A Scribes TaleSometimes I wonder how I get myself into these situations. The last time I was almost sure my lifeless body would be lying on a burning pedestal, with the few friends I have staring on in sadness. I can stop wondering though I asked to be here.

Its quiet right now, only the sound of the wolves in the distance and the chuckling laughter coming from the group as they drink themselves into numbness by the fire before they turn in for the night. I hope they plan to end soon we are to wake early so that we may gain entry to the Keep by dawn.They are an odd sort of adventurers. Their self appointed leader, Pheneis, is a legend in his own time. He is also the only reason I agreed to accompany this party as their scribe.

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He is an amazing, yet arrogant, fighter. I have heard many songs written by bards in his honor. I feel that I will be safer on this adventure than in the past, mainly because he agreed to help protect me (which he only agreed to if I give him due credit in my writings). There are five other members in this party.

Each of them brings their own special flair. One is named Leon, a short, stocky little dwarf. Very handy with a battleaxe, but calling him rude would be an understatement.The second member is Galidar, a remarkable archer. He is a half-elf (his father was a human that fell in love with a beautiful elf from High Elm), and nobody seems to like him much, but they seem to respect his ability a great deal. Thirdly we have Maewyn; beautiful in her own rights, but I would never make her mad if I wanted to remain in this life. She is a talented mage with a short temper.

Before leaving the town of Dandale I saw her turn an elf the deepest shade of purple simply because he made fun of her for doing tricks to entertain some of the town children. He felt this was a waste of her talents. Since dark elves are not allowed within the city, she felt the reactions that he received after her little color trick was plenty of entertainment for the children for about an hour until she finally dispelled her magic upon him. Now, none of these three are much heard of, but the forth is another story.He goes by the name of Argon, but I believe that he may be an accomplished assassin and thief known by the name of Dalamar. He fits the description perfectly, and seems to have his trademark fighting style. I wont be mentioning this in by writings for fear of my own life.

From what I know, he only performs assassinations of those that he feels deserves it, and only for a handsome purse, but I dont want to take any chances.The fifth member would be I. My name is Mircar. I can fight, but dont consider myself a fighter.

Im not that accomplished. I love to write about my adventures though. I have enjoyed following and fighting with different parties for more years than I care to say, and I regret this may be my last. I have been given other opportunities at the Lords manor in Dandale, but wanted to follow along on this last trip to set my mind at ease.

You see, I have not convinced myself if I want to stay idle for my few remaining years.The party has finally turned in for the evening, and I have agreed to take first watch. We each take our turns throughout the night, ensuring the fire stays lit and no hungry creatures or resentful people approach trying to put an end to our campaign. We are less than a mile away from the Keep and our reasons for being here might have reached our intended targets.We signed up for this campaign to put an end to the havoc that has been brought upon the townsfolk of Dandale.

There is a mage that goes by the name of Zarel. He has sent his goblin followers to the town twice a week for ninety days now, raiding the food supply, which is now sadly inadequate. He began doing this after he was banished for threatening the life of Lord Xanmar. Few people know what he looks like because he always keeps his face down and hidden behind the hood of his cloak. We only know that he is young in appearance, but not to be underestimated in his abilities as a sorcerer. Almost dawn now and I have just waked so I check my personal belongings before I begin to prepare for the short walk ahead. It would be unwise to go into battle without my essentials.

I also do not know everyone here very well, and do not trust them to stay out of my writings and pockets while I sleep. I dont carry much coin on me, but a thief is a thief and I doubt they care if I am poor or not.As we approach the Keep, we can hear movement but see no one (or thing) around. The Keep is crumbling from inadequate use over the years. I remember the tale of it being destroyed by a red dragon after its Lord slayed its mother while on a quest to retrieve a special gem that was swallowed when she ate the person that was wearing it. We creep around to what looks to be the main entrance. What used to be a heavy wooden gate is now blackened stumps and ash.

Quiet, Pheneis says, goblins might not be the smartest creatures, but they arent deaf. Silently we walk, staying close to the rock walls when possible; we begin working our way through a maze of ruins. I observe Galidar slowly reaching into his quiver to retrieve an arrow, and without warning, I can hear the sound of wind being cut by a knife as his arrow flies threw the air and stopping only as it enters the chest of a goblin. Run! He yells. Trying not to be separated, we sprint threw the ruins as if we had done it a hundred times. Therere everywhere, shouted Leon.

