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Lowenna Finally part 30 (chapter 35)
By
rbo

Lowenna Finally part 30 (chapter 35)

The final chapter in an epic tail. Hope everyone has enjoyed the ride

Chapter35 END OF THE ROAD

Zarkar stopped screaming, and Lowenna had turned her head just in time to see him fall to the ground anger still showing on his now dead face.

She approached the pile of rocks, which had buried Rique and Ryna, now thinking “how could anyone survive this.”

“Rique! Ryna!” Lowenna shouted as she tried to move some rocks with her good hand.

“We're here,” a voice suddenly came from the rubble. Lowenna breathed a sigh of relief, grateful that the siblings were still alive. “Were trapped against the cliff, a large stone fell against it and protected us, but my brother's leg is pinned.”

“I’m glad you are all right,” Lowenna shouted at the pile of rocks. “Stay there I will check on the others and get help.”

“Where are we going to go,” Ryna’s voice echoed out, making Lowenna smile again. She turned and ran as fast as she could to where Grilk and Marchel had fallen, passing the now dead Zarkar, who lay in a pool of his blood.

Grilk was lying face down. He was breathing, but his breaths were shallow and spaced out. Lowenna touched her crystal with her good hand and placed it on Grilk's back, but there was no glow, her magic was gone. Lowenna screamed out loud keeping her hand on Grilk. “Work dam you! work!” She could feel the pain in her body, but there was something else there, deep down, a spark of magic deep within her. 

She forced out what little magic was deep down inside of her. A drop of blood dripped from her nose, as she poured everything she had left into her hand, and slowly it started to glow, but it soon started to fade. Lowenna could feel blood running from her nose, as she squeezed every last drop of her magic into healing Grilk, but Grilk didn’t move. 

Lowenna fell over, she was spent, and was in a lot of pain. Her chest felt like it had been stabbed again. Suddenly, Grilk snorted and lifted his head off the dusty ground. “Grilk!” Lowenna shouted, showing her relief that her friend was alive. He slowly pushed himself to his knees using his strong arms. He looked a little pale and was swaying, but Lowenna placed her good arm around his big neck and hugged him, trying to ignore the pain.

“No strangle me,” he groaned weakly, as Lowenna let go.

Marchel suddenly sat up, “Where is he!" He shouted as he jumped to his feet and looked around, his gauntlet glowing. Lowenna pointed towards Zarkar's dead body. 

Marchel was silent for a moment. He was a little jealous that he hadn't been the one to kill Zarkar. But eventually, he nodded to Lowenna, acknowledging the fact Zarkar was dead. He then looked at his wounded arm. He couldn't move it. “Dam it, I'm too old for this,” He shouted, “If I hadn’t already retired I think I would now.”

Lowenna was glad both of them were alive, but neither of her two friends was at full strength. “We got to help Rique and Ryna. They're buried over there,” she pointed, over at the rocks.

Grilk could see Lowenna was badly hurt, so picked her up and carried her to where Rique and Ryna were buried. Lowenna wasn't too thrilled about being carried but was too spent to complain. Marchel walked beside Grilk trying not to laugh. “What about the others?” Marchel asked as they walked. 

“I didn’t ask,” Lowenna replied realising she had only been thinking about Rique and Ryna. “When I found Rique and Ryna were alive I came to over to help you.”

Marchel suddenly stopped and looked at Zarkar, anger and pain still etched on his dead face, his lower arms missing, “You did that?”

Lowenna was silent for a moment, before replying. “Most of it." Both Marchel and Grilk looked at her. "He had Lowenna bands on his wrists, Dumar took them after he ran out of magic,” Lowenna started to explain.

Grilk hit his hand to his chest and then winced in pain, wishing he hadn't hit himself so hard. “Me want to hear whole story,” he said looking at Lowenna.

“After we get Rique and Ryna out,” Lowenna agreed.

It took a while to dig their fellow adventurers out. Grilk did most of the work, with Marchel helping when possible, using his sword and gauntlet to break the larger rocks Grilk couldn't move. Lowenna spent most of the time resting. She did move some of the smaller rocks, but she needed the rest and time for her magic to help heal her.

