Friday, February 24, 2017

Chapter Four- Jallend and Salitiner


                Cornelious was at home packing bags. He needed food and water, along with a sleeping bag or blanket. He made sure to pack a lot of extra water because his journey to Thektow Tower would lead him through The Dry Circle. This was the driest and hottest place in Gabonland, where the temperatures would sometimes rise to 150 degrees.
            As he packed he talked to himself about his journey. “Should I really take this adventure? It sounds dangerous.”
            He replied back, “Yes, you should. An adventure is just what you need to get you back in touch with the world. A trip to Bacnaltica will be good for you. Your world has become too small.”
            “But my world shouldn’t be too big,” Cornelious said back.
            He set out late in the morning, and started to walk eastward to the border of Canlomba. He would go through the Valley of Monsters in The Dry Circle. The valley served as an entrance to Bacnaltica. One of the main questions that went through his mind about the journey was does the Valley of Monsters have monsters?
             The land of Canlomba was lush and green. Cornelious didn’t even need the food he packed before he left Canlomba. He lived off fruit from trees and berries. For four days he traveled in the lush lands before he reached a barren and grass-less place. He could tell by looking at the ground that he had reached The Dry Circle. Soon he would be at the Valley of Monsters which was the gateway from Canlomba to Bacnaltica.
He now began to use his supplies for meals. It was hot. Cornelious noticed the heat at once. He began to feel a greater need for water. Soon he found himself drinking more than the ration amounts he had made for himself. After only a half day of walking, Cornelious was completely out of water. He panicked.
“HELP!,” Cornelious shouted into the empty quiet land between The Thevian Mountains and The Mountains of Jallend as soon as he saw he had no more water. “IS ANYBODY THERE?!” No response was heard. He then began to remember the stories he heard as a younger child about ghosts living in The Mountains of Jallend. Cornelious became silent. He walked feeling incredibly hot. Sweat poured off him. Much later the sweat stopped. He ran out of water to sweat. The sun was setting.
“Dang it!,” Cornelious shouted jumping around in a panic, “I am going to have a stroke.”
Suddenly he heard soft footfalls coming from behind him. He turned around, and to his relief, saw nothing. The moon had come up and the sun was completely gone. He thought again about childhood stories he had heard. He hoped it wasn’t what he thought it was. This was The Valley of Monsters. Monsters were the last things he wanted to run into. When he turned back around to continue his journey, he froze in fear. He saw a dark blue creature that glowed ever so slightly. The creature was bald and had only pupils for eyes.
It must be a ghost, Cornelious thought in terror. The ghostly creature opened its mouth revealing terrible sharp and bloodstained teeth. The monster was going for the kill.
Waltizar was mad. His green face turned a bright red. Flitican knew that if he stayed he would be murdered by W.H.A.R.F. He knew that the evil gang would follow him as long as he remained in Galendurous.
Flitican packed and set out for Bacnaltica immediately after the competition. He was told by Hortanis that he had to go to Bacnaltica to receive his award. He knew, of course, that his reward would be to go on a quest and not to be given treasure or wealth.
Flitican planned to go through The Mountains of Jallend on his way to Thektow Tower. He knew that the W.H.A.R.F gang would not dare to go through the mountains. Many ghosts had been seen in the mountains by Galendars. Few who entered The Mountains of Jallend ever came back out alive. They had been described as blue creatures shaped like a man, that were incredibly grim. On the other side of the mountains was Bacnaltica.
Flitican, being a Galendar, made him much faster than any human or Eltician. He went about 20 miles per hour at his walking speed. Flitican paused every few hours to eat a loaf of bread to keep up his strength. Before a day had passed he found he had entered The Mountains of Jallend. He entered the mountain range cautiously because he was worried that a ghost would jump at him as soon as he entered. Nothing happened. It was very early in the afternoon, but it was as dark as the late evening. The sun could not be seen from within the mountain range as he made his way through. The later it got, the less light shone in. Soon the only light was the light of the stars far above him.
He had to keep moving. He continued his journey through the dark. He was taking a bread break when he heard a noise behind him. He turned and looked. Nothing was there. When he turned around to continue his traveling, he saw a terrible creature right in front of him. It was like a man but with navy blue skin. It had no hair. This ghostly figure wore a golden crown with rubies embedded into it. He carried a large ax with a red glow. One side of the ax was silver and the other was gold.
Flitican could now see other shadowy figures coming towards him. “Ghosts!”, Flitican breathed out in terror. He drew his sword. The kingly figure began to get closer; its extremely large eyes glinted in the starlight.
