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Itan's Pass

Author: 
Michael Plummer
Old Vault Category: 
fanfiction
Old Vault ID: 
136

The cool mountain breeze of Itan�s Pass, a high mountain pass west of the small mountain village Kalme, was a sweet relief to the two mercenaries recently stationed in the sweltering heat of the Drearlands to the southeast. Although the weather was comfortable, Trevon and his fellow mercenary Vyne had become bored with their post at Itan�s Pass. An elite mercenary band, the Seeking Swords, had been hired to protect Kalme from invading force of beast-men. Trevon and Vyne had been ordered to Itan�s to be on the lookout for the advancing beast-man war party. The two men had a camp set up on top of a cliff overlooking the mountain pass so they would be able to spot the beast-men from a reasonably safe distance.

�You ever seen a beast-man,� asked Vyne, already knowing what Trevon�s response would be. Trevon simply shook his head no. A grin grew across Vyne�s face. Trevon just smiled since he had heard the same question and explanation enough times that he could repeat it verbatim. Vyne was the oldest man in the Seeking Swords. He was probably in his sixth decade, but he kept fighting as a mercenary with as much fierceness as the day he started. Trevon had been working with Vyne all four years Trevon had been with the Seeking Swords. �I saw one once,� Vyne continued, �He was a head taller than any other man I have ever seen. Three green stripes had been painted on the each of the cheeks on his face. Long brown hair covered the beast-man�s head. His clothing was made of animal hides and furs. The beast-man was armed with a small bow and a jagged knife. Very strong and wild that one was.� Vyne, sedated by his own frightening story, grew silent.

�Interesting Vyne, really interesting,� said Trevon standing up. �I had better check the western reaches of the pass for beast-man tracks,� Trevon said sternly. His face then turned from one of weariness to one of amusement. �Try not to fall asleep on watch. Nardarian was pretty angry last time.�

�Just a symptom of old age my son,� Vyne chuckled deeply.

The valley floor was a couple of miles of path away from the campsite. Trevon was enjoying the night walk when he remembered another night as clear and as cold as the one he was currently treading through. Trevon had been riding all night to get to his home village of Lubeck from the Byrnish capital of Arolsen. Trevon had been attending the Academy of the Noble Ascent Knighthood. Only three weeks before his planned graduation news came to him that his home village on Anhalt Luke was under siege by a detachment of the Khronginean Navy. Khrongin was a turbulent nation to the north of Byrnolen ruled by the evil death wizard Aerowe. When Trevon asked the Knight in charge of him what the Knighthood would do about the attack, the Knight shrugged and told Trevon that one insignificant fishing village was not worth a war with Khrongin.

Angered, Trevon asked permission of the Knighthood to go and aid his village. He was denied permission to go since the Knighthood feared that his presence might lead to conflict with the powerful nation to the north; furthermore, Trevon was told that if he left he would be banished from the Knighthood forever. Disgusted, Trevon stole Thistleswift, the High Knights steed and fastest horse in the city (next to the King�s of course). Upon his arrival home, Trevon discovered he arrived too late. The fishing village was already under the control of the Khrongineans. Trevon was captured and enslaved by the invaders. He later escaped the mines where he was enslaved. Bremenhaven, the city that he fled to, was to the west of the nation of Byrnolen.

Once there, Trevon employed his fighting prowess taught to him at the Academy toward a career in bounty hunting. Trevon quickly mastered the bolas, a weapon that wrapped up an opponents leg, as a non-lethal means of capturing men. Stories of his fighting, prowess spread through Bromenhaven and many other city-states west of the Evertower Mountains. The Commander of the Seeking Swords, Nardarian recruited him into the mercenary band that he had since served in.

Going around a bend on the mountain trail Trevon beheld the western reaches. With a gasp he hugged the wall of the cliff. All of the western reaches were a sea of marching bear and beast-men. Trevon turned around and ran back to the campsite. He would have to hastily pack up his and Vyne�s belongings and arrive back at Kalme before the beast-man army arrived. Commander Nardarian had to be informed about this development. Trevon just hoped that an old man such as Vyne could keep up a stiff pace back through the mountains to Kalme.

As Trevon neared the campsite, he noticed that Vyne was lying down beside the fire.

�Darned ol� fool. Sleeping on your guard. Well, you need to be getting up now.� Trevon trailed off as he noticed the arrow protruding from Vyne�s chest. A rustle in the trees was audible about fifty yards to the left of the campfire. Acting on pure instinct, Trevon threw himself to the ground. As the mercenary hit the cold ground, he heard an arrow whistle overhead. Apparently it was the Beast-man�s last arrow because the barbarian charged in with his jagged dagger held high. Trevon had his bolas out and spinning. He knew that this Beastman was just a scout because he did not ride upon a bear. With a grunt, Trevon heaved the bolas at the Beast-man�s legs. The bolas wrapped around the barbarians legs, and the Beast-man hit the ground with a thud.

Before the Beast-man could untangle himself, Trevon drew out his long sword and hit the back of the barbarian�s head with the flat of his blade. Trevon sheathed his long sword, knocking the Beast-man out cold. The mercenary quickly tied up his prisoner�s arms and hands. He also tied up the Beast-man�s legs so he could walk but not run. The ex-bounty hunter put his skills to use. When the large man awoke, he quickly noticed a crossbow leveled at him.

�You are my prisoner until I can hand you over to my commander. Surely he will painfully extract some useful information out of you. You will have to walk seeing how the wrapped up remains of the man you killed will go on the man�s horse, and I will ride mine. Now march in front of me!� The barbarian marched solemnly in front of Trevon. The mercenary kept his crossbow leveled at the Beastman all the way back to Kalme.

 

Itan�s Pass © Michael Plummer

Migrate Wizard: 
First Release: 
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