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The Stone of Dalmeer (standard:fantasy, 5835 words)
Author: Cloud StrifeAdded: Jul 30 2003Views/Reads: 3399/2378Story 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 

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