The creature began to speak in Gabonese. All the others said the same words in unison. The ghostly monsters began to say in Gabonese “You have been caught trespassing. You have been caught intruding. You have been caught prying into our peoples’ business.” After all these accusations towards Flitican had been stated, the crowned monster said, “You will now die for your crimes.”
Flitican held his sword point up ready to fight for his life. These ghosts are going to try to kill me, Flitican thought. But then he looked at them closely; ghosts. They were something else.
Asher was now riding Carrotan out of the capital of Allitica. After the competition, Asher celebrated by giving Carrotan some sugar as a reward. He packed his bags and said goodbye to his wife and children.
“Be safe, Asher.” Tribana said to him as Asher went in a southeastern direction.
Asher was going to claim his award as quickly as possible. He was going to take a shortcut through Salitiner swamp. Asher felt relatively uncomfortable with his plan because the Gabonese meaning of Salitiner was “Swamp of Chaos.” Being eager about his reward made him determined to go through the swamp despite its name.
After a day of riding from the Alitican capital, he arrived on the border of Salitiner swamp. Carrotan seemed reluctant to enter. The grass abruptly stopped and then turned into dark land. It was full of trees. The trunks were black and the leaves and branches were so large that no sunlight reached the swamp.
Asher saw what seemed to be a path through the muddy land. He managed to lead Carrotan onto the path. Asher saw that the horse sank into the ground about two feet. Asher led the horse on into the dark. The journey seemed to last a very long time. The horse could barely move through the swamp. It was damp. Asher felt that he was being suffocated because of all the moisture in the air.
After about 4 or 5 hours, Asher heard a noise. The noise was a windy swoosh and then a rustle as if something flew overhead and landed into bushes. The noise caused Carrotan to unexpectedly run away into the darkness ahead. Asher fell off the back of the horse into the ground. He thought he was drowning. Asher managed to get out of the mossy pool he had fallen into. He saw the sun was setting in the distance. He could see the silhouette of Carrotan on a hill. Suddenly, a figure that was small swung on what appeared to be a vine and knocked Carrotan over. The orange horse did not get back up.
Asher ran through the swamp as fast as he could in horror to see that Carrotan was dead with a giant claw wound in her side. He saw the claw mark and remembered something he heard about the Salitiner swamp in Allitica. He had heard stories about a tiny creature living in the swamp. It was said that it was half Galendar and half Visicite. The creature was known as Capriter, the swamp crawler. Asher drew his sword in anger.
“Show yourself you coward!” Asher cried out. “I will avenge Carrotan!”
He heard rustling behind him. Asher quickly turned. Nothing was there. Then he felt something very large and hard hit him in the head like a rock.
“I’ll… get you… Capriter…” Asher said. Then all went dark.
Elderain had won. He could see his father in the cheering crowd. Hortanis told him immediately after he had won to go up to the top floor of Thektow Tower. When Elderain entered the tower he was amazed. Soldiers were bustling about on the bottom floor, ready for an attack. Two staircases could be seen. He chose the one on the left. He began the long climb cheerfully. Every hundred flights he took a break. When he was passing the kitchen, a cook was particularly kind to him. She gave him some sweet rolls and even a little bit of root beer.
Elderain spent hour after hour going up stair after stair. He began to think his legs would give away and he would fall all the way down to the bottom of Thektow.  The air seemed to get thin and humid. He could see clouds were entering the castle through a window on the stairway. He must have been incredibly high. It grew cold.
 Elderain climbed up the stairs until he reached a hatch. When he opened it he saw the sky. The clouds were enormous and very close. A hand with many rings on it grabbed his hand and pulled Elderain up and out of the castle. He saw a man with black brownish hair with a crown on his head.
“Hello, Elderain.” King Condronson said in a depressed voice. “I have been waiting for you.” The wind was so strong that Elderain felt as if he was about to be blown off the tower. Clouds swirled about.
“Hello, my lord.” Elderain said politely, bowing as best he could with the raging cold wind.
“No need for bowing to me.” King Condronson said. “If you complete the task you will be given, then you will never have to bow to anybody again.”
“Task,” Elderain asked, “What task? I thought I came here for a reward.”
“You will be informed about the task at the council that will happen as soon as The Five Heroes arrive here at Thektow.” King Condronson said. He sighed. “Sadly, the road may be dangerous. There is a chance that some of the winners of the other competitions may not live to reach Thektow.”
“What’s dangerous about Gabonland?” Elderain asked curiously.

