I’m working on a short story, A Journey’s End, with help from my friend Laz (and anyone who would like to help edit). As I complete each chapter, I’ll post it up here. Keep in mind, that chapters posted on my blog have not been edited, and the final version may change. Also, as a courtesy, I would ask that you notify me if you do see any errors that need to be addressed. I hope that this story will bless your life and draw you closer to God.
Chapter 4: Drak’Nor’s Story Continues: Lookin’ for Power In All The Wrong Places
Looking For Power In All The Wrong Places
18 Months Ago. The Unicorn Inn barely had a dozen patrons gracing its bar with their presence, which suited the wizard just fine. He never liked crowded bars. The laughter, cheering and yelling that accompanied such places made it hard for Drak’Nor to think. This was one of the few places where he could have a drink in peace.
Still, even in a quiet place, such as this, one learned to always remain vigilant in Silverfall. While far from a bastion of chaos, the guards seemed spread a bit too thin to effectively deter the criminal element. Almost, as if on queue, three strangers approached his table, one of which he questioned earlier.
While all of them looked as if they never skipped a meal in their life, the one who spoke sported rather impressive muscular structure in his upper arms thanks to a sleeveless shirt. The tattoo of a dagger in front of a sword probably indicated a guild allegiance. He was easily double the mass of the small mage.
“Hey, wizard, you asked me a question earlier, eh?”
Drak’Nor recognized a shake down when he saw one. Of course, the bartended could not be found, and other partons continued their drinks as if nothing was going on.
“What of it?” Drak’Nor answered in raspy voice.
“Well, my friends and I were discussing how you used up some of my valuable recreation time, you see? And, we’re thinkin’ I’m entitled to some sort of compensation for that.”
The two men behind them chucked a bit, while one cracked his knuckles.
Drak’Nor thought about tossing them a gold piece or two. Chances are, that would resolve this situation with minimal attention to himself. He did not need any problems with the Royale Guard right now. On the other hand, several months of questioning netted few answers. Perhaps a demonstration would yield more pleasing results. He quickly debated the two approaches, and decided on a direction.
“I’m sorry, but I’m not feeling generous. Gentlemen, if I were you, I would return back to my seats. Quickly.”
Despite his smaller stature, Drak’Nor always felt his unnaturally darkened face and glowing eyes would deter most unsavory types from believing they could easily victimize him. Normally, that was the case. But, these men apparently had too much to drink.
“I thought you might say that, little man. That’s why my friends are gonna teach you les…”
Before the man could finish his sentence, Drak’Nor made a quick arcane gesture which caused him to freeze. That would not only keep him from participating in the light, but keep him silent for a while, as well. Drak’Nor smiled on that thought, though no one could see it.
Another thug lunged to grab the magic user, but he was too slow. Drak’Nor jumped under the table, grabbing his staff on the way. While he often used Magic to dispatch his foes, his small size, speed and agility got him out of tough spots more times than he cared to admit.
While under the table, he said a small incantation which teleported him to the other side of the bar. He reappeared from underneath a table next to a stack of kegs. Coming out, he chuckled as he watch the remaining two search frantically for him under the table. Finally, one of them spotted the wizard, and they both headed in his direction, shoving chairs out of the way. One would think that the commotion would garner more attention from the other patrons, but protocol dictated that they focus on their drinks, lest one of the drunk men take offense at their gawking.
One of the strong men approached Drak’Nor, not realizing that somewhere along the trek across the room, the wizard had turned his remaining ally into a sheep.
“I’m gonna tear you limb from limb! I’ll rip yer…”
Drak’Nor tapped the kegs once with his staff. They pile came tumbling down, nearly crushing the one who just threatened him.
That loud noise brought the bartender out. “What in the name of Caiyo is going on out here?”
Drak’Nor ignored him. With a movement of his staff, he ‘brushed’ aside several kegs so he could see the moaning, yet conscious, would-be assailant lying on the floor. He pointed the top of the staff at the man’s face, which looked back with fearful eyes.
The wizard demanded, “I’ll ask you just one question, for the trouble you caused me. And your answer best have merit to it. I seek someone with powers greater than my own. Where might I find him?”
The thug stammered, “I .. I don’t…no..wait! Uh…the Pale Rider! Yeah! Him! He’s said to wield magical powers that can command armies!”
The Pale Rider? thought Drak’Nor. He thought, for just a moment. He had heard that such an individual once commanded the paladin armies of Silverfall. Drak’Nor had heard that they kicked him out years ago due to heresy. Could the reason have something to do with practicing dark magic? That would fill in more than a few blanks in the story as far as he understood it. It was worth looking into further.
Drak’Nor stood straight, and brushed the dirt off his robes he collected while crawling. “If I see you again, you will die.” He walked out of the inn, once again smiling under his mask.
Next: Chapter 5: Teenage Angst