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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Chapter 17 - Too Far Gone?

    I made a promise to a friend that I would post here when the blogs were removed if I kept the story going. I am not a fan at all of the new layout, but I wanted to keep my word and post here. I'm not very optimistic on how things will work out...

    Deathwulf stared at the warg across from him. There is no mistake. That is Chucaro’s scent. But the look, the glowing green eyes… that isn’t the Chucaro I know. As if sensing what he was thinking, Chucaro grinned as saliva dripped down her fangs. Suddenly she was gone. Deathwulf’s instincts kicked in and barely saved his life as he just got out of Chucaro’s reach when she appeared where he used to be and swiped at empty air with her massive paw. Deathwulf didn’t have a chance to catch his breath as she came at him again. He was able to avoid her swipe again, but she was getting closer. This went on for a few minutes as she continued to press her offensive attack. Each time, Deathwulf was able to avoid her attacks, but the more she attacked, the closer she got. She knows where I am going to appear and I’m barely able to dodge her… I don’t think I can do this much longer… as if reading his mind, she grinned and disappeared again. Again, Deathwulf dodged her, but when he re-appeared, she hadn’t. A sense of panic began to well in him and he ducked to avoid her attack as she appeared behind him. He couldn’t dodge her attack completely as he went tumbling from her swipe, but it was enough to save his life.

    As Deathwulf staggered to his feet, he shook his head to clear the cobwebs that began to appear and looked across the arena at Chucaro. Her eyes seemed to glow brighter as her growl got deeper. She suddenly crouched and disappeared. Deathwulf was too slow to avoid her as she rammed his side with her head and knocked the wind from his lungs as she sent him flying. Chucaro watched as Deathwulf didn’t move from where his body was. She watched him as she circled him… she waited for another chance to attack.

    Deathwulf opened his eyes. His body felt like he had been thrown against a mountain at high speed. As he struggled to get to his feet, he collapsed as a sudden jolt of pain lanced through the side that Chucaro hit him at. He glanced at his side. There were no marks that showed on the outside, but he knew he had at least a couple of ribs that were broken… the pain could attest to that. He glanced quickly through the crowd and saw the commander yelling at him to get up. Everyone was caught up in the fever of the battle that he was part off. He looked over at Chucaro and saw that she was slowly approaching in a crouched position.. ready to deal him the killing blow. Then chaos erupted.

    The slathering cheers from the throng of onlookers turned quickly to shouts and screams. Deathwulf looked into the crowd as fire appeared to break out everywhere. Banners and flags were quickly engulfed in flames as the orcs and goblins tried miserably to quench the flames, but they were spreading too fast. The wooden benches made for ready kindling and helped the fires spread even faster. Pandemonium broke out when they all realized their chance to get out alive had vaporized and they started to fight and crawl over each other. He saw the commander shove bodies out of his way as he approached the arena with a crazed, menacing look in his eyes. Orcs and goblins moved in a flurry around the commander as they couldn’t escape the flames. The smell of burnt bodies and death permeated the air. Deathwulf struggled to get to his feet as the pain that lanced through his side almost brought him down again. He struggled to his feet and watched as Chucaro slowly made her way closer as she waited for her opening to attack.

    Three arrows raced by his head and struck Chucaro in the side. He heard a muffled fump as the arrows hit Chucaro and seemed to burst into dust upon impact. Chucaro staggered for a minute, shaking her head violently as she suddenly collapsed. Deathwulf didn’t have time to think about what had just happened as he saw the commander out of his peripheral vision. The commander jumped over the railing and landed on his knees on the floor of the arena. As he got up, he unsheathed two sword that were attached to his side and methodically made his way to where Deathwulf stood. Any sanity was gone from the commander’s eyes as all Deathwulf saw was rage and blood lust. As the commander approached, Deathwulf could see his breathing increase as he got closer to the warg. The commander was suddenly stopped in his tracks as another Uruk appeared and blocked his way. The new Uruk easily dodged the attacks made by the commander and when he over-swung and reached on an attack, the Uruk brought his bow up to the commander’s chest and sent him flying backwards. The Uruk leapt after him, not allowing the commander time to gather his wits and defend himself. With the commander on his back, the Uruk jumped on top of him and brought his bow down, smashing into the commander’s face. The Uruk did this repeatedly until there was no further movement from the commander.

    Another armored orc appeared out of nowhere next to Deathwulf. The warg could barely move and braced himself for the blow that he knew was forthcoming from the orc. Instead, the orc looked at the warg and said, “Can you move alright?”

    “Silentknife?” Deathwulf asked in stunned disbelief. He could feel the smile the the burglar gave behind the helmet that he wore. Silentknife lifted his helmet’s visor and gave the warg a big smile. “How did you know where to find me?” he asked when the shock wore off.

    “We’ve been watching this place for a while, now… we’ve seen every fight you’ve had… very impressive!” said the burglar. “Don’t mock me,” growled Deathwulf in warning. Silentknife through up his hands in surrender as he laughed out loud. “I was being very serious,” he said with a smile. There was a gleam in his eye that showed a healthy respect for the warg, though. “We’ve got to get out of here, now, while there is still mass confusion,” said the Uruk and he came up beside the two. “Winterwulf?” questioned the warg. The Uruk removed his helmet and he could see it was, indeed, the hunter. Deathwulf looked past him to where Chucaro was and he saw Tregoan, Kalzara, and Ellenroh getting ready to carry Chucaro out. He could see they bound her paws together and had a muzzle over her jaws. They grunted when they lifted her up, but they made their way to the group with minimal effort.

    Tregoan and the others nodded at Winterwulf. “Lead the way,” he said to Deathwulf as he put his helmet back on. Deathwulf took a cautious step and winced at the pain, but it was bearable. He gingerly led the others through the gate he came out of. The jailor saw the group approach and stood up menacingly. When he saw the way Chucaro was tied up, he fumbled for his key to unlock the door and confronted them. He didn’t get a word out as he slumped over to the side. Silentknife held the handle of the dagger that came out after the Uruk collapsed. Deathwulf led them out through the tunnels and went the opposite way he took to the cages. He hoped he was going the right way and then saw the front door of the keep they were in… as well as the two orcs guarding it. Before Deathwulf could move a muscle, he felt arrows fly by his head and the two orcs collapsed where they once stood. Silentknife extinguished the torches that he saw and Winterwulf opened the door as quietly as he could. A quick look around outside showed the nearby area as being empty. They made their way from the keep quickly and looked back repeatedly to see if they were being followed. They weren’t.

    Ellenroh continued into Thangulhad to obtain a cart to take the unconscious warg with them. They looked at her, hoping the restraints would hold out until they reached their destination. Winterwulf looked at Deathwulf. “I’m aborting the mission.” The big warg looked at the hunter and simply said, “I’m going on.” Winterwulf folded his arms and rubbed his chin as if in thought. “With everything that has gone on, we’ve almost lost Chucaro… we still don’t know what will come of this. We thought we almost lost you a number of times and others in the group have gone through things they normally wouldn’t have. I can’t ask you to go on and I certainly can’t ask the others.” Deathwulf looked at the hunter for a moment before he answered. “It’s because of all that you said that I need to go on… that I need to find what is causing this and put a stop to it. As you said, it it a treat to both sides and will wipe out both sides if not stopped.” Again, Winterwulf thought long on this before he responded. “Very well… I can’t ask the others to, but I will join you in the journey to find the source.” “As will I,” Silentknife said as he stepped from the shadows. Winterwulf grinned and clasped his brother on the shoulders. “I travel fast and don’t plan on stopping… you can do as you wish. As soon as Chucaro is taken to be cared for, I will leave to find the source and end the threat, once and for all. I won’t be slowed down in this.” Winterwulf gave the warg a deadly smile. “We will not be slowing you down at all.”

    ————–

    Ellenroh came back with a sturdy covered cart to help keep Chucaro hidden. Tregoan double-checked the restraints and he and Kalzara kept watch on the warg while Ellenroh took the reins. The elf looked down at Winterwulf. “We’ll do what we can for her and hope that we can reverse the state she is in. I’ll try and send word on any progress we make on her.” Winterwulf nodded and clasped the elf’s hand. “Safe journeys, my friend, and thank you.” The elf offered a small smile as he shook the reins and the cart started off towards Lothlorien.

    Deathwulf watched as the cart rode out of view. He turned to face Winterwulf and Silentknife. “Are we ready to go?” A quick nod from the hunter was all the warg needed. He turned towards Dol Guldur and headed off; the hunter and burglar not far behind.

    ————–

    A shadowy image watched the trio leave from behind trees. His mouth broke into an evil grin as saliva dripped from his fangs. He watched them a little while longer, then he unfolded his wings and took to the sky.



    My other posts have been moved to https://aschesnuk.wordpress.com/ for those that are interested. Hope you enjoy this.
    Last edited by TanisWhisperwind; May 29 2015 at 03:11 PM.
    [I][B]I refuse to have a battle of wits with an un-armed person...[/B][/I]

    My blog with all my writings can be read [URL="http://aschesnuk.wordpress.com/"]here[/URL].

  2. Please continue to post here, as well as to your new journal, Tanis!

    I would just put spaces between the paragraphs here. It is a pain to have to go through and format, but I think it is worth it. I am having to with my reposting of my new series as well.


    Currently running The Spirit Gauntlet, during which no fate is unimaginable...

    'Legendary' Items - Tips, Tricks, and a Guide to the 'Grind' - a Legendary Items guide! (And a new Imbuing guide! and Essence guide!)

    The Life and Times of Kaleigh Starshine: Curing insomnia, one reader at a time, and a proud resident of The Cottage of Pen and Play

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Michigan
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    246
    I'll try to post here, as well. I did edit my original post, as well, to make it a bit more readable. Thank you for the post, also!
    [I][B]I refuse to have a battle of wits with an un-armed person...[/B][/I]

    My blog with all my writings can be read [URL="http://aschesnuk.wordpress.com/"]here[/URL].

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    I know it's been a while, but I have been given a little free time and have written more of the story. Here's what I have written so far:

    Chapter 18 - A Trail of Death

    Deathwulf wound his way over the hills and through the trees like they were known to him, like he had be there before. But he’d never been to this part before… it was all new to him, but it felt familiar. He stopped and looked back. Even though he couldn’t see the hunter or the burglar, he knew they were following him and they were close by. They are keeping up with me very easily, it seems… I’ll have to pick up the pace, then! He grinned and took off even faster.


    Winterwulf kept Deathwulf within his sights as he looked back at his brother. He, too, was focused on the warg ahead, but there was a smile plastered on his face and the hunter could tell by the way he had his lips puckered that he was whistling to himself. The hunter chuckled to himself as he saw another flickering of light up ahead. He silently signaled to Silentknife and saw a slight nod as the burglar took off into the shadows. Winterwulf stopped behind a large rock and slowly peered around it, his bow at the ready by his side. As has been the case for a while now, he saw a group of three orcs that made camp here. The archer was halfheartedly scanning the opposite horizon as the slumped shoulders and the sigh he let out gave away how bored he was. The other two orcs were in the camp. One was laying down, asleep and the other was near the fire, cooking something. The smell wafted over to the hunter and he grimaced at the pungent odor. He lost count of the number of camps he and his brother had taken out, and the number of camps they had come across with the orcs lying motionless with their throats ripped out. He was always impressed with the way the warg killed silently and quickly. He was glad at the moment that they were on the same side… he would not like to face him head to head. He saw a quick flash of steel from across the camp and readied himself.


    He watched as the orc put his crude pan back over the fire after he took a taste of what he was making. He slowly stirred his concoction and let it simmer as he sat back. Winterwulf watched as his brother quietly emerged from the trees, daggers in hand. It seemed like he was on the orc in an instant. One hand covered his mouth to keep him from crying out and raising an alarm as his other hand slid effortlessly across his throat, the dark blood from the cut left by his dagger quickly ran down his stomach. Within moments, he was limp. While that was happening, Winterwulf took out the archer with an arrow to the throat as the lifeless form slumped to the ground with little sound. Silentknife quickly moved to the sleeping orc and slit his throat as he lay still. The two left the camp as silent as the wind.


    They then heard the alarms go up and shouts all around them as chaos erupted. Silentknife smiled at Winterwulf. “They just found out about the citadel… can’t wait til they come across the camps!” The hunter smiled back grimly. “We’ll be gone well before they find out.”


    Winterwulf quickly found the tracks of the warg and noticed he was moving faster. He gestured to his brother and they both picked up the pace. The sounds and voices grew quieter as they moved further away. High overhead, the figure watched them as they dispatched, quite easily, yet another group of orcs. He watched until they were out of sight and then took to the air in the direction they had left.


    ————————-


    Deathwulf knew he was getting closer to Dol Guldur. He had been traveling uphill for a while now and could make out the edge of the walls of the fortress in the distance. Something was nagging at him, though. While he thought what he was looking for was inside the keep, his gut was telling him that what he was searching for was down below the mountains. He stopped briefly and looked behind him. He could tell the hunter was still following his trail and was not that far behind him. They are making good time… for humans… He continued on the path he was traveling and didn’t give them a second thought.


    He took a few paces and then stopped and sniffed. Free people… The last thing Deathwulf wanted to deal with. He took a quick look around. I’ll have to skirt the area wide to avoid any of them… I don’t have time to deal with them! The warg looked around to get his bearings. After a few seconds, he went stealth and headed off towards the southwest.


    ——————


    It wasn’t long before Winterwulf and Silentknife came to the area where Deathwulf stopped at. Winterwulf looked around to find out where the warg had gone. Silentknife looked at the fortress walls and whispered, “It doesn’t make sense that he would go into the keep alone.” “He didn’t,” replied the hunter, “He headed to the southwest. He’s avoiding contact with the free people, but he is heading towards Anug-stazg… that is a dangerous area. We need to catch up with him fast!” They took off after the warg in a dead run.


    “How do you know he’s going to Anug-stazg?” asked the burglar. “I don’t. But that’s the direction he’s headed and he doesn’t know this area. I’m not sure where he’s leading us, but that is a dangerous area. This whole area is dangerous, but that area is littered with orcs and Uruks.” If Silentknife had any other questions, he kept them to himself as they hurried off after the warg.


    ———————


    Deathwulf continued to head southwest. He had gone out of stealth a while ago as all he saw were Uruks, orcs, goblins and other wargs. He didn’t feel safe or comfortable, but he didn’t feel threatened here, either. Almost makes me feel like I was back in the Moors, without the feel of getting ready for battle. The warg chuckled to himself. There did seem to be more activity than usual, so he walked around to see what information he could gather.


    He rounded a corner and nearly collided with a group of Uruks. “We’ll, what ‘av we ‘ere?” asked the darkest of the three. It looked like his skin had a dark red cast to it. “This cur seems to have wandered away from his pack!” The others laughed as the Uruk hit Deathwulf in the side with his fist. The blow didn’t hurt the warg at all, but he acted like a normal warg and gave the Uruk a warning growl. The Uruks stopped laughing. “Looks like I’m going to have to take this one back to his pack…” the apparent leader said through clenched teeth. The other two started to step forward. “No, I don’t need help on this,” he looked at Deathwulf with a menacing look on his face, “this job I can easily handle on my own.” The other two looked at their leader and then at Deathwulf. Evil smiles spread across their faces as they knew what would happen. Before Deathwulf could react, the Uruk shot out his hand and gripped the warg by the nape of his neck. His grip is like iron! Try as he might, Deathwulf could not break his grip. “Let’s get you home, cur!” he snarled as the other two laughed at what was about to happen. The Uruk got up and in one motion kneed the big warg in the side. He heard ribs crack as pain lanced through his side, but the Uruk’s grip didn’t loosen. As soon as I get free, your life is mine! The Uruk led him away, alternating between hitting him with his fist or giving him a quick knee to the side. The blows to his face and side were starting to get to him. As they got out of sight and earshot of the other Uruks, Deathwulf tried to break free from the grip of the Uruk. Nothing he tried would work. “What’s this now? Trying to get away, are we?” the Uruk laughed as he sent another fist into the warg’s face. “Can’t have that happen lest ye run away again.” The Uruk busted up laughing and knelt down beside the seething warg. He whispered in his ear. “Get it through that thick skull of yours! I say whether you make it back to your pack in one piece, or more… the later seems to be looking like it. Now move!” As he got up, he slightly went to adjust his grip on the warg’s nape. That was all the opening Deathwulf needed. The surprised Uruk didn’t know what hit him. One moment he had full control over the warg and was getting up and the next he was on his back with the breath knocked out of him. He was still groggy when he realized his shoulders were pinned down with the warg breathing heavily on his face. “By now I hope you realize that I am no normal warg and that was the last time you will ever hit anything!” Deathwulf said through clenched teeth. When the Uruk realized what was going on, his face went white. He couldn’t yell for help as the big warg ripped the Uruk’s throat out… all you could hear was the gurgling blood leaving his soon to be lifeless body.


    Now for those other two…
    Deathwulf thought as he slowly stalked back to the area where he met up with the Uruks. He was stunned to find the two Uruk bodies… one with arrows protruding out of his chest and the other with his throat slit. “Well, look who finally decided to show up?” Silentknife said with a grin. The dour warg looked at the bodies once more before turning his attention back to the burglar. “You took my ‘fun’ away from me!” he snapped. “They were in our way!” pleaded Silentknife, “besides, you seemed to be having way too much fun with their leader over there!” the burglar said with a laugh. Winterwulf appeared from around the corner. “I hate to break up your reunion, but we need to find cover, now! This place is crawling with orcs and Uruks and it won’t take them long to find the bodies.” Deathwulf shook his head. “I can’t leave here yet. I can’t explain why, but I feel as though I am close to finding answers to the cause of the green eyes and green water and if they are tied together.” “This is a very dangerous area! You don’t know what you are getting into!” said the hunter. At that moment, a flash of lighting struck close by and the rain started coming down in sheets. “Well, there you go… things are starting to look better already!” the burglar answered back sarcastically.


    Winterwulf led them to a clump of fallen trees that wasn’t too far from where they were. It afforded them some shelter from the pelting rain. Any branches they could find were too waterlogged to be of any use. “We’ll have to make due without a small fire. Where do we need to go and what is the plan?” Deathwulf couldn’t remember the hunter looking this nervous before. He sniffed the air… all he could smell was the rain… and death. “There is a cemetery near here, isn’t there?” asked Deathwulf. “Yes, of some sort, I think so,” replied the hunter, “There are bodies buried there, but it isn’t a typical cemetery… it reeks of evil.” “Where I am headed is further south… that’s where I am drawn towards.” said Deathwulf. “You mean Anghum-maudhul?” The warg nodded. Winterwulf glanced at his brother then looked back at the warg. He took a deep breath and exhaled sharply. “The Gods watch over us… lead the way.”
    [I][B]I refuse to have a battle of wits with an un-armed person...[/B][/I]

    My blog with all my writings can be read [URL="http://aschesnuk.wordpress.com/"]here[/URL].

