4: Departure

4: Departure

A Chapter by Karlong

"So tell me again - what happened?" Ancep was sitting with his mother, Cilia Harsey, in their lounge room. As Ancep and Reder carried Rewilh back to town, they had come up with the story of the two friends playing on the hill, when Rewilh slipped, a large rock cutting his stomach open. It was doubtable, but better than explaining they had gone up to the ruins, fought six Orc's (which were meant to be extinct), and getting stabbed by one. As Ancep retold the story to his mother, the little girl they had found was upstairs tending to Rewilh's wound, accompanied by the maid. Reder Kïle, as always, left as soon as they reached the gate. However, before Reder left, he had agreed to meet at Dawn in two days time. He wanted to have another look at the Orc's they had killed, because he was severely troubled by the reappearance of the species. It was obvious that Cilia didn't believe the boys story, but there was nothing she could do. Excusing himself, Ancep made his way upstairs to see Rewilh. As he entered, it was clear something was not as it should be. Rewilh's bed was empty, and after the wound he had sustained, he shouldn't have been in walking condition. As he walked to the next room, sword drawn, he almost dropped his broadsword, because Rewilh was obviously not in pain. Standing up by the window, was Rewilh, deep in conversation with the girl that they had found a few nights ago. The maid was nowhere in sight. Seeing Ancep, Rewilh ran over to him, giving him a great bear-hug. "Wha- I don't understand!" Ancip pulled up his friends shirt, and sure enough, there was no trace of the stab-mark received yesterday.
"That would be thanks to S�"rca." Rewilh replied, indicating the girl behind him. Walking up to the pair, S�"rca curtseyed slightly to Ancep before giving her thanks. After all, it was thanks to the two that she wasn't dead at the courtesy of the men who had chased her that night which now seemed so long ago. Ancep could not help noticing the heavy Karlonian accent that tainted all her words.
"You are from Karlonia? Forest-land?" he asked, referring to Karlonia as it was before the now-Karlonians rebelled in the twenty years war.
"Yes. Grandma and I moved here three years ago because my mother and father had been killed fighting against the Rocians." The girl replied in halting speak, her eyes downcast at the thought of her family. The two boys had sympathy for the girl, because neither knew their fathers, and Rewilh didn't know his mother. The Rocians lived to the south, in the Great Rocian Plains. The people of the plains, as they were sometimes called, employed a method of fighting not seen before in the whole land. Their men carried mini cannons around to fight with, calling them 'muskets'. The Erakians of the North used fighting methods that were as old as the land - swords and bows. The Karlonians preferred to use the great Power of the Forest - magic. The three nations had been at peace with each other for 60 years (a record in itself) ever since the Great War which lasted for 20 years, and saw the deaths of over 25 million able men and women. The Far East was taken up by the Andrian Sea, which touched the coasts of Rocia and Erakia. However, the political and military relations between the three were like atoms; when they were heated, everything went everywhere. Bonds were breaking, and the threat of war loomed over all. Ancep came out of his daydreams, realising that S�"rca had asked him a question.
"Sorry what did you say? My mind was elsewhere." Ancip asked.
"I said, do you know what those Orc's are doing there?" Ancep started for a second, until he realised that Rewilh had told her everything.
"I don't, but they seemed very territorial, and seems we just killed six of their guys, they probably hate us. If they were Orc's anyway." Ancep replied with a wry grin "How many groups hate us now?" he asked Rewilh.
"Well, there was the Army at Bydale, the government here, the traders guild, the border security agency, Archêy-" Rewilh was interrupted by Ancep
"And the Orc's. So, basically alot." S�"rca stared at the two laughing men incredulously.
"And no-one's killed you yet?" she asked. The two boys instantly fell into shocked silence.
"No. Why?" Rewilh responded.
"In Karlonia, anyone like you two would be dead. Discipline is very strict there."
"Like actually, you know, murder?" Ancep said. The girl nodded ashamed at her peoples intolerance. Everyone was silent for a few minutes, until Ancep spotted Reder Kïle outside. Wearing his usual black cloak, Ancep had no trouble imagining the impressive array weapons that would reveal themselves should he remove the cloak. "Hey Rewilh; Over here!" Ancep shouted across the room. Swearing in surprise, Rewilh led Ancep down the stairs to the door, both excited to see Reder. As soon as they opened the door. Reder spoke; "Pack your things, plus enough supplies for a weeks travel by horse. Bring the girl. You have ten minutes." Reder then shut the door in their faces. As he was obviously in a hurry, Rewilh and Ancep hurried to comply with the man. They both had no doubts about this man as he had potentially saved them on their trip up the mountain. Neither considered the fact that none of the two had yet told Reder about S�"rca. Just as they were about to leave, Ancep picked S�"rca up and carries her downstairs. It didn't take long for the four to reach the town stables, where three horses were reigned up and ready to go. Taking the two seater stallion, Ancep sat in front of S�"rca, who sat at his back. Rewilh took the other stallion, and his natural skill with horses showed as he tried to mount the horse as Ancep had done, but slipped, and fell into the hay. Cursing about his insolence, Reder had to lift him up into the saddle, as if he were but a child. Mounting the last horse, a mare, Reder galloped out of the South gate of Rewood town, closely followed by his three members of company. The journey south to Wayhill would take 1 and a half days ride, so considering that Reder was the only one in the group who had heard of Wayhill, he told the others of the town that few recognised for what it was.

