Category Archives: A Story Into Time

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.






A Story Into Time Chapter 10: Observe and Report.

“So Argos how do you feel that Kross is training Ash on sneaky stuff.” Snowy asks slight alarmed by the hours of silence they have been sitting in.

Argos only grunts in response, his arms crossed as he paces back an forth in clear frustration over the idea. Snowy wonders what will come of this as Argos seemed the very protective type. Learning the tricks of the stealing and conning trade were not skills he believed were valuable to learn.

Snowy with a friendly tone,”How about you teach me something? Like how to summon a creature, cast a spell, or forage for good things to eat?”

Argos in a kind tone to her offer responds pleasantly before returning to his grumpy disposition,” Sorry little one I do not mess with spells or summoning and have learned if it is bigger than a human you can eat it without much harm just might not taste good. ”

“Oh…okay…” Snowy says looking around in random directions trying to come up with a way to connect with the large man.

“WHO STOLE MY STASH?” Chuck yells as Grendel plops a squat by Argos and Snowy, holding a fine bottle of Black Diamond Liqueur. He winks to both of them before taking a swig the offering it Argos, who takes the bottle and finishes it in few large gulps before handing it back to the dwarf who was impressed but saddened by scene he had just witnessed.

Chuck storms up seeing the bottle in Grendel’s hand and before Grendel could say a word Chuck snatches the bottle and turns it upside down above his mouth. Only one drop falls out and throws the bottle with all his force at Grendel who goes to catch it but misses and the bottle smashes him in the face shattering. Grendel now pissed stands up and charges at the monk, who welcomes him with open arms. They begin to wrestle on the ground and Argos just shakes his head as the booze begins to hit him.

The sun finally falls behind the horizon giving off a mesmerizing colorful sky before it head down for dark. Snowy shivers as Argos adds another log to a small fire.

“Argos, don’t think that is a good idea, when Kross and I travel we put the fires out at sunset do to wondering bandits.” She states then repeats one thing that Kross always says,” No sense in fighting if it can easily be avoided by taking precautionary measures. ”

“No one will mess with us, one look at me and most people are discouraged.” Argos says also stating a reality of his own.

Snowy nods but places her hand in her pocket and wraps it around her wand just in case, it was at this moment she felt the cold steal of a blade gently land on her throat. She looks down for a moment lowering her head just a bit before slamming it backwards connecting her skull into the soft nose of her attacker.

Ash lets out a yell as Kross starts laughing. Argos glares at the commotion he just witness he stands and rushes over to Ash who still has her knife to Snowy’s throat.
Ash releases Snowy as Kross begins clapping.

“Good job both of you! Ash that is how you sneak up on someone and good Gods Snowy nice head butt nice to see you listen to some of the things I tried to teach ya. ” Kross says proudly. Chuck and Grendel still throwing fists roll past the group.

“Kross a word…”Argos eyes scream anger as Kross sizes up the future conversation and with a sigh he nods to Argos. They step just out of ear shot before Argos begins again,” Why do you feel you have the right to corrupt that child into a horrid form of living. ”

Kross holds back a chuckle, but returns a serious toned response,” It is very simple boy scout. This is the real world not some small village on the ass end of the human realm. The world is cruel and full of assholes like myself. Teaching them the same tactics means they will not fall for the tricks that gets many people injured or killed. You can not protect yourself from what you know nothing about. Honor will always get you killed in a world where honor is no longer valued. Besides she has a knack for it, with some training and practice she could very will become better than I ever hoped. ”

“Honor may get you killed on this plane but you will live again among the Gods. Either in the fires of Hades or dine at the table with Zeus. Dying with honor is the best anyone can hope for. Your warped view on life shall not be allowed to spread to the younglings. It is I request you stop your training, and keep your mouth shut about the cruelties of the world for Ash fate is not for you to decide.”Argos barks back

“Look big guy, I can’t expect you to listen to reason but Ash is not a child anymore they are 20 years old. If they were still apart of their clans they would be up for being married off. They may look like 12 year old humans but they are not. Just look how Snowy reacted, she could have just died while you were sitting right there had Ash been a villain.”

“Ash never should have attacked Snowy, your ways are already turning her into a monster yet you sit there and tell me there is nothing wrong with it. It is better to live short life of honor and rejoice in Olympus than a long life of corruption which leads to an eternity beyond the river Styx in the underworld. ”

“Ash only attacked because I told her to show off what she had learned, all the while knowing Snowy knew how to handle the situation. If that was real Snowy would still be alive, as for Ash if it had happened to her she would be dead or worse. Wake up teaching her survival skills is not turning her into a monster just a more efficient survivor. Its up to her to decide how to use the skills you honor absorbed moron. How about you just teach her the difference between right and wrong and leave the skills for me. ”

Kross storms off towards the girls smiling and giving them praise. They smile and Argos remains away from the camp feeling his heart break watching Ash smile. It had been some time since he saw her smile as bright as Ash did; even with a bit of blood coming from her nose do to the effective strike given by Snowy.