  5. #5
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    Chapter 19 - Finding Answers

    The warg led the hunter and burglar slowly through the driving rain. Traveling in the dead of night gave the cover needed, but the storm was both a blessing and a curse. Not many would be out in this storm, even if they were orcs or Uruks. The rain and the wind made them nearly invisible… but they had a hard time seeing anything, too. Even the cloaks Winterwulf and Silentknife wore tightly to them couldn’t keep the rain from penetrating. They were both soaked to the bone. Deathwulf wasn’t faring any better.. his fur was plastered to his body. He didn’t seem to mind, though, as he continued to lead them to Anghum-maudhul. There were a few times when the warg stopped and crouched, with the hunter and burglar both ready if needed, but they encountered nothing.

    After a while had passed and their moods were already sour, Silentknife finally interrupted the silence. “The weather seems to gradually be getting worse. Shouldn’t we find shelter til the storm passes?” he asked during one of their breaks as Deathwulf scouted ahead. Winterwulf shook his head. “We are here to stop the outbreak as much as Deathwulf is, and he is our best hope right now. We need to do whatever we can to help him.” “Won’t be much help to him when this weather will be the death of us,” the burglar grumbled. The look given by the hunter ended whatever whining was started. Silence, save for the sound of the wind and the rain, won out for the rest of their break.


    Deathwulf finally returned to the others. “We are close to the camp. Be wary… there are guards everywhere. They are clumped together, though, so it shouldn’t be that hard to avoid most of them. The ones near the keep we will have to take out, though.” Winterwulf thought he saw a brief grin on the warg’s face when he said that last part.


    —————-


    As they got nearer to Anghum-maudhul, Winterwulf crouched down behind a tree. The rain seemed to come down even harder, if that were possible. The hunter could barely make out the camp fires that fought against the rain. The ones still lit have to have something over the top of them… this rain would’ve easily put them out. At least we can see them a little… Just then, a flash of lightening lit up the sky. There were a mass of orcs and Uruks lit up by the lightning. Getting by them was not going to be easy… and the lightning issue made things that much harder. “We’ll have to split up from here. It’ll be much harder for them to spot a single person rather than a small group. I know the place where Deathwulf is going. It’s in the southwestern part of the camp and is actually part of the keep. It will have gates around and I’m not sure how many guards, but there will be some. Be ready.” Silentknife simply nodded and disappeared into the shadows.


    Winterwulf turned his attention to the matter at hand. He waited til the next lightning strike happened so he could time when the next one would occur. He had to wait a little before it hit, but he saw little movement from the enemy in the camps… they were watching the sky and paying little attention to him. He quietly made his way to the southwest and hoped that his brother and Deathwulf weren’t having any problems. The storm turned out to be a big help. Even the orcs and Uruks didn’t care to be out in this weather and grouped closer together than was thought possible. Normally they are at each others throats if there aren’t any enemies present. The hunter was able to get around the orcs and Uruks without any trouble at all. He actually hoped the rain would hold up for a bit longer.


    He barely made cover before the next lightning bolt lit up the sky. That was cutting it close! Winterwulf looked across the pavement and saw Silentknife… but Deathwulf was nowhere to be seen. Winterwulf slowly made it over to his brother. “What’s the plan?” whispered Silentknife. “During the next lightning strike, I’ll see how many we have to deal with… we’ll plan accordingly.” Silentknife nodded and looked around cautiously. Winterwulf slowly looked around, but it was impossible to see how many of the enemy there were… they were there, but without knowing how many, it may just be suicide. He couldn’t see Deathwulf, either. Lightning should be coming soon… as soon as he finished his thought, he quickly saw what they were up against. He turned back to his brother. “There are three total that I saw. One was above patrolling and two are guarding the path below. We need to take them out quickly before the patrolling one notices. I couldn’t see the warg… I can only hope he hasn’t run into trouble as we don’t know what we are looking for.” Silentknife nodded, “We’ll take them out after the next lightning strike to see if they moved at all.” The two waited and watched from their hiding spot. Lightning again illuminated the sky… it was getting closer. The two sprang into action and headed towards their targets. Silentknife had his daggers in hand and Winterwulf grabbed his axes.


    ———————–


    The patrolling orc looked down during the lightning strike and made sure the guards were in their positions. He didn’t know why, but something made the back of his neck crawl. The ferocity of this storm didn’t help. Maybe it’s just nerves. I should be out on the front lines, not guarding someplace that doesn’t see the light of day! The thought made the orc more sour than he already was. The lightning struck again. He turned at the end of his patrol and looked at the guards just as the light dissipated. Both spots were empty! The orc quickly rubbed his eyes and glanced back where the guards should have been, but it was too dark to see. He started to run to the stairs when the lightning flashed again. Both guards were at their stations. The orc sighed to himself. Now I’m seeing things… I’m letting my nerves get the best of me. He went back to his regular patrol route.


    ———————-


    It was like watching the brothers work in tandem. Silentknife and Winterwulf used the element of surprise and covered the orcs mouths with one hand and deftly slit their throats with the blade of their weapon in the other hand. They had taken the guards out by pillars near their posts, and the lightning showed the spots as empty. Winterwulf knew he didn’t have much time. He hoped Silentknife was doing the same thing. The hunter braced the orc’s body on his back and ducked a bit to keep himself hidden while making the orc appear to be standing. When the next lightning bolt brightened the sky, he could see his brother did the same thing and hoped it was enough to fool the guard up top. The hunter held his breath and waited. There was no sound of hurried footsteps approaching and everything else, save the rain and wind, appeared to be quiet. Winterwulf worried about the warg… he hadn’t heard from him since the group split up and it was up to him now. Where is he?


    ——————


    Deathwulf watched the orc’s patrol route from stealth. He had guessed the other two did something as the orc started to head down to the other guards, but stopped and went back to his patrol. When the orc turned to head in the opposite direction, the warg quietly went for his prey. The orc’s senses were a bit slow, as when he felt the warg and turned to meet him, it was too late. Deathwulf leapt on the orc, causing him to lose his balance, and the wargs jaws dug into the flesh of his neck. The look of surprise in his eyes was the last thing he saw as the life drained out of him.


    The lightning flashed again, and Deathwulf saw Winterwulf and Silentknife running up the steps. The two stopped when they saw the warg standing over the dead orc, blood dripping from his jaws. “Guess we don’t have to worry about him now, eh?” Silentknife said with a smirk. “Where are the tombs at?” Asked Winterwulf. He wanted to be out of this as soon as possible. “The entrance is hidden… there must be a switch somewhere.” said the warg. It would have been hard to find under normal circumstances, but the rain made it that much more difficult. Finally, after over an hour of searching, Silentknife found an opening behind the alter. He fit his hand in the opening and heard a click. The sound of moving rock could be heard close by. The torches inside gave off light to show them the passage they had uncovered.


    As they entered the passage, Silentknife removed his sopping cloak and let it drop to the floor. “You should have waited,” said Winterwulf. Silentknife was about to ask why when Deathwulf shook the water off his fur near the burglar. The burglar tried to shield himself from the spray, but it was fruitless. “Did you really need to do that?” asked Silentknife. Deathwulf looked at him and said matter-of-factly, “I do. How else am I supposed to get the water off?” This brought muffled laughter from the hunter, who had found the internal switch to close the entry then came into. The laughter darkened the burglar’s mood more than it already was. He grumbled to himself as he followed his brother and the warg deeper into the passage.


    ——————


    The passage led them gradually downward. It was expertly carved, too… care had been taken in the making of it and it must have taken a long time.Winterwulf ran his hand against the wall. He didn’t know what to make of it, but he knew he didn’t like it. The passage seemed to go on forever. There’s no footprints, either, so this was recently used or cleaned. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but it took a lot to unnerve the hunter; this tomb had done just that.


    After what seemed like an eternity, the passageway ended into a tomb. It wasn’t an ordinary tomb… everything was carved in ivory, it seemed. The walls, the ceiling, the floor… all were delicately carved by hand. The sconces that held the torches had amazing detail, though the skulls that held the torches were enough to send shivers down ones spine. Even the tomb in the center of the room was apparently carved out of ivory. Everything seemed peaceful and serene… it that’s the perception that it wanted to give. It made Winterwulf’s blood chill. The three slowly walked around the room as if fearful of disturbing whatever was laid to rest here. Winterwulf stopped when he saw what he found when examining the tomb. The stone slab covering the tomb had been moved… someone, or something, had been here recently. Winterwulf gestured and he and Silentknife moved the stone slab so they could look inside.


    The mummified corpse of the figure inside must have been very important when he was alive, judging by the crown on his head and the jewels adorning his body. Even his scepter was covered in rubies, diamonds and the like. Something didn’t seem right, though. The scepter was off-center and he wasn’t wearing a necklace. The necklace! It’s missing! “Someone has been here before us…” started Winterwulf. “What are you talking about?” Silentknife replied, “His jewels, crown and scepter haven’t been touched.” “His necklace is missing.” said Deathwulf. Winterwulf nodded. Suddenly, the torches flickered, almost going out, and a darkness settled over the room. The temperature dropped as the three companions could see their breath.


    “Who dares disturb my tomb?”
    asked a thunderous voice that echoed in the chamber. Deathwulf growled as they could feel a cold chill in the room. “Have you come back to finish the job? To steal the rest of what there is that I have?” “No,” said Winterwulf. “We came looking for answers and saw that your tomb was disturbed and your necklace was missing. We don’t know what happened to it.”


    “Lies!”
    replied the voice. “For that, you will all die!”
    [I][B]I refuse to have a battle of wits with an un-armed person...[/B][/I]

    My blog with all my writings can be read [URL="http://aschesnuk.wordpress.com/"]here[/URL].

  6. #6
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    Chapter 20 - The Lich King

    The temperature in the tomb dropped lower and a swirling black cloud emanated from the corpse. The hunter, burglar and warg all had to look away to keep any debris from blowing into their eyes. A shadowy figure emerged from the corpse… it looked like an exact duplicate of the body in the tomb, down to the crown, scepter and jewels. But Winterwulf noticed that the ghost had a necklace, as well. The warg got his wits about him first and lept at the ghost. The ghost shot his arm out and the warg was sent flying hard into the wall. His body crumpled to the floor. The ghost next focused on Winterwulf and the hunter suddenly grab his neck as he was lifted off the floor. His legs kicked empty air and he struggled to breathe. During the events that transpired, Silentknife melded into the shadows.


    “Tomb robbers come to finish the job and steal my treasures! Now you will pay with your lives! The Lich king commands it!”
    The voice cackled maniacally as he lifted Winterwulf against the ceiling and increased the pressure around the hunters throat. Winterwulf’s fight was rapidly leaving him as his legs flailed less and less. “I can’t have you dying yet!” the voice said as the pressure around the hunter’s neck was slightly released. The warg slowly got to his feet and shook his head to remove the cobwebs. He remembered where he was and growled at the ghost. With a flick of his wrist, the ghost pinned Deathwulf against the wall. I can’t move! thought the warg. “Now, where is your third member?” the ghost asked as it looked around the tomb, “I will find you… none can hide from the Lich king!”


    Silentknife stepped from the shadows with his hands behind his back. The ghost saw the burglar and grinned, if you could call it that. “There you are… I would find you sooner or later… none can hide from me!” The burglar calmly walked up to the edge of the tomb and simply said, “Let my companions go.” “You think you can order the Lich king around? How dare you! You will be the first to die!” Silentknife brought the scepter out from behind his back. “I said to let my companions go… I will not say it again!” The ghost hesitated and looked at the burglar. His arms fell to his side and Deathwulf and Winterwulf fell to the ground… Winterwulf clutching his neck and gasping for air and Deathwulf getting up slowly. “Now, give me the scepter!” demanded the ghost. “I could just smash the scepter now and be done with you forever, but you were asked about the necklace, so I can’t… yet…” An eerie silence followed. Finally, after it appeared that the ghost deliberated about it, it answered. “I will tell you about the necklace, but you must give me back the scepter when my tale is done!” “We’ll see.. go on,” the burglar prodded. Winterwulf and Deathwulf stood around Silentknife as the ghost began.


    “Not very long ago, my tomb was broken into. With all the jewels and gold to be taken, it was clear they were there for one item, and one item only… the necklace.”
    What’s so special about the necklace?” asked Winterwulf. “Does it allow you to control others… to possess them?” “In a way, yes, but not in the way you are thinking. Whoever possesses that necklace is able to summon and control a demon from the plains of hell.” Winterwulf’s shoulders slightly sank and he looked at the warg. The warg looked back and briefly nodded. “This isn’t the source of the glowing green eyes, then.” The ghost laughed. “No, it is far more powerful than that! Whoever summons the demon controls it. But if the summoner is not powerful enough, the demon will consume him and will be unleashed upon Middle Earth. The more powerful the summoner, the more powerful the demon, too. It will start off small, but it will grow over time.” This… demon… do you know what it looks like?” Deathwulf asked. Both Silentknife and Winterwulf looked at him. The ghost king paused, then answered. “I have never seen a summoned demon as I never summoned one… my power was more than enough! But I’ve heard tales of dark demons with wings causing mayhem and devastation!” Deathwulf looked at Winterwulf and Silentknife. “That must be the creature that carried me off before and the one I was fighting against.” The warg turned to the ghost. “Then how do I destroy this thing?” The ghost gave an unexpected maniacal laugh. “Destroy it?? You can’t!! Once summoned, it is either there to complete its task, or destroy the caster, whichever comes first! If it completes its task, it returns to its plain of existence, waiting to be summoned again! You can banish it back, for a short time, but each time it comes back, it is much more powerful and harder to defeat! But, mark my word… it cannot be killed!” The last part unnerved even the warg. It cannot be killed? Then how do we stop it?


    The ghost interrupted his train of thought. “Have I answered your questions about the necklace?” Silentknife slowly began backing up. “You have…” “Then give me back MY scepter!” snarled the ghost. “Once we are safely out of the tomb, you can have your scepter back.” The ghost seethed, but was powerless to do anything. The three made it back to the entrance as quickly as they could and kept checking behind them. Though they could here the ghost moaning and yelling, they were not followed. Winterwulf clicked the switch and the stone slowly started sliding open. They braced themselves for any orcs that might be waiting for them. They were met with silence. It was still coming down hard, but it had tapered off slightly. They put on their wet cloaks and Winterwulf waited outside the opening with Deathwulf as Silentknife went to close the tomb back up. The burglar once more reached his hand behind the altar and found the switch. The entrance to the tomb slowly began to close. “Give me my scepter! yelled the Lich king. As the entrance was closing, Silentknife tossed the scepter to Winterwulf. The hunter hesitated on throwing the scepter in. “He gave us the answers we wanted, you can give him back the scepter,” said the burglar. “That’s too much evil that has the possibility of being unleashed on the world. That can’t be allowed to happen.” Winterwulf placed the scepter in the path of the stone entrance. As the entrance sealed, the stone crushed the scepter. “Noooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!… ….” the ghost moaned as the entrance sealed shut, with the scepter cut in half by the stone as the top of the scepter laid at the entrance. Winterwulf looked at Silentknife. “How did you know his power was in the scepter?” he asked. “Well,” the burglar replied, “everything was there, save the necklace. Someone wanted us to find them, which was why they left the tomb slightly ajar. It was a trap and it was pretty simple from what he had that only two things could hold his power… the crown or the scepter. I took a guess,” he winked. Winterwulf just laughed at his brother.


    With the tomb re-sealed and the scepter broken, the three companions started to walk away from the crypt. As they we walking away, a loud crackle was heard as a lightning bolt came down from the sky and struck the altar, causing the rock to explode. Shrapnel was sent flying as were the three companions. Winterwulf came to, coughing from the dust in his mouth. He slowly got up as the remains of the altar fell off him. He went over to Silentknife to see if he was ok. “Are you awake?” he asked Silentknife. The burglar groaned and got up slowly, but Winterwulf didn’t see any cuts on him and his limbs looked fine. “Yeah, I didn’t see that strike coming. Where is Deathwulf?” They quickly scanned the area, but there was no sign of the warg. As Silentknife picked himself off of the ground, lightning lit up the sky. “There!” pointed Silentknife. In the distance, something with wings appeared to be carrying a body east through the air. The hunter and burglar looked at each other, wide-eyed, and gave chase, trying to avoid any orcs and trying to keep the flying beast in sight. Panic started to well up in the hunter as whatever was flying in the air was soon out of sight. They followed the winged beast towards the east, even when they lost sight of them.


    ————————-


    Deathwulf came to and felt grass under him. He looked around as he slowly got up, but nothing looked familiar. He could hear the sound of water nearby, but that didn’t give him any clue. Before he could get his bearings, he was slammed in the side and knocked down to the ground. As he tried to get up from the blow, he was hit in the side again. He laid still until he caught his breath. When he did, he went stealth and got to his feet. He backed up until his eyes were used to the darkness. “Where did you go to?” Hissed a voice. “I know you’re here… you can’t go far or escape this time.” It was still raining hard, but in the darkness, he made out the shape of a creature with wings. Is that the same creature I fought before? It smells the same, but it is man-sized now, not hobbit-sized like before. “Master is very unhappy… you have been a big thorn in his side up until now. He wanted you alive, at first, but he’s had other subjects that have given very nice results, so you are now expendable. I can bring you back either alive or dead!” The last part had a viscous sound to it. Deathwulf could see the creature looking around for him. “Here, puppy, puppy, puppy…. here, puppy, puppy…” the creature cackled with laughter. It sliced at the ground and blades of grass came up. It continued its search for the warg. Deathwulf stalked around the perimeter… all he could see was water wherever he went. I must be on an island of some sort… he didn’t get to finish his thought as he narrowly avoided the creatures talons. “There you are!” it cackled gleefully. Deathwulf went out of stealth as he knew the creature could see him anyways. He must have some kind of infrared sight. “Who or what are you and what do you want with me?” the warg asked while maintaining his distance from the creature.


