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Old 11-11-2008, 07:00 AM   #1
The_Catto
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Erildia: A Beacon in the Darkness

Yes. I'm an idiot for writing so many fics, but I find this helps if I get bored with writing others (A Dark Path) I can write something else and get motivation to write on with others (A Dark Path) so think of it as a GOOD thing!
Anyways ... Long prologue but oh well ... Hope you enjoy it.


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- Prologue -




Within the kingdom of Erildia, all seems calm. For an age – what has lasted for over a thousand years, the land, and its inhabitants, have been in a state of absolute tranquillity.

After a brutal civil war between clan and clan, that had caused the deaths of thousands of people, a settlement was finally reached. A man known only as Throdgen was pronounced king and the re-building of Erildia began.

Now, a new king reigned, yet he had the same name as his grandfather. Throdgen’s parents chose this name because they knew that their newborn son would soon rise up and lead their country into a new age of peace, and for that, he needed wisdom. And if the Throdgen, whom he was named after, was able to re-build their fair land after the prolonged wars, then it would be a fitting name, indeed.

King Throdgen and his Queen, Lady Gilande, bore a son and daughter. Twins. They named them Garoth, and Hazel.

As Garoth grew, he shone signs of strength, pride and leadership. Some hoped, that just maybe, he would be as great a king as his father was before him. Perhaps even greater. Hazel grew in beauty and wisdom and took towards her mother’s footsteps on the path of a Healer.

Years passed, and the lands prospered. The people stretched outwards towards all four corners of the map and cities were built. However, none were as large, or as beautiful as Erildia City itself.




The kingdom gleamed in the morning sunrise, the birds flew amongst the towers and out towards the stretching hills. Lake Syri sparkled to life down below of the Horithian Mountains and the sounds of music and laughter spread through the city streets and back into the topmost room on the Northwest tower. Lady Hazel felt a smile start to spread itself across her face. The first one in a very long time.

Every morning she would come to this window and peer out over the land and take pride in its beauty. Despite the whispers of dark tidings that have found themselves being spread throughout the city and beyond its walls, she could not help but cast those thoughts away. As she looked around her, taking in the sounds of the children playing, the dogs barking and the birds singing their songs, all other things, whether they be dark and evil, or just neutral, seemed so trivial.

Hazel walked over to the small table that sat beside her head and lifted from it a small river reed. Walking back over to the window she placed the reed against her lips and blew softly in the opening of the stem. A long, sweet note echoed itself through the reed and flew out in all directions. It carried itself all the way to the top of a plateau on the smallest mountain of the Horithian Range.

A nest lay there, and a large bird peeked its out head and opened its wings: pushing itself into the sky above.

This bird was only native to the Horithian Range and that only accentuated its wonder. Its feathers were of a soft blue with a silvery tint. Green clashed against purple on its head and a thin red line ran its way down between its yellow eyes to its black beak.

It had recognized that tune, but then again, how could it not? The bird had heard it so many times before now, but it didn’t mind. This one liked to see her. This one liked to have her call it every morning.

It reached the northwest tower and flew upwards towards an outstretched arm. It softly landed and felt a long, slender finger scrape against its brow.

“Good morning, lord of the air,” greeted the young princess. Her voice was as musical and light as it ever was.

“Good morning to you, my fair lady of the tower,” replied the bird.

“How are you today, Jizrel?” asked the Princess. “How does the wind fair you on this morning?”

“The wind is as fair as it has been this past age,” replied Jizrel. He lowered his head to be able to stare into her eyes with both of his. “Hazel, if I may ask, how is your brother?”

Jizrel saw the look on her face turn from delight to a look of sombre so quick he thought that the wind had changed its course.

“He is not well,” answered Hazel, shaking her head miserably. “Mother and I have tried everything we can think of, but what ever that – thing – has done, it has done it well,”

“There must be someway to save him,” replied Jizrel. “Have you heard any news of the capture of that fowl beast as of yet?”

“No.” replied Hazel. “It has retreated back into the edges of the Forest. No Erildian has ever ventured beyond there, apart from the traders who venture in to barter with the folk of the Asaru, and they are a queer folk. But no Erildian has ever parted from the roads in that land for fear of what might become of them. The Asaru province is one of dark and mysterious ways, Jizrel, surely you know that?”

The bird tilted its head upwards. “Of course, I know that Hazel. But I also know that times are changing. The folk who we thought once to be riddled with evil might just be the ones who could possibly do some of the much needed good in this world when the time comes.” He looked back down to Hazel and repeated, “Times are changing, Princess.”

“What do you mean?” asked Hazel. But before she could question him more, Jizrel opened up his large wings and sprang off Hazels arm and took into the air once more. Leaving her with a confused and worried expression forming across her face.

*

“This is not good enough!” yelled Throdgen, slamming his fist onto the table. The large goblet of the freshly made juice tipped and fell with a slam onto the floor: spilling its contents everywhere.

“Please, my King,” stammered the young lieutenant of the Erildian Army. “Nobody has ever ventured beyond the paths and into the Forest of the Asaru Province before. We do not know what lay in waiting for us.”

“So you expect me to continue to watch my son die because everybody is too afraid walk in between some bunch of tree’s? I will just go by myself!”

“My Lord, that will not be needed,” came a voice at the end of the room.

King Throdgen turned and saw the General of his army, Karat Vaul standing there. He did not even hear him come into the room.

“My Lord,” continued Karat. “I have talked to my troops about the quest of heading into the Forests of Asaru, if you permit it. There are some who show interest, but not for the right reasons. I will go myself, for I intend to bring my Princes attacker back to stand trial. And by Trial of the Sword he will stand.”

The King hesitated for a moment but nodded his head in settlement. “So shall it be,” he said. “You shall go and find my sons attacker and bring it to me; alive if possible, but it is not necessary. You leave at noon: go and prepare yourself.”

Karat made a fist with his right hand and tapped the left side of his chest, just over his heart. He turned and walked out of the room, a long great black cape with the symbol of Erildia printed in the middle: a circle with an eye in the middle, surrounded by a group of stars.

It represented the Gods and Goddesses, who watched over all of Erildia from the heavens above. It was a tribute to their power and wisdom.




