Quest For Glory 1: So You Want To Be A Hero.
Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:26 PM
Chapter 3: Father and Son Chat
Marcus was floating in a white void. He looked down at himself, surveyed his wounds and sighed.
All in a day’s work for a Fighter, Marcus; you should be proud of the scars you now bear. It shows that you’ve been working hard at what you do. A friendly voice spoke to him, sounding very familiar. Marcus smiled, as he recognized the voice immediately.
“Hello father,” Marcus said cheerfully. He was no longer floating, now just lying down flat on his back. He rose to his feet, and looked into a pair of kindly green eyes. Ehren Donnelly held his son close for a moment then let go. Ehren glanced down at Shamgar on Marcus’s belt, and smiled proudly. You possess the sword that has been in our family for four generations. From my grandfather, to my father, to me, and now, to you; will you wield it with honor and courage, my son? He asked. Marcus nodded his head slowly. Ehren nodded his brown haired head in return, Excellent, now then…
Shing! Ehren drew an interesting sword from his own belt. Marcus looked at it curiously, as he’d never seen it before. Whether it was glowing because the spirit of Ehren was ethereal, or because there was some sort of power inside of it that made it glow, Marcus didn’t know. Ehren pointed the glowing blade at Marcus. Let’s have a little sword practice, shall we? En garde!
Quickly drawing Shamgar, Marcus gave the sword a thrust, which was blocked by Ehren easily. Marcus tried to be quicker and not telegraph his movements. He slashed his sword across- once, twice! ; But was blocked again. Marcus frowned, and tried again. Same result as before. Ehren was shaking his head, not impressed in the slightest. Sure, you keep trying that son. I’m sure you’ll break through one of these days, he said sarcastically.
Marcus gritted his teeth, swiping down at his father’s legs. Ehren jumped up and avoided it. He tried slashing upwards, which, if his father were still alive would have probably cut him in half! Ehren didn’t step back fast enough, and was knocked down. Ehren got up, dusting him off. Not too bad, I suppose, he said.
Marcus came at him, faster this time, with a volley of cuts and slashes all over. Ehren was able to block most, but not all of them. He was able to stop a thrust that was aimed at his throat by bending over backwards, Marcus!! Settle down! Don’t be so reckless!
Ehren looked at his son, now panting from the frenzy. Rest, son; you shouldn’t go nuts when you’re clearly still hurt. Know your limits.
Marcus recovered and nodded. “I understand, father.”
Good. I think this is enough for now, Ehren said, patting Marcus’ shoulder. I was watching you kill that Saurus earlier. Not too bad for your first battle in Spielburg.
Marcus shrugged and admitted, “I had help from Finn and Rico.”
Well, there is strength in numbers, Marcus. No man should ever have to fight alone; Ehren tilted his head and seemed to be listening intently for something, and speaking of your friends Finn and Rico… I think I can hear them. They sound really worried about you. I think you need to wake up soon, lest they think you’ve left this mortal plane for good.
Marcus looked around, and noticed that the white void had started to quickly fade away, as did he. He looked back at his father and smiled. Just before the void faded away completely, Marcus glanced at Ehren’s sword and asked, “By the way, what is that sword you have? I’ve never seen a blade that glows like that.”
This is a Paladin sword. It is just one of the many abilities a Paladin has- to make his or her sword glow and burst into flame before the heat of battle begins. They cannot be made, only passed on to others who wish to learn the Way of the Paladin; to Learn, to Seek, to Do, Ehren explained. Marcus was almost completely gone by now, so Ehren just quickly added, I see this interests you, so, if you ever find a fellow named Rakeesh, tell him you seek training from him. Farewell, Marcus. Good luck on your journey!
That was all Marcus heard before Ehren’ voice and the void faded away completely, only to be replaced by darkness and two other familiar voices- Finn and Rico!
“Marcus? Can you hear me, Marcus?” Finn asked. Marcus opens his eyes and nodded with a smile. Shamgar was still gripped loosely in his right hand; he sat up and put his left hand on his chest.
“Well, it’s good to see you back in the land of the living, sonny,” a kind looking woman standing nearby said, relieved. “I’ve fixed you up as best I can. How do you feel?” she asked.
“I feel alright,” Marcus replied, still feeling a little tired. He slowly got up out of the bed he’d been lying down in, shaking his head to clear it some more. “Where were we headed again?” he asked.
“Uh, I think you said we were headed for the castle,” answered Finn, “to find out more information about Baba Yaga.”
“You’re going to confront Baba Yaga?! Are you boys crazy?!” the healer exclaimed.
“Hey, hey ma’am, we never said anything about actually confronting her. We just want to find out something about her, right guys?” Rico questioned his friends, hoping he was right. Marcus and Finn nodded.
The healer was still a little worried though, “Alright, I believe you. Just… be careful out there, won’t you? You’re all still young, and I’d hate to be seeing you put six feet under so soon after coming here. Baba Yaga is not one to be trifled with.”
“I can assure you, ma’am, that we’ll be fine,” Marcus said confidently.
“Well, take these with you just in case,” the healer said, handing them a few healing potions which they politely accepted. As they walked out, she said, “Oh, and boys? If you see a gold ring lying around somewhere around here, can you bring it to me please?”
“Sure,” Marcus said as they continued walking north to Spielburg Castle.
