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Stars of Fate: Shadow of the Moon (Part 1)

 
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Daclat



Joined: 02 Sep 2005
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 10:16 pm    Post subject: Stars of Fate: Shadow of the Moon (Part 1) Reply with quote

Stars of Fate: Shadow of the Moon - a story of two Tauren that must guide their race back to an ancient gift, during a brutal war against the Centaur, far in the past...

PART ONE

By: Daclat

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Prologue


There was nothing. Darkness and that was all; darkness that filled the empty bottle of space. But suddenly, out of nothing, came a light so bright that it could be seen from anywhere in space. It was large and golden and it shone with great heat. More bright lights far into the distance appeared. Dozens, hundreds, thousands, millions, billions and trillions of lights colored the once empty space. From the shadow of the first golden light came a white ball of dust that sat motionlessly on the vacuum of space. A blue sphere was then exploded into existence, with a white blanket of clouds that covered it, almost to keep it warm. Green land came up from the blue; one giant continent. Magical creatures that could travel on the folds of space across the universe planted themselves on the planet, and called it home. The gray ball of dust started to circle the planet, and the planet started to circumnavigate the golden ball of light.

The small gray dust planet, the moon, and the golden sphere of light, the sun, transferred some great energy onto the planet to create a creature that could match the Titan’s strength, intellect, and wisdom. The great white stag called himself Cenarius, and he began to roam the newly formed planet in search of the beings the Titans had just created.

Experimenting with his powers, Cenarius found that he could manipulate nature around him. He looked at a reflection of himself and realized he did not look like the Titans. He decided this new world should have more like him, so he continued his search of the inhabitants of the planet.

He searched for hundreds of years.

During that incredible time he had searched, he found two races, which he called the Humans, and the Trolls. The Humans didn’t take notice of nature and were very barbaric. Cenarius didn’t think they were the right kind of people to learn his great power. His other encounter, the Trolls were more intelligent, but very disrespectful to the nature Cenarius had learned to love. The Trolls created fire and burned the trees. They worshipped the great light. Deep down inside, Cenarius knew that there would be a worthy race to spread his teachings to.

One day, as his father, the sun, was rising, and his mother, the moon, was setting, he saw a faint sign of smoke rising up to touch the sky. He then saw the Tauren. They had fire, but only to keep themselves warm. They ate the fruit of the trees, and did not hurt the trees themselves. They established communication and paid respect to Cenarius’ parents, especially the moon. They were the one. Cenarius approached the Tauren and started teaching.

First Cenarius taught them the language, Cenarion. The Tauren adapted very well. He then began to show them how to absorb nature’s grace and to purify it with a method of healing the Tauren never imagined. By the bright rays of the moon they were also able to unleash a destructive force that would strike down any enemies. But the Tauren had no enemies, and at that time the planet was pure. But Cenarius knew very well that one day the races he had observed would meet, and they would see each other as monsters. Cenarius wanted these creatures he had met to flourish.

Cenarius then began to teach them to shift into different kinds of beings that looked similar to himself. Some could fly with light wings, and some shifted into massive beasts with claws, guardians of nature. They became known as the druids. And with nature’s grace and wrath they flourished into a mighty and respectful band of druids. Most druids decided to stay in one of their forms forever and to create their own ways. Some decided not to, and would be able to shift on command.

“Do what you wish, because this world is yours,” told Cenarius, not mindful of the Titans. “Thank you, great one,” they would reply. The druids became very responsible, and could study new arts by themselves, so Cenarius decided to part with the Tauren.
“I will go in search of more people like you, and teach them similar ways. Then you and the other races will be friends forever and begin to protect nature from others who will destroy it.”

Cenarius, confident that the Tauren would be perfect, left to start another journey. “Don’t forget my brothers. Don’t forget my teachings; it will be up to you to pass them on to your sons and daughters, and generations to follow.” And with that, Cenarius walked down the starry path he had once walked years ago when he first met the Tauren, under the light of the moon.



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Chapter 1 - The White Stag

Celun noticed that the giant bluffs of Mulgore were different. There was a windmill, buildings, and he was pretty sure he could see other Tauren, like himself, walking on top of them. There was green grass all over Mulgore, and beautiful trees. It was a perfect, bright, sunny day. The sky was clear and bright blue.

And then he woke up.

It took Celun a couple of seconds to realize he wasn’t dreaming anymore. It took him a couple seconds to also realize the bluffs of Mulgore were empty, the trees were all sawed down, and there was no grass. Mulgore was a dirt pile, a mud littered land that went on for miles and miles. Celun had never set foot outside of Mulgore, and he knew no one that did. He often wondered if Mulgore always looked this way. His whole life he grew up in a war torn country, destroyed by the ruthless Centaur. Celun believed that he would see the day the Centaur take over the land he lived in. He noticed in the 20 years of his life his native forces have grown tired, and the Centaur, gruesome four legged people, always came back stronger and more furious.

Celun grabbed his axe and walked towards the forest – what was left of it. These days he cut down the trees and handed them over to the ones who would make bows, arrows, and spears out of them. Every time Celun hit a tree with the axe he felt a little of himself die. He felt oddly connected with the trees around him, and the helpless animals his own brothers carelessly slaughtered for food. But Celun agreed they had no choice; there was nothing else to eat.

Celun scratched his light brown fur and mane. Then he touched the tips of his large black horns. He was very bored. He glanced at his birthmark on his right palm. It was an upside-down crescent moon shape, with a circle above it. He always wondered about that.

The Centaur had not attacked for months, but no one thought they were gone for good. They always did come back, usually at the worst times it seemed, and when they did, more of his people died and the Tauren would barely scratch the Centaur’s forces. No one knew where they came from, or how many soldiers they had, but everyone knows that the war for Mulgore has been going on for centuries.

Celun left the small group of trees and glanced over to the place he called home. It was dawn and very foggy. He could see his fellow Tauren running around, talking, shouting, working in the war torn earth. Celun knew this wasn’t a way to live, but it was all he knew. There were tents scattered around as far as he could see, and many forges and cooking fires.

Celun continued to walk towards the giant hut in the middle of Mulgore. It was the “capital” of the land. Inside there were paintings on leather hides. They were written with a language no one understood, but the pictures were very recognizable. They were as old as the war itself. Most were pictures of animals and Mulgore, which was very green and peaceful, but unlike Celun’s dreams, there was not a city on the bluffs. But Celun and most of the others thought they were just paintings of what the painters desired. There were no paintings of the real Mulgore, and none of the Centaur.

Celun worked for the rest of the day and then went to sleep, with images of peace in his mind.

He dreamed of the peaceful Mulgore again. He saw the city on the bluffs and the gentle rolling hills, and the orange rocks surrounding the area, which really were charred black.

***

Celun awoke like every other day and went to work. He saw Muurk, a Tauren his age by the trees. Celun was not fond of Muurk, and it was truer the other way around. Muurk was very tall and very strong. He had reddish eyes and a deep black mane and fur, with small, gray horns.

“Did Celun have good night of sleep?” Muurk said with a face of delight.
“Yes, I did, in fact.” Celun smiled back.
Murrk was not pleased.
“Well us real warriors were out keeping watch, while the little servants like you were sleeping, getting ready for a long day for swinging an axe at a tree.”
“You have the same job as me, except you swing your axe at people,” Celun said, frustrated.
Murrk ran towards Celun and slammed him against a tree and pinned him to it.
“I protect cowards like you!” Murrk yelled in Celun’s ear.
“Without me, you would not be alive. The ‘people’, if you could call them that, are our enemies!” Murrk said in a loud whisper. Murrk then shook him and made Celun hit his head on the tree.
“Don’t you understand? The horse-people would kill you if they could! They are monsters.”
“That’s one thing we agree on,” said Celun, now very calm and dull. “I was just comparing our jobs.”
Murrk shook his head in disgust and left. Celun did not hate Murrk; he knew that the war made everyone a little on edge at all times.

Celun began to saw down the trees, and like everyday, it hurt.

Later that day, Celun noticed Hamuul was walking up the hill to visit him. Hamuul looked very much like Celun, except for his horns, which were a bright white. Hamuul was one of Celun’s only friends because they were very alike. Most of the Tauren were very similar to Muurk, except he was a little more aggressive towards Celun than most.

“Hello there!” said Hamuul with a cheery face. Celun wasn’t used to seeing happy faces, in a world he lived in.
“Hi, Hamuul.”
“I saw Muurk talking to you, was he giving you a hard time again?”
“No, not really, just the usual garbage,” Celun said with an embarrassed tone in his voice.
“Well the usual is him bullying you around! When will you ever stand up for yourself?”
Celun sighed. He had gone over this with Hamuul countless times.
“I’d rather not make enemies with my own people. My only enemies are the animals that killed my parents. Their names are the Centaur. They come in here very often and-” Celun started in an obviously sarcastic tone.
“I know,” said Hamuul, cutting him off, “you are very right.”

Celun and Hamuul talked for a little while longer, and then Hamuul left. Celun, after he had cut down the bare minimum of trees for the day, watched the sun set and went to sleep.


Celun woke up soon after with a jolt, as if someone had just shook him awake. He went outside. The moon was unusually massive and very bright. Celun had seen the moon this big only a couple of times in his life. Celun hiked to the middle tent with the paintings. He often went there when he felt alone or sick. He went through the decorated flap and walked around the large wooden base of the tent. It was bright inside because of the torches; they never stopped burning. This was a “holy” place for the Tauren, the only one they knew.

