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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Chapter 1: A Band of Rogues

Hey guys! You may have read one of my posts before about my attempting to write a book. Well, I've gotten the first two chapters written up (I'm still working on the third), so I figured I'd post 'em. Here's the first chapter. Let me know if you see any spelling mistakes or anything. And let me know what you think please! Here it is:

Chapter 1: A Band Of Rogues

Creeping stealthily through the Eisalthor Forest, the rogue and his band of thirty men, four of which were just recently recruited, drew nearer and nearer to their destination with every step.

They all wore the same dress: loose black breeches, black long sleeved shirts, dark leather gloves, black steel-toed boots, and had it not been so hot and humid that night, they would have been seen with pitch black cloaks around their shoulders, hoods pulled low. The only one who dressed in a slightly different fashion was their leader; Eivarlost was his name. The only real difference in his clothing was that he had a tinge of dark, blood red along the rims of his shirt and pants which signified his rank as captain.

Besides all of these, the warriors wore on their belts (or on their backs) their weapons of choice, some bearing long swords, short swords, scimitars, axes, maces, bows and arrows, katanas, etc. Many of them were also armed with throwing knives and daggers hidden away in their clothing, preferably their boots. Throwing stars and flick knives were not rare among these rogues.

Eivarlost carried two long swords latched onto his belt at both sides, their hilts adorned in a blend of black and dark navy blue. He had dubbed the sword on the left "Life" and the other "Death" because, when in battle, as one sword shot out to deflect an enemy's blow, the other would launch itself forward to slay that enemy.

Teinas, Eivarlost's right hand man and best friend since the age of seven, wore at his sides two razor sharp katanas, perfectly crafted with intricate designs lining the blades. The hilts were black as coal with blood red markings climbing up to the blades, which Teinas claimed was his name spelled out in some foreign language.

The two friends walked together side by side. The other warriors were only a short distance behind.

"I wonder if there are any stars out tonight," said Teinas trying to make conversation with the overly quiet Eivarlost. Eivarlost, lost in his own thoughts, did not hear. Teinas repeated himself, louder this time. Eivarlost shook himself from his thoughts.

"Perhaps," he said after a moment," but these trees are so thick with branches that you can hardly hope to catch even a glimpse of the sky."

"Shall we climb then," Teinas offered after a moment.

"And scare the men on the way down," asked Eivarlost with a wink.

Before Teinas could even answer, Eivarlost was up a tree and out of sight.

Eivarlost nimbly bounded from bough to bough, quickly ascending the tall oak tree. He finally halted at forty feet and rested himself amongst the leafy branches.

Slipping out a curved dagger from one of his worn out old boots, he proceeded in chopping off the many branches blocking his view. Streams of light began peeking through with every stroke of the blade. Eivarlost couldn't help but smile as he gazed upon the starlit sky. And the moon! It was a beautiful night. The only thing that could have made it better was if it weren't so hot and humid.

Sweat trickled down Eivarlost's dirty, unshaved face. How long had it been since he'd been out here. Three? Four years? Traveling around, raising villages to the ground. It was a difficult life and each of Eivarlost's kills weighed him down with more and more guilt. He had been told that it was for the good of his people, the people of Nersins Realm, but he still felt there was something wrong with it. Did he really have the right to take the life of another? And what did these people do that was so wrong? He had questioned his father on the matter, but had gotten no other explanation besides that the people were terrorists and continually harassed them about their lifestyle.

Eivarlost wasn't sure that was all bad, though. He was sickened by the many wicked things his people did. At least, they seemed to be wicked to him.... His father told him there was no such thing as, well, what the 'terrorists' called sin or wickedness, that the world was created from some spectacular boom and millions of years of evolving. Something told him that wasn't right, though. It didn't seem to be....possible. There had to be something more, but what? What was there? If this was all there was, then what is there really to live for? Did he have no purpose in this world at all? So many questions....

There was one thing that gave Eivarlost hope, and that was the moon and stars. Hope that even in the darkness, there is still light. But where was that light? He desperately wanted to find it. To find truth, real truth, if it was out there.

A voice from behind interrupted his contemplations. "The stars are beautiful tonight," Teinas remarked as he seated himself on a bough close to Eivarlost. Eivarlost nodded in agreement, his deep blue eyes, such a deep blue were those eyes, glowing in the moon light.

