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Lowenna part 22 (Chapter 26)

Lowenna part 22 (Chapter 26)

The party is gaining on the raiders, will they be able to save the other children?

Chapter 26 A SHOT AT DUMAR

The sun was starting to rise, and it was looking like it was going to be a much nicer sun than the previous one.

The log had burnt out ages ago, but Lowenna had not woken Kia. He needed rest just like everyone else. They would catch the raiders this sun and attack after sundown, free the prisoners and ride for their lives, so a little more sleep now seemed a good idea to Lowenna.

Grilk was snoring and grunting in his sleep, but Lowenna took as a good sign. He was well on the way to a full recovery.

Everyone was tired and would need to be ready for the possible approaching confrontation.

Lowenna’s mind drifted back to the dream she had the last moon. She wanted to know what had happened to Ricardo and the young girl. And she had also been fantasizing about the lawman. Imagining what would have happened next, if that part of the vision had continued. She hoped that it had been a vision of the future. At least she would have something pleasurable to look forward to and not just death, fighting and monsters, as the other dreams of the future had shown her.

Lowenna went to get some water. It had been a cold, quiet moon. Since she had woken up, the only noise that she had heard was Grilk’s snoring. As Lowenna finished her drink, Rique started to stir, “Good sun to you,” Lowenna said to her. Rique groaned in response as if the moon’s sleep had not refreshed her as she had been hoping.

“Good sun Wenna,” she eventually replied, after a long stretch. She reached for her water pouch to help refresh her mouth but then sat up quickly. “The sun is up!” She blurted out, nudging her brother to wake him.

“The sun has only just risen,” Lowenna started to explain.

“We should be ready to ride by now. Why is dad asleep? Ryna wake him up, quickly.” Ryna groaned as his sister woke him, not wanting to move.

“I’ll do it,” Lowenna said, “I let him sleep.” She felt a little unappreciative, as everyone needed the extra sleep.

Lowenna walked over to wake Kia up, but something caught her eye. She glanced over the small muddy river along the dusty old track and drew her dagger. “Rique wake the others quickly, Ryna ready your bow!” She shouted as she jumped over Kia heading towards what she had seen.

Walking very slowly towards the group was a man. As Lowenna got closer, she could tell he was hurt. He had short brown hair, and his clothes were all ripped and damaged. The man was cradling his arm that was pressed on his side, there was a lot of blood on his clothes, and he was also limping.

“Who goes there?” Lowenna shouted, but there was no reply. The man staggered and fell to his knees, spitting blood onto the ground. Then he threw a smile at Lowenna. Kia, Grilk and Marchel were suddenly at her side weapons drawn looking at the man.

“The Lady asked for your name,” Marchel shouted to the man. Lowenna wondered if that was a compliment, or sign that Marchel was starting to trust her? But there was no time to dwell on a few simple words. Lowenna walked over to the injured man, knowing Kia had his bow ready if he tried anything.

“Please what’s your name?” she asked again, this time trying to sound kind.

“Krin,” the man gasped out. He was obviously in a lot of pain.

Lowenna stroked her crystal. She planned to heal the injured man but Marchel stopped her, grabbing her arm, “and what brings you out here Krin?” He asked.

Krin smiled and lowered his head, “Yea I was part of the raid. So if you are going to kill me, kill me. Not that I expect to survive for what Zarkar did to me,” Krin removed his hand from his side revealing a deep seeping wound.

Lowenna wanted to help him but didn’t dare to move against Marchel’s tight grip. “He can help us, at least with what he knows,” Lowenna said, trying to convince Marchel that healing him was a good idea. 

Lowenna didn’t like seeing a helpless person suffering even if he had been part of the raid.

Marchel nodded and took a step forward so he was between Lowenna and Krin “If it were up to me, you would be dead. If you try anything, and I mean anything, I will hunt you down and kill you.” There was a hardness in how he spoke. He had used that same tone when he had talked to Lowenna when leaving Penbirth, and to Kia when he had found out he was a Maven.

Krin nodded, and Marchel released Lowenna's arm. She placed her hand on his shoulder and the pink crystal glowed. After a few moments, Lowenna backed off, and Krin stood up. “Pain's gone,” he stated. He looked down at the wound, it was still visible but no longer bleeding. It looked like it had been treated, and many moons had passed. Krin smiled again, “so you do have magic, Zarkar couldn’t think how you are still alive.”

Marchel again positioned himself between Lowenna and Krin “Perhaps you can tell me how many raiders are left and what magic this Zarkar has?”

“There was a party sent after you, including a man called Benwa who has powerful elemental magic.”

