The Four (part 10)

Moludri kneels down next to Theodmer.

The dark elf reached down with his gloved hand to touch his lifeless face, and reels into the past, to see the fate of his cousin. Watched the moment he took his last breath, as he held onto his friends wrist just before passing.

His teeth came together slowly, his dark red eyes fluttered as his mind returned to present. Adjusting his black combat leather armor, his black cloth hood, fixing his crimson scarf around his face to conceal his facial features below his pointed nose, and letting the excess hang behind him over his right shoulder, he was now in hot pursuit to find the survivors of his cousins team.

“The Red Blades will avenge you, cousin.” He said under his scarf, as he sprinted forward, grasping the handle of his katana mounted onto his back with his left hand, and left arm under his jaw to protect his neck.

“I will not fail.”

* * *

Krilge was immediately disturbed from his voodoo induced meditation. His eyes burst wide open. Coated in sweat that could have appeared feverish.

“Zrathrum! You have left this planet. My dear friend.” His chest felt empty, as he felt a piece of him just evaporate. Sadness enveloped him, as if a giant worm burst from underneath the earth and swallowed him whole.

* * *

Tadena paced back and forth, his armor clacked and clonked, breathing heavy. Seething with hatred.

Anger.

He stopped pacing and went downstairs from his throne room to the two children who were shackled by their ankles and wrists. He snatched them both by their wrist chains in each hand, as they screamed in terror. Their cries echoed the empty room as he dragged them up the stony stairs back to the throne room.

Once he reached the throne room with the two children, he closed the door behind him to the downstairs room.

The oldest, the daughter, took advantage of the situation and swung her restrained hands over Tadena’s head, using the chain as a garrote. She pulled and pulled!

Her brother joined the fray by kicking Tadena’s knee out from under him, as he continued to choke and was now at level with the daughter. Tadena’s vision was blurry from lack of oxygen, and decided to quickly decide how to play this game.

In an instant, he grabbed her little brother with his left hand and with his strength, overpowering him, grasped his forehead with the back of his left hand, and jaw with his right palm.

His vision dimmed, his strength diminishing.

Tadena fell unconscious just moments before he broke the little boys neck. His body collapsed at the floor on his side.

“Come on Gene! Let’s get out of here!” Victoria sobbed from shock, as they hurdled out the throne room down some underground corridors, to find an escape route.

* * *

Haezid and Khodesh unlatched the door leading down into the crypts of the castle. They slid down the stairs and passed the guards quarters on their left. Haezid stopped.

“Haezid! What in the oblivion? We have to go!” Khodesh said urging him to keep moving.

Haezid dropped his shield and sword as they hit the stone floor with loud clangs.

“Haezid! We don’t have time for this!” Khodesh yelled.

“Just wait, impatient woman! I need a moment.” Haezid barked.

Haezid shedded his armor like a snake sheds skin, as he stood with just a loincloth and his boots. He walked over to the abandoned weapon rack, and draws out a two handed battle axe.

“Perfect…” he spoke to the axe, as he tested the sharpness of the blade on his hand. It cut quick as blood quickly filled the palm of his hand.

“It’s time to finish this.” Haezid said as blood ran down the axe’s handle. Khodesh couldn’t help but stare at his battle scarred figure. He moved passed her and she followed closely behind him, both armed at the ready.

* * *

Moludri found an entrance to the underground crypt. Clear on the other side. He saw a dead guard sprawled over a pool of congealed blood. He knelt down and assessed that he died of his battle wounds. Proceeding forward, carefully and quietly. Lowering his stance. His hand no longer on the handle of his katana. Creeping efficiently slow, feeling for presence. He came up to an intersection, and pressed his front to the wall. Moludri slid quietly to peer down the dark hallway. Watching.

Waiting.

After a brief moment, his intuition took him down the corridor. It was getting brighter and brighter with lit flames at the far end.

“Where the hell is this taking us? I can barely see in front of me!”

The voice of Haezid echoed down across from Moludri, and he immediately pressed his back against the wall. He used his talent to turn into a mere shadow. The voices of Khodesh and Haezid approached and echoed closer and closer. They were down another hallway across from where Moludri was.

They sped past, Khodesh’s left shoulder brushed up against Moludri’s shadow. They were in a dead sprint.

Moludri re appeared, and gained chase using his stealth step talent.

Why is he bleeding? And where is his clothes? Moludri thought.

* * *

Tadena started regaining consciousness, coughing forcefully. Now, angry more than ever, he got to his feet right away. Stumbling out the only door the kids escaped from, his two handed war hammer dragging behind him until his strength returned.

“Those little shits will see no mercy!” Tadena said, and then roared ferociously with hatred down the dark hallway.

“I will kill you both!” Tadena said as his strength was beyond at its peak.

The Four (part 9)

Khodesh released herself into the arms of an altered angry beast, crazed with fury. Slashing with her inhuman strength. The speed of a striking snake. Her sword caught the right shoulder of the dodging dual wielding warrior, as it dented his harsh armor with a loud clank. The two handed war hammer warrior swung his mighty weapon overhead, aimed for Khodesh’s head. With her beastly strength, she kicked high, hitting the shaft of the war hammer to keep it away from her.

