Wandering Through Terran–Chapter 08

January 8, 2010

Revised

Linkage

Chapter Eight: A Night In Falston

Where the Party Arrives to

Find Strange Things Afoot…

The sun set as the airship landed at the Falston airfield. Taking a hovercraft into the city, they were all eager to get situated at an inn and meet with various people for information. They quickly moved through streets between the granite buildings to the inn, occasionally catching glimpses of the castle carved from blue granite. Herb arranged for lodging at a nearby inn, gathering the party there as he went off to ask for information. Each member of the party retired to their rooms after the evening meal. Dayspring walked out onto the balcony from his room and stared out at the mountains. They would follow the course of the mountain to Aven in the north in the morning, taking the Ancient Road.

He had never been further from Tund and had never felt heavier concerns on his mind. The next morning they intended to ride to the heart of Terran, the city that was called the shining beacon of civilization in the land. Looking out, he could not believe how small the mountains looked in the distance.

He continued to gaze out as the door opened and footsteps moved up behind him. Closing his eyes, he took a moment to listen. A moment of listening and he smiled.

You need to talk Herb?” he asked.

How did you know it was me?” the Ranger asked in reply.

I’ve been studying everybody’s movements, memorized sounds and tones. Have been ever since I left Tryps. Figured it would be a good plan since at least one of my escorts potentially could make an attempt to kill me. And I’m pretty sure we’re being followed. Spotted at least one tail in Dunn.”

Hooded figure, not terribly tall, but regal bearing in their stride. I saw them too. Saw them here in Falston on the way here as well. I’m impressed, I don’t think anybody else picked up on them.”

Thanks.”

Herb moved to the younger man’s side, leaning on the railing as well. He smiled and looked out at the mountains.

We should reach Aven if we ride hard tomorrow,” he said. “I consulted with the Guardians of Sorcery here. They seem to think something fishy is going on at their home base in Aven. They haven’t heard a word out of there in about a week.”

Fits a pattern at least,” Dayspring replied. “All roads point to Aven, don’t they?”

Looks that way,” the Ranger agreed. “Zev came through here, but all indications are that he didn’t have the Vuku Gem with him. Maybe Fenway has it, but the Guardians of Sorcery did not sense it.”

Would they be able to sense it?”

Yes. And that they did not sense it when Zev was here it a disturbing event.”

If he doesn’t have it, who does?”

That would likely be the question at the heart of the matter. I’m beginning to suspect—”

He stopped short, looking out at the mountain. Drawing out a spyglass from the pocket of his tunic. He turn its focus on the nearest foothills of the Endless Mountains. Looking out, Dayspring spotted a small light in the mountains. The like seemed to spread and flow down the mountain, an illuminating drip on the darkness. Herb held out the spyglass to Dayspring.

A force marching down the mountains,” he said. “Too many to be raiders or mountain men. Goblins. Looks to be thousands coming down from the mountains.”

They’re coming this way,” Dayspring nervously observed. “I’ll sound the town alarm.”

I’ll get everybody together and go to the Kingdom Council House in the Castle. Meet us there.”

Dayspring nodded as he ran from the room, splitting from Herb in the hallway. He sprinted out onto the streets, going to the northern watchtower on the wall of the town. Going inside, he climbed the spiral stone staircase up to the nest of the look out. Asleep in his chair was the young look out.

Well, that’s disappointing, he thought.

Not regarding the watch and further, Dayspring began to ring the bell. He pointed to the oncoming horde as the young man awoke and questioned what was going on. Quickly getting a grasp of the situation, the young guard quickly grabbed a flare from a shelf behind where he had been sleeping, lighting it. It burned bright red, the color to signify a goblin attack.

I got it from here,” the guard said. “Please don’t tell anybody I was sleeping. I’ll lose my job.”

Don’t let it happen again,” Dayspring replied. He ran down the steps, starting towards where the Kingdom Council waited. The bells were sound and all the watchtowers were on high alert. Chaos had ensued on the streets below the towers with people going into a panic once they knew something was going on.

Weaving through the streets, Dayspring was making painfully slow progress as he struggled towards the Castle. Not seeing a cart moving into the street, he got clipped and fell to the ground. Getting to his feet, he noticed the cloaked figure in the crowd some distance behind. Based purely on the lack of panic, Dayspring surmised that the person was following him.

I guess we’ve got a chance to see who’s playing who right here, he thought while continuing onward. Play it smooth. Whomever this is, I can’t chase them down in this crowd. Didn’t think we had done enough to warrant attention here… until now anyway. Like Herb said, he’s small. I can easily take him if I get a chance…

Ducking around a corner, Dayspring slipped into a doorway and waited. A long moment passed before the cloaked figure came followed. Grabbing the figure by the arm, he pulled them into the alleyway. The stalker’s free hand shot up, but Dayspring blocked the blow easily. Whomever it was gave a shrill yelp as he threw back the hood to reveal the browned haired girl beneath.

Your highness?” he asked.

Sir Dayspring,” Vera acknowledged. “A pleasure to see you again. I must apologize for my deception, as I thought you hadn’t seen me. I suppose the game is up.” She held up a small brown pouch. “What you’ve been looking for.”

Interesting,” he said. He closed her hand around the pouch. “You hang onto that for a spell, until things settle down a bit more. For now, I think it’s about time you explained a few things to us. I’m sure it would be a very enlightening conversation and an excellent way to pass the time while we’re waiting for the army of goblins to attack.”

Probably a good plan,” she agreed. “Lead the way.”

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