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The Wrath of the Wretched

by Omnipotent 256

Chapter 1

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4
Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8

Daron sat in silence outside the mansion. He had been there since noon that day, and it was nearing midnight. He had been watching this house for a week, getting the schedule set in his mind. He knew who all of the employees were, and where they worked and slept. He knew where the owner slept, and where the guest rooms where. He had been sitting there since noon that day watching, and making plans in his mind, discarding and improving on plans, until he knew the perfect approach. The time to strike was now. Daron began to slip into his work clothes. Tighter than normal, but still loose enough to allow him full and silent movement. Still tying the belt, which held his equipment around his waist, he began to stalk towards the library window. The lord of this mansion was not a very scholarly person, and the library was just for show. It remained empty most of the time. Quickly, but precisely, a lock pick slipped into the lock. A few seconds later, a barely audible click sounded, and Daron slid the window up, and crawled through. Slowly, Daron began to look for a safe in the library. Nothing. He knew there was a guard just outside the library door, so he opened it quickly. The guard spun, and was met with a hard blackjack across the head. Catching the massive guard as he slumped, Daron dragged him under a table in the library, and bound the guard up. He went through the door, and stealthily snuck down the hall, his soft leather boots making a quiet tap tap tap as he went. He slipped through a door, and shut it carefully behind himself. Daron found himself in the main entranceway into the mansion. it was a spectacular room, marble staircases, paintings, a massive chandelier, and a golden statue, perhaps a foot tall. He grabbed the golden figure, careful not to alert the big guards that were outside the main door, and put it in his cloak. He climbed the grand, marble staircase, and turned a corner. He was nearing the lord Winterdale's bedchamber. He went through a door, and shot the guard with his tranquilizer gun. There was a shot hallway that led to Winterdale's bedroom. He slinked through, and found himself in the snoring lord's room. The main safe was in here. Daron began his search, and was soon rewarded with the sight of the safe. He picked the surprisingly simple lock, and took out as much gold as he believed he could carry, and still move stealthily with. The gold was deposited in various pockets, and Daron left the room, still careful not to wake the soundly sleeping lord. Daron went through the door he came in by, and was in the hallway that led to the family’s bedchambers. Much to his surprise, there was a woman in the hall with him, carrying a small candle. She was perhaps 20 years old, and easily one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen. She was tall, with long, shapely legs, and a spectacular body. She had blonde hair that came down a bit past her shoulders and framed her green eyes. Daron was certain she had nice white teeth, but could not tell, because she was certainly not smiling. Her white nightgown rustled as she put the candle on a small nearby table. "Who are you, and what are you doing here?" She hissed.

"Who are you?" Daron asked.

"Why should I tell you who I am!?!" She whispered. Daron was not sure as to why she was whispering. She had nothing to hide.

"Because I asked first" he said with a small grin.

"No you didn't!" Her whispering voice rising in pitch" answer me now or I'll scream for the guards"

"All right then. I am Philip, a servant, just hired today. Milord wanted me to bring him a snack." Daron lied.

"Fine then Philip. Don't make a noise as you leave. I want to get some sleep." Daron thought he was home free, when that small statue worked its way loose, and fell to the carpeted floor.

"Thief!" She screeched, still in hushed tones, though, for some reason. Her fist launched towards Darons head. He was taken by surprise, and would by the next day have a black eye. She lashed out her foot, but he caught her leg around the ankle. Daron put his leg beside her planted foot, and his free hand just above her knee, and pushed, tripping her. He held her down and gagged her, and tied her legs and arms. Daron scooped up the statue up, and walked off. He began to leave, and was halfway down the staircase when he heard a scream. Daron cursed under his breath. The two big half ogre guards stepped through the main door, one pulled a broadsword, and the other hurled an axe at Daron. He dodged the axe, barely, and ran back up the stairs. He would have to find another way out, now. The guards stared chasing him as he ran down the hallway. Things were deteriorating much too quickly for Darons liking. He saw a window. He opened it up, and saw supports for a balcony, which was on the next floor. He dove out, and grabbed the support and started climbing up. If he had climbed down, one of the big guards would have gotten him with some throwing weapon. The half ogre that threw the axe had an unnerving aim. He pulled himself over the edge of the balcony, and started running down yet another hallway. This house had far too many hallways, in Darons opinion. He found a window with a tree just outside of it. He slid down the tree, and ran off into the night. The robbery was a success, although not as good as he was used to doing.