Her fist drove into the dual wielder warriors helmet, denting that too. She leapt back as Haezid got under the now exposed two handed warrior with his shield keeping him covered from an above head attack. He drove his sword into an exposed part of the plate and tried to pierce the flesh.

The sword merely poked the warrior, as a knee came to Haezid’s face, altering his vision to stars.

“His armor is enchanted!” Haezid said, growling as he recovered quickly to deliver another blow.

Khodesh raised her two handed sword up and charged a short distance. She swung her sword at a wide high angle, deflected by the clamor of the dual wielder. His swords were at a criss cross, to deflect her blade. Khodesh flexed her inhuman strength and tried to break the block.

Zrathrum warped forward and started hurling purple orbs of dark energy at the two black armored plated warriors. Then, a surge of lightning blasted through his fingertips. Then back to orbs, to break the enchantment on their armor.

“You’re next to die, bitch!” The dual wielder said as he kicked her square in the chest, catching her off guard. As she stumbled, he was about to be on top of her swinging down his swords in a dual slash. He was walking into her trap. As he was off balance leaning forward, she grabbed his wrists pulling him towards her, shoving her feet into the armored warriors chest, and flung him over her head. He grunted as he was flipped over and quickly got to his feet.

Haezid was staring up the two handed warrior. His hammer came down onto his shield repeatedly, trying to stay low and find another weak spot. This guy was unholy-like strong. What in the oblivion was this guy? The purple orbs and lightning was hitting this guy, and it seemed to be working. Briefly. He had to time his strikes right.

Purple orb, stab.

Purple lightning, roll.

Stab.

Roll.

“Zrathrum! Hit him with the…orbs!” He cried out! Or whatever the fuck they are called, he thought. He saw this guy get pelted by blazing purple orbs. It was staggering him and setting him off balance. Haezid saw his chance. He dropped his shield, for it was heavy. He needed agility and speed to be on his side. A huge risk. He growled and pounced on his target knocking them both to the pine needled ground. With his fury, he drove his sword, point down, through the slotted opening of the warriors helmet. He drove it through so deep, the hilt of the sword stopped at the opening. Haezid was certain that he went through armor, skull, flesh, and through the ground.

He stood up, putting his boot onto the dead warriors helmet, withdrawing the sword with a wet slick sound. Indeed the blade was covered in blood and dirt.

Khodesh was punching this warriors head in, with relentless fury. It was like a train, it wasn’t stopping for anything in its path. With each blow, it was crushing the warriors skull under the plated helmet. Her rage swallowed her whole as she kept punching and punching.

“Kho! I think he’s dead, lass!”

She kept punching. Unable to stop the pain train.

Zrathrum warped towards Khodesh and used his dark powers to pull her off her prey. Still in his skeletal form. You could see the fury in her eyes, as her teeth ached for more violence.

“They aren’t dead.” Zrathrum said.

Haezid showed his bloody sword. “Pretty sure my guy is dead.”

Their bodies began to reanimate, and get to their feet, staggering with their deformed selves. Blood pouring from the opening of their helmets and their damaged armor.

An evil blood soaked laughter came from the one bleeding from the opening slot of the helmet. Haezid gritted his teeth and rose his sword to block an incoming attack, for his shield was far.

Khodesh faced the dual wielder, who clumsily grabbed his swords.

“Go. I got the both of them.” Zrathrum’s skeletal demonic voice said.

Haezid turned around and looked at the skeleton.

“I SAID GO!” His demonic terrible voice boomed and sent both Khodesh and Haezid away in separate directions. They tumbled and rolled from the shockwave.

Zrathrum raised both his bony palms, and pointed them at the re animated warriors. He let out a cackle as his powers drew them to him. The cackle got louder and louder, and more menacing.

“Welcome to my Hell!” Zrathrum yelled as he grabbed them with his energized bony fingers, and exploded violently. The force was enough to completely evaporate Zrathrum, the two warriors, and destroyed his dark orb staff. Leaving nothing but ashes and burnt pine needles.

“Zrathrum! You fool!” Haezid yelled.

Khodesh settled down, as her rage vanished.

“He’s…. he’s gone?” She crawled over to Zrathrum’s ashes and held it in her hands.

A purple wisp floated above between Haezid and Khodesh. It danced in circles and ovals, made star like patterns and shapes of various sizes.

“Haezid, it’s Zrathrum!” Khodesh exclaimed as tears fell from her face, and the ash still in her damp hands. As the wisp bounced up and down in a nodding motion, Haezid got to his feet, grabbing his shield.

“I’m sure he doesn’t have much time. Zrathrum, which way? Quickly my friend.” Haezid said to the purple wisp.

The wisp motioned them deeper into the forest.

Khodesh wiped the ashes on her face for war paint, making a long vertical stripe from each eye down to her jawline.

“Come Haezid, we have children to save.” Khodesh said in a low sobbing voice, as Haezid looked back at his lifeless friends corpse, Theodmer. He then looked toward the direction of the pine forest and walked with Khodesh, and the purple wisp vanished.

The Four (part 8)

The Four traveled onward roughly southwestern direction, making extreme haste. Zrathrum in the lead, seeing the compass engrained in his mind. The feeling, the rush of dark energy surging through his cold dead heart. Khodesh behind Zrathrum, smiling ear to ear. Knowing the real fight was ahead of them. Haezid barely keeping a decent jog together, while Theodmer strode with his bow and loose arrows in his hand.