Karl the gatekeeper paced back and forth across the wall in front of the castle. Back and forth. Back and forth. He sighed, “Another boring day for me, I suppose; might as well be talking to a rock to amuse myself.”
“Hello up there!” a voice below shouted to him. “Can you please open the gate, sir?”
Karl perked up and looked down. There right below him, were three young men- one was brunet, another was blond and another was ebony- all looking up at the gate. “Are you speakin’ to me?” Karl asked.
“Yes,” the black haired one answered. “Can you please open the gate?”
Karl frowned, “On what business are you here for? The Baron isn’t seeing anyone since his children were taken from him, so what makes you boys so special?”
“We’re here to become Heroes, gatekeeper. But, we can’t necessarily help this valley, unless we know what we’re up against, can we?” the brunet said, making a good point.
“Heroes, eh?” Karl said, raising his eyebrows. He chuckled, “Alright, boys. I suppose I can let you through.” And he raised the portcullis for them. As he watched them walk in, he thought to himself, They won’t last long here. Nobody lasts long here now, thanks to her.
The first person Marcus saw was a tall, thin black haired man wearing a striped shirt and blue pants swinging and thrusting a sword in the courtyard. Because he was so focused on honing his swordplay to its peak, he didn’t notice Marcus.
Drawing Shamgar from its sheath, Marcus asked, “Hey, how much do lessons cost?”
The Weapon Master stopped practicing and looked at him, “One gold, if you please.”
Marcus checked his bag. Darn it! I only have a bunch of silvers, and I highly doubt he’d accept that, he thought, disappointed. He closed the bag, and shook his head. The Weapon Master shooed him away, “Then away with you, young man. I have no time for people like you, people who think they can just walk up to me –the Weapon Master- the greatest swordsman in this valley, and they think they can get by without a gold to their name, just because they happen to carry a sword,” he looked down at Shamgar, “And not a very impressive one either.”
“Excuse me?!” Marcus seethed, swinging his sword in an arc that the Weapon Master easily blocked. “This sword once belonged to my father, Ehren Donnelly, and you would do well to respect the dead, sir!”
“Did you come here just to be an annoyance, or do you actually have a point in being here?” the Weapon Master asked, locking blades with Marcus with a very nonchalant expression on his face.
“We came here for information,” Marcus grunted, while he tried to keep his balance. The Weapon Master leaned more in his fighter’s stance, trying to make him fall over and embarrass himself.
Marcus stepped back and continued talking, “We need to find information about the troubles here in Spielburg, so as we can become Heroes, and that I can make my parents proud of me.”
The Weapon Master took a swing at him, which he dodged just in time. “Well, sorry kid, I don’t have all that much to say as all I concentrate on is my swordplay. Besides,” he looked at Finn and Rico trying to chat up the guards by the castle, and not having much success. “You three don’t look like much anyways.”
Marcus thrust forward while the Weapon Master wasn’t looking at him, and grumbled as he was still easily blocked. This guy was good! “We may not look like much now, but just you wait, and we’ll prove to everyone here that even simple town boys can become Heroes. Besides, you work for the Baron, right? Surely, you must know something about what happened here.”
“Well, I taught the Baronet Barnard von Spielburg how to use a sword which he often used to hunt. His little sister wanted to learn but,” he laughed, “I would never teach a little girl, especially a Baroness, how to fight. Just isn’t right to see little Elsa like us men- swinging around steel, getting covered in the blood of our enemies and not being prim and proper like she’d been taught to be. Like a girl should always be. Women don’t belong in the battlefield, they belong-“
“Okay, okay! You’ve made your point!” Marcus interrupted. “I suspect you two didn’t like eachother, then?”
The Weapon Master shook his head. “No. She may have been taught to be a lady, but that didn’t mean she acted like one. That Elsa was always getting into all sorts of trouble! Now then, I grow tired of conversing with you, so explain why you’re talking and not stabbing, young man.”
Marcus sighed and told the Weapon Master everything- about him finding the “Hero Wanted” poster, about their journey from Willowsby to here, about their arrival into town and the battle with the Saurus, and he was about to tell about himself, his friends, and about his father but the Weapon Master grew tired of listening to him ramble so he ignored him and went back to training. He obviously didn’t care much.
Fed up with this irritating man, Marcus walked away. Rico and Finn joined him just then, having had the same amount of luck getting information out of anyone here as he did. “Well, maybe we’ll try the gatekeeper then?” Rico suggested.
“Worth a shot.” said Finn.
Karl had gotten so bored by now, that he had started talking to a squirrel on a nearby tree. By now, the squirrel was trying to cover up his ears with his little paws, and chattering at him to get him to shut up. It wasn’t working very well. “So, then I told him ‘Hey! Stop right there, you rascal!’ and what does he do? He throws a rubber chicken at me to slow me down! Naturally, not expecting that, I tripped over it. When I got to my feet, he’d somehow changed into a-“
“Um, excuse me! Hello? Gatekeeper?” a voice said from below. Karl stopped talking for a moment and looked down to see the same three young men he’d seen before.
“Yes?” Karl asked.
“We tried to talk to everyone else around here, and they aren’t much help,” the blond haired one said, “so… can you help us with finding out what exactly is going on here?”
Karl smiled wide. They actually wanted to talk to him other than asking to open the gate?! Oh glorious, happy day! “Certainly boys, what is it you want to know?”
