A Light In The Darkness

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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:28 am

He closed his eyes again and appearing deep in thought. His eyes snapped open, “What howls and whistles and moans, all in the very same day, what one moment playfully tugs at you're hair, then the next makes even the mighty trees sway.” I thought for a moment and looked at Inwë. She was grinning slightly, “I remember this one. My people use it often. The answer is wind.” The man nodded and closed his eyes again. I had already been thinking of that. Surely not all the riddles would be this easy, nothing with him is easy. He grinned, “A mighty beast of the air, it's in his lungs. It has no mouth, yet it has tongues. It does not live, yet it breathes. And when its food is gone, it leaves.
It will die if you give it a drink. Yet it cause mighty ships to sink.” Inwë looked slightly confused and looked at me. “Mighty beast of the air has it in his lungs… has no mouth, yet it has tongues… when its food is gone it leaves but dies if you give it a drink…” An image of the dragon flashed through my mind. That must be the mighty creature of the air, at least with a land dragon. “Is it fire?” The man looked slightly surprised and nodded, “Impressive…”His eyes closed again and I noticed Inwë nodding slightly, “That makes sense… The beast of the air must be a dragon. I’ve never seen one, I’ve heard of them though.” The man opened his eyes, looking slightly annoyed. He stood and crossed his arms slowly, “Often talked of, never seen. Ever coming, never been, daily looked for, never here, still approaching, coming near. Thousands for my visit wait, but alas, for their fate, though they expect me to appear, they will never find me here. What am I?” Of course he would save the hardest for last… Inwë looked just about as confused as I did. The man chuckled, “Come come, we don’t have all day.” He grinned tauntingly. Inwë looked deep in thought and I was thinking hard myself. He tapped his foot impatiently, “Time is passing quickly… Answer soon or I may make you climb the hill anyways.” I closed my eyes, forcing myself to ignore his constant taunts. I could hear the man chuckle slightly, “I probably have time for a small nap.” Why must he keep making reference to time? I know that it’s running short- That’s it! He’s been emphasizing time, maybe it’s a hint. “Often talked of never seen, ever coming never been. Daily looked for, but they never find it… Is it tomorrow?” The man’s eyes widened in surprise, “Yes. Yes, that is the answer.” Inwë smiled and looked at me, she was obviously happy. The man grinned slightly, “You’ve done well. May no one underestimate your abilities…” He reached in his pocket and pulled out a small dagger and a small pouch, “They all expect great rewards of treasure and power, but sometimes it’s the smallest things that can be most powerful.” I took the dagger and the bag, finding a pile of gold coins inside of it. He nodded and motioned for us to follow. It was obvious he had no more tricks. He led us to a wall and stood there for a second, “Never have I seen such skill in both mind and body until I met you two. It is a pity I can not get to know you more.” He touched some points of the wall and a large door formed, “A short way down this passage will be the way out.” He pointed at me, “Learn to stand your own, not just in a battle, but also in conversation. Many will try to sway you with words and actions of ‘kindness,’ but some do this only for their own gain. Be wary.” He turned his gaze to Inwë, “It’s from the smallest things in life the world’s greatest lessons can be learned. Don’t let anyone look down on you because of size or age; you are who you are for a reason.” He smiled, seeming quite calm and wise, “Never forget what you learned here, teamwork, friendship, trust. Continue to grow as friends and learn what it is like to act as a team, for a strand of many cords is not easily broken. Act alone and you will find yourself cut down at the roots.” He frowned slightly, “Sometimes by those you trust most. But don’t let that thought drive you to insanity, as it does some. That is why it is important to grow as a team, not suspicious of one another. These are dark times. I may have been in a cave half of my life but I know. Remember what I told you.” He stepped to the side and motioned toward the door. We walked into the doorway and I turned to thank him, but he had vanished. “Well that’s strange…” Inwë nodded and walked on in silence. She suddenly laughed slightly, “For a crazy old man, he knows a lot more than you’d think.” I grinned slightly, “That’s for sure.” “What do you think about what he said?” I thought for a moment, “It makes sense. At least most of it does. Ian had always told me friendship was important. Unfortunately I wasn’t close enough to town to have many, or see them very often.” Inwë nodded slowly and fell silent. We continued walking, the light at the end of the tunnel growing slowly.