When Rique and Ryna were free, the five of them made their way through the pass. Marchel carried Ryna on his back, through the pass, as his leg was broken, but everyone was finally in good spirits having survived the fight of their lives, even though they were all hurting. 

Lowenna had told the others what had happened, enforcing that without the help of Rique and Ryna she would have been killed. Grilk was impressed with the story, asking Lowenna to tell it again but this time, Grilk kept interrupting adding extra unnecessary words, which he said “make story better.” 

Rique had told them, that the others had been told to wait by the entrance to the pass but had been told to ride for Penbirth at the first sign of trouble.

They soon all met up with Finn, Eryn and the others, and then started the long ride to the River Tyne. Lowenna now told the whole story from when she had awoken on the beach with no memory till the present moment. She included the thieves, the cult and the dream after being stabbed. Everyone seemed to enjoy the story, and even Marchel asked questions about the visions and the Magic, but as the sun set the party had to accept they would not make the river this sun.

“We make camp,” Marchel shouted as the sun set over the hills, everyone was tired and hurting, and there were only a little water and food, but everyone ate and drank what was left knowing that their journey was almost over, and Penbirth was less than one more sun's ride away.

Marchel was supposed to keep watch but at first light Lowenna awoke to see him sleeping. Her arm was a lot better. It still looked burnt but there was no pain, and the burns looked old. Her crystal was still grey, but she stroked it and placed her hand on Ryna’s leg, helping to heal it, while he slept. 

Lowenna then walked over to Marchel. “I don’t need healing," he said as he opened his eyes. He had slept without his face guard and hood up and looked even older now than when Lowenna had first seen his face. “We lawmen are a resilient bunch, Magical equipment, longevity spells. We heal quickly and feel less pain.”

Lowenna stretched out her arm to help him up, which he accepted, and his wounds suddenly felt better as he stood. He realised Lowenna had tricked him, and she was healing him. “Feel better,” she said, with a smirk on her face.

Marchel didn’t want to admit it, but it did. He huffed but returned the smile. “We better head out, we should reach Penbirth by moon rise, but we should gather water and have a short rest at the river.” His expression changed and went more serious, "You should head for Hymdale city. You won't be welcome back in Penbirth. Go back and follow the River Nort to its source and keep going that way. It’s on the coast if you get lost just head for the coast and follow it.” Marchel looked at the others, “I’m sure you won’t be alone for long.”

Lowenna smiled “Are you saying you want to come with me?”

“Me?” Marchel suddenly looked quite anxious, “I’m heading back to restart my retirement. I have beer to drink and women to impress,” he replied with a reassuring nod, “and I may also offer to help train Rique and Ryna,” he added.

Lowenna laughed, but she was going to miss Marchel, his dry sense of humour, his serious nature, and the fact that he was an honourable man who had helped Lowenna keep it together. She was also going to miss Rique, Ryna and Grilk. She already missed Kia. “I will head for Hymdale once I know you are all safe,” Lowenna said.

“And I promise you, I will make sure all the children are returned to their families, Grilk gets well compensated, and Rique and Ryna are taken care of. I won't mention the Maven part.” Marchel replied, with a kind smile.

“Could you also check Vlad and Mr Valery, and keep an eye on Mr Griffin for me?” Lowenna asked.

“Of course, I will, it’s the least I can do. I will also tell everyone, that Lowenna’s aren’t all evil monsters, and that some are honourable warriors, who put others first.” Lowenna blushed as he said that, “I will also make sure that Kia will never be forgotten, neither will Vorn or Reath, or the brave stranger who came to our town and fought to save children of family’s she didn’t know, killing the evil sorcerer thief and his followers.”

“Thank you,” Lowenna said with her cheeks still glowing.

“No, thank you Wenna,” Marchel said, before he turned away and then started his, "it's time to get up," rant. Lowenna had started to like the almost military fashion, of him waking everyone up, and getting them ready quickly. Although Lowenna had not enjoyed it so much, when it was her being shouted at.

