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Ashdown

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Ashdown

Postby Seikfreid » Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:46 am

Due to the Story of Seikfreid's lack in popularity, I have revised, edited, and altered the plot of the story but kept the characters so that it may be a better tale. I am still having difficulties as I do not know how to post a picture that is a link to a Brickshelf gallery, so any help there would be appreciated. So here goes, the story of Ashdown:

The harsh wind whistled over the rocks, swirling the last of the autumn leaves from the ground and sending them tumbling down, down, into the valley. The wind brought with it a chill, a damp, harsh chill that warned of a long and frigid winter. The morning light reflected red from the petals of the early-winter flowers that bloomed this time of year in the rocky valley. Seikfreid stood alone as he often did, for this was the place where he came to think, to get away from the noise and bustle of Ashdown. It had become much busier in the small northern village since the soldiers of the Crown had moved in to defend the border. Always, there were guards hurrying about here and there, running messages or moving to the front or stockpiling weapons about the village.

http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=4023229

It wasn't that Seikfreid disliked the Crown Empire, in fact King Artaeus had been very good to the people of the Northlands, which was more than one could say for Lord Maharran, who ruled the lands around Ashdown. No, what Seikfreid hated was the war with the trolls, and the fact that he could do nothing because he was confined to the areas around Ashdown. So Seikfreid had come here to think as he often did, to wonder about his past and his future. His past was faded; he only knew that his parents were killed when he was very young and that old, wise Anselfer had raised him all his life. His future was even more hazy, as he didn't even know what trade he was to learn in his life. But Anselfer's answer to this question was the same every time: "Everyone must take a different course, Seikfreid, one that they alone must choose. But yours, I think, may already be set before you. All that you must do is find that path and follow it, follow it to the end. Remember my words, Seikfreid, and soon enough they may come true, maybe even sooner than you can predict."

Nothing had happened to make Seikfreid believe this, and life had continued as usual. Until yesterday. First, a messenger had ridden into town in the middle of the night with an urgent message for the Captain of the Guard. Immediately the entire town was awake because a majority of the village guards followed the Captain and the messenger out into the night. After the soldiers had departed from the village, Anselfar had appeared at Seikfreid's bedside and made a strange announcement. "It is time, Seikfreid. Pack your things. It is no longer safe for you to remain here. We leave tomorrow, before midday."

Now it was time. Seikfreid shouldered the bow that Anselfer insisted he carry everywhere and whispered one last goodbye to this place. He turned away from the flowers of the valley and headed back up towards the village center. He didn't know where he was going, but he had a feeling that he wasn't coming back for a long, long time.
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Re: Ashdown

Postby Seikfreid » Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:51 am

The light was fading when the old man and the young man reached the seagate, which consisted of only a fire ring and a small field for sleeping, and, of course, the fence and the gate. While the seagate was nothing much to view, it was a welcoming site to weary travelers and a landmark to those traveling east to the coast. Just a few leagues beyond lay the great port city of Gethna, where one could board a ship heading to almost anywhere in the Crown empire. It was also the only place in the known world where there existed both a Crown and a Draconian garrison, for the city was divided into two districts. The northern district was controlled by the Crown empire and was heavily fortified on all sides while the southern district, controlled by Draconian forces, was large and sprawling, its main fortifications being a citadel and tall tower that doubled as a lighthouse. It was to this divided city that most travelers on this road were heading, and indeed it was here that Anselfer was leading them.

"Ah, we have reached the seagate," said Anselfer. "It is here that we shall rest tonight."

http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=4255944

He took off his pack and began to lay out his bedroll on the ground. Seikfreid crossed the camp to the fire ring, noticing that glowing embers remained. Whoever was here before had not bothered to put out their fire. "Just as well," muttered Seikfreid, dropping to his hands and knees and breathing on the fire to get it started again. Then he spread his own bedroll and lay down on the ground.

"Anselfer," he said, "How did my father die? How did he really die? I know that you said he died honorably to defend my mother, but what really happened?"

Anselfer was silent for a long time and Seikfreid was beginning to worry that his query would not be answered, when the old man finally stirred.

