Posted Feb 7, '12 at 6:09pm
Yes, I'm finally working on it. Yes, I'm going to continue it. And yes, the previous thread is scrap.
~-*Chapter I: Children of the Future*-~
A cool spring breeze flourished over Fort Argon and the surrounding lands it oversaw, smelling of faint cocoa. The small, rocky fort was situated on a mountainside, thus the rear was facing meteres upon meters of solid rock and minerals. A few small bunkers dotted the tops from which Fort Argon ended, usually enclosing archers and corner guards to keep watch. The only bare section was ultimately the front, where, if there was ever to be a battle taking place, the main resistance would settle in unison. Meeting the front of Fort Argon would be vast amounts of fields, small outcroppings with streams leading to the forests to the east. AZ single road trailed from the fort's entrance to the horizon, pointing to the distant town of Whisperwind. The calm, quiet atmosphere suggested safety, as little commotion stirred within or around these walls. This would be the perfect place for children to explore and play.
The Fort's gate unlocked and slowly lowered with grinding resistance, welcoming the new light to travel inside. Emerging from the gate was a rather short, but stocky soldier, whose head turned in the direction of an elevated path that, at the end, came upon a magnificent waterfall which roared with the sound of heavy beats of water to collect in the stream. The soldier's, rigid, steel pauldrons were set upon his muscular stature, with soft-leather cloth hoisted over his shoulders, exposing his chest and abdominals. A white fur pelt was wrapped in wide string around his waist, making it a belt of sorts. Various teeth and tusks were tied on either side, revealing the amount of trolls he has defeated in combat, with an entire troll skull latched on the center. Iron chains were gagged onto the teeth inside the mouth and were used to hold up his loincloth. This was made from a tanned and browned pelt to mostly cover the backside and not so much the front. This tassel came downwards like a V, the point at the bottom reaching the calves and the base covering anything higher than the thighs. The boots were quite complex; steel and iron were used to make the soles, giving it the hard crunch whenever he stepped. The iron and steel material then came up in columns in stripes, reaching the knees, with a flexible, steel cap to cover the patellas (aka kneecaps). The junction of the ankle and phalanges had a small trollbone skull fixed in the center. What wasn't covered by iron and steel was stuffed with warm furs of varying animals, usually troll hair as it was more durable and insulated than the rest. Poofs of fur emerged out of the boots. The helmet was made of pure steel, shaped like a bowl and covering the mandible and nose. The part in the back was shaped more like a shovel, while there were three two-inch spikes that were on the three sides of the soldier's head--temporal, parietal, then temporal. The eyes were big and brown, with a wide smile that was both firm and sincere.
The soldier, known as Kael'Thas, turned his head again, thistime towards Fort Argon. Amidst the chirping of birds and the rustling of trees and grass from the occasional blowing of the wind was the near distant sound of children's playful laughter.
"Safe as usual", declared Kael'Thas with a smirk. "Time t' pay th' old man a visit." With a clank of his plated leg joints, he heaved up the beaten pathway. Although most of the path was cleared and smoothed out (for the old man's sake), some large stones as big as feet jutted out, encouraging any and all foolish enough to trip over their dominance. The short stature deemed it necessary for Kael'Thas to heave his stocky legs over the stones, nearly climbing at the top where the path was coming to an end. The rushing of water was now close.
He was now at the end of the path where dirt conceded and the way across the waterfall was provided by smooth, flat stones--muddy brown and not akin to the rough, sharp characteristics to which the 'feet' of the mountain pass matched. A small pool of shiny, crystal-clear water collected around the short stone path before falling quite a ways down to greet the stream. Kael'Thas knew exactly where his target lie; above the waterfall, about the height of a normal human being, 'sat' a wizened man surrounded by the cascading waters. His solid brown, wool robe covered the entirety of his stature, slightly taller than Kael'Thas, but with less girth. His wrinkled, gaunt face was deep in concentration. The remains of his hair were bound in a short knot that rested partly over the back of his skull, while his thin, wispy beard was uncontained, soaked and collected from the waterfall. The cascading water flowed downwards to meet the robed old man, but at the very point of embracing him, the path the water took just seemed to skip him; the water would avoid the area occupied by the old man then converge when out of his presence.
