A Story into Time, Chapter 8 Massacre is Only a Word

“Zeus they have broken through the outer walls, marching towards the center of the city. Reports are grim many have already fallen before these beings.” Hermes exclaims to his ruler. Hermes was streamlined athletic gentleman with winged sandals which he used to give him till today unmatched speed of flight.

“Ready my chariot! Inform Ares, Hephaestus, Poseidon and Hades to prepare for battle. They must not reach Mount Olympus!” Zeus orders while his wife approaches. Zeus was a well aged yet extremely muscular figure with lightening in his eyes giving him a rather shocking glare. His wife is an being of unfazed beauty and grace, in her prime she wraps one arm around her husband.

“Sweet husband, you charge off to battle, for glory. I wish you a swift victory, and offer my aid. For this empire is all of ours and any threat shall be met with the full force of the Gods.” Hera with a bit of spite pledges her services to her husband.

“Hera what do you know of battle, if battle involved giving birth I would request your assistance. No Hera you stay here with Apollo, Aphrodite, Dionysus, and Artemis Shall they get past us it will be up to you to protect the secrets of life. ” Zeus disregarded her aid with haste. Hermes returns with Zeus chariot and in tow the other Gods he requested battle ready. Hera with a disapproving look goes to hide the others under the throne itself.

“Ares, how did they even step foot here? How could we be so easily breached?” Zeus demanded answers

“My commander all weapons have only stalled them not killed them. They repair as fast as we can tare them apart. They can manipulate our abilities, and have effectively slain several of our kind. They have a wide range of abilities each specializing in taking on each of us down.” Ares was a heavily armored war driven and battle hardened God. He lived for violence and his voice echoed the thrill he felt on the inside facing the first real challenge in ages. His armor was made from layer upon layer of weaponry.

Hephaestus was standing next to Hades and Ares, his craftsmanship could be seen on every God that wondered the realm. He was wearing a suit of studded armor and wielding a spear. Hermes left to return with chariots for the rest Zeus and Ares take off as Hephaestus collapses. Poseidon yells “TRAITOR” as Hades removes his blade from the back Hephaestus head. Hades gives a smirk.

Poseidon brings his trident towards Hades whom lets it smash into him causing his frame to cave in. Poseidon glares in shot as Hades form returns moments after the blow. Hermes also joins shoving a very small dagger through Hades back and removing it. Hades spins the top half of his body and in a quick motion slits Hermes’ throat then spins back around to face Poseidon

“ow now Poseidon is that really a way to treat a lady, ” Diane says returning to her true form, the wounds she had suffered repair and she tilts her head with a playful smile. Her hand held onto a metal woven dagger covered in scripture. Diane with speed and uncanny agility closes in forcing Poseidon on the defensive. Hera and the others watch on in confusion and horror not sure what to do. Poseidon holds his own for now as Diane laughs as if a child playing with a new toy.

Zeus and Ares see three figures below as well as a mass Gods screaming out in pain as they bleed out staining the clouds. They turn black and thus to ashes. Zeus lands his chariot glaring at the Gilgamesh. To Gilgamesh’s right is being larger than a half giant but not the size of a giant. Its skin is make of a diamond like stone. It is wielding a war hammer that could serve as a hut for a small family. On its shoulder is the black seraph.

“Well, Zeus I wasn’t expecting you to meet me head on like this. Figured you would have cowered in your cambers till we came knocking.” Gilgamesh says while cleaning the tip of spear with a bit of robes cut from Athena who lies before him missing an arm and with several stab wounds. Athena reaches out towards Zeus before having the tail end of Gilgamesh’s spear slammed down through her skull.

Zeus with extreme anger,” WHO ARE YOU AND WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?.” Lightning flashes from out of his hands and eyes darkening the area around him.

Gilgamesh very calmly states,”My name is is Gilgamesh, my big friend here is named Alexander and that little bird on his shoulder is Hellen.” Alexander nods and Hellen waves down to the Gods. “To be honest I am not sure myself but the base answer…I suppose is freedom. Perhaps its something you couldn’t understand living up here in the clouds far from the reality of your subjects, and I am still learning as I walk among them.”

Ares sizes up Alexander trying to determine the best way to take him down quickly. He notices the seraph is armed with a bow and arrow though it is not at the ready. Assuming the big man moves as slow as one would expect he could easily out maneuver Alexander but the Seraph poses different issues with range and flight puts Ares at a notable disadvantage.

“You have slain many of us but not the best of us…”Ares says as he then takes off in a charge towards Alexander who lets go of his weapon and picks up Ares with his hand in a rush of unexpected speed. Ares arms still free pulls daggers off of his gauntlets and attempts to smash them into the stone fingers of Alexander. The blades of his weapons snap off and fly off in various directions. Alexander sighs as if saddened by whats about to happen as he squeezes Ares till Ares’s body gives way. The sound of his bones crushing rings out as the weapons that made up his armor are forced into him. Ares screams out in agony for a moment then becomes silent Alexander just puts Ares gently on the ground shaking his head and hand in disgust.

Zeus sends out a battle cry that sends lighting up from the clouds below and from every part of his body towards Gilgamesh. Who holds his spear forward. The Spear glows and absorbs the lightening. Causing flashes of various colors to dart across the sky. He then throws his spear towards the source of all the power. It pierces through Zeus chest causing becoming parasitic as it continues to absorb his abilities. Zeus pulls it out and his hand begins to decay as well as the hole it left in his chest. He falls to one knee but, summons another wave of lightening to shock all three of his opponents causing them to scream out in pain. As lightening bursts forth from each of them. They collapse and Zeus breathes heavily forcing himself to stand once again. HE returns to his chariot only to Feel an arrow pierce his back as Helen and the others are Getting back up with no sign of damage. Zeus’s eyes widen in disbelief at their undamaged bodies. He can feel his body begin to turn to ash and for the first time he realized that he was afraid to die.

Gilgamesh walks over to the chariot brushing the remains of Zeus off of it.
“Alexander continue to clean up here if you find any remaining finish it. Hellen come with me, we are going to meet up with Diane.” With a snap of the wrist they take off in the chariot heading towards the last of the Gods.

Hera having hidden the others hands the scroll to Dionysus, they wait but they all hear Poseidon fight and Hera builds up her courage and pokes her head out of hiding to see what is happening.

Poseidon has taken very minor injuries but has been forced back into the throne room of the Gods. The lack of any sort of conventional fighting style has put Poseidon at a disadvantage causing him to second guess any offensive moves. Diane’s movements are a memorizing display similar to dancing she lashes out with each of her limbs changing their rigidity as needed. With a move to form distraction she brings Poseidon to block low as her leg whips around and smashes into the side of his head knocking him out and toward the throne.

“Quickly grab Poseidon, the scroll of truth and make your way out to the land of the mortals,” Hera whispers before grabbing a chalice and charging forth towards Diane who yawns easily dodging Hera’s wild swings but this does distract Diane from the others movements and motives. A cloaked figure arrives at the door behind it stands next to a man whom hair and mouth expel flames. The cloaked figure is clearly female she raises her hand and in it is a wand. Hera screams in pain as all of joints invert and she collapses in a twisted heap on the floor.

The other Gods go to the mortal realm as Hera whimpers unable to move with every attempt she is crippled further as parts of her spine begin to turn.

“Stop it 334! She was mine not yours to play with. ” Diane screams out as the figure turns and waves her wand at Diane dislocating her jaw, the man laughs flicker flames past his lips. Diane jams her jaw back into place before throwing her dagger into Hera more out of mercy and claiming the kill than anything else. Her dagger passes all the way through Hera getting stopped by the handle. When this happens the daggers weaved blade separates slicing Hera in half as the blades slide around the base and go parallel to the handle before snapping back to its intertwined position.

“334 was my slave name, I think I shall take the name Madea….” A female voice rings out as she takes down her hood. A sickly looking being with dark purple hair looks stares at Diane with empty brown eyes. “Medea was an interesting kill for me today name has almost a pleasant ring to it…but Madea that is the name for me. Now that your done playing where is the scroll you went on and on about.”

Diane blinks briefly as she was still very angry being interrupted, now being questioned by 334 was just an insult. “First off I do not answer to you “Madea”. Secondly -” Diane is interrupted by her jaw becoming lose again as Madea wrist gives her wand a slight twitch having not heard an answer to her question just the opinion of someone she could care less about.

“Diane I asked you a question, now answer it.” Madea’s sickly eyes narrow in on Diane as the Gentleman with him numbs his laughter as a more serious tone is settling in.

“Answer Diane, or are we going to get to play.” His grin couldn’t have been more intimidating as the orange glow of his mouth blacked his teeth.

Diane having fixed her jaw, ” should be next to the throne on a pedestal. Lucifer your smile lacks the charm you insist you have.”

“Splendid!” Lucifer makes his way over to the throne looking searching it up and down to his dismay he finds Zeus’s crown and food on the pedestal which he gladly takes a bite of. With a mouth full of food he speaks” um…no…its not….there is nothing here.”

Gilgamesh arrives driving the chariot right into the throne room causing Madea to jump out of the way. She sneers as Gilgamesh jumps down off the chariot. He heads over to the throne and sits down picking up the crown and placing it on his head. Hera turns to ashes and Gilgamesh looks over the others.

Gilgamesh speaks with authority,” Well victory is ours the Gods are defeated…Alexander is cleaning up what remains in the city. Bring me the scroll and share your reports. We shall begin to plan our next move.”

“The scroll is not here Gilgamesh,” Lucifer states his hair diminishing slightly as she spoke.

“Well Diane what happened?” Gilgamesh sternly asks.

“It’s obvious she was all about playing instead of doing her job. Clearly, and she killed the last God here that could have told us anything.” Madea states coldly and as harshly as possible.

“Most likely some of the Gods must have escaped I will do whatever it takes to find them and the scroll. ” Diane explains.

“Be that as it may the Gods are defeated and the few remaining can not be of very much use. Off to plan B. summon Natalie, she hopefully has located Kronos by now. Diane head to the mortal realm and find the Gods before they fully disappear.”

It was at this point that a portal opened out, from out of it came Ellen who has wounds that had only just stopped bleeding. Shocked by this Gilgamesh and Hellen rush to her aid. They hold her head up as her face is partially removed.

“Ellen…what the hell happened to you what or who did this?” Hellen Demands.

Hellen responds weakly…”400…he says he will the mortals are defended.”

Gilgamesh exclaims,”400 did this to you? How he has no skills at all. ”

“I do not know how…only that he is not the same as he was…” She coughs up some blood but healing is starting to show but scars cover her from head to toe. Gilgamesh leaves her in Hellen’s arms as he looks to Lucifer.

“Find The Reaper, and go after 400, bring him before me for questioning. Do whatever you must to draw him out. Madea take the key I found off of Hades and see if it opens this so called Gate. Release those races within, freedom for all. No one should be caged. Hellen tell Alexander to begin spreading word of our victory and let the people know they are free. Ellen when you finish healing join her and Alexander. You take this message to each kingdom telling the Gods are no more. Tell them to begin destruction of temples for they no longer matter. We give all races the gift of freedom.” Gilgamesh decrees.


A Story Into Time, Chapter 7 Red Sky

Ash wakes up and turns to look at her demigod protector who is sitting on the floor in the corner of the room his back against one wall as his left shoulder leans against the other. His right hand on his ax and his head drooped down with his chin touching the base of his collar bone. She smiles faintly knowing as long as he is around no one could harm her if they desired. She wondered if he loved her or if he just saw it as his duty. Ash began to think about all that has happened since they came to this down. The loss of Rebecca and the fact her sister stumbled upon her. She wondered what surprises laid in hiding for this day.

Snowy let out a loud snort and woke herself up. She rolls onto her side as well flopping her arm over Ash. Ash startled as she was not use to sharing a bed as Argos found that concept a bit unconventional. Snowy snuggles up to Ash giving her a bit of a squeeze. Ash waits a awkward moment before forcibly sitting up. Snowy grunts and thrashes her legs for a second before sitting up too.

Ash whispers,” What was that all about..”

Snowy in normal volume,” What do you mean it was a good morning hug for the worlds best sister. Expect more of them, we have a lot of ground to make up for.” With a yawn she moves slides down picking up her sandal and tosses it at Argos.

It bounces off his right shoulder startling him, in turn this causes him to lift the ax and slam it through the closed door and frame. He jumps to an alert position as Ash pushes Snowy, who can not help but laugh at Argos’s reaction. Snowy falls off the bed do to the push given by Ash landing on the ground hard. This only pauses her cheer for a moment before shrugging it off and continuing to watch her created amusement.

” Whats happening?” Argos looks around for a threat half asleep though soon he sees Ash and Snowy. Seeing Snowy’s sandal on the ground, he correctly determines that there was no threat and then grumbles about the damage he has done, as the top of the door swings open having been freed from the latch. Argos removes his ax and begins trying to estimate how much this will cost. “Snowy, your lack maturity is noted….” Argos grumbles.

Ash can not help but giggle a little as well at Argos choice of words. Grendel pops his head appears in the half open door. As Argos eyes narrow in on Ash’s slip up he says nothing as Grendel chimes in. ” Well, if this is how you welcome the morning, do I dare ask how you send off the night? ” Grendel continues to walk pass Argos still dressed, growls slightly then leaves the room. Ash and Snowy carefully change as to not be seen by any wondering eyes that pass by the broken door. Snowy then grabs Ash by the arm and leads her to Kross’s room. They Snowy begins pounding away on the door trying to encourage Ash to do the same. Ash is about to begin, Snowy stops Ash raises her hands and the door opens. A hung over Kross gives Ash a death stare causing her to stammer for a moment. Tension is broken by Snowy giving Kross a hug.

“I erm am so-” Ash begins but Snowy cuts her off.

“about time you woke up sleepy head, did you have fun with your new friends?” Snowy asks super cheery. Kross wraps one arm around Snowy and returns her hug so she will release him. He only grumbles at her cheer as he holds up one finger. He closes the door, Snowy keeps her smile shinning as she looks over to Ash who still feels she may get in trouble. Snowy shakes her a bit to bring her out that funk, then they hear Kross Shouting from the other side of the door.

“You have to be kidding your a grown ass man how the hell did you piss yourself in your sleep. ” They then hear Chuck respond.

“First you drink more than any human should, second you drift off to a dream that is far better than reality…then you have to pee and well there is this lovely tree in dream land…and well…” Chucks voice is clearly half asleep as Kross having gathered his belongings storms out of the room. Snowy cheers and takes off after Kross Ash brings up the rear still not 100 percent sure what to make of all of this.

