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Old 01-08-2023, 03:55 AM   #11
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Re: The Fantasy Trip inspired Fiction, The Tower

Interesting start, keep going! :-)
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Old 01-08-2023, 01:32 PM   #12
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip inspired Fiction, The Tower

So short, and I'm hooked already.
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"If you make it, players will break it"
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Old 01-17-2023, 07:53 PM   #13
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Location: Idaho Falls
Default Re: The Fantasy Trip inspired Fiction, The Tower

Chapter 1 part 7

Alan crossed the floor to the large door and using his right foot he lifted the latch out of its hole and then with his left hand he pulled the ring set in the door.

The door swung open again with a groaning sound and five people came rushing in out of the rain. The first three were huddled under a blanket held over their heads while the last two came in a little slower and were uncovered and seemed unconcerned with the rain.

“Thank you,” a woman in the group, one of the first three, said. She was traveling with two small people. They were eshians, Lisa knew, but Alan mistook them for children. Alan recognized the other two as Drasbians, one an elf and the other a young, female lizard-folk of the kind with a human like torso and arms with a long reptilian lower body ending in a blunt tail.

Lisa moved toward the woman and helped her shake the water off the blanket she had been holding over her head.

“Hello, and you’re welcome. I am Lisa Wainwright,” Lisa said, “and this is my traveling companion Alan Roberts. We also sought the protection of this tower from the storm. I’m sorry we bolted the door. We were just getting ready to build a fire and settle in for the night and thought it was a good idea.”

“Lisa Wainwright?” The woman asked as she folded the blanket over her arm.

“Yes, I am. Do you know the name?”

“Lisa Wainwright, of Callinwitch. The Aben Moor sorceress,” she said. “Of course, I know the name. We heard in the village you were in the area. Isn’t that right, Fairlyn?”

The Drasbian elf came forward. The elf was dressed in armor, leather reinforced with small iron rings. The armor covered their body from just below the neck to just above the knee and was patterned after a garment Lisa and Alan both knew as a Garmaleen, a type of man’s dress normally worn with high boots and thick socks. The arms were unprotected by the armor, and the elf carried a long pole wrapped in a heavy cloth in one hand. A quiver of arrows hung on a belt on the elf’s side and across its back was strapped a two-handed sword.

“That’s correct,” the elf said. “Princess Tewelden and I came across a merchant caravan to the east just over a week ago and they told us that you were traveling across the moors, alone?” There was a tone of suspicion in the elf’s words. “We are traveling to see the Duchess of Ilzonze and came to the village of Dulvor only two days ago. I agreed to let Lydia show us the way to this tower when I heard of the problems they were dealing with. It seemed we had different reasons for going to the Duchess, but each reason carries a great weight.”

“Why would Drasbians want to deal with the Duchess of Ilzonze, and the country of Vologna? We usually keep to ourselves,” Alan said moving to stand between the elf and Lisa.

The elf tensed and the lizard-folk girl moved behind the elf.

Lydia raised her arms and said to Alan, “Fairlyn is Maowar, of the highland elves who are bound to the treaty of ten kingdoms. Princess Tewelden is gymnagaopthian, or you can call her a gymnaga. They’re not to be addressed with vulgar slang. I am a citizen of Vologna and I welcome our friends from the northeast. Your kind may have adopted the name Drasbia for you council of elders and the country our kind took from them, but they were people of Ibalnd before there was a Drasbia, and you can call them the first people, or Ibalnders, but do not call them Drasbians.”

Alan bowed deeply and said, “My apologies.”

The lizard-folk girl slid out from behind the elf. She was a lovely young girl, not unusual for her kind. She had the body, head, arms, and hands of a small human girl, or eshian, but where her hips would begin there was a reptilian body that became a tail. She had straight, fine dark hair, worn long and lose and decorated with glass stones and wooden beads painted in bright colors. Her eyes were blue. She wore a long blue dress that was slit where her lower body began. She stood on her tail and came to about five feet in height. She wore bracelets and jewelry on her wrists, her fingers, ears, and dangling from silver rings on a narrow leather belt around her waist. A bright yellow jewel was fastened into a wrap of silver wires that coiled around her head and rested just above and between her large eyes.