All three of them introduced themselves, then Finn asked, “Well, what exactly transpired on the day Elsa was taken away?”
Karl shook his head sadly. “Oh, that was a sad day indeed. I remember it like it was yesterday: it was a beautiful Spring day. Elsa was playing outside in the courtyard, her braided blond hair waving in the breeze, and her brother was keeping an eye on her. Suddenly, something huge blocked out the sunlight! The gigantic winged creature swooped down and headed straight for Elsa. The Baronet managed to grab a sword and tried to defend his sister by slashing away at the creature, but it was no use, and the monster smacked him away and grabbed hold of little Elsa! I and the guards pulled out our bows and tried to shoot it down, but the thing either dodged them completely (in the process, putting Elsa within our range, which we obviously didn’t want) or wasn’t affected at all. And then, just like that, the monster and Elsa were gone.” Karl sniffled and was almost in tears. “It’s been ten years since that day. She would have been eighteen, and probably would have grown up to be a fine young lady.”
“Wolfgang mentioned that the Baron lost both his children. What happened to his son?” Rico asked.
Karl regained his composure and said, “The Baronet Barnard left on a hunting trip, like he often does, five years ago. He never came back, and his horse was covered in claw marks. We’ve tried sending out search parties, but they never return either.” Karl shivered. “I don’t think anyone really liked the Baronet very much, myself included, as he was very arrogant, prideful and generally unbearable to everyone, but no one deserves to die like that.”
“Have you found a body?” Marcus asked. Karl shook his head. “Well, what makes you think he’s dead? For all we know, he could have captured by something or turned into something that leaves no trace of his former self. Perhaps he was forced into hiding out in some secluded area, or was cursed so he could never leave the place he’d last been.”
“Explain the failed search parties then,” Karl replied.
“Maybe what’s keeping him is killing them so they won’t squeal?” Rico surmised. “As for Elsa, who’s to say she’s alive as well? That Baba Yaga character might have done something to her.”
“Now that you mention it, kid… I do remember something else. I remember, oh what was his name? Uhh… Yorick I believe- the Baron’s court jester. He’d left some time ago, said he was going to search for Elsa. He hasn’t returned either, so I don’t know if that means he’s found her and can’t leave her side, or that he’s still searching even now.” Karl wondered. “As for that Baba Yaga fiend,” Karl shivered, “I definitely wouldn’t suggest tangling with her, unless you have a death wish.”
‘We’ll take that risk if that means that the Baron’s children will be safe,” said Marcus. He turned to his friends, “Right guys?”
Finn and Rico both nodded. Finn rather nervously, and Rico’s looked more forced than anything. He didn’t come here to become a Hero; he came here to work on his skills. But, of course, he couldn’t reveal this to just anyone, so he just played along with Marcus. It was risky enough just telling Finn and Marcus back when they were kids what his parents reallydid at night, especially with Marcus being the son of a noble swordsman and all. But, for whatever reason, they’d both kept his secret that his parents were thieves, and in return, Rico kept Finn’s secret about what he and his father did during the witching hour. By day, Rico’ family were wood carvers, and Finn’s father was a librarian. By night, they were both something much worse.
“What would Baba Yaga do to any of us if we just so happened to meet her?” Finn asked.
“She’d eat you, most likely while you were still alive, and once your bones are picked clean, she’ll hang your skulls on her gate as a warning to travelers.” Karl said bluntly. All three of them cringed at that. “Anything else you want to know?” he asked.
“Uh, what can you tell us about that brigand problem you’re having?” Rico asked curiously.
“Oh, them,” Karl growled. “They’re coldhearted thugs who’ll sooner stab you with a dagger than tell you good morning. They’re a surprisingly tight group too: you attack one –and nobody sane would- and, if any of his buddies are hiding in the bushes nearby, they’ll gang up on you, kill you and then loot your corpse for pocket change. And that’s if you think you’ve found one alone. Believe me, they’re almost never alone. However,” he pointed out, “if something happened to their leader, say, he were captured or killed, they would be as helpless as a chicken with its head cut off and they’d scatter like leaves in the autumn wind. But of course,” he chuckled, “you’d have to actually get inside their fortress, which nobody knows where it is or how to get into anyway. Even if you’d somehow managed to find the fortress, you’d have to sneak past the guards, and I can assume they have traps set up there too. Even if you’d miraculously gotten past all of that, you’d have to get past their devious warlock, who is a master trickster, and if you get past all that, you’d face off against the leader of the brigands… who will promptly run you through for trespassing I can assume. Although, I really wouldn’t blame him if he did- if someone broke into my office intending to kill me, I’d want to make sure they wouldn’t get the chance to even try.”
“Are there any rewards for doing any of this?” Rico asked.
“Well, of course there are rewards!” Karl exclaimed. “You think some would be Heroes wouldn’t go through all that work, and not be rewarded for their efforts?! Preposterous!” he cleared his throat, “If any of you manage to survive this venture into certain danger, you would receive 60 gold coins and be given the title of Hero of the Realm. You manage to rescue our fair Elsa, or at least figure out her whereabouts, you’ll be rewarded with 50 gold coins. As for that nasty warlock, you’ll be rewarded with 30 gold coins. And, if you manage to rescue the Baronet, you’ll get 50 gold coins.”
