After stumbling upon the sword, the shield, and the crystal in an old forgotten cave, Pharroll Wanderlust discovers that by possessing the weapons and the crystal it had made him the rightful heir to the Arvandal throne. The weapons had been hidden for 500 years from the watchful eyes of the wizards and with their return and unspeakable horror has risen from the depths. Pharroll soon discovers that shadows lurk in every corner waiting for the opportunity to destroy him and that he must become one with the weapons or mankind is doomed.
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Pharroll looked north towards the looming mountains. They stood like tall looming statutes. He had traveled for two days since Ashur the border guard, brother to King Korodon of the elven Kingdom of Lovendale had brought him to the border of Ormand and left him there to continue on with his long journey. He reached into his pack that the Elvin King had readied for him. He pulled out a long green root and began to chew on it. The elven people had a really good taste for spiced root and since Pharroll had tasted one he'd become hooked and requested that the king include some into his travel pack. King Korodan humorously complied.
He sat his back against a tall Maple tree and drank from his flask. It had been a long hot day of walking and his muscles ached. He'd encountered a few humans for he'd found a dirt road that led to the far town of Comstor that sat in between the protective peeks of the triangle mountains. The two towns traded and bartered goods, so the well-worn dirt road was cleared for the two. Since striver also had a seaport, goods could be shipped by sea much faster. Only the merchants were allowed to board the ships. This was strictly enforced by the striver counsel, so Pharroll had learned. He traveled next to the road by cover of the trees for he'd been told of the many bandits and robbers that preyed on the supply wagons. No supply wagon went without an armed escort to either town. Pharroll had been within forty feet of two such caravans and took great care to avoid them. He knew his sword, crystal and shield would come at a great price if thieves happened upon him.
Pharroll grudgingly clamored to his feet. The sun was still high up in the sky and he knew if he'd hurry, he'd probably reach the town of Striver a little after nightfall. He was desperately tired of walking. He had intentions of buying a good horse with the silver that king Korodan had given him. That was another reason why he avoided the roads. The thieves would certainly try and rob him for the gold that he had. He stretched and quickly withdrew his hands as a shrill cry erupted from somewhere in the forest. He turned quickly the cry came from behind him. He paled at the sound, it sounded like the cry of a griffin, that beautiful beast whom the elven border guard Ashur had brought him to the border with. He turned instinctively and headed in the direction he heard the cry.
Pharroll had walked through the forest for twenty minutes in the direction that he had come. He felt compelled by the urging of the crystal. He could feel its eager pulse when he went a certain direction and if he took a wrong turn or misstep the crystals pulse would weaken. He had learned that when he came upon the road to striver. He would have never have found it had it not been for the incessant pulse of the crystal. It certainly had directed him to the road and now it was leading him in the direction of that cry he heard, a bone-chilling cry.
Pharroll stopped. His heart pounded in his chest. There it was as he had guessed. A large griffin lay in the clearing, its wings clipped and its talons blood stained. Feathers lay sprawled all about the forest floor. Its long tongue snaked from its 'mouth. Pharroll walked into the tiny clearance and knelt down beside the large animal. It was dead, so he knew the healing power of the crystal couldn't save it. He looked around the area and could tell that there had been a struggle, but who could've had such a beast in Ormand. Pharroll looked at the rope around the beast's maw and it confirmed his guess. The rope was elven. Ashur had showed him the difference between man made ropes and elven made. The coils to a mans rope were twisted, plaited together. However, elven rope was straight ended and sealed together with magic, which made it stronger and more durable. Pharroll looked around and saw a booted foot jutting from the grass. He quickly scrambled over to the spot and saw a long polished elven arrow jutting from the back of a dirty faced bearded man.
Pharroll knew beyond all doubt that whoever had ridden in on the griffin had got this one. He turned to a slight movement of the bush. He looked closely pulling his sword from its sheath now belted at his side. He saw another movement to his left quick and sudden. A little red hat popped up from the brush. Pharroll held out his sword pointing in the direction. "Who are you? What do you want?" The little hat disappeared in the brush as it moved. "Will you continue to allow the meat to spoil?" Came a sharp cracking voice. Pharroll squinted, his stomach turning at the question. Who could eat such a beautiful beast? "Show yourself." Said Pharroll.
He heard numerous little whispers all around him. He saw the bush shake and out popped the ugliest little creature that Pharroll had ever seen. It stepped from behind the Ferns no taller than a foot and a half and adjusted its tiny little sword belt. It was almost naked except for the fur that lined its waste and draped over his back like a vest and what was easily rabbit's fur around his neck. He had a greenish blue color of skin. Its ears were long, the creature could move them up or down or flatten them against his neck. It had no eyebrows or eye lashes just two large green eyes like that of a snake and it blinked slowly. Two large teeth jutted from its lower jaw. It had a necklace of animal teeth and bones. It stared at Pharroll its head moving side to side.
Pharroll had guessed that this was probably the famed little people so many tales were made of. They were dirty little tricksters and were fabled to have driven entire towns mad with there conniving little ways. They were called thieves and would pillage a town if deserted or left after a battle.
The little creature looked at the dead griffin then back to Pharroll. "Will you continue to allow the meat to spoil? The little thing said licking its dry lips and rubbing its calloused little hands together in anticipation. Pharroll looked at the little creature in disgust. "I would never allow you to put your filthy little paws on such a beautiful creature." He said pointing the sword at it. The little creature took a step back.
"Human you shouldn't be so quick to judge the little people for in three days time such a beautiful creature will be eaten of maggots and flies. Worms and snakes shall come and infest this glorious creature of the earth. Whether you permit the meat to spoil or not. Already the ants have gathered to feast." He said pointing with a tiny gnarled finger. "The cycle of life shall continue as this creatures death shall nourish the soil and bring much abundant life back to the earth. We shall take great care to ensure this for even the littlest of the imps cannot feed itself we must hunt and gather." The little creature said as Pharroll noted the body of the robber was now shoe-less. Pharroll shook his head.
"Okay only on one condition." "Yes, what is it?" The imp said licking his lips and staring at the dead griffin. "Lead me to where they have taken the rider." The imp smiled and rattled off a bunch of clicks and grunts. Ten of the little knife toting creatures came from their hiding places in the bushes Pharroll noted they all looked the same except for their ragged clothing.
A small yellowish one, stepped forward. "This way, I know." He said his brown teeth showing behind his wicked smile. He began to walk through the woods. "Come hurry, before they get away." It said motioning for Pharroll to follow. Pharroll reluctantly started following the little imp as the others moved in with their rusted knives upon the dead griffin. He walked faster as they started arguing over which parts were the best parts for eating and who would get them.