dantes in the cavalry charge. The other was A Private Murray Tane, this was his first expedition & was listening intently to Corporal Mortan's stories, trying to pick up hints on battle. Guillaume was listening & laughing at the stories pointing out the parts that were exaggerated or untrue. Dantes sat impatiently, fidgeting a lot. He was never comfortable with unscheduled stops, especially one with dense terrain to the side. For all he knew there was an army waiting in those tree's. After a time the ahead scouts returned, bearing no knews of danger, but his scouts from the forest had not yet returned, Dantes looked into the forest and thought he saw his scouts heading back, but behind the shape came up a lot of men, all armed, Dantes glanced around, he had not realised that the attack from the orcs had actually destroyed more than a third of his original thirty men, the opposing force had only a bit less than twice that, Dantes surged to his feet "bandits" he said under his breath "FORM UP!" the soldiers darted up & ran to join Dantes in a semi circle formation, the remaining five archers in a line at the front, they're arrows already nocked. Upon seeing this attackers charged out of the forest at the line of men. Most wore no armour & appeared to be completely untrained in the weapons they held, as the attacking line left the forest Dantes shouted "BOWMEN, LOOSE" the five bowmen sent they're arrows into the attackers, each one finding its mark, the bowmen, ran back into the semi-circle & drew they're sabre's. "ADVANCE" bellowed Dantes, starting the march to meet the bandits. As both lines met, the screech of steel on steel, sounded followed by the screams of men being cut down. Dantes stabbed into his first attacker, & backhanded his blade into another, wrestling with Mortan. He slashed the throat of another, but the line was being pushed back from the forest. The training the soldiers had learned was obviously coming into effect, as the odds were in Dantes forces favour, cutting down three bandits, to they're one soldier and the superior numbers of the bandits did not help. Soon enough The bandits number dropped below the soldiers number, & the bandits started to flee. But one stood defiant, staring at the remaining twelve soldiers, he was obviously the leader & some of the other bandits stood, hiding in the trees, unsure if they should help they're master. Dantes stepped forward and stood two paces from the man, & presented his sabre. The leader chuckled & hefted his rusted longsword. The bandit leader jumped in with an over hand chop, which Dantes easily sidstepped, he could easily have killed the man, but instead he sliced a cut into his forearm, and stepped back. The leaders face now bore anger and he slashed at Dantes midsection, Dantes jumped back out the way, and ducked the backslash aimed at his head, he then slashed out and took off the mans lower lip. Some of the soldiers, looked at the fight in disgust, Dantes was simply playing with the man. The bandit lunged and Dantes parried the blade, then retaliated with a viscious riposte with lightening which cut off the mans ears and the edge of his nose, The man screamed, through a bloody mouth, before Dantes, stabbed though his eye, skewering the brain. Dantes kicked the man off his blade and carefully wiped it on the mans clothes. He turned to the forest, but the bandits had already fled. He turned back to the expedition to see the noble pale faced, with vomit staining his shirt. Dantes helped to carry the soldiers bodies into a line & buried at the edge of the forest, Mortan said a short blessing & without another word the men mounted they're horses & silently set off in the direction of the city of Athkatla.
The Irreligious Paladin
Wed, 9th Oct '02, 2:32am
Nice job. This is action-packed. I daresay that soldiers aren't as interesting as adventurers, but you have proven that belief wrong, just like Christopher Rowley with his Bazil Broketail novels.
The Kilted Crusader
Wed, 9th Oct '02, 2:40pm
Heres another bit, I'd really appreciate plenty of critism to see how this is going, thanks
In the distance Dantes could see the burning torches of the city gate. They continued on until the city walls loomed over them. A voice shouted from the top of the wall, "Hold! Who goes there" a guard leaned over the top of the wall, burning torch in hand.
"A Lord Darnel, let us pass, it is urgent!" Dantes actually had no idea why the noblemen was heading for the city, and frankly, didn't care.
"What is your business," shouted the guard, Dantes took a moment to answer
"It's a family matter"
"Very well," The guard dissapeared from the wall. Dantes could imagine him shouting orders to his men. Suddenly the great gate creaked open, the noise, jerking Dantes from his thoughts. The guard from the wall waved them in and then he returned to the battlements.
Dantes rode back to the carriage, "I'm sure you can make the rest of the way by yourself,"
"Yes, I suppose so," replied the nobleman
"Can I get an address for where I can find you to discuss the matter of my pay," said Dantes, the nobleman hurrumphed and scribbled on a piece of parchment. Dantes took the parchment and slipped into his armour. "Thank you sir, I'll arrive at noon, make sure you are there," The wagon turned off and Dantes rode to where the waiting soldiers were at the stables. From an expedition of thirty they were left with twelve. Dantes sighed, another failed attempt, it had taken, months to train the thirty of his men, and it would take even longer before they would be at their full strength again. He looked at the remaining men, they looked eager for a rest and some leave. "As of now," said Dantes, "I am disbanding this party, come to me tommorrow afternoon to recieve your pay." Without another word Dantes turned around and walked to the nearest tavern, in need of a stiff drink, closely followed by sergeant Guillaume and Corporal Mortan. They sat at a table close to the corner and ordered three ales and three pies. The pies tasted exquisite in their hungry stomachs. After the meal Dantes paid for a room and the three companions went upstairs for a slightly more comfortable night than what they had done for the past few weeks.
In the morning Dantes left Mortan and Guillaume sleeping as he dressed and walked downstairs. The barkeeper had fallen asleep on the bar with his head resting in his arms. Dantes left the tavern out inot the early morning, he wandered the city for some time, entering shops and blacksmiths and inspecting various objects of interest. After leaving one of the shops he looked up at the sun, finding the time to be close to noon. He slipped the parchment out of his pocket. It read
"Government District, Large estate on the west side"
Dantes tucked it back in his pocket and strolled to the Government district. The noble had obviously tried to outsmart Dantes by not giving him the exact address, but there were not too many estates in the Government district and he would find him before long.
Sure enough, Dantes found him, he had noticed the nobles immense bulk moving past a window so he approached a guard. "I have business with Lord Darnel, may I pass." The guard looked at him inquisitively,
"What sort of business?" said the guard,
"He owes me my pay," answered Dantes, his voice just a little impatient
"Ah yes, the lord told me you'd be coming, go straight in," the guard stepped aside and Dantes entered the house. A servant saw him and rang a bell, then quickly departed upstairs. Soon the noble came down the stairs, wearing amazingly bright clothes.
"I'm here for my pay," said Dantes
"ah, your pay, hmm" started the noble, Dantes could sense an excuse "Well, I'm afraid you will not be paid,"
"What!" shouted Dantes fingering the sabre he still wore at his side,
"You have not earned it, your protection was not worth it."
"I lost good men getting you here, men much better than you, you either get my money, or I gut you like a fish and get it myself," The nobles face went pale as Dantes drew his sabre.
"This way," the noble whimpered, he walked up stairs and into a study, from here he unlocked a safe and retrieved a small wooden chest, he opened it and retrieved a pouch from his side, he filled the pouch with twenty of the gold pieces. He closed the box and held the pouch out for Dantes to take. Dantes reached out and picked up the wooden box and left the room, the noble quickly after him in an attempt to retrieve his gold. The noble started pulling at the box, but Dantes spun round and hit him full on in the centre of the nose with a sickening crack, the noble fell and slid along the marble floor. "that felt good," said Dantes before leaving the house.
When Dantes returned to tavern he found Mortan, Tane and Guilaume, eating large paltes of meat and potatoes. He sat down and joined them, "You get our pay then," asked Mortan, Dantes answered by laying the box down on the table "Good, good" Tane finished his meal and pushed back the plate. He then stretch his back across the chair, returned to his normal posistion and looked at Dantes, his face suddenly lit up and he pulled a piece of parchment out of his pocket
"Have a look at this," he laid it out before Dantes, "It's a sabre tourney, I saw it in the market today, thought you might be interested,"
"No, it's okay," said Dantes,
"But look at the prize," said Guillaume, pointing at part of the parchment, "Two of finest sabres ever made, crafted by master Dwarf blacksmith Gont Thunderhammer, come on. Go for it" Dantes looked at Tane, he looked extremely excited, Dantes sighed,
"Fine, I'll do it then" Tane jumped in his seat and clapped,
"Bartender, three more ales!" He sat down with on of the biggest grins on his face Dantes had ever seen.
That same day Dantes paid each of his men thirty gold pieces from the chest, and was still left with a lot of gold. The tourney would start in two days, so Dantes bought he and his friends, very fine clothes for the evening. Dantes wore a black suit, with a white shirt, with frills on the shirts collar and wrist. Mortan bought an old uniform off a woman, it fit him perfectly and once he had beaten off all the dust, he looked very fine. Dantes could imagine him at the tourney, making up stories of his army days. Tane and Guillaume wore similar outfits, both having waistcoats, ties and a jacket with two long tales, Dantes thought they looked ridiculous, but it was a fashion that aparently was just coming in. They folded the clothes and placed them in the top drawer, Mortan had previously kept his underwear in the bottom drawer, but rats had chewed and eaten them, so the top drawer, they figured, was safer. Dantes had a haircut and a shave, but still left his hair long. He always liked it that way, and didn't think it suited him when it was short.
They left for the tourney on horseback. It was held in the grounds of a nobles estate in the temple district. They entered and Dantes paid his entrance fee for the tourney, one hundred gold pieces. His money box was quickly getting lighter. Dantes watched the tourney with Tane, the young man was mesmorized by the skill of the duellists. Dantes watched them carefully, taking note of weaknesses. Eventually Dantes name was called out, he was handed a blunt sabre, and stood two paces from the man opposite, the man was tall, with a goatee, he held his sword expertly even though he seemed only a little older than Tane. The two touched blades hopped back slightly. Dantes opponent jumped at him pushing his blade out forwards, Dantes swivelled and the blade sailed past him, and slowly poked the man in the chest with the tip of his sword. Tane laughed as the man stood up, rage burning his face red. The laughter only angered him more and he slashed wildly at Dantes. Dantes parried or dodged each cut, then stepped in and hit the man with hand guard of the sabre, knocking the man to the ground unconscious. The crowd clapped politely and Dantes helped carry the man to a seat then walked to the buffet table.
Tane approached Dantes and talked in a hurried voice, imitating Dantes swordplay and the final punch. Dantes laughed as he swung and handed Tane a glass. Mortan and Guillaume walked over and congratulated Dantes, and Tane relayed the story to them, complete again with the miming of swords.
Throughout the day Dantes had three other duels, first against a more cautious opponent, who played it safe constantly parrying and dodging, but Dantes speed got the better of the other man and was defeated, the other was a well trained duellist wearing a cavalry uniform. The duel had lasted several minutes until Dantes opponent opened up a quick attack which forced Dantes back but the attack left the man open and Dantes riposte caught on the neck. The third fight was much more simple, as the man had been drinking in between bouts and it seemed that the drink had just taken its full toll, all Dante did was flick the sabre, hitting the mans chest and the judge ruled him the winner. After the fight Dantes dabbed the bead of sweat that tickled down his forehead, while he was congratulated by his friends. Dantes noticed Tane looking round the grounds, Dantes followed his eyes and saw what he was looking at. Two of the duellists were talking. Dantes noted they were to fight in the next duel, Tane asked "Which one do you think you will face in the final?"
"The final?" said Dantes astonished at how far he had gotten
"Yes, didn't you know you were just in the semi's?"
"I hadn't realised," Dante smiled and examined the two duellists who had just taken their place, one was an elf, the other a human. Both stood expertly and when the battle commenced, the crowd gasped, for the swordsmen moved with incredible speed and skill. In the end though the elf nicked the other man in the neck and then the chest. They shook hands and stepped down. Dantes looked at Tane his mouth was wide open as he watched the elf pass. The announcer stood up on the platform that had been reserved for the final and said
"The next duel will be between, Rolynd Dantes and last years champion Orendo Bars, the duel commences in one hour!" The announcer was handed a hour glass and he placed it on the platform. Tane sighed his dissapointment at the wait, but he brightened up again when a pair of jugglers came out to perform. Dantes left the young man in search of Guillaume and Mortan. He found them soon though, with Guillaume half carrying the near unconscious Mortan up from the bottom of the grounds. "What happened?" said Dantes as he approached, Mortan answered with a burp. His breath reeked of alcohol, Da ntes chuckled and got hold of Mortans other arm. "Where was he?" asked Dantes "Sleeping in a rose bed, silly old fart," It took the two men some time to walk the whole garden with Mortan on them and fo a time they managed it, but Guillaume started getting tired "lets just lay him down on that bench and get out of here, we'll get him later". Guillaume pushed Mortan into the bench and Dantes lifted his legs up onto it. Guillaume started to walk away, muttering curses toward Mortan. Dantes caught up with him and walked up the rest of the garden, Guillaume asked "how are doing in the tourney" Dantes shot up straight, he'd forgotten! He ran up the rest of the Garden to the platform, Guillaume shouting after him. Dantes made it just in time. His opponent was standing on the platform already.
Dantes climbed the steps and caught the sabre thrown to him by the announcer. He flexed his muscles then took up a stance. The anouncer shouted "Begin!" The elf Orendo dived in with a flurry of attacks with amazing speed, Dantes parried or dodge each with equal speed. Dantes returned the flurry with an attack of his own. To the audience the sabres moved in a blur, with the bodies. Nothing could be heard except the clashing of steel as the conversations died down and more people watched the duel. Dantes lunged at his opponent, but Orendo used his superior agility and leap up in a flip, twisting sideways in the air over Dantes head. He landed behind Dantes and placed his sabre on the back of his opponents neck, and smiled. The announcer called out, "VIctory, Dantes!"
"What?!" called out Orendo, "I won!"
"No you didn't, look down!" shouted Tane. He looked down to see Dantes sabre against his heart. Dantes had spun the sword in his hand and stabbed behind him, stabbing Orendo just as he landed and before he even raised his sabre. The crowd roared with applause and Orendo slammed down his sabrre, denting the hand guard, and skulking from the platform.