“Seems you have made everyone angry this morning.” Ash says to Snowy who tilts her head in confusion.

“Mad? Never. I only woke them up to make sure they saw how wonderful the day is. Besides I am hungry only way to get fed half the time is to drag the grumpy old people out of bed. ” Snowy says dramatically flipping her hair.

They arrive down stairs to see, Argos and Grendel eating some sort of flat bread covered in egg. Snowy begs for some as well and Kross brings out his coin purse handing both Snowy and Ash a gold coin for breakfast, Snowy grabs Ash by the hand and drags her off to the counter to order winking to her as if to say “see it works every time.”

Kross pulls up a chair next to Argos he orders his break fast and some other rations for travel.

“Sorry boy scout don’t think I can feed you on a regular bases, And dwarf that monk pissed himself… you could have given me a warning or something” Kross says agitated at the whole ordeal they agreed to embark on. That could very well turnout to be a goose chase.

Grendel finishes his bite then responds,”World is full of surprises…”

Argos also replies,” I will buy my own way, I may not look like much but I can afford supplies. ”

Chuck stumbles down the stairs causing him to trip and tumble the rest of the way down. He slowly sits up as no one rushes over to his aid Snowy only giggles as Ash waits for a cue from Argos for the proper reaction. Argos looks back for a moment then returns to eating Ash follows in kind.

Chuck joins them plopping down next to Grendel and the girls, he is wearing new, aged pants having cleaned himself up from the nights mistakes. They finish up and stock up on what supplies they can here, then split up and tackle gathering items for the road. Argos finds an ox as Kross and Snowy find a wagon. Grendel and Chuck load up on ale, wine, and liqueur as well as water. Ash however has the hardest task of finding a map of the realms and a compass, after asking more people than she felt comfortable with she gains her requirements and returns to the tavern where the others had already gathered.

“Well still no sign of Cecil I take it. Might have to head up to that wooded area and see if we can find him. ” Kross says still in disbelief that they are doing this. Given no direction or idea of where to go he just shakes his head in disgust before helping tie the ox to the wagon.

Argos looks down at Kross before speaking,” You sure are an angry little fella you should look more to the joys of life when you can, but I guess that is why you keep Snowy around huh. Besides Cecil said he was limited in what he get invested into right now, anyway if these immortals exist I am sure they are causing some sort of scene where ever they are. ”

Oh yes,” Grendel states “perhaps we should check the kingdoms of the greatest houses, surely word has traveled of strange happenings.”

Clouds begin to gather in the sky making it dark and the winds begin to pick up Snowy and Ash seek shelter between baskets of supplies using Snowy’s grey robe as cover they smile at their make shift shelter. Argos raises his hand to block the wind from his eyes and Kross ties the final knot on the ox, who was starting to get startled.

The sky erupts in thunder and lightening, as the earth itself shakes from the violence above. Argos and Kross look up as Grendel and Chuck load up their contributions to the journey ahead. The sky is full of clouds as lightening flashes in various colors. This raises the hair on Kross’s neck as he has never witnessed anything like it before.

The sky flashes various colors as rain begins to fall. Not any type of rain the world has ever seen. Blood soaks the earth and those standing below. Kross orders them to move forward towards the woods where Cecil was found. They march on Argos and Chuck saying prayers as the Grendel tries to distract the girls who have become frightened by the whole ordeal.

The feet of Argos and Kross splash through bloody mud puddles as they enter the wooden area. Kross stops the cart as he hears the clang of metal. The golden seraph from before has a rapier drawn and is currently covered in various cuts. Pieces of its flesh are scattered across the area. They all watch as Cecil stands still only glaring at the seraph as chucks of her flesh fly off.

Seraph,” WHAT THE FUCK, HOW, SHIT…” She screams with an enchanting tone cause Argos to charge forward to try and stop it ask Kross Chases after him in hopes he can stop the Demi-god from getting involved in whatever this is. As Argos approaches the battle the wings of the seraph fly past him as Kross sees Argos become still. Kross closes in and looks at Argos who is not even blinking a living statue, Kross can not even tell if he is breathing. Kross shouts at Grendel and Chuck to help him drag the fool back. They run and assist not sure what is currently happening.

The seraphs falls to her knees as Cecil remains still. He looks down at her as she begins to summon a portal. Chanting as she holds back her tears barely any flesh left on her as she looks at him, in pure fear. Cecil’s eyes once white are now visibly multicolored, blue, red, gold, white, black, and gray.

“Why am I not healing…what have you done….how did you?” Seraph demands after finishing her portal inches from her.

Cecil’s tone was cold and harsh as his eyes narrowed giving his response,”You tell the others the realm of mortals will be defended. If the immortals want to continue their destruction tell them what happened here and show them what happened to you. if you try and hunt me down again and you will be in far worse condition. This is the extent of the mercy immortals can expect to see should they wage war on mortals. Take that message to Gilgamesh, you tell him I sent it, you tell them all. ”

The seraph with resentment nods crawling through the portal and vanishing. The portal closes as soon as she enters. Cecil falls to one knee then vanishes as well. Moments later Argos takes a deep breath and is startled with being back by the wagon, all the evidence of the battle they witnessed is gone Snowy whimpers as Ash does her best to console her. Ash had seen few things worse than what they all just witnessed.

Kross with hand on his blade begins to walk forward to where the battle had taken place he is mindful of his steps being take it slower when he reaches where Argos had frozen.

“Well then sorry about that. Had a pest problem had to take care of, it will by us some time to get you all where you need to go. The Gods will not all parish today instead they will be forced to fall to this realm. Pay attention to the rays of light that collide with the ground. The realm may very well rest in your hands, I will catch up to you when I can.” Cecil speaks from behind Kross. Cecil’s eyes have returned to white yet his tone remains the same cold and distant as it did when he spoke to seraph.

Kross jumps forward and turns to draw his blade out of instinct from being startled. He points the end of the blade to Cecil’s throat. ” What are you…how and why did you do that?”

“The how is irrelevant but the why is to keep the skies clear of their wondering eyes for a bit, giving the Gods a chance to flee. I have other details that demand my attention, but if you truly seek answers to how, you need to head to the forbidden island. Recommend going armed as secrets tend not to be given up without a fight.” Cecil says remaining cold.

Kross shakes his head as the rain continues to fall. He sheaths his sword as the blood continues to fall he turns and looks to Argos and the others he sighs and grumbles. Having always done his best to stay out of the nonsense of Gods and the fools run of seeking glory finds himself in the middle of almost more than he can bare. He informs the others at to what Cecil said word for word. They all look at each other then wait. 6 beams of light shower down from the heavens colliding with earth causing it to shake.

Argos determines they should head east as the closet one landed in that direction. He worries for his father, but his confidence of his fathers abilities blinds him to the possibility that Ares has already fallen. The wagon carves its way through the blood soaked path as they reach cross roads they take the eastern path.


A Story Into Time: Chapter 6 Drunken Monk and Noble Dwarf.

A elfin  man weeps over an elfin women’s body lying on a bed. The bed sheets from her waist down are covered in red blood as the sounds of new born babies cries can be heard emanating from the other room.  The elfin women name was Aeardis, she wore a smile on her face as her blue eyes remained looking  off to the right towards the door frame.  Her right hand lies off the bed as if reaching out towards the cries of the children.  Her hair was the most elegant shade of black, that it almost has a glow in its shine. Her lips were once a pure ruby color, but now were faded pink.

The elfin man was named Gaerben, he had blond hair and crimson red eyes. Unlike most males in the noble families he had kept his hair short and tight. As the hair of the elves normally indicated the power of the nobility.  As each house held a power over a different element. Water or ice was the house he had belonged too as he abandoned his house to join his wife’s house of fire. Gaerben soon found out that with the tragic loss of his wife his family would suffer for ever.

The bed frame matched the imagery of fire captured in the mask of wood. With fine detailed work of elves can be seen in every aspect of the home. The bedding itself was made from layered silk over fine sand base providing a soft yet firm retreat for slumber. The rest of the room was made out wood lightly chard to bring out the true sent of the wood, as well as making it easier for the tiny bits of hell’s ivy carved into the wood.

Gaerben covered his beloved’s face under the silk sheets of their bed.Tears turn to ice as they slid off of his cheeks, carefully he wrapped up her body and would wait for her relatives to claim her. His red eyes flashed as he swallowed his sadness and left to check in on his future hopes. Stepping through the door frame he saw a his sister in law looking down at the elflings as if they are cute but toxic keeping her distance.

Gaerben,” you came quickly Resha.”

Resha,” They are cute they look like her when she was born, ah I remember the day.” Resha was wearing a green gown with gold lace her eyes and hair matched her sister though she was older and a bit taller. Her face carried the scars and bruises of an abusive husband leaving his brand. Her hair had been singed and was shorter than it was suppose to be but still reached her shoulders, so still socially acceptable. Her voice had a permanent bitter cold tone of a breaking soul.

Gaerben,” Indeed, what do you think your father will do?”

Resha,” Have you named them yet?” Ignoring the question that she wished not to answer

Gaerben,” Snowy and Ash, Aeardis picked them”

Resha,” Picking the names from humanity? She was always a rebel….so which ones which.”

Gaerben,” that will depend on which house they take after.”

Resha,” Neither….mix houses never have the skills to remain among the nobles…yet you and my sister both knew this. With her passing I doubt my father will allow you to stay here for long. Never was to fond of the bond you two shared. ”

Gaerben,”Will he throw out his own grandchildren?

Resha,” yes, expectantly if they follow your house blood line. I suggest you return to your home land and take them with you. ”

Gaerben,” it’s not likely that my mother would allow our return either for turning my back to their ideals. ”

Resha,” I am truly sorry, you always did seem like a good soul; maybe a little unorthodox, but you did love my sister which is more than I can say for my marriage. Guess you can say I was jealous that my baby sister got to marry out of love instead of out of duty.”

Gaerben,” Tis the fate of most I am afraid.” he says with sincere tone knowing her husband was a warrior through and through always looking for a war, ” given the choice I wouldn’t change anything I have done. ….”

Resha,” Now then,” she pulls a spell book out of her left sleeve and hands it too him. “I know your fire skills are next to none, but should your daughters take after my blood line this is the book of our house. Teach them all you can for you will not always be around to defend them. Darkness will always find a way to touch all that can not produce light. ”

Gaerben takes the book looking over it as the cover was hot to the touch scattered with magical symbols of fire. Nodding he says thank you, before placing it in a bag of heirlooms. Also in the bag was his wife’s training wand and robes from her house, as well as robes and metal hand fans from his house.

Resha,” it is a rough path you are on, I do not envy the hardships you will have to undertake. Stay towards the mountains the nature of the earth elves and dwarfs should grant you safe passage to your home along the sea. As they tend to keep to themselves. May your strength guide you to safe travels. My father shall arrive soon and thus we will commence the burial I hope you will attend. ”

Gaerben,” We all will…” placing down a blanket he wraps the new born babies together with their heads sticking out. Placing it around his chest he hums a sweet tune of the sea to calm his daughters as  Resha ties a belt around his waist and the blanket containing the offspring. Once finished he places his hands over the back pack tossing in a coin purse with his small fortune in gold and other coin as well as a dagger with some spare clothing. It was at this point that a fat white haired elf burst through the door rushing past Resha and Gaerben and straight into the room with Aeardis. With tears of loss and anger he kneels down next to the bed lifting up Aeardis in his arms uncovering her face.

Gaerben and Resha stay back as their king mourns over the loss of his daughter. Soon a younger male elf with black hair arrives. He was in his late middle ages for his kind. Carrying two wands on each hip that had be forged into the handles of long thin swords which was standard for a fire dancer warrior; their highest class of fighter.

Resha,” greetings Tagule the news is grave, we have lost our baby sister.” Resha bows to her brother as

Tagule,” Foolish child…..knew this would be the out come if they reproduced a fire body can not house water…”  Tagule turned his attention to Gaerben.” Are you satisfied now that you slayed my sister? Forbidden your union was and the law you two just ignored it now look at what has come to pass, I should slay all of you right now, for spitting on the traditions of our house you have no right to this. ”

The King,” Silence your words Tagule…stave off your rage for later, we have business to attend to. ”

Tagule spits in Gaerben’s face before walking out of the house as the King exits the bedroom carrying Aeardis covered in a fresh thick blanket. Not even glancing at his daughters husband nor his grand children as he walks by nodding to Resha to follow him to the resting chambers of their blood line. Gaerben removes a small cloth from his pocket and wipes the saliva off of his face.

Resha followed and shortly after Gaerben. The wall of the tomb had figures of past leaders and those who had been burned to ash. In each of the statues had their hands held out to hold onto the ashes of those whose glory they mimic. The room smelled of fire and at its core sat an open pit from which the King placed his daughter fighting back the tears. It wasn’t long before the whole tribe arrived to pay their respects.

King,” Aeardis, was my last born. Suffering the same fate as her mother before her. She had her mothers heart so kind, and innocent few will ever match. Though she often strayed from our paths she never left our hearts. Aeardis my dear, you will be missed by all and the world has lost its brightest flame today. A flame that could never be tamed, that shall burn through our memories till the day we become one with the ash. ” It was at this point he began to chant causing the pit to burst into flames soon the rest of the clan joined in causing the flames to turn a bright gold color and increasing the heat to the point it was able to actually turn the body to ash.

Gaerben, joined into the chant as well causing the flames to give off a light blue tinge on the out most flames causing the King to glare at him. Gaerben did not care about the King’s disapproving gaze as his wife turned to ashes. Within an hour the fire faded and only ashes remained. The tribe began to disperse just like the flames soon all that remained was Resha, the King, Tagule, Gaerben and his two sleeping daughters.

Resha bent down to the ashes that out lined her sisters body, Placing a bowl down around the ashes that were once Aeardis heart. She then gathered the surrounding ashes, and placed them into an urn. The King and Prince loomed over Resha’s actions with curiosity.

King,”Resha what are you doing.”

Resha,” We both know…that her body, and blood were of our ancestry, but to lay claim to her heart would tarnish who she was. Her heart belongs to Gaerben and her children even. Tradition or not. ” Resha then places the ashes of Aeardis heart into a smaller urn, which colors reflect water and fire spiral.

King,” You have no right! ”

Resha,” I HAVE EVERY RIGHT!! I have always done what you thought was needed, beaten for the pleasure of the husband you demanded I marry, Abandoned the desires of my heart and soul, for the best of this family but make no mistake I may share your blood and flesh but you are not my family, only my ruler.  Aeardis was allowed to live a life from which you yourself said you could not tame. She was given a life to make a family in spite of you. This is what she wanted, its whats right. Do as you see fit but for once know this…I will do what I feel is just. I will do what I want and you be damned father!” Closing the second urn she stands up shoving the larger urn into her fathers hands then she begins to walk towards Gaerben. Tagule goes to cut her off but the King after placing the urn sternly in his left arm pulls Tagule back with his right.

