The Ranger - Part 1

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Vordin is a Ranger, a King's watchmen of the wood and small villages of the kingdom. When a threat of bandit attacks rises he is selected to investigate. But what he finds leads to more than just common bandit attacks, in this first part of a series of short stories to come learn of what he finds, what happens, and what will come.

Submitted: November 15, 2013

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Submitted: November 15, 2013

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The  tracks were fresh, he was getting close, very close. Vordin had been tracking this group of bandits for the better half of the morning, after discovering a traveling merchant unconscious in the early hours of the day. They had pillaged his wagon for his goods and supplies, taking his precious valuables and leaving him for dead. This is why he was sent on this mission, to discover the source of these local disturbances and put a stop to them. But if he found them soon enough he could stop them and return the goods to the merchant. 

 

He was racing through the forest, staying a distance from the forest path to avoid any unwanted attention, such as a rear scout ltrailing behind the group to warn of anyone following them. Moving briskly through bush and brush moving like a shadow with his green cloak making him seem a blur in the woods. It was then that he heard their voices, he stopped to listen to judge the distance between himself and his quarry. Vordin moved slowly over the leaves and fallen branches, like a shade gliding above the forest floor with his noiseless footfalls, as he leaned against a large oak and listened as he watched his prey. 

 

“Whata ya mean the wheels broken! Get fixing it!” Yelled the large bald bandit. 

“It's the wheel thats cracked, why don't you put your oversized body to use and start moving things to take weight off it!” 

CRACK. The large bandit buried his boulder sized hand into the tiny man's face, causing the smaller man to crumple to his knees. 

 

“Listen here, runt! What I say goes, I'M in charge of this mission, you do what I say, got it?” 

 

Well at least I know who's running the show out here Vordin thought to himself before the yelling continued. 

 

 “tell that to the Okai warrior , i'm sure he'll give a shit about your commands.” spat the small man from the ground, still holding his face. 

 

Okai?, Vordin thought curiously as he watched the scene between the bandits unfold, why does that sound so familiar? Vordin knew that Okai was not of this realm, they were not a nation or a people that lived abroad, but he knew there was something about the name he should know, but could not recall. 

 

Vordin continued to watch the bandits from his position behind a large oak tree, kneeling as his dark green cloak lay around him from his shoulders, being sure to keep his hood up so that he melded in with the forest. He already had is longbow strung in anticipation for dealing with the bandits, it was mandatory for men of his order to be best marksmen of the realm, and twice as good as any knight with the longsword at his hip. 

 

Vordin watched carefully as he planned his attack, with the small one, with his eye swollen shut, now analyzing the crack in the wheel, the large one standing against a tree with his arms crossed he only had to consider the others. There was one other man clad in some wolf fur and leather armor, and two more that were sitting on a nearby grouping of rocks not far from the rest. But it was the supposed “Okai” warrior that Vordin was worried about. He couldn't recall anything about the name, he knew he should know something about the word. That fact was eating at him like having the word on the tip of his tongue but still out of reach. So whether this man clad in sleek red and black plated armor was an actual threat that he should worry about, or a fool boasting taking an old name he couldn’t be sure. Vordin was sure he must be skilled, because the others, even the bald one, seemed put of by his company, as none of the others were near him whatsoever. 

 

Vordin knew his time to act was now, while he held the element of surprise, he slowly rose as he knocked his first arrow into his massive longbow. In a quick fluid motion, one from years of practice, he drew and released, and was already knocking another as his first arrow struck shoulder of the big man, pinning him to the tree. The other bandits turned in confusion to the noise as the man screamed from the sudden shocking pain. The bandits began to scan the opposite side of the path quickly, but not quick enough as he aimed his second and third arrows at the men on the rocks, loosing them in quick succession as each arrow found its mark slamming into the center of each mans chest. Vordin caught the movement of the small man hiding behind the cart, he knew the man would hide but was not concerned with him, it was the other two he was concerned about. He noticed the big man gripping the arrow from his shoulder so he fired  two more into his left shoulder and hand pinning him once more. 

 

The Okai warrior merely stood at the ready near the cart, it was the other bandit in wolf fur that grasped the mace at his hip and charged up the hill after Vordin. He quickly loosed another arrow, at the Okai knocking another arrow, but was met with surprise as the Okai warriorwithout hesitation drew his sword and cut the arrow in half, with both halves of the arrow flying off in different directions. Vordin cursed but knew he had to pay attention to the bandit running toward him. He loosed another arrow, slamming into the bandits right arm causing him to spin and topple to the ground as his mace flew into the distance. Vordin quickly looked up to see the big man still struggling with the remaining arrows as his screamed from rage and agony. Looking over he saw the man in red and black armor standing there, a long curved blade in his hand at the ready. Testing the man this time, Vordin shot another arrow, aiming for his chest, but the armored man merely sidestepped the arrow, letting it hiss passed him into the woods. Shocked, as the man again showed concerning skill,Vordin didn't know what to make of the armored man but became more concerned with the bandit in wolf fur as he charged Vordin with a dagger in his left hand, as his right hand slick with blood hung at his side. Vordin, holding the great longbow in his left hand, unsheathed his dirk with his right hand and prepared for the charging bandit, crouching in a ready stance, like a tiger faced with a threat. 

 

The bandit lunged at Vordin with his dagger in hand, swinging wildly with an outside stroke that Vordin easily ducked under, slamming into the bandit with his shoulder knocking the wind out of him as he stumbled backward. Regaining his breath the bandit lunged in again, this time with a stab towards Vordins abdomen, with Vordin avoiding the stroke using his bow to deflect the attack away from him, then slamming his fist into the bandits face, knocking the bandit to the ground and leaping on top of him in one swift motion, pinning the bandits left arm with his knee holding his dagger to the mans throat. As Vordin had the man pinned he glanced up to find the big man still pinned to the tree, his throat cut, and the armor clad Okai warrior no where to be found. Vordin cursed, angry he asked the man; 

 

"Why are you and your men attacking caravans? Who was that man in the armor?" 

 

"Go to hell" the bandit spat. Vordin punched the man in the face before replacing his knife at his throat. 

"I'm not going to ask you again, who was that man?!" 

 

The bandit only grinned before spoke; "The past comes back to haunt everyone, we are only embracing it, helping it along rather than stopping it, like stoaking a fire instead of being the dirt that puts it out. Its much more rewarding that way." he cackled. 

 

"What are you-" It hit him. Vordin understood, the Okai warriors, the attacks on supply caravans.The color drained from his face as the realization came to him. 

 

Vordin sprang up sheathing his dirk in his belt, sprinting through the woods as fast as he could, time was of the utmost importance. 


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