[ October 09, 2002, 21:15: Message edited by: Midnight Falcon ]
The Irreligious Paladin
Fri, 11th Oct '02, 2:44am
Again, the action is well written. The paragraphs seem to run on whenthere isn't any dialouge, but when i write it is usually just one long sentence. So I give you props.
Fri, 11th Oct '02, 8:25pm
cool story i like it cant wait for next part
also ur combat is very good
The Kilted Crusader
Fri, 11th Oct '02, 8:44pm
The dwarf, Gont, approached Dantes with a huge grin on his face and a long, elegantly carved box in his arms. He was in his happy state because he hadn't wanted his sabres given to the pompous git. He stood before Dantes and opened the box. The two sabres shone in the sunlight and Dantes blinked at their magnificense, and stood wide eyed before them. He had never seen such craftmanship in weapons before. He stroked the hilt gently and touched the blade. The dwarf spoke in a gruff voice, which seemed out of place with the delicacy of the sabres,
"They're yours now, lad. Make sure 'n being taking care of them,"
"Aye", said Dantes, his voice just above a whisper, his eyes still fixed on the blade, "I'll do just that." Gont closed the box and Dantes blinked again and straightened himself,
"Dwarf craftmanship often does that, lad." said Gont as he held up the box for Dantes to take, Dantes slid his arms under the box gently and lifted it up. He then bowed low to the dwarf blacksmith, and in return, the dwarf mimicked the gesture and Dantes walked from the estate to the stables.
His companions were already there saddling their horses, Tane was laughing and clapping, and Mortan was having trouble keeping the horses steady through Tanes revelry, "Shut up boy! I don't want this beast hitting me in the head before I get a chance to hit yours," Tane calmed a little, but his smile was still there. Dantes fastened the box to his saddle then mounted. The others did likewise and the three departed.
As they turned the corner of the driveway, they were intercepted by three guards, two had short spears and the last held a large crossbow. The two groups almost knocked into each other. Once they had calmed the horses, One of the guards looked at Dantes closely. "Rolynd Dantes?" asked the guard, Dantes edged closer to the guard holding the crossbow,
"Yes," said Dantes to the guard, he was now along side the guard, the crossbow trained on Dantes chest,
"We have a warrant for your arrest -" before he could say any more, Dantes grabbed the crossbow and faced it on its owners horse. A deep thunk sounded before the horse neighed, and reared, throwing the rider. One of the longswords, slashed down at Guillaume, but he caught it by the Pommel, and yanked it out the guards hand. Guillaume then reared his horse, as he did this the horses legs kicked out, knocking the two guards from their horses. "GO" shouted Mortan, and they raced away, Dantes holding the crossbow and Guillaume, the longsword.
They galloped as fast as the horses would let them. At the city gates they had no trouble, which suprised Dantes, as he thought they may have to fight their way out. But no posters had been put up for Dantes arrest and the trio rode out of the city, striking north, and camping alongside the path of a forest road.
"Run Daelin!" Screamed the large black man. He hefted a huge hammer and was running up the cave, he was breathing heavily, and was having difficulty running,
"Hurry, Alaric, they cave mouth is up ahead," called the a lean man, in a dulled chainmail shirt, the hilt of a sword jutted up from a back sheath, on the front of this were two throwing knives. On a shoulder strap he heald a long hunting knife.
"Don't worry, I'll catch up. Now run!" Daelin, turned and sprinted for the cave mouth, it was only ten paces away. He risked a glance back, Alaric had slowed even more. Daelin could see it now. The creature was gianormous, its huge body slivered along the ground like a snake. On its back were two huge wings, but some time in the past, those wings had been crippled, and were now useless. That information was why daelin and alaric had first entered the cave, they thought a crippled dragon would be an easy venture and they would be rich and famous when they emerged with the dragons horde. How wrong they had been.
Daelin charged out the cave mouth and turned to see Alaric falter and stumble, "Run Daelin, Go!"
"Hurry Alaric, your almost there!" suddenly Alaric spun to face the crippled Dragon. It was mere feet from him. It reared up and roared at Alaric, Alaric screamed a battle cry in return, and hurled his battle hammer high in the air, crashing into the roof of the cave, bringing rock and other debris, toppling down on top of him and the dragon, sealing the cave. Daelin dropped to the ground, tears streaming down his face. His only friend was gone, crushed under a pile of rock. His mind fleeted back to when they had spoke to the men in the tavern, they had told them of the dragon. At first Alaric had been against it, but daelin had convinced him after a time. He realised then that he had caused the death of his best friend. He stood up and turned, walking away from the cave, away from the dragon, away from Alaric, tears, still streaming down his face.
Daelin travelled most of the day and into the night. He was walking along a forest track when he heard an argument at the side of the rode, "Can't you light a fire boy!"
"I can't in this wind,"
"Give us it here"
"See, neither can you"
"Hello the camp," shouted Daelin,
"Hello," came back the voice, "Come in slowly" Daelin did so, holding his hands out to the side as he walked in, showing he meant no harm. Around the unlit fire, were three men, one held a crossbow, aimed at Daelin, another held a longsword, one was in a formal military uniform, and another, looking barely out of his teens sat, holding some flint. "Come sit" said the first man lowering his crossbow. Daelin did as he was bid and sat, "My name is Dantes,"
"I am Daelin,"
the man pointed to each of the men "This is Guillaume, Tane and Mortan." Daelin nodded to each, Tane started trying to light the fire the fire
"I could do that for you," Mortan made a noise and crossed his arms, Tane held out the flint but Daelin waved it aside. Holding out his index finger he concentrated on the fire, then pressed his finger to it. The dry wood shot to life illuminating the four men. From this light Daelin could be seen more clearly, especially his cats eyes.
Tane jumped back, as Guillaume jumped in, sword raised ready to strike. "Wait," said Dantes, his voice, calm "He means no harm,"
"He is a Tiefling!" hissed Guillaume
"I noticed, but that gives you no right to kill him." Guillaume, calmed himself and sat down.
"Forgive me, I am a little on edge" apologised Guillaume
"It doesn't matter. It's happened before," said Daelen,
"Whats a Tiefling?" asked Tane to no one in particular, Daelin replied
"In my bloodline, there has been a fiend of some sort," he laughed, "perhaps even an evil god from the Time of Troubles, though, I have to say, thats very unlikely. I have been blessed with great speed and power, also a long age, I am actually one hundred and eighty two human years old. But I have also been cursed. Tieflings have a reputation for evil, its in our bloodline, but there are some who are different and are good at heart, one of these is me. But even with the goodness of heart, I fear I am doomed to one of the nine hells." Silence fell over the group once more, and then they slept.
Dantes closed his eyes to bathe in the dawn sun as he did every morning he was in the wild. "It is beautiful, isn't it" Dantes remained with his eyes closed. He felt a strange sense of calm around the Tiefling
"Yes, it is" Daelin walked away to a larger space in the forest, and began to stretch his muscles. He took a deep breath, then picked up his sword. Dantes stood watching as he took up a strange stance. His left leg was out front, bent at the knee as his right leg was tucked behind it. His sword was horizontal, a foot away from his forehead. The first two fingersof his left hand were placed against his ear. Suddenly he jumped up spinning in the air, his legs working as if kicking, while the sword was slashing down, he landed into a new stance. This time more basic, with two hands on the sword with his left leg out front and his right, behind. He then moved with astonishing speed, though not as fast as Dantes could, cutting and piercing the air. He finished with back hand slash which would have slashed a man clean in half, he rested his stomach on his knees then stood and saluted with his sword.
Dantes turned and went back to camp. If he could convince him, Daelin would make an excellent addition to his band. He chuckled as he walked remembering Mortans suggestion for his adventuring band. 'The Knights of The Cesspit.
The Irreligious Paladin
Sat, 12th Oct '02, 6:13am
Nice addition, you like Tieflings? I love the word you used "gianormous." Makes for good times it does. (Thanks for replying on "Everybody Writes! Nobody Quits!" I'd appreciate you coming back to it and adding again, your character needs to get added into the rest of the absurdity, and you would be the best person to do that.)
Sat, 12th Oct '02, 7:01pm
very good again and nice comedy at the end but i noticed that ur spelt dealin wrong one on the time u spelt it dealen but never mind that cant wait for next addition
The Kilted Crusader
Sat, 12th Oct '02, 7:40pm
I think tieflings rock, and thanks for your encouragement on this, I appreciate it, heres the next bit.
"Can I have a shot?" asked Tane. Dantes had been firing the crossbow into a tree trunk for the better part of an hour.
"Yes. Here" he handed the crossbow to Tane "You put the head on the ground. Thats it, now put your feet in the stirrups and wind that handle. Good, now load this quarrel and aim by lining up the two sights andfire at the trunk."
"Which bit?" asked Tane, Dantes drew a knife and cut into the tree, making a target of four circles,
"Try to get it in the middle," Tane pressed the stock to his shoulder and aimed. The bolt thunked into the middle of the target, "Very good, lets try it a bit further back." Again and again Tane hit the centre of the target, despite being moved back after each shot. "I think thats enough. It looks like we've found something your good at,"
"Good, cause he's useless at every thing else," said Mortan as he walked to the target tree and urinated loudly, sighing as he did so. Tane aimed the unloaded crossbow at his rear and pulled the trigger. Dantes laughed and clapped him on the back, then shouted to Mortan.
"Hurry up, we move in half an hour,"
After a breakfast of hot oats they mounted their horses, Daelin on the back of Tane's. From his pack he pulled out a piece of black leather from his pack. He slid it over his head showing it to be a mask. It passed nearly all the way round his head, tied back by two thick cords of string about an inch apart, at the front the nose piece had been made well and the long eye holes had been covered by a veil. "Why do you where that?" asked Tane
"Because, some people get the wrong idea when they see my eyes," Dantes started them off at a canter, following the path. Daelin wanted to tell them of the dragons unguarded horde, but he couldn't bear to see the crushed body of Alaric. He took a deep breath and asked Tane to ride to Dantes. When he was alongside. He told Dantes of the cave.
"That sounds good, my friend. Which way,"
"I'll take the lead with Tane" said Daelin, he went up front and told Tane when to turn.
"How long until we reach the cave," said Dantes,
"I walked for half a day and half a night to reach your camp, I have no idea on how long from horseback,"
They reached the cave within a day, "How are we supposed to get in" shouted Guillaume, "the caves blocked," Daelin dismounted and walked to the nearest rock and pulled it away, flinging it to the ground a metre away,
"Dig," he said simply. Guillaume shook his head and dismounted, using his massive muscles to pull away the debris. The others joined him swiftly pulling away the debris for a good part of an hour
"I need a rest" said Tane
"Take a rest. All of us should take a rest," said Dantes. The four sat down and took swigs from their water flasks. Daelin stood up and stretched. Consentrating on the rocks, Daelin let out a small ball of raw energy smashing into a boulder and shattering it. "Well done" said Dantes "keep that up for a little longer and this will be much easier." Daelin smiled at him and let out another ball of energy. After six more energy blasts, Daelin dropped to the ground exhausted. "Lets start digging again," said Dantes getting up and placing a water cannister into his hands. Daelin rejoined them after a couple of minutes, hauling away the rocks with the encouragment of Guillaume.
After another hour a hole was breached in the wall of rocks and Tane looked through the hole. "its to dark, I can't see anything," he called to the others,
"Can you fit through?" shouted Dantes
"No" he shouted back,
"come back," shouted Daelin, Tane did as he was bade, and descended the debris. Daelin blasted an energy ball, opening a larger hole.
"Mortan," said Dantes, "get some torches"
The inside of the cave was very dark, and even with the glowing fire from the torches, vision was extremely limited. "By Tyr," Guillaumes whisper echoed through the cave, "Its bigger than I thought!" Daelin knelt by the dragon, and turned walked for a couple of paces before dropping to his knees. The crushed body of Alaric lay before him. Through the tears he muttered a short spell, rocks dropped onto the corpse, forming a long pile. At its top a large slate from a boulder dug into the ground vertically. Concentrating on the slate, Daelin magically burned Alarics name into the stone and underneath wrote "A Dear Friend".
Dantes layed a gentle hand on his friends back. "Its time to go my friend, I dare not stay here long." Daelin stood and nodded,
Even though the tunnel was dark, it was not difficult to find the way, as it was just a single long path, heading ever downwards. Quite suddenly the path opened up to a massive circular hole, the inside was filled with gold, jewels, magical weapons and armour. But also lying there was a massive black Dragon. Its eyes opened and a puff of smoke blew out its nostrils. A roar erupted from it followed by a blast of fire, barely avoided by the party "You said there was only one!" shouted Dantes to Daelin as they crouched behind a rock
"There was only one!" He shouted back through the fire and roaring, "Shoot it, Tane". Tane closed his eyes and sunk deeper behind the rock, but he opened them and screaming a battle cry, jumped from his hiding place and fired a single bolt into scaleless chest. Another roar erupted from the giant maw and Guillaume ran out flinging his longsword into the lower belly. Both wounds were minor and barely inconvenianced the dragon. Guillaume dropped and grabbed a glowing Greatsword
from the ground before diving for cover behind a stalagmite. Daelin looked at Guillaumes cover and then at the cave roof. Above the dragon was a huge Stalactite. Directing a ball of energy he launched it into the base of the stalactite. It came crashing down on its head as Tane fired a quarrel into its eye. The distraction gave Guillaume his second chance of attack and he charged out, slashing deep into the dragons serpentine body. The blade passed cleanly and easily through, Guillaume dived back behind the stalagmite, smiling at the blade. The dragon let out another firy breath in Guillaume direction, and he screamed in agony as the heat seared through his body. Crying a battle cry Daelin, Dantes and Mortan dashed from their hiding place and set upon the dragon. Holding his sabre like a dagger Mortan staabbed into the body with all his considerable strength, going right to the hilt. Dantes threw him his second sabre, which he caught expertly before stabbing again and again. Another bolt sliced through the air, hitting the quarrel already in the beast, causing it to bite deeper. Dantes ducked under the tail before diving onto it and stabbing into the flesh. The dragon tried vainly to throw him off, but Dantes held on with an iron grip, dragging the sbre through the tail, crimson blood, spurting from the massive wound. Using his immense agility and dexterity, Daelin, juped from scale to scale on the Dragons back, landing at last, on its head. Drawing his razor sharp blade, hstabbed ito the back of the head, but the skull was so thick, his blade wouldn't pass through the skull, but he continued to hack at it twice, before being flung through the air, his legs flailing before he twisted into a cat like shape, landing feet first and rolling along the rocky floor, coming to a halt as his body crashed into a rock, where he lay still.
