Death Wish

How did it come to this
Was there something I did miss?
I can’t stand to be with you
I can not live without you

Days come and go
Sitting on death row
Locked away from one another
Unable to feel each other

The slightest tone of voice
Leaves neither with a choice
No longer able to find joy with friends
For between us there are loose ends

Melancholy we desire the void
A constant state of annoyed
Each gasping like a fish
As we live our death wish


Chapter 15- Port Goldsalt

“When we get into Port Goldsalt you should let me do the talking around here, we are suspicious enough as is with five guys and two little elf girls heading to one of the most corrupt cities,” Kross states.

“Shh….we are approaching the gate. ” Grendel hushes the group as the guards step out of their tower to greet them. Chuck tosses a blanket over Snowy and Ash then proceeds to drink from a bottle of ale preparing to use it as a bartering chip if needed.

The path leading into the city was your classic dirt road to the gate where two watch towers sat before a mote and then a high wall. The moat itself was filled with poison-tipped spikes and broken arrows insuring any who tried to cross any other way than the draw bridge would surely die.

The tower guards approach the wagon and Kross straightens up and prepares to speak only to be cut off by Cecil.

“Lovely day isn’t it?” Cecil sparks up the conversation as they reach the oxen pulling the wagon.

“Aye it is, please state your purpose for entering the city.” The lead guard greets them with a smile on his face. Missing teeth and the only guard with any sort of armor he stands out compared to his bow carrying and rag covered counterpart.

“Oh that answer is simple, we are here to trade. Caught us some young female elves. Figured the best price we could get for them would be here.” Cecil states this causing the group to look at him with concern from which he merely smiles.

“I see no elves.”

“They are right here…” he reaches back blindly padding the blanket covering the girls. He feels around till he finds the edge and pulls it down so the guards can see the heads of the very freaked out twins.

“Well then, they seem well-fed and are attractive. You may enter the city and see what you can get for them. Elf children are in high demand as of late.”

” We are looking to also purchase a sea vessel to do some traveling around the coast, do you have any recommendations?” Cecil asks as he recovers the girls as Chuck offers his ale to the guards who accept taking long drinks from it.

“Yes well Oddrick the port master would be the best one to speak too if you need something right away, otherwise you can talk to Holden the ship maker and he will build you a ship for the right price.”

” Thank you, good sirs, for the information it is quite a value to us. ” Cecil fumbles around his coin sack for some copper coins to give to the men. Grabbing 4 gold coins instead he hands it the lead guard. ” There you are 4 copper coins for your troubles and the information. ”

” Certainly good sir enjoy the city remember, the Steward nor guards are responsible for any ill actions taken against you and yours. In other words, nothing is outlawed as long as it doesn’t affect the nobility or guards.”

They would nod and Kross would start the wagon back up as they cross the draw bridge into the city. It was a dirty but lively place. Women of the evening would bare most of their flesh tempting all who travel along the main roads, as taverns were open-faced allowing for easy access to their supplies. Drug dens and dives lined the streets along with the markets. As they travel through the city they see a boy by around the age of the girls having his hands chopped off for stealing by a local market owner. Argos grabs Cecil by the back of the neck as Chuck tells the girls to stay hidden for now.

“Why the hell did you tell them we were slave traders! Let alone selling Snowy and Ash?” Argos says in a quiet yet aggressive tone.

” Bahaha ha ha ha…ah ha…so serious Argos, it’s simple really. This is a city of cruel and terrible people. Acting as if we didn’t have some sort of sleazy reason to be here would have brought more attention to us than we needed. Now we are just another ban of common thugs doing terrible things while we are here. Now if you wish to keep your hand I would suggest you remove it from my neck it’s quite unpleasant. ” Cecil says this all with a chipper tone expect for the final threat from which his tone changes drastically to a very serious, brutal and cold causing the rest of the party to look at him surprised.

” Easy boy scout, let the old man go no point in doing anything to him, we are in the city and we are not selling the girls so no issues. How about you mind the girls and the cart and go gather some supplies for our sea journey and try to sell the oxen and cart. Storing it here will only ensure we never see it again, so making some money off of it is the best course of action. Cecil and I will visit the port and meet with this Oddrick about getting a boat.” Kross makes these suggestions as Chuck and Grendel wander off to one of the open-faced taverns.

” We will procure the food and ale! Come back and pick us up once your ready!” Chuck would shout as he disappears into the crowd at the establishment.

” Very well Kross, keep an eye on this blind man before he talks us into some trouble. ” Argos says taking the cart and the girls over to the markets in attempts to sell it once Kross and Cecil Climb off of it.

” Kross, that was clever back there with the guards however some warning that was your plan might have been better than just stating that on your own.”

” With all due respect Kross, not everything I say or do will be judged prior to me doing it. Regardless if you or Argos approve of my actions the results remain the same, and no one was harmed doing it. ” Cecil says sternly.

” Yes will the same goes for us then. ”

” Very well but you should be concerned with who is going to captain this vessel, not sure any of you have had any boating experience.”

” I have Cecil, been a long time but it should be simple enough to recall”

” And navigation via the stars?”

” Kross well that part might be a bit tricky however nothing we can’t figure out. ”

Making their way to the docks they find the port master whipping a young water elf and dwarfling. They are tied down over a barrel as the cracking of the whip and their whimpering announces their location. Guards are watching and laughing taking bets over which child will pass out first. Kross sighs having seen this all before and numb to the scene in general as Cecil narrows his eyebrows. They approach the guards Kross politely pushing his way through the guards had already counted 12 strikes.

“Excuse me gentleman I am seeking an audience with Oddrick in order to purchase a ship for a voyage.” Kross says as the man holding the whip waves at him”

” One moment has to finish punishing these two for dropping a load of wine into the bay,” Oddrick says with a stern look on his face. Cecil stumble pushes his way through the guards who at first look angry then realize he is blind and gives him room to move. Cecil apologies to the men”

” Excuse a blind man, sirs…Oddrick I believe its called business before pleasure, and by the signs of the laughter and betting this seems to be a pleasure detail, not business. Besides we are in a hurry to make arrangements and I will personally be happy to cover the cost of the lost wine if it means we can discuss our business in a timely manner.” Cecil says this all with narrow eyes and a semi stern but circuitous tone.

” Well, why didn’t you say so quicker, it was a very expensive crate of wine, however, 1000 gold coins, And a ship as well that will cost you an additional 5000. ” Kross looks at Cecil a moment knowing he had money but wasn’t sure about the total amount.

“And how much for your two slaves that seem to be more of a burden than a help. Could use an extra hand here and there for traveling as I am blind they can serve as my eyes across the sea.”

” 2000 apiece, I warn you they are far more trouble then they are worth. ”

” Very well… I will give you 9k for all of it, “Cecil reaches into his pocket and pulls out a large black diamond. Worth at least that much.

” 9000 doesn’t….fine that will do” Oddrick was going to haggle but seeing the stone assumes he can get more than that for it and quickly agrees. Kross had only seen black diamonds at the mines, or at royal festivals as prices and none the size of this one. He began to question exactly who this Cecil was all over again.

