Balance

Blood of the Goddess Pt 3

2nd of Goodmonth 383 ONT, 3:28pm, Chestnut Grove Farm, Southern Honatice, Argyle

Hagnon marched into the manor of Chestnut Grove, pushing both double doors open simultaneously and assessing the defensive value of his new base of operations. it was four stories and a sprawling display of the ill informed, this shelter would not be ideal for any long term fight. He turned to Pelious who had followed him in.

“Have the house searched, collect me slaves and family members and paid works, and gather them with the prisoners out front” The King said

“It will be done My King” Pelious said, nodding his head to five of their men to follow as they strode towards the stairs. Hagnon walked into a large chamber off the main foyer, it appeared to be a longer narrow room, a few benches lining the marble floor with painting adorning the walls.

“Arteus!” Hagnon called back, summoning his young cousin

“Yes My King?” Arteus asked as he jogged to an approach

“It is time for you to make use of your talents! This fool held the riches of Kings and yet beat his people instead of holding them up… find his silverware and any other bits or none weapon or tool metal that you can, I wish you to make a mold and a statue of our goddess to be set up here, this hall will be where we pray and show homage to the Goddess of the Night Wind. If we are to win this campaign, we will require her constant favour… find all the red wine, candles and incense in the house and leave it here for me to assemble an alter for her”

“It will be done My King” Arteus said with a smile, he enjoyed it when his cousin allowed him to stretch his artistic muscles.Arteus turned to leave

“Oh and Arteus….”

“Yes My King?”

“Should you find any other alters, any other holy symbols or anything supporting a God other than our Mighty Goddess… have those items dropped into the latrine, we will burn it before we move on”

“Arteus nodded again, offering a fist over his heart as a salute before jogging off to his work”

Hagnon walked up and down the hallway examining each picture carefully, he chose three that he felt incorporated a sense of glory in battle and beauty, things that were worthy to stay in the hall of the Goddess of the Night Wind, the others he pulled from the wall and placed by the front door, with the increasingly large pile of coins, statues, jeweled weapons, gems and tapestries. He spent a long time staring at one particular image, a painting of a man on a horse raising a sword towards an army whole a tornado raged behind him, he liked this picture and moved it to a place of honour at the end of the hall. He felt that he could be the man in the image, with the Tornado being his undefeatable Goddess, or perhaps the man had angered the goddess and she was wiping him and his men from the realm, either could be a satisfying answer he mused

“King Hagnon?” the soft spoken words of Cenon broke him from his deep thoughts. He looked to his long time companion wordlessly asking what was needed. “They are ready Sire” he nodded and followed Cenon outside. at the base of the steps of the manor, Their were three groups assembled, all on their knees. The first were the wife, daughters, children and family of the now very late Fredrick Lemmens. The ten or so of them huddled and cried for their lost Knights and in distress of their things, but as yet had not been harmed. The second group was maybe fifteen or twenty strong, they were the captives from the battle, the men at arms, as well any farm aids or paid employees of the Baron who had been on the ground with Hagnon and his men had won the day. The Last group was the largest amounting to almost fifty individuals, they were the slaves of Chestnut Grove, both the house and field ones. 10 of Hagnon’s men were arrayed behind the gathered with swords in hand to assure obedience and submission. Hagnon looked up to the sky realm of his Goddess before shaking his head with the knowledge of what needed to be done, he then stepped forward and spoke addressing the slaves first.

“Slaves of Chestnut Grove, It is clearly written in the Scroll of the Night Wind…” he held up the scroll where he had written the teachings of his goddess down “… That the Goddess does not like slavery, and will not suffer slavers. As such, I cannot keep you and thus will offer you freedom. If you wish it, you may join with my cause and campaign, as we are on a holy mission to avenge a fallen Captain and rescue the chosen of our Goddess, should you join with us, you will be given weapons, food and protection as best we are able, but will fall under my command for the duration of this campaign” He took a moment to meet the gaze of every man women and child among the slaves “Our task will not be easy, some of you die, BUT eternal glory resides with heroes of the Goddess, and I only share paths with heroes” he paused a long moment before continuing. “Any slave who does not wish to join arms with my cause will be free to take one armful of items from the treasure pile, and flee as best they can, our ties will be cut and my duty to your freedom will be complete. Think hard on this choice as you will not be accepted back…” He glanced up at the sun “You have two hours to make your choice, however you go, go with the blessing of the Goddess of the Night Wind” with his speech done he nodded. two of his men walked among the slaves cutting the last of their bonds, the men then moved to better guard the family and the captives.

sniff sniff

the crying continued from the family as they realized their wealth and treasures would be given to slaves, Hagnon was not without mercy, he was going to wait until last, but the family appeared strained and he did not wish to draw that out

“Family of Baron Lemmens, You are Judged as Slavers, and as is written I will not suffer Slavers…”

WAIT!” a women cried, she had keen eyes, she likely sensed where this was about to go “Please… spare the children, they are young…” Hagnon looked at those assembled, the children she spoke of were likely her grandchildren, of the ages 5 and perhaps 11. It brought him no joy, but he shook his head slowly

“Should I spare these children, they will grow up with vengeance in their hearts, to hunt me and mine while I am old and weakened. That is how wars continue through ages, our conflict is now, and so too is the punishment. The GODDESS OF THE NIGHT WIND WILL NOT SUFFER SLAVERS!” He shouted, forcing the lump from his throat and nodding to his men. Before the family could begin their pleads in earnest, his men stepped forward grabbing family members by the hair and slicing open their throats, in seconds all ten of them lay dead, puddles of red staining the green grass. When his men had wiped their blades clean and moved behind the captives Hagnon nodded again, gaining control of his emotions. “Any under their twentieth year will be given a proper burial, those older made their choices themselves and will be caste into the fields for the crows”

HIIIIIIIUUU” his men grunted in acknowledgement, causing the assembled captives to jump. At last Hagnon turned to them and eyed each carefully. They were nervous, would they be offered an option akin to the slaves? or would they be considered slavers and be the next to be killed

“I understand the concept of conscripts, of fate, and of poor circumstance” He began to the assembled group “And it is written in the Scroll of the Night Wind that our Goddess is a merciful Goddess, and as such I shall offer a mercy to you” their were audible sighs of relief from those assembled, especially those who had raised weapons against the fierce warriors of Thefia. “Any among you who wish a change of circumstance, an opportunity to leave this life of sin and devilry behind now have a choice. Should you come forward, swear your soul to the Goddess of the Night Wind and swear fealty to me for the duration my my campaign, you will be granted the rank of one of my soldiers and all the benefits and privileges there in. Should you not wish to swear to my Goddess or HER cause, then so be, your fate lays on the ground beside you” he pointed to the red bloody members of the Lemmen family to their left. “Let us begin” he declared nodding to Pelious. Pelious grabbed the nearest captive to the King, one who had fought against them only an hour earlier that day. he was dragged up the steps and pushed to his knees on the steps before King Hagnon

“Do I not get time to think, to consider?” The man cried in fear. The King removed his Holy Symbol and held it out before him

“This is not a matter of the mind, it is a matter of the heart and soul, your heart does not require time to consider, it knows what is right and what is wrong, decide now, your soul is on the line” The King held the symbol for the man to kiss, at the same time the man shuddered hearing the SHINK noise of Pelious drawing his gladious behind him.

