Trials of a Dragoon (Runescape fan fiction)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Dreamscaper, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    Chapter 1
    Standing on the top of a low hill a soldier stood, gazing down at the plains below him. His legs were clad with steel armor while a chain mail suit guarded his torso and a patch on his left shoulder defined what he was: a Wolf Dragoon. He had been summoned by Rhikora Khan, the leader of the Wolf Dragoons, 'What could I be needed for? He wondered quietly to himself. 'The sun is about to set and still Falador is beyond the horizon, I better continue on.' He started down the hill toward a group of goblins, the lords of this plain.
    "If we attack together we can kill the human"
    "Maybe, he looks tired"
    "Heheheh" the goblins sneered at him.
    He quickly turned and unsheathed his sword as a challenge to the goblins. At the sight of the blade forged from pure runite the goblin's faces paled and backed away. 'Tired yes, but not weak' he thought. He checked behind him occasionally as he walked away, 'no need to risk an attack from behind’, he thought. The afternoon yellows and oranges quickly faded to twilight purple as the sun dropped out of view. He found a clearing amongst the trees and set himself a tent and started a fire. He sat by the fire looking up at the sky, finding each constellation he had learned about while being lectured and taught be the old man.
    He thought back to it, sitting for hours by the old man as he talked about his triumphs and losses, about the gods and their followers, the stars and the dark arts. He had been but a young boy and believed almost everything then. 'Ahh, the golden years when life was simple,' he thought. He remembered waking up early every morning and running through the town square, under the bridge of the castle and out into the goblin infested forest. Each day they'd harass him but he'd still get through the forest to get to the old man's house. One day the old man let him stay the night and showed him the wonders of the heavens through his telescope.

    Briefly he wondered about the Northern Lights, a beautiful array of glory sent by the gods, he wondered silently why they were only in the wilderness, the only part where one could get away with killing someone. When he had asked the priests they told him not to question the gods, but it didn't really matter since he believed in the God of Abraham and Isaac.

    He gazed into the flames, an elemental power given to us by God as the old man would have said, the individual flames flickering in the brisk night air. Hypnotized by the fire he almost didn't recognize the spears closing in around his camp. War chants suddenly sprung up around him as he leapt to his feet into a defensive position, too late. He drew his sword and, as a matter of honor and tradition, he tapped each of the spear heads lightly. In the shadowy light cast by the flames each goblin’s face, green angular heads with spines protruding out of the skulls with the bony ancient look of their faces twisted into a smile.

    Tired as he was he silently prayed and analyzed his situation. The goblins were archaic but very effective. Dimwitted as they were they became the lords of this area for a reason. Glancing to his left the goblin shifted his weight, fool, he thought. He jabbed the goblins spear with his shield deflecting the spear to the side and followed with a quick uppercut slash, cutting the goblin open. Surprised and angry the other three goblins closed in on him only to have their spears stabbing into his shield. He slashed the goblin spears then, knocking them to the ground and lunging forward planting his sword directly into the second goblins chest.
    He felt a stab of pain as another drove his spines into his side, thankfully the mail armor took the brunt of the blow. He spun free and the creature fell forward onto the dirt as he plunged the blade into the goblins neck. The last goblin ran off and he gave chase, quickly gaining on it until he was close enough then he tackled it and threw it against a tree. It was still alive however and he picked the creature up by his shoulders.
    "Who are you?” he demanded
    "Akkene"
    "Get out of my sight and tell whoever sent you to stalk me never to send another force against me or I’ll cut them open."
    The goblin gulped and it shivered in his grip. He set it down and it ran off. He returned to his camp and slept soundly.

    He woke with the sun the next morning along with the rooster's cries from across the river. He rekindled the dying embers from the previous night's fire for use in breakfast. He grabbed his spade and dug graves for the corpses of the goblin warriors. He took his sword and beheaded the goblins before burying them to ensure he wouldn't be burying them alive. He took any valuables off the goblins before he placed them in their graves. He thrust the spears of the individual goblins into the head of the graves and hung the goblins armor onto the spears as a sign of respect for the goblin warriors. He buried them and went back and got his camp together and packed everything but the fire.
    He took his pole and baited it, walked casually over to the river and tossed in the line. He sat down and took in the sights of the early morning. The black and purple gave way to the early morning pale blues and yellows. He felt a tug on the line and reeled it in; the struggling fish was put out of its misery when he struck it with the flat of his blade. He cut the fish's head, tail and scales off before putting it over the fire.
    He sat quietly beside the flames and looked outward toward the horizon with the sun peeking through the low slung clouds. He wondered about the recent events, being summoned by Rhikora Khan, the Wolf Dragoon leader, and the goblin ambush, an odd tactic for such dim-witted creatures. The again he wasn't prepared for any kind of assault. His gaze shifted toward the flames before a moment before taking the fish off the fire. 'Long day ahead of me', he thought,' better get started.
    ************************************************************************************************************************
    Akkene ran for all his life. He ran harder than he ever had before dodging brush, trees, and the occasional nymph. He finally came to an abrupt stop at the clearing of his homeland. Exhausted, he tries to walk into town but collapses before he can get past the first sentry post.
    "Akkene! Are you all right? What happened?"
    Panting heavily he could do nothing but lay on the ground like a dead thing.
    "Akkene? Slobe go get a doctor hurry!"
    The sentry rolled Akkene onto his back and removed his heavy mail armor around him.
    "Can you hear me? What happened?"
    "Human..." he mumbled
    "Come on Akkene, don't leave us yet"
    "red...goblin"

    Oh no, Silm knew that wasn't good. The goblins that wore the red mail, referred to as red goblins or North Goblins, had been effectively trying to wipe out the green goblins, or South Goblins, like him and Akkene for some time and are having success. This outpost was one of the few places left to the green goblins. Now the red goblins seemed to be trying to bring the humans into the mix to finish the green goblins.

