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Lemec's Story Archives

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  • Im kind of fascinated with the People Of The Pines at present. I cant really find any of the Fhoi Moyre's attributes in your list. Kerenos and his hounds have me at their will.


    • Originally posted by voilodian ghagnasdiak
      Im kind of fascinated with the People Of The Pines at present. I cant really find any of the Fhoi Moyre's attributes in your list. Kerenos and his hounds have me at their will.


      "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
      - Michael Moorcock


      • Hello Everyone!

        Has anybody send a submission to one of the publishers or magazines?

        I was just curious since we talked about it.

        If you did try something, please let us know,so I can kick in the positive waves and send them your way!



        "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
        - Michael Moorcock


        • Sadly no - been distracted various domestic distraction. Still plugging away at my story - 4500 words now and counting.

          I'm trying to get into the routine of writing every day, but its certainly a challenge. Currently having some difficulties with dialogue - trying to imagine what the characters say. I seem to have a tendency to avoid dialogue, so many of my openings end up being long winded exposition and silent action.
          Last edited by devilchicken; 08-15-2006, 07:10 PM.
          Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

          Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!


          • Originally posted by devilchicken
            Sadly no - been distracted various domestic distraction. Still plugging away at my story - 4500 words now and counting.

            I'm trying to get into the routine of writing every day, but its certainly a challenge. Currently having some difficulties with dialogue - trying to imagine what the characters say. I seem to have a tendency to avoid dialogue, so many of my openings end up being long winded exposition and silent action.

            Hi devilchicken!

            I am sorry to hear of your distractions.

            4500 words is a good bit though! That sounds like it will be very cool!

            I'm sure you'll come up with some great dialogue as the project continues.

            I am happy to hear that you have had some chance to work on it.

            I think the PX wants stuff from 5,000 to 6,000 words for the short stories,
            you are almost at that point already!

            Thanks for the update!


            "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
            - Michael Moorcock


            • Think I'm probably going to go over the word limit - story is looking like it will be around 10,000 words - for the first draft anyway. I don't doubt I can get it down in a rewrite - just getting to that stage is proving to be a major challenge.

              Dialogue I find to be trickier than the descriptive action - my conversations have a tendency to end up being one sided with one character (usually the main one, looking like an idiot).
              Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

              Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!


              • Originally posted by devilchicken
                Think I'm probably going to go over the word limit - story is looking like it will be around 10,000 words - for the first draft anyway. I don't doubt I can get it down in a rewrite - just getting to that stage is proving to be a major challenge.

                Dialogue I find to be trickier than the descriptive action - my conversations have a tendency to end up being one sided with one character (usually the main one, looking like an idiot).

                That's cool!

                It sounds like you are really good at it to be able to come up with that much material. :)

                "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                - Michael Moorcock


                • Deleb's Retribution Extended Edition (story)

                  Hello my Fellow Enclavers!

                  I call it the "Extended Edition" as a joke from all those dvds!

                  I am adding a few words and sentences to it on my notepad and will revise
                  it a little at a time. I only made a minor change in this version so far.

                  I did not get that many responses and criticisms on this particular story.

                  So, I thought I would post it once more.

                  Even though this is not the complete advanced form......

                  Please look this over and tell me what you think.

                  Please, I really appreciate your input.



                  "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                  - Michael Moorcock


                  • Deleb's Retribution

                    A story by Lemec

                    The dagger protruded from the beast's left flank. The 'Brentee Fissle', which translates from Grejeem into 'Heavy Coat',
                    ran into the woods. It is a vicious northland lynx, but it's prey fought back wildly. The cat knew it was overmatched and it's survival instincts took command of it's body.

                    The man who threw the blade is Deleb Springcrest. He is a tall man with dark skin and amber hair. He removed his conical feather cap to wipe his moist brow. He rubbed at his light blue eyes and scratched his long nose. His thin lips parted as he gasped. Deleb is clad in leather armour, green tunic and brown pantaloons which were stuffed into drab boots. He was now only armed with a layered steel and bronze short sword, held in a bear hide scabbard.

                    He walked uphill on rocky soil. There is an exuberant forest to the west and to the east there are farmland terraces. Deleb was heading north into the dreaded Nires, a wasteland of burnt trees and sunken castles. The land was cursed during the ten-year-war between Grechimdol Realm and the Kingdom of Frenaledoon. It began as a border dispute over who owned the freshwater lake of Ayaheeto.

                    The people named the place The Nires after Mallachom Nires, a Frenaledoon priest who went mad after losing his entire congregation in the Battle of Grovelndale. The region is dead now. Lord Minister Nires had abandoned his God and fell into service of an arch eidolon, a master of demon kind. Later in the war, Nires raised an army of 'Golotrones', who were summoned fiends made from the remains of deceased children. They were two-thousand strong and a dozen Kingdom Allied Warriors and Realm'ers died for each one.

                    They attacked both Kingdom soldiers and Realm troops anywhere they saw them cross along the forest. Deleb's island nation, Bogontos, fought along side Frenaledoon. Springcrest remembered this very spot five years ago, when at the end of the war, three legions were devastated reclaiming the territory. Practitioners of sorcery and witchcraft were instumental in the victory, if one could claim the event as such.

                    Seven-thousand Realm folk died that day in the chaos. A million men and women were killed in the overall conflict. A few hundred Kingdom Calvary are still frozen and preserved inside the great crater to this day from stong irreversible energies. The Shadow Folk still dwell there, they were mostly neutral in the war, but were easily angered and contained a vast power. They also destroyed anyone who entered their land.

                    It came down to the efforts of Omiz Banareks and his kinsman Brim San Kurla. They channeled ancient energies to warp and break the earth so it swallowed up the fortifications. Dark magics were used by the 'Golotrones' to kill the humans and all plant life in the area. The contest lasted for three nights and two days. Many were maimed and slaughtered in those woods and fields.

                    Eventually Omiz tracked down Minister Nires' command post and sacrificed himself to crush the insane priest's skull. The combat lasted a full hour without either of them gaining the upper hand. Then, as blood streamed out of both combatants ears, their bodies were torn by conjured iron fragments. Fire,water and poison gas were tossed at each other. Nires formed a portal in the air behind Omiz and it almost drew him away,but he countered by covering the dimension door with several uprooted trees until it collapsed. Omiz drew his knife and fought against the steel of the priest's mace, but soon the two weapons fused together and dropped to the dirt floor. Omiz turned his hands into eight-inch claws, but his new attack did not penetrate the barrier Nires had constructed. The priest created skeletal hands that took hold of Omiz's legs. Banareks then kissed his golden pendant and threw it far away to land beside an oak. He shook free of the hands while Nires touched Omiz's face and began sucking energy from the wizard. That was when Omiz Banareks split his own body in twain and with his last thoughts turned both halves into solid stone. His remaining mental powers allowed him to launch his broken rock body at Nire's head and in a heartbeat, he brought them together so fast that it sounded like a thunderclap. The result was one dead priest and one sorcerer scattered in a few hundred rocky chunks.

                    The war faded from Deleb's mind. He was not here for the past, he only had one goal now, to rescue his baron's son. The ten-year-old boy, Lorad,
                    was abducted from the isle a fortnight ago. Baron Hargren Valitir and his wife Sadrale governed a modest homestead. It was inconsequential compared to the huge territories of the Great Kingdoms. Hagren was very important during the war and was bestowed the highest rank an islander could obtain, Sun-Marshall, Lord of Knights, Master Soldier of the Kingdom. He is now the Baron of Giff and the Lands of Natea.

