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Posts : 16
Join date : 2013-01-29


Web Novel


The Waverunner crashed against a heavy wall of water that rose almost twenty feet high. The ship a duel mast schooner bobbed and weaved above the mighty sea which only hours before held a curtain of the blue sky, and gentle winds.
The storm had come from the west blanketing the horizon as the ship had no recourse but to run parallel course to it.

Lightning stroked the skies blue white light dancing upon the heavens. Thunder roared as if some unseen god roared his challenge at the ship.
The Waverunner was no new bride to this husband of a storm as she cut across the roiling waters like a dagger skinning a doe.
The captain had been wise to cut the sails for the great winds of the storm would tear the great canvas sheets upon the winds. Deck boys, old sea dogs and new Johnnies were lashed to their positions. The wind tore through the deck looking for it next victim.
The storm was hungry and howled like some prisoned beast, seeking it freedom to run wild once more. Most seamen lived and learned from the sea; Storms in the west often came from the hot trade winds of the south and often enough resembled a hot tumble with a dock girl looking for a few silvers steeds.
One new sailor that had boarded the ships was, was unlucky as his rope tie gave way as he hurriedly tried baton down some of the ropes and sail that fluttered in the torrential rains. The Johnny as older sailors were want to call new recruits cried out as the ship hit a roiling crescent of blue green wave-foam and the wind tore him from the railing he was lashed to. The man wailed as he disappeared into the fury the deep sea to become another devoted follower of the sea god Oceanus.
Vaianen, the elf and head financier of the trip, picked up his quill as the sound of screams broke him from his concentration. The work he was finishing up would have to wait. He had no stomach for it as the ship buck and rocked from the great surf and rain. He gazed through the port hole watched as a human speck bobbed up and down in the turbulent sea then disappeared in a vale of mist and sea-foam. A great wave rolled with the thunder of the lightening that smote the black clouds and swept the sailor to his doom.
The elf sighed as he weighed the man life against the gains of his family’s cargo. No man should lose his life over goods and coin. Money could always be replaced; the precious soul could not.
Vaianen Dementhias, made a mental note to make arrangements for the man family to receive his cut of the trip. It was the least the elf could do after man had just given his life. Vaianen’s family had always done business in that way. The Dementhias placed safety and wellbeing over risk. Life as a sailor was hard enough, not knowing if you would return home, part of the sailor life. Making it safer added to a sailors longevity as well experienced seaman able to man their ships. The word of the Dementhias family’s honor; spoke to the reason so many wanted to sail their ships.
Vaianen was heir to one of the largest trading companies up the Golden Coast. Based out of Saia’ Floraleen his family traded in many types of merchandise.
These items included rare salts from southern lands of Ifretus, or coffee and cocoa grinds which only grew upon the isles known as the Buccaneer Archipelago; even though his family was looking to see if they grew anywhere else; Traveling the Pirate Isles was often tricky business, none knew if their ships would return or their cargo recovered .
Vaianen was the heir to the largest shipping fleet sailing the Golden Coast. He loved the ocean and he often found himself wading in some pool, or basking to the warm sun and cool breezes of the beach near his home; at night his gaze would follow the map of the heaven as stars burned fiery hot and then cooled into white-blue twinkles of light.
The loss of the Waverunner’s sailor to the storm had changed those gentle memories, to those of fear and apprehension. For the first time Vaianen wondered if he would ever make it home. The elf turned back to his small table, and sighed. He longed to join the crew and share their dangerous, as any sailor might,; but Vaianen knew that could not be. He was too valuable to his family, and one day he would inherit the Dementhias shipping fortune. The paper work and ledgering of the notes and coin had kept him busy; yet his heart sang to be out upon the deck with the rain, wind and the groaning of the ship.
Vaianen could hear the gruff voice of Captain Cambian Morndusk barking orders to the crew.
Cambian Morndusk was no new Johnny. Cambrian had sailed with the Dementhias family for over twenty summers when he wasn’t following his own passions. The Elf-blood was a consummated sailor and captain and Vaianen trusted Cambian Morndusk with his life.
