Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Dark Prophet (part 4)

It was as Blink had said, no more then an hour, before they crested a low rise and were able to see the hills the beast had spoken of. Dark against the starry night sky, the range stretched on far out of sight of the two humans. Thaellen walked forward, Blink at his side, and peered off into the night.
“I think I can see the cave, just over there.” he waved his hand in a northward direction.
“Would you like me to go ahead, and check it out?” Blink growled warily. It was clear that what ever evil was around, Blink was feeling it more acutely than the others.
“No, I don’t think that will be necessary,” Kennon said after a short pause. “stay with Thaellen.”
Blink sidled up to the elf, and Thaellen tousled the fur on his feline head.
Thaellen had run away from home many years ago, probably before either Kronin or Kennon had been born. From where and why he had left, he had never told the others, in fact they knew very little of him before his meeting with the frelis Blink. From what the elf would say, their meeting had come about long after leaving his home.
He had been sitting on the banks of a fast moving stream in the quite hours before dawn when he heard a soft whimper. At first, though his hearing was keen as any elf’s, he thought he had imagined it. He continued refreshing himself in the stream when he heard it again. It was clearly the sound of some young creature in trouble. Thaellen followed the sounds, to a shallow valley not far from the stream. There, incased in a thick web of spider silk, was a young frelis. The giant spider that had spun the web was lying on its back, all eight legs grotesquely splayed in the air. Thaellen approached with care, not wanting to frighten the beast any more then was necessary. It was so young, it clearly had not grown into any of the properties that frelis where known for; such as their ability to phase in and out of reality, allowing them to move anywhere they wish on this plane of existence. It was not a newborn, evidenced by the poison that was in it’s sharp teeth that had laid the aggressing spider low, but it clearly could not free itself. Thaellen had never seen a frelis in this region, in fact, he could not remember seeing one for over a hundred years. However this little creature had gotten here, he was not going to leave it to die. Thaellen set aside is bow and pack and proceeded to use his long hunting knife to cut away the spider bonds.
They had been friends and companions ever since.
Thaellen and Blink met Kennon years later, many years later. Blink had matured into a full grown and very articulate frelis, and he and Thaellen were acting as scouts for the army of a lowly baron who was serving the Silver Order. The three became fast friends, and when Kennon left to begin his life as a wandering vagabond, he first searched them out. Their current profession as “holy men for hire” had been Thaellen’s idea, and it had worked wonderfully for some time.
Now Thaellen looked at Blink, the beast’s amber eyes spoke volumes. They both were very aware that this job was not going to be like the others.
“ready?” Kennon asked.
“Of course” Thaellen answered.
Kronin simply nodded.
They moved down from the rise into a short trench that lead roughly in the direction they wished to go. It took less then twenty minutes before Blink said that they should move out of the gully and head a little more eastward.
The climbed out, and started off again.
Before long, Kennon stopped.
“I think we are here, or at least very close. I can feel it now.” Indeed the Paladin felt as though the oppressive sense of evil was going to make him pass out.
Kronin, on the other hand looked quite strange. His usually grim expression was alight with a weird glow. He removed his pack from his shoulders and began rummaging through it. After a few seconds he withdrew four amulets.
“Here, each of you should wear one of these. I am not sure what we are about to face, but I think it is safe to say that there is more than thieves putting on a good show in that cave.”

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Dark Prophet (part 3)

