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Old 11-26-2000, 01:28 AM   #1
Kore'tha-Konkoror
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It was so real, the images of the master teaching Lysander the art of thw sword. He could almost smell the scent of old metal and wood rot that permeated the air in the warrior's guild. There, the instructor stood, sword ready. "Come on Lysander. Time to learn how to defend yourself." The man was good, dodging and parrying, all the while offering information on what could be improved to increase the chance of landing a blow in actual combat. "Use your wrist more. Don't swing with just your arm, get the rest of your body behind the swing."

The master's eyes suddenly widened and became as red orbs. To Lysanders horror the master's sword cleaved his rib cage, sending hot blood spatters all over the wooden floor.

"Should have been more careful fool. Didn't you listen to what I was telling you? Didn't you learn a damn thing!?!?"

Suddenly Lysander awoke amongst the tall grass gasping for air. The pain in his side was gone, and his leg was fully recovered.

"How long have I been out?" Lysander said, breathing heavily.
"Only minutes. I cast an awaken spell on you, after I healed your leg." Vincent spoke, as he too appeared taxed from the spells used to revive the warrior's charred limb.

The female warrior approached the two, with what appeared to be concern. The emotion would have better suited a woman possessing more feminine qualities, for this warrior appeared as hard as any man. "Yer one lucky man," she said in a rough voice, "Had this priest been any less of a healer I would probably be amputating that leg of yers."

"Do you have a name," Vincent asked of the warrioress.

"Lizabeth the Cleaver," she replied.

"Pleased to meet you, I'm Vincent and this is Lysander."

Suddenly Lysander realized that something was missing. "Where's Pippen?" he yelled.

Vincent and Lizabeth just looked down at the ground in silence. It didn't take Lysander long to see his companion laying under the tree with an arrow plunged into his chest. Sun rays seemed to play over the Gnome's body as he lay their peacefully.

"He usually doesn't sleep this good," Lysander said with a sorrowful voice as he kneeled down next to his fallen partner, "He's always so antsy, always tossing and turning when were bunked up at the local inn. Never seen him so peaceful."

Vincent came over to where the body lay and stood over Lysander as he knelt down by the little rogues body.

"We'll give him a heroes burial," Vincent said, as he put his hand on Lysanders shoulder.

"I'm gonna miss the little guy. He always made me laugh. I'll be sure to say goodbye to the lake nymphs for you...friend."

Then, just as Lysander said his goodbye, "I knew ya loved me, ya sentimental bastard!" Suddenly Pippen sprung to his feet and began brushing himself off.

Lysander and Vincent exchanged confused glances. "How?" both of them said at the same time.

"What? No kiss?" said Pippen as he plucked the ham hock that he had pilfered from the groups supplies out from under his leather tunic. The meat was impaled by the troll's arrow. "Aw darnit, I hate twice killed lunch!" the Gnome said before taking a hungry bite of the meat.

Lizabeth began hysterically laughing, followed by Vincent and Lysander. The group rested for a few hours before packing up and setting upon the trail once more. This time with no plans on stopping until the gates of valeia.

As the group plodded along the path the sun began to set on the horizon as they traveled west. The sky was bright orange with hints of purple here and there.

"Beautiful," Lysander remarked.
"Yes, perhaps a good sign of our arrival in Valeia soon," Vincent replied, casting a glance to Lizabeth, "Where are you headed then?"

She looked away from scanning the tree line to reply, "I'shad Nha."

"What's in that place for you?" Lysander asked.
"Nothin in the town, but somethin near it," Lizabeth replied, agitated "I've earned yer trust, but you haven't fully earned mine yet."
"I understand," Lysander said.

As night fell, the trail came to a small patch of woodlands that seemed alive with activity. The faint sound of rattling and creaking could be heard.

"Skeletons!" Vincent whispered cautiously, "Can you hear them?"

The travelers listened to the ghostly sounds of the undead bones creaking as they sluggishly moved through the woods. The wind let out a whispy howl that rustled the bushes and dead leaves. The moonlight played cruel tricks, as if exposing little devils playing in the brush, where devils didn't dwell. Tricks of the eye's corner that would betray a man, causing fright and confusion.

"This is only a small stretch of road that passes just south of the ruins of Bersault and the crypt. We're but moments from out destination," Vincent said frustrated.

"We can't venture in there tonight, we'll be overcome by god knows what," Lysander said.

A loud crack came from the distant trees, as if a skeleton had just made a jerking motion in their direction.

"They're only bones. They're only bones. They're only bones," Pippen quietly chanted, as if trying to convince himself.

As the four sat there for a few moments on their horses, wondering what to do...the unexpected happened. Vincent spurred his steed and off they rocketed into the woods with a thunderous gallop. "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!" Vincent screamed like a mad man, as he rode into the dark forest, half scared to death-half exhilerated to no end.

"After him!" Lysander ordered as he too took off into the woods with excess speed.

"Yeah!" Lizabeth hollered in reply as she rode into the woods with a battle cry.

Pippen sat for a minute, doing nothing. "I'll be damned if 'I'm!' going in 'there!', the Gnome yelled at them. A few seconds passed and the sound of a branch creaking close startled the Gnome. "Wait for me! Wait for me!!!" Pippen screamed as he too spurred his horse over and over until he sped into the darkness.

The creaking was drowned out as the dead silence yielded to the thunder clap of horses stamping on the trail. Suddenly in front of Lysander a group of skeletons and zombies started to come out from behind the bushes and trees. Lysander's horse plowed over the walking corpses, smashing two skeletons and breaking a zombie in half. The woods knew no limits to horror as the corpses of children and women began to grasp at Lysander's legs. "My god," he said to himself as he trampled any undead bold enough to set foot on the trail in defiance of his goal.

Suddenly the woods became quiet and there were no more undead, as Lysander neared the town. Guards stood at the town's gate and became alerted as the thunderous gallop neared the town. "Undead are coming!" Lysander cried to the guards, whom looked little concerned over the statement.

One guard hollered, "The town is protected by holy incantations that keep the undead at bay. You are safe."

Moments later Lizabeth and Pippen cleared the trees and were upon the city gates. Lizabeth looked like she had enjoyed the ride and had even taken a few undead limbs as souvenirs. Pippen was as white as a sheet and shivered intensly.

"Mommy!" the Gnome cried, as he got off of his horse and hugged one of the town guards.

"I can't believe we made it," Lysander said.
"I..I..I..I..I......never wanna see see wood again, or bones, or horses for that matter. Can I change my leather pants now?" Pippen said while nervously eyeing the trees for followers.

Lysander approached one of the guards and asked "Did the priest go in without us? He must have wanted to..."

The guard quickly interrupted, "What priest?"

Horror suddenly set upon the group as they just now realized that Vincent was still in the woods somewhere, alone.
 
Old 11-26-2000, 01:55 PM   #2
Wyvern
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Nice chapter, Kore'tha!!!
I was about to shed a tear over little Pippen when he sprung back up!! The little minx!!
You will have to get to the next chapter soon! We want to know what happens to Vincent!! (will he loose an ear? oh gogh!)

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Old 11-26-2000, 11:19 PM   #3
Kore'tha-Konkoror
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Don't mind me, just bumping this back up in hopes of someone else taking a read.
 
 


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