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:23 pm

I was looking quietly at the dagger the man had given me. It was very well made and extremely sharp. It reminded me of my daggers, before they were destroyed. I slipped the dagger back into its sheath and continued walking. I noticed Inwë looking at me from the corner of my eye, “Something wrong?” I shook my head, “It just reminds me of the daggers my father had given me.” “Goblins steal them?” I shrugged, “You could say that.” She raised an eyebrow but fell silent. Inwë began to walk faster, seeing the light was closer. We finally emerged, having to shield our eyes from the light. The sun felt wonderful. Everything was so much warmer than it had been in the cave. The leaves were already beginning to fall off of the trees, yet it still felt warm. It must have been very cold in the cave. Inwë was looking up at the sun with her eyes closed, seeming to enjoy every second of freedom. Suddenly, everything came back to me. The Bleeding Flame, the message, the refusal. Who knew what was going on in the days I was gone! “We need to get moving, now.” Inwë looked at me, confused. “I was supposed to bring a message back to lord Thoric, but I was trapped in the cave. If I bring it too late, all out war may start. What’s worse, the Bleeding Flame are coming this way.” “What?” I looked around quickly and realized we were on the path I was on before, near the entrance, “I will explain along the way. We need to get moving.” I began to run down the path, Inwë following close behind. “I don’t know if you heard, depending on how long you were in the cave, but the Bleeding Flame escaped from Ralith’s Basin. I was part of that battle… To make a long story short, they pushed their way much farther than anyone anticipated. There were in a town near here and I managed to-“ Smoke billowed in the distance. Inwë gasped slightly at the sight. Easily four thousand Bleeding Flame soldiers were scrambling about the ruins of Thoric’s Refuge, looting whatever they could find. Buildings were in total ruin, over half of them on fire. Inwë turned around and began walking quickly, “We need to get out of here. If they’re already here, we need to warn the next town. Maybe we can form a reasonable defense.” I torn my eyes away from the horrid sight and walked swiftly down the path, “Too much time was wasted thanks to the cave…” Inwë glanced back at me, “Sometimes things happen that can’t be avoided. There’s a reason for everything, the best we can do is move on and warn anyone else we can.” I nodded slightly and continued on in silence. I could hear the savage war cry of the Bleeding Flame behind us, “We need to run. There’s no telling how much time we need to get them ready.” I sprinted ahead, Inwë right behind me. It didn’t take long before we saw Kendron. It was obvious they had seen the smoke of Thoric’s Refuge, they were all milling about the walls, carrying large supplies of arrows and wood for pots of oil. We ran up to the gate and a guard yelled a warning. “We’re friends, let us in, quickly! They’re coming.” The guard nodded quickly and let us in. The guard yelled to the ones by the gate, “Close it up and pick up the pace. Time is short!” The gate banged shut and we ran to the main meeting hall. The guard nodded in slight surprise and opened the door. I walked hurriedly inside, Inwë following close behind. The guard tried to block her way but she brushed by them, “I’m with him.” We walked quickly into the meeting room. Loard Aaron was sitting there with his generals, revising his original plans, “Good, you’re here… What did he say?” I started to say something but Inwë cut in, “He never got to Thoric because he was held up. Sorry about interrupting, but you need to hurry. They’re already halfway through the forest.” Aaron thought for a moment, “That blasted fool gave his plans away by bringing up smoke of war-“ “It wasn’t Thoric! The Bleeding Flame are coming, and very quickly. There isn’t much time.” Aaron fell silent and leaned back into his chair, “This is bad news indeed.” He turned to his men, “Get everyone ready, now! Archers to the walls, swordsmen outside. Provide covering fire and don’t start attacking with the swords until absolutely necessary.” He