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 The Winds of Fate

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PostSubject: The Winds of Fate   Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:40 pm

Part 1: Goblet of Good Health

Prologue:

The thief's footsteps thundered across the slick wet cobblestone paths as he tried to outrun his pursuers. The dogs barked as they advanced on his heels. He ran into a dark alleyway where the Tailcoats bypassed him. THe officers had left his view when the theif turned where he stood and nearly bumped into a hooded man.
"Do you have it?" The figure asked with a voice that was hardly audible.
"I wouldn't be called Klayton the Shroud, if I didn't." Klayton said handing his client an object clad in soft brown linen.
The hooded figure opened it to see a gleaming bronze statuette. The unknown person nodded, and left after tossing a purse of coins at Klayton before taking off. Klayton grinned as he counted his spoils. Then the hair on the back of his neck bristled as it met the coldness of a sharp blade.
Klayton grinned, raising his hands still clutching the purse, "Well hot damn, didn't catch much of a break this round, did I?" He asked turning to face his adversary.
Galeon shook his head, "I don't want to keep playing this game of 'Cat and Mouse', Shroud. You'rejust lucky you have friends in high places. But rest assured, you won't be getting that luxury again. We'll be keeping you for good this time."
"But you have no evidence that I've stolen or done anything." Klayton grinned.
Galeon growled, "Be that as it may, you will be charged with running from justice, and I do believe you 've nicked a pair of earrings from Lady Adannah." Klayton gave a sly but innocent smirk, "Whatever do you mean? She gave those to me as a dearly departing goodbye gift to remember her by."
"You foul fiend! You defiled my cousin!?" one of the many Tailcoats exclaimed, lunging and glowering at the cocky thief. The tailcoat was held back, but only just; from murdering Klayton.
Galeon grumbled something incomprehensible and then barked, "Just come along Klayton."
Klayton shrugged with his continous sly smirk and followed the tailcoats to the hold, knowing he'd be released at least by the end of the week. If his bailer didn't strike sooner.

Three days later...

"Well, well, loolks like you got yourself locked up again." A woman in her early twenties grinned, as she peered down at Klayton.
Klayton then stood from his cot, "Ah, Fauna, my lovely cousin., how fares you this fine evening?"
Fauna chuckled, "Quite well thank you. Ready to go?"
"Oh, I don't know, I was having quite a blast. Especially thanks to the hospitable luxury, our friend Galeon burdens me with." Klayton joked gesturing at the simple cot and hole that stunk of filfth, "Would you like to step in and sit for a spell?" Klayton offered.
Fauna chuckled, "As tempting as that is, I must decline. I spoke with someone merely an hour ago. We have a job."
Klayton raised his eyebrow, "A job?"
She nodded, "Aye, a job, one that wil require your skills. Ever heard of the Goblet of Good Health?"

*~*~*
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PostSubject: Chapter 1   Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:35 am