” Show me to my ship and release my slaves from their bindings they shall begin their work right away…” Cecil says as Oddrick releases the children who can barely move with blood running down their backs.

” Now to your ship, you can take Green Moss, at the end of the docks let me get your parchment showing the transfer of ownership of the ship and these two. ”

” Kross tend to these two while I finish up business with Oddrick. ” Cecil orders as he places his hand on Oddricks shoulder using him as a guide to port master’s chambers.

Kross looks at the children pulling some healing potions out of his bag giving one to each of them to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process but the damage was excessive so more treatments will be needed.

“Well then little ones, the girls will be happy to meet you, they do not get other children to play with often, however, to be honest, I am not fully sure of the intentions of your new master Cecil, though I have a feeling it will be better than what you are accustomed to. My name is Kross, may I ask yours?”

The water elf would thank Kross and introduce himself and the dwarf, ” I am Vile, and he is Bile…”

” Do you like those names? ” Kross would ask kneeling down, the guards begin arguing over their bets as the game was ended with no conclusion, agreeing to spend all the money on winches and ale they make their way to the taverns.

” Do you like the name Kross?” asks Bile.

” Its Krossel actually and yes I do it was the name my mother gave me.”

” We don’t know what our mother named us, that was the name given to us by Master Oddrick.” Vile responds.

” I see well that doesn’t mean you have to keep it, I am sure Cecil would allow you to change your name. He may be a little odd but from what I can tell so far he means well.

Cecil would exit the dock masters quarters patting a large amount of dust that suddenly has covered him while inside, holding onto the parchments of ownership for the Mother Seaweed instead of the green moss, this was a much larger and nicer vessel, as well as the ownership papers for the two children.

“Cecil, shall I track down the others?” Kross offers.

” Splendid idea Kross, the children and I shall get the ship ready to rock and roll in the meantime,” Cecil responds walks up to the children, he places his hand on their heads, and their backs instantly heal. The kids look at each other in disbelief then look up at Cecil unsure what to think. Cecil messes the kid’s hair up and tells them to guide him to the Mother Seaweed. Kross smirks slightly seeing this and heads off to the taverns and market to track down the others.

Kross heads into town but before seeking out the others he heads down a residential district looking around for a certain home. He finds it and walks up to the door knocking on it. It opens slightly and he hands some coins through the crack and the door closes. He would sit on the porch and wait. An hour or so would pass before the door opened again tossing out a book hitting him in the back. Picking up the book he would wrap it in a rag and toss it in his bag before heading to the markets to find Argos and the girls.

Argos was not hard to spot being much large than most of the others. Snowy and Ash hid under cloaks on either side of him. As he argues over the price of potatoes, with a little old lady who will not budge on her price.

Ash would see Kross approaching and step behind as Snowy grumbles wanting to eat.

” Argos, just pay the lady already potatoes suck anyway taste like dirt…” snowy whines.

” Listen here lady a copper a piece is stupid. this potato is half the size of this one and you’re charging a copper for each, I will give you one for both! ” Argos demands as the lady merely shakes her head giving him the stink eye”

” You will pay price, and that big one now costs 2 copper because your such a big baby!” the old merchant growls.

” HOW DARE YOU, this is stupid keep your potatoes! I have wasted enough time on you at this point there are other vendors.” Argos states before he storms off noticing Kross who simply has a smile on his face having witnessed the big guy get bested by a little old lady.

” How are the supplies coming?” Kross would ask holding back his laughter.

Snowy would respond, “It has been just terrible…Argos sucks at haggling why do you guys keep letting him go to the market unaccompanied. ”

“Argos wasn’t unaccompanied he had you two.”

” Knock it off you guys that lady was being unreasonable. We managed to get fish, bait, and some fruit. Vegetables here are extremely expensive though. One copper use to get you 2 pounds now it gets you one potato,” Argos chimes in.

“You know to watch after this guy is a full-time job! He also doesn’t listen to us or let us help much cause we are kids…”

“It’s all good big guy, and you should let the kids do the talking more often your this big huge intimidating guy, and they are cute little innocent children. Honey over vinegar will catch the bear every time they say.”

” Now see here boys we need to finish up…Argos you leave the shopping to Kross and I. Go drag the monk and dwarf from out of the tavern.”

“Very well…” Argos would snort before heading towards the taverns and brothels. Ash would look at Kross a moment before shaking her head following Argos as Snowy at first goes to stop her but re-frames letting Ash follow Argos.

” I hope she gets over hating me someday. ” Kross says with remorse.

” Oh she will be fine in time, she doesn’t scare easy, and you scared her real bad. So did you find us a ship?” Snowy says slightly worried about her sister going to a brothel, but Agros would break whoever tried to lay a hand on her so this brought her some comfort.

“Yes we did, and it came with two young boys around your ages, a Water elf, and a dwarf. You will get to meet them soon. ”

” Boys? Great more boys…just what we needed…will be nice to have someone else to play with I suppose.”

The day would finish out with them collecting the rest of their supplies and heading to the ship. Cecil would have disappeared as everyone else would pile onto the boat and claim cabins to sleep in. The boat was very large and had the life of luxury written on every wall. Fancy engraved door frames, and real goose feather mattresses. Snowy would look at all of this and feel right at home excited about heading out to sea.

Kross would pace back and forth along the deck wondering where the hell the blind man had meandered off too as the two new children rest on a pile of ropes. Argos would have carried a passed out half-naked Chuck and Grendel back to the ship leaving them in the wheelhouse lying over one another having had a hard time locating them among all the sleaze in the town. After doing so he would make his way over to Kross.

” So where did he go, now more mouths to feed. I hope you took that into account when purchasing food. ”

” Well yes of course I did. Money is no issue for now, as long as Cecil is backing us anyway.

“What does that mean?”

” He has money, gods know how much. He used the largest black diamond I have ever seen and acted like it didn’t mean much at all to him. I don’t fully trust him, and we have traveled together for a while now. Though I believe he is trying to do the right thing. He also disappears on us when no one is watching which causes some concern as well, what does he do when he is not with us?”

” Argos, he is powerful and had gotten around for a long time before us. He is capable of taking care of himself. ”

” Don’t you get it that is exactly my point. He has more power than we have ever seen and more money than we know, what does he need us for exactly?”

” Kross, we do not see eye to eye on a lot of things. I do not trust his judgment at all times either however, the fact remains he is an assist to us and we are to him to some degree. Why else would he bother with helping us? Ash and I most likely owe our lives to the man, he gained nothing by destroying that hoard of orcs other than us. Personally, I have faith that he is the best shot we have of helping the Gods, he may even be one of them. Either way, I am in his debt, and I know one thing, starting rumors without fact can only cause damage. ”

” I just hope your faith and sense of honor don’t doom us all into following a piper to the cliff. I am going to turn in, you mind taking the first watch. We will leave in the morning if Cecil has returned. I would rather not linger here longer than needed. ”

” I will keep watching you get some rest. ”

 


Place the Blame

We often stumble and fall
Often blaming others
Causing recovery to stall

Grasping for any lie
Instead of facing the truth
One which we strongly deny

Unable to acknowledge
Our own failures
Forced us to the edge

Wallowing in self pity
Instead of picking yourself up
Expecting to be seen as pretty

Wanting the attention anyone
To swim in sympathy
Continuing to be undone

Crippled they fail to process
Enabled by friends and alcohol
Instead of working towards success

We often stumble and fall
do not blame others
Do not blame at all

Its only your current trial
No reason to fall apart
You will not defeat with denial

We try and try again to stand
For if we never try
Happiness we can never demand.