Chapter 2

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4
Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8

Corman was an apprentice nearing the end of his training at Tulla. He thought that was no finer place in the world, than magickal tulla. The people were all wise and intelligent and powerful. He felt himself constantly in wonder of the things happening around him each day. That wonder had changed to fear, and Corman now ran from the smoking ruins his favourite place in the world. He had thought the city of Tulla unassailable, but that turned out to be horribly wrong. It happened so slowly that it was unexpected. No one could have seen it coming. Tirrel was a simple mage. Fairly powerful, but he did not have any skills at combat, or any of the major spells. His gift, which he much preferred to practice to the normal magickal spells, was to enchant things. He was peerless when it came to making magickal things. Warriors’ world over came to him for magickal weapons and armour. Despite his success, most of the mages did not consider him to be at their level. Tirrel was quiet most of the time, and did not have a powerful presence, and treated by most of the mages like he was beneath them. He taught enchanting, of course, at the Tullan University. One day, while the apprentices and masters were eating, Tirrel bolted upright and screamed "I HAVE IT!" He then ran from the school and was not seen for a week. He then called a meeting and asked all the master mages at tulla to attend. He showed them something that was amazing. Something no one had ever made before. He had enchanted a pair of gauntlets that could amplify a persons will to several hundred times its previous power.* It was amazing. Revolutionary. Something like this could make a mage almost infinitely powerful. The person could even use spells that no one had ever used before, for lack of previous power. In the wrong hands, a person could rule unchallenged. No one would have the power to challenge. Unfortunately, Tirrel's happened to be the wrong hands. For his demonstration, he took everyone to a tree which had been growing for thousands of years. It was 1500 feet tall, and 350 feet in circumference. He uprooted it, snapped it in half, and hurled it so far that everyone lost sight of it. He didn't even break a sweat. He then turned on the crowd and disintegrated half of them, with one powerful spell. The rest of the crowd, he destroyed by focusing a massive gale force wind into a long sheet the width of a hair. Tirrel unleashed it on the rest of the mages, and they were all cut in half. Tirrel had killed all of the master mages in residence at tulla, and he was not even winded. The apprentices saw this, and ran out of the university, thinking that they might have a chance, because the masters were taken by surprise. They were wrong. Tirrel destroyed hundreds of them. Corman had not left the university, while all his friends had. He was held by the fist of fear, which had twisted around his gut so hard he couldn't even move. Tirrel then, laughing began to destroy homes in to smoking ruins. He was power mad. Corman knew that if he wanted to live, where all his friends and mentors had perished, he must flee right now. There was no way that any magickal power alive could stop Tirrel. He went out of the front door and broke into a sprint. He ran for as long as his body would permit, hoping that Tirrel would not notice him. Death terrified Corman, making him rather far from brave. He turned, and looked back on the smoking ruin of the place he had called home for much of his life. He knew deep inside of him that he could not live with himself if he did not do something about Tirrel. Corman knew that he would eventually do something, but he had no idea how. He also knew of course, that in the attempt, his life would end. The thought terrified him, but there was a strange assurance in knowing that he would die soon. He walked for a long time, not knowing where he was going, nor knowing how he would get there without any food. Corman hadn't picked any food up in his rush to escape. Stupid of him. As dusk fell across the land, he found a tree and crawled under it so he might try to sleep, though he doubted it would happen. He curled up in his tiny shelter, and cried at the injustice of it all. It just wasn't fair.

Corman woke up in the morning cold and stiff. He had fallen asleep on a root. He could feel hunger and thirst beginning to gnaw at his stomach. He stood and began to walk again, in the same direction as the previous day. He came across a small stream. He dropped and began to drink rapidly from it. He had nothing that could hold any water and cursed his lack of equipment. After drinking as much as he could hold, Corman began to walk again. After a while, he came across a small bush, and there were berries. He nearly cried out with the joy of it. These, he could hold. He found a stick, and took off his cloak. Corman started piling the berries on his cloak, and tied it around the stick, which he carried over his shoulder. He ate his fill, and was off yet again. After traveling for hours and hours he came to a fairly large town. He wandered aimlessly through the streets. Even now that he had come to a place, he was still clueless as to what to do. Corman was hoping for some sort of miraculous inspiration. Unfortunately for him, nothing of the sort was happening. As he wandered the streets he came across a train station. Usually he avoided such places, as it made it hard for him to practice his craft, but he idly wondered where the train went to, and strolled over to the sign. He looked. As he looked over the sign, he saw that it went to Tarant. "What a dreadful place" he murmured to himself, even though he had never been there. He had heard rumours of a massive city, filled with technological wonders. "Wait" he said, to himself "massive. Yes yes" he thought to himself that if he could not find any people that could help him have a chance at defeating Tirrel, that would be the place. He bought some clothes and a ticket with the money he had on him, and soon was on a train to tarant.

*the theory behind this is that if you have a willpower that no one else has ever had before, you should be able to do fantastic spells that no one else can do because they dont have the power. also, on the not making him tired bit, i thought that if you had a massive will, then spells wouldnt be that hard, and thus, not tiring. of course, just my thoughts.