                    There was always sombody around who would bring about trouble in the attempt to gain a profit in the post-war state of poverty. Deleb already had to explain himself to four patrols and was forced to show his documents to an overzealous sergeant who almost took Deleb's head off at the neck by a nasty axe swing. Daleb was not trying to be silent, but the sergeant did not hear him foraging along a deer trail. Deleb barely ducked in time when the sergeant attacked, but the soldier stopped abruptly after noticing how well Springcrest was dressed. Deleb wore simple clothes, but the armour was expensive. The sergant later apologized to him, claiming that he thought Springcrest was a bandit leader.

                    Master Springcrest soon found ten sets of footprints. One pair of boot marks were small. There could be no doubt, they were the tracks of Lorad. Deleb crouched and inspected the mud. The royal shoemaker's seal was visible.

                    The kidnappers had set a ransom and Baron Valitir was going to empty the coffers to pay it, but Deleb cautioned him not to succumb to their demands. Deleb knew of this kind of illicit activity during the war. It commonly ended with the death of the victim becuase it often was personal and once the criminals had their treasure, they would kill any who stood in their way and vanish. There are many Grechimdoleans who would take the son to appease a blood debt. There are also a few Kingdom men who mean the baron and his family harm. It's not always good to be popular with the King.

                    Deleb crawled through some bushes which bore a purplish fruit. He wiggled his way closer and closer to some type of stone structure. He stood up and walked calmly toward the building and brushed away twigs and soil.

                    Two castle turrets protrude from the black surface. They now appear to be six feet high;however, the towers extend one-hundred feet below ground. A shored up tunnel leads deep into the abandoned keep and courtyard. This is one of many sunken castles that are now battlefield monuments in The Nires.

                    Eight men sit around a campfire behind the left tower. They are roasting a pheasant on a metal spit. The military force are wearing the colours of a once well-known brigade of the realm. They are "Takatuj's Harriers," a strong fighting company that was often used as vanguard to the army. The warriors wear blue and gold tabards over chain-mail. Black boots complete their uniforms. The brigade was comprised of various races known to the world. Their complexions range from an unhealthy pale to a vibrant black. One man has the grey skin common to the Lake Haloon province.

                    The company has stored multiple weapons on a nearby rack that is made from imported logs. There are pikes,long swords, short swords, flanged maces, round shields, horsemen hammers, lances, flails, sabers, broadswords, crossbows, bolts, clubs and a morning star. Behind the right tower there is a large corral containing at least forty geldings. A pine storage building is there, stocked with provisions and equipment for travel. Two smoked hams hang from the roof on white cords. A sack of potatoes is propped up against the support beam.

                    One man with a short bow stands on the left tower and takes puffs on a crooked pipe. White smoke drifts upon the dense air.

                    "Hail the camp!" shouted Deleb.

                    The archer released his arrow which landed five inches from Deleb's feet.

                    "State your business quickly or the next will find your heart!" exclaimed the archer.

                    "Cursed this land might be,but, it is still Kingdom soil. I demand to speak to Knight-Commander Walagrim Takatuj. I recognize your wretched standard." Springcrest stated disapprovingly.

                    "I am Captain Ritrim Egestra of Grechimdol. I claim this drained region as a war reparation. My brigade and greater army continues to suffer. This place only offers a space to rest. Nothing will grow here and crops are scarce on our side of the boundary. We can not feed our women and children. Many citizens have died this year of plague and starvation. The Kingdom can surely spare what it does not even want. " said the archer.
                    "The commander is elsewhere, you may hold a parley with me."

                    "Very well,since I am an Islander and not a servant of the kingdom, I'll not dispute the the land claim." stated Deleb calmly.

                    Springcrest then squatted and plucked the arrow from the ground. He stood up and snapped the shaft in two, then forcibly added, " I know you have Valitir's boy. Release Lorad and deliver him to me,!"

                    "Who are you? How can you stand there and demand so much?" asked Captain Egestra.

                    "I am Deleb Springcrest."

                    "Knight-Lieutenant Springcrest? The Savage of Kaldregom Hill?" he inquired as he pointed his pipe at Deleb.

                    "The same, although, I'm quite civilized. I am the Master of Ceremonies of the baron's court and high advisor. There were many butchers in the war, we all had to take part in the slaughter or die. Your Realm's Averen Barbarians were the most brutal men of all the fighters on any field of conflict. The massacre at Oflamic Center was the worse crime that I ever beheld, so let's not affix blame on each other. We are soldiers." stated Deleb.

                    "Did you bring the baron's jewels then? It does not look like you brought any gold. If you have troops hidden on the countryside, we will kill the baron's son at the first sign of a raid." the captain said.

                    "I am here alone. I had a feeling that the kidnappers would cross through the Nires, but I am surprised that you established a base. I know a general that would love to disobey the King's law and charge in here to make that castle your tomb. Shall we negotiate?" asked Springcrest.

                    "I could just kill you now and wait around for the next messenger the baron sends out here. You won't be able to tell a soul what you have seen." said the captain.

                    "Perhaps. If I can escape, your actions could spark the next war and your people will suffer more than what they have to endure this present day.
                    King Bramargen will not stop his army at the great crater this time. His warriors will crush you on your eastern position while his new armada will box your forces in from the sea." replied Deleb.

                    The team of eight men slowly gather their weapons. Four of them walk over to the enclosure to saddle the horses and prepare them for battle. One man removed the game bird from the spit and put out the fire. Another one jogged over the barren land to stand next to the captain's tower. He was holding a pike, a long sword in a blue scabbard hung on his left side by a black harness.

                    Commander Walagrim Takatuj emerged from the tunnel with an armed escort of twenty knights, ten women and ten men. Walagrim is six-foot-two and lean. He looks out at Deleb with his green eyes. His long black hair is braided and tucked under his yellow shirt collar. He has a light tan and aside from the normal uniform, he wore a brass breastplate which has an image of twin falcons etched on it's surface. His beard is well trimmed. The Knight-Commander has a dirk in his boot and a hand axe on his belt. He is holding a spiked morning star, identical to the one on the rack. The score of knights carry broadswords and have flails on their belts.

                    "Springcrest, you have grown bold over the years. Go back to the isle. I'll return Hargren's brat after I recieve an adequate payment." stated Takatuj.

                    "I would have killed you Walagrim, but you eluded me right up to the war's end. At that point I was called back to the barony and could no longer dispatch you legally." stated Deleb.

                    "Why so ready to deal out justice? I fought your cousin in a fair duel. He lost." said the commander.

                    "Yes, but it was a war that you helped to manufacture. There was no need to escalate the conflict, a minor border skirmish should have lasted six months, at the most, not a bloody decade!" exclaimed Springcrest. "You and your infamous brigade went out of your way to pillage and burn."

                    "We had to win battles where we could." said Takatuj.

                    "Present the baron's son. I want to make certain he is still alive and well."
                    ordered Deleb.

                    "Bring Him." commanded Walagrim.

                    One of the knights walked back down the tunnel. A few minutes later she returned with Lorad who was bound at the wrists, but he looked well fed.

                    "Lorad, are you harmed?" asked Springcrest.

                    "No sir, I am fine all things considered. They treated me well. I only got sick on the sea voyage." answered Lorad.