Coming March 1st 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Gabonese Folk and their history

ALLITICAN- When humans first came into Gabonland in year 1, they founded the country Allitica. Their banner shows a red swirl. Their land is hilly and Allitica is known for its many apple orchards. Alliticans are the first humans that entered Gabonland and began written records.

BACNALTICAN- In year 52, when there was an argument in Allitica, a war started resulting in the losers being thrown out of the country. Those forced out of Allitica went east to Bacnaltica and built Thektow Tower. Bacnaltica's landscape is hilly, and most of their food comes from Canlomba. Their banner shows Thektow Tower, the seven mile high world wonder that Bacnalticans are famous for.

GALENDAR- In year 112 Alitican explorers went north, beyond their Cestinine River and met the Galendars of Galendurous. The Galendars were peacful and could move extremely fast. Their walking speed was around 20 miles per hour. They had green skin and pointy ears. Their average lifespan was about 60 years. They were living in the cooler north because Galendars had trouble breathing in high temperatures. Because of their fast movement speed, the Galendars were seen as a threat to the Alliticans. The Alliticans started a war in year 117. The war ended with an agreement of peace. Allitica and Galendurous became trading partners. Galendurous was famous for its rootbeer floats.

MALICIAN- A Bacnatican traitor named Fashar founded Malicina in year 145. Their he housed his visicite army and the scepter of the Visicite King. After he was beaten by the Bacnalticans, Malicina became inhabited by humans.

ELTICIAN- The Elticians lived in Gabonland before the Alliticans arrived. They are people with turquoise electric skin. They do not have hair, and have tentacles on their head. Their average  lifespan is about 150 years. Because their skin is electric, touching an Eltician is extremely dangerous and insulting. Their banner shows a cube of the metal entil. Instead of dirt and grass, Eltica is has a smooth surface of entil. Most of their resources come trading the valuable metal entil. Because of their entil, the first humans the Elticians met in year 234, waged war on them for it.

CANLOMBAN- After the war between Galendurous and Allitica ended, the Galendars gave an Allitican lord a peice of land. There Canlomba was founded. Canlomba was the smallest country in Gabonland, but had the lushest soil.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Chapter Three- The Bow and the Machine



Elderain was sitting on the doorstep at his house looking at the tall grey castle on the horizon. Thektow tower was seven miles tall, or 36,960 feet. He enjoyed sitting outside on warm evenings. The effect of looking at a tall tower in the evening right when the sun was setting was calming to him. Youger came up to him and said, “Let’s play a board game.” Board games…; he and Youger used to play them all the time.
“No, Youger,” Elderain said. We used to play board games all the time, he thought. “I am relaxing.” No was Youger’s least favorite word. The reason he did not want to play was only because of the meaning of his name. Elderain was Gabonese for Eldest Son. Elderain was fourteen years old, and the average hight, and his brown hand was curly. He now believed he was too mature for everything he used to do. He would no longer play with his sister Youger, whose name meant Youngest Daughter. He had grown apart from his sister because of it.
Youger looked sad for a moment but then brightened up before Elderain could feel too sorry. “Look, lots of   horses are coming our way!” Two knights riding horses came up to the house along with another man riding an expensive looking horse. Following them were many horses of all kinds. And those horses carried all kinds of people as well. There were hundreds of them in Cortanin. The other man, who was riding an expensive looking horse, was wearing scarlet jeans and a blue shirt with the Bacnaltican emblem on it. His boots were white as snow, and he had a clipboard that Elderain saw that read as follows:

            Sharpest…. Cornelious of Canlomba
                                    Best Sword Fighter…. Flitican of Galendurous
                                                Horse Race Winner…. Asher of Allitica
                                                            Arrow Shoot….
                                                                        Balance Contest….

