Tales from Kasapian
Deep in the heart of the Worganth mountains three riders road quietly down the old roadway. Slanj a wolf man from the Vosperth, Jorgen a warrior dwarf from the mountains of Creethwell, and Athryll a sorceress of the Rethmell peoples of Nefreth.
Slanj and his two companions soon entered dark shadowed pathway; it was a strangely quiet eerie place, not like any woodland they had ever seen. Not a sound of insects, birds, or other animals normally common to forests were to be heard, all was still, no leaf moved for even the wind had seemingly stopped her cool breath from entering. The trees, grass, and plants were stationary like some surreal painting. Athryll shivered, it was unnatural.
Jorgen nervously glanced around as they forged deeper into the stillness, the sound of the varraiths and noise from their movements being the only sound they could hear. Jorgan could not help but compare this strange woodland to the steaming jungle he had passed through as he left home; they were so different it was unbelievable. Not that such places were his delight anyway, far better the cool mountains and caverns of home.
Slanj reined in his varraith and the others followed suit, there was a division in the trail, the path narrowed considerably splitting into two small hardly visible trails leading to the left and right.
“Well comrades,” said Slanj, “it looks like we have arrived at a place of decision, for we must choose now which way to go. That is unless we wish to split forces.”
Jorgen and Athryll looked at the trails and then at each other, meanwhile Slanj jumped from the back of his varraith and squatted by the turn examining the ground. He moved carefully to the different pathways checking looking searching for something. Moving quietly down each trail, he moved several yards along each, digging with his long fingers moving objects, sniffing like a dog, even tasting some things, as he looked through the thick grassy edge. Then at last, he rose up and returned to his friends.
“We will go this way,” he said pointing to the left.
“What made you choose there,” asked Jorgen gruffly.
Slanj looked over to him a mischievous twinkle in his eye, “There is no sign of recent activity anywhere, no fresh spore either, but here I found this,” Slanj held forth and old rusted blade. “Someone used that trail many, many years ago, so there it seems was at one time travel.
Jorgen looked at the strange markings on the blade, it was a type he had never seen before, and it could have been thousands of years in this place. He looked puzzled and scratched his head. “What has an ancient blade got to do with us finding a jewel?”
Slanj looked at him, “If at one time someone traveled this route, then once upon a time it must have led somewhere important. At least it is a type of clue and the only lead we have for now.”
Jorgen looked a bit biwilldered but nodded as if understanding.
Athryll looked coldly at Slanj her eyes burrowing deep into his thoughts. Slanj moved uncomfortably but said naught. Jorgen just nodded again showing he agreed with Slanj's choiceand therefore, they moved on into the ever-darkening woodland.
Athryll moved closer but to Slanj out of hearing from Jorgen. “You lied! That blade was not from here.”
Slanj lowered his eyes. “You know Jorgen Athryll, he is a stubborn as a wounded snow wraith. If I had not some concrete physical evidence we would have wasted an hour in debate over which trail to follow. I just choose by instinct,I have a strong leading to go this way. The blade is an old artifact I came across the other day. I kept it figuring it may come in useful someday.”
She said nothing but rode quietly for a few moments before drawing back into line. It was about twenty minutes later that the path opened up into a small clearing, it was strangely enough almost in the shape of a triangle, it had obviously at one time been made by mortal hands, it was no natural phenomenon. As they rode into the clearing, a wind suddenly swept the area rustling the trees, swaying the grass and moaning dolefully as it whirled and blew.
All three of the stopped, this was the first sound other than their own they’d heard since entering this woodland and it took them by surprise. From utter stillness and quiet to a breeze and strange moaning. The varraiths moved restlessly shaking their heads, snorting, grunting, and obviously ill at ease.
“This is not natural,” said Slanj, “there is something I don’t like about this place.”
“Ha!” Jorgen exclaimed, “Something about this you don’t like, why this whole trip is unnatural, this is the first place that seems to have anything closely resembling what woodland should be like.”
“No Jorgen, he’s right,” agreed Athryll, “I sense evil around here, and there is something old and evil in this place.”
Jorgen looked at her, her pale blue skin seemed to glow white and her red eyes were alight with a glowing shimmering fire, yet her face bespoke an inner calm and peace. Strange how beautiful see seemed he thought.
All three went silent listening to the movements of the wind until at last Slanj broke the silence.