Resha,” May her heart continue to guide you and yours till the day you join her in the light. ”

Gaerben,” Thank you…”

King,” Make your peace sir and humbly leave my kingdom you have done enough to our reign. As for you Resha we will talk more about this tomorrow but the sun has fallen and we shall all follow its lesson.”

Gaerben,” For what its worth, my King, you will always be spoken of in a kind light to your grand daughters and I hope one day for your sake you can accept that life may not always meet your expectations but that it never was suppose to.”

King,” Your half wisdom means nothing here water born. ”

Tagula,” Keep this in mind, should I ever see you again. I’ll send you to the light and those murderous poison of children too. ”

Gaerben turns his back and exits the tomb holding onto the heart of his angel. The fire that will keep him and his daughters warm till the day they reach the light. Gaerben returns to his home looking over all memories and hopes him and his wife once shared. Grabbing his bow and arrow ties the quiver to his belt and carefully places the bow strap around his shoulder making sure the string doesn’t cross over the bare skin of his children. With a sigh he departs out into the world towards the mountains.

The night passes to day and Gaerben has made some good distance from the city. Upon the road towards the mountains he sees a body shaped lump lying on the ground in the middle of the way. Closing in on it he notices that its still breathing carefully he removes his bow and loads up an arrow covered in ice magics, he whispers softly a spell causing a thin barrier around him and his children. Taking half steps till he sees an empty bottle of rum just out of reach of the man. He also notices that the man is a human far from his home. Putting his bow up he kneels down next to the man trying to wake him.

The human remains unconscious so Gaerben flips him over noticing the man is carrying coconuts. Which reminds Gaerben of home but also tells him that his man is some sort of wanderer.  Gaerben waves his hand around a bit to condense the water in the air into a small ball which he drops on the humans face, waking him.

Human,” Who what….ug…my head…”the man grabs his head before actually looking around to see a Gaerben standing above him confused by the site of a water elf male with two children strapped to his chest in the fire lands.” erm…Hello water elf?”

Gaerben,” Greetings drunk human? My name is Gaerben, what may  I ask your doing out here? and what it is that you are called in your home country?”

Chuck,” Chuck, my friends call me chuck….you know, just one of those wandering monks you see every so often…guess I got a little sauced last night and wondered out here.” Chuck was in his early twenties and his head was shaved balled at one point and was in need of a new slice soon. His voice was friendly for the most part and a little horse from the shouting the night before. He wore well worn tan clothing and smelled of the night before. He smiled brightly standing up to eye the sleeping children then looking around he noticed that there was no company for the gentleman he just met.

Chuck,” I mean you no harm you can have the mother come out of hiding, your youngens look like they were born yesterday. They will be hungry soon. ”

Gaerben,” …..its just us, heading to the mountains how about yourself?” Gaerben had not even thought to pack milk or anything to feed the youngsters, though he knew back home that coconut milk was often used when a mother was unable to provide. Not a perfect match but might be useful.

Chuck,” Mountains, nah no thanks not my kind of traveling, but isn’t that a very rough way to go carrying two little ones?” Chuck was sort of alarmed by the mans choice of the mountains as trolls and rock devils were on the rise lately.

Gaerben,” Unfortunately its the quickest way back to our new home. Do you think I could perhaps purchase some of your coconuts for the little ones?”

Chuck,” erm….got anything to trade? ”

Gaerben,” only thing I can afford to spare is coin I am afraid.”

Chuck,”Alright then, I’ll sell you six or so should buy you some time to make it to a mountain market. 5 bronze chillings please

Gaerben,” Seems a little steep there monk.”

Chuck,” Your right but a mans gotta drink” Chuck snickers at his own comment as Gaerben hands him only 4 coins.”Alright fair enough.”

Gaerben,” Well, take care and safe travels my friend.”

Chuck,” may Poseidon keep you safe.”

Gaerben heads off towards the mountains as Chuck sits down tries to shake the feeling of guilt of not following. Once Gaerben fades from sight Chuck stands back up. The sun’s heat bares down on the land below causing no remorse for the dehydrated drunk. Chuck was not exactly sure of how far a town was from where he was at. Knowing that the fire elves would not harbor him with any kindness and the gnomes were still another two day hike at least. Sighing, he stands up and makes his way off in the direction of the mountains. Thinking soon he will run into Gaerben and the children.

A Few Days Later

“Alright stone dwarf…..that’ 24 shots too ya!.” Chuck says fighting back the urge to burp but knows its a losing battle. He is sitting at a table in a brothel having a drink with a stern looking dwarf who is slightly drooling on himself from the right side of his mouth. Between the two is a large bottle with a skull and cross bones drawn on it and under the drawing an inscription that reads “Black Diamond”. Black diamond was a powerful yet common drink among the mountain folk, it has many uses other than just getting snickered. From lantern fuel, goblin/bat repellent, medical treatments, cooking and cleaning.

Chuck slouching but keeping his composure speaks at a semi serious tone to the dwarf, ” You give yup yet?”

Dwarf,”Yeah like I would ever give in to a middle lander like you.” The dwarf pulls himself a shot of the Black Diamond liquid and slams is back letting out a belch. The two had begun to draw a crowd as they continued their drinking contest, some even began to place bets, but when the shot number hit 35 the dwarf and the monk both fell backwards off their stools and landed on the floor out cold.  Displeased by the lack of a winner the crowd dissipated.

Gaerben,” Chuck….”Gaerben whispers in Chucks ear before shaking him. He is a rather tall and lengthy water elf with short blond hair wearing the robes from the elf fire nation. strapped to his back is two babies wrapped in a dark grey wolf skin blanket.”, Chuck…wake up….it seems you pissed yourself again…” Frustrated Gaerben forms a small ball of water to begin dripping on chucks face similar to that of rainfall. Some time passes before Chuck shoots up smashing his face into the ball of water. Gaerben disburses the water orb as Chuck coughs out some water and blows his nose all over his face before smearing it off with his hand and whipping it on his pants.

Cursing as he began rubbing his eyes trying to get a look at where he is exactly. Seems someone had tossed him into an alley next to bar he was the night before it was well shaded. Looking around he could see the sun had yet to reach the top of the mountain sky. Still a bit drunk he stands up looking over at Gaerben with his two daughters.

Chuck, ” Aye, whats the big idea waking me up before the sun has even risen.”

Gaerben says in disgust,” Just get yourself cleaned up you stink. Honestly, I don’t know why I just don’t leave you in a pile of your own waste.”

” its simple its cause you’re a good guy for the most part. Leaving me to my own devices would not be what a good guy thing to do…..” Chuck gives a shit eating grin after his very true statement.

Chuck,” Perhaps I spoke too soon…whats with the rush anyway.”

Gaerben states with a bit of urgency,”Rock golems are on the move again this town is most likely their next target.”

Chuck,” You need to relax some, I know you have some kids to look out for but jeeze we have only stayed one or two nights at a time in this mountains, I mean seriously come on now, everywhere you go people say they are in danger from something. Hate to break it to ya but the world is not a safe place you can’t keep running every time some joker says the worlds going to end.”

It was at this moment that Chuck noticed a pair of large feet attached to a short stubby legs. Standing up Chuck looks past Gaerben. Chucks eyes bring the being in focus he sees the dwarf he had been in a contest with the night before out cold face down in the the dirt with a bit of blood covering both pairs knuckles.

Gaerben says something about rather being safe than sorry, but Chuck isn’t paying attention as the dwarf from the night before was fully dressed in armor and weaponry, now was in nothing but under garments. Chuck pats Gaerben on the shoulder and points over at the dwarf sleeping soundly. Gaerben turns to look over at the dwarf shrugging and looking back at Chuck.

Chuck,” ya that is all good and all.” responding to whatever comment Gaerben made before directing the conversation over to the unconscious company. ” So, no wet awakening for my competition?”

Gaerben, ” Seems someone robbed him didn’t want him to think it was us, dwarfs have a tendency to smash first and ask questions later.”

The babies snore in their wolfs skin carrier attached to Gaerben’s back. Chuck looks down at them as he passes picking up a twig off the ally floor. Using the stick Chuck begins to poke the bare feet of the dwarf, causing the dwarf to giggle in between gentle breaths. Chuck smiles in amusement and continues to prod the feet as Gaerben sighs knowing there was no talking Chuck out of the things Chuck does. Gaerben begins to look out in the street and the busy streets. The dwarf begins to try and kick the stick in his sleep forcing his feet to collide with one another. Chuck then jams the end of the stick in between the toes of the dwarf forcing the dwarf to wake up with a forceful laugh. Rolling over the dwarf sits up seemly unfazed by the night before.

” Good morning champ, seems you lost time to pay up!” Chuck says with a welcoming grin.

The dwarf looks at the monk with a bit of a glare on his face before seeing the two sleeping elves attached to Gaerben’s back. Before saying anything the dwarf looks down noticing he was next to nude and that all his armor/weaponry was missing.

Dwarf, ” Damn the Gods…..You didn’t win last night you drunk fool, my memory serves me correctly I won and you owe me but more importantly, I’d like you to return my belongings.”

Chuck,” What use would I have for armor that fits a dwarf I am2 feet taller than you it wouldn’t fit. Besides I am monk we don’t use swords and spears.”

Dwarf,” Hmmm….you Elf women return my stuff!”

Gaerben sighs again before turning around to look at the dwarf. The dwarf looks confused as a water elf man stands before him. Gaerben speaks in a bit of a harsh tone,” Look here dwarf, I didn’t take your stuff, and you both passed out last night at the same time, you at least didn’t piss yourself so I think that would make you the winner. Now my name is Gaerben, these are my girls Snowy and Ash. That monk is named Chuck,”

” Hey he didn’t win we tied I guess. ” Chuck says as readjusts his pants in the front.

Dwarf,” Aye My name is Grendel, now that we have all met, did either of you see what happened to my belongings. ”

” I woke up a bit before you did thanks to my friend here ” The monk wraps one arm around Gaerben who glares at Chuck till chuck removes his arm.

Gaerben states plainly,” Friends is a bit of a strong word for our relationship don’t you think.”

Grendel,” Ah so that is a no then.

Chuck,” Now that is not nice, who gave you coconuts to feed your children? Helped you and your family climb to the top of the mountain.”

Gaerben shakes his head,” Point made now can we get you cleaned up so we can move on before the Rock Golems arrive.”

Grendel begins to snicker, ” Rock Golems ha ha ha ha.” The dwarf busts out laughing. “Now they have been resting for thousands of years. Who told you that nonsense. Besides we would feel the ground shake long before we could see them.”

Chuck,” See told ya! ”

Gaerben agitated responds,”Fine then maybe the rumors are all false doesn’t mean staying put is the best option.”

” As prince of the Stonefoot clan I demand you tell me why an elf man of the water clan is wondering through my kingdom with a water elf and fire elf offspring. Also why the hell you chose the company of a Human “monk”…I have to assume you wish to leave my kingdom for the slave trade the humans have opened up.”

Chuck,”Prince….yeah right the only they your prince of is this ally.”

Gaerben,”Prince? Sorry I didn’t recognize you sooner I saw you as a child at a ball many years ago. Your beard has grown in nicely. As you asked, and I am in your lands I am required to respond. “He bows slightly agitated about the interrogation but he shares his story, but Chuck interupts and tells Gaerbens story.

Grendel having heard the story in the entirety nods then stands up. Looking over at the four. “Well that is indeed a story, Now if you four would be as so helpful to help me locate my armor.

Gaerben takes a few steps away from the two drunks in thought about how the theft of Grendel belongings is becoming his concern. Debating on just abandoning the two drunks and continuing on his path, but should the prince take offense it could create even more problems for him.

Chuck,” Well, you must excuse Gaerben, he has a lot on his plate right now.”

Grendel,”Water elves are so fickle to begin with surprised to see one in the mountains; let alone a dishonored noble.”

Grendel stretches and Gaerben decides to remain quite but to follow the two. Grendel begins to dust himself off as the smell of urine finally hits his nose. He turns and looks at the monk in his soiled clothing. Chuckling to himself Grendel leads Chuck to a small hut on the edge of town. To call it a hut was a generous observation as a large piece of rock metal sat across four large boulders forming some sort of roof door to a spacing in the middle of the rocks. Grendel and Chuck climb up a boulder to the top as Gaerben just watches. Grendel lifts up the metal rock handing the weight over to Chuck. Then Grendel jumps down into a small hole. A few moments later Grendel yells out to go ahead and close the top. Grendel lays his shoulder into one of the boulders and with a couple of big pushes is able to slide the boulder out of the way to make an entrance. Chuck jumps down and enters as Gaerben waits outside in the shade of a large boulder.

Chuck,” High class place you got here “Chuck looks around the small boulder made dwelling, he eyes a nap sack and some spare cloths. the dwarf tosses some small pants to the monk. “Think these are a little wide and short for me. ”

Grendel,” So wear shorts and find some rope or something. Either way if your going to help me then give my nose a break. ”

Chuck, ” Huh? I thought you were a prince….this doesn’t look like luxuries a prince would have.”

Grendel,”I am on a pilgrimage, every Stonefoot when he comes of age must head out into the world alone and take on the challenges of the mountains. Not everyone returns. You going to put those on? Because by mid day your piss pants will be so sour no one will want to be anywhere near you. ”

Chuck,” Oh right…thank you?” Chuck turns his back to Grendel as the dwarf searches his cabin pushing another boulder wall a bit to uncover a small hole containing a hatchet and a small knife and a bit of spare gold. Chuck changes though the waist size of the new pants are very large compared to the athletic tone body of the monk. Chuck looks around for something to tighten them with, but fails to see anything useful.

Grendel,” Ready? ”

“I guess,” Chuck replies holding up his pants on either side like a child who is wearing their parents clothing.

Grendel,” Ha ha ha….you look a bit odd, but It will do for now.”

Once they exit  Grendel pushes the boulders back in place making sure the flat metal stone was secured on the top. Taking a quick look around before Grendel finds an arm sized stone, and orders Chuck to drop his piss pants on the ground. Once Chuck does comply; Grendel drops the stone on top of the soiled garments and they head back towards town stopping off at a local merchant, to ask some questions. Gaerben tags along though remains distant from the two. As the two enter the merchant the elf man takes his daughters into his arms for awhile rocking them as they slumber. He smiles lightly moving the hair out of this faces with a gentle touch. He returns them to their carrier.