“Tomorrow we shall hit Royal Kingdom of Glory, Snowy I hope you can take Ash around and teach her the things I have taught you to look out for, but do not attack only observe and report. ” Kross says with a bit of cheer and the girls giggle excitedly.

Kross begins putting out the fire as Argos shakes his head watching the sky he prays for guidance and the strength to tolerate Kross. Kross helps the girls onto the wagon. They climb into some empty food sacks and Kross covers them up with a few more and his cloak. He turns as Chuck runs past holding a large pipe with Grendel right behind him. Kross smiles at this as he begins to think being part of a group may not be as terrible as he once believed. Kross sets himself up a place to rest under the wagon and closes his eyes.

Morning comes with Kross opening his eyes into the bushy beard of a snoring Grendel which causes him to shoot up startled and bash his head on the bottom of the wagon waking up both the girls above. “Fuck…” he mutters as he slides out from below Argos has already attached the Ox to the front of the wagon. As well as secured the campsite for travel. The sun was just rising and Chuck limp body was tossed over the ox as Kross told the girls to look away as he pissed by the wagon guiding it down to Grendel. Few moments pass before another thud is heard and Grendel rolls out from under there, part half of his face and beard wet with urine.

“If we leave now we can make it too the kingdom by noon. The market will be fresh for supplies and trade.” Argos says plainly as he checks to make sure the remaining supplies are in good order.

Chuck slips off the ox standing briefly before falling down backwards. The collision with his head and the ground brings him around. He sits up abruptly and scratches his bald head a moment before standing. He walks off over to a tree and moves a rock. Under the rock are several dead rabbit pelts as well as a wolf hide. He tosses them onto the cart.

“Should bring me some trade. Though I may not indulge in the lunacy of currency trade shall always be the proper way to gather what you need and desire. You dwarf shall learn the truth of Burntfriars Holy Reserve. When you can not quell the sin within, drown it with the the Holy Reserve.” He says with overwhelming cheer first thing in the morning. Grendel meanwhile is currently poring his water supply over his face. Grendel shakes the excess water off best he can before grabbing a dirty shirt to wipe his face off. Kross goes to walk past Grendel and Grendel shoves his canteen into Kross’s crotch. The sudden and surprising attack catches Kross off guard and drops him to his knees.

“Yeah well Black Diamond will always be the strongest in all the realms…it is known.” Grendel barks back before climbing onto the cart. Argos slaps the ox on the ass and it slowly trudges forward. Chuck begins walking beside the cart continuing his conversation with Grendel. The girls eat some apples and start making plans for when they hit the city. Kross however has fallen forward, his face in the mud that he created earlier with his ass in the air and his hands still holding Grendel’s Canteen where Grendel had placed it.

Hours pass and they all arrive at the Kingdom of Glory who had stone and steel in their walls which were as thick as the wagon. They enter through the gate Solders on patrols were seen constantly throughout the city. Passing by a brothel they hear some provocative sounds. Next to it was a tavern as well as small shops and homes litter the area. Heading toward the center of town they hit the free market where over 100 markets create many lines. There seemed to be an order and flow to the city which brought them to a stage. There was no play currently but people had begun to pile in.

“O THE GODS A PLAY!!” Snowy shrieks. Snowy had seen few plays before and her excitement was impossible to contain. Ash having only heard of them was mildly intreged but showed zero interest.

Kross sees the gleam in Snowy knowing full well that she will want to stay. Kross stops the wagon and waves everyone over to set up the plan for the rest of the day.

Kross begins” Snowy I know you want to stay here for the play but we have other matters to attend to. Slavers in the area would quickly snatch up a young elf we do not have the time to waste right now. Ash you and Snowy should wear your hoods still we finish selling and trading.”

Agros sighs as he hears Snowy begin to whine,”But but Ash and I can work on our skills. You know Kross observe and report, also perhaps gather some coin. ” She states hoping that her statement can persuade him.

Kross leers at Snowy a moment,” I can not leave you two here alone encase something goes wrong.”

Grendel speaks up,” I’ll be happy to watch over them besides it would be hilarious to see what the hell humans think is entertainment.Once the play is over I shall bring them to the tavern and you can take them from there. I shall head to the King my nobility will allow for me to gain an audience with him perhaps they have more information over the location of a God.”

Grendel’s offer makes Snowy’s eyes widen as she gives Kross pretty please glare. Kross looks over at the dwarf for a moment. The nobility on his armor would allow him to keep the girls out of trouble as well as speak to the King. He reluctantly nods.

