Darcey is finally introduced to the resistance
| Gorkan's Brother: A Prophecy Rises Meetin' Da Opposition
Meetin' Da Opposition
"We should emerge ahead o' them by a ways, if-n they go da way da map says." Snaznock says looking at the map. "But I's not fer knowin' where they surfaced."
"Yeah but all we have is a hand drawn description o' da map." One of the fighters said.
"Hey! Who's da tracker here, hello!" Snaznock yells. Dwarves aren't known for their stealthy manners. "We've a copy o' da map, an what has I's always told yeh?"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, I's heard it before, yeh da best in da business." Tranvock says sarcastically.
"What be yeh three bickerin' about?!" Thodec asks.
"Bah they's all yellin' about who knows where te go." The second warrior says walking up behind them all, taking up the rear.
"So yeh got a scent of em almighty tracker?" Tranvock asks.
"Hold on a durned minute would yeh!" Snaznock says. "I's first gotta figure out where we are."
"Great! Were screwed, lost before we can even figure out where we're at." Tranvock says chuckling.
"Oh shut it Tranvock." Halgic says. "We jest be gettin' our bearin's is all, yeh best let him do his job."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever." Tranvock snorts.
After they figure out where they're at and they figure out which way they should head to find the boys, they decide to head off in the direction the boys should be heading. Since they had no idea that they were even out here, (since no one had ever come back from the hidden caves before, they had no idea if they even made it out of there alive let alone where they might have emerged.), they began heading north. Each of them had extensive knowledge about what was out there waiting for them and knew how to handle a multitude of different creatures.
Snaznock, the tracker, had no sense of where the kids were he couldn't even tell if the kids had passed that point or not, as far as he was concerned the kids were nowhere near this point. All he knew was that king Keldron himself had told him to find this artifact whatever the cost, even if it meant his comrades. He had no intentions of following those orders. He would make sure his men at arms were not put into unnecessary harm. He would sense out every danger and make everyone aware of what could lie ahead.
"I know where we be, but I's also see dare are at least four Trolls ahead, dare are males and a female based on these footprints. I'm not fer knowin' if'n it be a family or not. If it is, be prepared fer a fight, if it aint then they should run da other way. Okay, every dwarf here knows how te fight them. Git ready. Has anyone ever battled a troll before, snazock asked the group knowing damn well that most of them had, except for Graggum, he was new to the group.
"Aye." Halgic says. "I's had a couple o' run ins some years back. Nasty things, they smell an dare ugly. They can regenerate limbs an wounds fairly quickly; we have to get 'em quick an hard. A severed limb can still git yeh. Chop off da heads as soon as yeh can an I be sealin' da wound wit fire or acid as soon as I's can. Yeh's may still have te fight da body until it can no longer hurt yeh, yeah, these nasty buggers be hard te kill. I'd jest assume not battle 'em at all."
"Yeh's be backin' down from a fight then?" Tranvock asked.
"Not at all, I jest be knowin' where I should be spendin' me energies is all. I's bein' a mage, I gottsa memorize all these spells. So any chance we can avoid this I bein' all fer dat." Hagic said.
"Maybe if we stays put here fer da time bein'."
"Good, because we be out here te find da book an them kids an dats all." Halgic says.
"We also supposed te get dat durned artifact, whatever it may be." Said Thodec. "An I aint plannin' on healin' anyone who don't needin' te be healed."
"Then it's settled. We wait an see if they pass us by."
"I wanna kill them things, me thinks we needin' da practice an this be a good way to get us prepared fer what is te come. Besides, I jest need some killin' time." Tranvock remarks.
"Yeh may be gettin' yer wish, get ready! They be headed this way! I see one comin'. Everybody down!" Graggum shrieks. Based on what he just heard, he didn't feel like battling them either. They may have no choice.
They grey and white landscape with evergreen spotted background gave way to the nine foot creature making its way out of the tree line. Its limbs hung on the ground. Graggum who had never battled a Troll before wasn't prepared for what he was witnessing right off the bat but he knew right away that the head had to come off and fast. The thing was a good four foot taller than any of them.