Hazel sat beside her brother with a soft tear forming in her eye. It was not only his pain that was mixed with her sorrow; it was also her failure to being able to save him. He was her brother. Her twin brother, and yet she could not help him. Not now.

“I am so sorry,” she whispered, wiping away the tear. “I have failed you brother,”

Garoth slowly looked up to his sister and lifted his hand from his bed to take hers. “Sister. Hazel. You have not failed me in any way,” he closed his eyes and coughed. Hazel wiped away the frothy substance that came spilling up from his lungs away from his mouth with the cloth she had kept in the small bowl of warm herb water that lay next to his bed. “You have been here from the very beginning,” Garoth continued on. “My love for you and our family has grown stronger with every day I pass into the Shadow World. But you must be strong! Times are changing, Sister.”

It was the second time in one day that Hazel had heard these words spoken to her but she did not worry about that right now.

“Karat is going on a quest into the Asaru Province, Garoth. He is going to make sure that the monster who has done this to you pays for its crimes.”

“I just hope that I can live long enough to see it,” replied Garoth.

“Lay still, Brother,” said Hazel as Garoth began another fit of coughing. “Lay still.”




An hour later, Hazel walked slowly out of Garoths room. Softly closing the door behind her, she covered her eyes with her hands so that any tears that might form will not be shown to any of who walk by.

“Hazel?” said a soft, caring voice. “Why are you crying?”

Hazel looked up out of her hands and noticed her mother standing there in front of her with a sad face.

“Come here my child,” said Queen Gilande, holding out her arms. Hazel fell into her mother’s chest and wept. “I know how much you love him, Hazel. For I love him the exact same amount. So does your father, and so does every other person in this city of ours. But you should not cry, no tears of sadness, but tears of joy. He will be with the gods soon enough. It is his time.”
Hazel looked up at her mother with an astonished look. “How can you even say that, let alone think it? He is your son!”

“Hazel, do not speak to me that way, I am your Mother,” replied Gilande. “I love your brother, but it is time for us to let go of something we cannot have.”

The young princess fell away from her mothers grasp and as she turned to run she said, “I cannot believe I just heard that. I will not let him die!”
Against her mothers cries, Hazel continued to run down the hallway until she reached the flight of stairs that crawled upwards to her room at the top of the tower.

As she reached the doorway, she slammed the door shut behind her and fell to the ground breathing heavily. Even hours later, when she knew that she was about to fall asleep, Hazel did not get up.




Karat tied the last steel plated gauntlet onto his left wrist and looked out onto the plains of Erildia. A soft wind fell in from the east and he could still hear the songs of the native birds that were flying around the tops of the Horithian Range.

He made a sharp whistle and from behind him he heard the soft padding of the hooves of his trusted steed, Belgrond. He hoisted the heavy saddle onto Belgronds back and whispered in his ear, “Belgrond my dear friend. We are going on a journey that might just claim our lives, but lets not allow that to dampen our spirits. We have to exact revenge for our prince!”

Belgrond lifted up onto his hind legs and let out a neigh that even shook the ground under Karats feet.

“Even for our age we can still go into a battle – a battle of which the number of enemies we do not know, nor how far to our goal – and still come out alive!” cried Karat patting Belgrond on the top of his mane.

He lifted himself up onto the dark brown horse and said to the two lieutenants that came up to him, “I will take my leave now. You two take care of this kingdom while I am gone, otherwise you will both wish that you were never born!”

The soldiers nodded and clasped a fist to their heart. “It will be done, sir!

Karat kicked Belgrond hard in the sides and took off at a speed that even the soldiers whom he left behind were at a loss for words. He took off over the rolling hills and into the dangers of that which he did not know, but one thing he did know was that if he were to die on this mission, he would die well.

*

Jizrel heard the calling before it had even reached his ears. He took flight and flew towards the large waterfall that stood next to the entrance of the Spirit Enclave of the Horithian Range.

There he flew into the entrance and out into the large opening that housed a great field of green grass. In the very center stood a large monument that represented the Spirit of the Land. A huge lion headed figure with the wings of a birds and yet the body of a bear that had been lifted up onto its hind legs. Carved out of ancient stone, the statue stood magnificently old and powerful.

Jizrel whistled a long low-to-high pitch that shook the statue. The stone fell away to be replaced by a blinding light that forced Jizrel to cover his face with his wing.

He lowered his wing in respect and stared long into the light.

“Jizrel,” came a voice. It was deep, but not of the menacing sort. It was a voice that gave Jizrel hope for this world and kingdom. “Jizrel,” repeated the voice. “A great power has been unveiled in the world of Erildia. I sense you know already of the other worlds that exist within this one?”

“Indeed I do my lord,” nodded Jizrel.

“Then you will know just how important it is that we keep this evil from spreading. It has already opened a doorway,” said the Spirit.

“Then it must be closed!” cried Jizrel. “Who knows what dangers have already been brought into the land!”

“The time has come,” replied the Spirit of the Land. His voice was calm; no hint of fear or anxiety escaped its prideful gaze. “One has been chosen and one it will be to take this much needed quest. The gods have spoken Jizrel, heed their words and find this One.”

Jizrel nodded. “It will be done, Great Spirit.” He opened his great wings and regained flight and took out of the Enclave. He had to start now if he was indeed to find one in amongst of many.

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Old 11-11-2008, 09:53 AM   #2
Litofsky
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A very interesting start, Mr. BFA. 'twas a good idea to leave a bit of mystery surrounding the land: we have yet to discern Garoth's attacker, mainly. Having the animals (or even just Jizrel, as it seems) being able to communicate with the humans was a nice touch, too. It adds the fantasy element to the story.

There were a few spelling errors, (it should be "trees," not "tree's"), but beside that, it was a nice start. Keep up the good work.
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Old 11-11-2008, 10:10 PM   #3
The_Catto
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Thanks for that. I was re-HE-he-heeaallly tired when I wrote this so thanks for picking that up!
Chapter 1 is already close to being done. This story is actually forming pretty easily and quickly in my head. Next chap should be up very soon.

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Old 11-11-2008, 10:34 PM   #4
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Very nice job BFA! This story is very creative, especially in the names. I like the mystery that this presented, such as the nature of Garoth's attacker and the Spirit at the end.