The grass plains was pretty to look at.

The slight wind at their fronts, pushing fresh air through their lungs.

It was open range. For miles. Way far out in the distance were a thick pine forest, where the wind blew. Behind that, were jagged grey rock mountains.

The Four was bound for a ruined castle deep behind the pine forest, only Zrathrum knew exactly where the location was. He briefly explained as they ran. It was called Castle Fjeld. Now, just a rubble. It didn’t survive the erosion from nature, abandoned of human existence and maintenance.

Of course it was a perfect place. Secluded. Hundreds of miles away from civilization. Any traveler could unknowingly simply walk past the remains who didn’t know the history that took place here.

They approached the pine forest. And stopped.

“Nothing but silence… eerie don’t you think?” Theodmer said to Haezid, as he was heaving and out of breath.

“You…. shut your mouth!” Haezid gathered himself. “Try lugging this shield around! And all this brute muscle!” Haezid said as he flexed his pectoral muscles.

Khodesh giggled to herself, “You’re such little boys.”

Zrathrum stood still, gently pushing his dark orb staff into the soft dead pine covered ground. Little by little. The dark orb on top of his staff glowed a deep purple.

“We are close. We may have the element of surprise. If this, Tadena, is here, past this pine forest, we’ll have the drop on him.” Zrathrum said looking back.

“You know Zrathrum, that bald look and no eye brows… it’s a good look! You look very uh, smooth! At least you don’t need to….”

A whistle was heard.

And then a thump.

Theodmer’s sentence was cut short by an arrow, that soared through the air, and went through his throat from the front. His eyes were wide, full blown panic. Mouth open. Unable to speak and unable to breathe. Barely a gasp. He reached for his throat and felt the shaft of the black steel shaft of a brutally pointed arrow, sticking out of him. Blood discovered the penetration, and it began to pour, rapidly.

Haezid yelled, “Theo!” as the entire pine forest echoed it back, kneeling down, raising his shield and covering the dying Theodmer. Haezid held his shield to protect his comrade and himself, looking down at Theodmer.

Theodmer grabbed Haezid’s wrist, gripping it with what’s left of his strength. Looking into his bloodshot elven eyes.

Zrathrum immediately threw a defensive spell to shield Khodesh, who was on high alert, and over himself to assess the injured Theodmer. Kneeling down and used his dark energy to pass through Theodmer. The poison that cruised through his veins was very deadly, and it made its way to the vital organ. His brain.

Theodmer was going to die. And the dark art that Zrathrum perfected, could not heal or save him. Only delay death, or bring it.

Theodmer began to twitch and foam at the mouth.

“Theodmer, I will end your suffering.” Zrathrum rested both his hands onto Theodmer’s head, a deep purple color emitted from his palms, and the grip got tighter around Haezid’s wrist as Theodmer squeezed.

Khodesh stood over them.

“You are not alone, my elven brother.” Haezid said as his eyes watered.

Theodmer briefly smiled, his grip around Haezid’s wrist loosened, as he faded and accepted the invitation to the afterlife.

A snap was heard from behind Khodesh, and there stood two black plated armored warriors. Standing next to each other, one of them tossed the crossbow and drew his two handed war hammer. The other drew two swords.

“This is where your journey ends.” The one with the two handed war hammer said behind his black plated helmet.

The three turned around, as Khodesh was closest to them. Her two handed sword in both hands, the point aiming at the sky standing in her wide combat stance. The earth below her started to cave in. The wind grew stronger around her. Her muscles began to swell, her veins dilated. Her gentle eyes were full of fury and hatred. Her teeth ached for blood. Her breathing was deep and audible.

Haezid raised his shield to the front of him, and drew his sword. Tears stopped flowing, as the rage swallowed him whole. He floated in a tank of emotions, hitting him with waves of hatred. He was prepared to shove his sword through the opening of their black plated armor eyelets.

Zrathrum, grasped the dark orb staff and felt the dark energy consume him. His flesh melted away and revealed his skeletal form, with dark purple glowing eyes and mouth. An aura surrounded him, as it charged him beyond his limits. His bones creaked like old hinges on doors, his teeth grinding against each other.

“Your souls belong to me!” A demonic voice spewed out from Zrathrum’s nonexistent vocal cords.

Khodesh unleashed her fury and charged forward towards the two warriors. To her right, Haezid was yelling a battle cry, as he charged forward with all his might.

The Four (part 7)

The Orc village people take to arms and scramble outside with the Four to react to the explosion.

The smoke was thick and dense.

Confusion settled in.

Khodesh, Theodmer, and Haezid, at their tight battle stances.

They could hear the footsteps gather behind them as warrior Orcs were following suit in their armor and battle stance.

Then, a rough dry cough emerged through the silence, with Zrathrum and Krilge clearing their throats. Zrathrum’s hair was completely wiped clean, showing a bald head. Krilge, the same. Krilge wafting the smoke away from his face.

Haezid lowered his shield and sword, “By the Seven! What in the oblivion did you do?”

Sarcasm washed over Zrathrum briefly.

“Well, Krilge and I briefly combined our powers, and it was quite a blast!”

Khodesh rolled her eyes and sighed.

