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Lowenna part 23 (Chapter 27)

Lowenna part 23 (Chapter 27)

Krin has joined the party, but Marchel doesnt trust him.


The party wanted to get going soon. Rique and Ryna were readying the horses while Marchel was binding Krin’s hands in front of him.

From what Krin had said Zarkar and Dumar were the only two riders left who could use magic, and there were only ten other men who followed Zarkar left. They would reach the canyon by late sun, but the moon raid to rescue the captives was still Lowenna’s plan. So the party was going to ride and stop just a little short. Rest and prepare themselves, and at sundown would head to the camp and then free the prisoners.

The horses would also need a good rest, before the planned raid. A new problem, which Marchel had pointed out, was there would be five or six extra people to carry back to Penbirth. So unless they got some more horses, everyone except Grilk would have to double up. Lowenna did not trust the warg, no matter how soft and friendly Grilk said it was. It had tried to bite her when she had got close and Lowenna had not gone over for a second try. She had looked at the collar thinking that If this was under control, she didn’t want to see it running wild.

“Where would be a good place to stop?” Marchel had asked Kia

“There are some cliffs close to the canyon, probably the best place to rest,” Kia replied. Lowenna had noticed that the two of them were getting on a lot better since the argument, not friends but mutual respect. They had both been great in battle. Kia seemed never to miss and Marchel’s speed and skills were truly an amazing sight to see. Lowenna looked at the others and smiled. Grilk added real strength and intimidation but also kindness and knowledge and both Ryna and Rique were quick and had both proven themselves useful.

Lowenna knew the task ahead would still be difficult. Kia and Grilk did not like the fact shadow magic was involved, although Grilk didn't trust any magic.

Lowenna looked over at Krin. She wanted to believe him but knew he could be lying. There could be twenty or more magic-wielding soldiers, waiting for them at the canyon.

Rique walked over to Lowenna, “We will be ready to head out in a moment, Marchel is just securing Krin."

“That’s good, it’s my fault we are behind but should still catch up with them this sun. How are you feeling?” Lowenna asked

Rique smiled, but it wasn’t the same innocent smile she had when Lowenna had first met her. Her lips curled slightly less and her eyes, though still a deep beautiful blue, had hardened slightly. “I’m fine, just a little tired,” she replied.

Lowenna smiled back, “You can always ask Grilk for some of that energy potion he’s got.”

Rique shook her head rapidly, “I’m fine, wide awake,” she said very quickly, then started to laugh as she realised Lowenna was joking.

“Do you know anything about shadow magic?” Lowenna asked her.

“Only that people class it as the most deadly of the elemental magic. All types of magic can kill, but it's shadow magic that is the best for killing. I read that it’s a living darkness, which consumes your soul.

Lowenna rummaged in her bag and removed the dark green ring, “like this?” She asked showing it to Rique.

“I don’t know, Shadow stones are usually black or dark blue. Green is usually the colour of nature or poison.” Rique replied.

“Well, it hurt like hell.” Lowenna replied while placing the ring on her finger and positioned her arm like the thief had from the alleyway in Penbirth. She felt a warm pulse but nothing happened. Lowenna removed the ring and looked at it, before passing it to Rique.

“What did it do?” Rique asked, with a quizzical look on her face, which Lowenna had not seen before.

“A green light shone out of it causing me a lot of pain, if it wasn’t for my magic I don’t know what would have happened," Lowenna replied while rubbing her arm. She remembered the sensation of the whole world going red.

Rique’s smile faded and she passed the ring back. "It’s a pain ring, not a nice way to die. Agony running through your body until your mind and body just shut down, it can drive you mad.” Rique stopped talking and looked down. Lowenna could see tears forming in her eyes.

Lowenna put the ring back in her bag. “We have been through a lot, but will be home soon,” she said trying to change the subject, but Rique just nodded and walked away to mount her horse. Lowenna mounted hers as well and they head out on the path towards the crescent moon canyon in silence.

The party rode for a long time, under the rising sun, but they weren’t pushing the horses like they had on the rest of the trip. They all knew that they would catch up soon.

Krin not only had his hands bound, but was also tied to his horse with Grilk holding onto the end of the rope. He kept giving Grilk nervous looks like he was going to be pulled from his horse and eaten any moment, but Grilk had not even looked at him, and had shown restraint by the comment, "I’m not being tied to that stinking barbarian!" Which Krin had made.

Lowenna thought Krin should be more scared of Marchel. He had threatened to kill him and kept his hands on his sword ready to strike at a moment’s notice.

