|The Stone of Dalmeer (standard:fantasy, 5835 words)|
|Author: Cloud Strife||Added: Jul 30 2003||Views/Reads: 2116/1446||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A story about three men, a battle between two kingdoms and the discovery of a rare book in the most unlikely place that changes a world forever|
The Stone of Dalmeer By Christopher McCarthy Greyna awoke at a typically early hour into what was a typically dark and dreary day. He wearily began to go about his usual morning routine of fishing in the small, dirty pond near his shack. For the last eight moons he had been living in a small, old and dingy hovel just outside the remote and rural village of Yeda. He had been exiled from his birthplace, which was the great city of Lethsor, the largest city in the world because he was a thief. The Palace Guards had arrested him there on numerous occasions for petty theft of coins and goods in the thriving market at the heart of the city. Lethsor was not a very safe place to be for thieves however as punishment for all crime in the city was severe so say the least. He still carried bruises of the numerous and brutal whippings he had received at the hands of the merciless guards but do not pity him for he was a very crafty man and often had scrounged a living thieving from those who were soft targets for one such as he like the elderly or the many beggars who lined the streets of Lethsor. On one occasion he was caught while stealing a few coins from a blind beggar and was brought before a man whom he had thought he would never meet in all his life but it was felt that this shameless act by Greyna warranted the meeting. The man in question was Ronath the Magnificent, Seventeenth King of Lethsor. Greyna had quivered before this man's presence and pleaded for his life. He was told that were he to ever commit another crime inside the walls of the Kingdom it would be at the cost of his own life as thieving had long been considered in Lethsor as the lowest means by which a person could earn a living. Greyna knew only too well that this was not an idle threat by the King as more than a few heads had rolled with the fall of an axe during his short reign. Since Greyna could see no other way by which he might be able to scrounge a living apart from stealing he was forced to leave the great city. A thief is a thief after all. However it was becoming increasingly difficult for him to continue his trade here in the small village of Yeda, which had been the first town he had come to after leaving Lethsor. When food and money disappeared now in Yeda, eyes were beginning to turn to the reclusive stranger, the drifter. He was starting to fear for his own safety, as the behaviour of many of the townsfolk towards him was growing more and more hostile. He now carried a dagger concealed underneath his cloak everywhere he went. They knew of course that he was a thief but Greyna was far too clever to be caught by the likes of them. He had learned his trade well. Crime was actually the only thing he was good at. But all the same he knew that he was being forced to move on again. So he headed to the Marketplace early in the morning for one final strike. He would steal as much coins as he could from the peasants and be gone for good before they had even noticed he was there. As for the question of where to travel onto next there was really only one answer that he could see at this point. He was going back to where the money was. To Lethsor. · Loneth had been staring out a window high up in the castle of Pertha onto the Courtyard below, watching those passing by and envying their carefree manner for several minutes when he was approached by a tall, thin and very pale skinned man. The gaunt figure was that of the priest Dernoth. “Good day to you Loneth”, whispered the priest in his quiet voice. “Ah, greetings to you also Dernoth my friend”, replied Loneth turning to face him. “How is your dear wife Aertha?” enquired the priest. “She is well Dernoth, she will give birth to our first child before the season is finished”. Loneth paused for just a moment before going on. “As you know we shall soon be departing for the West to battle against the Granthans”, he said. “I have prayed that the Lord Amoseth will grant us a swift and just victory in our crusade but I freely admit that I fear of what is to come”. Dernoth smiled as he spoke. “Do not fear Loneth. We Perthans represent honour and hope and all that is just in the world. Lord Amoseth will not forsake us in battle. Has he not allowed the sun to shine down on us and our crops to grow tall and plentiful since the beginning of time? He will help us crush those godless monsters from Grantha. They who have long envied our Kingdom and plotted our downfall. The Granthans are more beast than man Loneth. It is our destiny to defeat them. Take courage in that. We shall not fail”. “There are rumours spreading through the castle that they have poisoned the water of our beloved river Aywer to lower our defences for an attack”, spoke Loneth. “Several have recently become ill”. “I would not doubt them of the deed”, spat the priest. “One could expect nothing more of the savages”. The priest began to walk away towards the chapel to say mass but stopped suddenly Click here to read the rest of this story (394 more lines)
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