Guillaume rushed a gain from cover to assist Dantes by cutting off the edge of the tail. Off balance now the dragon tumbled, coming crashing to the ground. The vibrations woke Daelin. It took him a moment to get his bearings, but when he did he charged in with the spinning kick, slashing through the bone and skin of the dragons nose, making it impossible to breath fire.
The dragons great wings flapped, blowing the whole party to the ground. It roared and jackknifed down, at Daelin. Daelin waited until the last minute before he spun and released his blade to meet the Dragons attack. He dived out of the way before the knife pierced the eye with a large 'pop' and skewering the unprotected brain. The Dragon smashed lifelessly to the ground, knocking the the party from its feet once again. And then it died.
Dantes and Mortan approached cautiously to the dragon from behind as Guillaume walked out front. Before diving in and slicing the neck. It took only three strikes with the Great sword before the head rolled clear. Only then did the group lower its guard.
Sat, 12th Oct '02, 9:49pm
its really good and i liked the combat although i thought u said guillame got a bit fryed and i thoght u meant as in toasted so he couldnt partake in dragon killing any more
The Irreligious Paladin
Sun, 13th Oct '02, 6:04am
Cool. I must say it is getting even better than it started. Very smart move, decapitating the thing (dragons are tricky m/fers) sounds like an interesting sword.
The Kilted Crusader
Sun, 13th Oct '02, 11:11pm
Heres the next bit, its a bit short, but I've had to re-write it twice already because some one keeps closing the window when I go somewhere....
Dantes dislodged his sabre from the dragons tail. His friends were already filling their packs with gold and gems. Guillaume had picked up a shining suit of field plate, and was busy trying to buckle the straps. Daelin had swapped his chainmail shirt for another, this one was darker and seemed lighter on the Tiefling. Dantes himself, Put on a new Breastplate of shining gold with silver, shin wrist and shoulder guards. The helm was gold with silver trimmed cheek guards.
Daelin knelt down and picked up a crossbow. Its body and stock were black and the wings were made of iron. Several patterns were carved onto the wings, Daelin guessed these to be runes, but he couldn't be sure, for he had no knowledge in glyph magic. He found a quiver of bolts, of a similar design to the crossbow and handed them to Tane. Tane thanked him, but Daelin was distant and barely noticed the words.
Daelin was staring at a plane unadorned chest, he sensed a slight magic from it. He approached it cautiously and broke off the lock with a rock. Inside were several phials and bottles, a leather bag filled with a glittering dust. He layed out the items on the cave floor to find a dull mettalic rock and a piece of parchment. Daelin glanced at the parchment, and his eyebrows shot up in suprise. The parchment showed instructions and a spell for enchanting weapons. He pulled out his sword and followed the instructions, pouring the potions over the blade and then sprinkling the dust over the sword. The sword looked a complete mess, and the potions seemed wasted, until Daelin pressed the rock to the blade and muttered the spell. As he did so the potions bubbled on the blade and evaporated, the rock glowed in his hand and shrunk to nothingness. When the steam died down Daelin was left with a magnifecent blade, which looked like polished silver. He sheathed the sword as Mortan shouted out.
"Oi, Guillaume, you could comb your hair in that sword." Mortan was sitting with his back to the wall, a crate of fine dwarfen drinks. Guillaume turned to him and started in his direction. A though shot to Dantes head immediately and he said it out loud. "Why aren't you dead?"
"What?" said Guillaume, "What do you mean by that?"
"I saw get hit by one of those flame bursts," Guillaumes mind shot back. Why am I not dead.
"I think I know why," said Daelin, returning from the chest, "The sword may have something to do with it, lets find out" He flicked a notched longsword on the ground with his foot, catching it in his hand. He held it out in front of him for Guillaume to strike, Guillaume sighed and slashed his great sword across the the blade. The sword Daelin held blazed into fire as the other sword hit, causing him to drop it.
"A flame sword," whispered Guillaume,
"Then it must have given him some fire resistance as well," said Dantes,
"Exactly, thats why hes not toasted," said Daelin,
"Wait though," said Tane "Why didn't it burn the dragon?"
"Well" Answered Daelin "A dragon is a creature of fire, I'm guessing it must have a large resistance to fire. Still the edge of the sword has reduced friction, and is razor sharp. That is a rare sword, my friend."
"What enchantment have you put on your sword, Daelin?" asked Dantes
"Its the same reduced friction enchantmaent on Guillaumes sword, only mine is more powerful. The blade can pass through many materials, even iron, though less cleanly than it would with wood."
"I think we are more or less kitted out, not to mention rich, now our adventuring days can truly begin." said Dantes, Daelin laughed,
"This is usually when most adventurers finish." He started to walk off.
"Daelin, can you block the cave again when we leave, I don't want some lucky beggar stumbling on our horde,"
"Aye, but I can do better. I have a friend named Baelus, he is a powerful Sorcerer. He could place some Ward spells on the cave, and we wouldnt have to pay out to move it into the cities and having to constantly have to pay for security and the like. Mind you, he is a greedy bas*ard, but it'll still cost considerably less."
"Where is your friend now?" asked Dantes
"Last I heard he was in Waterdeep. But it'll take over a month to get there on horse back"
"I'm sure it will be worth it, tell the others to start saddling the horses." daelin walked away, but he turned before he went into the darkness.
"We may have to break him out of prison. He's good at heart, but he's a bloody idiot," Dantes sighed and filled his pack with more god, before following his companions.
The Irreligious Paladin
Mon, 14th Oct '02, 4:47am
Very nice. Very Nice. Don't really have any suggestions for you, it's good stuff. A lot like my writing style, except I would tend to be long-winded and use words that very few people know what they mean and that I'm probably not using correctly, I'm just saying that it's nice to know that someone else out there thinks at least a little like me. (By the way I think you and me are all that's left over on Everybody Writes! Nobody Quits!, I'll keep going as long as someone else does at least.)
The Kilted Crusader
Mon, 14th Oct '02, 6:12pm
I noticed our writing styles were similar. I think that the Everybody writes! Nobody Quits, is coming along well, seems like an interesting story line is unfolding. Heres the next bit of Black Sun.
"No you fool," shouted Baelus at the bartender, "I said slightly watered, not filled from the pond," the bartender hid his anger well and poured Baelus another glass of wine. "Well done," said Baelus as he walked to a table.
Sipping the wine Baelus looked around the room. Scum, he thought, all of them. I shouldn't even be within eyesight of these....these creatures. He downed the wine and waved to the bartender to bring him another. The bartender walked over with a jug which he lay down on the table. Baelus placed a two golden coins into the bartenders hand. A jug of wine only cost a single silver piece. Twenty of these silvers made up a gold coin. The bartender thanked him gratefully and backed away.
The wind howled through the tavern as the door opened and five men walked in and closed the door behind them swiftly. They were all bearded, except for the last two. The first was tall, wearing a golden breatplate. The second wore a long green cloak, with a brown leather jerkin underneath, he hefted a finely made cross bow. The third wor an old army uniform, his hair was grey with age and red rims had formed about his eyes. the fourth was tall, well muscled, and sported no hair at all, except for two severly burnt eyebrows. The last man to come in, Baelus noticed instantly and ducked under the table.
Daelin saw Baelus slide under his table and he walked over. "Get up you, idiot. People are watching." Baelus came up from under the table. He looked different from when Daelin had last seen him, his hair now sported several grey streaks for one. The other men sat down at the table. Mortans hand went for the wine, but Tane batted it aside.
"You're not to drink, its bad for you now."
"Nonsense boy" replied Mortan "It's just to get my energy back, you'll see!" Daelin turned back to Baelus.
"I need a favour from you, It's easy and it'll make us even."
"Even!" exclaimed Baelus, "We are even!"
"We are not, remember in troll moors"
"Remember that brothel. That woman only took one fare a night, because she was the best. When we got her to choose between us, she chose you. That was because I wove a enchantment over her to go for you. Otherwise she would never have over come my good looks, and would never quite as good in bed again, as she would never find a better lover."
"Baelus, you are a pathetic liar. The fact remains you owe me a favour, so you'll do this for me." daelin locked his stare on Baelus. Baelus sighed and agreed, "Excellent, we'll leave within a week. And you'll stay with us through out the week. Don't want you running off now, do we,"
"So what is it you want me to do," asked Baelus,
"I'll tell you later," said Daelin.
The six slept well that night. All except Dantes. For the month they had travelled they came upon no bandits, orcs or anything hostile to them at all. Daelin had put it down to luck, but Dantes sensed there was more to it. Eventually he nodded off waking shortly before midday. The party had left earlier and had left him to sleep. He dressed and descended the stairs. The tavern keeper was busy drying cups and Dantes nodded to him and walked out into the sun.
The market was busy as Dantes walked along. He met Tane some way along. He was wearing new armour and clothes. He had bought a black leather Jerkin under which had wore chainmail. over his dark trousers, he had bought a new set of riding boots. Over his shoulder he held a new pack. Dantes guessed to be filled with other clothes. He still held the crossbow in the other hand. On their travels Tane had tested the new weapon. When the bolt was loosed, shocks of lightening shot out enveloping the bolt, charging it with imense power. Ever since Tane had kept the crossbow by his side. "Where are the others?" asked Dantes.
"Further down. Mortans being picky, in what to wear. Only the finest, he says. Guillaume bought himself a new cloak. Nice and black. Suits him in that new armour. I'll take you down."
When they reached them, Mortan had bought a blue shirt with black trousers. He still wore his old boots and Dantes second sabre. "Took your time" said Mortan, "Its just turned midday." as the tower clock struck twelve the land turned to darkness. The six looked up at the sun, it had gone completely black.
"What is that?" asked Tane.
"Its an eclipse. Only it can't be, where is the suns ring?" said Baelus. "It ought to pass in a couple of minutes."
But the darkness didn't pass, it stayed black. The city torches were lit but people hid indoors. "I think we should go to the observatory." said Baelus "If it is an eclipse, a planet will be in front of the sun, if not," he paused, "I am at a loss."
The staff at the observatory had already checked. It was definately not an eclipse.
The group sat in the the tavern silently. They seemed doomed to spend the rest of life in darkness. To most it seemed the end of the world, to an other small percent saw it as a beginning. Eventually the world would die out, thought Daelin, in the south all woman were not alowwed to show their skin to the sunlight. They had died because of this. A brightly coloured messenger walked through the door. "Dantes!" he announced, Dantes wavd him over. The messenger handed him a parchment. Many were held in his bag and the messenger rushed off. Dantes unrolled the parchment and read out loud
You have been invited to my home. This is urgent, and must be acted upon the opening of this letter.
"Well?" asked Tane
"Well what," said Guillaume
"Aren't we going?"
"Yes." said Dantes, "lets go."
The Lord Jallis' home was the grandest Tane had ever seen, and he said so. As they approached the gate they were stopped by two guards. Dantes showed them his invitation and they were rushed in. The inside was more magnificent than the outside. They were pointed to a large hall by a servant and they entered. A large number of Adventuring bands had already arrived, and large numbers were entering. Soon every adventuring band in the city were in that hall.
Lord Jallis appeared on a balcony above. "Friends," he said "I have gathered you here to assemble on a mission. For the most of you, you will assemble into a large force to join Neverwinters army. We need this as we have recieved word that a large number of orcs, trolls, goblins and even giants, have massed together to form a great army. We need you to help as you have had knowledge in battling these creatures. A handful of you will be sent on a seperate mission. You will have to find the cause of the Black Sun. We have reason to believe the two catastrophes are intertwined. My servants are handing out notices to you, once you have them report to the servant by the door, he will lead you to me after wards. Also I would like Rolynd Dantes to join them. The reat of you shall assemble in the courtyard. That is all."
The servants handed out the scrolls for the Black Sun investagors. Daelin and Baelus were handed one each. "We will wait for you at the tavern," said Guillaume as Dantes, Daelin and Baelus walked away to join the servant.
Lord Jallis met them in a plain room with enough seats to accomodate them all. Jallis entered soon after. "Before I start, all that is said here must not be repeated out of these walls, for morale reasons. For if you do not succeed, all the major cites of Toril will fall. The Blackening of the sun is being used to allow the orcs and trolls to move at all times. These to races make up the bulk of the army. When the suns light pours over them the trolls will die immediately and the orcs will either flee or wither away. The rest of the army may flee after this, although many will still stand. That is for all of you. Except you Dantes, you will be the general of our armies. You are the most qualified. Do not fail me friends, our lives depend on it!"
Mon, 14th Oct '02, 8:50pm
very well written but it has a few spelling mistakes but apart from that i couldnt do better well done hope for the next part soon
The Irreligious Paladin
Tue, 15th Oct '02, 5:57am
Dalveen, you should try punctuating. It makes sense. Very good Midnight Falcon, I had meant that it seems like you and I are all that's left of my little creativity experiment. I suppose other people can't handle having their own work expanded on. I had figured people might be a little bit more mature. So "Black Sun" only just got started really. I'm ready to camp out for a nice long haul.
The Kilted Crusader
Tue, 15th Oct '02, 8:31pm
Dantes stepped out into the cooling breeze. It felt good against the previous heat of the lords rooms. Daelin came out with Baelus moments later. Baelus swore "How are we to do this? We have. probably the fiercest and deadliest army of the realms heading straight to neverwinter, a battle against them in darkness and the only way to win, is to return the sun to its natural form, in a month! All is lost, we are doomed to lose the battle"
"No." said Dantes, "They have never fought against me before,"
"Ha," mocked Baelus, "you're telling me you can defeat the most deadly force in Toril, with a handful of weekend warriors!"
"Yes." Baelus laughed and walked away,
"Are you sure?" asked Daelin, Baelus was now round the corner,
"Yes, as long as you can restore the sun. Even then, theres a chance. The warriors are veterans, they've been battling these kind of creatures for years. Go to Guillaume and get him to round up the most experienced adventurers, we need advice. Go now. Tell him to send them to the Weapon Maker, I'll be waiting there." Daelin broke off into a jog.