Since leaving the port of Portis Bay there was every indication that this trip would go smoothly or so Vaianen had thought. The Waverunner sailed from the duchy of Vanis Island and up coast with the weather calm as could be. None even thought there would be a storm with the blue curtain of sky that traveled the distance to the horizon. All was calm until the devil storm exploded across the entire coast.
Vaianen, was a sailor and had traveled the seas long enough to know that if the ship survived the storm they would likely have some type of serious damage, perhaps to the keel or even the hull would need to be rebuilt.
Vaianen figured they would spend a week out of schedule due to the storm.
With a storm of this intensity and magnitude there was always damage, and coin to loss.
The ship would need to put in at Penticost the capital of Equas kingdom of the Horselords. There the ship would look for a berth to repair any damage they suffered from the storm.
Vaianen stepped away from the window, rubbing his green eyes. He knew he wouldn’t finish his work this night. A yawn escaped him, even as the ship rocked back. He was tired from the storm, and from the work, and all he wanted was a bed a to lay in. He adjusted his hammock, then slipped into the cloth that was connected to two hooks on walls on either side of the cabin walls. His quarter were not so large, and he had deferred the captain quarters as he normally did. A captain should live like a captain, he often throught. Tucked into his bunk, he let the sway of the violent storm rock him to sleep. The last thing the elf remembered was the stars in the nights of his youth.

Golden Ironmaw croaked as he toppled from his bunk within the cabin he shared with several other cold passengers. The dwarf felt his stomach tighten like a knotted rope and he nearly let lose all the food he had eaten for dinner that night.
“Gods I hate the water.” He mumbled gripping the side of his hammock. He looked about and could see everything in the room shift as the boat hit a wave solidly. Gilden cursed, as his mind imagined some sea-giant outside casually striking the ship. The dwarf in many ways wished that was the case; at least he would be able to use his battle axe on something. The sea was a foe, the dwarf could not comprehend of simply slay with a weapon. This sea, this storm was a devil, a beast seeking to the drag the crew, and passengers of the Waverunner down to the deep. His face turned sallow as he felt his stomach turn over.
“I told you we should have waited for another boat.” the young man across the room called out.
Rayvious Steel-strike swung back and forth easily in his hammock matching the sway of the boat. His green eyes flashed with mirth matching his genuine smile.
The dwarf huffed.
“I should have left you in the hands of those thieves who would have stolen all of your possessions and left you floating in ward off Portis Bay.”
Rayvious brow crinkled as he remembered the men who had drawn dirks on him in the inn of the Saddled Lady. The young nobleman had been watching them since he stepped foot in to the seedy inn.
All Rayvious had wanted was a drink to quench his thirst from the road. His trip had been long enough, and all he could think of was returning home from his time at school studying at the prestigious Collegium Blados of Castillian. He had won the honor of grand champion of the school this year, and he could not wait to show his father the great honor he had won.
The fame of Blade Tourney was well known throughout Aerbor, and mostly coveted by noble sons that attended the Collegium for the very reason of claiming the title of Grand Master. Rayvious had been the one to claim the honor after defeating Lord Menthril Ryndom Boy Joshin in the last contest.
Rayvious could still remember the face the lord from Castillian held when he defeated his boy. From Mentril Ryndom deep cold eyes glazed over in gray sheen only a dull knife could produce. There had been no love lost between Rayvious of Joshin Ryndom. Joshin was a bully, and at the beginning of school, he had done everything in his power to make Rayvious’s life a living hell. That all changed four years later, when the Rayvious found his manhood, and was now a strapping two hundred pound student wielding a sword with the skill of a trained sell-sword, and standing almost six foot four Rayvious was quite the intimidating opponent. Gone was the small, frightened little boy which had entered the school, only to be replaced by a full on student of the sword, and near expert fighter.
These thieves like Joshin saw him as an easy mark, ripe for the plucking, and ready for the kill. Before he swigged down his first taste of his beer, five men had stood up with dirks and daggers ready to steal his purse and his life.