                    "That's a good lad. Your father is proud of you." stated Deleb.

                    Master Springcrest produced a tiny pink vial from a hidden pocket and flung it into the air with a flick of the wrist. A considerable amount of crimson smoke instantly billowed from the flask. The soldiers ran toward him in confusion and Deleb easily dodged out of their reach and grasp.

                    Deleb sprinted over to Lorad and sliced the heavy rope cords. A few bolts that were fired from crossbows hissed through the red smoke. The next second brought Deleb face to face with a knight and he stabbed him twice in the neck, killing the enemy. The Islander then picked up the baron's son and hastily dashed to the stabling yard. He knew the boy since he was a baby and he also knew that the child was a trained rider. Springcrest lifted the boy up and set him down on a thoroughbred. The boy leaned low in the saddle and held on as Deleb slapped the animal on the rump. The horse galloped away to the east and Lorad managed to stay in the saddle, fortunately the warriors had already readied them for travel. The smoke began to dissipate.

                    Springcrest weaved in and out of the crowd of soldiers. He deflected several attacks with his fine blade. He rushed inside a thicker patch of the reddish smoke where three knights stood attempting to clear their eyes. Deleb saw one soldier look down to reload his crossbow. In that moment Springcrest removed his feather cap and held it above one of the knight's head as he stood behind his enemy. The soldier let the quarrel fly, the missle struck what he aimed at;however, since he erroneously directed the weapon at one of his companions,Deleb had one less fighter to worry about.

                    "Gods! Form a defensive square!" Walagrim ordered. "Son of a bitch! I really did not think even he'd be this foolish! Kill him and not each other you damned fools!"

                    The soldiers darted to a position adjacent to the left tower. Captain Egestra climbed down to the ground. He roughly pushed his warriors together. The remainder of the smoke floated away on the wind. The troops lined up to make a cube of four human walls. There are seven soldiers on each side and Commander Takatuj is one of them.

                    "He's on the tower!" shouted Vella Duskran, a Knight-Major. She is a short woman who had seen forty summers. She has large brown eyes and she keeps her curly orange hair tied in a ponytail.

                    A man threw his pike at Deleb, but it collided with the parapet. Springcrest ducked another quarrel, then retailiated by chucking a detatched piece of turret masonry at a shocked knight. The jagged projectile landed squarely on his head. The impact was so great that it snapped the knight's neck. He crumpled to the soft earth, Raegranolus, The Death God taking his soul to the other side.

                    "Encircle the tower! Don't allow him too get back to the horses!" ordered Walagrim.

                    The soldiers break formation and bound for the turret. Five men in the rear fire another volley of crossbow bolts at their single enemy. Deleb ducked behind the stone wall, out of view of the warriors. The missles fly overhead, two of them go far and strike an ill-fated horse. It dropped dead on it's hay.

                    "What about the boy?" asked Vella.

                    "Forget him. I have a score to settle." replied Takatuj.

                    "There are not many folk around for miles, we can overtake the bastard later." offered Egestra.

                    "Exactly, after I have Springcrest's eyes tacked to my cloak!" shouted the commander.

                    The brigade surrounded the tower and four men planted ladders. The troops swarm over the buttress, but are dismayed to find that Deleb was nowhere to be seen. They all look at the lone trapdoor. One of the knights tugged on the portal, but it would not budge.

                    "Gods!" shouted Major Duskran.

                    Two knights began pounding on the door with their steel maces and balled flails. Some wood is chipped away, but the iron part of the hatch is holding fast.

                    "It's sealed tightly, possibly with a magic ward." stated the captain.

                    "Divide! Section One, go into the tunnel and find him. Duskran, you lead the way. He can not escape us now, he is not a ground hog and he can't burrow his way out of this. I will remain here with the second division to penetrate the roof!" commanded Walagrim.

                    "Aye Commander! Follow me team one." stated Vella Duskran. She descended a ladder and ran towards the tunnel's mouth. Five women and ten men obeyed the command and followed her down the hole. Twelve knights were left standing on the tower ceiling.

                    One warrior found a notch betwixt the door and the roof. He was attempting to pry the entryway open with his broadsword. Suddenly a small explosion rocked the tower. Two women and five men were instantaneously covered in viridian fire and killed by shrapnel. The strange fire produced no smoke, but the bodies soon turned to green ashes. The remaining two women looked on in horror as Ritrim and Walagrim spat a string of curses.
                    "Damn Magik! I knew it! May Hells' worst greet that man!" exclaimed Captain Egesra.
                    "Son of a half cow mother beast, twisted weasel of a man! May Ahnuurek of War give me the pleasure of gutting that haughty father of lies and tricks! That rotten scum sucker! What in the names of all the deities and devils are you waiting for? Bring me his liver so that I might feast upon it this evening!" ordered Takatuj.

                    "Aye sir, get moving you two! Bloody damn mess, Gods damn that son of a python!" Egestra shouted as he wound his way down the hundred foot spiral staircase. Debris and ash rained down on them from above.

                    Lorad kept up with the frantic pace as long as he could then slowed to a canter. He had found a road which passed through the terraces. He did not encounter anyone and his horse started to tire.

                    He rode the horse over to an irrigation ditch and allowed the poor animal to drink and rest. The boy jumped from the saddle and threw water on his face. He cupped his hands and swallowed some water as well. He then moved to the saddlebag and found a loaf of rye bread and a portion dried beef. He quickly devoured the food as the horse grazed some nearby grass. It must have been tired of being fed oats all the time back at The Nires.

                    Two men ran unto the path without warning. The boy leaped up from where he was siting on the field. Each man was armed with a cutlass and a long knife. Their names are Jahnel Brackthorn and Sessik Trakmond, they are highway robbers and sometimes mercenaries. They both have short cropped black hair, yellow eyes and mustard coloured skin. They smiled at the boy showing their rotted teeth. The ruffians are dressed in filthy cotton clothes the colour of indigo that looked like old sailor outfits.
                    Their feet are bare.

                    "Who are you? What land do you come from?" asked a nervous Lorad.

                    "Take a look here Sessik, this one's givin' lordly questions." said Jahnel.

                    "Yes, and smell that nice perfumed blonde hair of his, he ain't no farmer." replied Sessik.

                    "Get a load of those tailored clothes, a prince he is!" exclaimed Jahnel.

                    "Can you help me gentlemen? I need to find my way to Krenilo Bay or Solodaaron City of the Kingdom." stated Lorad.

                    "I say we could eat him, never tasted royalty 'fore." offered Sessik.

                    The baron's son paled and brought his courage up to say, "Please sirs, you must jest, please help me get word to my family and I'll see to it you are rewarded."

                    "Now you are speaking my heart little one. You will come with us to Drifteport and we'll find yer folk fer a heafty price. We'll cut ya down if you try fer ya horse." stated Jahnel.

                    Bile rose is his throat at the smell of the man's breath. It stank of onions,pultry and decay. Lorad walked away from the horse after looking over his shoulder and finding no place to run.

                    "Very well, I will go with you." Lorad said as he stared into Jahnel's small yellow eyes. Brackthorn winked.

                    "I thought you might see it our way." said Trakmond.

                    Jahnel grabbed the boy by the collar with his left hand and pushed him along in front of Sessik.

                    "You'll get a knife in your leg if ya run, so don't, it will only pain ya and we won't let ya die." said Sessik.