    “What, you don’t remember me?” it said, feigning shock. It laughed again. “I was summoned by my master to bring you back. Now, however, it is dead or alive… he doesn’t much care, and neither do I!” he lunged at Deathwulf as he replied. The warg was just able to get away. It is fast, I’ll give it that. “What do you, or your master, want from me? What is it that I can offer?” Deathwulf asked, hoping to glean any information he could. “It doesn’t matter anymore. The master concluded his test and doesn’t need you anymore.” “Then why does it matter if he wants me dead or alive?” “It doesn’t… either way you will no longer be a problem!” It lunged again as it said the last part. Again, Deathwulf dodged, but this time, the creature moved sideways and cut the warg off. Its talons sliced into the warg’s side. Deathwulf jumped back and winced in pain. He looked down and saw blood dripping from where the creature had cut him. It feigned like it was going in one direction then came back and slashed at the warg again, this time catching him under his jaw. He could feel the fresh wounds left where he had been hit. “Now you’re starting to piss me off!” Deathwulf said as he crouched down. The creature grinned and slowly approached the warg, claws out on both hands. He slashed out with both hands, missing wildly, but Deathwulf knew the creature was just toying with him. “You can’t kill me, so why bother trying? You’re just delaying the inevitable!” The warg was slowly backing up until he hit something solid. He had backed up into a tree! The creature saw the warg was distracted and attacked him head on.
    [I][B]I refuse to have a battle of wits with an un-armed person...[/B][/I]

    My blog with all my writings can be read [URL="http://aschesnuk.wordpress.com/"]here[/URL].

  7. #7
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    Chapter 21 - A Fight That Can't Be Won

    With Deathwulf momentarily distracted from colliding into the tree, the creature went in for the kill. It sliced at the warg, but at the last second, Deathwulf went stealth and narrowly avoided the creature’s attack. The creature struck out at the warg so hard, that when it missed, it hit the trunk of the tree and got its claws stuck in the trunk. He knew the creature could see him when he went stealth, but it took a second or so for the creature’s vision to change to pick him up. That was all the time Deathwulf needed. The warg took advantage of the creature’s immobility and struck. The warg came out of stealth behind the creature and clamped his jaws around the creature’s arm that was stuck in the tree. The creature shrieked as the warg tightened his grip on its arm, and tried desperately to free its claws. Deathwulf’s jaws tore through the skin and you could hear the bones break and see the blood spatter. The creature howled with rage as it backed away holding the stump where its arm used to be. Deathwulf watched it, the end of its arm still in the warg’s jaws.


    The creature’s howls of rage soon became maniacal laughter as his arm slowly began to grow back. Deathwulf spit the arm out and looked at the creature. This isn’t good… The creature’s arm finished growing back and the creature flexed his arm and claws to make sure all were working as intended. “I told you before,” he hissed with an evil grin, “you can’t kill me!” he roared with laughter as he slowly approached the warg. Deathwulf slowly backed up. This must be the demon the Lich King spoke of… but who is his master? As if the demon could read Deathwulf’s mind, it said, “It doesn’t matter who my master is… you will soon be dead!” It suddenly phased out and reappeared next to the warg. Before Deathwulf could react, the demon hit the warg in the side and sent him flying. He hit the ground and rolled to a stop, not moving. The demon slowly approached the unconscious warg, its claws seeming to hunger for Deathwulf’s blood. The demon stood in front of the warg’s body and raised both arms up for the killing blow. As it brought its arms down, Deathwulf opened up his eyes and went stealth, again, narrowly avoiding the fatal blow. He put as much distance as he could between them but he knew it was only a matter of time. That’s why the demon put us on an island… it knew I had nowhere to go and I can’t keep dodging its blows forever.


    The demon seemed to know this, too and took its time, giving the warg a false sense of hope. It knew it had all the time in the world to complete this task, so why hurry? Deathwulf hurried to the other end of the island to try and think the situation through and see what options he had. The demon appeared very confident and slowly approached the warg. The only thing that was on the island was the tree… there wasn’t much protection that was offered from the demon’s attacks. Suddenly, balls of energy appeared in the demon’s claws. He hurled one towards Deathwulf, which he easily dodged. It exploded on impact, sending dirt flying everywhere. That must be what hit the statue when we left the tomb. Another one appeared where he had thrown the first. This time, he hurled both at the warg. Deathwulf dodged them both, but they exploded a lot closer to him. The demon laughed as two more balls of energy replaced the two he hurled at the warg. He threw those two and two more appeared, which he launched as well. Deathwulf was on the run to avoid the blasts of energy.. he avoided them, but his endurance was fading, as well. He knew he couldn’t keep it up much longer. He ran for the tree and hid behind it while he tried to figure out what his next move would be. The demon toyed with him as he sent blast after blast on either side of the tree, effectively pinning him in. Deathwulf watched the explosions on both sides. Suddenly, an idea hit him! It won’t expect this… When there was a delay, Deathwulf took off from behind the tree. The demon saw him and hurled the balls of energy at him. Suddenly, the warg went stealth. Deathwulf changed his direction and ran straight at the demon. It took a second for the demon’s eyes to pick the warg up but it was too late. The demon got his arms up to defend himself just as the warg hit him. The demon fell on his back with the weight of the warg on top of him.


    Try as Deathwulf did to rip the demon’s throat out, the demon’s arms kept the warg at bay. The gnashing of Deathwulf’s teeth were getting perilously close to the demon’s throat. “Enough!” yelled the demon and bolts of lightning shot out from its hands hurtling Deathwulf through the air. The warg hit the tree with with enough force to knock the wind out of him. His head also hit the trunk hard, which knocked him out. The demon slowly got up and breathed heavily. “Enough playing… this ends now…” It slowly moved to where the warg lay still. The demon grabbed the scruff of Deathwulf’s neck and drug the warg to the tree. “I’ll see you in hell… eventually!” laughed the demon as it raised the wargs body with one hand and raised its other hand with the claws out to pierce the warg’s heart. A knife blade appeared through its hand and the hilt wedged its hand against the tree. Deathwulf was snatched out of the surprised demon’s grasp. “What…?” he asked as he lunged after the warg with his free had. Another knife pinned that hand to the tree, as well. “Now!” yelled a voice from stealth. The demon tried to use its wings as a shield, but they did nothing to stop the volley of arrows from hitting it. Quite a few of the arrows punctured its wings and pinned it closer to the tree. The demon couldn’t move! A blood curdling cry erupted from its lips as it heard footsteps rapidly approaching from behind. With a quick, accurate slice, the demon’s head fell to the side, away from its convulsing body. Silentknife carried the unconscious warg to the water’s edge and slowly put him down as Winterwulf chopped the body of the demon into as many pieces as he could. He knew the demon would come back, but he hoped chopping it up into many pieces would buy them some time. Silentknife stayed with the warg while his brother buried each piece of the demon in its own hole.


    ——————-


    When Deathwulf woke up, he saw that the rain had stopped. He tried to get up and slumped back down in a hurry. If feels like I was buried under a ton of rock! Deathwulf thought with each painful breath. He tried to think about what had transpired, but after he tried to rip the demon’s throat out, he could only draw a blank. He looked around and saw what was left of the demon pinned to the tree with arrows all over. He then noticed Silentknife and Winterwulf sleeping nearby. Deathwulf’s eyes grew dim and soon he was out.


    ——————-


    When the warg came to again, he noticed a small campfire burning near him and the smell of cooked meat. Winterwulf glanced over. “Good, you’re awake! We weren’t sure how badly you were hurt, but we’re glad we found you when we did… another second and…” his voice trailed off as he remembered the attack. “What he’s trying to say is we made perfect time.” Silentknife said as he smiled at Deathwulf. It still hurt to move and breathe, but he was at least able to get up. He could see the lake and an island in the distance. “Is that where we were?” Deathwulf asked, pointing towards the island. Winterwulf nodded. “We made you a raft to get across the lake. With the shape you were in, we wanted to move you as little as possible, but we had to get you off that island. I don’t know how much time we have until the demon comes back, but you’ve been out a few days.” Winterwulf reached beside him and tossed a couple of rabbit bodies to the warg. “I thought you’d be hungry.” Deathwulf’s stomach reminded him of how hungry he was. As he feasted on the rabbits, Winterwulf continued. “We got to you just in time. Silentknife was able to pin the demon to the tree and get you to safety. When he was got you far enough away, he gave me the signal and I secured the demon to the tree a bit more. I then hacked off various limbs and his head and buried them in different locations, separately. I don’t know if that will buy us more time until it comes back, but something had to be done. We’ve just waited since then until you were healthy enough to move. We’re not sure how much time we have.” Deathwulf thought about how fast the demon regenerated its arm and shivered. “From what I have seen, not long. I took its arm off and it grew back in a matter of minutes, if that. But I’m not sure if it had to return to its plain or not to heal… I don’t know how long that will take.” Winterwulf let out an exasperated sigh. “We don’t even know where we have to go…” “Well,” thought Deathwulf, “it kept referring to its master as a ‘he’, so I’m guessing it has to be a human of some sort. Is there anyone that is powerful enough to summon him?”


    Winterwulf thought about this information. “Well, there is a fairly large group of sorcerers here, but they haven’t caused any trouble that I’ve heard of. There is also the group of sorcerers at Minas Gil… those have given many issues in the past, but have been relatively quiet lately… this would explain why they have been quiet, if this is where the necklace is.” Silentknife was absently cutting wood from a branch while listening to his brother. “I can find out from the local sorcerers if anything has been going on.” He flashed a grin from ear to ear. “I’ll be back shortly with anything I hear.” Before anyone could say anything, Silentknife blended into the nearby shadows and was gone. Winterwulf looked at Deathwulf, “I’d rest up while he is gone. Whether it’s here or at Minas Gil, we all are going to need our strength for this.” Deathwulf, for once, didn’t feel like arguing and laid his head back down. Within moments, he was out. Winterwulf watched him a few minutes more than looked at the ruins his brother went off to. He stared at the ruins before his focus shifted to Minas Gil. An involuntary shudder ran through the hunter’s body, but he didn’t say a word.


    ——————-


    Silentknife arrived a few hours later and saw Winterwulf was waiting for his report. “Well, looks like it’s pretty quiet at the ruins, here,” Silentknife started. The look Winterwulf gave him made him pause. “What?” he said, feigning being hurt, “I didn’t kill anyone… they are just going to have really, really bad headaches when they wake up.” He chuckled to himself on the last part. “I don’t even think they know about the necklace or the green water… almost like they are cut off from everything that is going on around them.” Winterwulf nodded, “That’s actually the way they prefer it. They don’t like to do anything that draws attention to them.” Winterwulf again looked in the direction of Minas Gil. “It looks like we will start looking for answers there, then. Get some rest… we’ll head out first thing in the morning.”
    [I][B]I refuse to have a battle of wits with an un-armed person...[/B][/I]

    My blog with all my writings can be read [URL="http://aschesnuk.wordpress.com/"]here[/URL].

  8. #8
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    Oh Whisper, how it comforts me to see old friends still continuing their stories. I am personally without words, as I cannot connect creatively with current developments. But I will always read and enjoy as long as you continue your journey!

  9. #9
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    Whart! It's so good to see you!! I do so miss your writing, but I can certainly understand what you say. RL has taken precedence over things and writing took a back set for a long while. Now, I find it as a way to escape from it all, too. But, I don't like to leave things unfinished and I do have a lot left to tell, so hopefully that will keep things going for a bit, but it so good to hear from you and I am really glad you like it so far
    [I][B]I refuse to have a battle of wits with an un-armed person...[/B][/I]

    My blog with all my writings can be read [URL="http://aschesnuk.wordpress.com/"]here[/URL].

  10. #10
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    Chapter 22 - Too Cautious?

    The rain had stopped, at least for the moment. It was still very overcast and dark. The threatening clouds looked like they could open up at any moment and the deluge would begin again. Not like that would make things any worse than they already are, thought the hunter. Winterwulf looked at his brother as he walked next to him, silent and brooding. A lot has happened in the last few days, and we still have a long way to go. Winterwulf glanced at Silentknife again. How much more is this going to take out of us and has it already cost us too much? The hunter kept thinking back to what the Lich king had told them about the demon and the warg’s battle with it, which Deathwulf still hasn’t fully recovered from. The thought of the warg made Winterwulf look around, but Deathwulf was nowhere to be seen. I would guess he’s moving in stealth, but not fully healed after 3 days raises more concerns. What are we up against? The hunter shook off the thoughts and focused on traveling as quietly and as quickly as they could without being seen.


    —————-


    At least half the day had passed with the hunter and burglar staying among the trees and large rocks. The avoided the larger groups and were able to skirt around the smaller groups without being seen or heard. They heard nearby voices and Winterwulf followed Silentknife behind a large boulder. They could hear orcs in the distance. They weren’t too far from Mithechad, but it looked like a good amount of orcs stood in their path. Silentknife looked around the boulder. “Looks like 20 of them, by my count.” He turned back to his brother. “What do you think?” Winterwulf thought for a minute. “We need to get to Mithechad to resupply and rest. But those orcs seem to be gathering to assault the outpost. I don’t know if they can withstand the assault.” The hunter readied his bow. “Let’s try and give them a smaller group to defend against,” Winterwulf smiled, though there was no happiness at all in it. Silentknife shook his head in agreement. “Wait for my signal,” he said, then added, “you’ll know when it happens.” Silentknife winked at his brother and vanished around the boulder.


    —————-


    One of the many problems with orcs is that they are a very impatient bunch. Their thirst for blood easily overrides any sense of order or following directions. This chaos is what Silentknife was hoping to be the start of their undoing. As the burglar slowly and quietly approached the large group, he quickly accessed his situation. They are basically in lines of two waiting for the signal to attack. I should be able to take out the back four before they even know what’s going on. Silentknife smiled to himself and drew out his daggers with death in his eyes.


    —————-


    The burglar came up to first two and stabbed them in the back of the neck; his blades protruding through their throats as they went down in a heap. The two in front of them looked back to see why they suddenly felt weight on their backs and ended up with daggers in their throats to thank them for their troubles. Four bodies down… it’s a good start! smiled Silentknife as he deftly evaded fumbled attacks while dealing swift death strokes to the orcs in his path. Two more went down as their clumsy attempts to block the attacks were fruitless; they went down with their throats slit. The burglar stepped back and waited as the orcs paused with a confused look on their faces. The attack was unexpected and the outcome was very predictable. Once the confusion wore off and they got their collective backbones back, they weren’t able to get a step in when arrows seemed to rain down from the sky. Four more orcs went down, dead from the volley of arrows. Silentknife used the mass confusion that followed to disappear back into the shadows. He heard the shouts of the guards from Mithechad as they clashed with the remaining orcs from the original assault party. They should be able to handle the remaining orcs, thought Silentknife as he made his way back to the boulder.


    —————-


    “Nice work!” greeted Winterwulf as Silentknife knelt beside his brother. The burglar smiled and nodded his thanks. “Yes, very nice… for a human,” a familiar voice said. Deathwulf appeared from stealth beside the two brothers. Winterwulf gave the warg a critical look. “You still don’t look like you are quite yourself, yet,” he said. The warg replied, “I’m fine enough,” with a huff. The hunter smiled inside. There is no killing his internal fire, that’s for sure. “Oh, by the way,” said Silentknife, “I lead, six to four,” he said with a wink. This brought a much needed laugh from the hunter. He smiled back, “Looks like I have some work to do, then,” he said back as he winked.


    He turned back to the warg. “Our plan is to head to Mithechad to restock our supplies and, hopefully, get some rest, as I have a feeling tomorrow is going to get rather busy when we reach Minas Gil. Are you going to be alright by yourself for tonight?” Deathwulf was genuinely amused at Winterwulf’s question. “There are orcs, Uruks and wargs around as far as the eye can see and they greatly outnumber the free people… why wouldn’t I feel ‘safe’?” the warg replied. Winterwulf simply smirked and raised an eyebrow. “Then, we’ll find you or you’ll find us in the morning. Get some rest.” Deathwulf nodded and trotted away as he went into stealth. “Let’s go,” said the hunter as he led them out from behind the boulder.


    ——————–


    As they approached Mithelchad, they noticed it was unnervingly quiet… not even a sound was made from animals. They walked in the still silence and past the guards who watched them intently, but made
    no move to impede their progress. For a small outpost, then was an unusual amount of activity going on. As they gleaned from snippets of conversations that they heard, a party of orcs was defeated quite handily by the guards. Of course, there was no mention that half the party was wiped out before the guards clashed with the orcs. “Figures,” mumbled Silentknife. Winterwulf smiled, “Now, now… we aren’t here to make a name for ourselves… the less attention that is drawn to us, the better.” Silentknife shot him a sour glance, but remained quiet.


    They found the local suppliers shop and replenished their packs. Winterwulf paid the supplier and they got directions to where they could get a meal and a bed. They brothers thanked him and left the shop. They cut through an alley on the way to the pub when Winterwulf realized he made the wrong decision. They were stopped by an arrow pointed at the burglar’s heart. Silentknife raised his hands up as a signal of surrender, but also to let the hunter know he was ready to move when needed. Winterwulf slowly reached back for his bow and felt the arrowhead that was pressed against his back. He let out a slow breath. “Seems you have us at an extreme disadvantage. I am Winterwulf, and this is my brother, Silentknife,” he said as he nodded to the arrow possessing figure. Silence followed. “Come now, are you going to make this conversation one-sided, too?” he asked. Finally, the figure spoke, “There was a warg tracked through these lands and our informants told us he was seen near you. We want to know where he is.” Winterwulf regarded the figure for a moment. This person is definitely female, but what of her companion?


    “Listen, it’s been a rather long day and we were heading to the local pub for some food and beverage to wash it down and call it a night. You are welcome to join us and we can talk things over while we eat.” The female didn’t move nor did the figure behind them say a word. “Or, you can say nothing and we can stand here not talking until somebody gets tired or sees us… it’s up to you.” A look by the female and Winterwulf felt the arrow in his back removed. He relaxed a little. The female with her arrow trained on Silentknife also lowered her arrow and relaxed the tension on her bow. That was all the room Silentknife needed. Before you could blink, he stood behind her, his dagger out and to her throat. “If you pull a weapon on someone, you better have the intent on using it.” Her response was felt as she lifted her blade to put pressure between his legs. Winterwulf saw this and sighed heavily, lowering his forehead against his hand. “And we wanted to avoid any weird encounters…” Silentknife simply laughed and withdrew his dagger. The female held her dagger where it was a little while longer to make sure he got the point. Winterwulf glanced behind him and noticed her companion was also female. “Shall we head to the pub?” Silentknife asked as he bowed extravagantly. She sighed and rolled her eyes. “Lead the way, burglar.”