Chapter 3

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4
Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8

Daron was happy. Last night's work had paid off. He had gotten away with 70 gold coins, and that small statue went for 30 gold at the thieves guild. Maybe he would take a few weeks off, and go have himself some fun. Daron didn't know, but right now he was sprawled over his favourite chair, and quite comfortable. There was a rap at the door. Daron glimpsed out the door to see who it was. He cursed. It was that woman from the night before! She was wearing clothes that made her look like she was about to start a long trek. If she knew who he was, and where he lived, it would soon be time for a change of address. She did not have a gun or a knife with her, and he knew that if she had known magick, she would have splattered him across the wall with it the previous evening. He grabbed his pistol, opened the door, and said "hello. What can I do for you?"

"You can give me back my father’s gold, for starters. I am the lady Nerina Winterdale; my father is lord winterdale."

"I can’t do that. If I just went around returning gold after I stole it, I would be out of business pretty quickly, wouldn't I?" He asked rhetorically.

"Fine then"she said, a devious smile brightening her face unexpectedly "I'll make you a deal"

"I'm listening"replied Daron"but you should get to the point quickly, or I may stop"

“How about this” she said “I won’t turn you in, and you won’t be killed by the police, in exchange for two things. I want half the money you stole, and I want you to teach me to be a thief"

Daron's jaw dropped"why would you want to be a thief!?! You don't need money, you're nobility."

"You don't need money either, judging by the amount you stole from my father"she shot back" and the reason I want to be a thief is for the excitement. I have lived a horribly sheltered life, and it will become even more sheltered once my father finds some rich pig for me to marry! I don't want that life. I want adventure"

Daron decided not to disillusion the young woman. If it would keep his head off of the block, he would teach her "Alright" He handed her the money"I'll teach you how to be a thief. And you are in luck that I robbed your house, because I am the best. You won’t be getting a second class education. Now, tell me what you can do."


Chapter 4

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4
Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8

Corman stepped off of the train into the smelly, smoky station. So this was Tarant. He was hoping that the city got better than what he was in now. He wondered what he should do. Corman decided that it would be best to seek out his own kind, if there were any mages in tarant. He asked the ticket seller where he could find the magickal district. The man told him, and Corman was off. He soon found himself in the small part of tarant where most of is magickal resided and conducted business. There was a building with a sign that said "tarant magickal library". Corman stepped inside. This is where he could find someone to help him. He was about to pass an old man with white hair and a neatly trimmed white beard, when the man grabbed Corman's shoulders and looked into his eyes. Cowman braced himself for a fight, but it was not needed. "You"said the old man in a soft voice"come with me". Corman followed the old man who walked up to a bookshelf and removed an old leather bound book. And opened it.

"What are we doing?" Corman asked

"Heh heh heh. This is it"he said opening the book to a certain page, and ignoring Corman's question"I have found you at last."He looked up at Corman"all of my life, I have studied prophecies, and learned the meaning in them. It is what I have always done best, and now I know why. The gods themselves had a hand in that an in our meeting. I can feel it" Corman frowned at the mans cryptic wording"you are in the prophecies. I can see it in your eyes. yes yes, great things are in store for you"

"Can I hear the prophecy?"Corman asked anxiously

"In the age of invention, the meek lord shall invent. The world shall suffer under the dark cloud of his rage. To turn the meek lord in his path, the learner must seek out the companions that shall accompany him. The lady, the thief, the hunter, the bearer of secrets, the inventor, the guide, the guardian, and the silver swordsman. If the learner can find his companions, as it is written in the stars, than all things shall be equal at the meeting, and all will have an equal chance at victory. So it is written."

"I don't understand" Corman confessed

"I did not expect you to. That’s why I was destined to meet you and explain. You are the learner. It is your job to seek out the other people who you need to defeat the meek lord, who I suspect you know the identity of."

"Yes, it is Tirrel, an enchanter. I have a question"

"That is what I am here for, to answer your questions."

"How can I find these people if I don't even know their names?" Corman asked

"I cannot tell you everything, but there are some things I may reveal. When you near one of these people, you will feel a strange feeling, and you will know. Also, people in prophecies are special, and will stand out form the crowd. What I can tell you about you're destined companions is this. The lady is a human woman you must find. All I have discerned about her is that she will be strange and beautiful and charming. She may not sound important on a quest such as yours, but trust me; she will be every bit as vital as anyone else you will need. There are tasks that only she can perform, just like you and all the others. the thief will be a human man. He will be quick witted, organized, and probably about the best thief in the world. The hunter will be just what its name implies. I have yet to decipher the hunters gender or race, but I can tell you that he or she will be impetuous, not very intelligent, but a great fighter and tracker. The bearer of secrets will be man, of unknown race, and I see something about the military surrounding this person, and of course, secrecy. The inventor will be a dwarven male, and a rather well known inventor. He will be intelligent, creative and rather quiet. The guide will be about the most important person in your company. He will be the tool of the gods, and will know where to find the rest of the company after himself. All I know of his identity is that he is male. The guardian's identity is also withheld from me. I know nothing about his or her identity, I am sorry to say. And the silver swordsman will be a knight. A very powerful fighter, and has some magickal skills. He will be elven, and have authority. Over who this authority will be held is beyond me. I hope I have been of some help to you. Good luck in your journey, and happy hunting, learner."