"Your father was a great warrior, Seikfreid, and a good friend. He was by my side through many perils, and he never backed down from danger. I could not have accomplished many of my deeds without his help. But ah, where was I? I was with him on the day he died, in fact I had been with him a few minutes before he was killed. You see, he had assisted me in entering the troll city of Trael'nak several days before, where I confronted Frek Naw, the troll general who for so long threatened the northern cities of the empire. I slew him in his own city, and his people wanted revenge. They tracked us for three days, when they found us in your father's house on the outskirts of the village of Ashdown. I was there minutes before the warband arrived. But I couldn't make it back in time. A smaller party attacked me and a companion on our way into the village. After we slew our attackers, we feared the worst and ran with all great haste to your father's home. When we arrived, we were horrified at what we saw. The house was burning, and dozens of bodies were strewn about the yard, bloodied and ruined, some with black-fletched arrows buried in their backs. We charged into the house and found your mother lying on the floor and I feared that you, unborn, had perished as well. Even still I do not know what happened that day, but by some miracle we found you at the edge of the woods not a hundred feet from the burning house. Lying beside you was the body of your father. He was wounded in a dozen places and arrows were stuck all over his ruined frame. At first, we thought he had dragged you to safety, until we read the tracks on the ground and realized that someone else had dragged the two of you to the safety of the forest. Whoever had carried you to safety had left no trace of his presence other than a trail of fallen trolls. Since then, I have raised you in your father's village, and I have never known exactly what transpired that tragic day."

Seikfreid took this in. Anselfer had never told him this story, and he understood why now. Not only had he been too young, but he realized that Anselfer had not wanted him to do anything rash to get himself killed. Had he known this story, his anger would have been allowed to grow inside him, a deep hatred of the troll race that could not be undone. If this had happened, there would be nothing to stop Seikfreid from attempting to exact his revenge, which probably would have ended in Seikfreid's death.

Seikfreid turned over and closed his eyes. He would consider this more in the morning. Yet he could not fall asleep, for one thing still troubled him. Who had saved him that day?
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Re: Ashdown

Postby Seikfreid » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:24 pm

Seikfreid awoke to the delicious smell of bacon sizzling over a fire. He rolled over and rubbed his eyes, squinting against the bright morning light. Anselfer knelt beside the fire ring, prodding and turning the strips of bacon as they cooked, testing to see if they were ready for eating. Without turning he said, "Well, a good morning to you, Seikfreid. Your breakfast should be ready in a moment's time, at which time we can set out once more for Gethna."

Seikfreid rose and stretched, then took the plate of food Anselfer offered him and began eating. The meal was delicious; crispy bacon, apples, some bread, a little cheese, and some wine to wash it all down. Then it was up and packing as the duo prepared to depart. Once they had broken camp, Seikfreid took out his canteen and knelt to douse the fire. As he did, his ears picked up something, a crackle of leaves or the stamp of a heavy boot upon the ground. He paused for a moment, listening. Anselfer must have noticed because he said, "What is it, Seikfreid? Did you hear something?"

"I don't know... I thought I heard a footfall from over that way." He pointed in the direction that he had heard the noise. "Maybe it was just me, I can't be positive," he said, relaxing.

Anselfer still looked wary. "No, I do not think so," he said. "It is not often that those ears are mistaken..."

Seikfreid had no idea what Anselfer meant by this; he was not famous for exceptional hearing abilities. Seikfreid was about to douse the fire once more when he heard another sound, then another and another. No mistake this time.

"Anselfer, there's-"

"I hear them, run!" Cried Anselfer, throwing back his hood and lifting his staff. "And take this as well!"

From nowhere he produced a long, shining sword, which he gave to Seikfreid as well as an urgent push towards the gate. "Run, I say! Now go, and on to Gethna with you!"

Seikfreid turned on his heel and started to go, then paused and looked back over his shoulder. He could see what had caused the commotion now-trolls, and lots of them! He looked in shock at Anselfer, who did not seem now the old man he had appeared. his staff was now blazing with fire and he moved with the speed of a swift predator, incinerating trolls unfortunate enough to come within his range. At his side hung a scabbard and in it a gleaming sword. Seikfreid stared for a moment until he heard a loud grunt and saw a huge troll charging full speed at him. Seikfreid ran for the seagate but then had a better idea. He charged at another part of the fence and vaulted it. "I'm not going to make it," he thought, knowing the troll was right behind him, expecting to feel the cold steel of a blade coming down any second. Then he heard a whoosh and the howl of the troll as it collapsed to the ground. Seikfreid turned back one last time and saw the troll lying face down with an arrow sticking in its back. A black-fletched arrow.

http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=4256080

Anselfer was still fighting, but now the trolls were almost on top of him, his fire was growing dimmer and his sword was out, hacking through the attackers. Seikfreid wanted to help the old man, but he didn't know how. "God protect you, Anselfer," he whispered. Then he turned down the road and disappeared beyond the crest of a hill.
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Re: Ashdown