    —————–


    They entered the pub and found it sparsely populated, although it did have a warm atmosphere. “I’ll get the food and beverages,” said Winterwulf, “you find us a corner table that is away from prying ears and eyes.” Silentknife beamed his brightest smile, “Ladies.” he said as he led them to a cozy table in a corner opposite to where they entered. The women took the seats with their backs to the door, so Silentknife took one of the remaining ones. An uneasy silence hung over the table, but the women watched the burglar like a hawk. “Ah, here comes Winterwulf with the food and drink. I think I’ll help him out,” he said as he got up and went to the hunter before anything could be said.


    They came back to the table and Silentknife set down plates of food in front of everyone while Winterwulf set down mugs of ale. As the hunter sat down, he broke off a chunk of bread and took a bite. He looked around the table and nobody said a word… the silence was very uneasy and palpable. Winterwulf broke the silence. “Again, you seem to have us at a disadvantage. You know our names but we don’t know yours.” The woman who targeted Silentknife looked up at Winterwulf and stared into his eyes, as it deciding on what to tell him. “I’m Rheyah,” she finally said, her eyes never leaving his. “I’m Crisil,” said the other woman. Winterwulf looked at Rheyah a moment longer before he looked at Crisil. Crisil blushed a little, “Sorry about the arrow in your back.” Winterwulf smiled at that, “No offense taken… it’s understood. Now,” Winterwulf said as he took a chunk of meat, “about this warg you are looking for?” He sat back as he chewed, watching the two of them. There was silence, again. Finally, Rheyah spoke, again, her eyes not leaving the hunter’s. “Our informants tracked the warg east of here and tracked him near here. They said they saw you too talking to him, too.” Winterwulf leaned forward as he chewed slower. He swallowed and took a drink. He looked Rheyah in the eye, “How long have you been following us?” “I told you,” Rheyah answered, “our informants tracked…”


    “Enough with the informants… they don’t exist,” said Winterwulf, “now, answer my question. How long have you been following us?” Again, Rheyah paused before answering. “And what makes you think we don’t have informants?” “Three things… one,” he said as he reached over the table and flipped back their hoods, “your hair is plastered to your heads, and it’s been raining in torrents here… I’m also guessing your outfits aren’t fully dry yet, either.” Crisil and Rheyah shared a look between them. “Two,” the hunter continued, “I saw tracks early before the rain hit that we were being followed… I would guess they would match a much smaller man than us, or, they would match the two of your boots rather perfectly and three… you showed no surprise that the warg could talk to us.” For the first time, Rheyah cracked a smile, “You are very good… what I heard about you doesn’t seem to do you justice.”
    [I][B]I refuse to have a battle of wits with an un-armed person...[/B][/I]

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  11. #11
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    So nice to see you are writing again. I have missed it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bogmaster View Post
    So nice to see you are writing again. I have missed it.
    Thank you Bogmaster It wasn't really that I had stopped (although long breaks seem to be common lol), just that this is not a conducive place to write anymore since they took that ability from the community and it was just forgotten about. I'm glad there are still people out there that enjoy the stories and give a reason to keep writing.
    [I][B]I refuse to have a battle of wits with an un-armed person...[/B][/I]

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  13. #13
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    Chapter 23 - Friend or Foe?

    If Winterwulf felt anything about the answer given, he didn’t show any signs, “And just what have you heard of me?” Rheyah studied him before answering, “Well, you are very thorough and know who you are going up against quite well, you are very intelligent and very skilled with weapons. You are also very loyal to your friends and loved ones. You definitely do your homework. Is your ego stoked enough now?” Winterwulf smiled at Rheyah grimly, “It’s not about egos… it’s about how others perceive you and look at you, though. How others think of you and the knowledge you have over them can mean the difference between life and death.”


    “Well,” Rheyah continued as she was getting up, “we have a warg we are searching for and it’s better for you two if you stay out of the way.” She raised her hood back up as Crisil stood up to join her. “It’s been a pleasure meeting you two,” Crisil said. Winterwulf simply nodded as the two women went to leave. Rheyah reached over her shoulder to touch her bow and felt it wasn’t there. Her hand reached down to an empty dagger pouch. Crisil found the same when she reached for her bow and sword. They wheeled on the brothers and saw their weapons sitting on the table with Silentknife’s arm protectively over them.


    “Give us our weapons back,” Rheyah said through clenched teeth. A gleam flashed in Winterwulf’s eye. “You have a choice. You can either sit back down and tell us from the beginning what is going on, or you are free to go, but your weapons stay with us.” Rheyah leaned over the table and flashed a dangerous smile to Winterwulf, “You do not know who you are messing with!” she answered. Winterwulf gave her a dangerous smile back and said in a calm voice, “Despite your ‘information’, neither do you. You have your choice.” Crisil sat back down and looked between Winterwulf and Rheyah. “We don’t have much of a choice, do we?” she asked her friend. Rheyah glared at Crisil, but her look softened as she knew who her anger was aimed at. She sat back down without a word. “Oh, and one other thing,” Winterwulf added, his voice still deadly serious, “hand over the daggers you both have hidden in your boots and any other hidden weapons we may have missed.” Without taking her eye off Winterwulf, Rheyah reached down into her boot and retrieved her dagger, as well as the one hidden in her belt at her back. Crisil did the same. Silentknife took the weapons and put them with the others. “Now,” said Winterwulf, “we can talk.” He sat back and gave the women his full attention.


    He was met with silence. “Well, if this is how it’s going to go, we going to bid you goodnight and get some sleep. We have a busy day in the morning.” Still nothing, so he went to stand up. “This is insane,” Crisil said, “what do you want to know?” She flashed a quick look to Rheyah and shook her head. “Sometimes you can be so stubborn…” she muttered under her breath. Rheyah gave her a slight smirk and a raised eyebrow. “Well, for starters, who are you two and why the interest in the warg?”


    “Rheyah and I are known for our ability to track, especially in this area. Whether it’s to track missing people, criminals, whatever, we have always gotten what we were asked to get.” “So, you two are mercenaries?” Winterwulf asked. “No,” Crisil answered, “and if you’d let me talk without interrupting, maybe you’ll get your answers.” Winterwulf laughed and held his hands up in mock surrender and gave his word that he would keep quiet and listen. “As I said, we are trackers… that’s what we’re known for, that’s what we do. One day, we had a message left for us to retrieve a warg that was in the area and was known to travel with a hunter and a burglar. The message actually mentioned you and your brother by name, too.” Winterwulf and Silentknife looked at each other, but said nothing. Crisil continued, “The message just said to secure the warg, you two are not part of it, so we are asking that you don’t get involved. The message came with full payment along with it, but it was just there… there was nobody around that gave it to us, so we can’t answer any questions about the message or the payment. But it was easy to track you all when you set foot in Mirkwood. We’ve been on your trail the whole time you’ve been here.” Crisil went on to tell them how they were tracked and all that they had gone through up until the tomb. “Once you entered and shut the door, we knew we couldn’t follow you anymore than we had, so we came back here,” Crisil finished. “What makes you think we’d come here and not go straight to Ost Galadh?” asked the hunter. “We would’ve known,” winked Rheyah, “we aren’t the types who just can just sit around.”


    “How much were you given to secure the warg?” the hunter asked. “We can’t discuss that,” Rheyah answered, “it’s confidential information.” The hunter couldn’t hold his smirk in. “Confidential? When you don’t even know who or what left the money up front with the instructions? Either someone thinks you are really good, or they were sending you on a suicide mission knowing they’d get their money back… either way, it seems you are going to be empty handed.” “Our job is to bring the warg in. We have no quarrel with you, but if we have to, we will use any means necessary to do our job,” Crisil answered. Winterwulf leaned in and spoke quietly but with an edge. “You are in no position to argue. We have a job to do with the warg that may have an impact on all Middle Earth and we don’t have a lot of time. Nothing is going to get in our way.” He had been keeping his eye on the tavern the whole time. Patrons came in and left like it was a normal day and it didn’t get overly busy. More importantly, nobody sat nearby attempting to eavesdrop on their conversation.


    “We have a problem, then. We will need our weapons back,” Rheyah said. Winterwulf smiled warmly at her. “We’ll discuss that in the morning. Right now, my brother and I need to take our leave and bid you both good night.” “We need our weapons… that’s how we survive!” Rheyah said through clenched teeth, as she tried mightily to keep her voice down and level. “I’m sure nothing will happen to trackers as good and well known as you two are,” Winterwulf said with a hint of a smile, “but, if it makes you feel better, you can sleep close to our camp knowing you’ll be fairly well protected.” “Very well,” said the reluctant Rheyah, “I guess we don’t have much of a choice in that, either.” Winterwulf smiled and left a few coins on the table. “Now to find us a camp.”


    ————-


    Winterwulf soon found a dry place to set up camp. They were pretty secluded on the other three sides and there was really only one entrance to the entire area. “I’ll take first watch,” said Silentknife. And with that, he was gone. Rheyah looked at the area he picked and wrinkled her nose at it. “There isn’t enough room for Crisil and me to fit with you and your brother. We need to find something bigger.” “Have at it,” smiled Winterwulf, “this wasn’t meant to camp more than two as it was. I’m sure you can find something more to your liking, though.” “Dammit, we need our weapons, then.” “Sorry,” said the hunter, “I don’t have them… best talk to Silentknife about them, though.” Of course, he was nowhere to be found so Rheyah just stomped off. Crisil sighed and shook her head slowly at the hunter before following after her friend.


    ————-


    It took a while, but they finally found a relatively dry spot that wasn’t too far from the brother’s camp. Crisil was able to get a small fire started and she laid down near it. “Aren’t you going to get some sleep?” Crisil asked. “I’m not tired,” Rheyah said as she looked out to where Winterwulf’s camp was. She looked at Crisil, “Get some sleep. I’ll take first watch.” Her mind worked overtime as sleep quickly took Crisil over. She couldn’t sleep if she wanted to… she had work to do.


    ————-


    The silent, shadowy figure approached the campsite Winterwulf was at. The figure tried to get a look at the camp, but couldn’t see anything. It slowly started to enter the camp to try to get a better look.

    “I really wouldn’t do that,” a voice said from behind the figure, “Winterwulf isn’t a very pleasant person when he is suddenly woken up… but then again, who really is?” The figure turned, but there was nobody there. “Go back to bed, Rheyah,” said the voice, “you’ll get your weapons in the morning.” Defeated, she quietly crept back to her camp. It was still a few hours til she’d wake Crisil, so she sat with her legs tucked up to her chin and seethed inside as she watched the hunter’s camp.


    ————-


    “Have a good night’s rest?” Winterwulf asked the two trackers as he sat with his shirtless back to them and washed his face in some water. “How did you know we were here?” asked Rheyah. “I could feel you were here,” answered the hunter as he turned around, “as I could feel you last night.” Rheyah blushed a little from being embarrassed. Winterwulf tossed a wrapped bundle to the two hunters. “There are your weapons, as I said,” Winterwulf said, “and, to answer your unasked question, I’m a very light sleeper.” He winked to Crisil as he answered. The two women gathered and attached their weapons. “What’s to stop me from putting an arrow through your heart now?” Rheyah asked, her bow in her hands and indecision ruling her mind. Winterwulf looked at her. “Because that is not what you two are… you are trackers, not killers.” He turned his back to her to put his shirt on and then his cloak. “We’ve killed before.” Winterwulf studied her and thought before he responded. “Yes, that may be true. But you killed out of self defense, not willingly because you wanted to. And yes, I am taking a chance… I know there is no way to stop you if you did want to kill me. But you are free to go, however, I must apologize, you are not taking Deathwulf with you.”


    Crisil spoke, “We’d like to help you if we could.” Winterwulf looked at her, but said nothing. “We know these lands like the back of our hand and know secret ways to get in many places. We can help you and more hands are always better.” Winterwulf turned away to gather his things, “I’d never turn down help when it is offered, but know this; I don’t speak for the warg at all, but after this, if we do succeed in our mission, it is his choice on whether he wants to come with you or not… we won’t turn him over to you. But, rest assured, I am certain he would not go with you two, as lovely as you are,” he said the last bit as he gave a sweeping bow.


    Silentknife approached from behind the women and startled them. “Are we ready to go?” he asked as he suddenly had two arrows pointed at him. “Yeah, we’re ready,” Winterwulf laughed as he walked between the two women, “you really need to watch where you point those things.” The two women shouldered their bows. “Were are we headed to?” Rheyah asked. It was Silentknife’s turn to smile, “What, didn’t Winterwulf tell you? We are headed to the citadel known as Minas Gil.”
    Last edited by TanisWhisperwind; Apr 21 2014 at 09:25 PM.
    [I][B]I refuse to have a battle of wits with an un-armed person...[/B][/I]

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  14. #14
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    Chapter 24: Utter madness!

    Rheyah blinked when Silentknife disclosed their destination. “Minas Gil? Are you completely insane?” she asked, her voice rising as she said it. “Yes, that is where our journey is currently taking us,” answered the burglar. “The temple of the sorcerers… that Minas Gil?” Winterwulf glanced at her, “Yes, that Minas Gil,” he replied simply and continued heading north. “Why are we heading there? What’s in there that we must go there?” she asked after a brief moment of silence. Winterwulf decided to keep the matter of the demon private as there was no reason to get anyone else involved in it. Rheyah and Crisil have nothing to do with it… Silentknife and I, on the other hand… the hunter briefly thought about the end of the fight with the demon stuck to the tree and then being hacked into smaller pieces that were buried separately. He shuddered suddenly and wondered how much time they had left or if the demon was already hot on their trail.


    They hid behind trees and watched the road for a while, but saw nothing. Silentknife signaled to Winterwulf and went stealth to see if anything was hidden from their view. The others waited for his return as they could hear the sounds of water not too far off… but they knew they were not too far from a camp, either. Winterwulf looked at the two trackers who quietly talked to themselves and looked up at the sky. Midday… we’ll cross the river when it’s dark… it’s dangerous, but I have a feeling that what can be seen and what can see us in the daylight would be much worse. The hunter sighed and looked at the women briefly before he let his eyes return to the road as he watched what lay before him like a hawk.


    Silentknife returned a little while later. “The road is clear for as far as the eye can see in either direction and there’s nothing that can be seen ahead of us or behind us,” said the burglar, “that’s the part that worries me… not even the sound of wildlife… there is nothing.” Winterwulf thought for a moment, “I don’t like this at all. Is there anywhere hidden near the river north?” Silentknife nodded. “Then let’s head there for the time being until nightfall and we can cross the river.”


    ————-


    They found the area Silentknife suggested that kept them from view from any patrolling groups near the river. It wasn’t much, but they didn’t need much for the amount of time they planned on spending there. “The plan is to cross the river at night. I don’t know what is out there that can see us, but if we try to cross in the daylight, it’ll be easy to spot us and stealth is desperately needed right now.” The others nodded in agreement and they all watched and waited until the sun went down. Nothing approached as the light faded, but they could see the campfires pop up. Winterwulf studied the camps and the routes of the patrols. “If we’re quiet, we shouldn’t have any problems,” said Winterwulf, “let’s move out.”


    They slowly made their way down the hill to the shore as Winterwulf carefully watched the patrols across the river. With the sound of what could only be construed as orc conversations, any noise should be easily covered up. They aren’t quiet at all… Winterwulf slowly led them into the water and they slowly swam to the opposite shore. As they left the river, Winterwulf led them to a hill and ducked behind it. They quickly unwrapped their weapons and reattached them. Winterwulf looked over the hill and cursed under his breath. Damn! There’s a camp of orcs in our path… there’s a good chance of being seen by other camp if we try to sneak around. He did a quick count and went back to where the others were waiting.


    “There’s a large camp of them there,” said the hunter, “I count ten of them… looks like four archers and the rest are guards of some sort.” “Can we take them out without raising the alarm for others?” asked Silentknife. Winterwulf shook his head, “It would take too long… they would raise the alarm before we could kill them all.” “I’m going to take a look to see what our situation looks like. I’ll be back,” said Silentknife, and then he disappeared. “The archers won’t be a problem, you know,” said Rheyah, “we can help take them down quickly and easily.” “The archers are not the ones I’m worried about,” Winterwulf smiled grimly, “it’s the guards that trouble me. They have horns on their belts and wouldn’t take much to alert others.”


    It wasn’t much longer when Silentknife showed up with the group. “Ok, I have an idea,” the burglar said as he gathered some small stones and added them to a pouch that already looked like it was full of them, “let’s see how smart these orcs are. Wait for my signal and take out the archers first before the guards.” He waited until the others quietly voiced their approval and crept off in stealth. Winterwulf, Crisil and Rheyah drew their bows and had arrows ready to fire when needed. “I’ll take the two on the right, you two take the archers on the left,” Winterwulf whispered. The two women nodded.


    Suddenly, the sounds of little stones could be heard hitting the ground. “What the?” replied an orc as he looked up. The others followed suit as they were curious where the stone ‘rain’ had come from. Two of the guards had their throats slit before they knew it. “Now!” said Winterwulf. He quickly unleashed two arrows and the four archers were dead before they hit the ground. Silentknife quickly dispatched two more guards as they couldn’t reach for their horns fast enough. Another guard saw his horn shot out of his hand by an arrow as two other arrows protruded from his chest. He fell over, lifeless. The last guard ducked as arrows flew over his head and he hid behind a tree that he was able to roll to. His horn had come undone from his belt loop and was laying on the ground, feet from him. “I’ll go around to the other side in case he tries going that way.” Crisil and Rheyah nodded as their arrows were trained on the horn lying within their sights. The orc was breathing heavily but had both swords drawn out. He threw out an empty pouch near the horn and watched as two arrows pinned it to the ground. He heard a couple voices loudly whisper “Damn!” as they fell for his trick. He dove from the tree he was hiding behind and scooped up the horn before more arrows could be fired at him. Silentknife saw the tree the orc hid behind and raced to it as fast as he could, but he knew he wouldn’t get there fast enough to stop the horn from sounding.


    As both Crisil and Rheyah let loose their arrows when they saw movement towards the horn, they let out a curse as they knew they had fallen for the trick. Before they could get another arrow ready, they watched as the orc had tumbled and scooped up the horn before they could get a shot off. As Rheyah and Crisil were about to let fly their arrows, Rheyah was knocked into the hillside and Crisil’s aim was thrown badly off and their arrows flew harmlessly in the air. As Rheyah got back to her feet, she saw a warg appear on the orcs stomach as he ripped the orcs throat out with the horn near his lips. The look of surprise and shock was etched on his face as the life quickly left his body.


