Spread the Love – Part 44 1/4

Today, instead of reading my (usually) nonsensical words, you should head on over and enjoy the ramblings of everyone’s favorite Bell Desk employee, The Hook. He’s real. He’s funny. And he’s so full of pop culture references that he sweats them out of his pores.

Check out how great his writing is by clicking here. And, if you liked that, imagine it in book form. What’s that? You don’t have to imagine it? It’s already in book form? Awesome! You can get it here and help support the writing dreams of one of my favorite bloggers, The Hook.

The Abyssal Fields – Part 4

This is the last of what I wrote way back when. Perhaps, someday, I’ll come back to this, update what I’ve already written, and finish the story off. We’ll have to wait and see.

The grass surrounding them burst into movement . Men covered with the tall vegetation rushed at them, brandishing swords. The dwarf ordered them to form a circle. He ordered Tromellus to stay in the center and help out anyone who was overwhelmed. Attacking them was only a small group, but Karacus know more would be coming if they didn’t end it quickly .

Two men came at him. He blocked one blow, while side-stepping another. His small stature was advantageous, for his enemies had to crouch to strike him. Instead of parrying the next set of strikes, he dropped to his knees. The blades went over his head. Bringing his axe up, he struck the closest one in the stomach, spilling his attacker’s insides. Rolling backward, he barely dodged the other man’s sword.

Using the momentum from his roll, he brought his axe up, taking off the man’s leg. Howling, the attacker fell backwards, clutching at his missing appendage. Karacus quickly finished the job. With no enemies in his vicinity, he looked towards the others to see if they needed any help. Thankfully, all had dispatched their adversaries, except for Laveron, who fought three. To the dwarf’s surprise no one was helping him. Then he knew why.

Laveron could’ve easily killed all three of them at any moment. He was just toying with them, putting on a show for all of the other enemies who might be watching. His opponents were becoming frustrated. The elf danced with his twin short swords, blocking any attempt at his life. Karacus, while appreciating what the elf was doing, saw more men heading their direction. They were pouring out of the closest shacks.

” Finish them, ” he cried.

With a nod of his head, Laveron ducked under one swing and shoved one of his swords into the unprotected back of the man. As he fell, his two comrades advanced, thinking they had an opening. Each of them swung from different directions, but both were blocked. While holding his opponents blades in place, Laveron jumped, kicking each man in the groin. Doubling over, they soon found their throat slit by the sitting elf.

“An impressive display,” Vorrett commented after walking over to Laveron.

“Thanks. I learned from the best.”

“There will be time for compliments later, ” Karacus said. ” We have more company heading this way.”

They saw the men rushing towards them. “Do we stay and fight, Merran asked.

” No,” Karacus replied. “We should be able to reach that over there before they reach us. We run! Now!”

All five men turned and ran. Their pursuers quickly began to shorten the gap between them. Karacus was starting to think that they would have to fight again. Soon the men came into view of the other group. They all appeared to be human. Secretly , Karacus had been hoping for another group of mixed races, but he would take all the assistance that he could get. He began yelling for help.

The humans went wide-eyed at the sight of the dwarf’s party. They quickly arranged into defensive positions. By the time the five were close enough, ready to fight, Karacus was quick to try to explain the situation , hoping to avoid bloodshed. ” Where is your leader, ” he asked.

An older man wearing a crown stepped forward. “I am. My name is King Milvis. “

“Please, sir, ” the dwarf began. “My men and I have been attacked and being pursued. Could you and us?”

One of the king’s men leaned close and whispered something in his ear. The king looked out at the field behind them. “My scout tells me that there is no sign of any pursuit.”

Stunned, Karacus looked behind him. There was no sign of any of the men chasing them. Did they give up when they reached these men, he asked himself. The dwarf’s companions were equally confused. After a few moments, they all, except Laveron, turned back to the king. ” I suppose,” the dwarf said, “that they after seeing you and your men, your Highness. “

“Hardly , ” thing Milvis retorted. ” I believe you are a group of the these cowards trying to trick us into taking you in. After all, what honorable group would contain elves and would let a dwarf speak for them?” Karacus let the insult slide, but Tromellus took a step forward. Furious, the elf seemed about to attack. Vorrett put a restraining hand on Tromellus shoulder. The elf took a step back and let Karacus continue dealing with King Milvis. When Karacus was certain that Tromellus would no longer do anything, he proceeded with his argument.

“Your Highness, if we wanted you dead we would not have announced our presence. Why would we risk infiltrating your group when we could have simply ambushed you? It makes no sense.”