Celun looked at the paintings and glanced at the gibberish that neither he nor anyone else understood. But they seemed strange. He took a closer look at the bold characters and all of a sudden, he understood. It was as if he just grasped it, without the slightest warning.

Celun glanced over at one of the hides.

And we were never happier. Cenarius was the filler to the deep hole we had in our hearts since we could remember. Our druidic powers have never been so powerful. .

Celun reread the small passage and noticed he could read every hide. He became scared. He felt his own heart beat throughout his body. He felt an uncomfortable sensation of a presence. He ran out of the tent towards his own when he tripped on a rock and landed in the dark dirt. As he was getting up he saw a bright light in the forest for a split second, and like a moth drawn to the flame, he approached it.

As Celun walked in the forest, he noticed the trees were not black and charred with none-to-little leaves. They were thick, light brown and they had beautiful green and violet leaves on the branches. They gave off an aura of life, and he felt very comfortable. He would not have seen the color of the leaves if it wasn’t for the bright moon above. He also noticed there were many more trees than usual. He walked deeper and saw a lake. He knew that was not there yesterday.

Then came a light so bright he was blinded for a couple of seconds. When the light disappeared from his eyes, he saw a white stag standing in front of him.

The skinny sheep-like creature was very large, abnormally large; it stood above the trees. It was bright white, had no other color of any kind on its fur. It gave off a light that was as bright as the moon itself, as if the fur of the mighty beast had fire inside of it. His horns had no chips and were very long and crooked. They seemed hallow because an even brighter light shone inside of them. Its’ eyes were light blue, glowing rocks as they stared right into Celun’s brown ones. The texture of the fur seemed so smooth; it looked like silk. The hooves of the creature were a dark, shiny black that looked like a metal, even as the dirt and the water of the lake got on them, it all slipped off leaving no residue. The fur was the same way. The stag slowly walked towards Celun.

It is so….pure… Celun thought to himself.

When the stag titled his neck a little, he saw a symbol on the side of it that looked identical to his own birthmark. And then the stag spoke.

“Celun,” the stag stated.
Celun was so awestruck, he began to sweat. An incredible fear came over him, and he wanted to run away, but his feet stayed still.
“I am Cenarius. The one who turned your already-kind people into nature-loving, powerful, respectful beings,” the stag said.
“But as I watched you all from all the corners of the universe over the past millennia, your people have forgotten my druidic teachings. You are now careless warriors fighting a battle that you cannot win.”
“Why-why are you here?” Celun choked.
“You are the chosen one. You have to lead the Tauren back to my teachings. And when you do, the war will be over and your brothers will return to their druidic origins.
Celun noticed his birthmark on his hand was glowing as white as the stag himself.
“Celun, you will prevail. I have chosen you to complete this task, and I know your love for nature will push you to the end.”
“But why?” Celun whimpered.
Cenarius ignored Celun’s last question and began talking again.
“First, you must travel to a desolate land, far away from Mulgore. This is where the Centaur resides. I will talk to you at that time.”
And with a flash the stag was gone.

Celun fell to his knees while the glowing mark on his hand slowly dimmed to the normal mark Celun had always seen. Celun fell into the mud as the trees began to shift back to their original form; dark and leaf-less. The lake withered away and tears began to run down Celun’s face. He clutched the ground and stared at the sky, still realizing what had just happened. Celun lay there in the mud and closed his eyes, but he did not sleep.


Last edited by Daclat on Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:04 pm; edited 40 times in total
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Daclat



Joined: 02 Sep 2005
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 2 – The Adventure Begins

Celun opened his eyes to find the sun staring at him. It was very high in the sky, and he knew right away it was about midday. His head hurt and he felt very numb. He didn’t remember falling asleep, and he soon realized he couldn’t have, after what had happened the previous night. It was as if someone had put him to sleep for a long time; he would have never slept this late.

He got up slowly and walked toward the end of the forest. He recalled everything the mysterious Cenarius had told him the night before. He began to talk out loud.

“Why can’t you come and destroy the Centaur yourself? I know you could do it with ease! How will I know where to go?” Celun said as he put his back to a tree. He knew it wasn’t a dream, it was so real.

But how did I fall asleep…? Celun wondered.

He heard footsteps approach him from the bottom of the hill leading to the band of trees. First he saw the white horns, and his heart raced. But quickly after, he noticed the small scratches, and the relatively small size. It was Hamuul.

“I was looking for you the whole entire day! Why would you run off like that alone?” Hamuul said in a sharp and unpleasant voice.
Celun looked at him with a confused face, “what? I have been here since late last night. What’s wrong?”
Hamuul lowered his head and walked a couple steps out of the trees and on top of the hill. Celun got up and walked to the side of him. He saw Tauren carrying dead Tauren in sacks, people running around with tools and weapons, rebuilding the tall watchtowers. Celun was about to ask what had happened, but he knew. The Centaur raided again.

“Around forty died.” Hamuul said quietly. “It was very quick, they burned the watchtowers and threw spears and shot arrows in random tents. I saw a spear through your tent, Celun. I went over to it and you weren’t inside.”
Celun then knew why he was forced to sleep. Celun kicked some dirt down the hill. He took another look around Mulgore. It was pretty quiet, besides the ones who were rebuilding the towers. The Tauren land had giant walls of natural rock surrounding the area, except for the west, which was where Celun had his tent.
“I’m going to leave this place, Hamuul. I’m going to find something, I don’t know what, but I’m going to end this. Don’t try to persuade me not to go because I don’t want to leave our friendship like that.” Celun quietly said.
Hamuul didn’t even think about it for a second. “Then I’m coming with you. I don’t know what is out there, but I’m sure it’s better than this. Don’t try to persuade me not to, because I’m coming, and that’s final.”
Celun was very shocked, but felt a hint of happiness.
“We leave tommrow.”

The rest of the day, Celun and Hamuul gathered supplies. Leather bags, bread, metal flasks, wood, and igniting powder to start camp fires. They also packed blankets, a small hand axe and a large knife. Celun strapped the knife to his belt. Hamuul had the axe.

“We don’t know what we will find out there, it might be very cold, and it might be very hot; get as many supplies as you can hold, Hamuul.”

After the sun had set and most of the supplies were all packed and ready to go in Hamuul’s tent, Celun went to the hut in the middle of Mulgore. In the middle of the hut there were two long staffs, different in colors, but same in height. They were strong but extremely light. They were found buried centuries before he was born. There were large discs on the top of the staffs, and out of them jut feathers that were very tough and sharp. Everyone said they were feathers of a phoenix. The staffs were virtually indestructible. Tomorrow night he and Hamuul would take them.

Celun walked around the hut and decided to read all the hides. He spent hours in the hut, gathering information and trying to extract the meaning. He read the story of how Cenarius came to the Tauren, written in the Tauren’s perspective. He felt very enlightened. Celun knew he had learned the language called Cenarion. One hide had a painting of a Tauren that looked a lot like Celun, with a few sentences on the bottom. It read:

Follow the moon and the stars, for they will guide you in the right direction. I will help you along the way.

Celun felt as if the white stag were in the room and was speaking to him through the text. It was bright in the hut because of the torches, but Celun still noticed a bright white light behind him. He looked behind him, and saw that one of the hides had a glowing symbol on them, that had just appeared. The symbol, again, looked exactly like his birthmark. It disappeared quickly. The hide it was on was blank, and had always been. Celun walked out of the hut and saw the moon bright in the sky.

Follow the moon…Celun recalled. It was over the giant rock wall surrounding Mulgore.

***

The sun set, and like everyday the moon appeared. It was a struggle between the two beings; which one could take over the sky. Just like everyday, Celun got up when the sun was just about to rise. He woke up Hamuul and they hiked to the wall the moon was over the night before.
“So what if the moon was over this wall!” exclaimed Hamuul, “the sun was over the open area. We could just walk out.”
Celun didn’t want to tell Hamuul about Cenarius or the language Cenarion, so he didn’t reply, and instead shot a discouraging look at Hamuul.
“Fine,” Hamuul stated.
The two Tauren found the shortest spot of the rock wall. They noticed in the middle of it, there was a ledge large enough to stand on.
“Two ladders, one to get up to the ledge, and the other we place on the ledge to climb to the top. One ladder would be too unstable,” declared Celun.
Hamuul nodded.

A couple of hours after midday, Celun and Hamuul stole some wood from the large pile that would have been used to make weapons. They worked for a couple hours on the two ladders, tying each bar very tight. When the sun was only an hour from setting, the ladders were finished, and they both placed them by the rock wall.
Hamuul started to show signs of sadness. He didn’t want to leave Mulgore, but he didn’t want to live in a land like this. He also wanted to stay with his only friend. But he became determined, and then showed no fear, even when they both did not know what was waiting for them.

When night began, the two Tauren emerged from their tents and got all the supplies ready. All the packs were very heavy; they could not run very fast with it all strapped on. The two started to go in the direction of the moon, toward the rock wall they were about to climb over with the two large ladders they had made earlier.
“We need weapons,” said Celun.
“We got them right here, you have a dagger and I have an axe.”
“Not good enough. Follow me.”