Suddenly a high pitched, what could only be described as a, roar, ensued from it as it charged toward the group. Two of the warriors of the group, Graggum and Tranvock instinctively took action and as the creature charged them Graggum went into motion swiftly and began running at the creature Tranvock hoisted him into the air and his great axe came around to slice right through the soft green flesh of the neck of the creature sending its head several feet away to rest on the ground at the tree line. A fire bolt hit the open wound quickly and without warning almost hitting Graggum. Graggum just shot a quick look over at Halgic who was already preparing another spell. The body ran around aimlessly until coming to rest across a tree stump. The body was effectively dead. But coming through the trees, five more appeared with one of them being a really young one. With a couple of waves of his hands and fingers Halgic sent another fireball directly into the young ones head cancelling that one on the spot. One of the larger ones stopped and let out a hellacious roar.
"Great Halgic! Yeh done pissed off its mother! Take her out!" Tranvock yelled and Graggum ran up to her and quickly chopped her leg off at the hip. As she was going down to the ground he took a swipe at her neck, she was a big one and was able to wiggle away from his mighty blade just in time to take a swipe at him knocking him back fifteen feet, setting him far away from any of his friends. Where the leg once was, another was beginning to grow back and she was able to crouch on her one good knee and the stump that was growing back. A fireball hit her square in the chest as Tranvock ran into her and impaled her at the shoulder with his great sword. After he knocked her back to the ground he spun around in the air to come back and snap her head clean off her body, and an acid spit landed on her neck sealing her wound and melting the rest of her body into a gelatinous green goo that just burned on the ground in a bubbling fashion.
With only the three left, the group had a good grasp of the fight, until a fourth, larger, creature came tumbling out of the forest. This was no Troll, but a giant, granted, a smaller giant, but still something taller and bigger than the nine foot trolls that were attacking them currently.
"Concentrate on da Trolls first!" Tranvock yelled. One of the three Trolls swung his long gangly grey arms right at Graggum as he came in for a side swipe at another Troll and knocked him back another five feet or so digging into his worn armor viciously. His axe came fell to the ground a few feet in front of him as the closest Troll made its way directly at him. A bolt of lightning hit it square in the chest knocking the thing back about ten feet giving Graggum a chance to pick up his axe and charge the singed creature. As it got up, its head was severed from its body by a fast moving Graggum. Tranvock had his own problems blocking the two remaining Trolls from digging their ferocious claws into him. As Graggum ran to rescue his comrade, a giant foot came crashing down in front of him causing him to roll over the foot and come to a sliding halt in the snow. Looking up he had to roll away from a giant tree stump coming down at him from the giant. Swinging it wildly as a giant club he had to continue rolling and ducking to avoid its attacks, luckily, it was slow giving the fast moving Graggum the chance to run to his friends' aid.
Tranvock still fending off the two Trolls was slicing at them with his sword, not making much headway because they were healing too fast to do any real damage, but he was on the defensive. An acid spit splashed on the troll's chest sending some of the burning liquid onto Tranvock's armor singing it slightly. The troll he knocked down one of the beasts giving Tranvock the opportunity to try and sever the other troll's head.
"Halgic! Da head!" Tranvock yelled as a fireball hit the downed troll in the chest. The giant did some of the work for him as his foot came crashing down on the Troll who was regenerating. That put that Troll out of action for the time being. The only Troll left hit Tranvock hard enough to knock him back past Halgic who was standing behind the line hurling firebolts, acid spit and lightning at the oncoming Trolls. Graggum was forced to face him alone as well as the giant who was coming up on him fast. As limberly as he could he jumped in the air and spun around with his axe and tried to cut off the head of the final Troll standing in front of him. He only managed to scrape the front of the troll. Halgic had done this type of fighting before. He was good at his job, with very few mistakes. Weight wasn't enough to kill a troll so the other Troll who was regenerating its own head while being stomped into the ground by a giant was now in a full run at the now, fully alert, duo of raging weaponry. It was met with not just a long sword but a mighty axe and a glob of acid as its head rolled into the snow. The last troll came up behind them and swiped Tranvock to the ground several feet from the fight. Graggum was only able to cut off his arm, which, started to grow back immediately as the arm on the ground was closing it's long clawed fingers around his ankle. Tranvock came in with a swipe at the creatures leg and missed. Tranvocked yelled at Graggum as his axe flew into the tree just behind the creature, having no shot with his sword he ran at the creature, jumped in the air and struck the creature in the face and the chest to send the creature backward into the protruding great axe, severing its head and leaving nothing but a stump for Their battlemage, Halgic, to seal up and kill the final troll. As he did that a large tree trunk slammed into the ground besides him and Tranvock. The giant stopped in its tracks and just stared into nothingness. The giant tree limb just fell into the snow with a great thump.
