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Travels of Sir Jathan

PostPosted: Tuesday February 28th, 2017 9:42pm
by j_dean80
I am Sir Jathan. Though, when my story begins, I am merely Jathan. Few knew me by that name, or knew I existed for that matter. I was born on the Central Plains to a farmer and his wife. My mother as I call her, rest her soul, passed when I was very young leaving me without any siblings. My father despised me and made sure I had a tough childhood. I could always see other children my age laughing and playing in the distance. I was stuck tending to the animals or to the fields. My father always told me, "Playing won't put food on the table."

At night he always had me practice with his sword or my bow. It is a fine shortbow, very strong and accurate. Well atleast when I use it. Once a neighbor kid borrowed it and shot his Pa in the foot. I can't say for certain what happened to him but I heard screaming and crying til early morn. My father's sword was a beautiful longsword. Much too long for a boy to swing accurately. Eventually I grew into it and built enough muscle to be proficient. I do not know where he got such a sword as we never had much in the way of money. I never asked, as he hated being questioned and instead would give me extra chores. What child would want that?

Things were tough, I always worked hard, yet slept very well from the exhaustion. I cannot complain too much as all that practicing and hard work prepared me for that awful night. I remember it so vividly as if it just happened. I woke to intense heat and flames all around me. Managed to climb out a window and hide in some tall grass that by luck didn't light. Across the way I saw some large horrid looking creatures gutting my father like a fish. Others were carrying torches and burning every building. Most of it happened as I was still asleep. Remember how I said I slept very well? It was usually difficult to wake me before the sun. These days I sleep very lightly though. I believe I was about fourteen at the time. No one remembered my real age so to this day I still am not sure.

After the creatures left I began to follow their path of destruction. It seemed everywhere they went none were left alive. I carried my bow and my father's sword. I took what little food I could find along the way. One town I came to was still standing. It seems they wanted to put up more fight than the creatures cared to deal with. I was told by someone that the creatures I followed were orcs. Though they were larger than normal orcs. I had never seen an orc before that time and only heard stories of their existence. I assumed it was a bed time story used to keep bad children in their beds.

I do not know where these orcs were headed or what they searched for. I followed them, as I knew nothing better to do with my life. My journey brought me to the Eastern Sea. All I could see was water and more water. I was mesmerized by it. The dirt was no longer dirt, but what the local people called sand. I never knew anything like it but found it hard to walk on and it would stick to everything it touched. Back to my story about the orcs: I followed them to a fishing village on the beach. The villagers saw the orcs coming and set up an ambush. I closed in enough to get off a few shots with my bow. I was so proud of myself as I took down two of those creatures. The villagers finished the rest off. I think the final count was thirty-three. There was so much blood and body parts around that it may not be fully accurate.

I grew to liking the sea and took up a job on a small fishing boat. She wasn't much to look at but she sailed so smooth. Even without my father's persistance I continued my nightly practices. Other fisherman thought it foolish. "You going to sword fight a whale?" they would mock. My bow already came in handy, but I had yet to test my sword.

Re: Travels of Sir Jathan

PostPosted: Thursday March 2nd, 2017 12:02am
by j_dean80
We were out to sea as one day is to the next. More than a year had passed since my first voyage. Everything was calm that day, unfortunately the fish as well. The captain, Tirmon, decided to head further north skirting the shore. Still our nets came up empty. Tirmon turned the ship east and soon the sight of land was lost. "Time to head back?" I asked him.

He snarled back, "No way runt!" The calm quickly deserted us. Waves almost instantly started breaking over the bow. Last I can recall, as I seemingly went unconscious, was the mast crashing down.

A bright, red-orange sun shone on my face. It was morning and I was lying on a rock. Sore from head to toe but no cuts or scratches to be seen. I can see no wreckage or signs of the crew. Where am I and what happened? A loud, repeating thump on the water draws my attention. All I can pick out is a large fish tail and something shining on a distant rock. I start swimming for the rock to see what is there. As I draw closer I realize it is my father's sword glinting in the sunlight. Beside it is my bow and quiver.

I quickly grab them and swim for shore not knowing what is in the water. This shore isn't like my fishing village I began to call home. There is no beach here, but instead a dense forest up to the edge of the rocks. Lights are flickering in the darkness created by the trees. It is almost as if they are pointing the way. As a lost young adult would do...I followed. I could not see my feet through the darkness but I pressed on after the lights. Quicker and quicker they went, I stumbled over what I presumed to be a log. Still I followed. Suddenly the canopy opened up and the sun shone in so bright it was blinding. It took a moment to regain sight. I kept blinking and closing my eyes to adjust to the light. Before me was a great tower surrounded by forest. Taller than anything I had ever seen and black as night. The lights flashed into the doorway and forever gone.