There was silence for a few minutes before Teinas broke out with, "Say, Eivarlost, you weren't, by any chance, kicking branches down at me?" Try as he might, Eivarlost could not conceal his smile.

After a few seconds of trying to remain serious, both men burst out laughing. They nearly toppled out of the tree, they were laughing so hard.

"Ah, Eivarlost," Teinas said after their laughing had died off, "Remember old times? Sneaking out at night? Scaring Emily Wraivers to death as she was passing the graveyard on her way home late after she sang at the competition?"

"Hmm, yeah, those were the good old days. Emily Wraivers....She did have a beautiful singing voice, didn't she Teinas? Oh, and her golden locks and light blue eyes were ever so gorgeous," Eivarlost teased.

"Ahh, shut your trap," retorted Teinas with a glare. Although he'd never admit it, Teinas still had a crush on Emily. "Besides," continued Teinas, "We'd best get moving if we're ever going to catch up with the band."

Eivarlost leapt up at this sudden remembrance and began a quick descent, Teinas at his heels (or more accurately, at his shoulders).

Quietly slipping down the rough oak tree, Eivarlost made his descent ahead of Teinas by about ten feet. This time, however, Eivarlost wasn't so lucky about being the quickest one down. Small branches, wood chips, and dirt showered down on him from above.

"Augh," Eivarlost cried, "Teinas!" But Teinas only laughed.

"Payback," he called from above then continued in his laughing, as Eivarlost, once again, made for the ground.

When Teinas was only ten feet from the ground, he took hold of a heavy bough below him and swung himself down, landing in a crouch beside Eivarlost who was also crouching.

"Would you mind grabbing our cloaks," Eivarlost asked Teinas, indicating the bushes. Teinas quickly retrieved the two cloaks and handed one to Eivarlost.

"Are they far," Teinas asked quietly.

Eivarlost shook his head and said, "No…no, I don't think so. Look there, " he pointed to a faint glow in the distance, "You can just make out the flames of a fire. My guess is they've stopped."

"Stopped," Teinas asked incredulously, "But why?"

"I don't know," Eivarlost replied, shaking his head as he silently made for the fire. Teinas followed, and in as little as two minutes, the young men were only three feet away from the camp behind some trees.

As they gazed upon the band from their hiding spots, Eivarlost and Teinas could see the men all gathered around a small fire, cooking some venison from some deer they had shot earlier in the day.

Eivarlost and Teinas caught only snatches of their conversation, "...far ahead of us...they'll come back when....missing," mumbled a voice.

"...canteen..Rum for me, Shalei," one man called to another.

Many of the men were drunk and could hardly stand. Some of them were shoving and yelling at each other over the canteens of beer and venison.

Eivarlost slammed his fist into the tree, "Those men have no discipline!"

Just then a fight broke out between two of the drunks. From the perspectives of Eivarlost and Teinas, they were fighting over a canteen of liquor.

"It's mine," broke out the shorter of the two, "t'is slobbling fiend is tryin' ta steal me can- can- canteen!"

"Yer'd have ta 'ave be'n a idjut not ta know t'at's mine," and with that the "slobbling fiend" drew out his flick knife and plunged at the first drunk who held the precious liquor.

The first man whipped out a dagger from his left boot and took a swipe at the other’s knife in an attempt to deflect it. The flick knife flew out of the second man's hand, bringing a smirk upon the shorter man's face. However, his luck would soon turn against him, for in the very next moment, he tripped over a boulder by his feet and landed on his stomach, the dagger plunged straight through his heart.

No one seemed to notice the dead man, nor did they care. They were having too much fun dancing by the fire and drinking to their hearts' content.

Eivarlost could hardly stand to watch, his face revealing his disgust.

Teinas remarked in a whisper to Eivarlost, "They're acting like a bunch of wild animals!"

"Beasts is more like it," replied Eivarlost distastefully. He added, "This is not a game anymore Teinas." His friend nodded in silent agreement.

A man sitting on a log not far from Eivarlost's hiding spot tore hungrily at his hunk of venison. In less than thirty seconds, the venison was gone, and the man greedily reached for more. With his mouth still full, the man said, "The only thing I'm wanting is some girls to spend the night with," and with that he laughed heartily.

That set Eivarlost off. The leader rushed in and slammed the flat of his blade against the surprised man's head, knocking him off the log he was sitting on and leaving him with a severe headache.


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