Corman walked away, shocked by the whole encounter. he began to think over what the old man told him. If these people were not the types to sink into the background, perhaps he should get a newspaper. He was forced to steal one from a stand, as he was flat broke. On the front page, the headline was this "ROBBERY AT THE WINTERDALE MANSION" the article went on to say that there was an award for the fellow, and that authorities believed it was the same thief who was behind numerous other robberies. A thief that had been making news lately. That seemed to meet the description the old man gave him, so he decided to find out who the thief was. After an hour of asking around, Corman found out about the seedier side of town, a place called the boil. According to all the people he had talked to, if he wanted to find a thief, that was where to look. Unfortunately, the boil had a nasty reputation. It was almost certain that this thief was in the boil, but getting in there would be a big problem. A person going in there asking around for a thief probably wouldn't last for very long. It was time for some acting and a generous amount of luck. Corman went to the town square and performed a few little magick tricks for money, till he had enough for a disguise. He could have stolen the money, but it went against the grain of his values.

The next day, Corman went to buy his disguise. He picked up some leather armour, a sword in the beginnings of rustiness, a dagger and an old helm that probably wouldn't offer much protection. Before trying to get into the boil, he rolled around in the mud a bit and ran for a while to build up a good sweat that would add to the disguise. After he looked sufficiently "ruffian-ish" as he put it, he went off to infiltrate the boil. He hoped that his acting skills were as good as they needed to be. He strolled confidently towards the boil, through an alleyway. A massive half ogre stepped out"gimme you munny 'fore i hurt you" he demanded haltingly.

Corman forced his face not to move. He forced his voice not to crack. He forced his legs and hands not to quiver. He forced himself to say something he would never say in that situation. "Why would i want to give my money to an overgrown muscle bag like you? Get out of my way before I split you up the middle, you dumb ox" Corman rested his hand on the hilt of his rusty sword suggestively "like that would make any difference" he though to himself. Instead of making Corman two pieces rather than one, like Corman expected, the half ogre did something completely unexpected. He started to cry. "You bad mean bad man. Gurd no like you" the half ogre said between sobs "leave gurd alone, bad man." Corman resisted the almost overpowering urge to laugh. He kept walking without another word to Gurd. He hoped that the rest of the boil was that easy, but he didn't think it would be. He walked for a while, hoping for some sign. He had gotten into the boil, but getting what he had come for was a different story. There was a tavern up ahead. Excellent luck. People who had been drinking for a while often had looser lips, it seemed. He stepped in and was immediately assaulted by the smoky, fishy, sweaty smell of the place. The tavern was half full, and half of the patrons were either asleep or dead. He idly wondered how many of the people were there from the night before, or had just come that morning. Corman stepped over a passed out drunkard, and went up to the counter and ordered two tankards of ale. He passed one to the man sitting at a nearby table, and sat down "Hello friend. I'm Garath" he lied.

"I'm Turgan." He shook Cormans hand "Thenks fur the ale"

"You looked to be in need of one"

"Bah. I'm ulready drunk, but hell, I ent gonna turn down a tankard"

Corman smiled"friend Turgan, could you help me with a problem I have?"

"Wuts the prollem"he said after a deep drink of ale. His voice was becoming slurred.

"I need to find a thief. The very best. I'm hiring"

"I'd do id, bud I'm a killer, not no thief. youds be wantin ole Daron. If you need somthin stoled, he can get er fer ya" That was exactly what Corman wanted to hear.

"Where can I find this Daron?" He asked

"hmmmm. He be livin down the street, in a cottage, or summat. He’s is prolly the cleanest place"

"Thanks, Turgan" Corman stood up to walk off.

"You's dint even tush yer ale"

"You can drink it" Corman walked out of the smelly place. He walked down the ally for a while, and sure enough, he came to a small clump of cottages. He strolled among them for a moment or two, and caught sight of the cleanest cottage. Standing just outside of it were a slightly larger than medium sized man of around 25 with dark hair and a clean-shaven face, and a breathtaking blonde woman of perhaps 20 years. As he walked closer, there was a strange tingling in the back of his mind that grew as he got closer.


Chapter 5

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4
Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8

"I can shoot a bow better than anyone I have ever seen at the mansions competitions, I can throw a dagger fairly enough, I can handle a small gun, and I can use a sword decently." Nerina said. Daron took in this gorgeous woman. Younger than him by a few years, and sheltered. He didn't know enough about her to assess her personality. From what he had seen of her character, he could only ascertain that she was complicated. He couldn't expect what she would do, and that frightened him a little. Her motives could not be pinned down. Last night she attacked him, but she didn't raise the alarm as soon as she saw him where he shouldn't be. Today, she came to get her fathers money, and then turned around wanting to become a thief. It would be a while before he could figure out this strange young woman.

"You left something out" Daron said

"What was that?"