“Well that’s just like you Grendel as soon as we get to my realm you decide to chicken out of gaining Burntfriar Holy Reserve. Guess that means it left to me to restock our top shelf. “Chuck grunts but smiling slightly at the fact Grendel is willing to look after the girls.

Grendel tosses a coin purse to Chuck to use along with his pelts for supplies.

“I shall hit the market and sell off our goods then I would like to meet up with the king as well, Grendel if it is alright may I join your visit?” Argos formally requests.

“Absolutely giant besides a Demi-God making a request for information will only add to the validity of my request” Grendel replies.

“And what shall you do sir Kross?” Argos asks with a tiny amount of hostility.

“Simple I shall talk to the gossip queens of the area and attempt to find out any strange happenings in the area. Perhaps find some work so we can work for lodging.” Kross says knowing that whores and bartenders normally know more than kings and knights about what is truly happening in the city.

Argos shakes his head then starts the wagon back up turning it around and heading to the market. The girls jump down and take off into the crowd gathering around the stage. Grendel now realizes; having already lost them, keeping an eye on the children may be harder than he thought as he takes off shouting at them to slow down.

Chuck struts off towards the largest temple in town to find the friars who create the best gin the world has to offer. Kross meanwhile heads off to the brothel fiddling with the coins in his pocket he carefully increases the amount in it as he gently bumps into the occasional well off peasant.

“Girls where he hell did you go. Excuse me, pardon me, excuse me. ” Grendel makes his way through the crowd agitated by the people. Suddenly they begin clapping as a man takes the stage and bows.

“Welcome today we shall perform the play ‘The Great War’. It is not a tale of the history of the world. In the beginning there was only one. The creator the God that gave birth to all we know and shall ever know. You, me, and all the other Gods but also the creator also gave birth to the darklings.” the man pauses as the crowd boos for a moment.” It was the great war that locked these evil beasts away forever behind the doors of The Gate. ” the crowd cheers and he waves them down for silence.” Now I shall set the scene that the great Kings of the past came together for one soul purpose Survival. The Gods gave them favors each mortal race was given skills to defeat the evils that consumed them. The Elves were given magics each of their kingdoms granted a different element. Dwarfs were given the ability to build the gate and the knowledge to unlock the power of gems. Gnomes were given the ability to detect abilities of opponents and healing magics. As humans were given the greatest power of all the ability to harness and adapt to any power and make it our own.”

It was at this point humans dressed as other races enter the stage and begin fake fighting slaying the ones dressed as darklings. Pushing them toward the edge of the stage into “The Gate” which was held by two large men holding thin painted planks of wood. Each beast that jumps off stage and into “The Gate” curses the mortals vowing to return again and seek their revenge.

Snowy and Ash watch in awe having made it to the front with the human children as Grendel struggles to get a decent view. Grendel bumps into a women and falls down as the women remains firmly placed and seems unbothered by Grendel’s intrusion. Grendel has a hard time of getting back up as the women he bumped into removes her hood to reveal bright pink hair. It was at this point she looks away from the stage to see Grendel returning to his feet, she has bright pink eyes and a flawless figure. Her cloak is a gray cloak doesn’t hide her frame as well as the hood hid her face. Hissing at Grendel before turning and exiting the ground knocking people over as she walks just like the wind through the reeds.

Grendel catches a horrid vibe from the women though he was drooling a bit from her beauty, figures she hissed at him because it. He makes his way through the crowd finding Snowy and Ash memorized by the play that continues on with the separation of the kingdoms and how their relationships fell apart.

Kross wonders into the brothel the smell of sweat and sin ripen the air. The lighting was poor and naked women of several races including half breeds slide up and down on random bodies within. The bar tender is a thin very pale man with glasses. The bar tender’s widows peek has shed down to an island of hair on a sea of skin. Kross make his away over to the bar as nude women brush their breasts against him as he passes, giving him winks and quoting prices.

“Lovely choices my good man,” Kross says sliding up to the bar counter in front of the bartender who doesn’t even bother looking at him.

“The Bunnies you see out here are for your pleasure my friend, I am here for your refreshments, since your talking to me, what will be?” The bar tender responds to Kross without even looking up from the glass he is wiping with a grossly stained cloth attempting to remove a smudge he can not seem get get off.

“I hear the Burntfriar holy reserve is the best drink in town, I shall have one of those and perhaps a coffee if you have it. Was hoping to purchase something other than a lovely companion and drinks to enhance my desires. ” Kross places a coin purse on the counter this causes the man to look up for a moment.

The man realizes at this point the smudge was on his glasses and not the glass. He quickly pours a glass of Holy reserve, then takes off his glasses and cleans them. “and what are you looking to buy here, that will be 3 gold schillings.”

Kross pays the man 8 gold shillings.” I am looking for information, mainly on who should one talk to for the secrets of alleys tend to keep hidden. Rumors. The master of wondering ears.”