Kia led the party followed by Ryna, who was really enjoying spending time with his father and was learning how to track. Rique was riding by Lowenna, but had not said a word since she had seen the green ring “Rique?” Lowenna said with concern in her voice, but Rique didn’t answer, she was lost in thought. “Rique?” Lowenna said a little louder.

“Hmm,” Rique moved her head and looked at Lowenna, but it took a few moments for her to focus, “Um, yes Lowenna?”

“Are you all right?”

“I suppose, I am just not looking forward to later. It’s possible that any of us, or all of us could die.” Rique looked towards her brother and father, “I don’t want anything to happen to them.”

“And I don’t want anything to happen to you or your family either,” Lowenna said. She assumed Rique had been thinking about Vorn. “You mustn’t dwell on the past, but don’t forget what has happened and learn from it.”

Rique nodded and was about to speak again before they heard Kia shout “Resting point up ahead.”

There were some large mountains and cliffs up ahead. “We are close, we could walk to the canyon from here. You all rest here I’ll scout ahead,” Kai said, sounding confident.

“Be careful, Dad,” Rique blurted out. She had tears in her eyes, and a look of dread on her face.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t be getting too close,” Kia replied throwing his daughter a smile before turning and riding off along the track.

"He will be fine," Lowenna said trying to comfort her, but Rique said nothing in reply. She just continued staring at her father disappearing off into the distance.

The group dismounted. Marchel threw Krin his customary look, which had first been reserved for Lowenna, and then Kia had also been glared at, but now the look was all focused on Krin.

Krin stared back at Marchel, no emotion showing on his face, before he sat down on a rock, with his back to the cliff.

Grilk and Ryna were sparring again. Lowenna could see Ryna’s improvement and his speed and agility were making Grilk look slow and cumbersome. Marchel was tending to the horses and Rique was sitting down on a large rock, gazing in the direction where she had last seen her father.

Lowenna removed her arm-guard and scratched her arm. She took her book out of her bag and opened it. She had wanted to look at it since she had last looked at it. There were several pictures in it including the ones of the shield and she was hoping, one of them may show her something else important.

Krin was watching all that was happening and right now no one was watching him. He ripped the lining of his shirt and a small ring and a small thin blade fell out. He cut through the bindings on his wrists and slipped the ring on.

"The Girl with the magic," he thought, "she has to be first." He slowly got up and very quietly walked towards her. Her back was turned. She was distracted, but as he drew the thin blade back, Lowenna lifted her head. She could tell something was wrong. Something was about to happen. “Wenna!” Rique shouted as Krin thrust the blade into her back, not waiting for her to react.

Lowenna looked down, seeing a blade sticking out of her chest. She went to touch her crystal but the thin blade had cut the string, she could see it falling. It was like everything was moving in slow motion. She moved her hand forward to try and grab it before she fell face down into the dirt.

Lowenna could taste the blood now. It was running from her mouth. She couldn’t breathe. She stretched her hand out but the crystal was just out of reach. The whole world started to spin and Lowenna closed her eyes…

Rique gave a scream as Lowenna fell, but Marchel was already in the air sword drawn. Krin pointed his ring at him and a bolt of yellow magical energy flew from it, surprising him. He was committed. He couldn’t dodge in mid-air and the beam of magic hit him in the chest.

“Why didn’t I kill him,” he thought, “Why had Lowenna stopped him.”

Grilk Roared as he ran towards Krin his axe ready. The noise slightly panicked Krin but he turned quickly. He pointed his ring at the old orc and smiled. He was going to enjoy killing this orc.

Suddenly an arrow hit him in the back, and then one in the front. The smile faded as he tried to focus the ring on Grilk, but the mystical bolt went astray missing its target. Another of Ryna's arrows hit him in the chest, and Krin fell to his knees gasping for breath. Grilk didn’t slow down. He slammed his axe into Krin's head, killing him instantly, but there was no time for a victory roar. He grabbed Lowenna and lifted her off the ground. “Wenna!” He shouted “Wenna!”

He shook her limp body for any sign of life, but there was none. Grilk grabbed the thin blade and removed it from her back trying not to cause any more damage. He then noticed her pink crystal flashing on the ground. He grabbed it and forced it into her hand, “Wake up Wenna pleeease.” Rique ran over, tears running down her face while Ryna was checking on Marchel.

“Wennaaaaaaa!” Grilk roared at the top of his lungs.

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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