Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Rise of The Führen

    In the early years of her life, The Führen, whose real name was Daisy Günther, was born into a family of witches. From a young age, Daisy showed a remarkable aptitude for magic, and her parents encouraged her to develop her skills. However, Daisy soon grew disillusioned with the traditional magical practices of her family, which she found too passive and lacking in ambition.

    Determined to make a name for herself, Daisy struck out on her own and began to explore the darker side of magic. She soon became obsessed with the idea of power and domination, and began to develop her own unique magical style based on the principles of control and manipulation.

    As she grew in power and knowledge, Daisy became aware of the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party in Germany. Fascinated by the possibility of using her magic to further Hitler's ambitions, she approached him with an offer of her services. Hitler, recognizing the potential of Daisy's dark magic, immediately accepted her offer and made her his right-hand woman.

    During the war, Daisy used her magic to devastating effect, helping the Nazis conquer much of Europe. But Daisy's ambitions went beyond simply helping Hitler win the war. She saw herself as a leader in her own right, and dreamed of ruling over a vast empire of her own.

    After Hitler's death, Daisy saw her chance to seize power. With her magical abilities and political savvy, she was able to outmaneuver her rivals and take control of the German army. She quickly set about finishing what Hitler had started, launching a brutal campaign of conquest across Europe.

    But as she turned her gaze towards America, Daisy was met with unexpected resistance. Jack Hart, a powerful mage in his own right, stood in her way, determined to stop her from spreading her tyranny across the world.

    Despite her best efforts, Daisy was unable to overcome Hart's magical defenses. In frustration, she retreated to Manhattan Island, where she established her headquarters in the Imperium Tower, determined to bide her time and find a way to break Hart's spell.

    For years, Daisy has plotted and schemed, waiting for her chance to once again launch her bid for global domination. And as the years have passed, her power and influence have only grown, making her a force to be reckoned with in the world of magic and politics.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023


  In a dark and twisted land, there lived a powerful sorceress named Vexa. She was feared and respected by all who knew of her, for she had the power to control the very elements of nature. But Vexa was not content with her power. She wanted more.

One day, Vexa set her sights on a powerful amulet that was said to give its wearer ultimate control over life and death. The amulet was hidden deep in a forgotten temple, guarded by fierce beasts and dark magic.

Undeterred, Vexa set out on her quest to obtain the amulet. She battled through the beasts and the magic, using her own powers to overcome any obstacle in her way. Finally, she reached the chamber where the amulet lay.

As she reached out to take the amulet, Vexa was suddenly engulfed in a blinding light. When the light faded, she found herself in a strange new world. The amulet was gone, and she was surrounded by a group of warriors who called themselves the "Death Knights."

The Death Knights were an elite group of fighters who had been chosen by the gods to protect the balance of life and death. They saw Vexa as a threat to that balance and vowed to destroy her.

Vexa, however, was not one to be easily defeated. She used all her powers to fight back against the Death Knights, but they were too powerful for her to overcome. As she lay dying on the battlefield, Vexa realized the folly of her quest for power.

In her final moments, Vexa realized that true power came not from control over life and death, but from the ability to appreciate the beauty and fragility of life. With this newfound understanding, Vexa breathed her last breath, leaving behind a legacy of power and a cautionary tale of the dangers of seeking ultimate control.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Wall

For some reason, I made my way to the gate. It was then that I realized she was no longer by my side. Funny, I knew she was an illusion, a character I had made up to get me through this hellish landscape. However, now that she had winked out of my existence, I missed the company of my own insanity.

It was for the best. I had started here as barely a teen entering high school, and now, some thirty years later, I was a weathered old man who had seen and done too much for a hundred lifetimes. I don't remember much about my life before crossing into this blasted world, just fleeting images and the occasional dream that I had once been a human being living in uptown Manhattan with a mother, father, and two younger sisters. I held on for so very long to this aberration that I had a life before all of this. Every day slipped away, questioning myself and this new reality. I was a spoiled rich brat, but somehow I survived the first year here. I don't remember how, and I don't remember much at all from that first year. Swinging my trusty ax for decades, my mind, as much as my hands, had built calluses – a thick wall protecting my fragile brain from the horrors I had been through that first year.