The rest of the battle ready Orcs lowered their weapons.

“We didn’t anticipate how much output our dark energies would collide! We did find a location, however!” Zrathrum said as smoke emitted from his mouth and nose.

“At the cost of your hair!!” Theodmer said.

Zrathrum and Krilge both felt their own now bald heads and no facial hair.

“A small sacrifice. Hair grows back. Come! We need to head west!” Zrathrum said as he trotted past everyone and the Orc villagers.

“Good luck to you four. We will be your safe haven should anything go wrong.” Krilge said, waving at the group as they hustled out the gate.

An Orc came out of a tent, looking around to make sure he wasn’t spotted during the smoked confusion, releasing one of their trained messenger hawks with an alert message for his Lord Tadena. It went better than planned. He was sure that the hawk was soaring through the skies as fast as he could and wasn’t spotted.

* * *

Tadena sat in his throne room. Underground from a destroyed castle. Away from sight. The smell of old mossy brick and must linger in the air. Fully armored, prepared for battle. Breathing through his dark red plated helmet. His two handed warhammer’s handle propped against his right chair arm. His plated gloved hands rested comfortably on the arm rests. The area was lit by torches placed around his secluded room.

Two defected warriors enter his underground throne room, briefly disturbing his dark peace.

“My Lord, Tadena.” The heavy plated armor warrior on Tadena’s right spoke as they both kneel and await to be relieved.

Tadena waved his hand.

“We have received word that there is a group, hired by your brother, to find his two children. On foot. This is a message from an Orc that just watched them leave their camp. Sent a hawk.”

The warrior walked up to Tadena, holding a note.

Tadena opens it and reads it briefly, crumpling it in his hand. Tadena growled behind his plated helmet, echoing in the quiet room.

“How did they find us?” Tadena asked.

“I am uncertain my Lord. But they are closing the distance.” The other warrior responded.

“Kill them.”

The two heavy plated warriors both bowed and turned towards the door.

“If I do not see you in three days time, I will assume you are dead, and I will kill the children.” Tadena said as their backs were turned.

They both nodded as they made their exit.

* * *

Krilge walked back to the huts and tents, smiling, even though he was now bald and had no beard. Still in slight daze of what occurred with his friend and good colleague, Zrathrum.

The Four (part 6)

They were fully rested.

Gathering their belongings, they set forth to Haathgrid, Orc occupied territory.

The Orcs mostly kept to themselves and did not interfere with the affairs of others, but the primary concern that Haezid had, was that they were unknowingly housing a fugitive with the King’s children. It could be messy.

As they approached the settlement, two Orc guards stood at the gate entrance to the small village. There was a posted archer sentry at the guard towers in each corner of the area. The gate guards were wearing fully donned Orcish plated armor, and each had a two handed battle axe. They watched the Four walk up the rocky path, studying them. The senior of the two stepped forward with battle axe in both hands.

“Whoa there big boy, we just want to chat. No need to get testy!” Haezid said as he raised both his hands in a open surrender gesture.

The Orc grunted, “You’re not allowed to enter. Move along, milk drinker!”

Haezid, slowly lowered his hands and unhooked his shield from his back.

“We’re looking for two little children, and some guy that might have been roughed up along with them. Have you seen them?”

One of the guard towers took aim as the crack of the bow was heard.

Then, a whistle through the air came straight at Haezid.

Theodmer snatched the arrow by the shaft with his left hand like a snake leaping to bite, as the arrow head was a foot away from Haezid’s left eye.

“So much for being peaceful!” Theodmer said as he took the arrow and notched into his bow string and aimed it with steady hands at the tower guard.

“Stop! All of you! There’s no need for bloodshed!” An Orc Shaman had opened the gate. He walked over to the group. He was dressed in cloth, with a skull necklace that sat around his check and down his green muscular chest. His staff also presented a skull at the top, as bones and other trinkets clattered and clanked.

The gate guards eased their stance as he approached. Theodmer relaxed, keeping the arrow in his hand.

Haezid replied, “See? Someone with some sense!” He said as he looked over his right shoulder at the group.

“I am Krilge, the Shaman. I greet you in peace.” He said with his opened arms as if to give everyone a huge embrace.

“We have had enough bloodshed during the civil war, and we have enough losses. I can not afford any more.” Krilge said, as he tilted his head and peered around Krodesh to see Zrathrum.

“Zrathrum, is that you?”

The group was stunned as they looked back at Zrathrum.

An evil smile was pasted across his face as he removed his hood to see Krilge.

“Looks like we cross paths again my friend.” He replied.

“Come! All of you, let’s talk over food and drinks. Fill your stomachs and wet your throats.” Krilge said as he motioned his guards to move aside and allow their guests to enter.

Theodmer made eye contact with the guard in the tower, still holding his arrow.

“I’ll be keeping this! Thanks my friend!” He yelled up.

The Orc sentry grumbled. “Damn elves…”

After some time passes, they explain their mission and urgency to find the King’s brother, and the two missing children that need to be returned home. Krilge nodded and asked his questions to help understand the situation.

“I wish I could lend you a few of my veterans, I cannot spare anyone to assist you in your endeavor. But there is something that I can do.”

Haezid was open to options.

“Any kind of help is useful.” He replied to the Shaman.