Kael'Thas called amongst the roar of the waterfall. "Hey! Master Tristan!" He retracted his arms to wait for an answer. The old man's expression remained unchanged. He put his hands in front of his mouth again. "Th' children wanna hear sommore o' yer stories!" A short time passed before he called again, a tad louder. "Master Tristaaaain!" Still no response; Kael'Thas became flustered. "Meybe I'll just leave yeh in th' cold this time!" With a turn of his heel, Kael'Thas started for Fort Argon in return. A couple steps to his destination, he stopped to ponder. "Hmm, meybe he's dead?"
There was a disturbance in the waterfall; the area around the occupied space began pulsating, expelling drops of water everywhere. Kael'Thas motioned back to his original spot with a light jog. There he saw Master Tristan fully aware, his pale, green eyes fixing to him in an expression of disgust. "Well that was a tad rude, don't you think?" cackled the light, raspy voice of the old man. "Am I dead...pfft, that's just rockspittle, I'm fit as a flutter!"
Kael'Thas crossed his arms in rebuttal. "Hah, no thanks to yer ears that's fer sure!" Master Tristan's right eyebrow twitched at the mention of his hearing. It was perfectly find and he wouldn't stand for it. The tension around the waterfall grew. That didn't stop Kael'Thas from the attack. "If I dint know any better, I'd say yer as deaf as--" The flinging of water droplets grew, but unfortunately, it didn't didn't work in the old man's favor. Getting even more annoyed caused Mater Tristan's hold over the waterfall to weaken from lack of concentration. A rebellious water drop pivoted into his territory and, despite all odds, landed smack into his left iris, causing him to wince and wipe his eye in haste. This negated the concentration entirely; Master Tristan's body was instantly drenched and his body plopped into the shallow pool of water below.
Despite the water's little control, Master Tristan flailed about in anger and frustration. "Now look what you made me do! Things were just peachy before you come back, now I'm soaked! Don't just look at me in mockery, you hateful bugbear, help me up!" Kael'Thas, after witnessing the spectacle that was Master Tristan's downfall, fell down on his knees in pink-faced laughter.
He was going to respect his elder's wishes and pull him out, that is until he heard the sound of a clustered trotting from below. Just after the realization, four children, two boys and two girls, clambered up the rough path in collective giggling. At once, they found the dwarf in a haunched position reaching for Master Tristan's hand. They all shouted in unison. "FRANK!" Kael'Thas' eyes widened as the force came ever closer. Master Tristan saw what was about to happen and splashed away from the crowd as fast as his brittle body could take him. The two girls leapt atop Kael'Thas' shoulders while the boys charged forward to push the mass of bodies forward. The collective force was more than enough for the dwarf's stature, complete with his muffled cries of protest, ad soon enough, he and the children joined Master Tristan in the pool of water with a splash.
. . .
*Freakenstein takes a breather*
Posted Feb 8, '12 at 5:05pm
Nice, Frank! You should totes put me in your story :D
Posted Feb 9, '12 at 6:47pm
Wow it's very descriptive I liked it.
Posted Feb 11, '12 at 5:11pm
Kael'Thas brought his head back and breathed in a large, unneeded gasp of air. He flung his head side to side in confusion. "Kids? Here??" He centered his direction near the stone steps to find a pile of children at the entrance all fixated on his complete shock, success being their victory. To his right, a girl with short pigtails was sitting with her legs outstretched and her palms resting on soft land, her round, freckled face still giggling from the fun of tackling Kael'Thas into a watery doom.
Not too far from Kael'Thas' right was the second girl, combing her short, shiny black hair with her hands, the bottom half submerged in water. This face was more pointed near the chin and the cheekbones lower. The tips of her ears poked outside her hair that covered them. She was pleased with her accomplishment and smiled to show for it, but then became curious to what was behind her--a magnificent view of Fort Argon to her right, being able to see more than the top ridges and walkways that was the exposed top level. She could see the rushing water collect to the bottom and trail off into a stream that traveled to the neighboring town of Whisperwind, while partway branching off to the west to meet the heavily dense forest to the west. She had an urge to see more--a little closer to the cliff wouldn't hurt.