"You can punch quite hard" he said, rubbing his black eye. She laughed. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a person coming towards them. It was a man, about his own age. He had short brown-red hair, tucked under a flimsy helm. He had some armour and some weapons on, but they did not fit him quite right for some reason. As the man walked closer Daron began to get a strange feeling in his head. He cocked his gun. As the man got right up to them, there a bright flash across his vision, and the feeling intensified and stopped suddenly. He heard the man mutter something that sounded like "I'll be able to feel it. Yes" Daron thought that this was just a lunatic wandering around. The man said" do I say this?"He asked himself"uhh, what's your name?"

"Daron, why?"

"I've been looking for you. Do you believe in fate?" Daron's first impressions were becoming stronger. He was glad to have his pistol in hand.

"No. I like to think that what I do matters. Who are you?" He asked.

“Hmmm” the man muttered to himself “I’m Corman. I think you are supposed to help me with something"

"What?" Daron asked.

"I'm sorry. I am not doing this very well. There is a prophecy. You and I are both in it. You have to come with me to destroy Tirrel."

"Who is Tirrel?" This Corman didn't make any sense

"He is a mage that destroyed tulla and most everyone in it. We have to defeat him."

"Why do I have to go with you?"

"Maybe you can just question him to death" he said sarcastically, frustration obvious in his tone"sorry. You are part of a prophecy that says that you and I and several others have to try and kill Tirrel. If you don't go, we fail."

Daron thought for a few moments."I'm not going with you. This Tirrel sounds very dangerous. I certainly wouldn't want to tangle with one of those master mages, and this Tirrel beat all of them!?! No. I would be risking my life for nothing."

"WHAT!?!"Corman exclaimed.

"I'll go"Nerina piped in for the first time"it sounds just perfect"

"Who are you?" Corman asked

She raised her nose in the air"I am the lady Nerina Winterdale and I command you to take me along." Both of the men stared at her.

Corman turned back to Daron "what do you mean for nothing!?! You would be saving the world. even if you do die, you would die anyway! This is your only chance at survival!"

Daron looked at the strange fellow"how much would you pay me for my services?"


"I get the feeling that you are ignoring me" Nerina said

Daron ignored her"if you pay me; I am not doing it for nothing. If I go, I want 200 gold."

"I'll give you 200. On completion"

"I'll kill you if you don't pay me, so as long as we have that all clear, and you know what you are getting into, I'll go along." Daron said finally"I'll go and collect some supplies" and with that, he walked off into his small home. Strange things were going on.


The thief walked away, and Corman turned to Lady Nerina. "What were you saying?" He asked

"I said that I am going with you."

"No. I don't think you are in the prophecy, so you can’t come."

"I am coming no matter what you say. He is my teacher. I am going to learn to be a thief" Corman looked at Nerina again. Then he remembered something she had said when he asked who she was.

"Did you say you are a lady?" He asked

"Isn’t it obvious?" She said, looking down at herself. Corman blushed, against his will.

"I meant a noble lady, from the nobility"

"Yes" it clicked into place. He only felt what he assumed was the confirmation of his companions once because they were both together. He had found the lady, he was almost positive of it.

"Well then, that changes everything. You can come along" she beamed at him at him. He thought he heard her mutter something about him having no say in it, but couldn't be quite sure. Daron came out 20 minutes later with a bulging purse at his side, as well as a short sword and at least one dagger. He had some leather armour on, much like Corman's, and a large pack. He had his belonging together in the pack previously, because he was constantly on the move. A thief must always be ready to go when the neighbours stop being hospitable.

"Let’s go"he said shortly. They walked for a while and Nerina said that she needed some things from her father’s mansion. She ran inside, and Daron and Corman began to talk. Corman told Daron everything that had happened, and recited the prophecy from memory. A mage needs a good memory, and that is hardly the kind of thing a person forgets. "So, do you have any idea how we are going to get this Tirrel?" Daron asked

"I have no idea. I am assuming that we will find a way"

Daron winced"I hate leaving things to chance, Corman. If you don't know what is going go happen, things you aren't ready for can happen, and that is almost never good." Nerina walked up with a pack on her back, and a bow and a quiver of arrows. "Shall we?" She said, and they started walking without a real idea of a destination.


Chapter 6

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4
Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8