“I may be able to find his exact location. It would take time, he could be anywhere.” Krilge stood up and grabbed his skull staff, “Zrathrum, you might be able to assist. I’ll need your dark powers. We might be able to weaken him from a distance.”

Zrathrum stood up onto his feet, “This could be dangerous. I’ve grown much stronger. We would have to find a secluded spot in case…the worst case scenario happens.”

Khodesh spoke, “Oh no. Absolutely not. I know that look. Neither one of you needs to die to find him. We need another safer option.” She emphasized.

Zrathrum ignored Khodesh’s plea and walked with Krilge outside their tent.

“Haezid! Do something! Make him not do this!” Khodesh yelled, tossing her mug full of mead at him, splashing him with the contents.

“What in the oblivion, ‘Desh!!!!” Haezid responded back with a growl.

Khodesh pointed out of the tent and stared at him.

“If he thought it was too dangerous, they wouldn’t have suggested it! And that was good mead you sloshed at me!” Haezid exclaimed as his clothes under his armor dripped.

“Stop it, the both of you. Act like children!” Theodmer said.

“Let them find this guy! Nothing bad is gonna happen!” Theodmer finished.

A rumble was heard. It shook the table. The tent shifted. Then a shockwave bursted through.

“Zrathrum!” The three yelled as they scrambled out of the tent.

The Four (part 5)

Haezid ran and leapt into the air, bashing downward with his shield, and the business end of the sword pointed at the rock giant. The giant responded by swatting Haezid like an annoying fly, and Haezid slammed into the side of the mountain. The rocks gave out from under him, and left an indentation of where Haezid was spread like a starfish. The wind was knocked out of him.

The undead army was making their way towards the rock giant, crawling all over it. The skeletons were trying to shove their fingers in the open eye sockets of the giant. Other demons tried to gnaw and chew at the ankles of the giant. It was being overwhelmed by sheer number for a short period of time.

Zrathrum was in complete control of every single undead creature on the battlefield, attempting to find a weak spot.

Theodmer had his bow in action, slinging arrow after arrow with extreme precision. Driving them into the mouth and the other open eye socket that the undead weren’t trying to grab.

Khodesh charged with all her brutal might, her battlecry increased her fury and hatred. Her boots hit the ground and left cracks and dents as if the ground was mud and not rock. As the giant turned around trying to fling off the skeletons, she drove her two handed sword through the rock giants back, successfully piercing it through its chest. She held her sword and attempted to remove it, but it was futile. She released the handle and bounced off of him in a somersault motion and retreated. Her hands were up in a defensive stance.

Haezid was stunned but started coming to.

Zrathrum yelled to Haezid, “are you going to get your ass down here and do something?” as he started to kneel to the ground, feeling his power being drained. He grit his teeth and summoned a fire demon at the cost of sacrificing the undead army as they fell in piles of ash. The fire demon burst out from the ground, roaring with fire. It was as tall as the giant, as they traded blows with their bulky fists. The demon bit into the right shoulder of the giant and it fell apart almost immediately. The rock giant roared in pain, and in retaliation he punched the fire demon square in the skull, killing it instantly. Zrathrum deployed a defensive spell barrier on all of the heroes to buy them time.

Haezid came to, and fell to the ground flat on his face. He landed with an audible thump and grunt. After grabbing his shield and sword, he power walked over to the injured rock giant. Furious. The power walk turned into a jog, and then a sprint to rapidly close the distance. He then dropped his shield and sword, and leapt onto the giant by grabbing onto the arrows that were lodged into the mouth and eye sockets by Theodmer.

“Let’s pick your brain a bit!” Haezid said as he was on its shoulders, driving the several arrows into its rock skull. The giant thrashed about, trying to toss Haezid completely off. With it being down to one arm, it was the best idea he had.

Khodesh made an attempt to retrieve her sword, grasping the handle and yanked backward. The rock giants hand from his remaining arm grabbed Khodesh, which was enough to grab the sword too and dislodged it. As Haezid played with the arrows, causing pain, it released the crushing grip off of Khodesh. She fell to the ground and quickly recovered.

“Playtime is over!!!” Khodesh roared

Theodmer decided to get up close and personal and drew his Elven dagger. “Zrathrum, I need a stronger defensive spell. I’m driving this blade where the sun don’t shine!” Zrathrum nodded and applied a stone flesh spell. Theodmer was encased in a flexible rock, very much like the giant they were facing. Theodmer was running at full speed, slid under the giants legs and drove his dagger upwards where it’s crotch was.

The rock giant roared and instantly exploded into tiny pieces, as Haezid was yet again blown away from the scene. You could hear him yell profanities clear across the field.

After the heavy rock rain was over, the four of them met in the center of the pile.

“How did you know to go for the groin?” Khodesh asked, looking at Theodmer.

“Wild guess. I wouldn’t want anyone to hit me in mine.” Theodmer shrugged and sheathed his dagger.

“We need to rest here a bit, I must gather my magicka again.” Zrathrum requested.

Haezid, more wounded in spirit than physical replied, “I agree. My spirit is wounded deeply.”

“You charged a blasted rock giant, what were you thinking?” Theodmer asked Haezid.

“Thats the root of the problem, I wasn’t.” Haezid repleid.