Marcus whistled in astonishment, Finn counted up the amount in his head and smiled, and Rico rubbed his hands greedily. Karl noticed their reactions and emphasized, “If you survive to accomplish any of these things, you shall be rewarded. There are many dangers here, even more so than what I’ve told you boys about: ravenous monsters such as the Cheetaurs and Sauruses. Ogres who won’t give up their treasure for nothing, and lay waste to anyone who tries. Giants with their clubs who will either bargain or battle, and what a fool you would be to do either. And, God rest your poor young souls if you ever get caught out here at night…” he trailed off, not wanting to finish.
“Well? Do go on, gatekeeper.” Marcus urged.
“Well…” he gulped, “that is the time when the forest comes alive with the wails of the arisen dead, the howls of hungry wolves -man and canine alike- fill the night with their song, the Mantrays sneak into hiding from their burrows just waiting to snatch up unwary travelers, the thieves prowl about, and the Magic Users perform their darkest rituals to summon up the most vile of creatures known to man. Don’t even get me started on the Night Gaunts- horrible shades which attack only those who are stupid enough to sleep alone on the cold, hard ground without any protection, and since nobody has survived an attack by them, nobody truly knows what they look like nor how to defeat them, and, like most horrors, they disappear when night ends. All that is left of any poor sucker caught by them is a barely recognizable corpse, as they’re always ripped to shreds. Silent they move, quick they strike, and by the time you’ve realized it, it’s already too late to do anything.” Karl noticed that Finn was uncontrollably shaking with fright at these creatures, as were his friends, although Marcus was trying his best to hide it by trying to look braver than he felt.
“K-K-Karl,” Finn whimpered desperately. “Is… is there any hope at all for one who is caught in the shadows of night? Do you just give up and consider yourself dead?”
Karl thought for a moment, and said with a small smile, “There is only one place besides the town that I know of, that will protect you from any sort of harm. But it’s a bit difficult to find if you don’t know where you’re going, and when you’re running away from the terrors of the night, you’re most likely panicking and not keeping your sense of direction in check.”
“Please, Karl! We need to know anyway!” Finn exclaimed.
“Well gentlemen, imagine this if you will: it is a place of never-ending serenity, of where your wounds can be healed. It is a place that is always warm, where soft green grass and sweet flowers grow, even in winter and there is always food on the tree to sooth ones hunger. It is a place where your rest shall always be peaceful and you won’t be alone, for she is always watching over you like a guardian angel. There are tiny spots like these all over Gloriana, little areas where even the most hardened of souls will find peace there.”
“Who made these areas?” Marcus asked, intrigued.
Karl answered, “She is, or was, known as the Lady Erana. The maiden with a heart as big and pure as the sun itself, and was just as lovely too! No matter whom you were- man or beast –she would never turn away from you and would always help you no matter what. Having not exactly been respected in her hometown, as she was a half-breed of a Magic User (her mother) and a member of the Faerie folk (her father), she set off with magic and a love of the land at her disposal to see the world and make it a better place for everyone to live in. That is why she created these little places of hope. We call the one here in Spielburg, Erana’s Peace.”
“I see,” Marcus muttered, “and where is this ‘Lady Erana’ now, Karl?” Karl said nothing, and just gave him a really sad look. “…Oh.”
“They say that she is buried here in Spielburg. I’m sure she went peacefully and had lived a wonderful life, despite her upbringing.” Karl finally said.
“I can only hope so,” Marcus solemnly replied, as there was a moment of silence.
“Anything else?” Karl asked.
“Hmmm…” Marcus wondered. “Can you think of anything?” he asked Finn and Rico. They shook their heads. Marcus looked back up at Karl, “No Karl, we don’t have anything else to ask about for the moment,” he shrugged. “Sorry, buddy.”
“Well,” Karl sighed, “you know who to come to when you kids need information. I’ll always be here.”
“If I’d brought myself a cap, I’d be tipping it to you Karl.” Marcus said with a smile.
“Thanks so much for your help, sir.” Finn added, nodding.
“We’ll remember you if we ever need to know something important, I’m sure.” Rico chimed in.
Karl smiled back. “Well, I hope you three can put a stop to our troubles somehow. I wish you good luck!”
The afternoon passed by without much incident, aside from Marcus being unusually quiet for reasons Rico couldn’t understand. He kept staring at Shamgar, as if to etch every little detail into his mind from the blade to the hilt, turning it over and over in his hand. What’s he thinking? Rico wondered.
A Paladin, Marcus thought. What’s a Paladin?
Posted 06 November 2012 - 07:58 AM
Till next time stay cool
"A gun is a tool, Marian. No better, no worse than any other tool. An axe, a shovel, or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that." Shane, played by Alan Ladd, in the movie Shane (1953).
"Blaming a gun for an action of a criminal is like blaming a car for some accident made by an idiotic driver." Paladinlover.
Posted 07 November 2012 - 06:26 PM
working on next chapter as we speak.
Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:46 PM
Uh, Paladinlover? You there?
Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:38 PM
Disclaimer: Quest For Glory and its characters do not belong to me, they belong to Sierra On-Line and, more specifically, Lori and Corey Cole.
Chapter 4: Raid and Panic
As the sun set behind the mountains, Rico smiled in glee. It’s time! He thought as he started sharpening his favorite dagger in a rock. Always gotta sharpen ol’ Slice before every raid, just in case I’m caught. A good Thief can never be too careful.
