JLSpinner Story Project Elrond

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Chapter 6

Maris Patria sailed slowly and smoothly through the maze of obstacles and debris. It took well over an hour to clear the derelict graveyard. The whole time I gazed over the horizon, searching. I could feel someone, or many someones, watching me. I looked over my shoulders and scanned for movement or the shape of whomever was out there. "You'll not find them lad. The dead only show up when they want something." Spoke a man who helped navigate the ship.
"The dead?" I asked confused. "Why do they not pass to Primus?"
"That's the mystery. That's why nobody sails through here after dark." replied the man before he continued about his duties. I sat pondering the ghosts until Dhunvar could be seen in the distance. The boat resumed its hasty advance once clear of obstacles. A voyage that should have taken days was done within a days light. Truly wonderful the possibilities of magic.
The ship pulled into the docks of a shipping port on the only smooth shore nearby. The port sat between some rather large rocks. Rocks that screamed that they were of mystical origin. "Defenses from the war" I whispered to myself as the ship slowed to a stop. I looked down the shores and noted the rocks continued on in both directions. They also encircled the port-town from what I could tell.
"We should stay intown for the night." Madaline said as we began stepping from the ship down onto the dock. "The sun will be setting soon."
"I'm going to enjoy sleepin' in an actual bed." Kara chuckled. I could understand her excitement. Elves had a very different idea of comfort than we had in Kellick. As we started into the port town I was surprised to see such a heavy mix of races. Humans, Half-lings, a couple Dwarves, some Half-Elves. I saw magic in the streets and heard languages that I'd never heard before. It was all very exciting.
We found an inn located up against on of the large rocks. It was on the end of a busy street near a tavern, a theatre, and what seemed to be a magic shop. Even with the day growing dark, the street was busy. It reminded me of Port Ilholm. "Do you want to grab a meal at the Tavern?" asked Kara.
"Sure. I'm curious how the food is here." Madaline replied back trying to look into the window of the tavern as we walked by. My thoughts were fixed on the magic shop. I wondered what kind of knowledge I could find inside.
"Tyrium? Tyrium!" Kara said growing louder as she tried to capture my attention.
"Yeah, a meal sounds good." I replied as if I hadn't gotten lost.
"What's on your mind?" Kara asked.
"I want to visit that magic shop." I said nodding toward it. She looked where I nodded.
"Is that what that is?" asked Madaline.
"Yes. I believe so. Those markings by the door are Druid script from Trosdane." I informed them.
"What do they say?" Madaline asked curiously.
"No idea." I replied flatly. Kara laughed a bit. I liked it when she laughed. I could feel my body respond inside. "But that other symbol below the roof is a rune. It prevents violence inside."
"I see that rune on a couple of the buildings here." Madaline added.
"Yes you do." I said with a grin.