Before the king could respond, Laveron yelled, “Take cover!”

Karacus and his group hit the ground. King Milvis and his troops stood their ground, not trusting these outsiders. Then they looked and saw the barrage of rocks coming their way. For some, it was the last thing they would see.

Spread the Love: Tres

Here’s another post where I tell you to go check out someone else’s blog. This time, I’m asking you to go to a place that most of you have probably already visited. It’s a place where frightfully wondrous things happen. You’ve been there before, right?

Rara, my dinosaur friend, is the reason I’ve done this NanoPoblano thing on the few occasions I’ve attempted it. She is an amazing woman who has nothing but kind words for everyone who meets her. More people should be like that.

Go, readers. Go and have some frightfully wondrous things happen to you.

The Abyssal Fields – Part 3

The group stood at the doorway, looking out at the field. There were still some honorable combatants out there, but not many. Whoever these enemies were, their tactics had taken out half of those who resided here. Of course, not many had been here to begin with. Not many followed the code of honor needed to be transported to this place after death. Most of those left had formed bands, as these five did. The unhonorable had yet to show themselves to so far this morning. Their element of surprise was gone. Those who were still alive knew that plan already,

Karacus felt a hand on his shoulder. Turning, he saw Vorrett pointing off to the distance. Peering intently, he couldn’t see what he was meant to see. He shrugged at the tall man. With a laugh, Vorrett lifted the short priest onto his shoulders. Now he saw it. A mountain stood at the edge of their vision. That had not been there yesterday. After putting the dwarf down, Vorrett walked back inside. The priest looked at him, thinking about this new twist, Walking inside after him, Karacus motioned for the others to follow. When all of them were back inside , he posed a question.

“Is it just me, or was that mountain not there yesterday?”

None of the others had seen it either. “We were so busy, we might have just missed it, ” Tromellus added.

He had a point. ” I say we head for the mountain , ” ” Karacus stated.

“Are you joking, ” Merran asked. ” If we go out there, we’ll be killed.”

“I am serious. If we stay here, we will be killed too. Eventually those left outside will fall. Then they will turn their attention to the five of us. As good as we are, cannot hope to hold out against an attack like that. Our only hope is to go to that mountain. That is where our answers are. There is no clues in these crumbling shacks. On our way there, we can join up with others like us and increase our numbers. The more of us there are, the less likely that those cowards will attack us .

” The little man is right, ” Vorrett said. ” I say we go.”

“Me too,” Laveron agreed.

” I’m with them, ” Tromellus added .

“Very well,” Merran conceded. “But who’s going to be our leader? If we get attacked , we’ll need someone to coordinate our defense. If we fight at cross-purposes, then we’re dead.”

All had a blank look on their face. They hadn’t thought of that. None of them knew each other that well and this decision could be the difference between life and death. After a few moments of silence, Vorrett spoke. ” I believe it should be the dwarf.”

“You’d put our lives in the hands of a dwarf,” Tromellus asked. “No offense meant, Karacus, but dwarves are known for losing themselves in battle lust.”

“And he has proven that he will not, ” Laveron countered. “If it wasn’t for him, we would have died on the field yesterday. He risked his life to lead us to safety.”

” His judgment has been wise, ” Vorrett stated. ” I will follow him, even if we do fall along the way.”

“Will you accept this,” Merran asked the dwarf.

“I am truly honored. I will accept this honor on one condition: if you think me wrong on something, tell me. I want to know the opinion of everyone before any major decision is made. I do not want to harm the party because I order you in blindly.”

In turn, they each nodded their heads. “Then let us begin. We leave now.”

” Where to,” Tromellus questioned.

“There, ” Karacus answered, pointing to a group of men standing on their path to the mountain. We meet up with them and continue to our destination. Laveron will lead the way, with Tromellus at the rear. We will need your keen elven eyes to spot any ambushes.”

That settled , they headed out into the unknown . All were on high alert, expecting an attack at every moment. They steered clear of the buildings. If they were attacked, it would probably come from there. The trek was beginning to wear them down. Paranoia was fatiguing them. Their pace slowed considerably. Karacus noticed the change in his companions. He called for a stop.

Trying to lift their spirits proved difficult. They were in a hostile land searching for answers, with enemies all around. Instead, he ordered them to continue onward. He began to sing an old dwarven prayer. Although they didn’t worship his deity, they found the words soothing, and it kept their mind from wandering to more disturbing thoughts. Karacus smiled as they marched onward. He would hate to be one who faced this group.