“I feel we are nearing our goal, this place was some ancient worshipping site, see there over to the right, there are remains of an altar broken and overgrown with moss and vines. See, how the sun is reaching its zenith, its rays are closing in on the altar and soon it will flood it with light.”
They all focused in on the spot Slanj described and watched quietly as the suns rays began to lick the edges of the ancient stone. Even through the overgrown grass and tangle of weeds vines and moss, the rays of light seemed to bring out strange glowing colors on the few spots of broken stone remaining.
“Incredible!” Athryll exclaimed as she viewed the beauty with awe. Yet, even as she looked she felt an eerie strangeness, it was awe-inspiring but at the same time brought on a sense of fear.
Strange noise and howls began to emanate from deep in the woodland.
“Something has been disturbed,” Slanj announced. “Something, I’ve never heard before, and it’s coming this way.”
They listened as they heard distant rumblings and sounds of breaking twigs and rustling leaves drawing nigh. Whatever it was that was emitting these strange noises was now moving toward them.
“Well friends,” announced Slanj sniffing the air, “I think we should prepare for the worst, we don’t know what this creature is like but it doesn’t sound friendly and we should be ready when it comes.”
Slanj dismounted and drew his sword from its scabbard and Jorgen likewise dismounted planting his feet solidly on the ground and pulling out two javelin’s, while Athryll un-strapped the bow she had slung across her saddle, climbed down and fitted an arrow to the string. Slanj sniffed the air and growled under his breath his hair bristling and his fangs extending over his lip.
Whatever awaited them they would not be surprised and this creature cared little for it made enough noise to forewarn the hardest of hearing.
It was nearing now and the howling began to turn in to a rumbling growl of some angry or hungry beast soon enough they would find out what this creature was like. Slanj stood ready no sign of fear present, Jorgen also was prepared for whatever would come his feet planted as solid as an oak, though fear had a place within his heart. Athryll although frightened was ready to die for what she knew was the object of their mission.
The varraiths grew restless frightened and nervous, bucking and tugging at their tethers. With a loud crash it broke out of the woods a creature such as never seem before. Even Slanj took a step back and let out a gasp of breath. Slanj’s varraith threw himself towards a nearby tree and Slanj’s pouch was torn of the saddle as it scraped the rough bark.
As large as a dragon, with a hide that looked like amour, two great tusks split in three points each, sharp, deadly, spear like weapons. It stood looking at them panting and grunting its breath like steam bellowing forth while it pawed the ground as if ready to charge. Slanj examined the beast looking for a sign of weakness, it was heavy so must be sluggish in its movement he devised, it had strength and was covered with thick armor like hide that would make it difficult to wound. It had great teeth that seemed like razors and its feet had long sharp claws, and a long tail as thick as tree trunk, with a small circle of spikes at the tip, it was indeed a most formidable beast.
Yet, as he examined it he saw near the join at the neck that the skin seemed soft and tender, and between the eyes was an uncovered spot where no armor covered the hide. Even one weak spot would suffice, two, well the gods were with him. He smiled; if they willed then he would slay this beast. Just then, two other riders entered the clearing more by accident Slanj thought than plan. It was Kalwell the sorceress whom Slanj knew off and a man from the race of Salenerth sworn enemies of Athryll’s people, maybe they had tracked her here or were they seeking the same jewel.
Kalwell cursed her stupidity; she had been engaged in deep conversation and had not realized what she had done. Now, there she was face to face with what she thought was her prey and the fabulous legendary Valskaeth. It turned towards them shaking its great head and charged.
Kalwell her reactions just as swift as her father, maneuvered her varraith and avoided the charge but Cuchulaine her companion was no sorcerer but a mere Varesteth guide unused to forests and woodlands, and the beast in one smooth sweep of the head plucked him from his mount and slew him. This was no place to be Kalwell deduced quickly as she turned her mount fleeing into the woodlands leaving the great beast glaring at the other three.
Slanj’s beastlike senses, speed and agility and Jorgen’s strong physicalabilities came to the fore, Slanj waiting no longer leapt into the nearest tree-swinging round and leaping from one to another.
“Aim for its neck or between the eyes,” cried out Slanj to Jorgen as he flew through the trees.
Jorgen threw one of the small javelin’s he hitting the beast and drawing its wrath and attention. It stomped towards him breaking branches and roaring angrily.
