ROBBERS AND UNEXPECTED FRIENDS
Sarnam was very surprised. He had not expected to win. He went back to his cabin after a short conversation with Hortanis. He was told to travel to Thektow Tower to receive his award from King Condronson. He went to his cabin to get supplies for the journey. He gathered some biscuits (He didn’t want to take Dorldan’s good stuff) and some water. When he was just about to leave his cabin to go on his journey, Dorldan stopped him. Dorldan was holding a long bundle of cloth.
“Here is a gift from the general.” Dorldan said handing Sarnam the bundle with a smile.
Sarnam took it and opened the cloth bundle. Inside was a sword. It was very shiny and was the longest sword he had ever seen. As soon as he touched it, it glowed yellow.
“This is Glothhoth.” said Dorldan, “This is a sword that glows ten minutes after it has been touched by an Eltician. Nobody can steal it from you. If somebody tries it will shock them. The general gives this to you with a wish of safety.”
“Give the general my thanks, Dorldan.” Sarnam said. He almost gave him a hug, but remembered it was a dangerous thing for Elticians to do. And anyway hugging is a human custom, not an Eltician one, he thought. “Goodbye.”
Sarnam then began his journey towards Thektow Tower. He spent about a week of traveling crossing the Entil lands that was his home before he entered The Thevian Mountains. He knew he would have to go through them in one night. He could not linger in the mountains because he needed to avoid robbers and thieves. He kept Glothhoth drawn at all times.
The Thevian Mountains opened and there was a clearing. A very tiny valley was before him. It had very tall grass in it. He began to cross to get back on the path. Suddenly the ground lifted Sarnam off the ground and closed around him. It was like he was put in a bag. The bag was made of rope. He could see outside of the trap were thieves. He had dropped his sword so he could not cut the ropes.
“Hello, Hello, Hello,” one thief said. This thief had a crown of Entil placed on his head. He wore a golden breastplate. Sarnam assumed at once that these valuable items were stolen. The oddest thing about the crowned thief was the red war paint completely covering his skin. Sarnam felt angry. He had been stupid enough to fall into a trap.
“I am King Thevian. We are going to take you to the fort in the east.” Then the thief reached down to get the sword that Sarnam had dropped. “And I will take this.” Thevian cried out in pain. Smoke and sparks flew off of him. He fell to the ground after being electrocuted.
Sarnam didn’t know whether King Thevian was unconscious or dead. The other thieves ran away in fear. After they were gone Sarnam managed to reach his electric sword. Somebody had carried away King Thevian’s body. In a great hurry, in case the thieves returned, he cut himself out of the trap. He was happy his encounter with The Thieves of Thevia had been cut short. Sarnam then rushed through the mountains. He could see Bacnaltica and Thektow in the distance.
Cornelious held up his hands over his face to shield himself from the monster. It was about to pounce and eat him alive. It leapt into the air. Cornelious was preparing for a blow or bite from the creature he thought was a ghost. Nothing happened. He took his hands from his eyes and saw that the beast lay dead on the ground in front of him. It had a spear sticking out of its temple.
“Are you okay?” A voice coming from next to him asked. Cornelious saw a man wearing leopard skin. His skin was oddly red. It made him look like he was half human and half tomato. He was missing one eye. “That Grimapolian almost got you. I came here because I heard a cry for help. As soon as I saw the monster, I killed it with my spear.”
Cornelious couldn’t say anything. He was more shaken than he was at the sharpness competition. He wondered who this man was, and what a Grimapolian was.
The man said, “Oh, I’m sorry. I better get you something to drink. Maybe some water will calm you down.”
Not knowing what to say, or whether or not this man in the valley of monsters was trustworthy, Cornelious followed him. They walked for just a few minutes before a small shack came into sight.
“This is my home. I am Dancitine, the survivor of the dry lands. I have lived here for 13 years.”
Cornelious saw a giant trench stretching as far as the eye could see eastward. It was full of water. Dancitine got a cup from inside and went to the trench. He filled the cup of water and handed it to Cornelious. “There you go. This should quench your thirst.”
Cornelious contently sipped his water. By the direction the trench went towards he assumed it came from the Titiam River.
“Thank you, Dancitine.” Cornelious said speaking for the first time. “What was that creature?”