The bar keep only looks down at the coins a moment remaining silent till Kross slides the pouch over to the bartenders side of the counter popping an eye brow as he waits for a response.

The coins on his side the bartender smirks a moment before answering,”There are several in this town, even more I suspect. The Doxy Overseer Erin and well my partner. You could also try your luck with Luella the Nun, she works with the friars at the temple of Dionysus. Luella feeds and helps the orphans around town most in exchanged for information on the on goings in the city, as she has gone blind and cruel in her late age. Last but not least is the chief adviser to the king himself. Pearson Blackstone, a questionable man of many talents one can only question is methods not his loyalty nor results. ”

“Thank you good sir now if you could point me in the direction of Erin, I would be most grateful.” Kross waits for the bartender to reply, however the bartender only points to a closed door in the corner.

Kross takes the glass containing a lightly grayed clearesk type drink. He sniffs it and the aroma burns his nose. Sipping it he almost gags as the flavor is so vial he wondered how anyone could drink it. Its burn almost took your breath away leaving behind a faint flavor of ash. Coughing he makes his way over to the closed door.
He knocks on the door getting no answer, he knocks louder receiving the same result, not to be deterred he takes out a lock pick and begins picking the lock. He hears a click and slowly opens the door.

“Excuse me Erin? May I bother you for a moment of your time.” He pushes the door open to see a girl roughly the age of 14 having her feet and lower leg scrubbed by men wearing chains. The men seemed to have had their eyes removed and their mouths sown shut. She has almond colored hair and green eyes, from which Kross can only see through a mirror as she uses it to glare at him from her tub.

“You are brave who ever you are to open that door without an invite.” Erin states as milky water of the scented bath masks her nudity. The men in her charge turn to begin to head towards him.” I did not tell you to stop. Back to work.” They return to their duties. ” Why are you here foolish man. I know your smart enough not to assume you can afford an evening with me, in the shambles you call clothing. ”

Kross taken back by the age of the owner of the whores. “Shall I return at a later time, I assure you I have no interest in an evening my lady only a a few words.”

“Time is gold, and words are worth more than that so what pray chance have you brought me to offer in exchange. ” Kross blinks a moment before holding up a coin purse which she laughs at.

“I am guessing that you inherited this business model from you parents. I am also guessing they have passed away and with your level of comfort with the trade, it must have been years ago. ” Kross says causing her to tap the edge of the tub a moment before she stands, causing Kross to look away briefly as the blind men cover her in blood red robe.

“Well your not wrong, and that was a cute looking away like that. Though I am afraid you have already used up your time.” She lifts up a tiny bell and the blind men begin to wonder over to Kross to escort him out of the room.

“I perhaps can offer you, your childhood? I have a daughter about your age. Her and her sister would love to play with you.” He states in a last ditch effort to gain her time.

“Coy, you seem to think I would play for free…with your daughter no less,” misunderstanding his intention the men push Kross out of the room. He snorts as the door is closed into his face. The bartender snickers returning to his business.

“Yep….well that worked…” Kross groans before turning to face the rest of the brothel without any useful information gained from the individual. He turns and scans the room decides he might as well enjoy himself. He glides over to two women leaning on a pillar a red headed human, and a teal skinned forest elf. He introduces himself and slides the hair out of the red heads face and around her ear, where his fingers brush a scar on the back of her ear. He leans in to kiss her neck while handing her some coin to catch a glimpse of what it could be. He sees she is marked as a slave with an S on the top part of the rear of her ear. Under it is an E in the center of a circle. He looked over at the elf doing the same finding the same markings.

The markings flash an image of his mothers brands and this causes him to look away and back down. The women close in around him and he backs away from them again shaking his head. He hands them his coin purse and makes his leave for the tavern.  It was at this time that he looked closer at the towns people that were littering the streets. Most the people around traveled in groups no lower than a pair. Though most shared similar clothing he noticed that people wore the nicest cloths were the only ones with coin purses. He would wonder in and out of crowds attempting to look behind the ears to confirm the truth. The town is very much a slave town. Far worse than he had expected from the Kingdom of Glory, though he did note most of the slaves seemed pretty well treated considering.

While scanning the crowd his eyes meet a young women’s pink eyes causing him to blink as he wasn’t sure if he saw her, unfortunately after his lids pass over his iris’s she is gone. Next thing he knows he feels a hand upon his back and a females voice whispers in his ear.

“Keep walking insect….take me too him…now… or the elflings will be the first to die followed by that troll of a dwarf. ” she hisses.

Kross doesn’t change pace and keeps going past the tavern, making his way to the burnt friar temple wondering if Chuck might be of some assistance. “And who are you looking for exactly princess. ” Kross asks calmly keeping his eyes forward as he slides his hand over the handle of his sword. It was at this point he found it becoming harder to breath.