He brought out one of his lock-picks and looked at it curiously. “Hmm… I wonder…” he said to himself as he carefully stuck the lock-pick into his nose.
After moving it around a bit, he heard a nice little ‘click!’ and carefully pulled it out with a sniffle. There, now he could breathe better! Why did I never think to do this before? This works great for that stupid allergy to pollen I have. Plus, it’ll be good practice too!
Finn wrinkled his nose and Marcus rolled his eyes at him. What next? Sticking it up his… oh, never mind.
Giving Slice a few good slashes and stabs, Rico then gave it a toss. As Slice whistled through the air, Finn ducked just in time, which allowed him only to lose a few strands of hair and for the dagger to be stuck in a tree trunk.
Finn slowly came back up, looked at the dagger and Rico, and said frightened, “You could have killed me!!”
Rico walked over to the tree, taking Slice out of it and grinned. “But I didn’t because you were smart. I wasn’t aiming for you- I was aiming for the tree. You just so happened to be in my way, that’s all.”
“Well don’t do it again, you jerk!” Finn exclaimed, pointing his finger. Rico nodded and tucked Slice into his belt alongside his extra knives.
The stars were coming out now, and as Rico flipped up the hood on his cloak he said, “Well, I don’t know what you boys intend to do, but I’m heading back for ‘work’,” and he dashed off back to town chuckling to himself.
Finn turned to Marcus and asked, “Why are we friends with him again?”
Marcus replied, “Oh, he’s a good man at heart, really. If he’d really wanted to kill you, he probably would have slit your throat years ago. Anyway,” he said looking at Shamgar again, “I think I could use a bit more training with my sword. And you,” he looked at Finn, “might want to work more on those magic spells you have. ‘The more you practice, the better you’ll get!’ as father always told me.”
Finn nodded a bit nervously, “I know Marcus, I know. But…” he looked around with widened eyes, “it’s getting dark and-“he stopped as he felt that something was watching him from behind, but when he turned around he saw nothing there. “A-and t-there are monsters out here!”
Marcus brought up Shamgar defensively and tried to calm down Finn. “Don’t worry, we’ll be fine as long as we keep our guard up, and watch where we’re walking.”
It was at that very moment that the gigantic Mantray decided to reveal itself and rushed at them, electricity crackling from its long stinger tail, as fast as lightning!
Marcus took a slash at it, but the creature was smarter than the Saurus from earlier and dodged. As it swooped past Marcus, it smacked him aside and away from Finn.
Finn launched a nice big Flame Dart at the beast, which made a direct hit! The Mantray let out a screech of pain, and suddenly whipped its tail around and struck Finn right in the chest with a bolt of lightning!
“AAAAGH!!” Finn screamed as his body convulsed in pain and tears came to his eyes. Oh God, please just let this end! Please! In desperation, he tried to throw another Flame Dart which hit the Mantray on its underside! The monster reared back and stopped zapping him for a moment, which gave Marcus an opening, and he cut away at the Mantray’s back to distract it. The Mantray whirled around, brandishing its stinger threateningly. It tried to electrocute Marcus, but Marcus was quick and with a block and parry was able to slice the dangerous stinger right off!
The now furious Mantray began showing off its sharp teeth and bit Marcus right on the arm that held his sword!
Marcus cried out, and Finn could barely stand up. I have to help him… but I feel so drained… He attempted to conjure up another Flame Dart, but when he saw how small it was, he felt discouraged. He’d used up a lot of his Mana today, unfortunately. Nevertheless, he had to help somehow, and threw the Dart hoping it would do some damage.
It did, but because the Mantray was currently occupied with Marcus it wasn’t expecting that, and bit down so hard on Marcus’ arm that there was a ‘crack!’ sound as it broke his forearm! Gritting his teeth and trying to fight back the searing pain in his right arm, Marcus drew back his other arm and punched the Mantray right in the eye!
The monster recoiled and finally let go with a hiss, but still didn’t look like it was ready to give up the fight yet. Marcus, though weakened, put up his one good arm to say that he wasn’t ready to give up just yet either.
Finn was desperately trying to conjure up more Flame Darts, but all he got was miniscule balls of fire that could barely scorch a rat’s hide and just fizzled to ash in a couple seconds. Without magic, he was completely helpless.
It was at this time that the Mantray decided it needed a little help of its own, and as it swooped up into the air, it let out a loud ear piercing screech… and suddenly the ground started to shake beneath their feet as even more Mantrays came out of hiding to join the battle! They were smaller and even faster than the big one was, and like the big one they hit hard too!
Marcus and Finn tried their best to swat them away, but they just wouldn’t stop coming! They were both running out of stamina fast and just finally decided to book it!
“RUN!!!” Marcus shouted, and both ran away from the section of the forest as fast as they could! Unfortunately, they could hear the Mantrays chasing after them and knew they couldn’t run forever. Sure enough, they were quickly surrounded by colorful leathery wings and bitten by sharp teeth once more. Not even bothering to fight now, they just shoved them out the way and kept running.
Marcus and Finn were so focused on getting away, that they didn’t even watch where they were going…
When it seemed that the Mantrays had given up on them finally, Marcus looked around. Wait- he’d never explored this part of the forest before, had he? “F-Finn? W-Where are we?” Marcus quietly asked shaking.
There was no reply.