Demons

Toss and turn all night
Only dark insight
Whispers consume the serenity
Creeping through my peace
Their words only increase
Triggering my obscenity

Remedies annul my grasp
As my soul can only gasp
Attempt to find its breath
Desperate for a release
Longing for it to surcease
Praying it wont end in death

Mocking my struggle the demons watch
Taking my glass and pouring the scotch
Drowning me in the bile of mistakes I made
Forging this cowards regret
Buried by all unseen debt
Curl up under sheets naked and afraid.


From Who the Bell Tolls

We all must walk through the shadow of death
Often we mistake the value of a breath
To those who left us behind,
Time can never rewind.

Yesterday notes rang out clear
Now silence is all we can hear
Standing in the echos of the past
Losing the sounds in contrast

Followed by memories we wish we could recall
Forgotten by the history of us and all
As we inch closer to the end
Followed by compassion, all pretend

We see either peace or hell
As our bodies are forever frail
Fear of whats to come
When closed eyes are never undone

Bells chime no longer in our heart
As this end is only a fresh start
Moments begin to slip away
We realize we only wish to stay.


Simon is on the Case

Detective Simon arrives on the scene
Here on a special case
Possible connection to the missing children
Deciding he would help with the chase
Raising his hand, he gives a knock “Amy?”, a women’s voice stutters
The door opens wide A remorse father utters, “Detective, please come in.
We have been expecting you.
They say you are success in many cases,tell me it’s true.”
The host guide’s him to a couch.
Sitting Simon says, “Start from the beginning.”
Taking a deep breath, she recites the events.
“We started for bed as the sun was setting.
A messenger arrived at our door with news so grave.
Amy’s nephew had been taken by a knave.”
Simon begins to write down her story; pin keeping pace
Every detail crucial as anything can be a clue’s trace
“It was because of this I decided to stay in Amy’s room.
Though I could never have predicted what was going to occur. I fell asleep in the rocking chair, my fatal error. I awoke but my baby did already stir. There was a small light flickering out of her window It was purity in all its form Calling to my Amy to let it in, and just like that in came the storm. The light darted across the room, where a shadow did bloom. With a gust, the room filled with sweetened dust. Giving me and ceaseless sense of trust This daze wouldn’t phase Putting my body in a haze A boy with pointed ears and pale skin Stepped across the windowpane. Amy remained as still as a statue, While he walked around as if it was his domain. The shadow seemed to draw his attention With hellish speed, he lashed out After several failed attempts He grasped it, before smashing it about Laughing like a mad man As the shadow began to shrink He then looked at me saying, ‘Now time for a drink’. Making his way over I tried to shriek Horrified that I couldn’t speak Paralyzed, I was victimized Thinking surely this was our demise But the noise he made was unwise I felt his sin, as his teeth sunk in Soon all my memories began to spin. The last thing I remember is him standing before Amy Asking her to go with him across vast lands Telling he could give her flight. Promises an ageless life if kept in his hands. I am sorry the next thing I remember is my husband Shaking me awake with tears in his eyes Screaming with sobs he carried me out to the street Begging for help while I agonize. “ Standing up he requests to look at her injuries Removing her thin scarf, she does expose Two deep and several small puncture marks The odor of infection now arose Black lines etched out from each hole Having never seen this before he draws a copy of the damage “Tell me you will catch this beast, That this case wont land in a cage.” The father pleads that simon take this seriously “the others that came before you Walked away laughing accusing us of the disappearance Sheriff Rot and his men didn’t believe it was true .” Simon says,” I will be honest it’s a tale, but I have seen things you wouldn’t believe. I will take you case and find this boy, With the address of your nephew I will make my leave.” Being handed a small piece of paper With the name Camelot Keep written on it He makes his way back outside With the sun setting the road was barely lit. He scans the street before looking up at the bedroom window 12feet up was his best guess Exploring the yard below it he finds nothing of use Sighing he makes his way to the written address


Chapter 14: Recovery and Direction.

Kross walks down the stairs of the tavern. The day has just passed noon and he awoke to find himself alone in the room after a restless night of stress steaming from the task at hand and the reality that they most likely will all die trying to complete it. Having not spoke to nor seen the white raven in days his mind wonders on to what the future could be waiting for him and his friends.

When he enters the lounge of the tavern he is surprised to see all of his friends laughing and gathered around a table in the corner. Argo’s smacks Chuck on the back as they comment on the fight that they barely survived. Their injuries were no longer on them as Kross eyes them closely making his way over to them. Snowy and Ash are listening intently as Kross listens closely making his way over and sitting down in the empty chair as Snowy looks at him and her cheeks turn red as rage fills her eyes.

“That is just like you Kross sitting down taking Cecil’s seat without even asking if it was okay.” Snowy continues to comment on manners. Rumbling on about how irresponsible and rude it was. Kross has a blank expression on his face looking around the room he now notices there is no one else in the room.

“Snowy, I am sorry but where is he?” Kross questions as the voices of the others fade out and Snowy ignores his question and continues her parenting.

Kross now getting annoyed that no one is listening to him begins to speak up and repeats his question to a room that wont listen. IT was at this moment the door is kicked in and the seraphs enter followed by Gilgamesh. They charge the table as Kross stands unsheathing his sword. The others however, continue their conversations as Gilgamesh walks up and stabs Argos through the chest and the seraphs fire arrows into Grendel and Chuck. Kross grabs Snowy who grabs Ash, tries to pull them but they wont budge. Kross goes to block Gilgamesh’s spear but his sword shatters on contact with Gilgamesh’s blade. Kross then watches the spear tip protrude out of Snowy’s throat and is used to tear her head off of her shoulders and the angels stab Ash in the chest. Kross can not move having seen this sight as the three Immortals begin stabbing him in the chest. He looks down to Snowy’s head.

Snowy’s head sits on the floor and begins to speak,” Why Kross…Why? Stop fighting…Let go….LET GO!” This causes the world to fade as Kross lays in a pool of  his sweat and his hand on Ash’s throat.

Kross, sweat drenched and with tears on his face, awakens in panic on the floor of the room he had rented with Snowy pounding away at his chest and his right hand grasped around Ash’s throat. Ash had already gone limp and her lips had started to turn blue before he let go. He sat up almost knocking over Snowy who was historically calling for help at this point. Kross begins to pound on Ash’s chest and commencing crude CPR.

A set of knocks comes on the door and Snowy rushes to open it, on the other side is Cecil. He comes in and looks down at Ash. Cecil nudges Kross out of the way and places his hands over Ash’s chest and neck. A second later she is gasping for breath, her eyes opening wide as Kross’s hand print on her throat begins to fade and her lips return to their normal shade.