                    "We might tortue yar non calloused fingers though if ya give us any trouble." stated Jahnel coldly. Lorad could only nod.

                    The two men and the boy walked over the corn fields torward a distant hill and beyond to a wide ridge.

                    Deleb stood in a tiny chamber. He is covered from toe to ear in black mud. He literally had to swim through the dark soil after pushing his way through the tower's dilapidated door which led into the courtyard. He found an excavated room in which to hide for the moment. It has four biege walls and four oak doors and is lit by an oil lamp. Moss covered the grey bricks of the floor. Springrest produced a phial that contained a luminous purple liquid. He drank the potion in one gulp. He immediately felt revitalized inside and out. Small sctratches on his skin healed instantly. He closed his eyes and extinguished the lamp's flame. The room fell into darkness. He can hear the sound of boots echoing off the bricks of the uncovered courtyard and foyer. He could smell the strong scent of their torches. He knew that if he went out the door to his left he would find himself facing a small army of heavily armed knights. If he walked through the rear door he would encounter his pursuers. He had a good idea that the right door lead to the old kitchens. The path he chose was the one straight ahead of him. Master Springcrest strode through the egress. He was here before the war, he headed to the armoury. As he silently guided his way in the dark, he felt for an object in one of the many pockets sewn into his leather chest guard. His fingers enclosed on an ornament that was fashioned in the shape of a triangle. It was made of silver and it had a single blue rune carved into it's surface. He removed it and stuffed the trinket inside his left sleeve just above the forearm. He took two crystals from another pocket, they are three inches long and have an amber pigment. He held the glassy objects in his left palm and drew his short sword with his right hand. Deleb continued his stealthy walk.

                    "You two guard the tunnel exit. Hold Springcrest for me if the wretch passes by this corridor." commanded Major Duskran as she pointed to two of her knights. They walked over and stood on either side of the entrance. The other soldiers formed two columns of six and Vella took the lead.

                    "Don't let the Golotrones get you," joked Vella.

                    "Not very funny madam. I like my spirit right where it is, thank you." said Knight Gren.

                    "We'll catch him if we see him Major." said Knight Branella. "You don't want us to kill him?"

                    "No, not unless you are forced to. I want to bring him to Takatuj broken, but alive. Now don't say another word." said Duskran. "Now, the rest of you, look for anything out of place. If there is any earth or rock disturbed we will find him." The Knights nodded their approval. "Knight Ehrool scout the east alcoves. He entered from that side, he may still be there somewhere. We shall sweep west then turn back east to meet up with you. If you spot him, return to me, don't attempt to take him yourself." The knight nodded and ran off down a side dirt passage. "Knights! Follow me! Double time!" Vella fastened her broadsword to her baldric then removed the flail from her belt. She gave the spiked ball a whirl over her head and jogged to the west leading her troops. The seven men and four women ran after her while holding their broadswords in a low position, pointing the blades off to their left side and holding the edges with their padded gauntlets.

                    Takatuj emerged from the clay and mud. He coughed for a solid five minutes before he got control of his breathing once again. They dusted themselves off the best they could at the moment. Captain Ritrim Egestra spat mud and twigs from his mouth. The commander then scraped dirt from his morning star while the knights cleaned their broadswords and the captain readied the ivory hilted long sword that he favored when not in a position to use a bow or not on horseback to take full advantage of a saber.

                    "I hate to do this,but...You two Ladies stay and guard that door. If Springcrest comes this way again, do not hesitate to take his head off. He will be quick and ruthless. I've seen him in battle. He will show no mercy, so we shall not. Now that he is cornered, there is no telling how reckless he will become. He may, in fact throw his life away, now that he has freed the child." stated Walagrim.

                    "Aye, he is a cunning one. When I was a young lad, I fought alongside Deleb in the Chimest Civil War. Our units only combined one day during that conflict, but when The Battle of Grave Field was over, he had a concussion and I was wounded in my left arm and shoulder. Our battalion had achieved it's victory, but paid for it in many lives. I did my part to help my fellow soldiers. I only killed two maybe three men and that was with help. Deleb moved like a panther, he slaughtered four men in the initial attack when out troops collided. Before getting wounded himself, he speared one more and cut down ten enemy soldiers with a heavy falchion. Granted, the battle lasted for near three hours, but that is still alot of kills for one man. His appearance may have changed over the years, but his mettle has not. This is a different situation though, he is alone and does not have the chaos of a battlefield to aid him. One more thing, if you wound him, don't get too presumptuous, he killed the bleeding colonel after getting that smack on his head." stated Ritrim Egestra.

                    "Enough nostalgia Captain Egesta. The door to the antechamber is open and the gallery is dark. He's been through the cross passage. We will catch him soon now." said Takatuj. "Ritrim, I want you to hit the kitchen then circle north then west. I will try to meet up to Vella to gather reinforcements." stated the commander.

                    "Aye, if I find him I'll save the other lot some trouble in searching him out. Consider him a walking dead man, Commander." said Egestra.

                    Takatuj smiled warmly and said,"Good Luck Rit'. If one old soldier out of any I know can match his skills, it is you. Now go happily for when you return to me, we shall celebrate back at the nearest Ream town. When this business with the baron's son is over, we shall live as royal brothers. Begone my noble captain."


                    Brackthorn and Trakmond had evaded several Kingdom patrols and brought Lorad to a port city near the eternal Ancekrale Sea. It was in a legend that the Ancekrale Sea once covered all the world's lands and it gave birth to the continents. The God of Oceans, Meppakoranos, created life on the newly formed land and was responsible for the creation and destruction of the first government, the lost ancient Empire of Sennrox.

                    Lorad was chained to a wall in the cabin of some large cargo vessel. He screamed and made noise, but the sound did not penetrate the thick walls and single window of the room. He tried to escape, but could not pry the shackles from where they were attached. There was no ink or paper that he could write a message on. He could not find anything to throw at the glass to break it. He was left some fruit,cheese,stale bread and a sea shell bowl of ale. The bowl was paper thin and light, it would not make a good weapon. There was nothing he could do. He tried to hear the men and captain talking, but soon gave up. He could not make out what they were saying. Lorad soon fell asleep.

                    "Then it's agreed Captain! Sixty percent for you to ransom the kid." stated Jahnel.

                    "Yes Mr. Brackthorn, This ship will be known to all after I send a rowboat to the isle's beach demanding a ransom. I'll have to escape on my war galley after accepting payment. I will give you twenty percent each for the finder's fee. You may have this ship when the transaction is complete, but I suggest you sink her, the whole Kingdom fleet will be on your tail."
                    stated Captain Jalen Beng of the 'Windchaser' and the war ship 'Godseye'.

                    "Aye, agreed Captain,thank ye." Sessik said then gave a captain a nice near toothless smile.

                    "Now go and get cleaned up, my man on deck has some new rags for you." ordered the captain.

                    The two men bowed and left the captain's cabin.

                    The taste of iron mixed with blood was one of the last sensations the scouting knight would ever experience in the world. Deleb had leaped from the pitch black room and skewered Ehrool through his left cheek,cutting the man's tongue. The obedient soldier raised his longsword and dropped his torch. Bright blood trickled down from his face to his torso. The stunned knight tried a few desperate wild swings, but Deleb merely danced away. Springcrest then blocked one high thrust and pivoted himself so that his right shoulder faced his opponent. With knees slightly bent, Deleb blocked two rapid strikes, then he kicked out with his right leg, his heel connected with the man's wound. The knight screamed in anguish and lost his equilibrium. The scout fell flat on the floor. Deleb reversed his blade and pierced the man's neck which finished the adversary. Deleb picked up the torch and doused it in some damp soil that had seeped in through the damaged roof.