She states “Insects do not speak…you will be wise to not test me mortal. I have no care for anything but him…take me to him now or you shall suffer in ways your nightmares have hidden from you. ” Kross can not inhale any air and begins to gag his eyes tear up for a moment as he stumbles. He removes his hand from his sword and quickly grasps his chest as his lungs strain for oxygen.  “You will learn your place bug…now take me to him.”

Kross nods and he can fell air return replenishing his lungs, causing him to cough, and take in deep breaths. He trudges forward leading this women to the temple. It was out front of the temple that Chuck comes running down its stairs screaming.” DON’T DRINK IT, IT’s PEOPLE….OH GOD ITS FUCKING PEOPLE. oh…hello Kross, thought you were going to the tavern? Who is this? Never mind no time” Returns his focus to informing the people not to drink the burntfriar holy reserve.

Kross and the stranger watch Chuck raving  like a mad man for a moment before Kross takes her inside shaking his head at Chucks lack of proper temperament. Kross goes to open the door and to his surprise Cecil is standing there, but his hair and eyes are red. Tilting his head a bit looking at the man before he is knocked down by the women who runs up to Cecil and kisses his lips, though Cecil doesn’t return the action.

“Kross, return to the tavern I will handle this.” Cecil says sternly.  Kross shakes his head a moment as he tries to judge exactly what this relationship is about. It was moments later that  the smell of blood and death fills his nose. Looking around he sees the clergymen have been slain, their bodies put on display on every pillar  of the temple. Confused he stands looking at the carnage he feels somewhat at ease, as if he had seen this before and wasnt at all surprised by the sight. The blue haired warrior from before that was fighting against Cecil has a wide twisted grin. Kross attempts to protest against Cecils orders only to be teleported and he  find himself standing behind the tavern of the city.

“What the fuck… going on?” Kross walks into the tavern and goes to make his way back to the temple but Snowy, Ash, Grendel, and Argo are inside waiting. Chuck is in the process of being thrown out by a couple of soldiers for breaking several bottles of Holy Reserve and raving like a mad man. Agros reaches out and snags Chuck by the collar of his ragged cloths only to have the shirt tare and Chuck slip out of his grasp.

“Chuck, Calm the fuck down already for the love of the Gods this is no way to act. ” Argos and the rest follow Chuck out of the tavern as Kross increases he pace to catch up. They gather out front.

Grindel, “What madness have you been cursed with fool. ”

Ash,”Chuck what happen?”

Chuck very winded begins to try and explain,” You dont understand….its people….they filter the reserve through the ashes of the dead clergy men.” Chuck precedes to gag a bit as if suddenly very ill.

Grendel,” So Black Diamond is better, filtered through charcoal and not the dead.”

Kross,” These facts are not worth agrueing about right now more pressing matters need our attention, Their is a gathering of immortals at the temple currently with Cecil, though Cecil is red…..Dressed in red and with red eyes and hair. Demonic looking to an extent.  Also another…A women…pink hair eyes and light blue toned skin, very pompous attitude. ”

“We shall rush to Cecil’s Aid at once,” Argos commands.

“Aye” Chuck and Grendel quickly agree.

“And do what exactly trust me this ‘princess’ will slaughter us all without breaking a sweat…we do not know enough nor do we have any clue as to their intentions in this town.” Kross responds with a shake of his head trying to come to grips with the extent of this situation. “She seems infatuated with Cecil so I doubt she will bring any harm to him also have faith he can handle himself. We should head for the King and give warning and hopefully head over their in force. Most if not all of the clergy there have been slain.

Chuck,” Impossible I was their moments before you and everyone was trying to stop me from leaving….I do not believe my struggles to break out brought any lasting harm to any of them. ”

Snowy speaks up having only been half paying attention to them and a flying moth that continues to fly randomly around the group,” Chuck did you hurt those chosen by the Gods?”

Chuck,” well they wouldn’t let me leave in the fashion I had preferred, but I didn’t kill anyone by my word as a monk and man. ”

Argos agrees with Kross a bit reluctantly leaving ,” Alright to the King, we shall demand and audience with him, and explain our blight.” He makes his way over to the wagon and starts down the path leading to the massive castle. The others begin to follow as Grendel and Chuck argue over the fact that each race has “the strongest liqueur” and that the bet still hasn’t ended.








A Story into Time Chapter Nine: Alexander

Chapter Nine Alexander

A week had passed since the fall of the Gods. The world continued as if nothing had happened. The day of blood rain had put many mortal cities in panic but it had waned over the passing of days and their being no end of the world. Word of the immortals was slow to spread as the world was large and mortals stubborn. The seraphs traveled together as they didn’t fair to well for them when they split. This greatly slowed the progress of word being spread. The seraph’s headed for the Elf lands as
Alexander headed toward the human kingdoms.

