Those who have heard the mystical tales...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

X: The Empty Camp

Scheaun and KT rode out to Koma. They traveled the majestic fields and magnificent forests, and because it was a beautiful day, had a picnic just outside its wall. 
"Here," said Scheaun. "Help me unpack." He got off of his horse. KT did, also, and began to take bags off of Scheaun's steed. A faint glimmer peeked out from under the blanket on his horse. She pulled the blanket off, revealing his sword, shield, and bow.
"Scheaun," she said. "What is this?"
"What is what?" he asked. "Oh."
"This picnic isn't the only reason we're here, is it?"
"No. But I was going to ask you if you wanted to join me." She looked cross, but then she broke into a smile.
"Of course I do!" She laughed.

Later, when they were eating, KT stopped, looking off into the distance.
"So what are we investigating?" she asked. "Or are we hunting some evil dragon?"
"We are going to Koma," he replied. "Where the Chadde-worshippers live. That giant's eyes were glowing, so Scott, Gizmo, and I think that there's magic behind it."
"Oh cool! Where Badger died!"
"Yeah..."
"Oh, sorry."
"No, it's cool. Just kinda sad."

The two rode into the ancient city. Whatever trace of life bubbled up last time, had completely evaporated by now. There was absolutely no one among the grey ruins.
"Wow. It's just as creepy as I imagined," said KT. Scheaun and KT stopped atop the steps of the temple where Badger's previous life ended. Its dilapidated state apparently weathered worse storms since That Fateful Day. The two entered the temple, leaving their horses behind. A torn tapestry hung against the back wall. The rows of stone pews were smashed, as if some large rock landed among them. A gaping hole in the ceiling shed light on the pile of rubble below, and that is where Scheaun and KT ended their journey.
"Wow," said Scheaun. "What happened?"
"Whatever it was," KT answered. "I don't like it."

The two searched every crevice in that temple, inside, then out. They had not looked over the front steps yet, but when they returned,
"My Brand! I mean, My horse!" shouted Scheaun.
"What? Where did it go?" asked KT. As it was, her horse sat content, (as content as a horse can be, and as well as a horse can sit) but Scheaun's was nowhere to be found. Searching the empty town, Scheaun could find no trace of the horse, but he found his sword not far from the town's entrance. They began to leave when Scheaun noticed footprints in the muddy ground outside Koma. The two followed the fresh indentions around Koma's outskirts, into woods on the side opposite the way they came.
"There!" whispered Scheaun. "Fire! It's a campsite in the woods!"
"Huh? Oh! There! I see," she replied.
"I'll go get him. You wait here."
Beside the fire stood Scheaun's old white gallant stallion. He snuck through the camp, but looking into one tent, he noticed and unusual lack of... living creatures.
"Where is everyone?" he murmured. He rode back to KT, and the two returned to Bamah.

Meanwhile, at the empty camp, the fire continued to glow. Trees behind it rustled, and out walked a robed warrior. Removing his hood, he revealed a bald head with a tattoo precisely like that of the late sorcerer.
"Dammit Kreg!" he roared. Behind him shuffled a shorter version of himself. In fact, the three were brothers.
"Yes, Jus'tinn?" replied the short one.
"Where is the horse?"
"It escaped."
"Why?"
"I wasn't watching it."
"Lord Chadde will not be pleased. Actually, you can explain it to him now." From the other direction came another rustle. Out strode Chadde. He stopped, realizing what happened, and killed Kreg.
"Find them," growled Chadde's deep voice.

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