Merchant,” Welcome to ‘Whendom’s Wears’ my name is Whendom how may I assist you?”

Grendel,”Well someone stole my armor last night has the Stone Fledglings symbol on it, for those Born to the Stonefoot clan.

Whendom,” I don’t know I see many armors of different clans in my shop…” his voice is cocky as if he knows something in particular.

“Well perhaps you have seen the armor we speak of.” Chuck says with a smile and happy tone.” You wouldn’t happen to have some rope you would be willing to donate to a worthy cause would ya?”

Whendom ignores the question about rope but does respond,” These days people want so much stuff for free….it costs money for everything these days. Information being one of the most profitable.”

Grendel,” Well how about this, ” Grendel says as he slides two gold coins over to the man?

Whendom,”That does help, there were two human teenagers here not too long ago the youngest was wearing the armor you mentioned.  They bought a canteen and some climbing gear.”

Grendel,” Didn’t happen to mention which way they were heading did they,”

Whendom,” My memory is a bit unclear on that matter,”

Chuck,” Well, what will it cost to get some twine?”

Grendel slides a third coin over to Whendom but keeps his finger pressing it down with most of his strength. Whendom goes to grab it; although realizes quickly that the dwarfs hand wasn’t moving.

Whendom,” Said they were heading to the sea because they had never seen it before. Not exactly sure what city they are heading too, though I doubt they will get very far.” Whendom attempts to take to coin again as Grendel nods over to Chuck, and with a sigh the shop keep cuts off about three feet of twine placing it on the counter. Grendel lifts his hand off the coin so Whendom can collect it as Chuck grabs the twine.

Chuck,” thank you sir for your donation.”

Grendel,” Donation….yeah.” Grendel says as he turns to leave with a smart ass tone to his voice.

Chuck ties the string through the four loops in the “pant’s” waste line. Tightening the best he could before double knotting a  bow on the front. He turns and follows Grendel out of the wear shop before they both head down the path towards the sea. There was only one trail leading to the sea, but most wouldn’t consider it much of a path. It was known as the Sharp Canyon Passage way. Renamed after the last major war of the mountain tribes, do to the canyon walls being mostly destroyed by magic users verse the Stone Throwers. Both tribes still live on either side of the Canyon neither one cared much for the other living opposite of them. Do to the war large shards of stone reach towards the sky all over the canyon bottom, its not uncommon for ropes and flesh to be shredded as people try to climb down to the bottom. In fact most dwarfs take a series of chains and a sturdy hammer. The chains didn’t normally break, and the hammer was used to chip sharp edges down as they made their way to the bottom.

As Grindel and Chuck approach the drop off for the canyon they see Gaerben up ahead he is looking down a thick rope attached to a rock leading over the edge. Below the Children dangle dangerously over several spiked rock outlets.  The rope so far seems to be holding up to the weight and movements of the kids. Snowy and Ash begin to wake up and make cute sounds to one another, as they try and wiggle their arms free.

 It was at this moment that that Tagule had caught up to Gaerben unsheathing a sword and spear of flames. The gems embedded in the weapon glow bright orange and can clearly be seen through the flames. He spins through the air kicking Gaerben in the chest knocking him down. Tagule cuts the rope and Gaerben grabs it before it slides off the edge, lowering the babies closer to the death below. Tagule uses this moment to shove his spear through the chest of Gaerben. Grendel gets ready to charge Tagule as Chuck slides next to Gaerben also grabbing a hold of the rope. Chuck begins to pull the babies up as Gaerben chokes on his own blood..

Gaerben coughs out blood but speaks to Chuck,”Go…take them…run…they wont ever be safe…please…I beg you protect them.” Chuck continues to pull the babies up and once they are up he turns to Gaerben who final breath gurgles out in a bloody mess.

Tagule knocks Grendel down and makes his escape as his mission was complete. The man who murdered his sister is dead. Grendel makes his way over to Chuck whom leans over to pick up the babies. Shocked Chuck looks down at the babies who burst out into tears, but with a little rocking and mild humming he tames their screeching. He looks down to Gaerben,” I will do my best…,”he monk vows.

Grendel and Chuck bury the babies father, they make their way back to town as the sun begins to set. Chuck rocks them both trying to get them to sleep, as Grendel works on finding food and lodging for the night.

Grendel returns to Chuck who is currently and carefully pours some coconut milk into Ash’s mouth. Grendel could not find any lodging but did manage to get a hold of goats milk and some more coconuts. Grendel begins to feed Snowy and Chuck can not help but laugh at the current situation. They head to a remote path just outside of the village. This way; they thought they could avoid curious eyes. Just as night fell and their fire begin to smolder they were approached by a man with purple hair. The man didn’t speak a word to them yet tried to communicate using his hands.

Next thing either of the two remember is day break their heads ache as if they had drank all the ale a tavern had to offer. Looking around they see no sign of the babies nor the man they met the night before.

“WHAT THE FUCK, SNOWY, ASH WHERE ARE YOU,” Chuck shouts frantically. He begins to wonder around looking for any indication of which direction that man could have gone. The stone paths give no clues as to the rout the purple haired figure could have gone. Grendel joins the search and they head off down the paths out of town.

19 years later

“You couldn’t hit a barn door with an ax if your were standing at arms reach.” Says a rather drunk human Monk to an even drunker earth Dwarf. They had been drinking and arguing for days, mainly about their skills in various computations of “what if” scenarios. The monk was dressed in only tattered pants, bald head, and glazed over eyes. To his side a well crafted long bow and quiver. The dwarf was dressed in heavy armor from neck to toe, a pair of tower shields lay leaning against the table with the horn of a helmet holding them in place, but only just. The helmet had the design of the rock tribe on them as well as the horns from a cave owl a rather vicious and large creature that is closer to a bat than an actual owl consumes Dwarfs on a semi regular bases.

“Chuck, if that is true I would still be better off than you, who wouldn’t have been able to find the damn barn.” The dwarf says with a big of a sickly belch following.

“Ha ha ha, you wish Grendel, just admit it…” he belches even louder than the dwarf ” as long as I am around you will always be second best. Second best at drinking. ,” Takes shot slamming it down next to the four empty bottles of dwarf liqueur.” Second best in aim, “Lifts if his bow and grabs and arrow shooting it across the bar and through the empty part of the handle to a mug.” and last in charming the ladies, mainly because you insist on wearing that old collection of armor everywhere you go, and well you smell like molding flesh of the walking dead.” He stands and grabs a wench planting a kiss on her lips before spinning her away and smacking her on her ass. She laughs as she spins back bumping into the bar counter. almost knocking over a pitcher of mead. ” Ah yes that makes you First in stench….” he pours them both a shot which the dwarf takes reluctantly.

Grendel struggles to stand, but does so and pokes the monk square in the chest. “YEAH, your in-intelligence second if you can you think me beat,” Slams his elbow on the table and demands an arm wrestling match. It was at this time a group of three dwarfs walk up to their table. The monk slams his elbow down and grabs the dwarfs hand. They begin. Veins popping and teeth gritting their muscles flex. No clear winner to be seen. The crowd looks on surprised such a thin monk could contain enough strength to quell a dwarf of nobility.

“what kind of dwarf grammar was that?” Chuck asked as he slowly begin to use his reach to advantage.

“Gentleman,” said the dwarf who was the center of the three that had just arrived. He was dressed in an apron and had some flour on his pants. As the other two were royal dwarf guardsmen suited in armor and armed with spears. They however were ignored by the two drunks and their contest; which was the current important matter. Sadly the dwarf would not understand this.

Grendel shouts,”Shut up, you gargoyle raping piece of horse shit,”

The Dwarf who was in all honestly the owner of the establishment was taken back by the statement he assumed was directed at himself. The store owner now pissed slams his hands on the table and gets the drunks attention.

The store owner shouts,” GENTLEMAN CAN I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION”

“Excuse US we are having a friendly match here, give us a minute it will be over soon,” Just as Chuck responded his arm had managed to pull Grendel’s position into his favor and swiftly ended it. They turn and look at the three dwarfs next to them. Chuck spewing out a few more words,” Don’t think he liked your calling him gargoyle raper or a piece of horse shit…”. He leans over and smells the top of the owners head,” Though you were right….this man could very will be a piece of shit, or is hygiene something they do not teach dwarfs. ”

Grendel,” Aye,…well…fuck you for starters..I am not the one who hit on a gargoyle..and what in the Gate do you three want.”

The guard on the right speaks up,” Prince Grendel, the roads to the south have reopened your brother the king would like you to help reestablish the routes to the the closest towns. ”

Store owner adds,” AND PAY YOUR DAMN BILL YOU DRUNKS, MONK just because your a friend of the prince doesn’t give you the same authority,”

Chuck was taken back about the being called a friend,” Friend nothing I am his spiritual council and self appointed private guard, and as such you should serve me as well as you serve him….and as freely. ”

Guard on the left places his hand on Chucks shoulder then chimes in,” The King says your also cut off till you finish your appointed task. So, you will have to pay your bill on your own tonight. ”

“I will do no such thing, respect the blood line of the Stonefoot clan, we shall pay for nothing within our kingdom…” Grendel protests,

Guard on the right begins again,” Just a reminder the kings wife is with child and your the last of 14. 8 of which have a claim to the throne before you. You’re royal blood is without question, your usefulness to the kingdom however is under the kings advisement. Most of the other bars and taverns in town have already barred you two from them. I suggest you pay up or I by the kings orders I shall have to bring you in.

“Ooooo…..you and your pointed stick could try. “Chuck says with a bit of a smirk as Grendel raises his hand to Chuck.

Grendel pulls out his coin purse and begins counting, “one….two…three….what what do we owe?” Grumbling as last thing he wanted to see was his older brother and his precious throne room.

“56 gold pieces for the last three days of food and drink,” the dwarf owner says with a bit of pleasant surprise to see a coin purse out.

Grendel’s eyes widen as he just turns his coin purse over pouring out forty or so making it hard to count as some roll off the edge of the table and else where. Grendel grabs his helmet and shields holding one with each arm. Monk and him make their way to the exit as Grendel shouts,” AND keep the change. “The store owner begins picking up all the coins as they exit into the large mountain village.

The village itself was built in a dead volcano and light rained down from the massive opening above. Inside the village were many different buildings chiseled out of massive stones or walls. The ground had been carved to form roads and paths leading too and fro. The outside of the mountain had some of the best defenses any realm had ever seen. From avalanche traps, archery stations and flaming catapults set up throughout the sides. Shops and homes lined the walls of the great hidden city and around them was one of the longest stair cases. The stair case wrapped around the inside of the volcano a total of five times. Giving access to the city as well as the embedded buildings. The buildings were spaced about 80 feet from each other as well to allow for more growth if needed and to prevent armies from using the small edges of the buildings to reach the strong holds as the stair case was set to collapse in the event of a siege.

Only way in and out was the very top and the paths leading those up, out and in were all set to crumble with a pull of a cord that leads to the Kings throne room. The Village of Volcano Pass was the largest of the dwarf tribes topping off at just 27,000 most all of which were armed and trained. As was tradition being this close to the Gate, which resided on the other side of the vast mountain range. The city had been struggling with the raids of supply roads though the dwarfs were good at defense, open combat always proved a challenge, often they would rather starve then be slaughtered in combat. Though the village had large storage abilities their remote location made it hard for them to properly stock up.

Another thing that set this village apart was the kings palace. Made from one 6 story tall diamond and width had yet to be determined. It once jutted out of the wall of the volcano as a misshaped mass. Generations of craftsmen have molded it into a palace that the other kingdoms covet. Not only was it in a precious stone but the detail work of the history of the realm and tribe line the pillars and walls as you make your way to the throne room. The throne room itself had massive chandlers that reflected light causing vibrant displays of color. The throne itself looked elegant but standard to sit in the front but behind it was a porcupine style display of jagged diamonds in a cluster type order. Spiral stair cases lead up to the kings personal lodgings and behind the throne are several pillars dedicated to the royalty that has lost their lives over the ages. Each pillar dictates the life and glory of the royal blood. The room stretches on for longer than eyes can see. Though they are currently in construction of widening the area.

Do to this diamond it has awarded them a lot of advantages, from diamond edged weaponry to a steady supply of wealth. Most in the village work on individual crafts doing their best to prefect their skills. The King is often well praised by the people though every ruler has those who disagree, Grendel once attempted to challenge for the throne when his brother decided to end the treaties with the other mortal clans. Their were many political issues; from improper distribution of trade of goods from the elves and the humans continued trade of slaves, formed around this decision and it did put a mark on a rather glory filled reign. Shortly after the elf clans broke apart returning to their homelands. The hostility towards the Gods grew after many suffered from the fracturing alliances, their prayers never being answered.

“Well, days of heavy drinking shall make this adventure extra special. ” Chuck says on a sour note.

Grendel lets out a sigh,” Suppose your right anyway the sooner we leave here the quicker we can return.”

“Well since we were not given a degree by the king we shouldn’t have to do anything, perhaps that guard is just sending us to do his duties.” Chuck says doing his best to sober up before heading to the crude elevator system they have established.

Grendel snorts,”Either way it will give us some praise and thus keep the king and others off our backs. Even perhaps earn us a few months of free ale.”

“Who can turn down free ale….remember when we met?” Chuck asks as he tries to sort out the details after years of burring the memory with bottle after bottle.

“Yes, and we did what we could to find those babies that were taken so many years ago.” Grendel steps on to the elevator followed by Chuck who stretches his arms. Grendel pulls on a small rope that dangled down, beyond ear shot of the two a small bell chimes near the mouth of the former volcano. A few dwarfs groan as they push a mass of rocks that were netted and tied as the counter weight to elevator off the edge of a cliff. This action forces the elevator to lift off the ground at a semi rapid pace,the dwarfs at the top wait for the arrival of the elevator.

“Yes but I can’t even remember what they looked like anymore, perhaps instead of just re-establishing the trade routes we should venture out again and try and attempt to regain our honor. I only say this cause we haven’t ventured out in almost two decades.” Chuck says trying to find a more pressing purpose to their soon to be travel.

Grendel leers over at Chuck before giving his response,” Our honor is intact it was never our duty to look after those children. Honestly after their father met his end we should have turned them in to the King and let him decide their fate. Yet you convinced us to waste four years searching for children no kin to us. We gained nothing to show for it and while we were gone my father died and my brother took over. If we hadn’t returned when we did I would have lost more than just the respect of the family for traveling with an outsider and missing the memorial. Making it to see my brother crowned as the new King. Finding those children would not reinstate their favor, but fixing the trade routs will, and thus we shall return home.”

