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.
ROBBERS AND UNEXPECTED FRIENDS
Coming March 1st