To me, this story had a very Lord of the Rings feel to it, though Jizrel is different. Animals communicating with humans adds more depth to the sory I think. Jizrel seems to be an informed bird, huh?

An auspacious start here. I'm looking forward to the next chapter.

~HOP



Viva La Resistance!
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Old 11-11-2008, 10:42 PM   #5
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Thanks, HoP.
"Auspacious"?
It's only 2:40pm ... Understanding of BIG words doesn't come till around the 6 - 7pm mark,

I'm editing chapter 1 and readying it for posting as we speak... (Well .. Not AS we speak, otherwise, I wouldn't be able to post this now would I? x] ) I'll try and have it up, VERY soon. Probably within the hour.

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Old 11-11-2008, 10:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_BFA View Post
Thanks, HoP.
"Auspacious"?
It's only 2:40pm ... Understanding of BIG words doesn't come till around the 6 - 7pm mark,
Oops I mean auspicious (spelling late at night - not so good )

It just means starting under good circumstances and successful. Basically the begining was promising.

Good luck with Chapter 1!

~HOP



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Old 11-11-2008, 11:11 PM   #7
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-One –

A Hard Days Work


Deep in the Asaru Province, in the small village of Sorn, a young boy slept silently. His dreams innocent and his breaths, even. Yet something stirred behind his closed eyelids. Something that needed to be released, a hunger that needed satisfying, but nothing occurred.

The sun had not even fully risen above the dark fhera treetops before
he was awoken by the loud fragile voices of the village children singing out his name.

He rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and sat on the edge of his bed. Grabbing a white tunic from beside his bed, he stood up and walked to the window, peering out down below.

Four children with bright smiling faces peered back up at him and continued to call his name. “Jorin!!” one of them cried.

“Get up!” called another. "It's time to start the day!"

He smiled, waved and walked slowly to the small basin beside his closet to wash his face. He climbed down the small ladder that led down to the first floor of his house, and walked towards the door. Grabbing his boots as he did so.

Opening the door to reveal a soft ray of sunlight to fall at his feet, the young boy sat on the small step and proceeded to tie his boots on before the four children consumed him.

“’Morning, Jorin!” the littlest of them said, as she sat down beside him.

“Good morning, Keira,” replied Jorin. “What have you all got planned for today?”

“No school, no work!” they all cried happily.

Jorin smiled, “I wish it was that easy for me,” he said. He stood up and walked over to his horse, Ora. She neighed softly as she stood to her feet and Jorin ran his hand softly along her nose. He grabbed a handful of hay from the ground and let her eat it graciously from his palm.

“Can I pat her?” asked Gern: the little boy looking at Ora with the utmost awe.

Jorin nodded and Gern ran his hand along her side. Ora moved slightly and Gern snatched his hand back, looking back up at Jorin who laughed.

“It means she likes it,” Jorin assured him.

“Oh,” said the little boy, his cheeks turning a slight shade of pink.
Jorin grabbed the saddle that hung over the fence and lifted it up and over onto Ora’s back. After tying the cinch strap around the girth of the horse, he placed his left foot in the stirrup and swung his right leg over so he could sit comfortably.

“Bye, Jorin!” they all said to him and he softly kicked Ora in the side and trotted off down the small slope that led down to the main road that entered Sorn.


He passed villagers on his way to the smith and said his greetings to each of them. Hiros ploughed in the small fields that sat just beside his house; Brenda was walking in between her storehouse to the main building of her bakery and Des the tanner was washing a fresh piece of deerskin.

“I should have your new quiver by the end of the day!” he called out to Jorin as he passed. Jorin supplied his thanks and moved on. He rode up the large hill that held the Blacksmith building and approached the place with a sense of pride.

He was only sixteen years of age and yet he had established a wonderful life for himself.

His parents he hardly knew – much to the fact that he had never met his parents. They died when he was still young, that was what he was told anyway.

Jorin did not know the full story, and Dravin, the head Blacksmith was wary to tell him all the details for some reason. Perhaps he thought that Jorin would not be able to handle it. But no, Jorin thought as he continued to ride up to the front yard. If Dravin thought he could not handle the truth of his parent’s death, then he would not have let him move out and build a house of his own.

He leapt off of Ora and walked towards the door. He did not worry about tying her up; she was well trained and would not stray far from him at any time.

Jorin opened the door and went inside. The heat engulfed him at once but he did not bother with it. He was used to the heat.

“Jorin!” said a deep, heavy voice. He looked around and seen Dravin come walking out of the furnace room. Dravin was a heavyset man, with dark skin and a balding head; he looked as if he was a force to be reckoned with. But Jorin knew better than that. Of course Dravin looked like he could crack open even the strongest of heads; he was – at heart – a gentle giant. He would not even think of being in a fight unless there was a very good reason for it. “We have a very busy day ahead of us,” continued Dravin. “A new order of bolts just came through for Hiros, also a new pickaxe. Des wants a new hatchet and Fiera wants a sword, for only the Gods know why.”

Jorin thought of the young self-proclaimed warrior-ess. How her stature grew almost as quick as her ego. He should not judge though; she had also taught Jorin himself some techniques with the blade: Ones that Dravin thought to be too violent and too complex to teach to children. Fiera’s father and Dravin had both been trained as warriors to fight off some of the local beasts that sometimes fought their way past the village’s protector: the Spirit of Water. These were dangerous creatures, some who could even poison you with a touch if you did not wear the right protective gear.

But even Fiera, who talked too big for her own good in Jorin’s opinion, could not be able to face the might of the local beasts.


Jorin followed Dravin into the furnace room and took to hold of a large steel ended hammer. He removed a long piece of Iron from the forge and took to working on the bolts for Hiros. After hours of backbreaking work, Dravin called to Jorin to come out the front of the building to have a break.

Jorin walked out and noticed a large jug of water, two cups and a tray of sliced and buttered bread.

“A gift from Brenda,” said Darvin, indicating to the bread. Jorin tore a chunk of bread from a slice with his teeth and sat down on the front steps next to Dravin.

“You are thinking about it are you not?” asked Dravin.

Jorin looked up at him but did not need to question as to what he meant. Of course he was thinking about it, he had been thinking about it for the past month. But what if he was to leave Sorn, in search for bigger and better things? He had been in Sorn all of his life, and a good one it had been so far, but he also wanted to see more of Erildia. See its rolling plains and great cities, and maybe even Erildia Castle – if he could manage to get there of course.