I was surprised that I had retained my memories from before. Maybe those fleeting glimpses into my past, my childhood, were what had brought me this far. Or maybe it was her, the construct I had created to keep me company through my travels. She was a beautiful fairy who always appeared at my darkest moments, encouraging me to continue on. But then, as quickly as my mind had conjured this illusion, she was gone.

Then I heard about the gate – a myth, a legend, but something to keep me going. This gate was rumored to open to other worlds, other dimensions. I collected the three artifacts that would act as a key, and with the minuscule memories I still held on to, this would get me back to my world.

So why did every fiber of my being scream to turn away from that gate, to turn around and run in the opposite direction? This had to have been a trick, this world wanting to keep me here, to make me a part of it. I resisted this urge and trudged forward.

It felt as if I were moving through mud, each step more painful than the next. Every inch closer to the gate, the harder it became to move forward. I could not understand why I did not want this – to smell my mother's cooking, to hear the laughter of my sisters, the joy when my father returned from a day at the office. Maybe I had been here so long that I did not know any other way of life. Maybe I belonged here, I was a part of this place...


I picked up the first one, a squatting emerald monkey.  The figure was unassuming except for its tiny paws covered its eyes.  For a moment I was lost in the memory of snatching this idol from the F'zil demon.  I trapped it in a boulder as its hand that clasped the object jutted out.  I had to use my ax to free the monkey from the demon's claw.

A man's scream broke my trance, and I spun around to see who had yelled out. Then I realized it was me – yelling out against all my second-guessing, yelling out against the bond that held me to this realm. I shook it off and cleared the remaining few feet between me and the gate.

I lay on the ground before the large wrought iron monstrosity – a double gate that stood in the center of a dark field. I could see through the bars of the gate to the field that continued on through the other side. The gate was not affixed to any wall, it just hung there, sealed with what looked like a large medallion – one foot in diameter. Behind the grime, I could see that the metal was solid gold, with scratches along the edges, most likely from would-be thieves attempting to free the large coin-shaped object from the binds of the gate.

I surmised that without the three artifacts I now possessed, they were not successful and had moved on. I removed a cloth from my sack and proceeded to wipe away the years of caked-on grime. I cleaned off enough to reveal three oddly shaped holes. Then I dumped the contents of my sack onto the ground, along with my camping gear and various provisions. Three objects made from precious stones fell to the dirt.

Reverently, I placed it into the appropriate slot on the golden medallion, and the figure snapped into place as if it were magnetized.

I then sifted through my pile for the second object – a sapphire monkey, similar to its cousin, but this one's paws were clasping its ears. With my thumb, I wiped away imaginary drops of blood. Memories of Saneen surfaced – the night of passion we had, the only woman I had been with my entire life.

Ha! "Woman," she was a siren who had me entirely convinced we were in love until she brought me home for dinner. And by dinner, I was the main course. Before she could get the jump on me, I lopped off her head. So much blood. Despite her wanting to kill and eat me, I still had feelings for her, magic or not. Without her head, I easily retrieved the necklace with the sapphire figure, still drenched in her blood, and made my way out of there before her sisters arrived.

Noticing I was still trying to wipe the imaginary blood from the figure, I snapped back to "reality" and quickly affixed the object in its rightful place on the medallion. I then picked up the ruby monkey. This one clasped its mouth as if it had a secret to spill but held it back before revealing it. The object made me think of solidified blood. I held back the bile that threatened to spill from my gut with my other hand, clasping my own mouth as the monkey did, remembering where I had to pull this final piece from.

Now I understood why it was holding its mouth – not to keep a secret but to hold back a scream from the horrors it had witnessed. Pushing away the memories, I laid the final piece on the medallion and stepped back, expecting the gate to lash out and kill me.

Nothing happened.

Nothing happened for what seemed like an eternity as I stood and watched this immovable object.

