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HomeFantasy StoriesLowenna 2: The secrets of light and darkness, chapter 8

Lowenna 2: The secrets of light and darkness, chapter 8

Lowenna has left the Inn, but someone else is following her to Hymdale, who could it be.

Chapter 8 the two riders

The two rider’s had been riding hard, they had to get to Hymdale soon, but were still at least two more suns ride away. The rain had stopped, and the wind had slightly increased making it a cooler late moon. The young woman slowed allowing her larger companion to catch up and pull alongside.

“Hurry we have to get there, soon.” She said to her friend. 

“You should stay in Penbirth, train, not run off after a bad dream,” her company said grumpily.

“It wasn’t a dream it was a vision, and Lowenna is in trouble.”

“So you say, but me no trust magic. Hymdale still long ride away.”

“We will be there soon enough… I hope, but we will have to stop at first light. The next Lawman bonding ritual needs to be performed.” the young woman explained

“You said magic already bonded to you,” the large rider stated, still sounding grumpy.

“It is, but the enhancing enchantments need to be performed every season plus this is the most important one and may be slightly dangerous.”

“What you mean dangerous?” 

“Marchel said if it's not performed right the magic may go wild, and it may hurt me a little, but I assure you it will be all right.”

There was a pause as the larger rider pondered what his friend had said, “You need me help?”

“Just make sure I am not, disturbed, and you may have to help me back on to my horse, as I maybe a little weak after the ritual,” the young woman replied with a smile.

The older rider grumbled under his breath before replying “Lawman magic for lawmen, you get in trouble, why did friend Marchel do first spell so quick.

“Because I asked him to, and was going to stay and learn and train, but then I had the dream-scape. I saw Lowenna, fighting a monster and images of lawmen and this beautiful woman who seemed to have an army of followers and a maze of tunnels and…” the young rider suddenly went quiet.

“And what?” her large companion asked.

“And you were there,” the young woman finished, she had not told him that yet.

“What do you mean I was there? Ahhh now me know why you make me come, not Marchel or brother.”

“I would have brought you anyway. Marchel couldn’t leave, as he had to heal but told me that if I needed to go, I should. He also said if I left, I would have to perform the ritual myself, and to get back as soon as I could to continue my training.” The young woman paused for a moment while her larger companion pondered what she had said. “As for my brother, I don’t think he wouldn’t have come,” she continued, “he still blames Lowenna for our father’s death, and he wants to become a lawman more than anything. So it's just you and me Grilk, and we are going to save Lowenna, we both owe her our lives.”

“Yes, me owe Lowenna my life and me will help…” The old orc paused for a moment as the horses went up another hill, “You sure I was in vision?”

“Yes I saw you, you were holding an axe looking for something in the tunnels, and you said Lowenna’s name,” Rique replied

“Well, that good me find Lowenna and help her,” Grilk said, sounding happier now.

“Yes, but we need to get there quickly, and I have to perform the lawman ritual first.” Rique said.

Grilk looked to the heavens. The little twinkling lights were just starting to fade. “Sunrise soon you need anything Rique?”

“Just some time and a clearing… like that,” Rique added pointing to a clearing behind some dark trees. Grilk squinted but could see nothing. Rique turned her horse and headed through a gap in the trees which Grilk followed.

Grilk held onto the two horses while Rique prepared herself. He didn’t like horses. They weren’t big enough or robust enough to carry his large frame for long. They also didn’t try and bite you or breath fire or do anything except carry you and poop, though they maybe would give you a kick if you approached it from behind or scared them. Grilk remembered being kicked once. It had hurt.

Grilk had to admit these Lawmen horses were pretty strong and fast. He wondered if they had also been enhanced with magic. He took another handful of his grubs, placed them in his mouth and chewed them noisily. Grubs were the only thing he had eaten over the last two suns and Grilk wanted something more substantial. Something like a hog or a cow, or even a goat would be nice right now, but fat wriggly grubs were all he had. It wasn’t like he had time to catch a proper meal. Rique had survived on fruit and Grilk liked fruit even less than grubs. He had offered some of his grubs to Rique, but she had said no, trying not to retch, which Grilk thought was funny.