                    The armoury is the adjoining room to the one Deleb now stood. He earlier gave it a brief reconnaissance with an oil lamp that he later turned off. It was filled with a vast collection of weapons and armour. He took out what he needed and even stuffed some armour with blankets to make it look like a man was crouched in the doorway. He even placed a conical helmet on top of it. He had rolled several items in an old carpet and began to drag it around.

                    Captain Egestra had a torch burning after striking flint on steel. He was three chambers away when he heard the scream. He rushed haphazardly into the room and immediately glimpsed Springcrest pushing a rolled carpet into the next room with the tip of his boot. He saw his dead friend Ehrool a second later.

                    Deleb quickly tried to unsheath his sword again as the attack came in hard and strong. His face was almost charred by the torch as the capatain pressed the attack. Springcrest dodged left,then right and dived low. He finally got his sword out and the melee began in earnest.

                    "Hello again to you too!" screamed Deleb as he blocked two blows,countered, parried and gave another counterstrike.

                    "Deleb, you chose the wrong side this time." replied Egestra as he deflected Springcrest's counter attacks.

                    "Side?, Ritrim, this is not war, you are a crimminal now, working for a common thug! I never abducted anyone and I only killed in the heat of combat, murder was never my way!" The sound of steel on steel rang out from the chamber.

                    "Murder! I take offence. You just made this personal! I too am a soldier! You have insulted my honour! I am a knight! I've taken oaths! I help my community! What have you done? Sit on that rich island! Walagrim is a murderer true, a cold blooded killer, but do you know why I follow him? It is because I am loyal! I am owe that man my life! His motives are justifiable in this war-torn world! The Kingdom and her Allies are a scourge to human existence! You would have seen what humanity truly is if we of the Realm would have won the war!" shouted Captain Egestra. He was getting hoarse. The two aquantances were equal in the use of all blades. Deleb was starting to have a difficult time defending though, given the reach of Ritrim's long sword.

                    "Shouting to bring support. An Excellent ploy." stated Deleb.

                    Egesta's voice was raspy when he smiled and said,"Strange, if I were born just a league more to the east, we would have been companions out entire lives instead of only being comrads in arms when we were hired hands during the civil war."

                    Deleb winked and said,"Those were fun times! A game of dice perhaps? I did not bring my lucky deck of cards."

                    Ritrim let out a grating laugh,"You have not lost your sense of humour."

                    The captain kicked out with his left foot, hitting Deleb in the groin. So surprised was Springcrest that he nearly did not recover in time to block the next overhead strike. Deleb quickly lunged and stabbed repeatedly to gain some distance.

                    "You never fought dirty before." stated a hurt Springrest.

                    "I wanted to make sure I used everything at my disposal. I'd be damn disapointed to look at you from the afterlife and know there was one more thing that I should have tried." replied Egesta.

                    "I salute your efforts then noble Ritrim, you have proven to me that you are still an honorable soldier." complimented Deleb.

                    "Aye, now let's finish this." said Ritrim as it was his turn to lunge. The thrust was turned aside and Deleb kicked out the captain's front foot. As he fell, Egresta hacked at Deleb and sliced open his left shoulder and put a long gash in the leather chest armour.

                    Deleb ignored the sudden agony and jumped atop his old friend piercing his chain mail links with all his weight and he drove the sword's point deep into the captain's belly. Egestra dropped both torch and sword and gasped. Their faces reflected peculiarly in the light of the torch. Deleb kicked the long sword away after standing erect.

                    "I'm sorry,truly." said Deleb quietly.

                    "Del', I forgive you...hand" said Ritrim.

                    Springcrest pulled his advesary against the wall so he could sit upright. He fished in the captain's leather belt pouch for the pipe and tobacco. He ignited a taper and Deleb took a puff on the pipe as he lit it. It was the best leaves that he ever tasted in his whole life. He handed it to the weak captain.
                    Blood slowly flowed from the wound.

                    "Thank you Deleb Springcrest. It's not such a bad way to die. joining me soon." said Egestran as he smoked his pipe.

                    "Yes, they have certainly heard the noise and are on their way. When they smell that smoke, they will investigate in force." said Deleb as he wiped his blade with an oiled towel. "May you find peace in the afterlife Captain Ritrim Egestra. There will be songs sung in your honour and I'll lift an ale to your name if I make it back to the island."

                    "I my love." he said as he puffed on his pipe.

                    "I will, she is well, we have three children, two girls and a boy, all healthy." replied Deleb. "Your family?"

                    "Already of...I.....sent..damn, it hurts, can't think, I'm being drained good. They know all...about me...sent a letter.....they will...survive...relatives in mountains." Egestrain said. He tried to smoke his pipe the best he could and smiled one last time at Deleb. The brave captain then died from his torn stomach. The smoke exited his lungs and he slumped over.

                    "Goodbye." Deleb whispered. Springcrest then sprang to action, he tossed dirt on the torch to extinguish it as a flood of memories passed through his mind. He swiftly sheathed his sword and stumbled over to the carpet. He dragged the rolled rug into a large room, that was four chambers away. He could hear enemy voices and footsteps, but he did not see the light of their torches so far, 'lucky again' he thought. He set to the preparation of his defense with a renewed vigor. He also took a bandage from a pocket and dressed his wound.

                    "We set sail for your home island, boy." stated Captain Jalen Beng as he opened the door to Lorad's cabin. "Maybe, I should say young Lord Lorad Valitir. No matter now, I have it on good word that the most probable outcome will be me getting rich and the baron getting you back."

                    "Thank you Captain. May I ask a favor?" asked Lorad.

                    "Yes." replied the captain.

                    "Will you please keep those two scoundrels,who found me, keep them away from me until I am handed over to my father?" asked Lorad.

                    The captain laughed and said,"Fine, this is the first time that Jahnel and Sessik were smart enough to make us all a profit."

                    "Thank you Sir." replied Lorad.

                    "You're welcome little one. If it goes bad, I'll fight my way out. When I hand you over, you must promise me you will tell the baron not to give chase." commanded Beng.

                    "By Bogontos,I promise to let you go free when I am safe at home." stated Lorad.

                    "Very good, we will arrive in one weeks time if the weather holds." replied Beng.

                    "That is all I can ask for Captain." said Lorad.

                    "Enjoy the voyage." Beng said as he walked from the entry and closed the door. The captain rubbed his eyes and returned to the deck. His black hair waved in the wind. He buttoned up his blue wool vest as he watched the port city diminish as they sailed away from land. The sea was reflected in his teal coloured eyes.


                    Major Duskran slowly approached the sounds of battle. Seven men and four women spread out in front of her. There is an oil lamp buring in this room, but Duskran lit a torch anyway.

                    "That sounded like Egestra shouting, what the Hells are they doing over there if they caught up to Springcrest? Surely they could have overpowered him by now." stated the major.

                    Commander Walagrim Takatuj walked into the room unexpectedly and said,"He killed about seven of us on the tower,that's what is delaying me,Vella."

                    Duskran flushed, pardon my ignorance my Commander. I was just trying to sort this all out. I was about to order an advance." replied Vella.