Alexander had heard rumors of slavers but had yet to come across anyone that appeared to be treated like property nor any cages that could be containing them. Unaware that slaves do not always wear chains nor live in cages.

Alexander was shorter than before and his skin was made of flesh, still a few feet larger than Argos and broader. He happens upon an apple stand, and watches as the merchant grabs one and takes a bite out of it. The crisp sound followed by a rush of juice intrigued the giant into perhaps attempting to eat the food of the immortals. It was at this point he picked up the stand shaking out small hand full. A collection of 50 or so that rolled to a resting spot in the center of his palm he carefully lifts his hand up and pours twenty or so in his mouth.

Alexander,”truly delicious….red….golden…green….they are all just wonderful. What do you call these things again.” Alexander says as he crunches down twenty apples at a time as the merchant shivering with fear over the pure size of this man eating his inventory. Alexander dumps out the remaining in the stand into his hand before.Alexander was shorter than before and his skin was made of flesh, still a few feet larger than Argos and broader.

Merchant, “A-A–App….les….Apples sir.” The merchant stammers staring up at Alexander in somewhat horror. Pondering that if the giant wanted too it could possibly eat fat turkey or medium pig in one bite.

Alexander having finished the last one on the stands questions the merchant,” Do you have any more I would like to take some to my friends, I am sure they would find these just as delicious as I have.

“No….sorry…..that will be 200gp…….” The merchant murmured uneasily trying to mask his fear.

Alexander looks down at the normal sized merchant,” 200 Gold pieces? what are those?”

Merchant puzzled by the true meaning not sure if the giant was mocking him, stupid, or trying to pull a fast one,” Wha? They are Coins made of gold with the markings of the Gods on them. ”

Alexander pondering a moment then with an innocent tone,” how does one find these coins?”

Merchant again startled by the lack of knowledge,”By trading or working to earn them.”

Alexander trying to find out the purpose for these coins and how they effect the common people. ” Now where does one work to ‘earn’ these coins you speak of and what kind of work, also what is work?”

Merchant realizes he is not going to get paid but has a thought.” Tell you what if you help me harvest my crops you will not owe me anything, and I will pay you 50 gold coins for your help?”

Alexander still unsure of this concept,” Sure thing sounds good……have you ever heard of the Immortals?

The merchant goes to leave from behind his stall thinking that this massive man would allow him to bring back a week worth of supplies for the store in a day.

Merchant perplexed by the giants attitude and change of subject,” Can’t say I have, my name is Tiptin by the say stranger.”

Alexander says vehemently,” Well Tiptin I am Alexander, and the immortals came and released you and all mortal kind from worshiping the Gods. They shall save you all from the reign of sacrifice and games the Gods force you to participate in. You’re free ”

Tiptin leads them down a stone path way to a a rather large grove and orchard listening to Alexander explain, about what the Immortals want for the realms.

Alexander continues on, ” The immortals want to free every race, and to power where every race will have its place to live out its days in peace, to do as they like.”

Tiptin slightly concerned musters up the courage to conjecture Alexander.” You do realize all races are not kind to other races just because of their nature correct? That not all of us mortals have issues with the God’s and in fact some of the Gods take very good care of certain races and folks.”

Alexander happy to have some banter eagerly responds,” yes they may but do they take care off all the races?”

Tiptin shrugs,” Well no, some are not worth helping nor protecting.”

Alexander disagrees with a bit of a stern tone,” That’s not true at all every race has their right to live in peace and harmony with the others”

Tiptin shakes his head and explains,” Not all races want to do this, For instance the Darklings spend their day eating the flesh and souls of man, dwarf, gnome, elf and all the others. Raping and pillaging farmers wives, merchants and anything they can get a hold of. They are cruel evil beasts who no remorse or kindness to them.”

Alexander slightly now heated by the discussion,”Have you ever met them? Sat down and actually tried to talk to them, or whenever one comes by do you fall on those ideals and threaten them with death first. Did you ever once consider they only act that way because others treated them poorly and your kind favorable . Perhaps it was only because the Gods proclaimed they were these things so they became them. Surely you cant believe that all of them are unjust now?”

Tiptin disagrees,” You sir are without a doubt the more ignorant man I have ever met or the most confused. Darklings, vampires, Devils, soul eaters, ext don’t give a damn about life, cause they must destroy it to continue their unnatural lives. ”

Alexander begins to realize how hard their vision may become if this man shares the same ideals as most.,”then they must respect life more than any others for without it they would also parish. Yes they may have to eat off the living but it doesn’t mean they want to or will kill to do it. ”

Tiptin adds,” and then do anyway. This is my farm you can start by shaking down some more apples from the trees. ” Tiptin changing the subject points to the orchard once they arrive at the main gate of his property. Rather glad to have a break from the loaf of a man that could easily kill him in one fell swoop.  Tiptin continues on the path up to his barn and starts collecting up baskets and sacs for the giant to put his collection in. Turning back to Alexander, Tiptin sees Alexander manifest a large War Hammer with an ax edge on one side. Alexander slams it down into the earth causing the area to shake violently and force a wave of soil to echo out from is hit. This causes damages to the barn leaving it barely standing as well as uprooting most of the mans orchard. On a plus side this causes apples to fall from the trees in the whole orchard.