“Ash, I am so sorry…I can’t,”Kross says before Snowy slaps his face and rushes over to Ash helping her up and holding her as Ash grasps onto Snowy with the fear of death still in her eyes.

“Snowy, take Ash to the third door on the left Chuck and Grendel should be in there sleeping off last nights bender. Argos has gone to fetch the wagon and supplies we will be leaving soon. I found information on Poseidon we head for the water elves in an hour. ” Cecil orders and Snowy follows the instruction with tears on her face as Ash has tears just beginning.

Cecil closes the door and looks down at Kross before making his way over to the bed and sitting on its edge. Kross looks down ashamed but still confused by what he dreamed.

“Are you alright?” Cecil inquires

“I am fine…I hope Ash will be alright.” Kross responds

“She will be fine, I am far more concerned about you. Must have been an intense dream to have that reaction.”

“Oh you know the death of everyone…”Kross mutters softly before loudly asking,” So where have you been?”

“I have been collecting information on my own, no offense but I tend to travel faster alone. The scent of Natalie is on you, and I am sorry your friends were hurt facing off with the immortals. They are lucky they are not dead. I have come to the conclusion that you all will need better equipment if your going to stand a chance against them. Do you have the key?” Cecil rambles off a series of topics and while his does it his eyes vibrate ever so slightly is barely noticed by Kross who says nothing about it but instead tries to focus on what had been said.

“Scent? Natalie? I have the key but was going to give it to one of the girls. If things go bad they should be able to slip away easier than any of the others.

“Natalie is an Immortal I attempted to lock away, her obsessions are matched only by her complete mastery of the elements. She is one of the strongest of the immortals their are only a few things she can not alter in this world. Down side is she is completely ruled by her emotions and only defies logic and reason. Now giving the key to the girls isn’t a terrible idea but whoever has that key will be the target of the immortals. The enemies you have faced so far have balanced temper and control over their impulses; the others not so much. I have a feeling that eventually the Immortals will break off into factions as Gilgamesh really isn’t strong enough to keep them all in line, but he is a leader…always will be. ” Cecil states.

Kross gets himself up and changes his shirt before taking a long drink from his canteen.

“It will be rough traveling with the girls after this…still can’t believe I almost killed her.” Kross says shaking his head before placing his canteen in his bag and begins collecting his other gear.

Cecil does yield from doubling down on Kross’s guilt about the true condition Ash was in when he arrived and instead says,”The others and myself will be waiting for you down stairs. Take your time gather your thoughts and nerve.”

It had been about a week since the King had been attacked and his armies regularly search the march throughout the city and Kingdom trying to locate those responsible. A minor panic and hysteria has begun to take hold of the villagers. With the city on edge it appears that defensive measures will not let up any time soon.

Cecil heads out of the room to leave Kross to collect his thoughts. Heading down to Chuck and Grendel’s room knocking on the door. Snowy opens it and he waves the collection to follow him down stairs. They heed to his lead and depart to the tavern lobby. Cecil proceeds to order them breakfast but doesn’t order himself anything. Chuck notices this but says nothing holding onto his head trying to keep his brain from pounding its way out of his skull. Grendel is in similar shape but is shielding his eyes from the poor lighting provided by the local atmosphere.

Argos returns and updates Cecil on supplies as breakfast arrives. Cecil offers his seat to Argos who takes it and Cecil heads out to watch the wagon. Kross makes his way down carrying Snowy’s belongings as well as his own. He takes up a seat next to Chuck and Argos doing his best not to match the Snowy’s glare or Ash’s horrified stare. Argos notices the tension and requests information, though Grendel changes subject to their next mission as to not add to the minor hostilities between Argos and Kross.

“Aye, Water Elves, had to be them…Gross…You all don’t understand all they sell to eat is seaweed and fish. They have no concept of real food and God do they hate outsiders.” Grendel mention having never actually been to their realm before only regurgitating local folklore and racist remarks he had be exposed to as a child.

“They are not all that bad, and they do sell other food its just a higher price cause they have to have it shipped in. Now they don’t take kindly to dwarfs, do to the fact that dwarfs tend to spread false rumors about them. They also have quite a fascination with Coconuts. “Chuck says trying to dismember Grendel’s illusions on the matter.

” It will be exciting to see a village of Elves…I am sure it will be amazing don’t you think?” Snowy asks Ash trying to bring her around.

“I guess so, ” Ash responds rubbing her throat surprised by the lack of pain she has had eating but also still not over the trauma of being strangled.

Kross feels awful and it shows on his face as he forces some food down not really hungry after the morning activities. He looks around the table at the family he finds himself apart of. A group of people that he may actually care about have included him and gave him a sense of purpose. Images of his dream flash across his mind as he tries to shake the visions from his eyes he looks down and away seeing Snowy’s head on the floor he shoots up sliding whats left on his plate to the center of the table.

“I am going to wait for the rest of you with Cecil outside. Don’t let that food go to waste it will be a long time before we have something prepared for us again. ” Kross turns and departs the tavern.

Each of the members of the table now have their attention focused on the abandoned plate on the table. Each of them shoot a glare at one another planning all reaching for it at the same moment, but with Ash’s speed she slides her hand across the top of the table and aims for the plate pulling it out of the way before the bumbling collection of hands crash into each other above it each after a different item, each one of them ending up empty handed. Ash grins having won the contest for the extra food, causing jealous snorts from the men, and  a pouting lip on Snowy’s face.

Ash divides the food up  in equal shares for everyone to get a little more. Smiling as she does it though not use to being the center of attention, and quietly panics under the pressure, causing her movements to be rapid to get their gazes focused on the food.

It is not long after that they finish their meals and go out to join and Cecil who have taken the key positions on the wagon’s coach. Causing Chuck and Grendel to grumble over the situation of having to walk for miles after drinking so much the previous night.

They form up and head out of the city passing by a the gated entrance it was Kross who notices one of the soldiers has red eyes. This soldier seems to be glaring at Cecil, and the wagon as it passes. Once they pass the man and Kross loses sight of him for a moment he stands and looks back to find that the soldier was no longer there. Unsure of what he exactly saw Kross disregards it, as his head hasn’t been right all morning. After a few days of traveling and they see the mountain range ahead.

Grendel,” We should stop at the Diamond Castle on our way pass that way we can inform them of what we have dealt with and see if we can convince them to patrol past the gate!”

Cecil sighs,” it would be faster if we didn’t go into the mountains the terrain is too rough for the wagon and would delay us. It would be in our best interest to go to Port Goldsalt instead and rent a ship to the village of the Water Elves.”

Argos,” Port Goldsalt? The smugglers paradise? Its a place of thieves and con men. I can help the wagon through the mountains if need be, but as your way may be quicker but it certainly isn’t safer. not to mention the slave trade is still alive and well here.”

“Well would you look at that, boy scout is using his brain for once and trying to not head towards danger and glory,” Kross says with a snide tone, the first time he has really said anything since leaving the previous Village.

“Shut it low life, should have known your silent ways wouldn’t last. ” Argos grumbles with an agitated tone.

“How about this baldy, we leave it up to a vote let the group decide which way we head.” Kross offers seeking compromise.

