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The Tale of the Merchant Prince
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Falotar



Joined: 22 Jan 2001
Posts: 2579
Location: Yaro'on the Fair

 PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 9:38 pm    Post subject: The Tale of the Merchant Prince Reply with quote Back to top

Prologue

Three figures stood on the ridge of steep hill looking down on a lush valley below them. The rising Sun cast their shadows over it as it stretched to the west. A spring was at their feet, forming the head of a stream which flowed down through the valley and breached the wall of the hills in the south. Pines clung to the northern hills, softening into ash and oak in the valley.
"Isn't it beautiful?" asked one of the three. He stood on the right, his figure tall and slender against the Sun. He wore a deep purple, sleeveless vest, matchings hose, and a green sash around his waist. From this sash hung his weapons, a pair of gilded blades as long and slender as himself. His hair was dyed the same deep purple as his clothing, and it framed his face, accentuating its fine lineaments.
"Yes. It is the perfect place to found my principality." This from the one in the centre. He too was tall and dark. He was dressed in darkened steel armour over a black velvet jerkin. His helmet was silver, with a black plume; he wore a black cape edged in silver thread.
"It is wild and untamed," said the one on the left. The voice was of a woman, and beautfiul; but the shadow from a tall pine obscured her features. "But still, I agree that it is the best location for Falconheim."
* * * * * *
Keifew Grimfalcon stood on the gatehouse of the newly built Palace. His realm was but a week old. It consisted of but a collection of tents and booths - now empty but one day to be filled with merchants - and this Palace: the Prince's Palace and his, for he was the ruler, the Prince of this new state.
He was watching the Peasants labour at his latest building project. It was a Rangers' Guild. He would need the stalwart explorers to map this untouched wilderness. Also, one of his oldest companions was a Ranger, and he wanted her to be his first Guildmaster. as for his other companion - he would erect a Warriors' Guild in time, but not yet. He would wait until he had more gold.
The eighth son of a small-time Tholarian merchant, Keifew had been left craving the luxury of his former life when his father died, leaving him virtually nothing. With the aid of the mercenary Warrior Xan Limelleq', he acquired a sufficient sum to gather some followers and establish his dream. Now his fortunes rested in the hands of Xan and Shoti, the beautiful female Ranger who had joined him before he left Tholaria forever.
Please Dauros, my city will attract enough heroes to survive whatever evils this fair vale hides, he thought to himself. His friends might be the best of the best, but even elite need help sometimes.
 
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Falotar



Joined: 22 Jan 2001
Posts: 2579
Location: Yaro'on the Fair

 PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 10:05 pm    Post subject: The Tale of the Merchant Prince Reply with quote Back to top

Xan Limelleq' was, at that moment, out in the wilderness. He was wandering along the stream which had its well in the eastern hills, admiring the flow of the water over the stones. Enraptured by the sight, he was seemingly unaware of anything else. However, he was not alone on the stream's bank. From out of the undergrowth, three pairs of slitted eyes watched him.
"Ahhh, sssisterss," hissed the owner of one of the pairs. "Here we have found a pretty treat!"
"Golden swordss, and - is that ssilk he is wearing?"
"Not too plump, but sstill prety - yesss, indeed." the three Medusae crept out of the concealing bushes, and slithered up behind the apparently oblivious Xan.
Unnoticed by the snake-women, his hand drifted down to the sword. Even as the leading Medusa raised up a taloned hand to gouge his back, he drew out his blades and turned to face the vile trio. The Medusa screamed and recoiled, her arm nearly torn off.
"Sneaking around behind your opponent is not a noble way to battle," said Xan. "Nor is it right to disturb my meditation on the tranquil beauty of the streambed. Now! I will show you the true art of the warrior!" His swords darted. The second Medusa screamed as the blades bit into her coils. The third attacked, but Xan ducked and kicked upward, smashing her face. The three pulled back, hissing in anger. Xan laughed.
"Now you see! But you shall not escape so easily!"
"Shhhut that windbag up!" screeched the lead Medusa, and the three slithered rapidly forward. Xan laughed again and leaped over the charging monsters. They drew up, confused. His swords whistled as he pirrouetted. The Medusae twisted around, only to meet the deadly blades spinnning around in a whirlwind of golden light. The screamed and attempted to fall back, but Xan was too quick. The whirling blades overtook the fleeing serpents, and three Medusae heads fell to the ground.
 