    The doctor came back with Slobe and kneeled next to Akkene and checked his vitals and pulse.
    "How is he doc, is going to make it?"
    "Oh, yes, yes, he'll be fine just exhausted is all, take him inside and make sure he gets something to drink when he wakes up."
    Silm complied and hefted Akkene up by the shoulders and carried him to the nearest hut. Once inside he laid Akkene down onto a hay bed and sat next to him for awhile.
    "Tough times these are”, Silm said to himself," Fighting for our very survival, seems like every day now someone comes in hurt or with news of another massacre by the North Goblins."
    Somewhere off in the distance a bell rang, one, two, three, short clangs and one ringing clang to end it. "What now?" Silm muttered as he grabbed his spear and strapped his helmet on as he rushed back to his sentry position. He stood aghast among the other goblins who had gathered there, in front of the city a large army of red goblins had assembled. 'This is it', Silm thought to himself,’ this war is about to end.
    ************************************************************************************************************************
    Deep into the white stone castle walls of Falador two figures spoke in low murmurs.
    "This situation is getting worst by the minute"
    "I know we're nearly exhausted"
    "My lord, there must be something we can do to remedy this"
    "We are recruiting as fast as we can; we have a few members not here yet."
    "My king, I'm afraid they may not get here in time."
    "Let's pray they do Doomlord, let's pray they do."
    With a quick bow the figures separated and went on their way.

    Rhikora Khan walked briskly away. He was clad in golden robes that swished around his feet as he walked. 'Recruitment is going too slowly', he thought, 'Doomlord might be right, Patriot and the others may not get here in time.' Rhikora sat on the throne and thought back through all the events. The Black Knights had fought their way into Falador, to this very room, before the White Knights and the Wolf Dragoons could push them back and eject them from Rhikora's capital. Now a full scale war had broken out with the White Knights desperately defending their holy city. Chaos reigned now, Zamorak had to be playing a part of this, goblins were raiding their southern sentry posts and the Zamorak Mafia clan had declared war on the Wolf Dragoons clan.

    If he couldn’t pull together recruits along with the rest of his clan this city may well rest in ruins. The Unholy Angels clan, Republic of Noble Knights clan, Rising Demons clan, Dragon Riders clan, and the Arch Realm clan were all hurrying to the Dragoons aid, but time was of the essence and their time of arrival was uncertain.

    Abruptly, the door to the throne room was thrown open and Lord Tony stepped through looking ragged, he had to rest his hands on his knees as he gasped for air.
    "Tony! What's happened?
    "Zarn" he managed to gasp, “The wilderness campaign is lost, the lost ones will return from Lum soon, I hope."
    "Do we still hold the city?"
    "Yes, Zarn, but they are massing, when they attack I don't know how long we can hold"
    "thanks tony, get some rest we’ve got a long campaign ahead of us"
    When are those reinforcements going to arrive?
     
  2. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    Chapter 2
    Looking upward to see the midday sun shining through the tree branches Patriot decided it was time for a break. He dropped his pack and sat down at the base of an ancient oak. He dug out a jug of milk and some trout from that morning's breakfast from his pack for lunch. 'I wonder if that Akkene ever delivered my message', he wondered aloud as he shivered at the memory of how he had been ambushed the night before.

    He laid himself and looked at nature around him. 'Shame', he thought,’ I should come out here more often, if there was no war I would stay out here a long, long time.' Just looking up the trunk of the oak to see critters playing around, the birds taking flight in a flurry of color, was relaxing and soothing to his tense mind. He knew however that this place wasn't perfectly safe. There were goblins here too, the creatures are definitely hardy, and they could live nearly anywhere. The giant spiders around here were definitely fearsome, but they were almost all bark and almost no bite. Rumors had it that the moss giants had appeared here, 'ridiculous', he thought,’ they had no reason to come this far south, besides he'd taken them on and won before. His real fear was the ents. Trees that could grasp a human and either beat them to death while they flailed helplessly or eat them alive. Thankfully, they weren't overly aggressive, he'd only seen them attack woodcutters who had tried to turn them into logs, but if he wanted a fire he'd have to risk it.

    He examined his new black armor he had bought after the goblin ambush. He didn't know how they were made but the black armor was tougher than either iron or steel. The new black armor glistened in the sunlight without as much as a scratch.

    A shadow passed over him, he stood at the ready as a giant spider jumped out of the tree and landed in front of him on the ground. This should be easy, he thought. All eight of its legs prepared for a jump strike, its eight red eyes focused on him as saliva dropped between its fangs. He reached for his sword and clutched his own side. He turned and found his sword missing.
    'What the...'
    The spider leapt.
    He quickly sidestepped the attack and kicked the spider’s closest leg, crippling it. The spider hissed and charged. He jumped up, landed on its back and stepped off and landed a double sidekick onto its abdomen. It spun quickly, desperately flailed its legs at him. Dodging them he into close quarters with the spider and landed a solid kick at its eyes, blinding it. He unleashed fists of fury on his aggressor, pummeling it until all that remained was goo and legs. 'So much for my shiny new armor', he thought, 'Now where did my sword go?'

    He looked through his things but couldn’t find his sword anywhere until he heard a high pitched squeal behind him. He whirled toward the noise and spotted a devilish imp hovered about a foot off the ground holding his sword. It had little red horns, a tail with a spade shaped tip, and two wings that seemed to be straining to keep the imp above the ground. It was big for an imp, roughly the size of his sword. He launched himself in a flying tackle at it, it teleported behind him. He rolled as the imp struggled to bring the sword in an unwieldy arc.

    He jumped up and lunged at it again missing as the imp swung the blade at him again, hitting and putting a dent into his shoulder armor. Annoying little imp, at least it isn’t strong enough to do any damage to him, except his exposed head. As if reading his mind the imp took a swing at his face, he ducked and placed an open palm strike into the imp's belly. The imp spun with the force of the impact, its pointed tail slapping him in the face leaving a spade shaped red mark.