Tranvock immediately started going over to troll limbs and bodies filling up as many canteens as he could with the Troll blood.
"What are yeh about Tranvock?"
"Yeh know this stuffs worth a fortune back home."
"An yeh think we not gonna be needin' them canteens fer water?" Graggum says.
"I's be tryin' te make all this worth somethin' when's we get home."
"We's be gettin' dat stupid artifact, dat be enough fer me. Now empty them things an pack em wit snow te rinse em out." Graggum said ordered. "Besides, I's fer bein' hungry now dat it be over, to bad we can't eat these things."
"Yer no fun." Tranvock says as he does what he's told. Now he just stood standing at the bewildered giant standing in front of him.
Giants were harmless unless under the control of Trolls or any other mages' influences. It just looked at the crew as if he didn't understand what he was doing there, which is normal for a giant, especially for a forest giant. They weren't blessed in the way of brains, which is what made them so easy to control. The beast was now completely docile. Tranvock began running up to the giant with his axe held high.
"Stop!" Thodec yelled. "There is no need te kill dat poor giant, he has been through enough, let him have his freedom." Tranvock stopped and groaned.
"First I canno collect da blood, now I canno even kill one lousy giant?"
"What killin' five Trolls weren't good enough fer yeh?" Graggum asks sarcastically.
He liked killing bad things and he saw what that thing did to Graggum and was hoping to get revenge, but he knew he was right; the Trolls were just using him as slave labor. Tranvock and Graggum as well as the battle mage were all still on high alert for signs of any more Trolls or giants trying to kill them, but Snaznock and Halgic knew that it was over because the giant had no one left to protect and began walking away on its own. Giants are relatively harmless unless threatened directly.
"Well me's showed them!" Tranvock remarked in high triumph.
"Yeah an yeh alone right?" Graggum stood there chuckling. "I's think da appropriate response is dat 'WE' showed them. Dat's what yeh be meanin' right?"
"Yeah, yeah, dats exactly what me's meant."
"Well, no weapons an nothin' of value let's move te our first campsite."
"If'n Snaznock knows where we is." Tranvock says.
"I's be knowin' where we is, now we jest be needin' te make it te da cave is all." Snaznock says. "Hopefully da kids be stayin' dare as well then this would be a nice short trip; we's be findin' out as soon as we be gettin' dare." So the Dwarves moved on.
Darcey follows Dargus sweating profusely as her fists keep clenching and unclenching while looking around for any sign of guards or any other kind of authority.
"Calm yerself Darcey, I'll never lead yeh astray." Dargus tells her as they walk; sensing her tension.
They come to an area that Darcey had never been to, and she had thought she had been everywhere in the city. This was completely new to her. That made her even more jumpy. They came to a blank wall in a large cavern with only one way in and one way out, 'he led us right into an ambush.' She comments in her own brain as Dargus knocks on the rock that sounded more like metal, in succession with some kind of pattern. A slat opens up in the middle of the rock. She sees a pair of eyes stare straight at her looking up and down.
"Who she be?" The woman behind the door asks. "Password."
"Jest let us in Grofelda. Yeh know durn well who this is. Now let us in."
The slat shuts and there's a loud, echoing click and the stone opens slightly. The secret password thing relaxed her a bit. This looks like what he described after dinner. 'Maybe this is legit.' She thinks. Her first instinct when walking into the room was to ascertain any dangers that might come her way.
"We couldn't be more honored Darcey. I's, well, we all's be hearin' dat yeh be da best fighter in all da citadel."
"Yeah yeah, what is this place?" She asked looking around the room. It was a stone hole in the wall with beams holding up more beams running across the ceiling. Boxes and barrels were scattered around the room and into any of the three passageways leading from the main hall. As a young girl she played hide and seek all the time with her friends and siblings so she was able to learn where all the hiding spots would be and it stuck with her. She was looking at all those hiding places now as possible ambush spots. She kept her guard up.
