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The Tale of Thunder - Chapter One (Second Chance)

Thunder Kayowen(Ryan Goodrich)
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Galen looked up with despair as several soldiers strode up to his cell and began unlocking the door. He had no idea how he'd summoned up that strange magical electricity, so there was no hope for escape. Two guards nervously approached him and put manacles on his hands and chained both of his feet up with shackles. Galen moved along behind one of the guards. Slowly they strode down the hallway of cells.

Galen was snapped from his thoughts when he realized they were where the execution was going to take place. It was in a small sandy area, enclosed by large stone walls. At the center of the area was the wooden platform where he would be tied to the hangman's noose. The strange thing was that there were four hangman nooses and three of them were occupied.

Galen was lead to the vacant noose. The noose was roughly put around his neck. He didn't want to look at the other three people about to be hung as well. They would only be mirror images about how he looked. He was scared. He hadn't thought about it the whole way through, but the concept of dying actually scared him. Several people entered into the hanging area. Two of the people looked like soldiers; one was a captain, and the other was a corporal. A halfling also accompanied the two. Galen had never actually seen a halfling before, strange as that might have been. Maybe it was because they were so short or he never noticed when one was around.

The three people stopped several yards away. The captain looked at the guards standing behind each person about to be hung. The man nodded.

Galen suddenly felt the noose around his neck tighten. Panic suddenly filled him as he groped for the rope cutting off his air supply. The man being hung next to him let out a high-pitched scream when the noose tightened, cutting the scream short. As suddenly as it had started, it stopped.

Galen opened his eyes he'd had shut from strain. He was lying on the wooden flooring of the platform. He felt for the noose around his neck. It was still there, only it was no longer tight. He was still alive! Surprise and joy began to fill him. Suddenly, the captain who had been watching this all spoke up.

"Congratulations," the man said. "You are now all officially dead. You are mine now. You all work for me now. Since your old names are now the names of dead people, you must come up with new names for yourselves.

"But I will repeat myself. You are mine now. You have been spared because I have use for your skills as warriors. Before I tell you what those uses are, let me tell you what my rules are and what I expect of you. You go where I tell you to go. You say what I want to you say. You fight when I say to fight. You die when I say to die. Your lives are now mine to use. I will do as I please with them. Come with me. There is much to be explained in what little time we have."

The three people turned and headed for the door they first came through. Galen stumbled to his feet. His knees felt weak. Everything was happening too fast. He was about to die, but now is property to some soldier. He then realized a soldier had just removed manacles and shackles from him. He then moved to follow the three people departing.

The captain looked to be a man in his early thirties. He was quite broad across the shoulders. His arms were covered in plate armor shoulder plate, plated sleeve, and chain gauntlets. He wore a shirt of chain, chain leggings, and knee-high leather boots. A longsword and shortsword hung at his sides. His gold hair was drawn back in a ponytail. A white sash hung across his chest.

The other soldier looked to be more well trimmed. His dark brown hair had been cut short. He also wore the same armor selection as the captain and also had a white sash across his chest. He wore a longsword and a shortsword. As well, but also carried a shield slung across his back.

The halfling was another story. It barely stood up past his knees. The halfling was dressed in a dark brown studded leather. At his side hung a shortsword and a dagger. Slung across the halfling's back was a light crossbow. The halfling looked as if he might have another half a dozen daggers hidden on him. He looked more suited as an assassin than tagging along with these two soldiers. The halflings long black hair had been drawn into a dozen or so braids, then all tied together into a ponytail. The halfling looked even deadlier than the two soldiers combined.

"This is not the first time we've done what we did out there," the captain said. "We have done it many times in the past as have many other great men. We find it a good way of finding some of the better fighters, plus we get the utmost of loyalty from them since they had been spared from their own deaths. It may not seem like a good idea to some of you, but it is more effective than you think.

"Now then, I am Captain Jerick Lyzanor. From this point onward, you will address me as 'Captain' or 'sir'. This many," Lyzanor waved to the many next to him. "is Corporal Aieragol. You will address him as 'Corporal'. And this man here," he signaled to the halfling. "is Ethanial Leagallow. You may call him 'Ethanial', but he prefers 'Ethan'. It would do you well to remember his name. For he is the stealthiest person in my company, and it would not be a wise thing to cross him."

Lyzanor's eyes ran across the four nervous people, his eyes lingering a little longer on Galen. "Now that I've given you sufficient time to think, I wish to know the names you've arrived at."

Aieragol suddenly pulled out a parchment and a strange black cube of some sort. Galen had forgotten about choosing a name. Thankfully, Lyzanor's eyes rested expectantly on the man at the other end of the line.

Apparently this man had forgotten as well. He stood well over six feet tall and looked more at home in an alleyway taking people's money than here. "Uhh... well... Lessee here... I'm... Wilf! Yea, I'm Wilf!"

Galen noticed the halfling roll his eyes at this.

"Last name?" Aieragol looked up from his parchment. Apparently the cube was charcoal or something that could be used to write on paper with.

"Uhh... just Wilf."

Lyzanor looked to the next man. This person was the exact opposite of Wilf. He was short and very skinny. He had a long pale face and eyes that glinted feverishly like that of a weasel.

"Jimmy Kyrian."

Lyzanor looked at the man next to Galen. This man looked like a normal farmer's son. He couldn't have been older than nineteen. He looked scared. "Uhh.. Jaq Tibbs, uhm... sir!"

Lyzanor's eyes fell upon Galen. He had been thinking at a frenzy on a name that would suit him. When Lyzanor's eyes fell on him, he instantly knew what his name would be. "Thunder Kayowen, sir!" he said, using the name of one of his old friends as his last name. Lyzanor cocked an eyebrow at him and stepped closer, surveying him from head to foot. "I think I've seen you fight before. Golem?"

"Yes, sir."

"Ahh, yes. You fought with military precision as well as tactics. Were you once a soldier?"

"Yes, sir."

Lyzanor nodded approvingly at him. "I'll be sure to keep an eye on your progress then, private. Don't disappoint me."

"No, sir."

"That's right," Lyzanor said aloud. "You are all now privates-in-training for Lyzanor's White Stallions company. As of tomorrow morning before the sun rises, you will be taken to training camp. You will be tested there to see what your skills are, your strengths, your weaknesses. Training will last two to three weeks, while with some," Lyzanor glanced at Thunder. "Your training may last less than a week. You are the last people I'm recruiting into my company. Once your training is complete, you will be taken to the company's base camp where will reveal the mission you all will be undergoing."

"There are others?" Jimmy asked.

Lyzanor shot a sharp glance at Jimmy.

"Sir," he quickly added.

"Yes, there are others. Many others."

Lyzanor turned to leave, but stopped and looked back. "Oh, yes. I almost forgot to mention this. Should you survive the mission and return back to Achim alive, you are free men."

Thunder noticed Wilf and Jimmy exchange sly glances as Lyzanor left the room, the halfling following him as well. Aieragol then stepped up in front of them.

"I will now show you to the room in which you shall spend the night in."

He then lead them down a series of corridors to a room with four sleeping cots on the ground.

"Sleep," Aieragol said. "You leave early tomorrow."

As Thunder lay on his cot, he noticed Wilf and Jimmy both conversing darkly in a corner of the room. They were both apparently friends of some sort from how well they apparently knew each other. But they were plotting something. As Thunder fell asleep though, they were still plotting.


The Tale of Thunder: Chapter 1 - Second Chance © Thunder Kayowen(Ryan Goodrich)

Migrate Wizard: 
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