Within an hour, Guillaume had three of the most experienced adventurer leaders at the forge. One had needed a little more convincing, but Guillaumes promises turned him. Dantes greeted them, "You heard of the army approaching the city," he was answered by a chorus of nodding heads. " I need your help. I am to be the general, but to do so, I need to learn of the weaknesses of the creatures, even the obvious ones."
"Fire for the trolls," said the first leader, a older adventurer than the other two.
"Crossbows for the orcs, tough hides that can sometimes even stop a longbow. The crossbows will get past that."
"You'll need engines for the giants. My band once constructed giant cross bows for them, though a trebuchet will work well to."
"What about goblins?" asked Dantes, "Any particular weaknesses,
"Just being a goblin." said the elderly adventurer. Dantes laughed,
"Thank you, ready your men. Go to the blacksmith if you need new weapons or repairs, he has orders to work for free for the next month."
"very good General," The elderly man walked away with the others. Dantes turned and entered the weapon Makers workshop. The Weapon Maker, Belek was a large man, with long, red hair and a scruffy beard.
"Well, whats needed?" he asked
"Fire. We're facing trolls, we need something to project the fire from the battlements. Trebuchets for the giants, and giant crossbows - "
"and normal crossbows for the orcs." The blacksmith nodded and made a list,
"I'll get my apprentices started on it now."
"thank you." dantes turned and walked for the door. He guessed the adventurers would be well armed with melee weapons, and if he could get enough sabres or blade heavy longswords he could set up a cavalry unit. That would be devastating to the goblins and orcs. Added to the paladins lance charge, the enemy would be broken. But lack of numbers would definately be pressing, even with his current tactics. Tonite he would have to plan the defence of neverwinter. They would have no engines, as orcs weren't the brightest of creatures, so that may have been the giants job, smash the walls. They would need to be dealt with quickly, trolls were powerful and could hurl rocks, but the weapon maker was working on that. He could only pray Daelin was successful in returning the sun.
Tue, 15th Oct '02, 11:02pm
very good. could be longer though. hope the next part comes soon. THERE IVE USED PUNCUATION!!!!
The Irreligious Paladin
Wed, 16th Oct '02, 5:08am
Thanks. It really does help.
Great story, I agree the last post was a little short, but we all have other things to do I'm sure.
The Kilted Crusader
Wed, 16th Oct '02, 8:52pm
Daelin awoke in the middle of the night woth a start. The dream was so real! He had been in a church. But the churches walls were ones of fire. And standing over him was a demon, he felt like he had seen it before, but could not place it. Daelin wiped the cold sweat from his forehead with a cloth and took a deep drink from the water jug. He pulled on his clothes and went out into the darkness.
Sitting on a bench he thought about the dream. The scene suddenly changed, and he was sitting at a campfire, the most beautiful woman Daelin had ever seen sat opposite, she was staring at the flickering of the fire. She wor a simple robe of white. She pushed back her golden hair to reveal pointed ears. "Why have you brought me here?" Daelin had asked
"What is to say that you did not bring me here?" she had said
"I have no time for riddles," said Daelin, he made to get up
"So much like you,"
"What? what is like me?" The elf looked up. Daelin sat mesmorized by the blueness of her eyes.
"The fire" she said, "You can both keep life alive for a time, but can also go out of control and destroy every living thing for miles."
"That is not true." said Daelin simply.
"Isn't it?" Daelin was took back by the question.
"Why shouldn't it be," he countered
"I will come back, if you prove it. The answer is in the west Daelin,"
"West?" said Daelin as he awoke.
Daelin stretched himself on the bench. Just dreams, he thought. But he could not get the thought of the fire and the elf out of his mind. Tane sat on the bench next to him, Daelin was shook from his thought by his appearance. "hello," Tane said
"Hello," said Daelin, he was in the mood for conversation.
"Good stars." Tane said looking up " I like the stars, makes me feel at ease, you know what I mean?"
"Yes, I do. No logic I know of can explain it, thats why I love them. I may live for another thousand years, or perhaps to end of this world, and I may never find the logic behind that feeling."
"I just thought it was they were pretty," said Tane,
"Thats probably it," said Daelin smiling, slapping his friend on the back. "Come on then, I haven't finished sleeping."
"I haven't started, Mortans been snoring."
Daelin pulled on his chainmail shirt after breakfast and shook hands with his friends before he and Baelus left. "Good luck" Dantes had said
"And to you," he replied. Daelin pulled on his leather mask as they set off.
"Where to start then,"
"west" said Daelin, "my...our, future lies west."
"Good. Because I am still at a loss, how does that Lord expect us to find out the reasons without a single clue."
"Thank you for your optimism friend," Baelus laughed at that and produced a harp from his saddle bag. "I did not know you played,"
"Theres a lot you don't know about me" It was Daelins turn to laugh. Baelus lightly strummed the strings as the duo left the safety of the city walls.
Daelin felt relaxed by the music, yet bursting with new energy. "Why does it do that?" asked Daelin
"why does the music make you feel this way. I cannot explain it"
"Well, neither can I. Its not magic, but may as well be." Baelus replaced the harp and the two cantered to the west.
Nicholas Jallis was not the greatest of Lords to rule Neverwinter, but he was popular. With the city under his comand, it had prospered. Trade had been excellent under his rule, and the majority of the population was well off. He, himself had become extremely wealthy, and he gave to charity often. But with attack at hand, he could not take the pressure. The thought of it gauled him. That was why he stared at the armour before him. It had been in his family for generations. Now it was his turn to don it. It was a fine piece, masterfully made, strong but light. He took hold of the hilt of the sword. It was blade heavy, designed to hack at foot soldiers from horseback. He replaced the sword as Dantes and the weapon maker, Jallis could not remeber the name. Dantes saluted to Jallis and the Weapon Maker lay a long piece of parchment across the desk. Jallis stared at it. "This is map of the city," said Jallis,
"Yes I know. I want to show you the plans. I am going set mages from the adventuring parties on the parapets. I've got them practicing fire spells to use against trolls. But they'll be exhausted within minutes. So I suggest we coat the land outside the city with oil -"
"We can't, we barely have enough to sustain the lanterns for two months. Never mind the surrounding lands. I spare four kegs, that is all."
"Never mind, it will only be a slight alteration. I've set four adventuring parties to counter attack the giants. [Weapon Makers name] has started building ballistas against them. If we use Trebuchets, we'll probably miss and give them something more to hurl at us."
"The giants would be throwing things at us?" Jallis Exclaimed
"Isn't that what you would set them to do. They don't have siege engines, orcs aren't that smart"
"Are you implying someone is directing this attack?"
"I doubt that orcs, goblins trolls and giants have the brain power to come up with a useful scheme. Never mind one that could destroy one of the greatest cities in Faerun."
"By Tyr," whispered Jallis.
"Focus my Lord. We will stop there attack, and believe me Lord, we will win. This city will not fall with its armies under my command."
"You do think very highly of yourself." commented Jallis
"And so I ought to, Lord." said Dantes, "Belek, show Lord Jallis the plans for the weapon. Belek spread a piece a piece of Parchment across the previous one.
sorry about the shortness of this post, but I'm shattered, I'll try to make a longer one next time.
[ October 16, 2002, 20:56: Message edited by: Midnight Falcon ]
The Irreligious Paladin
Thu, 17th Oct '02, 1:07am
Dream messages, excellent twist. The length is fine, it was a little confusing trying to decide who was talking when Baelus and Daelin were headed off with the harp, but I'm still utterly enthralled by your story.
The Kilted Crusader
Thu, 17th Oct '02, 9:58pm
Dantes left the castle with Belek, "he seemed happy with the plans, wouldn't you agree?" asked Belek
"Yes." Replied Dantes "I must leave you now. I need to see the blacksmith,"
"Very well, I'll start making the weapon when I return to the forge." Dantes walked away from Belek.
He arrived at the blacksmiths forge shortly after. The stocky Blacksmith greeted him with a sour look. "come to take advantage of a dwarves handiwork, eh?"
"Yes," said Dantes, "I need several Javelins for the weapon maker,"
"Aye, I suppose I could do that. I hope Jallis rewards me for me work, The amount I've been doing this week should have made me rich."
"If we live, I'm sure he will. I need those Javelins as soon as possible," Dantes turned and left, leaving the dwarf mumbling as he picked up his hammer.
Daelin walked his horse slowly into the forest. Baelus copied the action beside him. From his pack Baelus produced a chainmail hood and pulled it over his head. Over this he put a Black crown of studded leather and pulled on black bracers over the wrists of his dark red robe. "Where did you get those?" asked Daelin, he had never seen Baelus in any form of armour.
"I decided to relieve the dwarf blacksmith of a few thngs, considering it was free of course." said Baelus, Daelin did not reply. He was looking straight ahead into the forest. Baelus pulled up his quarter staff like a lance. "what is it?"
"I don't know, but something is watching us," Daelin rode forward, drawing a knife as he did so. A movement in the bush to his left. Daelin leapt from the horse, the knife hurtling toward the bush while his other hand drew his sword. He landed in a roll and came to his feet, both hands on the sword. A figure had narrowly avoided the knife and was drawing a bow.
"Drop the arrow," said a deep voice, it was Baeluses, the end of his quarterstaff was tipped with magical energy, ready to be unleashed at Baeluses mental will. The arrow dropped and Daelin was staring at an elf, dark haired and in simple clothes.
"What do you want in these woods?" said the elf,
"We seek answers to the Black Sun, if you know anything, tell us now." said Daelin, his voice was cold.
"I have no information, but I will lead you through the woods if that is way." said the elf
"Do that, and quickly. We have less than a month." the elf picked up his arrow as Daelin talked,
"this way." he began to walk away and Daelin mounted again and followed, Baelus closely behind.
After several hours Daelin was inquisitive,
"What is your name?" he asked the elf
"My name is Meldane Bel'Ener," he said
"Well then Meldane, how long is it through this forest?"
"It will take us over two weeks," said Meldane,
"by Tyr, that is long" said Baelus
"The forest is large, but we must also avoid the skirmishers,"
"Skirmishers?" said Daelin
"Roving bands of orcs, they are moving in large numbers through this forest," Daelins eyes widened at this news,
"They are heading to Neverwinter," he said to Baelus,
"We must warn Dantes!" he said, he was turning his horse when Daelin spoke,
"No. We must accomplish our mission, the answers lie west. I swear it," Baelus stared long into the eyes of Daelin,
"I believe you," he said finally, "but we must make haste. Lead the way Meldane."
The sun fell behind the hills and Meldane stopped to light a fire in a small hollow. "We'll make camp here. I have seen no orcs in this area, so we ought to be safe." he lay down his bow. It was made of black horn, the piece was simple, but masterfully made.
"That is a good bow," commented Daelin,
"I have had it for years," Meldane said, "it has served me well. Tomorrow, I fear, will be dangerous. By my calculations, we will come across a small band of orcs,"
"Is there no way to avoid them?" asked Baelus
"There is," said Meldane, "but theres a chance we will come across larger bands, it is safer to take my route."
"Very well," said Daelin, "It should not inconvieniance us." Daelin unrolled his blankets and lay close to the fire. Baelus did the same and they fell a sleep. All the while Meldane watched the trees.
Meldane woke them at dawn and they set off. Baelus was hungry and ate some dry meat as they rode. Meldane led them on for another hour before he halted them. Daelin dismounted and the two sneaked forward. Baelus dismounted but stayed back, he had neither of the mens skill in stealth and so hung back and readied his quarterstaff.
Daelin spotted them first, seven orcs and four goblins. They were awaking from a nights rest and were packing there things. Meldane slid back to where Baelus stood, while Daelin waited.
"there are several orcs ahead," said Meldane "They are just getting up, so we are at an advantage -"
"Wheres Daelin?" Baelus interupted
"I left him watching" said Meldane, but Baelus had taken off and was running through the bushes without any care for stealth or secrecy, as he ran he heard the first screams. He emerged to see Daelin slicing through the orcs, he had two goblins impaled on his sword and had just rammed it into an orc. He tried to push all three of, but was having difficulty. An orc jumped out and at Daelin, his axe swinging wildy, but an arrow whistled through the air and slammed into his forehead.
"You impatient bas*ard!" said Baelus, Meldane emrged from the trees, arrow nocked,
"You do not have to prove yourself. You could have been killed." Daelin wiped his sword on an orcs clothes and walked back to the horses without a word. He mounted,
"lead the way then," he waved his hand to the west and started off at a trot.
The Irreligious Paladin
Fri, 18th Oct '02, 8:34am
Yes, delicious. I am itching with anticipation for the next post.
Mon, 21st Oct '02, 11:49am
Very Good. Some minor errors. On the whole very good. The commbat sequences are very well written. Can't wait for the next part>
The Kilted Crusader
Mon, 21st Oct '02, 3:35pm
Dantes walked along the battlements, slapping men on the back and whispering encouragement. The army would attack this week, he knew. By Tyr, he thought, I hope Daelin cures the sun. If not, he knew there was a better chance of Neverwinter falling. He had recieved word that Jallis had an army returning from Luskan. But he also knew they would not arrive on time, Dantes couldn't rely on that, but he told the adventurers another army was coming to keep up morale.
Looking down he saw Belek bringing out his new weapon. It wasn't actually a new weapon, it was a light trebuchet, just new ammo. It was made with pottery filled with oily rags, it would deal with the trolls. But he also had another weapon, it was a large ballista, with several javelins lined across its top, it would devastate the first few lines. Dantes descended the steps and walked over to the weapons. "How are they?" he asked
"Very good, the ideas have been used before. I've added some new modifications though. Just for accuracy and the like," He smiled as he rubbed the arm of the trebuchet,
"You're sure they'll work then,"
"Of course I'm sure!" glowered Belek, Dantes walked away, trying to hide the smile, "fool," Belek said under his breath.