Tiptin rushes back and Alexander questions” So is that enough or give it another go?”

Tiptin stands dazed by the sight and slightly frightened at first, shaking it off he responds,” No…I think your good…So….where did you find that fine weapon there. Could of sworn you didn’t have it before. ” Tiptin makes his way over to Alexander carrying all the containers for them. Alexanders weapon fades from sight as he attempts to pick up the small apples often tearing up the ground or crushing them. Titptin seeing this hand the large man a small rake which the giant holds with his fingers.

Alexander realizes he may be causing more harm than good taking the rake he is able to comb the ground without causing as much damage to the product. Aleander replies,” thing is to heavy to keep summoned all the time. Also find carrying it around causes even more discourse to common folk. ”

The day was long but over all Tiptin enjoyed the company of his new found friend who also helped him replant his trees. They had gathered up several bushels of various apples and oranges when the sun finally began to subside.

Tiptin with appreciation ,”Thank you for help today.”

Alexander proudly inquires,”When was the last time a God helped you personally may I just ask?”

Tiptin thinks for a moment,”They were kind enough to bless me with a healthy child and kept my wife strong. For many years even allowed me enough money to send our son to become a scholar. My wife tends to his needs while I keep the farm going. Soon my son will be ready to assist the king and my wife shall return.”

Alexander confused by the statement and reiterates ,”no no, I mean came down before you and talked to you one on one, helped you collect fruit from your land.”

Tiptin ponders again before responding,” Well never…I suppose not in direct fashion.”

Alexander exclaims,” Well already the Immortals have helped you out more than the Gods, wither you believe it or not is up to you. Though the truth remains the same….” *Alexander collects a few bushels of apples from a confused Tiptin, He also grabs a small bag of oranges and apples, turning to leave.

Tiptin smiles happily and gives the giant a fond farewell,”Stay safe traveler and thank you again for you assistance today. I shall consider what you say about these immortals.

Alexander,”Ah well all you have to do is open your eyes.” Alexander would say releasing a bright flash from his eyes, as his skin turns to black diamond. Turning to the road he begins walking as Tiptin drops a sack of fruit staring at Alexander disappearing off into the distance.

The next day Tiptin finishes loading up his chart and starts pushing it into town for his market stand. With enough fruit harvested to last him several days the goal now was to sell it before he went to waste.  Once he gets to town he unloads his product and begins to advertise selling all the goods.

Tiptin,” Fresh Fruit for sale, great for traveling or cooking. Buy. Take. Enjoy!”

Lucifer with head aflame tilts his head at the merchant who is selling apples. The merchant jaw drops open at the flaming black skinned Devilish man walking past. Lucifer has a long spear headed tail sticking out of the base of lower back. It twitches with agitation as everywhere he goes people have similar reactions he has even been attacked a few times by priests. To his right a hooded figure walks next him. A female in form she also draws some attention as attached to her back is a scythe which has a blade that wrapped in black cloth but encases halve the length of the road.

Lucifer in a bit of a rage shouts at Tiptin,” What the fuck are you gawking at you mortal collection of nutrients. ” Tiptin looks down just shaking his head over the strange people that are suddenly all over town.

“Just relax, we draw enough attention without you shouting at everyone who gives you a funny look. They know as much about us as we do about them, besides we are here to look for 400. Though I do not see the reason for this, its not like he is a threat in the long run. ” The reaper says to her traveling companion; one she really didn’t care for at all. Though she did know 400 was more than he seemed but also didn’t agree with hunting him down.

“Fuck’m I am already sick of this shit. Mortals suck,they are so judgmental its made me ill” He holds his head and chest with clenched fists he fights back the urge to kill everyone he sees. It wouldn’t be till later he will learn the concept of feelings and that he was full of rage.” you shouldn’t worry too much about it; you took out Jadis, you can take down 400.”

The Reaper only nods as she knows it was not her alone that took down; Jadis the immortal created to control the others. It was 400 that gave her the opening to make the strike and to free the Jadis’ shoulders of supporting the weight that was above them. It was also 400 that managed to lock up Natalie, an immortal that was plagued by obsession and destruction. The Reaper was also given praise for disappearance as Natalie would have caused more issues than solutions with her ego than anyone else in the group.

