Chapter 2: History.. Page 13

Posted: May 19, 2007 in Good Reads

Chapter 1: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6, Page 7, Page 8, Page 9
Chapter 2: Page 10, Page 11, Page 12

They reached one of entrances at noon. The Citadel of Ice was built atop a mountain of unscalable rock. In order to enter the fortress, they must go through one of nine passages cut into the said mountain. The labyrinthine tunnels emerged into the citadel’s base. Or so it was said.

‘It’s like a death trap mine in there,’ Eladred remarked, peering into the gloom. It had taken them five hours to clear the rubble blocking the passage opening in the side of the mountain. According to the map given to them, this was one of those nine routes into the Citadel.

‘You didn’t expect a welcoming committee, did you?’ Max returned.

‘Actually, I’m glad there was no welcoming committee,’ the elf said. ‘I was kind of hoping that we won’t find anyone or anything to greet us, altogether.’

‘Let’s go, then,’ Max said.

‘Wait a minute,’ Paplo said, ‘Aren’t we going to light a torch or something? It’s like wading into ink in there.’

Max and Eladred exchanged looks.

‘Ah – I forgot that the two of you don’t have darkvision,’ Max said, as he took out a hooded lantern and proceeded to light it.

‘This is goint to alert all the denizens of this place like bloody alarm bells’ grumbled Eladred.

‘There isn’t supposed to be anyone living here, Eladred,’ Max said, ‘And if there are, then it’s our job to find out, isn’t it?’

‘It’s not the living that I’m worried about,’ Eladred whispered.

Paplo chuckled, ‘Light of Rah, are you afraid of ghosts, Eladred?’

‘Talk to me that way after you’ve faced the undead, boy,’ Eladred told him.

‘You’re not going to tell me you’ve actually met one before?’

‘I wish it were only one,’ Eladred said. ‘As a rule, necromancers tend to raise an army at a go.’

‘You’ve fought an army of ghosts?’

‘Skeletons and zombies, actually. This was when I was still with the elven rangers. We were dispatched to remove the Kandian usurper, Hurln. Only thirty-eight out of the three hundred and sixty mobilised returned to Calor. And we failed to take down the necromancer.’

Max said, ‘That was the Kandian uprising in ’98, right? It was the biggest piece of news in the last century. The elven King sent out his vaunted rangers to assassinate Hurln, the Dark Elf. Apparently, the renegade had been amassing a great force to conquer the elf nation. Many were flocking to his standard. There were even rumours that Hurln was an incarnation of the dark god, Losivar. if I remember correctly, the King claimed victory.’

Eladred said, ‘Hurln disappeared after our failed operation. No one knows why. The King took advantage, and announced success to restore order and confidence to the people. The rangers who returned were told to contradict the King. The nation rejoiced. But I had nightmares about rotting corpes trying to strangle me, for years after. I still do, now and then. And I get the shivers every time I go into dark passage ways – they remind me of Hurln’s dungeon fortress.’

‘Is this going to affect your effectiveness in battle?’ Max asked the elf, with just a touch of concern.

‘Not a ghost of a chance,’ Eladred said.

 

 

                                                                to be continued…

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  1. […]                                                                 to be continued… […]

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  2. […] Wednesday, June 13th, 2007 in Good Reads Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6, Page 7, Page 8, Page 9, Page 10, Page 11, Page 12, Page 13 […]

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