Attempting to swim around Kael'Thas was the first boy, who had a short cut of chestnut hair with thin eyebrows and slightly thin facial features. His face was in a wide smile and still chuckling, remarking how cool and fresh the water was with several instances of "we got you good Frank!" The last boy was not in the waster, having contributed enough strength to stay clean and dry. He was taller and stockier than the other boy. His hair was in a blonde mop with gleaming hazel eyes. His arms were folded, asserting his major contribution with the children's mission. Sunlight shown on his outfit, a red, regal silk shirt-and-pants combination with a goldenrod striped design meeting the ends of the covering and small leather shoes that were worn to the toes but still served the purpose of covering the feet. A small black leather belt wrapped the two clothing pieces together at the stomach. The shiny, metal buckler at the overlapping bore a symbol of a noble class, the smithing family of Feldspar.
Master Tristan's head emerged from the water, several feet from Kael'Thas' body. He noticed the laughter of children's play and bore a long, thin smile. "Hee hee hee, I haven't laughed in a long while!"
"Stop that, yer laugh creeps me out", blurted Kael'Thas.
"Ohh, the spirit of children", Master Tristan reminisced. "By the way Miss Leena." He fixed his curiosity towards the girl with pigtails, Leena, who in turn met his eyes, the smile turning instead to wonder. "How in the world did you little guys leave the fort?"
She responded with a smile. "The 'door' was open, so we ran right out!" Her innocent laugh was absent of just how serious an open 'door' could lead. There was a sudden 'yelp' of acknowledgement from Kael'Thas; he knew exactly what Leena was talking about. His face twisted into a careless smile and blushed in embarrassment.
"What the devil are you smiling f--" Master Tristan realized on the spot. "You left Fort Argon's gate open and unattended!?" His voice was raised in astonishment.
Kael'Thas' careless smile faded; he knew he was in for it. "I'm sorry!" he cried in acknowledgement. He was clearly fumbling for reasons for his mistake "I dint think I'd b' gone that long, I was sent to git yeh, we were messin' around..."
He was about to speak further when his antagonist interrupted. "Paragons within me Kael'Thas, you're as much a klutz as I thought you were" he criticized. "He straightened himself up and over the stone steps to help drain the water. "Leaving the children alone in a wide landscape is not why we're here! There are only three people manning the fort, besides you and I, and my backside we're gonna let that good-for-nothing gate guard be in charge! I'd slap you into next moon but I'm over he--FRANK, grab that child!!"
Master Tristan's voice thundered and was pointing to Kael'Thas' left, in the direction of the girl with short, black hair. The children, having high curiosity spikes, immediately turned their attention to the girl with short, black hair. The boy with chestnut hair became most active, splashing towards her, shouting "Elane, scoot back!" She played a tad too far across the pool of water trying to get a better view, causing a section of rock underneath her hands to crumble and collapse, angling her forward and shifting her body downward. She was sure to fall to the stream below, dozens of feet to the bottom and riddled with sharp, untamed rocks. Arms trembling, Elane whimpered in fright over what could happen. "S-s-s-someone h-help", sobbed Elane, tears collecting in her large, brown eyes.
Posted Feb 11, '12 at 9:04pm
I really enjoy this so far. Did you grab the name Kael'Thas from WoW by any chance?
Posted Feb 11, '12 at 9:11pm
Well, the only game off the Warcraft series I've played was Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, so I can't say the Kael'Thas in Paragon is in relation to the one in World of Warcraft. Kael'Thas is essentially "Frank", the guy you see around ArmorGames, just in his formal name. This name came from Dwarven descent, so these types of names should be unique to that culture. Is the Kael'Thas in WoW a dwarf?
~The chapter ends in one hour!
Posted Feb 16, '12 at 6:52am
NIIIICCCEEE!! Well done Frank! =)
So, when is the book due for sale? And the next question is (of course) what your writing alias will be?
"Freakenstein" sounds like a 'horror' writer, so that's not as likely to win it... unless it's suited for the WoW enviroment of course! Forgive me, but I'm not familiar with all of WoW... =/
But it looks/reads great so far! Awesome job! *two thumbs up* =D
Posted Feb 18, '12 at 10:00am
killersup can definetly see this story going some when if when it is finished freakinstien sends it to a publisher.don't just keep this story here on AG send it to the big companies and such because there are probably not a lot of publishers on AG just reading random stories.good luck and great story dude. :)
Posted May 11, '12 at 6:46pm
(and one hour turned into nearly three months.. -_-)
(Chapter I end)
Kael'Thas responded immediately, but his small, stocky stature and the heavy water collecting between his armor restricted his movement severely. He trudged through the glistening water towards Elane with heaving breaths, who was steadily sinking lower and lower. She tried crawling backwards as the boy with chestnut hair commanded, but she was far too deep to crawl back to the surface. "Hang on 'Lane, Ima comin'!" Kael'Thas called after her. The brittle platform nobly holding Elane up finally collapsed under her weight. With a low, grinding crumble, the partition was wholly separated from the surface, sending Elane to fall to the bottom. Her screams plagued the party watching in fear. The hand that was supposed to grab Elane was instead grasping thin air. "****it!" cursed Kael'Thas.