Rique had removed her magic ring and most of her clothes and had left them on a rock. She was now looking at a diagram and reading some old script, which Grilk assumed, Marchel had given her. Referring to the instructions, Rique took a pouch of salt and hub mix from a small black bag and proceeded to draw a circle out with the mix. Once done she stood in the middle and started muttering something, which Grilk could not understand.

Rique then took a short pointed dagger and a large black crystal out of the small black bag. She held the crystal in the palm of her outstretched hand, with the knife in the other. As the first rays of sunlight touched the crystal, rique slammed the knife through it shattering the stone, the knife sticking through her hand and Rique grimaced in pain trying to hold back the tears.

Grilk stood there for a moment, dumbstruck before he was suddenly thrown backward by a bolt of lightning that exploded from the clear sky, striking Rique. He heard her scream as her clothes and the bag burned away. He didn’t know what to do, he had to help her, but just as quickly as it had appeared it suddenly stopped. 

Rique stood there in the middle of the circle swaying. There were several small cuts and burns on her body, and all plant life that had been inside the circle was now black and dead. There was blood running from the wound in her hand, the knife now lay on the ground and seemed to be smoking.

Grilk got up and quickly came towards her, worried about his friend. “Do not break the circle,” Rique cried out, her voice trembling in pain, stopping Grilk in his tracks. Rique took a large piece of the shattered crystal in her shaking uncut hand and pressed it in the would, again grimacing in pain. Grilk could see the tears in her eyes. Rique then took some of the burnt salt herb mixes and rubbed it into the wound, then started chanting. The blackened circle glowed a dark purple as did Rique's eyes, a wisp of purple smoke came out of her mouth end entered the crystal in her hand.

There was a long pause Grilk assumed the ritual was over, but then Rique said “Whatever you see Grilk don’t break or enter the circle,” while looking at the old orc. She placed another piece of the crystal in her mouth, she then bent down and picked up the knife. 

Grilk had nodded before he watched in horror as Rique stabbed the knife into her own chest. She pulled the knife out quickly, took the piece of crystal out of the mouth and forced it into the bloody wound, before the ring and her eyes glowed again, and more purple smoke came out of her mouth and this time entered the piece of crystal in her chest. Rique placed her hand over the heavily bleeding wound, moments later a shockwave erupted from her, knocking Grilk of his feet again. The shock wave blew away the remains of the burnt salt and herb circle.

The purple glow faded, and Rique collapsed. Grilk feared she was dead but after a few moments, she started to stir and got up very slowly. “Told you it would hurt me a little,” She said with a smile, but Grilk was not smiling.

“YOU… YOU Ruganuk! You could have died! You stupid! You stabbed yourself!” he shouted angrily.

Rique staggered over to where she had put her clothes, and slipped her top and trousers on, trying not to think about the fact she had been standing naked in a forest in front of Grilk. “It’s a test of faith and blood Grilk,” she tiredly replied. “Marchel told me what to do and to trust the magic,” Rique added. Grilk noticed she was speaking quieter than usual. “I had the lawmen herbs blessed by the Angelus and the Lawmen and blade which is embedded with the stones of… well, whatever they are called but they are magic. The crystal heals and bonds the power to me, now every season I just need to do the circle and the incantation. My life force is now bonded to the crystals, which will give me the skill and speed enhancements.”

“Magic Marcel had?” Grilk asked. 

“Yes, when I recover, I should be even faster than Marchel was. I’ll be able to jump onto a roof, and I will heal faster…” Rique suddenly stopped talking took a step forward closed her eyes and fell. Grilk launched forward catching his friend, who slowly opened her eyes, looked into his green face and smiled, “when I recover,” she added before closing her eyes again falling into a deep sleep.

“Stupid Ruganuk,” Grilk said with a worried frown, as he lay Rique down on the floor. He could see the wound on her hand had sealed itself shut, but had left a nasty purple scar, and he assumed the wound in her chest would be the same. Grilk had heard that the lawmen enhancement rituals were very intense. Not that Grilk would know what happened behind the doors of the Temples of the Oath. He was worrying about Rique, and Lowenna, he didn’t trust magic or visions but knew they were real, and if Lowenna were in trouble, he would do all in his power to save her.

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Copyright © © 2015 by Robert Stevens All Rights Reserved

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