    “Deathwulf!” Winterwulf said as he approached the warg from where he was standing. The big warg looked at the dead orc under him and stepped to the ground, the warm blood still dripped from his fangs. “Move away from the warg,” Rheyah warned as she and Crisil had their arrows trained on the warg. Deathwulf crouched at Rheyah and growled a warning at her. “Put your bow down, now, Rheyah,” demanded Winterwulf, “I’ve told you before he is not your warg, nor is he anybodies.” The two trackers slowly continued their approach and did not loosen the tension in their bows. “He’s coming with us, plain and simple,” replied Rheyah, “do what you need to at the citadel, but we are taking the warg.” Before she could finish her sentence, the warg disappeared. She shot her arrow, knowing she would only hit air, but it also was to let out frustration at letting her prize get away. She was deeply disappointed when Winterwulf stormed up to her and knocked the bow from her hands. “What is wrong with you?” he asked through clenched teeth. Rheyah glared at the hunter but didn’t say a word. “We still have a job that we were paid to do. We saw an opportunity and went for it,” answered Crisil. Winterwulf looked at her, “I now see how far trust goes. Once we done with this camp, we will travel with you until the path forks to the citadel and Ost Galadh. We will part ways and you two will head to Ost Galadh. There is no discussion.” With that, he gave one last look to Rheyah and turned and walked away.


    They cleaned up the battle in the camp and made it look like the orcs were resting and taking it easy, should there be any patrols in the area, in relative silence. Once in a while, Rheyah would glare at Winterwulf, but the hunter ignored her and did what he could to make it look like they weren’t there. There was no sign of the warg. But I know he’s out there, watching us… I can feel it. Rheyah gave a quick glance out in the darkness beyond the camp before she returned her concentration to the task at hand.


    The weren’t at the camp long and they continued to venture north. Winterwulf wanted to put as much distance between them and the orc patrols when they found the bodies at the camp… he hoped it wouldn’t be very soon. The hunter made sure there was distance between him and the trackers… with the stunt they tried to pull back at the camp, he lost any trust in them and couldn’t wait to be rid of them. If this wasn’t such a dangerous area, I’d have parted ways with them the moment it happened. Winterwulf scowled at the thought and concentrated on the path ahead to make sure there wasn’t anything they would stumble into and to make sure they weren’t being followed.


    The trees were getting thicker and the ground was getting hillier. It was longer navigating the terrain, but it was easier to keep hidden, if needed. Winterwulf stopped and looked at the sky. It was getting lighter, so morning was fast approaching. He looked behind and saw no sign of pursuers. “We’ll take a short break here,” was all he said. The hunter climbed up the hill he was on and looked when he got to the top. He could see Minas Gil in the distance, not too far away. The dark purple beam shooting up into the sky from the top of the citadel made his skin crawl.


    The hunter made his way down to the others. “This is where we part ways. I could see Minas Gil from the top of the hill, so Ost Galadh shouldn’t be too far off to the west,” Winterwulf said, “thank you for your help and I wish you two good fortune.” He offered his hand to Rheyah. She grabbed her pack and looked towards Ost Galadh. Crisil wrapped her arms around Winterwulf’s neck. “I’m sorry about the way things turned out,” she whispered into his ear. Winterwulf looked at her and simply nodded his understanding. Crisil gathered her stuff and turned to follow Rheyah. Rheyah turned to go towards Ost Galadh and went down in a heap.
    Last edited by TanisWhisperwind; May 02 2014 at 08:08 AM.
    [I][B]I refuse to have a battle of wits with an un-armed person...[/B][/I]

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  15. #15
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    Chapter 25: Persistence pays...

    Rheyah went down with a sudden scream. The brothers looked at her and Silentknife went down the hill to see what help he could offer. “I think I stepped in a hole and twisted something,” she said as Silentknife bent down on a knee to take a closer look. Something didn’t seem right to the hunter, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. He looked at Crisil, but she was gone from her spot. Before Winterwulf could say anything to warn Silentknife that something was very wrong, Rheyah had Silentknife in a prone position with his back against her and one arm had him pinned while the other held a sleek, thin dagger to his throat. The hunter reached for his bow, but a sword tip in the back made him rethink his move. “Sorry,” said Crisil as she removed the hunter’s bow from his back and the axes attached at his waist. She threw the weapons off to the side.


    Silentknife sighed, “I’m such a sucker for pretty women…” he said as he gulped down a deep breath and felt the blade against his skin. “Come out, warg,” said Rheyah in a loud voice, “I know you’re out there and have seen everything. Show yourself, if you want the burglar to continue living.” Deathwulf appeared on the hill above then. “There you are!” said Rheyah as she tightened her grip on the burglar. “Now, move down the hill near Crisil and don’t try anything sudden, or the burglar dies.” Deathwulf didn’t move. “Kill the human… what makes you think they mean anything to me, anyways?” asked the warg. Rheyah smiled, “If they didn’t mean anything, you wouldn’t have appeared, you would have kept going and I wouldn’t have felt you… that’s why I think what I do.” Deathwulf sighed and took a step towards Crisil. “Don’t do it!” yelled Silentknife as his movement made him press against the blade and break the skin. Blood appeared at the slice. Deathwulf just looked at the burglar and shook his head. “Humans…” he muttered under his breath as he approached Crisil.


    “Ok, that’s close enough,” said Rheyah, “Don’t think about moving if you value your life,” she warned Silentknife. She let him go long enough to withdraw something from her boot and tossed it to Crisil. Her arm returned around the burglar, “That’s a good boy,” she mocked. It looked like she tossed a collar of some sort. “I’m really sorry about this,” said Crisil as she hit Winterwulf in the back of the head with the hilt of her sword. He crumpled to the ground as he blacked out from the blow. Crisil reached down and picked up the collar. With a loud snap, she had it around the warg’s neck. Deathwulf suddenly felt weaker. I can’t disappear or go into stealth… something with this collar is preventing me from doing so! Rheyah smiled as she withdrew the blade from Silentknife’s neck and hit him in the back of the head. She hit him harder than normal, but knocked him out. She pushed him off of her, “That’s going to leave a welt.” She chuckled as she got up and dusted herself off. Crisil seemed to take longer than normal attaching a rope to the collar around the warg’s neck. “You need help with that?” asked Rheyah. “No,” Crisil said as she looked back at Rheyah, “I’m just about done here. What do we do with them?” she asked as fear crept into her voice. “Leave them where they are… they’ll be fine when they come to, but I’m pretty sure they’ll have pretty nasty headaches,” laughed the tracker. Crisil sighed as she looked at Winterwulf and then at Silentknife. I’m really sorry it had to be this way. She got up and waited for Rheyah. She walked up to where Crisil was and briefly nodded. They continued on their way to Minas Gil with Deathwulf in tow.


    ————–


    Winterwulf came to and felt a sore lump on the back of his head. He gently rubbed it as he sat up and suddenly remembered where he was. He saw his weapons nearby and quickly attached his axes and his bow. He looked around and saw Silentknife. He ran to where his brother lay and put his hand by his mouth. Good! He is breathing! He thought better of waking his brother and thought it best for him to wake on his own. He moved his brother to what he thought was a safer location and went to the top of the hill. He crouched down near the ground. They didn’t bother to hide their trail… but they are headed to Minas Gil, not Ost Galadh! I’ve got a very bad feeling about this… He looked towards the citadel and thought about what their next move would be.


    —————


    Silentknife came to with a loud groan. My head hasn’t hurt this bad when I’ve been drunk and I know I haven’t been that way in a while. He felt the knot on the back of his head and winced in pain. He saw Winterwulf as he looked around gingerly. “How long have I been out?” he asked. “Almost long enough to start worrying about you,” replied Winterwulf, “but you’ve only been out a few hours. Still, they do have a large lead on us… I’d be surprised if they weren’t already at the citadel.” “Oh yeah… the trackers…” Silentknife winced again at the thought. “They are a weakness…” he began. Winterwulf cut him off, “We can talk about that later. Right now, we need to head out after them when you feel you can travel.” Silentknife nodded and slowly got to his feet. He felt a bit wobbly, but with the help of a nearby tree he was able to stand up and shake the cobwebs from his head. “I should be ok in a few minutes… I just need to get my bearings,” said Silentknife. Winterwulf nodded, “Their trail is easy to follow… they didn’t cover their tracks or try to throw us off. They seem to be in a hurry and don’t care who’s on their trail. Of course, it’s a little different with a warg in tow…” his voice trailed off as if he were in deep thought.

    Silentknife looked at his brother. “I think I’m good to go… had to get my bearings, but I know what the task is at hand,” he looked off in the distance, “But why’d they take Deathwulf when we need him?” Winterwulf answered, “We may find out the answer to that… they went towards Minas Gil, as well.” Silentknife’s questioning look was met by Winterwulf’s back. He hurried to keep up with him.

    —————-


    As they approached the citadel, Winterwulf signaled Silentknife to duck down behind some growth. “What is it?” asked the burglar. “I’m not sure, but those things look like something called ‘Shards of Twilight’. They are guarding the entrance to Minas Gil and were supposedly created from the dark shadows.” Silentknife slowly looked at the entrance to the citadel and the perimeter. There were a lot of those things guarding the doorway. “We’ll have to find another way in, hopefully without being seen.” Silentknife nodded and glanced up at the sky. We only have a few hours of light left. “Hmm… we may have a way in after all,” Winterwulf said, pointing to the broken branches and trampled grass close to where they were, “seems we’ve been shown the way in.” Silentknife hesitated, “It could be we are walking into a trap. Those two are trappers and if they are half as good at tracking as they are at getting their target, then this is a huge red flag.” “I agree, however, I have been following them from the start and it has always been this way, as if they wanted us to follow them.” Silentknife relented to his brother. “You are much better than I at tracking people… just… be careful is all I’m asking.” Winterwulf gave him a single nod and looked across to make sure it was clear. The two brothers followed the trail left by the two women with the warg.


    —————–


    They followed the trail around the side of the citadel as they watched for the Shards patrolling the area. “They seem to be more worried about the front door than anything else,” Silentknife said, “it doesn’t look like anything is guarding the sides.” “That’s what worries me,” answered Winterwulf, “I haven’t seen anything since we went around the side… no Shards, no birds, no wildlife. Just a feeling of heavy dread since we came close to the citadel.” Silentknife shook his head in agreement, but said nothing more. He followed Winterwulf a little further, then the hunter abruptly stopped. “Their trail ends here,” Winterwulf said, “there must be an entrance around.” As the brothers quickly looked around, Winterwulf saw a grating in the ground that was covered in vines and grasses. “This looks like their way in,” said the hunter as he grabbed the grate, “give me a hand with this.” It moved with little effort, although the growth did make it heavier than normal. There was enough light to see the bottom, so Silentknife went first. “It’s some sort of sewer system,” he called up to his brother. They had to duck a little inside the sewers, but they could still see a bit with the grate back in place. They could walk along the edge of the sewer towards the citadel without getting into the foul smelling liquid. “I hope we find them soon,” grumbled Silentknife as he tried to minimize the smell with a cloth covering his mouth and nose… it didn’t work well.


    As they traveled, the sewers slowly opened up and torches in sconces lit the way. It wasn’t long before they were walking upright. As they followed the sewer, Winterwulf came upon some stairs. He placed his fingers to his lips for quiet as he slowly crept up them with an axe in his hand. He motioned for Silentknife to follow. The entrance split off into two directions, one to the left and one to the right. They both sloped slightly upwards. As the burglar knelt near the hunter, he listened as Winterwulf spoke. “You take the path to the left, I’ll follow the path to the right,” said the hunter, “if you see them at all and don’t see me around, give two sharp whistles.” Silentknife nodded, “You do the same and, be careful.” Winterwulf nodded once and the two brothers split up.


    ———


    Silentknife followed the path to the left. Even though the area was lit by torches, the dancing flames cast shadows against the wall that seemed to come alive. The burglar shuddered at the thought and slowly crept along in stealth. He stopped as he got to a corner. For the first time since they’ve been here, he saw the denizens of this place. There were two sorcerers guarding the path and he could here more coming in the same direction. He held his breath as two more patrolling sorcerers walked past the stationary ones. He heard some movement on the path behind him and turned around. Another sorcerer was heading in his direction. I don’t see one since I’ve been here and now they appear to be coming out of the woodwork! Silentknife felt his bag and still had a few small stones from earlier. He took one out and tossed it down the path behind the sorcerer coming in his direction. The sorcerer stopped and turned to look where the source of the noise came from. Fluidly and silently, Silentknife crept up behind the sorcerer and reached up with both hands. He covered the sorcerer’s nose and mouth to keep him from yelling out and gripped the back of the sorcerer’s neck with his other hand. With a movement of his hands, he heard the sorcerer’s neck snap and the sorcerer fell to the ground, lifeless. Now that robe will come in very handy! He drug the body into the shadows and started removing his robe.
    [I][B]I refuse to have a battle of wits with an un-armed person...[/B][/I]

    My blog with all my writings can be read [URL="http://aschesnuk.wordpress.com/"]here[/URL].

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    246
    Chapter 26: An unexpected discovery

    Winterwulf slowly and quietly went up along the path. The path turned into a hallway that went around the outer edges of the keep slanting upwards. The halls were marble with a red carpet down the center. He came up to a corner and peered around. The torches lit up the hallway with a strange purple cast, but there were no guards to be seen. As he was about to step into the hallway, he noticed movement and quickly moved back around the corner. He watched as two sorcerers walked by him straight down the hall. Winterwulf watched them to make sure they didn’t turn around and peeked his head around the corner again. For a while, there was no movement that the hunter could see, so he cautiously stepped around the corner and quietly made his way up the hallway.


    A short travel down the hallway showed another opening to the left. A long hallway went strait ahead at a slope. Two sorcerers could be seen guarding the lower entrance to the hallway. Winterwulf waited, but no other guards came down. Within the blink of an eye, he had both guards taken care of. The far one looked normal, short of the arrow protruding from his neck and pinning him to the wall, dead. The nearest one had his head looking ahead with eyes wide as the rest of his unattached body fell to the ground, an axe keeping the sorcerer’s head up. The hunter deftly removed his axe from the wall and reattached it to his waist as the head hit the ground with a dull thud. He kept to the edge of the ramp as he slowly crept upward.


    The ramp went up to the next floor. No guards came down, however, but Winterwulf was still very cautious. The evil emanating from this place made his skin crawl and he felt like jumping out of his skin with every step. He heard guards coming down and looked around for a place to hide. As the two guards approached where Winterwulf had been, they stopped and talked to each other in hushed voices. They didn’t see or hear the hunter hanging over the edge of the ramp, but their sudden lack of movement made the hunter grimace and start to sweat. Winterwulf didn’t know how much longer he could hold on. He took a quick look below and couldn’t see the bottom. Great… I could either die or, at worse case, break my legs… Panic started to well in him as he looked quickly around, but could see no way to escape. His muscles bulged and his fingertips started to go numb. He grunted from the exertion and felt the burning in his arms. He couldn’t last any longer.


    Suddenly, a loud gong sounded and the two guards left quickly down the ramp. Winterwulf slowly pulled himself up onto the ramp and laid on the side by the ledge as he tried to catch his breath and vigorously rubbed his arms to get the blood circulating in them and the feeling to return. They must’ve found the bodies… a little sooner than I wanted, but what’s done is done! The hunter got to his feet and quietly raced up the remainder of the ramp and hid behind a column. His eyes went wide as he saw what lay before him.


    ————-


    Silentknife had slid right in with the sorcerers without an issue. As long as the burglar wasn’t asked to cast magic, let alone talk, he could continue doing what he was doing. He had fallen in step with another sorcerer and basically followed him around and imitated what he did. He was also watching what was going on around him for any clue as to the whereabouts of the two trackers and the warg. It was then that the gong sounded. The sorcerer next to him took off at a dead run, leaving the burglar. Four more hurried past him. The nearest one stopped and looked at Silentknife. He lowered his hood and approached the burglar. The burglar noticed the sorcerer was bald and had piercings and tattoos all over his head. I would imagine his body is the same way. Silentknife’s eyes widened. His eyes have a green glow to them! “Why didn’t you go with the others when the gong rang?” the sorcerer asked. Silentknife didn’t answer. The sorcerer got closer to the burglar. “Are you deaf? Did you not hear the gong?” The sorcerer asked as he reached for Silentknife’s hood. The sorcerer stepped back in horror as he pulled back the burglar’s hood, “Who are you? You are not part of the botherhood!” “My bad,” replied Silentknife as he had his daggers in hand and sliced the sorcerer’s throat before the sorcerer could even blink. The sorcerer grabbed his neck in a futile attempt to stop the flow of blood as he fell to his knees. He gurgled one last time before he collapsed to the ground, dead.


    Silentknife looked at the blood spattered on his cloak and knew he was done impersonating a sorcerer. He quickly threw off the cloak and hid behind a column on the far side of the hallway. He waited briefly, but no other sorcerers came. He cautiously made his way to where there was a large gathering of sorcerers. He caught a glimpse of the two dead sorcerers that he could see and he knew his brother was the source of them. Well, the arrow is a dead giveaway! Silentknife gave another quick glance and silently went up the ramp near him. It ran parallel with the far ramp that the other sorcerers were congregated around, so he figured he wouldn’t have any problems going up the ramp.


    —————-


    Winterwulf saw another ramp that went up to a door near the ceiling. Probably leads to the roof. He quickly moved up the ramp and slowly opened the door. It creaked and the wind suddenly blew the door open with a loud slam. The hunter slowly walked up with his bow drawn and an arrow ready. “Ah, Winterwulf, correct?” asked a cloaked figure in the center of the roof, “so glad you could finally join us. I am the leader of the sorcerers below.” He could see the two trackers, Crisil and Rheyah, standing near the sorcerer. Crisil was holding the rope that held Deathwulf. The hunter looked back at the sorcerer and saw the necklace he was wearing. That looks like the one the Lich King told us about! The hunter took aim and released an arrow. The sorcerer laughed as he flicked his hand and a purple shield surrounded him. The arrow bounced away harmlessly. “You can’t harm me,” chuckled the sorcerer, “so it’s no use wasting your arrows. My friend, however, is so looking forward to meeting you!” His lips mouthed an incantation and a being began to materialize near the sorcerer.


    The thing he summoned appeared to be three times their size. When he realized what the sorcerer was summoning, a look of disbelief appeared on the hunter’s face. By the Elders… he’s summoning the demon! “Get away from him!” Winterwulf yelled to the two trackers as he ran to the side while again firing an arrow at the sorcerer. The shield reappeared and the arrow bounced off of it, falling away harmlessly. Rheyah and Crisil slowly began to move away from him when they saw the creature appearing. Winterwulf fired at the demon, but the arrow went through it like it was air… it wasn’t done materializing yet.