“I knew there would come a time when you would leave,” continued Dravin. “There is always a time when that happens. It is your decision Jorin, do not let anyone else but yourself make it. Just remember this: The world is not what it used to be. There are dangers out there that neither you or I could even start to comprehend, but let that not dampen your will. If you mean to go, if you want to go: then go. But you will always have a place here in Sorn. I just hope you remember that.”

Jorin looked up at the ageing man and smiled. “I know,” he said. “And thankyou, Dravin. For everything, I mean. You gave me a home when no one else would and treated me like your own son. I thankyou for that.”

Dravin laughed and punched Jorin in the shoulder. “No need to thank me boy! You would have survived pretty well on your own anyway I would think!”

Smiling, but also rubbing his shoulder from the sudden surprise of getting punched, Jorin stood up and walked over to Ora. He did want to go, but he did not know how or when he would be able to.

For one there was Fiera. What would she think? Even though knowing she would never admit it, Jorin new that there was some amount of attraction between the two. He laughed to himself at just how arrogant her pride had made her.

He placed a hand on her muzzle and said in her ear, “What shall it be old friend? Do you want to leave this place and search out there for a bigger and better future?”

She neighed softly and flicked her tail. Jorin smiled and patted her along her side.

It was only then that he heard the sounding of the Alarm Bell down in the center-square of the village.

“Something is gong on,” said Dravin walking up to him. “You go, I have too much to attend to here,”

Jorin nodded and lifted himself up onto Ora’s saddle. He tapped her in the side and she galloped down the hill and into the village so Jorin could see what the commotion was all about.




Jorin and Ora approached a group of people who were gathered in the center-square with apprehension.

What had happened?

He hopped down off of Ora and told her to stay there and wait while he went and saw what was going on. He could not see what the locals were gathering around so he pushed his way up to the front.

A man lay on a stretch of wood and cloth in the center of the group. He was clad in black armour with the crest of the Erildian Army printed on his chest plate.

Jorin knelt down and placed a hand on the man’s shoulder. The man opened his eyes and looked at Jorin with first a fearful gaze, but as the man slowly realized what Jorin was, he slowly closed his eyes and relaxed. “Please help,” he coughed.

It was only then that Jorin could see a large gash under the man’s shoulder plate. Blood dripped slowly from his armour and onto the ground.

“Get some water and fresh sironea herbs!” called Jorin to the group. “This man needs medical attention. Go fetch Cara!” Cara was the only Healer within a hundred leagues of Sorn and the surrounding provinces. “What happened?” asked Jorin to the soldier.

The man opened his eyes once more and looked at Jorin. “I am not entirely sure,” he said. “All I know was that I was riding through the forest and something jumped out at me and caught me by surprise; that’s all I can remember.”

“It looks like you were jumped by a Lichen Demon. It takes form as a harmless plant until it prey comes close enough for it too attack, then it strikes,” said Jorin.

“Where am I?” asked the Soldier.

“You are in the village of Sorn,” replied Jorin. “In the Asaru Province,”

The soldier’s eyes widened and he grabbed Jorin by the scruff of the neck, pulling him in towards his face. A group of people jumped forwards and pulled Jorin back away from the soldiers grasp, but just as he neared close enough, Jorin could hear the soldier say the distinct words: “I need to find it!”

Before Jorin could question the soldier any further however, he was promptly pushed aside by Cara, who leant in and placed a smooth hand on the soldier’s forehead. “He has a fever,” she said. “I can cure the poison that flows through his veins from that horrible Demon, but it is going to be a long day, and most likely night for this poor man.”

“You will be able to save him though?” asked Jorin.

Cara snapped her head around and stared Jorin in the eye. “Of course I will be able to save him, you silly boy!” Jorin flinched as he fell backwards from Cara’s glare. He had forgotten just how serious Cara was when it came to her Healing. “I would not be a Healer if I could not, would I?” She turned back to the soldier and started to busy herself with her mortar and pastel. Crushing the dried herbs in the warm water. A soft aroma filled the air and Jorin could feel a sense of calmness flow through him.

He shook his head and stood up, however. “Let me know when he wakes will you?” he asked. “I need to talk to him,”

“Fine,” snapped Cara. “What you would want to interrogate him for I will never know, but fine!”

Jorin shook his head once more and turned to walk back to Ora as he heard Cara ordered someone to take off the soldier’s armour so she could apply the paste from the herbs and water. He did not want to argue with Cara, not at the moment. He had more important things to do.



“I’m not entirely sure of the exact details,” said Jorin as he finished explaining what had happened in the center-square to Dravin. “But I intend to find out.”

“Do not get on Cara’s bad side,” warned Dravin. “We both know what her temper is like,”

Jorin nodded. “I thought it was just me she was always annoyed at,”

Dravin smiled. “No, it is pretty much everybody,” he laughed and clapped a hand onto Jorin’s back. “Come,” he said. “We still have a lot of work to do before the day is out.”


* * *


When the sun was setting and the last rays were falling behind the cloud of the fhera trees, Dravin finally gave the order to cease work for the day.

Thankful, Jorin retrieved his tunic and went out the front of the Blacksmiths and sat back down on the front step. It was going to be a chilly night as a faint mist had already started to form up on top of the large hills that surrounded Sorn.

Dravin came out and took his usual seat next to Jorin.

“Great work today,” he said. “If you do not want too, you do not have to come in tomorrow. There is only the blade of Fiera’s sword to be finished and that will be it for the day and I can do that myself.”

Jorin nodded and thanked Dravin.

“What do you have planned for dinner?” asked Dravin.

“I was thinking of going hunting,” said Jorin. “I have not done that in a while and it helps me clear my thoughts,”

Dravin nodded. “A fine idea,” he said. “I plan to head over to Brenda’s. Apparently she has cooked up a storm and it needs to be eaten.”

Jorin chuckled to himself. There was more to this story than what Dravin was telling, but he did not question him further. He stood and bid his farewell to Dravin and walked over to where Ora was standing. She pawed the ground as he approached and looked to the sky.