Tirrel the elf stood among the flaming ruins of Tulla. He looked at a body lying lifeless on the ground next to him. He kicked it and laughed. He deserved it, he thought to himself; he would never tease Tirrel again. He laughed again. Tirrel would never feel bad again, now that those mean people that made him feel bad were gone. Nothing could go wrong. It was tirrel's lucky day. He had shown them who was better, who was smarter. They always looked down at him, and made him feel bad. He was so happy now that he had his magickal gloves. They worked so well, and made him the boss, made him stronger than anyone. No one could ever make him feel bad again. He turned to a building and made it explode, and he laughed. He showed them. Tirrel had a thought, and he gasped. "That is bad. They would do it too, those mean people." What if they came from other places and made him feel sad again? He didn't like being sad. "Mean, mean people" he muttered. They would come too, and make him feel bad. He didn't want that. He flexed the muscle of his amplified will, and made all the trains in the land stop working, which was surprisingly easy. What if the people still came, though? At first he thought that he would just kill them, like the others. He laughed at that thought, and kicked the body again. But what if he wasn't strong enough? Those nasty people might hurt him. Tirrel didn't like getting hurt, no, no. Then an idea hit him. He would make an army, and then no one could make him feel bad, or the army could kill them. Tirrel lowered his arms and slowly began to raise them, and a field of orcs grew before him. If he were to leave this a normal summoning spell the strain would kill him in a few minutes, but Tirrel had a plan. He altered the summoning spell to make the summoned beasts permanent. There were mages and gunmen and generals and everyone else an army needs. He created weapons and armour for them. Tirrel was happy. Another thought came to Tirrel, but this one was different. He had just created life. The only people who could create lives were women and gods, and since Tirrel wasn't a woman, that meant that he had to be....... A god. Tirrel laughed. He liked being a god, it was fun. Tirrel frowned. If he was going to have an army of orcs, that meant land was going to be in his power. He knew that he wasn’t smart enough for that, and he didn’t particularly want to rule people anyways. He figured he needed someone to do all that for him. He created an elf on the spot. This was a powerful elven mage who was very intelligent. He decided to name him Gurka, after a pet he had when he was little. A thought struck Tirrel yet again. If he was a god, he would need a nice palace to live in. He turned and created a palace like none ever imagined before. It shouldn't have worked architecturally, but Tirrel was a god, and he could do whatever he wanted. There were spires that went into the clouds, walls as high as giants and 50 feet thick, a front door 100 times Tirrels size. A fitting place for a god to live, thought Tirrel. The leader of the orcs came to Tirrel and asked him what to do, Tirrel said "go and make the bad people gone so they cant hurt my feelings. Kill the mean, bad people, make them be gone." The orc saluted Tirrel and walked off to his field of troops, who began to march. Tirrel turned and walked into his new house. It was time for a nap. Being a god was fun, but very hard work. Tirrel was having fun.


Chapter 7

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4
Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8

“I’ll give you 5 gold for the mule, and 15 silver for the cart” Daron said to the stable owner. They needed something to carry their supplies in. He had wanted to just steal the cart and mule, but Corman wouldn't let him. He said that it wasn't right. That fact didn't particularly bother Daron, for if he got squeamish about such things, he would be in a different line of work. But Corman was resolute. They wouldn't have even needed a mule and cart if the trains were still working, but for some reason they had all stopped working. Every last one of them.

"I could not part with these for less than 10 gold for the whole package" the portly man who owned the stables.

"I may go as high as seven for the mule, but no more for the cart."

"Eight gold" Daron turned around and started to walk away. "Alright, alright. 7 gold and 15 silver. We have reached an agreement" Daron smiled and paid the man. He hated paying for things, especially when he could steal them so easily. Corman and Daron hooked the mule to the cart, and Nerina rather quickly took the seat in the cart. Her explanation was that she was a lady and not used to walking long distances, and her feet already hurt. Daron could tell she was lying through her teeth, but she gave Corman a look, and the mage relented. Daron wanted to drive and sighed. They were going to go and buy supplies; of course, he wasn't allowed to steal them. They bought quite a bit of food, and other things they may need, like lanterns, and tents, and the like. Unfortunately, this left the trio a little short on money. Daron had an idea.

"Corman, Nerina, we are going to go and gamble, so I can get us some more money."

"What if you lose?" Nerina asked. Daron just laughed and told her to just follow him with the cart. There was a tavern at the end of Daron's path, and he could see through the window that there was indeed a game of cards going on.

"Corman, you come in with me." He said

"What about me?!"Nerina asked in an outraged tone.

"Well, Nerina there is probably drinking, and swearing going on in there, I can almost guarantee. And being a gentleman, I can hardly expose a noble lady to that kind of debauchery. Besides, someone needs to watch the cart" She swore at him, and he laughed and took Corman inside.

Sitting around the table were four people. A fat balding man who was perspiring rapidly into his expensive looking clothes, a tall handsome man with dark hair. There was also a small, twitchy man with wild eyes, and a massive man with a harsh glare, and a heavy broadsword lying on the floor near him.

"Ooh, cards!!" Daron exclaimed"I love playing cards! What game are you playing?"

"We are playing poker" the giant man said in a deep rumbling voice.

"I've never played that game before" he lied"can I give it a try?"

"Do you know how to play"twitchy asked.

"Not really, but I am sure I will pick it up pretty quickly, if you folks help me if I make a mistake"

"Yes, we will help you whenever you make a mistake, certainly" the handsome man said, maybe a little to quickly.

