Knight of ZantarniZantarni NPC
Sun Oct 07, 2007 7:22 pm
Meldrick had found himself less busy at the gates of Edingtol, since a young squire named Lanatin had come upon the scene, offering help and assistance to the newcomers to Edingtol. He still felt welcome there and offered assistance to many, but it seems that the young squire was everywhere at once.
Meldrick decided to walk back through the towncenter market, to take in the ‘sights’ and sounds and smells of the business district.
He laughed as he passed Sir Scarz Shoppe and the ever-present discussion of food. He smiled as he walked near the store front of young Dante Sparda and at hearing the discussion of finery at Lady Nema’s shoppe around the corner.
Finding a table at the outdoor café, he smiled as he ordered some bread and cheese. It was late into the lunch hour and most of the patrons were leaving, though a few stayed behind when they recognized Meldrick and had hoped for a story.
As he waited for his order, Meldrick could hear the cawing of a nearby crow and smiled as he thought of his meeting with a most unusual crow . . . Kuro.
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As the caravan was approaching Dranzburg, young Meldrick slipped out of the wagon and headed off into Eding woods. It wasn’t the first time he had visited these woods, a few years back he and his friend Karl had found the remains of an old hut and had played for hours using it as a castle and a fortress, defending the world against Dragons and the Army of the Dead.
He wondered if the remains of that old hut was still there as he slipped into the woods, following the path he knew would take him to a creek and pond, near where the remains had stood. He smiled at the sounds and smells of the woods that greeted him like an old friend.
Hearing the babbling sounds of the creek, Meldrick smiled as he knew he was near where that old hut that had brought him and Karl such joy when they were little.
Kneeling at the edge of the creek, Meldrick placed his hand in the cool, clear water, and then brought it to his lips, in his cupped hand. Tasting the cool, sweetness of the water he smiled as he saw the foundation of the hut in the distance.
Smiling as he quickly moved to the hut and looked about. It was a little more run down, but it was easily recognizable to him as The Castle Von Richtoff. He chuckled as he picked a stick and flourished like a sword, holding it to his face and bowing in salute, to his ‘king’. He then parried and thrusted with the ‘sword’, as if battling his long gone foe.
”Keep up yer guard . . . watch yer flank . . . a good defense is the best offense . . . ”
“Who said that? Come out whoever you are!” Meldrick had been taken by surprise, he hadn’t realized that someone else was there. He turned slowly, looking about for whomever it was who had spoken to him.
’Cawww . . . Cawww!! a large crow landed on a tumbled stone just in front of where Meldrick stood.
As was Meldrick’s habit, he addressed the crow, not really expecting a reply, “So Sir Crow, do you know who it was who had just tried ordering me about?”
The crow looked up at him and then started pacing back and forth along the remains of a wooden plank, like a general addressing his troops, ”Of course I know who was ordering ye about, it be me, young elf . . . Captain Kuro, formerly of the King Travahl’s Cavalry.” Kuro bowed to Meldrick and Meldrick bowed back.
“Captain Kuro, I have never heard of the King Travahl’s Cavalry.” Meldrick looked at Kuro, he was one of the most beautiful crows he had ever seen.
Kuro eyed this young elf up and down then cleared his throat, ”Hmmmm . . ye have not heard of King Travahl’s Cavalry?” Kuro looked up at him and chuckled, “sit, sit young elf and I will tell ye of King Travahl and of the most fearsome cavalry of faeries in the known lands of Zantarni.”
Meldrick sat on the ground, cross-legged in front of Kuro, who continued to pace back and forth as he spoke. ”King Travahl was the last great Faerie King of Eding Woods and twas here that the final battle played out.” Kuro spread his wing, indicating the ruins of the hut he know sat in.
Meldrick smiled at the thought of these ruins being the castle of King Travahl, instead of the humble hut that he and Karl had played in.
Kuro continued, ”This was once a mighty fortress that commanded and controlled the traffic on yon river.” the crow pointed to the creek.
”King Ulric of Retchwood, envied King Travahl’s wealth and entered into a pact with a small band of Orcs.” Kuro looked about as if scanning the area for Orcs, then turned back to Meldrick.
”We had had several skirmishes with King Ulric’s own cavalry and even though his mounts were kestrels, King Travahl’s Crows had always found a way to defeat them, as King Travahl’s Cavalry were mounted archers, with a few lancers and swordsmen. Our archers were truly a force to be reckoned with, and it became King Travahl’s down fall as King Ulric became more wanting of Travahl’s lands and wealth, he realized the only way he could have it would be to employ the small band of Orc’s, as they were impervious to the faeries’ arrows.”
Kuro got quiet as he looked about the ruins in front of him, closing his eyes he sighed and then looked to Meldrick, ”We never had a chance . . . the Orcs tore through our fortress as if twas made of sand . . . the faeries that could not escape were slaughtered.’
Meldrick noticed Kuro standing a little taller, a glint in his eye.
”King Travahl and I were the only ones who managed to get airborne and knowing the battle was lost, we did not flee; instead we searched for and found King Ulric mounted on his kestrel, overseeing the slaughter. Without regard for our own safety and at the urging of my king we attacked . . . with the fury of a bobcat defending its lands from a mountain lion . . . and we caught them totally by surprise.” looking up in the sky above the small clearing by the creek, Meldrick could tell that Kuro was seeing the battle again, he had the look like that of a warrior, recounting battle, living it again with each word.
Kuro bowed his head, ”My King and Ulric fought a fierce aerial battle and unfortunately, both were dealt with mortal wounds, as King Ulric and his kestrel fell from the sky, the Orcs laughed and tore into his army as well . . . such is the treachery of the Orcs. I had heard that they had returned to Retchwood and laid waste to King Ulric’s castle and people as well.” Kuro sighed and continued, ”though I was slightly wounded, I was able to land and those few of King Travahl’s people who had survived, helped him from my saddle and lay him on the ground, we wept as our king died and we buried him where he lay.” with that, Kuro took to the air, ”Come, young elf, come, that ye may pay yer respects, to a fallen King.” Kuro flew across the field and landed beneath a large oak tree.
Meldrick stood up and followed Kuro, as he neared the oak tree, he could see the small stone-covered grave. A larger flat stone lay on top of the grave; the runes on it hard to read, but Meldrick was able to make out most of it. “King Travahl, killed while defending his lands, Forever in the hearts of his people.”
Kissing his fingertips and reaching out to touch the stone on the grave, Meldrick looked to Kuro, “Captain Kuro, why do you stay here?”
Kuro looked up at Meldrick, the glimmering of a tear on his cheek, ”Young elf, tis where I belong . . . at the side of my King.”
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Meldrick smiled as his bread and cheese arrived. Tearing off a piece of bread, he ate it savoring the warm freshness of it as he felt the soft beating of wings nearby.
A crow landed on his table and bowed, although Meldrick could not see him bow, he sensed it and set a piece of bread on the table before it. The crow hopped onto Meldrick’s shoulder and leaned close to his ear and whispered, ”Captain Kuro sends his regards Lord Meldrick.”
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