    Suddenly, the demon spoke. “You summoned me?” it snarled at the sorcerer as it took a massive swipe at him. Its claw stopped in mid air. The sorcerer grinned and showed the demon the necklace he wore. A look of pure hatred appeared on the demon’s face, but it knew it was powerless against the sorcerer. It howled in rage. “Why did you summon me here?” the demon spat. “You have a job to complete, and it’s now time to do just that,” said the sorcerer, “you even have guests to play with,” he chuckled as he said this. The demon turned its attention to Winterwulf. “You thought chopping me up into little pieces and burying me in many different spots would do it? You are sadly mistaken, hunter,” said the demon as it slowly advanced on Winterwulf, “You cannot defeat me!” it cackled as it tried to backhand the hunter. Winterwulf dodged the attack and shot an arrow at the demon as he rolled. It hit the demon where its heart would have been, had it been another creature. It plucked out the arrow and threw it to the side. An evil grin appeared on its face as it suddenly disappeared and reappeared next to the hunter. Before Winterwulf could get his senses together, the demon sent him flying through the air. His back hit the stone and knocked the wind out of him. The demon looked at the door Winterwulf had entered and with a flick of its wrist, slammed the door shut. Deathwulf tried to fight the restraint of the collar, but knew he was powerless… he could only watch. As if sensing this, the demon looked at the warg with malice in his voice. “After I’m done with the hunter, you’re next,” it promised the warg.


    The demon approached the hunter with death on its mind. Rheyah grabbed her bow and in a heartbeat, sent two arrows at the demon, striking him in the back of the head. The demon stopped and looked at the tracker. With a roar, it lashed out at the trackers. Rheyah narrowly avoided the attack, but Crisil wasn’t so lucky. The demon clipped her heal and she was sent sprawling as the rope flew from her hand. The demon howled in rage and went after Rheyah. This bought Crisil some time and she dove for the rope. She grabbed it and with a flick of her wrist, the rope and collar both detached themselves from the warg’s neck. Deathwulf felt his strength almost instantly returning and went after the demon.


    Rheyah avoided the demon’s blows, but they were getting closer with every attack. As she went to dive to avoid another attack, her foot slipped on some loose stone and she went down in a heap. She raised her arms up to try to block the inevitable attack of the demon, but it never happened. She lowered her arms and saw the warg with his jaws locked on the demon’s arm as it was trying to attack the tracker. Rheyah wasn’t about to let the opportunity slip by and she scrambled to her feet and put some distance between her and the demon. She saw Winterwulf’s body and raced around to see if he was still alive. The demon howled in pain and picked the warg up as he slammed his arm, and the warg, into the stone decoration. The force of the blow unlocked the warg’s teeth from it’s arm and knocked the breath out of the warg. The demon howled in pain as it held its limp arm. Within seconds, the severe wounds to its arm started to heal themselves and disappear. The demon grinned and flexed its arms, testing it as it opened and closed its claws. It then turned its attention back to the warg.


    Crisil saw this and launched another arrow that was true it its mark. The demon simply changed its target from the warg to her as it didn’t appear to feel anything from her attack other than something hit it. Before it could get to her, Deathwulf got to his feet and shook the cobwebs off as he launched himself at the demon, again locking onto its wrist. The demon looked at the warg and shook its head. It slammed its fist into another stone decoration and shattered it. This time though, Deathwulf let go of the demon and jumped away, safely. The demon looked at the warg and a sly smile slowly spread across its face. “Kill him, already,” said the sorcerer as he was getting more impatient by the minute.
    Last edited by TanisWhisperwind; May 14 2014 at 03:47 PM.
    [I][B]I refuse to have a battle of wits with an un-armed person...[/B][/I]

    My blog with all my writings can be read [URL="http://aschesnuk.wordpress.com/"]here[/URL].

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    246
    Chapter 27: A Double-edged Sword

    Deathwulf hoped the sorcerer hadn’t noticed that with every attack from the demon, they were getting closer to where the sorcerer was. The warg kept his eyes on the advancing demon while slowly backing up and saw that the sorcerer’s attention was also split between the others. Good… he isn’t focused on the fight, then! Deathwulf narrowly avoided a swipe from the demon and quietly chided himself for letting the demon get as close as it did. Another swipe from the demon missed, but Deathwulf took the opening and latched onto the demon’s arm. The demon howled with both pain and rage and tried to shake the warg off, but his jaws were clamped tight. The demon looked around, but there were no stone decorations nearby. It grinned evilly as it raised its arm up and brought it down on the concrete they were standing on.


    At the last second, the warg let go and headed straight towards the sorcerer as he tried to make it look like the impact sent him hurtling that way. At that moment, the sorcerer was momentarily distracted looking at the two trackers and turned his attention to the fight too late. The warg hit him dead on and sent them both flying. The impact of the sorcerer with the ground caused him to lose his grip on the amulet and it landed close by him. Where the warg ended up, he knew he could easily get to the amulet before the warg ever could. He smiled as he got up and walked to where the amulet was, slowly dusting himself off.


    Deathwulf saw their chance of getting the amulet slowly escaping and didn’t see the demon’s attack until it was too late. Even though he prepared himself for it, the attack sent him reeling and left him in a daze. The sorcerer laughed as he saw this and bent down to grab the amulet. His smile disappeared as he reached for the amulet and it moved out of his reach. He went to grab it again and it moved out of his reach again. He dove for the amulet and it moved quickly to the edge of the landing and hovered in the air over the ledge. The sorcerer picked himself up and looked angrily at the amulet. “Show yourself, burglar!” he sneered. Silentknife suddenly appeared, holding the amulet over the edge. “Take another step and I’ll let go of it!” threatened the burglar.


    Winterwulf slowly came to his senses and saw Rheyah bent over supporting him. “Are you okay?” she asked as concern showed on her face. The hunter could move his arms and legs, but he was very sore on his side. He knew, at least, that he would have a nasty bruise. “Yeah, I’ll live,” Winterwulf smirked, then grimaced as even that small movement sent pain lancing through his body. Rheyah helped the hunter up as he reached down to grab his bow and quiver. He saw the demon and Deathwulf playing cat and mouse, though he didn’t know how much longer the warg could last and he also saw that his brother had gotten the amulet.

    The sorcerer was clearly angry, and Silentknife couldn’t help but smile to himself… that was his main goal, well, after getting the amulet, and he had succeeded in doing just that. “Enough of the games!” snarled the sorcerer, “give me the amulet and you may yet live!” He took a step closer to the burglar. Silentknife saw this and moved the amulet further over the ledge. “Not another step,” he warned the sorcerer, “or I let go.” “You can’t win… the demon will destroy you regardless of what you do with it.” Silentknife wasn’t sure, but there seemed to be a sense of fear surrounding the truth that the sorcerer spoke. Then it dawned on him! The sorcerer doesn’t have the protection of the amulet! He can be attacked by the demon! He whistled to his brother and shook his hand. He hoped his brother knew what he meant.


    The whistle inadvertently grabbed Deathwulf’s attention and that moment of hesitation cost him. The demon reached out and grabbed the warg by the neck. It held the warg up and snarled at Deathwulf. “Now you die!” It slowly increased its grip on the warg’s throat and Deathwulf knew he was powerless to do anything. His vision started to blur as his struggles to free himself grew less. Winterwulf knew he didn’t have much time. He shrugged Rheyah’s help away and grabbed his bow and aimed an arrow at the demon’s head. He said a quick prayer and let the arrow loose. It struck it’s target and pierced the slit where the demon’s eye was. The demon threw Deathwulf to the side and let out a howl filled with pain and rage as it brought a hand up to where it was pierced with the arrow. It felt the arrow and turned towards Winterwulf. An evil grin appeared as it grabbed the shaft of the arrow in its eye. It stared at the hunter as it forced the arrow through its eye and out the side of its head. A sick slurping sound could be heard as the arrow was forced through. When the demon finished feeding the arrow through its head, the arrow clattered to the ground. The demon removed its hand and Winterwulf saw that its eye was already healed. He also saw that Deathwulf was slowly getting to his feet, so he knew the warg still had some fight in him. The demon started to approach the hunter. “Run!” Winterwulf yelled to Rheyah as they took off in the opposite direction.


    The demon grinned wider as its prey sprinted off. It took a step after the hunter and tracker to give chase and then stopped as the amulet caught its attention. It changed its direction and headed for the sorcerer. “Surely your life is worth trading the amulet for,” bargained the sorcerer, “I’ll even let your friends go… just give me the amulet!” Silentknife knew they were empty promises. “Why is this amulet so important to you?” he asked the sorcerer, though he knew the answer… he was stalling for time. “Never mind why, just give it to me!” the sorcerer cried as he went to take another step towards the burglar. He stopped and turned white as he felt the ground shake beneath him. He didn’t even have a chance to turn as the demon grabbed him. “Where is your protection now, sorcerer?” it asked as it brought the sorcerer closer to its face. The sorcerer struggled in the demon’s grasp, but it was to no avail. The demon grabbed one of the sorcerer’s arms and held it out. Sweat beaded on the sorcerer’s face and hit the ground. “Will you be protected from this?” the demon asked as it tore the arm out of the sorcerer’s shoulder. The sorcerer cried out in pain as the demon threw the arm off to the side.


    As the demon was distracted with the sorcerer, Winterwulf, Silentknife, Crisil, Rheyah and Deathwulf all met at the door. After a great deal of effort and pain, the hunter was able to open one of the doors with the help of his brother and the trackers. They scrambled down the ramp past the doors. The demon saw Winterwulf just as his head disappeared and howled in rage as his prey escaped. It crushed the sorcerer in its hand and threw his body down as it gave chase to the escaped prey.


    Winterwulf had thrown the bolt on the door though he knew it wouldn’t do any good against the demon. Anything to buy us a second or so helps. They ran past the sorcerers who were huddled in the meeting area where they gathered for their mass when a sorcerer near the back saw them. “There they are!” he shouted, “the ones who caused all this trouble to begin with!” Another sorcerer stood up and began chanting a spell towards Winterwulf and the others. Winterwulf saw this and glanced over his shoulder at the door as he heard a claw rip through the doors. I don’t have time for them… he thought as he ran past them. The chanting sorcerer stopped as the demon ripped through the doors and bounded after the hunter. The sorcerers huddled even closer together, if that were possible.

    The demon stopped and let out a roar that flattened everything in its path. Even the sorcerers were caught in the roar and fell to the ground unconscious. But Winterwulf and the others still ran. This made the demon roar in fury as the hunter and the others were out of its range and weren’t affected by his roar at all. It continued its chase. Winterwulf saw the others ahead of him and glanced back over his shoulder at the demon. It was getting bigger in size and was still gaining on them. It could barely fit in the hallway and its arms started ripping through the walls. The building shook as they continued running. We’ll never make it out the tunnels at this rate.. we’ll be buried alive! “Head towards the front door!” yelled the hunter. Silentknife gave a quick hand signal that he heard and understood. The hunter glanced back again… I hope we make it in time!


    They heard a crash up ahead and the sound of wood splintering. They saw the front doors ripped off their hinges as they made their way through them. Winterwulf saw Deathwulf out of the corner of his vision. The warg watched the others run through the opening and then went stealth again. They jumped over the shattered doorway entry and down the path in the direction of Ost Galadh. As they started running down the hill, Crisil hit a protruding root and went down in a heap. Rheyah saw Crisil go down and went back to help her. That was when the demon burst out of the doorway. The others stopped to watch the demon. “You will all pay with your lives!” the demon snarled between gulps of air. He slowly walked menacingly towards the two trackers. Rheyah drew her sword in a last ditch attempt to hold the demon off and give Crisil time. Crisil rubbed her ankle vigorously. “Get away down the hill. I think I twisted my ankle and can’t move it. I’ll hold him off as much as I can, just get away!” she cried as tears ran down her cheeks. “Ha, like I’d let you have all the glory!” Rheyah smiled back at her. Then she winked and faced the demon. “Let’s see what you have… hopefully it’s more impressive than that pitiful display you showed us on the roof!” The demon smiled its evil smile and replied, “Your pitiful attempts at goading are wasted… you will die, soon enough and it will all be over!” Winterwulf knew there was not enough time to reach the two trackers before the demon got to them. “Silentknife, now!” the hunter said as he readied his bow.


    The burglar threw the amulet as hard and as far as he could in the air back towards the keep. The demon turned his attention to the amulet and smiled. He raised a claw up to snatch it out of the air when Winterwulf let loose his arrow at the amulet. It hit its target and changed the trajectory of the amulet over the demon’s hands. The demon glared briefly at the hunter then chased after the amulet. The arrow hit the wall of the keep and embedded itself in the mortar. The amulet hit the wall and the demon stopped in his tracks. The impact of the collision of the amulet and the wall caused the gemstone to shatter. The demon screamed in fury, which was soon followed by pain. It grabbed its head as it yelled “Nooooooooo!!!” It soon went still and quiet as it turned to rock. The five stared at the statue of the demon with looks of awe. The rock turned into dust as the wind came up and quickly blew the statue away. All became still and quiet.

    Winterwulf hurried over to Crisil. She threw her arm over his shoulder and painfully got up. She couldn’t put any pressure on her injured ankle. “Can you make it like this to Ost Galadh?” asked the hunter. Crisil nodded her head as she grimaced. Rheyah had Crisil’s things in her possession and followed them as they slowly went down the hill.


    —————


    Silentknife waited with Deathwulf as Winterwulf stopped at the camp to make sure Crisil was ok. She was still sleeping when the hunter looked in on her. “Thank you for everything you did back there,” Rheyah said quietly as she came up to his side, her eyes never leaving Crisil. Winterwulf nodded. Rheyah looked at him. “We’d like to join you to finish things off… to apologize for all that I’ve done and pay you back for all your help.” Winterwulf gave her a critical look. “No apologies are needed, nor do you have to pay anything back,” he said to her. “Then we can come with you?” Rheyah asked with hope. Winterwulf looked at Crisil. “She can’t travel for a while with the injury that she has.” Before Rheyah could protest, he continued. “We have to make a side stop with the way things are now, but we should be back in a few days if all goes according to plan and we can discuss things further then.” Rheyah was about to say something but thought better of it and simply nodded. She touched his arm. “Good luck and safe travels.” she said before she left him to attend to Crisil.


    Winterwulf left the camp and met up with the others. “I thought you’d have to beat them off with a stick!” Silentknife joked as he headed out with the others. When Winterwulf didn’t respond, he stopped and looked back at the hunter with a questioning look. Winterwulf walked past him. “They wanted to, but I put a stop to it before it got to far into the discussion, at least for this part of the journey.” Silentknife looked back towards the camp they had left. “Time to get that amulet down and pay another visit to that lich,” the hunter said. Silentknife grinned and hurried off after the others.
    [I][B]I refuse to have a battle of wits with an un-armed person...[/B][/I]

    My blog with all my writings can be read [URL="http://aschesnuk.wordpress.com/"]here[/URL].

  18. #18
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    Thumbs up

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful story, it was a marvellous reading experience
    Kibilturg; Watchers of Elendil (Landroval) & Tarciryan Knights (Crickhollow)
    RIP Imladris

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urwendil View Post
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful story, it was a marvellous reading experience
    Thank you for the kind words and I'm glad you like it!
    [I][B]I refuse to have a battle of wits with an un-armed person...[/B][/I]

    My blog with all my writings can be read [URL="http://aschesnuk.wordpress.com/"]here[/URL].

  20. #20
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    Chapter 28: A second meeting

    The sky is overcast, but at least it isn’t raining. Silentknife watched as Deathwulf and Winterwulf pushed forward with the mindset of doing whatever it took to get where they were going. Ever since they got the amulet down from the wall of the keep, the marched on with a single purpose… to find where the source of the green eyes was coming from. Silentknife shuddered even though the air wasn’t cold. One of the sorcerers had green eyes, too. We need to find what is causing this, and fast… I don’t know how fast this is spreading. He watched as his brother moved effortlessly through the trees and shook his head as he smiled to himself. I don’t know how he is able to do what he does, but he has got to be getting tired… we haven’t had much time to rest lately, but with all that we’ve been through and what we may still yet go through, we’ll either pass out from exhaustion or death! Deathwulf, too, although I know he can recuperate a lot faster than we can. There is no telling how many orcs they’ve slaughtered. Every camp they came across, they were swift and merciless… and brutally efficient. They didn’t seem to slow the three of them down much, if at all. They entered camps and left them without breaking stride, it seemed, no matter how many orcs there were.


    Silentknife was so deep in thought that he didn’t see that Winterwulf had stopped to kneel down behind a tree and almost collided with him. He caught himself at the last moment to avoid certain disaster. Winterwulf seemed not to notice and held his hand up for silence. They were near another orc camp. “Why are we stopping at this one?” Silentknife quietly asked. He figured things out in his head and determined they couldn’t be that far from the tomb… maybe a half a day out at the maximum. “We are going to take the orcs out, but we need to make this camp look as normal as possible,” replied the hunter. He looked back at Silentknife and was met with a questioning look. The hunter sighed. “We need to rest soon… and I’d rather it happen now than ours bodies give out on us when we are needed the most. We’ve been going a long time on adrenaline and I’d rather not find out what our limits are… not when so much is at stake.” Silentknife nodded. So he was thinking about it, as well.


    Winterwulf continued, “I counted six in the camp… a defiler, two archers, a couple of orc fighters and a white hand,” he said, “I can take out the archers and the defiler. Can you get the fighters and the white hand?” Silentknife nodded. “Of course… and here I thought we were going to have a challenge.” This brought a quick smirk to Winterwulf’s lips. The hunter turned to the warg. “I’ll need you to scout and be ready in case I missed any.” Deathwulf simply nodded his head once and disappeared. Winterwulf looked back at Silentknife. “I’ll give you until a count of thirty, then I am going to hit my targets… be ready when I do as I am expecting all hell to break loose.” Silentknife nodded and headed out, going into stealth as he did so. One, two, three… began Winterwulf as he aimed at his target. He locked onto the defiler first, as he was was prone. Whether he was asleep or not didn’t matter… he was the first target and had to go down. …fifteen, sixteen, seventeen… he took a quick look to see who his next target would be and slowly exhaled. …twenty one, twenty two, twenty three… he focused all of his energy on his target. …twenty eight, twenty nine, thirty… Winterwulf pulled the trigger on his crossbow and had another arrow ready as he heard his first shot hit its mark. The defiler didn’t move as his second arrow made its way to its target.