The knaves had no clue what they had found in the nobleman’s son. The inn exploded into a dance of swords and daggers, with men hurling themselves at the young nobleman.
Rayvious remembered holding his own, with his flashing blade, until several more attackers entered the inn seeking to back up there brothers. The young fighter upon seeing the men file into the inn realized the men had been watching him since he entered town. They bore down on him like wolves seeking the fresh flesh of young deer. He had wondered and skilled several of the curs; yet even with his great skill Rayvious wondered if he could survive battle. The thieves were close to taking his life and they inched closer bearing there daggers to instill fear in his heart.
Rayvious growled at them, if he was to die he would go down slaying those who wished his life. To his luck the young fighter might have died that day except for the blue-bearded dwarf in plate armor that came to his aid.
Together in a storm and blooded steel the human warrior and dwarf hewed their way through the killers. Those who escaped stumbled and howled wounded and holding various cuts and body parts in their wake. Since the battle both warriors had been inseparable.
Rayvious replied none to bashful “Only if you remind me every day; old boot. I could have handled the rest.” upon thinking about it he wasn’t so sure and he wasn’t going to let his new friend know as unabashed as he was. Besides the battle in the inn was his first time in combat since he had left the school. Till then his return trip had been uneventful. To the young man, he quickly saw that practice and tourney fighting was different then a man trying to gut you for your wealth.
“Fie! They would have used ya as a pin cushion; your sword arm is so soft. Hahahahah…youngling.” Gilden momentarily forgot he was on a boat and groaned just as the timbers of the Waverunner protested against the constant pounding of the waves.
The passenger’s quarters of Waverunner was small yet comfortable and could fit about five. Gilden and Rayvious were far from the only passenger in the room and cinnamon colored eyes watched the two from afar. The passenger held a short blade in his hand and a wet oiled towel which he used to clean the blade to a shine. He wore his hood above his head as was his custom and his soft whispering voice called out with the power of a shout from where he sat.
“If I could throw you both over I would. It would make the world a better place and far less noisy.”
Gilden and Rayvious turned to where the voice had come, both where slightly astonished that the figure half-hidden in the shadows had actually talked. They had shared the cabin with the stranger for more than two days, and the figure had never uttered a word.
“So the mystery man speaks, huh Gilden.” Rayvious sat up on his hammock.
“No man. Or dwarf… huuumaaaan.” the elf replied dragging out the syllables of human in King’s Tongue. King’s Tongue was the common language of the most of Northern Aerbor. Rayvious and Tilden could both here the underlying sarcasm beneath the tone.
The stranger doffed his hood and long silver blond tresses fell pass his shoulders in waves. Long half-moon curved ears displayed for all to see through the strangers’ hair.
“We’ve been traveling with an elf.” Gilden said. The stranger shook his head
“A Dimmerandian one at that” Gilden continued
“You know of my people?” the elf asked.
“Aye! I was lucky to meet some of your people while living on the Frontier. They helped out of a scrape or two. By your slight gray skin I’d say your one of the dusk folk.” Gilden replied.
Rayvious was silently impressed with the dwarf knowing he could not have been luckier gaining a traveling companion like Gilden. This was not the first tie Rayvious had seen and elf. When he was smaller, just a child, elven friends of his father would come to the keep. The halls would be filled with laughter, and songs, and the will’o’wisp sounds of harmony echoed through his home. The thought of home brought a pang to Rayvious’s heart; he missed his father and his home greatly. Rayvious looked at the elf that caught his eye.
“Is there something you wish to say huuumaan?” the elf slowly brought down the towel over his blade as light from the swaying lantern reflected of its perfect surface. Rayvious snapped out of this fog of memory, and snapped slicing quip.
“Only that if you threw us off the ship…who would you look all grim and morbid for? Admit it elf we are your amusement.”
“Your mummery is no amusement” the elf slid one of the swords in his sheath just as the schooner bucked.
“I did not leave the quite of my home to bandy words with a huuumann and a dwarf.” The elf growled, lowering the hood of his cloak further down his face, covering the simmering cinnamon eyes. Rayvious smile grew greater, as he enjoyed needling the elf.
