A banished prince, old war general, girl raised in the wild and a battle mage set out to help a farmer rescue his lost daughter from a secret guild set at kidnapping illusionists.

This is just a rough draft of what I have written so far. Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions.


6. Woods girl

“Ok that should be far enough. Quick off the road. Look for a small bush that has leaves that are perfectly round” said Talc with anxiety in his voice as he guided Thal’s horse off the road.

“Do we still have time, look at him he is white with death.” said Granit as he looked at the fading Thal.

“Yes, he will recover as long as we can find those blasted leaves before he dies” responded Talc.

“Over here, I think I found some” yelled Granit.

Talc hurried to the small clearing that Granit was in and got Thal off his horse. He grabbed some of the small circular leaves and forced them into the mouth of the dying Thal.

“Swallow those. Swallow those now!” shouted Talc.

Thal’s mind was swirling, did Talc just tell him to follow those lights? Ok, I will follow the lights he thought. He moved towards the lights and then he felt something being pushed down his throat and he gagged and then swallowed. Life seemed to instantly flood back into him and the lights that he was following were replaced by Talc and Granit.

“Wow, that worked fast” said Granit.

“I would stand back if I were you” counseled Talc.

Thal felt well. No not well, he felt incredible and full of life. He had not felt so well since, since well right before his world came crashing down on him just a few days ago. Wow, not even the memory of the past few days could damper his spirits. What was the plant that they had given him? He saw the bush right next to him and he grabbed a handful of leaves and said, “What is this stuff? It is wonderful! Talc you should try some. No, better yet we should find the thief that stole your smile and trade him some of this for it back. I mean one moment I felt like death and now I feel ... I feel ... oh no, I feel like death again.” One moment Thal felt wonderful and then that left him and took with it the majority of the contents of his stomach.

Once he finished heaving his guts out, Thal slunk down to the ground and slipped into a deep pool of depression.

“What is the point of life? Life stinks! Talc, could you do me a favor and kill me now?” said the once happy Thal.

“You know, you're only suppose to suck on the leaves, not swallow them.” said Talc.

“As I recall, you were the one who forced a whole hand full of them down the poor boy’s throat.” said Granit.

“I was afraid that one little leaf was not going to be enough.” said Talc. “Here suck on a leaf before you decide to kill yourself.”

“Ok, but it won’t do any good” said Thal as he put a leaf in his mouth and began to suck on it. He did feel a little better. He no longer was trying to figure out what was the best way to kill himself, that had to be a good thing right? Yea, there were things in life worth living for, for example a soft bed and a large, soft pillow. The rock at the far end of the clearing was starting to look a lot like a pillow and he decided that he was going to use it as such. Thal did not even make it off the ground before he fell into a deep sleep.

“Granit, you must be exhausted as well. Sleep for a while, Talc won’t be waking up anytime soon. His body needs to rest, it almost died. Yours needs rest as well after all that you have been through, fiscally and emotionally. I will keep watch.” said Talc.

“Are you sure that it is wise to make camp so close to The Darkness and what about the ghost?” asked Granit.

“We are not making camp. I am letting you two sleep for a couple of hours and then we will put some distance between us and that cursed place. On the other matter, I would like to see the ghost try to steal something on my watch.” said Talc. In fact the ghost had stolen something before on his watch, but Talc was not about to confess to anyone that his own sword was stolen out of its scabbard located on his belt while he was on guard. Talc wanted a rematch; just let that slippery ghost try it this time he thought as he put his hand on the hilt of his sword. Oh good, it was still there.

Talc was guessing that a couple of hours had passed so he roused Granit and Thal. As they were preparing to get on the road again, Granit heard the sound of horses. So they bunkered down in the nice little clearing that they were in. It was not that far from the road, but a thick layer of brush hid it from view. Thieves and bandits were common on this side of The Darkness so they decided to wait until the horses had passed before they continued on their journey.

When the horses got about even with the little group, Thal thought ok, just a few more seconds and then they will be past and we will be safely on our way. Two seconds later there was a loud crack, followed by sounds of scared horses and men and then right in front of them came barreling the ugliest thing he had ever seen. It batted away Talc’s sword and rushed past him. Granit tried to down it with a swing at its legs, but it just hopped over the stick and landed in front of Thal. He realized that he was the only thing that now stood between the beast and its freedom and that thought made him feel sick. He did the only natural thing that he could do in that situation and he barfed on it. That startled it long enough for Granit to swipe its legs from underneath it and for Talc to place a sword to the back of its neck.