Athryll knowing the Valskaeth was rumored impervious to the spells of sorcery began to fire her bow hitting the beast several times, but seemingly inflicting no more harm than the annoying bite of a niral fly. Jorgen barely escaped a great swipe from the tail of the beast that crushed a small sapling as if it were mud. Splinters from the tree shot out like arrows two large ones piercing Jorgen in the side. Cursing the small stout dwarf turned red in anger calling on his gods to give him peace of spirit.
Slanj leapt from the branches of the tree landing on the great beasts back and thrusting his sword deep into the neck of the beast.
It roared and bucked sending Slanj flying into the surrounding trees crashing into the branches and falling to the ground stunned. His arms and side ripped and cut by the broken branches.
Jorgen now more calm stumbled to his feet ignoring the splinters as though nothing had happened; he quickly unslung his faithful old axe, and rushed the beast swinging his axe in the air. With a loud crunch it sliced deeply into the beasts underbelly – which he had noticed seemed uncovered by armor. The incredible strength of Jorgen aided by the powerful axe had penetrated deep. It turned roaring with pain and with a great swipe of its leg sent Jorgen crashing into a tree, his weapon flying from his grasp. It moved as if to skewer Jorgen on its long tusks.
Athryll then seeing her companion momentarily disabled and in danger unwrapped her poisonous arrows. Taking careful aim she fired repeatedly her deadly arcidian tipped arrows aiming at its eyes whispering a short spell to guide the arrow home. Two of them hit the snarling beast in the right eye burrowing into its brain. It was now obvious that the beast was mortally wounded; its cries were of pain mixed with anger and disbelief. It had obviously never suffered such pain before.
Turning towards Athryll it moved sluggishly, bellowing and roaring. Slanj was barely conscious and Jorgen’s leg was incapacitated, she was alone and had no more arrows, what to do the creature would soon be upon her. It was then that she felt a voice within her, it was whispering gently like a cool breeze bringing ancient teachings to her remembrance.
“You have the power of the Books, call on its energy, hold forth thy hand and see the power of the Books. The poison has worked upon its mind you can use the power of the Books and it will not be able to resist it anymore, its defenses have been broken.”
In obedience, she stretched forth her hand and looked at the lumbering beast approaching. At first fear grasped her heart as she stared at the slobbering monstrosity approaching. Then a feeling of quiet calm descended upon her and she felt as though some energy force was flowing through her veins.
“By the power within the Great Books I call upon the energy of the atmosphere, destroy this thing of darkness,” she cried, “Ca raeleth numba trueal, rostem algreth.”
There was a great rumbling and she began to glow in light, her long white hair was like pure energy, crackling and sparking with electricity and power, then from her fingertips beams of colored light shone forth bathing the creature in rays of different colors.
It screamed and roared in pain and then began to topple as the rays of light twisted around it like bolts of lightning causing it to tremble and shake. It hit the ground with a great resounding thud causing the ground to ripple and move so that she almost to fall over. Then it rolled over moaning in pain until it finally shuddered and lay motionless.
Slanj was now back on his feet, he had regained his sword and warily stood looking on in disbelief half expecting the creature to rise up and launch out at them again. But no, there lay the great beast, motionless at the feet of Athryll who was still glowing with an aura of pure white light like some goddess.
Jorgen sat propped against a tree a look of utter astonishment upon his face for he had never seen such a thing before.
It was almost as if there was music in the air soft gentle refrains and the smell of sweet roses. The colors and music all combined as one so that it seemed the colors gave of sound and the sound color.
“That was something I’ve never seen,” Jorgen exclaimed.
Slanj stood before Athryll and bowed slightly in a token of respect.
“You are indeed special, you have been obviously chosen by the gods,” he said humbly.
“This indeed is a memorable day, the last of the Valskaeth vanquished by a young girl, why the bards will sing of this for milleniums to come,” Jorgen exclaimed as he managed to stand up leaning on a tree for support.
Athryll then suddenly came out of her trancelike state, her red eyes cleared and seemed calm and peaceful. She then noticed Jorgen’s condition, and rushed to his side followed by Slanj.
“His leg seems to be fractured but not seriously,” she exclaimed, “and he has some large wood splinters embedded in his side.”
“He’ll be fine,” said Slanj, go get my pouch from where it fell,” he said pointing over near the path where it lay.