“I resent that we humans don’t have such fine sense of mummery as do the elves. I can’t speak for the dwarf; they are constantly mired dourness and complaining.” Rayvious bit back.
“Hey!” Gilden rolled his dark brown eyes. He knew if the lad continued to mock the elf there could be bloodshed. Gilden’s father long ago had told him never pull the tail of a bull if you weren’t going to ride it. His father had been right, that day his father nearly was gored by that very bull. Gilden inwardly chuckled; the dwarf had been alive for more than a hundred years and his young friend only about twenty five had a lot to learn. This lesson would be the beginning of that education.
“So what is your name master elf? Most likely you know us.” Gilden sat holding his queasy stomach near his hammock. For the first time the elf smiled.
“You are Gilden Ironmaw, and the huuumaaan is Rayvious Steelstrike as he likes to call himself. My name is Aeryvane Quinthatel Shadewalker. And I haven’t figured if it is a pleasure yet. “Aeryvane responded. Rayvious snorted. “Over proud aren’t we.”
“As proud as these blades by my side and the skills to use them.” Aeryvane replied. Gilden looked back and forth at the two warriors noting the exchange. He had lived long by looking and accessing others. As an adventurer, sizing up, and studying and enemy or opponent was part and parcel of the traveling life. Those who walked blindly with their head in the sky, most often found death from below. His father had always told him to keep his eyes forward, and his feet ready. His pappy was full of useful information. The dwarf could see Aeryvane was like a polished gem. This warrior could wield his blades to deadly effect. It was the cool manner of the elf that made Gilden wary of this stranger. This was not the place to create bad blood, or make enemies. In this small confined space, the dwarf knew there would be much of blood to be shed if it came down to trading blows. Looking at the elf if Gilden could guess he thought Aeryvane was a ranger.
Elves often gravitated to being rangers due to their affinity with the woodlands and forest of the worlds. It was a perfect marriage of beliefs and skill.
People who loved the wood would be the perfect candidate to become a ranger. Gilden looked up and watch his young human friend roll from his bunk and approach the elf.
Rayvious puffed out his chest, as if he was some preening bird. “Well then since you’re so sure of your fighting skills perhaps a match. I believe I can match you sword for sword.” Gilden slapped the top of his head with thick beefy hand in disbelief.
Rayvious smirked who was this elf any way, plus had he not just won one of the most well-known contests in all Aerbor. It was no easy feat to win the Collegium Blados tourney in Castillian. He was just coming off besting perhaps the finest swordsman in the realms in Joshin Ryndom. Defeating this elf would be no challenge at all.
Aeryvane smiled “You wish to dual me, huuuumaaan? I’ve lived more years than you have been alive. You can’t win”
Rayvious returned his smile with a grin of his own. “Then we have a match, how about when the weather clears?”
“I don’t see why not… a loss now or later is still a loss huuumaaan. And…You will lose.” Aeryvane slapped his sword in his scabbard, and pulled his hood over his eyes signaling that the conversation was over. Rayvious simply huffed, and moved toward his bunk stopping only when Gilden laid a hand on his arm.
“Boy I hope ya know what ya done. Ya best be up for it lad. This is ain’t school, and he’s lookin to be more than able to prove it.” Gilden said. Rayvious patted the dwarf on his shoulder. “That remains to be seen. We’ll see if his sword is as sharp as his attitude.” Rayvious closed his eyes, knowing full well he would not sleep. The elf had gotten his blood up, and in his minds eyes he was working through his stance in preparation for their contest.
Gilden sighed and looked at both human and elf. The animosity was like this throughout the land, it was not rare for Elf and human to come into conflict, in the lands of Aerbor it was a daily occurrence. The dwarf knew it was a sad occurrence. He knew that Rayvious could equip himself well in the brawl as he had done in Portis Bay but this elf was a different situation. This warrior was ten of the thieves that had tried to gut them in the inn. The elf was mostly strong, balances and endowed with a measure of speed and skill that Rayvious in his short life could not muster. This contest was no simple blade contest between humans. This was an elf that had lived more years than most could count.
