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Through the Fire and Darkness

Through the Fire and Darkness

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A band of scraggly wanna-be heroes embarks upon a secret quest to save the kingdom

600 readers have visited Through the Fire and Darkness since shel5210 created it.

Introduction

The Kingdom of Abalonia has fallen upon hard times. The people are jobless and starving. Bandits ravage the countryside and disrupt trade. Vicious raiders from the Northlands and Far East ransack and pillage. The good King Ludwig must save his people from the multitude of dangers that beset his precious lands.

Legends tell of a magical jewel, within which a spirit older than the lands themselves is trapped. The legends say that whoever frees the spirit becomes a divine being themselves. The King seeks this gem,and the divine powers it bestows to save his lands and protect them for all eternity.

The king sent heralds far and wide, spreading the word that the king was assembling a team of heroes. On midsummers day, at the Red Turtle Inn in the city of Khaldor, interviews and try outs were to be held. Young folk from all over the land flocked to the city, seeking the promised wealth and adventure.

To lead and select the party, Ludwig sent his champion Aggronak. He was instructed to spare no expense, and chose whomever he thought best suited to the task. His only other instruction was that he must not fail.

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The king had ordered the prospective recruits to be locked out of the city until the day of the try outs in order to maintain some normalcy in the city. The atmosphere in the weeks leading up to midsummers was electric. The city was abuzz with rumors and speculation. Nobody knew what the mission was,but everybody had their own idea that they were willing to share over a pint or two.

The day before the unlocking of the gates Aggronak departed into the rain from the palace. He walked through the city, noting an attitude and atmosphere that was much different than the usual glum brought about by hard times. He passed by several beggars,offering a coin to each. He was a tough man,but still felt kinship for the downtrodden. He finally reached his destination.

Aggronak looked up through the rain at the tavern sign. "The Crescent Moon"he read aloud with a smile as he looked up into the cloud filled night sky, searching for any sign of the moon. "Better get to work" he thought. He walked into the tavern, his massive frame filling the door. Much speculation hadcome about due to his large statue, and the general thought was that he was half-orc, although no one knew his real father. He walked to the counter and said to the barkeep. "I need a place to stay for the night, and by the time i wake tomorrow i need this room cleared with a single table at the back." the barkeeps look of protest changed to a look of greed as Aggronak dropped a large bag of coins on to the counter

"Anything you want" the barkeeper stammered. Aggronak took the key offered by the barkeep, and walked upstairs to go to sleep. Tomorrow was going to be a long day, he needed rest.

He woke to the brilliant sun pouring through the windows and the song of birds on the air. He grabbed his bag and headed downstairs, and was pleased to see his orders had been followed. He took his seat at the far side of the lone table, his massive body looking rather absurd perched on the chair, and pulled a large stack of paper from his bag along with a quill and ink.

He leaned back and cracked his knuckles as the barkeep unlocked the door, and let the throng in. "Today is going to be terrible" Aggronak said with a groan to the barkeep. The barkeep responded with a sympathetic smile, and returned to counting the money he received the night before. "Poor bastard" he thought "He has no idea what he got himself in to."

Aggronak waved a page over, and instructed him to tell the City Watch to allow the would-be adventurers in.

As the first applicants filed in,it became obvious that the chosen venue was to small. The growing throng stretched out into the courtyard.The previous nights storm had broken,and it was a warm sunny day. All sorts of people had shown up from hulking brutes to shady looking individuals that brought thoughts of skulduggery to mind. Scattered throughout the motley mess a few dwarfs stood out,as well as some folks sporting pointy ears. Towards the back Aggronak saw what looked like a small troll on a chain following a rather savage looking man. He looked down and read the application being given to all who wished it.

Name:
Race:
Age:
Skills and equipment:
Why Should You Be Selected:
Compensation sought:

More and more filed through, handed him their application, and were dismissed without a second thought. It was obvious the crowd was becoming restless. Midday was approaching, and not a single interesting candidate had presented themselves.

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Abalonia

Abalonia by shel5210

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Aggronak

A tough man,loyal only to the king

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