Chuck face gave no shade to his anger over the round about denial of his suggestion. “Fair enough my friend, perhaps after we fix the trade routes I will move out on my own, the stench of dwarf has left its mark on my nose anyway. Some fresh air and traveling will do me some good I think. ” He says this as he remembers holding a dying mans hand as he asked him for his help. Help he failed to provide. Chuck thought for a moment perhaps he drank so much because of this, as a monk a man’s dying wish is not something to be taken lightly.

Grendel looks a bit bewildered from the monks proposal. ” You wouldn’t make it three weeks without me. Things have changed from then to now, people have grown intolerant, and darklings have begun to organize. The world will fall into war again but this time it will be everyone for themselves. Not to mention the creatures that call this world home.”

The elevator reaches the top and they step off. They turn to the dwarfs manning the elevators pulley systems they all grab a hold of one massive rope that is attached to the rocks and help pull the rocks back up to the top forcing the elevator to descend. Chuck,”Oh didn’t take you for the kind to worry about outsider living or dying. You are welcome to tag along but honestly I will be fine.”

Silence befalls both of them as they concentrate on lifting the rocks. Once finished Grendel pats Chuck on the back,” You are not going to let this go are you?” Chuck shakes his head and they make their way over to some sleds and they head over to a smoothed out groove leading down the side of the volcano. Chuck goes first down picking up great speed before it levels off at the base he pulls the sled out from under himself. Grendel thinks to himself about the past….wondering why that water elf’s death wish means his only friend that he would head out on the prayer of death. Grendel and Chuck began to remember the first day they met, and the story of that day that changed their lives forever.

(( ))

Grendel hears Chuck shouting from the base of the volcano, snapping out of it he climbs onto the sled and meets up with him. He pats Chuck on the back again. “I will go with you my friend, perhaps we can find Tagule if nothing else and make him pay for the three lives he ended.” Grendel says this assuming his babies died long ago as well.”

Chuck just nods having not given up faith that the children are alive, yet admits to himself the odds are slim and is grateful that Grendel has decided to join. They head out and hit several mountain cities and the City of the Sea, where the water elves lived informing them of the trade routs being reopened. After several weeks they finally exit the mountains into the plains, where men reside. They were told a few large roaming hoards of Orcs remained the the area, but through their travels to the first small village they saw no sign of current movements. They are hit by a cloud of dust which leaves coughing and covered in white soot.

They begin to brush themselves off before heading towards the town. Their first thought and desire was to see if they could get some fresh food and ale. They head to the local tavern which is erupting with good cheer, they find walk up to the bar dropping their belongs beside them. It was at this point that the Chuck would notice a large man and two girls sitting at the bar, not seeing Kross hidden on the other side. They watch Cecil Kross the room and plop down next to them. For the first time in ages Chuck smells the scent of coffee in the air and his mind fills with memories of the sweet young girl that made him into a man. They had drank the coffee to recharge, and thus continued. It was the first and last time he had ever smelled that curious aroma till now. He watches as the coffee is passed out by the small group. Jealous he became tapped Grendel on the head as he was in mid order with the bar tender about food and ale.

Chuck bursts out,” BAR KEEP GIVE ME SOME OF THAT COFFEE!” Before stomping up to the group startling the girls getting Argos attention whom sees a dusty bald monk wondering forth. They turn and look at him. Argos gets up and Kross begins refilling his cup. Chuck however takes no notice to anything but the girls. A bit of tear begins to form in his eyes as he reaches over and grabs both the girls in an unexpected embrace. Argos brings his fist down on Chucks head, knocking him out cold. Causing the girls to shriek as they are pulled off their chairs by the now unconscious chuck.

Grendel stands up and rushes over to his friend and the group. “Wait….hold on there giant, my friend means you and yours no harm. By chance are the names of you two girls Ash and Snowy.”

Argos answers for the girls,”It might be but what concern is it of yours.”

Grendel,”Well the man you knocked out was friends with their father. He has been looking for them for a long time.”

Chuck begins to drool on the ground as he is a misshaped unconscious mass on the ground. Snowy and Ash look at each other confused as Kross looks over at Cecil who is still sipping his coffee.

Kross with a leer and disgruntled tone in his voice,” Don’t think this gets you out of telling us what you mean by the end of the world, but do to recent events we can wait till later….”

Cecil very coy responds,”Ah yes please do tend to that…”

Kross stands up with a cup of coffee and kneels down next to Chuck. Grendel tells the hole story to Group as Chuck comes around do to the aroma of the coffee. Kross hands the cup to Chuck once he is sure that Chuck can drink it safely as it was still very hot. Chuck takes it as he rubs the welt that has already formed on the top of his head.

Snowy looking at Ash and Ash looking at Snowy both state the same thing,” SO we are sisters? Twins?” they both reveal a smile either never having any sense of a biological story.

Ash with respectful tone,” Thank you, Grendel….Thank you Chuck…It is a pleasure meeting you both again.

Snowy with an over excited tone,” SISTERS, YES……wait….our parents our dead…and our uncle killed our father?…..

Chuck with help from Kross stands,” Yes yes I have some things that belong to you both….” stumbling slightly as his makes his way over to his belongings…he opens up his bag of random items. He pulls out an fire elf sorcery book, and a pair of ice daggers as well as cloaks for each…he walks back over and hands them to snowy and Ash. Ash is drawn to the daggers and snatches them before Snowy has a chance to even look at them. Snowy following in suit snatches the book. Chuck places the Cloaks on the bar counter.

Chuck smiles and says in a relieved tone,” Yes, these belonged to your parents. The book is written in elfish, and contains some very powerful noble magics. As those daggers are enchanted. The cloaks will help you manage your abilities as they grow. I was hoping to find you many years ago, but now is better than never.”

Snowy looks over at chuck, and gives him a hug, thinking maybe the cloak could help her contain her fire.

Kross now turns his attention back to Cecil,” Alright, now Cecil explain. what you meant?”

Argos is wary of Chuck and Grendel trying to figure out what they could possibly mean to do now with the girls. As he would not let Ash wonder off with strangers regardless how convincing their stories are. Slave traders are always on the look out for young girls of various races. This being said Chuck and Grendel move over to join the group to find out more about what the girls had been up too over the years. The girls introduce them to Argos and Kross. Though neither Agros nor Kross are fully paying attention to them as Cecil sighs and then begins.

“You know how people hate the Gods right…well…Lets just say they found a way to silence them forever. There are these 12 beings that have been given the ability to kill Zeus and the rest, they well have decided to complete their appointed tasks after dispatching those who gave them the ability to do so. ” Cecil explains. “They each have unique weaponry, skills, and magics. They are very very dangerous and honestly their plans for the realm will end it. I am limited in the level of involvement I can risk at this point. So I have a big favor to ask of EACH OF YOU HERE,” raises his voice to get the attention of the Girls, Grendel and Chuck.
“Save the Gods..Save the realm…or I fear the world will be plunged into endless war and darkness.”

Kross coughs,” Save the GODS are you fucking kidding me….Gods don’t just die. ”

Cecil responds calmly,” Wish you were right….but soon the sky will rain blood, and Their city will crumble and fall from the heavens.”

Argos shrugs off the concept and questions,”How could you possibly know this? Ares would never fall in battle, nor would many of the other Gods. You spin good tales my friend but tales are all they are. ”

Cecil hesitates but then states very plainly,” The Wind tends to share a lot to those that will listen, matters not if you believe me or not…for tomorrow you will see for yourselves. So enjoy your evening for now, I on the other hand have had too much to drink and I need to lay down. ” Cecil gets up and walks out of the tavern as the rest stare at each other a moment.

Grendel speaks up,” Aye saving the Gods would bring much glory to the Stonefoot Clan, that is if they actually need saving.”

Chuck yawns,” Honestly who believes a blind imbecile that listens to the wind. The wind doesn’t speak to anyone. It’s only the wind. ”

Argos chimes in,” Well that man saved this town…I owe him my thanks and even if this all turns out to be false I can at least look into it for him.”

Ash nods to Argos statement,” We owe him our lives this being said, I will follow you Argos.”

Snowy looks to Kross who states,” Well then all I know is in the last 24 hours I have seen more unexplained and amazing things to fully deny the possibility that what he says is true. Has unfathomable as it may be. Saving Gods isn’t a wise use of my time though…No profit in it.”

Snowy gives very disappointed eyes to Kross who can not help but look away,” Well then I shall go with you Sister!!!”

“I made a promise to look after you two so I guess I am coming also,” Chuck says having rediscovered a sense of integrity.

Kross now the odd man out debates briefly separating ways though he often doesn’t trust anyone, leaving the one that he does is a pain he is not willing to bare. With head held low he speaks,” Alright if you all want to go on a fools errane I shall join you on the greatest con ever known. Now where do we begin?”


A Story Into Time Chapter 4: Stories, Glory and Cheer

A small boy awakens on straw staring up at the sky. Grinning at the blue sky; he mocks the clouds above. The condition of the boy wearing nothing but a pair of tattered shorts becomes clear. His skin only shows a color do to the suit that has settled on him from head to toe. His ribs, and back bones stick out of his skin like ripples in sheets. Though his smile doesn’t fade as he knows how lucky they are to see the day. His spirit surpasses his physical appearance. As he walks without shoes through a shortened torn patch he remains joyous. His feet pass through unable to penetrate scar tissue from previous travels through harsher environments.

In the distance a woman’s voice rings out, calling a name repetitively in a slightly annoyed tone. The child no older than seven sits up and looks off towards a small hut made out of branches. A women with long flowing brunette hair wearing a dirty faded blue dress stands waving at him to come towards her. Her age is clearly in her thirties and the years were hard. Her face is has the markings of a thief and whore indicated by letters branded into her cheeks. A P for prostitute and a T for thief. Her wrists shine with scars from former shackles. Letting out a sigh he stands and begins to meander his way over to her. Boy,” yes mother? ”

Mother with a withered smile and majestic voice gives the boy some instructions,” Glenn I need to run to the river to gather up some water so we can wash up before your brother arrives and I need you to wait here him.”

Glenn reluctantly responds,” Alright…I guess..do I really need to wash up though its a waste of water.”

Mother with a bit of truth continues,” Yes, you do you haven’t washed in a while…and it will be dark here soon.”

Glenn with sigh says,” I know but…”

Mother ends his rebuttal,” No but…just get your brother a bed made up so he can rest, a trip to town takes a lot out of him.”

His mother gathers up a two buckets which may be the only thing they own that is not in rough shape. With a sigh she uses some vines to tie the buckets to each end of a long pole like stick. She lefts up the stick and places on her shoulders wrapping her arms around each end to hold it firmly in place. She begins to walk off down a faded trail towards a small river that ran about two miles away on the edge of a dead forest.

Glenn sighs watching his mother fade off into the distance, picking up a stick he begins to practice his letters in a small patch of dirt. A few hours pass and darkness begins to fall. Slightly worried, for his mother should have returned before dusk. He works on attempting to start a fire. Heading inside he sits down next to a small pile of sticks and straw. Placing the straw in the center of a small fire pit inside the home of sticks and vines. He begins to hum a tune his mother hummed to him to calm him when he was little to numb the worried feeling that was slowly growing. Picking up a stone of flint and a small dulled knife which he slides harshly against to stone to create a spark. After several minutes he manages to catch the straw on fire with a small ember. Blowing on the spark it begins to glow. Smiling having started his first fire on his own he wondered what his mother will say when she gets back.

The glow of the fire shines out of the cracks of the hut. With the light he sets up his brother a place to sleep next to his and his mothers. His brother had been gone for a few days. the small village was about a days trek away, though he often wondered why they lived so far away from town he never did ask assuming that his mother knew best. The brother was only 13 and his mom promised once Glenn turned ten he could go with him to town. He looked forward to the experience of seeing other children and hoping maybe he could play with them as his brother took care of business. His thoughts were interrupted by a smell that he had never smelled before.

It was foul and alarming, turning he looked out the entrance of the hut to see a stocky thing with green skin and pointy ears looking in on him. Its mouth had rows of semi sharp teeth as its lips had red blood dripping down from it. Though it very large by any means but was bigger than the boy. It stood on two legs and was in rotting leather armor which covered its chest and legs. In its hand was a long jagged dagger which had a rough and long life as well. Took him but a second to realize that he was staring at a goblin. Sliding back his hand; landing on the dull knife he used to start the fire he grasped it.

Goblin snarls, “whats…this…?” the goblin’s skills at the common language was limited at best. Grinning it entered the hut. The boy held up the knife and the goblin let out a cackling laugh. ” cute….soft…bony….not much meat….” The goblin look at the boy closely slightly disappointed upon his find.” Not hungry now….eat tomorrow…”

The goblin put away his dagger without taking his eyes off the boy. Taking a step towards Glenn who let out a scream. It was at the moment the Goblin felt something alarming in his back and chest. He looked down at a small piece of metal sticking out of his leather armor about an inch covered in black blood. Confused, by it he reached to touch its sharpened tip cutting his finger on it. The metal returns to the inside of its body and out the back. At this point he realized the pain he was in and it he could no longer breathe. Turning as he fell he Saw a larger boy holding a short sword which the the top half of the blade had black blood dripping off of it. Gagging the goblin rolled over onto its side and life faded from its eyes.

The boy in a panic looks to Glenn,”Glenn are you okay? Wheres mom?”

Glenn remained still, his grip on the knife was strong as it remained pointed outward toward the goblin’s mortal coil. Unable to speak nor blink: his brother clapped his hands to get Glenn’s attention. Glenn turned and looked at his brother a moment before tears came across his face. He stood while rushing over to his brother dropping the knife as his arms raised to wrap around of his brother who welcomed him with open arms. Scared Glenn dug his face into his kin’s chest. It was at this point he began to blurt out. ” Kross.” sobbing “Kross..mom went to the river and hasn’t come back…”

Kross,” shhh…its alright now but we need to go…” Kross knew that if one goblin was around more were sure to be in the area pushing Glenn aside he quickly put out the fire as the sounds of a horn blew off in the distance, searching the goblin he removing the sword from the back of the goblin with a steady jerk, he began to remove the armor and collected the goblin’s weapon. Placing the leather armor covered in black blood around Glenn and suiting him up it was a little big for Glenn, but now was not the time to be concerned with such things. Kross wrapped the belt for the sheath of the dagger around his younger brothers waist placing the dagger in it’s home. Taking his brothers hand he pulled him out of the hut.

