EarthBorn: First Days

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Where No One Has Seen

Second Day 6th Quarter

The blackened land a dark blank canvass there stands nothing that bears colour apart from the low river, flat compared to anything else they have seen, the black volcanic glass terrain as the eclipse of the sun as if a dome placed over no light can get close, a clear circle of shadow lay around it, only illuminated by the moons and the sulphur lava that pours either side like the rocks cries through unseen eyes, streams of lightning blue magma waterfalls of incinerating beauty, the river below in contrast painted with a brush from the heavens highlights the border between the two lands in stunning fashion an oasis in the super cell storm of Mortems Lair and yet, it does not flow with the gradient but heads upstream, against nature and the natural order of things... Standing inescapable, lining the closest banks a natural filter to the pollutions and foul smog, a row of trees leafless yet vibrant with neon hues, visibly alive they reach high and branch backwards like coral in the reef, tall and in motion constantly catching and feeding on the deadly fumes that come from kingdom Caedes...the bridge below free to those who dare step foot in this place Rune questions Fortem...

‘’What lay in those plains beyond the bridge by the blue glow?’’....

’’what you asked for, my keep, where we all lay heads at night!”...Fortem answers...

‘’Don`t meddle with me, there must be barracks for all these legions you spoke of?’’...Rune say unyielding to the lying prisoner...

’’Does it really matter?, the beast Fields and the baths lay outside Mortems lair and you will never pass them! The Legions never sleep”!...Fortem replies with belief and certainty in his words...

’’I Guess we will have to wait and see!, lead on then you mutt!”... Fortem walks on lead shaking his head, Wayke stands next to Rune and both watch Fortem led ahead by Legion...’’He did tell the truth Thane”...Wayke says...

’’Only to save his own skin! although I have come to realise he believes too much in what he’s told to lie, his purpose is almost spent anyway, we have learnt all we can from him”...

They follow on behind the others down towards the rivers edge, the shrubs and foliage emanate smoke that twirls and wisps straight up in minuet tornados , Maidon runs her hands through to find it behaves oddly, she can hold it in her hands , it is fast becoming solid cold and heavy taking spherical form in her palm, she holds on to find it gets heavier every passing second until it becomes too much she is forced into dropping it to the ground with a great thud ...

’’Do not disturb the mist , it will cause a chain reaction!”... Rune says whispered but clear...

They stick to single file centre of the path moving slowly to avoid causing drafts, the path winds down the drop off in hairpins levelling off the lower they get bringing the bridge within sight and reach, there’s flames upon the bridge posts which act as the only guide but the smoke form pillars make it too hard to see clearly, phantom hues through the mist...

‘’Do you have a guard swatch at the bridge?’’...Fortem continues his pace calling back...

“We don’t have too, I told you everybody fears this place and those that come never go back! those flames never extinguish, do not stop until we get to the other side’’ ... the pace sub consciously quickens with Fortem knowledge of no resistance causing anxiety to hurry, seeing the flames draw closer the scout stumbles down his wooden spear shaft corals through a wisp sending a wild gust hurtling through several more, silently spheres begin to form all around them elevated high up unseen more then heavy enough to kill once amassed and fallen...

They begin to rain down to the floor like a battalion firing cannonballs at will they shake the very earth...

‘’RUN.!!!’’... They sprint fast not caring for any other dangers, the short distance left is finished at all haste through the flamed posts they flee, Maidon and Wayke followed by Rune , the Scout a distance behind paces across the bridge burdened by his fatigue he dodges straggler spheres not stopping till he reaches the other side and collapses breathless, all who crossed to safety look back across the long narrow bridge as it is pelted hard shook violently by the deadly spheres, they see One Legion collecting them like conkers on a spring afternoon his broad armoured back build holds the crushing blows with Fortem using him as a living shield best he can, with his pouch filled Legion shoves his chained captive forward and they casually jog to re-join the others leaving smoke once again to dominate the view behind, passage back secured by the bridges resilience and strong structure their fist steps into Kingdom Caedes forced by the w ill of nature, they stand exposed on the contrasted plain taking in the last of the green beauty maybe for the last time...

‘’That was close’’... says the last remaining scout gasping for air on all fours as Rune picks him up to his feet...

’’Indeed it was!, you gain breathe better if you stand and breathe deep! where did you learn to move like that? I didn’t get your name before scout!?”...

It is no problem, you’ve got bigger things to worry about then names! you know ,war, extinction, connecting a series of undeniably convenient occurrences bringing about our current circumstances and the possible ending of the species, the names Rift by the way”... Rune smiles at Rift with raised eyebrows taken back by his character and wit...

‘’and you know the answers to such things do you Rift?’’...Rune says with an air of sarcasm...

’’I don’t know much, about all this that is? but i do know that what we are told isn’t the truth...I’ve seen things that not many have!”...Rift regretfully expresses...

’’Then perhaps when we return to the keep you and i should share words, you must have questions for us also!?”...Thane offers...’’Ermmm only one or two but I shall buy you a Pint of Lavera all the same when all this is over, either here or gliding the inner plains!”... Rune nods in acceptance with smile and faces the way forward, Wayke and Maidon are up ahead looking out at what lay before the company Wayke can feel so much , his senses feel all from the kingdom, it’s bustling with activity that tingles his body in variant vibrations through him they all come from the blue, beasts snarling in hunger man with hammers forging the sounds of thousands pulses across the landscape revealing the truth of the seemingly lifeless lands...

’’I can feel them! There are so many... Everything is” ...Koul joins their side...

‘’How many ?...can we attain entrance Wayke?’’...Rune asks overhearing his second in command...

’’We can but the beasts fields and baths lay between, they sit as the keeps outer defences! Beasts can smell blood and hear prey better then anything, we must tread softly and stay upwind”....

‘’ I want to be back here before dawn, we move in and out unseen!”... Rune orders, Maidon adds in regards to Fortem...

“What about him, it’s too risky bringing him with us, he could do anything at any moment to sound the warning!”...

“We need everyone together! He is too dangerous to leave here, Legion can handle it....cant you?”... Everyone looks over at Legion who simply returns with a surprised look, the fact they even asked shocks him...

“I thought as much....anything else Maidon?’’... She looks awkward and withdrawn, his second snipe in a day the words cut her deep like a father disciplining his daughter...

“Ok this is the final league, we move swift and silent, single file no talking here on out’’... Legion wraps the chain around his wide hand keeping Fortem very close, merely a foot off his own feet, one step out of line will see his spine severed...

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