Marcus looked around frantically! “Finn?! Where are you?! FINN?!” he screamed, getting silence.
Finn, meanwhile, was still running and tripped over a rock and fell down on his face, pain shooting through his ankle. His strength was spent, and he braced himself for the end.
After realizing that he was no longer being chased, he slowly looked up and his blood ran cold. He’d never been in this section of the forest before! “M-M-Marcus? W-Where are we?”
There was no answer.
Finn looked around in a panic! “Marcus?! Where are you?! MARCUS?!” he cried, without a reply from his friend.
Meanwhile, back in Spielburg Town…
Rico had already slipped into his sneak position by the time he’d gotten back to the now closed gates. He looked up at the stone wall and thought This should be an easy climb.
Digging his fingers into the stone, and pressing his boots onto the wall, he carefully started to clamber up the wall. He was quickly at the top, and jumped down into the darkened streets of Spielburg.
Something about this place seemed a little less friendly at night. Rico felt like he was being watched from all around. A shiver went down his spine, but he tried to remain calm yet alert.
He searched all around town, but unfortunately it seemed that most of the doors in town were bolted shut from the inside. How disappointingly annoying! Oh, but it seems that not everyone is this clever, for Rico did spot a locked door that didn’t look like it was bolted.
He smiled and brought out his lock-pick, jamming it up into the lock and wiggling it around. After a minute of getting the position just right, he smiled ever wider as he heard that wonderful little ‘snick!’ that was music to his ears.
Opening the door just a crack, he slipped in quite easily and shut it behind him.
Marcus had been wandering around in the dark forest for what felt like hours. He knew he had to find somewhere safe to rest otherwise he’d never live to see the morning. He’d start searching for Finn afterhe’d had some rest. He looked down at his right arm that hung limp at his side, but still grasped his sword in a white knuckled grip: he couldn’t fight like this! He would just have to be cautious from now on. How could I be so STUPID as to not pack a shield?! I’m an idiot! He thought and punched himself for being so dumb.
Everything in this valley looked the same to him at night, and Marcus was sure he was just walking around in circles. But he wasn’t about to give up. He had to reach somewhere eventually…
Not caring where he was even going anymore, he picked a random direction. I’ll go… north, I guess. I don’t really care where it goes, I’m just hoping for the best.
Heading north, he couldn’t have planned this any better if he tried.
Where’s a magic map when you need one? Finn thought as he limped through the bushes, looking for something, anything that looked even slightly familiar to him. No such luck and his foot hurt something fierce. Why? Why didn’t papa teach me any healing spells? That would have made my life so much easier.
Well, complaining won’t help you now Finn. Just need to find somewhere to sleep for the night, is all. Just… calm down there. It’ll be alright so long as you’re calm, right?
Suddenly, he heard something clopping towards him. Finn tensed up and put up his fists, for although his magic was drained he could still at least try to fight back even if it was futile.
The clopping became louder and louder as it came closer and closer. Finn waited in anticipation and said in the direction of the noise, “Come out and show yourself!”
What revealed itself to Finn was quite unexpected, since he hadn’t seen one of them in this forest before- a stag!
The stag towered over him, his white coat and broad antlers shining in the moonlight. He stood proud and strong in front of Finn and in his sorry condition, he could end the lad’s life with one swift kick to the head. But, as Finn gazed into his large brown eyes he didn’t see what he’d expected- a hatred or fear of mankind or indifference to his situation. Instead, he saw kindness –or perhaps pity- in his eyes.
Finn knew that this was no ordinary stag, but something… magical. Finn bowed his head in respect, and asked while trying not to feel intimidated, “Can… can you help me please? I’m lost, Sir Stag, and I need shelter from these monsters here.”
The Stag seemed to understand him, for he motioned his head to the left with a snort and then bounded off in the direction.
I think he wants me to follow him! Excellent! Finn thought gladly. Sorry Marcus, you’ll have to wait. I need some sleep. And he followed the Stag as best he could through the thicket.
What he saw in the clearing made him smile.
Rico glanced around the small house and took a deep breath- hmm… scent of lavender, a lot of dust, birdseed and kitty litter. Ugh, this place reminds me of great-aunt Myra’s house a bit too much, right down to the décor.
There a red and blue rectangular rug on the floor, with a little round coffee table on it. A couch lay next to the rug, with a purse on the cushion and a basket next to the couch. Behind the couch standing against the wall, was a big desk with two big candlesticks that looked to Rico like they were made of silver. A small wooden chest was next to the desk, and to the right of the desk laid a small staircase which led obviously to the old lady’s bedroom which had a potted plant next to the door.
Next to the staircase, there was a stand with a purple quilt on it. Judging from the shape of the cloth, Rico figured it was a birdcage and refrained from touching it. There was a little leather chair next to the birdcage, and next to that was a nice fireplace with an oil lamp on the mantle.
Sitting by the fireplace, staring at him with big green eyes and a red collar, was a black cat. Rico waved innocently to the feline, “Hello little kitty,” he whispered. “I’m just… um… an inspector here to check on your mistress’s belongings.” He sidled over to the couch and picked up the basket, searching through it. “Hmm… yes everything seems to be in order here,” as he managed to slip a string of pearls he’d found into a secret pocket in his cloak.