    Silentknife had his daggers out and was ready to attack when his brother started the encounter. He saw the defiler’s head move a little and knew his brother had already killed him. He deftly moved to his first target and his daggers swiftly slit the throat of the fighter nearest him. He heard one of the archers go down and the camp became a flurry of activity. The orcs didn’t know what had hit them and were in a momentary state of chaos. The burglar danced and had the second fighter down before he knew what hit him… he could only stare at the open wound in his chest as he fell over, dead. The second archer hid behind a tree as the burglar and white hand started circling each other… he had dropped his bow when he scrambled for cover and tried to reach it without getting shot. The white hand simply smiled menacingly at the burglar and grabbed a wicked looking sword as the rest of his camp was being cut down. He sneered at his opponent and uttered a fierce, guttural roar. This one is different… he has a red cast to his skin, not the grey that I’ve seen countless times before… need to be wary of this one. Each slowly circled the other, measuring their opponent. As the archer passed into Silentknife’s field of view, the burglar could see that the archer had gotten his bow and started to take aim at the burglar. Silentknife smiled to himself as he knew the archer wouldn’t live long enough to draw his string. As if on cue, two shafts could be seen protruding from the archer’s stomach as he looked down in amazement that he had been shot. He dropped his bow and sagged to his knees before he crumpled over… dead. He hoped Winterwulf would let him have the white hand, though… this will be so much fun! The burglar faked a lunge, but the white hand didn’t fall for it and continued measuring up his opponent. Silentknife twirled his daggers as he circled round. Some movement in his peripheral vision distracted him as he saw another archer with two wargs approaching. They must be on patrol! The white hand sensed the burglar’s distraction and went on the offensive. The archer saw the battle and released the wargs, who could smell the blood and were straining at their ropes. The archer took off in the opposite direction as the wargs went in for the kill. Damn, I can’t get to him in time! Another block of a white hand attack brought his full concentration to the battle. The closest warg jumped at the burglar and an arrow pierced his neck halfway through his jump. He hit the ground, unmoving. He saw the other archer running away and knew with his current opponent he couldn’t reach him. He decided to press the attack and end this fight fast and catch the archer before he warned others.


    As Silentknife moved towards the white hand, the warg lept to attack at the same time the white hand attacked. The burglar went to sidestep the attack from the white hand and duck under the warg, but he stepped in a pool of blood and his foot slipped. He felt a sharp pain in his leg and went down. He ended up going under the warg’s attack and was missed completely, but he could only partially block the attack of the white hand. He couldn’t get his daggers up fast enough to fully block the attack and the white hand’s sword found a soft spot in his armor and sliced into his shoulder. The warg didn’t miss a step and ran towards Winterwulf. The warg lept at the hunter before Winterwulf could get an arrow off and he had to use the crossbow to protect himself from the snapping jaws of the warg. Winterwulf fell to his back and kicked the warg over his head, and past him, using the warg’s momentum. He quickly got to his feet with his axes drawn and attacked the warg before the warg could get his bearings. The warg tried to dodge the hunter’s attack, but his side was ripped open from one of the axes. He howled in pain and fury. Winterwulf wouldn’t let the warg have time and pressed his advantage. He buried one axe into the top of the warg’s neck and buried the other one with an uppercut to the belly. The warg collapsed, dead. Winterwulf had to wrestle with the axe he dug into the warg’s neck, but was finally able to free it. He knew the other was lost under the weight of the warg until the fight was over. He turned back to his brother and the white hand. He stopped dead in his tracks when he saw what had transpired.


    “Throw your weapon down, or the man dies.” said the white hand. He saw that the white hand had his brother by the collar and had dragged him a little ways. Winterwulf hoped that his brother was just unconscious and not already dead, but this was just a fleeting thought. He knew his brother better than to just let himself be caught. Winterwulf tossed his axe to the side, away from him. “Let him go and I promise you will die swiftly,” said the hunter. “Ha! You come into my camp, kill all the others, and expect me to just let the man go?” the white hand laughed hard at that, “the man will die!” The white hand raised his sword to finish the burglar off when he saw a warg with dark blood dripping down his jaws approach. He laughed to himself. “Here, you can have him… I’m sure you are hungry,” the white hand said as he tossed the burglar’s unconscious body towards the warg. The white hand stood up and faced the hunter. “You’re next!” he snarled. As he started to move towards Winterwulf, Deathwulf bared his teeth and bounded at the back of the white hand. He hit the dirt hard from the force of the warg on his back. As he desperately tried to get the warg off by flailing his arms, Deathwulf locked his jaws on the white hand’s thick neck and squeezed. The white hand’s eyes bulged and his veins stood out as he knew his time left was very short. He clenched his teeth as Deathwulf tightened his grip even further. A sickening snap was heard as Deathwulf severed the spine from the brain and the white hand went still. Winterwulf took a step away from the body of the white hand and went down on a knee. He was breathing heavily. “The archer was taken care of… he won’t be warning anyone,” said Deathwulf. Winterwulf smiled and nodded at the warg, then he got up and went over to Silentknife. The burglar was slowly coming to. “What happened? I feel like I was hit by a huge rock.” It was then that the pain from the wound in his shoulder hit the burglar. He sucked in air through clenched teeth and grabbed his shoulder. “Easy,” Winterwulf said, “You had a helluva fight and need to rest. You took a beating,” the hunter added with a laugh. Silentknife shot his brother a nasty look and continued to rub his shoulder. He helped Silentknife up and helped him into the nearby tent to work on him as best he could. After a few minutes, he came out alone. Deathwulf was sitting outside the tent Silentknife was in, guarding the camp. “I found some strips of clean cloth and dressed his wounds. He’ll be fine after he gets some rest.” Deathwulf looked the hunter up and down. “You could stand to use some rest yourself. I’ll be fine while you two sleep and can guard the camp.” Winterwulf took a quick look around. They propped up the bodies of the archers to make it look like they were leaning against the trees and they made it look like the orcs were sleeping. “No one will question a warg guarding a camp,” Deathwulf said. Winterwulf thought the warg smiled a little when he said that. “Fine, but we can’t sleep long… wake us up before the sun comes up if we aren’t awake by then.” Deathwulf nodded and Winterwulf went back into the tent.


    ——————–


    Winterwulf woke up from a restless sleep to see Silentknife getting his gear together. Even in the darkness, Winterwulf could tell his brother favored his shoulder, but seemed to be a lot better than he was. He got up and got his stuff gathered up. He gave a critical look at his crossbow and knew he had to replace the drawstring. He reached into his belt pack and felt what he was looking for. He smiled to himself. Silentknife was looking at him as he stood near the tent flap. “Let’s head out.”


    Deathwulf was waiting for the brothers in the dark as the top of the sun hadn’t broken the horizon yet. Winterwulf glanced around one last time and said, “Let’s move.” Silentknife’s leg seemed fine as he and Deathwulf followed after Winterwulf.


    ——————–


    The rest of the trek was uneventful and Winterwulf was even able to restring his crossbow when there was enough light from the sun to see by. Silentknife gave a critical look at his daggers as they approached the entrance to the tomb. Suddenly the burglar stopped. Something doesn’t feel right… he glanced around and the area was eerily quiet. Even Deathwulf seemed to sense something wasn’t right. Winterwulf walked past them to the block that uncovered the doorway. He raised an eyebrow to Silentknife and the burglar went to the space behind the statue. He felt with his hand and finally found the hole with the hidden switch. In a moment, the block slid to the side, opening up the passageway to the lich. “Time to go talk to our friend and get some real answers this time,” said Winterwulf as he entered the opening. “I’ll watch the opening,” Deathwulf said and went invisible. Silentknife followed his brother into the tomb.
    [I][B]I refuse to have a battle of wits with an un-armed person...[/B][/I]

    My blog with all my writings can be read [URL="http://aschesnuk.wordpress.com/"]here[/URL].

  21. #21
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    Can't wait to read the rest!
    Kibilturg; Watchers of Elendil (Landroval) & Tarciryan Knights (Crickhollow)
    RIP Imladris

  22. #22
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    Chapter 29:The Truth?

    Winterwulf wasn’t surprised to still feel an aura of evil while heading towards the lich king’s tomb. His power wasn’t just in his scepter, as he wanted us to believe. I wonder what other secrets, or half-truths, he has that he hasn’t told us about. He glanced back at Silentknife, who was closely following him, but it was easy to see his mind was preoccupied with something else. He could see a look of intense concentration on his brother’s face. “Do you have the amulet?” Winterwulf asked him. Silentknife flashed a quick smile to his brother and patted his belt back to let him know it could be out at a moment’s notice.


    Even as he patted the amulet in his bag, something gnawed at the back of Silentknife’s mind and he couldn’t put his finger on it. It was driving him crazy that he couldn’t think why something didn’t feel right. No matter how hard he thought about it, it wouldn’t come to him.


    They made their way to the tomb. It still looked pristine and untouched, even though they were just in it not too long ago. They waited for the ghost to appear, but nothing happened. “We’re here,” Winterwulf said as he looked around the chamber. He waited, but was met with silence. “Has he finally gone and left this place?” Silentknife asked. “Let’s find out.” Winterwulf said as he went to the side of the stone coffin. He put his hands on the edge of the stone slab covering the coffin and with a large grunt, flipped it over to the other side. It hit the opposite side with a loud ‘thunk’, but remained in one piece. The room suddenly grew darker and colder. “Who dares disturb the tomb of the Lich King?” A ghostly figure appeared from the coffin and stared at the hunter and the burglar with dark sockets where its eyes once were. “We’ve been here before, not too long ago,” began Winterwulf, “we defeated the demon, but now we want real answers… we want the truth.”


    There was an eerie silence as the ghost looked at the two brothers. It seemed that the ghost didn’t know who they were. Then recognition set in and the ghost looked at them with hatred and contempt. “You!” the ghost spat. Silentknife could hear the animosity in the ghost’s voice, but there was something else. Is that fear, as well, mixed in? “I answered the questions you asked… why are you here?” the ghost asked. It looked from Winterwulf to Silentknife and back. Then the ghost laughed as he sneered at the brothers. “Don’t tell me you couldn’t find the demon?” the ghost asked in a mocking fashion. Winterwulf answered the ghost without so much as a pause. “The demon is gone and will bother us no further. Now, we have some questions that we would like answered.” This time, the ghost did cower down a little and fear did creep in its voice. “What do you mean the demon is gone?” he asked the hunter. Winterwulf sighed, “I mean, he is gone from this plane and will bother us no further… neither will the sorcerer wielding the amulet.” A look of shocked surprise briefly crossed the face of the ghost. “What else do you need, then? I have answered all the questions you had.” Winterwulf was getting irritated with the ghost and showed a lot of composure to keep himself calm when he spoke to the ghost.


    “You partly answered our questions,” began the hunter, “more importantly, you told us only the parts that were pertinent to what you wanted us to know.” The ghost remained silent. “The scepter wasn’t your only source of power, was it?” the hunter prodded. An uncomfortable silence followed. “No,” the ghost began, “the amulet also was a source of power, but if you defeated the demon, I fear the amulet has been destroyed, too. A sense of melancholy was heard in the ghost’s voice. “Without the power of either the scepter or the amulet, I am forever trapped inside this ghostly spirit.” Winterwulf nodded at Silentknife, who showed the top part of the amulet from his bag. The ghost hissed and wrung his hands at the sight of the amulet. “Give me the amulet!” shouted the ghost. “Not until you’ve answered my question!” replied Winterwulf. He was tired of the games the ghost was played and knew that the sooner they got the answers they were seeking, the sooner they would be done with this ghost. “Where is the source of the green eyes coming from?” asked the hunter. Silentknife added, “There was also a sorcerer with the same look and the same green eyes.” It was a long shot, but he wanted to give the ghost more information without telling him everything that happened.


    “I don’t know exactly where the source is that causes the green eyes,” began the ghost, “but I do know that you can get more answers in Wildermore.” Winterwulf was about to lose his patience with the spirit. “I’m tired of the game playing! I want answers to my questions… I want names! No more going around in circles!” The hunter slammed his fist down on the stone as he said the last part. The ghost regarded the hunter a moment before he answered his question. “You need to seek one called Iorwerth. He is on an island near Forlaw… he may know what is causing the corruption… that is all I know.” Winterwulf looked at the ghost and was about to say something, then changed his mind. “Looks like we continue our journey in Wildermore. The sooner we begin, the better,” he said as he began his walk back out of the tomb. “I told you all that I know! You promised me the amulet if I did… I kept my end of the bargain!” Winterwulf stopped and looked at the ghost. “That, you did… if we find what we are looking for in Wildermore. But this is the last you’ll see of us, regardless.” He looked at Silentknife and simply nodded. The burglar took the amulet out of his bag and tossed it into the opened tomb. The ghost grinned evilly, “My amulet…” he started, then saw that the large gem was missing from the necklace. “No! Where is the gemstone?” the ghost asked as his voice rose in pitch. “Oh, that,” said Silentknife, “that was destroyed when the demon was defeated. I’m sure you can find another pretty bauble to replace it!” The burglar smiled and winked before he followed his brother down the path.


    The ghost moaned and cried in agony, “No!” Silentknife chuckled to himself. There was so much evil in that tomb… I hope he remains a ghost forever. But something still stuck in the back of the burglar’s mind and it frustrated him that he couldn’t grasp what it was. It’s right there on the edge.. why can’t I remember? In a few moments, Silentknife caught up to Winterwulf and they continued on to the entrance. They walked in silence towards the entrance of the tomb; the silence broken every once in a while by the rants and curses of the ghost in the background. As they approached the entrance, Silentknife slowed down to a halt as his memory kicked in. He ran to join Winterwulf, who was already outside the tomb. “I realize what was different! The scepter we left at the entrance is gone! That’s what has been missing and was in the back of my mind…” He didn’t finish his thought as he joined Winterwulf outside of the tomb; they looked at the numerous arrows and spears that were aimed at them.


    ———————-


    The Uruk who appeared to be in charge gave a final look to the bindings holding Winterwulf and Silentknife when the hunter came to. He winced as he could feel the knot on the back of his head and could not move his arms. “We were informed that there would be at least two of you. Seeing as noone else is leaving the tomb, I’d say our information was dead on.” Save for the white hand marking on the Uruk, nothing else showed any kind of tribe marking. But they are riding horses… Winterwulf shelved that information for future use. They didn’t know about Deathwulf, so they still had that card. I hope he was able to get away from their trackers… they appear rather ruthless. As if he could read the hunter’s mind, the Uruk sneered. “It’s a shame you’re wanted alive… it would have been so easy to kill you where you stood,” he said as he moved his mouth close to the hunter’s face. The Uruk’s breath almost made the hunter lose the contents of his stomach… it was vile.


    Winterwulf turned to see where Silentknife was and soon realized he could barely turn. Something was strapped to his neck and kept him immobilized, but he couldn’t look down far enough to see what kept him bound. Soon, Silentknife’s horse moved into his peripheral vision and he could see why. Silentknife had the same contraption on him and couldn’t move at all. From what little Winterwulf could see, some kind of harness was strapped to Silentknife’s neck and was connected to two poles attached at the bottom to the saddle. Rather intricate for taking two people that are prisoners back to their camp… guess the are taking very precautionary measures… they are smarter than they look… Winterwulf tried to think of a way for them to get out.


    “Mount up and move out,” said the lead Uruk. He chopped his hand forward and as a unit, they all moved out. They started out with a walk as they rode through the hills and rocks. Deathwulf saw the direction they rode off in and turned towards Ost Galadh. I don’t have much time! he thought as he ran towards the keep as fast as he could.


    —————————-


    Deathwulf looked at Ost Galadh from his hiding spot. He had to be careful as there were elves guarding the keep and didn’t know how good their stealth detection was. He didn’t have much time and hoped he could find the trackers quick. He slowly entered the keep and kept his eyes sharp for guard patrols and his nose sniffed the air for the scent of the trackers. Found them! His eyes lit up and he slowly took a direct path towards them. And they aren’t far from the entrance… that’s a good thing. He saw their camp site was deserted and slowly made his way into the tent.

    Before he entered the tent fully, he heard the sound of metal on metal and felt a sword blade on his neck. “Give me a reason to run you through, warg!” hissed Rheyah. “Put your sword away and follow me… we’re losing valuable time!” Deathwulf snarled back in a whisper. “Time for what?” Rheyah asked without removing her blade. “Winterwulf and Silentknife have been captured and we don’t have a lot of time to get to them!”


    Before Rheyah could sheathe her sword, Crisil was out of her sleeping bag and packing their weapons. Rheyah hurriedly packed what was left as Crisil got the horses. “I’ll explain more when we leave, but we have to go, now!” whispered the warg with an edge in his voice. Almost as he got the last syllable out, the horses could be heard outside the tent. Rheyah followed Deathwulf out of the tent and in one motion, grabbed the reigns of her horse and was astride him. “Follow me once we get out of here and I can leave stealth,” they heard the warg say. In perfect synchronicity, Rheyah and Crisil galloped through Ost Galadh into the night.


    They traveled south for a long while, non-stop. Rheyah and Crisil rode their horses hard to keep up with Deathwulf, but the only sign of any strain from them was the sweat that dripped off of them. They were bred for this. The trees around them thinned out and soon there were none and they had left southern Mirkwood and approached the mountains protecting the Anduin. Deathwulf stopped to sniff the air. The trackers and the horses were thankful for the break. “Are you going to tell us why we are riding to the seven hells at break-neck speed? We’ve followed you this far and have not heard anything since we left Ost Galadh.” The warg didn’t speak and kept sniffing the air. He finally froze and looked in the direction of his prey. Before Rheyah could say another word, Deathwulf said, “There.” Crisil looked but saw nothing. “What are you looking at?” she asked. Deathwulf turned and looked at the trackers. “Winterwulf and Silentknife were captured by white-hand Uruks.”


    Rheyah laughed at the warg. “We can catch up to them in no time…” she began. Deathwulf cut her off. “These are no ordinary white-hand… there were twenty of them and they all rode horses.” Rheyah and Crisil could only look at each other. They didn’t know what they were heading into, but they had to get the brothers out, fast.
    [I][B]I refuse to have a battle of wits with an un-armed person...[/B][/I]

    My blog with all my writings can be read [URL="http://aschesnuk.wordpress.com/"]here[/URL].

  23. #23
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    246
    Chapter 30: All Or Nothing

    "The Uruks rode west, but I don't know which route they took," said Deathwulf, "it'd be easier to follow them if we knew what way they went, otherwise it may take a while to find our way across." Crisil came riding back to Rheyah and Deathwulf fast. "I know which way they went... follow me!" she said as she turned her horse around and went in a gallop the way she had come. Rheyah and Deathwulf didn't hesitate and followed after her.