I, of course, followed into the doorway. My hand tight around my father's sword. A tall, lanky fellow stood just inside. He had a long, white beard and cloak. "I've been expecting you," he muttered.

Re: Travels of Sir Jathan

PostPosted: Friday March 3rd, 2017 4:05am
by j_dean80
"Expecting me? I think you seek someone else," I answered hastily.

"I know who you are. It is you who does not know me. I am Querdo. I will tell you no more of myself. Follow me, there is not much time to waste," the older figure answered. Suddenly he threw on his hood, grabbed his staff and started through the forest. I am lost beyond hope and he acts as if he knows who I am, so I followed. Curious to see where Querdo is leading me and who he is.

The forest stretched on endlessly. I tiredly kept pace but my stomach was rumbling fiercely. I hope wherever we go there will be food. Suddenly I trip in the darkness. I can no longer see the older figure. Scrambling in the dark, I have no idea where to go. Then the lights were ahead, the same lights that led me to the tower. Farther through the forest I went, following them. Then I hear a voice. The lights vanished and left me in darkness. I drew closer to the sound. "You cannot be Ilthan," the voice said, "You look like him but much too young. He couldn't have stayed so young as I grow older."

"You knew Ilthan?" I replied. I still could not see to whom I spoke. "He was my father but the orcs killed him," I continued.

"Your father? Ha Ha Ha. I knew a runt like you could not have taken his sword," the voice poked, "I am Sellert and the others are waiting."

I asked, "Where is Querdo? How do you know my father? Who are the others? Where are we going? Will there be food?" I had so many unanswered questions.

"Speed up your feet, slow down your tongue, and many of your answers will be found," answered Sellert. Soon we climbed into a very small cave. I could barely squeeze in. Once inside, the cave opened up to large corridors with torches lighting the way. I could finally see Sellert. He was short and stocky, about four foot tall. His beard was light brown and hung to his knees. He was carrying a large war hammer.

"You are a dwarf?" I suddenly spoke out.

"All my life," said Sellert, "Quickly now. No more questions."

Re: Travels of Sir Jathan

PostPosted: Saturday March 4th, 2017 3:49am
by j_dean80
We kept through the corridor for what seemed like miles. Occasionally we came to intersections but Sellert always knew the right path without hesitation. Everything looked the same to me. Then we arrived at a massive set of doors. These doors were trimmed with gold and stood twenty feet high. On either side were gold statues of dwarves that stood twice a dwarfs' height. "Knock three times," Sellert told me. He then disappeared down a side corridor. So I tapped three times with my father's sword and stood and waited.

After several minutes the doors began to open. A dwarf appeared in the opening. He had a bushy beard of red and wore a helmet and full armor. In his hand was a large battle axe. "Helbert at your service. Please follow me young master Jathan," spoke the dwarf.

"How do you know my name?" I asked.

He replied, "We all know your name. Your father sent notice upon your birth. Besides, Querdo is here as well and spoke of your coming."

"Yes, I met Querdo. Who is he though?" I asked, "You say you all know my name...but Sellert called me by my father's."

"Do not pay attention to my brother," Helbert laughed loudly, "He likes to have fun. To answer your first question, Querdo is the woodland mage." We continued through more corridors, but these were twice as large as the previous. Then we entered a large room glowing brightly. The music was very loud but barely overtook the laughter and talking. It was a great feast.

"Finally!" I blurted out, "I am half starved." Helbert shushed me then announced my entrance. The entire room became eerily quiet and everyone stood up and stared at me. No one made a sound for what seemed an eternity.

Querdo spoke up, "Have a seat here beside me master Jathan. Enjoy the feast and fill your belly. We were about ready to start the meeting." The table was larger than any I had ever seen. A long rectangular table that seated fifty. I looked around as I ate and saw dwarves, elves, and fellow men. Many wore crowns upon their heads. Why am I here amongst such a crowd? Who was my father? I pondered these thoughts in my head. Just then the dwarf king seated at the head of the table stood.

"Thank you all for coming to my humble home here in the North Hills. We shall begin master Jathan's training at once. With him now leading our armies, we will surely defeat the enemy," he spoke loudly and with authority. Me leading armies? I know nothing of war. I am a farmer's son...well atleast that I've ever known. My head was filled with confusion.

"Who was my father?" I leaned to Querdo and whispered.