Celun walked into the middle hut, where he had been many times before in his life. He knew this would probably be the final time. Celun walked up to the two staffs in the middle.
“No,” said Hamuul. No reply.
“NO!” shouted Hamuul.
“Keep your voice down! These staffs were destined to us. Celun grabbed the green one with the blue leaves. Hamuul sighed and grabbed the dark green one with the orange leaves. He nodded in satisfaction. Hamuul wedged it between one of his backpacks and left the hut in a hurry. Celun glanced at the only blank hide; the one he had saw glowing the day before. He stood in front of it for a second, motionless. He then quickly folded the unpainted leather hide in a small square and shoved it in his backpack. He ran to join Hamuul by the rock wall beneath a moon covered with a thick blanket of clouds.

They placed the first ladder up to the wide ledge. The ladders were very tall and they were afraid they might break. Hamuul went up first, carrying all of his backpacks and sacks. Then, Celun went a few steps up the ladder, and handed Hamuul the second ladder so he could place it on the ledge.

“It’s hard climbing these ladders with all the luggage,” groaned Celun, as he climbed up the ladder.

Hamuul nodded. When Celun got to the ledge, Hamuul had already gone up the second ladder, and was on top of the rock wall. Celun smiled so wide, Hamuul could see it in the dark. Celun took a brief moment of rest on the ledge, when he saw a small, flickering orange light approaching the bottom of the first ladder.

“Where do you think you two are going with those staffs?” said a voice that was very familiar to Hamuul and Celun. It was Muurk.
“We are leaving, Murrk. Leave us be so we can go, agreed?”
“Cowards! I will not let you go with those staffs! They have been in our holy tent for generations and generations,” said Muurk sharply from the bottom of the ladder. Celun could see the gleam of Murrk’s axe in his other hand. Hamuul stood still on the top of the rock wall and said nothing. Murrk then grabbed the side of the first ladder and started to rush up. Celun knew he could not get up the second ladder before his approaching enemy did. Celun also knew that Murrk would do anything to protect the staffs.

“Celun, here!” said Hamuul as he threw his small hand axe to Celun. He tried to push the ladder down but it was wedged under the ledge. Celun then began to strike at the ladder with the axe. A couple of hits and the first bar was broken, and the ladder swerved, causing Muurk to hold on and not move for a quick second. Celun began to hit the other bar, and when he broke it, the ladder fell. But a large blade of an axe, caught some rock on the ledge; Muurk was holding on to it, and with it, he pulled himself up, and stood in front of Celun, with his giant axe drawn.

Celun backed up into the corner of the ledge, where it was darkest. Just then some clouds over the moon disappeared, and light shone on Muurk, but leaving Celun in darkness.

“We will give you back the staffs, Muurk, just don’t do anything you might regret,” said Hamuul in a voice that sounded like he was about to cry.
“I won’t regret anything,” Muurk said coldly, and swung his axe into the dark spot Celun was standing in.
But something had stopped the axe; Celun stepped out with the staff drawn, which did not even have the slightest dent after the swing. Surprising Muurk, Celun strongly placed the top disc of the staff on Muurk’s forehead, and he fell down, almost off the ledge. He quickly got up, but Celun felt a special energy inside him that he had never felt before, and was able to strike Muurk at the ankle, making him fall again. Muurk let go of his axe, and Celun kicked it off the ledge.

Muurk, with a vicious roar, got up and punched Celun with all of his might on the side of his head. Celun lost his balance for a second. Dazed, he cut the side of Muurk’s neck with one of the sharp feathers.
“AH!” yelled Muurk as he put his hand over the side of his neck.
Celun then jolted the bottom of the staff in Muurk’s stomach, and Muurk had to catch his breath before getting up. With a scream, Muurk kicked Celun’s ankle and he screamed in pain.

Muurk approached Celun ready to kick his head and crush his skull, when a log from above was dropped on his own head by Hamuul. All three Tauren heard a faint crack. Celun felt the energy stronger than ever, and he got up and smacked the disc of the staff across Muurk’s bleeding head. He fell to the ground, close to the edge. Celun noticed he was still moving a little, and was breathing fine. He placed Muurk away from the edge of the ledge so he wouldn’t roll over and fall, grabbed the small hand axe, and tossed it to Hamuul. Celun began to ascend up the ladder slowly.

“Thank you,” whispered Celun to Hamuul. He also mouthed a quick ‘thank you’ to the sky, knowing that the white stag had received it.

It was too dark to see anything, but they did know that the earth sloped down from the rock wall, so they didn’t have to worry about climbing down. Celun and Hamuul began to walk towards the moon, and they began their adventure.


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Chapter 3 – Gift of the Wild

Celun and Hamuul walked for hours in total darkness. They could barely see their own feet in front of them. They wanted to get far away from Mulgore because they knew their fellow Tauren would be after them. When the sun started to rise, Hamuul and Celun sat down on opposite sides of a large tree and put their luggage down beside them. They were exhausted.

“This land could be a lot different from Mulgore. There might be some animals bigger than us…how do you think we should protect ourselves, Hamuul?” but Hamuul was already in a deep sleep.

As the sun slowly started to show itself, more of the foreign land was exposed. Celun could not sleep, even though fatigue swept through his body. He grabbed the dagger and the staff and started to walk toward the opposite way in which they had come.

He started to see the dirt and how it was different from Mulgore. It was a light brown. He also thought he saw some trees out in the distance, and they were not decaying like the trees in Mulgore. He wouldn’t dare light a fire, even though it was very cold; he was not sure if Centaur would spot the bright light. Neither of them knew how far away the Centaur actually lived.

Celun glanced behind him and noticed Hamuul was still asleep, so he kept on walking. He felt a wave of understanding come over him. He was being influenced by the stag he had seen a couple of nights before. He began to grasp concepts of the environment around him, which he normally would not have. And for a brief second, he thought he could do anything.

Celun began to wonder if bringing Hamuul along was the right choice. He remembered how he dropped a log on Muurk’s head; he probably would have not won that fight without Hamuul. Celun began to think to himself when he heard something stir behind him. He first thought it was Hamuul, but as he turned around, he saw two red eyes staring at him, above a mouth with sharp teeth jutting out.

Celun grabbed the staff and began to yell at the horrid creature starring at him, which was not moving.
“BACK!” screamed Celunl as he waved the staff in front of the creature. It was a large and dog-like and looked like it could rip anything to shreds. Celun was sure the creature would have normally attacked him, but the creature nudged his head against him like it was Celun’s pet. He was shocked and he started to feel comfortable around the creature, and after a few minutes he put the staff down.

Celun pet the creature for a minute until there was another movement in front of him. It was a small gazelle. The creature barred its teeth and ran after the gazelle. The gazelle fell fast and the hyena ate the flesh and chewed on the bones. The animal then walked away. Celun recalled the paintings in the holy tent in Mulgore; how it usually showed fierce animals like bears and lions sitting right next to the Tauren in peace.

He became confused. He had seen animals attack other Tauren on many occasions, especially when the animal’s life was in danger, or when hungry. He quickly looked around him, and then he glanced at his birthmark. He knew he was not an ordinary Tauren – at least not anymore. He walked for about a half an hour when he felt something inside him. Cenarius had not told Celun what to do, but he knew exactly what he meant.

Celun quickly walked over to Hamuul, who had just awakened.
“Hamuul, give me your hand.”
Hamuul starred at Celun.
He then grabbed Hamuul’s hand by force and put his own against it.
A bright flash came between them and both hands were pulled apart from each other. Hamuul then glanced at his new glowing mark on his right palm, identical to Celun’s. Both marks were glowing, and then slowly dimmed to normal. Hamuul understood what had happened and became very informed.
“Thank you,” stuttered Hamuul, still glancing down at the mark.
And then Celun began to tell what happened in the forest a couple nights before.

***

A few nights later, Celun and Hamuul were walking towards the moon when they both saw a faint flicker of light ahead. They became alarmed. They had not seen anyone since the recent start of their journey, except for the animals that accepted Hamuul as well.

Both Tauren trotted towards the wooden hut which was emitting the light. They went to the side of the hut and looked inside through a square hole on the side. They observed two creatures inside. They both resembled pigs, but they walked on two legs. They had small tusks. One was dressed in a dark red robe, and the other was on a makeshift bed and seemed very sick. His skin was the color of the other creature’s robe with giant black stripes of dead skin. The creature on the bed was motionless, and the other was walking about the small hut. On one side of the hut there was a shelf with many vials of liquid and herbs.

Celun and Hamuul approached the front door. Without discussing it, Hamuul gently tapped on the door. They heard one of the creatures scrambling around.

“Who goes there?” said one of the creatures in a raspy voice.
“We mean you no harm,” Celun said in the same tongue of the creature. Hamuul and Celun understood this new language completely, even though they have never encountered it before. The creature in the robe opened the door and both Tauren walked in.

They both knew that they were now children of Azeroth, the world in which they lived in; both would be able to communicate with anyone that could communicate back. They knew somehow they would always be able to talk with any of the planet’s other creations.

“Who are you?” the creature in the robe asked. The one in the bed was still not moving.
“We are from Mulgore, a place south of here,” Celun said to the creature.
“I have never seen your species before; but I meet new ones surprisingly often,” announced the creature. “But they never spoke Quil”
“Quil?” asked Hamuul.
“You know how to speak the language but don’t know the name of it? It is the tongue of us, the Quilboar.”
“Never mind that. Is it alright if we stay in your hut for the night? You must know how cold the nights are here, and we cannot light a fire without attracting enemies, like you have.”
“But I have attracted you two to my house, although I do not see you as my enemies – yet. Stay if you like, but you have to sleep on the floor like myself. The only bed in this place is reserved for my latest patient here.”