“I…” the man burbled and stammered

“Decide” the King said, all emotion and sympathy gone from his tone

“I…. I can’t… I need some time…”

THWAP

the man’s head was cleaved off and bounded down the stairs. Pelious stepped aside wiping his blade as the King lifted one leg and kicked the body down the stairwell. The Body had barley hit the grass when Pelious grabbed the next man in line and dragged him up to kneel before King Hagnon

“Decide” The King said in the same impassive tone. The man said nothing, he fell over himself to quickly lean forward and kiss the holy symbol. Hagnon let out a light bark of a laugh, reaching down and lifting the man to his feet. “What is your name?” he asked, the man was terrified by managed to answer in a squeak

“Conner” was all he got out.

“Welcome Conner, embrace me as a brother” Hagnon said giving the shocked man a giant bear hug “Know that treachery in this world will mean torture in the next, but i fear you not, for we are brother’s in the goddess cause now… TO CONNER” he said taking Conners hand and holding it up to the assembled men

HIIIIUUUUU” the men grunted in welcome thrusting their spears in the air in unison. Conner was offered a chance to go stand among the soldiers, while Pelious moved on to the next man in line.

Three men and two women lost their lives as they refused to swear or tried to bargain and play with words. Eight men and three women, and four children had come over without issue. Hagnon had made only one alteration, and that was for the two year old who had not yet mastered their words, he accepted the mothers and fathers promise to raise the child in the Goddess’s Shadow as promise enough. When all was done at the end of the day Twenty-nine slaves had opted to join his cause, and eight of them the path of his Goddess. the remainder had taken what they could carry and had made a run for it. It had been a productive day, tomorrow they would fortify for the inevitable retribution that would be attempted; he would kill the remaining nineteen knights to avenge Leslie, then move on to find the remainder of the crew of the Champions Thrust

To Be Continued

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Blood of the Goddess Pt 2

2nd of Goodmonth 383 ONT, 1:23pm, Chestnut Grove Farm, Southern Honatice, Argyle

Please Listen While Reading

Ser Fredrick Lemmens looked out with his six armed knights, he’d taken the precaution of calling together is militia of about twenty men at arms, and a few dozen slaves as well. He was unsure what this force was, wearing bronzed leather skirts and breast plates, large helms and shields that shone a coppery golden colour in the afternoon sun. They marched at an easy jog, in two long columns of twelve, spears hanging easily from their hands as they were led by a man running about ten feet ahead of them. As they approached the gate of Chestnut Grove Farms the leader raised his spear hand, and silently and in will disciplined order the men came to a sudden halt. He called something out in a language that escaped Fredrick and the two columns turned horizontal to the gate and stood shields raised but spears pointed up facing his assemblage of men some sixty feet ahead. From here their leader began an easy walk through the gate and up the road towards Fredrick’s line. Seeing the call for parlay, Fredrick nodded to his nephew, Sir Tristan Greef and the two road down to meet the man halfway. As they approached the man stopped, and removed his helm placing it on the ground at his side, he stood waiting for something that Fredrick could not fathom.

“Well?” Fredrick growled after five or so minutes of awkward silence. The blond man looked hard at him and raised a questioning eyebrow, his eyes glanced up and down over Fredrick giving him what he guessed was an appraisal that was found lacking

“You do not dismount?” The man said with an accent Fredrick could not place

“You approached us… state your business” Tristan fired off, in a tone to let the waif know he was on thin ice already

“You ride out with protection, you do not dismount, and you keep your helmet on… I judge you coward” The man said in a tone that carried authority. His eyes never traced over to Tristan but stayed locked on Fredrick the entire time

“I.. huh… well I…. Not in all my…” Fredrick stammered

“You dare slander Sir Fredrick Lemmens, Baron Chestnut Grove and Knight of Crown?” Tristan roared

“I do” the man said as if he were committing to taking a stoll

“I’ll have your head for that” Tristain said hand reaching for his sword, like a crack of a whip the man’s eyes turned and locked on Tristan, freeing Frederick at last of the judgement that he had cast

“No God on this realm loves you enough to grant you the strength to strike me down, boy” the man said, his words slowing with confidence like neither had seen, Tristan’s hands slowed hovering over his blade as he stared at this crudely dressed man before him.

“Forget about that, You have to my property, speak your reasons and be gone” Fredrick barked at him, he was getting uncomfortable

“So be it, I would summon my 2nd, Pelious to bare witness, as you have so chosen” the man replied, he turned without awaiting permission and placed two fingers in his mouth letting out a sharp whistle. One man from the formation quickly jogged up the hill, he stopped a few feet behind the first man and removed his helmet as had his leader, and waiting in a ‘stand easy’ position

“My King, they do not remove their Helms or dismount?” the one referred to as Pelious said to the first man.

“No Pelious, these men are cowards, but we require information none the less” The first man responded to him, much to Fredricks incredulity

“No see here man, I have heard about all I wish, you bring a unit of pikemen to my door, speak to why and be on with it!” Fredrick barked. Both men turned and looked at him, with a gaze of judgement, as if he had passed wind at a tea party, the first shook his head in what could only be described as annoyance or disappointment, his eyes briefly raised to the sky above as if questioning the very gods before at last turned and fixing him again with those prefect brown orbs.

“I am King Hagnon of Thefia, Favoured among the followers of the Goddess of the Night Wind and commander of the ship named the Champions Spear; to whom do I address” Fredirick had never heard of a land called Thefia, probably another of those blasted penny kingdoms no bigger than his fiefdom; the Goddess of the Night Wind was not a religion familiar to him either, but now they were getting into politics, an area he was very familiar with.

“I am Baron Fredrick Lemmens, Knight of the Crown and Lord of Chestnut Grove, why have you come to my lands Hagnon of Thefia” There was no way he would be referring to him as King.