“We killed ‘im,” Grilk said with a growl.

Krin looked a little shocked, and he couldn’t take his eyes of Grilk, now he was no longer in pain. “Well there’s about ten or twelve more men still riding for the crescent moon canyon, and they should be there by the end of the sun.” Lowenna threw Kia a look and nodded, he had been right all along. She, of course, had never doubted that, but the acknowledgement that he had been right put a small smile on his face.

“What can you tell us about Zarkar?” Marchel continued, wanting as much information as possible.

“Well he is powerful, and a great tactician and he has shadow magic.” Both Grilk and Kia looked at each other. The smile that Kia had shown a few moments ago faded into a look of concern, but Marchel didn’t bat an eyelid.

“I haven’t met anyone who has shadow magic for a long time,” he replied, “continue.”

Lowenna took a step back, so she was next to Kia and Grilk “Shadow magic?” she said very quietly so only Kia could hear.

Kia nodded, “tell you later.” He replied not taking his eyes of Krin.

“Yes,” Krin continued after a short pause. “He has a magic cape powered by shadows, and he kills anyone who gets in his way or upsets him, like me.”

Lowenna took a step forward again “What was Zarkar really after in the raid on Penbirth?” she asked Krin.

Krin's expression changed to one of confusion, “Just valuables. We were dividing them up at the canyon, before going our separate ways.” Krin's mind was now racing. What was the woman talking about?

“So why take prisoners?” Lowenna asked, both Marchel and Krin looked at her before Marchel’s gaze returned to Krin.

“Answer her!” Marchel stated with anger in his voice, which made Krin look extremely nervous.

“I don’t know,” Krin blurted out. He had not been able to give the answers to these questions, and the orc was eyeing him up.

Krin had never liked orcs, bloodthirsty barbarians and never to be trusted he thought. Incredibly strong but also stupid, he was surprised that any of them were still alive and even more surprised that there was one here.

“Dumar?” Grilk suddenly said looking at Krin.

Krin said nothing he was just staring at Grilk very nervously.

Marchel moved between them so Krin couldn’t see Grilk anymore, “My friend asked about Dumar.”

“Err… Yes,” Krin started, “he can teleport, move from one point to another in a blink of an eye. He’s been checking up on you but has never got too close so you could see him.

Lowenna suddenly had that feeling that she was being watched. “Dumar is here,” She said quietly to Kia. She touched her crystal and closed her eyes. The crystal flashed as a glow of pink mystical energy flooded out from it, which only Lowenna could see. Lowenna opened her eyes and turned pointing at a hill in the distance. “There,” she said. Kia spun on his heel looking at the hill. He couldn’t see anyone, but there was a slight movement by a tree. He fired an arrow, which flew true, and it hit the tree where the movement had been.

Dumar looked at the arrow for a moment before taking cover behind the tree, it had not missed him by much. How had they known he was there? He wanted another look but decided not to stick his head out again. They had found Krin, and he had only been ordered to teleport him close to the party and to keep an eye on them.

He had not been ordered to stick his head out and get struck by an arrow. He cursed to himself, it would only be a matter of time before Zarkar ordered him to attack the party. Troy and Benwa had both died, and Lucius had just vanished. Dumar did not want to be next, but he knew that, apart from Zarkar, he was the most powerful left. He had always bragged about his power, but his lack of skill with a blade and lack of courage meant that he had never been regarded as a warrior, more a spy or a saboteur.

He also had not earned the respect of the men, who all had put their lives in danger and knew Zarkar would sacrifice him if it made his own life easier. This arrow in the tree was the closest he had come to death in a long time, and this was quite close enough for him, thank you very much. Zarkar knew his potential, but Dumar had not lived up to it nor did he want to. He liked the easy life, a few assignations, thieving, spying this was more than enough for him. He liked money, good food, beer and young girls. Nothing else really mattered to him, except self-preservation.

Dumar teleported to a different vantage-point but did not stay long, if they could see or detect him, they might try and shoot him again. Krin was still alive and was being talked to by the others. Dumar did not understand why Zarkar had told him to take him close to the following party. He was going to die. Zarkar had stabbed him. Was it a warning to them? Was he supposed to tell them something Zarkar wanted them to know?

Zarkar had told him everything was fine, but it wasn’t. Over half of the men including all of Zarkar’s lieutenants were either dead or missing and the small party were gaining on them. “I am not going to die for Zarkar,” he said quietly to himself. He had to find out what Zarkar had taken from Penbirth, maybe he could use it to his advantage. Dumar vanished again. Scheming about what his next move should be.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © © 2015 by Robert Stevens All Rights Reserved

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