“Well we are here the last place 400 had been seen, just north of here is where Ellen was taken apart by him.” Lucifer states glaring as a man leaves the tavern to throw up in the street by them as they pass. Heading north through the town, seeing a women being beaten by a group of men in between buildings, a starving child caught stealing bread from a merchant and the merchant beating the child with a cane. Two other men clash their swords over honor do to one bumping into another and not apologizing. Lucifer sees all this and can not help but shake from the rage building within. The reaper sees all of this but accepts it as the reality of the realm and continues forward unaffected.

They it the wooden area where they see Cecil standing in full armor wielding an average sized war hammer. The armor and weapon shine do to thousands of tiny symbols carved into them. Stopping a few feet from Cecil they look shocked by his appearance. Lucifer summons his armor and weaponry. His armor is made of flames that give off a black hue as they flicker around him. Holding up his hands he summons two flaming broad swords. The Reaper tosses off her cloak and reveals her Blue hair and dark blue metallic armor. though her arms are made of bone from the elbow down very similar to Hades. The armors and weapons of all the immortals have similar looking engravings but different scriptures.

“Hello again brother…sister. I can tell you right now if you continue on your path I will have no choice but to destroy you. The Gods have fallen your task is complete I ask you now to disband any further change to this world.” Cecil says sternly.

“Your request, has been considered and disbanded. We seek only the same freedom we enjoy for all races. I wish not to fight you but Gilgamesh wishes a word with you.” The Reaper says taking a defensive stance.

“Fuck this world and everything in it. Mortals are walking contradictions and honestly toxic, to everything around them. You stand there and tell us you are going to stop all nine of us…How? You tore up the weakest of all of us and act like you can win against two of the strongest.” Lucifer barks.

“Lucy, Reap, trust me when I say the plans Gilgamesh have will only bring this world and your lives despair and destruction. Stop this now.” Cecil’s narrow and he vanishes leaving the other two confused as to where he went, they search around but find no signs of where he went. Relaxing a bit Lucifer is launched into the air as the Reaper feels her chestplate cave in for a moment as the force of Cecil’s hammer is applied sending her head over heals backwards through a few trees before colliding with a boulder and cracking it down the center. Lucifer come down from the sky with such force he creates a small crater about 4 feet around his belly flop. They are both cough up a light green colored blood looking around frantically.

Cecil stands in between them with a wicked grin, his eyes glow bright as his body becomes blurry soon it appears his body creates replicas. Each one had a different coloring of eyes, Blue, Black, Red, Gold, White, Purple, Green, Gray, and last and thinnest Orange. They all are wearing the same armor and carrying the same weapons though the weaponry is smaller than it was before. They all begin to shout,”You will be stopped for I am many and many are one. ”

Lucifer begins to laugh as he raises his arm causing the air to begin to heat up. Moments pass and an army of creatures made of flame form in the area. The Reaper having healed from the attack sees this and takes a step back. As soon as the solders form a Cecil appears near it and smashes the flames out with their hammer. Lucifer looks around in pure shock at how ineffective he is. It was at this moment he stands only to be smashed from all directions from hammer strikes from each of the copies. having crushed the top halve of his body to the thickness of toddler Lucifer falls down out cold as the flames on his head become nothing more than a ember.

The Reaper takes off running away only to be tripped and then smashed into a tree. She drops her weapon and holds up her hands.

“Stop, your point is made. ” The Reaper screeches not sure if it will have an effect enough.

The white eyed Cecil approaches her from behind wearing no armor or weaponry. He looks down upon her for a moment. She places her hand on a sword she kept hidden under her back of her armor. In front of her a black eyed copy approaches still wearing armor and is armed. Slowly the black copy approaches causing her to unsheathe her sword only to have the white eyed copy grab her by this wrist. This causes his hand to begin to rot and pieces to begin to peel off. He gives her wrist a quick twist breaking it forcing her to drop her sword. He then releases her as she screams and his hand returns to its unharmed state.

The sword itself is Black with skulls carved into the handle. Each of these skulls mark different races and have symbols on them similar to the markings on her armor.
The blade held by the unique handle has black flames rising from it in a gentle hue.

The Reaper snaps her wrist back into place and it begins to heal slowly as she looks back at him. The black eyed copy walks up and takes her sword as the white eyed one slides the scythe over to her.

White eyed copy speaks calmly,” Take you scythe and go, but next time Gilgamesh wants to talk to me he can find me himself. In the mean time I will be watching each of you closely. ”

The copies vanish as Reap makes her way over to Lucifer. The damage to Lucifer is extensive but he is repairing, she sits next to him and waits after several hours Lucifer awakes and takes in a breath this reignites his head, and leaves him wheezing. Reap helps him to his feet and they shuffle off to return to Gilgamesh.

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 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 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 “ 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.