                    "Very well, I shall take command now." ordered Takatuj.

                    "Yes Commander." replied Major Duskran.

                    A small stone abruptly streaked through the air from the dark chamber adjacent to them to the north. It rebounded off Duskran's Tabard. Three knights, Luganne, Sencre and Vrekeewt hastened into the chamber that the missle had emerged from.

                    "Do not pursue Springcrest in that dark room! Slow down!" commanded Takatuj as Duskran was about to give chase. Four women and four men stopped in their tracks.

                    It was too late for the other three knights. Deleb closed his eyes as he sat cross-legged in the dark.
                    The ensuing shriek's were horrid. Sencre was first to be impaled on two fixed long barbed spears while stepping on short daggers. His heart was pierced then the organ ripped from his rib cage as he fell. Deleb had used a special glue,often used to mend leather, steel armour or horse tackle, and mounted various weapons and pole arms into wood blocks and black soil. He had constructed a breastwork inside the stone chamber.

                    Luganne hit the trap next. He ran headlong into a Bec de Corbin, slid away only to be cut deep by a Pollaxe then he fell on several broken shafts of wood with sharp points. He was dead five seconds later. Blood spurted everywhere.

                    Vrekeewt was the third knight who raced in to hit the barrier. A steel arrowhead penetrated his boot, then he stumbled into a spear point, which broke off as he fell onto a row of nine dirks. The blades sank deep into his grey body and killed him after blood filled his lungs. His chain mail was useless.

                    Deleb kept his eyes shut, but stood up and crushed the two amber crystals together in his left hand. He then threw the broken fragments as far as he could. The pieces flew to the next room, just like when he he whipped the stone at Duskran, only this time when it impacted on one of the knights, a blinding white flash illuminated the entire room and rendered senseless the remaining knights.They will be dazed and temporary blinded for several minutes.

                    Springcrest then retreated from the bulwark and took a side passage that lead west. He then dashed south at an astounding speed. He then encountered another pile of soil. It was packed in front of the unguarded second tower. He grabbed a shovel,that was with some other equipment, and quickly
                    dug his way to the cracked door. He burst through the doorway and ran up the hundred feet of stairs. He opened the trapdoor and crawled through it. The sun began to set, but it was still bright outside and Deleb had to blink his eyes. When his vision was adjusted so he could see again properly, he saw that there were no other enemies around. He smiled and brushed off some dirt. He then climbed down a six foot ladder and started to run. He scanned the area, then ran to the corral. He mounted a horse and made it leap over the fence. He rode at a gallop to where there were some dead trees. He spotted a particular decayed oak. He slid from the saddle and began to crawl on the ground. Beside a diseased root, he found the object of his search. It was a golden medallion. He dusted it off and held it lovingly.

                    Deleb then reached into his left sleeve and removed the triangular trinket. He pressed the blue rune to the medallion and it began to glow! An orange light emanated from the two pendants.

                    Springcrest then said, "Omiz Banareks, hear my call. I need your assistance."

                    The trinkets glowed red at that moment,then they turned blue. In the next second they returned to an orange glow.

                    A blue coloured cloud mysteriously appeared. Then a man stepped forth from the cloud. It was Omiz Banareks! The fabled sorcerer walked over to Deleb and waved.

                    "Greetings Master Springcrest. Why have you disturbed my rest and why have you taken me away from my ancestors?" asked Omiz Banareks.

                    "A child is in grave danger and I have no other way to help him." replied Deleb. "Please help me, I beg you to rescue the baron's son."

                    Lorad finaly bent a link near his wrist. He was able to twist it with it loose with one of the cot's legs. It was an old manacle.

                    He looked out the window. Judging by the amount of day light remaining it was sunset. There did not seem to be anywhere that he might go to escape. He could jump into the sea, but he would die in seconds in the choppy waves. Help would never arrive in time. He then tested the door latch, it was unlocked so he slowly sneaked outside the cabin. He thought, 'What do I have to lose? I might be able to get into a boat when the ship is anchored.'

                    He smelled they galley and the crew quarters and decided to avoid those areas. He then found a hatch leading to the cargo hold. He entered the vast room and looked around. He was amazed at how many crates and boxes that the captain had managed to cram aboard. He took note of a second hatch and ladder that lead up to the deck. He would use it for his breakout when the time was right. All that he could do now, was hide and wait. He found a small alcove to sit in for awhile. After some more exploration, he realized he would have to steal from the galley for food and water. He might have to return to the cabin after all.

                    After a long thought, he sneaked back to the cabin and placed the shackle back on in time for his evening meal.

                    Commander Walagrim Takatuj and Major Vella Duskran had retrieved the remainder of their knights from the underground complex. The fourteen members of the brigade had ascended the tunnel and were now searching for Deleb Springcrest. They were still somewhat disoriented. The soldiers ran behind the towers and spotted one of their geldings off in the distance. Then they saw Deleb, but he was not alone.

                    "Who is that? A farmer?" asked Duskran.

                    "It does not concern us. Let's ride over and get Deleb, if the stranger gives us any trouble, kill him."
                    commanded Takatuj.

                    The company darted to the horses, mounted then rode over to the weapon's rack. They exchanged broadswords for calvary sabers and lances. Walagrim grabbed a lance, but elected to keep his morning star.

                    "He can not survive a mounted attack, this is Springcrest's end." said Vella Duskran.

                    "Charge!" shouted Takatuj.

                    The knights formed two lines and charged along The Nires in a pyramid formation.


                    "They are on the move!" shouted Deleb as he unsheathed his sword.

                    "Quick, do you have anything that belonged to Lorad?" asked Omiz.

                    "Yes, I have this letter that he wrote, his seal is upon it." replied Springcrest as he unfolded a parchment and handed it to Banareks.

                    "Good, I can scry and track him with it." said Omiz as he took the paper and placed it in his sapphire robe. "Stand back!"

                    Omiz began to chant. "Uscuurtan Ereebius Kastkika Drulotos Ereebius Kortaanlee!"

                    A massive wind storm blanketed the land, turning day to night.

                    The knights pressed on with their charge.

                    "Ereebius Kaladrantom Veen Vaashkak Doreminar!" shouted Banareks as he waved his arms in front of his chest.

                    Four of the mounted knights froze in their tracks. A crystalline substance formed over the riders and encased them in a polymer. The knights suffocated and died.

                    "Axktemonik Genunit Drekinale Fallakom Braztinok!" screamed the sorcerer as he pointed his hand at the riders, fingers extended.

                    A liquid patch of corrosive acid streamed from his digits and sprayed two other mounted knights in their faces. They screamed in torment as the acid ate away their flesh. They fell hard to the dark soil.

                    "I must go now Master Springcrest. Jakatmir Kolodrost!" Omiz said then vanished, only to leave a circle of orange flame behind where he once stood.

                    "Wonderful." Deleb muttered sarcastically as he dodged the first lance that was in range. He was nearly trampled by the horse.

                    High-Sorcerer Omiz Banareks had preserved a fragment of his soul inside his golden pendant that he had from childhood. He was a friend, a brother and advisor to The Allies of The Kingdom. He was related to the Islanders. He had placed books in the great library inside Baron Valitir's house in the event the mortal world had a considerable need for him to to return. Deleb had found a way to restore the magic user to the world and had called upon his service.

                    A ring of fire suddenly appeared on the floor boards of Lorad's cabin.