Confused, Jorin slowly walked up to her and placed his hand on her forelock. “What is it, girl?” he asked.

She gazed at him with one bright brown eye, and then took to looking up at the sky again. That is when he heard it.

A long piercing cry flew across the setting sky, followed by the great rush of wind pushed by a set of strong wings. Jorin gasped as he saw a large flying demon swoop over his head and down the hill towards the village. With all sense leaving his mind, he leapt on top of Ora and took off down the hill following the beast.

It reached the village before him and when Jorin arrived, people were running everywhere screaming. Looking around he saw Fiera sitting by herself by the large central fountain that stood in the very middle of the Square.

He dismounted from Ora and ran over to her. As he reached her, he noticed she was crying.

“Fiera, what has happened?” he asked. He heard a fierce cry and looked back up to the sky to see that the demon was flying away, but not empty handed. He did not need to hear what Fiera said next to know what had happened.

“It has taken Gern,” she said, “that fowl beast has taken my little brother!”

Jorin looked in the direction in which the demon was flying and decided what needed to be done. “Do not worry, Fiera,” he said. “I will get him back. I promise!”


*


Jorin turned and ran up to Ora and jumped up onto her saddle and as if already knowing his intentions, she took off at a fast gallop down the main path that led out of the village and to his house. As they reached the front door, Jorin ran into his home and took the bow and worn quiver that held his arrows off the table, slung the quiver around his shoulder so it was sitting tightly against his back and ran outside.

He led Ora down a path that followed the river into the deep reached of the Asaru forest. Ora galloped as fast as her four legs could manage and Jorin held his bow in his right hand while he held the reign in the other. Deeper and deeper he went into the forest. Following the cries of the Demon he followed.

He had never ventured this deep before and before he knew it he was launched through a thick wall of foliage and into a large clear field. He could see the Demon circling above and he quickly notched an arrow to the string of his bow. Noticing Gern down on the ground, cowering in his small hands, Jorin let loose an arrow that flew up towards the Demon and struck it in the thick side of its underbelly. It cried out in anguish and turned to see what the sudden pain had come from.

Jorin noticed the great bird, dragon, whatever it was, notice him, so he reined Ora to the left as a great orb of fire head straight for the spot where Jorin and Ora had been. He notched another arrow and brought Ora back around, he rode until he was completely under the great beast and shot the arrow into its belly once again. Another cry of rage and another explosion of fire followed Jorin around the field. For a few minutes, all Jorin could do was evade the continuous incoming attacks from the Demon Dragon. He was not built for this type of thing: he was not a hero, or warrior - just a simple blacksmith!

But Gern needed him right now. He could still see the poor little boy crying on the ground. Jorin intentionally kept leading the Dragon away from Gern so he had time to run, but the child was too scared to even move.

“Keep moving, Ora,” he said to his horse’s ear. “Just a little bit longer.”

Suddenly, Jorin felt an almighty lurch and was lunged from Ora’s saddle. Landing on the ground and coughing from losing the wind from his lungs, Jorin looked around and saw with dread, his horse fall to the ground. There was a long thin gash running along her side. There was a great cry of victory above from the Dragon and Jorin stood back up as quickly as he could. His quiver was destroyed; arrows littered the ground around him and his bow was a close twenty meters from him.

He picked three of the arrows that were still intact and looked to where the Dragon was, to Ora, and to where his bow lay. Clenching a fist, holding the arrows as tight as he could without snapping them, he ran the fastest he had ever needed to in his life towards his bow.

The Dragon, realizing what he was doing, swooped down and flew towards him with its claws outstretched. Jorin lunged toward his bow and notched all three arrows to the string and pulled back hard.

There was a quick loud stretching sound as the string struggled against Jorin’s grip, and then Jorin released the three arrows towards the incoming Dragon at point blank range. For a split second, Jorin thought it saw a tiny flicker of blue light on the tips of the arrows, but just as quick as it came, it vanished. The steel arrowheads lodged themselves deep into the wide throat of the Dragon and large droplets of blood fell to the ground, splashing Jorin and making him cringe in disgust. Generating one last ear-splitting screech, the Dragon fell to the ground, flicking dust up into the air as it rolled and turned and slid to Jorin’s feet. There it stayed and moved no more.

Breathing heavily, Jorin looked around to see where Gern was. He was already running towards Ora. Jorin followed suite and pushing down the pounding thoughts that crept into his head, he ran to his horse.

She was alive and breathing well, and Jorin thanked the Gods as he softly placed a hand on her muzzle.

The gash was not as bad as what he first thought it out to be, but it still needed to be healed fast.

“We need to get her to Cara,” said Jorin. “Gern, are you alright?”

The little boy looked at Jorin as if he just noticed he was there and nodded, with a large smile spreading across his face. “Thank you, Jorin!” he said, swinging his arms around Jorin’s shoulders. Jorin smiled but could not do any more than that. He was too worried for Ora.

“Come,” he said as Gern let go of him. “Ora,” said Jorin softly. “I need to get you back to Sorn. Are you able to walk, old friend?”

She looked at him with one of her bright brown eyes again and Jorin saw his own reflection amongst the determination and strength of her eyes: tall, skinny and scared. In an almost scoffing gesture, she lifted her head up first, and then proceeded to lift the rest of her body up off the ground.

She neighed softly, but stood straight up and down with pride.

“That’s it, girl,” said Jorin, smiling. “Let’s go.”

As they walked, Jorin could not help but think about what had just happened. Everything seemed to go so quickly and it felt like something much more than him was fighting that Dragon. ‘Must be luck’ thought Jorin as he softly ran his hand over Ora.


*


Now that everything had calmed down and there was nor more worry, Jorin realized that it only took him a short amount of time to get to where the field was, and now that Gern was safe, it was taking them a lot longer than what Jorin had originally thought it would to get back to Sorn. As they reached halfway, a group of villages from Sorn came running up to them in the darkness with bright torches; some of them even holding pitchforks and hatchets.

“Jorin! Gern!” they cried as the group reached him, Ora and Gern.

“We are alright,” assured Jorin. “But I need to get Ora back to Sorn to see Cara. She is injured.”

Dravin walked up to him and placed a hand on Ora’s forelock. “She is an old horse, but still an honourable and strong steed,” he nodded. “Let’s get her back,”

“Out of my way!” came a shrill voice. “Move! I want to see my brother!”