    The imp fled with its prize, but was hit from behind by a fire ball Patriot had summoned and thrown at him. Giving up and fleeing with its life the imp dropped the sword. Patriot rushed to grab his sword, replaced it in its sheath and gathered his belongings. So far on his trek these breaks were causing him trouble. The dent in his armor wouldn't be appreciated by either Rhikora Khan or Lord Tony when they learn that an imp did it. He glanced around to check for any more imps and took off his breastplate and hammered out the dents and cleaned off the spider guts and the imp prints from his beloved sword. Then with his armor back onto his body and his things on his back he headed off toward Falador.
    ********************************************************************************************************************************************************************
    ’There are at least a thousand of them'. Silm thought,' There's only one hundred and fifty of us, this war is about to be over."
    "Sentries stand at the ready we need to hold them off as long as we can. Evacuate all females and younglings, we must flee now!
    Chaos followed, goblins everywhere were running for their children and their possessions in a frenzy to get out. Silm and Slobe stood together watching the North's army, standing like a lion ready to pounce upon its prey. Then like watching impending doom the Northern army advanced upon their home, ready to tear him, his family, and his home to bits. One goblin stood upon a wall and shouted; his voice cutting through the dull panicked roar, “These rats come for your blood but will only taste their own. They came to feel the triumph of victory but will only feel your spears entering their bodies and the humiliation of defeat! They think this an easy victory, they think to slaughter your families, but we will give them none of this only the pain and humiliation of loss! Take no quarter and ask for none!!"
    "Take no quarter and ask for none", the sentries and the gathering South army replied.
    "Archers loose your arrows upon these animals!"
    The archers complied before he had finished his sentence. They pulled their arrows out of their individual quivers, put them onto their bows, pulled back the bowstrings, and let the arrows fly.

    Many goblins fell before the second barrage was unleashed, but like an oncoming storm the mass kept surging forward as they began to use their shields to block most of the incoming arrows.
    "Archers, half get to ground level the rest ignite your arrows!"
    The archers complied immediately and resumed their small but insistent barrage. The flaming arrows hit the goblin shield igniting them and causing a panic among some of the younger members of the army. They throw down their now useless shields and charged furiously forward.

    Silm sprang into action, “Spear wall now!" The Southern troops complied as a counter-barrage hit many of their archers, knocking them off the wall and onto the forming army. Silm could see their eyes and faces now as they ran toward him with reckless abandon. At the last moment the Southern army kneeled causing the charging troops to be gutting while their own spears missed the Southern troops. Silm stood up and pushed his spear all the way through the goblin and pulled it out in a single deft move.

    An arrow whistled past his ear, then another as he head the goblin behind him take the arrow between its eyes and fall. A massive melee ensued as the Northern forces invaded the small village, killing any South goblin they could find. Silm fought harder than he ever had fought before, lunging with his spear, tearing, ripping, and even biting any Northern goblin he could find. He caught a sight out of the corner of his eye, it was Slobe. A pair of North goblins had driven their spears through him; Silm could see his friend's glazed eyes, his gaping jaw hanging open as he fell to the ground dead. 'Noo! This can't be happening no! I'm going to....’ Silm never got to finish his though because a spear had been run through his throat. His eyes blurred and he felt war and happy for the first time in years as he left the realm of the living.

    "Take no quarter and ask for none!" echoed through Akkene's semi-conscious mind. Anxiety seemed to charge the air, everyone was hurrying everywhere, 'What's going on’, he thought wearily. He tried to remember what had happened but all he could think of is the image of reaching his home and collapsing. He became aware of a pressure in his arms as he was lifted up as the blood rushed from his head and he blacked out.

    He awoke deep in the forest. What had happened, why wasn't he in his home? Memory flashed through him like lightning and the words, “Take no quarter and ask for none!" echoed in his consciousness once again. Battle, that’s the only explanation...so why am I in the forest? Akkene searched his mind for several minutes before the answer hit him. They lost, they lost their last stronghold to the Northern forces, but it still didn't answer his question about being in the forest with the nighttime insects playing its nightly symphony around him. He decided he would have to get up and check around himself.
    "Whoa, don't get up just yet Akkene just lie down and get some rest, do you need anything?" a far off sounding voice echoed through his mind. He tried to talk but his throat felt like it had shriveled up and could only make a drinking motion with his hand. "Water? Alright just hold on a minute", the voice said again. Akkene laid back and tried to piece everything together.

    The other goblin came back and propped him up and set his pack behind him so he'd remain upright without having to exert any effort. "Here you go”, the voice was clearer now, no longer an echo but a young male's voice as he gave Akkene the water. He took a sip, it burned as it slid down his throat, but nonetheless he took a quick gulp, still burnt but not as much. Finding he was able to speak again he said finally, “So what happened and why am I in the forest?" A soothing female voice replied, “Don’t worry about it Akkene, we’re here and safe and that’s all that matters.
    "He wants to know and deserves to know", and old craggily faintly masculine voice countered," Akkene, our home is gone", the elder's voice was pent up with emotion, holding back sobs, “Those Northern rats took it, we’re in the forest because we've fled."
    "We didn't fight?"
    "Oh, we fought, gallantly too, for every soldier that fell he took two enemy soldiers with him."
    "How many did the rats have?"
    "About a thousand troops"
    "A thousand!" We really are in trouble, are there any other survivors?"
    "Not that we know of."
    Akkene quietly cursed, no one, not even the elder, saw any reason to refute him.
    "Akkene you are the only warrior we have left."
    "Great."
    Akkene began thinking of some way to make their situation turn around. Then a crazy idea hit him, the North brought the humans into this mess maybe, just maybe, we could get them to help even the odds. Akkene doubted it, the odds were against him, but it was better than waiting around to get killed.
    ************************************************************************************************************************
    Doomlord stood upon a wooden sentry tower and watched a goblin army march toward him, there was a lot of them but the city was well fortified. Rager stood behind him, well rested but still looked gaunt from the failed wilderness campaign.
    "Doomlord?"
    "Yes?"
    "Shouldn't we send for reinforcements?"
    "Already sent for them"
    He could see the mass of red chainmail coming and surgery like a red tide toward his home.
    "I count two thousand of them"
    "Seems like we are outnumbered, no real matter they aren't difficult to defeat."
    The door opened behind him and the captain of the city guard stepped through. "Sir, we will take over the city's outer defenses, you have been requested by the Lord Tony and Lord Rhikora Khan to move into the interior and protect the palace."
    " Alright, come on Rager."
    As Doomlord and Rager passed through the door the city guard's archers and crossbowmen moved into the sentry tower. They climbed down the ladder and headed quickly into the city walls. Doomlord had to walk on the grass as not to be trampled by the legions of guards rushing to the frontlines. Even though he was a respected warrior the guards didn't recognize him as they ran to their positions. Their homeland was at stake and after the goblins had laid siege to Lumbridge, slaughtering hundreds needlessly, they were thirsty for revenge. Looking into the eyes of the guards Doomlord almost felt sorry for the invading army. Almost.