“I come in search of information, but first I must be sure of something, are you or your ilk worshipers of the Dark Lord Talib? Or The Merchant Omar?” Tristan and Fredrick looked at each other quizzically before Fredirick responded

“No?”

“Good” the man visibly eased “I come in search of slaves”. Now Fredrick eased, sure negotiations might have started a little rough, but now that they understood each other things could move forward, and perhaps he could make some coin of this self-proclaimed king.

“Well, you have come to the right place King Hagnon, I have some here, or my Uncle Marmaduke can aid you with anything you cannot find yourself” Fredrick said, his voice all honey

“Excellent, I am chasing a specific group and I wish them, they were caste ashore two dozen hippikons from here.” Hagnon pointed with his spear in the direction of the ocean. Fredirick did not know what a hippikon was, but could guess easily enough. This man was chasing the sailors he got, perhaps a personal matter, they had been shipwrecked and sold and perhaps he’d buy them to torture, not the most common but it happened often enough.

“Well you are a little tardy I am afraid, I know the ones you speak, but have sold them already to my uncle, I am most happy to direct you his way, as he might be willing to sell them as a package”

“They are not here? But you had them and sold them?” the man clarified… his command of the common tongue seemed good, but he supposed it was best to assure there was no language barrier. He nodded back. Hagnon seemed visibly disappointed, he supposed that was understandable, this would be a further delay for whatever vengeance he wished to extract on them. “I am curious if you spoke to their Leader, a Captain Leslie Cane, he would have spoken for his crew and made himself known” Fredrick looked over to Tristan, he had dealt with the slaves more closely and would know such details better.

“There was no Captain with him sir” Tristan said, his voice light and easy trying to aid a business deal for his uncle. “He likely drowned with his ship” he said, trying to the man’s mind at ease and keep him from causing who knows what trouble searching the fiefdom for a ghost.

“A moment to consult with my man” Hagnon inquired pointing to the one known as Pelious who stood behind him. Fredrick nodded and the man turned away. He had learned long ago that eavesdropping was how business was best done and craned his neck to better hear.

“What do you think? I did not know him well… twenty-five?” Hagnon said to Pelious

“Twenty-five? You think that highly of him? You never saw him battle” Pelious said back

“I would not offend the Goddess with less, he was a Captain” Hagnon replied, and at last Pelious nodded. Hagnon turned back to Fredrick

“You have dishonoured the Goddess of the Night Wind and slain one of her favoured Captains, for this the death toll of Twenty Five of your knights will be paid, go to your lines and prepare for battle” Hagnon declared

“What?” Tristan said “Death Toll? We havn’t even got that many Knights! What are you about?” his horse moved forward placing him between Fredrick and Hagnon who was calmly affixing his helm

“In my experience, when you kill a Baron, more knights tend to come” the two turned and strode down the hill. Tristan ripped his sword from his scabbard

“No you fool, we fight at the line with our men, come on!” Fredrick ordered, his nephew gave a glare but followed orders as they wheeled their horses around and strode back to their lines, affixed a top of a small hill with cover and better numbers.

To Be Continued

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Blood for a Goddess Pt 1

35th of Readying 383 ONT, 7:18am, Estoros Sea, Shore of Honatice Argyle, Champions Spear

Julious broke the surface of the water, flinging his long blond locks behind him to keep the salty water from stinging his eyes. He quickly swam the short distance to his trireme, The Champions Spear, where Damocles and Arteus quickly pulled him from the water and offered a cloak to dry his naked form.

“My King” Julious Began as he threw the red cloak over his shoulder to stave off the cool ocean wind “The Shark was right to lead us here, below lies the wreckage of the Champions Thrust” their were gasps among the crew but King Hagnon held up his hands to silence them, only when their tongues had stilled did he nod to Julius to continue “Twas foul play my King, the ship has been torn in two, vertically, with scorches and burns of magic”

“And the Crew? or the Captain, any sign of them?” Hagnon quierried.

“Surprisingly few crew my King, no sign of the Captain, it is my guess that many escaped,as their is also no evidence of a great feeding, and it appeared to have happened within the last three-day” Julious replied. Hagnon nodded and sat down by his tiller putting a hand to his clean shaven jaw in concentration. his eyes scanned the shores watching the waves and tide. At last he pointed

“There, that would be where most wreckage would land, and would be the easiest swim by far, MAN THE OARS” he called taking the tiller in hand. the Champions Spear shoved forward towards the shoreline.

Twenty minutes later the Trireme had been pulled up onto the beach and secured. The warriors of the Champions Spear leapt from the ship.

“Damocles, find evidence of our allies, see if the fates guided any to safety, ”/characters/cenon-cf" class=“wiki-content-link”>Cenon, Pelious, set a watch and organize the men as such. Julious, we are on the shore anyway, find us some red meat to sup on" the assents of the men happened quickly while they organized to their tasks. Whilst this happened Hagnon searched the beach for several larges pieces of wood. He stacked the wood above the high tide mark creating a small knee high table. From his satchel he pulled a cloth of red covering the little table, then he pulled thick candles and a stick of cherry wood incense. Last from his bag came a simple wooden goblet and from it he poured two fingers of a thick red merlot that had been gifted to him by the elf name Thalion. When the goblet was placed between the two lit candles and behind the incense so the fragrant smell of cherry wood would pass over it with the sea breeze, he disrobed. shirking all weapons, armor and clothing, save his wooden holy symbol. Naked as the day he was born the King of Thefia dropped to his knees clasped his hands together and began to pray. “Goddess of the Night Wind, Lady of Divine Beauty and Protector of Men Great and Small, I call out to you on this day. Your breeze has filled our sails and brought us to the wreckage of one of our fleet. It is my belief that this was done in anger against you, and that you have brought me here on this day to exact vengeance for those who have been betrayed by your enemies. Should this be true, show me a sign, and my sword will be yours!” he waited patiently watching the little alter. it did not take long for the breeze along the shore to pick up and blow out his candles. “So be it Great Goddess, I have seen your signs and accept your task, those who defile the ships named Champion shall be snuffed out, SO MOTE IT BE”. He ended the ceremony as he always did, by taking the hot wax and drawing her holy chevron on his chest, it burnt, but the scar would mark him as hers forever more. Then he lifted his glass to the Goddess before drinking the two fingers of wine, a representation of the blood of man, something that is to flow freely for the Goddess to know pleasure. His prayer completed he packed up his little alter taking the cloth, but spending the time to leave her holy symbol carved into the wooden table, even peasants deserved the ability to pray, and rejoined his men. he approached Damocles first “What News?” he asked

“Many made it ashore, My King, it appears they were taken captives my armored locals, they had heavy horse and wore armor at least as heavy as the Parvan, twenty or so captives in all, marching in land”

“Champions… taken as slaves?” Hagnon questioned recalling Thalion and the Aurellia’s distaste for slavery in any form

“It appears that way My King” Damocles said. The Kings great brows furrowed

“This will not stand” he turned and marched towards the rest of him men

“Warriors of the Night Wind!” the King began “I have communed with our Goddess, and she is angry! Her people have be taken into captivity, the people of this land have sinned against her! We have been tasked with making this right once more. Tonight we will eat and drink, in the morning our ship it to be carried into the forest and buried, from there we will march inland, and slay any who dare offend our Mighty Goddess!”