Just as their spirits were beginning to soar, they heard Tromellus cry out in pain. They saw him laying on the ground, clutching his newly blooded head. Looking around, they saw no signs of life. The group was too far from any building for an attack from there, Karacus told them to take up defensive positions and keep their eyes open. He walked over and helped Tromellus to his feet.

“What happened, ” he asked the elf.

” A rock. I didn’t see where it came from.”

“Ambush, ” Laveron yelled.

The Abyssal Fields – Part 2

Turning to his companions, he continued, “It would be dishonorable to fight alongside such fine fighters without knowing your names. I am Vorrett. I died slaying an ancient red dragon who was brutalizing my village. Even though I died, I was happy to know I took the damned dragon with me. “

Karacus went next. After introducing himself, he told the tale of his death. ” I was killed defending a caravan that was attacked by raiders. When our commander went down, I rallied our remaining force to hold lines. We did, for a time, anyway. There were just too many of them. But, by Moradin, I took down as many of those beasts as I could before I went.”

When Karacus was done, the rest told their stories. Laveron, the elf who saved him, died defending his homeland from an invading kingdom alongside his kinsman, Tromellus. Tromellus nodded, remembering that battle well. The last to go was Merran, the other human. His story was quite different. He was stabbed in the back while in a duel to avenge the murder of his sister. The way he died angered him, for he didn’t even see the person who had interfered in the one-on-one confrontation.

After all of the stories were told, the dwarf realized that he was in good company. He remembered how great it felt to fight alongside honorable warriors. His gaze went to each of them in turn, that’s when he noticed something strange about Laveron. Each of the other fighters were in full metal armor and wielded longswords. Laveron, however, wore leather armor and brandished a short sword. That was not normal among those in the Abyssal Fields. Plus, he had stabbed an opponent in the back. Thinking that they had a traitor in their midst, Karacus asked him about his unusual equipment.

“Normally,” Laveron responded, “I fight with two swords. I use short swords because they aren’t as heavy and are better balanced. As for the armor, the leather gives me better mobility. Metal armor restricts my movement.”

“If you fight with two swords, then where is the other one?”

“I lost it during our mad dash to this building.”

“He speaks the truth, dwarf, ” Vorrett interjected. “He had two when we began fighting.”

Karacus still didn’t trust him, but couldn’t argue with them without proof. Night had descended. The three injured companions: Karacus, Tromellus, and Merran , rested while Vorrett and Laveron took turns on watch. Time passed uneventfully. When dawn began to approach, they each took positions over fallen enemies, knowing they would rise soon. A debate arose about what to do when they woke Laveron said they should be slain as soon as they showed signs of life. Vorrett and Karacus disagreed. That’s when the elf pointed out that their opponents wouldn’t hesitate to do what he had proposed. The human agreed with him. Karacus agreed as well, but he didn’t like it.

The group tensed as the sun began to ascend. Karacus stood over the body of the dwarf who had stabbed him. In the moment when his wounds would heal and his opponent rise, nothing happened. They stood there waiting for many more long moments. Then, unexpectedly, the bodies of the slain disappeared. Each of them were startled. The dwarf looked over at Laveron. He was suddenly very grateful that the elf had stabbed the dwarf in the back.

Laveron walked over to the priest and whispered , ” I told you so.”

As the companions regrouped in the main room, there was only one thing on their minds; a question. What was going on here?

Spread the Love: The Deux

Onto another post where I tell you to read someone else’s blog. That seems like it won’t help my stats at all. If I cared about my stats, that might upset me a little. Since I don’t, I’m going to tell you to travel on down to The Matticus Kingdom.

When you get there, you’ll meet The Jester, Matticus. He’s a good man, a good friend, and the best person I’ve ever published novels with on Amazon. So, not only should you go and visit his blog, you should also purchase his books (I’m pimping blogs and books at the same time. That’s what I call multitasking!)

Here’s a sample of what you’ll find over at The Kingdom.

The Abyssal Fields – Part 1

Granted, he always took small steps, which happens when you’re a dwarf, but they were extra small today. He was being especially cautious today. After all, it’s not every day when buildings appear out of nowhere. As he inched closer to the crumbling shack, he noticed that he was the only person moving. When he finally made it, the others had shaken off the shock and followed his lead. Karacus entered the one story house with trepidation. Why had the gods marred the once lovely landscape with these piles of rock?

Movement flashed out of the shadows. He only saw it out of the corners of his eyes but made no motion to suggest that he caught it. Gripping his axe, he kept walking forward. The dwarf peered through the doorway in front of him, but saw only collapsed walls. That’s when the shadows came to life.