The cat was still eyeing him suspiciously, as he went over to the desk to look closer at the candlesticks. He took one of them, and wiped it with a rag he had. ‘If it ain’t legit, ain’t worth takin’.’ That’s what mom told me. He looked at the rag- it had black smudges on it. Jackpot! Rico congratulated himself and swiped it.
He looked in the chest and the desk, and found a bunch of old quilts, doilies and several sweaters that even Finn wouldn’t wear and one silver coin respectfully. Rico blew a raspberry and took the coin since at least it was something. What a rip-off!
He went back over to the couch and picked up the purse that was still on the cushion. Rico opened it, and peeked inside. The cat, deciding it had had enough with this “inspector”, leapt up from its spot by the fireplace and hissed at Rico. The cats’ back rose up, and its ears were pinned back, Rico started taking steps backward towards the door and quickly searched through the purse- twenty silvers. Great. Lovely.
The cat hissed again, unsheathing its claws and prepared to pounce on the wannabe purloiner. But thinking quickly, Rico knelt down and petted the cat on the head. He spoke softly, “Now, now kitty. It’s okay! I promise not to bother you anymore, alright? There’s a good little kitty.”
The cat settled down a bit and purred. Rico tossed one of the old lady’s yarn balls at the cat, and it chased after it. Now preoccupied with the yarn, the cat completely ignored Rico as he saw himself out.
Marcus was standing in a clearing- a meadow specifically –that was surrounded by mountains still capped with snow. Yet, unlike what he’d expect, the air was comfortably warm. There wasn’t much to see in this little patch of heaven except a large tree covered both fruit and blossoms at once, and surrounded by a gorgeous flowerbed.
Finally realizing just how tired he was, Marcus took a few steps inside the hollow and collapsed face down onto the soft grass, letting go of his sword at last. He laid still for a while, breathing in the scent of the beautiful sweet flowers.
Glancing up a bit he noticed a smooth stone with what looked like runes etched into it. Looking closer, Marcus was able to read: “If Thy Will is Magic, so shall I share. Open the stone, and see what is there.” Sounded like a job for Finn. On the side of the stone were etched the words “Erana’s Peace”
Marcus turned over on his back and looked up at the stars glinting above him. I’m safe here, I know it. She’s watching over me- wherever she is. He closed his eyes and smiled, his last thoughts before drifting off to sleep being, Lady Erana… thank you so much for this place. I am forever in your debt.
The Stag had led Finn to a lovely little glade. It was quiet and surrounded by rocks and thickets, but what really stood out was the grand oak tree in front of him. Again, like the Stag, Finn sensed that this wasn’t an ordinary tree but that there was something magical about it.
“Hello? Is someone there?” Finn asked the tree. As soon as he spoke, he felt a pair of eyes watching him suspiciously. “Please, I mean no harm. Look at me, I can barely walk let alone try to hurt the majestic Stag who led me here. Please… I’m so tired.”
Then, a slender figure walked out of the tree bark. Yes, walked. Judging from the figure, Finn assumed it was female, which was confirmed when it spoke, “I am the Dryad, keeper of the woods. Are you one with the woods, young one?”
The Dryad nodded and motioned to the grass. “You may rest here for a while, young one, and you shall tell me why you have come here.”
Finn nodded. “Yes ma’am.” And as he sat down, he told her everything that had happened this day, from their arrival in town to this very night with getting separated from Marcus. The Stag and the Dryad were quiet and politely listened to Finn talk (not like the Stag could reply anyway) until he had told all that he thought he’d needed to tell.
“This quest of yours… is of a different sort than your friend’s, isn’t it young one?”
Finn raised his eyebrows in surprise. “How did you guess?”
“Well,” the Dryad said, “from what I’ve heard of these battles you’ve done… you don’t sound like you’re very courageous. In fact, I’d call you a coward.”
“Hey!!” Finn frowned. “I’m not a-“but he stopped and flinched as the Stag glared at him and snorted in his face. Finn sighed and muttered, “Okay, okay… so I am. No thanks to papa…” he looked down at his shoes.
Getting the hint, the Dryad dropped the subject.
Finn suddenly remembered something and looked up, “Oh by the way, a fox I met here told me you knew how to break the curse on the Baron’s daughter. Is that true?”
The Dryad nodded. “Yes. I will help you young one, but only if you will do something for me.”
Finn rolled his eyes. Reynard had mentioned that earlier. “And that would be what exactly?”
“Bring me a seed from the Spore Spitting Spirea of the North. I need to plant the seed elsewhere, to preserve these plants in the world.”
“Alright, I think I can do that.” Finn said, starting to get up again. He cringed and sat back down, remembering that he was still injured. “But… maybe I ought to get some rest first.”
As Finn closed his eyes, the Dryad softly whispered to the Stag, “Lockhart, keep watch over him, will you?” Lockhart nodded and lay down next to Finn. The Dryad went back inside her tree to concentrate again.
Rico walked back into town with a sigh of relief. He’d done it! His first real raid since he’d left home, all by himself with nary a mishap aside from the cat!
Checking his pockets again just to make sure he had everything, he headed down the path back to where the tavern was… and stopped.
Catching a glint in the corner of his eye, he turned around.
There! He saw it again! It looked like it came from the dark alley next to the tavern. Rico withdrew Slice just in case and got into his sneak position, walking slowly and cautiously on tiptoe into the alley.