The party had been riding for a while, and Lowenna was starting to fade in the heat. She wiped the sweat from her brow and wished she had something to drink. This was the hottest sun since the party had set out, and it was definitely slowing them down. It was a while longer before Lowenna saw the familiar sight of the bridge. Rique and Ryna had, of course, seen it first and Rique had slowed, allowing everyone else to overtake her, so she was riding by Lowenna. 

She had spent most of the early sun talking to Marchel, allowing Ryna to lead the party on his own. "You good Wenna?" she asked as she came along side

"I'm looking forward to a drink, but yes I'm good. I was just thinking that I’m going to miss all of you." Rique showed a slightly sad look before changing her expression to a grin.

"Race you to the river. Last one in smells like Grilk’s war potion," she shouted, and with that, she reared her horse up and galloped off toward the river. Lowenna took off at the gallop laughing, trying to catch Rique, but her horse was faster, and she had the lead. Suddenly from nowhere Grilk came alongside and overtook Lowenna on his large black horse.

"You and horse too slow," he shouted as he passed her laughing. He was catching Rique, who dismounted at the river. Grilk jumped, very comically, from his horse into the river causing a huge splash, which soaked Rique. She screamed in surprise as the cold water drenched her. Everyone laughed even Marchel. "If there is a memory to hold onto, it is this," Lowenna thought.

The group was enjoying the cool water, Grilk had kept the younger children occupied by taking a mouth full of water grabbing his nose and blowing the water out through his ears, even Ryna and Rique seemed to be in better spirits. Lowenna took her coat off before she launched herself in the air, diving into the deep cool river, with the children cheering.

Lowenna burst through the surface, enjoying the coolness of the water, feeling better as some of the mud, blood and grime washed off her. Marchel was upstream filling up the water pouches and letting the horses drink, Rique was lying in the sun trying to dry her clothes and Ryna was sitting on the bank dangling his feet in the water. Lowenna couldn't see Grilk, who suddenly exploded from the water splashing Lowenna catching her with her mouth open. 

Lowenna spat out the river water and started laughing. She couldn't remember ever having so much fun, and kept laughing until she realised she had long river weeds tangled up in her red hair "Get it out. Get it out!" She shouted as she tried to remove the weeds, everyone now laughing at her, but they snapped every time she pulled at them. Rique was laughing so much she nearly fell over, before she jumped into the river, forgetting the fact she was trying to dry off just moments ago.

After a little while of enjoying the cool river, the smile slowly faded from Rique. This was the first time she had enjoyed herself since her dad had died, and she was now feeling guilty. She pulled herself from the water, passing her brother, who didn't look at her. 

She headed to the horses to grab a cloth that she used to wipe the water from her face. Lowenna, realising that her friend needed some company, got out of the river and followed her. "You good Rique?" Lowenna asked and immediately knew it was a stupid question. "Sorry, I mean do you want to be alone or want to talk?"

"I’m fine," Rique replied, but it didn’t sound convincing. Rique grabbed her bag and walked behind the horses so no one else could see her. "I’ve got to get out of this leather thing dad made me wear," she said to Lowenna. She removed her top to reveal a leather-armoured corset. Lowenna turned away so she wasn’t looking at Rique as she changed her clothes, realising that the clothes she was wearing had seen better times, and she would need replacements once she got to Hymdale.

"Will you stay in Hymdale, or go off to another island or the mainland, or head off to the Lowenna ruins?" Rique asked as she changed her clothes.

"I have no idea," Lowenna honestly replied. "I didn't know we were on an island, or there were Lowenna ruins near here."

"Well it’s not a small island, the main port is Hymdale, there’s a desert plain north of the city, and the remains of a Lowenna temple and city beyond that.

Lowenna paused for a moment, before looking at Rique. "I had a dream about walking through a desert and seeing a temple, but I woke up before I reached it."

"Well, maybe your dream wants you to go there?" Rique replied, now fully believing Lowenna could see the future in her dreams.

