Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with another instalment of the thrilling story from Lendrick, entitled
Rise of the Ravagers, chapter 4.
Music by Smartsound
Two days later….
City Outskirts of Brittany.
The rain finally let up as Glyndrel and Alexyius made their way south, towards Brittany and hopefully able to finally catch up with Slyphania.
There were many times where Glyndrel had to catch himself and think twice about what he was doing and did he really feel the feelings he thought he felt? Shaking his head forlornly to himself, it was thinking like that which would muddle the mind and cause him to doubt himself. Focus on what’s at hand, and what’s at stake. Slyphania’s family are worried sick, and it’s up to Glyndrel to not only catch up with her, but see if he can make her see sense through the charms and manipulations of this so called wizard.
Slyphania wouldn’t even know he was following her, and had she, would she have attempted to stop him? To somehow lay some trap to thwart his progress? Destiny has a funny time with situations such as these, what, for example, had he not ever met her that fateful day? He would have been none the wiser and certainly wouldn’t be far from home now, moving into Human territory to a city that he had never visited and could be deadly and hostile, all on the off chance that what? She will run into his arms and declare her undying love and gratitude for him following her? More likely she will despise and hate him even more, and that wizard might even turn him into a frog!
Still, a frog wouldn’t have this…”No!” he must stop being so negative, focus on the goal at hand!
Glyndrel must have been shaking his head or muttering more than he thought as it drew Alexyius’ attention who gave him an incredulous look.
“Everything alright Glyn?”
“Yeah, well, no, well, I don’t know. Maybe you’re right in some respects, what am I doing? Out here? Dragged you away from home and for what? I sometime second-guess my intentions and motivations and wonder what I actually hope to accomplish if I catch up to her!?”
“Well, we going to know soon enough” Alexis indicated with his head and Glyndrel looked up. The town gates were a sight to behold, with a large line of traffic flowing in and out.
“It’s massive…” Glyndrel breathed in awe, “I’ve never seen anything so big, and how did they construct this?’ The Castle looming in the distance.
“Must be magic” Alexyius replied off-handedly and didn’t seem to be as impressed as Glyndrel.
“With these many people, surely they won’t mind a couple more elves, no?” Glyndrel stated hopefully.
“I would expect not, we don’t present as bandits or thieves, will just have to play it by our pointy ear”.
The moved steadily towards the gate, flowing into the line of slow moving traffic, and eventually, inexorably, they approached the gates and their perspective changed, zooming into the guard booths flanking the gates and a pair of what must be city watch guards checking everyone as they passed through”
“What be yer business in Brittany then lads?” The guard stated and brought Glyndrel out of his daze of being overwhelmed to realise he was being addressed.
‘Uh, we are looking for a friend who we believe came this way a few days prior” Replied Glyndrel, thinking that the truth was always the best.
“Well, ok, but you will have to check your weapons” The guard replied and indicated to their bows and daggers on their belts’.
Glyndrel was loath to give up his ability to defend himself, and if needed hunt for food, but also didn’t want to cause any trouble and expected they should have them returned to them upon their departure.
Glyndrel gave Alexyius a nod to indicate to give up the weapons and unshouldered his bow, pulling out the dagger from his belt and handing it to the guard hilt first.
The guards placed a number on each and then gave the two a corresponding scrap of parchment with the same number on it.
“For when ye leave, don’t lose that or you won’t be getting these back, on your way then”.
They kept moving, not wanting to hold up the line for the others.
Upon entering the city, the sights and sounds and smells to Glyndrel were assaulting his senses from all sides. Glyndrel started to feel claustrophobic from the intense hustle and bustle. The Street they were in was called “Kings Walk”, and it curved away into the distance, lined by shops and filled with people of all shapes and sizes. There must have been thousands of people to a one, and Glyndrel was starting to wish for his green forests and diamond falls. It was very overwhelming, looking to Alexius for support, he seemed to be taking it all in his stride, which Glyndrel found little comfort in.
“Been here before, have we?” Glyndrel had to almost shout to be heard.