Postby Seikfreid » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:44 am

Is anybody actually reading this and enjoying it? It's impossible to tell and I don't really want to waste time writing if no one enjoys it when it's simpler just to post individual mocs.
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Re: Ashdown

Postby Aliencat » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:45 pm

Hey Seikfreid,
First off, I've noticed that people on Classic-Castle mostly don't comment if they have nothing to add. That doesn't mean no one reads it. In fact, this topic has been viewed 51 times, and I doubt it was viewed 51 times by you, so I'd say people are reading it.

More importantly, if you feel that you're wasting your time writing if no one comments, then I don't think you're writing for the right reasons. If it seems like a waste of time to you, then please don't write because you won't like what you produce anyway. If you enjoy writing, then keep it up. No matter how many or little comments you get on your writing.

Also none of your Brickshelf links seem to work.
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Re: Ashdown

Postby Seikfreid » Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:50 am

Aliencat wrote:More importantly, if you feel that you're wasting your time writing if no one comments, then I don't think you're writing for the right reasons.

Ok, I don't frequent the stories forums a lot, so that makes me feel better. And I am not just writing to get comments, I do truly love writing. It's just that I hate to write a story that no one likes.

Aliencat wrote:Also none of your Brickshelf links seem to work.

This I know of, but I do not have a good explanation. My links are fine, the problem is that ALL of the folders on Brickshelf I click on show up as empty, even mine. I have no idea what is wrong, and I have been trying to fix the issue which is why I haven't written more.

*EDIT* Suddenly my Brickshelf started working again. I seriously got mad, slapped my computer, and clicked my folder, which opened perfectly. The links will be fixed immediately.
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Re: Ashdown

Postby Seikfreid » Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:17 am

The morning started just as every other day had that autumn. A harsh wind blew in from the north, rousing Captain Algair and rustling the flowers that grew upon the hills of the land he protected. He stretched and rose to his feet, walking over to the smokeless fire his men had built earlier. They had something boiling in a pot over the crackling flames, and though he could not tell what it was, Algair thought it smelled delicious. He ladled out a bowlful for himself and slowly ate through the mushy breakfast. When he had finished, he crossed the camp to the stream and took a long drink of water. Then he refilled his canteen and began his inspection of his troops.

Captain Algair walked to the base of the small wooden watchtower that served as the garrison's only lookout and main defense against ambush from the north. These towers were common along the Borderlands, and it was hoped that in the case of an assault the defending troops would set the tower alight to alert other men along the border. Algair reached the tower, where a sentry stood guarding the ladder that led to the top. He saluted the captain with his spear and reported.

"Captain, the men are up and in arms, we are prepared to defend the Crown today, Sir."

"Very good, soldier. Anything out of the ordinary so far as the day has passed?"

"Not the slightest hint of one. Sir."

At that very moment there came a shout from one of the men in the watchtower. "Rider from the south! Looks like a scout or a messenger, Sir!"

"Then I shall meet him," said Algair. "And he shall make his cause known."

http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=4255751

As it ended, the messenger's cause was more urgent than Captain Algair could have imagined. He dismounted, and Algair could see by the way he slid from the horse's back that he was weary from riding. It appeared that he had traveled quite some distance, for his cloak was dusty and torn. However, he removed his cloak and composed himself to make his mission known.

"Captain, since you took command of this garrison last spring, there have been few successful attacks along this stretch of border. It was initially the King's intent to reward you for your noble service and bravery, but..." He paused for a moment, and Algair nodded for him to continue. "I was met by another messenger of the King near Ashdown, to which I rode with all great haste. Scouts from the border have reported that an enormous troll force is going to sweep towards the border to attack the northern cities. Luckily, the army has divided itself. However, its reason for division is not so lucky. Raiding parties are marching towards posts all along the border. And the largest force is heading straight for this camp."
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Re: Ashdown

Postby Seikfreid » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:54 pm

Algair's men were ready when the trolls struck. The first wave of warriors included more than just the green beasts. Fierce, skeletal undead warriors joined the battle and though they lacked the strength of the trolls, they were aggressive and did not stop fighting because they could not feel pain or fear. Archers tried to find cover in the shrubbery, but Captain Algair's troops had cleared the space between the tower and the ridge of heavy cover.