Finally, I could no longer take it – over thirty years of suppressed rage lashed out all at once. I grabbed hold of the gate and shook the cold metal, yelling like a madman. I yelled until my throat was raw. The gate would not budge, it did not even rattle as locked gates do. It just stood there, mocking me.

Then I was done. I fell to my knees and wept. My face in my hands, I cried like a child who had scraped their knee. Then I stopped. I wiped my eyes with my forearm and proceeded to pick up my meager belongings and place them back into my sack. I didn't even attempt to retrieve the monkeys, despite the fact that they would set me up for life here, in my own kingdom.

I slung my sack over my shoulder, sheathed my ax, and turned to walk up the path I had approached from. Not ten feet into my journey, I heard a sharp CLINK. Swallowing hard, I froze, not daring to turn around. I was again presented with the urge to run, to run far away. I fought this feeling and slowly turned around.

Expecting to see nothing, to my surprise, the gate stood open. Both sides had swung inward. The medallion was neatly cut in half, and the semi-circles were on each gate. I dropped my sack. I didn't realize I was moving until I was standing right at the threshold of the gate. Beyond that still lay that dark field, continuing on to a cliff miles in the distance. However, I knew – I knew that once I breached that threshold, I would no longer be in that field.

I stepped into a dimly lit hall. A small marble staircase led to a foyer. Beyond that, a glass door was hard to see out of, due to the bright sunlight that contrasted my dim surroundings.

The first thing I noticed were the smells – baked goods. The smell of fresh bread invaded my senses, and my stomach let off a deep growl. Then the sounds came roaring in. At first, noise of traffic – TRAFFIC! Just beyond that sunlit door, I could hear cars moving about. Then the laughter of unseen girls giggling somewhere above me.

I moved toward the first step and placed my hand on the banister. Something about that struck me as odd. Then it hit me – my hand. It was no longer the aged, calloused hand of a fifty-year-old, but the hand of a boy who had yet to experience labor harder than washing the dishes.

The return of the laughter broke my trance, and I looked up. Between the rising staircase, I could see two sets of smiling eyes staring back at me. Laura! Ashley!

The moment I recognized my sisters, they came barreling down the stairs. They stopped at the top of the staircase in front of me. Ashley, nine years old, still smiling. Laura, 13, looked at me quizzically.

"What were you doing in the basement?" she asked.

The basement? I spun around to see that indeed, the door in the cellar stood open. Beyond that, I could see the laundry machines lining the opposite wall.

That's right, I thought to myself. I ducked into the basement to get away from them pestering me all day. I was upset that mom had made me keep them company while she went to the market.

How arbitrary that seemed now, so insignificant. I could not believe I had ever felt any resentment toward these two beautiful angels. I immediately closed the distance between us and hugged both of them in my arms, tears flowing down my cheeks and soaking their blouses.

Ashley quickly hugged me back, while Laura was resistant at first but gave in to the affection I was showing them. When we finally broke away, Laura looked me in the eyes and asked, "What's wrong with you?"

I laughed and replied, "Nothing, nothing at all." I took each of their hands and led them up the stairs to our apartment, grinning so hard it hurt my cheeks.

Was it a dream? The years I spent in that hellish world just a fleeting nightmare? Ashley broke me out of my thoughts, tugging on my shirt with her free hand. I looked at her and smiled.

"What is that?" she asked, pointing at my waist.

I looked down, and all the color drained from my face. Sheathed to my belt was the ax, every stain, every imperfection in the weapon a painful memory.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Temple