“You are a doctor?” asked Celun.
“I’m an alchemist. I am trying to cure my fellow Quilboar from a moderate case of Isha.”
”Alchemist? Can you turn metal scraps into gold?” Hamuul asked.
“Oh please,” the Quilboar said.
“What is Isha? A disease? Is it contagious?” asked Celun in a worried voice.
“You really are not from around here, are you? Isha is a plant that is very poisonous. One slight touch will probably kill any living being instantly. Good thing this person here was far away enough to spot it. The fumes did manage to touch him though.”

Hamuul and Celun both looked at the Quilboar on the bed. He looked horrible, his eyes were black and it looked like he was burnt.

“My patient here became unconscious instantly, and has been for two days now. I found him about one mile away from here. I was able to grab him and bring him back here. I am now treating him.”
“Wouldn’t you have been touched by the fumes of the plant also?” asked Celun.
“I am immune to it. Once you have the smallest amount of it inside your body, you can never be harmed by it again. I got a little too close when I was very young. It seemed so far away; I just wanted to see my first Isha plant.” The Quilboar said with teary eyes.
“Did you become like him?” asked Hamuul, pointing to the other Quilboar.
“Not as bad, but similar. All the wounds healed, they always do. If this person here survives, he will return to normal.”

Hamuul and Celun found that highly improbable, after looking at the Quilboar again, but they both said nothing.
“I’m Rwin, by the way.”
“I’m Celun, and my friend here is named Hamuul.”
Hamuul gave a slight nod.
“You two have not been in The Barrens very long, have you?”
“So that is what this land is called,” said Hamuul.
“We left a few nights ago,” said Celun.
“Well anyway,” Rwin began again, “I was treated by a herbalist similar to myself now. Since that time, I dedicated my life to be like him, and treat my fellow Quilboar.”
“We are very glad we met such a friendly race. The only one other than ourselves we have ever encountered are the Centaur; I’m not sure if you have ever seen one,” said Celun.
“Oh yes, the horse-people. I dislike them, but they don’t bother me and the Quilboar. I always see large storms of troops marching south to your land. I know about the war that has been raging for all this time. The entire Quilboar do,” Rwin said in a saddened voice. “And the Quilboar are not a friendly race.”
“What?” asked Celun, surprised.
Hamuul looked right at Rwin with a puzzled face.
“Stay away from the rest of the Quilboar, I’m afraid they…WE… are a vicious people. I am not like them; this is why I live in solitude. I am shunned from their barbaric society, like herbalists always have been.”
“Do they try to hurt you?” asked Hamuul.
“No, whenever someone is sick or did not die right away from an Isha, they come to me, or in some cases, I travel back to them. They just don’t want people like me to live within their houses. They are a warrior-driven race, and they will strike at any stranger they encounter; years of war with foreign races have brought them that.”

“Where do they live?” asked Celun.
“I’m afraid they are scattered throughout The Barrens. You can tell if an area has Quilboar inhabitants by the large thorns jutting out of the earth and wrapping around their homes. They are usually by the giant rocks and mountains of this land.”
“We will make sure to stay away from them,” said Celun.
“More importantly, stay away from the Isha, for that would kill you much faster. Since you are new to this land, I will show you what it looks like.”
Rwin walked over to his shelf and brought out a picture drawn with colored mud. The plant was red and orange, with slight green stripes on the leaves. It looked very short and had many leaves.
“Each branch has 5 leaves coming from it. It is mainly red and yellow. You should recognize it from the bright specks of pollen that fly from it. The aura of pollen is very bright. Do not breathe if you see it, and run far away. It grows very fast and can go without water for months. It can also grow almost anywhere, in any temperature.”

“Is it possible to throw a torch at it and burn it?” Hamuul asked.
“No,” replied Rwin. “Never do that. When it begins to burn it will let off a lot of fumes and pollen, and it could affect living things from ten times as far away. Do not burn the Isha. The only ones who can dispose of it are the ones that have been affected by it before and are immune to it like myself. I cut the small bushes of horror down and drown it in a special solution in that kettle over on the shelf.”
Celun and Hamuul stared at Rwin in depressed faces.
“Listen you two; do not be afraid to be walking through the plants of The Barrens because of the Isha. The Isha kills plants around it too, so you will only see it by rocks and in the dirt. I’m sure you have noticed by now that this land is half luscious jungle, and half barren desert. The Isha is killing all the plants. Stay in the trees and you should be fine. You probably cannot avoid the desert areas forever, so be extra careful when you are stepping in the sand,” Rwin said quietly.
Celun and Hamuul nodded.
“By the way, what are you two doing here, away from Mulgore?”
“We are travelers,” Celun said. “I have another question; does the Isha affect the Centaur?”
Rwin laughed; he knew what Celun was thinking. “Of course it does. It affects every living thing I have ever seen. But the Centaur stay away from it. They live in a land north from here, they come south and ride through the large strip of jungle to Mulgore; they don’t put one hoof in the desert. However in a couple years there might not be any forest left, because the Isha kills it as quickly as us,” said Rwin as he pulled out a poorly drawn map of The Barrens.
“The map is pretty inaccurate, but you get the picture,” Rwin said. “And if you wish to avoid the Centaur, I would not be traveling through that strip of jungle.”

And then the two Tauren and the short creature called the Quilboar went to sleep on both sides of the bed with the other Quilboar who looked like he was fighting with death.

Celun had a strange dream that seemed as real as the dreams he had about the green Mulgore. He saw a Tauren like himself very sick in a primitive environment. Another Tauren approached the sick one and cast a green beam of light and the sick Tauren felt like he was born again.

This is what I must learn…thought Celun in his dream.

And the image faded away into darkness.


Last edited by Daclat on Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:48 pm; edited 6 times in total
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Daclat



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 4 – Quilboar Attack

Celun and Hamuul spent a week at Rwin’s hut. The two Tauren roamed around The Barrens by day and returned to the hut at night. Before they went to sleep they soaked up information about The Barrens from Rwin. Rwin’s patient was showing signs of improvement, and they did not spot any Centaur, other Quilboar, or angry Tauren. In the morning and at night Rwin prepared a herb soup for them to eat; the two Tauren did not hunt any animals after Celun had the first encounter with the hyena. All the animals they have seen since had been unusually friendly around them.

Celun walked out of Rwin’s house as the sun began to rise. He felt dew on his ankles from the soft grass. He began to walk. Every morning he did this. He thought about his situation. He thought about Rwin and his patient. He thought about the Centaur and the Tauren he left in Mulgore. He didn’t know where to go next. Celun decided he would wait a week or two more to learn about The Barrens before traveling again.

He heard a soft crunch in the background; it was Hamuul.
“Morning,” said Hamuul.
Celun nodded with a smile.
“Celun,” stated Hamuul, now in a more serious tone.
“Yes?”
“When should we leave this place?” asked Hamuul.
“I don’t know, Rwin is willing to let us stay for as long as we want,” replied Celun.
Hamuul nodded.
“It is going to be hard to leave his house. We might not live in a place like that again until we are back in Mulgore.”
“If we ever return,” said Hamuul bitterly.
“We can’t turn our backs on our people…we’ll return to them when our journey is complete,” Celun said in a hopeful tone.
They stopped walking when they heard a strange noise. Hamuul flinched.
Celun heard the noise again. Hamuul looked at Celun in the worst way he ever did.
The sound came again. It was like a whizzing sound, and then a soft sound right after. Hamuul fell to his knees; three arrows in his back. Behind him, there were four Quilboar, and they didn’t look like Rwin. They were stronger and had crude skulls on their shoulders and they held spears and bows. Celun didn’t take the time to observe them thoroughly. He grabbed Hamuul by the hand and began his sprint.

“Run, Hamuul, RUN!”
“My back…” Hamuul cried.
Blood dripped down Hamuuls back to the ground. More arrows shot past the two Tauren, almost landing in the back of Celun’s head.
“Stay with me, keep running, don’t stop for a second!” Celun demanded as they rushed outside of the small patch of trees and grass where Rwin had his home.
The two made large tracks in the sand. Celun knew Hamuul couldn’t run much more. Tears ran down his face.
“Can’t run anymore…” Hamuul whispered as he fell into a deep ditch. Celun fell in it too; it was very hard to spot if you didn’t know it was there. The long hole in the ground was completely covered in a colorful plant. Celun pushed Hamuul under it in an attempt to hide him. Hamuul lost consciousness. Celun grabbed his small dagger out of his pouch.
Wishing he had brought his staff, he clutched the dagger and put his back to the wall.

This is it; we are done…

He looked up to the sky.
“I’m so sorry,” he said, still looking up, “I have failed you.”

Celun looked at Hamuul’s lifeless body.

Maybe Rwin can save him if the Quilboar assume he is dead, after they are through with me…

Celun began to fill with rage. He clutched the dagger even harder and prepared to stab at least one of the Quilboar as he went down.
The Quilboar came to the edge of the ditch. They didn’t see Celun, but saw Hamuul. To Celun’s surprise, they didn’t stand at the edge of the ditch for very long.
“GO!” shouted one of the Quilboar in a deep and raspy voice and the four enemies retreated.