Kross himself was about a foot taller than his brother and a bit more stocky having been keeping himself composed he wore a slightly worn shirt and pants as well as shoes that shown some wear and tear but still had some life to them. Dragging his brother out into the night, they heard an approaching group coming up the trail leading to the river. Kross shook his head knowing they could not make it town without being spotted. Kross ordered Glenn to dive into the small hay pile that he had been resting on earlier that day.

Glenn took a moment to follow his brothers orders as the fear of being killed grew greater as the sound of the small hoard grew louder. He wondered why his brother wasn’t coming too the pile of hay was big enough to cover them both.

Kross ran back behind the house where he had dropped his spoils from the village earlier having seen the goblin enter the hut. The bag was rather large considering the size of the young man who had carried it all this way. In a rush of fast feet he joined his brother in the hay, covering the bag as best he could without leaving his brother exposed. Kross then took some of the straw in a waded mass and uses it to cover their tracks before diving in as well covering himself fully. The goblin mass passed by the straw as a few broke off to investigate the hut. Finding their dead ally they let out a horrid scream causing the night to fill with the sound of horror. The goblins tore down the hut letting out a war cry they stormed off towards the town assuming someone was already heading their to warn them.

Glenn and Kross remained hidden till dawn. Once the sun rose Kross poked his head out telling his brother to remain hidden. Kross headed off towards the river at a running pace. Upon arriving he began to look around for signs of his mother carefully searching the sides of the rivers and the tracks that lay in the wet earth. Seeing signs of his mother tracks among the claw marks of the goblins; he began to realize the truth of what had happened. Searching for a while he saw some drag marks in the softened soil. Tears began to form around his eyes as he followed it seeing bits of a faded blue dress stained with blood along its grooves. He found his mothers remains tied to a tree. The goblins had cut the flesh from her bones till there was barely anything left. Falling to his knees he began to weep.

After a few moments of morning he stood knowing his brother was alone and scared. He untied his mother from the tree and placed her body in the river watching the water carry it away. He again begun to cry knowing he could never tell his brother what he had found. That there would be no grave to come back to, that she was gone forever. After he regained his composure he began to head back to his brother at a quickened pace.

Upon returning he sees his brother sitting on top of the hay stack with a smile on his face. This confused Kross as he approached Glenn.

Kross with a brief smile which turns quickly to concern,” Glad to see you smiling again Glenn, but why are you not hiding? ”

Glenn very excited responded, ” Kross, Kross, you wont believe it but I saw a wizard.”

” Glenn what are you talking about no one is here. ” Kross demanded while looking around he saw no signs or marks of a traveler nor wizard that his brother was claiming. ” Where did he go? What did he look like?”

Glenn who can barely contain himself was very happy to share,” Kross when you left he appeared next to our hut.” Glenn pointed to the hut that had been repaired with a smile on his face.” You see the wizard waved his hand and the hut was back again. The wizard was dressed in all grey and he had creepy black eyes, but he was really nice. Told me a secret he did and gave me this.” Glenn holds up a black coin with a raven on it.” He said if I ever have a wish all I need to do is flip this coin and he will come back to grant it.”

” Give me that.” Kross demanded as his skepticism grew and Glenn closed it up in his hand and pulled away from Kross all together.

Glenn shouts at Kross,” NO, I CAN’T, he said if anyone ever touched it other than me it wouldn’t work. ”

Kross in disbelieve,” now your just making stuff up let me see it. ”

Glenn sticking to his story,” NO, I wont. IF I do it wont work don’t you get it? The wizard was very stern about that.”

Kross fed up just shakes his head and gives in,” fine then be that way, I don’t want to look at the stupid coin anyway. I brought back better stuff than that from town anyway.” Kross digs out the bag from the hay and pulls out some apples tossing his brother one who fails to catch it as he holds onto the coin tightly. Kross sighs and picks up the apple, dusting it off hands it to Glenn who takes it with his empty hand and ravenously eats it. Kross also pulls out some salted pork and some shoes for his brother as well as a brand new shirt. In the bottom of the bag he sees the coffee he secretly stole for his mother, with a sigh a tear runs down his face as he lifts it out of the bag. He uses his elbow to absorb the tear before its noticed. Placing it to the side, he shows Glenn the various snares and traps he had gotten.

“Thank you for the cloths and shoes Kross. You’re the best brother a boy could have you know that. Whats that stuff?” Glenn says pointing at the coffee as Kross helps Glenn put on the shoes.

” Its a very rare bean that people roast to and run hot water over, to make a bitter drink, or so the guy who sold it to me said. I remember Mom saying it was one of the finest drinks one could have the luxury of enjoying. ” Kross’s tone goes from anger to a bitter sweet sound.

” for who?” Glenn says in disarray

” Mother you dolt” Agitated by this sudden game Kross glares at Glenn

” who? ”Seeing his brothers look he shyly asks again/

Kross voice turns to rage” stop it that is not funny”

Confused Glenn looks down” I am not being funny Kross, who are you talking about?”

Kross beyond furious yells,” What are YOU talking about? Mom our mother, the lady that takes care of us. ”

Glenn begins putting on his shirt while never letting go of the coin. The shirt is a bit large on him but he will grow into it so he didnt mind it. He can not even look at Kross whom’s rage makes him quiver as he dares to ask another question,” what lady its always been just you and me.”

” NO it hasn’t you jerk. Mom….Mother… you know what I am not going to play this game with you.” Kross looks over at Glenn who looks up and forces a weak confused smile. Kross notices that Glenn seems to have honestly no clue what Kross is talking about. “Eat up, we are going to move somewhere nicer.” Kross says with a forced smile fighting back the tears, not sure whats going on with his brother but he decides it might be for the best. Means Glenn wouldn’t be burden by the loss of their mom as he is nor force Kross to relive the memory.

Years pass as they travel from town to town stealing and conning what they needed to survive, as Glenn held onto the coin. Once Glenn reached 16 he fell in love with a women and soon they had a family. Glenn got a job as a farm hand and stopped his life of crime. Kross decided it was time for him to move on that Glenn had a real future before him and it wouldn’t be fair for him to continue to hold him back. As Kross’ crime kept him on the move, to avoid being captured. One day Kross left his brother a note leaving in the dead of night wishing Glenn the best of luck; telling him he would be back from time to time with gifts for him and his family. It was at this time Kross took up drinking coffee and began to explore the world on his own.

It wasn’t long after that he found himself in a moral conundrum as he saw some smoke rising up in the horizon. Normally he would simply turn directions when seeing something like this, for fire rarely means anything good. Though for whatever reason he for the first time in his life felt as if he needed to press forward against his better judgement and check it out. Upon arriving at a rather gruesome scene where a small hut had burned down with people inside. He could hear the faint cries of a child, and thus he began to search the rubble. Among the Ash and smoldering wood he found a baby with blond hair and red eyes when it saw him it stopped crying. Kross wondered how a water elf managed to find itself in this situation. Kross approached the child and it stopped crying and gave out a giggle and smile holding its arms up to him. He leaned down and picked her up, then left without searching for anything of use. Kross remembers this day very clearly as he has never acted that way sense, and the one time it did he became a more or less a foster parent for better or worse.

Present Day.

Kross awoke up from a memory filled dream to a sharp kick in the ribs by a tearful Snowy who was had her right hand over the rather large lump on the back of her head. Kross rubbed his side a moment before sitting up and yawning. Dawn was barely rising outside and lightly rattled from the beating of drums. Noticing this Kross stood up and looked out the window hushing Snowy before she could yell at him. Once he reached the window he saw a hoard of easily 200 Orcs charging across the fields leading into the town. He also saw what he presumed to be Cecil standing alone only a few hundred feet from the Darklings.  Kross shaking his head at the stupidity of the blind man cant help but watch the out come of this. As the Hoard closes in Kross also sees Argos and Ash running to grab/defend Cecil.

The hoard engulfs Cecil’s position before Argos and Ash can lend their support. Argos gives out a loud battle cry raising up a large double sided battle ax. Cecil is surrounded lifting up his staff he slams it down into the ground and it gives off a bright flash temporarily blinding everyone in the area plus those watching including Kross. Once the flash clears Cecil remains surrounded by figures but they do not seem to be moving. Argos swings his ax at one of the Orcs, but it passes through unhindered causing the Orc to burst into a cloud of dust. Cecil begins walking back towards the village as the wind picks up carrying the powdered  remains of the former threat up into the air behind him and proceeds to spread their ashes.

Argos drops his ax and jaw falling to one knee as Cecil passed by. Ash moved out of his way and hid behind Argos having never seen a display of power that profound she couldn’t help but be afraid for a moment. The 25  warriors defending the towns boarder part and also kneel as Cecil passes. Kross rushes past Snowy knocking her down with his movements, his eyes wide and his silence begins to freak her out. Grabbing his jacket off the door handle. She begins to inquire as to whats got him so rattled but he only says “I swear, you best stay put and out of sight.” Kross ignores her inquiry. He makes way down stairs and out of the door looking across the main road of the city. He stairs at Cecil who calmly approaches.

Kross full of shock and disbelief,”What the fuck are you? Don’t give me no healing mage bull shit. Not even the Gods can do that, well that quickly. You ended 200 lives in an instant. You haven’t broken a sweat, you don’t even appear tired. Explain!!!”

Cecil turns his head towards Kross,”You’re lively in the morning aren’t you. Figured you would sleep in like you always do. Perhaps some Coffee will make this morning even brighter.” Cecil reaches into his robe and pulls out already grounded up coffee in a decent sized pouch. He tosses it at Kross who is dumb founded by Cecil’s response and the lack of answering his questions also that Cecil even had coffee. Kross catches the coffee and Cecil walks past him and says,” Be a dear and get that working I could use something warm. ” Cecil pats Kross on the shoulder and walks into the tavern Argos and the Warriors come into the town and head into the tavern as Kross stands in the road utterly confused holding a bag of coffee.

Kross stayed outside for a few moments trying to collect his thoughts at what had just transpired. Cheers erupt from inside the tavern causing Kross to return from the world of thought. He shakes his head and returns inside to find Cecil sitting on a chair that had been placed on a table. He looked very out of place and slightly overwhelmed by the reactions of the common folk. Argos on the other hand had his back to the “hero” and was drinking mead. Ash Sat next to him watching the crowd cheer on Cecil, the way they normally cheered on Argos. Argos though grateful couldn’t help the feeling of envy being overcast for the first time in battle. Argos finishes the mead and the Wench quickly refills it as instructed.

Ash notices the speed in which her large comrade was downing the mead, but knew it would take a lot more to be any sort of ill effect. Kross slides up next to Argos handing the bag of coffee to the wench asking for a large pot and five cups. He asks Ash to fetch Snowy. Kross also orders some food for himself and his ward. Ash slides off the bar stool and heading up stairs to fetch Snowy.

Argos turns to Kross surprised by his presence,” Ah thank you for the room last night. I went to pay for it this morning and said the charges had already been covered. Truly an amazing sight on the battle field this morning. ”

“I know I saw the show. The White Raven, living myth, truly something…..” Kross pauses trying to use the right word.”unique.”

“White Raven? Not familiar with that myth, and I have lived in these parts for decades. ” Argos says with a burp as the mead is not settling well on an empty stomach, it was at this point Snowy and Ash show up. Snowy is wearing a faded red cloak and a basic dust stained grey robe. Her facial expressions show her dislike of her clothing. Ash had filled her in on the special that had been preformed by Cecil earlier.

“I ran into a women a few weeks ago that has told me a tale. The women had dark blue hair another oddity if you ask me, she had with her a large scythe but she gave story of the White Raven. The story goes that once in the beginning days of mortals the White Raven first appeared, he was able to set people on a path to change their fates in. Because of this the mortals were able to increase their power and grow fending off the Darklings. One of the mortals that he help was either naive or vindictive either way they told first Gods all that the Raven had taught them and how the raven had helped them. That the man had helped so many that they even formed a temple in his honor. The gods angry for the White Raven’s interference and influence turned him into a Raven making it impossible to change the world again. Thou The secrets he gave helped the first civilized races defend themselves from the darklings. They say though if you go to his small woods you can sometimes see the White Raven, or find a Feather. ” Kross finishes the story right as his food arrives and Snowy stomach growls she begins eating and talking at the same time

“Its why we- “takes a bite of bread and continues a bit muffled,” came here. Wanted to find see a White Raven.”

“And your telling me that that man over there is the Raven.” Argos points over to Cecil who is currently having mead poured down his throat by the warriors who are thankful to be alive. Cecil having finished the mead. Smiles a moment before they bring another to his lips forcing him to drink another. Cecil makes it halfway down that one before pushing the cup, he stands at the smell off Coffee. A wench brings out the glasses and cups asked for by Kross. Who was so delighted by the aroma that he forgot what everyone was talking about.

“YOU BET HE IS” Snowy says almost choking on her food. Though she leaves half of everything and slides her plate over to Ash who looks shocked at the free offering of food. Ash takes a bite not wanting to be rude but as she hasn’t eaten yet she cant help but follow that bite with the rest.

“Whats your story then sir?” Argos asks Kross a man he barely knows. Kross pours the coffee for each of them. Snowy and Ash don’t take to the taste too well but Snowy continues to sip on it to appease Kross knowing this was a rare treat for him. Ash on the other hand carefully waits till Kross is not looking and pours it out onto the tavern floor. Argos cheers Kross then takes a burning gulp of the heated hot black drink. He waits a moment before coughing loudly.

“Easy there big fella its hot. Its a drink meant to be savored and enjoyed not shoveled down your throat. The short version is, I like the finer things in life, I am just your average wanderer who has picked up a skill or two here or there. Not much of a story. ” Kross nonchalantly explains. Argos knows there is much more to this man next to him then he is letting on but lets it slide for now.

“Well As I said my father is Ares, yet I haven’t had the chance to speak to him since I was very little when my mother passed. Being a half breed my mortality shall keep me locked to this world. If I earn enough glory perhaps my father well welcome me to the great Hall of the Gods when I parish here on this plane. ” Argos gives up his story without being asked. Kross just nods not trying to be rude but he couldn’t think of a worse hell than being stuck surrounded by self absorbed Gods for the rest of eternity. Listening to them bickering and causing destruction where ever they desire.

Cecil makes his way through the crowd cheering, it was hard at first to separate himself from the warriors, but with many thank yous and nods he was able to slip away and join Kross and the others. Plopping down at the counter Kross pours Cecil a cup. Cecil sips it and makes a funny face as coffee and mead didn’t complement each other too well. Cecil is clearly a bit intoxicated which is indicated by posture as well as his slurring words on the occasion.

“Whoooo…..those guu-ys are gr-ea-t…” Cecil says with a bit of a stumble before sipping the coffee.