"Maybe, but I think Hymdale city is where I will head first. I want to find out about me, if Hymdale is a port, and I was on a ship, which was wrecked in the storm, it’s possible someone will know me.” Lowenna smiled, “You know I am not completely sure I am a Lowenna. You never know I might be a lawman, or a law woman, for that matter. Although I not sure wearing those black robes and face guards would suit me."

Rique returned the smile, "You're right, you’re far too beautiful to cover up, especially your smile." Rique had said it with humour, but she had meant every word, she walked over to Lowenna and removed the little bits of River weed from her long red hair."

“Thank you,” Lowenna said looking at her friend who was now wearing the blue dress she had worn when in Penbirth. "I'm going to get some more clothes in Hymdale."

"Get something that fits properly,” Rique said while looking Lowenna up and down, “like that green outfit you had, you looked good in that," she said with a smile

"That got ruined while I was fighting that cult you got mixed up with," Lowenna stated, pulling a slightly annoyed look.

The smile disappeared from Rique’s face, "I'm sorry..."

"Please, no apologies," Lowenna said, interrupting Rique, the smile returning to her face. "Any outfit was worth your safety. Besides once you master that magic ring and those sword skills, you won’t need anyone to save you ever again."

"And I thought my sword skills were getting good." Rique said with a giggle.

"Well they're not bad, but you will need a bit more practise before you could fight me," Lowenna replied, goading her friend.

"Give me till the end of the hot season, and then we will see who is better." Rique said, responding to the challenge. 

Rique and Lowenna started to laugh. Meeting each other had changed their lives. Both of them had experienced loss, but both had gained a special friendship, and that bond would never be broken. The two friends hugged, they were going to miss each other, but both knew that they had their own future to head toward. Rique had her magic training, and Lowenna was determined to find out about her past. Both were equally determined to follow their quests through and were also equally determined that they would see each other again.

Grilk’s voice ended the moment between the friends. It echoed as he clambered out of the river. "Where Wenna? Where Rique?"

The two friends came out from behind the horses. They saw Marchel was watching them with a quizzical look, as they went to join him and the others.

Marchel had started a fire, not that anyone needed it for heat, as it was sunny and warm, but he had caught and was cooking a couple of Rabbits. Luna was just staring at them horrified saying "bunny," every few moments before Eryn picked her up and sat behind Grilk so she could no longer see them. 

"Needed to change," Rique was explaining to Grilk as Lowenna sat down beside her. Two sticks, with some rabbit meat on them, were passed to Lowenna and Rique, which they took and hungrily ate.

Lowenna looked around at everyone. Considering what they had all been through, everyone seemed in high spirits, and they were all glad to be heading home. She felt happy and sad. Happy that the children were safe, and she had the memories of everyone in the river having fun, but also sad that Kia was not there with them, and the fact she soon would have to leave. "Wenna!" Rique suddenly shouted, catching her by surprise. "There’s a lawman over there!" Lowenna looked into the field, on the other side of the bridge. One lone lawman stood there, watching them.

"Dam!" Marchel said quietly. A pause followed before he continued. "We better go, see what he wants. All of you stay here. Ryna get the horses ready. We will need them soon." Marchel and Lowenna stood up and started walking towards the lawman. "Why did you not leave when I told you?" He whispered to her, not taking his eyes of the figure that stood before them. Before Lowenna could answer, Grilk and Rique suddenly appeared beside them. "I thought I told you to stay with the others," Marchel said quietly.

"You did," Grilk replied.

"But we know the lawman is here for Lowenna, and we will not let that happen!" Rique added giving Lowenna’s hand a squeeze as she said the statement.

Lowenna smiled, but the vision the lone lawman stabbed her and then his friends appeared was running through her mind. She released Rique’s hand and touched her crystal. Her eyes flashed pink, and everything now had a pink outline again. 

Lowenna could see five more figures hiding in the bushes and behind trees. One was on a mount. As soon as they were in the field Lowenna shouted, "Why don't your friends come out to greet us as well?” Grilk and Rique looked at her, but Marchel lowered his head and closed his eyes for a moment before refocusing on the lawman

Four more lawmen appeared from their hiding places, as did Mr Krakett, who was on a horse, with an evil scowl on his face. He was wearing an extremely fancy robe over his Gate guard armour. All the other lawmen gathered by the first and Krakett removed a scroll from his shirt and cleared his throat. 

