Captain Volgo stretched his arms to the sky and let out a giant yawn. He was sitting up in a tent made for a Barbarian, his armor in a neat pile beside him. The past several days had been taxing on him and the long night of rest had only reminded him that he was getting much too old for this.
He walked out of his makeshift quarters and to the center of the camp where a small fire was still smoking. He picked up a stick and began to stir the embers until a small flame began to dance in the charred bits of wood. Looking around, Volgo could see that none of his men were awake. They were usually late sleepers and this tended to disgruntle him. He cooked himself breakfast and waited for the others.
It had been several weeks since he had run from Sir Keegan and those three wolves. He knew who the wolves were and he was embarrassed of his cowardly retreat. Snyde, the bastard, had caught him off guard and for the first time in his life, struck fear into his Barbarian eyes. He was ashamed but things were getting better. After all, he had six hostages that were more valuable than any amulet.
I tried to sit up but couldn’t get enough leverage under my torso. My armor had been stripped and my hands were tied tightly behind my back. I was lying on my side and a cut across my cheek was full of dirt. Across from me, Quinn looked equally as battered. Her eyes were closed but her chest was still rising and falling from heavy breaths. I tried to whisper to her but a red bandana was pulled tightly over my mouth. I began to think back on how I had gotten here, wherever here was.
I remember appearing in the Banking Quarter of Highpass. We immediately ran toward the East Gate where Pwin was yelling at us. He said that the same Dark Elves he had seen talking about the Angel of Death were on their way toward the Angel now. This time there were just two.
We sprinted out the gate and down the hill and weaved our way through the crowds of charging Goblins. Once past the main path leading to Highpass, we ran into the field where, in the distance, we saw two Dark Elves speaking with the Angel. I couldn’t quite make out what they were saying.
General Oxfist and I began our approach with our blades drawn. Behind us, Quinn was in her white wolf form while the old Wizard, Flamefist, did his best to keep up.
The two Dark Elves, both Wizards themselves, were done speaking with the Angel by the time we were close enough. We surrounded the men. I could see one of them holding the Amulet of Undead, a sly grin formed on his face. His black hair was spiked back and he wore a long red robe. Two staves were in each of his hand and on the end of each was a bright star. The other Dark Elf was also wearing a red robe. His weapon was a small dagger and a glowing orb-shield.
“Who gave you the Amulet of Fire?” I asked. My voice was low and commanding.
The Dark Elf with the staffs, who I would later find out to go by the name X’Lottl, shook his head. His eyes were wide and he looked as if he was staring into my soul. He didn’t say anything.
“Who gave it to you?” I demanded.
He closed his eyes and then bowed his head. A small chuckle came under his breath. “Sir Keegan, I presume? Do not be so anxious. We offer no answers,” said X’Lottl.
“What the hell does that mean?” shouted the Dwarf General. His blade was wielded and his grip was tense.
The other Dark Elf snapped his head in the direction of the Dwarf. He was looking down at the little Warrior when he said, “You’d be wise to hold your little tongue.”
There’s a general rule when dealing with Dwarves. First, never serve them alcohol before anything important. The little pricks will turn any casual experience into a drunken festival. Second, never mention their stature.
Oxfist was offended by the use of “little.” He raised his blade and swung it sharply at the Dark Elf. Before his blade reached its target, it was stopped in mid-air. A third Dark Elf was standing besides the Dwarf General. A look of surprise was on the General’s face.
Before I could move, three more Dark Elves were standing around us. A total of six, two Wizards, and four Rogues had surrounded us. Each held the tip of their blades to our throats.
Before any more words were exchanged, the two Wizards were glowing red, then blue, and then they were gone. All six of the Dark Elves vanished into thin air, leaving the four of us alone and confused.
“Where the hell did they go?” Oxfist said.
“Not a clue,” I told him. “Watch your temper next time!”
“I’ll watch what I wanna watch.”
Quinn looked at Flamefist. Her mind was working on a plan that she would not reveal until it was clear in her own head. I hurried her along.
“I think I know where they headed,” she began. Elves have very unique senses and possess many, many times greater abilities than my own. She paused for a second and then continued, “Lake Rathe. They’re going to Lake Rathe.”
“That would make sense,” said Flamefist. “Wizards can port there.”
Oxfist sheathed his weapon and looked up at the Wizard. “Well?” he asked. “Let’s go!”
Warriors have a tendency to not think things through. Flamefist knew this and to this day, I’m not sure why the great Wizard listened to the General. But he did.
Within seconds we appeared at the portal at Lake Rathe. Before I even took a step forward, I was knocked on the head with a huge tower shield.
Now I was lying beside Quinn in what looked like a large tent. My armor and weapons were nowhere to be found and my hands were tied behind my back. It was a miserable situation. I tried to slide my body around to see if I could see anyone else. As I turned, I could see the General staring at me, a look of excitement glistened in his eyes. He had a black eye and the his orange beard was red around the mouth from dried blood.
I continued to turn until I saw Gladefist sitting against one of the tent poles. His robe was tattered and his eyes were closed. I stared at him to make sure he was breathing. After a while, the old man’s eyelids peeked over for a second before slamming shut again.
A sickly cough came from behind me. Using all the muscles in my neck, I turned as far as I could. Hunched in the corner were two men. The tired eyes of Snyde Cragsmear and my father stared back at me. They were bloodied, tied down, and thankfully, still alive.