He forfeited his fear of plummeting and jumped over the cascading waterfall. He thought he would be able to jump after Elane, since his combined weight was greater, but so far, there was no sign of her. After moment's ways down, he spotted a small jutting of land and a rogue Honeymint tree's gnarled branch reaching outwards. The assembling of twigs appeared like an old man's hand. It protruded downward to the right, swaying due to the occasional gust of wind, as if showing him the way. The bark was of a chocolate brown with a rough texture, doubling as protection. The ends of the twigs were dotted with small paper-thin leaves sporting a dull-gold pigment. It was springtime in the party's region, but this tint wasn't from the lack of life; the Honeymint tree took its name from the generous deposits of oozing sugar given from the pockets decorating the leaves. This was often made as candy or a sweet topping to various foods.
"Do you see her, Kael'Thaaas?" shouted Master Tristan. Kael'Thas peered above to see the old man's head popping out the cliff among the several other heads of the children watching in hope.
"No, not yet!" he responded. "I'm still lookin' fer a sign o where she went!"
"Well don't just stand there gawking at me you buffoon, find something that points to her location!"
"Awright awright, yer not helpin' by yellin' yeh know!" He finished his discussion with the rowdy old man and continued looking at the tree.
"Please hurry, Frank!" pleaded the tall boy. The others nodded in agreement.
The gnarled branch that roused his curiosity swayed in the wind, still in the same position. His prying got the better of him; he stepped over cliff and examined the direction the branch was pointing to. It was about ten yards away and a small size below his location, but there was a gaping hole in a column of mountain, staring right at the Honeymint branch, the diameter being large enough to fit several people at once; it was just like a den or cave. This tree literally 'pointed' the dwarf to a potentially important landmark. "Didn't Master Tristan say something about 'pointing to her location'?" Thought Kael'Thas. "How would he know such a place?" How he knew about such a situation he would have to ask him later. Right now came the important task of locating and rescuing the poor Elane from her dramatic fall. But how to enter the cave when the two platforms were separated by several feet of open air? It didn't seem there was a way to climb aboard, and the drop below suggested a near-instant death if one were to jump. He shuddered to think the possibility of Elane meeting that end.
Then it hit him. The tree! He'll just use the HoneyMint's branch as a slingshot of sorts and fling himself right over. Just to make sure he wasn't allowing himself to drop to a fool's death, he checked the belongings of the 'insightful' tree. The branch pointing to the cave wouldn't do him justice; the swinging direction was a quarter direction off. The smaller branch above its brother seemed to work. While it wrapped around the chest of the tree, it was stout and flexible. To Kael'Thas, this could be the way to the other side. He would run off the platform, jump to the taller branch, and swing upwards in a circular motion to land on the other side. It was a daring feat, but it needed to be performed.
Kael'Thas positioned himself for the jump. He gulped at the thought of failure, which was a plummet to the bottom and a possible end to his life. With enough force, not even his armor would protect him from Nature's spikes below. He quickly put that thought aside. It was time for him to overcome the high point of his day and prove to Master Tristan that he was not 'a buffoon'. Dust kicked off from his boots as he ran off the cliff and jumped with a clank and rattle of his chained armor. He forced his arms high with every intention of grasping the branch. As he neared his destination, it seemed his chances were slim and slimmer still. His luck overcame the odds and the lucky dwarf was able to reach the swinging tree, if just by the fingertips.
His next move was to swing around, gain momentum, and finally release at the high point of the angle and land smack onto the cave's land, safe and ready for rescuing. He maintained a firm grip on the rough bark of the tree while reaching with his mouth and chewed off a leaf for energy. His mouth tingled with the sweet, fresh taste of honeyed sugar. This helped alleviate his nerves with such a daring experience. "Awright, time t' do this" He said to himself. He shifted his weight to his legs, allowing the branch to heave upwards, then vice-versa to the back, giving a sweeping motion to the branch in use. He repeated this process several times, gaining higher depth and speed with each shift. He was far enough as it was, but it didn't seem to get him anywhere. The dwarf swung higher. The cave was staring at him, pulsating back and forth, daring him to jump and meet his doom. He was determined to meet the other side and determine whether Elane was in this cave or not. The next shift will be his last, when he will jump.