Snowy giggles at the state of Cecil forcing Ash to crack a smile. Ash couldn’t keep her cold demeanor around Snowy’s cheer, it was infectious. Ash began to wonder how someone who faces the same scrutiny could have remained so carefree and willful. As Snowy wondered why Ash continued to hide her face behind her hair, there was no point in her mind to hide anything about yourself. In the past she had been hurt by others but Kross always even the score either with pointing out their flaws, or conning others to do the dirty work. Ash wondered if it was because Argos was so honor bound or tried to follow a code, people left her alone for the most part as long as he was around. His size would deter most that would cause an issue. Ash looked over at Kross trying to fully understand this man, he wasn’t carefree nor was he careful. He was a full human and clearly had some rough edges yet you could feel a kindness to him he also wasn’t hard on the eyes. A mystery why a human would even be bothered looking after such an energetic elf breed.

Snowy’s mind continued to wonder as she really just took a moment to take in the size of Argos. Easily the size of a half giant she compared her arm to his and then made a face reading “Good God” to Ash. Snowy then realized she was lucky to have Kross cause if Argos ever had to put her in line it would have been the end of her for sure. Ash smiles lightly at Snowy’s comparison and reaction.

“Cecil was it? ” Argos asks narrowing his gaze on the man trying to sober up at the bar. “now that you have saved the town, would you like to explain why those Seraphs were looking for you?”

“First off,” Cecil says straightening up,” your correct that is my name. Secondly don’t know might have something to do with….you know the end of the world…” he says without a compassion and in a semi serious tone before sipping his coffee.

“Excuse me?!!” both Argos and Kross respond in shock.


Rise

Rise

You say I am shame
No intellect does reflect
Placed to lose the game
I need you to protect

To face your words so cold
Turn cheek when you strike
Always do as I am told
Only as you like

Smile never frown
Don’t talk out of turn
Always polish your crown
Be singed as you burn

Clean up the mess you make
Constantly give all of me
Never need nor want to take
That’s better than being free

I believed I was worth nothing
Your torture worked well
I am more than your play thing
I have awoken from your spell

Time to rise
Tear through
All these lies
Forget about you.

 


A Story Into Time Chapter Two: The White Raven

“Kross…..Kross…..Wake up already…..” A young blond haired girl with blue eyes stands at the edge of a bed. She was wearing a white summer dress with bright blue flowers sowed into the design. She seemed to be no older than twelve and had a very innocent look about her. Standing roughly at 4’11” she begins playing with her hair forming into pig tails. This exposed her ear showing that of elf kin in her ancestry.

In the bed is a man in his mid twenties presumed to be fast asleep his hair though black in color had a bit of a sliver haze to it. Hanging off the bed frame near his feet was a large black leather jacket; well worn, to its side lays a cloak and well crafted sword. Random other belongings are strung about the room.

“KROSS…. WAKE UP….”, she screams at the the top of her lungs having no effect on the already awake but unmotivated companion. He remains still with eyes firmly shut. He controls his breathing so she is none the wiser to his ruse. After she gets frustrated with him she goes over to his jacket and removes some coins for breakfast. Slamming the door as hard as she can when she departs.

Once she left he sits up groaning in discontent. His scared body shows many story’s but few he remembers or wishes to share. He shuffles around the bed blindly for his shirt sliding it on he notices a faint odor coming from it. With a sigh he tosses  legs off the side of the bed still in desperate search for the motivation to tackle on the rest of the day. He stands. The wood of the floor is cold and unforgiving as he shuffles his feet around to the foot of the bed where he grabs his jacket and sword. Checking his pockets he figures out the amount she stole with a bit of a smile, “finally learning something” he whispers to himself. Sliding the jacket on the inner right hand pocket of the jacket slaps against his chest with a thud. He pats the outside of the the jacket pocket making sure the contents were not disturbed. Making his way to the door he picks up a small bag of belongings, though he honestly questions why he drags the bag around at all as it has nothing of value inside it. He gives his eyes a sturdy rub to make sure he has the appearance of just waking up. He opens the door letting in a rush of noise and light.

He makes his way to a stair case as he makes his way down the rise of idle conversation increases. He peers out across the chamber of the Horse Hoof Tavern. The building was named this based on its shape which was pretty much a U consisting of rooms for rent by the night or hour. The center of the horse Hoof Tavern was a mass bar and eating area, given it was the only place within a day of traveling to get hot food the locals kept it pretty well supplied with traffic and commerce. He spies the girl who woke him up prior showing off her new dress to the wench dropping off the girls breakfast. Eggs, bread, and some small radishes . A tall glass of milky water to wash it all down with. Kross begins to slowly make his way across the crowded dining area to the small table that the girl had claimed in the corner. On his way he eyes some decently sized coin purses one of which he acquires without notice. Slipping into his pocket shortly before he sits down rather abruptly staring at the girl.

“Well, how did you manage to get me something to start the day, Snowy?” he asks attempting to slide her plate of grub over to himself before she has a chance to eat it. This attempt fails as she gives him a glare showing his actions are a death worthy crime, lifting up a fork with a threatening stabbing motion.

“Should you have woken up on time Kross you might have seen my new skills at their peek performance, But since you cant get up you will never be able to see. ” She says smugly before biting into a radish. She finishes her bite before continuing “You going to keep your promises this time or am I to be disappointed again.”

“Snowy, its clear your skills are truly surpassing mine. What do you want from me, I told you I would take you to where the White Raven flies, its not my fault we haven’t seen it since we arrived. I can not control it, I am not a druid or some sort of elemental. ”

“Kross, Why do you make promises you can not or don’t intend to keep.” She says with a sullen tone. “And why haven’t you commented on my dress? Don’t you think its pretty?

” I didn’t comment on your dress cause as elegant as it may be it can not improve you grace, as you are the most elegant of all. ” he says hoping the over exaggerated compliment will keep him out of her cross hairs. “Have you heard anything interesting going on in the area we might be able to pick up some spare cash for our travels.”

” Well they say that the orcs are moving in from the northwest cutting off the supply line to the mountain folk. They could very will be planning on trying to retake the dwarf strong hold in the mountain. Also someone mentioned a cloaked women appearing and disappearing in the woods not far from here, others had claimed they saw the same witch craft. Other than those only labor options mostly dealing with harvests. ” she says nodding happily to the compliment.

“Disappointing” he waves he wench over to order the same but coffee to drink instead. He is denied the coffee as its a rare privilege that the small town can not afford. Kross sighs having heard the ill news. The wench leaves and he turns his attention back to Snowy who has managed to pile all  her food on top of her bread chuck and is attempting to cut through it with a poorly forged fork.  Kross leans in and assists against her dismay she lets him. Once chopped up she shovels it into her mouth as Kross’s order is returned to him he pays the wench with a little extra before eating for himself. Snowy waits for him to finish before she pipes up.

“Snowy, Thank you for the dress….and sorry for not thanking you sooner its truly lovely.” She mentions while admiring the bright colors of it. The thought of its future in her care brings a bit of sadness to her tone. Since they travel so often it will be impossible for her to keep its glory pure. She knows the colors will fade, and it will get dirty with in a short amount of time.

“Glad you like it but to be honest I can not remember buying it for you” he says a bit confused. Having only a loose memory of the day before making him feel a bit off. His body is weak as if he had been fighting the day before and he cant really remember much from it but does remember seeing the dress in a shop. Though doesn’t remember seeing that shop anywhere in town.

“Well, It’s gorgeous anyway,” she says taking no concern over his statement. As he has been trying to teach her that acquiring doesn’t always involve coins.”Whats the plan for today?”

” Suppose we should find that White Raven so you can get your feather and thus we can move on to a civilized town that has coffee. Though tomorrow it might be best to move on encase those orcs decide to head this way. Go fetch your bow and arrows; then we shall search the wooded areas near by. “Kross says reluctantly as he could easily just crawl back into bed.

Snowy nods and then takes off up the stairs to her room to collect her things, as Kross talks to the tavern keeper about reserving one more night, and pays in full using up the last of the coins he stole this morning. On their way out he pick pockets two more and places the now empty purses in a third victims pocket. Snowy leads the way out the door as the missing purses begin to get noticed. Shouting and a impending brawl they leave on their way out. Kross smiles at the ease of his slight of hand, and how the blame will never catch up with them. They head to the edge of town to the woods where they begin their search of this fabled white raven.

Once they reached the woods their disappointment was confirmed as the wooded area was barely 4 acres, and filled with thorny bushes and lifeless pine trees. It wasn’t long until Snowy tore a small hole in her dress; instantly fumed, she chanted a spell releasing a burst of flame in all directions around her scorching Kross briefly as well as singeing the thorny bushes. Kross glares at her a moment for his scorched hair before they continue searching every inch of the trees for the raven. They find nothing of true value, nor any sign of the existence. Kross did note that the wooded area was very void of life and sound, though didn’t mention it as he didn’t want to startle his young friend.

Kross looked towards the sky and was surprised to see another rarity, two seraphs, that flying above. He silently waved Snowy to look up at the oddity as well. Snowy looked up in awe having only heard stories. Kross noticed that these Angelic beings did not fully resemble their own kin. As almost all seraphs have either grey or white wings, these two had different colors all together. One was golden in all senses of the word as the Other was black with ash colored skin. They were pretty high up and seemed to be searching the area as well. Kross instincts kicked in as he grabbed Snowy and they moved closer to a large tree for some kind of cover.

“These are not normal, and seem to be also looking for white raven or something else. Either way best not be confused for whatever they are looking for.” He whispers feeling uneasy about not knowing nor having the advantage of cover nor high ground in this case.

“Kross, they are so majestic though, maybe we can help each other.” She said with innocence and curiosity feeling her voice to a near foolish tone.

“Snowy, take it from me…Gods and Angels are not to be trusted, they always have an agenda. Often don’t like others knowing what they are. My gut tells me those two either have been banished or are not what they seem. Can’t explain it…” Kross says with caution and guidance. He gets this sudden feeling almost painful that he could have seen these two before but the memory escapes him. The Seraphs glide down closer to the forest before taking off as if they caught the scent of whatever they were looking for. They head directly towards the town they had left earlier that day. It was at this moment Snowy felt something brush her face, turning she saw it. A single white feather drifting ever so carelessly down to the ground.

Snowy bends over and picks it up with a big smile on her face before turning and looking up at the tree. She sees no bird but Kross remains still. Snowy turns to show him the feather but he ignores her.

“Kross, Look at this.” She says with glee but it fades quickly as he remains still. She jumps up to wave her hand in his face and yet gets no response. She looks at his chest and its not moving. Freaking out she begins screaming at him as he stares off ahead. She turns to see what he is looking at. A man in his early thirties dressed in white, with white hair and white eyes stairs back her.

The man stood roughly 6’2″ and had parallel scars running through each eye. He held a staff with scripture she had never seen on it. His cloths were the whitest white she had ever seen, instantly she wanted to give him some color but she too froze. It was at this moment she realized she couldn’t feel the wind, hear the movement of the forest that.

“erm….Hello? What have you done to Kross,” she asks while thinking of a possible spell she could use.

“Snowy, I mean you nor your dear friend Kross any harm. You went in search of the White Raven, here I stand before you. If you wish to free Kross just brush that feather against him. ” The man says in gentle and soothing tone.”

Snowy does touch the feather to Kross who instantly grabs his sword, unsheathing pushing Snowy behind himself for protection. Snowy how ever almost falls over stumbling off to the side.

Stay back Snowy, Who are you? “Kross waves the sword back and fourth with quick motion demonstrating a brief display of of his striking speed.

“As I have said I am the White Raven, and unless you plan on stabbing a harmless blind man with that sword I suggest you put it away. ” The white figure responds with parental tone that makes a chill run down Snowy’s spine, as if she had heard this voice many times before. She turns and stares at the figure bewildered as she had never seen this man before. Kross on the other side sees flashes of his past causing his eyes to widen as he lowers the weapon.

“White Raven you may be but again I ask who you are. You say you are harmless but my experience has taught me is any blind man that walks alone is not a man who is harmless. ” Kross says soundly having coned many people in his day, and from time to time taking on a blind man persona for certain ploys. The man before him had whited out glassy eyes that hardly blinked. The man’s staff and clothing were too pristine for a believable blind man who had been stumbling around over the years. Stainless, dust less and seemingly un-ruptured nor sown makes as far as he could tell. Also the clothing was well pressed and wrinkle free.

“Excuse me Mr. Raven…..how…how did you know our names?” Snowy asks shyly poking her head  out from behind Kross whom has yet to sheath his sword.

The man’s eyes narrow into a glare for a moment as if annoyed by their questions, wishing they would just accept the reality before them. “Shhh, Snowy I knew your names from watching you two talk to one another this morning in the tavern. First I have a name, but I haven’t used it in so long I barely remember it.  Cecil, you can call me Cecil, I am one of the last great masters of healing magics. ” he says calmly.

“Kross healing magic is forbidden, has been for centuries, since the rise of the necromancer. I do not believe you for if you truly were a master of healing magics your eyes would be more than a facial feature. Also If you had been at the tavern this morning I would have seen you. ” He says crassly ready his sword.

“You mean you didn’t?…. And they call me blind…..so perhaps a demonstration, follow me,” he says rather cheery as he takes off on a steady pace down the path towards the town they had left previously. Kross and Snowy look at each puzzled a moment before walking a safe distance behind him. Kross watches him closely trying to detect wither the he is actually blind or not. Cecil does move seamlessly across the path occasionally stepping out of sink with the rest but abruptly returns to the previous line of walking.

 

 

 

 

 


A Story Into Time Chapter 3 Aftermath is Only The Beginning

The breeze picks up giving warning of a coming storm. Two figures stand around a recently dug grave. Each one takes turns placing a stone and mutter soft prayers. A large man kneels down picking up a small stone. As a young girl continue places large pebbles tears run down each of their faces. As the sky begins to open releasing the start of a serious thunder storm. As the drops fall on the large mans head it rolls around the side of his face; clearing away a small amount of blood. He stands once the finally stone is placed he then stands and looks down.

Argos,”In life you make your way forward and the deeds you do echo in the hearts of those you have effected. Rebecca, thank you for bringing us together…You kept us safe and I am sorry I could not have done the same for you.” The tall man fights back his rage and tears standing firm. He turns to the girl placing his huge hands gently on the outside shoulder of the young lady. The man his wearing a full bronze suit of armor made extra thick. On his back rests a large custom double sided battle ace. Though to a normal man this armor would make most unable to move let alone be effective in combat. Though it seems not to limit this mans abilities.