I sank to the bottom of the river, frantically waving my arms and legs to force my way back to the surface. The more I struggled, the tighter the hand gripped my right ankle pulling me ever more deeper into the dark abyss. Never have I felt so vulnerable and as close to death before. Panic threatened to force my mouth open and breath deep the murky water. I took one last glance up at what should have been the surface. Now so far deep my only sense what once was "up" is the opposite of the direction of where I was being pulled. The fear, the strangulation, even in the complete darkness I can see the spots dancing around my vision. No longer can I hold it back, my lungs has won this deadly tug of war, and I gave in to the evolutionary involuntary response that humans have been doing for thousands of years...I opened my mouth and breathed deeply... ...expecting the liquid that once sustained my life to now take it away, instead a rush of sweet delicious air filled my insides. Despite the burning sensation from holding back breaths in an eternity of sinking I gulped up more and more. Once the elation of the simple act of breathing faded, I realized I was on my hands and knees, kneeling on a stone floor. Slowly I looked up, hands still planted to the ground, and took in the cavernous tomb I was now in. The walls were lite with evenly placed torches well up to the pointed ceiling. jaw now agape, it dawned on me that I was inside what I can only describe as a pyramid. I pushed myself to a kneeling position, unconsciously wiping the grit from my hands onto my jeans, and continued to swivel my head about taking in the tombs intricacies. A dripping noise from behind me captured my attention so I turned around to investigate. At this point I was already forcing my aching body to a standing position, but what I saw next forced me back down to one knee. The entrance of the tomb was large square opening, possibly ten feet wide and twenty feet tall. What I saw though was impossible, instead of the night sky I gazed upon a vertical wall of water, held in place by, what? Nothing! Just a wall of water subtly rippling as the surface of a calm lake would without a care in the world.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Unscribed Tablet

My thoughts pour out as the wind bellows the song of the western dawn, forcing away the darkness that lingers in the east.  I stare out beyond the trees perched atop a rocky hill peeking above the leafy canopy. Behind me was the past I left behind, of destruction and a broken promise.

The bond I had to break, eternally sullying my honor, the only real attribute that had separated me from my brother.  I thought I pledged like of honor and integrity, but now I weaved myself into a blanket of lies and deceit.

My only solace, if I can call it that, is that the new identity I take on becomes my new truth.  That I grow to believe this lie, making it my own.  So I shall become this new person shedding my past, no escaping my past, running away from the sins of my brother, the sins I help bring across my land.

I can never return, not for fear of my own life, but for fear that I may take the life of my brother.  So I must travel far, far away, to a land that was a mere myth so far that we never can cross paths, for if we do only one of us will walk away.