We checked in with the Inn Keeper and dropped off our effects in our room. The Tavern was busy with people eating and drinking. Luckily there was a free table for us. Kara and Madaline had fun trying a few different dishes and trying some local wine. I enjoyed the different scents of pipe weed and folk songs from abroad. I don't eat much food. Like in Sol Drar, some of the people took to stairing at my eyes so I combined some runes to make an illusion over them.
"Why did you do that?" Kara asked sounding frustrated.
"They draw a lot of attention." I replied back lowly. She looked around and found a few faces looking back.
"Oh." She said returning to her food.
"They do stand out." Madaline added with a tone of obviousness. I thought to when I had first seen Malok. His eyes were obviously not normal.
"Not anymore." I said with a smirk. At the end of our meal a Bard began to play a song that I had known from Kellick. It was about a horse that never stopped running because he was afraid of his shadow. It was quite comical. I also noticed that a couple of hooded men were watching us very intensely. After our meal we headed toward the magic shop. My hooded friends followed and stood outside, smoking pipes and pretending to talk.
Inside the shop was a sundry of odd looking devices, books, and vials of what had to be potions and elixers. I glanced around looking for things that made me interested. I settled on a few books and a few vials that didn't seem too risky to try. I placed my items on the table by the owner. He looked at the items and then looked up to me curiously.
"I haven't seen you before. Is it gold or barter?" He asked standing and going through the items more thouroughly. His thick gray mustache bounced around with every word. An idea popped into my head.
"Gold." I said calmly.
"That's about 5 pieces worth." He said nodding to himself.
"I'm not from here. Would you take it in weight?" I proposed. He nodded slowly for a moment, clearly in thought.
"That'd be about 2000 grains." He said smartly. I placed my hand in my pocket and created 2000 grains worth of pure gold. I pulled it out and handed it to him. He looked it over suspiciously. "For a moment there I thought you might be another Sorcerer from Sol Drar with more fake magic gold. But this is the real article. High quality too." He nodded with approval. "Feel free to visit again stranger."
"The names Tyrium. I will come again." I said before turning and heading for the door. I opened the door and held it open for Kara and Madaline, all the while scanning the street for the hooded men. They were no where to be found. By now the sky was completely dark. Lamps hung around the street were aglow lighting up the area. "Back to the Inn?" I asked starting off to cross the street diagonally.
"Sounds reasonable." Kara said looking at an amulet she had purchased. Her and Madaline followed behind me through the street. Out the doors of the inn came the two hooded men. I looked down and saw one of them was holding one of my daggers. They didn't notice me coming as I sped up and knocked them out with a couple of blows. "Tyrium!" Kara yelled running after me. I picked up my dagger and showed her.
"This is mine. They were in our room." I said looking them over for other possessions. "They've been watching us since we left earlier."
"Who are they?" Madaline asked. I pulled back their hoods to reveal a strange tattoo on their foreheads. It was a red symbol I wasn't familiar with. Some of the locals had gathered around because of the fighting.
"That's the mark of the Jurai Clan. Theives and Mercenaries they are." Spoke a young man from the crowd. "Don't feel bad about putting them out." I looked to him.
"Thank you for the information." I stood and helped the ladies over the prone bodies. "Good night." I said to the young man and entered the Inn. "I'm going to have a word with the Inn keeper." I said separating from the others. "Excuse me, sir." I said approaching him. He looked up to me with no sign of fear or regret.
"Yes?" He asked genuinely. At this point I was fairly certain he was ignorant of the situation.
"I just found a couple of men with this dagger out side." I said showing him the sheathed blade.
"Mhmm." He said as if expecting more.
"This is my blade. It was with my effects in my locked room." I added. His face grew into a face of concern.
"Oh, my apologies." He said walking briskly toward the stairs. "Let's go have a look." I followed him up to the second floor. The girls stood by our door which was laying in pieces. "How did nobody hear this?" He said looking over the door. He stepped into the room and looked around. I followed him. The room was wholey intact, apart from my bag. My bag was completely dumped out. "Anything else missing?"
I looked over my things briefely. "I don't believe so, no."
"Let's get you into a new room then. The one across the hall is empty. I'll fetch you a new set of keys." I ignored him as I noticed a small symbol on the door that now lay in pieces. It was another red Jurai symbol. The Keep ran down stairs and returned shortly with the keys. Kara thanked him and we moved into the new room.
"Maybe we should sleep in watches." Madaline asked as she sat down.
"I don't sleep so I'll keep watch." I said checking the view out the window. It looked out onto an alley way behind some buildings by the rocks. There was no sign of movement.
"You don't sleep?" Kara asked.
"No. Not anymore." I replied also sitting down.
"What do you do all night?" Madaline asked curiously.
"I read usually." I said pointing to the books I had purchased. She nodded. Kara looked slightly disturbed. I looked to her mimicking her expression.
"That must be lonely." Kara said softly.
"I keep busy." I replied back coldly. Her looked returned to normal but I could tell I was hard for her to understand. I was somehing foreign. I could map out the emotions exactly as they would unfold. She had a fear of me inside of her. "But yeah. It is lonely." I added. She smiled slightly.
Even though I knew I worked more efficiently without attachments, the attachments would keep me human. I wanted to be human. With the abilities I had, I couldn't bet on my honest integrity. I needed an anchor of morality. A compass to point North. I turned my focus to my dagger. This was the dagger I recieved when I entered the Gaurd. Why go through so much trouble for it?

We left for Iron Hill shortly after the sun rose on the next morning. We paid one of the stables for three horses and began West. We stayed South of the Dead Woods for nearly two days. We were warned to keep a safe distance, and we did. We could still hear the ghoulish screams and cackling laughter during the dark of night. The calls rolling out and echoing around us. I spent much of my time at night wondering why the fallen souls here didn't pass on from this world. A question I would seek answers to at Iron Hill.
After we cleared the Woods, it was another day before we came upon the town of Rambert. Here we rested and let the horses rest as well. The road to Iron Hill grew quite hilly past Rambert. Large rocks and stones littered the landscape and the vegetation grew scarce. In the distance the shape of a large mountain began to grow. We arrived at Iron Hill two days after leaving Rambert.
We left our steeds at the stable resting at the foot of the mountain and made our way up a large marble set of stairs. At the top of the stairs was a small landing that sat before massive stone doors. At least four times the height of a man. They were beautifully carved with an ornate design of perfectly straight lines and sharp angles. The doors opened as we approached and before us stood a strong looking dwarf with long straight red hair and beard. His armor was of the highest quality and laid in gold. On his chest was a lions head baring it's teeth. I let my illusion fall from my eyes.
"Hello friends." He spoke in a loud and authoritative voice. "I am Ulfgar Dankil."
"Hello, I'm Madaline and this is Kara. We are of the Arcanus Ignia." Madaline said with formality. Her and Kara both bowed. Ulfgar bowed his head in return.
"Lovely. We haven't seen any daughters of Ignia in years." He said with a genuine smile. I watched him closely, trying to understand him deeper. His eyes snapped to mine. "I know when a Runelord his studying someone. I have to say you remind me of an old friend." He turned to face me.
"My name is Tyrium, son of Titus." I said mimicking his level of authority. I bowed deeply. He returned again with a bow of his head. He wore a large smile.
"Son of Titus." He barked out laughingly. "I knew the child lived!" He stepped forward toward us and extended his arms out wide. "Welcome to Iron Hill. It seems today that the gods love us." He ushered us inside of his Kingdom in the Hill.

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