“We shouldn’t talk of Grimapolians at this time of the day. Night is when they have their advantage.” Dancitine replied looking very grave. “I can answer all of your questions in the morning. First get some rest.”
Dancitine led Cornelious into the shack to a bed. “You can sleep here tonight.” Dancitine said.
“Thank you for everything, Dancitine,” Cornelious said.
Cornelious felt glad to sleep in a bed again and slept like a log.
The next morning Cornelious woke up feeling very refreshed from his journey into the Valley of Monsters. He met Dancitine at a table. There was fish being served. They were fried over a fire. Cornelious saw that there were no spices on the seafood.
“Sorry about the bland flavor,” Dancitine said. “I don’t have any spices with me.”
“It’s fine,” Cornelious replied. “I am really happy how warm the food is. I haven’t had cooked food for a very long time.”
They talked while eating. Cornelious learned that Dancitine got fish because many of them wandered into the trench he made. Dancitine got both food and water from the trench. Cornelious told about why he was going to Thektow. Dancitine seemed very interested about the king of Bacnaltica paying for a competition that he couldn’t see.
“Something is very odd about this competition,” Dancitine had said. “There must be more to this competition than just amusement.”
After the meal had passed Dancitine got some water for the two of them and said, “Now, Cornelious, you can ask your questions.”
“What I am most curious about is what that creature that almost killed me was?” Cornelious asked.
“Those are called Grimapolians,” Dancitine answered. “They are not ghosts, like most people think. They are living beings. Because of Grimapolians this valley is called the Valley of Monsters, and the northern mountain range is known as The Mountains of Ghosts. The non-superstitious name of the mountain range is The Realm of the Grimapolian King. They are dangerous.”
“Do you think I will run into any more on the way to Thektow?” Cornelious asked.
“If you follow the trench of water in a southwestern direction you shouldn’t have to worry about them. You will also have drinking water too. No rationing will be needed.”
Cornelious asked many questions and Dancitine answered all of them. At about 11 o’clock Cornelious decided he had to leave. “I really appreciate all of your help but I think I have to go on now,” Cornelious said.
“I understand,” Dancitine said. “But before you go, you can take this.” He opened a cupboard in his shack and pulled out a sword. It had a dark blue handle. Its blade was shiny and looked wet.
Cornelious felt honored to get this sword. It had a lighter blue carving of a drop of water. He took it and put it in an empty sheath he had brought with him.
“This sword has special powers,” Dancitine said. “It is called Tewarben. This is a water sword. It will always be wet and can be used to fill a cup in a time of need.”
“Bye, Dancitine.” Cornelious said happy to be armed. This was his first sword. “I will come visit you some time.”
Cornelious walked along the trench until grass began to appear again. He had reached Bacnaltica. In a very short time he would be at Thektow Tower to receive his reward.
Flitican saw that the ghostly king began to charge him. He held up his sword and blocked the blow from the ax. The force of the blow knocked him down. While he was on the ground the king swung the ax and hit Flitican's sword. The weapon that he had won the competition with broke in half. The Grimapolian King tried to kick him with his sharp metal shoes. He succeeded once but Flitican rolled out of the way.
Before another ax blow would be brought down on him Flitican stabbed a shard of the sword into the monster’s foot. The creature screamed a wheezy scream and fell back. Flitican got up off the ground and stabbed the king with the shard of the knife connected to the hilt. The monster king stopped moving. All of the other shadowy figures he had seen ran away. Flitican took the ax from the king.
“This,” Flitican began, “will be a reminder to me that I cannot easily lose. I beat the king of ghosts.” (He did not yet know that the creatures were Grimapolians.)
Flitican, after taking the ax with the red glow, went on through the mountains. The light began to grow again. He saw some Grimapolians on the way out of The Mountains of Jallend, but none dared to attack him.
“There is the Galendar that killed our king,” a Grimapolian said. “We should kill him and avenge the king of our people.”
“If he beat our king,” another said, “then there is no way we can hope to beat him.”
Flitican left the mountains into Bacnaltica and felt relieved. He had escaped the territory of the Grimapolians. Very few had escaped without being scarred for life. He began walking towards the tower. He would reach it soon and get his award without any interference from W.H.A.R.F.
The Finale to Book 1
Coming March 6th