A dagger leapt from the darkness, aimed at his unprotected throat. Karacus barely got his axe up in time to deflect the blow. Again the dagger attempted to strike him, but he was better prepared to defend himself this time. With the element of surprise gone, the dagger could not make any decent offensive maneuvers. The dwarf, knowing that a dagger cannot attack by itself, stood defensively until an opportunity to attack presented itself. After one poorly aimed stab, Karacus sidestepped and swung his axe at the shadow. A scream came as he felt his weapon hit something solid. Blood dripped from his axe as the dagger fell to the floor.

The priest pulled the body of his attacker out into the light. It was a human. He wore no armor, which confused the dwarf. Everyone here had arrived in the garments that they had died in. If this man wore no armor and attacked from the shadows, then he did not belong here. Of course, neither did these buildings. Nothing angered Karacus more than dishonorable people, so he walked to the door to warn everyone of this new treachery.

Just as he shouted his warning, the quiet morning erupted into pained screams and battle cries. The dwarf watched as his comrades fell from backstabs and shady tactics. He rushed out to help. Fighting his way through the battle, he reached a group of his fellow Fieldmen. They welcomed him in, for they were outnumbered as well as surrounded. “We need to reach that shack I just came from,” he advised. “It is far more defensible than this open ground.”

” Agreed, ” said an elf who just dispatched one of their attackers.

Karacus took up point, leading the way while the others protected his back. He sliced down one man who stood in his way. His fellows fought on with ferociousness, not wanting to fall to these intruders. Soon, a path cleared before them. None wanted to stand in their way. They were still being pounded from their flanks, but nobody wanted to fight the enraged dwarf. After what seemed like hours, they reached their destination. The dwarf entered the building first, to make sure it was still empty, while his four companions held the door. Thinking that they might try the same tactic as the one before them, Karacus swung into the shadows, once again hitting a hidden foe.

This time, the attack came from the other room. A throwing knife struck the dwarf’s helmet. Karacus turned around, slightly dazed, to find a new threat standing in the doorway. It was a fellow dwarf. Another knife was thrown. While the priest brought his axe up to block it, this new dwarf ran in. Pain shot up his arm as he was cut from his attacker’s short sword. Despite being dazed, Karacus managed to defend himself from the rest of the attacks.

Enraged that one of his own race would use such tactics in battle, the priest shook off the dazed feeling and went on the offensive. His opponent was unprepared for this. Suddenly in retreat, the dwarf fell over a pile of rocks as the priest pursued him. The sword flew from his grasp as he hit the floor. Looking on in horror as Karacus raised his axe, he was surprised when the blow never came. Karacus lowered his weapon and looked at his fallen opponent. ” I will not kill an unarmed opponent, ” he said. “You are now my prisoner. You will do exactly as I say from now on.”

“Ye don’t much talk like a dwarf, ” the captive commented.

“That is because I am a man of honor, not a savage like you.”

“That be yer thinkin’. Not mine.”

“Get up, vermin.”

“I can’t. I hurt me leg when I fell. It hurt bad.”

“Then I shall help you.”

Karacus walked over and offered his hand. With one hand, the captive took what was offered, with the other he drew a knife and stabbed the priest in the leg. Howling in pain, Karacus fell to the floor. He pulled the knife out and clutched at his wound. While he was out of it his opponent retrieved his sword. Standing over the prone priest, he said, “I ain’t got no problem with killin’ ya when ya ain’t got no weapon.”

The sword thrust came, but not from the dwarf. Looking down, the attacker saw the blade sticking out of his chest. Too stunned to speak, he simply dropped to the floor dead. The elf stood behind him. Shrugging, he helped Karacus to his feet. ” The others have the door secure. I heard your cry and came back to see if you needed help. Obviously, you did. “

“You stabbed him in the back.”

” I know. As shamed as I am, I do not regret it. It was him or you, and I chose you. “

“You don’t regret it? It was not honorable.”

“A luxury that our foes have. I know it was wrong, but even if I announced my presence, he still might’ve struck you down before I arrived.”

” True,” Karacus agreed, “but I still would’ve awakened tomorrow morning to avenge myself.”

“With all of the crazy happenings here today, I would not count on it.”

The priest could not argue that point. With the help of the elf, he walked into the main room. He saw one of the humans standing watch at the door, while the other human and other elf were treating their wounds. Karacus sat down, leaning against the wall. Tearing off a piece of one of the dead men’s shirts, he wrapped it around the wound in his leg. Looking around, he noted that they all looked tired. “Night has begun to fall,” the lookout stated, as if reading the dwarf’s mind.