Celun dropped the dagger in the plants and grabbed Hamuul, wondering why the Quilboar ran. Celun at first thought it was because they became suddenly afraid of Hamuul’s still body. But Celun soon realized the real reason. They were covered in the infamous Isha plant.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter 5 – Newly Discovered Abilities

Celun waited in the plants, teary-eyed. He would not make an effort to get up.

Any moment now… he thought.

It would all be over. But nothing happened. He quickly grabbed Hamuul and took him out of the ditch filled with the Isha.

Hamuul was bloody and torn up, but was showing small signs of life.
“Come on Hammul, wake up, wake UP!”
Celun shook his friend violently but no response.
But something came over Celun. He didn’t know what it was. He felt dizzy for a second. He lifted up his hand and put it on Hamuul, saw a green flash of light, and passed out.

***

Celun woke up with a Quilboar looking right at him. He reached for his knife, but it was not there. After a couple of seconds of adrenaline, he realized it was Rwin, and he was back at his house.
“Are you…ok?” Rwin asked. Something obviously was bothering him.
“I think so,” Celun stated, and then remembered his friend. “Hamuul! Where is he!?”
“Right here, Celun,” said a voice from in the house. “I found you passed out and brought you here,” Hamuul said.
“What about the…wounds.”
“What wounds?” Hamuul turned to Rwin with a puzzling look.
“He must be tired,” Rwin said.
Celun did not bother to explain, he decided to tell Hamuul later.
“How is it that you can fall in a ditch of Isha and not die?” Rwin said suddenly.
“I’m not sure, but you have to believe me. We were chased into a ditch of Isha, and then when I woke up we were right on the side of it. Celun was passed out,” Hamuul said.

“And you're sure-” Rwin started.
“YES! I am sure of it, for the fifth time now,” Hamuul said frustrated.
“I need some time to think, I am going for a walk,” said Rwin, and he left the house after he checked on his patient, who looked worse than before.

“Hamuul. You were bleeding very badly. I did not dream it!” Celun told him.
“I will not blame you if you did Celun. We were both knocked out. Probably the Quilboar knocked us out and put us in the Isha. It is no problem, Celun-”
“I did NOT dream it. I put my hand out, I saw light and…I woke up…” Celun said, beginning to doubt what had happened. “It seemed so real.”
“It’s ok Celun, I have not met anyone that can cure wounds with a snap of their fingers,” Hamuul said with a grin.
Celun snickered. “Yeah, I suppose so.”

As Celun got up from the bed, he looked at his leather pants. He saw something that made him look closer at them. There was some blood smeared on the side. His heart began to beat faster. He looked up at Hamuul who was putting the staffs on a shelf.

Celun went to Rwin’s patient. He looked at the charred skin and the dull eyes.
“It’s sad, I know. I’m sure Rwin will be able to fix him up though.”
“He has been sleeping for days now. Rwin cannot cure him.” Celun stated, in a slightly different tone of his voice.
“What makes you say that?” Hamuul said.

Celun lifted up his hand and closed his eyes.

Please work…

The house exploded with a quick flash of green light. Rwin’s patient was glowing for a second. When it was over, his patient was stirring, and he opened his eyes. His skin was back to normal; he was cured.
Celun looked at Hamuul, who was shocked.
“Grab the staffs. We are going.”
“Where!?” Hamuul shouted.
“Away from here,” Celun said.

They kicked open the door, holding their packs and left. It was dusk, and the moon could be seen hovering over the mountains to the north.

***

“I am sorry for not believing you,” Hamuul finally said after an hour of walking.
“It’s ok.”
“We should go back and say goodbye to Rwin, he was so generous,” Hamuul said.
Celun did not respond.
“I wonder if I could do that. The thing you did. The green light.” Hamuul said.
“I am sure you can. I can feel it.”

“Why do we not get hurt by the Isha?” Hamuul asked.
Celun had not really thought about it. “I don’t know why we can speak languages we have not heard of. I don’t know why a white stag told me to go here. I don’t know why we can’t be hurt by the Isha.”
“Maybe because-” Hamuul started. A loud thump came from behind.
And it came again.

Both Tauren turned around, and a Quilboar in metallic armor stood there. One Quilboar. He had a long sword clutched in his hands. By the markings on his armor the two figured out he was probably a commander or a war hero of some sort, because he looked different from the other Quilboar warriors they encountered.

The two clutched their staffs and began to back away. But the Quilboar rushed towards them and swung his sword, almost cutting Celun.

They backed up more, and then Hamuul ran forward and tried to hit the Quilboar, but his shot was easily parried. The Quilboar took a step back and swung the sword with all his might, right at Hamuul’s head, but Celun jumped in front and blocked it with his staff.

“Leave us alone!” Celun shouted.
The Quilboar paid no attention and charged the two Tauren again, pointing his sword forward. The Quilboar knew he would be able to stab one, and get his skull crushed by the other. Both Tauren also realized this. Hamuul quickly stepped forward, and put out his hand instinctively, and light appeared. But this light was not kind to its target. A quick stream of violet struck the Quilboar, and he ceased to run. The corpse fell to the ground, smoking like his insides were burning.

Hamuul looked at his hand that conjured the light, and then looked at Celun, who nodded in satisfaction. Hamuul took another look at the corpse.
“Let’s go,” Hamuul said, and they continued to walk towards the moon.


Last edited by Daclat on Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:08 pm; edited 4 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 6 – Arachnophobia

Celun and Hamuul continued their journey across The Barrens for a few more weeks. Celun had made incredible improvements with his healing abilities. He could wave his hand and cure an animal an inch away from death. He also could summon lights from the sky and destroy things, but Hamuul was a step ahead. Hamuul had healing abilities it seemed. But he felt more powerful when casting spells that were not kind to their targets. Hamuul recently had a dream in which a Quilboar was entangled in thick, green vines, and the day after Hamuul summoned those vines from the ground and gripped on to a dead Quilboar, who was killed by an animal.

“We are making great progress with these…gifts,” said Celun one day, after looking at the roots Hamuul had created.
“I know there is much more,” Hamuul said quietly.

The two Tauren did not speak much after they left Rwin. They had never met beings that could do kill a beast by waving a hand, or heal a friend with a movement of fingers.

Celun and Hamuul greatly underestimated the size of The Barrens. They have not come across a clue that made them believe they were close to being out, until one morning when the sun was beginning to rise.

“Is that…what is that?” said Celun suddenly, ceasing to walk.
“What?”
“Look. Is that an outline of mountains?”
“I think…so,” Hamuul said slowly.
“Remember Rwin’s map he showed us? There were mountains on the top of it. I don’t remember a label attached to them…but this must be them. We are close to the edge of The Barrens!” Celun said happily.
Hamuul jumped up and cheered.
“Those mountains are very tall…they must be cold! No more of this humid weather!” Hamuul said.

Celun laughed in delight, and he and Hamuul started to jog. And then they ran, and soon after they were sprinting as fast as they could.
“I’m going to get there first!” Celun cried.
“Never!” Hamuul laughed.

They knew that the mountains were at least a day’s walk away, but they continued to run. After a few minutes they begin to slow down. Soon they were breathing hard, and had to sit down.

“I felt like I could have kept going.” Celun said while sitting down.
Hamuul frowned. “I had the same feeling…like if I did something I could have run all the way to the mountains.”
Celun and Hamuul watched as a Barrens cheetah ran across the horizon. They were a rare cat in the land.
“I bet they don’t get tired.” Hamuul said.
Celun snickered. “Yeah.”
But something was bothering them. Something deep inside themselves was urging them to do something.

They observed another cheetah in the distance. And then another in the opposite direction.

“I have never seen three of those cats in one day,” Celun said.
But Hamuul started to run again. Celun got up and chased after him. They were not smiling this time, but instead they were very determined.
Celun and Hamuul sprinted side by side. A cheetah ran to them and started running between them. The cheetah was wearing a mark identical to Cenarius’ and Celun’s. Soon, without knowing it, the cheetah disappeared, but the two Tauren continued to run as fast as the cat. Soon they went even faster, with four legs. They had bright yellow fur with black spots all around. The two Tauren changed into cheetahs.

Hamuul stopped running, looked around, and instinctively went back into his Tauren form. Celun did the same.
They had faces of extreme delight.
“That other cheetah…that was him.”
“I know, Celun,”

***

Celun and Hamuul got to the base of the mountain range the next day. Before entering, Hamuul grabbed a handful of Isha and stuffed it into his pack while Celun wasn’t looking.

“I have seen animals hunt other animals for food. I have learned that this is a part of life. Will we have to eat fruit forever? What if there is no plants available in these mountains?” Hamuul asked as both Tauren stepped on a red trail of dust, winding into the mountains.
“I’m not sure. I think if we hunt animals while we are cheetahs, it is not a crime.”
“I have a feeling we will be able to change into…other things soon.
“Maybe,” Celun said, but he agreed with Hamuul. It seemed like a dream to both of them…things were happening so fast.

They walked a few yards on the trail and already they felt a refreshing breeze of cool air. The mountains were orange, with yellow and red dirt. Dark brown trees jutted from the earth on both sides of the trail.