Jorin smiled as he saw Fiera push her way through the group of villagers and in front of himself. She took a step back as she stared at Jorin. But her eyes softened when she saw Gern run up to her. Returning his hug, Fiera looked back at Jorin with a small smile of gratitude. Jorin returned the small smile, but before he could say anything to break the silence -

“Where is the Dragon?” asked one of the villagers.

Jorin pointed back the way he and Gern had come. “If you walk back that way for about half a league you will come to a large clearing. There you will see the Dragon.”

“You mean to tell us you killed it?” asked Des the tanner.

Jorin nodded. “It is dead.” He did not go into details as he continued to walk back to his village. He would no doubt be questioned later on, but he wanted to make sure Ora was well before that happened.



It was deep into the night by the time they reached Sorn. The moon was showing her face proudly and casting rays of light down to the ground before them.

Dravin walked with Jorin and Ora to Cara’s house. He knocked on the door and after a few seconds that passed in silence, Cara opened the door and looked between the two, then to Ora. She pushed past them both and went straight to the horse.

“I have told you this time and time again Jorin, but you do not listen!” she said furiously. “You push this horse way to much! She is not as young as what she used to be,”

“I am sorry,” replied Jorin. “But I needed to make sure I did not lose sight of the Dragon. You know do you not? The one that kidnapped Gern?”

Her expression softened, but said. “Yes, your deed was all well and good and by the looks of it you succeeded and that is all the more good, but the fact still stands that your horse is injured and you are not. Now move so I can heal her!”

They moved out of her way, as Car led Ora around to the back of her house.

“She might be a chore,” said Dravin, “but she is one of the best healers I have ever seen.”

“That is only because you have not seen any other Healers,” replied Jorin, smiling.

“That too,” said Dravin.

At that moment, Cara poked her head back around the corner and said, “by the way, that soldier in there,” pointing inside the house, “wants to speak with you Jorin. Do not ask me why!” she added, as Jorin was about to question her.

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Old 12-15-2008, 11:03 PM   #8
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[AN: I must be insane...]]

- Two –


Jorin and Dravin walked into the Healers house and looked around. He had only ever been here for when he was injured, and for some reason, it still looked the same, but only completely different at the same time. He did not mention it to Dravin, for he could not even explain it to himself.

There were two floors to the building: same as every other house in Sorn (apart from the Village Leader, who had three). The front room was where the Villagers who came to Cara for remedies sat and waited. Down the hall there were three doorways, but Jorin only knew of ones destination. The kitchen: first door on the right.

Upstairs was where the patients were examined, and that is where Jorin needed to go.

He walked up the stairs and went into the first room. The soldier was lying on the bed at the furthermost wall. As they approached, Jorin could hear the soldier moaning in pain, and as he stood by him, Jorin noticed that with his helmet off, the soldier was not as young as what Jorin first thought him out to be.

He was an aging man, with long strands of greying hair and deep blue eyes. But Jorin knew that even if he did look old, he would not judge him by the way he looks. Surt, the Village Leader was a pure example of this false outer impression. Surt was a short and tubby man, but he was wise and strong. He could best nearly everyone in the village in a wrestling match, plus dictate the village’s history without looking at any scrolls or sheets of parchment.

But as he continued to look upon this Warrior, Jorin started to think that even though they seemed the same in some ways, this man and Surt, were entirely different from the other.

The soldier opened his eyes as he realized Jorin and Dravin standing beside him. He strained a smile. “Hello once again,” he said, wincing as the medicine Cara gave him destroyed the poison that flowed through his veins. “I heard there was some attack on this village by a great flying demon; is everything alright?”

Jorin nodded. “The dragon is dead,” he answered.

“Who was the brave soul who went after its dreaded hide?” asked the Soldier.

“I did,” replied Jorin.

The soldier looked at Jorin in the eye for some moments after that, but Jorin did not flinch or look away. “It seems I misjudged you, Young One,”

Jorin bowed his head slightly and said rather sheepishly. “There seems to be quite a lot of that going around lately,”

The soldier laughed. “Do you mean me, or yourself?”

“Both,” shrugged Jorin. “I misjudged you for I thought you were younger than you look because I did not think that such – forgive me for saying – an aging person like yourself, could withstand the poison of the lichen demon for so long; and myself because I have been rather arrogant as of late towards the behaviour of the life that surrounds this village.”

“Then both of us have been arrogant my dear boy,” said the Soldier. “But I will explain that soon enough. I must stop myself at once because I do not even know your names! Excuse me for my rudeness, I beg you!”

Both the villagers laughed. “I am Jorin, and this is my –,” He looked to Dravin and thought for a moment before saying, “well, you have been more of one to me than any other I have ever known . . . This is my father, Dravin.”

The soldier nodded to each in turn. “I am Karat Vaul, General of the Kings Army of Erildia,”

“Quite a mouthful,” replied Jorin, with a smile on his face.

“Karat will be just fine,” laughed the soldier.

“Karat,” started Jorin. “Cara said you wanted to talk to me. May I ask as to why?”

Karat looked at Jorin. “Yes, I wanted to talk to you. You seem to know a lot of what happens around here, so I wanted to ask you some questions.”

“If you want to know about our village, I suggest you talk to Surt,” said Jorin. “He is the Village Leader.”

“I would rather talk to you,” replied Karat.

Confused, Jorin started to ask why, but Karat cut across him. “Just hear me out,” said Karat. “I am old so give me some leave,” He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “You are after all, the Slayer of the Dragon.”

Jorin looked at Dravin who had said nothing at all whilst the other two
talked. He looked at Jorin and just shrugged. “You might as well sit down and listen to the man.”

Jorin nodded and grabbed one of the chairs that stood against the wall and sat down.

Dravin looked from Karat to Jorin and said, “I will go and see how Cara is doing with Ora. I also have to go and see Brenda to tell her everything is all right.”

Jorin and the soldier nodded, and Dravin took his leave.

A few silent moments passed and it was only until Karat broke the silence that Jorin only remembered that the old soldier was there.

“I was on a mission that led me to your Forest,” he said. “I will not lie to you, but do not think me to be even more arrogant than what I have already put myself out to be, but our people fear this place and its inhabitants.”