"Long ago, before the Great War, a group of adventurers stumbled across a small clearing in Frostwood forest, that sat atop a great hill. However, they were not the first to stumble across it. Right in the middle of the clearing, lay a hatch. Opening it the adventurers found an old ladder leading to a small chamber. Curious, they went down into the chamber. The chamber was adorned only by a small altar, upon which rested a staff. The handle was pure obsidian, and and the black depths of the rock were lit only by a single ruby which rested atop the stone. The shaft was of fine polished live Oak, and the Staff seemed to be throbbing with power. Upon the altar there was also a piece of parchment upon which this was written:

"There will be times of trouble ahead,
And never trust.
For allies will be enemies,
Enemies will be friends.
Only one can bring unification,
When all seems lost.
Learnt from death,
They have.
To avenge a death,
That was a lie.
The one who wields me,

Anyhow, one ignored the warning and snatched the staff. The moment his hand touched it, he flew to the back of the room, sent back by an enormous amount of energy. His last words were; 'Only One can wield it.' then he died. So the rest built a town in his honour and named it after him - Thomas Wayhill."

The four sat in silence for several minutes, three contemplating the mysterious origins of Wayhill, one recalling the directions to it. As the day dragged on, the scenery changed from rocky paths covered with two feet of snow, to clearer, flatter paths upon which spring thaw threatened to break through. Despite the lower amount of snow, the four still felt the bone-chilling fingers of winter, and their breath still crystallised in the air before them. After a days ride, the four came across their first landmark; FrostWood forest. FrostWood was the biggest forest in the north, spanning from the Eastern Coast and the Mountains to the South border and Wayhill. The two riders who had not been in a forest before, hung back. They looked nervously at each other, and Ancep unknowingly released his grip on S�"rca for an instant. In that brief moment, S�"rca swung off the horse and made a dash for the trees. Embracing the first one she came to, she told the tree;
"Oh, how I've missed you!" all the trees seemed to slowly lean into her, as if embracing the child. The three horses, led by Reder, trotted up to the girl who was reuniting with the forest. as if noticing the three for the first time, S�"rca jumped when they came close. Lifting her hands at them, she had a dangerous glint in her eye. After a few seconds, she lowered her hands, and her face took on a kindly look.
"Well, my friends - should we continue?" her voice brimming with power, Ancip suddenly understood what Reder had guessed a while ago: she wasn't just a witch, but a Karlonian witch - she had not learnt magic in the Mountains. The ones who lived in the Western forests; the ones who used magic rather than the blade; the rebels.

© 2013 Karlong

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Added on March 17, 2013
Last Updated on March 17, 2013



London, Surrey, United Kingdom

I'm a junior writer who really has nothing better to do and likes to write stories to pass my time :-) more..

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