They all laughed a little as they set up a campfire and decided to take shelter where Haezid made an indent into the side of the mountain. With Zrathrum’s magical help, they made a little cave to get shelter from the elements.

The Four (part 4)

Greye Caverns lie ahead.

“It’s not quite a cavern.” Khodesh said as she shifted her two handed sword sheath. “It’s more like a path on the side of a tiny mountain.”

“I believe at one point it was a cavern, tunnel really. It was said that they used explosives to expose it. As a means to reduce the chance of being attacked in the darkness.” Zrathrum mentioned, recalling part of his memory. As he knelt down he picked up pieces of rock and held them in front of him. “These are exploded fragments.” After showing the other three, he discarded them.

“Don’t worry, we are on the right path.” Zrathrum finished.

The Four walked down the rocky path, listening to the sounds of the gentle wind and nature itself.

Theodmer readied his bow and applied an arrow loosely in preparation.

Haezid was in front of the group, shield at the low ready as his sword hung at the waist in its leather sheathe. Khodesh positioned herself at the rear of the group, behind Theodmer, who was behind Zrathrum.

As the rocky Greye Cavern opened wider as it turned and curved, they come across a destroyed horse carriage. The horses pulling them are gone, and some of the members of the elite guard are slain. The carriage was burned to rubble. The children were not among the dead. Zrathrum knelt down to a dismembered elite guard, and assessed in his best guess.

“I need to time travel here, and see what happened. I will be vulnerable. Do not get me killed or else I’ll be lost in Oblivion.” As Zrathrum sat on the ground grasping his staff, and started to enter a deep trance. Slowly, he became a transparent version.

“Theo, I need you at the highest point. Your my eyes and ears.” Haezid said as Theodmer immediately took off with bow and a handful of arrows from his quiver.

Khodesh took up the rear position with her two handed sword in her hands, on patrol.

“I’ll watch the path in which we came.” As she walked off.

Haezid lifted his shield and drew his sword from the sheath and pushed forward to watch the front.

Theodmer vaulted and descended over nature’s very own obstacle course, climbing and rapidly moving like a whirlwind to cover as much ground as possible. He climbed a tree that had an excellent view of where Zrathrum and the group could be seen.

Zrathrum travels around through time, watching the events unfold. The King’s brother had gagged and bound both children in the back of the horse carriage. They proceeded down the Greye Cavern. Six Elite guards in black plated armor as his personal army on their warhorses.

“How much farther to Ghilden?” Tadena stuck his head out of the carriage.

“Not much longer sir… we must cross the bridge once we pass the giant curve. The rest of the unit is waiting.” The captain of the guard responded.

“I want these two out of my hands as quickly as possible, and our payment. After that, I care less!” Tadena said.

The ground rumbled. Heavily. The horses neighed and bucked, knocking off two of the riders onto their backs.

“What in the hell was that?!” One of the guards yelled as he dismounted his horse to avoid being kicked off.

The rocks rumbled at their feet, and came together in a pile. The rocks took shape of a giant rock creature with eyes as black as the dark side of the moon. It stood eight feet tall, rock from head to toe. It heaved and breathed heavily.

“You are on sacred ground of Firdendesh! You will not pass!” The rock giant spoke.

“The hell with you!! To arms!!! To arms!!” The captain yelled as he drew his two handed battle axe. The guards recovered themselves and grabbed their weapons and took up arms.

They charged the rock giant with fury and aggression.

“The Kings Black Elite will take you to Hell!” The captain swung his battleaxe swiftly and deadly, as it slammed into the rock giants arm.

The battleaxe blade shattered.

Taken by surprise, the rock giant grasped the captain and threw him across to the side like a child’s doll.

The remaining guards descended rapidly upon the rock giant, and all met much more brutal fates. One guard was ripped clean in half from the waist. One other guards’ head was squashed at the foot of the giant as it popped like a grape. Another guard shoved his battle spear through the mouth of the giant, successfully lodging it deep. The rock giant roared and broke the shaft of the spear off and shoved it through the guard in the torso. Then, it removed the spear part that was in its mouth and chucked it to the side. Tadena immediately grabbed the children and threw them on a horse, tied it to his horse and they rode off as the guards distracted the giant.

He lit a torch and tossed it inside the carriage.

One by one they fell to the rock giant.

Zrathrum immediately returned and sprung to his feet.

“By the Eights! We are in danger!” He yelled as his eyes flashed to black and summoned an army of undead at his finger tips. Skeletons and demons burst from the ground and took arms at the will of Zrathrum.

Haezid turned and saw Zrathrum summon an army, as the ground began to rumble.

“The hell is this?” Haezid said as he looked down as rocks danced along the ground and started to create a pile.

Theodmer jumped off the tree limb, somersaulting on the way down, hitting the ground with a roll and had his bow and arrow notched at the blink of an eye.

Khodesh heard the commotion and felt the rumble, she quickly took to speed and saw the army of undead raised by Zrathrum.

The rock giant rose up in full form.

“You are on sacred grounds of Firdendesh! You will not pass me!” The rock giant bellowed as it was in a battle stance. Haezid has his shield up and sword in hand.

“We are the Four, and I disagree.” As Haezid charged forward with a battle cry.