                    The boy yelled in terror. Lorad began to pick up a blanket to cover the flames and shouted, "Fire!"

                    The sound of feet running on wood echoed on the cabin's ceiling.

                    The from out of thin air, Omiz arrived and picked up a startled baron's son. The chain melted into nothingness.

                    Omiz said one word,"Portalanus." and Lorad and Banareks teleported away as the flames began to lick at the bed sheets. The conflagration quickly enveloped the room. Panicked sailors begin to run about and scream in fear after watching smoke pour from below deck. They were unable to quench the bright orange fire.

                    "Abandon ship!" Ordered Captain Jalen Beng. He signaled his war ship to pick up him and his crew.

                    The cargo ship burnt down to the waterline. Irreplaceable goods were lost. Most of the men including the captain made it safely aboard the "Godseye." Jalen peronally executed Jahnel and Sessik for bringing a castastrophe down on his head.Captain Beng pierced their hearts with his poniard and left them on the burning ship.

                    Master Springcrest's shoulder is scraped by a lance as he ducked behind the old oak. He ran full out and leaped onto his horse. The chase had begun. Takatuj, Duskran and six knights riding in his wake. Deleb pushed the exhausted horse beyond it's limitations. He rode over busted walls and broken palisades. He went deeper into The Nires , where there were rumors of manlike beasts who roam the decomposed fields and groves.

                    Deleb reached a swamp and dismounted. One of the knight's horses sank into a bog. The rider crawled off and waded in the muck. Springcrest pushed his way through the murky water. The stagnant pond rose up to chest level. The horses were reluctant to enter the marsh. Deleb submerged and resurfaced three minutes later near an island that is covered in rust coloured fungi.

                    "No more tricks Springcrest. Come back and face your annihilation." Takatuj said from the shore.

                    "Then swim over here Walagrim! Fight me one on one. You said that you honoured the rules of a duel. I challenge you now in front of your knights. They shall bear witness." said Deleb.

                    "Very well. No more magik. Where did your wizard friend go?" asked the commander.

                    "Agreed, no more magic.The magic user is a long departed relative. He is going to make the mess you made right. I want fair fight. It's time we embraced to settle old scores." said Deleb.

                    "I do not know how you managed to survive this long. I'm not even going to speculate when sorcery is involved, I've seen enough witchcraft and magik during the war to last a lifetime." said Takatuj. "I can't cross the swamp water in my mail, come back over here."

                    "You'd like that.You will all rush me." said Deleb.

                    "No, I give you my word as a Knight of the Realm." said Takatuj. "Besides I can always send Vella back to gather crossbows and flaming pitch."

                    "Agreed. I will swim back." said Springcrest. He entered the gloomy water and swam back to shore.

                    The commander swung down from his horse and prepared himself for single combat. He examined his morning star to make certain there were no cracks. The wood was soild.

                    Deleb shook some filth off his leather armour and clothes. He rested his feather cap on a twisted tree branch then walked over to an area that was clear of any debris. The two men faced each other while Major Duskran silently ordered her six knights to form a semi-cicle in order to watch the contest to the death.

                    "Walagrim, either way, I will see you in the next world." declared Springrest. He slowly drew his short sword. Deleb saluted Commander Takatuj.

                    "Deleb Springcrest,this battle is to the death and no mercy will be asked or allowed." said Takatuj. He saluted his opponent.

                    "Begin!" shouted Vella Duskran.

                    Walagrim was the first to move. He attacked with a reverse swing, moving his weapon from his left shoulder position to swing across at Deleb and stopping it,after he missed, at a high right angle to bring back down in an attempted head bash.

                    Deleb stepped forward and deftly blocked the overhead strike, then maneuvered low. He threw a feint to Takatuj's leg, then spun around once with a backhand strike connecting with his morning star. Walagrim twisted his weapon to try to dislodge the sword, but it failed. The commander then spun away from a high thrust and he crushed the spiked club up against Deleb's sword arm. Springcrest almost lost his grasp. Fortune was with Deleb though as the spikes did not dig too deeply into his forearm after passing through the leather plate. Takatuj yanked his weapon free and blood squirted onto the assembled knights.Deleb showed no pain. He tossed his short sword into his left hand,caught it and swung vivaciously at the commander's right side, but Walagrim blocked the blow, a chip flew off the wood.

                    Omiz and Lorad appeared in a fire ring on the lands of Bogontos. Omiz gave Lorad a gentle shove towards the baron's garden.

                    "Thank you kind sir!" exclaimed Lorad.

                    "You are most welcome. You must live a good and decent life now. Many have died over you and your family. Try to bring peace to this world, it is the order of things in the cosmos. Love not hate. Treat all of mankind as equals. Share you wealth with the less fortunate. Make me proud to have saved you child. Awards and Punishments await you in the afterlife. What a gift it is to be alive, treasure it for as long as you can. You will know nothing like it again in the next world. Good Bye and Fare Well Lorad." stated the sorcerer.

                    "I will. Goodbye!" shouted the boy. He began to cry as the wizard vanished. The flames extinguished themselves this time.

                    An astonished Baron ran from his great house and welcomed the boy back home, a thousand questions in his mind.

                    Three rapid thrusts pushed Takatuj back on his heels, they were too fast to block, he could only retreat. Deleb had already scored several hits on the man, but the chain mail absorbed the blows and did not crack. Deleb then aimed for the morning star and speared it's tip, driving the weapon away and out to his left. Springcrest took the opportunity to jump in and smash into the commander with his right shoulder. Walagrim stumbled backward,but did not fall. They untangled their weapons and swung at each other again. They traded blow after blow, parry after parry, then Deleb penetrated his adversary's armour directly below his right collarbone. Blood leaked out from beneath his tabard. In retaliation Takatuj swung upwards using both hands, the spikes burrowed long gouges from Deleb's navel to his breast. The wounds were superficial though because the leather and cloth saved him again. Springcrest moved fast to the left and smacked Walagrim in the head as hard as he could with the flat of his blade in the attempt to stun his foe. The commander shook it off and charged at Deleb with a ferocity not seen since the dawn of the universe when men were more akin to wolves. He pushed Deleb to the ground and stomped on his chest, cracking seven ribs. Springcrest screamed as he evaded a powerful chop to his head. As he sprang back to his feet, blood spurted from his mouth. Another swing from Takatuj cut lacerations into Deleb's right cheek, barely missing his eye.

                    Deleb put his full weight behind the next thrust. It hit the mark, but still did not break the mail. The commander returned the stab with a solid punch to Sringcrest's forehead, the gauntlet impacted and slid low to scrape his nose. Now Deleb's face was one bloody mess and he felt dizzy.

                    Walagrim pressed his advantage and struck Deleb once more, this time striking the Islander in his left shoulder. Springcrest backpedaled and when the commander launched another attack, Deleb was ready for him, he ducked then came up fast and sliced Takatuj across the neck, blood escaped from the tiny red line.

                    At that moment Omiz Banareks walked into view. The combatants ignored him and the knights.

                    "Lorad is safe, Deleb. No worries." stated Omiz. The sorcerer turned to the other soldiers and said,"do not interfere, I will strike you down if you do not cooperate, you will leave The Nires, for I have created and unleashed a horrible new disease here that will devour your innards and leave your body a dead husk in a matter of hours, slow painful hours. Folks will only be able to pass through this land, if you stop for more than a day, the disease will infect your bodies and minds. Your brigade is now forbidden to leave any of the Realm Lands. If any of you enter the Kingdom or the Allied Nations again, I will hunt you down and kill you. You may try if you do not believe what I command. Leave now and let these two conduct their business." stated Banareks.