HIIIIUUUUUUU! HHHHIIIIIIUUUUUUU!” the warriors called back

PITY THOSE WHO OFFEND OUR GODDESS, FOR NOW THE MOST THEY CAN HOE FOR IS A DEATH THAT IS QUICK AND WITH HONOR!”

To be Continued

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The futures we Weave

31st of Reaping, 383 ONT, Lunar Star Course 153-2A7-K8L315R, Champions Fist, 9:43pm

Suli stood nervously in the first mates cabin, wondering why she had been called away from her off duty time to see Mr. Fargazer at this odd hour, though from what she knew of the older Grippli, since he took her aboard the ship, there was no such thing as an Odd hour to the First Mate. Aside from when he went into his prayers and burned that stinky incense by the bow along with a few other crew members, he almost always seemed to be working or training.

“Suli, you can relax, you aren’t in trouble, in fact your services since joining the ship have been exemplary. You have taken on jobs, responsibilities and dangers one of your age should never have to face, and have seemed to thrive. The crew is quite happy with you, as am I. I’ve asked you here on a more personal matter, for I have a gift from another to deliver, and an offer for you.”

Flitt turned to his dresser, unlatched the top drawer and pulled out a small silken cord, dangling with many icons, from what she could see, they looked like small carved holy symbols, some of which, the pan flutes, the trident, Miriels chevron, she recognized immediately. The rest of the small symbols she quickly guessed to be holy symbols to other gods. Flitt handed her the chain, griping it by an unfamiliar black symbol.

“I was told to give this to you, but not how. You are young, and will make many choices in your life, some must be made immediately, others can wait, but this and these are for you.” Flitt told her. “You can keep them all together, or separate, we can talk of the symbols and what they mean later, you may find yourself drawn to one, or many, or repulsed by others, but you should know them all, they may be something you need to know in your life.”

Suli took the chain in her hand and flipped though several of the symbols, confused.

“One decision to be made today”, Flitt continued before she could ask one of the many questions fighting to be asked, “.. is are you ready to begin real training, training that will help you survive what we may facing in coming days?”

“What sort of Training Mr. Fargazer?”, Suli jumped in excitedly, “I really enjoyed the calligraphy with Mr. Dele-Veggie Del-Toro, and the carving with Mr.Hewey!”, She paused fully catching up to what Flitt had said, “What do you mean survive? Like things worse then those pirates and slavers, or these weird brain eating thingies I’ve heard some of the crew talking about or..”

“Nothing I hope you will need to face so soon”, Flitt quickly interrupted the young grippli, “But a time is coming where we may need every being who can, to come together and fight against a force yet to truly rise. I will not call it an evil, nor is it good, it simply is. So we must make ready while we can. I pray that this is a fight that we will not need to face in our short lifetimes, but it is one that will one day need to be faced, and if does not fall to either of us to face it, we may need to train the ones who will.”

Still somewhat confused, but at least a little comforted, the young Gripply nodded vigorously, “Ok Mr. Fargazer, what sort of training then? Swords? Trident? Guns!?!”

“Something very old, yet so very new to far too many in this world. If you will, and if you can, I will take you as my tadawon, and teach you in the ways of the weave and Bogna,

“Ummm, ok, that sounds kinda…” She began before piping up “like weaving like the little mouse Thaden can Do? NEAT!”

Flitt smiled, “He will tell you otherwise, but in many ways, yes, like, what Master Thaden does, yet quite different as well. But that will be a topic for your first lesson.”

“Then it is decided, we will begin tomorrow. One last thing before you go, despite what some may tell you, all those symbols, " Flitt potined to the string of holy symbols, “are deserving of worship from those that chose to believe, and though the powers they represent may be at odds often, they can also be unusual allies at time of great need. Every symbol I’ve given you may be important, for a time will come when hopefully all can be bound, if only by a thread, against what is to come. Do not let hatred at one of these symbols fill your heart or drive you, down the path of unthinking hatred lies pain for you and those you love. Learn to accept that they are, even chose one to follow, if one echos in your heart, but before any of us again find true rest, they all may be needed.”

“But Mr Fargazer, aren’t you a follower of The Great Prometheus, aren’t you supposed to tell me to worship him?” Suli finally asked.

Flit paused for a long moment, gathering his thoughts, “If you find your path with the great Bro, I would be happy to call you a Sister, but it would be wrong for me to tell you who you need to worship. No matter who if anyone you chose to worship, I will call you friend, and student; and I will defend you from those who would do you harm. As any good Bro should do for his friends.” he finished with a calming smile.

Suli thought about it for a moment, and nodded.

“Now its past when you should be getting to your rest young one, and the training to come will be rigorous. I expect to see you out to join my morning exercises, one hour before first bell, and we will begin the real training after your duty shift tomorrow.”

Suli started to leave the room, but stopped to ask a final question, “So if you are going to train me should I call you Master Fargazer now? Like the Captain calls Master Thaden?”

“Only when we are training, or in battle, otherwise, Mr Fargazer is fine while on ship, now off you go, it’s late” Flitt dismissed the young grippli, and as she left turned to the small cube on his dresser top. With a slight sigh, he slipped on his spectacles, channeled Bogna into the cube and began working out where to start his lessons for the next day.

As he lost himself in studying the cube, Flitt muttered to himself, “Gods willing I will forge you into a worthy blade of the weave.”

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The Fatefule Voyage of the Champions Thrust Pt 6

32nd of Readying 383 ONT, 9:39am, Estoros Sea, Argyle, Champions Thrust

Boyd Porter diligently swam towards the still sinking ship, he had done his duty, had seen the crew safely to the shore, but if Leslie thought he would just leave him and the First Mate to die, he had another think coming. Wine barrel under one arm he kicked and swam his way out. He had seen the bolt hit the ship, but that didn’t mean that everyone was dead, just the ship.