The Four (part 3)

The Innkeeper continued to wipe down the steel mead mugs, eye balling the Four that walked into the place. Music still played by a Bard, as people merry on mead drank and danced. Splashing their over flowed mead onto the floor. Laughing from their obnoxious behavior with cheering.

Haezid stood in front of their group, and leaned forward looking the Innkeeper in his eyes. The Innkeeper smirked revealing some of his missing teeth on the top row. Hair that hasn’t seen a deep clean in months. His septum was pierced with a gold hoop.

“What can I do for you and your crew yeah?” He asked patiently as he grabbed the next steel mead mug and cleaned it in disinfectant.

Haezid clicked his tongue and then he rubbed the tip of his tongue across the bottom row of his teeth before he asked.

“We’re looking for a pair of kids. Kids from a royal family. A boy and a girl? You haven’t…heard anything have you mate?” Haezid was studying him hard, to see if he was going to have enough testicle to lie.

In the corner of the Inn, next to the drinking dancing crew, a man in a hooded cape lifted his head up slowly, and nonchalantly moved himself closer to hear the conversation. Perching himself up on the high top chair near the bar. His Elven ear twitched a tad under the hood, but Haezid paid no attention to the man. Just the Innkeeper.

“Nah, I ain’t heard of no kidnappin’ yeah. You sure they didn’t get lost in the Forgotten Forest? They be demons out there yeah.” The Innkeeper responded back to Haezid.

“What a shame, these kids are… really important.” Emphasizing the words, and lays down a ruby on the counter. “You sure you haven’t heard anything?” Haezid said sitting at the same spot. The Innkeeper looked down at the rubies and then at Haezid. Back down at the rubies.

“Ahh..so you have heard something. You know….” Haezid leans forward closer to the Innkeeper, “you know what would look better on your nose?”

The Innkeeper shook his head.

Haezid snatched the Innkeeper by the septum piercing and forced it downwards, making the face of the Innkeeper slam onto the bar counter with a thud. Holding the piecing with his bent dominant pointer finger from his right hand.

“The fucking bar!” Haezid said as the Innkeeper struggled to free himself as his eyes looked at the shiny rubies closer.

Theodmer drew his dagger with a quickness and shoved the sharp blade underneath the jaw of the hooded man directly next to Haezid and the Innkeeper. A frog hair away from piercing his throat.

“Go ahead and hand that blade over… I saw you reach for it, assassin. Come come. Hand it over, slowly.” Khodesh drew her two handed sword and was prepared to remove the mans head off.

Zathrum turned around to the crowds and his eyes turned black. He snarled, “If you all don’t want to be burned alive, I highly suggest you all leave. NOW!” Balls of flame emitted from his hands as he raised them up, to show lethal force. The Inn immediately began to disperse and screaming was heard, they trampled over each other as Zathrum floated across the ground with the fire burning red hot, chasing everyone out.

The hooded man did exactly what he was told, and handed over his poison dipped serrated blade with an exaggerated slowness.

The Innkeeper then started to sing like the birds in the spring time, revealing the Four of the possible direction in which to search. Saying he saw the man they described, and their horses and horse carriage that had the two children in. For the trouble, Haezid ripped the septum piercing out from his nose, and left the two rubies for compensation.

Theodmer immediately dispatched the assassin with a quick flick of the wrist as the assassins veins across his neck were severed. Blood gushed onto the ground with each heart beat, the gurgling sound as the assassin choked to death. As the Four walked out of the Inn, the assassin slumped over in his own pool of blood, and the Innkeeper was cursing through his missing teeth and bleeding face.

They took a heading off their compass, and headed north to the Greye Caverns to get on the foot and horse path.

The Four (part 2)

They immediately set out to sea as the sun rose across the land. Heading southwest under the clear crisp blue sky with scattered clouds. A strong breeze carried their sails across the blue salty seas.

Khodesh, looking over the bow, leaning over onto the wooden railing. Her face was stern and prepared. Khodesh chose a two handed sword to take on her journey, as it sat in its sheath to protect her from being cut by its razor sharp edges. Her face paint was freshly placed.

Zathrum, standing in the birds nest. Stoic and feeling the salty air hit him. He held the compass and the map, to help guide them in the right direction. With his magical powers, he was able to help steer the boat with altering the wind strength. It took no power or strain from him at all. His hood was down as his dark black hair flowed with the magical forced wind. Zathrum’s staff floated inches from the ground as it stood straight to allow his hands to be free.

Haezid, simply smiling away as he was back at sea again. His giant shield was propped up near him, near the Helm of the ship. His sword was sitting in its sheath at the left hip. Haezid’s hands remained on the Helm, in case they needed to make immediate changes to the ships direction.

Theodmer was sharpening his Elven dagger, for the third time. The sea made him nervous. He heard tales of horrid sea creatures swallowing sailors and pirates alike, and even his own Elven kind. His white hair flowed with the magical wind that Zathrum produced. His bow and quiver laid next to him. To test the sharpness, he cut his hair shorter. It was now at his ears, and still made a tiny pony tail in the back.

“Brace yourselves, I will alter the wind some more.” Zathrum yelled down below. His eyes shifted from normal to all black, as he raised his hands to the sky, and the wind immediately picked up at his will.

They were really sailing!

Theodmer immediately felt his stomach turn, as it urged him to heave his contents over the port side. Haezid laughed loudly watching his Elven friend dry heave.