Tane sat on the battlements with Mortan. He had aged, he was much more mature and no longer had the massive grin. His face was sullen, almost cold. A thin black stubble had formed on the once young chin. His hand lay on the crossbow. He was dressed in a dark red, almost purple, hooded shirt, and dark trousers. He was now a warrior. He had gone out on the scouting missions, often attacking roving orcs that had left the camp. He had taken armour from the blacksmith. Dulled breastplate and a helm with which there were only two eye slots. They lay beside him.
Mortans eyes had cleared, for he no longer drank under the supervisation of Tane. He still wore the ragged old clothes, but he had taken some new chainmail from the dwarf blacksmith. But he no longer joked, and always seemed lost.
Dantes climbed up the parapet to join them. "This week" he said quietly,
"I thought so," said Tane, "The orcs are getting a bit restless." he looked down at the crossbowmen in the courtyard. They were all adventurers, experienced. But Tane had been chosen to lead them. This had caused some controversy, until some one had shouted. "To the butts!" a cheer had gone up and the adventurers who had challenged Tane stood up next to him. Tane took another mans crossbow, his own would have destroyed the straw circle. They all fired three shots in quick succession. Tane had finished first, another of the adventurers directly after. The other adventurer smirked and walked up to the butts, Tane strolled after him.
The adventurers butt stood next to Tanes, each of the adventurers bolts had hit the gold circle in the middle. He looked over to Tanes, a dry smile on his face. The smile grew wider as he noticed only one bolt had hit the butt. It was directly in the middle of the golden circle. The Adventurer turned and shouted, "Looks like our 'leader' only hit the target once!" a laugh came up and Tane walked away a small smile on his face. Mortan walked up to the butt and pulled out the bolt, he sighed and looked a the hole. And his face lit up in suprise, the flights of the second bolt could be seen dug into the straw mat. "Have a look at this" he shouted, people gathered round, but no-one made a sound as Mortan dug his fingers in and pulled out the last two bolts, one stuck in the other. Several people gasped and some whistled. The adventurer who had mocked Tane fell to his knees.
Meldane did not speak again throughout the day as he walked through the forest. As far as he was concerned, Daelin was as bad as the orcs. He had even considered killing Daelin, but the finger on the throwing knife had changed his mind, it was like the man could read his thoughts. He glanced behind him, Daelin was looking ahead wile Baelus was talking to him, he didn't seem to be listening all that hard.
Daelin looked out across the forest, the trees had started to open out, he knew they were proaching its end. How long though? Two days, three? He pushed the thought from his head and cotinued to ride. They camped at the foot of a small hill. "We should reach the end of the forest tommorow. Then I must take my leave," Meldane sat by the fire and held his hands out to it. Daelin slept, but with one hand on his dagger. If the elf tried to kill him that night, he would have a little trouble when Daelins eyes came open and the dagger slid into his throat. He slid into sleep.
Daelin approached the camp fire again, the woman still sat there, her golden hair hanging loose at the shoulders. "Why have you called me again?" Daelin asked
"No reason, you seem troubled."
"I am, the elf wants to kill me," said Daelin
"He will not, trust in that," said the elf "But that is not what truly troubles you,"
"No, I fear that we may not discover how to return the sun to its natural form. And of your last message,"
"I cannot tell you the outcome of your quest, for I truly, do not know. The outcome of the message, lies in your hands. The answer will come to you in time. Awake now!"
Daelin awoke steadily this time, rising slowly. Meldane was sleeping alongside Baelus. Smoke still rose from the ashes of last nights fire. He covered it with dirt and nudged th two men with his foot.
Dantes looked out over at the advancing army. It was massive, bigger than anything Dantes had ever faced. A giant hurled a rock at the battlement Dantes was standing on, before a ballista slammed into its chest. It stood, but a lightning blast from one of the towers felled it. But there were still plenty more, hurling rocks at the walls. Dantes noticed it was all thrown at the same part. That wall would eventually fall if the giants weren't taken care of.
sorry, I'm not really in the mood right now for writing any more, but I'll get started on the next bit once someone replies. Cheers every1
Mon, 21st Oct '02, 8:18pm
very good. although you should leave 2 gaps ib between paragraphs that change the scene. as in in between part of the story that has dealin's adventure and dantes story
The Kilted Crusader
Mon, 21st Oct '02, 9:57pm
The rocks smashed into the wall again and again. Dantes knew it would not hold for much longer. He gathered up the horsemen, then mounted himself. The men were all different, weapons differing from sabres to heavy axes. When the wall fell, they would charge the orcs. Dantes knew thi was the time for one of those heart filling speeches that some of the other charismatic generals would say, Dantes stood up in his saddle, "Alright lads, this is it, when the wall falls we're gonna be in a hard fight. This should be the time for a speech, but I'm not like that, so just ride out and kill the bas*ards," Dantes was suprised when he heard the cheer erupt. An elderly man next to Dantes spat his approval.
Guillaume stood among the other foot soldiers. Many held burning torches, it was their job to combat the trolls. He had been called only moments ago and he had learned that Beleks trebuchet was out of ammo. They were in two groups, one stood behind Dantes Cavalry. The other at the main gates. Where a log was being smashed against it. Countless orcs were replacing the dead, already, Guillaume could see the cracks in the wooden gate as the orcs pounded on and on.
Several bricks fell from the wall, and then another rock hit full on into it. The wall crumpled under its power, and Dantes could see the faces of the orcs charging towards the gap. When they were within ten metres, Dantes shouted, "CHARGE!" his voice erupted over the battlefield as his men surged through, cutting and slashing the orcs. Several of his men were pulled down and savagely ripped apart. After several minutes Dantes could already see his men were fighting a losing battle. But he fought on, determined not to let the orcs past, on the gound nearby, he could see the elderly axemen, vainly trying to fight off an orc. With a cry Dantes spurred his horse and dived at the orc, sabre out stretched. It lanced straight through the ribs, piercing the heart. Dantes tried to pull it out, but it was stuck, he kicked an orc in the stomach before he managed to pull it out, the orc who had charged him took a slice to the throat before he dropped. From the corner of his eye, Dantes saw the trolls advancing, and then he heard the gargled battle cries.
Baelus rose lazily, but Meldane shot up with one hand on his bow. Daelin had already mounted, but he helped Baelus onto his horse. Meldane started walking and Daelin followed. "Two hours gentlemen, then I must take my leave,"
"As you wish, Meldane," said Dantes. Baelus just grunted, then fell asleep on the horse, Daelin had to grab his friend before he fell off. Baelus grunted again, and mumbled something. Daelin chuckled as his sharp ears picked up what was said.
An hour passed before the trio were met by a large building. It was below the treeline, square with a domed roof. "What is this?" said Meldane,
"You haven't seen this before," said Daelin
"No, I haven't. We must investigate." he approached the door.
"Wait," said Baelus, "let me check first," he waved his fingers and several panels lit up. "Oh dear. This place is armed like a dungeon. We will have trouble getting through."
"We must though." said Meldane, "I sense something,"
"I agree," said Daelin, "This is not natural. And I fear that inside is on the side of evil. Come friends, let us die."
"And you said I wasn't the optimist" said Baelus as he approached the door.
Tane fired into the Orcs, his bolts exploding with terrific explosions of light. He could see the trolls advancing but knew he was helpless against them. Below him the Paladins were praying in the church. Ten, only ten paladins, and Lord Jallis, in his magnificent armour.
He turned his thoughts back to the battle, the trolls were half they're original number, but they were still a feroucious oponent. Tane heard a cry go up, and he glanced round. The gates had fallen but he saw Guillaume swinging his massive sword, inspiring the other as orcs were set alight. The foot soldiers ran out of the battle ments and formed a long line against the trolls, firy brands held out front. The wizards next to Tane were exhausted and could not help Guillaume.
Guillaume saw the trolls charging, and with a cry, met the charge. Many of the men had hung back though, scared stiff of the trolls. They had heard the stories, as everyone had and felt defeated. Guillaume slashed another and screamed to the men. Another handful ran towards the fray, followed by many more. Guillaume destroyed any trolls that dared to approach him. And when the rest of the footmen attacked they ran back to the edge of the forest. Cheers sounded from the men, and a cry came up "The Shining Warrior" Guillaume smiled, but then took off at a run, charging to help the outnumbered Dantes.
Dantes saw Guillaume and large batch of men charging to help him. Luckily, a smart man was in charge of the foot soldiers and most of the adventurers had held back, incase of another troll attack. Guillaukme smashed through his foes until he reached Dantes. He slammed a mailed fist into the spine of an orc fighting with Dantes, before the two friends stood back to back, fighting a circle of foes. Dantes knew it was the end but he still fought on. Orcs constantly attacked, but the handful of men held fast, and beat back the orcs. The elderly axeman was there, cleaving through the orcs. Suddenly a hole was breached in the orcs circle of Death and the adventurers charged through it. They dived low just before the hole in the wall and then a hail of crossbows flew over them. The orcs turned and ran, fleeing back to the trolls. Dantes got up to see ane standing in front of him, leaning against the broken wall. "Thank you," said Dantes. Tane smiled,
"I couldn't let you go like that, now could I," Guillaume got up and grabbed Tane into a bearhug, then let him drop. Dantes laughed as Guillaume hefted Tane to his feet then walked away with his young friend.
"Move some wagons to block that hole!" he called.
Daelin drew his sword as he approached the door. He could see where the traps had been laced. It would be impossible to disarm them, so he must avoid them. He nimbly flipped over a patch and landed on his toes, surrounded by the lit up traps. With a step he was at the door. Easing it open he looked in. He ducked at the right moment, fust before a searing burst of flame would have killed him. When the heat had stopped he stood up. He held his breath as the pain passed, the heat of the fireball had put him in an immense pain. He slipped into the door dropped into a squat, next to the door was a lever. He slid under it and examined. He could see no traps and so he pulled it. The traps outside dimmed and Baelus stepped in, followed by Meldane, holding his bow. Daelin stepped forward carefully torches along the wall flashed to light, illuminating a passage that went ever downward....
Mon, 21st Oct '02, 10:57pm
very good. i liked the combat scene which you are doing well on
The Irreligious Paladin
Wed, 23rd Oct '02, 7:06am
Oh. The action never seems to stop does it? Very nice.
The Kilted Crusader
Fri, 25th Oct '02, 2:40pm
Sorry it’s taken a little while longer than usual to post this, but here it is…
Dantes army’s cheers came to an abrupt end, as a new army of orcs, larger than before, filed out of the woods.
Daelin walked down the ever-winding path, Baelus and Meldane behind him. There was no point in trying to sneak their way down; the torches light was unnaturally strong, covering each and every shadow. Daelin’s sword was still drawn when they reached the bottom. Before them was a door, Daelin pressed his ear against it, he could here a low chanting. He slowly opened the door.
Beyond the door they found that the path widened out, into a large hall. Inside the hall thousands of priests of some kind, dressed in dark clothes. They were chanting to a statue behind some kind of altar, on the altar lay a black cyrstal. But then the statue moved, Daelin flinched. It was the same Daemon he had seen in his dream! From its statue platform, it shifted uneasily, getting the feel of its new plane. “Thank you, my children,” said the Daemon, “but I need a sacrifice.” The chanting stopped and the Daemon sucked in air, releasing it in a massive flame burst that filled the hall, the flame licking at the worshippers. Some screamed in terror as their robes caught fire and they rolled to try to put it, whereas others cried with joy, as their master sent them into the next life.
Daelin slammed the door to try to keep the fire from his friends, but Meldane pushed him aside, “We must face the daemon, my friend, or it shall escape,”
“He’s right Daelin” said Baelus “We must face it. If it escapes, there will be wide spread panic. We must send it back!” Daelin looked into the stern face of his companions and realised what was needed of them. He took a deep breath and flung open the door, charging in head down and to the right side. Meldane did the same to the left, releasing an arrow into the beast, but it failed to even pierce the massive creature. Baelus entered the burning room chanting a spell, the power charging upon the top of his staff. He released it with a loud ‘boom’ that shook the outer walls.
The spell smashed into the Daemon and he staggered back, but he straightened, and roared another blast of powerful flame, directed at Baelus. The flames simply passed around him as he chanted, the globe surrounding him, glimmered with magical energy.
Daelin ran at the beast, but he sensed he knew it from somewhere and did not have the heart to strike. The Daemon ignored the Tiefling. His focus was on Baelus. Another bolt of energy exploded upon the beast, immediately after the globe that had surrounded Baelus shot off, hitting the beast again.
Meldane attempted another shot, but again, it bounced off harmlessly. He nocked another arrow and prepared to draw, but a giant claw smashed into his side, sending him sprawling across the floor. “I’ve finished playing with you wizard!” said the Daemon. Its voice was like many, overlapping each other. It’s giant claw slammed down at Baelus, only to be intercepted by another glowing globe.
Meldane tried to rise, but could not. He could not feel his legs. Looking out with bleary eyes he saw the domed roof, made of glass. No sun poured down over the scene; his view became blocked by a massive claw. Then there was nothing.
Baelus screamed as the Daemon pulled his claw from Meldane. A single talon had slammed through the elf body and had lodged in the ground, forcing the Daemon to snap it off. The protective globe slammed off of the Daemon again. Tears streamed down Baelus’ eyes as he advanced on the creature, mad energies flying from his staff.
Daelin stood back, not knowing what to do. He dropped to his knees as he watched him drive back the beast. Daelin could not be sure, but it looked like the Daemon was swelling. Like it was absorbing the magical energies. Baelus released another of the protective globes at the beast. At the same moment, the Daemon swung one of its huge, lumbering wings. Daelin could see where it would land. The wing crashed into Baelus and he sailed into a wall. A voice screamed in Daelins head, and he finaly turned on the creature. He held up his sword ready to attack, but still he could not. He fought against it, but could not defeat it. “Why can I not attack you Daemon?” said Daelin, his voice was unusually calm. It was as if he would produce a cup of tea any moment.
“Is it not obvious child?” said the Daemon,
“No,” Daelin replied, “I feel like I know you,”
“You are my descendant. I feel ashamed that one of my bloodline is as weak as you,”
“Why are you here?” said Daelin, ignoring the comment,
“I am here, because it is my time. This plane will become mine to rule!”