Athryll quickly obeyed bringing the pouch to him. Slanj then pulled out a small box in which he kept certain medical supplies. He pulled out the splinters and treated the wounds with an ointment, then he covered them fastening the cloth with some strange type of sticking tape he had gotten from Korundel, then he took some broken sticks and made a splint for his leg tying it with some strips of cloth he tore up from an old shirt in his saddlebag.
“Your leg will be a bit incapacitated for a few days, but it will heal, your side will be free from infection and will mend quickly,” Slanj said to him, “you dwarves have constitutions that defy belief.”
“But we need to move on and find the jewel,” Jorgen answered a bit worriedly.
“True, but you will be able to ride, I’ll help you up and we can still complete the quest, don’t worry, I wouldn’t want to go on without you.”
Jorgen’s eye showed his gratitude, he knew that Slanj had no need of him, Athryll and he could easily have turned back to some nearby village till he healed and Slanj could complete the task. Athryll put her hand on Slanj’s arm and looked into his eyes, her gaze showed her thankfulness at this kindness shown by Slanj. Wolf men and dwarves were known to be the best of friends barely equal in contempt to the elves. After Jorgen had been tended too, Slanj began to walk around collecting the arrows, they had a long journey yet and dangers lurked ahead, it would be good to keep stocked up, for who knows what waited around the corner.
“Slanj,” asked Athryll, “I noticed your side is bleeding, you need some attention too.”
He smiled, “I’m made like old leather, they will heal fine, they are not deep cuts, just mere superficial scratches, that’s all.”
“Yet such if not cleaned could fester and infect and be of a more serious nature. Let me at least clean them.”
Slanj nodded and sat down, stripping off his out garments and bearing his muscular hairy chest. Human like but yet covered in more hair than common with humans, also his skin felt thicker rougher she concluded. Athryll began then to gently clean and disinfect the wounds while Slanj sat quietly watching.
Slanj smiled as he gazed into her crimson eyes, her growing deep feelings now quite evident within her eyes. Yet true to from no physical action followed the gaze. Jorgan smiled shaking his head, strange creatures he thought. Shouldering his axe he limped over to join them. Slanj nodded to him.
They rested for a few hours, as Slanj wanted to give Jorgen some time to gain strength before heading on for he knew how difficult it would be for him with his leg disabled. Slanj though was also appreciative of the time to rest as he was quite bruised and cut up himself, although he tried not to show it to the others. This encounter with the Valskaeth had taken quite a toll.
He sat chewing some dried meat while he considered the implications of having seen Kalwell. What was she here for, the Huntress was after someone or something, was it them, was it the jewel, or was it all a chance happening? He pondered these questions in silence as he chewed.
Meanwhile Jorgen was trying to catch a few winks and was lying on some pine needles and leaves. He was restless though for his wounds hurt and he could not find a comfortable spot. Athryll on the other hand was as comfortable as if she was lying in a feather bed, but also deeply in thought, she was reliving the experience of the power flowing through her and the beautiful voices and smell she had experienced.
Slanj was soon busy he moved over to the ruins and was searching and looking around trying to reconstruct the building in his mind.
“What is he doing?” asked Jorgen when he woke up.
“He’s following his senses, like a wild animal,” she answered watching him with growing interest.
Jorgen looked on in wonder, he had heard tales of Slanj and his uncanny senses and abilities that had enabled him to track and capture and communicate with wild beasts.
At last, Slanj looked up and nodded with satisfaction.
“Athryll give me a hand here,” he asked.
She jumped up and rushed to his side and together the two of them dragged a large broken metal rod over, and Slanj forced the end under a huge slab of stone.
“Now, do you think you could help,” Slanj asked looking over at Jorgen.
Jorgen was on his feet in a flash and hobbled over to Slanj’s side.
“If the two of us can force this boulder away, I believe we may have found what we’re looking for.”
Soon, the two of them were busy sweating panting and heaving away. The bolder began to move, twice they almost got it then it fell back then on the third time, it moved and rolled off. Underneath there was a tunnel leading down, it seemed very steep and a rough staircase consisting of stone slabs led downward.
“Whew, it looks dark down there,” said Jorgen. “The stairs look strong although they may be loose, you will need to watch when you descend Slanj.”
Slanj smiled at this his teeth gleaming in the light, as if he would be rash in such matters.
“Alright, now Athryll you stay here with Jorgen,” Slanj said, “and I’ll check what’s down here.”
