Thursday, July 7, 2011
The Trio, cont'd
The story continues! If you have forgotten what happened last time here's the link to read up on! The amazing trio, which isn't quite amazing yet, has asked that you stay tuned!
The rogue and healer followed behind the warrior. Progress was slow. The rogue eventually regained his strength and was able to walk on his own. He fell behind Sarah, who stayed in the middle of the line. Sarah was a rare prize they couldn’t let die. She was a healer, one of the best, one that could bring back the dead. She carried a staff in one hand and a focus in the other, each imbued power into her that helped guide her powers.
The rogue, whose name was Nirav, carried a bow in one hand and had a quiver slung across his back. Knives were hidden in the folds of his clothes, different sized daggers lined his waist, a pistol, crudely made, hung on his hip and tools for lock-picking were hidden in pouches on his belt.
The warrior’s armor was light, but offered great protection. His sword was sheathed and his pack carried the most. His face was stern and scarred. His rough hands had seen many years of work and battle. His eyes were a distant blue filled with sorrow and hardship. His bow was slung across his back and did not match the quality of Nirav’s, but his pistol was far better made.
The terrain was rugged. Few trees inhabited these war-ravaged lands. The trees that did were nearly dead from fires and drought. The location of these particular lands made them ideal for battles. Though each kingdom claimed some part of them, few of them truly enforced its law in it. Rebellious citizens often gathered within it but more importantly its connection to each kingdom allowed direct transportation of troops in war.
The rain stopped and wind kicked up the dusty soil. Echoes coursed through the endless plain. The wind whistled through the dying branches and a small animal scurried of to the travelers’ right.
“John,” Sarah’s voice called wearily, “We have to stop.”
“Fine, we’ll stop at that tree.” John, the warrior, nodded his head toward the tree.
“How long have we been traveling? It seems like days,” commented the rogue as he rubbed his neck.
“It has been a day since the city. It’ll take five more if we continue at this rate and if we follow the path. But, if we cut through the
Highlands, we’ll reach the Marshes in three.”
“I don’t care if we flank them anymore. If we don’t get there soon they’ll re-organize,” said John. “What’s the quickest route?” John took his pack off and leaned it against the tree. He knelt to the ground on one knee.
Highlands, still,” replied Sarah, who was the only one still standing, “Nirav will have to call his hawk in to scout out ahead though. The Highlands are filled with more than grass and birds.”
“What do mean?” asked Nirav as he cocked his head to one side looking up at Sarah.
“Well there are orcs, goblins, elves, and not the nice ones. There are even Jenglots.”
“Jenglots? What are those?” asked Nirav nervously, “I never heard of them at the Academy.”
“They are short beings, about the size of a six-year old human child. They are vampiric creatures. They’re strong, but not too intelligent. They live in groups and they really don’t like people,” replied John coldly.
“How do we kill them?” asked Nirav.
“We don’t,” replied Sarah, “They are nocturnal. If we go through during the day, we’ll be safe.”
“I’ll keep watch tonight, you two sleep,” John walked away from the tree. He set up dried wood and twigs. As he pulled out his flint and steel, he called to the others, “Eat something before the night is out. The dried venison won’t last much longer and the biscuits are starting to go stale.”
“Alright,” replied Sarah as she set up her bedding, which was truly just two blankets laid across the ground.
“I’ll eat, too,” Nirav said. He was also setting up his bed.
“I think I’ve got some coffee from the Southern Isles in my pack. Might help you stay up, John,” Sarah said tenderly.
“Save it. We might need it later. It is not so cold this night, but winter is coming on.” John’s eyes were sullen and they drooped. He looked as if he hadn’t slept in months, even though his last good rest was only a few days past.
John was putting some water over the fire to warm, while Sarah and Nirav made their way over to the smoldering flames. John unwrapped the dried meat and handed and equal share to Sarah and Nirav. Sarah sat on her knees, Nirav was cross-legged, and John remained squatted by the fire.
Night had fallen upon the land. Light scarcely dotted the sky, only a few stars twinkled between the clouds. One large red planet dimly lit the dark with a red glow. The wind died down and the echoes ceased. The leafless branches of the petrified trees reached to the skies in feigned reverence for the stars as they were strewn across the dusty landscape. A road, only noticeable by the tracks left by the feet of many travelers, wound its way through the land. This land was another planet when compared to the lands surrounding it. Its name was so easily guessed and so widely known. Its name is Deadwood.