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Venstar Trailblazer



Joined: 27 Apr 2003
Posts: 600
Location: Harrisburg,PA

 PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 10:08 pm    Post subject: The Tale of the Merchant Prince Reply with quote Back to top

Far away, in Ravenswood, there was a tall figure. He was fighting with a tree. A small tree. A very small tree. Infact, it wasn't even tall enough to be called a tree. It was more like a small stub. It was Cuncus Insane, a WoD, hacking at that stubb. He had been hacking at that same, what used to be, a tree. He had lived in Ravenswood since he was born.
Cuncus was the adventures type. The only problem is, there isn't adventure... yet.
It was the hottest spring that Cuncas had experienced in his life. Rumors were going around about some merchant was about to build his own city. "Boy, that must be fun." Cuncus thought to himself.
As he walked home, Cuncus could hear just about everybody talking about it, exept for his good old pal, Oden Trailblazer. He was talking about the usual "When are we going to leave this reched town?", followed by a "Why are you giving me that look, Concus?". Yep, Oden was very single minded, when he finds a topic he likes, he'll dragg it on and on.
Once Concus had reached his home, he bumped into his mother, Sister Insane. "How was your day today, honey?" "Same old, same old." Concus replied. "Why don't you wash up, then come back down here for diner?" said Concus's mom. "Sure, mom." Concus said as he walked off.
 
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Venstar Trailblazer



Joined: 27 Apr 2003
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 PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 10:49 pm    Post subject: The Tale of the Merchant Prince Reply with quote Back to top

Closer to the site of the about to be built town, a small figure can be seen running at his natural speed... slow. He is a Darf, his name is Goodbuild, Brindel Goodbuild. Brindel was rush as fast he could to meet the newly famous, Keifew Grimfalcon. Brindel was a hard working builder, in search of work, which was scarce these days. "I'm late! I'm late! I'm late on this important date! I'm late to build the city! The most wonderful city of Falconheim!" Brindel yelled as he ran.
By now, he had picked up so much speed, that Brindel's little legs went numb. He couldn't stop, though. If he were late, all those filthy Gnomes might beat him there, and nobody wants that.
Brindel kept running faster and faster, and time kept feeling slower and slower. By the time Bindel made it there he could see tents with lights in them, for it was growing darker, a Gate house, and a palace. Seeing that palace gave Brindel some feeling of acomplesment, just knowing that he ran fifty miles is less than twelve hours, with no stops. At that very moment, Brindel noticed that he had to go to the bathroom, eat, and meet Keifew Grimfalcon. With this many things going through his head, he did the first thing on his list, he ran over to a tree to do a number one. After that, he ran over to the Palace for his next to things to do.
 
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Raistlin, Archmagus



Joined: 08 Jul 2001
Posts: 1805
Location: Krynn, Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas

 PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 11:18 pm    Post subject: The Tale of the Merchant Prince Reply with quote Back to top

Silently, the woman came up behind her prince, standing next to him and watching the construction without a word. As the main buildings were erected and the spaces for tents left, Shoti Firearrow smiled softly.
"It will be finished soon," she said in her quiet voice. Her nose was tiny, and almost perfectly placed on her head. High cheekbones adorned her face, making her look elegant, and lovely. Shoti looked around with large, green eyes, that had been dulled slightly by past pain. Her black hair was held together loosely near the bottom by a leather thong, and, at the moment, was thrown over her left shoulder. "I wanted to thank you for having it built." She grinned at her prince, and bowed slightly, moving away to wander around the new town.
Shoti never spoke much; she hadn't for a few years, now.
As she traversed Falconheim, she let her eyes wander. She'd done the same through the past week, when there weren't any monsters coming to see who'd invaded their space. Now, the ranger thought wandering would be a good idea. Keifew would need explorers, and, as the rangers guild was still being completed, she was the one there to do it.
She was traveling further and further from the new kingdom, farther than she'd yet traveled. When Falconheim was disapearing behind a hill, Shoti stringed her bow and slun it over her shoulder. Breaking into a trot, it wasn't long before she was running at breakneck speed, thoroughly enjoying the wind pulling at her hair. The leather thong had already fallen off, but Shoti didn't bother with it. There was no need to keep her hair back now.
The ranger turned, looking to circle around the kingdom. When she reached the stream, she continued running along it. Until she came upon the bodies - and heads - of a few Medusae.
Glancing up, Shoti spotted Xan, who had returned to enjoying nature's beauty. "Bagged yourself a few monsters, I see," she said wryly, moving to stand next to him. She stared outward, her face drooped slightly; she'd sat on hills like this and watched sunsets with her late husband. She missed it, even after so many years.

