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GC2 - The demise of Elroy

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GC2 - The demise of Elroy

Postby petturik » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:07 pm

I'm tired. All week I've been hauling loads of timber from Moonhaven to Stonewald, back and forth. Starting at the break of dawn and working well into the night,
I only took a break when the workers unloaded the carts.
I can see them ogling me, the fresh shaved boy with merchant aspirations. I'm an outcast still. Might my sudden increase in wealth be the instigator ?
In only 6 months my funds quadrippled, leaving confussion in the eyes of the established merchants.
I can hear the questions floating in their minds. I can almost see them, hovering just a few inches above their head in a hazy and cloudlike substance.
"Who is that boy ?", "Where did he come from ?" and more important "How .... how the heck .... ?".
I don't care. My goal is getting closer. The gossip bandwagon started rolling and through some undisclosed sources, I heared that "The Marshall" was getting nervous.

Elroy "The Marshall" Willemson is a big player in Lenfald. The former sherrif has a large cargo running and storing business, making almost half of Lenfald dependant of his "services".
Besides the legal part of his business, Elroy also smuggled weapons and goods from and to the Outlaw regions. Employing former bandits/outlaws in his staff, made him almost untouchable.
Almost, because his weak spot, his love for gold, was the only thing viable for the taking.
Thats where my plan star.... BUMP, KABANG {grinding noise}

Thinking of Elroy, I lost track of the road and hit a rather large hole. My, luckily empty, cart broke a wheel. Crooked as a limping beggar, the cart continued to roll. "WHOA HORSE, WHOA !"
The horse stopped, and with a sluggish look he glared at me. "Megablocks, I still got 2 loads to run. Sluban, Banboa, Megablocks @#$@!#. Stupid horse, couldn't YOU have warned me ?"
I quickly jumped off the cart and started untying the horse from the cart, tied him to a tree and slapped him with my whip. "Man, if I didn't know better I'd say you where a DUPLO pony."
I ranted on for a bit, but I was getting unreasonable. Fighting with a horse ? The horse doesn't even know what went wrong, other then that the cart was a bit harder to pull.
"Right ... Think .. They expect me back with a cart in Moonhaven before nightfall. If I take the horse, I'll buy another cart in the nearest town and take that to Moonhaven."
Untying the horse again, I thought of trading him in aswell. He's a fine workhorse, but man, is he dense.

I mounted the horse and set trail to Moonhaven. Atleast, I thought so. The horse glared at me with a look in his eyes like : "Euhm, so ... what now ?". Spurring the horse it started to set one hoof infront of the other. Only to trip over them and plummet to the ground. Oh man, this is not my day. The horse tried to get up, but without a saddle I started sliding from his back.
The horse stumbled again and with a loud snap he started to cry. He broke a leg. "Really ? Is this happening to me ? REALLY ?!" The horses cries continued. Fighting myself free from it's weight on my leg, I drew my sword. "Sorry pal, but you're of no use to me now." With a simple slash, I cut his throat. The horse whimpered and gurgled for about 10 counts. Then it looked at me with his glazy eyes and drew one more breath.

I whiped my sword clean on the horses skin and started thinking. "I was about half way between Stonewald and Moonhaven, wasn't I ?" I tried to find some recognizable points. I've made this trip about 20 times this week. But I couldn't find any. The road, the bushes, the trees. They all looked alike. One big green, grey and brown matter.
Still baffled about the stupidity of the horse (I mean breaking his own legs ? I don't get it ... another 5p well spend. NOT!) I started to walk. The next town was about a quarter sun away by horse.
So that would take me about twice that time to reach it ? Hmm then I'd better stay in the brush along the road so any passing outlaw wouldn't see and try to rob me.

Forest Road by Petturik NL, on Flickr

I walked a few miles when a glimmer cought my eye. A feint glimmer which looked like a gold coin. Was my luck turning ? I quickly stepped towards the coin. Then, all of a sudden, it moved. I stopped.
A moving coin ? Is this trickery ? I tried to get closer, but it moved again. I crouched and tried to get a better look at the coin. Thats when I saw it wasn't a coin, but a button on a robe or something.
An old man, covered in green robes, moved through the brush, away from the road. Where was he headed ? And did he really have golden buttons ? That's interesting. When I came closer to where the man had walked, I noticed a rough path leading away from the road. Having lost sight of the mysterious person I decided to follow the path.

Image
Hidden path by Petturik NL, on Flickr

The further I came, the less dense the brush became. In the distance I could hear a waterfall and I think I smelled the faint odor of food being cooked. I continued to follow the trail.
Ultimatly it ended in a small clearing. I could see a house. Hmmmm I never saw that before. Then again, seeing it was well hidden behind the thick growth, I couldn't have seen it from the road.
I was curious. Who was that man and did he really have golden buttons ?
I'm like a magpie, following everything that glinstens.

Image
Smoke ? by Petturik NL, on Flickr

Approaching the house, I noticed it was a wreck. Cracks in the walls, stonework was all crooked. It looked like a hermits hovel. Seeing it was hidden well and the state it was in, I reckoned it was one.
Still curious but also aware of possible danger, I approached, sword drawn. Smoke rose from the chimney, a light glimmered inside the house.
I stopped. The brush stopped and if I continued now, I would be in full sight of anyone inside. Scouting the premises, I saw some shrubbery on the right side, close enough to allow me to peer inside, dense enough to hide me from sight.