    Doomlord entered the city just as the goblins uttered their rallying cry. He turned one last time to see the massive invasion force surge forward and the first volley of flaming arrows cut red and orange arcs across the evening sky.
     
  3. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    Chapter Three
    Through the dense foliage Patriot spotted the orange sun on the western horizon. He kept a brisk pace throughout the day, making sure to watch out for any more giant spiders or imps. He reached the forests edge and looked outward upon the setting sun, casting its evening light onto the wheat fields around, making the stalks seem to glow a golden color. He picked a path around the wheat, trampling the crop would only anger the farmers.

    Patriot took a deep breath, inhaling as much of the sweet agrarian air as his nostrils could handle. He continued thorugh the field trying not to trample the crop, and jumped the fence. With a quick look around he knew exactly where he was: Draynor. He had come here in his childhood to visit the old man and many times since to get the resident witch to make potions for him and to get the tomatoes and cheese she always kept in stock for his early experiments in the culinary arts. He took another deep breath reveling in the familiar scent of wheat.

    Draynor was a village by all standards and a sleepy one at that sometimes. But something was odd today; it was emptier than usual even for sunset. Patriot walked along the narrow main thoroughfare glancing down the side streets looking for activity. No one was out as he increased his pace looking for someone. The usual sounds were absent; the chatter of merchants in the bank, the conversations and footsteps of the essence runners, even the sound of splitting wood was gone, one of the town’s main activities. The business was sucked out of the place.

    Patriot rounded the corner and finally found someone out and about: the toy salesman Diango. The lack of customers didn't seem to bother him too much as he balanced a spinning plate on a stick that pressed into the palm of his hand. As Patriot approached him Diango shot him a quick glance, "Hey Pat, I'll be with you in a moment." Patriot couldn't help but to chuckle at him, the entire world was falling apart, war had been declared between many clans, war between the white and dark knights, the entire village was spooked into hiding and here was Diango playing with his own merchandise.

    The plate lurched forward and Diango went with it trying to keep it balanced, he succeeded and brought it closer to him. With a quick upward thrust shot the plate skyward and Diango caught it on its way down in a deft swipe. Diango looked at Patriot with a small grin at his own antics, "What can I do for you today Pat?"
    "What's going on around here?"
    Suddenly Diango's entire demeanor changed as he looked nervously around him as if he was being watched and he leaned in close and whispered into Patriots ear, "How familiar are you with Count Draynor?" Suddenly it all made sense, a look of realization passed over his face.
    "Yeah, I'm familiar with him."
    "You understand he's got the whole place shut down again, scared the whole town minus me and the occasional adventurer into hiding."
    "Has anyone gone to fix the problem?"
    "Several adventurers went up to the manor a few days ago." Diango shook his head," But none of them have been heard from since."

    Patriot remembered Count Draynor from an earlier adventure. Patriot shivered from the memory of who the vampire had almost drank all of his blood. Count Draynor was one of the few vampires remaining this side of Morytania and he did everything he could to keep this town under his control. Last time he had faced him Patriot managed to stun him with the wooden stake through the heart and pin him inside his own coffin.


    "We really need a hero in this town", Diango said quietly, which provided a rather tricky dilemma for Patriot; his clan needed him among them to help fight out their war and these people here, too terrified to leave their homes needed help too. Emerging from his thoughts he really got a good look at Diango: his head nervously twitched occasionally, his auburn hair was wet and matted to his forehead, his normally well kept beard and mustache were growing wild and an exhausted look pervaded in his eyes. His shoulders dropped and even his wide brimmed hat seemed to sag. Even though he needed to get to his clan he felt he had no choice in the given situation. "What will I need to battle the Count successfully?"
    "Got talk to Morgan, he knows all about them things"
    "Alright, I'll do what I can, stay safe Diango"
    " Thanks Pat, we're all rooting for you."

    With a simple nod, Patriot parted and walked away from the market cul-de-sac toward Morgan's house. Walking to his home he noticed once again the silence that had settled over this small village. Even the birds seemed afraid to chirp or make any noise whatsoever 'this is nuts', Patriot thought. He approached Morgan’s house and rapped his knuckles on the door. Patriot waited a minute then two then three before he knocked again with similar results. Looking around, the place looked exceedingly dead with the newly risen moon casting its pale light upon the village. 'This is my element' he thought, 'So good to feel the pale moonlight on my face again.' A newfound strength surged through Patriot's veins, power coursed through his limbs as he felt his canines sharpen to a sharp point.
    ************************************************************************************************************************

    After telling the others of his plan he hurried to execute his crazy idea; at least hurried as much as the others would let him. Akkene thought to himself 'They insisted on coming along but can't keep up'. A voice called to him from behind, 'Akkene wait up we haven’t gone through combat training like you have." Frustrated Akkene stopped and watched the little group trudge up to meet him, each of their faces weary and tired. "Alright, we'll rest here for the night", Akkene said. The elder spoke up," How much further must we walk to the human settlement?"
    "Another day's walk at most; rest now for we start again at dawn."
    The others were too tired to complain about the military regiment and lay down and went to sleep. Akkene decided to stay up and watch the setting sun.