So I run,

Saturday, August 2, 2014

I am Nobody

The large man walked across the floor of the dungeon inspecting the new arrival of slaves.  Calling this brute a 'man' is a loose definition of the word.  The closest resemblance to a man would have been a silhouette in a dark alley, but of course no one who met this creature in a dark alley has survived to tell.
He stood close to seven feet, hulking frame, with arms as thick as tree trunks.  this is where his resemblance to a man ends.  His head was almost completely covered in fur, with a thick coarse mane in braids hanging down his back and shoulders.  a pig snout where his nose should me and a large mouth full of wicked fangs.
The prisoners stood in a row in manacles linked to one another with chains.  There was a mix of seventeen men, women, and children.  New acquisitions from purchases, and recent captured and conscripted into the enslavement of Lord Maulderon, the self-proclaimed ruler of the Soviet lands.
Upon inspection the brute can tell the purchased slaves from the ones recently captured.  Most of the humans appeared beaten, the light in their eyes and defeat in their shoulders worn like a uniform of profession.  Then there was the handful that had fight in them, defiance in their face, though deep down they knew, once a slave of Maulderon they only true escape is death.
Making its way down the row, occasionally sniffing the air around one child, with a grunt from its snout, as if ready to pick a meal for dinner, the creature paused at the end of the line in front of a middle-aged man.  The man was an obvious recent purchase from a slaver named Jaundus.  Jaundus was known to break in his stock before putting them up for auction.  Even still Maulderon had his own ideas of breaking in his property.
The brute stood for a few seconds inspecting the cowering figure.  Although the man was used to ‘monsters’ this was his first time in the presence of a literal one.  He kept his gaze to the ground, not daring to look the slave master in the eyes, in fear of something worse than death.  So many rumors fly around about these beasts, these ‘trolls’ are feared to possess powers besides their inhuman strength, that can cause absolute pain with one look, another that they can snatch away the soul and drink it up like fine ale.
The brute arm unexpectedly shot up and grabbed the man by the back of the head forcing him to stare at his large eyes.  A bit of drool dripped down a slivered across the man's cheek, he made no indication of wiping it away.
The man’s eyes were wide open the fear was palpable.  A smile played across the creatures face, so large it was all the man can see.  With a deep guttural sound, the creature spoke.
“Who are you.” it said very low and very deliberate, but can still be heard clearly by the last man at the end of this absurd chain gain.
The little man did not speak up at first, paralyzed by the terror the creature wrought.
When the creature did not get its response in time, he yanked harder on the man’s hair causing him to squeak in pain as a chuck near the base of his neck was torn from the scalp.
Before the creature could yank again the man spoke up.
“H-h-Henry…” the word was out before the man realized the mistake he made.
The creature, with its other hand. slapped the man across the face.  Hard enough to crack some bone, but not enough to kill.
The man now slipping in and out of conscience dangled by the creature's grip on his hair.  He was aware enough to respond to the beast, though.
“I….am...nobody.” he said in an inaudible whisper.
The beast released him causing the man to quickly slipped to the ground, almost taking his neighbor with him.  But the boy stood his ground and did not allow the semi-unconscious man to drag him down.
Now standing in front of the kid, the creature looked into the kid’s eyes.  The child did not look away in fear of being grabbed slapped by the creature.
The beast proceeded to ask the bot the same question.
“Who are you.”
The boy responded without hesitation, “I am nobody.” then looked away.
The creature moved to the next person.  A pretty young woman with auburn hair.  Although very afraid it was apparent that she was a recent capture rather than a broke in slave.  She stood at five feet and two inches, rosy cheeks, and were a powder blue tunic.  She was dressed for travel, but one can tell that during her capture the dress was torn and sullied by being knocked to the ground before clamped in chains.
The creature raised its hand as if to strike her, but instead it caressed the woman’s cheek, causing fresh tears to stream across her face.  He paused seemingly to delight in that, then firmly grasped her face engulfing it with one hand and forced her to make eye contact.  For the subtlest of seconds the creature gave pause when he gazed into the woman’s piercing green eyes.  But quickly overcame the hypnotic hold and asked her the foreboding question.
“Who are you?”
The woman reflexively tried to lower her head from fear, from distaste, but the creature’s grip was too strong, she can only break eye contact by quickly looking away, but being so close to the beasts face her eyes once again locked with his.