A day ago....
MIla sat somberly beside her best friend, Greyhaunt Silvermark, Prince of Reddark Kingdom, fifth son to His Majesty, King Seymour.
"She's getting worse Greyhaunt...If she-," She couldn't bring herself to finish the sentence.
Greyhaunt hugged her to his side, stroking her arm with a strong and gentle caress, "Ellis will be fine." He assured her, but he knew Ellis was fighting a losing battle. It wouldn't be too long before she'd succumb to the darkness of her ailment, and her her sould would start seeking Nevaeh, the legendary kingdom of paradise.
"No she won't!" Mila snapped lightly, knowing the truth.
Greyhaunt bit his lip, not knowing what else to say, "We'll cure your mother, I swear it Mila."
She nodded wiping her tears, "Thanks Grey." Mila said with a stressed smile.
"Come along; let's return you to your house." Greyhaunt suggested.
Mila nodded and left with Greyhaunt to her home. It was a small little hut that had bunches of herbs and spices growing from pots all around. The quaint hut had never been spacious, but it had been Mila’s home for all of her seventeen years. The brambles that were bundled together with tar and tough twine roofed her home. Mila looked at this home with bittersweet indifference, and turned to Greyhaunt.
“I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Aye, same.” He replied, kissing her forehead and giving Mila a slight wave before heading home. Mila slept on her hay filled mattress near her mother, almost hating that the sickness wasn’t upon her, instead. She’d do anything to help her mother, Ellison, get better. The following afternoon, Mila was searching for a scroll on how to make her mother’s salve. It was one of her mother’s more popular merchandise. The scroll was somewhere among the hundreds of scrolls on the shelving. She stood upon a ladder, scouring the wooden ends that were labeled with etched markings. Thus revealing which scroll was which. Many were stories, and a decently even portion, were recipes for her mother’s herbal medicines. Mila finally saw the scroll, but another that hid in its shadow, that she had never seen before. Almost dismissing her previous task, she took both, but her eyes were trained on this new marvel she had discovered. She blew off the dust it had collected, and sat down and read it. She instantly realized it was a story, a legend actually, as she unfurled the parchment. It was the tale of a goblet that healed others of any ailment. Her eyes widened; this was it! The answer to her dilemma!
That evening, she met Greyhaunt at their favorite meeting place, Reddark Tavern. In hushed voices, they spoke about the goblet.
“I don’t know Mila, wouldn’t it be better to stay here with her, instead of going off into a whirl wind adventure in search of an item that may or may not exist?”
Mila nodded, “Yes, it does make more sense, but,” She stressed, “I need to save my mom while she’s still alive.”
Greyhaunt nodded, “Okay, but how are we going to do this?”
“We?” Mila asked.
“Uh, hello, I’m not going to allow you to go off by yourself. Can you even imagine the dangers beyond Reddark City?”
Mila smiled, “Alright, you can come, but we’ll have to find someone to look after my mom.”
Greyhaunt waved that off, “Don’t worry about that, I have servants at my home that can take care of her.”
Mila giggled, “Right, silly question.”
Then she turned serious again, “Okay then, I-we, still need a navigator at least, because I have no idea where the Hall of Greed is.”
The two sat there, contemplating on what to do.
“Excuse me, I couldn’t help but overhear your hushed whispers, did you say you’re looking for a navigator to show you to the Hall of Greed? To get a goblet?”
Greyhaunt and Mila looked up to see a young woman with long straight blonde hair and jade green eyes. Her crimson tunic-top held together by a small brown rope that had pockets attached to it and filled with odds and ends. A pair of brown trousers and black leather boots protruded from beneath her tunic. She was the epitome of an adventurer.
Greyhaunt stood, “You’re Fauna Edgewalker!”
Fauna nodded with a grin and a staged bow.
At the mere mentioning of her name, she was given a loud applause with hoots and hollers and rounds of ale were offered to her. She tooke three, handing the others to Greyhaunt and Mila.
Fauna sat down, “So, who are you two?” Fauna asked with her well known trademark grin.
“I’m Mila of Reddark, daughter of Ellison the herbalist; you may know her as Ellis.”
“Prince Greyahaunt Silvermark, fifth in line to the throne.” Greyhaunt nodded.
Fauna gave a curt nod to each, “Pleasure to meet you both. Now onto business, you need to get to the Hall of Greed, and you need someone to take you?”
“Yes, we need to find the Goblet of Good Health, you know how to get there?” Mila asked with rising hope.
“Then. That means it’s not a false place?” Greyhaunt asked.
Fauna chuckled, “Oh aye, I know where it is. I also know someone who will be able to steal this goblet for you.”
Mila gulped, “S-Steal it?”
Fauna patted her arm, “Don’t worry hun, every experienced thief, rogue and shady hooligan steals things from the Hall of Greed…granted you have the right person to do it. Now, this guy I have in mind you may have heard of before, Klayton Shroud, the notorious thief. As silver-tongued and sly as he is, I can trust him with my life. He’s my third cousin, and my best friend.”