    After the last orange rays had dipped below the horizon Akkene crept forward to scout out the next day’s journey. 'This place has got to be around here somewhere', he thought. Suddenly, Akkene noticed the trees were no longer healthy oaks whose branches were heavily laden with leaves but dead and sickly with bare branches that rose up and out like spires. He felt his skin crawl and he became uneasy; he clutched his spear for comfort. Akkene backed away slowly, his eyes scanning the area for any sign of a threat. His back hit something hard and pointy. Without hesitating he spun and lunged with his spear into his aggressor making a loud thwack. He realized he had just stabbed a tree; the tree was so sickly that he had driven the spear the length of the spear head into the tree.

    Behind him a dark ominous laugh erupted. Akkene tried to pry his spear free but couldn’t and spun to face this new threat: a shadow. A shadow that spoke,"Vhat do ve have here? A goblin so var vrom home?"
    Again that sickening laugh.

    The shadow moved into the light of that night's full moon. The black cape, red rimmed hood, sharpened teeth and pale skin were all Akkene could take before he fled in terror.
    "A vampire!" Must run!" Akkene's thoughts became scattered as instinct and impulse took over.

    The vampire opened its wings and gave chase, occasionally dropping down trying to snare the goblin, but mostly waiting for it to tire out. The vampire set down in a tree, resting, until the goblin got beyond his sight then jumped to a tree nearer to it. When he reached the fifth tree the goblin collapsed in a heap. He was about to feast on goblin blood when he noticed the other goblins around the one he had chased. The vampire licked his lips thinking of how much blood was in front of him just waiting to be devoured, but he knew better than to just attack, he'd be full twice over before he was even half down. Instead he drew out his pet bat and held it toward the site, its ears opened wide as it pinged the site and understood what its master was whispering into its ears.

    The bat took off flying as quickly as its wings could carry it back to the manor. 'That'll fetch my new apprentices, one exhausted goblin and several sleeping goblins shouldn’t tax them much', he thought. He reminded himself; however, that they weren’t as strong and should they wake could give them trouble. 'Still', he thought, ' They're doing well for being turned only yesterday, proceeding much quicker than I had anticipated.'

    Akkene collapsed in a pile, breathing heavily, and unable to move merely waiting for the final twinge of pain from the vampire's fangs into his throat. But it didn't come. He waited and waiting for what seemed like an eternity of being paralyzed before anything happened. He was lifted up by his shoulders again as he opened his eyes. There were several vampires now grabbing goblins as Akkene watched, half drugged now. A vampire picked up the elder and bit into his throat, his blood spilling then fountaining out of his body as the vampire drank as much as he could get, the excess smattering the ground. Two goblins were left after they had had their share of the blood.
    " Take the remaining two and chain them up by my coffin"
    "Yes Count Draynor"

    Count Draynor watched the younger vampires carry the extra two off, including the one he had chased. He glanced around what was left of the camp, the bodies lying strewn around shriveled and dry, completely devoid of blood, the blood that the others had missed. 'Sloppy', he thought, 'they’ll need to learn better, it’s not often we have nights like this.' He remembered going weeks and even months without even a single drop of blood to drink and now he would have to keep them fed as well. He pushed these thoughts aside as he took flight, headed back toward the high peak of his manor to watch for any other hapless victims to suck dry of blood.
    ************************************************************************************************************************

    "Sir, the invasion has been repelled. We estimate the goblin forces lost around fifteen hundred troops while we have suffered minimal casualties. They were ill-prepared for the city's Onager and Trebuchet defense complex, after they saw their front lines crushed under massive boulders the enemy became panic-stricken and charged wildly, easy targets for our archers to pick off, sir!"
    "What casualties did we suffer?"
    "One of our swordsmen stubbed his toe, an archer fell off the tower and suffered a broken leg, and one of our female mages got a hangnail, sir."

    The threesome laughed at the last one and so did the sergeant.
    "Thank you sergeant, you may return to your post."
    "Yes sir"

    The sergeant bowed and spun on his heel and headed briskly back to his station. Rhikora Khan, Tony, and Doomlord looked at each other, pleased at how well they're new artillery had performed. The artillery had performed so well the goblin army had never reached the walls, with substantial help from a city guard archer division. Tony spoke up, “That was a good drill, but we mustn’t forget that the Zamorak Mafia will not be so easy to repel when they come."
    Both Doomlord and Rhikora Khan nodded in agreement.
    "Doomlord, continue your surveillance and inform us when more members arrive", Rhikora Khan said.
    "Yes sir, Tronk clan came in when you called me in sir. “
    Tony gave his first real smile since the Wilderness Campaign," That is good to hear." With that said and done Doomlord bowed and left the presence of the clan leaders.

    "Tony, we won the battle, so why do I feel bad?"
    "Because something is coming for us, I know I feel it too."
    Rhikora Khan glanced at Tony; his eyes were shut and were breathing deeply in a meditative-like trance.
    "Do you think we'll hold?"
    "That's up for us to decide isn’t it?"
    With a sigh Khan looked toward the door leading into the throne room then at the windows with filtered light coming through wit dust motes dancing in the air. We will hold, we must hold.
     
  4. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    Chapter 4

    "Hey, you alright?"
    "Waaaah?"
    Patriot opened his eyes, struggling to keep his eyes open. An overweight man stood over him wearing his overalls, britches, wide-brimmed straw hat, and chewing on a wheat stalk.
    "You alright? Something came a-tearing through here last night, ate some of ma chickens and left", he said. Patriot just looked at him blankly trying to remember the night before.
    "If you don't believe me just look around."
    Patriot decided to do just that, as he glanced to the right of where he was laying he saw a chicken. Well, it would have been a chicken if it had a head which had been severed clean off. Several piles of chicken bones were lying about as well as feathers scattered about as if the chickens had suddenly blown up. "So I see", Patriot said.
    "Eh, you look fine."
    "Just a bit mixed up, how'd I get here?"
    "Beats me", he said as he shrugged and walked back to attend his flock of sheep.