"A place o' solitude an a place where those afraid can find some semblance o' peace. We's be talkin' about issues pertainin' te Keldron an any part o' this kingdom without fear o' bein' judged or sentenced te da irons or worse." The woman told her. "We hope fer a better life without Keldron. I assume dat be yer goal as well?"
"Wait. Who are yeh an why should I be tellin' yeh anythin'?" She looked her dead in the eyes. This new woman standing before her now wore a slightly red piece of red leather armor over her black long sleeved shirt. She was also wearing black leather pants with a sword hanging from her side. Her eye's were dark cobalt blue and somewhat transparent.
"Forgive me, I didn't realize dat yer as new te this as we are te yeh. We knows yeh from a lot of yer accomplishments an of course yer amazin' son; seein' he bein' da only one te have actually done somethin' about da situation so far. So yeh be a bit of a celebrity around these parts. Yer popularity could pose a problem fer us an even yerself though."
"So yeh's sayin' I'm a danger here fer all yeh?" Darcey asks a bit annoyed.
"Well I's need te be honest wit everyone an dat be includin' yeh. If yeh's can keep a low profile an don't do many things dat's out o' da ordinary, yeh should be fine. But regardless I's be happy te have da best fighter in all da citadel here wit us on our side. Sorry. I's Trazzulin leadjaw. I's lead these good folks." She waves her hand behind her as some people, men and many more women come out of hiding. There were about fifty of them. Darcey's eyes bugged out of her head at the sheer numbers of this group. "There are many more o' these 'groups' around da city. Many more, some are men driven groups an some are women driven, such as this one. We all want da same thing, a Keldron free rule."
"Well Melron's not much better, but at least da council will rule instead of a ruthless tyrant."
"How do yeh figure Darcey?" Trazzulin asks.
"Melron is like da opposite o' Keldron; one is super good an da other is super evil. Melron's too passive fer our own good. An at least wit da council, dare be more than jest one o' them, they could rule as a council rather than a solitary king." She said looking around the room at all the other dwarves listening to every word she said. She knew she was right about all the hiding spots but didn't know the scope of the situation she was now in. Then Trazzulin led her toward the back of the large room and into a smaller passageway but not before Darcey turned around to face Dargus.
"Yeh comin' wit us?"
"Not tonight hun, I's got me own meetin' te look after. But I's be seein' yeh tomorrow, meet me at da rink after school. I think our two groups should meet together, at least our leaders. So I's gonna try an arrange dat."
"Well, I wanna be there wit yeh. I gots lots te say."
"Easy killer, let's get yeh acclimated te this group first." He tells her.
"I's be knowin' all I's needin' te know. An dat's dat all o' us want da same thing. So I wanna be hearin' yer ideas as well."
"One step at a time hun, one step at a time. Yeh'll have yers."
"Yeah well, time te do or die." She tells him.
"Not quite yet hun. But I's be seein' yeh soon, tomorrow at da rink, okay?"
"Okay, we'll talk then." She tells him and then turns around to follow Trazzulin into the halls of the stronghold.
They wander through the cavern until they reach what looks like a meeting room. Just beyond that looks like a kitchen and sure enough a woman comes out with some meat and cheeses to let them munch on while they talk at a long table.
"So Dargus tells us yeh have a plan te overthrow da king? I have te say we jest been lookin' at underminin' his authority fer da time bein'."
"Yeah well, I's on a timetable. Me son's out in da wilds above ground searchin' fer an artifact dat many have tried te find but none have succeeded, or even come back from. I's worried about me boy, me own stupid boy."
"We all know about yer boy, he a bit o' a folk hero round here but we all's be worried about our own kids too if this war happens. There'll be no stoppin' them from comin' in here an takin' our young away from us, an fer what? Our stupid king? They'd be doin' us a favor in riddin' us o' dat stupid king but da risk te our children be jest too great. How he ever got dare in da first place is beyond me."
"Our good king died dats how." Darcey says. "Fer all I's know, he killed him his own damned self."