                    The six knights mount their horses and ride west without uttering a syllable.

                    Deleb suddenly caught the morning star by it's long shaft using his right hand, then he hurried in to strike Takatuj in the temple using the sword's pommel. Walagrim almost had a blackout and the ground felt unsteady under his boots. He wrenched the weapon back out of Deleb's grasp. Springcrest gave a quick hack to the commander's right arm above the elbow. The short sword was made for a piercing attack, but Deleb had honed the edge on both sides of the fine blade. It still was not enough to force it's way past the steel rings of the armour.

                    Takatuj stabbed out low, trying to impale Deleb in the groin with the single spike on the weapon's tip. Springcrest deflected the attack and made his riposte. He scored a torso hit which penetrated the brass plate. The blade's point sunk four inches into flesh so Deleb gave the sword a twist to increase the damage,blood squirted as the metal warped and the flesh ripped. The forged metal that was combined with an enchantment from the isle's smithery had discovered a weakened point in the brass. He was forced to retract his steel an instant later when a weak retaliation penetrated his left thigh. Takatuj was still alive, but bleeding internally.

                    They both staggered as the duel resumed. Walagrim glared defiantly at Springcrest and abruptly struck him in the belly with a haphazard swing. Deleb had missed the block. It tore his muscles, but did not go deep enough to do serious damage, it was not a mortal wound.

                    Walagrim had a surge of energy. Deleb had to fend off several quick swings before he was able to counterstrike.

                    Deleb tried a series of thrusts aimed at Takatuj's throat. The Knight-Commander blocked and dodged and swung back hard. Sprincrest had to make a very painful dive and roll at one point. When he was on his feet again there was not much blood remaining in his body. Walagrim had almost more blood on his tabard that in his veins.

                    Omiz Banareks stood and watched the carnage. The blue fog appeared behind him. All was dark except a single torch that was left behind by Vella Duskran.

                    Takatuj blocked the next few strikes on the middle of the weapon's handle while he held one hand near the head and one hand on the tail. He next attempted a one-handed diagonal swing. then another backhand attack. Deleb leaned out of the way and hacked again at his enemy's right arm. Walagrim returned to a two-handed hold on the morning star. He swung,blocked,stabbed,swung and blocked again. In the next second, he leaped forward going inside a swing from Deleb. He pushed the handle horizontally into Springcrest's neck in an attempt to crush the man's windpipe. It caused Deleb to choke, but he pushed the shaft away with his right hand. It did not cause any further injury.

                    Walagrim made a mistake, he fell into a pattern and gave over his motions to his subconscious. It was something that occured when he was in prolonged battles during the war. It was not good for a duel. He attacked,blocked,swung to gain distance,parried, moved, stabbed,swung,dodged, maneuvered and attacked again.

                    Deleb was somehow able to hold on to his senses. The two men circled each other and fought harder than they ever had, even though they both were veterans.

                    After Springcrest studied the same moves three times in a row, Deleb reversed his attack and struck out at Takatuj's right palm when he was holding the morning star with only one hand. The sword pierced the gauntlet. The commander dropped his weapon with a yelp. A split second later, Deleb drove the short sword halfway through Takatuj's neck. They both fell to the black soil. Walagrim is dead. Deleb crawled over and retrieved his blade. He then began stuffing white bandages in his many wounds. He unfastened his armour as quickly as he could and removed some extra cloths, a thread spool and needle to sew his wounds. He wiped his blade with the oiled fabric and returned the sword to his scabbard. Deleb passed out for a quarter-hour.

                    When he awoke, he felt good enough to stand, so he got up and walked around the swamp's edge.

                    Deleb muttered a few prayers,then looked up to see Omiz Banareks.

                    "Lorad is safe." stated Omiz.

                    "Thank you august one. Thank you for everything you have done and thank you for all your help." said Deleb. "The Kingdom and Allies shall always honour your memory.

                    "You are most welcome Master Deleb Springcrest.You have always done what is right and true in this world. You do your nation honour. Take my pendant and your trinket back to the island. You or your descendants will be able to contact me in a great time of need. May your journey be safe. Fare Well Friend." stated Omiz Banareks.

                    "Goodbye." was all Deleb had the strength to say at that moment.

                    Banareks walked away in the darkness and vanished when he entered the blue fog.

                    Deleb Springcrest walked over and picked up the torch then began to walk back to the corral.

                    ---------------------------------The End------------------------------------------
                    Last edited by lemec; 08-18-2006, 07:56 PM.

                    "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                    - Michael Moorcock


                    • fine story........ wish to know more about this world of yours .......

                      may be a little heavy on magics


                      • Originally posted by Morgan Kane
                        fine story........ wish to know more about this world of yours .......

                        may be a little heavy on magics

                        Morgan Kane,

                        Thanks very much! I am so happy that you found something about it that you like.

                        That's good advice. If I can expand it to a full book, I could put more background into it. Or, maybe even have a companion novel of it's history and geography.

                        In the novel, I can cut down on the magic more and give explanation why Deleb has so many tricks at his disposal.

                        That is delightful encouragement to me!

                        now I really feel inspired to write more.

                        I will be overjoyed to provide more information about the world.

                        I'll also draw up a map and scan it sometime real soon.

                        That really made me happy to see your reply.

                        I also would like to hear any bad things about the set up that I should know about,
                        just to let you and everyone know that I am not only seeking good reviews.


                        very cool!


                        Last edited by lemec; 08-19-2006, 02:01 AM.

                        "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                        - Michael Moorcock


                        • Reminds me a little of Steven Erikkson's stuff (which is no bad thing).

                          Almost exactly on 10,000 words - nice going. You seem to have plenty of material to work with, and some pretty snappy dialogue (as with Mouser's story)

                          On a technical level, you might want to watch your tenses.

                          Also be careful with backstory and exposition - it's good to have, but if you are too liberal with it - it can detract from the story you are actually telling. Perhaps use just enough to flesh out the story you are telling now - after all you are telling a story about characters in the 'here and now'. The rest is useful for expanding into ideas for new stories.
                          Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

                          Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!


                          • Originally posted by devilchicken
                            Reminds me a little of Steven Erikkson's stuff (which is no bad thing).

                            Almost exactly on 10,000 words - nice going. You seem to have plenty of material to work with, and some pretty snappy dialogue (as with Mouser's story)

                            On a technical level, you might want to watch your tenses.

                            Also be careful with backstory and exposition - it's good to have, but if you are too liberal with it - it can detract from the story you are actually telling. Perhaps use just enough to flesh out the story you are telling now - after all you are telling a story about characters in the 'here and now'. The rest is useful for expanding into ideas for new stories.


                            I will certainly keep that in mind.

                            Very cool!


                            "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                            - Michael Moorcock


                            • Ladies and Gentlemen, all folks of the kingdoms and realms!

                              I present to you.....The World Map of Deleb Springcrest!


                              (fragments are missing at this time.)

                              -cartography by Lemec

                              "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                              - Michael Moorcock


                              • Ah Lemec, you are a good example to us all - a finished tale, and around 10,000 words as well, no mean task!

                                I don't have time to read it all yet but will return later.