Monthly Archives: May 2015

King Sondom III, from Claws of the Earth part IV

‘A pity,’ she sighed forlorn. ‘The grass always seems greener over the hill.’

‘At least here there’s peace,’ Reginald said sitting down and taking a piece of bread.

‘We’ve only heard rumours of the war at your end. Was it really terrible?’

‘Every war is terrible, milady,’ he said. ‘Luckily, we had a few good commanders.’

Three soldiers in full body armour appeared at the top of the stairs, shielding a young man in his nightgown and robe. Immediately Reginald got to his feet, as did the servant.

As he walked down the steps Reginald saw the same as he had seen in Mintor’s face and eyes; a young man far beyond his years. He stopped at the far end of the table, well out of reach of the sword on Reginald’s belt.

‘I am King Sondom,’ his clear voice said. ‘And you are….?’

Reginald bowed. ‘I am Reginald, sire, a  member of King Mintor’s house staff. He sends his regards.’

‘Yes, we had word that Mintor now sits on the throne instead of his weak father. Does that mean the war is over?’

‘Over, your highness?’ Reginald spoke, surprised. ‘It has only just begun.’ Slowly he opened the saddlebags and removed the letter from the secret compartment. ‘King Mintor wanted me to give you this letter, sire.’

He held the letter out. A guard took it from Reginald’s hand and handed it to the king with a bow.

King Sondom sat down looking at the seal carefully. ‘It is the seal of the kingdom of the Forests,’ he mumbled, somehow reluctant to break it. ‘Grebba,’ he called. ‘Can you bring us all some more tea?’

‘Your highness,’ she curtsied and left.

The seal broke with an audible crack and parchment rustled as it was unfolded.

‘Get me a candle,’ the king ordered.

He read the letter three times before he put it down and picked up his cup of tea with a deep worried frown on his face. ‘This man, this Evan Whitestiller, claims to be a god and is using magic to convince people?’

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A discovery; from Claws of the Earth Part IV

A serene quiet hung over the trees in the afternoon sun that glistened on the lingering snow. The breeze from the east made the branches of the majestic trees sway a little as if caressing them softly. It moved deeper into the forest, gently stroking the massive trunks that had seen ages go by, then deeper still, touching patches of sunlight and passing over bigger patches of shadow.

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It made a piece of cloak flutter, almost unnoticable, and cooled a face with a stubby beard. Hard, steel grey, eyes looked at the circular clearing from under the rim of-a broad-brimmed hat.

It also touched a face with almond-shaped eyes and moved the dark hair a little to show a pointed ear. It encountered a face of a young man whose eyes were older than his body. It made his shoulder length hair flutter as he scratched his stubby beard and moved his lips to bare his lower teeth, as if he was about to growl.

It brushed a pretty face enclosed by long, dark curly hair from which two hard eyes looked at the clearing, filled with hate and anger.

Going further still, it found a head on too long a neck, softly bobbing up and down; the eyes looked determined and a little scared at the circular clearing.

Two hoods were ruffled by the breeze to show a rabbit’s face with angry burning eyes and a cat’s face with eyes burning with hatred.

Two ancient eyes, filled with knowledge, practically spewed anger into the clearing.

The last face touched by the breeze was tanned and topped by a turban. Teeth slowly bit into the lower lip while the look in the eyes flickered between slight fear and determination.

The breeze vanished into the forest, leaving the people that surrounded the clearing alone with their thoughts and fears.

The Dog looked at Najir on the other side with a question in his eyes. Najir shrugged his shoulders and shook his head. He had no idea why or how the statue of the Hooded One had appeared here.

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The start of a journey

The Dog and Mintor studied the map of Maoeté with Absellah. They stood placing markers where armies or battles were, according to the latest dispatches received when Insah-Bolo and Yopo entered the map room.

‘We got news from Arthmus,’ she said. ‘The latest on what is happening.’

‘Please share it with us,’ Mintor invited them over to the table. ‘All news now is welcome.’

Absellah nodded his agreement. ‘The news from Arthmus may be later than the letter I received from secretary Okdan.’

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The two beast-men looked at the map and the markers. Yopo moved General Fingers’ army to the fortress on the border and General More’s  army to the city where they were ready to attack. Then he picked up a small puppet of black-armoured men and put it on the shore.

‘They landed there,’ he said. ‘Nearly two-thousand strong.’

Mintor whistled softly. ‘Right between two major harbours. Will they move inland or try to take the harbour?’

‘That’s not all, there’s more bad news,’ Insah-Bolo began. ‘Arthmus sensed it in his scrying ; magic. The spell of the Hooded One is spreading along the border region. He suspects that statuettes are being placed in the border region towns that had been liberated from the Hooded One.’

The Dog squinted. ‘That places General More’s army in a very dangerous position. His soldiers may fall prey to the spell and turn sides.’

‘I fear that there is little we can do about that,’ Mintor spoke sadly.

‘I will send a pigeon to secretary Okdan right away,’ Absellah said with a worried frown on his face.

‘Those black-armour landed on the coast?’ the Dog asked. ‘Where did they come from?’

Insah-Bolo shrugged her shoulders. ‘We don’t know. We know that they didn’t come from the north.’

‘Erdoín,’ the Dog called. ‘Can you get the admiral to come here, please.’

‘Right away sir,’ it sounded from a small room, followed by a door being closed.

‘Your highness,’ Insah-Bolo urged, ‘not wishing to be rude, but we should go.’

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