    Patriot picked himself up off the ground and stretched his stiff muscles. He looked up. The sun was already high overhead and Patriot journeyed back to Draynor with his back feeling the sun's overbearing heat. He stepped inside Draynor once again and greeted by silence broken by a hammer here or a saw there but nothing compared to the dull roar of Draynor's usual business. Patriot sat down beneath a tree as his memory faded back. The amnesia was normal after being returned to his human form. Memory of flight across the moonlight fields below, memory of using all six of his eyes again and finally the memory of that chicken, with its chest all puffed out and beak high squawking, "Flee from me" and "I will destroy you" shortly before he ripped its head off and ate it only to make him sick and throw the cursed chicken back up. He also remembered the trials he had been sent to face. Zamorak Mafia. Count Draynor. With a start he jumped to his feet and looked at the sun, forty-five degrees up, he realized he needed to begin getting ready to take on the vampire and free the village from its grip.

    He started off at a brisk pace, past the unusually quite bank, past the town's wheat field, and onto Morgan’s front porch. He knocked a trio of taps on the door and was whisked into the home to be slammed against the wall. "What!” Morgan asked with a ferocious fear in his eyes. Patriot started, “I just need-" Morgan cut him off as he ran upstairs. "The man has jumped off the deep end", Patriot thought. He looked around the home at the rich oak paneling, the towers of books and the high arched ceiling, and through the doorway that Morgan had run through. Something swept past his ear, and then something hit him in the head. He looked up past the elegant marble stairway and the mahogany hand rail to see Morgan running down them throwing garlic at him as he went. Patriot caught as many of them as he could. When Morgan reached the bottom he had run out of garlic to throw. So he rushed to Patriot and unloaded an armful of things that filled Patriot's arms and he could barely hold. With a wild look in his eyes Morgan yelled, "Go! Kill it! Go! Go!" in his faced and shoved him out the door and into the street, the items lying all around him. Patriot examined the garlic; merely having it on him supposedly would weaken the vampire. A mirror, vampires have no reflection and avoid mirrors at almost any cost although he doubted the vampire would care about not seeing his own reflection in a mirror in the midst of battle. A wooden stake, the final blow through a vampire’s heart would prevent it from regenerating its lost parts. There was holy water but the vials were smashed when Morgan pushed him out and the holy water now oozed over the pavement. So he had lost a way to stun the vampire so he could finish it off so his sword would have to do.

    Patriot looked upward at the darkening sky, the sun was setting and the few noises that had been, ceased. The hammering was silent, the splitting of wood, nonexistent, the birds silenced as the pale moon once again began its rise, casting pale moonlight across the earth. Once again he felt power surge through him but instead of letting it flow through him he blocked it off for the first time in his life. It felt weird, his chest ached as the power pressed for release, he felt light headed from the blood from his now racing heart, and his limbs ached. But he had a job to do and if he slipped he wouldn't be able to return to the clan, even if he didn't slip he might not make it out alive. Patriot put the items in pockets so they wouldn't fall out, checked his sheath for his sword and banked his items. The bank was empty so he put his armor in the drop box He jumped over the counter and searched, found his box and pulled out a pair of green armor skins. Dragon hide. Mobility would be incredibly important in the upcoming battle and metal armor would slow him down and make him an easy target. Dragon hide was much like leather but made of dragon scales, providing the wearer a flexible and incredibly touch armor; exactly what he was going to need in the upcoming battle.

    A brisk walk among Draynor's main drag brought him to an intersection, an intersection usually patrolled by vigilante highwaymen with razor sharp swords ready to fight any challenge. Only, the highwaymen were missing scared Patriot more than anything else. Fighting down a wave of fear and the energy inside him begging to be let out he set his jaw, twitched his head to get his hair out of his eyes and walked determinedly forward. From the living towering oaks to the scraggly, dead, pathetic excuses for trees he went. Passed the wrought iron gate and under the gargoyle studded roof he opened the door, it squeaked loudly on its rusty hinges, and took a few steps inside. The door slammed shut behind him and a horrid scream came after him.
    ******************************************************************************************************************************************************************

    The room was dark and silent as a crypt. His arms, legs, and stomach ached. He remembered the whole thing, the vampire, the pain, the blood. He regained consciousness slowly and all the facts filtered in. He was chained to a wall likely in the in vampires home. Suddenly, he realized why he was still alive and not dead- he was being saved for later. He forced his arms against his chains for as long as he could manage. A loud thump sent a wave of fear through his body causing his sore muscles to contract sending jolts of pain throughout as the coffin lid popped open and a vampire climbed out. It looked at him, teeth faintly glowing in the dim light, took a few steps toward him and vanished.
    ************************************************************************************************************************

    He raised his shield just in time as the thing slammed into him, teeth denting the hard metal. Staggering backwards he spun with the thing at his shield, falling as Patriot drove his sword into its chest and planting a foot square onto the thing's face. It thrashed wildly in its attempt to get free, but after what seemed an eternity it seemed to finally lay still. He withdrew his weapon from the creature and gave it a good kick. It didn't respond dead or otherwise. Either way he hoped it stayed that way at least until he got out of there.

    He left the limp creature on the floor and headed for the next room. The door to the next hallway was about four feet from him when the closet door burst open and a skeleton burst out and charged him. "Crap", he thought, “I forgot this thing lived in there." It tried to clap him, both bony appendages come together in a slapping motion with Patriot's head between them, but he ducked and drove his blade into the skeletons torso, right into where its heart would have been. Not that a normally fatal blow would be of much consequence to a skeleton. Patriot withdrew his blade and put us much for and energy into a kick that went into the skeleton's shin, knocking the bone out of place with the skeleton crippled he rushed to the exit.

    A bony grip grabbed the back of his neck, pulled him back while beginning to crush his neck bone and windpipe. He struggled in its grip, but its grip never gave out. With darkness closing around his vision he used the stone hard grip as leverage and flung his legs out and upwards. He felt his bones protest and tendons strain throughout his body from the unnatural position he was putting himself in. Even so he pushed his muscles back, his effort and inertia carried his feet into the skeleton's head with enough force to knock it loose. With the sudden disappearance of its head the skeleton dropped him to search for it.

