THE FAEL WASTE- Chapter 2

Here comes the fresh Chapter 21 of the story [The FAEL WASTE] from Darth2018. Let’s see together what happens.

Eritra turned from side to side, her serpentine form swaying as she scanned the sun-washed rocks and ground around her, her bows at the ready. She glanced at the elf warrior crouching ten feet upslope from her. So still he was he seemed almost a stone beneath the greyish cloak draped over his shoulders. The humans were agitated, Lunalyn watching the gaping opening torn out of the mountain ahead, Moira and Allura crouching back-to-back, ready to fight at the first sign of trouble. The Njai general prayed whatever had alarmed their elven guide, it wasn’t the dragon.

“Dolen!” Lunalyn hissed, desperate to keep her voice down. “What do you see, elf? Is it orcs?” The ranger had learned during their journey east to trust the senses of the armored killer riding beside her. She knew he could see farther and keener than any person she had ever met. Years of ranger experience in the mountains and plains of Nyria had given her extraordinary skills for hunting and for fighting, but Dolen was something far beyond her knowledge. Faster, stronger and more attuned to the world around them, Dolen was the ideal partner to have in the wild lands. If he was alert, there was cause for concern.

Dolen waved her back, signaling everyone to remain where they were and not to move with a sweep of his gauntleted hand. Even though she was watching him, Lunalyn had trouble seeing him move. His cloak blended so perfectly into the landscape as he advanced noiselessly toward the rocky debris strewn before the ruined gates. The ranger gripped her bow hard but stayed immobile as the near-imperceptible gray shadow slid in among the jagged pile of rocks and boulders.

Dolen stopped, listened carefully, then slid over to his left to press against a block of granite. Totally focused on the area in front of him, the elf noticed the block he crouched beside was finely dressed stone from the shattered gate. Ignoring this, he ghosted forward, his sword half drawn.

Voices!

He stopped again. There were two. A deep gravelly rumble, low but not the harsh guttural snarl of orc speech. The other was higher pitched, calm and measured. They were speaking in the Nyrian common tongue.

“I tell you, someone is here!” Low and stony, the tone was urgent and cautious. “I heard rocks falling on the far side of the valley, boots slipping on stone, I think! We should draw back and keep watch!”

“Alas my friend! I fear they know we are here already.” The voice was clear and spoken loud enough that Dolen knew the speaker was speaking for his benefit. “Come forth, watcher in the shadows! You have nothing to fear from us.”

Dolen moved silently around a slab of stone, drifting forward. He saw a booted foot first, hobnailed and well strapped to a trousered leg, then a dwarf crouching tensely. Large bags were strapped across a broad back, a blanket roll wrapped over his right shoulder. A leather-padded metal cap was pushed down over thick brown hair, sticking out from under the helm’s rim in dense tufts. The dwarf held a wicked looking a well-used double-headed warhammer at the ready.

Beside the bulking dwarf sat a worn-looking elf. Clad in a patched weathered cloak, he wore a rough-cut linen shirt beneath a dented chestplate and voluminous pants. A wide leather belt bore an elvish short sword and the elf held a staff in his right hand. The man’s hair was hidden in a ragged hood, a white beard gleaming in the morning light. A narrow scar creased his brow over his left eye as he turned to calmly gaze at Dolen with deep blue eyes. He nodded and smiled slightly.

“Hail, Dolen Sikil, champion of Astrapor and Captain of the Guard! Well met are we in this place today!”

The dwarf whirled and faced Dolen, his hammer up and ready. Dark brown eyes beneath heavy bushy brows glared at the warrior as Dolen stood erect.

“Ah, laddie! Know you not it’s impolite to come sneaking up on a man?” The squat dwarf hefted his hammer, his eyes flashing.

Dolen eased away from the boulder he stood next to. “Dwarf!” he spoke softly, the menace clear in his tone. “If I had intended to harm you, you’d already be dead!”

“Please!” The other elf begged. “Please! We are not enemies here…especially here!”

The elf rose carefully to his feet. He was tall and well knit. “Guardsman, I am Greythwyst Gwyddian and I have come from the city of Imladon, seat of the Council of the Gibbous. Word of the burden given you by the Council of the Gibbous and the great mages of Nyria is known to the Sitters of the Gibbous and I have been sent to aid you in it.”

Dolen stared at the aged elf. “I have heard of you too, Greythwyst! Once a Sitter of the Gibbous, wise in lore and the arcane mysteries? A former Warden of the Bastion too, as I recall? And they sent you here?” Dolen scoffed, shaking his head. “I deem that none could send you willy-nilly on any errand! Speak truly, if you can remember how. I have no time for hidden games or plots of wizards!” Dolen’s hand settled on the hilt of his sword and the menace in his tone was undeniable.

Greythwyst chuckled heartily. “Well reasoned, good Dolen!” The wizard leaned carefully on his staff. Dolen stepped back, his gauntlet closing on the hilt of his sword. Gwyddian straightened slowly, letting his hand slide along the staff, leaning over to lay it on the stone seat he had been resting upon.

The wizard said softly, “I mean no threat, guardsman. I forgot your caution. Forgive me.” The elf wizard sat again and gave Dolen a look. “It might be better for all if you called the rest of your companions to come forward? They must be getting anxious?”