They continued to walk for an hour.
“Wait,” Celun said, “look at that.”
“What?”
“See that green bush?”
The bush moved. It soon revealed itself as a giant green spider.

Celun and Hamuul looked at each other. They have not been attacked by an animal before, but they felt that it would change now. They drew their staffs and began slowly walking toward the spider. The spider turned to them, revealing many eyes. It stood still.
“I think he is ok,” Celun said.
And then the spider spit venom on Hamuul and lunged toward Celun. Hamuul fell to the floor and quickly rooted the spider in place with giant vines.
Celun removed the poison from Hamuul with a turn of a wrist, and they both sent a stream for violet light to the spider, and the vile beast jumped up and exploded. It sounded like thunder, and the sound echoed throughout the whole mountain range.

They got up to examine the charred corpse a few seconds later. The spider was almost as big as them.
“I don’t feel comfortable sleeping here,” Hamuul said.
Celun nodded.

They continued walking on the trail. They saw more and more spiders littered around the base of the mountains. They did not run as cheetahs because they were afraid they would run into a spider before seeing it.
Night came and both Tauren felt very exposed. They decided to take turns sleeping. They would not light a fire; they had too many images of dozens of spiders being drawn to the light that could not escape their minds. The whole night they heard rustling of leaves and dirt in the distance.

It was Hamuul’s turn to sleep, but he never shut his eyes to do so.



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 7 – Stonetalon Peak

It was a bright and sunny day; at least it should have been. For the past week, the higher the two Tauren hiked the mountain, the darker it became, even if the sun was out. Some kind of invisible screen shielded the light from the mountain.
“What do you suppose is on the peak of this mountain?” Hamuul asked as they felt a rush of cool air.
“Probably nothing special, just a trail going down the other side,” Celun said.

“We are close to the top,” Hamuul said.
“I think so too.”
“After weeks of hiking up, I just would like to find something special up here,” Hamuul said while snickering.
“Me too!” Celun exclaimed.

The two Tauren were exhausted everyday. They continued to travel up the mountain, always thinking they were close to the top.
“I’m beginning to think that we will be walking up forever,” Celun sighed.

“Me too-” Hamuul stopped.
Celun stopped walking as well. In front of them was a light blue pole that was stuck in the earth. On the top of it there was a blue orb that was caged inside. They walked closer to it and noticed it made a quiet and deep hum sound. They both looked at each other, and then looked at the rest of the trail. Both sides of the trail were lit with these mystical lanterns. There was a gate with a familiar symbol on top of it. Celun and Hamuul walked to the gate and noticed it was a thick, pure wood. The symbol on top was very similar to the mark the Tauren had on their hands.

Beyond the gate was a forest. The first feeling that hit the Tauren was purity. The forest was dark and lit with the strange blue lights. The leaves on the trees were bright purple and blue, and the whole forest had a blue mist in the air.

“This place is incredible…” Hamuul began.
Celun was speechless.
The two Tauren walked into the forest and examined it closer. They saw a deer trotting in the distance. Then they heard a sound behind them, like a twig snapping.
And then they blacked out.

***

“They are carrying Keeper staffs and…”
“And what?”
“They have Cenarion marks on their hands.
“…I see…”

Celun awoke, dazed. He rubbed his head; he had been hit very hard. He was in a cage. He squinted, his sight had not returned to normal yet. He noticed he was in a small house, with two figures standing directly outside. Celun then realized his staff and bags were gone.

“Who are you?” Celun coughed.
“He’s awake.”
“Open his cage.”

Five figures approached Celun’s cage. Celun stepped out slowly when he was released. There was a skinny being dressed in a robe. His skin was a light blue and had dark violet hair. He was obviously male. The other four were female, equipped with sharp blades and armor.
“How can you understand me?” The male said.
“Where is my friend?”
“Your friend is in the cottage outside.”
“Is he inside a cage?”
“He’ll be released if you cooperate with me.”

Celun hesitated.
“I can understand everybody,” he finally said.
“Hmm…” The long-eared being said, in delight; “my name is Lunasa.”
“My name is Celun.”
“I have not met your kind before, Celun,” Lunasa said, “however, I have seen this before.” Lunasa lifted up his palm; ‘the’ mark was on it.
Celun felt relieved, and right away he knew that Lunasa was an ally.
“I will prepare two living cottages for you and your friend. Rest up and have some food, and then we need to talk.”

***

Hamuul and Celun were given their bags and staffs back with an apology.

“We have many enemies, and they can take many forms,” they explained.

Fair enough, thought Celun.

A few hours later they were instructed to go see Lunasa. They observed the town they were in. Everything was beautiful. As they passed a large fountain in the middle of the town, they saw a four-legged being staring at them. The creature had sharp claws and hoofs. He had antlers on the top of his head and wore leaves around his deer-body. His head was similar to Lunasa and his kind.

Celun and Hamuul sat down with Lunasa.
“Hello Celun. Hello Hamuul,” Lunasa said.
The two Tauren both nodded.
“That creature outside, is a son of the Great One,” Lunasa told them after noticing Hamuul was still looking at the creature from the window.
“If you are talking about Cenarius, I saw him as a stag,” Celun said.
“Like you, he can take many forms,” Lunasa said smiling. “We are druids. We are brothers, although I am a Night Elf, and you are…”
“We are Tauren; from Mulgore,” Celun said.
“Welcome to Stonetalon Peak, Tauren,” Lunasa said.
“We never heard of druids of other races…,” Lunasa stated, and the two Tauren didn’t like his tone.

And then Celun and Hamuul told their story, from start to finish. They did not leave one detail behind. Lunasa sat there listening and he didn’t say a word throughout.

Lunasa and the rest of the Night Elves had glowing eyes that became brighter and brighter as the darker the sky became.
“Now let me tell you my story,” Lunasa began, “I grew up in the Night Elf city, Darnassus. Many Night Elves are druids, I won’t get started on how you are picked to be taught…but I was chosen, and a few years ago I came here to explore. We built this city from the earth of Stonetalon Mountain. We have about four hundred elves here, cooks, armor and weapon smiths, and mostly our sentinels.”

“Why are all your warriors female?” Hamuul asked.
“The men of Darnassus have been sent to…another place…far away from here to battle. The rest are trained to guard Darnassus and all of our cities around the world, like this one.”

“Wherever we are, our forests grow with us, so we can shade out the sun and brighten the moon. I am the leader of this town, and our mission is to explore and meet new people like you,” Lunasa said. “Never would I imagine I could meet another race that supposedly spoke to the Great One.”

“Mind if I look around?” Hamuul said curiously.
“Of course, brother,” Lunasa said.
Celun got up as well to observe the large structure they were in.
On the back wall, there was a giant colorful glass window. They were on the second of the second floor in the structure. That side of the building was on a cliff, with a giant waterfall spiraling down.
“Long way down,” Celun said.
“Yes.”

Suddenly, the door and windows were quickly sealed shut by a gate. Metal bars slid down in front of the windows. A large iron gate closed on the door. It was very decorative, you could see through because it was mainly large iron bars twisted around each other, but there was no space big enough to fit a finger through.

“What’s going on?!” Celun snapped and turned to Lunasa.
“I think that was me,” Hamuul said, standing next to a large lever.

Lunasa laughed. “He pulled that lever. It is for security. Lift it back up and the gates will retract.”
Hamuul lifted the lever up and the bars and the large gate snapped back up.

A sentinel walked near the door, clutching her blade, “everything alright?”
“Yes, everything is fine,” Lunasa said.

The two Tauren sat back down.
“So, brothers, you were sent by Cenarius to go to a foreign land, where your enemies, the Centaur live?” Lunasa clarified.
“Correct,” Celun said confidently.
“I see. Well, it is very late, and I’m sure you two are very tired. We have a lot more to talk about and learn from each other. I will speak to you again in the morning. Good night Hammul. Goodnight Celun.”

***

Celun awoke in the cottage and looked outside. It was raining very hard. Water dripped down from every building, and the grass was wet. He heard thunder and saw sparks of light in the sky. Hamuul walked out of his cottage with his coat on; Celun went inside to get his jacket as well.
“Quite a storm today,” Celun said to Hamuul.
“Yeah,” Hamuul agreed.
“What do you think of these Night Elves, Hamuul?”
“I think they are the best thing we have encountered on our journey so far.”
“I agree, but…oh never mind, I think I just need to trust people a little better,” Celun said.
“We are safe here,” Hamuul said confidently.
“There’s just something…ah it’s nothing,” Celun said as his concerned face turned into one of joy.

When they walked further into the town, it seemed as though everyone was staring at the two Tauren. Blue faces could be seen from every window.
“They are just curious,” Hamuul whispered to Celun.
“Yeah, they have never seen us before.”
Celun and Hamuul continued to walk, exploring every inch of the town. They came across a small pool of water in a wooden bed, with a Cenarion symbol carved in wood on the top. The water was glowing and was not affected by the rain. Light came up from the water very beautifully.

“I like this place,” Celun said as they both watched the pool of water.
“It’s a Moonwell,” a familiar voice said.
The two Tauren turned around; Lunasa was right behind them in a cloak, holding a staff that looked very much like the ones Celun and Hamuul were holding.
“The blessed water is one of the most pure substances on earth,” Lunasa stated. His voice was not cheery like it had been yesterday, but instead it was cold.