“But you are going against the gods!” said Daelin,
“Everyone goes against some of the gods,”
“But you affront them all” accused Daelin, his voice become more angry
“I am no puny mortal” cried the Daemon, his voice doubling in sounds.
“I am Teth, this plane will fall to me. The black sun will see the end of you’re kingdoms, my armies will crush all who stand!”
“So you are behind the black sun,” said Daelin, his voice returning to calm.
“Yes child. I am behind it,”
“Then I must kill you,” said Daelin,
“No child, you cannot. You’re friends are dead. You’re armies are to be crushed. And you will bow before me!” One of the Daemons claws flung out to Daelin, and he felt his knees tremble. Daelins gaze fixed onto the black crystal on the altar, he thought he saw a small light glint within.
Crossbows fired into the ranks of the newly formed mass, but it was all in vain.
Guillaume gathered the last of his men around the wagons blocking the gate and the breach. Dantes walked up the stairs to the battlements he glanced down at the church as Lord Jallis and the paladins exited and mounted their horses preparing to re-enact Dantes Cavalry charge.
There were no giants, just extra trolls and orcs. They charged up to the walls and began to spin the grappling hooks. Several were trying to clamber over the wagons, but crossbow bolts slammed into the ones who tried.
The men on the battlements took a step back as the hooks sailed over the walls and clung to the brick. The first heads appeared, but they were stabbed and fell. Dantes saw a hand, and slashed at it, taking off three fingers, causing the orc to fall, dragging whatever comrades were trying to clamber up, down after him.
The wagons were beginning to be hauled aside by the trolls, and Guillaume gripped his great sword a little tighter. A wagon was knocked aside and Guillaume charged, his small troop following. He slashed into his foes, his sword blazing with fire, each time he struck one. But his comrades were failing beside him, they’re torches being batted to the side as great hands wrapped around the smaller necks. Guillaume kept going, but the cries for the ‘shining knight’ had gone down and he was left alone. Overwhelmed and out down, he continued his onslaught. But his arms grew tired, he himself grew weary, as the endless trolls surrounded him. His great sword dropped from his grip, but he had not the strength to retrieve it. He crumpled to his knees, but was hoisted up again by a troll. It closed its hands around his neck; he could feel his bones at breaking point, and he closed his eyes. Constant beating hands crushed his body, breaking his ribs and his arm.
But suddenly the grip at his neck became slack, and then fell away all together. Opening his eyes, he saw the figure of Tane around the troll’s neck, flaming torch in one hand. An elderly man came beside him, and flung his great axe at the trolls as he dropped down to retrieve Guillaume’s sword. He swung from side to side. Keeping the trolls back as Tane dragged Guillaume up the battlements, the elderly axemen close behind.
Jallis’ lance smashed into one orc as he drew his longsword. He slashed madly from horseback at the helpless orcs; he could see the paladins around him doing the same. The trolls joined the fray, several of the paladins were hauled from the saddle.
Jallis formed the Paladins into a lance formation (a rough triangle) and charged. But it was useless; the men were grabbed from the horses, and sunk into the mass. The men on the battlements stood, helpless to their dying lord.
Tane held Guillaume close, “Ribs….pierced …the lung. I’m dying.” Dantes ran across the stone battlements and dropped down to where Guillaume lay, tears filled his eyes as he saw the paleness of his friend. “Its….my time,” he sighed and then his head drooped. Tane placed his hand over the eyes and lightly pulled them shut. All thoughts of the battle were gone, Mortan now stood over them. He said a short prayer and placed his hands together.
“He’s in a better place,” said Mortan, “Mourn for him later, right now. We need to help ourselves.” He drew a sabre and drew a sleeve across his eyes. The orcs were climbing the steps; whereas the trolls had sat down to eat some of the fallen soldiers.
Daelin held his gaze to the crystal. It had a reason, he knew. He thought to himself, it could be what is keeping the Daemon on this plane. Struggling against the Daemon’s will, he drew a throwing dagger. The Daemon noticed the action “I’ve told you child, you cannot hurt me.” Daelin pulled back his arm, then threw the knife with enough force, as his body would allow. The Daemon saw the knife sail past him, and in that moment, he knew that it was not aimed at him. He screamed as his clawed hand missed the dagger and it carried on. It hit the globe full on, smashing it to shards. Daelin covered his eyes as a great light filled the room. The light shot up into a beam, passing through domed window and up, into the black globe. It surrounded the black, and then consumed it.
Sat, 26th Oct '02, 1:41pm
very good i like this one. shame about you killing off half the main charcaters but oh well
The Irreligious Paladin
Tue, 5th Nov '02, 3:38am
It would seem whimpy and rather unepic if all the characters survived in the midst of a terrible war. Good, good, keep a writing.
The Kilted Crusader
Tue, 12th Nov '02, 7:40pm
Sorry, I ve been really late on doing this one. I ve been really ill for the last few months, and I m trying to get back into doing school and stuff. Its a little bit short. Enjoy
The previously black sun returned to its original state, shining light across the land. Children ran out of schoolhouses to gaze at the sun, the teachers did not try to stop them as they also charged out to watch it. Farmers ran out of their homes, clerks out of their offices, and woodsman out of their huts. The new light brought joy to Faerun.
“No!” screamed the Daemon, “Why! You will die for this Tiefling!” the great claw swept at him but Daelin ducked and rolled. He could see the Daemons strength sapping as he attempted with all his will to strike Daelin, but Daelin was to fast and the Daemon screamed and screamed again as he lashed out. The sun poured over the Daemons back, and he screamed once more. The great wings flapped and Daelin flew back crashing into the wall by Baelus, his sword clanged on the wall and fell next to Daelins barely conscious. He did not have the power to reach out for it and he knew his life was forfeit to the Daemon; he closed his eyes and waited the final deathblow. He could feel the wings beating against him, but no blow came, instead there was a massive shattering noise. Daelin opened his eyes to see the Daemon flying out of the destroyed roof, but he had to shield his eyes from the falling glass. When he removed his arm from his face, tears rolled down freely. He rose to his knees, and slid Baelus from the wall to the ground. Another of his friends had been lost and he carried him outside and layed him down gently before returning for Meldane. Meldane was pirced to ground and Daelin gave an involuntary grimace as he saw the elf. He closed his eyes and gripped hold of the talon and yanked with all his force. The talon came free, but Meldanes body came with it and his corpse crashed into the floor, Daelin cursed through the tears and carried Meldane up the twirling passageway, laying him next to Baelus’ body. He dug them two separate graves before falling asleep.
Again there was a campfire, and again the elf sat by it. “What is it now?” asked Daelin, the sadness was still upon him, but he felt anger welling inside.
“Do you not relish my company?” asked the elf, her voice was not the bit sarcastic,
“No.” replied Daelin
“Then I’ll leave,” The dream faded as quickly as it had come, and Daelin pulled the blanket he stared at the mounds before him and realised he did need the company of the elf in his dream. He stood up and walked away from the mounds and into the temple. He descended the passageway and through the wide doors. Before him lay the talon and Baeluses staff, he knelt down and picked up both items. Finally he placed them both down and drew his sword, with a cry he slashed it at the talon three times. Daelin picked up the Talon; it was now in a long pyramid shape. He took Baeluses staff and the talon up the pathway and outside. Stuck in the ground over Meldanes mound was his bow. Daelin untied the bowstring and sat cross-legged while he connected the staff to the Daemon talon.
Sunlight strode out onto the battlements, it poured down over men and orc alike. The trolls instantly turned to stone and the orcs screeched in terror as the sun burnt along their backs. They ran from the city walls to the forest, many dying in the sunlight before they made it to the shade of the trees. Everyone cheered on the walls, but Dantes dropped to his knees and said a short prayer to his God. He almost collapsed from exhaustion, but a firm hand lifted him to his feet. The elderly axe-man was standing in front of him he lifted his hand to Dantes. Dantes gripped the wrist hard; the axe-man did likewise then walked away. Dantes gave a smile, he did not even know the man’s name, but he did know the man was the making of a hero.
Dantes walked along the battlements, clapping men on their backs and complimenting others. He walked forward to find Mortan and Tane kneeling next to Guillaume. Dantes felt something being ripped from him; the joy in his victory was suddenly lost as he dropped down next to his friends. Several other soldiers on the battlements gathered round, he had made at little legend of himself as the “Shining Knight” due to his bravery. Dantes felt tears coming down his cheeks, but he did not move to quell them, instead he slid an arm under Guillaume and, with the help of Mortan and Tane, he carried the big man off the battlements. As he descended the steps he saw the surgeons and stretcher-bearers rushing out to tend the wounded. Dantes carried on, taking Guillaume into the Keep; some soldiers were doing the same with Lord Jallis.
A mass funeral for the soldiers was held three days later, and two weeks later Daelin emerged from the forest on horseback and carrying a long spear. The gates opened to him and he trotted his horse through. He carried onto the stables and left his horse to a stable boy. He silently carried on up to the Keep, where he met Tane. Tane was sitting on a bench, his crossbow, as ever; lay atop his lap. He smiled as he saw Daelin and stood up to meet him. Daelin approached and smiled back at the young man, and then took him into a full embrace, he let go and conversation started “How are you Tane? How are things?” Tanes smile vanished.
“Guillaume’s dead.” He said and then he turned and ran into the Keep. Daelin swore, he hadn’t meant to upset him, and so he followed Tane into the Keep. He ascended steps, passing by portraits of the Lords that had resided here. He found Mortan in the hallway and the two walked down the long hallway to the room Daelin was called to before. Dantes was inside; he was reading a book in front of a low burning fire. Tane was with him. Daelin walked in and Dantes greeted him with a smile. The four sat together, telling each other of what had happened on the battlements and in the temples. Tears were shed, along with laughter and nearly every other emotion possible. It lasted long into the night until they all fell asleep in the room.
The sun shone through the windows and the companions woke. There was much work in the city to be done. The restoring of walls; appointing a new Lord, in fact, some people had nominated Dantes to be the new lord but Dantes had told them he would not be staying. He didn’t care for politics and the like; instead he had planed something much grander in his opinion. He wanted to adventure again and in the main, seek out the creature that had caused the havoc and kill it. For he knew it was responsible for Guillaume’s death and the massive loss. And he couldn’t afford the risk of letting it loose, if it had come close to destroying civilisation once, it could do so again. He had told the others of the plan, and they had heartily agreed, no more so than Daelin. “We will set off in within days. Be ready.”
The Irreligious Paladin
Wed, 13th Nov '02, 4:39am
I was expecting it to end, but it hasn't! What a sweet surprise. Can't wait for the next post.
The Kilted Crusader
Tue, 3rd Dec '02, 4:51pm
You can expect this story to be going on for a fair bit longer, not sure how long though. I think that, once I’ve finished, to redo it and plan it out a bit better.
Dantes walked the horse out of the gate; Daelin, Mortan and Tane were waiting on the former battlefield. He had just left Guillaume’s grave, a fresh bunch of flowers left on the grass in front of it. All four were glad to be leaving the city; they had lost a good friend there, no more so than Dantes. He had convinced Guillaume to travel with long ago when Dantes had come up with the mercenary idea that had been disbanded thanks to the merchant Darnel. “Where to start?” Said Daelin to no one in particular. He now carried a spear made from Baelus’ staff, topped with a crudely shaped head. Dantes wondered at what the spearhead was made of, but he dared not to ask, for when Daelin looked at the piece, anger lined his face.
“North,” said Dantes, “I have longed to see Kelvin’s Cairn for some time now.”
“I like that idea” said Tane, he had grown since Daelin had last seen him. Not just in height, but in maturity. He had become much more responsible as well, and all noticed the great-sword that previously belonged to Guillaume, strapped to the saddle of his horse. Tane’s chain mail chinked as he turned his horse northwards and set off at a trot. The rest quickly followed.
Daelin saw the walls of Luskan up ahead; it had taken them some days to get there, but they had reached it, hopefully they would find a warm tavern to stay in, but the party doubted it. Luskan had a certain reputation for being an s*it hole. “Tread carefully, friends” said Dantes “I’m not sure if our reputation has travelled to here, but keep in mind that Luskan is at war with Neverwinter. If they find out that it was us that had saved their enemy from falling there would be…problems.”
Daelin pulled a mask from his saddlebag. It was different from his previous mask, for now it was made of iron and designed like a skull, it was truly fearsome to behold. He placed the mask over his head.
“Two hours past midday,” he heard Tane say. He did not check for himself, Tane was becoming quite skilled at most military aspects as well as academic ones. Not to mention his accuracy with the crossbow was outstanding. The four increased their pace with the excitement of reaching the city. They slowed as they reached the gate, and gently walked the horses in.
Dantes slipped off his horse and asked directions to a good stable from a guard the guard pointed down the street, “Mr Chain has a stable, he’s good too, old horse racer I’m told. He’ll give your horses a good stay, so he will.” Dantes flicked him a copper, the guard’s hand snapped out for it, but he missed it, he swung a second time and caught it, and then it disappeared quickly under his tunic. Dantes turned and took hold of the horse’s reins, leading it down the street. His companions did likewise. They were hardly noticed by any of the dwellers. Only the market stall sellers took any interest of them. Tane had to sweep away a young pickpocket, but he threw the boy a coin for his attempt, Dantes noticed that Tanes eye was picking up almost all movement, he had made himself much more useful than when he had first found him, trying to mount a horse, but ending up backwards. They reached the stables. Chain was a small man, perfect for horse racing, thought Dantes. He took the horses in and handed them to one of three stable boys, they started rubbing them down with straw.
Dantes handed the Chain five silvers, one silver piece for each horse, and a little extra to make sure the horses were fed grain.
“Find us an inn for the night Tane,” Tane turned without a word and set off. He returned a few minutes later to find his friends talking to an elf. He recognised him, but couldn’t quite place him. It snapped into his mind, the elf from the sabre Tourney. He had changed his sabre for a light leaf shaped, long-sword. They were talking light heartedly as he approached,
“Ah, Tane,” said Mortan “You remember Orendo from the tourney, don’t you?” Tane agreed, Orendo stepped forward and held up his hand, Tane took it; the elf had a surprisingly strong grip. “How long are you staying?” asked Mortan
“Just tonight, I’m leaving in the morning for the south again, bit too cold for me up here. I’m not that bothered by the cold, but I forgot my furs. I bought some here, but the smell is unbearable, smells like a dwarf wiped his nether’s with it.” The group laughed at that, Then Dantes turned to Tane, “Did you find an inn?”