I snuck closer, trying to avoid branches or anything else noisy that would give me away. Calm and restrained, I came closer. I tried to peer into the window. I mumbled : "Sluban, I can't see whose inside."
I lifted my right foot to get closer when all or a sudden the hermit stepped out of the house. My foot hanging in mid air, I seized all movement. As a ninja I stood there. If only I was trained and dressed as one. The hermit still stood outside when, out of fatigue, I lowered my floating foot. A slight *SNAP* flew through the air. The hermit froze. He looked around in a skiddish way. As mentioned, my clothes weren't really ninja like. He spotted me. In turn I froze.

Image
The hermits hovel by Petturik NL, on Flickr
Image
The hermits hovel by Petturik NL, on Flickr

"Hey, you boy. What are you doing there ?"
"I'm euuuh... I'm taking a leak."
"Yeah right. The road is 431 steps away, you didn't wander that far, just to take a leak !"
"I'm sorry Sir, I'll move along now though."
"NO!" He yelled and before I could set a pace, he was infront of me, grabbing my cloak.
"What the ? How did you do that ? Let me go you ... WIZARD !?"
"No boy, and yes I'm what the citydwellers call a wizard. You're coming with me !"

With a flash we were inside a house. Or wait ... It lookes like that little wreck. The same cracks, door and windows. Yes I was sure, I'm inside. But how ?
As I stood there baffled about what just happened, the hermit studies me.
"Hmmm... yes."
Still overcome by the weird circumstances, I reply "What yes ?"
"Yes, yes ... It's you."
"Ofcourse it's me, who else ?"
"No .. it's not you, but it's YOU !"

I don't get it. What is this man on about ?
"You, you are the one. The one I saw."
This is getting more weird by the second.
The hermit started to walk around me, taking me up as if I was a tree soon to be cut down.
"Hmm, hair, arms, legs, yes .... YEEEES!"
"Right, that's it, I'm out of here." I tried to move. But I couldn't.
"Hahaha, you're under my spell, you can't move if I don't want you to."

I started to get aggrevated.
"You foolish old man. Why are you keeping me here ? If only I cou..."
"Shhhhh... silence. I'm trying to relive the moment."
"Relive the mo"
"Shhh" and with a flick of the wrist I was silenced.
I was still talking, or atleast my mouth moved and I felt the air passing my vocal cords, but I couldn't make a sound.
The wizard continued to walk around me and started to chant. I was scared. Never before did I see magic being used. It was frowned upon in Roawia and people who got caught using magic had been deheaded in a wink.
The wizard seemed to get into a trance. His chanting intensified. Just when I was about to start crying, the wizard plummeted to the ground, lifting the spells that held me in his fall.

Confused by my sudden freedom I forgot what just happened and stepped towards the wizard who lay on the ground, seemingly unconscious. When I was about an arms lenght away, he opened his eyes and looked at me.
"Tybalt, " How did he know my name? He continued "I know your quest."
Quest ? What did he mean. This man is delusional from the fall to the floor.
"Listen, I know you want to ruin Elroy and to be honest, you should. But you won't succeed if you don't change."
"What are you talking about old fool ? I've allready got him twitching like a nervous dog, it's just a matter of time."
"No, He will get back at you. Unless.."
"Unless what ?"
"Unless you get higher up, not just in rank, but also in your state of mind. I know, no I've SEEN what you need."
"And what might that be ?"
"The sword of Karlamac. Only by wielding this, you will find true greatness."

The Sword. I've heared of it in tales by the bards, but those are just tales, aren't they ?
"You've clearly eaten too much mushrooms old man, the sword is a long gone myth."
"Long gone it is, a myth it isn't. When the last great king died, he hid it. Noone knows where but .."
"If noone knows where, how the hell am I able to find that sword, if it exists at all."
"BUT," he continued " I've seen it. In my visions. I've seen the location of the sword, but I can't clarify the vision. It's a big haze, with the sword in the middle. I know it's still whole and full of power, I just can't reach it."

"If you speak the truth, how should I be able to find it? When you, clearly a powerful wizard, cannot tell me where it is ?"
"I might not be able to tell you, but my little brother will. He's a wizard aswell, just a few years younger. He will have the power to tell you where it is."
The wizard grabbed a bottle off the floor and started to blow into it. A fine haze filled the bottle, turning into a letter.
"Give this to my brother. He will help you."
"If I even WANT to do this, where should I find this great wizard brother of yours ?"
"Travel to Garheim, check the valleys between Stonehaven and Greng. There you will find a derelict keep. He lives in the one house still standing. Tell him The Green One send you, or he will kill you instantly. Now go, before your doubts prevail your ambitions. And remember, an old man might look old and weak, but never forget the true power he might hold."

With a flash I was back on the road.
"What the .. O man, this is getting weird. Where am I ?"
Looking around I saw the contour of what seemed to be a city. Apparently the wizard ported me close to Moonhaven, because I could see the ships masts towering above the skyline.
"Oh well, as weird as that was, I need to get back to business."
With that in mind I started to walk. I needed to buy a new horse and cart in Moonhaven if I wanted to resume business, so I reached for my pouch. My pouch was still there luckily, but
in it wasn't mere gold. The bottle the wizard gave me was in it aswell. I looked at it. The letter was still in there, emitting a faint greenish glow. I put it back in my pouch and counted my gold.
"Enough for a good horse and cart and maybe even some wine and women."

The story The Green One told me spinned in my head as I headed to the port of Moonhaven.
What to do ? Follow up or just leave it be ?
It was just a weird old man, smelling of cabbage, and to be honest I didn't believe the least bit.
I decided to neglect his advise and carry on. Competing with "The Marshall", thats my goal in life. Not some sword-hunt.

<To be continued>
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petturik
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