looked at me, “You join the swordsmen.” He glanced at Inwë, “Forgive me, but it’s not often I see those of the elven kind. Where will you feel best suited?” Inwë glanced at me, “With Brendan. You will need as many people as possible down below, there’s at least four thousand Bleeding Flame.” Aaron nodded, “Very well.” He looked at his generals, “What are you standing there for, let’s go!” The generals nodded and quickly ran out the hall. Aaron stood slowly, “I am sorry, but I can not give you any new weapons. We are running short.” I nodded and looked at the dagger I was still carrying, “If you don’t mind, I would like a belt to hold my dagger. That should be all that is needed.” He raised an eyebrow and looked at the dagger in my hand, “Consider it done.” He nodded to one of his guards and they walked off swiftly. Aaron made his way around the table, “Come. Time runs short. We need every able bodied person ready when they get here.” He quickly walked out of the doorway. Along the way, quick walking servants helped him put on armor. It was very plain looking, but looked well made. He looked at Inwë when she looked at him questioningly, “If I remember correctly, the elves’ armor was defined by their ornate designs and incredible mobility, making them easily distinguished among the regular ranks. Although that works well for intimidation, I feel the element of surprise is a little more important.” He held out his arms as they attached metal bracers, “By making all of my men look similar with only minor differences they can discern, the enemy has little clue who are the best fighters, and therefore have no main target. My generals have small color differences on the arm of their armor, but that is it. By putting them in with the ranks, someone expecting an easy fight is easily caught off guard.” Inwë nodded, “With my people, we did have decorations on our armor, but they were how we distinguished between the ranks. Slight differences like you use are how we did that, but we most definitely stand out against your armor.” He nodded, “Yes, but you also intimidated them. It worked well, until they figured out how to begin using your rage against you.” Inwë frowned, “That’s why they hid themselves. They separated themselves from war and from the other races in general. You were lucky there were any elves to fight the last wars, but they were in danger themselves.” Aaron nodded, “Every race needed to work together. If the elves would have stayed in seclusion, we surely would have lost.” We were at the front gate now, walking around to a large force of foot soldiers. The guard ran back and handed me a belt, it was simple, but durable. I quickly put it on, attaching the dagger to it. I realized after all that time in the cave, between the battles and traps, my clothes were dirty indeed. So much for the cloak I had bought. But now was not the time for small observances, the shadows of war were coming. The soldiers saluted and said a quick greeting before continuing to organize ranks. “Incoming!” The soldiers looked to the sky and began to scatter as a large boulder came flying toward us. I quickly pushed some of the soldiers out of the way as it came crashing down, narrowly missing most of us, “They have catapults!” There was laughing across the field as the Bleeding Flame emerged from the forest, pulling a crudely made catapult behind them. The all too familiar voice of lord Thoric echoed across the field, “Well neighbor, it is good to see you again! It would seem you have captured my messenger, since he never came back.” I yelled back, “I was held up and had no time to return to you!” He glanced at me, “No matter. I do not need an excuse to attack you now.” He chuckled, “They are excellent negotiators. But it did not take much. How do you think I stayed alive all those years during the wars?” Lord Aaron muttered under his breath, “And he claimed to hold them off himself… Backstabbing traitor.” My hands tightened around the hilt of my dagger. Thoric laughed, “We outnumber you Aaron, give up now and we may spare you.” Aaron grabbed a bow from one of the soldiers and fired a rapid shot. No one had time to move before Thoric found it embedded in one of his shoulders. Thoric growled, “Kill them all.”