He interrupted the dwarf king with his loud reply, "Who was your father? He was the commander of the great armies! The mightiest of warriors! He led forces of dwarf, elf, and man into the center of darkness and defeated evil on it's own land! The armies of evil are growing in strength once again. You are here to take his place."

Re: Travels of Sir Jathan

PostPosted: Monday March 6th, 2017 12:28am
by j_dean80
The conclusion of the feast was like a blur. My head was spinning and I was ready to lay to rest for the evening. The next morning I was greeted by two hundred dwarves all armed for war. Some with axes, some with hammers, and others with spears. We began my training at once. I barely had time to grab a quick breakfast. We fought from sun up to sun down every day for a month. I practiced and learned to wield all types of weapons. Evenings were spent studying war strategies from past wars. At the end of the month I took charge and made the commands. The dwarves followed every word I said. I still could not believe everything happening.

The next morning I was startled awake. A shadow hovering over me. "Who is here?" I called out.

"I am here to guide you," the voice answered. A voice I had yet to hear before.

"Guide me to where?" I asked.

The voice quickly answering, "To your training of course."

"To my training? I already have been training," I confusedly said. Just then a light was lit and I could see a tall, slender, fair-skinned elf. He had long black hair and pointed ears. He was covered in gold armor and held a longbow.

"I am Elther and I am here to guide you to the realm of the Dark Elves. Now lets go on our way to begin your training," the elf answered.

Elther and I began a long trecherous journey. The path was steep and narrow. We had to walk our horses for much of the way. Thirty dwarves accompanied us. Amongst them were the brothers Helbert and Sellert. They made for merry company, always rising a laugh out of us. This was a dangerous path, and not just for the path itself but for what dwelt along it. It seemed around every bend was another creature. We battled giant spiders, bats, and the occasional goblin hiding in a cave. None were too tough an opponent, for we were not armed lightly. What seemed a two weeks journey brought us to the end of the North Hills.

We now journeyed through a dense forest to the west of the hills. If one thought the Northern Forest to be dark, they had never traveled through the Midnight Forest. Elther led the way with the light of his people. "We are getting close to the gates," Elther announced. Then I heard a soft rustling in the leaves.

"Anyone hear that? What was that?" I called to everyone. Then a four-legged beast jumped from the darkness. It looked like a wolf mixed with a large cat. It had long, gray hair that stood straight up. The beast thrashed with it's claws and gnarled with it's sharp teeth. We gathered around with sword and axe fighting the huge beast. Four dwarves fell to the beast before we even wounded it. Just then it started snorting fire from it's nostrils. The trees were engulfing in flames and so was our clothes. Panic everywhere! What is this beast? Where did it come from?

Arrows started buzzing by my head. The beast screamed in pain and down it went. By the end of it all we had lost eight. Then two hundred dark-haired elves armed with bows emerged from the darkness and surrounded us.

Re: Travels of Sir Jathan

PostPosted: Thursday March 9th, 2017 1:02am
by j_dean80
"Welcome master Jathan to the realm of the Dark Elves," spoke one of the elves. He had a face of age on him, yet still looked youthful. He wore a bright, gold crown and his stature showed his royalty. He continued, "I am King Ademar and for the next month my home is yours." We walked farther through the forest until we reached the gates. The gates could not be seen by the naked eye. We walked right into the side of a giant tree, yet we met no resistance as we passed through. Some type of magic concealment spell was upon them. Once inside it opened up to a grand hall with gems and gold adorning the columns. I was shown to my room and quickly fell asleep.

The next morning I was once again awoken by Elther. We ate breakfast then began to practice. We spent much time with the bow. He would not let me use my shortbow, instead insisted I use a longbow. To every hour we spent with swords we spent four with bows. Many long days and weeks went by. I often was in council with the commanders of both dwarves and elves. We strategized and studied. We argued and settled our differences. The most grueling of arguments were settled with staffs. We would battle and beat each other until someone conceded. The dwarves theory is the one who believes it the most will be sure they win.

Time had come for this new army to march. Word was sent to the dwarves to dispatch. The dwarf army was to head south to the edge of the forest then turn west. The elf army, the twenty-two dwarves with me, and I would head west to the meeting point. The meeting point was a city called Luvremberg. It was once a proud, beautiful city but now has fallen in disrepair. The only inhabitants are nomadic people stopping for a shelter from the elements.

We began our march. We had more than three thousand elves with us. Along the way we encountered more strange creatures. Sudden ambushes of wandering orcs and goblins cost us a few lives. One night we set up camp and I sat at the fire. Elther came and sat beside me. He was carrying something wrapped. He spoke, "It is a gift for your service." He handed the bundle to me then walked away. I opened the wrapping to see a beautiful longbow. It was etched with gold and diamonds. A message was engraved in the limb.