“Is something wrong?” Celun asked.
“Hamuul, Celun., come with me,” Lunasa said, ignoring Celun’s question.
Lunasa led them to the structure where they spoke yesterday, in the same room. The whole town watched them do so, including five Night Elves dressed in cloaks and holding the common staff with the feathers; the one Celun and Hamuul stole from Mulgore. Celun and Hamuul knew they were druids.
“How are you today-” Hamuul started, but was cut off by Lunasa.
“Your story…it doesn’t fit,” Lunasa said.
“Excuse me?” Celun asked.
Lunasa hesitated and then began again. “What you have told us goes against everything the Darnassian Night Elves have believed for thousands of years, ever since we founded our great city.”

“You are not making sense,” Hamuul started.
“NO!” Lunasa screamed, “YOU DO NOT MAKE SENSE!”
Lunasa was standing up and was very angry. A loud thunder and lighting lit up the room. The colorful glass circle behind Lunasa now seemed dull.
Celun and Hammul became uneasy very quickly. And then their hearts began to beat faster and faster. They heard footsteps behind them; ten sentinels clutching their weapons were walking towards the door. Lunasa sat down.
“You two will be confined to your cottages for awhile,” Lunasa said, “I’m sorry…like I explained…our enemies can take many forms, and we are not fooled by your disguise. That mark and your weapons are not the real thing.”

Hamuul then jumped up and pulled down the lever and made the metal bars seal the windows and the large gate swing down and close off the door. They heard the sentinels run towards the gate and began to hit their weapons on the door loudly.
“What is going on, Lunasa!?” Celun said sharply.
“You Tauren, if you are really called that, can’t be druids. Night Elves are the only race that were granted this gift by the Great One himself. You tell us that He talked to you, but has been quiet to us for the last five hundred years? The elders don’t believe; Keeper Ordanus doesn’t believe it either. And I stand by them. You are fakes; you are an enemy to us!” Lunasa said harshly.

“Listen…” Celun began, not knowing exactly what Lunasa was talking about.
Lunasa turned around for a second, his hands were glowing a bright blue. A second later, he turned again to face Celun and unleashed a giant bright light on him. Celun fell to the ground. Hammul quickly shot green light at Celun to cure him and shot a violet streak of energy towards Lunasa.
Lunasa clutched his chest in pain, and lifted up his hand.
Meanwhile, the guards outside were bashing a giant club at the gate; they would soon be able to enter inside.
Out of Lunasa’s hand, a dozen bugs flew out the size of a Tauren fist. The insects swarmed Hamuul, scratching and biting at his flesh.
Hamuul yelled and green sparks flew around him and vaporized them.
Lunasa then shot a powerful green light that sparked when it contacted Hamuul’s chest, and he fell to the ground in agony.
Celun got up, still slightly glowing by Hamuul’s magic. He grabbed his staff and lunged at Lunasa. Lunasa grabbed his identical rod and parried the swipe.
The gate was being beaten open very fast.

Lunasa pushed Celun across the room with magic and he crashed into the wall; books, scrolls, and candles littered the room. Celun stood up and soon found himself as a bear. He jumped at Lunasa with his mighty claws and tried to slash his throat. To counter this, Lunasa changed into a bear as well, both very similar to each other. Lunasa had long ears as a bear, and Celun kept his horns.

They rolled over, clawing each other, and they crashed through the large circular window and fell down the cliff, roaring as they fell into the abyss.
Hamuul got up, still injured, and limped towards the window. It was shattered, and because of the rain, it was too misty to see them.
“CELUN!” Hamuul screamed.

Hamuul went into panic. He had pictures in his head of Celun’s bloody corpse next to a sharp rock. Hamuul got up and approached the gate which was about to be penetrated by the sentinels. He raised both hands, closed his eyes, and the iron gate was no longer being beat open. The sentinels were lying on the floor dead, with just violet light residue around the hallway.

Hamuul got up and looked out the window, weakened by the amount of energy he just released. He saw a rock on the top of the waterfall, and decided to jump onto it; it was the only way out of the structure. He made his leap and crashed onto the slippery rock. The cold rain hit his back as he struggled to get on top of the rock and jump on land. He tore his knees as he crawled onto the grass.
In the corner of his eye, he saw an army of a few dozen sentinels mounted on giant armored cats, varying in color. He then saw the five druids running towards him. He turned into a cheetah and sprinted as fast as he possibly could.
“Get him! Do NOT let him leave!” screamed a sentinel as she chased after Hamuul on her saber. The five druids turned into cheetahs as well, and began their pursuit on Hamuul.
A low horn pierced the air, alerting the whole town. Arrows landed inches away from Hamuul as he ran on four paws to the closest gate. In front of him he saw a small hill, very close to the tall barrier. He ran up the hill and with his massive Tauren-cheetah body, jumped clean over the fence. The other Night Elf druids were directly behind them, and they made the jump, although only two of them did not get sliced by the blades on top of the fence. The remaining two druids continued their chase.
Hamuul ran up a giant tree near the cliff and jumped onto a branch far below it. The two druids made the same jump, but one clipped the side of the branch and tried to climb up it, but his claws were not sharp enough, and he slid down the branch and was consumed by the cliff.

The other druid made the landing next to Hamuul and slashed him across the face. Hamuul roared and jumped to another branch, and then another. The rain proved to be a harsh obstacle, because it made the branches very slippery. Hamuul and the other druid jumped onto land and slid down a steep slope into a ravine of shallow, muddy water.
They both got out of cheetah form. Hamuul planted his staff on the Night Elf’s head and he fell down. He quickly got up and shot a spell at Hamuul, making him double over in pain.
Hamuul lifted both of his hands, and the other druid flew back with an explosion of green sparks. The Night Elf shot another powerful beam of light at Hamuul, but he managed to jump out of the way before the ground he stood on ignited. Hamuul then felt energy inside him, and he planned to release it. It took a few seconds of motioning his hands to bring it out of him, and when the blue storm hit the elf, he stopped moving.
“You…you will pay…” the elf started, “we…we will catch you…we have plenty of…soldiers that will find y-you.”
“We told the truth to you,” Hamuul cried, “we told the truth…and I’m sure one day you will know that.”
The elf thought that Hamuul would finish him off, but instead he walked away from him. The druid struggled to get up, but he was too injured and was drenched in water from the rain and the ravine. A large thunder bolt landed a few miles away. Hamuul jogged away with the mud splashing to his side while making deep footprints. He left the Night Elf forest and prayed that Celun somehow survived the fall.


Last edited by Daclat on Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:18 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Daclat



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 8 - A Message of Confidence

Hamuul continued the journey alone. He was tired, cold, and was very depressed. He wasn’t sure if he would ever see Celun again. The image of him falling into the cloudy abyss could not escape his mind.

Hamuul tried his best not to think about it.

He followed the direction of the bright moon every night, because he would not dare travel by day. The elves were still looking for him, and they were very tough to elude. It seemed that nature was on their side. In complete silence, Hammul could almost hear the trees whispering him to return to the peak of the mountain, and giant hawks followed him day and night.

A few nights after his departure from the elf town, he saw a small village nestled in the foothills. He quietly climbed on top of a nearby hill and tried to examine it from his position. He saw campfires and tents. The town was occupied by Quilboar like the ones he and Celun encountered in the Barrens, but they were different. He didn’t see any heavy armor or weapons, instead he saw cheerful-looking ones. He heard music and many of the pig-men feasting on a large, long table in the center of town. They came across as outcasts of the Quilbaor society.

Hamuul deeply desired to enter and ask for food, but he didn’t know how they would react to him. So Hamuul quietly crept into the outskirts of the town. Trying to hide his massive Tauren body, he crouched near a tree and moved to one of the other tents. He lifted up a side flap and entered after making sure no one was in there. He found some bread and water which he stuffed into his pack, and made his way out.

The druid walked around the town and continued on a path that pointed towards the great white shining sphere in the sky. But he didn’t get very far when he heard loud hoof-claps on the dirt road, like a horse riding towards him. He tried to duck behind a nearby bush but the shadowy figure stopped right in front of him. It was a dark night and Hamuul could not see very well, so he assumed it was an enemy.

He clutched his staff and said in a deep and sturdy voice, “Who goes there!?”

The figure got off his mount and walked a little closer to Hamuul.

“STOP! I’m warning you…walk away!”

“Hamuul?”

Hamuul lowered his staff and stepped onto the dirt path. He recognized that voice. “Rwin!”

Rwin got off his mount, which he could now clearly see; a zebra from the Barrens. The short Quilboar greeted Hamuul warmly.

“I never did get to say goodbye to you two…you left without letting me know,” Rwin said.

“We had to –“

“It’s fine, I understand…but where’s Celun?”

Hamuul was silent for awhile, he tried to speak but he got choked up. He lowered his head and shook it; his horns glistened in the pale moonlight.

Rwin and Hamuul walked down the path with the zebra and Hamuul explained what happened with the elves they had met.

“So you are not sure if he’s dead?” Rwin asked.
“I’m not sure about anything anymore. I shouldn’t even be here…it was Celun who was called to this journey…not me.”

“Listen, if Celun was meant to travel to this ‘desolate’ land that this god-like figure told him, then I would expect he is alive now. I don’t believe that he would fail by falling off a cliff. I believe that it happened for a reason, and he will finish the journey, with you. He was not meant to go alone; at least I do not think he was meant to.”