“Yes,” he replied, “Its not far, not to noisy either, but then, it is only mid afternoon.” Dantes nodded,
“It’ll do, Tane. Thanks,” Orendo perked up his pointed ears,
“Might I join you sirs, I also, am looking for a place to stay,”
“Of course” said Mortan, they all noticed he had taken a shine to the elf.
The inn was reasonably sized, solidly built with a large fire blazing in the hearth. The barmaid was a slim, good-looking girl. She obviously knew her job well, for she was carrying five plates on the one arm. Dantes let her go to the kitchen to place the plates down, and then approached her. She wiped her hands on her apron, and asked “Hello, what can the Seagull’s Nest do for you today.”
“We’d like a room with five beds, and a meal in our stomachs.”
“Beats a blade any day,” whispered Orendo, Tane smiled.
“Just a moment,” the serving girl said. She looked down at the chalk-covered slate in front of her, “Yes, here’s one. Second floor. Fourth on the right side. You want me to show you the way?”
“No, we’re fine, thank you.” He dropped several coins on the counter, “ How long until our meals are ready?”
“Not too long. Half an hour maybe, help yourselves to an ale or something, it comes with the room.” She smiled and disappeared into a back room. A moment later they heard a crash and then a lot of cursing, Orendo burst out with laughter along with Mortan. Tane and Dantes walked off to a table whilst the the other two stumbled after them, tears of laughter in their eyes.
After a while Orendo and Mortan calmed down. Tane walked over to an ale keg and filled up five tankards and carried them back on a tray. He placed them in front of each of his companions. Mortan had started drinking again, but not in excess, rarely did he ever drink over two tankards in a day, and even then, it was always with a meal.
Orendo sipped lightly at the ale, it was not within his taste, though he was enjoying it. His concentration was on the one with the steel mask. Strange, he thought, most people would remove their helm indoors; he had not. Also he had not said a word to anyone as soon as Orendo had arrived. Orendo suspected him of having some kind of past, but he brushed his suspicion aside, it was the man’s own past and not for him to intrude. The barmaid had returned from the kitchen carrying their meals. He smelt the aroma of hot beef and potatoes. Always beef and potatoes, no matter where he went, he noticed. She set down the plates, and left with a smile. Mortan reached out greedily and began cutting at his beef. He placed it in his mouth and closed his eyes; he was enjoying every piece of it. Orendo sliced at his neatly and chewed. It certainly was very good, and he now knew why Mortan was enjoying it so much.
They finished the meal relatively quickly, mainly because of the long ride, and the previously little food. “Right lads,” said Mortan as he stood up “I’ve got to walk that one off. Never had a plate of potatoes quite so good. I’ll meet you back here later” He walked out the door and started walking back in the direction Tane had taken them before.
“Tane, come help me with the supplies.” said Dantes “He turned to Orendo and Daelin, we’ll only be an hour or so”. Orendo was left with the masked man. He felt he should strike up a conversation with the man, but the man seemed like he did not want to be spoken to, it seemed like he was hiding behind the mask. But then the man spoke,
“My name is Daelin,” he said “I’ve already gathered your name.” His tone was not unfriendly.
“So Daelin,” Orendo said, “How did you meet Dantes, and his motley crew”
Daelin’s mind flashed back months, days, hours, and then heart beats. He thought of Alaric, the dragon, his two-day ride, meeting Dantes, Tane, Mortan and Guillaume. The fight with the dragon, the horde the ride to Neverwinter, The Black Sun, the ride through the forest, meeting Meldane, the skirmish with the orcs, the temple the Daemon, the battle, the globe, the return of the sun, the graves, the spear, the return to Neverwinter, Guillaume’s grave, and finally the ride north. Has it really been only months. It felt like another century to him. The question came back to him, when had he met them. “In a forest, I stumbled upon their camp and they invited me to stay. After that we just stayed together really,” Daelin had no intention of telling Orendo the whole background of it. Daelin looked up at the elf. It did not look loke he was going to press the matter, and for that Daelin was glad, but just in case he changed the subject “Where do you hope to visit in the south” he asked. Orendo leaned back,
“Not really sure. I’ve been as far as Amn. It’s a very grubby place though, no proper order set up in my opinion, but it’s warm. I think I’ll just travel and let instinct guide me. Now that I think of it, I might go to sea. Hitch a lift off a merchant that’s leaving, or even better! Become a pirate!” Daelin could see Orendo was going to go on and on about his prospects, so he cut in
“Why don’t we go down to the harbour,”
“Why don’t we.” Agreed Orendo.
Tane walked with Dantes back into the market. They needed supplies, and Dantes was eager to get it out of the way, so that, if they forgot something, they could easily go back to it later. “Over their,” said Dantes, turning to a stall. Dantes started packing dried fruit and salted meat into his sack, Tane did the same. Dantes flicked several silvers across the table to the plump woman behind it. She gave a toothless smile as she scrambled for the money, and turned her back to place the coins into a small wooden box. Tane took the opportunity to pinch an apple. Dantes turned and walked back down the street, Tane close behind him. A thin bearded man accidentily bumped into Dantes. He apologised as he continued on his journey, but Tane grabbed him and slammed him into the wall,
“Give me it!” he whispered. There was much malice in his voice, added to which he drew a dagger. Dantes had turned back to Tane as a leather pouch dropped into Tane’s palm. Tane handed it to Dantes he looked at it and noticed it was his own,
“Your eyes miss nothing, Tane.” Tane grinned and threw the man to the floor, and rejoined Dantes. Any thieves that had noticed the commotion had decided to slink back into the shadows, well avoiding the two, armed men.
“What other supplies do we need?” asked Tane,
“More furs. Its cold enough here, I dare no think what it will be like further north,” he continued down the road.
“Gie us ye’re purses, like good little boys now, eh?” Daelin whirled. They had made they were making they’re way down to the harbour, when Orendo had suggested they take a short cut. He seemed convinced it would be a shorter journey, and Daelin found it near impossible to negotiate with him. “Come on now,” the thug said “Gies them,” beside him stood four other men, all were hooded and all wore a small badge of a black heart.
“Come and bloody take it,” said Daelin. The thug drew a slender stiletto, and advanced, the other men drew various other weapons, swords and cudgels in the main, one pulled a badly crafted bow and began trying to nock it, but Daelins hand flashed to his baldric and pulled out one of the two throwing knives. It took the archer in the shoulder, crushing the shoulder blade. The archer screamed as Orendos hand flashed to the long-sword at his side, he batted away a sword and danced round to a man wielding a cudgel, the long-sword snaked out and slashed the mans hamstring. He fell to the ground, squealing. Daelin spun out of the way of stiletto, and pulled his blade from its sheath. The stiletto flashed at him again, and nearly had him in the ribs had Daelin not sidestepped when he did. Orendo was holding off two of his attackers, one was stumbling awkwardly and kept falling to the ground, the slice to his hamstring was paining him deeply. Orendo was being hard pressed by the archer and the sword armed assailant. The archer was behind him trying to slash a short sword through his belly, but Orendo frequently spun to parry any blows whilst he parried the other attackers blade. The thieves were obviously untrained and clumsy. Orendo booted the archer to the floor, and barely managed to dodge the sword that slashed low at his legs. The man with the cudgel turned to Daelin. He balanced him self on the wall and attacked. The cudgel swept at Daelins head, but Daelin was ducing to avoid the stiletto. The cudgel crushed the leaders hand, causing him to drop the knife. At the same time Daelin stab upwards, piercing through the mans groin, near three quarters of the blade passed through the mans body. He gave a high-pitched scream and fell, back taking Daelins blade with him. Daelin drew the second knife from his Baldric and Faced the man with the cudgel, but he had fallen to the ground. Daelin slit his throat, and took up the cudgel. He charged at Orendos attackers, much to Orendo’s relief. The swordsmen whirled to face Daelin, and Orendo blade slid through his ribs. Daelin hurled his knife at the archer; it took him full on in the chest. He dropped with another scream. Orendos ears perked up, and Daelin heard footfalls behind him, he turned, to be met with a hefty blow to the face. He fell back against the wall with a ‘thud’; he felt another hit, and then, darkness.
Orendo dashed to his friends aid, his sword lunging at the assailant, the man neatly jumped away, seven men had entered the alley and were bearing down on Orendo and Daelin. The first thought that came into Oredos mind was flee. But as he saw Daelin on the ground he realised he couldn’t leave with out him. He noticed a thin line of blood running from the now dented mask that served as a helm. Is he dead, Orendo thought the cudgel could easily have crushed his skull? The man with cudgel swung at Orendo, but the elf ducked under the cruel club. His longsword slashed out across the man’s belly, disembowelling him. But the other seven had surrounded him. Orendo felt clubs hammering into him. One hit his hand and the sword slipped from his grasp. He pulled his hands over his head as he fell; the beating continued long after Orendo was unconscious.
Mortan ducked the meaty fist aimed at his head. Somehow he had managed to get into a fight with a rather large half-orc. He had been eating in a small bar (obviously one meal in an hour was not enough for Mortan), when he had spilt the salt. He had cursed and thrown some salt over his shoulder. Unfortunately it had landed on the half orc behind him, the orc thought it was some kind of curse that had been cast on him. And now the half orc was trying to stop the ‘curse’ by pounding Mortan to death. The half orc was screaming now “Stop running little shaman, Grog want to smash you!” Mortan was tiring fast, he needed to escape, but he was backed into a corner. Mortan jumped clear of another blow, too close, he thought. The half orc was screaming louder, and actually began to hammer his chest, Mortan tried to run past him, but the half orc grabbed his shirt and lifted him up to face level. Mortan was full foot off the ground. He could see the anger in the half orcs eyes, and the half orc saw the terror in Mortan’s. The great fist of the half orc raised and aimed. Mortan lashed his foot out with all his strength. It slammed into the half orcs groin, with a sickening crack. The half orc’s expression changed, but he did not scream out. Mortan noticed his face had gone a tinge of purple. The grip of the shirt loosened and Mortan fell to the ground, he rolled to his feet and bolted. He vaulted a table as he heard the half-orc scream. The scream was earth shattering; Mortan almost regretted kicking. He risked a glance back. The orc was on his knees pounding the ground and screaming. Mortan slipped into an alleyway and pressed back against the wall to catch his breath. He noticed a blood stain on the ground; it was still wet. “Luskan” he said t o himself “what a dump,” he looked around the corner; no one had given chase. Mortan continued down the alley, it led out to a view of the docks, about a hundred paces or so away. He was heading in the wrong direction he turned right and found a street heading back to the bar.
The door of the bar swung open and Mortan rushed in. It had started to rain; it started suddenly and was absolutely pelting it down. Mortan shook off his cloak and hung it on a peg. The bar had filled with life; travellers and citizens alike, all were trying to escape the rain. Dantes eyed Mortan and shouted him over. Mortan scarcely heard him over the noise of the tavern. He walked over and dropped into a chair, breathing heavily. A barmaid came to the table, “Three ales,” said Dantes, the girl rushed off. She returned sometime later with the drinks,
“Sorry I was late gents’.” The place is overrun tonight,”
“Its alright,” assured Dantes, a flash of silver leapt from his hand, falling into the girl’s apron. The girl chuckled as she walked away.
Dantes looked out the window. It looked as if the rain was not going to stop anytime soon. He turned back to his companions “ lucky we got a room in this place,” said Mortan, Dantes nodded in agreement. Dantes looked toward the bar. A man, golden haired and holding a harp was talking to the girl who had served them. The barmaid handed the bard the silver given to her by Dantes. He turned
“You spoke to soon” said Dantes. Mortan looked round and grimaced. The look was mimicked on Tane’s face. They had all seen the man approaching the front of tavern before in Neverwinter. The man was terrible. He pulled up a stool and coughed, loudly. No one took any notice. The bard was irritated at this. He coughed again, louder, this time, the entire tavern turned to look.
“I shall spin you a tale” he started. Dantes heard a series of sighs “Of the great Dantes of Neverwinter,” Dantes was taken aback, not only because his name was just said, but the fact that he was going to tell them a tale about a Neverwinter hero. Luskan and Neverwinter were at war. The man was treading in seriously deep water. “And of Guillaume, the Shining Warrior. Tane; Neverwinter’s finest archer. Daelin, freer’ of the sun and finally Mortan, the drunken old man, who showed great courage.” Dantes heard the scrape of a chair. Mortan was rising, but Tane placed a hand on Mortan’s shoulder to pull him down. Tane whispered in Mortan’s ear. Dantes couldn’t hear what Tane had said, but Mortan seemd to agree.
The bards gaze swept across the room, looking at each table as he played a song he had written on a out of tune harp, singing with an even more out of tune voice. His gaze came upon Dantes and his group. Dantes was sure he the bard would call out there names, and announce them as the ‘Hero’s of Neverwinter’, dooming them, but his expression changed, and his face became pale. He continued singing, his voice quavering. Dantes looked behind him, several tables, nothing special in particular. Dantes turned back, and looked at his friends, Mortan had a huge smile on his face. Dantes looked at Tane, and then the loaded crossbow that lay on his lap, aimed at the bard. The bard finished his song quickly and bolted through the door.
Dantes looked through the window again; it had grown almost pitch black. A memory of the black sun flashed into his mind, he pushed it away quickly, but then another thought came to him. “Where are Daelin and Orendo?” asked Dantes, “Why haven’t they returned?”
“They probably just went into the nearest Tavern to get out of the rain when it started,” said Mortan as he lifted the ale to his lips. He drained the last of it, Dantes noted the undecided look on his face as he eyed Tanes ale, he pulled his gaze from it, “I think I’ll head up to bed.” he said “Watch and not wake me when you come up.”
“I’ll join you,” said Tane,
“No need lad. Stay down here have some fun, don’t worry about this old has been.” He smiled as he said that. “You’re old before you’re time Tane,” he said as he walked up stairs.