It read: "It takes but a moment to end a life but takes courage to spare one. May this bow serve you to all end, Master Jathan." It felt light in my hand, almost as if an extension of myself.

A few nights later that courage was needed...

Re: Travels of Sir Jathan

PostPosted: Wednesday March 15th, 2017 6:52am
by j_dean80
I was sixteen at the time, and we were about a weeks journey yet from the meeting point. I heard a large commotion in the distance and hurried to see what was happening. What I saw was hundreds of the elves fighting giant creatures. I began questioning some standing by. I asked, "What happened here and what are these giants?"

The elf replied, "These, Master, are ogres and from what I heard they were coming the past few nights and stealing horses. We set up a trap to catch the thief."

I replied, "What would ogres want with horses? They are much too big to ride them."

He followed, "To eat of course." At this time two ogres were defeated as well as sixteen elves. The final two ogres were held in nets as an elf approached with his sword.

"Stop!" I shouted, "Spare these two their lives. Let me talk with them." With that, I approached the nets, admittedly frightened. I began questioning them, "Who are you and why are you stealing our horses?" They began talking over each other in deep but soft voices. I called out, "One at a time!"

An ogre answered, "I am Bo and this is my cousin Ta. We did not mean to steal your horses, if we had known they were yours we would not have taken them."

"That is quite a tale! Unfortunately for you I do not believe it," I spoke to them.

Then Ta spoke up, "Please excuse my cousin for his dimness. We are sorry, we were just hungry. If you let us live we will not bother you again."

I responded, "Aid us in our battles and we will guarantee you are fed. Do this and we will let you live."

With that we continued our journey. Along the way I spoke many times with Ta. I grew to be very fond of him. I learned they had lived in the Sheer Peaks until food got scarce. I also learned all ogres have a two letter name, as they cannot remember a longer one. They are not an evil creature, but will do just about anything for a meal.

Luvremberg was within eyesight. It was huge and looked grand. A large river ran diagonally through it and tall buildings lined the streets. As we entered, I could see the buildings were crumbling and overgrown with plants. A large battle happened here in many days past. Nomadic people started fleeing as our army took up camp.

We have now been camped four days and still no sign of the dwarf army approaching. That was until that afternoon when a lone dwarf came quickly riding on a hog...

Re: Travels of Sir Jathan

PostPosted: Tuesday March 28th, 2017 10:06pm
by j_dean80
Sellert started running towards the rider with wide open arms. He called out, "Haffley! It's been ages! So glad to see you. Where are the others?"

Haffley was thin for a dwarf, and short too. He did not look much like a warrior. He did, however, have the thickest dwarf-beard I had ever seen. Haffley answered back, "Sellert you old boar snot! You are the last face I hoped to see first. Where is your brother? You know...the respectable one?"

Haffley unmounted from his boar and led it to a nice grassy area. He started to explain that he went ahead to scout and the army is only a day behind. He also mentioned it is much smaller than anticipated. A quarrel sprawled up back home, which required a portion of the army to stay back.

"How many come?" I asked him.

"Little more or little less of ten and five." Haffley answered. That means fifteen hundred in our tongue.

"We were expecting forty. Hope we can make due," I muttered under my breath.

The next afternoon, thunder could be heard rattling in the distance. It kept creeping closer and closer. Though no clouds were within sight. Then, a blinding shine rose above a hill. It was not thunder after all, but the shining, armor clad dwarves. Most marched on foot. A couple hundred rode boars. All were covered head to toe in silver armor.

A giant feast was held that evening. The elves brought some deer from the neighboring woods. The dwarves brought barrels of ale with them. Sellert, of course, brought his laughter and poking fun. I sat between Helbert and Elther that evening. Elther has a quiet persona, though Sellert's musings made him chuckle a couple times. He does not easily open up, but I did learn a little about him. He is the nephew of King Ademar and has been in the army since the age of thirty-two. He is now two hundred and fifty-six.

On my other side, Helbert, is an open book. He will tell anything and everything about himself. I found it is a topic he much enjoys sharing. He is older than his only brother by six years. He has eight sisters, some older and some younger. He is one hundred and twelve years. He once was married, but had no kids. His wife, Emile, died in a battle against an army of goblins. The goblins had come to overrun the North Hills and a ferocious two month battle took place. The dwarf men are the ones to march off to battle, but the women fight alongside the men when defending their home. According to Helbert: dwarf women will put up a tougher defense then the men. He talked of his brother, Sellert, also. He told of how Sellert once ran off to join a group of fairies. A tale he long wishes to forget. He came crawling back after two weeks away. According to Sellert: the fairies would not accept him for his lack of altitude. Basically, he could not fly. He never heard the end of it from the fellow dwarves. Ever since then, he has become his jokester self.