What could that mean? Elderain thought.
 The man with the odd clothes said, “Hello, I am Hortanis. We are here to pick up all men in the household older than 12 years of age.”
            “That would be me and my father,” Elderain replied, proud that he was invited to something from being old enough.
“Can you get him?” Hortanis said.
“Dad, three men are here to see you!” Elderain shouted. Hortanis sighed, and Elderain’s father came to the door.
            “By order of the King of Bacnaltica, King Condronson, Lord of Thektow Tower, you must participate in the competition, which is an arrow shoot,” one of the knights said.
“So, attendance is mandatory?” Elderain’s father asked. He seemed uninterested. Elderain wanted to go. What if he won? Elderain didn’t even consider for a moment that he hadn’t shot an arrow before in his life. Was it even possible for him to win?
            “Where is the competition at?” Elderain asked.
            “Thektow towers courtyard,” Hortanis replied, “There is no time for talk. We must go at once.” Elderain’s smile grew.  He would see Thektow Tower, up close.
            Elderain and his father quickly went to the stable behind their house and got a horse for each of them. They followed Hortanis and the two knights to Thektow Tower. They stopped several times to tell other Bacnalticans the news. Hours went by, and the group of horses heading to Thektow Tower grew bigger. Elderain was excited to go to the world wonder of Gabonland. Elderain was also very excited to be riding in such a big group of horses.
“It is like a battle,” Elderain said, “like in the old tales where they all charge towards the enemy.” Elderain’s father had often said he did not like Elderain to think of battles. Battles were ugly things.
            He had often looked at the extremely tall tower in his free time. This is going to be a breeze, Elderain thought.
Elderain was in the castle courtyard. By the time they had reached Thektow it was late at night. He got to sleep inside Thektow Tower. Many Bacnalticans shared a room. He was glad to have his father there with him. He wouldn’t have felt comfortable all by himself around those strangers.
The next morning, at about noon, there were targets of straw with red paint set up. A large crowd was now assembled awaiting the competition. Elderain had never been more excited in his life. Everybody was given an ivory bow. Ivory; Elderain had never touched ivory. He longed to have a bow like that for himself. They were also given a quiver with three arrows inside. The feathers were purple and the point was sharp lead.
Soldiers came among them with swords to help organize the lines. Nobody dared to resist them. Soon everybody was in nearly equal lines in front of a target. Elderain found himself forced to a place at about the middle of the line. “IN THIS COMPETITION YOU WILL HAVE THREE TRIES TO HIT A TARGET,” Hortanis explained into his megaphone. “YOUR SCORE CAN RANGE FROM 0 TO 300 POINTS. THE ONE WITH THE MOST POINTS MUST GO SEE KING CONDRONSON IMMEDIATELY.”
Elderain was very excited. If he somehow got the highest score he would get to meet the king of all Bacnaltica. He had a major problem that decreased his chance of victory; he had absolutely no experience with a bow and arrow. The competition began. Elderain watched as the line slowly moved.
“Wow,” Hortanis exclaimed into his megaphone, “We have a score of 290 at target two. What amazing archery.” Elderain was freaking out. He saw that everybody else was too. How could an inexperienced 14-year-old boy beat a score like that? It was impossible.
Soon Elderain found himself at the front of the line. He clumsily put the arrow on the string. He tried to aim as carefully as he could, but he was too shaky. Elderain accidentally let go of the arrow. To his amazement the arrow struck the very middle of the painted bale of straw being used as a target.
“Amazing,” Hortanis said into his megaphone. Elderain saw that Hortanis was talking about him. “A younger looking boy shot a hundred-pointer!”
Elderain took a deep breath and took an arrow and placed it on the string. He was somewhat calmer now. “You just got lucky kid,” a man holding an empty quiver and an ivory bow said. He had a big beard and his eyes were fixed on Elderain making him very uncomfortable.
 Elderain, took a deep breath, and let go of the arrow.  TWANG! The arrow flew across the courtyard and struck another bull’s-eye.
Elderain could certainly feel the pressure now. Everybody was watching him. He put the last arrow in his quiver on the bow. He felt his heart beating like a mallet. What if I have a heart attack, Elderain thought? With his heart thumping, he let go of the arrow.  TWANG. The arrow, to Elderain’s delight, struck a third bull’s- eye.
“STUPENDOUS!,” Hortanis screamed. Hortanis was leaping up and down. “THIS IS BY FAR THE YOUNGEST WINNER OF THE GABONESE COMPEITITIONS!”
Elderain was extremely amazed. Did he just have good hand eye coordination or something like that? He was going to see King Condronson of Bacnaltica, Lord of Thektow Tower, and on top of that, he had won an arrow shoot with absolutely zero experience.