Argos grunts a moment before nodding and speaking up,” All those who want to head the safe route into the mountains raise your hand.”

Grendel’s hand shoots straight up, as Ash raises her hand weakly and lastly Argos adds his vote in as well. Grendel glares at Chuck who merely shrugs  in response to Grendel’s dismay.

Chuck,” We just left the Diamond City rather not just go running back, besides we can send them a raven from Goldsalt I know a guy out that way and warn your homestead.”

Gerndel mocks” You know a guy, is this like the last time you knew a guy and had lost at a cards game and owed money, granted he did know where my axe had gotten to however you had me pay your debt in order to get the info.

Lost in thought a moment chuck responds,” might be similar,” causing Grendel to grunt and curse for moment under his breath.

Kross,” then its decided we go to Goldsalt, and put Cecil’s plan into action.”

 

 

 


Lover’s Contract

Heartbeats increase as we attract

Giving rise to the most intimate act

At the point of lover’s contact

Our lips form a contract

 

AS hands meet like a wild vine

Allowing fingers to intertwine

Forming  a supportive bind

Guiding bodies to a line

 

Breathing in as skin meets skin

Eye’s share views far from sin

Fantasy in minds does spin

Soon now, lover’s lives will begin

 

Lust breeds trust with each thrust

Restoring souls from heartaches rust


A Story into Time Chapter 13: The Price of Freedom

“Halt who goes there,” A royal guard draws his sword pointing it at Grendel who leads Kross and the rest to the castle gates of the inner city.

“Lord Grendel Surefoot, of the Diamond Castle seek a brief audience with King O’rick.” Grendel pronounces with authority. Causing the guard to summon another one over to take word to the King.

“If the King will meet with you I will allow you to pass but you must leave your weapons with me no outsiders are allowed armed within the castle walls.” The guard informs the group. Causing the group to reluctantly disarm and hand them their weapons to royal guards man that arrive with word from the King.

“Grendel, is it normal for the escort to the King to be so large?” Kross asks a bit concerned being surrounded by a dozen soldiers as they pass through the entrance.

Grendel only shakes his head in response as the girls look in awe at all of the well fashioned marble stone work of the palaces architecture. Former kings and highly honored knights remain in statue form with judging eyes watching all who enter. The Blessing scripture of various Gods litter the walls and bases of the statues. They enter the throne room where the King sits with his queen taking in requests of common folk. Once a man finishes with a request to be repaid for soldiers raping and killing two of his Elvin half breed slaves which the King orders the release of two of his own personal slaves to go with him.

The guards introduce Grendel who steps forward and introduces the rest of the group.

King O’Rick, was a chubby yet barbaric looking beast of a man. Long hair and marble colored beard cover his mythril armor. His crown was a series of tiny golden skulls with gems in the eye sockets of each one. Each skull is representative of a King or challenge that The O’Rick blood line had slain over their reign. Serving as a reminder to all that see it not to question the kings rule. He sits on a marble and golden infused throne. His wife wears an iron mask replica of her own face as the only one worthy to look upon her true beauty is the King himself. She is wearing a light blue and white dress and in her hand hand she holds a chalice for the King.

“What brings you here Lord Surefoot?” King O’Rick questions.

“That is not a simple question my Grace. I am here with the son of Ares and our band is in search of the remaining Gods. Rumors are that the blood rain was a sign that the Gods had been slain. I know not the truth for sure but we have seen some truly amazing and terrifying things as of late. Those culprits who attacked the God’s are also rumored to attempt to open the Gate. ” Grendel says trying to disregard the Kings lack of interest or care in the statement Grendel has just made. ” I am sure you are aware of roaming orc hoards have begun to localize and organize attacks against small towns and villages. This seems to be happening in your Kingdom as well as mine. ”

“These rumors of dead Gods have reached my ears, but as a God can not be killed: even by one of their own, I find giving life to these claims the acts of a mad men and fools. As for the hoards of Orcs we will dispatch 100 men to each of the boarder towns to act as extra protection.” O’Rick states showing his discontent with the news concerning the Gods.

“Thank you your Grace. ” Grendel and Argos state as Kross shakes his head.

“Regardless if you think its the act of fools to give rise to rumors of Gods dying. It would be wise to at least hide your key to the Gate given that someone may be trying to open it. They are here in your city. Make no mistake they will come here and they will go forth with their agenda regardless of your degrees. Yet you sit here in disbelief doing nothing because this enemy is beyond anything the world has ever seen. You are unable to believe what you have yet to see because the concept is so tremendously scary that believing it would break your concept of the world you built. Denying is so much easier than learning, easier than accepting that everything changed, easier than preparing for something you refuse to identify as real. ” Kross says trying to gain some ground.

“Outsider, re frame from speaking to the King as your voice is not worthy to be heard in this great hall. ” A royal guards man states as the Queen raises her free hand up to the guard.

“Let him speak, As he is a braver soul than you. You see he is willing to travel great lengths in mixed company just to bring warnings to a King that if truth follows his claims we would be wise to listen.” the queen states her voice though muffled rings out in a heavenly tone from behind her mask. ” You guard, have never left the castle let alone the city yet you claim he has no right to speak. You know nothing of anything happening, you sir should not speak.”

The guard goes to argue but with a quick glare from the King he bows and departs from the room. Kross and the others are surprised by the queen’s actions as it is rumored that she never spoke to anyone outside the royal family.

“Thank you your Grace,” Kross mutters in gratitude.

“Now, as for the rumors of death to the Gods the Kings words speak truth and you should not worry about such claims. Though the idea of someone or anyone looking to open the gate should never be taken without caution, but as only certain noble blood lines even have a chance succeeding in that endeavor. I would find it far wiser to conceal the location. Though I do not think it would be safer outside the castle walls from those who seek its power. ” The queen looks over to her husband. His face shows no sign of denial nor acceptance of her claim.

“It would you and it would be safer if you had no knowledge of its where abouts.” Argos states.

It was at this time that Gilgamesh walks in with the Seraphs on either side following behind him. They are all wearing armor and have their weapons though they are sheathed. Turning his head Gilgamesh looks upon the mortals with curiosity and aw at the set up of the palace.

“Whats the meaning of this, I demand you remove your weapons this instant and wait your turn.” King O’Rick shouts as Gilgamesh bows then nods to his companions who recognize the others and go to speak but he hushes them before they can get a word out.

Gilgamesh’s armor and weapon begin to fade shortly their after the Seraphs follow in kind. The King’s eyes widen at this as the queen drops the Kings chalice causing winte to spill over the floor an old slave rushes over to begin cleaning it up and hands the chalice back to her. He refills it then bows back out into the shadows.

“Sorry to interrupt you King and mortals.” Gilgamesh is cut off before he can continue.

“What sort of man carry’s armor and weapon made of magic, and is in the company of a Fallen Archon and one made of gold? ” King O’Rick begins.

Kross chimes in before Gilgamesh responds “These may be the ones we warned you about. That black Seraph I have seen flayed before my eyes and now stands whole before you.” Kross states realizing that this will not work out well for those around.