[ 30. August 2003, 12:19 AM: Message edited by: Raistlin, Archmagus ]
 
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Falotar



Joined: 22 Jan 2001
Posts: 2579
Location: Yaro'on the Fair

 PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 2:15 pm    Post subject: The Tale of the Merchant Prince Reply with quote Back to top

"My lord," said a servant, bowing to Keifew. The Prince turned. "There is someone below to see you. He is dwarf, and he calls himself Brindel Goodbuild."
"A Dwarf?" asked Grimfalcon. "Take me to him."
Minutes later, the Prince was studying his visitor in one of the lean-to houses built along the inner wall of the Palace.
"So, you are the Dwarf who wished to see me."
"My name's Goodbuild, Brindel Goodbuild," said the Dwarf by way of introduction.
"Yes, I know. I am the Prince, Keifew Grimfalcon. What would you have of me?"
"Well - I thought - you could use my sefvices?"
"I can use anyone's services," replied Grimfalcon. "But I warn you, that if you remain in Falconheim you will be in the minority. As soon as I have enough wealth to attract them, I shall invite the Elves to settle in my valley. In the meanwhile, you are welcome to make yourself at home - but not at my expense. If you want lodging in the Palace, You will have to pay."

"Hmmm." Xan nodded, gazing at the stream. "My lady, you are the Ranger. What do you think we can expect from this land?"

The forest thickened where the northern hills met the western. Tall and ancient pines towered higher than any building wrought by man in that dark corner. Beneath their sheltering branches an ancient castle seemed to squat, both grateful and jealous of the tall trees which hid it.
The master of the castle was far younger than it was. He had but recently claimed the castle, driving out the Vargs who had made its lower reaches their lair. He had moved into the northwestern tower, cleaning it and barring it to all save his lieutenant. For this tower held his life: his laboratory.
His name was Henraaph Mothflower. As an Elf he should have been performing in an Inn or Palace, dazzling crowds and human females with his voice and grace, rather than locked away in the gloom of this forgotten scrap of the world. But he had no desire to dazzle anyone with his Elven charm - for in this, he was sadly lacking.
His home had been burned by a tribe of Minotaurs when he was but a young Elflad. A Minotaur had given him a slash across the face with his axe, and he flames had seared his body to the bone. A Healer found him lying unconscious in the wreckage of the Bungalow, and by a miracle of Agrela he was saved. But he was not thankful to the Good Mother, for he would have preferred death to the life he now had to live.
All his hair had been burned off at the roots. The left side of his face was drawn tight in the dark scarred which ran from his forehead to his chin across his empty eye-socket. Shunned by other Elves, he entered an academy for Wizards. Years he studied there, until he was expelled for conducting forbidden experiments with creatures he caught in the wilderness surrounding the school. But that did not stop him. Bitter, denied his birthright as an Elf, he would not be denied his magic. Someday, he swore in the twisted depths of his heart, he would have revenge and show the world what he could do, scarred and hideous as he was.
So, now he sat at his desk. A hood covered his bald head, a black silk patch the empty hole of his left eye. He was studying a book written by a powerful Wizard of old. It was a book of comparative anatomy, written by the infamous archmage Andravus.
Sighing with longing, Henraaph closed the book. It was beyond his power yet to achieve what the book outlined. He needed more equipment, more specimens. In frustration he left his library, heading up the stairs to the top of his tower. There he had his scrying chamber.
He settled himself in a specially wrought chair. He closed his eyes and focused on the shifting currents of power known to Wizards and Sorcerors as the ether winds. He sent his mind skimming through them, searching for the auras of beings that would suit his purposes. He was surprised at what he found.
Focusing the power of the chair, he used its power to focus the ether winds into a vision of the place he had sensed. A small community, consisting of but a Palace, a Market, and a half-finished Rangers' Guild.
He smiled. At last, the components he needed were at hand. The only difficulty remaining was the process of extracting them.
 