Kael'Thas took one last breath before releasing. A sudden, unexpected snap pushed his throat back, making him choke on his gasp of air. The branch he so faithfully used to make the final leap into the cave snapped at the wrong angle. He was thrust upwards to make a high enough descent, but the direction was too sharp to make a far enough travel. He coughed up a "NO!" as he plunged down wards to the deep below, the failed branch clutched in his right hand. If he could act fast, he would be able to figure something out to be able to save his fall. His leap was too sharp, but he was still inching forward towards the platform. The dark entrance of the cave was lost to Kael'Thas, but the wall beneath it was still graspable. With great strength, he impaled the broad end of the branch in the wall of rock. The wall complied with his wishes; the strike was deep enough to have the branch firm into the rock, allowing him to fall no longer and stay in one position. He made the best of this opportunity to climb upwards to the platform. He breathed a sigh of relief that the plunge was not farther away; any farther and the climb would be strenuous.
All slip-ups aside, he finally made it to the cave, where he spent so much time correcting his mistakes. The entrance was dark and brooding, where little sunlight entered. The sounds of drops of liquid falling from the ceiling echoed past his ears. Having no sunlight in the cave provided a cooling effect around Kael'Thas' body; it seemed as if the cave encouraged him to enter.
Muffled whimpers and cries bounced off the walls of the cave. Elane! She was indeed here. Kael'Thas resumed walking ever deeper into the cave, almost to a rush. "Elane!" he called. "Follow th' sound o' me voice! I'm righ' here!" It didn't seem just running in the direction of Kael'Thas' voice would work alone; the sunlight from outside could only reach so far before the rest of the passages would get incrementally dimmer.
"Frank! Help m-me!" called Elane in desperation. Her voice didn't seem so far from Kael'Thas, so he pushed on. He rushed forward to the direction of the cry, only to be bashed in the face by the occupied wall. The dwarf, merely disoriented from the sudden collision, tried a different approach and hugged the wall until it trailed off and pivoted to the left.
It was then that Kael'Thas attempted to produce some light. "If I'm t' help Elane out, I migh' as well try an' get a fire goin'" he thought. Arms outstretched and hands covered together to form a ball, he closed his eyes and concentrated. Within moments, sparks protruded from within, accompanied by a pulsating ringing. The sound grew faster as the concentration proceeded, until finally something bright and round was visible. It radiated a beautiful, golden light that formed rays protruding out the sides. Focusing harder, the ball grew, and grew, and grew, until it was able to fit in one gauntlet. The ball of light was complete, and the energy illuminated the circumference of Kael'Thas' body. He had to take a breather for a moment; it wasn't very often that he had to employ the arts of magic to aid him.
"Elane!" he called. "Move towards th' light!"
"I'm over here, F-Frank!" responded Elane, with a shudder. Kael'Thas stopped trying to persuade Elane to come to him and instead do the opposite; she must be frightened out of her mind and unable to move. At least the response was directly in front of him. He rushed over, ball of light in hand, until he saw a flickering of a girl with short black hair. Her hair and purple-robed clothing was drenched from playing in the water from above. She was shivering from sudden cold temperature without having a change of clothes.
A teary-eyed Elane dashed over with glee and hugged Kael'Thas' leg, glad to see somebody friendly rescue her. "F-Frank, you made it!" her face once of fear but now of joy.
"There's a lass," praised Kael'Thas, putting his arms around her, breathing a sigh of relief. "C'mon, let's get you back with everyone."
"Puh dat ligh oud!" screeched a high-pitched, violent noise. The two immediately turned their heads in the direction of the command. A few feet away from them stood a short, slimy-skinned creature with various shades of purple and ebony tints, porous and covered with brown-ish spots. Dirty, gray hair tufts poked from out the creature's large ears and on its head in mismanaged pieces. Its pale eyes were covered in film, barely able to see the light from ahead, but still sensitive to the beams. His face was gaunt and dreary, having a severe under bite that bore two long, thin, yellowish teeth that came to his slits in his face in the absence of a snout. The jaw seemed locked in position, allowing bites performed by the joints become rigid and powerful, and not allowing the victim to squirm free. The sparse light that shone on the lower body showed how the legs were thin, stiff, and had little pliability; the kneecaps, inches from the ground, barely bent towards the creature's confirmed direction. The 7 bony, rough claws and joints that composed the hands gestured for Elane to come closer.