Hamuul wanted to believe this, but he had trouble doing so.

“There is a Quilboar belief that things happen for a reason. I choose to believe that I met you two for a reason, and somehow you were meant to meet these elves, and Celun was meant to fall of the cliff. Not to die, but to be separated from you…at least for awhile. And I don’t know the reason for that, but somehow, it will benefit both of you in the long run. I have a feeling you will see Celun again in this world…in this time.”

“I just don’t know…I’m afraid that he is a corpse at the bottom of a river; he fell from such a great distance,” Hamuul said quietly.

“What does your heart tell you, Hamuul?”

Before he could answer, a bright light blinded him, and a white stag approached him. The only feeling inside Hamuul was peace; he was one with this creature. The stag came very close to Hamuul and went low to the ground, as if the creature was bowing to him.

The surroundings had changed; Hamuul was no longer in a dark forest, but in an emerald world with a bright white lake in the distance. The mark on his hand was pulsing, and Hamuul felt like he was home.

“Never doubt yourself, brother. Great things are rarely accomplished alone,” a voice softly appeared in Hamuul’s head. And the light quickly faded, the dark forest returned, and his hand no longer was glowing.

“Well?” Rwin started. “What does your heart tell you about Celun?”

“Did you witness that, Rwin?” Hamuul said in a high-spirited tone.

“Witness what?” Rwin asked.

“Nevermind,” Hamuul said smiling, “my heart tells me that Celun is alive.”

Rwin looked confused but approved of Hamuul’s answer. “Good…good…”

Rwin mounted on his zebra and bid Hamuul farewell, “Good luck my friend, I know you have not seen the last of me, and I’m sorry our meeting was so short.”

“Thank you Rwin, thank you,” Hamuul said in a newly confident voice. Rwin rode away in the opposite direction and Hamuul shifted into a cheetah and darted down the dirt path, coming closer to his destination with each leap.


Last edited by Daclat on Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:20 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 9 – A New Friend

Hamuul ran as fast as he could as he could as a cheetah. He ran towards the moon for the rest of the night until he couldn’t run any longer. He returned to his normal form and lay in the grass, panting.

There was a valley in front of him, but he could not see past it because it was too dark. So he sat there in silence, and waited for the sun to rise.

***
When the sun finally began to come up, the light poured into the valley and uncovered the mystery of what was beyond. It looked like a dense jungle, filled with rivers, lakes, and tall trees. Hamuul squinted to try to see more of the jungle, but he would have to wait until the sun rose a little more.

“Looking for something?”

Hamuul grabbed his staff and whipped around, ready to defend himself. When he got up he saw the person who talked to him, and became even more prepared to fight.

It was an elf, blue skin, long ears and pale yellow eyes. He was covered in cloth from head to toe, but his ears were coming out of the cloth he had wrapped around his face, and Hamuul could easily see the glowing spheres that were his eyes. The elf’s clothing was all dark blue and black and he had a sword in its sheath on his right and left.

“Easy, easy, I’m no enemy to you,” the elf said calmly.

But Hamuul did not believe him.

They always seem harmless at first, Hamuul thought, as he continued to hold up his staff.

And then a sound pieced the air, the sound of large bird. They both looked up and could see that someone was riding it. The bird was flying low, right above the trees of the mountain base. Hamuul recognized the creature riding it – another Night Elf, as he flew closer to his location.

“Now that is someone you don’t want to run into,” the elf said as he put his back to a nearby tree to shield himself from the other incoming elf’s line of sight.

Hamuul stood there, in the open.

“HIDE!” The elf shouted. And Hamuul lowered his staff and ran to a tree and ducked, just as the bird and rider flew over. When the elf on the bird disappeared from view, Hamuul and the other elf got out of their hiding places.

“They’re looking for you…I have noticed that Stonetalon Peak has been on alert recently.”

Hamuul was confused and still did not trust the elf. He saw Lunasa in him; the soothing and calm voice, but the potential to be incredibly hostile in a matter of seconds.

The elf could sense what Hamuul was thinking.

“I am not one of them. I hide from them too, but they have given up the search for me long ago.”

Hamuul inspected the elf talking to him, but remained silent.

The elf frowned. “It seems as if you have not had good relations with my kind. But I know you can understand me.”
“What do you want?” Hamuul said coldly.

“An adventure, of course,” the elf said. Hamuul couldn’t see his expression but he could tell that he said this with a smile.

“Well I don’t have one for you.”

“Your kind, all the way out here, evading elves and looking far into the distance, trying to figure out where to go…and you’re not on an adventure?”

Hamuul remained silent with a frown.

The elf took off his glove, and at first Hamuul thought he was reaching for one of his swords. Hamuul tightened his grip on the staff.

The elf slowly approached Hamuul and showed him the palm of his hand. A Cenarion mark, exactly like the one he had himself. Hamuul felt a little comforted by the elf, but then remembered that Lunasa and his fellow druids had them too.

“Listen, friend. I am not like you. I am not a druid. I gave that up a long time ago, and they banished me. I returned to many elf outposts and I stole their valuables and destroyed the ones I could not carry. And now, they hate me and wish they had killed me instead of releasing me into the wild to die. They figured I would starve or fade away during the night from a hungry animal. But just because I decided to turn my back on nature, doesn’t mean that nature turned her back on me.”

Hamuul listened carefully and began to trust the elf, and he continued to speak.

“Now I want your trust because you are an enemy of the elves, which means we are on the same side. The things they said to me and the things they threatened to do to me if I ever returned will never be forgiven. I’ll never stop hurting them until the day they catch me and finally strike me down. I know this is probably confusing to you, because I am an elf, like…like them.”

Hamuul lowered his staff and sat down, and spoke, “I understand. I too am somewhat of an outcast from my own society. My friend and I…we ran away and stole these weapons, and injured one of our own soldiers as we left. My race is slowly dying…we’ve been in a war with horse-people for a few hundred years, and there is no way we can win.”

“So you ran away to escape your doom. I would have done the same thing.”

“No,” Hamuul said sharply, “we set out here to save them. We were given a message to travel to the Centaur land, a ‘desolate’ land.”

“Well I don’t know about desolate, but that dense jungle is where the Centaur reside,” the elf said smoothly.

“What? Are you sure? You know of the people I talk about?”

The elf laughed. “Of course. That is the country my former people called Desolace, which means in our language, barren and dry, so yes…it means desolate.”

“But it’s the exact opposite,” Hamuul protested.

“Our language is an ancient language, as old as Azeroth itself. The land was always here and the elves have their own names for each country they explored. And often this language was used to tell the future,” the elf said.

“So this lush jungle I’m looking at across the valley, will be dry and barren?”
“I can’t tell you that, because I can’t tell the future. But my language was not created by ordinary people, my friend.”

Hamuul’s trust in the elf began to rise rapidly.

The elf snickered again and said, “now I have no idea how you think you can save your entire race, or fulfill the language’s prophecy, but if the Night Elves of Stonetalon don’t want you to succeed, then I will help you all I can, or at least until I figure out if you’re not in a right state of mind.”

Hamuul frowned at the elf’s last remark.

“Saving a whole race seems kind of…out there, you know? But I did see you morph from a cheetah form, and I know that is a rare gift.” The elf said.

Hamuul wondered why the elf gave up the gift, but decided he would ask at a later time. “It’s impossible,” Hamuul agreed, “but it will be done.”

The elf seemed to like Hamuul’s response. Then he asked, “Where is this friend of yours? The one you escaped your homeland with?”

Hamuul went silent for a few seconds then spoke. “I don’t know, and I can thank Lunasa and the rest of that Stonetalon elf town for that.”

The elf liked that response even more. “Lunasa…the Arch Druid of Stonetalon Peak. I hate him as much as you…and one day, I’ll be the one to end his life.” The thought of hurting other elves filled this elf with cold joy.

“I think my friend already did that, but may have ended his own life as well,” Hamuul said quietly, but quickly spoke again, “no, no…Celun is alive, I can feel it. I’ll see him again, and we will end this journey together.”

The elf observed the quiet struggle that Hamuul had with his thoughts.

“Well my name is Rev, as of the point in time when I was left for dead by the same people that kil-" the elf paused for a moment, “separated you and this ‘Celun.’”

“I’m Hamuul. I’m sorry for not believing you at first. I can’t trust anyone anymore.”

“I understand, Hamuul…you will get revenge soon. I constantly receive vengeance from them, but lately…I need more. Let us go to Desolace, and hopefully we will find what you are looking for.”

Hamuul nodded but deep down he just wanted to see Celun and finish the journey. But he knew he had a long way ahead of him.

“Oh, and here…I stole this from a druid a long time ago. I have no use for it, but you might.” Rev reached into his small backpack and took out a white ring with a crescent moon symbol on it, and handed it to Hamuul.

Hamuul slipped the ring on his finger and felt energized with energy. And he knew that whenever he would unleash destructive force to an enemy or a soothing healing spell on a friend, they would be a little more effective because of this powerful item.

***
They waited until the sun set before they crossed the valley. The moon cast a massive shadow on Desolace that night, and it made the land look gray and charred, like an image of what was to come.

END OF PART ONE
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Daclat



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part Two: http://www.albatrosbits.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=21528#21528


Note: I cleaned up this thread...only left the story. It was kind of sad doing so, because some of the messages were written by people that are MIA. Thanks all, as always, for your interest.

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