Jorin looked at Karat with a cocked eyebrow.

“This is what I mean,” continued Karat. “My peoples opinions are not my own. I have seen your people and their kindness, as the same of what I am seeing now. The people of Erildian Castle fear what they do not know, and for good reasons that only the Spirits and Gods, who have seen every age of Erildia would be able to tell you. But now they are even more fearful. Our prince, who was said to be blessed with the gift of ever-longing life from the Gods, is now dying. All because of a beast that was seen roaming back into these forests.”

“Do you know what it is called?” asked Jorin. “For if we learn its name, Cara would most likely be able to help the Prince. We had heard tidings of an ill fate bedding itself over the Castle but not the exact details.”

“I do not know its name, but if you look in my pack at the end of the bed, you will see a drawing made by one of our witnesses of the foul beast,” answered Karat.

Jorin stood and walked over to Karats pack. He looked in the side pocket and pulled out a long piece of dried parchment. The ink on it was scratched and fading, but he could still make out the picture.

A four legged beast: horns crawled their way up and down its back, and scales looked as hard as the broadest shield, and its eyes pierced Jorin’s own as he continued to look at the drawing. Shaking his head, Jorin looked back down at Karat. “I do not know of which you show me. Nor would any of our people, for we have never seen nor heard of this beast before.”

Karat sighed and closed his eyes once again. “Then I have failed,”

“I am sorry,” replied Jorin helplessly. “I wish I could be of more help to you,”

“Do not be sorry to me,” said Karat, shaking his head in dismay. “Be sorry to our prince, for he will pay the price of our failure.”

Jorin continued to look down at the drawing. “I just had an idea,” he said. “I will take this drawing to Surt tomorrow morning, he will know where it dwells if it is indeed from our forest.”

“That would be well,” replied Karat.

Jorin nodded and decided to leave so that Karat could get some rest. As he was walking down the stairs that led back to the first floor, Cara confronted him.

“Ora is going to be alright,” she said. “You need to take better care of your horse, Jorin.”

He nodded and said. “Thank you, Cara. And I don’t speak just for me, but for every single person in this village.”

A soft movement floated across her eyes and for one second, Jorin thought that he had saw a side of Cara that nobody else had. But that was gone quickly however as she nodded and said a crisp, “your welcome,” and proceeded back up the stairs. Jorin walked out to the front and closed the door softly behind him. He looked around the village.

All was quiet now. If Jorin did not know any better, he would not even think that just a few hours ago, a Dragon had ravaged their village and kidnapped one of the children; and by thinking of all what has happened today, Jorin could not help by feel just how tired he actually was.

Nor was he even hungry!

He thought for a moment, and after a quick visit to Ora, to make sure that she was all right, he decided that he would just walk home and go to bed. He would get up early tomorrow morning and go over to Surt’s and question him about this Demon that had poisoned the prince and hopefully it would be able to sort itself out.


*


The next morning dawned and Jorin had woken to the sounds of scratching just outside his window.

Curious, he stood, walked over and opened up the window. A great array of colour flew itself in and after adjusting his eyes to the sudden light that filled the room; he noticed that it was a bird: The strangest looking bird that Jorin had ever laid his eyes upon.

It was blue. Or was I silver? To Jorin it looked like it was both at the same time. Flashing between the two instinctively. Its beak was black and its head was lined with red.

“What are you?” Jorin asked to the bird, though not entirely expecting an answer.

“Why I am a bird, young master!” it cried. “What do you think I am, a rabbit?”
Wide-eyed, Jorin continued to look at the bird with astonishment.

“Well what type of question was that, anyway?” asked the bird. It finally stopped flying around and had perched itself on top of Jorin’s chair: looking at him intensely.

“I am sorry,” stammered Jorin. “I just have not seen your species before. I was surprised, and even more surprised still when you speak!”

“Well there is no need to fear me,” replied the bird. Its voice was no longer high-pitched and mocking. It was now a low, singing sort of voice that rang with veracity. “Finally, I have found you! I have been searching for more than a month, in fear that I will not find you in time.”

Confused, Jorin asked, “What is it exactly that you want with me?”

“Oh, not me, young master,” said the bird. “But the Gods. A great evil has spread itself amongst Erildia and it is consuming the vast landscapes with monsters, evil dreams and other creatures of the darkness. I will explain everything to you as we travel, but we must go now if we are to succeed against this peril!”

Jorin stood motionless. “I cannot go anywhere!” he said. “The village! The soldier! They all need my help!”

The bird cocked its head to the side and said, “what soldier?”

“His name is Karat Vaul,” answered Jorin. “He said he was the General of the Kings Army. He was poisoned by the Lichen Demon whilst travelling amongst the Asaru Forest.”

“This is indeed the will of the Gods that this has happened,” replied the bird. “Quick, you must take me to him!”

Still suspicious of the bird, Jorin asked warily, “Why should I trust you?”

All of a sudden there was a howling wind and the bird flew directly at Jorin’s face. “Because!” cried the bird. “If I had wanted you or any of your villagers harmed, I would have done it already!” The wind slowed to a standstill and the bird said in its natural voice. “Please, Jorin. All will be explained, but for now we must go!”

Jorin nodded. He opened the door and let the bird fly through before stepping outside himself and closing it back up. That was when he looked down to see a finely crafted arrow quiver sitting on his top step, picking it up he noticed the thin scratching of the artists name. “Des,” it spelt.

Smiling, and noting to thank the tanner and craftsman later, Jorin
opened the door back up and placed the quiver on the table before following the bird down the slope. There, Jorin led the colourful specimen to Cara, the Healers building and stepped inside.

He walked in and noticing that Cara was nowhere to be seen, Jorin continued to lead the bird up the stairs and into the Soldiers room.

Karat looked up at Jorin and when he noticed the bird floating behind him, the soldier’s eyes snapped wide. “Jizrel?” he asked. “Is that really you, my old flying friend?”

“It is I,” replied Jizrel, bowing its head slightly. “It has been a long time, Karat.”

“That it has,” replied the Soldier. “What are you doing so far away from home?”

“Should I not be asking the exact same question?” asked Jizrel.

“Did you not hear after I left?” asked Karat, confused. “I went in search of the beast that has poisoned our prince. To bring it back to see if there is no cure!”