“We accept your apology, sir. You are a north-man, a proper Drasbian, I suppose,” she said. “My name is Shirrellain Tewelden of the house of Lady Shirrellain Amuresse, Queen of the gymnagaopthian kingdom of Sur Wida on the Tides of Evenwater. Can we rest here with you?”

“Yes, yes please, Come in and rest,” Alan said moving back away from the elf and gesturing toward the fireplace. He bent and began picking up the firewood he had dropped.

“I am the Aben Moor sorceress,” Lisa said making a space for the rest of them to come well into the tower and then went to close the door continuing, “and I was traveling alone over a week ago. I met Alan on the road, and we found each other to be good company. He was on his way to Callinwitch and I said I would be returning there soon, but I have a few more villages to visit, Dulvor was next on my list. You are Lydia Commonhearth. The tower has told me you’ve met.”

“Lydia Manakee. I was Lydia Commonhearth but my husband was killed recently and now I go by the name my mother gave me when I was born. This is my daughter,” she pointed at one of the eshians, a frail young halfling woman of about thirty years in age with curly, light-brown hair, “Gwenna Sorran and her husband, my son-in-law, Cooper Sorran.”

The halflings smiled and each raised their left hand with the palm turned toward Lisa and the fingers spread apart. “Hi and hello, traveler,” they said in unison.

“Your daughter and her husband are eshians?” Lisa asked. “I don’t mean to offend you, but I hope you aren’t trying to pass these two off as your children. We have no reason to begin a relationship with misleading information, do we?”

Once again there was tension in the room. Alan had gathered all the firewood he had dropped and moved beside Lisa. The elf and the gymnaga moved in closer to Lydia.

Lydia gathered her children close under her arms and said, “Let me explain. If you are the Aben Moor sorceress, and I’m not sure I want to believe you, either, then you will want to know what we must tell you. There have been dark and evil things growing in the north, beyond the moor, and to the east, in the free lands of Ibalnd, and all of it is beyond simple folk like me. I came here only to get out of the rain. I think now I have no other thing to do but to ask for your help. We need your help.”

End of Chapter 1

Last edited by Terquem; 02-01-2023 at 06:57 PM. Reason: minor editorial corrections
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Old 01-18-2023, 08:36 PM   #14
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip inspired Fiction, The Tower

Chapter 2 part 1

It was not difficult to get a fire going. Alan arranged enough wood within the fireplace to make a comfortable but not large fire and placed the rest of the wood he gathered on the stone floor that extended to each side of the fireplace to a few feet. The five travelers, one by one, retrieved their packs, which they had left on the stones outside of the tower where the stairs climb to the door on the first floor. The door was closed and latched, again, and the group gathered around near the bottom of the stairs inside the tower.

“If you have cloths you can change into, and get out of your wet garments,” Lisa said, “we can check to see if there are empty rooms on the second floor where you can change in private. I have some light cord in my pack, and I will string a few lines of it up near the fire where we can dry what you are wearing.”

Alan took the torch and raised it above his head. “I’ll go up and scout it out. If I find it is safe, I’ll let everyone know.”

“I don’t like stairs,” Princess Tewelden said as she explored away from the group looking at the walls that made a small, enclosed area under the stairs. “There is a door here. Where does this lead?”

“That is the door to the storage room under the stairs and then to the stairs down to the cellar,” the Tower said.

“So, it is true,” Fairlyn said. “There is a presence here that is aware of us, can hear us talk and can speak.”

“I am the Tower,” the Tower said. “You do not need to be afraid. I cannot see you, so your privacy is safe. I cannot read minds, but I can hear you and I can feel your presence, well –”

“Thank you,” Lisa cut off what the tower was about to say, “we appreciate your warnings.”