Algair waited impatiently, directing his troops from the base of the tower. Though he had fought in several battles since taking command of this company, he was not used to watching from behind as his troops fought it out in the field. This was not his style, and he did not feel right sending his men into battle without him.

At that moment a group of trolls fought free of their opponents and charged across the open plains. Algair's men faltered and then gave way, their lines breaking. Undead warriors and trolls raced through the gaps and attempted to flank the troops now caught in the open. Captain Algair swore. He couldn't stand just waiting back here behind his lines like this. He raised his horn and blew a long blast on it. Then he and several companions charged into the fray, yelling battle cries at the tops of their lungs.

http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=4255804

Algair fought like a wild beast, for he knew all of his mens' lives were at stake. He slashed and hacked at anything that opposed him, anything that stood between him and his men. He threw warriors aside with great sweeps of his sword, then leaped downward into the middle of a group of warriors. And so the battle continued for three long hours, Algair's men having reformed their line only a few hundred feet from the tower. Slowly, more and more trolls joined the fighting, pushing back Algair's troops inch by inch.

Looking out across the battlefield, Algair could see that it was suicide to continue fighting. He had groups of soldiers break off and withdraw, falling back to the tower. Then he ordered three full volleys of arrows into the enemy, which hindered their advance and forced them to take cover. His troops then retreated to the tower, where the other set of men was waiting. Algair's men ran by these troops and formed their line several hundred feet behind the tower, at which point the tower defenders broke off and overlapped Algair's troops.

At first, the trolls gave chase to the retreating Crown soldiers, but when it became clear that they were only being slaughtered in the open, the troll commanders broke off the pursuit and made camp near the watchtower. Even when this motive became clear, Algair still ordered his men to march double-time and kept guards on all sides.

"Good fighting, lads," he told his troops as they marched, "I could not have asked for braver warriors, but their numbers were overwhelming. We stood no chance."

"Captain," asked one of the younger soldiers, "I'm not familiar with this road. Can you tell me where we are headed?"

Algair grinned. "It is good you do not recognize the trail- it is a secret mountain pass that leads to the east road. We march for Gethna, and then on to wherever we can best be used to protect the empire."
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Re: Ashdown

Postby Seikfreid » Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:51 pm

Seikfreid had been walking a long time, longer than what it should have taken for him to reach Gethna. Still, he pressed on. It began to grow dark once again, and as he walked the trail became less dusty and more overgrown. It weaved its way through hills and valleys and at one point crossed a great river. Here Seikfreid paused to draw water and to peer down the course of the winding river. He saw no indication that it led to the sea, though he did hear the faint roar of a waterfall in the distance. Seikfreid decided to follow the course of the river instead of the road, for he knew that he would have a supply of water and that he would eventually reach a settlement before his supplies ran out. He also knew that the river was heading east, in the general direction of the sea.

Seikfreid had followed the river for almost four hours now, yet he had not come upon any trace of human activity. The waterfall had yielded nothing except a fair view and a difficult descent, so he continued on, his spirits falling every minute. Dusk began to sweep over the land and Seikfreid was aware that he had only another half hour of daylight left at his disposal. His stomach was rumbling with hunger and his feet were tired, but still he pressed on. "Just ten more minutes," he thought.

Those minutes soon passed, and Seikfreid was soon weary of waiting. He was about to lay down his pack when he thought he heard a sound, far away in the distance. It had sounded like a hunting horn. Seikfreid stood perfectly still, listening, but the sound did not come again. Just as his hope faded and he began to unpack his bedroll, he heard another sound, much closer, this time loud and clear. Several horns rang out, and they were answered by other horns, further away, but still resonant in the fading darkness.

Seikfreid packed his things hurriedly and ran in the direction of the horns. They had come from the east, almost directly ahead of Seikfreid upon the riverbank. He ran as fast s he could, avoiding the ensnaring plants of the forest by racing along the very edge of the water. After several terribly long minutes, Seikfreid rounded a last bend in the river and emerged from the forest. He stood at the crest of a great hill, overlooking the road he had been following. He followed its course with his eyes until they came to rest upon the greatest sight he had ever known. Below him, and stretched out across the horizon, lay the sea.