“Yeah, my uncle used to bring me here when I was little to do trading, been used to it ever since” replied Alexyius.
“So what do we do now? Where do we go?” Yelled Glyndrel.
“First thing is to find ourselves an inn, so we can get rid of these packs and have something to eat, follow me and I will lead you to a nice establishment my Uncle used to visit. It’s called the “Dusty Cutlass Inn”, and although somewhat rowdy sometimes, they got some pirates now and then, the food is delicious and the beds soft”. Said Alexyius.
Glyndrel merely nodded and followed his friend.
As they walked, having to push their way through the crowd, it was all Glyndrel could do to keep his friend in sight, and after traversing numerous side streets, Alexyius indicated to Glyndrel and pointed, off in the distance, was a two story building and out the front a sign that read “The Dusty Cutlass” with a cutlass hanging underneath.
Approaching the inn, a Glyndrel noticed a young Human boy, no more than maybe seven or eight, quickly walk up behind one woman and quickly cut the purse strings that held a pouch around her waist. With a frightened yelp and scream, the young boy disappeared into the crowd and was gone. Glyndrel’s eyes flared and yelled out, just about to run after him when Alexyius grabbed an arm.
“Don’t bother, he will be long gone now and that purse palmed off to numerous others, you will never find it or recover her money”. Alexyius was matter of fact about it and seemed resigned. Glyndrel still fumed about the injustice of it all.
“City life I guess, my friend” Alexyius added attempting to allay Glyndrels temper. “Come on, let’s get inside before we are next”.
Alexyius let go of Glyndrel’s arm and entered the inn, Glyndrel still feeling outraged.
The Dusty Cutlass was a modest looking establishment on the inside, and got its namesake from the Cutlass relic mounted above the bar which was never cleaned and thereby covered in grime, soot, and of course, dust.
The innkeeper was a portly fellow with rosy cheeks and beard. Recognition in his eyes upon seeing Alexyius, got a hearty handshake.
“Aly me lad! Haven’t seen you in years! Look at ye now! How’s your Uncle?”
“Passed away I’m afraid my good, urh, Trent wasn’t it? Yeah, he had a nasty run in with a pack of Kobolds” Alexyius lamented, a sorrowful look passing over his face.
“Kobolds? Really? That’s not how I pictured him going out!” What can I get for you and your friend?”
“Uh, we need a room, two separate beds, and two ales, we’ve travelled a long way” asked Alexyius.
“Aye, I have a room that would suit, and the ales are on me, as a parting gift for your Uncle”.
“Thank ye, we really appreciate it” Alexyius replied.
“Yeah, uh, thankyou, very kind of you”, Glyndrel stammered, still overwhelmed by the city and now from some child stealing to a generous innkeeper, Glyndrel just wanted to curl up and sleep.
“Find a seat, I will bring out your Ale, and Grace here will see to your things and make up the room for you”.
‘Thankyou again, you have always been most generous with my family, Trent.” Alexyius shook his hand again.
The two sat down and looked about while waiting for their drinks. The inn was busy, as it was around midday and everyone was having their midday meal. The ale was brought out in short order and while bitter, was cool and refreshing. Glyndrel almost downed his in a single gulp.
“Woah, easy there, I don’t want to have to carry you upstairs!” Alexyius exclaimed.
Glyndrel returned him with a watery look and loud belch.
“That was good, for s-sure” Glyndrel slurred.
“Don’t drink much, do you? No more for you then!” Alexyius drank, but not nearly so fast.
“After this, let’s get some rest before evening, and then we can ask around about Slyphania”.
Glyndrel yawned and laid his head down on the table “Good idea, I’m sick of travelling”.
When Alexyius finished his ale, the two slowly ascended to their room, which was discovered to be neat and clean, fresh sheets, a bath with hot rocks and steaming water, with clean towels and their belongings neatly stacked in a corner.
Glyndrel made a bee-line to the first bed, and without undressing, collapsed on top of it.
He was asleep before his head even touched the pillow.
TO BE CONTINUED