Argon screams for Leon to try and keep up. Maewyn, who prefers to stay towards the back (as most mages do), wields her magic to create a spider-web as big as the passageway behind us. It will take them half of an hour to burn threw that web, and even longer if they try to cut it she says. Maewyn, can you light this place up for us? I ask. No sooner than the words came out of my mouth, a magnificent glow surrounded us.

Over there, Argon began uneasily, if we go down those stairs Maewyn can seal the entrance so that the goblins outdoors wont be able to get threw. Pheneis worriedly replies How do you know that Zarel will be down here? In an instant Maewyn’s soft voice replies, The upper portion of the Keep is open to the elements. I doubt that a mage of his caliber would have his scrolls and potions exposed to the weather. I would have my books and components down here if I were him.As we descend the damp, musty steps, we can hear the crackling of a fire and see a glow coming from a hall on the left.

Quietly Pheneis peers around the corner and motions for us to continue. As we enter the hall, there is a room in the back to the right. The heat from the fire has warmed the hall and the dampness we felt before has gone. There are no other sounds besides that of the fire and an uneasy feeling has swept over us all.Galidar, who is lighter on his feet than the rest of us, takes lead and slowly peaks into the fire lit room.

After a moment he turns to us, I see only one man, but no goblins. This might be easier than we thought. Leon chuckles at this notion, Its never this easy! Pheneis, with sword drawn, rushes into the room.

The familiar sound of metal hitting metal comes echoing from the room. As the rest of us enter, we are shocked to see Pheneis in a sword battle with a floating sword. At the corner of the room is a seemingly very young man. Zarel slyly speaks Your coming here was no surprise to me.

Behind us, the door slams shut which sends a chill up my spine. Immediately Galidar and Leon rush to help relive Pheneis from his ghostly battle while Argon and I run to attack Zarel. Within seconds, I can feel my body being lifted off the ground along with Argon.

Mircar, Argon! Maewyn yells. Ill get you down! As she begins muttering her incoherent gibberish that she uses to cast her spell, a silence falls over the room. Complete silence, as if all sound was sucked away by some unseen force. In the corner of the room, Zarel simply smiles. Galidar, Leon and Pheneis continue to battle with the floating sword when it suddenly disappears. They try to yell as they are also lifted off their feet and carried to the ceiling, but no sound exits their mouths.

As Zarel smiles, I notice a wink from Maewyns eye towards Zarel. Without warning, sound re-enters the room just as Argon screams Traitor! Do you think I can do all this on my own? asks Zarel Why do you think she insisted you come down here? As we floated above the ground, I knew that if they became distracted they would not be able to continue the spells that held us up here. Then, as if by fate, through the door busted twenty goblins. Immediately we fell to the ground.Pheneis began his amazing swordsmanship skills upon the goblins followed by Leon and myself.

I told you they werent very intelligent. Pheneis said with a laugh as he wielded his sword over his head. At this time, a ball of fire the size of a horses hoof came flying towards me. Regrettably, I moved out of the way in time. Leon didnt have time to even see what it was that hit him in the back of the head.

Galidar, already with arrow in hand and aimed at Zarel, turned his bow towards Maewyn. Nobody betrays their party! he screamed. Before she had time to utter another fireball spell she felt the arrow pierce her stomach. Zarel instantaneously turned and ran through a small passageway beside the fireplace.

He knew that alone he would never be able to survive this battle.Within minutes, the room was filled the last groans of the twenty goblins that now lay on the floor along with Leon and the traitor Maewyn. As Pheneis, Galidar, and myself looked around in sadness, Pheneis spoke, Wheres Argon?Suddenly, we knew. We could hear the sounds of fighting coming from the passageway.

We all ran at once to help our friend, for we had already lost one in battle. When we reached Argon, we feared the worst. He sat at the edge of a hall, bleeding from his shoulder where a dagger was still inserted. Where is he? I asked. Around the corner. He spoke softly just before he fainted.

Pheneis quietly walked around the corner; sure to find Zarel in good form so that he could be the one to call hero. Zarel lay there motionless. As Pheneis approached him, he breathed his final breath.Argon awoke to find himself healed by a local cleric, but behind bars for being a wanted assassin by the name of Dalamar. Pheneis and Galidar were equally praised for being heroes, which causes Pheneis some uneasiness, but gives Galidar something to laugh about while they are at the inn drinking themselves into another stupor. Me, I turned down the notion of working at the Lords manner.

I felt my skills are in better use when I am with friends.

x

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