Alan’s voice came from the floor above, “There are three rooms on this floor and another stair going up. Two of the rooms are empty and have working doors. The other is full of furniture, but it looks like most of it has been smashed up a bit.”

“I’ll change in here,” the Princess said, standing by the door to the storage under the stairs.

“I’ll change with you,” Fairlyn added.

“Then it’s the second floor for us,” Lydia said, and lead the eshians up the stairs.

As they were going up, Gwenna turned and looked for Lisa. When she had made eye contact with Lisa, Gwenna said, “I’m adopted. We’ll hurry and be down as soon as we can. Then we’ll explain everything.”
Lisa was able to fasten two lines of cord from rings set into the stone walls where torches might have been used when someone lived in the tower. Wet clothes could be placed over the cords to dry in the warmth of the fire as the room became cozy and comfortable.

Alan managed to find four unbroken stools on the second floor and brought them down the stairs. He placed them in a semicircle around the fireplace, and sat on the floor, cross legged. Lisa sat on the stool closest to him. The princess reclined on the floor, her lower body coiled around her, and Fairlyn and Lydia took two of the other stools. Gwenna sat on the last stool and her husband sat in front of her on his knees. One stool remained unused.

“What do you know of Cidri?” Lydia asked when everyone was settled.

“I’ve not heard that word before,” Lisa replied. “Is it a disease?”

“No, not at all,” Lydia said.

“I know of it,” Alan said, nodding his head. “It is a following, a cult, madmen. I went to, I was involved with, some, some people who came into conflict with a large group of the followers of this cult, an army of them. On the northwest coast. In the Barony of Hulde. We were hired by the Baron’s men to defend a castle in the port town of Krandalton. We managed to defeat them, drive them off, but at a great loss. We saved the castle, and nothing else that day. The people who believe in Cidri believe in doomsday.”

“That’s almost it, but not all of it,” Lydia said.

“So, Cidri is some sort of God, or Deamon?” Lisa asked.

“It’s a world,” Fairlyn said. “The followers of Cidri believe our world, Eysturlun, Beauvingia, Ibalnd, even the whole of Hamth is not what we think it is. They have been told, by someone and we don’t know who, that the world is bigger than we know. They have been told the world is Cidri, and Cidri is literally hundreds if not thousands of worlds connected by the gates. They believe in a people who once existed, called the Malorians –”

“Mnoren,” Princess Tewelden interrupted, “they believe in a people called Mnoren, who created Cidri and who control the world and all the magic in it.”

“This is something I’ve never heard of, and I’ve met with travelers from all over, as far away as Evhon and Kijzta,” Lisa said. “What makes them dangerous? I imagine that if they were a threat to other folks, then I might have heard of them. This conflict, Alan, that you mentioned to the north. This is in Vologna, yes? Not in Drasbia, I’m sorry, the free lands of Ibalnd.”

Lydia said, “They grow in numbers and then they lose faith when their predictions of catastrophe don’t come true. It is a strange cult. Most of the time you wouldn’t consider them dangerous. I’ve heard they were in the north, and I know of the battle you talked about, Alan. You were there?”

“I was.”

“I heard,” Lydia said, moving to the edge of the stool and grasping the sides tightly in her hands, “no one survived that battle, on either side, but one man who is not a man at all, but some kind of revenant who walks the world and everywhere he goes, death follows.”

Last edited by Terquem; 02-01-2023 at 06:59 PM. Reason: minor editorial corrections
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Old 01-23-2023, 06:33 PM   #15
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip inspired Fiction, The Tower

Chapter 2 part 2

“I was there,” Alan said. “I fought, as hired mercenary, beside the Baron’s soldiers. I can’t tell you exactly how many survived that battle, but I can tell you I am not this revenant. Though to be honest, I don’t really know what that is, a revenant.”

