Beddigan felt his stomach rumble as his gaze drifted over the expanse of stone table, littered with crockery bowls filled with steaming dishes; none of which looked particularly familiar to him, but all of which smelled delicious. He and his companions all sat quietly, waiting patiently to be joined by Karrinah. Torin am Megnarr, as it turns out, was one of her most trusted aids and advisers, and it was quite fortuitous that they had met him and his brothers at the stall market before any other members of this curious society.
After their introductions to the leader of the Deer people, they had been lead off by palace aids to separate rooms, which William had briefly protested, before Beddigan had reassured his old friend that he was sure no harm would come to them. Once in a guest room, he had been given fresh, clean water to drink, while the aid drew him a bath in a large oval bathtub that was sunk into the floor of the room. He watched curiously as water flowed from a spout at a moderate pace while the aid made frequent trips in and out of the room to come in with steaming kettles of water to add to the pool. After adding some fragrant smelling liquid that bubbled luxuriously, the aid had bowed to him and left. Continue reading
As they approached the walled city, Beddigan felt the fur on the back of his neck rise in anticipation of what they might find. The journey through the dense forest near the base of the mountains and then through the sparser, sandier country had been eerie. Back home they would have surely come across something or someone in the woods between cities or villages, but they had not seen a single living creature; nor a single cabin or camp. They had discovered some fruit trees with familiar apples and pears and had eaten their filling as they made their way towards the ever-towering wall of the city.
The wall had looked enormous from their vantage point on that final cliff part-way up the mountain, but it truly was a feet of building like none the trio had ever seen. Now, lingering in the last stand of leafy trees before the short expanse of hard-packed dirt leading to the city, all three adventurers were in awe of the massive scope of it. Continue reading
Beddigan grimaced, tipping over his sodden boot, watching the clumps of icy slush pour out onto the cave floor. The once-sparkling golden strand of amethyst crystal shards that gave him magical surefootedness, was marred and dimmed with dirty snow. The grimace turned into a scowl as he noted the deeply scarred marks of the heavy journey on his formerly pristine mahogany boots. It had been far too long since he had given them a proper cleaning; to buff out the scratches and restore the leather to its rich shine. But now was not the time or place to indulge in such things.
The journey through the Snowcap Mountains had been beyond difficult thus far; definitely the hardest adventure he had ever been on. He could easily see how few had ever even attempted this trek in the past, and why the mountains were referred to as uncrossable. He was certain that without Lady Lisanne’s magical trinkets, neither himself, nor William or Ragnon would have made it up over the craggy bluffs, through the intense snow storms, and down to the far side of the range. Even now, weeks after departing from the village of Andullin, they were just now breaking free from the frozen crags and peaks of the mountains, and descending towards the unknown lands that lay beyond them.
Shianne crashed through the door of her room at the Drunken Donkey Inn, kicking it closed with wood-cracking force. She let out a furious snarl as she threw her bag to the floor near the bed and limped into the adjoining bathroom. Wrenching open her shirt, she pulled it down far enough to reveal the sticky, wet slice she had taken to the ribs. The blood matted her fur and scorched her beige shirt a dark red.
Sucking in a sharp hiss of pain, she began rinsing the wound. Shedding the rest of her clothing she stepped into the shower and with a touch of the heat crystal, let the sputtering stream of hot water and steam clear the rage from her mind. Her muscles ached and the cut would require a healing salve, which she was damn lucky to have in her pack, considering her current situation.
Since parting ways with Beddigan, William, and Ragnon in Reene, all of Shianne’s life had become about running. She wasn’t accustomed to feeling out of control of her own life, and she didn’t like it one bit. Continue reading