Gilden was a betting dwarf by habit, his old pappy always told him to bet on the horse that was best stud. The dwarf wondered who he would put his money on. The ship rocked just as his mind settled on where his money was going. He tugged on his black almost blue beard and took out his favorite smoking pipe. It was a long trip and a good smoke of Wilderglen leaf would settle his worries. A few puffs and before the dwarf knew he fell fast a sleep
Druin Stonehammer pulled the rain drenched poncho around him in the effort to keep some type of dryness in his flesh and bones. The storm that wreaked havoc among the Golden Coast and Penticost the last few days didn’t improve his mood. Being wet never improved a dwarfs mood nor looking for someone who should have reported for work almost hour ago. His cousin Jakinbrew had not reported back on the remaining rope lashing to their building equipment that was so needed to repair the damage to Penticost high walls during the usurper conflict that struck the kingdom of Equas nigh a summer ago.
Druin was head stone mason of the Stonesmashers, and his dwarf clan was known throughout the west as the best builders in the west. Nobles and men of wealth came from all abroad Aerbor to use their services. When heralds from royal family of Men’domin, the lords of Equas came to the dwaf halls of Herinstone bringing official writs and warrants of service a day later he and the about seventy of his boys loaded up their gear and headed to the nearest Ironclad station.
Druin hated the steam magic rails of the Ironclad express that could propel a dwarf faster than walking or even riding a horse, usually the only thing faster than the Ironclad express was a ship out of the city of Freehold, down to Vanis Island and around the cape of gold to the west coast.
The Ironclad express cut right through the mountains which dwarves three hundred years ago carved out and still stood.
What would have been a month trip was done in seven weeks. Since then the he and the boys had been working hard to rebuild the structures that had taken damage during uprising.
The rain fell harder and Druin’s mood already gray turned black. He was upset and worried for his cousin, who like several other dwarves had gone missing. This did not sit well with him, at all. It started three days ago with the loss of Colvin Ironhigh, Kelson Bornstone, and Junus Blackgem. They were all good lads, and had left for work in the morning, but did not return that evening for dinner. Most of the clan ate together for dinner. Druin knew the boys well; they were all good hard workers that had been with him for over twenty years. Durin himself had taught the dwarves most of their stone-craft and at one hundred of sixty five, he was the oldest and most trained of the dwarves.
Druin ran his fingers through his thick red colored beard and squeezed the rain out. He headed to the cemetery walls of the old town. Most of their equipment had been staged there. As he came closer he could see the large tarp fluttering about in the rain and wind. Durin cursed quickly moving to secure the ropes and covering of the tools, barrels and other items they used.
“Jackinbrew!” he called out in the slick of the rain.
The response was the sound of thunder and a peel of lightening that made the dwarf shuddered. Druin adjusted his eyes and could see a figure moving towards him.
It resembled him. No other dwarf even came close to looking like Jackinbrew with his head shaved save for the tall red Mohawk haircut he sported that made him resemble a rooster. His beard was also unlike other dwarves cut and angled like a spear point. It was the eyes that made Jackinbrew distinct from his brothers. He had glacier blue eyes as if chipped from the very ice of the north.
Through the sheet of rain he could see four others. Durin’s spirit rose; Jackinbrew had found the others so it seemed, that was until Durin saw Jackinbrew stumble and moan as if he was in pain.
Lightening ripped across the night sky and the dead eyes if Jackinbrew.
Druin leapt back aghast as the rumbling creature that was Jackinbrew shuffled toward him
“By the gods,” he stammered. Jackinbrew murmured something in a sorrowful cry and with unearthly speed he had Durin in a tight hug that promised death.
Durin never had a chance to pull the hammer from his belt. Gone was the promise of warrior’s death and in its wake he could feel his rotted teeth rip out his throat the last thing Durin saw was the zombie Jackinbrew dead blue eye flared hungrily and darkness took him.
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