With all this information plus much, much more... I became very drowsy. Next thing I knew the sun shone on my face.

Re: Travels of Sir Jathan

PostPosted: Sunday April 2nd, 2017 10:38pm
by j_dean80
I woke up antsy. Tired of sitting in this broken city. The dwarves have caught up, so we are no longer waiting on them. We had the big feast, but food supplies are getting short. I started asking around. Where are we headed? What are we waiting on?

Haffley, the short, thin dwarf supplied my answers. He said, "Querdo told us to wait here for him. We wait for his instruction. The dwarves will not move until we receive it."

I replied with an annoyed tone, "Well where is he? Where had he gone?"

Haffley calmly replied, "He went to a meeting. Perhaps, master Jathan, a scouting party can go look for signs of his coming."

My ears perked up. I quickly replied, "I will lead it! Anything is better than sitting here hungry."

I packed up my things and a small bag of food. I found four volunteers to accompany me. Those being Elther the elf, Etrine the elf, Ta the ogre, and Sellert the dwarf. The dwarves were ordered to stay in the city, but Sellert has never been one to follow instruction. I had not met Etrine before this time. He is a young elf that is very eager to do well and please his king. He is tall with the standard Dark Elf look to him. Something about him seemed off to me. Perhaps it was just his personality, but something made me not trust him. I talked lightly and carefully in his presence. I think Ta agreed to come with us out of hunger. He was ready to get out and search for food. I always enjoyed having him around. He is smarter than most ogres and can actually hold a conversation.

Sellert kept close to Ta and me. We went on foot and skirted some large boulders that bordered a rapidly moving stream. Our goal was to reach the top of a close peak for a vantage point. The peak is barren and jagged. One hundred yards below it is the tree line of a thick forest. Half way through the forest, Ta disappeared.

I yelled out, "Where did Ta go? He was just here and now is gone!"

The remaining four of us kept closer together. I just kept thinking on where he went. I constantly tripped over just about everything, including my own feet. I just could not focus. Suddenly an orc jumped out. An overly large orc. It looked just like the ones who attacked my father.

He swung a large blade at my head. I managed to duck in time. I felt a sting in my arm. A bee perhaps. I lifted my father's sword and swung with both hands. Blood sprayed my face. I could not see. I quickly wiped my eyes and saw another blow coming my way. I blocked it with the sword and swung back in one motion. The orc's arm fell to the ground. It called out a loud yelp and dropped in silence.

Where did it come from? Why was it alone? Then I looked at my sore arm. It was no bee sting. The orc's blade glanced off my arm when I ducked. I was bleeding pretty profusely. All went dark...

Re: Travels of Sir Jathan

PostPosted: Monday April 3rd, 2017 10:29pm
by j_dean80
I came to, for a moment. I saw Sellert and Elther over me. Sellert was binding my arm and Elther was chanting something in Elfish. Then, all went dark again...

I woke again. This time I was feeling much better. Everyone was sitting around a fire. Ta was even there.

I spoke up, "Ta, where were you?"

He answered, "Out looking for food. I was hungry. I found a ram. Want some? I heard a fight and came back."

With that, I joined them at the fire, eating some ram meat. It turned out that there were five orcs in total. Sellert and the elves disposed of the remaining four. Before the last orc was dead, it started talking. The orcs were tracking us. Well, actually me, to be exact. That was all it said.

Morning came. We began climbing towards the peak. We reached the top by mid-day and could see in all directions. Fires were burning to the south. Not campfires, but large fires.

"What is to the south? Where those fires are?" I asked everyone.

Etrine eagerly spoke, "The Desert Plains are just to the south. Beyond that is the Scarred Desert."

He is always eager to help. Or show he knows everything, to be exact. I still do not much like him.

"We must gather the army and go south. Let us head back now," I told everyone.

With that, we climbed back down. It took a couple days to make it to Luvremberg. When we got there, there was turmoil. Bo ate one of the boars. The dwarves captured him and were planning to kill him. The elves intervened and sent Bo on his way. Now the elves and dwarves were camped separately. There were rumors of the dwarves heading home. They wanted no part with the elves.

I took out the staffs. Time to settle the dispute the dwarf way. This time I won. I beat both dwarf and elf. Time to ride south.