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Raistlin, Archmagus



Joined: 08 Jul 2001
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Location: Krynn, Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas

 PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 9:49 pm    Post subject: The Tale of the Merchant Prince Reply with quote Back to top

Shoti glanced at the mercenary before returning her attention to the stream. "Unless our enemies sew the valleys with salt, we will prosper. Prince Kiefew chose a beautiful place for his kingdom. I haven't even seen many monsters." She glanced over her shoulder at the gorgons. "Well, except the occasional wanderer." She glanced up at Xan before returning to observe the land. Almost as an after thought, she smiled. "And please, call me Shoti."

"Back, beast!" Oh, she hated vargs! Siyoam's knife was out, but she wasn't using it. She'd wait until she was nearly ripped apart to use that knife; she'd be guilty everytime she attended services to Agrela. Even if it was a monster. That she hated.
Turning, the Healer fled, lifting her robes in order to jump over roots easily. Soon enough, the varg growled and stopped following, not comfortable so far away from it's friends. Siyoam stopped only when she'd reached a small stream that, as she glanced about, overlooked a kingdom. A very small kingdom. The Healer sighed, pausing to lean against a tree and catch her breath. "Thank Agrela," she murmered.

Shoti turned her head slightly, only enough to glance over her shoulder. Hand settling over her long dagger, she turned to face whatever had drawn her attention. The Ranger's eyebrows jumped, seeing a woman slumping against a tree trunk. Glancing at Xan, Shoti moved forward to help. "Are you all right?" She asked the Healer.
Siyoam looked up, smiling. "Yes, thank you. The city up ahead; what is it?"
"Falconheim, ruled by Prince Keifew Grimfalcon. You're free to seek shelter there." Keifew may not like that, but the woman seemed ragged; Shoti wouldn't turn the other cheek. Especially not to a fellow worshipper.
The Healer nodded graciously, and stood up a bit straighter. "Yes, thank you very much. I am Siyoam the Nurturer, pleased to make your aquaintance." She smiled softly.
"Shoti Firearrow. Please, this way." She started forward, glancing at Xan. He could make an introduction for himself, if he was so inclined.
 
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Falotar



Joined: 22 Jan 2001
Posts: 2579
Location: Yaro'on the Fair

 PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 12:33 am    Post subject: The Tale of the Merchant Prince Reply with quote Back to top

"And I am Xan Limelleq'," said he, falling into step with the two women. "I and Lady Shoti are close advisors to Lord Grimfalcon. I am sure we can make you comfortable there." Siyoam glanced at him; he smiled graciously at her. Then he attended to his footing. They were going downhill into the valley, following the stream.
the stream itself ran through the town, its curve edging the north and west walls of the Palace. Grimfalcon intended to dig trenches and make it into a moat. Xan himself had suggested the location, and the idea. The Prince was a merchant at heart; it was up to Xan and Shoti to plan for the military aspects of the town.
The Moon had risen when they reached the outskirts of the town. Xan bid the two of them good-night, leaving Shoti to introduce the Healer to the Prince. Himself, he stood gazing at Lunord's orb, which was yet but half full.
 
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Raistlin, Archmagus



Joined: 08 Jul 2001
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Location: Krynn, Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas

 PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 1:37 pm    Post subject: The Tale of the Merchant Prince Reply with quote Back to top

The Ranger glanced over her shoulder at Xan, and shrugged. It was obvious he could take care of himself; let him enjoy the view. Turning, she smiled at Siyoam. "I'll take you to the Prince; follow me."
The Healer nodded silently, hands folded in the sleeves of her robes. She looked around her as the Ranger led her through the palace, observing each turn. Soon enough, though, Shoti stopped outside of a room, and nocked. She didn't wait for an answer, instead opening the door and walking in, holding it open for the Healer. "Kiefew?" She called.
 