Behind those eyes the creature can see the defiance, it can tell the girl was not used to being treated this way, that may be at one point no one would dare to talk down to her let alone handle her in such a manner.  He took delight in this, and took delight in the knowledge that he will be breaking her in personally that evening in private, to satisfied that animalistic need.
The young woman seemed to have sensed this as she let loose her bladder, further exciting this monster from the smell of fresh urine.  His grip tightened, threatened to mar the beauty this face beheld.
“I am nobody.” she quickly whispered, following the queue of the other two slaves already accosted by the same query.
The beast, satisfied, leaned in to get a closer scent of this woman, so pure and fresh, and just when it seemed that he was going to further humiliate by licking her face, he released her face where she collapsed to her knees sobbing.
The man at the very end watched as the woman cried, feeling helpless.  He watched as the creature moved to one prisoner after another, repeating the same question.  The air of fear grew thicker, slowly becoming terror as the beast moved closer.  
Finally standing within proximity of this terrifying beast, listened as the creature asked the man beside him that same question, his mind raced about what he needed to do.  All seemed to be lost, across the hall he can see his weapons,  a sword, to fighting hatches, and a belt of throwing knives haphazardly piled with the belongings of the other captures.  Looking down at his manacles, tightly screwed in place, it would take a blacksmiths wrench to remove these.  On top of that his movement was limited being so closely chained to the man to his right.
He was quickly broken out of his trance as the beast towered over him, the heat of its breath almost stung the man’s cheek.  He did not dare to look up.  The creature move down a bit to ask his question.
“Who are you?”
After a slight pause the creature moved to grab at the man’s head but paused when the man mumbled something, too low to hear.
The creature moved in closer.  The man before him was a little over six feet, well built, with a head of thick black hair.  The creature was going to enjoy breaking this one in as well.
He asked one more time.
“Who are you?”
The man slowly looked up, his eyes caught a yellow jewel the size of a baby's fist dangling from a string around the creature's neck. The man then locked eyes with the creature and responded
“My name is Varlain Ellox, but my friends call me ‘Vox’” he said with a defiant smile.
Outrage immediately spread across the creature's face, but before it can respond, the man quickly leapt up and slammed his head into the creature's left eye full force.
Caught off guard the creature arched back howling in pain.  The sound so great it filled the chamber with a roar that rattled chains and doors.  
The man did not get that lick in without consequence, his head throbbed and consciences threaten to allude him.  But for his life and the woman with the auburn hair, he held on.
During the scuffle unbeknownst to the creature, Vox had grabbed the jewel from the brute's neck.  As shock quickly wore off the surrounding guards, Vox dropped to his knees and called out to the woman.
“Pixie catch.” he said as he gambled and slid the jewel down the line of chained slaves.
While the jewel slid across the towers floor, the guards, now composed, moved in, and the beast recovering from the unexpected blow crouched to leap at Vox.
Pixie watched in horror, still on her knees she almost missed the gem flying at her.  at the last possible second she slammed down on the frayed end of the string it was tied to causing the jewel to stop suddenly.  She then yanked it toward her and grasped it in her hands.
Vox looking from Pixie to the approaching men almost lost it when the gem just about past his companion by.  As she grasped it at the last second, them guards converged on him and the creature took flight.
Pixie bowed her head to her hands, still clasping the jewel, said a quick prayer.
Just then the manacles dropped away from the prisoners.
Without out missing a beat, and before his first magical hit the ground, Vox rolled to his left, leaving the guards to attack empty space, followed by an angry troll plowing into the well armed men.
The creature quickly regained his composure as he spun around in time to see Vox dive into the prisoner's belongings.  Although he was clear across the room the creature made it with is in two simple strides.
Vox was already at his feet sword in his right hand, a hatchet in the left.
The creature leaped the remaining six feet as Vox rolled away with ease, but not before he buried the hatchet into the troll’s left shoulder.
Now behind the troll, Vox stood with his back to the guards regaining their own wits, facing the creature as it turned ignoring the small axe dangling from its flesh.
It stood there breathing heavy and crouched to leap at Vox a third time.
Meanwhile two of the guards managed to get within striking distance from Vox, as they raised their weapons, Vox spun around so swiftly that all they observe was a blur of a man.  Shocked they turned to look at each other, swords still raise, guts painting the floor beneath them.  