“Would you be able to find him before the morrow?” Mila asked.
“Oh aye, if only it was that hard. You two go home and pack, I’ll go release him from his binds.”
Greyhaunt and Mila both gave the famed adventurer a queer look and she merely waved it off with a smile, “Meet me here on the morrow’s evening, with your packs.” Fauna said, and downed the last of her ale. She paid her tab, though the tavern owner tried to refuse the payment, she had insisted.
Mila turned to Greyhaunt, “People bewilder me Greyhaunt; how can someone so well loved be related to someone so well hated?”
Greyhaunt chuckled, “Don’t forget Mila, not everyone can find themselves to hate a charming thief. I’ve heard from many noble ladies of my father’s court, who have been bedded by him, that he is a very romantic guy, in his dark ways.”
Mila rolled her eyes, “Well, I won’t fall for any games he might try and play with me.”
Greyhaunt laughed, “We’ll see.”
“What, you don’t think I can withstand his seducing prowess?”
“Many have tried, and many have failed…every time.” Greyhaunt snickered.
“Well then I’ll be the first. He won’t catch me with his flaunting charms.” Mila said confidently.
“Well only time can tell.” Greyhaunt teased, finishing his ale and then started on Mila’s half-finished one.
Mila sighed, “I’ve only heard of this tramp…have you seen him?”
“Nope, but I know that he could charm the devil, and could resist even Siniah the Devil’s mistress’s own enchanting voice and beauty.”
Mila snickered, “Well, sounds like a challenge. I bet you ten marks, that by the end of this adventure, that I won’t have even the slightest flicker of interest towards him.”
“That’s a bet I’m willing to take, and it helps my favor, that you Mila, are Ambrosia’s worst liar.” Greyhaunt replied with a grin after polishing off Mila’s mug.
Mila huffed, “I suppose I should turn in, and see my mom.”
“Sounds good, I’ll see you when you open shop tomorrow. But don’t forget to pack before you go to bed.”
Mila nodded, “Night Grey.”
“Night Mila.”
She stood and with a quick kiss upon his cheek, she left, and shortly after, Greyhaunt did the same.
Mila entered her home, and sat by her mother, “Hey mom, how are you doing?”
Ellis smiled and squeezed her daughter’s hand; her illness had stolen her voice months ago.
“That’s good, listen; I’m going to cure you of your sickness. But that means I’m going to have to leave you for an indefinite amount of time.”
Ellis had a worried look on her face but sighed with a light nostalgic smile and signed the words, ‘Where are you going? What are you after?’
Mila debated over telling her, and then showed her mother the scroll she had found. Ellis’s eyes gazed over the scroll, she ran her fingers along the words and the she traced the crest that was a ymbol of the author who wrote the scroll. Mila saw the interest her mother had on the encaved diamond shape, with four short diagonal marks near each of the encaved parts. She took Mila’s hand and signed, ‘This crest, it’s Malconius the Scholar’s, he knows your father.’
Mila’s jaw closed and tightened. She hated her father; he had left them when she was still in her mother’s womb. True, they had lived off her father’s spoils and her mother’s income from the herbal medicines and remedies. But that was all he had been good for. She knew that her father had left on another journey before she was even two months into the process, and that he never returned.
No one knew what happened to the famed adventurer, but Mila had always hoped that he had died. No matter how much her mother insisted that her beloved husband would return alive, and how great a man he was, Mila had refused to speak or listen to any conversations about him. But she had overheard conversations at the Reddark Tavern made Malconius Nightfighter out to be this legendary guy. He was known by all, admired and respected throughout the kingdom, and loved by many. Relatable to Fauna’s status, but his was higher due to the fact that Malconius had been around for much longer, and had done many more feats. In fact his name was hard not to hear around since it was so popular since he was so renowned.
Mila was the only one who just knew of him. But honestly, how could she respect the very man who walked out on her and her mother? Half the reason why people knew her was because she was his daughter; the other half of course was because she was known throughout Reddark City as a warm-hearted person, and a very educated in her line of work, much like her mother.
Mila looked at her mom, her mom’s face saddened and she signed, ‘I know he’s not your favorite person in the world, but please…Don’t forget this crest. Seek the man who knows your father, and tell him that if he ever sees my husband again; to say these words to him, “love travels far and wide, yet it always stays close to home”.’
Mila nodded, “I’ll seek Malconius the scholar, and I’ll relay the message, but I wish to never see Nightfighter himself if I can help it.”
Ellis nodded and signed with a soft smile, ‘So be it, thank you.’
“Anyways, Greyhaunt has a servant who will care for you and work the shop. Hopefully I won’t be gone too long.”
Elis nodded.
Mila kissed her mother’s forehead, “Night Mom. I’m going to go pack.”
Ellis nodded and Mila left to go and do as she had told her mom. After packing up, she laid herself down on the bed knowing that she a big day tomorrow.
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