“A revenant,” Lisa said, “is a deranged spirit. A walking corpse that is driven by still not well understood magic. The revenant seeks vengeance. There has not been a revenant in these lands since before Duncan’s time, the previous Aben Moor sorcerer.”

“I am not a revenant,” Alan shook his head.

“So, you have trouble with this cult,” Lisa changed the subject. “You want my help dealing with this Cidri matter?”

“Not exactly,” Lydia said. “First, in the hope of honesty being the foundation we build on, I owe you an explanation. I’ll try to keep it short. My daughter, Gwenna, is adopted. She lost her family in the fever of forty-seven, twenty-one years ago. She was just a child then. My husband and I had been married only a year, but it seemed, at the time, we could not have children of our own. We had a small farm on the plateau, between what is now Vologna and Basconde. During those times many eshian folk were fleeing the southern parts of Ibalnd as the fever spread through the islands. Gwenna was left behind, at an inn at the crossroads in Tuellton. We took her in and raised her as our own. Her husband, Cooper, is a hunter and a free eshian, not descended from the Bascondez. He was with my husband the day he died. It is the nature of my husband’s death, and how it might be connected to Cidri, that makes me seek the Aben Moor sorceress. But, you, Lisa, you cannot be her. What are you, thirty-five, maybe forty years old? The Aben Moor Sorceress is said to be in her seventies.”

“I am the Aben Moor sorceress,” Lisa said and then laughed. “My word, I’m starting to sound like the Tower.”

“What is funny about telling people who you are?” The Tower asked.

“Nothing, naturally,” Lisa stifled her laugh.

“Show her, Fairlyn,” Lydia said.

The elf went to a large clam-shell style bag sitting on the floor by the door. The bag was made of heavy canvas dyed brown and tied to the top of it was a rolled fur. Fairlyn untied the fur and brought it back to the group. They flung the hide out, unrolling it, and then let it fall to the floor in front of the fire.

“Your husband was killed by a bear?” Alan asked. “That is a terrible way to die.”

Lisa slid off the stool and went to her knees next to the hide. She put one hand down on the thick black fur, and said, “This is not a bear. It’s a rabbit, but that’s impossible.”

“If you are the Aben Moor sorceress,” Lydia went on, “then you can tell us about this animal. I’m not convinced you are her. You are far too young.”

“I am fifty-three years old. My parents sent me to learn from Duncan Rhoanee at the age of thirteen. I became the Aben Moor sorceress when Duncan disappeared thirty years ago.”

“You can’t be fifty-three,” Lydia said. “I’ve been grey since I was thirty. I’m only forty-five years old and I know I look old enough to be your mother.”

“I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what I look like to other people,” Lisa said, and out of the corner of her eye she caught a glimpse of a surprised look on Alan’s face. “I am Lisa Wainwright, of Callinwitch, the Aben Moor sorceress. You can believe that or not.”

It finally dawned on Alan that Lisa had said the skin on the ground was a rabbit’s skin. He stood up suddenly and pointed down at the skin. “That can’t be a rabbit. That skin is a bear’s skin, and someone is mistaken. That animal was over four hundred pounds, I’m sure.”

“Four-hundred fifty pounds, dead. We weighed it in the village before we skinned it,” Cooper said. “It attacked us on the hunt and killed three men that day before we brought it down with spears and arrows.”

“The magic of the moor can sometimes cause an animal to grow two, three, even four times its size, but not twenty-five times its size, and that would be for the largest hare in the moor, the brown jackrabbit. This is not possible. This rabbit is not of this world,” Lisa said.

“Exactly,” Lydia said. “Can you tell us if this animal came to our world through a gate? Is there a possibility the believers in Cidri are actually right and our world is not what we think it is at all? Is this a thing the Sorceress can do? Can you tell where the magic of this animal comes from, if it is not the moors? I’ve heard that some magic lingers in the skin and bones, and organs of creatures with strong magic bound to them.”