Vox was already facing the creature in flight, oblivious to the men behind him falling to the ground.  As the creature flew close, Vox waited until the stink of its breath filled his nostrils, and sidestepped.
As he did so he nudged the large creature enough to slightly change its trajectory, into the remaining three guards, causing the guards and creature alike to careen into the wall scattering the slaves that were standing in front of it.
During the scuffle a guard at the end of the hall witnessed Vox in action, instead of risking getting skewed by the man, he turned toward a large wooden door that he was ‘guarding’.
The door consisted of a thick oak wood reinforced with iron.  Not unlike the door that protected the out gates of a castle, but this one kept in something even worse than the troll slave master.  
As the men and beast tried to contain the loosed prisoner, the guard yanked on a lever that caused a series of weights and pulley to raise the large oak and iron door.  Once he set that in motion he darted down the hall in the opposite direction of the battle at hand, not wanting to witness what came next.
Vox spun in time to see the troll once again regain his momentum and crouched to strike again.  Each blow was taking a lot out of him, and this creature was not stupid, he will get a strike in sooner than later, and its attack would be fatal.
Suddenly a howl from the end of the tower; shall cause not only Vox to pause, but the troll as well.  Vox watched as fear moved across the troll’s face when recognition filled its eyes at the source of the piercing howl.
Vox knew that anything that would scare that troll would be something not to be trifled with.  Before he can wonder what it was a quite large four-legged beast came barreling around the corner at the end of the hall.
Vox immediately recognized it, not from personally witnessing it, but from stories of the great Lornok hunt.  hundreds of men would go out into the wilderness to hunt this mythical creature, only a handful would return, so the story goes.
There it stood, best can be described as resembling a rhino, of sorts.  It was four times larger though, instead of two horns, it had several across its head.  Along with its impenetrable hide it contained razor sharp spikes across its back and sides.  
The creature was completely untrainable, it did not respond to anyone and attacks indiscriminately.  It was long rumored that Lord Maurdoon had captured one to let loose in the instance of losing his castle to an opposing army, but against this creature there were no winners.
Then it charged.  Slowly at first, but quickly picked up speed, it will overtake them in milliseconds, the remaining guards and troll were already running.  
“Pixie NOW!!!!” Vox called out.
Pixie, still on her knees, trembling said another prayer.
The creature barreled down on them and just before it could crush the first slave, all seventeen of the prisoners lifted off the ground, hovering harmlessly above the beast as it barreled by crushing anyone that got in its way, and eviscerating those that managed to stand aside with its side spikes.
Vox shot upwards turning from the scene below to witness the stone ceiling rush at him.  However before he was crushed by the hard place, he stopped suddenly.  When he opened his eyes he saw that his nose was a half of an inch from getting crushed.
An echo of shouts caught his attention.  They were not out of the woods yet, from where the Lornock beast came from a good two dozen men armed with swords and arrows moved in.
Vox looked to Pixie, but her eyes were closed, lips quickly moving.  
Pixie said a prayer to tether the floating prisoners to the lornock, before she can open her eyes to see if it worked, all seventeen of them were violently yanked into the direction the four-legged beast was heading.
It must have been quite a spectacle, for the newcomers below stopped suddenly to witness this comical scene of seventeen men women and children flying away.
Vox, floating helplessly above the Lornock, did the only thing he can do; enjoy the ride.  Grinning like a boy riding his first horse, he watched as the beast trampled through guards and laughed at the troll running for his life just before the lornock overtook it, leaving nothing but a trail of red goo in its wake.
The smile quickly disappeared as he spotted the castle’s outer wall as the beast headed straight for it free of hesitation.  It was well known that once enraged, a lornock would run itself to exhaustion, even over a cliff to its death.  The beast was strong, but even it was no match for a twelve foot thick stone wall.  Which meant that if it crashed head first into it, they will be carried into the structure by share momentum quickly ending this great escape by painting the stones red.
It was all Vox can do but watch in horror as the rock met the hard place and the lornock was knocked out by the force of impact.  Despite the thickness of the wall though, it did not come out of it unscathed, for what Vox thought was the last thing he would witness was the humongous dent the beast left in the great wall.
However before the gang of flying prisoners met the same fate, instead of flying straight into the wall the angled upwards and floated harmlessly over.
Vox smiled envisioning a praying Pixie as the prisoners drifted into the safety of the surrounding forest.