Something about this just didn’t feel right to him. Rico’s eyes darting around quickly, he took note of how small and tight the alley was, with lots of cover in the darkness from all the boxes and sacks lying around.
He went over to see what the glint was and-
There was a “thwip!” sound behind him! Rico ducked and dodged as he knew that sound all too well: the sound of a dagger being thrown at someone! He whirled around to see a cloaked figure standing in front of him with the dagger he’d thrown getting stuck in the wall. Thieves, just great!
Then, he felt something sharp poking him in the back and he froze. He heard one of the thieves, Sneak, laugh behind him. “Heh heh, that ‘Coin Light’ spell gets ‘em every time, doesn’t it? See that dagger?” Rico nodded and started to sweat nervously. “Well the next one’s centered on your back. You squeal, and it’ll just be one little push… heh heh heh! It’s a simple trade, kid: your cash for your life. So we got a deal, kid? Or do I have to make a mess in here?”
Rico stammered, “W-w-wait, I’m one of you guys! Here, I can prove it!” and quickly gave ‘the sign’ that was one of the first things he’d learned from his parents as part of the ‘family business’, and also whipped out his Thieves License in a flash.
Sneak grumbled disappointedly, “You mean to tell me, that the first person we’ve had here in months is a thief? And a licensed one at that?” Rico nodded affirmatively and crossed his arms. Sneak growled and pointed his dagger, “Alright, alright, I get the picture.” He pointed outside the alleyway with the knife, “Now get outta our alley, kid! And don’t be comin’ back unless you have a death wish, got it?”
Rico nodded again and walked out back to the tavern.
“Well, here’s some good news for you, fellow dieb,” said Boris sounding cheerful. “All that stuff you just fenced? In total, it’s worth 600 silvers.”
Rico’s eyes widened considerably in shock, “T-that much?! Seriously?!” Boris nodded and handed him his money pouch back. “Vielen dank, Boris!” Rico said, jumping for joy and shaking Boris’ hand in a firm grip.
Feeling tired after a very long first day in Spielburg, he left the Thieves Guild with a heavy back, but a light heart.
Posted 08 June 2013 - 11:32 PM
Also enjoying the believable fight scenes.
Marcus' father has me intrigued too, especially since he knew Rakeesh (and name dropped him a full 'game' early )
The one thing I'm probably enjoying the most is that you have it split up with the three Heroes. It's not one 'jack-of-all-trades' guy doing every role in the game himself. This is going to be great down the line - everything's going to be taken care of in each city they visit. I always disliked not being able to save poor Elyssa if you're not a Paladin. Likewise with Piotyr's spirit.
And again, sorry it took this long to read it! I'll do better next time! PM me if I don't reply within a few days
FanFictions and Works in Progress:
Posted 09 June 2013 - 10:57 PM
Oh really? like what lines?
Aw, shucks! Thanks! I wish I could write better overall actually. For example, I kinda don't like the Prologue to this story. Like, now I wish we'd gotten a look into what the other two Heroes lives at home were like.
*sly grin* My lips are sealed.
Well, I've got certain things planned out for the boys. The hardest I think is going to be 3, as the Thief doesn't have much to do. Same with 4. *sigh*
That's okay, Orion! I'm just glad somebody is interested in this story!
To be honest, I've been stuck in writer's block for quite awhile. That accursed Goblin Camp! Well, now that I've actually PLAYED QFG1 (and 2, and about to finish 3), maybe I can just rewrite it and it'll go smoother. Hopefully...
Posted 10 June 2013 - 06:03 AM
Oh really? like what lines?
I really got a kick out of the "Why are we friends with him again?” line for some reason. Probably because it reminds me of how I feel about a few of my friends - it'd be dull without them around AND DON'T TEASE ABOUT RAKEESH! *bounces*
As for the writing roadblock - sometimes I find it helps to just sit down and write, even if you don't like what you're writing. The chapter I'm writing now I've done probably a half dozen times, never fully happy with the actual flow of the story - the plot just seems to hang there, and it's a chapter that sets up the rest of the fanfiction. But in the many times I've sat down to write it, I've gotten some really good parts that I've managed to cut-and-snip together into somewhat of a decent 'flow'. At least, that's how I work with my writings - it may not work for you, but sometimes just writing what comes to mind, even if it doesn't make sense, is good.
FanFictions and Works in Progress:
Posted 16 June 2013 - 10:58 PM
Banter only goes so far. If you aren't careful, you could start a knock-down-drag-out fight!
Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:39 PM
Posted 26 July 2013 - 09:35 AM
I did some reading last night, up to the point where they finished talking to the Guild Master So far, as far as I can understand, it seems to be the Hero's story in Spielburg, but instead of him, there's 3 young men in his place. The 3 young adventurers are interesting and fun so far
Well I'm not an expert, but one thing I remember about writing, from the time Almirena was around here.... she told me that we shouldn't mix past and present tense. Which seems to be the case here so far I've been reading.
And she also told me that narration is best done in the past tense
In an atempt to actually try and improve my vocabulary, I underlined the words I didn't know or didn't remember so I will look them up and try to use them where needed in my own story
And I'm gonna do my best to follow Almirena's example and advice, cause her writing/authoring skills are awesome! I remember she won a writing contest made by Lori Ann Cole in the past!
My name is Elsa Von Spielburg and I am a Paladin.
What kind of Hero Are You?
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