"He had te know his overbearin' son would take over. But what could he do? Why would he suspect his son of tryin', an succeedin' to kill him. Wit his mom, gone, he was free to run da kingdom as a child, any way he wanted."
"An now look at it, we have tons o' followers in secret against him. If we all rose up he couldn't kill us all!" Darcey says.
"Has yeh seen what he did te those school kids last week? He executed four o' them fer wantin' a better government. Someone in da school is backin' Keldron. Dare everywhere an we donna know who they are or who te trust. These parents are scared out o' dare wits about commin' forward, how would yeh like te see one o' yer own girls put te death because he found out dat yer part o' our group? So we all canno stand up jest yet. We be bidin' our time."
"I's be on a killin' spree if dat damned king killed off one o' me kin. We need te find out who da traitors are, at least in da schools so dat we can prevent more killin's." Darcey told her. "At least te prevent more kids from dyin', those or kids dat we be needin' wit us, not dead."
"Dats why we have this organization, te figure out a way te stop him."
"I got it! we kill him." She says with disgust in her eyes and a fist pound on the table.
"Yeah but how?" She asks her seriously. "Can yeh tell me dat?"
"I gottsa plan, but it be really risky." Darcey says.
"Well, let's hear it. It can't be any worse than ours. We jest plan on makin' it hard fer him te be doin' anythin'."
"It's simple, we fake an attempt on Melron's life so dat da rest o' Keldron's supporters will think he's without honor an go against him."
"An if dat fails?" Trazzulin asks. "Say his followers don't care about honor, dat would suit them right? They would jest battle it out fer control of da kingdom."
"I's be poisonin' his food te make it look like he had a disease dat all da clerics couldn't cure cause they don't know it's a poison."
"An if they figure out it's a poison?"
"Then I's be runnin' like hell an hopin' they donna catch me, dats why I do this part alone." Darcey offers.
"well yeh's either very brave or extremely desperate an me's fer thinkin' yer both." Trazzulin told her. "Me's fer thinkin' dat we need te come up wit a better plan, a surefire plan. But, me's wantin' te go home te me husband so we shall meet again next week at da same time."
"Next week!? We need te do somethin' now! Me boys out dare an we be needin' te stop this war as soon as we's can." Darcey was freaking out now, wanting so bad to put a plan into action right away.
"Any plan we start tonight would likely still take a long time to enact Darcey, think of somethin' different fer us so dat we can have a better more surefire plan fer next week or even jest so we have some options. Okay?" She says calmly showing her to the exit. "An me's trustin' yeh wont be tellin' nobody about us right?"
"Well of course not!" Darcey exclaimed. "I aint fer bein' stupid yeh know."
Darcey walked home kicking rocks and tearing up from the fact dat other dwarves don't seem to understand her frustrations. 'I thought up this great plan but she says it aint a sure thing? How could she say dat?' She began thinking about other ways to rid them of Keldron, but she just kept coming back around to her original plan. She felt useless. Now she hoped Forge didn't see her sour mood, but she's sure he wouldn't even notice.
The stick cracked hard against his knuckles as his own stick hit the dirt below him in a cloud of dust.
"Yeh know I's hate it when yeh do dat!"
"Yeh gotta be able te hold on te yer weapon if'n yeh get hit in da knuckles, or better yet, don't get hit in da knuckles. Melron, yeh gotta be able te get past this part o' da trainin'. Yeh's good, real good, but yeh canno let go o' yer weapon unless yeh got no more fingers wit which te hold it wit an dat be a real possibility wit knife fightin'. Dats why I's aint trained yeh wit real blades yet, I be knowin' this bein' yer favorite fightin' style an all, but yeh gottsa get past this part. Block better. Next time I'll teach yeh some more creative blocks, maybe yeh's pick up one o' those better. Get yerself home before Keldron finds out yer here.
"Yes master Kecktrik." Melron says bowing.
He walked through the corridors thinking to himself. 'What does he think imma do all day? Crochet? I hope he does find out i's learnin' te fight. Yeah, then I's havin' te be fightin' him an he'd probably jest kill me.' He thought a lot about Keldron finding him fighting, then fantasizing that he could kill him in a fight. He loved his brother but let's face it, he's ruthless and completely out of control. Power has taken hold of him bad. 'Maybe I's could'no kill him, jest knock him down a peg or two. Make him want te rule WIT me, not against me. Who am I's kiddin', I's probably have no choice but te kill him, but i's donna know if'n I's gots it in me te kill me own brother.' He thought about this all the way to the kitchen for dinner and all through the night after that. He just couldn't figure out what to do. These were the days of his life right now. Determined to do the right thing but not knowing what that was.