LESLIE! … UNGLE! …” He called as he approached hoping to find them clinging to a large piece of debris. no such luck. He bobbed among the floating barrel and wreckage searching for any sign of life. The minutes ticked past and he noted with growing concern that fish were beginning to float to the surface, many were scorched and coated with a thick green gooey acid. he began to swim about more frantically. “LES! … LES!” he called, still seeing nothing

GLUSH

About fifty feet away Ungle burst to the surface, much of the hair was burnt from his body, his right shoulder was missing as was his entire right arm, the wound oozes thick red blood into the water. He splashed and sucked in breath before falling below the surface again. Boyd didn’t wait, he swam forward diving below the surface and dragged the heavy Wild Elf back up.

“Ungle, Ungle are you ok?” he asked as the broke the surface. Ungles eyes were rolling wildly with his head, he seemed delirious, Boyd knew he had to get him to shore quickly or he’d bleed out in the ocean. “Ungle,” he said grabbing the wild elf’s jaw with one hand and forcing him to look at him “Where’s the Captain… Where is Leslie?” the Wild Elf groaned, his feet stopped kicking and he began to sink. Boyd grabbed his belt and lashed Ungle as best he could to the wine barrel. he took one long last desperate look for his faithful Captain, then turned towards shore swimming and pushing the unconscious Wild Elf on the wine barrel towards the beach where his crew were.

It took ten minutes of hard pushing and swimming to bring them into the beach, with the tide going out things were much harder. Boyd was pretty focused on keeping Ungles head above water and searching behind him to see if the Captain had surfaced and was following, when he at last glanced towards the beach his heart swelled, their were people there, his crew would have help immediately. he was getting ready to call out, when he saw one of the new arrivals back hand Steel. The man whipped out a nasty looking baton and beat poor wounded Steel to the ground. Boyd pulled Ungle down from the barrel using it as a block from the beach, he held the wild elves head just above the water while he peaked out watching in horror as men dressed as knights quickly took the pistols that were sodden and wet, and disarmed the survivors of the Champions Thrust. Boyd face turned red as he imagined every curse he could, he had thought they might still be in elvish lands, apparently they were a little further north in Honastica and now his crew were to be slaves. The barrel, without him swimming began to pull them out to sea with the tide. Boyd allowed it, he would have to swim into the next bay or cove, patch up Ungle and then figure out how to…. how to what? heal Ungle? Track and rescue the crew? Find his Captain? He was a Quarter Master not an warrior. They drifted away, as his crew were corralled and thrown into bared wagons. The two floated out around the bend, exhaustion was beginning to take Boyd and he wondered if he would have the strength to make it back to shore, let alone help Ungle when they got there. Boyd pushed and strove but the tide was to strong, his arms were burning and he didn’t know how much longer he could sustain this pace.

“Bro, yer looking like yer in a shade of trouble thar” a voice called from far to close to him

Boyd turned and not far behind him, on a large board on his belly a curly hair blond man approached. Boyd thought for a moment to pull his dagger, but if he did he would loose either the barrel or Ungle, he signed in resignation, he could not fight

“We are free men, our ship has sunk, please… help us” Boyd pleaded praying to the gods above that their was still some good left in the men of Honastica

“That rough Bro, No worries at all” The man called back, paddling all the faster… “Let’s get yer wounded buddy out of the water and onto my board, then we can follow the tidal cut to shore… my hut aint far and we can get ya both sorted from there” Boyd nearly cried from job

“Thank the gods… I’m Boyd, and this is Ungle of the Champions Thrust” Boyd said grabbing the edge of the board and hefting Ungle up as the man got closer

“Don’t be trouble’n the whole pantheon, Just a simple nod to Prometheus will suffice, I’m Benny” he said

“Please’d to meet you a thousand times Benny, and thanks be to Prometheus”

“Gladdly accepted, but let’s save our breath for now Bro, we can get to chatting and chin waggin once we make shore” Benny responded. and with that laid his hands on Ungle, stopping the bleeding with divine magic and then began to lead Boyd through the tidal cut and into the neighboring cove

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The Fatefule Voyage of the Champions Thrust Pt 5

32nd of Readying 383 ONT, 9:31am, Estoros Sea, Argyle, Champions Thrust

The murky blue water made it hard for Leslie to see. The screams of the dragon and Ungle were a better gauge of where he needed to go rather than any distinct visual Q, but at last he found it, a thick fog of blood and the dragon curled around a coral outcrop, its neck and tail wrapped around Ungle as the wild elf used his one hand to hold back the dragons jaw and keep it from devouring him. as Leslie continued to swim down he noted with a sense of nostalgic irony the shattered and discarded Faberge Eggs that lay strewn along the Coral floor. With powerful kicks he propelled himself deeper coming up behind the Dragon. the Dragon seemed to struggle furiously with the Wild Elf, seeing it now the creature was maybe no larger than eighteen feet long. It struggled and then stopped seeming to suck in water and rear back, Leslie changed his grip on his spear, swam up behind the beast and jammed it under its jaw, with both hands on the spear and planting his feat in the creatures back, he pulled with all his might forcing the dragons head to look upward, as it did the Dragon spewed another gout of green gooey acid, it burbled and shot upwards missing both Leslie and the still trapped Ungle.

A wing claw raced backwards and scratched at Leslie flinging him off the Dragons back, it let go of Ungle and moved to swim. Leslie thrust out with the spear of Jonathan with all his might slamming it into the dragons hind leg and pinning it into the Coral. He looked up and saw Ungle wincing as the elf swam through the slow floating acid towards the surface and breath. Leslie moved to swim after him, but a dragon claw scored into his leg and forced him down into the painful stinging coral. The Dragon hissed opening his maw filled with death inducing incisors and moved to finish the Captain. Leslie reached out searching for a weapon, a weapon of any kind, something that would penetrate this awful fiends scales. his hand grasped around something round, he risked a look. His brand new Egg, the one Captain Thalion had gifted him for joining the Champions company. For a moment he regretted not being a collector of magic weapons, that might have saved his life this day, but the feeling passed quickly, the egg was beautiful, something that’s soul purpose was to just bring beauty into the world; he liked that.He let his eyes linger of the fanciful design for a moment and turned back to meet the dragon whose maw rushed forward to tear him asunder. he slammed the egg into the beasts eye even as it bit into his chest. To his amazement the egg penetrated the creatures tough scales and cut it. he smashed and slammed it into the dragon again and again all while it continued to bite and eat at him, his lungs burned, he felt pain like never before and still the acid spray slowly sunk towards them.