    Unfortunately for Patriot this meant landing on his already screaming lower back onto a hard linoleum floor. He couldn't move for what seemed like an eternity. A flood of power tried to beat him and won for a moment causing his legs to fling out in a sweep-like motion striking the skeleton as it was about to recover its lost head. He got it under control and clenched his teeth against the pain. He struggled to get up and opened the door to the next hallway.
    He collapsed on the floor, taking dozens of shallow breaths at a time, interrupted only by deep gasps. He lay there as minutes flew by and an hour passed. The power once again flooded him and he blacked out for several moments. Coming to, he found himself standing without a trace of pain. He shook his head to clear the daze from his head and continued down the hallway. The hair on his arms and the back of his neck stood on end as he watched some of the paintings of grotesque horrors watch him with beady red eyes. Finally at the end of the hall was a door. On the other side of the door was the stairway that lead to the Count's crypt and the living chairs that seemed to like him, it was hard to tell with all the squeaks and creeks they made but they followed him around and never hurt him or even try to.

    He opened the door and sure enough the chairs came to him squeaking happily. But there was another occupant in the room. The vampire, younger than Draynor, appeared to be drugged. Patriot considered leaving it but he couldn't risk a two front battle so he took one of the chairs, hit the thing over the head with the chair. It dropped noiselessly onto the floor as he set the chair, just as happy, on the ground.

    He took a glance around for any more surprises, already he had knocked out two younger vampires. With a deep breath of the unnaturally still air he began to descend the stairs towards the vampire's crypt, stopping several times to adjust his eyes to the darkness. He reached the bottom of the stairway and gazed into the murky light of the crypt. The coffin lid lay open and there was no sight of the vampire, but Patriot knew it was there. Uneasy minutes ticked by as both Count Draynor and Patriot waited for the other to make the first move. Uneasily, Patriot moved slowly toward the center of the room in a low crouch. The vampire came at him screaming from his right side, he spun and blocked the blow but the force knocked him onto his back. He kicked at the vampire and missed. It clawed his leg armor and threw him against a wall but not without his sword raking its face, leaving a cut across the vampire's right cheek.

    Patriot jumped to his feet as the vampire rushed him again but he withstood the force and thrust his sword into the vampire’s belly; which as it had for the skeleton, didn't seem to bother it as much as Patriot had hoped it would. It shrieked angrily at him and leaped back to the opposite wall, circled and attacked low. Patriot jumped over it. The vampire rushed his back only to have his shield's edge smash into its face sending the vampire sprawling to the ground.

    Patriot drew the wooden stake from his pack and was about to finish the vampire with a blow to the heart when the strongest wave of power washed over him, forcing him to stagger backwards as the vampire recomposed itself in supernatural regeneration. It flew at him as he shook his head clear. He dropped his shield and caught it by the neck, its gnashing fangs inches from his face. He struggled against the powerful being, continuing to press on him while his right hand slashed the sword against its side. Patriot spun, using the vampires force and weight against it and sent it once again hurtling into another wall of the crypt. It came at him again seeming as fresh as ever while Patriot's limbs weakened. The vampire began to bite at the air, its left hand slashed Patriot's face and forcing it to the side exposing Patriot's neck. The vampire bit down hard and began to quench its thirst on Patriot's blood, now squirting freely from his throat as the rune sword fell from his fingers and clanged on the hard floor. He struggled to hold his thoughts, already he had lost control of his movements and his mind was quickly escaping from him. As he lost consciousness he could feel the blood rushing from his throat...then that power.

    Akkene watched it all, from the moments where the human stood at the stairway to now. He had moments of terror each time the vampire rushed the humans and moments of joy when the vampire was sent into a wall. From the moment he saw the human he knew who it was; the warrior who had taken on his troop by himself, the one who spared his life by ordering him to give a message. Akkene would much rather die by this honorable warrior than to be devoured by the blood thirsty vampire. Akkene would much rather be buried honorably with his spear and armor at the head of his grave by the human than to be tossed aside, dried up, by the vampire.

    Akkene’s heart plummeted as he saw the fountain of red blood sprout from the human's throat, the deep red glistening slightly in the dim light. Just as he was about to resign himself to dishonor something happened. The vampire was thrown backwards, putting a dent the size of its body into the wall and the human uttered a deafening roar of defiance. He could see the human's face now, a crescent scar running above and below his right eye, his hair now long covered his left eye and cascades to his shoulders in the back. A single fang protruded from his closed mouth. Akkene felt his legs give out.

    The vampire charged after the thing. It held out its hand and the vampire crumbled to the floor. It thrust its open palm in the general direction of the vampire and it was flung again into the walls. The vampire hissed and screeched at the warrior and rushed forth again. As the vampire got close the warrior raked the vampire's face and neck with its small claws and pushed the vampire to the side. Again the vampire rushed it, dodging and landing slashing and biting attacks on the warrior's robes. The warrior began his own dodges and rolls, no longer immobile.

    Unexpectedly, the vampire lunged and bit straight in the warrior's chest. The warrior raised his head high and smashed his skull onto the vampire's. The vampire collapsed but rose again, launching a kick at him only to have the warrior grabbing its leg and pull it upwards. It moved back as the vampire lunged upward in an attempt to surprise the warrior but the vampire launched a second attack, sending the warrior back. With a quick slash the vampire once again exposed its neck and once again took the opportunity.

    Akkene was confused about happened next and briefly reconsidered who he'd rather be killed by. The vampire bit down hard on its neck but the warrior bit back. The single fang drove deep into the vampire's jugular. Its hand drew back and punched a hole through the vampire. It released its jaws from the vampire and shoved it to the ground. The vampire sprang back to life and charged him again. The warrior dodged and again held hand out and thrust forward. An invisible grip held the vampire in place then threw the vampire through the crypt's walls and out into the early dawn. The vampire saw the early morning sun begin its daily trek across the sky. The vampire let out a scream as its body disintegrated underneath him.

