The Central Howlers

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: House of Ghosts
a massive castle resides in the central mountains of rageview; seth howler is a troubled youth trying to find his place, and he believes that this miserable fortress is the right place for him.

Submitted: May 22, 2016

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Submitted: May 22, 2016

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'A Knight?' Seth Howler regarded his nephew is disgust. His nephew was many things, but a Knight was not one.

'I could do it.' his nephew protested, tending to the hot coals in the furnace. The two of them had been in the Nest for about two weeks, and already Ridley was having second thoughts.

'You suggested coming here in the first place, don't you remember?' Seth said irritably. 

'I thought it was more than,' he looked around, eyeing all of the fur clad figures around him, speaking low as if to not offend anyone, 'more than this, at least.' 

Seth rolled his eyes. 'What did you expect, nephew?' he asked, lifting himself from his seat and patrolling the corner. 'I told you this place wasn't impressive, for the rest of our lives we're cooped up here watching over Crossguard and the Capital.' he gestured with his hands to the West and East. To the West, the great city of Crossguard resided. How he would love to go there, but Crossguard was a city more important than him, too high of a class. Only the richest Lords and Nobles lived there. Their sons, destined to be famous Knights or wealthy merchants. The Capital city, Heroes, was impossible to access. Being guarded by two massive walls, and encircled by a mountain, they were protective about security and you could only live there by being born into it or being allowed in by King Bryce himself. 'Our place is here, we made that choice.' Seth reinforced, looking upon his nephew's sad face. 

Ridley snorted. 'We could still go.' he added sheepishly.

Seth felt himself rising with anger. Why couldn't he understand? Surely saying 'no' once should sink the message, even if he said it indirectly, and in a tender way. But no, Ridley wouldn't accept that. 'Ridley,' he snapped, 'we are staying here. That's final!'

Ridley's eyes welled with cold tears. He was a young lad of sixteen with auburn, long hair that was braided at the back. He was a complete opposite to his uncle, Seth, who had hollowed cheeks and deep, lined eyes, hair greasy and thick, it was short and tied. Seth himself was nearly thirty.

'Don't cry, don't let them see you.' he glared over a group of sniggering boys, who were crowded, glaring at Ridley and exchanging secret comments. One of them, a broad boy with a circular face and blonde hair, stepped forward and flexed his gorilla-like arms. 'What you crying about, Riddy?' he jested.

Ridley of course hated that nickname, and he went red in his ears, leaving the coals he was tending and rising up. 'Leave me alone, Magro.' he splurted, not very bravely.

The other boys howled with laughter, and Magro lifted one of his porky, pink hands and silenced them. 'I'm not trying to be mean,' he took a step forward, almost apologetic, 'I'm concerned, you look sad.' 

Ridley screwed his face up. 'I'm fine.' he wiped his eyes, turning back to the coals. Seth shot a dangerous look to Magro, who locked on with his gaze. Such fire, Seth thought to himself. The boy had a sword attached to his belt, and seemed to show it off. 

'That's a nice sword, Magro.' Seth called, breaking the silence. All eyes looked to him, everyone stopped what they were doing. A comment like that generally meant that someone wanted a fight, which Magro pounced on. 'A challenge, it sounds like.' he put a hand on his handle, but Seth was fast also, drawing two identical daggers, each made of black steel and about six inches long.

'A friendly compliment.' Seth's voice was like the cracking of a whip, he raised both daggers, too fast for Magro to respond, who just had one of his porky hands upon his blade. Ridley waddled forward, 'Please don't.' he whispered to his uncle, too loud. Magro heard.

'Yeah, listen to your crying nephew.' jeered Magro. Seth knew him to be a coward. Magro would used the opportunity to escape the situation, as he acted tough, but when it comes down to a real steel fight, Seth would easily come out ontop. 

'I do not have time for this.' announced Magro, casting his head back, he released his grip. Seth did also, dropping his daggers into his holders. It made a distinctive noise as they landed, and next thing, Magro was yelling and hurtling himself towards Seth.

He didn't have time to respond. The fat boy's frame hit him like a boulder; he fell back, his hand falling in the burning coals. He screamed, squirming, but Magro lunged again, the sword diggings into the rocks, stuck. Seth took his chance and shoulder barged the boy in the chest, escaping with a hand slippery with blood and exploding with pain.

'Uncle!' a terrified Ridley screamed, but Magro's friends grabbed him and started to attack him. I must help Ridley. Seth made the vow in his had and charged forward, but again, Magro got to him first and knocked him sideways. He smashed into a wall, nearly falling off the edge of the castle. He kicked out, clipping Magro's jaw. Now Ridley was screaming painfully, his face full of blood, Seth drew both of his daggers, and with a few slashes, Magro's friends ran of screaming with gashes in their arms.

Magro lashed with his sword, and it would've been a good strike, but Seth locked his arm and clipped his nose, breaking it and throwing him backwards. Magro released his sword and hit his head, moaning, he got up and ran, leaving Seth with a bloodied hand and Ridley with a bruised face.

'UNCLE!' Ridley had just noticed how bad his hand was, which was bleeding and scorched. Seth took off his cloak and wrapped it around his hand, hissing with pain. It was unbearable, the pain, horrible. He had bigger concerns, Magro was the Commander's son, Seth would be executed for sure. Skyth Ironmore was a fool, he'd believe anything Magro told him. 

They reached the barracks, and word of the fight had already spread. Seth grabbed his things, and knelt by Ridley, who was crying and confused. 'Stay here,' Seth told him, 'I'll tell them everything.' he then got up, his hand still roaring with pain, and dripping with blood, he got a secondary cloak and wrapped it around himself, stepping outside only to be met with several swords pointing in his direction.

'Give it up, Howler.' Skyth Ironmore was an old man with gray hair, not as wide as his son, but still a fool none of the less. 'You attacked my son and two of his friends, injured them severely. I'll have your head for this!' 

He couldn't bother explaining. Magro was here again, and moving forward to strike. Better to silence him than let him talk, Magro wanted to kill Seth and silence him. He leapt, and Seth ducked, picking Magro up and smashing him against the wall, the boy cried and rolled on the floor. Skyth was the next to charge, his sword pointed, Seth deflected it and punched him hard in the shoulder, probably weakening it. He ran, barging past the guards, and leapt.

He fell quickly, hitting the snow, he tumbled and roled, the cold was harsh and bit into him the moment he touched it. He continued to fall, hitting mounds of snow, being slowed but then going faster. Than he found himself on a big fall. It was a slope and then the hard floor, death for sure. He slammed into the side, winded, and felt himself losing consciousness. 

A defiant thud rang out through the woods as Seth Howler hit the floor.


© Copyright 2017 J. M. Sullivan. All rights reserved.

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