"Oh, that's just wonderful" he told Corman quietly to go and sit at a nearby table and make sure no one attacked him. He sat down, and was dealt in. Daron played a few hands in which he made outrageous mistakes, and folded early, to keep his losses low. Then, he started to allow himself to win a few, and soon he was winning about half of the games, and the handsome man was winning the other half. Daron was winning them some extra money, when Corman came over, and said" that man over there who has been winning most of the hands, we need him. He is the guide, I can feel it."

"How?" Daron whispered back

"When I first got near you and Nerina, I got the same feeling, and it identified you, but since the two of you were together, I only knew that you were needed until I figured it out myself."

"I meant how are we going to get him to come along?"

"I don't know. I am sure you'll think of something"

"Thanks" Daron said sarcastically, and turned back to the game. He played a few hands and went over in his mind how to get this guide fellow to come along. This man had no reason, as far as Daron could see, to come along, and that was posing most of his problems. The players decided to take a break from cards to go and get some drinks, or use the washroom, or whatever they felt like doing. Daron sat in his chair sipping some ale, and watching the guide. The man was sitting at the counter trying to seduce a rather curvaceous brunette woman. The guide seemed to consider himself quite the ladies man. An idea hit Daron like a lightning bolt and he went over and told it to Corman, who then went to fulfill his role in the plan. The game commenced again, and soon the pot was quite large, and Daron and the guide were the only ones left in. Daron was playing with a bad hand, a hand with which he normally would have folded with, but this was not a normal hand. Not surprisingly, Daron lost. "YOU CHEATED, I SAW IT!!" The thief bellowed at his successful opponent.

"What are you talking about?" He asked, bewildered. Instead of answering, Daron reached across the table and roughly grabbed him, and hauled him outside. Daron swung wildly at the gambler, and missed. The handsome gambler's aim was much better, and he hit Daron in the right cheek with his fist. Daron collapsed like a house of cards, and laid on the ground. The guide was about to walk inside, when Nerina tapped him on the shoulder, with a helpless look on her face.

"Oh, sir, it was very brave how you fought that ruffian brother of mine." She said in an overly sweet voice.

"He is your brother?" He asked

"Yes. I am sorry for his behaviour, but he isn't quite sane. He may seem normal sometimes, but other times, he becomes a beast. His friend is like that, too. I am so terribly afraid of them some times. Sadly, I have to take them to an institution for people like that, and I fear they might hurt me."Her face brightened suddenly as if and idea. She was laying it on a little thick. Daron would have to talk to her about that later."I would feel ever so much more safe, if a big strong man like you could accompany me" she looked at him hopefully"I would be willing to pay." She added.

The man, sensing a woman he could woo, automatically assumed the big strong man role. It was just what he was hoping for. how could any ladies man ignore a beauty like Nerina? Daron could see him stretch to look taller and tighten his muscles. It was all he could do not to laugh, and he could see Corman was having the same problem"you don't need to pay me. Any gentleman would go out of his way to help a fine lady such as you."

Nerina beamed at him"oh wonderful. Could we leave now, please sir? The place is quite a way out of town, and I want to get there as soon as possible. It will take a while because the donkey isn't that fast and has a cart to pull behind it"

"Let’s leave in the morning. The owner of this place has a stable where you can keep your donkey and cart, and you can get a room in an inn, and can meet me here in the morning. My name is Sorin Jelon, by the way."

"My name is Nerina; Master Jelon" Sorin turned and walked away, leaving the three of them alone. As soon as he was out of earshot, Daron and Corman walked over to her, laughing.

"Not sane, Nerina?" Daron asked in a hurt voice"we aren't sane to bring you along." Corman laughed, and Nerina frowned.

"The important thing is that you two got him to come along. It is going to make it a bit harder to convince him he needs to come along for different reasons, though, if he thinks I am insane. oh well, I suppose I‘ll think of something" Corman said"lets go to that inn."


Chapter 8

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4
Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8

They were off early in the morning, heading for the “institution”. Daron and Corman were riding in the back of the cart and Sorin and Nerina were squeezed into the front bench. Daron glanced over at the young mage lying next to him. He was beginning to like Corman, but he still didn’t trust him. Daron was actually not even sure what spells Corman knew.
       Corman seemed lost in thought. The two men had to figure out a way to get the guide to come with them, without lying to him, Corman was quick to point out. The guide, Sorin, was happily chatting with Nerina, oblivious to most everything around them, intent on enjoying the lady’s company. Daron noticed this and tried something. “Corman, pass me my toolkit” He whispered. The young mage complied, and Daron leaned over the side. He pulled a pair of pliers free from his kit, and set to loosening the bolts that held the wheel on, a difficult task considering that the wheels were moving. The wobbly wheel began to shake near the end of the axle like a man about to lose his balance. It started to carve ruts in the soft soil, and Sorin, who was driving the cart, was soon drawn out of his conversation, and forcing him to stop the cart to fix the cart. “quick, I’ll keep Sorin occupied and you get Nerina to convince him to stay. She’s the only one he thinks is sane.” he whispered to Corman. So the mage went off to speak with Nerina and Daron volunteered to help Sorin. Fixing the wheel was a small matter, because the thief happened to have a tool just perfect for the job. They all climbed back in the wagon and were about to head off again when Nerina said “You know, Sorin, they aren’t really insane.”