She put both hands on the fur and closed her eyes. Lisa reached out with her inner mind and felt the fur on her fingers with the focus she had learned. If there was magic still in the fur, she would know it, but if she could tell where it came from, she was not at all certain.

The magic was there, and it was strong. She felt the pins and needles on her skin and the sensation of numbness spreading up her arms. It was unfamiliar magic, she was sure of that, but it spoke to her body in the same way any other lingering magic would. She could tell it was not of the moor. It was different. In her mind she saw patterns growing out of the fur and up her arms. The patterns were cubic in design, blocks and chains of connecting smaller blocks moved up, out, under, and back into her skin.

“This is not of our world,” Lisa said breaking the connection between her and the magic. She raised her arms, spoke three single syllables that came from the back of her throat, and then released some of the magic she had absorbed into the air in front of her.

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Old 01-24-2023, 06:27 PM   #16
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip inspired Fiction, The Tower

Chapter 2 part 3

She cast a spell into the air. A being began to appear. A huge animal with dark fur took shape. “Don’t be afraid,” Lisa said as she moved her hands to shape the spell from the memory of the magic she had touched, “it is just an image. It can’t harm you.”

The image came into focus suddenly. It was a short-eared rabbit, thick in the hind quarters, hunched toward its head. In every way it seemed to resemble a regular rabbit, only huge in every proportion.
Cooper and Princess Tewelden were the most curious of them all about the thing.

Cooper stood and came close to the head and holding up his hands he said, “its front teeth are larger than an eshian hand. I remember those teeth. It took Johan by the shoulder in its mouth that day. I heard the bones crush and break. Then it lifted him off the ground and threw him twenty feet across the glade. He struck a tree, and the impact killed him.”

“I didn’t want to believe it was true,” the Princess said as she slid away from the skin on the floor near her. She could not take her eyes away from it. “It’s so large. How could a normal rabbit grow so large, even with powerful magic? The strength needed to power that kind of spell would be unimaginable.”

Lisa touched the rabbit on the foot and the image blinked out and was gone.

“It was not a spell. And as far as I can tell it wasn’t the effect of exposure to the kind of magic in the moor. This is a magical creature. It is born like this to others of its kind already this large. I know of no such animal in all of Ibalnd, Emalia, or The Kingdoms. It must be from another world, but I can’t tell you it came here through a gate. I just don’t know how to feel that kind of magic. It might have been summoned, but the sort of spell that would summon something like this would have ended and the skin would not have been recovered. There is a lot here I don’t understand.”

“At least you were able to tell us something,” Lydia said.

“If I could tell you more, I would,” Lisa said. “You are all going to see the Duchess to tell her this, take the skin to her and ask for protection should there be more. That’s a good idea.”

“There is more,” Fairlyn said. “Just over a month ago three ships, sailing under the flag of the Empire of Beauvingia, made anchor off the east coast of Ibalnd, near a fishing village of gymnagaothians. My sister was visiting there at the time. The Beauvingians came ashore and approached the village in peace, but it was trick. They attacked when the village’s guard was down and took dozen of prisoners. My sister was among those taken. The Beauvingians took them to their ships and tortured them. They were looking for an artifact that predicted the coming of a great evil and they believed the gymnaga-folk had the artifact. My sister was aboard their ship for three days, but when she was brought on the main deck to be questioned on the fourth day, she fought her captors and managed to jump overboard. She was tied to a gymnaga elder and the two of them managed to swim to shore without being retaken. My sister took the elder to the city of Easton, the capital city of the gymnaga people. She sent for me then, I was just a few days from there in a small eshian settlement to the south of the gymnaga territory. I came as soon as I could. The Princess can tell you the rest.”