Slanj started down the stone stairway as it twisted its way underground. After a few minutes, he had to stop to ignite a torch before preceding any further. The walls were damp and cold and there was a rotting stench, the putrid smell of the dead. It was not far before he came to a door; it was made out of wood and mostly rotted away now. Slanj halted and stood there quietly examining the door. He had a strange ominous feeling of evil emanating from within.
He took a deep breath and braced himself then a few good shoves and the door gave way crumbling like dust in parts and Slanj entered. Yes, this was the place, a crypt, a place of the dead, the smell at first was overpowering but Slanj was used to death and pressed on into the dark interior.
It was cold damp and creepy, he could hear the sound of dripping water, a few unusually large spiders crawled quickly out of his way, rats puttered around squeaking and other insects and creatures of the dark were heard to shuffle and scrape there way into the dark corners to avoid the stream of light from the torch.
Moving round the strange stone sarcophaguses, he held the torch high trying to decipher the inscriptions. Some sorcerer’s runes he could not place. A large tower of bones and skulls lay dusty in the far corner. All the time his raw animal sense warned him of imminent danger. He had heard a different sound earlier, a movement of something living but something he knew not. This was neither a rat nor any such creature; his senses told him this was much bigger. Whatever it was, it was hunting him he could smell it. Slanj though with all the instincts of a beast grinned. His finger gripped around the handle of his dagger, he gently eased it out glancing to the left, and right his ears pricked alert and wary.
Slanj heard it again it was moving round the stone table near the center, he readied himself for the strike. It came so quickly that even Slanj was not as prepared as he had thought. The creature was fast, it leapt over the table in one bound and landed upon him sending him to the ground from the force of the collision, and sending his torch flying to the far corner of the darkened crypt. The creature’s great sharp teeth were hovering but a few inches over his throat, its claws tearing at his clothes.
Slanj now in the midst of a life or death struggle quickly responded thrusting his dagger into the creature’s side. It screeched such an unearthly yell as it jumped away, circling him more warily now. Slanj in the darkness now could barely see but having vision far superior to most he could still see well enough to examine this creature of darkness. Slanj’s torch was still burning though lying on the stone floor several feet away; its flickering flame gave some semblance of form to this creature. It was similar in size and shape to the vasarem from the Isles, an ape like creature that was found in several of the Isles of Rothwasa. Yet, it was different, its skin was not hairy but leathery and its face was more like a lizard, its fangs were long and sharp, its fingers seemed webbed and its eyes a glowing orange color.
Slanj was on his feet, his eyes glued to the creature as it moved around; it was jumping up on the table and hopping from one sarcophagus to another looking for an opening to strike. Slanj noticed a foul smelling black liquid oozing from its’ side, blood, his knife had wounded the creature and it was now angry. This was good for anger would replace its natural beastly caution and by so doing open up the road to its destruction. It was going to strike he could sense it.
Slanj moved instinctively just as the creature leapt moving to the side, spinning round and ducking down and catching the creature in its jump, bringing it to the stone floor, where they rolled over wrestling together. Its teeth latched on to Slanj’s shoulder, biting deep and causing considerable pain as the blood gushed forth. Its long tail twisted around Slanj’s neck choking him. Slanj prayed for strength and help, as the creature’s strength seemed superhuman.
“Oh gods of light and power help me now, give me strength to overcome and destroy this creature of darkness.”
Just then, he noticed they had now reached the corner where the torch lay. Slanj bit deeply into the creatures tail then in one huge effort brought up his knees between them smashing hard into its’ groin and managed to break free from its grasp. Slanj bit deeply into its neck and as the thick black liquid flowed into his mouth lashed out, kicking the creature from him. Reaching over he grabbed the torch lashing out and ramming it into the creature, which had leapt once again at him. It recoiled from the flames fearfully screeching in agony. Slanj kept on lashing out at it with the torch.
The creature now cowered, screamed, and groveled before him fearful of the flames, until at last a fit of rage overcame its fear and it rushed forward snatching at the torch trying to grab it from Slanj. Slanj had him and he knew it, as the creature latched onto his wrist to wrestle the torch from him, he stabbed it with his dagger once, twice, and then the creature went limp and slipped to the ground. It was dead. Slanj stood up panting with exhaustion from his fight, blood from his wounds and thankful in his heart. He spat on the ground, the foul taste of its’ blood still lingering in his mouth.
“Praise be to the gods, for I am nothing without the power from beyond.”
Then Slanj heard for the first time the frantic cries from above.