“What’s the matter, Theo? A wee bit sea sick lad? You look greener than the goblins!” He continued to laugh.

“I forgot you don’t do well in sea trips!” He finished laughing as Theodmer wiped his face.

“How? Even the Eights know I don’t do well! Every bloody time we go by sea! Zathrum! I thought you were working on a way to learn a teleport spell? Instead, you’re playing with the wind!” He looked up at Zathrum, with watery eyes.

“I’m sorry my little Elf, I’ve been too busy toying with learning how to kill things… preferably with fire.” Zathrum’s eyes were still blackened by the use of his power.

Khodesh, smirking. “At this rate, we’ll be at our last known spot where the King’s brother was at in no time.”

In an hours time, they reached a small town, Druohm. Their boat was tied up at the dock, greeted by the dockmaster. With a few shillings and a ruby, their names were not logged into his book. They all got off the boat, armed and made their way to the inn to inquire about the royal children of King Udrekving. The townsfolk looked at the Four, and bowed their heads in respect. A blacksmith could be heard, hammered away at a piece of armor. Salesmen and Saleswomen were selling various fruits and meats, clothing, and a butcher was cutting a chickens head off with a screeching cluck that escaped the beak. It was a busy time during the day.

They entered the inn, as they were greeted by the Inn Master at the counter, cleaning steel mead mugs.

The Four

The land of Briewell was ravaged by two years of civil war. Unsuitable Kings and Queens were tried and brought to death for their crimes and treatment of their people. New Kings were elected and raised a new era from the blood spilled from fellow man. It was becoming a peaceful and prosperous time. Villages and castles were being rebuilt. Commerce and the overall economy began to thrive again. The military was stronger than ever.

Except for one King in the most southeastern region in the land of Briewell.

Here, in this beautiful dark grey castle, lies King Udrekving. He was living a nightmare.

He was betrayed by his brother, Tadena, who kidnapped the King’s daughter and son in the middle of the night with his own elite guard. Tadena’s whereabouts were unknown.

For three weeks, he sent his knights by horseback to villages and towns to give word by paper and mouth. The King inquired for able bodied men and women, willing to find his two children, and to bring Tadena’s head. A reward was offered in gold and jewels. Royalty. Title. Power. A seat at his table.

One crisp cool evening, in the Great Hall of Honor within the King’s castle walls, the King sat in his fur lined chair at the head of a rectangular heavy wooden table. The King was accompanied by his few trusted scholars and advisors. Well dressed and mannered in his dark red uniform. Rings from his lineage were across his knuckles in various stones.

The King hasn’t slept decently since he woke up that morning to see his two children gone. He was weary. He barely spoke. He barely ate. His senior advisor sat next to King Udrekving, patting his hand to re assure him, urging him to rest while the staff came up with a new plan.

A guard barges into the room. Fully dressed in battle plated armor. The doors swung wide open and the guard stepped onto the red velvet rug. He was winded from sprinting and jogging down. Hunched down, grasping his plated knees. The struggle to breath in his armor was evident. He snatched off his metal plated helmet and he was drenched in sweat.

“King Udrekving! I bring news! I hurried here as fast as I could!” He huffed.

The entire table went quiet and stared at the winded man.

The guard smiled with all of his teeth, “They are here to help find your son and daughter!”

The Scholars and Advisors immediately stood, so did the King.

“Bring them in! I want to greet them!” The King brightly smiled and his heart had a new beat.

Three men and a woman enter in their full attire.

Haezid the Defender. His chest was bare, muscle bound. A tall shield in his left arm, and a battle axe in his right hand. Long black midnight hair that was braided tight rested down the center of his back. Battle scars visible. His dark blue crystal eyes were deep with his stern and stoic face.

Theodmer the Archer. Lean, leather bound armor. A quiver and a long bow attached to his back. An Elven dagger in its sheath at his waist. Face painted with black stripes across his face. His white hair flowed loosely down to his shoulders. His green eyes resembled emeralds. He smirked as he looked at the party in front of them.

Zrathum the Dark Wizard. Shorter than Haezid and Theodmer, wore his black robes and hood. A staff with a glowing back emitting ball at the top. His specialty was the darkest evil destructive magic, to include necromancy. His hair and beard were a dark grey, his eyes were barely visible through the cloak of his hood. Zrathum held his powerful staff in his right hand, as it stood straight slightly above his head.

Khodesh the Barbarian. She was a little taller than Zathrum, but barely. Lean and in good shape. Her dark blonde hair was tied in double braids, each one resting over her breasts. Donned half plate on her legs, and half leather armor at the top to maintain mobility. In each hand, was a one handed axe. She wore no hood or helmet. Her dark brown eyes was showing through the bloody handprint face paint that was across the front.

The King was feeling a sense of relief wave over him as he smiled and greeted the four by shaking each of their hands and looking each one in the eyes. They feasted as they listened to the Kings story with his brother. After the feast was over, he gently asked,

“Will you help me find my two children?”

Haezid spoke without hesitation, “We will set out at dawn to find them. May we rest here for the night?”

The King agreed and sorted their arrangements personally. As the Four got comfortable and set their gear down, the King was off to his personal chambers.

For the first night in weeks, he knew that these four were going to find his children, as he drifted off to sleep peacefully.