The rink seemed cold and lonely that day while she stood there practicing some of her moves so she could stay in shape. She felt so alone today because this is where her and Mortog would usually practice his moves and she would train him with some of the tactics she knew as a warrior. 'I's hope he not needin' too many o' me moves out dare, but if he does at least I trained him those ones, I's jest be wishin' I's could've taught him more moves, if only he had waited, he be much more prepared than he be right now.'
"Darcey, well met."
"I see yeh've been practicin' again, would yeh like te spar like old times?" Dargus asked her leaning up against the wall watching her move. In truth, he enjoyed watching her practice her fluidic form. Her body moved slowly, but perfectly to the rythm of her own heart beat. She took great care in finding and maintaining her focus so that when battle arrives, she's more relaxed to know her own moves in her head and she doesn't have to think about it so much, she taught herself how to react in any combat situation with deadly and precision accuracy. He loved watching her move.
"No Dargus, but yeh be knowin' why I's be here, so spill it."
"Not here, it's not safe."
"Where then?" She said as her body remained fluid in her practicing the art of con' teag.
"Meet me at the old docks tonight an I will fill yeh in a little."
"Only what I can safely tell yeh." Dargus urged.
"Fine then, see yeh then. Maybe a little sparrin' might do me some good, it be keepin' yer arse on yer toes too, yeh may be needin' it if'n we's go to war."
The docks had been deserted for some time now since the closing of the doors several years ago. No extravagant gifts, exotic foods, small baubles, or even wood came to these docks anymore; the place was littered with garbage from people coming down here to make out or having some kids out here partying. She walked along the pier until she found the long bench that looked out over the river and to the other side. There were brightly colored Stalagmites and stalactites reaching upward and stretching downward to touch each other in many instances. She noticed the shimmering light from the boat launch shining off the water and causing a ripple effect in the coloration of the formations. She always loved this view and wondered why she didn't come down here more often.
"Darcey, hun." He slowly came over and sat down beside her after pushing some wrappers of some long forgotten candy bar onto the dock floor. "What do yeh know so far?"
"About what yer plannin'?' Nothin'." She told him. "I have no ideas what yeh be all about. All's I's can gather is dat there is somethin' major goin' down soon. I's haven't been inducted into da loop yet, it'sas if no one trusts me." She looked at him with pleading eye's. "So I's be hoppin' yeh trust me enough te tell me."
"It's not dat no one trusts yeh hun, they jest canno be puttin' any more dwarves on da line fer this particular issue, an wit dat I's can't tell yeh much of anythin' right now because it's jest in da plannin' stages. We be plannin' on rescuin' a resistance member, actually one o' da leaders o' one o' da cells." Dargus told her in a hushed tone. "But I's canno tell yeh when or where it be happenin', dats da part we's still figurin' out. So yeh canno be tellin' anyone dat I told yeh, yeh hear? It could put his life at risk, which why they not be tellin' yeh about it yet. This be all te satisfy yer curiosity, dat may be alls I's can tell yeh's anyway an even dat may have been too much already. The rest be up te Thrazzulin te be lettin' yeh in on most o' it. Oh yeah, an dat our two groups be workin' together wit some other Dwarves te help in this endeavor. We be needin' yer silence fer good an jest let us do our jobs. . .Please." He begs of her, now he has a pleading look in his eyes.
"I's not be sayin' a word, an I can understand why yeh wanted te keep this secret. I's won't even let Thrazzulin know dat I's talked te yeh. Aint those towers pretty over there?" She points across the river now willing to talk about something else. "I's could watch those fer hours, I's forgot how much I's used to sit here an wait fer Forge te come home wit his wood projects. He would show me all the little things dat he had done on his trip back, an all the big plans he had for the bigger timber. Yes, I used te love sittin' here wit Forge, an now I have my dear friend to comfort me an be wit me now, It be nice. Thank yeh.