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Venstar Trailblazer



Joined: 27 Apr 2003
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Location: Harrisburg,PA

 PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 8:48 pm    Post subject: The Tale of the Merchant Prince Reply with quote Back to top

Brindel excepted Lord Grimfalcon's offer, thankful.
"Elves do not bother me. Alo of my old friends were elves." Brindel said. "Your old friends? What happened to them?" Lord Grimfalcon asked. "Well, awhile back, I lived in a small settelment that was made of Gnomes, Dwarves, Elves, and a few Rangers. We were peaceful folk, but some of us didn't get along, mainly the Gnomes didn't get along with many. Suprising, because they have a kind nature.
"Well, we banished those Gnomes, for there temper and the smell. This made them very hateful. So, one night, they came into the camp, acompanied by some vampires, and lanched a surprise attack. The battle raged on for the entire night, untill we had killed all the vampires, that made the Gnomes have no chance. Early, the next morning, we captured, and killed the remaining Gnomes. In that battle, we lost half the population of our village. After that, I swore never to take part in mass killing or battles, unless I have to , of course." When Brindel finished his story, many people were A)Crying or B)Acting very sorry for Brindel.
"Why was this not recorded in record books of the archieves?" Lord Grimfalcon demanded to know. "It was a small village, not something as important as this settlement." Brindel replied.
"So, how much will I owe you for a place in your palace?" Brindel asked. "Only ten gold peices daily, and a hard days work in construction." Replied Lord Grimfalcon.
 
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Falotar



Joined: 22 Jan 2001
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Location: Yaro'on the Fair

 PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2003 1:05 am    Post subject: The Tale of the Merchant Prince Reply with quote Back to top

The Prince dismissed the Dwarf. He considered it fortunate indeed to have made such an acquisition. A bit talkative, perhaps, but that mattered little, as the Prince would have little to do with him hereafter. Now, he would deal with the Ranger, then go to his bed.
"You may enter, Firearrow." Shoti came into the chamber, followed by an unfamiliar woman. Judging by her robes and shaved head, Grimfalcon took her for a Healer.
"My lord, allow me to introduce Siyoam the Nurturer, a Healer who seeks shelter in our village." Siyoam bowed.
Grimfalcon glanced over her, then nodded. "Her request is granted. In time, I will erect a Temple to the Good Mother to complement the Temple to Dauros I have planned. I hope, Nurturer, you will consider staying to be its first occupant. Until then, you may make your residence in the Palace."
"How might I repay you for your hospitality?" asked Siyoam.
"I know that you Healers take a vow of poverty, so I will not ask for gold or silver. Instead, merely lending us your services as a Healer will be sufficient. Firearrow, show the Nurturer to the guest chambers and inform the servants to watch after her comfort, such comfort as we can spare in this rude Palace. Tell them also not to disturb me further. I, too, need my rest."
"Yes, my Lord," said Shoti, bowing. She and the Healer withdrew, and Grimfalcon went to hsi bedchamber.
 
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Falotar



Joined: 22 Jan 2001
Posts: 2579
Location: Yaro'on the Fair

 PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2003 12:54 am    Post subject: The Tale of the Merchant Prince Reply with quote Back to top

Xan watched the Moon, admiring Lunord's wondrous handiwork. It seemed as though it was all the rest he needed. But he knew it was not so, and so with a sigh he prepared to go back to the Palace.
Ah, but first, I shall see how the Peasants are doing. So thinking, he walked briskly through the town, through the empty Market and to the Rangers' Guild. He glanced around. The Peasant couple that Grimfalcon had brought with him were named Ferdor and Mavrelle Byborough, middle-aged but tough as old nails. He spotted Mavrelle working on the trellis that would support the hedge which would surround the Guild in the Mayhew fashion. Ferdor, however, he did not see. He strolled over to the Peasant woman.
"Hard at work, Mavrelle?" he asked.
"Aye."
"It is nearly midnight, by the Moon. You may stop soon. By the way, where is your husband?"
"'E's over there." The woman pointed at the half-finished main tent without looking up.
"Indeed? Well, then he must have had a Wizard friend cast Invisibility on him, for he is nowhere to be seen."
For the first time Mavrelle paused in her work. She glanced over to the tent, and frowned. "what i' the name o' the Good Mother?"
"Yes, it is a shame that he should leave you here to do all the work."
"It's not like 'im." The Peasant turned her eyes to Xan. "I swear, 'e'd never shirk 'is duty. Ferdor's not the most brilliant o' men, but 'e's honest as a mirror. And I saw 'im meself, besides, not but an 'alf-hour agone, working over there."
"Indeed." Xan pronounced the word this time more seriously. "Perhaps I had better inform our Prince. And you, Mavrelle, you can come in now. We don't want any more Peasants disappearing."
 