    They came to a stop by a rocky path that lead west into the mountains... it looked wide enough to let a small company get through without any problems. "This is the way they went," Crisil said. Deathwulf sniffed. The scent was faint here, but it was here. "I can get a faint trace of them, but we will lose the scent when they cross the river. Hopefully we can make it fast enough and I can pick their trail back up again." Crisil looked at the sky. It was cloudy, but there wasn't a hint of rain in the air. "We should be able to track them pretty easily. They aren't doing anything to cover their tracks, so they either think that nobody would be stupid enough to follow them..." "Or, they feel that nobody can oppose them and just don't care to cover their tracks... talk about arrogance..." Rheyah finished Crisil's sentence and looked angry as she did so. "We aren't getting any closer just by sitting here," she said, "Yah!" she shouted and went up the path after the Uruks. Crisil and Deathwulf followed after.


    --------------------------------


    They reached the crest after a few hours hard ride. Rheyah and Crisil dismounted and let their horses briefly rest as once they began their ascent down, the chase would be on and it wasn't known when they would next be able to. Deathwulf went over to the edge in stealth and looked out over the area they were heading towards. He was getting antsy and didn't like to wait, although he agreed with the reasoning. He scanned the horizon and saw what he was looking for... the Uruk patrol was a long way from them and they rode at a steady pace, but not at a full gallop. The warg raced back to the make-shift camp. "I've spotted them and am going after them. Follow me when you have time, but I can't lose them now." Before the trackers could utter a word, Deathwulf had turned and raced down the mountainside in the direction of the Uruks. While his stamina wasn't limitless, he didn't need to break as long, or as often, as other animals did.


    The warg didn't follow the path that the Uruks took... he took a more direct line. His agility let him leap when the ground beneath him was loose and he deftly lept over big rocks and bounded across boulders with ease. As he got closer to the end of the mountain, the view of the horizon lowered and he soon lost sight of his prey. That didn't matter to him as he knew the general direction they were riding in and he would be able to pick up their sent once he crossed the river. He stopped and looked back up the mountainside. He could make out the two trackers as they were starting their ascent down. It'll take them a few hours to make their way down... I can't wait for them. I'll leave them a trail to follow and hope their skills of tracking are up to the task. Deathwulf turned and stated to cross the river and renew his pursuit of the Uruks.


    ----------------------


    Rheyah caught sight of the warg as he entered the river to cross it. "There he is!" she shouted to Crisil, "If we hurry, we can catch him!" Crisil laughed. "Hurry to what? The horses' deaths or ours?" Rheyah glared at her friend. Crisil smiled and continued, "We'll be down the mountain soon enough. It was much easier for him and this way we won't lose them... let him track them and keep an eye on them. The footing on this path is ok if we take our time, but one wrong step could mean the end to the horses." Again, Rheyah showed Crisil an exasperated look, but she knew her friend was right. "Well, if he doesn't need our help, then why did he get us. He doesn't even know this area, but he is going out on his own!"


    "Rheyah, think about it... he told us there were twenty of them... even under the best conditions, he couldn't take them all on. He does need our help, but if he waited for us, we could lose them again and, even worse, we could lose Winterwulf and Silentknife. We have to trust that Deathwulf knows what he's doing... he is showing a lot of faith and trust in us, otherwise he wouldn't have asked for our help. Show the same in him. Yes, he doesn't know the area, but neither do we... he does, however, know how to track, and his senses are much better than ours are." The mention of the two brothers brought a sharp pain to Rheyah... she owed them a lot for the trouble that she caused them. Crisil saw the pained expression on Rheyah's face. "Don't worry... we will catch up to the Uruks and get Winterwulf and Silentknife out of there... we always get what we track and we've never not completed a mission," she smiled and winked at Rheyah. This seemed to lighten her mood, just a little, and she continued to follow Crisil down the path of the mountain towards the place where Deathwulf had crossed. She was anxious to catch up with the warg, but she knew Crisil knew what she was doing, too.


    ----------------------


    Deathwulf made it to the far side of the river and shook the water off of him. That wasn't any different than crossing the Horedale... how many times have I done that? The thought of the moors brought a feeling of home-sickness to the warg. He quickly shook it off. I have a job to do. He sniffed the air and was able to find the Uruks' scent... it was faint, but it was there. He glanced back behind him and saw the two trackers slowly making their way down the mountainside. I pray you can find my signs... he thought as he went stealth and took off after the Uruks.


    There were trees, but they didn't close in on him like a forest and he had to go over a number of hills, but he soon came upon a wide expanse of flatland. He could easily see the trail left by the group of Uruks as they didn't bother to hide their route. A blind man with one leg could easily follow them... Deathwulf hurried his pace to attempt to close ground on the group he was chasing. He kept his senses alert as this was a foreign area to him.


    ------------------------


    Crisil and Rheyah made it down the mountainside and led their horses to the bank of the Anduin. Crisil looked around to see if she could locate where the Uruks crossed and soon located the area. The rode their horses slowly through the river as they didn't know how deep the area was or the footing that the horses had. "I hope the horses know how to swim," Rheyah thought to herself. She breathed easier as the horses made their way up the opposite bank without any trouble. The two trackers dismounted to give their horses a short break and to check the packs attached to the horses to make sure they didn't lose anything in the crossing. Crisil reached into one of her packs and brought out an apple for each of the horses. As she fed them, she surveyed the area around them.


    She quickly found what she was looking for and grabbed Rheyah's arm. "That's the direction the Uruks traveled in and, see the base of that tree? Deathwulf left a mark for us to follow. Rheyah looked to where Crisil was pointing, but even with her hand shielding out the sun, she couldn't see the markings on the tree. She did, however, easily see the way the Uruks went. "I'll take your word on the warg's mark, but let's hurry after them!" she said as she grabbed the reigns and was astride her horse in a heartbeat. Crisil followed suit and the took off at a gallop after the warg. The short rest and snack seemed to rejuvenate the horses.


    They rode up and down a number of small hills and left the trees by the river. It wasn't long before the ground leveled out more and opened up in front of them. The ground was still hilly, but the sparse trees made it easy to see long distances. The two trackers rode quickly, but saved the horses from riding at a gallop for a long distance. There was no telling when they would need them. Crisil found a dirt trail and they decided to follow it. As they followed the trail, they saw an encampment in the distance. It took a little while for Rheyah to realize she was riding by herself. She stopped and headed back to Crisil, who was shielding her eyes from the sun with her hand as she stared at the banners flying above the encampment they were heading towards.


    "Is there a problem?" Rheyah asked with concern masking her voice. Crisil didn't answer at first and didn't move her eyes from the banners. Rheyah knew Crisil would say something when she was ready, so gave up trying and just patiently waited for her friend. Finally, Crisil dropped her hand and turned her horse towards Rheyah. "Is there a problem?" Rheyah again asked, breaking the silence. "I don't know," started Crisil, "the camp is busy and inhabited by men, but the banners are what is troubling... they are worn and the edges are tattered. Even a camp smaller than this would make sure there banners are fresh or patched. Those have been that way for a while, it looks." "What does that mean?" Rheyah pressed. "I'm not sure, exactly, but we have to be very cautious going to that camp," Crisil answered. "Should we even bother with them then?" Rheyah asked. "We have to... we may find information about the surrounding area and possibly where the Uruks are heading. Not knowing where we are going is going to really slow us down and we don't have that luxury."


    The two trackers slowly rode toward the camp. As they covered about half the distance, Rheyah stopped. Crisil pulled up and gave her friend a questioning look. "Have they even seen us coming?" Rheyah asked. Crisil shielded her eyes and scanned the camp. "I don't think so. There is activity going on in the camp, but I would've thought a rider or two would have come out to question us by now." Rheyah rubbed her arm. "I don't have a good feeling about this. Why don't you go in the camp and gather what information you can? I'll set up a small camp and wait out here." Crisil was about to argue the point, but thought better of it. She does have a point... "Alright... I shouldn't be in there too long. I hope I can find the answers we need and be off after them again." She spurred her horse towards the camp while Rheyah rode off to a small hill and began to set up camp.


    ----------------


    As Crisil approached the camp, she saw there were two guards posted at the front gate, but they didn't make any move to stop her. She knew that they were alive as their eyes were the only thing that followed her as she moved past them into the camp.


    She was surprised at the amount of activity going on in the camp. If she could guess, they were either planning out a raid or preparing defenses for an imminent attack. Whatever the case, she had to find who was in charge. She saw a soldier nearby who was on his knees adjusting his boots. She called out to him and got his attention. She could see his heavy sigh and reluctance, but he got up and walked over to her. Crisil didn't get a word out before the soldier replied with a cold "Well, what do you want?" Crisil bristled at his attitude, but kept her calm. "Can you tell me who is in charge of the camp here?" she asked. "He's over there," replied the soldier, waving in the general direction of the captain. Crisil looked and saw a lot of activity in the direction he pointed. When she turned back to thank the soldier, he had already gone back to his tent and went back to his boots. This isn't going to be pleasant if this is what I have to deal with from everyone I meet here. She sighed in exasperation and dismounted as she led her horse in the direction the soldier pointed.
    [I][B]I refuse to have a battle of wits with an un-armed person...[/B][/I]

    My blog with all my writings can be read [URL="http://aschesnuk.wordpress.com/"]here[/URL].

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    246
    Chapter 31: Preying On The Hopeful

    Crisil made her way towards a tent that looked bigger than the others in the camp. She constantly had to stop her and her horse and re-start to let others by who were not paying attention to anything going on around them. They were just caught up in their own little world. As she made her way near the big tent, she saw who she assumed to be the captain. He signed a piece of paper and placed it on a stack and grabbed another from a different, taller stack. Judging by the looks of things, he would be there a while.


    Crisil stopped in front of him and waited until he was finished with the current paper he was reading and signing. He quickly scanned it, signed it and put it on the pile of other papers he had signed. He grabbed another from the first stack and began anew, ignoring the tracker. This made Crisil bristle. She waited a few more minutes to calm her temper down, but he still ignored the fact that she was there. "Are you Captain Agelmund of this, this... camp?" Crisil finally asked, as her temper got the better of her. "Yes, I am, indeed, Captain Agelmund of Fort Feldburg," he said without looking up or skipping a beat. His indifference only added fuel to her already growing fire. More silence followed and he glanced up at her. The scowl on her face and the way she stood with her hands on her hips made him sigh heavily and put his pen down. He put on a smile and gave her his full attention. "How may I help you?" he asked; sarcasm dripping at the end like venom.


    This bristled her even further, but she composed herself and would not let him get underneath her skin... she would try very hard, at least. "I am tracking a ranger and a burglar that were taken by at least twenty orcs riding horses. We've tracked them through here and know they came this way but this area is foreign to me. Can you lend me a tracker for a few days that knows this area well, or, at the very least, an up-to-date map of the area?"


    Captain Agelmund's smile disappeared as her leaned towards her and spoke to her with a harsh tone. "Look around you, girl. Everyone here is busy with tasks they are performing or have yet to perform. There is nobody standing around with nothing to do with the hopes of being a guide for an outsider. These are very dangerous lands and my people are stretched thin as it is. And, no... everyone in my fort is local and knows the area like the backs of their hands... there are no need for maps. See a local thane for that..." he tried to keep the contempt from his voice, but failed at that task. She wasn't sure what was going on between him and his thane, but knew that she was losing precious time to find the brothers alive. "Well, then. since you can't afford to lose a single person, perhaps you can point me in the direction the orcs rode off in." Without stopping his writing or looking up at her, he said, "Unless you are willing to help out the fort, our talk is over. Besides," he added as he finally looked up at her with a sardonic smile, "You're a tracker... track them!" He let out a loud laugh as he turned his attention back to the stack of papers.


    "But..." Crisil stammered. "We're done!" the captain cut her off. Furious, she turned and stormed away, jerking on the reins of her horse as she did so. The horse let out a soft whinny and Crisil stopped and stroked the horses head. "I'm sorry! I am so infuriated with the captain that I unknowingly took it out on you!" The horse turned his head and nuzzled her, as if there were no reasons to apologize. She smiled as she hugged him hard. That moment seemed to melt any anger she had and she walked with her horse, wondering what to do now.


    Crisil was so caught up in her train of thought that she almost missed the sound. She stopped and listened. Must be my imagination. She was about to continue, but she heard it again... like someone was trying to get her attention. She looked around, but all she could see were people hurrying to get where they were going to. She couldn't get a sense of where the sound was coming from due to all the traffic. She heard the sound again and looked in the direction that she thought she heard it coming from. She stopped as she saw a soldier kneeling between tents, beckoning to her. Quickly, Crisil looked back at the captain, but he was concentrating on his papers, oblivious to everything around him.


    She gave him a quick signal to give her a minute and found a post to tie her horse off to. "I'll be right back," she said to the horse as she rummaged through her pack to get him an apple. He happily took it and Crisil quickly made her way to where the soldier was. Her nose crinkled at the smell that emanated from the soldier's armor. She noticed the armor was in bad shape and rusted in some parts. He must not remove his armor when he relieves himself. She also noticed he was quite a bit older than the other soldiers she saw. "Not here... follow me," he said before she could question him. He made his way back between the tents to the rear and wove a zigzag route between other tents. Through it all, Crisil kept up with him. He finally made to way to a ragged tent that seemed to only be held up by it's patching. The soldier hurried in and held the flap open to Crisil, who took one quick look around and ducked into the tent. The soldier took one last short look and, satisfied, ducked his head in.


    "Who are you, why did you signal me and why are we here?" Crisil asked before the officer could get situated. He looked at her with a blank expression and blinked a few times before reality seemed to sink in. "My pardon, m'lady, but I overheard you talking to the captain and I think I can help you." Crisil tried to think how he could hear them from where she saw him at, but her attention was broken when he spoke again. "My name is Stedam. I saw the group of orcs you are looking for ride by with your friends." Crisil's eyebrows rose when she heard him and he took notice of it. "I know those orcs and I can take you to their fort." This seems too good to be true... Instantly, Crisil became suspicious. "Why are you suddenly interested in helping me? How do I know this isn't some sort of trap?" she asked. Looking him over, she knew she could easily overtake him, so there was no danger to her, there, and he looked like he hadn't seen battle in a very long time.


    "Look at me," replied Stedam, "I'm an old soldier who can no longer fight or do jobs that require a man of much younger stature to even try. Information is the only way I can really help someone, and, until you came along, nobody else required any." Crisil thought for a moment, and then responded back. "Well, I thank you kindly for the information, so if you can just tell me where they went..." "Tell you?" Stedam interrupted, "I'll show you!" Crisil replied, "You really don't have to go through the trouble. Just tell me what direction they rode off towards and I'll be out of your hair." "But, what could be better than my showing you where they are?" stammered Stedam. It almost appeared like he was on the verge of tears. Crisil didn't feel like arguing with the man and she knew she was losing precious seconds. "Fine," she said, exasperated, "you can show me where my friends have been taken. My name is Crisil." A smile lit his face up. "Oh, you won't be sorry at all for my guiding you to where they are, m'lady... I mean, Crisil!" He beamed even more and then his smile disappeared and he turned serious. "But we can't leave until we have the cover of dark, so we won't be seen." He took out a crude map showing the fort and surrounding areas. "Meet me at this rock when the sun has gone down," he said, pointing to the location on the map, "and we can make it to the orc fort in less than a few days." Crisil studied the map briefly and folded it up before placing it in her pouch. "Thank you, kindly. I'll meet you at the designated location at sundown." she said. Stedam smiled and walked with Crisil to the front of the tent. He held the flap open and she ducked into the sunlight. She got her bearings straight and headed towards where she left her horse.


    ------------------


    Deathwulf stood on the rise of a small hill and looked out to the horizon. He could see a cloud of dust riding away. Hopefully the hunter and burglar are still alive... The warg made his way down from the rock and chased after his targets.


    ------------------


    Winterwulf fought off sleep and tried to do what he could to stay awake. He turned as much as he could, which wasn't very far with the contraption they had on him, to see how Silentknife was, but he couldn't see him in his field of vision. The ride and contraption were taking it's toll on the burglar. He had fallen off the horse once before and cried out in pain, but it didn't seem to bother the contraption. They momentarily halted to put his brother back on his horse and then lashed his arms and legs to the horse to prevent him from falling off again. The way he was attached to the animal looked very painful... he couldn't imagine what his brother was going through. He squinted as he looked ahead. The sun was going down and they either had to make camp or they were close to their destination. Either way, he had to think of a way out of this situation and fast!


    ----------------------


    Crisil waited at the designated rock, but hadn't seen a sign of Stedam yet. The sun had just dipped below the horizon and it was dark. She looked around, but there was no sign of anyone. She thought to herself that she would give him a little more time to show up. She looked around in every direction and her hope started to dwindle. Even if Deathwulf left us a trail to follow, it would be impossible to find his tracks in this darkness! What a fool I was to believe in what Stedam said... what a fool I was to have any hope! As her feeling of helplessness began to rise, she heard a noise behind her. The sounds grew closer. "Stedam, is that you?" Crisil whispered in the direction of the noise. "Yes, it's me," came a breathless response. Soon she was able to make out Stedam and his horse... or what could be mistaken for one. The poor thing looked like it hadn't eaten in days. Crisil found an apple in her pack and held it out to the horse. It sniffed Crisil's hand momentarily and took the apple right from her hand. If she wasn't watching what the horse did, it may have bitten her hand. She watched the horse inhale the apple and looked at her to see if she had more. "I'm sorry, but that's all I have for now." Crisil said as she gently patted the horse's matted head.


    "Thank you for the apple," said Stedam, as he had startled Crisil who had been paying attention to his horse. "My bag seems to have a hole in it and some items have fallen along the way. It won't take me long to find the things that fell out." he said as he held the ripped bag out to Crisil. "Can you put the things in the bag that have fallen out here while I get the other items?" "Sure," whispered Crisil, "but hurry before somebody hears us!"


    As she bent down to pick up the items that had fallen out, she heard Stedam go off in the distance. After searching the surrounding area on her hands and knees to make sure she had everything, she heard a noise behind her. "Did you get all the items you dropped?" Crisil asked. Silence answered her. As she went to get up, hands reached around her to keep her down. Before she could yell out, a hand with a wet rag clamped over her nose and mouth. She thought of Winterwulf and Silentknife before she gave in to the darkness.
    [I][B]I refuse to have a battle of wits with an un-armed person...[/B][/I]

    My blog with all my writings can be read [URL="http://aschesnuk.wordpress.com/"]here[/URL].

  25. #25
    Sent you a private forum message about a matter I'd like to discuss with you. If you did not receive it I shall try again unless there is some better way to get a hold of you?

 

 
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