Vox and Pixie retrieved the rest of their belongings where they managed to stow them before getting outnumbered by the slavers.  Together they continued on their original journey south, now in the company of the fifteen men, women, and children recently freed from slavery.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Chance Encounter

He held the sword halfway out of its sheath a moment longer.  When the young woman stepped out from behind the trees, he let out a breath and secured his weapon back into it's resting spot.

"Don't you know it's dangerous to travel outside the manor's wall  this time of night?" Vox told the young woman with a half grin.

The lady turned away from him, hiding a smile of her own, "isn't it your job to protect careless girls as myself?" She responded with a question, making eye contact at the last word.

Vox smile deepened and he looked past her as if searching for possible danger in the dark woods.

"Isn't there someone at the grand ball that will miss a pretty young woman as yourself?" He asked returning her gaze.

"I'm sure no one noticed my absence, my father is regaling his tale of the  great hunt for the lornok beast, each year on Severance Day I swear the beast gets bigger and bigger.  I'm sure he's telling them, right now, that the creature is bigger than a house, with fangs the size of a man's arms.  I heard it enough times, but it sure captures the attention of the room" she told him, as she slowly circled around Vox.

"well, my fair maiden, the woods are no place for a princess as yourself, as much as I am tasked to keep the riff raff out, I'm to also see that the guests are safely returned back to the manor."  Vox said as he moved forward gently placing a hand on the woman's back, guiding her into the direction of the festivities.

"riff raff?" She asked dodging Vox's touch, "I do believe I have encountered such." She finished with a nod in his direction, implying he was the subject she spoke of.

"Well my lady," Vox countered, returning his hand to her lower back, "be that as it may, this ruffian  is getting coin to make sure wandering sheep as yourself do not stray too far."

The lady batted his hand away this time, taking a quick step back, "sheep?" She squeaked with an expression of shock, "I am a lady and will be referred to as such, not to be compared with a common beast!"

"I apologize my lady, you are but a graceful swan who needs to be with like company, so her beauty can be admired by those who are worthy, and not caught with a swine such as myself"

With this, the lady smiled, allowing Vox to lead her back to the manor.  Vox took great care with his ability to diffuse a situation with his words, in this case winning the respect of an incredible beauty.

They took the path in silence, as they approached the main gate, two of Lord Ginich's personal guard stood on duty.  They quickly recognized Vox and the woman so took no action toward thier approach.

About thirty feet away Vox stood, allowing the lady to move a few feet ahead before she realized he was no longer with her and spun around.

"You don't seem to be from around here, and you don't wear the colors of house Ginich." She said in the form of as statement, meaning for Vox to answer her unspoken question.

"No princess," Vox responded, continuing to use that moniker without knowing the lady's status, "Lord Ginich hires on extra guards during his parties, to discourage the thieves and pickpockets that are attracted to such large affairs."

"Your a sell sword!?" She retorted, almost as if it was meant to be an insult.

"In a way my lady," he replied ignoring her possible disdain for the sort, "I'm more of a 'jack of all trades' in this instance I am tasked as a protector, but I have many other skills."

Once again Vox's choice of words brought a smile to the lady's face, she looked him over as if seeing him for the first time, then turned; making her way back to the manor.

Vox looked after her as she approached the front gate, then silently curse himself for what he was about to do.

"My lady," he called out to the young woman, now four feet from the gate.

She paused and slowly turned around for effect.

"I didn't catch your name?" There he asked, immediately regretting the break in the unspoken protocol of fraternizing with a class well above his own.

The young lady simply smiled and looked down.  Then without a word turned a stepped through the gate.

"Darkot" Vix whispered a curse to himself, then turned away heading back to his post.

"Fauna" a voice called out from his left just before he disappeared back into the woods.

Vox gripped the hilt if his sword and spun around, just to see the lady's head peeking over the manor's east wall.  It had to be at least twenty feet high, that crazy girl somehow climbed to the top, and was barely hanging on.

Releasing the hilt he took a step toward the struggling girl, "Fauna" she repeated.

"Fauna?" Vox asked,  now looking up at this ridiculous sight.

"My name" she paused taking deep breaths, now visibly trying to keep herself up "'s Fauna". She said just before disappearing from sight, followed by a muffled thump.

Concerned Vox stepped up to the wall "I'm okay" she called out before he can asked the question.

He let out a sigh of relief, then realized he never gave his name "I'm Vox!" He called out in a loud whisper.

No response.  Vox stood at the base of the wall, his sword hand resting on its surface.  Why did it bother him so that the lady did not get his name before he was able to give it.  He stood there another few seconds, expectingly.

Shaking his head, he turned away from the wall; why does it matter, I'm not going to see this woman again, he thought to himself.

"Good night, Vox!" The lady called out, followed by the sound of muffled footsteps quickly moving away from the wall.

"Good night Fauna," Vox whispered to himself with a smile, then disappeared back into the darkness of the woods.

  ©2013 Kinse, My Sweet Hero