“Oh good you caught the little devil.” said a voice behind them. Ten men on foot came into the clearing with swords drawn followed by five on horseback. The man who spoke was a small man clad from head to toe in armor. He raised his visor to better see the sorry little group before him but when he moved his hand; it fell down with a loud clank. He lifted it again and held it open. Thal thought he looked stupid as he held the visor up and looked left and right.

“Men seize these scoundrels.” said the man and the soldiers began to surround the little group.

“What is the meaning of this?” asked Granit “We caught the little thief; we have no part in this.”

“Ohh, don’t you? I bet it was your plan. Have this girl steal our gold and then pretend that you have rescued it. Yes a clever little plan, no doubt you thought that I would reward you handsomely. Your plan might have worked, on a lesser man. Your mistake, like so many before you was to underestimate my intelligence. And next time you address noble blood remember to call them by their appropriate title. Guards kill them , well I guess there won’t be a next time.”

The rough voice of Talc spoke before anyone could move, “Put away your swords before you hurt yourselves. My lording it’s you who are wrong. I doubt you’re as cunning as you think if you thought that a group of thieves could think of the scheme that you just proposed. I am surprised that our serving girl could cause such a ruckus. Now what did she take from you?”

“How dare you address me that way peasant? I am Lord Feldspar I shall have your...”

“My lord” said one of the mounted men beside Lord Feldspar.

“What? You should never interrupt your Lord when he is talking.” said Lord Feldspar.

“Unless he is making a fool of himself” finished Talc.

The man then leaned over and whispered something in Lord Feldspar’s ear. The lord dropped his visor and said with uncertainty, “As I was saying before this fool interrupted me I shall have your apology of what your girl has done as well as the gold that was taken. We will then be on our way. Yes? Yes, yes that would do.”

“Well you have our apology that a girl could disgrace your lord. Granit, return the bag of gold to his lording and fetch the bag from my saddle. Give him half of it.” said Talc.

“That will do ... men lets go.” said Lord Feldspar and him and his guard left up the road.

“I hope The Darkness gets them.” said Thal when they were out of ear shot.

“Let me Go!” said the girl pinned to the ground.

Talc grumbled “You stole from the Feldspar’s. You must be a blasted idiot. They are a new foolish family battling for the right of nobility. What the heck were you thinking stealing from them? They would kill you without a second thought just to make their short sighted point! You’re darn lucky we were here.”

Girl with attitude “It pretty, They no notice. I got away. No catch me if you no here. What do you in my woods? Get Out! Leave Me Alone!”

Thal questioned, “Not notice? You took a whole bag of gold while they were watching. How would they not notice?”

“I drop gold and run. They no notice. You no notice. You just sick.” she said with a smirk.

She then held up, with a sense of pride, her hand in which was hidden a beautiful necklace of pure silver with small turquoise stones on both sides of a large green emerald.

Granit said, “Now isn’t that pretty. Too bad we have to give it back.”

Talc said, “No they rode off heading to Steel Guard. We would never catch them. Anyways if we tried to give it back those bull headed pigs would probably through us all in jail thinking that it was part of some elaborate scheme. We press on.”

“What happens to the necklace?” asked Thal.

Talc said, “She keeps it, unless you think that it would look better on you?”

Laughing, Granit asked, “What do we do with her?”

Talc responded, “I had to pay half a bag of gold for her so we keep her until she pays off the debt.”

The girl said, “No fair. I run away when you sleep. You no keep me!”

“Well then we will have to take turns watching you during the night now won’t we.” said Talc.

Thal asked “Why not just sell the necklace? It must be worth more than half a bag of gold and then we don’t have to worry about this thing. It will just slow us down and be a pain until we let it go.”

“That right. Let Me Go!” screamed the girl.

Talc responded, yelling himself, “I blasted don’t take well to young girls like yourself yelling pity demands. You are going to stay a long while until you learn some blasted manners. And we can’t sell that darn thing. Nobody has that kind of money and those that do probably know who it rightfully belongs too. Granit tie her up.”

Granit asked, “Well shouldn't we let her clean up a bit? I mean, Thal good job at distracting her, but now she will smell horrible.”

“There is no time. It is getting late. We press on.” said Talc and he tied the girl up himself and then started down the road. The girl was pulled along behind him yelling the whole time.

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