Unarmed and under powered. Kross pushes the girls behind himself as Argos, Grendel, and chuck form a line along with him. These actions are noticed by the Queen who places her chalice on the ground and moves to stand as the King pushes her gently back down in her seat.

Gilgamesh stands looking over at Kross and the others not seeing 400 among them. His lips form a smirk as he begins,” The name I have chosen is Gilgamesh, I have but one purpose…Freedom. I have come here to ask you for your Key to the gate and that you end slavery and the means of which you empower your people to harm other races. I have already freed you from the oppressing Gods that forced you to pay homage for their praise. I will release everyone, You can be part of the redemption of your kingdom or its downfall.”

The queen leans over and whispers something to the king. The king nods and then turns to the growing audience in his throne room. ” You come here Gilgamesh, claiming to have slain the Gods, and demand we reform our way of life to your vision. You offer no evidence for your claim and demand the greatest King to do your bidding. You request my key for the Gate so you can free the monsters that slaughtered our ancestors and the ancestors of all races. You would be wise to look upon my crown and understand that no man will ever order me, nor give rulings in my kingdom other than I. I deny your request and offer you this one chance to leave my city with your head on your shoulders and never return. ”

Gilgamesh sighs regretting this outcome and waves the golden seraph over to him. The seraph carrying a bag on its back which is just now revealed as the seraph stands in front of Gilgamesh glaring at the King. Gilgamesh removes Zues’s crown and Hera’s chalice and tosses them before the King. This causes whispers to spur among the collective and Kross can not take his eyes off of Gilgamesh. Wondering where the pink haired girl fits into all of this.

“There is your proof, now I would rather not have to make you into an example as well. Free the slaves and hand over the key this is last time I will ask,” Gilgamesh says coldly.

“Guards!!! ” the King shouts causing the room to stir as soldiers make their way in and a horn is trumpeted calling saying the king is under attack. Doors open from behind the throne and in marches even more. The King unsheathes his sword as the Queen makes her way to the back of the room Kross signals the others to follow the queen and they take off as Gilgamesh and his party re summon their armor and weapons and begin disabling the warriors one at a time being careful not to kill any of them as they make their way to the king.

“We should stay and help.” Argos yells at the group while reaching for Kross who remains just barely out of his reach with the two girls infront of him. Kross ignores Argos realizing the Queen most likely knows the location of the key. The Queen cuts through one of the doors where the soldiers poor out. Grendel however nods to Argos and slows his pace. Chuck sees his friend slow and follows in kind. Ash and Snowy begin to slow but Kross grabs them by the arm and drags them with him after the Queen. Causing Argos to spit and glare before turning to face the enemy unarmed.

Gilgamesh focuses on cutting legs and arms of the soldiers clean off their bodies filling the rooms with horrified screams. Argos picks up a sword and charges past the King and straight towards Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh locks eyes with Argos noticing no fear as he swings the sword at Gilgamesh who blocks it with his spear. Gilgamesh is surprised by the strength of Argos as each blocked blow pushes him backwards and almost off balance. Though with a quick dodge to the side allows him the to pierce Argos with his spear which Argos grabs with his spare hand and turns his body to tear the spear from Gilgamesh’s Grip. This causes Argos hand to crystallize and Gilgamesh brings forth a kick against the hand of Argos causing his crystallized hand to crack. Though feeling intense pain it does not show. Using his injured leg as balance he brings a kick to the side of Gilgamesh’s face knocking him down to the ground. Argos pulls the spear out of his leg and tosses it at Gilgamesh who fails to catch it until after it has already pierced through his chest. This causes Gilgamesh to fall to one knee shocked by the out come as the crystals on Argos hand begin to fall off showing that his hand had been broken in several places by the kick Gilgamesh lands.

Grendel starts to pull the king back as the seraphs charge forth causing Chuck to jump in their path. Chuck Puts up his fists and begins to systematically stumble about which confuses the seraphs causing them to pause their attack for a moment.
Chuck uses the momentum he gains from a false stumble to bring up a round house kick to the golden Seraphs face Causing her to collide with the Black one. Grendel Continues to pull the king back till the King finally makes his retreat.

Grendel picks up a spear and shield off the floor but first he has to remove the hands still attached to them. Once armed he joins Chuck who’s fighting style is still a puzzle as the black Golden seraph attacks trying to land a blow to Chuck who continues to Dodge by falling on the ground and flipping around her swords. Frustrated she takes flight and pulls out her bow and starts firing arrows at Chuck who dodges a few but is finally struck in the hand then again in his stomach causing him to collapse. Grendel Throws his spear at the seraph who lets it shatter against her armor. She fires her arrows a Grendel puts up his shield to block them as the Other golden seraph closes in behind him running her sword clean through each of his shoulders causing him to drop the shield and be struck by several arrows in his legs. Grendel falls next to chuck who is now coughing up blood.

Argos remains standing and hobbles over to Gilgamesh who is pulling the spear out of his chest, Argos begins punching Gilgamesh in the face with his one good hand and using his good leg to hold him down. The Seraphs begin shooting wave after wave of arrows into his back being sure to miss vital areas. This causes even Argos to eventually fall forward. Gilgamesh heals and gets up looking at the other immortals and glares in rage as he has been delayed.

“Well those three were troublesome.” he kicks Argos in the chest as the sound of more soldiers are heard coming from the great hallway. ” Ellen, Hellen, lets make our leave, the key is gone and so is the King but they will be back and so shall we.

Ellen flies up and begins motioning her hands infront of her till a portal opens. They walk all walk inside Gilgamesh dragging a soldier behind him. The soldier is missing an arm and heavily damaged leg, but is still breathing and begging for help as they disappear into the portal. The portal closes and the room full of dying men stains the marble floors red with their blood.

Kross and the girls manage to catch up to the Queen who has been winded by the sudden need to feel. Taking off her mask helps her catch her breath. They had followed her through the castle and into a hidden tunnel. The poorly lit shaft is littered with the smell of moist stone and mildew.

“Queen O’Rick where is the Key we have to get it you and it out of here as soon as possible. My friends and the King wont be able to hold them back for long. We must keep moving. ” Kross says finally catching up to her Snowy begins punching Kross’s hand as it has been hurting her arm since he grabbed it. Kross apologizes and releases them.

The Queen goes to put her mask on before turning to speak to them, but her breath had yet to return so she remains facing the away from them. ” This tunnel leads to an outpost just on the other side of the city walls. ” She says in a frantic and scared state.

“And the key? Where is that how do we find it so we can take the danger away from you.”Kross asks to try and finally get an answer. The queen shows them the inside of the mask where the key has been secured to by a sealed tiny thin metal box.

“The kings greatest treasures…such a laughable offense.” She turns to look at them and they can see her face had been disfigured to make room for the keys container in the mask. Her cheek bone hand been crushed and the flesh turned scar tissue where they has once cut it off and it had healed. A hole remained by her molars showing off the backs of her teeth.

Snowy winces as Ash looks on in pure awe at the dedication this Queen had given to her king and the people of the world. Kross understands however the cleverness behind such an disfiguring act. No one would have ever had known; even experts, as the mask; when on display, it shows no falsehood to the imperfection of it covered.