"Ah wash abaht tuh enjeh my mil in duh darknesh, but", the creature stopped to slurp saliva dripping out the corners of its mouth, "yuh had tuh cahm and rihin it!" The creature stepped ever so menacingly towards the couple, who in turn stepped back. "Ah havent had uh haht mil in dahs..."
Elane responded in turn by quailing, running behind Kael'Thas and shivering. She understood exactly what the creature wanted--to feast on her for a midday meal. Once again tearing up, Elane's whimpers echoed throughout the cave. Kael'Thas had to do something. "Here, Elane, grab this", he requested. He held out his hands behind him, holding his golden ball of light in front of her and not losing sight of the menacing creature closing the gap between them. She reluctantly grabbed a hold of the warm magic ball, not wanting to lose grip of Kael'Thas for protection. "Now wha' I want ye t' do is t' take this light an' run fer th' entrance. I'm sure this path is the only way to the start, so you won't get lost."
"W-what about you, Frank, you won't be able t-to see!" Elane looked up at him in worry.
"Don' fret over me lassie, just go, quickly!"
"W-wait a minute, what if there are more of those creeps like him here?"
"Nah, thar weren't any beasties when I came through, so yeh sheddn't have any trouble."
Kael'Thas pounded his fists with a determined stare. "I didn't bring any weapons with me t' th' rescue since I didn't think of needin' them", he thought, "so I'll jus' havta go a' this hand-t'-hand."
Elane took a moment to look back at the slobbering creature, whose gnarled claws were within feet of Kael'Thas's wall of protection, before motioning for a run. A hiss signaled that the creature knew of the retreat, either by the diminishing ball of light or by the scent of its prey fading away. "Hah dare yuh live mih!" the creature called, "cahm bahk hir, food!" The stiffness of the creature's legs restricted its movement speed, but the insight of its prey leaving behooved it to trample after Elane. However, Kael'Thas quickly positioned himself between the two, not allowing a single claw to touch her. "Yeh ain't goin' nowhere, beastie! Yer fight's with me!"
The creature's face drew back, anger rising. "Nuh one letsh mah food ged away! I wull haff yuh on duh fwoor beggink fur duh bain tuh stob!" With an airy sibilance, the creature leapt into the air and dived after Kael'Thas. His claws dug right into the dwarf's shoulders, however, the punctures did not reach through the armor, thus the attack was ineffective. Kael'Thas retaliated by grasping the creature's oily skin and curled up his body, drawing his legs back before launching a doubled kick like a spring. His opponent retched backward, letting Kael'Thas know the kick did considerable damage to his torso. The body did not fly backward, which was a problem for Kael'Thas--the creature's claws were stuck in the armor when it dived for his shoulders; it was stuck in place. To make matters worse, he did not take into account the creature's massive under-bite. It only took a moment's worth of pain to realize it already made its second move: sinking its teeth into Kael'Thas's neck.
The creature showed its bulky opponent who he's messing with. It dug and twisted to make the experience much worse. It did not take long before Kael'Thas used a free hand to grab unto the creature's head to pull it off--it was surprisingly easy for him. He acted quick and followed through by then pulling off its gnarled claws and forced the arms back to their owners, scratching the creature in the face. The counter must have had some effectiveness, as the creature recoiled and hissed, clutching its face and clumsily trampling about. Kael'Thas performed the final action and drew back a heavy punch, knocking the creature off its feet while producing a wispy "guh!" from the windpipe.
It showed no more movement since the attack. The dwarf was the winner--the creature was knocked out. He wasted no more time and backtracked to meet up with Elane, undoubtedly awaiting his return. Victory did not come without a price; the sinking wound he received from the goblin-like creature would be around for awhile.
"Frank, you made it!" Called Elane in jubilation. "Did you win?" She was standing just outside the cave entrance bathing in the sunlight slightly masked by the surrounding trees.
"Aye, though I kinda need a lil' breather," he answered. "He'll wake up shortly, so we gotta get back up to Master Tristain before he does. Come on, ev'ryone's waitin' for ya!"