Seikfreid stared in wonder at its massive expanse, trying to comprehend its vastness and magnificence. Then he saw Gethna. The divided city lay pressed between the sea and the land like a cornered animal trying to decide which danger to face. Its walls backed right up to the water's edge and Seikfreid could see small dots of ships moving into and out of its docks. Between the two castles of the city lay a great divide of water, which narrowed as it reached the plains and wound its way through the hills back to where Seikfreid now stood. It was the river he had been following, which had led him straight to the city.

http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=4335665

Seikfreid wound his way down through the hills towards the city gate, noticing a column of soldiers marching in perfect step entering through the massive wooden doors. Guards welcomed them at attention as the company's commander led his troops into the city. Seikfreid waited for the soldiers to pass and then entered the city behind them. He had finally reached Gethna.

This concludes Part I; Mysterious Happenings. Next begins Part II; The Defense of the North.
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Re: Ashdown

Postby smcginnis » Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:53 am

Very nicely done so far, Seikfreid. Your writing style is pretty clear and concise (always a good thing, to my mind), yet it's definitely not dry or boring. If I don't drop off of the face of CC again for a while ( :lol: ), I'll look forward to updates on this.

By the way, I've sent you a PM detailing how to make an image link.

~smcginnis

Edit: I forgot to mention that it's refreshing to have the sea on the east. Living as I have my whole life on the West Coast, and having read so many fantasy books set in a clone of Europe*, it's a nice change. Of course, it's probably natural to have it on the east for you, since your location says North Carolina.

*I know Europe has lots of other coasts than western ones. But fantasy books don't seem to realize this (at least not most of what I've read).
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Re: Ashdown

Postby Seikfreid » Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:36 pm

Haha thanks! :lol: It just seemed right for the sea to be in the east for me. Thank you for the PM.
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Re: Ashdown

Postby Seikfreid » Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:07 am

The sun had almost completely slipped down beyond the horizon, shading the world in a shadowy gloom where dark shapes fluttered restlessly in the blackness. Seikfreid wandered the streets of Gethna alone, not knowing where he was or where he was going. He gazed dazedly around him, his eyes wandering about the vast city. He could make out the vague shapes of buildings, larger than any he had ever seen before, looming over the street like huge sentinels of the night. The streets were strangely quiet, and Seikfreid passed only the occasional traveler on the road. Lights showed in the windows of houses, but the two inns Seikfreid had found had both been packed full of other people. It seemed that everyone had fled to the cities to escape the wrath of the trolls from the north.

Seikfreid had almost given in to despair and thrown his pack on the road when a voice from behind startled him.

"Looking for something, boy?"

Seikfreid whirled around and was amazed at what he saw. A short, stocky man stood behind him, his beard huge and full. It was dark and flowed down over the man's torso. The man cocked a bushy eyebrow.

"What's wrong? Never seen a dwarf before, son?" A dwarf! Seikfreid was taken aback. He truly had never seen a dwarf before. In fact, the only races he had ever seen were men and trolls.

"I-I- no, I-" Seikfreid faltered.

The dwarf laughed and stuck out a massive hand. "Domrund Helzundor. I noticed that you appeared lost and figured a young one like you had no business wandering around Gethna at night. Things can get pretty rough."

"Well, thank you sir," replied Seikfreid, unsure of what to do. "But where can I stay the night?"

"Ah! Forgive me please...?" He stopped, realizing he did not yet know the human's name.

"Seikfreid." Seikfreid thought he saw a flicker of recognition and understanding pass through the dwarf's eyes, but it vanished in an instant.

"Seikfreid," he said. "Well then, young Seikfreid, we shall return to my humble abode at once and get you a proper meal. Although I doubt you will find our beds large enough, our floor is quite comfortable. Ah! I forgot to mention, I live with my brother, Gromund, on the outskirts of the city. Come!"

******************************************************************************************************************************************
They reached Domrund's home well after the sun had vanished over the horizon. The stars were bright enough for the dwarf to see, but he had lit a torch for Seikfreid's benefit. They had traveled out of the main city and onto some farmland, then past that to a place where the ground was rougher and mine shafts peeked up from the rocky soil. As they approached the house, the sound of an axe chopping wood reached their ears. The first thing Seikfreid noticed was the ground near the house. It was all gray and rocky, barren and desolate. Except for some shrubs and a small garden beside the dwarves' home, nothing grew.

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"Gromund!" called Domrund. "We have a visitor tonight."

The sound of the axe died away and another rough voice came back through the darkness.

"I hope this time it's one who we want here," came the jovial reply. "Who is it?"

Domrund gave Seikfreid a little nudge. "Don't be shy, introduce yourself."

"My name is Seikfreid, son of Agnar," he said. "Thank you for your kind welcome to your home."