“Thank you, Fairlyn,” Tewelden said. “My mother summoned me from my home in a village to the north of the capital. I arrived in Easton the same day as Fairlyn. By then, my mother had nursed the elder back to health and learned more about the Beauvingians. It turned out they were not regular citizens of the empire, but renegades, outcasts, followers of Cidri. The artefact they were searching for is some kind of key to working the special magic of Gates. We do not have it. We don’t know what it is exactly. The elder only recalled overhearing the Beavingians mentioning their desire to find a special Gate key.”

The Princess moved around the stools set in a circle around the fire and came close to Lisa and Alan.

“My mother told me a secret of Ibalnd. The existence of five known Gates. She believes the followers of Cidri intend to take control or somehow change the nature of these gates. I must get to the Duchess to warn her. All of this is connected. I’m sure,” the young gymnaga-girl was pleading now. “The attack on the castle that Mister Alan survived, this tower, the strange belief in an end of the world the cultists of Cidri believe in. It is all connected.”

Lisa was confused. “Why would the Tower be involved?”

“There is a Gate in the catacombs below my cellar,” the Tower said. “Nothing has come out of it in many years. Some things have stumbled through it and never returned. It is not protected, but it is difficult to get to.”

“There is a Gate here,” Alan said. “That means there was probably a Gate in the castle I d…”

“Was defending,” Lisa said quickly. “Is there?” She turned to look at Tewelden. “Is there a Gate at this castle the followers attacked?”

“Yes,” the princess replied, “and three others. One is on the southernmost island of Ibalnd. One is hidden in the caves on the western mountains above the Midland Sea, in the ruins of an ancient gymnagaopthian temple that fell to a horrible curse, and the last one is in the forest of Ilopswillow, just to the north of the city of Ilzonze, the city of the Duchess of Ilzonze.”

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Old 01-25-2023, 08:09 PM   #17
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip inspired Fiction, The Tower

Finally catching up! (About to start C1P7)

The chapter sizes are just right for reading here.
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Old 02-01-2023, 06:24 PM   #18
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip inspired Fiction, The Tower

Chapter 2 part 4

“This is a lot of information to work through,” Lisa said. “I think we all should rest for the night and then in the morning we will go over all of it again. Starting with the location of these Gates.”

“I would like to hear more of the Battle at Castle Herrend,” Fairlyn said looking directly at Alan.

“It wasn’t a particularly special event,” Alan said, “and besides that I don’t remember much about the details.”

“But you were there,” the elf said. “It was the last conflict of arms on Ibalnd, well of any real significance anyway. Four years is a long time for the people of Ibalnd to be in a state of peace.”

“Four years,” Alan said.

“Well, yes, four and a half years, I think. Wasn’t it in late summer of sixty-eight, by your calendar.”

“It couldn’t be that long ago,” Alan said. “It feels like it was just last year.”

“But you said you don’t remember much.”

“Of the details,” Alan sighed. “I fought at the base of the west tower with a company of soldiers I trained with. There were no veterans in our unit, no one who had seen real war. We were rushed by over a hundred orcs, I mean Beauvingians, that morning. They were in a blood frenzy, screaming about the end of the world. Our training didn’t prepare us for that kind of fighting. Everyone around me fell before I understood what was going on. I fought until I was backed against the castle wall and then took a blow to the head. My helmet was cracked but it stayed on and I don’t remember anything after that until I woke up later. The sun was high in the sky and, and there wasn’t anyone alive near me. I crawled away. I don’t know how far I crawled. A farmer’s son found my on the side of a road and took me to his parent’s barn. They nursed me back to health and when I was able to leave I gave the farmer everything I had but for the clothes on my back and the boots on my feet to pay for their kindness. I’ve been wandering south since then but I had no idea it had been four years. I suppose I just didn’t think about keeping track of the passing of time.”

“It has been said that, as Lydia mentioned, no one survived that battle,” Fairlyn said. “You think others, like you, may have survived. I want to know more about that. We need to understand how these cultist fight. It may be that that battle was just the beginning of a war with the Beauvingians.”