"Yeah!" she exclaimed. "But..." She looked down at the golden ball of light Kael'Thas gave her. "How do you make this stop working?"
"I uhh... I don't know." He realized, dumbstruck. "Just uhh... throw it down the cliff or something, it will run out sooner or later."
"Okay!" she trotted to the nearest break in the ground and drew back her arms to playfully launch the ball of light as far as she could. With every collision with the cliff walls, the ball jingled with a light, pure sound, down until it reached the bottom to where it was nearly insensible.
Now that the two were finished with dealing with the cave, Kael'Thas finally said "Awright, let's git back up thar an' meet up with ev'ryone, I could use a bite t' eat." It wasn't too long after the motion that a distant call was sounded in the area where Kael'Thas leapt via tree branch into the cave. They listened closer before they realized it was the friendly, wizened voice of Master Tristain.
"Looks like you two need some rope!" He called, after appearing closer, his head over the high cliff. He gestured his hand over his head and looked behind him. "Come on children, let's give this slow hulk of a dwarf a hand!" Kael'Thas resented the low insults, but appreciated the much-needed help. He wasn't even sure himself how he and Elane were to cross the dozens-of-feet-high cliff above them without any help. A generous section of rough, stringy rope flittered above them and slapped the ground near their feet. They hurriedly grabbed their share of rope without thought like their lifeline. They each tugged on the rope to signal to Master Tristain that they have a hold. "Alright children, you ready?" Above the cliff, the three remaining children were positioned, both hands holding the rope with a fixed determination to help their comrades, while Master Tristain led the group in front. A smirk quickly flashed in the corner of his face. "Ready!!" shouted the group in unison. The old man held up his right arm like a flag. "Aaaaand...Pull!" He threw down the selected arm and pulled with his left. The children heaved with all their might, letting out various shouts and grunts.
The thick rope immediately pulled upwards, creating an arched shape above the two end points. Kael'Thas and Elane felt the effects of the pull. Their bodies, however, lunged forward in complete submission. The power of the pull brought them up and flung them into the sky. Kael'Thas's fat cheeks vibrated from sheer velocity, his face pulled back, eyes squinting, and teeth completely bared from the horror of being pulled so quickly. Elane's hair was pulled backward, then incrementally forced downward, then brought upward from descent, while her silky clothing fluttered with the wind. From squealing with laughter, she seemed to have a better time of the experience than her companion.
"Ithough'weweregonnab'pulledupth'easywaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!" Kael'Thas cried out. He was hanging on for dear life, though zealously grabbing unto the rope wouldn't do him much good, as he would be plummeting to the ground all the same. He stayed steadfast to the rope, while Elane stopped groping when directly under the eyes of Master Tristain. The result was Master Tristain rescuing Elane eight feet in midair, while Kael'Thas crashed to the ground in the distance to wherever the end of the rope led.
The reunion was heartwarming. Master Tristain let out a sigh of relief and spoke "Kael'Thas did something right for a change. At least you're safe, my dear." He touched down and released Elane, who was then greeted by her small peers, hugging her and jumping for joy.
"Wow, you went far!" Admitted the larger boy with the red clothing and blonde medium-cut hair. "What went on over there??"
"It was really scary, Daniel!" answered Elane. "There was this nasty monster with really big teeth who wanted to eat me, but then Frank rescued me and beat him up!"
"Woah, a monster?? Did you get hurt?" Asked the chestnut-haired boy with blue regal-silked clothing.
"I was just fine, Kashan, but I think Frank did. He might be hurt from the fight, he was holding his neck when he came out of the cave."
"I'll go see if Frank's okay," said the second girl with pigtails, also in reddish clothing.
"Wait Danielle, we'll go with you!"
Kael'Thas landed over the waterfall where the group first congregated in a small crater where his legs and arms poked out the disturbed soil. The position looked to be pretty painful. Master Tristain shortly found him after the incredible feat and peered quizzically over the heap. The limbs were twitching and squirming for a hold of something, but to no avail.
"That looks to be pretty painful", Master Tristain remarked. "I didn't pull you too hard, did I?
"No, yeh had jus' th' righ' amount o' power", muffled Frank in sarcasm.
"Alright, alright, I get it", he retorted. "Let me just grab onto one of your sausage-like fingers." At once, he lifted up Kael'Thas's left hand. The disturbed soil caved in, having the dwarf emerge out the ground and wheezed out some dirt that managed to find its way into his windpipe before gasping for some clean air. Master Tristain let go, allowing Kael'Thas to catch his balance.
