Chronicles of Dreven Trenz

First run of a series I may continue. Be gentle. Its my first time.

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3. Mad Witch Helgrim

       The next morning, I awoke to sunlight shining through the little window in the room we had for the night. I stretch and turn. Its my first time in a strange place and I'm not sure what to expect. The bed across the room is empty. Dreven had gone to the first floor, hopefully to secure some breakfast. I grab my satchel and head down. He's sitting at the bar, glass in front of him, chatting with the bar maid. I take a seat next to him.

        "Good morning!" Its the best I can come up with. Rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, I glance around the tavern. My head dropped to the bar, I hear low speaking and knew it was him. There is a light clatter and I look up to see a glass of golden liquid in front of me. I glance up at Dreven. "You know I'm not near old enough for this...besides, its only morning..." His  grin spreads a bit.

        "Oh don't be like that. Besides, its not alcohol. Its apple juice. Best way to wake up in the morning is a cold glass of juice." I grab the cup. Its room temperature. "Ah, yes. Should probably actually be cold." He takes the glass from me and pulls it to himself. "Huh...looks like its just fine to me." He winks and slides it back, the glass is cloudy with frost. I raise the glass and take a sip, its sweet and cold, exactly what I needed to wake up. Dreven spins and looks about the tavern. There are people across the room, all talking...except for one man. He's in the corner, eyes closed, arms crossed. I nudge Dreven and motion to the man. He pokes the brim of his hat upwards and follows my gaze. "Oh! There he is! Wow...he's better at this than I expected." A questioning look crosses my face and Dreven smiles. Grabbing our glasses he walks over to the man's table and has a seat. I scramble to keep up with this sudden burst of movement. I drop into a chair and nurse my glass of juice. The man slowly opens his eyes, they are a strange pale green, and seem to pierce right through me.

        "Who's the boy?" The softness of the man's voice surprises me. He seems rather intimidating even with his soft demeanor.

        "He's with me. Don't worry about it Greth. Now, about that information. I understand this place has a little problem with a witch. I also hear that she has something I need. Any chance you can confirm this?" So it was a witch we were after. It seemed like this witch was terrorizing Lendir, and Dreven might have a way to stop her, but, just who was this Greth person?

         "I may have some confirmation. But the question is, how important is this information?" Greth's eyes sparkle slightly.

         With a roll of his eyes, Dreven places a small pouch on the table. "Always with the money with you informants. Can't you folks ever just be helpful?"

         Greth grins a bit, and drags the pouch over. "Helpful doesn't buy food or drink. All it buys is trouble. That trouble is worth it when you can also buy food and drink." With a slight chuckle he places the pouch inside his shirt, and pulls out a torn page. He hands it to Dreven. "There's your confirmation. You never saw me." Greth stands silently and leaves the tavern.

        "What an odd one." I comment. "Is that page really all that we need? He didn't tell us where to look, or what to look for." I catch a glimpse of the page, the script on it is in a language I do not understand. I notice Dreven isn't saying anything and I look up at him. He is no longer smiling. A grim look covers his face as he studies the writing.

         "This is worse than I imagined. Helgrim. I had hoped it wasn't really her. Just rumors and hearsay, but this does confirm. Helgrim herself has taken up residence here. This is truly problematic. She is of the worst sort. Barely human anymore, her mind has been broken by necromancy and other darker arts. This isn't good." He folds the page and places it in his pack. He downs the rest of his drink and drops a coin on the table. "We need to go. Now."

          I hurry through the last of my juice and hustle after Dreven. Through the streets of Lendir and into the outskirts. The homes are run down, tattered, burned out. Fleeting shadows are all we see. Dreven stops and places his fingers to the dirt. "This isn't sand..." I look down. The pale stone and sand of Lendir had given way to grey earth. "Wh...what is it?" I manage to stammer out. He makes a couple signs with his hands and stands. "Ash...human. The roads are covered in human remains." I stare in disbelief. How could one person do this to so many people. Why would someone do this? "Its time for us to end this threat. Let's go." We hurry from the village into the brambles behind the village. Burned trees, no animals. Completely devoid of life. There is a single stone building, left in ruins. "This is it. She is here. Steel yourself, this may be dangerous." I do what I can to prepare myself. My knees shake, but my hand goes through the satchel my master had given me and it wraps around the handle of a forge hammer. I Have no idea how to fight, but I didn't know what else to do. Dreven removes his hat, his white hair catches the wind. He steps forward. "Helgrim! Your terror ends here! I am Dreven Trenz, traveler and scholar! Face me and be brought to justice!" The power of his voice gives me courage. I pull the hammer from my satchel, preparing to protect myself. I wasn't ready for what happened next. From within the stone building, dark smoke rolls. Dreven covers his face with a rag and hands one to me and I do the same. A hunched figure steps from the doorway and stops just outside the building.

          Helgrim's voice drips of malice and evil. "I know your shape traveler. I do not know that name. I remember the voice, indeed it has changed little. What do you think you can do? I am death incarnate. I am the angel of darkness and corruption. The master of the underworld now. Not the fledgling you tried to turn all those years ago. I will kill you, take your power, and the life of the young one. Come. Meet your fate." The hunched figure removes the hood covering her head, the face of death stared back at us with empty sockets and a lipless grin. Her arms raise and the ground shudders, hands burst from the ground and grab at our legs. "I will let the ones who attempted to stop me before, tear you from your skin." She hisses at us. Outnumbered and, at the time, I believed out classed. It wasn't until Dreven went into action that I truly felt that he could be the hero our land needed. End Chapter 3

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