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The Fatefule Voyage of the Champions Thrust Pt 4

32nd of Readying 383 ONT, 9:27am, Estoros Sea, Argyle, Champions Thrust

Please Listen While Reading

He was fast, faster than anyone Daewyn had ever dueled before. Her role in the Guard had always been more as a diplomat and teacher than as warrior or duelist, but she had competed for years in the Redwall fencing championships, and her use of Niman to augment her speed and senses were vastly aiding her in this battle. she found Shepard to be an odd creation, his sword styles were based on strength and overwhelming bursts of force, if one could understand its flow, when he would burst and ebb, you could sustain against them and then be ready for him. Her plan now was to let him drain his reserves of the Weave, allow him to tire and smash against her, and then when the weave was no longer his ally, to overwhelm him with the dizzying speeds and skills of Makashi. She had headed Thaden well, this Fallen One had murdered Master Guard Mice, but he had done it through deception, and then killed the remainder of the Guard and their apprentices through speed and intimidation, she was the Shield of Ashla, the white flame that kept the darkness from reaching civilization, she would not be snuffed out in the night. She was an ally of the Weave and the Weave was one with her.

WHY WON’T YOU DIE!” Shepard cursed as he leapt over her lacing the areas with lightning then came on with a furious burst of attacks. but everywhere his blade was, her met it, everywhere his lightning struck, she was not

“I am an ally of the Weave, the Weave is one with me” was all she said, she was in a near state of trace, using the weave to see mere seconds in the future and then sped to place herself to avoid whatever dark end that possible future held. She required every once of her concentration to battle him and honestly had no interest in his not so clever banter that he offered. she slipped into a crouch dodging the large metal pulley that came zipping from behind her, she jumped up on it,a dding her weight and the pulled of the weave to it’s momentum causing Shepard to abandon his attack to deflect the pulling instead. she did not press the advantage, but took the ebbing seconds to refuel her connection to the weave, this would be won as a marathon, not as a sprint. She took a few deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth, keeping her heart rate slow and steady, focusing on her years of training in temple of Redwall, this was a challenge like any other, but anger would not cloud her judgement, She was a Master, she merely needed to know the variables and stack them to the outcome most desired, she could do this.

ROOOOOAAAAARRRRRR

A hulking Frothing wild elf tore across the stage, literal foam dripping from his mouth as he hefted an impossibly huge Great Axe. Daewyn threw herself back and noted that Shepard did the same as the sunk a good two inches into the wooden deck

THUNK

the wild elf pulled it out to swing again as if the deck were no stronger then cool butter. The Axe danced and whirled coming down in a maddening series of chops around Shepard, Daewyn was forced to break off her attack or risk being sliced by the brute.

BANG

She threw herself to the deck as a pistol fired from the Captain, the bullet just missing her, she watched with grudging respect as Shepard’s blade shot forward slicing the shot in half that would have otherwise taken off his head.he than dove forward and cut deeply into the elf’s ankle forcing the brute back while he reached into the weave taking a section of mast and rigging and tossing it at the captain who had just fired a shot. Daewyn let out a annoyed breath, she supposed the age old, ‘when in doubt, pile on’ strategy would have to do. she threw herself forward in a cartwheel , grabbing a large board with the weave at the same time and brought is slamming down from above while the elf brought his axe to bare in a side slicing motion. The captain wriggled to be free of the rigging, but would be caught for several seconds more. Shepard was fast he extended his off hand sending the elf flinging backward as the weave pushed him towards the edge of the ship. at the same time he cut through the board and leapt to Daewyn to continue their duel in earnest. The elf caught himself on the rails his arm and Axe extended over the side for balance.

CHOMP

The Green Dragon emerged from the water at last free of the chains, his mouth open wide as it bit into the wild elves shoulder. A sickening crunch echoed across the deck as bone was pulverised adn flesh and tendons ripped. the Wild Elf’s and Dragon disappeared over the side.

UNGLE!” The Captain roared, at last giving up on his trapped cutlass and pulling himself free “UNGLE HANG ON!” the man frantically searched around him for a weapon, his eye settled on a smashed box that held Stinger spears. in desperation he scooped one up and threw himself over the rails after his First Mate.

“IT APPEARS WE ARE ALONE AGAIN AT LAST” Shepard said with a note of smug satisfaction. Daewyn saw her opening and took it, calling on the weave to have a nail shoot out towards his leg. as predicted he flung his hand out to deflect it, she attacked not for his core but the outstretched hand. he may have stopped the nail but his hand and sword dropped to the deck

“I am an ally of the Weave, the Weave is one with me” she said kicking the hand and sword away while bringing up her sword to block the predictable torrent of lightening that shot from him in his maddening rage

YOU DARE MAIM ME!” he screamed in pain as white hot bolts of power sprung for his hand and the still blood spurting stump. It took all her training to shield the onslaught that would melt a lesser Guard Mouses Sword.

His fury was not abated, she saw the lightening had cauterized the wound, now through sheer will with the weave he conjured a blade of pure anguish and desperation, a blade of BOGNA! he gripped it in his left hand and flung himself at her with the fury and intensity of a wild fire in a timber mill. She steeled against the attack, madly dashing and parrying, but then saw the gambit, just a little two late.

The Lightning Bolt fired down from the sky above, at least forty feet in diameter centered on the two of them. it ripped through the ship completely, tearing it a sunder and blasting the Two Waylens into the ocean below

To be Continued?

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Duet

27th of Reaping 383 ONT, Small Park off of Oakleaf Boulevard, High Port, 3pm

Hikari sat cross-legged on the grass, eyes closed feeling the warmth of the sun and the gentle caress of the breeze flow over her. Softly the music flowed from the simple syrinx she played. It wasn’t a specific song or tune but more a melody of the moment as she simply played whatever note she felt should come next on a whim. There was no thought, no reasoning beyond simply being and feeling for her and letting everything else fall away. It would be so simple to stay, to miss the changing tide and the ship waiting down in the harbour for her. If only life were so simple.

Phobia, the part of her that was Phobia, warned of the arrival of an audience. Hikari acknowledged the arrival but did not stop. It was a park and people were free to come and go as they pleased. Given time this one would wander off if she ignored them. But this one was not going to be ignored and joined in using her voice to match what Hikari played though neither knew the song. Her voice twined around Hikari’s reedy melody finding holes and moments to fill with her own sweet sounds and Hikari found herself getting caught up in it. She smiled as she played not opening her eyes as she sought to keep the music going between them. But now she was conscious of what she was doing and how she was playing and the notes did not come so easily. Yet as she faltered the woman’s voice filled in taking over the heart of the music and giving her openings and moments to play into that matched the new song they were making.