"Well, who says I welcome you?" joked the dwarf, coming over to him. I am Gromund, the son of Bothvor. Welcome to our home."

A hearty meal was prepared for Seikfreid, and the three sat around a short table and ate their fill. Seikfreid had to sit on the floor with his back against the wall, but he was grateful that the ceilings were high enough. Gromund told Seikfreid that there was a matter that needed looking into after dinner, and Seikfreid obliged, grateful for the dwarves' hospitality.
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Re: Ashdown

Postby Seikfreid » Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:03 am

After their hearty meal, Domrund excused himself and went up to the roof-walk where he stood, gazing through an odd device at the shining stars high above. He would occasionally lower the glass from his eye and squint at the stars with his naked eyes. Seikfreid looked on, fascinated, until his thoughts were interrupted by Gromund's voice.

"Now, let's see about this sword of yours."

Seikfreid started. He had worn the sword across his back during his travels, and he had quite forgotten it. He unsheathed the shining blade and handed it to Gromund, who took it and led Seikfreid over to a small boulder in front of the house. He laid the blade on the top of the rock and examined it silently for a few minutes. Then he slowly felt his way down the blade, turning it over in his hands, until he stopped at the leather-bound hilt. A long, thin gash ran the length of the grip, snaking its way around the back of the handle and ending halfway up the deep blue stone set in the pommel.

Image

"By God," murmured Gromund. "Can it be possible?"

He looked up at Seikfreid, studying him for a moment. Then his eyes grew wide.

"How did you get that scar?" he queried.

"What scar, this one?" Seikfreid pointed to a small, curved scar on his left temple, and the dwarf nodded. "I don't know, it's been there as long as I can remember."

Gromund laughed a great laugh. "Son of Agnar, I should have known it!" he said. "Domrund! Come down from there!"

The other dwarf came down, looking very excited. "Gromund, the stars Faelngar and Virigil are aligned in the northern sky! It is time for a new hero, a new champion for our kind!"

Gromund grinned widely. "It is a hero you have long searched for," he rumbled. "And now, it is a hero that we have found. Behold, the heir of the mighty warrior Gallaharr, the liberator of our lands. Behold, our new champion: Seikfreid, son of Agnar."
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Re: Ashdown

Postby Seikfreid » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:29 am

The Crown garrison stationed in the ruins of the old North Wall several leagues north of Ashdown was in trouble. Several legions of trolls and undead warriors had attacked their positions, catching the men off guard. They had fought valiantly, but after the trolls had smashed through the breaches of the Crown lines created by the undead archers, the battle was effectively over. Many brave soldiers valiantly stayed behind to defend their retreating comrades as they rescued wounded men from the fray.

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The troll chieftan in command of the joint force had arrived, and the little morale the Crown troops had left all but disappeared. Many threw down their weapons and fled, others who were braver stood their ground at first and then fell back in an orderly manner. The enemy army seemed content with their victory and made no attempt to pursue the fleeing humans. The retreating Crown soldiers falling back to Ashdown could see the plumes of smoke rising from the trolls' new camp.

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The people of Ashdown crowded against their city's wall, trying to get a glimpse of the Crown soldiers who had survived the rumored battle in the north. But their hearts sank as the few, disheveled, and gravely wounded troops entered the village. The legion commander had a word with the man who was standing in for the village's captain of the guard. They grimly surveyed their battered troops, shaking their heads, and it was plain that they had lost all hope.

"There are too many," some villagers overheard the legion commander say. "The entire Crown army could not stand in an open battle against the whole enemy force. We're finished," and the men retired to the legion barracks. The villagers returned to their homes without a glimmer of hope.
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Seikfreid
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Re: Ashdown

Postby Napoleon » Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:08 pm

Very nice story, Seikfreid!

First off, like the other guy said, your writing style is clear and concise. Second, I like that you use illustrations. :D It generally makes stories better if you are a good builder, and you are getting very good with them. Third, what kind of camera do you use? The pics are really clear, and I could use all the camera tips I can get.

There is only one, teeny, tiny, small thing: I get a little tired of everyone having Gandalf/Merlin-like characters, even though I like both of them. It's a little overdone.
The first thing I thought of when Anselfer had Seikfreid flee while he held off the trolls was Gandalf having the hobbits flee while he fought the Balrog. :wink: But that is just me, and I really don't mind Anselfer; he dosen't take away from the story.

I like this story so much, that I think me and Sir Zepp will heavily endorse it on Castleland.com. Would you like that? :)
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