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Venstar Trailblazer



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 PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2003 8:35 pm    Post subject: The Tale of the Merchant Prince Reply with quote Back to top

Back in Ravenswood, Concus had just finished his dinner. Walking outside, he noticed Oden waiting for him. "We're eighteen, and you are still living with your parents. That makes no sense. When are we going to leave this town. You know... I was thinking of making our own town. How do you like the idea?" Oden asked. "Well," Concus replied "I was thinking of moving to that new town, the one owned by the merchant. I hear he gives you good pay to defend the small troubles of the town."
Oden looked offended. "You just don't trust me, do you?" Oden yelled. "It's not the it's..." Concus was interupted by Oden. "First I lose my town to his ideas, I just never thought I would lose you, too, Concus. I thought we were tight! What happened to that! Oh, let me geuss, that was a chidhod dream, just like my thoughts of building a town! You know what? I never want to speak to you again!" Oden belted out.
After he was finished with his long speach, Oden hurried home. "The kid is always over reacting." Concus said to the crowd that had formed.
The next morning, Oden was nowhere to be found, so, Concus decided to knock on his families door. "Hello?"
"Hi, Mrs. Trailblazer. Do you Know where Odenhas gone off to?"
"You didn't hear? I'm surprised he didn't tell you, of all people. He has gone out into the wilderness. Said somthing about our hero, Mr. Grimfalcon."
"Thanks, that's all I needed to know." Concus said, as he rushed out the door.
Upon returning home, Concus had made a dicision. "Mom. I'm leaving. And I'm going to the new town being built." Once this had been said, the entire Insane Famil had rushed into the room. "Why do you want to do that?" "Because, I'm afraid Oden might kill Mr. Grimfalcon." "He's a mart boy, he'd never do that."
"Still, I'm leaving." With this, Concus was out the door.
 
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DragonWizard012



Joined: 23 Feb 2002
Posts: 424
Location: The Dragon's Castle of Rivendell

 PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2003 6:07 pm    Post subject: The Tale of the Merchant Prince Reply with quote Back to top

After two hours of traveling, the Ranger fell from exhaustion. Sitting up on a tree he watched the moon slowly go down. After five minutes of watching this natural beauty he fell asleep. When he woke up he found that it was near noon. Taking some cooked fish from his pack to eat while he traveled, he continued on.
Two hours later, he came to Falconheim.
"Finally," he said.
"Halt!"
A palace guard was coming toward him.
"What buisness do you have in Falconheim?"
"I wish to speak to the prince. I was hoping I could find some work here."
"Come with me."
They started off torwards the Palace.
"What's your name, Traveler?"
"I am Taron Farsight."

[ 03. September 2003, 07:07 PM: Message edited by: DragonWizard012 ]
 
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Venstar Trailblazer



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 PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2003 5:24 pm    Post subject: The Tale of the Merchant Prince Reply with quote Back to top

Concus continued through the woods.
Night came slowly, but it still came. That night, Concus settled in the medows of the Central Plains. He sat at a camp fire that he had just started. From nowhere, he heard a farmiliar voice.
"So, now you are going to see him to!" It was Oden. "Where did you come from!?" Concus demanded. "Now that tone will get you nowhere!" Oden shouted. "Why did you leave Ravenswood?" Concus asked. "You know, to kill the person that ripped the world away from me. Mr. Grimfalcon. I can tell where I'm not wanted." Oden said, as he disapeared.
Concus hardly slept that night, all he could think about was Oden.
By morning, Concus had gotten some sleep. It was around down when he cooked some squirel. Afterwards, he destroyed camp, and continued his journey to help protect Mr. Grimfalcon.
 
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