"This is an official letter from the Lords of Penbirth. I will read it for you. We the Lords of Penbirth state the following, regarding any surviving residents, from the party that left the protection of the settlement of Penbirth, and any residents rescued by said party. That upon return, all residents as promised will not be harmed and after a short informal interview with the lawmen and a lord's representative will be released back to their family’s and lives in the settlement of Penbirth." A grin started to grow on his face as he stared at Lowenna. 

"Any prisoners will be held and executed after a public trial," he continued. “The Lowenna, if still alive, will be taken back to the settlement and after a stay at the Lord's request, will be debriefed and then handed over to the high commissioner, where her fate can be decided." Lowenna did not like the sound of that, nor did she like the fact all five of the lawmen had drawn their weapons as this part of the letter had been read. Three swords, a bow and an axe now all pointed at her.

"What if the Lowenna doesn't want to go back to Penbirth?" Marchel shouted out, interrupting Krakett, who did not look pleased about being interrupted.

"It clearly states the Lowenna must be apprehended and returned to Penbirth. As I was about to say, I have been given a Lord's ring." He paused showing his hand to the party, but he was so far away none of them except Rique could make out exactly what Krakett was showing them. "This means," Krakett continued, "all lawmen must follow my orders until we return unless it contradicts with the orders written in this scroll." The evil smile appeared on Krakett's face, "You there, Marchel isn't it?" he asked pointing at Marchel.

"It is," Marchel replied.

"Take the Lowenna into custody!" Krakett shouted with a triumphant look on his face. Lowenna, Grilk and Rique all looked at Marchel, but he didn’t move. "I gave you an order," Krakett shouted sounding annoyed

"May I advise you reread the letter, paying special care to the section that says that Lawmen must obey your orders," Marchel replied calmly while undoing the ties that held his cape in place.

"I have a Lords ring. All lawmen must obey me!" Krakett replied, but Marchel removed his face guard, hat and sword and placed them on the ground.

"But I’m not a lawman," Marchel replied, smiling at Krakett while removing the rest of his old Lawman equipment. "I have retired."

"What are you talking about?" Krakett shouted sounding surprised, as he looked over at the other lawmen

Marchel continued to explain, "My assignment was to maintain the horses, and make sure the Lowenna kept her word. Both of which I have done and now you are here I can return to my retirement. Besides," Marchel looked down at his wounded arm, "Do I look like I’m in any fit state to even try and apprehend a dangerous Lowenna?"

"He is retired," the lawman who was obviously in charge said to Krakett "The Lords did not want any active lawmen going with the party."

Krakett looked like he was going to explode. "Arrest him then. He wears the clothes of the lawman, and that is against the law in Penbirth." Krakett looked pleased with himself for thinking of this, but again no one moved."

Marchel placed the rest of the lawmen gear and uniform on the ground. He looked so old and frail. Lowenna could hardly believe he was the same man who had been on the quest with her. "You can’t arrest me," Marchel calmly said looking right at Krakett.

"Why not? You are breaking the law."

Rique, this time, answered, "First because we aren’t in Penbirth at the moment, so he isn't breaking any law. Secondly because he is a member of the party that left Penbirth and since he is a resident of sub-settlement, he has to return and be released, due to the orders on the scroll in your hand."

Krakett looked angry again, “You girl should be quiet, and where’s your father hiding behind the orc, or over there with the other children?"

The smile faded from Rique’s face, but now, Lowenna stepped forward and answered. "Kia fell and died, saving the children you and the Lords, were too scared to even try and rescue. You should show him, and us more respect. We managed to save five of Penbirth's children and found out it was your personally hired gate guard, who betrayed the settlement. He told the raiders when the changeover was, and when YOU, should have been in the gate house."

Krakett looked even angrier than when Marchel had interrupted him. The leader of the lawmen looked at him just for a moment before refocusing on Lowenna. "Do you have proof of this outlandish statement?"