The one girl was wearing a worn light blue tanned leather armor and a thin brown blanket over her shoulders. Her black hair was soaked and dropping blood stained water drops of its ends. Her fire like orange eyes looked down at the grave as she sighs. Turning she begins to walk back out to the battle field. As she makes her way across the field toward the town in the distance.

Agros Shouts;” Wait up Ash,”

Ash responds in a sad yet harsh tone,” I’ll be back at the tavern when you two finish up!”

Ash continues to head off ahead as Agros looks up to the sky at the rain. Argos thinks about the battle and his actions during it; trying to discover a way that he could have changed this outcome.  Argos remains still; staring up at the sky as the rain begins to pour down at a heavier pace. Once Ash is out of sight and the rain covers his words he begins to speak all the while looking towards the sky.

Argos in a defeated voice speaks,” Zues….Ares…Why do you always test me. the battle may have been won but the war is lost. The hoard will return tomorrow and we haven’t the man power to defend the villages any longer. I beg you send us aid, we have lost many in our cause..I’ve dug too many graves….How many more will you let the darkness claim before you help. He slams his fist into a tree causing the tree to split in half as he fights back his rage. He exhales deeply then turns and heads down the path to the tavern.

By the time he arrives the sky is nothing but black storm clouds and the rain has washed the blood from the bodies on the battle field. Creating bloody puddles along the roads edge. He opens the door to the tavern Ash sits dry as can be no where near the fire. Many of the injured remain drinking to their wounds won they still feel defeated. Knowing the last wave has not arrived and will be there by dawn.

Everyone remains soaked besides Ash and one other man wearing a tan cloak. The man also had no signs of blood or battle marks. The stranger’s back remains to Argos as water drips off off his armor all over the damp door way.
Ash now looking at Argos now changes to worried in an instant.

Agros dead lines for the man sitting at the bar in the tan cloak. Ash manages to get in front of him and grabs onto one leg doing nothing to hinder his movements. Argos reaches out and grabs the man by the shoulder and spins him around to face him knocking off the hood of the stranger. The strangers hair is black,brown is his eyes and the strangers skin is a dull gray.  Argos is taken back by the age of the man seems to be only that in his late twenties medium build with hands wrapped in thick cloth.

Argos'”Why were you not on the battle field?”

Ash lets go then moves behind Argos silently climbs up his armor, then wakes him on the back of the head with the butt of her metal fan. Argos gets a slight tear from the sudden smack on the back of his head but nods another apology and steps back

Ash chips in,” Sorry mister rough day in the battle forgive us.”

Stranger,” I heard about the battle; seemed like a fierce fight…but I was Captain Argos, as a priest of Charon I was on the battle field making sure the souls find their way to the ferryman.”

Ash,” Well there you go making friends again Argo”

Argos still feeling uneasy just nods for a moment and rubs the back of his neck with his right hand.”Working for the Gods is a noble affair, but I fear the arrival of the next wave. We do not have the man power to stop them.” With a sigh Argos scans the room of the rest of those around only a handful made it through undamaged the rest most likely will not make it through the night.

The stranger speaks up,” I assume the road to the mountains is still cut off, I shall pray to the Gods for each of you.”

Ash speaks up a bit alarmed,” I don’t think I want you praying to the ferryman for me till I can no longer stand.” Not from any formal schooling her views and knowledge of the Gods was slim, and the ferryman gives her the curiosity creeps. Not really sure why everyone has the desire to seek their favor nor fear not being in it. Long time ago Argos once tried to teach her the ways of Ares and Zeus but, she was not sure if he was still trying or gave up years ago.

The stranger stands and makes his way over to a clearly dying man, but before he steps away from Argos and whispers in his ear,” Gods always listen, only the worthy will ever hear their voice, but you can always see their work in those around you. Help will come if the Gods favor it, if not than we shall ride the ferry together. ”

Argos sighs and the true words spoken to him as the man begins to say prayers for the soon to be deceased. Argos orders Ash and himself some food from the Local wench who was well off in years. Ash smiles at the prospect of food but it vanishes before Argos sees it.

Long ago Ash found it was just easier for everyone else to keep her feelings locked up. She has a strong will and cold presence, missing out on the carefree years of being a child. She kept her black hair long in order to hide her face and ears from those around. Argos had discovered outside a brothel begging for change. Guessing do to her pointed ears when he found her she must have been a whores abandoned half breed. As purest still raged throughout the lands half breeds are treated like lower class and not welcome in any realm. So she became good at hiding from the random physical out lashes  of the common folk. It was often that Argos would have to remind her  not to be hateful in return. Though being the son of a God his experiences were less aggressive and more servitude in nature. Though this established a hard core of honor within his morals that no one who had met him would ever question.

Argos and Ash sit in silence for some time before their food was brought. They eat, drink and relax in silence, the inn keeper informs them the only rooms clean and free were already purchased. They sigh and try to find a corner to call bed for the evening. It was at this time that Cecil stumbled through the door, Snowy and Kross shortly behind.

Cecil heading straight for the man the stranger is standing next to pausing for a moment before waving his cane at the man who, is hit then disappears. The tavern gasps, as Argos stands up to confront Cecil as Cecil Shouts,” DEMONSTRATION!!!”. The Argos stops as Kross Snowy and Ash look around perplexed. Every injured man in the tavern has fully recovered. Their armors have been mended and the energies refilled. The tavern errups in cheer and disbelief. Argos looks at Cecil confused and amazed as he can not fully grasp what just happened no one at the tavern can.

Cecil,” Satisfied Mr. Kross, now tell me what it is you sought me out. ”

You are a man of your word,” Says Kross still wondering just what this White Raven was.

Argos reaches out to grab Cecil by the shoulder but misses as Cecil slides right out of his grasp. “What….sorcery is this healing magic died with its masters. How….” Argos drops down to his kneels before Cecil assuming he must be some kind of God. He then proceeds to thank him and pray.

Well that’s more like it. “Cecil smirks at Argos as Ash follows in kind kneeling by him, Snowy sees this and smiles kneeling next to her.

“Get up you loafs, he is no God, not sure what to make of him…but No God looks like him by any means.” It was at his time Kross eyed up Argos and Ash, He closed in on Ash and with a quick motion moved the hair out of her face so he could see it. He glanced back at Snowy and nodded as if he had hunch on something but wasnt sure. Ash brings her hand up to catch his. Once Grasped he feels a growing cold emanating from her hand causing his skin to turn blue and become painful. He breaks her grip and jumps back as Agros stands. Glaring at Kross for coming that close to Ash.

“Kross this town is full of strange people….been meaning to ask when night arose and all this rain came from it was morning and sunny just a few hours ago. That storm just arose out of no where”

Argos asks with aggression,” why did you not fight coward?”

Snowy,” we are not cowards!!!” she says alarmed standing up in protest as Ash finally looks at Snowy and Snowy returns her gaze. Their eyes meet and they look confused as Snowy reaches out to brush Ash’s hair out of her face once again and around her ear. Snowy smiles brightly and gives her a hug seeing their ears are alike. Ash struggles to get away from Snowy who only grasps tighter till Kross pulls her off while explaining to Argos. Snowy having been pulled off of Ash pouts but then giggles as she measures their heights. Ash however is clearly uncomfortable about Snowy’s excitement, she does smile too brushing half of her hair from her face. First time that she can remember that someone was so excited to see her.

“Look here you giant boy scout, first off we are just traveling through here to find…well him.” Points over to Cecil who smiles, tilts his head and waves pleasantly before turning away to the formally wounded who have surrounded him with praise. ” Secondly its poor manners to insult someone before you introduce yourself. My name is Kross Kindu, my warm hearted hugging companion is Snowy…huh…well its just Snowy. ”

Argos taken back by the lack of intimidation given by Kross, lowers his rage filled tone to mild annoyance having been called rude. ” I am Argos, Son of Ares solider of justice, This is Ash  Coldhands.” Argo bows slightly then stands rubbing the back of his head wear a bald spot is slowly forming. As Ash merely nods to Kross as she is trying to contain Snowy’s energy. “I suppose I owe you and apology then Mr. Kindu. I ask for you assistance in the upcoming battle to save this town. ”

” Kross, just Kross Argo….Son of Ares…bah….so formal. I have not connections here and have a youngin to look after. Besides there isn’t any value in it for me.” Kross says with passive care.

Infuriated by Kross’s lacking sense of honor he turns and lifts up Ash placing her on his shoulder.

“Come on Ash lets go find somewhere to rest we have a big day tomorrow we need to be refreshed and ready. ”

It was at this time that the tavern owner slide past them and headed to Kross handing him a key and Snowy a key. They thanked the man as Argos just shook his head and glared.

Ash sneers as well, “Figures….” she mutters in disgust.

Snowy smiles brightly then takes off towards Ash and Argos. Kross gives chase but its too late she reaches out and grabs Argos hand placing her room key in it.

“Take my room, Its fine I swear Kross can move his snoring butt and make room for me, wouldn’t be the first time had to rest in the same room, wont be the last time. ” Snowy says with innocently.

“Well that’s all fine and dandy but what about Cecil?  Was going to share my room with him but now we three are going to be cramped up in one room.” Kross says selfishly

“NOT a word from you Kross….I don’t want to hear it its the first time I have met someone my age and race out here in the world of man and by God I will not let her nor her friends sleep out in the cold. Besides Cecil can go home…he doesn’t live that far away. ” Snowy says upset with Kross. ” You know it wouldn’t kill you to be kind to others once in awhile. I mean hell your last name spells kind and you are such a selfish jerk.” she says taking Kross’s key away from him. ” How about you sleep outside.”

Argos and Ash watch this display a bit confused but pleased to have been given a room for the night. Snowy’s face is a reddish orange from the anger.  Kross swallows his rebuttal about how if he was so selfish why does he take care of her, he sighs looking over at Cecil who is holding up a horn of ale and those around him cheer him like a battle hardened hero. Argos slightly envious of the attention given to this strange man though grateful for the aid to his soldiers.  Ash jumps down off of Argos now staying here for the night she goes up to Snowy and thanks her. Snowy grabs Ash by the hand and leads her upstairs to the rooms to talk quietly.

Kross watches them run off looks up at Argos and sighs again,” well looks like you win this one big fella. ”

” Your company is truly a wild fire isn’t she.” Argos commented.

“You honestly have no idea….if you need so much help why haven’t you prayed to the gods, “Kross inquired.

“Though I have prayed for aid, none has come till your friend over there. First time anything helpful has come along Snowy said he didn’t live to far from here so perhaps he would be willing to help.  ” Argos replied

“Figures… Gods….as worthless as they are powerful. Only time they get off their asses is when one of them fucks up. Hope one day you see your nothing more than a pawn in a game…and this is the board. As for Cecil, I do not see that happening the man is blind. Doubt he would be much help on the battle field, off of it defiantly . Besides there is something off about him though I can not put my finger on it.” They both look over at where Cecil was standing only to see a crowd of men drinking and no sign of the mentioned man. ” Perhaps you missed your chance to meet him, I am slightly annoyed at Snowy, we traveled so far to meet him and then she just takes off with Ash…Children….appreciate nothing. ”

It was at this point the large door covering the entrance is knocked off its hinges flying towards Kross, Argos catches it inches from Kross’s face. Kross nods a very grateful thank you to the large man as the two “Angels” Kross had seen earlier hover through the door. They appear to be the age of Snowy and Ash and about their size. Their wings easily over the same size.

Argos goes to greet the presumed messengers of the Gods, as Kross pulls him down and whispers a very important question. “Before you do anything boy scout have you ever seen or heard of angels that look like these too?” Argos having heard this stands back allowing them to look through the room.

Golden seraph lets out an enchanting request,”We are looking for the White Raven, to answer for his crimes against his kinship. We request you stay out of our way as we search, if you have any information on his location or those that could be hiding him. Please speak now.” The room remains silent as they begin to tear across it, pushing people out of their way searching every main area of the tavern before. Demanding the keys to the rooms from the Tavern keeper who hands them over willingly. They check all the rooms, Stumbling in on Snowy and Ash.

Snowy and Ash had been talking to each other about how they came to be where they are, how they have to normally hide their ears, and how dumb their older friends are. Having been interrupted by angelic like beings, Snowy glares and yells at the Black seraph about not knocking and demanding an apology which she does not get as Ash tries to hold Snowy back and calm her down. Kross hears Snowy yelling and rolls his eyes, grabbing the handle of his sword he carefully makes his way upstairs with Argos following behind.

The seraphs search the room as snowy protests, they then leave the room with no apology given, Snowy inflamed with rage begins to heat up. Ash is forced to let go as Snowy’s skin becomes bright orange and the flicker of flames erupts around her scorching the ground. Snowy takes off into the hall wall as the wood below her feet turn black as does her dress. The black seraph turns  and looks at Snowy tilting its head. Kross runs up behind Snowy and hits her on the back of the head with the butt of of his sword, knocking her out cold. He apologies to the strangers, before picking her up and walking back into the room. The seraph turns and returns to its search. Snowy’s dress turns to ash and crumbles apart. Ash grabs a blanket and Kross wraps her up. Argos covers his eyes till Snowy is covered properly. Not sure exactly what happened but he has been known to have to knock out Ash for her own good from time to time as well.

“She is going to be angry when she wakes up…but at least she will live to see tomorrow.” Kross uttered.

Argos enters the room and allows for the seraphs to leave without knowing why exactly they came here nor what they really were.

“Perhaps its best if we all get some rest,” Argos suggested.

“Kross good idea, you two take Snowy’s room I’ll keep watch here, just might not be safe when she wakes up for Ash to be in the room. Rather I be the one that gets turned to toast,” he says with a grin. Having sleeked back into a room for the evening.

“Is she going to be okay?” Ash asks concerned

“She will be fine….for a water elf she sure has a lot of fire magic unchecked in her. When she gets over emotional it tends to spill out in the area around her. Found her in the ashes of hut, two bodies burned beyond any point of telling their kin was also in the area. She was crying, red and hotter than embers. Once she saw me she began to calm down…she then giggled…and well here we are. From time to time she has nightmares and tends to catch her bed on fire, or get upset with someone and burn them. Normally she doesn’t remember her fits, and apologizes the next day. Hope she didn’t burn you Ash.”

“No I am fine, I don’t burn easily fire elf ancestor in my past for sure, I mean just look at me.” Ash states.

“I should have known.”

“Well Ash lets get to bed we have had enough excitement for one day don’t you think. Leave this heathen to tend to his ward. ” Argos yawns.

Kross smiles at the heathen phrase as Argos and Ash leave closing the door behind themselves. Kross takes a pillow and blanket setting up the floor stretches out on it.

“It was nice to have a bed for one night at least….” He exclaims before shutting his eyes.