Something to ponder on as you wander on

Some liars are born that way, some are self-made; but the really great ones are elected to Congress…

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Sigmarr and Captain Tisamar sat together in the great dining
hall by the roaring fire,, for many hours they discussed and
planned what needed to be done,, what supplies should be taken,,
what men,, weapons,, fast horse or pack carriers,, all this was
discussed and decided apon for tomorrows travel northward to
the Starkdall forest…
Sigmarr also asked Captain Tisamar to send out his swiftest rider
to get a message to Kergin at the Black Wagon Inn,, Sigmarr could
only hope than Kergin was there and not out wenching or apon
some fools adventure than he sometimes went on…
Only a few hours of rest did Sigmarr get that night,, not very restful,,
he could only think of his wife and Krista,, and of the journey ahead,,
the unknowns about the Starkdall forest,, and how to retrieve
the Shield of Njordist,, and return in 3 moons wane…
Could it be done…

It must be done,, he thought… Captain Tisamar had assured
Sigmarr that night that Anita and Krista would be treated well
while he was gone,, they would not be chained or bound in any way,,
they would be treated as royal guests of King Tragihma,,
Captain Tisamar would look to their care himself…
Ten of Captain Tisamars’ best and most experienced soldiers
waited in the morning chill just before sunrise,, all was ready,,
all was gathered that might be needed for the journey to the
Starkdall forest…
Sigmarr,, gave a final goodbye to his wife and to Krista,, then joined
the soldiers… It would be long weeks of riding for all of them,,
no time could be wasted now,, for they only had 3 moons wane to
accomplish all that was required of them…

Thru the castes gates they went that morning,, frost dew was still
on the grass and the breath of all the horses could clearly be seen…
Sigmarr lead the party and kept the pace even and steady,,
not at a gallop but fast enough,, there was a long way to go and the
horses must not be worn down… Sigmarr only hoped that the shield
could be found quickly and that Kergin would be able to join them,,
it would be easier if he had someone he trusted by his side…
The journey thru the Neijurn valley was long and hard,, Sigmarr
kept the pace,, and the miles towards the Starkdall forest flew by,,
the weather was still good,, but every man knew that it could change
quickly and the ride would be that much harder,, at night only small
cook fires were lit for the evenings meal,, these were not large
battlefield fires,, just enough fire to cook with,, most of the men
were not used to such a pace and were tired at each days stop…
Sigmarr was also not used to this pace,, and his arms and legs hurt
him as he walked about the camp,, for he was not used to his
horses gait…12 days into the journey,, one man was lost and another
fell breaking his arm,, while crossing the river Fleigest,,
Sigmarr would have sent the man back,, but even with his broken
arm,, he could be used as a lookout or guard,, and it is always good
to have as many eyes as possible when traveling thru the unknown…
Sigmarr still hoped that Kergin would join them soon,, it would be
nice to have his friend by his side…

A steady stream of rising dust could now be seen filtering into the
cloudless sky,, to south it was,, all the men saw it as it came closer
and closer… A lone rider was behind them,, galloping fast towards
them,, a crazy rider,, going much too fast along the road...
As the rider came closer still,, the men all prepared for battle,,
with their swords drawn and their bows ready,, but Sigmarr then
stayed their hands for he knew this crazy rider that now approached,,
he had seen such wild riding many times before,, it was Kergin,,
coming fast from the south to join them…Kergin was coming way
to fast now,, as he tried to slow his horse to join his friend,,
the horse could not stop and went 30 ft beyond before finally halting,,
the men all laughed at Kergin for not having control,, and Kergin
laughed too,, he knew that he was coming to fast,, but it was also
a laugh of friendship,, he was glad to see his old friend Sigmarr...
Sigmarr and Kergin now greeted each other warmly,, they had not
see each other in many months... It would be good to be
together again… Each man thought…Sigmarr slowed the pace,,
just for the remaining daylight hours,, Kergins’ horse was almost
spent and the road now was getting much steeper heading north…
During the nites encampment Sigmarr told Kergin of
King Tragihmas’ demands,, of the shield and of the Starkdall forest…
Kergin had head stories of the forest and he was glad to be
with Sigmarr on this quest…

The days passed easier now,, Sigmarr still kept the pace,, but there
was a uneasiness to the horses at night,, it grew steadily worse the
farther north they went,, something was in the air… The grasslands
were now starting to become brown and not much forage could be
found for the horses,, looking north the men could see a dark cloud
that seemed never to move,, it marked the boundary of the
Starkdall Forest… 4 more days of riding until they reached the
forest edge,, not much to be found around this place,, the prairie
grass was all but gone now,, only stipple roots could be seen…
Sigmarr,, Kergin,, and the men camped outside of the forest
that night,, resting up for the unknown,, tomorrow they would
venture in and try to find the Shield of Njordist…

The Starkdall forest loomed before the men camped there that night,,
a stiff breeze swept from the east,, bringing more chill to the air,,
the horses remained jittery and the men got little sleep,,
wondering about what lay ahead,, what was it about this forest
that gave brave men pause… The trees of this forest were all about
the same size,, a large man could almost wrap his arms about the
trunk and touch his finger to this thumb,, some were larger and
some were smaller as any forest is,, the trees grew straight
and tall,, the limbs were mostly towards the top,, there were
very few limbs that grew below the height of a man mounted
on horseback,, the leaves were few among the canopy,,
they were black with color and they did not move or rustle among
the branches when the wind blew,, the bark was stained black,,
like burnt logs on a fire,, and smooth of texture... The forest floor
was covered with years on dead leaves,, all color lost now,,
they were a sickly white with yellow fungus among them,,
the ground beneath was black from the color that had left the leaves…
Not a cheerily forest,, no green,, yellows or reds could be seen within
this forest,, the sky was always dark,, from the clouds that stayed
above this forest,, they never seemed to move,, very little sunshine
was cast among the trees,, even during the clearest of days…
This was the Starkdall forest that Sigmarr,, Kergin,, and the men
would enter this morning,, searching for the beacon stones and
the Shield of Njordist...

but there are horseies..........
Find out next week if JR survived the assigination attempt by AJ
the Hungarian dwarf... is Britney really a Spielberg special effect.......
.....same BAT TIME,, same BAT STATION.....

1 comment:

Fenris said...

I don't know about "exciting," but you're really building the atmosphere here in a good way. You can't just say "the forest was scary"; it helps a lot to give the reader some idea of what's scary about it, and this accomplished that.

So: friends reunited (yay!), slowly-building gloom and tension, and a setup for things to start happening in the next chapter. Very well-written, Bob!

I am looking forward to the next installment.