“I never went back to that place,” Alan said. “I’ve never met anyone on the road who was there. It might be that the ones who survived want to forget. I know what that is like. A man like you might understand it, if you’ve seen battle yourself.”

“I am not a man,” Fairlyn said.

“I, I’m sorry,” Alan stammered. “I didn’t mean to insult you.”

“It is not an insult to be wrong. You didn’t know. Our people are not like your kind. It isn’t just that we are what your kind call men and women. Our society is more complex than that, but if you don’t know our society, you’re bound to make mistakes. You can call me Fairlyn, or Illoe. If you forget and call me a man or a woman again, I won’t be angry. I just hope you try.”

“Thank you, Illoe. I will try,” Alan said.

Tewelden moved away from Lisa. She ran her hand over her right ear a few times as she moved, unwilling to look in Alan’s direction.

“The place where that castle stands was once considered sacred to my kind,” the gymnaga princess said. “Did you know that?”

“No,” Alan and Lisa both said at the same time.

“There used to be standing stones on that bluff above the beaches where your people have built their town. Many, many years ago, my ancestors would travel to those stones on the shortest day of the year. They would mark on the stones the important events of the previous year, the names of those who were born and who died. Centuries ago,” she went on and came to lie down next to Fairlyn again, keeping her head low, “there was a great war between the elves and the gymnagaopthians and we were driven from that place. For many generations there were no people of my kind on the north shore at all. That is when your people came. My mother told me that she was told those stones were used to make the foundation of the first fortification your people built on the bluff. We’ve asked for them to be returned, but our pleading has fallen on deaf ears.”

“I’m sorry,” Lisa said. She reached for Alan’s hand, and he took her hand in his. “My grandparents came to the Bay of Myrrclande with the second wave of settlers from the Kingdoms. Our family has never been north of the moorlands. I know that it is the people of the Kingdoms who settle your lands and who have been making these changes and I don’t know what I can say other than I’m sorry. When Lord Admiral Torpin convinced the Kingdoms to side with the mainland eshians in their war of independence from the eshians of Basconde a lot of people back in my grandparents country thought it was a message that this meant Ibalnd would become part of the Kingdoms, in the end. A lot of people still believe that is true. The Duchess of Ilzonze believes it. We will need to be diplomatic and that is not something I know much about.”

“That is something we do know,” Tewelden said. “The diplomacy required of a people under occupation by a foreign power. Even if that foreign power appears to be kind. Our interests are not the same on every level. When it comes to a Beauvingian invasion, they must be.”
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Old 02-01-2023, 07:05 PM   #19
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip inspired Fiction, The Tower

posted updated versions of all parts prior to chapter 2 part 4, with minor editorial corrections. If anyone sees something I missed (I am not a professional writer) please tell me and I'll fix it right away.
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Old 02-14-2023, 07:04 PM   #20
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip inspired Fiction, The Tower

Chapter 2 part 5

“Alan,” Lisa said, “close the shutters on the windows, please. We need to settle in for the night. It doesn’t do any of us any good to stay up talking about these things right now. Let’s get some rest.”

“Is there a need to keep a watch,” Fairlyn asked, “or can this tower warn us if someone approaches in the night?”

“I cannot sense anything outside of myself,” the Tower said. “I can tell if it is raining. If the sun is shining, or if the wind is blowing, these are things I can feel I do not see with eyes, so I am not a good watch keeper.”

Alan went to the window to the right of the fireplace and unhooked the latches on the wooden shutter that held them open against the inside wall of the tower. He could not see much of the sparse grass and few low growing bushes of the moorland below the window which was more than ten feet above the ground. In the distance, to the west, he thought he could see faint lights moving along the ground. Too low to be lanterns or torches, he called to Lisa, “Lisa, there are lights in the distance. Do you know what they are?”

Lisa came to stand beside him. She took the window on her side and began to close it. She did not look out. “Insects,” she said, “or possibly just the reflection of the moon on the vapor as it rises from the wetlands.”