Phobia echoed Hikari’s love for the song and the music and shared moments of her special memories of songs her ancestors had heard that were similar. Hikari took it all in and continued to play swaying gently and smiling brightly at the fun surprise the stranger had brought to her. But soon enough, for she was still new with the pipes, did Hikari tire and she had to pull them from her lips. The song gently ended on a sweet note from the stranger and for the longest of moments there was silence as each took in and reflected on what had happened.

“Oselia?” The beautiful and musical voice queried, “Hair like fresh fallen snow, skin of the palest ivory that sparkles where the stars would be in the night sky and a face as radiant as the moon lighting up the night with its pale brilliance so even when things were darkest one knew they were never alone. You must be the goddess of the moon Oselia.”

“Hardly,” Hikari laughed embarrassed by the compliment and opened her eyes. “And the location is a little off for meeting a goddess one would think.” The woman smiling down at her was dressed in fine clothes suitable for a lord’s palace as much as anywhere but cut in a style that looked easy to move or even travel in. Her braided light brown hair was streaked with gold and matched the gold of her eyes. Her dimpled smile was warm and inviting with lips painted with a touch of colour and Hikari found herself fascinated with watching the stranger talk.

“If said goddess was resting and seeking anonymity then no,” The woman grinned and sat down beside Hikari the gentle fragrance of spring flowers settling with her. “The gods do as they will and show up wherever and whenever their fancy takes them. A secluded park in High Port is as likely as anywhere.”

Hikari could only nod at that thinking back to the times and places Pan had visited as well as the fact she travelled with Miriel who had a knack of disappearing and reappearing randomly as of late. “Well if we are to be mistaken for a goddess then surely you are a celestial who has come to share her angelic voice to keep us company while we linger in this place. Though we fear our time grows short and would ask the name of such a beautiful singer.”

She laughed and nodded, “Valeira Mistborn, wandering Reader of Histories, Teller of Tales, Sculptor of Stories and Singer of Songs.” She laughed again, “And someone who likes to give herself many made up but no less important titles because it amuses her.”

Hikari shared her laugh, “We are Hikari Phobia Anakamoto, nothing more than a ship’s wizard on the Champion’s Fist… At least until they find an actual wizard who is willing to travel with them.” She grinned at the ongoing joke between her and the officers of the Fist.

“Navarchus Alfirin’s ship?” Hikari nodded remembering that was Thalion’s new rank as the Elves had decided they needed their ship. Valeira whistled in appreciation. “Impressive and makes me very envious of Ser Alfirin.” Valeira leaned forward fingers resting lightly on Hikari’s hand, “To always have you so close at hand.”

Hikari licked her suddenly dry lips and noticing for the first time how close Valeira was to her and enjoyed every moment of it. Her emotions were conflicted but her desires were very much focused on Valeira. Phobia’s body, gave a shiver from the feedback Hikari’s body was giving.

“What was that?”

“The part of us that is Phobia, but that answer is also incomplete.”

“I love stories and mysteries.” Valeira’s eyes looked over the compact and shiny black body of Phobia noting the faint silver pattern that was beginning to emerge as she grew and showed no signs of the fear or revulsion she’d seen in others. Valeira traced a pattern on Hikari’s arm following the healed punctures from the throne that now formed the constellations in the sky, “Like how far do these go and how accurate are they?”

Hikari suddenly hated the fact that they were leaving port in a few hours. Why now? Why did she have to find Valeira now only to have to leave her before she could explore this more? Duty, said the part of her that had been Hiro. Family, said the part of her that had been Rikka. Both pulled at her to leave and the part that was Hikari fought to remain wanting to feel more and to be more. Phobia twitched again caught up more in how Hikari was feeling than with the thoughts going through her head and confused as to why there was any hesitation in the first place.

“Right, well let’s get going then.” Valeira grinned and pulled Hikari to her feet before dusting them both off.

“Going where?” was Hiakri’s confused response.

“To get my things of course. I’m coming with you.” Valeira laughed and took Hikari’s hand. “I’ve just met my Oselia and I plan on making Pan jealous of that fact.”

“Not sure which part of that we need to talk about first.” Hikari wondered aloud shaking her head.

“We’ll have plenty of time once we’re on your ship.” She replied leading Hikari from the park and down the boulevard. “But until then I am not letting you out of my sight or hands.”

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The Fatefule Voyage of the Champions Thrust Pt 3

32nd of Readying 383 ONT, 9:22am, Estoros Sea, Argyle, Champions Thrust

Please Listen While Reading

Leslie closed his eyes for a moment, blocking out the screams of his crew who were scorched and burning in the acid of the Emerald Dragons breath. The vile beast had at last crested in a wide enough arc that he could take a shot.

.

“Jonathan, you have been ever loyal, don’t fail me now” he prayed as he patted the Stinger lovingly. His feet worked the peddles tracking the dragon as it lined up in front of him, it would swoop over his head and smash into his scatter crew on what was left of his deck. The creature let out another roar but it did not phase Leslie he had steeled himself to the horrors of this creature. he counted down slowly watching the heavy beat of it’s leathery wings

.

“3… 2…. 1….. "

click

the golden spear flung from the contraptions and whirled towards its course. it slammed into the beasts shoulder causing it to scream in pain and loose altitude on its flight. Leslie had enough time to dive clear of Jonathan as the dragon smashed into in crashing head first onto the fore-deck. his cutlass ripped from his scabbard as he approached the wounded wrym and viciously cut at the tendons on its left wing. Leslie was no fool, his ship would not survive this battle, but by the gods this Dragon would not escape either. He looked up seeing Ungle and Joan approaching and an idea came to him.

“Ungle, the anchor!” he cried. his first mate nodded seeing the plan. Leslie turned dashing out of the way of a dragon bite and swinging his cutlass in front of himself to buy a little breathing room.

The anchor came over the Dragons right wing and between its leg, Leslie tried to slice at the beast to distract it, but still Ungle received a number of deep gouges for his trouble. Then the weight was thrown over the side, with Leslie rushing the beast at the same time forcing it onto its hind quarters, the loss of balance came quickly as the weight of the anchor took and over the side went the troublesome mount.

The Captain of the Champions Thrust looked up at the tatter red flag, with the golden Laurels and Black Spear Point, it was caught in the tangle of his rigging of the now destroyed masts. he felt more than saw his ship begin to list to starboard and knew in his heart that she was done. The Champions Thrust had been his dream, and here in the southern shores of Honastica his dreams would sink. his eyes traced across the ship towards the bridge where he saw the two mice fighting at impossible speeds; his crew were scattered and injured, they needed their Captain now more than ever.