“I don’t think Mortan’s right,” said Tane,
“He rarely is,” said Dantes, “Don’t worry, you aren’t old before your time.”
“It’s not that,” Tane said, “I fear that Daelin and Orendo are in trouble.” Dantes looked up at him,
“You’re tired Tane, go on, go to bed.” Tane didn’t move. Dantes sighed “Alright, if there not here by morning, we’ll have a look around. If we can’t find them by midday we’ll call upon the city guard.” Tane stood, and walked up stairs.
Dantes watched Tane leave and then turned back to his cups. He couldn’t lie to himself, he knew, Daelin and Orendo were in trouble. He tilted his head and let the ale slip down his throat. He got up and lifted his cloak from the peg. He hooked the sabre to his side and turned out of the door. He would search through the night if need be.
Daelin opened his eyes. He could not see well, all was blurred. He tried to rise but could not. He felt the straps that bound him pulling on his forearms and wrist. He could roughly make out the shape of Orendo, he identified him by the blue clothing and golden hair. A man moved in front of him. He was dressed all in black, only his arms and face were uncovered. Daelin couldn’t make out the face at all he heard voices in his head, and then h realised it was the ma talking “This ones awake, boss,” the voice was gruff, and hard on the Tiefling’s ears
“Call me lord you oaf,” Daelin couldn’t see the other man. The man standing over Daelin spoke again quickly, he sounded as if he was a dog that had been kicked.
“Yes m’lord.” The other voice spoke again
“Who are you, scum” Daelin thought the question was directed at the guard, until a heavy leather glove lashed across Daelins face. Daelins head drooped to the side. “Pathetic,” said the voice “You,” the man’s arm pointed to the man over Daelin “Get the name out of him any way you can. When you do, bring him to me. We’ll soon tame the dog,” Daelin heard boots click along the concrete floor. The big man was laughing; he held something in his hand. The end of it glowed orange. It came closer and closer until Daelin realised what it was. The blade of the knife seared across Daelins right cheek. Daelin screamed inside, until the blade was taken away,
“Give me the name, little devil. What’s your name?” said the guard. Daelin tried to speak, but the words would not come out. Instead the guard ripped open Daelins shirt and drew the red-hot knife across it, cutting and burning flesh. The knife cut along his back. After each cut the question was repeated “what is your name?” Daelin was cut another five times, across the back and his torso. Eventually Daelin’s mouth and tongue muttered the words needed,
“Daelin . . . Teth’lier,” his head dropped into his chest, he felt himself moving out of consciousness. A hard hand smacked against his face, and arms dug into his armpits. He was carried for several minutes, dropping in and out of consciousness, until he was flung, unceremoniously across the floor. This room was lighter than the last, and warmer. Daelin felt his eyesight was getting a little better. A shadow fell over him, Daelin groaned and rolled over. His eyesight became clearer; he could easily make out the man above him now. He was tall, a little shorter than six foot. He wore expensive clothes, all red and blue, with a ruffled white shirt. His hair was slicked back with wax. A gold earring and a neat moustache finished the picture. On his right breast, he wore a black heart badge. He bent down and touched the wounds on Daelin’s chest. Daelin sucked through his teeth.
“Salt,” the man called, a servant from Kara-tur, by the looks of him brought over a shaker. The man shook the salt over Daelin’s wounds. Daelin screamed in pain, within his screams he bit his tongue. He spat blood out onto the carpet. “B*stard” said the man as he booted Daelin in the face. Daelin rolled across the floor, the man was moving toward him. The footfalls were louder. Closer. Now! Daelin pivoted on his hands, his leg swiping at the man’s legs. He felt his leg connect and then the ‘thump’, as the man hit the floor. Daelin pushed himself to his feet. The short Kara-turan was running at him. Daelin stood to meet the charge, at the last moment the Kara-turan leapt, the leap turned into a kick. The balls of the servant’s feet hit solidly into Daelin’s chest. Daelin fell back and he felt his legs giving way. The servant was running at him again. Daelin dropped to one knee as the man fly kicked, he rose with an uppercut, hitting the man in the groin. The servant fell to the ground, groaning. The ‘Lord’ as his men called him, had gotten to his feet. Daelin charged at him, and hammered a fist into the man’s chest. The blow winded him and made him double over. He fell as Daelin’s elbow smashed into his back. “Guards!” the man screamed, “Hurry! Guards!” Daelin kicked the man in the face, blood and teeth littered onto the carpet. The door swung open and two burly guards rushed in. They were met with a chair that had been at the desk. It smashed across the shoulder of the guard on the left. Daelin tried to rush through, but the second guard grabbed him, and held him fast in the grip of a bear hug.
Daelin felt the air being pushed out of his lungs, in its grip. The second guard was helping his master up. The master pushed him away and rose himself. He drew a dagger and advanced on Daelin. He held the knife against Daelin’s cheek “Now, Daelin Teth’lier, I think I may cut out your eye. If you think the salt on your back was sore, imagine what it will be like when I fill your eye sockets with it.” Daelin felt a prick under his eye. He brought his knee up into the man’s chest. His elbow flung round into the guard who held him. The grip loosened and Daelin wormed through. The second guard was on him in seconds. Daelin ducked a clumsy hook and scooped up the knife. This time he dived through the door; the guards did not have the time to catch him as he fled through the corridors of the mansion. He heard the ‘Lord’s voice behind him. “Catch him, and kill him!”
Dantes had been searching for over an hour, and was on the verge of giving up. Where could they be, he thought. He pulled the drenching cloak tight about him. He had returned to the city gates and searched every tavern he came across, and he was nowhere near finishing. A man jumped out the darkness of an alley. Dantes sidestepped the lunge of the dagger before planting a strong fist to the man’s jaw. This was the fifth time he had been attacked. The man had rolled to his knees; Dantes kicked him hard in the ribs. The air was sucked out the man’s chest and he gasped. Dantes casually walked away. He saw the swinging sign of another Tavern. He sighed, and approached.
Must hide, must hide, must hide. The thought echoed through Daelin’s mind. He heard the hammering of the guards’ boots on the wooden floor. He leapt a small flight of stairs, and grabbed the brass knob of the nearest door and flung it open. He rushed in and swung the door, before it slammed though, he pushed his palm between the door and the wall. The door hit his hand, and he quickly closed it with a ‘click’. The quietly pushed the bolt through. Safe, he thought. He turned to inspect the room. It was devoid of life. It was a simple, spare bedroom. He pulled out the drawers in searched of clothing. None. In the cupboard he found a plain white shirt. He pulled it over his head, but as it touched his injured back, a strong stinging pain filled his back. He clenched his teeth in an attempt to stop from crying out. He walked to the window. And surveyed the scene. The rain was lashing down. The mansion was near to the docks; close enough so that he could see the waters smashing into the wall, creating a magnificent display of foam sailing into the air before falling back into the ocean. South of the docks, he guessed.
I need to escape, thought Daelin. He was on the second of three floors, he looked down, Guards were patrolling the grounds, but none were looking up. Daelin lightly pushed the window wide open and climbed onto the sill. He heard a crack, and realised the sill was to thin and weak for his weight. It broke and Daelin fell. He did not fall long however, as he gripped tightly to the inside sill. The outer sill fell to the flagstones below. The noise made all the guards within earshot turn, and then look up. There was a cry of voices and a bell began to ring.
Daelin hoisted himself into the window and ran to the door. He pulled the bolt out of place and ran into the hallway. Two guards, swords drawn saw him and rushed at him, shouting the alarm as they ran. Daelin jumped back into the room and pushed the door and fastening the bolt. He dashed for the window. Guards had massed in the courtyard below, and Daelin heard more voices at the door. The door shook violently. Someone was trying to force it from the other side. You can’t go back or go down; Daelin thought, you have to go up. He pulled himself out of the window, and push his finger tips in between each space in the rocks that made he wall. The gaps were small, and Daelin had difficulty keeping attached to the wall. He managed three pulls, which took his hand to the third floors windowsill, before the door caved in. A head appeared through the window and looked down. The guards on the ground pointed up. The head looked up, and saw Daelin.
He grabbed for Daelins leg, but Daelin just managed to move it away from his grasp. The guard grabbed again, and this time he got a hold. Daelin felt his grip slipping from the wall, he tried to the grab the sill, but it broke off like the last. He was pulled into the window by the guard. The room was filled with men, and as Daelin entered they advanced quickly, clubs raised. Daelin’s hand snaked out and the former sill smashed into the nearest guards face. Daelin ripped the club from the guards grip and swung, causing the guards to jump away from it. Daelin cannoned into the man who had pulled him in. The man fell from the window screaming. Daelin followed, only he leapt up for the next window. His fingertips smashed into the glass of the window. It broke from the impact and Daelin’s hand found a hold. The sharp glass cut him deeply, up to the bone, but he ignored it and pulled himself up with the left hand. The club slammed into the rest of the window and shattered it.
Daelin pulled himself inside and looked at his cut hand. The wound was terrible, he could see the white of his bone just before it was covered over with blood. He ripped the sleeve off his shirt and wrapped it tightly about it. This ought to do before I can get it properly bandaged, thought Daelin, but I have to keep climbing. The door was already close to caving in; one more charge would have it broken through.
Daelin scrambled out again and leapt for the guttering. For a moment Daelin was sure he had missed it, and he thought about the cold, wet flagstone below. But his hand’s reached it and he hauled himself to the roof. The roof was flat and covered in tiny stones. Daelin saw the roof access door, and shoulder barged it, but it stood fast, a metal bar kept it closed on the other side. He ran to the other side. He had hoped to find some ivy to climb down, but he was only faced with the same hard flagstone. A hand appeared on the side Daelin had climbed but Daelin’s boot smashed into it. The guard fell, a terrible shriek following him.
The roof entrance spun open and more guards approached, carrying long-swords. Daelin sent a high kick into the nearest guard. The blow stunned him, but Daelin didn’t have time to take advantage of the situation, as a blade sliced at his midsection. Daelin rolled to the side, ending up with his back to the drop. The guards charged, Daelin had to dodge another swipe, but there were to many. The flat of a blade hit the back of his leg and he tripped. His hand went down to push him up, but all he felt was air. He could see the drop below; on the edge of the roof, he rolled away from it, his body taking the legs of several guards as others pushed them further forward. A guard fell on Daelin as more and more guards tripped over each other.
Daelin gripped the hilt of a long-sword that had slipped from a guard’s hand as he fell. Daelin rolled from the pile up and got to his feet. Around fifteen guards had gathered on the roof, and two thirds had tripped and fallen. The ones on their feet attacked Daelin. Virtually none of the guards had any training in their weapons, Daelin guessed they had been recruited in a nearby tavern. He blocked a wild cut to his face and kicked the man back to ward the pile. More were standing now. Daelin didn’t wait for the rest; he charged into the standing guards, spinning the long-sword in strange patterns, portraying a beautiful and ultimately deadly dance. He disembowelled one guard, and swiftly slit the throat of another. As Daelin moved into toward the guards, he noted he was slowly being surrounded. He speeded up his dance, but he was being pushed onto the defensive, sooner or later the guards were going to hit something vital.
A cut sliced at Daelin’s arm, but it was shallow. He knew he had to move and move now; he knocked aside a sword with his own and slammed the man hard with his elbow, sending him to the ground. He dashed through the opening and into the roof entrance. He slammed the door, but he didn’t have time to pick up the metal bar, as guards were already slamming at the door. Daelin kept his stance with his back pressed as hard as the pain would allow, as more blows buffeted against the door. Daelin slipped his sword into where the metal bar would go, and rammed the metal bar alongside it. He turned and fled down the stairs. One flight. Two flights. He heard the run of feet coming up the last staircase. He looked around for another way.
Daelin Ran across the hallway and dived through a window. The glass shattered as he crashed through it. He fell nine feet, and was met with the solid flagstone. His body buffeted against it. He tried to rise, but he had no strength left. Instead he crawled, trying to reach the gates but darkness over took him, and slipped into unconsciousness.
Dantes saw the first flickers of sunlight burst on the horizon. He searched near every tavern in the entire city, and had found no trace of Daelin or Orendo. He walked back to the inn and up to the room. Tane was lying face down on the bed. Mortan was snoring softly. Tane shot from his bed as he heard the door close. He recognised Dantes and swiftly dressed, kicking Mortan as he pulled on his maroon shirt. “You said wait till the morning,” said Tane, “I thought that meant you would wait too,” Dantes turned and opened the door to descend down the stairs.
“I couldn’t.” he said simply and stepped down the stairwell.
Tane watched him go down. Mortan was scrabbling with the bed covers, “C’mon, get your arse in a pair clothes” said Tane,
“That’s what I tried to say to your Mother, but she wouldn’t listen.” Replied Mortan. Tane pushed him out of his bed with his foot. Mortan grunted as he landed. Tane laughed and grabbed his crossbow and quiver and hurried down the stairs.
Tane pulled open the door to find Dantes waiting. The weather from last night showed. The streets were drenched, “I’ve checked the taverns,” said Dantes “they’re in none. I was jumped several times last night. I’m afraid they may have been as well.”
“But Daelin is an awesome fighter, and I’ve seen Orendo fight as well. It would take a little more than a gutter thug to take them.” Said Tane. Tane looked around for any guards. None. “We should tell the guards, but I can’t see any.”
“Do you really think they are going to work harder if we tell them. One more missing person isn’t going to do much. We have to do this ourselves. Where the bloody hell is Mortan?”
Mortan joined them several minutes later, still trying to pull on a woollen shirt. “Hurry up old man,” sighed Tane,
“Shut up. I’m not old. Well that’s what your Mother says.” Mortan gave a cheeky grin. Tane returned the smile before hammering a left into Mortan’s jaw. Mortan fell into a puddle.
“At least I know who my Mother was,” said Tane as he walked away. He heard Mortan cursing, and smiled. Dantes jogged up beside him.
“You seem set in this direction. Why?”
“It’s the way to the docks. If anything’s happened to them, it will have happened down there.” Replied Tane
“A little clichéd, don’t you think?” said Dantes,
“Perhaps, but then Luskan is renowned for that sort of thing.” He continued walking down the flagstone path.
Fri, 6th Dec '02, 8:38pm
very good :. really long post but thats a good thing