The dwarf gave the old man a resentful look in the eye and spluttered out a mass of insensible gibberish before finally forming a coherent sentence. "Yeh...yeh pulled me out o' th' sky! ME! An'...an' what o' Elane, she coulda been in danger too yeh know!"
"Strangely enough, Elane was still able to know when to let go, instead of faithfully holding onto the rope due to an irrational fear of heights", prodded Master Tristain with a chuckle in his voice.
"Tha's not fair, yeh knew why I'm afraid o' heights an' yeh did it anyway!" His face was not amused.
The children finally caught up to the arguing duo, with playful laughter following. "Hey Frank, hey Frank!" poked Danielle with a gleeful face. "Are you hurt from the fight from the scary monster?"
"A lil' bit, but nothing too bad," he answered. "Beastie got me in th' neck, bu' I'll be awright."
"Nothing I can't fix," bragged Master Tristian. "We'll have to head back to Fort Argon for that, though. We're heading back to the fort, children!" He motioned after the children, who followed in their footsteps, Frank still clutching his neck and wincing.
He pulled some clumps of dirt out of his beard before asking "Are th' parents gonna return shortly?" The old man put on his normal face and responded, "They'll be back in a couple hours. They will have to cross the Tander Mountains before reaching town, and no doubt assailants will come 'seeking some pampered noble's riches'."
"Yeh think they'll be okay comin' from thar?" Kael'Thas asked.
"Absolutely. Because Kashan's old man is with the party."
"Tha's right, I forgot. Aye, no group is safest with him leading."
"They'll probably want their boys and girls clean too. I think the well in the back can give them enough bath water."
They were heading down the slope of the mountain, within moments of reaching the flat road leading to Fort Argon. Daniel and Danielle were holding hands behind the dwarf and old man and in front of the other two children; they were twin brother and sister. They didn't seem too embarrassed about the ordeal, though the sister kept yanking her brother's wrist to make him walk faster. Kashan and Elane noticed the interaction and looked at each other, however, they weren't so bold and direct as to attempt the same.
Kael'Thas noticed a puff of dust coming from outside the fort. "Yeh see tha', Master Tristain?
"Of course, but who would be making so much aggressive footing to produce so much dust?" He put his hands in front of his eyes to peer without the sun touching his sight.
"Bwuzzer!" came a voice from near the fort. "Wait for meeee!" It was high-pitched and squeaky, while the cloud of dust was inching closer to the group.
"Oh no..." sighed Kashan with annoyance. "My sister woke up." In front of the cloud of smoke was an even smaller child, with a cute, round face and small black pigtails barely protruding outward. She was dressed in a full-body, pink pajama suit, with a small, grey blanket lazily holding onto her shoulders, awkwardly running after the noticeable group, knowing almost insightfully that her brother Kashan would be a member. "Don't weave me awooone!" she called out after him, her short arms outstretched. She was running okay on the flat land, but on sloped land with loose stones just waiting to trip her, disaster was soon to follow. Sure enough, as soon as she reached the gradual slope, she stepped on a stone and felt her weight tumble over and landed on her knees. The scrapes on her hands and knees were more than enough to have her sniffle and cry from pain, instinctively having Kashan run over and pick her up. "Come on Kahna, you know I don't like it when you cry, smile!" Kashan pleaded with distain.
Kahna let up on the crying, only resorting to small hiccups and whimpers. "We're all done with this adventure, so we're all heading back inside, come on!" her brother insisted. She nodded while Kashan had her climb piggy-back. The small obstacle in the travel was over, and so the group continued back to Fort Argon.
Elane felt a twinge of envy, as the four children each had a sibling, while she was alone. She slowly walked behind the group while her head was in a slump. Her brief period of sadness was shortly and swiftly overcame when Kael'Thas promptly picked her up and placed her on his left shoulder. "No slumpin' fer yeh, brave lass, we're th' ones who'll lead th' pack!" Elane's expression quickly turned into a big smile while she exclaimed a "yeah!" and pointed to the group's destination. They will have to be cleaned up before the arrival of their parents.
Posted May 12, '12 at 7:41pm
AMW time, don'cha know.
This is put together really well Frank. I like especially the gruffness of Kael'Thas' way of speaking. Reminds me of the moles from the Redwall series. Keep it up.
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