“Bolt, Cutter, Rains… Get down stairs, bring up as many barrels of that elvish wine we can, I want it tossed of the port side, as soon as the barrels are in the water I want the rest of you in, two men to a barrel, help the wounded and kick to shore… i don’t want anyone left behind”

“Aye Captian” a few men called out

“Boyd… You see it gets done… get them to the shore… on yer life” He called to his beloved quartermaster. Boyd said nothing, knowing what was happening and just returned a stiff lipped nod as he saw to it that he wounded moved towards the port side of the ship

“Ungle…” he called to his First Mate, the wild elf sucked in oxygen and snorted it out huffing in a barely contained rage “Help me kill that rat!” he pointed at the black mouse that was fighting Daewyn

“with pleasure” the wild elf growled before throwing himself across the ship and an barbaric fury. Leslie hefted the cutlass in his hand as he looked behind him, the sight was almost too hard to see… the shards that once were his beloved Jonathan were scattered across the bow deck, smashed into thousands of pieces, many of which were likely still entangled around the blasted dragon. he fought back a tear and instead crystallized the feelings into hate and anger. Someone would pay for this… someone would pay a lot!

To be Continued

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The Fatefule Voyage of the Champions Thrust Pt 2

32nd of Readying 383 ONT, 9:18am, Estoros Sea, Argyle, Champions Thrust

Daewyn rose from her meditative stance and walked calmly to the bridge. She hopped up on the compass table beside the helm and turned to the Captain.

“Captain Cane, I regret to inform you that your ship is about to be attacked” she said in a clear voice. The Captain quickly scanned the horizon and beach line, seeing nothing he turned back to the Guard Mouse.

“You sure? I don’t see any ships?” she nodded at his perception

“I don’t think it will be a ship, I sense a great force of anger and hate within the weave, I feel it getting closer to us all the time. I would be ready” the two locked eyes for a long minute; but at last the Captain nodded. Daweyn knew that Captain Alfrin had spoken highly of the Guard to Captain Cane and has asked that he heed her in such matters, it was a testament to the Captain that on the word of a stranger he did just that.

“Red Alert, arm yourselves and take to battle station!” he called

“YOU HEARD THE CAPTAIN! WEAPONS IN HAND, GET THE TARP OF JONATHAN AND KEY UP FELLA’S, YA WANT TO LIVE FOREVER?” The Wild Elven First Mate shouted after the Captain’s call for arms. The men and woman of the ship hurried, loading pistols at their belts, untarping and loading the stinger lovingly known as Jonathan and grabbing swords and crossbows while tidying up the deck of any loose debris or ropes that could be fatal should such an attack come. The warm sea breeze of a Readying morning blew from port to starboard easing the oppressive summer heat. Aside from the groaning of ropes and waves crashing against the ship all was silent. No one spoke, at a nod Boyd stepped up beside the Captain and took the helm while the captain loaded his own pistol and strapped his blade to his belt.

“What do you sense little mouse?” The Captain asked as he eyed the shore, feeling if something were to come at him, that was likely the place it would stem from.

“It won’t be long now, this malevolence does not know patience” Daewyn said in a tone impassive. “I will apologize now Captain, I can’t say the engagement will end without loses”

“Stuff it, The Thrust isn’t one to shy from a fight, you do you, and let me worry about…”

RRRRRRROOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAR

The sentiment was never finished, the green dragon broke from the clouds directly above with an ear splitting scream. It shocked and stunned several of the crew as its mouth opened and spewed burning bubbling acid towards the centre deck. With the Reflexes of a cat Daewyn noted that the wild elf First Mate through himself over the bridge rail grabbing a sailor and throwing her and himself overboard just before the acid engulfed the centre mast, melting it away to splinters in seconds. The Dragon followed the acid through laying two raking claws across the still stunned Reed and knocking Steel overboard with a tail slap. The most horrific however was watching Hansel Ramey be lifted from the ground by his throat as if being choked and being held their tantalizingly until the Green Dragon gored him with its goulash snout horn and then snapped him in its maw slamming him into the deck and dragging him over the port side with it and into the ocean below. As the Dragon slammed into the Deck only then were the crew beginning to shake off the effects of the panic inducing roar.

“HIGH SIDE STARBOARD! HIGHSIDE!” The Captain screamed throwing himself down from the bridge and grabbing the rail on the starboard side of the ship. About twelve of the crew heard and responded to their Captain’s call, throwing enough weight just in time to keep the ship from capsizing. “PISTOLS!” The Captain shouted, racing down the deck towards the bow. He kicked open a long thin box and pulled a special golden tipped spear quickly loading it in the stinger. Daewyn could see ropes being tossed to The First Mate and women who had thrown themselves out of the dragon’s swath. The ship rocked violently and the dragon raced out of the water, clawing across the deck while its rider let forth a torrent of lightning. The sound of several pistols firing could be heard as the beast smashed through the second and last mast of the ship, it had planned to continue but that would not be the case. Daewyn reached deep within the weave and reached out grabbing the dragon and tossing it back down onto the deck of the ship, giving the crew a chance to finish unloading their pistols into the fiend.

“THADEN!” an impossibly Deep Thunderous voice bellowed as the black armored mouse sprung from the saddle of his Dragon and instantly cut out the throat of the nearest deck hand. “YOU WOULD HIDE FROM ME WHILE YOUR HUMANS DIE?” Daewyn called upon the Weave and leapt across the bridge and deck to stand in front of the black clad Lord Shepard.

“I am not Thaden, but I will see an end to this Violence, Bogna has no place on this ship fallen one” Daewyn said pulling a slight skinny blade from its sheath.

“I KNOW YOU NOT MASTER GUARD MOUSE, BUT YOUR END IS NIGH!” Lord Shepard sprung forward… and missed as Deewyn side stepped the blow, then used her lithe blade to deflect his backswing, he jumped over her knocking a pistol shot fired towards the dragon at her and closed again for another series of vicious swings.

“Ataru? With Djem So? You have grown lazy Shepard.” She said as she dueled him, her Waylen blade moving in quick tight circles around his larger bulkier weapon, always using his momentum to deflect and move.

“A MAKASHI NIMAN BLEND! YOU WILL TIRE LONG BEFORE I DO” He retorted and the battle began in earnest as they dueled up and down the deck. Daewyn was aware that the dragon had taken flight again, but the fallen Guard Mouse was better than she had expected and required every ounce of her focus to keep his deadly blade at bay. The crew of the Thrust would have to deal with the Dragon on their own.

To Be Continued

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