Alan looked up at the cloudy sky. “But there is no –”

Before he could finish, Lisa shut the window on her side and fastened it in place, then took the other window out of Alan’s hand and closed it, saying, “It isn’t anything.”

“Then we should keep a watch?” Fairlyn asked.

“The tower itself is not easily entered,” Lisa said. She turned and clapped her hands lightly, “I’m going to sleep here, by the fire. The rabbit skin rug will be large enough for all of us, if you don’t mind being close to people you don’t know well. I don’t think there are any beds, but the rest of you can put out blankets and bed rolls where you will be comfortable, if the rabbit skin rug is not to your liking.”

“I can stay by the door for a few hours,” Alan said picking up one of the stools. “If you are worried, Illoe, I can wake you in a while and you can sit by the door as a watch for the rest of the night.”

Lydia and her children put out bedrolls on the skin in front of the fire.

Tewelden and Fairlyn did the same but off to one side, away from the others.

Lisa took a light blanket from her own pack and pulled it over her shoulders as she lay down on the skin.

The room was quiet except for the crackle of the fire and the sound of rain occasionally being driven by a gust of wind onto the window shutters.

Everyone had settled into a sleeping position except for the halfling, Cooper. He sat with his knees drawn up and his arms wrapped around his legs. He was staring at Alan.

“Are you a giant, then?” Cooper finally asked, quietly. “Or a half giant maybe?”

“I am just a man,” Alan smiled.

“You are an enormous man,” Cooper said. “I’ve seen men, elven folk who were taller than them. I’ve seen orcs, well, you know, those Beauvingians, even maetaur folk, but I’ve never met a man as large as you. How tall are you?”

“I really don’t know,” Alan said.

“Six foot four at least,” Lisa said without raising her head from the rug. “I’m five foot nine inches tall on my bare feet. He is probably almost a foot taller than I am.”

“Why is this important?” Alan asked.

“I’ve never seen a giant,” Cooper said. “We don’t have giants on Ibalnd. I’ve heard stories, from the human folk from your country, about giants who are over ten feet tall. Huge folk who can lift a cow with one arm. Some folk say that all giants are monstrous folk who kill and eat other folk, but some say that’s not true, and some giants are kind. If you are descended from giants, I hope you are on of the kind ones. We don’t need anymore folk coming to Ibalnd to cause trouble.”

“I have never wanted to cause trouble, for anyone,” Alan said. “I’ve not given a lot of thought to being a big man. I guess, where I come from, my father and my brothers, well, all the men and women I knew growing up, were as tall as I am. At least that is how I remember it. My family comes from Goralda, which is in the mountains west of Anthandra, across the sea. My father was a soldier and his father before him. It seemed natural that I would be a soldier to, and I was only a teen when I joined the company of mercenaries that worked the north coastline keeping folks safe from pirate raids and dangerous creatures coming down out of the mountains south of us. I was twenty three years old when I fought at the castle wall. I guess that makes me twenty seven now so I am about as tall as I am ever going to be. I’m definitely no a giant, and I’ve never seen a giant either, but my grandfather fought one, back home, back in Goralda. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about him and tell you what my grandfather told me.”

With that, Cooper was satisfied and laid down next to his wife on the rug.
Soon everyone was sleeping.

Alan looked upon the people sleeping on the floor of the tower. He wondered what it all meant. He was sure that this woman, Lisa, was the sorceress he was looking for, but now he wasn’t sure he would get a chance to talk to her about his memories, his condition. It seemed odd to him that this group would show up in the same place that he had been searching for, for as look as he could remember, with a story of something that happened to them only a few days or maybe a week or two before.

Four years. Had it really been that long. Four years of traveling, moving ever onward from village to village, chasing answers, being chased, being hunted. He had only wanted to find an end, and now it looked as if all he had found was another beginning.
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