So you know the truth now. I have to ask you one favor before leaving, No one in the kingdom knows of this. For the protection of the King and realm I need you to well…hand me your knife…” She says as she realizes what she must do.

“I am sorry they took my weapons away at the door.” Kross says catching on to what is about to happen. Kross walks up to the Queen gently taking her mask from her hand. Placing the mask at a slant against the wall. He places a small flat but sturdy bit of flint at an opposet slant with the base against the floor and wall’s edge and the other end just above where the key is hidden. With a swift kick and some sparks he breaks off a jagged chunk from the mask. He sighs and hands her back the majority of the mask keeping the the concealed key. She looks at the new found edge of her mask. Honestly she feels a bit of relief realizing that another one like it will not be made though the task ahead causes her to force her nerves to steady.

The queen takes a several deep breaths before placing the jagged against her scars and begins cutting through them. removing them completely and making a larger hole in her mouth making, this makes her wound look fresh from the assault. Tears and screams of pain flourish during this process causing snowy to cover her hears as they echoed throughout the canal.

“I think I may throw up…” Snowy mutters now feeling dizzy and nauseous over the ordeal that just happened.

“Shhh…” Ash says as she slams her foot down on snowy’s toes causing Snowy to yelp and take her attention off of the queen.

Kross tears off part of his sleeve and offers it the queen who takes it and place over her wounds spitting out the blood that managed to slip into her mouth. The queen then takes the lead and begins showing them the way out of the tunnel.

They make it out by night fall and a short while later they are joined by the King. Who with summons his army to rally around him and charge the castle. The King looks after his wife damning the attackers for her injuries and in private commending her on her actions. He gives Kross full permission to take the Key and tells them that he will spread word that it has been stolen, so to watch his back.

By morning the army is fully assembled and the King leads his march straight into the throne room. Where they find men dead and dying from blood loss. They collect Chuck, Grendel and Argos taking them to the infirmary. Kross takes the girls over to visit them keeping the key in his shoe under padded leather, forcing himself to walk normally as, no one is sure.

Ash looks towards Argos and Grendel as Snowy rushes over to Chuck. Kross however looks at the three of them all wrapped up in bandages on the floor next to several others.

” Was it worth it boy scouts? Almost getting yourself and these two killed over a Fool hardy of an idea.” Kross says with a smile happy to see they are still living anyway.

“Yes…It was I learned a lot from the encounter with Gilgamesh, first he is strong but I am stronger, Second his weaponry with grasped turns you into a crystal, and lastly…we are no match. ” Argos says weakly with defeat in his voice. “Though I did shove his own spear into his chest and had a few good punches in before being covered in arrows. ”

“Chuck are you alright? Say something ANYTHING.” Snowy shouts at a motionless Chuck.

Chuck remains still with eyes closed for a moment before making a request,” Bring me liquor, bring me food…and a night with a good women.” He says weakly forcing a grin only to get slapped by Snowy who then hugs him with a tear coming down her face which she wipes away before he opens his eyes.

Grendel coughs up a bit before he turns his head towards Ash,” Is the King okay…Did he make it out…where is the key?”

“The King is fine and the key is safe for now, just rest and focus on healing, we will be at the tavern, but we need to get moving soon. ” Ash says looking at them worried that Kross may not wait for them to recover before heading out as the key isn’t safe and they are not safe having been exposed to the leader of the enemy.

“Alright Guys good your still alive we have much to discuss but not now focus on resting and healing. We are going to search the black market for some potions to help you all.” Kross says and leads the girls out.

They spend their time in the markets and black market centers not finding much that the King has already seized for his men. Disgruntled Kross takes the girls to the inn and they get a one room for it is safer if they stick together. Kross sits down in front of the door as the girls take the bed and it is not long till all of them are fast asleep.


A Story into Time: Chapter 12 The Things We do for Love.

“Is it a boy or girl?” A man in his late twenties asks as an infants cries echo out from behind a closed curtain. He is a meager individual with an average height and brown hair. His skin is well tanned from working in the fields around his house. His cloths are whole but show many hard days of labor through the sweat and dirt stains. Placing his hand on the wall he digs his already soot filled nails into the wood.

“Glenn, Come meet your son. ” A weak voice sings out in fatigue and joy.

Bursting through the curtain Glenn rushes to his wife who is holding a still blood covered newborn and a vibrant smile shines through her sweat soaked dirty blond hair. She is tall for a women and clearly spends a similar amount of time in the sun as her husband.

“God he is beautiful, Shrawna. The gods have blessed us.” Glenn says with relief and joy that his wife and child are alive and well. He grabs a pan of water and a cloth and asks to hold his son. After carefully taking the child from the arms of his wife he begins to wash his son’s face. The baby cues and squirms do the chill of water.

“What shall we name him?” She asks as her smile narrows a bit as she reaches for a chalice of water, from which her husband Glenn grabs and hand to her keeping movement limited. She sips it a few times before putting it back waiting for a response.

“If you wouldn’t mind my love, I would like to honor my brother and name our son after him,” Glenn says with a bit of caution.

Shrawna sits up a bit a little surprised by Glenn’s choice.

“Kross? Your con man of a brother? Isn’t he a killer?” Shawna asks searching for the reason.

Glenn looks down at the baby who reaches one hand out towards Glenn’s face. “It might be hard to understand, but growing up he suffered a lot for me. He kept me alive; I owe my life to my brother. Granted he could never grow up and build a life for himself. Even though he may not follow the law, he is my brother I love him and miss him dearly.  In all likely hood he was captured or killed long ago and I will never see him again; I will never have the chance to repay him for all he done and sacrificed for me.

“Then the answer is yes, welcome to the world Kross. Now shall we wake Isabel and let her meet her new brother Kross?” she  asks weakly looking away. She had only ever heard vague stories about her husbands checkered past.

“Can’t awaken whats already awake.” he says playfully before standing and mouthing the words ‘Thank You”. Leaving the room with the baby heading towards Isabel’s room. He enters her room which contains a humble collection of hay padded bedding and a small wooden and cloth padded crib.  Cloths and a tiny collection of wooden toys rest in perfect chaos across the floor. He looks down upon his daughter.

“Isabel? I have someone I want you to meet. ” He says trying to contain his joy.

Isabel is a girl around the age of 4 playing with her carved wooden pony and doll made from spare cloth.  Her hair is the color of aged amber and she shares her fathers eyes and ears but the rest belongs to her mother. Once Glenn enters the room she looks a bit frightful and quickly goes to blow out the candle she managed to light in the corner of the room before she is stopped by her father.

“Isabel leave it. It is alright I have known you were up for awhile,” Having seen the candle light from through the cloth door as well as her shadows as she darted from one side to the other. ”

“Sorry papa….momma was screaming and….and..I was frightened and I love her, I -I- what? ” she says quickly and confused as to the whole ordeal that has gone down but notices her Dad is holding a baby and she brightens right up rushing over to him. ” MY BABY…yay play with horsey. ” She goes to tug on the blanket that contains her brother as her father lifts him out of her grabbing fingers.”