“Are you alright,” Jorgen cried, “we have heard a lot of sounds like fighting.”
“I’m well, it’s all fine,” Slanj answered.
Then Slanj started to look around the place again examining each of the sarcophaguses. He came to one that seemed different, he felt the stone, it was rough, it seemed the sarcophagus originally had been hewn out quickly; there was no writing, no runes, nor any inscriptions, only a rough sculptured picture of a skull engraved on the lid.
“This must be it!” he exclaimed, and immediately began to look for something to pry it open. It was not easy the stone lid was heavy, his muscles bulged and the sweat dripped of him his wounds ached and he felt weak but eventually it slid open and the lid fell to the ground with a crash. As he shoved it, he slipped on some blood and fell sideward, an action that saved his life. For as the lid slide open it activated a trigger that fired a bolt from a hidden crossbow attached to a thin hidden wire. The bolt thankfully flew past Slanj and buried itself into the wall.
Slanj let out a sigh of relief and carefully looked inside the sarcophagus. There inside lay the rotting bones of the Warlock Master, some remnants of cloth covered the rusted chain mail and his broken sword and shield lay by his side. Around his neck, he saw a golden chain and a great diamond hanging on it. Yes, it was the ‘Eye of Lasmealeth’. He reached in carefully examining it to make sure there were no more traps. Then when sure of it he ripped the chain from the dead corpse causing some of the bones to crumble like dust. Looking down at it he thought; how temporal are things like riches power glory fame, for to dust and rotting flesh all mortals go and then to judgment. What good did the jewel to the great Warlock in the end? It was but a useless piece of stone.
Some time later in the fresh air amidst the ruins of the tower, there they all sat in a circle, each one in turn taking the jewel and examining it, a legend come true. Athryll looked at the jewel as she turned it in her hand looking at the beautiful reflections from its many facets. The jewel of the great Master Warlock was said to give insight into the future, it was a gateway into the dimensions, and it was a source of great power, but what kind of power. The Warlock Master had been evil, was this jewel evil also?
“No I don’t believe it is,” Athryll said aloud, giving vent to her thoughts.
“What?” responded Jorgen in amazement.
“Oh, I didn’t realize I’d spoken aloud, I was just thinking wondering if it was evil. But then I felt that it was but a tool a channel, if the source is evil then what it brings is evil, if it is of light then it will channel the good.”
“I am glad to hear that,” said Slanj, “I was wondering about it myself.”
Athryll handed it to Slanj and he put it carefully into his pouch and tucked it in his shirt.
“So, then, what now?” asked Jorgen. “What are we meant to do now that we have it?”
“Ah yes, that is the question,” replied Slanj. ”Ha, to be honest, I do not know, but we were meant to retrieve this for someone, I do not think it is for any of us. We have finished the first step now we must wait for guidance as to the next.”
“Wait, you don’t mean hang around here surely,” asked Athryll.
“No, my dear I don’t,” Slanj answered thoughtfully, “We should head away, maybe towards the city of Barthvel.”
“Why there?” inquired Jorgen.
“I don’t know, just a feeling that’s all,” said Slanj with a shrug of his shoulders.
“Well, that’s good enough for me, one thing though, I’ve found that these feelings each one of us seem to get always bears fruit when we follow them.”
Athryll smiled, “I agree, let’s off to Barthvel! First though Slanj let me tend to your wounds, you are in no shape to ride.”
“Jorgen laughed, “Ha, ha, so now Slanj, come on now, relax, its not always that warriors have such sweet doctors with them eh? Make the most of it.”
Slanj just shrugged his broad shoulders and settled down watching Athryll as she busied herself tending and cleaning his wounds. It was true; she was beautiful, her touch gentle like her spirit. Her face was so beautiful, her blue skin and white hair, her eyes like balls of fire, so different and compelling. He laid back and enjoyed it. This was now the second time he had felt her soft fingers running over his rough skin and smelt the fragrant perfume of her hair next to him, he liked it. Could they ever really be one he wondered, a joining of their races? Or was this but a marriage of souls, never to join as one other than in heart and mind?
It was not long before the three of them headed back towards the main route as they started their journey to the City of Barthvell. Slanj’s mind was not inactive not with thoughts of Athryll though, no he was troubled over Kalwell, was she still around somewhere in the shadows biding her time. She was dangerous, he knew well her father and his cunning and skill and great powers, and she was said to have inherited all of his abilities.