“Oh?” he replied” so what am i doing out here then?”

“well, we kind of need you for other things” she explained. She was opening her mouth to say more when an arrow landed with a thunk in the side of the cart. Off in the distance there was a group of armed people heading towards them. They all pulled weapons, except Corman. Nerina fired an arrow off towards their ambushers, that struck someone in the leg, and was soon loading up a new one. Daron gripped his two daggers tightly. He hoped that Corman had some good spells up his sleeve, for their attackers were too close for them to run away, and too numerous for them to beat without some big spells from the mage. They were in range of Sorin’s pistols, and the guide fired, killing an attacker. He passed the Sorin his short sword for when his bullets ran out, Daron leaped from the cart and prepared to fight. Corman fired a large ball of flame into the centre of the party, that exploded and set three on fire. “A MAGE!” the man who appeared to be the leader of the attacking party bellowed ”DON’T KILL HIM, SAVE HIM FOR THE MASTER.” Daron leapt forward, daggers flashing with quick efficiency. He slammed one upward through some crude armour into the flesh of a rather fat mans stomach, and swung the other dagger in an arc that cut deep into another’s chest. Sorin fired the last round in his revolvers, gripped the borrowed short sword, and ran into the fray. In the meantime, Nerina was still wounding people with arrows, and Corman was tossing the odd fireball in. Little did they know that one of the attackers had ran behind them and was sneaking up with a club. The unknown threat leapt up into the cart and smashed Nerina and Corman both over the head with his club, knocking both unconscious. He hoisted up the limp mage over his shoulder, and ran back to his allies. Daron turned and saw his friend predicament, but was unable to get to Corman through the great numbers of attackers. It was hopeless. “SORIN” he yelled “RUN!!”. Sorin looked over at Daron quickly, a distressed look in his eye, and complied. The thief turned an ran, too, and dove into the front of the cart and urged the tired mule to run. Sorin, who had been further from the cart caught up and leapt into the back, and soon they were into the forest, away from the ambushers who had not given chase. once they stopped, Nerina began to stir. she sat up and asked “what happened?”
       “We were attacked. we fought for a bit, you were knocked out, and we had to run.” Sorin said.
       She looked around. “Where’s Corman” she asked as she felt for the lump on her skull.
       “They captured him” Daron said simply , his voice slightly pained from the cut on his chest. “when they hit you, they hit him, too, and they took him”
       “And you just let them!” she screeched at the two men, who were intently studying their shoes at this time. “Well, that settles it. Before we go anywhere, we have to go rescue him.” she said, with a note of finality in her still loud and highly pitched voice.
       “Nerina, they have probably killed him by now” Sorin said.
       “No, they wouldn’t have taken him if they just wanted to kill him. something is strange. They took him because he was a mage. what would they want with a mage?” Daron asked, half to himself, half to them. “Well, lets go follow them, but we’ll have to keep a good distance.” Nerina thought it a little annoying how Daron automatically assumed the leader role, but she listened anyway, as it is what she would have done herself. They waited a while before following, both to let their tired mule rest a little, and to let Corman’s captors get a move on.
       When they finally got to moving, the group holding Corman was quite a distance from them already, which suited their plans just perfectly. After about an hour of following, The group went into a large mansion, through the back door. There were several carriages in front of the grand house, and there were a few finely dressed people getting out of one right then. A ball, thought Daron. There is a prisoner being brought in, and a party at the same time. The thought almost made him laugh. As the colour of the sky began to match the black of Darons cloak, the thief set out to spy on what was happening so they could make a plan.
       The thief snuck by the guards outside, remaining as unseen as the cool breeze, and began to creep around underneath the ground floor windowsills. One of the windows was well lit, so he took a peek inside. There was indeed a ball going on inside. Rich, well dressed people swirled about the large room. A plan was beginning to gnaw on Darons mind. He went over to a bush that went up the side of the building, and climbed up, into a room on the third floor. He had been able to recognize from the window that this was probably the master bedroom. The thief began to rummage around, and soon found something that would work well for Sorin, and he shoved it in a large pocket in his cloak, but couldn’t find anything for Nerina. Cursing softly under his breath, he left the same way he came in, and slipped past the guards at the gate again. He stalked over to one of the carriages parked outside, careful not to catch the attention of the driver. There was a Chest on the back, and he picked the lock, hoping that his luck was with him. It was. The item he found for Nerina was to large to fit in one of his pouches, so he carried it under his arm. He snuck away from the place, and made his way back to the pair he had left behind. “I brought you both some involuntary gifts from the master of that mansion over there” He said, gesturing vaguely towards the mansion from where he had come. “I have a plan.” He said with a small grin finding his face.

~ to be continued...


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