“This is your baby brother Kross,  he still too young to play with you, but I promise in no time he will be playing with you every day. You will have took after him and protect him as you are older and know better.  I am trusting you to always do whats best for your family and your little brother.  Now if you calm down and sit down ill let you get a good look at him and maybe hold him.” He says softly and with truth making her eyes brighten even more at the chance to be trusted and given such a huge task. She nods and sits down clapping her hands against the bedding in anticipation.

Glenn sits down next to her and shows her the right way to hold a baby which is almost to heavy for her but she puts on her best grown up face and does her duty. Holding her brother and looking at him closely; a toothy grin spread from ear to ear. She begins to hum and rock him to the simple tune. As Glenn has a tear of joy and pride fall from his eye patting her on the back.

“Alright, Isabel its time to let Kross eat and for you to go to bed.  Tomorrow ill be a big day, and starting tomorrow you and him will share a room. I will expect you to teach him whats right and wrong when he is a bit older for now just be patience as you can till then. ” Glenn goes to take the baby away and Isabel instantly gets upset but and protests as Glenn takes Kross out of her hands, and she screams out no causing Kross to begin to cry.

“ISABEL, knock it off right now I know your tired and cranky but now you have scared your brother. You know better; now candle out, and bed for you. Your teaching him to be scared of you and not trust you. Be good; be full of honor and respect. Teach him love and compassion. There will be plenty of time tomorrow for playing.” Glenn says keeping his temper in check with ease.

Isabel grunts and body posture is in protest but does as she is told as Glenn takes Kross back to his mother. Glenn changes the sheets as Kross receives his first meal. Morning came and Isabel comes crashing into her parents bedroom. Glenn and Shrawna lay with the baby in between them and are awaken by the pluck of the morning person in the room.

Glenn gets up to start something for breakfast taking Isabel with him as Shrawna feeds the infant, before carrying Kross into the table to eat herself. She is slow and weak moving but happy. They eat breakfast and a knock comes from  the only wooden door in their home.

Glen stands and grabs his sword which is sitting next to a dust covered dwarf armor. He makes his way over to the door. Opening it a crack he sees teenage boy with an arrow through his arm standing there bleeding.

“SLAVERS!” the boy shouts and Glenn opens the door all the way letting the boy in. Glenn heads out to look around for signs of the boys claim. Shrawna looks towards the strangers wounds as Glenn sees 12 men on horses heading up the path towards his house. Glenn heads back inside with haste moving everything he can find infront of the door. Isabel begins crying and Kross starts to cry out again. This causes Isabel to tighten up and reduce her crys to tears and sniffles, as she attempts to be brave. Shrawna leads the children into the her bed room. Glen charges in and carefully he pushes their bed to the side. He pulls up a hidden trap door and guides his wife and his kids into grabbing the teenage boy a moment before letting the boy go into their hideaway as well. Once they all hide away Glenn closes the trapped door as Shrawna works on getting the children quite. Glenn pushes the bed back over it.

The sound of horses can now be heard as the riders close in. Glenn mind begins to race and he heads over to an old trunk in the bed room he begins shuffling through it till he comes across a small thin box. Opening it he pulls out the sliver coin given to him so many years ago. Then heads out to the living area as the men begin shouting.

“We know your in there boy. To those of you in this house come out now or we will burn it down.”  A man with one eye and a terribly burned face shouts. The twelve men each are wearing  random collections of armor from several houses. They dismount causing a clang as metal boots hit the stone pathway. ” You may see that boy as a child but honestly he is our property  and as quarter breed he is deemed a slave by King Orick. Now I have no desire to destroy such a….well nice looking farm. We just want whats ours shall you refuse everyone in there will sentenced to death.”

Glenn closes his eyes and sits down with his back to the barricaded door. One hand on his sword the other on the coin they begin pounding on the door which causes him to slam his eyes shut and he flips the coin.

Silence falls as the coin continues to flip in mid air. Confused he stands and peeks out the window and everyone is standing still in mid action. Confused Glenn turns to look back at the coin which no longer remains instead the black mage from his youth stands before him.

“You have summoned me, do you have a wish?” The black cloaked figure says in a disconcerting tone causing chills to rise up Glenns spine.

“Glenn I wish for a sword and skills to protect my family from any foe.” Glenn answers in a rattled voice.

“I see…If I grant this wish I will need you to be in this city at this time….”the stranger hands Glenn a piece of paper. Then vanishes for the duration of a blink of the eyes and returns with a black sword covered in black flames. ” Everything you desire you will find with this blade, but the blade comes with a steep price. If you take the blade then you accept the terms of our agreement then the pact is made. Should you break your oath your existence is forfeit.”

Glenn goes to reach for the swords handle but stops a moment noticing writings on it unlike any he has ever known. “What is the price that comes with the blade.”

“That is between you and the sword. ” the stranger says with the same chilling tone.

Glenn hesitates a moment then thinks about his family before reaching out his hand and grasping the sword. Instantly he hears voices and his hand is engulfed in flames burning his flesh but he feels no pain. The whisper of a voice he can not determine is male or female as it echos throughout his head.

“You are barely worthy to lift me. Your soul is one of redemption and reeks of good intentions. I will lend you power beyond what you will ever be able to harness with such low ambitions. Heed me….Feed me. Your soul or the souls of others…either way I will be fed. Though note upon lifting me you have agreed to these terms and thus now we are bound till your death. I will be the last thing you ever hear but until then…..” 

“The terms complete, shall we never meet again.” The stranger vanishes just as abruptly as he appeared.

The voice stops and Glenn looks down at his hand which is now only bone, yet his grip is stronger than ever. The slavers begin to light torches and bang on the door which slowly creeks open. The man with the eye patch readies his sword and looks into the door frame and sees only blackness.

“It’s hungry…it wants fed…you should have never come here.” Glenn’s voice whispers out of the darkness just barely able to be heard.

“Alright men the door is open. Rolo and Plaqet go in first and see if we cant find that little cunt my pecker needs its bath.” Commands the one eyed slaver to the men beside him. They move forward towards the darkness. The hair on the back of their neck raise as they enter. Once surrounded in darkness and out of sight of their comrades  four thuds are heard as a head is tossed out of the front door with such force when it hits,  the leader square in the chest plate it causes the head to explode and the chest plate to cave in  and leader to be knocked 10 feet backwards off his feet. Two bright lights swirl around Glenn as he exits.

“Holy Hell its Gods Save us its a damn Soul Eater!” One of the men shout as it they look at the souls of their friends swirling around the sword. Black flames reach off the blade and engulf the souls and they hear the souls scream in horror.

The leader is coughs out blood as he forces himself to stand. He orders the men to take off and attack. They do, resulting in Glenn cutting them down as if swatting flies. The blade itself cuts through armor, flesh and blood as cleanly as it cuts through the air. Cutting through swords, arms,  and anything else that got in its way. The leader goes to get on his horse and retreat as his men lay dead or dying their souls being pulled from them.  The flames on the black sword chase down the leader who attempts to take off on the horse burning and consuming the soul of the man while it remains inside his body.

Glenn  lets out a dark laugh as his eyes turn black and the souls one by one are consumed by the black flame.