The last light of the setting sun fell gently across the path of Kennon and his companions as they followed a small dirt trail deeper into the forest. It was well over an hour since they had left the camp, and the forest seemed not to have changed at all. The trees were old, and there was a smattering of underbrush everywhere they looked, and hardly any sounds of wild life.
“I am beginning to have an uneasy feeling about this.” Thaellen said after awhile, his keen eyes piercing the shadows that the others could not. “I have never been in a forest this devoid of living things. As if something has frightened them all off.”
Kennon looked side long at the elf. “Are you suggesting that there is some truth to all the rumors we have heard since arriving in this little hamlet?”
Kronin, who was walking behind the other two, said. “There is certainly an aura of evil like I have not felt in many years, I am surprised you can not feel it too, Kennon.”
Kennon winced at the comment.
Kennon had been a holy knight known as a Paladin of the Silver Order almost fifteen years ago. He had begun at a young age and had risen in the ranks quickly. His faith had been strong as a younger man, and because of that he had been able to pass all the Holy Rights a year earlier then was usual. After his official induction as a fully ordained Knight, he had been sent to the Valley of Orin, where the Silver Order was campaigning against a vile incursion of the northern barbarians. During the campaign, later known as the War of Rights, Kennon won great renown and was hailed a great champion of the Order. Then a tragedy overcame the Silver Order. Their leader, High Marshall Roth, was murdered, and the Order was never able to recover. Three years later, it was disbanded. Kennon had been devastated, not just by the loss of his blooming career, but because of the abject wickedness that was demonstrated by his fellow Paladins in light of their dismissal. His faith shattered and every thing he had worked for gone, he left his homeland, rather than join the royal army like most of his comrades had done. He wandered far and wide and became a mercenary, rejecting the tenants that he had clung to so fiercely as a Paladin.
Now he was a part of a band whose purpose was to weed out “monsters” for a hefty price. The trend of terrorizing small villages with the pretext of ghouls and goblins had started a few years ago, when rumors trickled down from the north of an ancient evil stirring in the vast uncharted wastelands of the northern tundra. Kennon and his group would masquerade as men of holy power who could rid the village or town of their haunting apparition for a price. It almost always turned out to be nothing more then profit seeking hooligans using showmanship to cause panic and distress.
Though as Thaellen had said, this felt different. For the first time in years a small tendril of doubt crept in to the paladins heart.
He had fallen so very low.
Kennon looked back at Kronin, whose shifty eyes just glared back.
“I am not surprised that I can not feel anything. It has been a long time since those days, and I would thank you not to bring it up.”
Kronin shrugged.
They had stopped in a small clearing, the thin moon casting very little light on the three of them. Thaellen was gazing off into the darkness of the forest.
“Blink is returning.” He whispered.
Sure enough, a few seconds after he said this there was a soft pop, and the huge beast appeared in their midst.
“I have found something. Not far ahead, maybe another hour or so, there is a low range of small hills that cut across this forest. There is an evil feel around those hills, and as far as I can tell it all seems to be originating from a small cave on the northern side

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Well, I just got surgery on my nose. Apparently there is a reason why I have never been able to breath properly. So now I have had that fixed, at least we shall if they fixed it. So far so good though. I can already breath better then ever before. Nice of the army to pay for it of course. I have 11 days of leave, so that is real nice. So be praying that I am not in to much pain for my short time away from work. And then when i get back, Lisa and I will be that much closer to coming home. So awesome!! sorry if the grammer is bad, I am doped up on percocet. *grins stupidly*

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Dark Prophet (part 2)

Mile or so outside of town on a low hill covered by evergreen trees lay three sleeping figures. A small camp fire was burning low and signs of a recent meal could still be seen. One of the figures turned over in his sleep, then with soft grunt sat up suddenly. He was peering into the darkness at the edge of the little camp.
“Back already?” He questioned the shadows.
“I did not mean to wake you.” A voice replied.
“You, of course, are not at fault Kennon. It is an old habit. How did it go?”
The man, Kennon, moved into the low fire glow and sat down next to one of the other still sleeping figures. He tossed the sack of coins that he had been given by Roland to the first man (whose name was Thaellen) who caught it in the air deftly as only an elf could do.
“Well enough I suppose. The innkeeper, Roland I think his name was, seemed genuinely frightened. He could not give much more information then what we have already heard. “
“It will do, I guess.” Thaellen said, weighing the bag of coins in his left hand. He stood up and walked to the last sleeping figure. Kennon leaned over and rapt the snoring person he had sat next to on the shoulder. “Wake up Kronin; it is time to get started.”
Kronin groaned and raised his head and glowered at Kennon, but said nothing. He thrust his thin blanket from his body and sat up. Kronin wore a simple black robe with a black rope for a belt and a hooded cowl to complete the ensemble. He was a warlock and was not fond of being woken up.
Thaellen was standing over the last still sleeping figure who was not a man at all but a large sleeping beast. At first glance it appeared to be a large feline, but once it moved it had very similar attributes to a large lizard. It was a dark grey color and had wide violet eyes that were staring intently at Thaellen even as he bent to whisper in it large point ears.
“I am wake.” The beast growled with humor. “It amazes me that we have been together so long, and yet you still seem to think that I am not always aware of your smallest emotions. If you are awake, dear Filas, then I most certainly am.”
Thaellen grinned as the large animal rose to its four legs and stretched grandly. “I forget, Blink, elves have long lives not perfect memories.”
“Not to mention overlarge egos…” Blink added.
“…and infuriating arrogance” Kennon laughed.
“It must irk you indeed to know that there are creatures out there that are just as alert and aware as your own race.” Kronin added humorlessly.
They all laughed.
“You are, as always, correct Warlock. I am more inclined to forget the extraordinary qualities of my long time friend here because we elves are far to self involved. It is something that I have fought against for some time now.” Thaellen laughed as he collected his things, and then added. “That is why I choose to spend so much time with you lesser races.”
With a flash, Blink’s paw whipped out and knocked Thaellen to the ground.
“Lesser race indeed.” The beast growled.
Kennon chuckled to himself. “We will leave in ten minutes, we have a long walk ahead of us, and we need to get started so when can be finished before the sun rises. “