"Only our word," Marchel replied, "but it fits perfectly. How else would the raiders know when two troops of gate guards would be in the main room. And you should have been in there as well, isn't that right Captain Krakett?"

Krakett was furious, and his face was turning purple. Lowenna didn’t think it was possible to get so angry. "I have had enough of this," Krakett screamed, in a high pitched voice. "Lawmen take the Lowenna into custody. She is not a resident, and the lords want her in chains." The leader of the lawmen nodded, Lightning, fire and ice flickered on the lawmen's gauntlets as they slowly started walking towards the group of four.

Grilk growled as he grabbed the handle of his sword, but Lowenna turned to face him, and placed her hand on his arm, signalling him not to draw it. 

"Thank you all," Lowenna said as she brought her other hand to her chest touching her crystal. "I’m holding you responsible for everyone’s safety Marchel," he nodded in acknowledgement. "Rique I will miss you greatly, and say goodbye to your brother for me," She also nodded looking Lowenna in the eyes, as she winked. "Grilk," Lowenna closed her eyes and pointed her head down. Grilk understood and also closed his eyes as did Marchel and Rique. Lowenna thrust her hand into the air, and a blinding flash exploded from it, blinding everyone except herself, Grilk, Marchel and Rique. 

Grilk grabbed Lowenna, and threw her, with all of his strength, back toward the river. She rolled as she landed not losing any momentum, and ran to the horses grabbing a water pouch, and her two shoulder bags on route. 

Lowenna mounted Grilk’s horse, which luckily had been facing away from the blinding flash. "Goodbye everyone," Lowenna shouted to the others as they rubbed their eyes, unable to see, "Be good Luna, take care Eryn, thank you for saving my life Ryna." 

Lowenna galloped off she knew the vision of the lawmen would be back soon, she tapped her white crystal activating the shield and placed it over her shoulder, protecting her back, and she kept it there till the river was out of sight.

"Get her!" Krakett shouted after a moment, but the lawmen couldn’t, their eyes still stinging from the flash. 

Grilk was sitting on the ground pretending, that he couldn't see, until Marchel walked over to him, offering his hand to help the old orc up, "Don't overdo it," he whispered, smiling at Grilk who smiled back.

"Where is she?" Krakett shouted, as his eyes finally came into focus. He saw Lowenna disappearing into the distance, "Lawmen, get after her."

The leader of the lawmen looked at him, also now able to see, before looking at his men, "He has a lord's ring, you four go, I will escort the residents back to Penbirth."

"She will probably head back to the Crescent moon canyon," Marchel lied, "that’s where the raiders went, and there’s lots of caves and hiding places."

"Get going then," Krakett shouted, and all the lawmen gave a half bow to acknowledge the order, and headed down the hill to get their horses.

The leader of the lawmen looked at Marchel, "they will catch the Lowenna," he said.

"You had better hope they don't!" Marchel replied with a smile, before turning and heading back to the horses with Grilk and Rique. 

"Good luck Wenna," Grilk quietly said after the lawmen had passed him, so only Marchel and Rique could hear him. 

"Ride well, and may the Angelus smile on you, " Rique added. There had been a spark between her and Lowenna, something magical. She looked down at her ring it was glowing again, and she smiled. She looked back in the direction Lowenna had ridden. She wasn't sure when, but in her heart, she knew they would see each other again. This was not the end of their story.

“She will be fine,” Marchel stated. “She’s Lowenna.”

Lowenna held on for dear life. The black stallion was incredibly strong and fast. She kept looking over her shoulder, expecting to see the five lawmen gaining on her, but there was no sign of them. 

Lowenna smiled with determination. She was going to miss Marchel, Grilk, Ryna, and especially Rique. She would never forget any of them. Would she see them any again? Lowenna looked down at her crystal. It flashed as if to reassure her, as its colour slowly returned. "On to Hymdale city!" she said out loud, as she rode as fast as she could, heading to new adventures. Hoping for answers about her past, as she galloped towards her future.

END.

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Copyright © © 2015 by Robert Stevens All Rights Reserved

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