Chapter One: Return from Mission.
Location: About a half an hour deep into the Aranol Forests
"C'mon hurry Shadine! We haven't got much time before they catch up to us!" A mysterious looking, hunched, thin and lean man cried out to his partner, who was laying out traps for them quickly.
"I'm coming Jonathan! Just... Hold on for two more seconds..." The weary Shadine called back. She was a well built Ranger. Who excelled to set a bow and fire it, and oddly for a ranger, she could construct traps swiftly. She quickly hid the fire embalmed trap and sped up to catch up with her partner.
"There they are!" Some party of five screamed out, they were a small gnome tracking party. The yellow scrawny medium height bodies lunged in the direction from behind a tree, sprinting off at incredible speed as they stumbled across the fire trap. The trap went off as three of the five were engulfed in flames, the gnomes caught on fire as they fell to the ground, screaming in agony. The other two frantically looking for a way to go around the fire.
"Ha! Told you it would help!" Shadine called back to Jonathan, who was a little bit behind her.
"Yes yes, just rub it in my face!" Jonathan yelled, trying to keep up with the rather athletic Shadine.
Just a few more minutes and they would lose the gnome tracking party, and be in the safe haven of the refugee camp of Balthazar. The refugee camp was made when the great city of Zaishen decided to go to war with the gnomes.
Shadine and Jonathon hesitated and went on. Then a little ways down the trail, the two gnomes caught up to them. One of the gnome's arrows sped by their heads. "We can take 'em..." The confident Jonathan said. He stopped, and turned to face the two of what was left of the gnome party. He chanted something in a language under his breath, he was concentrated, when his hands glew with a firey presence. The fire shot through the air at one of the Gnomes, the gnome flew back and landed on his back against a tree. This incredible strength made up for the scrawny figure of Jonathan.
Shadine also turned around, facing the other gnome tracker and knocked her bow, putting a bit of poison at the tip, she fired it at gnome. The gnome tried to dodge, but the arrow got the tip of his left leg as he jumped out of the way. Both the gnomes scurried off as fast as they could, trying to escape them. But both Jonathan and Shadine quickly finished off the gnome trackers.
Both dead, they rummaged through the corpses to find anything interesting. This being a bit of money, two nicely crafted hunting daggers, and a compass.
They walked the rest of the way to the refugee camp. It was surrounded by sharpened, long logs that made a barrier. And there were five lookout towers, two by the entrance, and the others scattered about the wooden wall. On top of the lookout towers, sat a flag that bore a white snake with a silver sun behind it on a royal blue background. There were at least a hundred leather and cloth tents set up. They went into a tent in the refuge, and sat down at the end of a long table.
This tent was rather decorated, and had a flag that of a lookout towers. The tent was made of cloth and animal leather. It was held up by metal poles. On the outside it said ‘Paragon’. The other tents were small, and looked up to this rather large tent. They were simple and made of brown cloth, which was enough to cover them from the rain. They had a drawer inside, and a cot with sheets. It was just a dirt ground. Except in this one tent, it had a carpet floor with a book case and a drawer, a cot and a big table with many chairs.
They scattered the things they were able to find on the way across the table. This including an important letter; carefully written by a merchant wanting to pass in from one of the gnome's allies’ bases, one of the Rock Troll’s bases. Although they were man, they seemed to be rather large like ruthless barbarians. They found that note, a few things from the caravan they rummaged through, and what they found on the gnomes.
"Are you back, so soon? Very well. Did you complete your quest?" A hooded figure, which they called 'The Paragon', stood in a corner, looking at a book.
"Yes we did. We got the note without that much difficulty. The Rock Troll put up a little fight, but we got him. Though, some gnomes followed us back, but we properly disposed of them." Shadine spoke aloud.
"We found some money and some beautifully made daggers on them. So of course I couldn't resist but to bring them with." Jonathan chuckled, looking at The Paragon.
"Very good." He turned around and went up to the table. "Then you got the map of the city that was included with that note?" The Paragon was a black man. He had a tan hood on, a baggy short sleeved shirt, baggy pants, with a battle kilt going around the pants. That means it was cut in the middle, so it was sort of like a skirt, but it was open in the front. He had a black belt on, white arm braces, and white foot braces.
"Yes. It was on the other side of the note.” Shadine calmly said. She passed the note down to the Paragon.
"Very good..." He swiftly took out a dagger and placed it in a certain point of the note. "Here is where you two are going next. I need you to get inside the city, ask this guy named Jahk some questions, and get out. Do this without getting caught and I will reward you handsomely. You two are all I've got that are... Worthy and trained right for this mission. Think you can do it?"
Shadine and Jonathan smirked and looked at each other, then at The Paragon, and in unison said "Yes."
"Very well then. Good night for now, the day after tomorrow is when you will start. You will need disguises, and this note to get in. You are dismissed." Paragon took the dagger from the note and table, and slid it back to Shadine.
Jonathan grabbed the daggers, and chuckled as he got out of his chair, fire in his eyes of ambition. Shadine grabbed the note and smiled. Then followed him out, and they went into the tent of Shadine, which was small and disorganized, to discuss how they were going to get in and out of the city.
"We are going to enter and go out like nothing happened. We are going to be dressed like a Rock Troll merchants. We are going in, talking to the person… Jahk right? Anyway, then we will come out on the same route we took in. We must do this swiftly because the Gnomes are very intelligent." Shadine said, pointing out a route to the dagger hole marked place.
"Will do." Jonathan said, walking out. "Night Shadine, we will need the rest…" He walked into his own tent, which was similar to Shadine’s, taking off his leather armor. It was silver... He had red scar crossing over his left eye, and then it broke down into three little arms at the end. His shoulder pads have silver hoops in them, with a point at the end sticking up. His fingerless gloves had a point coming off from the wrist. His tunic wasn't anything special. He took off his boots, sleeping in his pants as usual. Jonathan had silver-grey cornrows, and was pale as a piece of an clean ivory tusk of an elephant.
Shadine studied the map for a bit. She could memorize things like so very easily. She then removed the worn, rugged blue mask from her face. Her dirt brown hair with little teal beads with a cream rim in it was rugged and she never bothered to brush it. She took off her shoulder pad, which had a silver figure of the head of a hawk, connected to a leather brown shoulder pad. She then took of her tunic that was blue and brown, revealing her under clothes that were that as simple peasant clothes. She took off her leather belt, and brown and blue leather skirt. It was rugged and torn; it was about a foot and a half long. Underneath she wore comfortable shorts. She took off each glove, which was the same color, and then unstrapped her boots. She shook the dirt and rocks from them, and then laid on her cot, her Dragon-Scale silver bow and leather quiver lying by her side on her bed, her short dagger lying in her hand.
She thought about the gnome hunters for a bit, and what a shame it was for them to die, and quickly fell asleep from exhaustion.
The map of Gatenway was hidden in one of her drawers. This was buried underneath her mounds of leather armor.
The Paragon took a book out of a shelf. It was written in the ancient language of the Paragons. He smiled and thought about the little mission he sent his lackeys on. He smiled to himself, thinking. I’m sending them on a death wish. They are not that bad of a bunch… Maybe they can get through… Just maybe. Who knows though. Who knows…? He read something from the book. And put it away. He sat at his chair, sticking the dagger right back into the table. Thinking in his own thoughts. Lost in his mind in a meditative stance, he rested.
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