To Be Continued

Monday, July 13, 2009


Lisa and I have begun doing the workout program called P90X. It is high time that we restarted our lifestyle, what with our return to Charlotte on the horizon. It will be more for Lisa, as the workouts our pretty advanced, and I am still in a considerable amount of pain. I will hobble along as best as I can, which will still be loads better then doing nothing. I am sure many of you have noticed that I, for a lack of a better word, am gargantuan, at least compared to what I used to be, so it is going to be far more difficult then anything I have done before. We will keep you all updated on our progress for the next 90 days or so. We will see if the program delivers.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Dark Prophet (for you Seth)

“Shhh, be quiet, I am sure they can hear us.” A small boy hissed at his companion lying flat on the ground trying to hear what was going on through the crack between the floor and the bottom of the solid oaken doorway.
“I am not even breathing loudly.” His companion whispered back.
Voices drifted to their eager ears from the room beyond.
“…and you are sure the source of this information is reliable?” a deep growling voice was saying in a low undertone.
“Of course!” a higher, more out- of-sorts voice said indignantly.
“Is that Roland, the innkeeper?” the boy further from the door asked his friend softly. His friend turned his head and put his finger to his lips, and nodded.
They both continued to listen intently.
“You are prepared to pay the agreed amount? I am sure my associate made the costs clear to you.” The deep voice was saying.
“We are prepared to pay whatever it costs to get rid of this thing. Your…err…talents came highly recommended.” Roland responded shakily.
There was the sound of a chair being scooted across the floor.
“There are no refunds.” The deep voice said in a rather final way.
Both boys looked at each other in alarm. The one lying on the floor leapt to his feet and started off after his friend who was already moving down the hallway. He made it three steps before the door opened and Roland came out followed by a very tall man dressed in weather-worn traveling clothes.
“What are you doing up at this hour, Chuil?” Roland barked, trying to sound in charge. It was a feeble attempt. “Off to bed, both of you. Yes I am sure your little accomplice is around here somewhere.”
Chuil took one last look at the stranger Roland had been speaking to and with a loud “grrumph” turned and followed Aiden down the hallway toward the stairs that led to their room in the attic of the Iron Swallow.
“Just some waifs I provide a home for.” Roland said in answer to the stranger’s upraised eyebrow. Roland led the way through the establishment to the front door. At the threshold he pulled out a large sack of coins, and handed it to the stranger.
“Here you go.” Roland said. He paused before handing the sack over. “I don’t believe you gave a name.”
“It is best that you do not know my name.” The stranger said as he took the sack of coins. He headed off down the street. Without looking over his shoulder he said. “If you want to call me something, call me Lightbender. For only my deeds will be remembered.

To Be Continued...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Another day here in sunny Alaska. No joke. It got up to eighty yesterday, and when you don’t have air conditioning in your house, that is not a whole lot of fun. It does feel good not to be freezing though, also it will prepare Lisa and I for going back to the good old south. Things are moving right along with my whole MED board process. You would think that the army would be ready to get rid of someone as physically useless as I am in my current condition, but oh no. They are going to make me fight hard for what I am beginning to view as my very freedom. Lol. It could always be worse of course. We are hoping to be back in Charlotte some time in September (worse case scenario) before the snow starts to fall here. It is in Gods hands now, and I can think of no better place for my future to be.

Monday, July 6, 2009

So, as fate or providence or the will of God would have it, our first blog note is not a great one. Our wonderful Fourth of July was slightly blemished by the news that I received yesterday that a friend of mine was killed in Afghanistan earlier that morning. It is with great sadness that I continue my every day duties and responsibilities knowing that at least one of my comrades will not be coming home. Only those who have lost some one close to them knows the terrible feeling that follows. My prayers go out to the family of the fallen soldier, and I pray fervently that the rest of my friends will return safe and sound.
Hey every one, this is our first attempt at blogging, so bear with us as we start with a little crawling around.