“I do not doubt your objectives,” replied Jizrel. “What I do doubt however is your ability. These beasts – along with the one that attacked Garoth - are not of this world but of the others, Karat. You would not be able to destroy it.”

“What is happening, Jizrel?” asked Karat, sitting up for the first time since he was in Cara’s care. “Why do you talk of other worlds?”

“That,” said Jizrel, “is not for you to know. But what you can know is that if something is not done soon, this very world will be consumed by evil.”

“Then I will do something about it!” said Karat. “You say it is not for me to know, but this is my home. Erildia is my home, and if it needs protecting, then who better to protect it then it’s General?”

“Oh, it will be protected,” said Jizrel. “But not by you, for two reasons: you are too old, and it is not your task. The Gods have not chosen you.”

Karat looked between Jizrel and Jorin, and then it suddenly dawned on him as he looked back at Jizrel. “The boy?” he asked, indicating to Jorin.

“Indeed,” replied the bird.

“How could a mere boy defeat monsters of a different world?” asked Karat perplexed.

“Again,” said Jizrel. “That is not for you to know.”

Jorin looked at the bird with the same perplexed expression. “I think you may have the wrong person,” he said. “I am just a blacksmith.”

“See?” cried Karat. “He does not even think for a second that he could do anything to the beasts! See?”

Jizrel looked undeterred by the sudden outburst and said to Jorin, “did you or did you not just destroy the Dragon that has haunted these forests for over an age? You cannot lie because I saw you do it. I was watching from high atop the treetops. I had to see if what I had first thought was correct, and indeed I was correct. You are the one who is to protect this world, Jorin. If you still need assurance, why not let us go to see the Spirit of the Earth? Let the Spirit tell you itself and then we shall see who is the more foolish.”

Jorin nodded. “Let us go see the Spirit.”

“Then that is our first destination,” replied Jizrel.


*


Jorin left Karat and Jizrel to seek after Dravin at the Blacksmiths. The man was already out the front as Jorin approached. Holding a long package under one of his huge arms.

“Jorin, bud!” he called out to him. Jorin waved and walked up to him. “How are you?” he asked.

“I am well,” answered Dravin. “I have just finished Fiera’s sword and was thinking about delivering it to her, but how’s about you do that? I know she is fonder of you than of me, particularly after last night.”

Jorin nodded and took the long package off of Dravin’s hand. He took off down the hill and instead of turning right when he reached the road – that would have took him in the direction of Brenda’s and Cara’s, he turned left that housed the rest of the small village. Fiera lived with her Father, Aran and her little brother, Gern. Her house was just opposite Surt’s and the road that led between them snaked its way up to the top of another large hill that on top sat the Stable.

He approached the door and knocked. A few seconds later, Aran appeared in the doorway and looked at Jorin with the package he held in his hand. “Fiera’s sword I take it?” he unnecessarily asked.

Jorin nodded.

“She is down by the river,” Aran said. “Why that girl needs a sword I do not know, but do you think I could persuade her otherwise? I tell you Jorin, she is becoming more and more like her mother every day. The girl is driving me crazy.”

Jorin laughed and bid his farewell to Aran and walked back down the way he came. He passed Cara’s house and walked down the small slope that led to the gully that housed the start of the Syrian River. Fiera was teaching Gern and Keira how to fish.

He smiled as he watched Fiera explain to Gern that he had to make sure the hook’s bait was properly attached

“How do you expect to catch a fish if you have no bait on the hook?” said Fiera impatiently to Gern.

“You could always jump in and ask,” said Jorin as he neared them. They all turned and Fiera said with a click of her tongue, “oh yes, that would be a wonderful conversation! ‘Excuse me, little fishy? May I pull you out of this nice cool water that is your home and take you back to my home so I can eat you?’” she added, imitating a little baby’s voice.

“I think it would be a little nicer if you left out the ‘eat you’ part,” replied Jorin, laughing. “I have your order,” he added.

Smiling broadly, Fiera thanked Jorin and grabbed the sword from his grasp and took it out of its parchment package. The blade was made of steel with a long engraving of an eagle spitting fire down the edges. The hilt was made from goatskin, and was fitted with Iron. She flung the blade up in the air and caught it behind her back.

“Impressive,” nodded Jorin. Fiera smiled and sheathed it at her side.

“Thank you,” she said. Fiera continued to look at him until a small frown creased her face. “Jorin, what is it? You seem a little bit more . . . distracted . . . than usual.”

Jorin opened his mouth to speak but closed it again. The news of Jizrel and Karat seemed fit to be kept secret for the moment, but for reasons Jorin could not tell.

“Nothing,” he said, forcing a smile. “It’s just been a long week that’s all.”

“With a battle involving a Dragon, I can only imagine as to how it must feel,” she said, nodding. Jorin could tell however that she did not believe him.

“Anyway,” said Jorin. “I have to get back to work. I will speak with you later,”

Fiera nodded. She opened her mouth to say something but closed it and nodded her head again. “Good-bye,” she said.

Jorin turned and walked back up the slope. He had no intention of going back to the blacksmith’s however. His mind was buzzing and he would have just been a nuisance. He decided to take his new quiver, grab his bow and go back to the field where the dragon was so he could retrieve some of his lost arrows.

As he walked, his stomach rumbled and he quickened his pace.

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Old 12-15-2008, 11:13 PM   #9
Rabish Bini
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Damnit!! You're too good at writing stories.

'Twas highly impressive, it flows very well, i didn't notice any grammar mistakes, and the length was superb, good work


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Old 12-15-2008, 11:16 PM   #10
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Great job BFA!
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:20 PM   #11
The_Catto
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Thanks, guys.
As I think I'm getting more and more insane for posting more and more fics, apparently they are pretty good.
Always a great thing to hear

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Old 12-22-2008, 01:24 AM   #12
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Oops, I didn't see these updates...my bad.

Very interesting couple of chaps. They had a good feeling to them, I actually felt like I was in Sorn...you capturd the small village feel very well. Cara is a hard ass

Have you ever read the book Eragon? This reminded me of it (which is good as it is one of my favorite books. ) Damn you can write alot of fics at once - it gets my head spinning just thinking about it.

~HOP



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