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

Post by mythwriter on Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:54 am

The catapult launched, sending another boulder flying at us. It flew right over us and smashed into the wall, sending a few of the archers falling. The rest fired at order of their captain, picking off a few of the Bleeding Flame. They began to charge up the hill, and we ran down to meet them. I drew my dagger, running with those faster down the hill. Most of them slowed down and looked at me strangely. Some of the Bleeding Flame also slowed down to look. I glanced down at the dagger. It was glowing an evil red. Before I knew it, it flew out of my hand and started flying by itself. The Bleeding Flame backed away quickly, moving away from the seemingly possessed dagger. It stopped flying and simply floated there. The light faded and it stuck itself into the ground. The Bleeding Flame let out a war cry and charged. Suddenly the ground began to shake and the Bleeding Flame stopped once more. The ground cracked and shook. Large stone blades suddenly shot out of the ground and began to spin around, trapping soldiers on the inside of the circle, and destroying any others in the way. Out came a large stone head with eerily glowing green eyes. The ground shattered, sending Bleeding Flame everywhere and out of the ground emerged an eight armed statue. The Bleeding Flame fled through the forest, only to be tracked down and crushed by the statue. The catapult launched and demolished one of the arms. Its giant head turned toward it and it brought down one of the swords. The catapult was effectively cleaved in two. When the rest of the Bleeding Flame were chased away, the statue walked back to us and became lifeless. There was a shadow moving on top. It jumped from the head of the statue and began to free fall. It landed on the ground in a cloud of dust. Out from the cloud emerged an old man. Aaron put a hand on his head, “You have got to be kidding me…” The old man walked up to Aaron, “I couldn’t let you have all the fun brother!” Aaron embraced the old man, “Thaddeus! I thought you were dead!” The man laughed, “Far from it! I haven’t had this much fun since I was banished!” Aaron shook his head, “All this time you were underground? Thoric told me- Thoric…” Thaddeus’ eyes flashed angrily, “I figured out his traitorous plans to join the Bleeding Flame. But he found me out and sent assassins after me. I managed to hide in that cave, but they eventually found me and I was forced to kill them. So I build the puzzle.” He glanced at us, “Which these two have competed.” He turned back to Aaron, “I was surprised that Thoric hadn’t turned earlier. With my anger I built everything, including that dagger. I guess my hatred fueled my inventions. When Thoric was finally in the right place, it let me know, and I came to you.” He looked up at his statue, “And I doubt he will be coming back.” He turned back to us, “Our journey isn’t over yet though! Despite my seclusion in my own trap, I managed to hear word of the war. If my guesses are right, they’re after what they were after before. But we must not speak of it here; it is a time to celebrate! My brother, I will tell you everything when we’ve had a good meal. I’m afraid I haven’t had one for the past forty years!” Aaron nodded and smiled, leading Thaddeus inside the castle. The soldiers cheered and followed behind. I grabbed the dagger from the ground and put it back in its sheath. I looked out over the field. Everywhere were the corpses of the Bleeding Flame along with scattered rock and dust. A time to celebrate? We’re in the middle of a war. The only thing people seem to care about is killing one another. Yes, his brother came back; he also killed almost a thousand men in a matter of minutes. If this is what people consider a suitable cause to celebrate, I want nothing of it. Inwë came up to me and put a hand on my shoulder, “You coming?” I shook my head and she frowned. “How can they celebrate when they just slaughtered a thousand men?” Inwë looked slowly around the field, “Sometimes for peace, death must occur. It always seems to be a cycle. One side disagrees with another, but instead of settling differences, they try to eliminate one another.” I shook my head, “No one ever seems to get along…” Inwë frowned, “Why do you think my people left the humans. They were beginning to become corrupt, so we left to make our own life, separate from the humans.” I nodded slightly, “I’m beginning to see why. They have no regret for killing those against them. Neither side does. I keep seeing the people that died, they haunt my every memory.” Inwë nodded, “I know… although it shows you do care for human life, you can not let that crush you. If you let it continue to plague you, you will hesitate to kill, and sometimes that is fatal.” I nodded and frowned. We stood and walked inside the castle, where the sounds of victory resonated off the walls, making it seem much louder than it was.
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Re: A Light In The Darkness

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