Sarnam was sitting with Candilite and Dorldan at the dinner table. Dorldan was a fine cook. That was for certain. The Elticians had traded with Bacnaltica recently. Their trade was 5 tons of entil for 10 years’ worth of food. Dorldan had brought his share of the beef, pork, poultry, spices, fruits, and vegetables. Sarnam enjoyed Dorldans food very much. Sarnam was almost like any other Eltician. He was in the military. He rarely drank water. He enjoyed rootbeer. He had electricity in his blood. Elticans were electric and turquoise skinned people. A single touch from them would electrocute a human and be their death. The Elticians were a powerful people. They could easily overthrow Gabonland. But they were all peacable. All but Sarnam, whos parents were murdered by the Malician tyrants who tried to steal the valubal metal, Entil, which made up the entire landscape of Eltica. He promised he would never forgive.
The army was doing well. All of the resources were plentiful. The meal Dorldan had prepared was delicious. It was a bean stew. Suddenly after the meal was over and Candilite started washing up, a crier could be heard outside yelling, “ALL MALE ELTICIANS, PLEASE REPORT TO THE MARKET FOR THE COMPETITIONS MADE FOR THE KING OF BACNALTICA! ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY! I REPEAT ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY!”
Sarnam, Candilite, and Dorldan sighed. “First,” Candilite began, “we wake up at 6:00 am and do exercises and drills until 4:00pm, and now we are expected to participate in competitions made for a king of a different country?”
Sarnam knew that Candilite was one of those Elticians who absolutely loved to complain.  “Well, orders are orders, so we have to get going,” Sarnam calmly answered. He didn’t like to go either. He hadn’t even finished his first bowl of Dorldan’s soup. But having a competition does sound fun, Sarnam thought.
Candilite reluctantly got up from his seat at the table and walked toward the door. Dorldan didn’t have any reluctance and left the cabin before Sarnam and Candilite did. After walking through The Eltician City for a small time, they reached the marketplace where Dorldan had bought the ingredients for the meal they just ate. All the stalls where things were sold were now moved out of the way. On a wooden platform that had been set up, was a man. Many Elticians surrounded the platform. The man wore a blue shirt with no cape. He had scarlet pants and snowy white boots. On his blue shirt was the Bacnaltican emblem. The picture represented Thektow Tower. The man of course was Hortanis.
Sarnam laughed. He thought it was silly that King Condronson had a name with seven words. Short and simple is better, Sarnam thought.
Sarnam looked to the left of Hortanis and saw the machine. It was a gigantic polished metal circle set on a peg. The circle looked large enough to hold thousands of people. There were many Elticians who were going to compete by riding on a slippery metal circle. That would make this competition incredibly odd. 
What kind of competition was this?
Elticians started to climb on to the slippery surface. Sarnam joined them, while Hortanis began to explain the competition. “THIS MACHINE WILL SPIN WHILE YOU ARE ON IT. THIS COMPETITION IS BASED ON BALANCE, SO YOU HAVE PROBABLY GUESSED THAT THE LAST ONE STANDING ON THIS MACHINE WILL BE THE WINNER THAT WILL GO TO THEKTOW TOWER.” Hortanis explained into his megaphone. Hortanis walked over to a large lever with a turquoise handle. He pulled it, and the slippery circle began to rotate with all the Elticians on top of it.
Sarnam felt perfectly fine as the circle began to turn. A few Elticians didn’t seem as immune to motion sickness and began to throw up and fall. They were out of the game. Sarnam was confident in his balance.
“FASTER!” Hortanis yelled into his megaphone. He pulled the lever with the turquoise handle down a little farther.
The circle with all the Elticians began to rotate faster. Sarnam felt the difference. He began to run in place to keep from being thrown off the spinning circle. The bumps began to be a nuisance. He had to avoid them in order to not trip. Many Elticians had fallen or slid off the circle.
“FASTER!” Hortanis bawled into his megaphone. He pulled the lever down even farther.
The circle got even faster. The shiny surface of the circle was covered with regurgitated food that the Elticians had recently eaten. Sarnam had to avoid slipping in the Elticians barf and tripping over the bumps. Sarnam almost wanted to throw up himself because of how disgusted he was. Luckily, Sarnam had a strong stomach. The balance competition had turned into a shoving match.
“Are you crazy?” Sarnam shouted at another Eltician who was trying to shove him down. Sarnam managed to avoid him until the other Eltician fell and slid off. He saw Candilite somewhere else on the circle fall off.
“FASTER!” Hortanis roared yet again. The lever was pulled as far as it could go.
Sarnam managed to grab onto the peg in the middle of the circle. Dorldan went flying off of the rotating contraption into a watermelon stall. Sarnam felt like somebody was pulling on his feet, but nobody was there. The circle the Elticians were riding moved so fast that all the Elticians besides Sarnam flew off. He held onto the peg for dear life. If Sarnam let go, he would fly off. Suddenly the circle came to a full stop. He let go of the peg and saw that he was the only Eltician standing.
“WE HAVE A WINNER!” Hortanis cried out. Sarnam had won. He couldn’t believe it. He felt dizzy as he climbed off. Hortanis walked off the platform towards him. He wished his family could have seen him now.

Coming February 24th