    The scream seemed to last forever, long after the vampire itself was gone. Akkene felt weary and tired after watching the battle and closed his eyes as the warrior fell to the ground, exhausted.
     
  5. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    Chapter 5
    Pat awoke in a dry sticky substance. His eyes fluttered as he pressed himself up. He tasted blood. He fought against the pain and lifted himself up to a kneeling position. He struggled to fully open his eyes and when he did the hot stale air made his eyes burn as if he had thrown sand into them. He struggled to keep his eyes open. His sharp gasping breaths brought in what felt like fire into his lungs. It was painful yet necessary.

    He crawled on his hands and knees towards the light filtering in from the gaping hole in the wall. The cold linoleum sticky with blood, the hot acrid air; it seemed like everything was trying to keep him in and make this crypt his own. The first touch of dirt was a touch of heaven. He made it outside and collapsed on the dirt, coughing up more blood.

    He lay there for hours just breathing in the sweet scent of nature, however dead, and recovering. After some time he struggled to his feet. Using the wall as support he wobbled unsteadily but eventually regained his balance. He checked the room for anything he had missed. With his eyes readjusting to the dim light he looked back over the open coffin, the blood stained linoleum, the stairwell. Clink! He spun, weapon at the ready at the sound of a clinking chain. The goblin was waking up.
    “You again”, he said.
    The goblin, startled, looked up at him.
    “Did you tell?”
    “Yes, but it doesn't matter anymore.”
    Pat raised his eyebrow and waited for the explanation. After several moans and aching noises the goblin spoke up, “My tribe has been wiped out.”
    “By?”
    “Northern goblins.”
    “Wonderful”
    “So why are you here?”
    “To kill the vampire.”
    “You did that. Could I get some help?”
    Pat smashed the goblin's chains with his boots, the chain landing on the linoleum with a loud clank shortly followed by the thud of the goblin. Not being used to having his full weight on his legs he collapsed without the chains. As he began to leave the goblin got to its feet, “Wait!” the goblin said
    Patriot turned to the goblin.
    “Hm?”
    “Could I come along with you?”
    His eyebrow once again arched up. With a deep sigh he said, “Fine, come on.”

    He returned to Morgan to give him the news. Morgan rejoiced and gave the announcement to the town. Within the day the town resumed its normal hustle and bustle of activity. The citizens of the town wanted to make him a hero and to put a statue of him in front of the town of him, among other things. He declined as graciously as he could manage, but did give out handshakes to the men, hugs to the women, and fist pounds to the younger generation. The entire town saw him and the goblin off.

    Wary of the mischief of the port town of Sarim they avoided it completely. Soon the white stone of Falador became visible. Noticing the footsteps had grown quieter he turned to find the goblin stopped in its tracks and staring at the city's high walls and turrets. Patriot waved a hand in Akkene’s face to shake him from his wonder and the two continued towards the gate.

    Birds perched atop the twenty meter walls, chirping happily as Patriot and Akkene approached the heavy iron gate. Three guards approached from the guard house. Akkene shrank back, slightly hiding behind Pat who stood tall. “What is your business in Falador?” a guard inquired.
    “I was summoned”, Pat replied as he turned to show the guard his battered left shoulder patch, the mark of the Wolf Dragoons.
    “You may pass. Goblin what is your business?”
    “Akkene is my.... servant and traveling companion.” He stuttered.
    “You, sir, have a strange companion.”
    “Yes sir.”
    “You may pass, but the townsfolk will not like the goblin”
    “Yes sir, thank you sir.”
    They entered the gate and Falador spread out in front of them. First and foremost, standing higher than the gate and the wall was the White Knights castle. Patriot headed that way with goblin in tow.

    They took in the sights of the town, such a great contrast with the rural Draynor village, from the massive White Knights castle to the roaming guards to the over packed markets. A shop on their right advertised shields with bright, freshly painted letters. To their left was a general store, something that was so simple yet so rare in the life of a wandering warrior. “Khan picked the perfect city for his capital”, Patriot thought. He also noticed the hordes of soldiers who had gathered in Falador, each bearing symbols completely foreign to him. Only a few Wolf Dragoons were about the others must be allied clans, he decided.

    He also noticed how clean they were, clean shaven with hair to match. The ones without armor had clean pressed shirts and pants while those with armor had cleaned the metal to the point they looked more like personal mirrors than armor and could blind the careless passerby with the reflection from the sun. He glanced in the mirror outside the general store. He reminded himself of the image he kept of the prophetic John the Baptist with his long hair, which he liked, an overgrown mustache stretching across his face enough to almost look comical, and his wild unkempt beard. His dragon hide armor had scales missing here and there and still stained with dried vampire blood. His entire body had pieces of first and ash still clinging in clumps from the previous night's battle.

    He proceeded to his left towards the barbershop with goblin trailing behind. He requested the barber clean him up a bit. After taking off what seemed to be a small animal's worth of hair and trimming his mustache and cleaning up his beard to goatee length he still managed to have enough hair to pull it back into a ponytail and leaving a runner on each side of his face. He thanked the barber and paid him. The barber was kind and let him use the back sink to clean up his armor and weapons. His armor became clean and shiny, nothing compared to the cleanliness of the other soldiers but it was something. His sword had a permanent smear of vampire blood over most of the blade giving it a purple color. “It can't be helped”, he thought as he started toward the castle to meet the King of Falador, the leader of the Wolf Dragoons.

    Patriot made it through the guards, Akkene was held back even if he was suddenly his servant, and headed towards the throne. He stepped through the massive double doors into a cathedral like building with bright light streaming in through the stained glass windows on the third story. He spotted the throne in the very back, empty. He spotted a group of people huddled around a table however, and headed towards it. He stood at stiff attention when he reached it and silently waited to be recognized. They spoke of tactics and strategies and other war information. Suddenly, a figure stood up from behind a towering man and stepped towards Patriot, the figure wore a golden crown. Patriot stiffened even more and his hand sprang up to his forehead in salute. All the others having noticed the king stand also stood straight and looked at Patriot. He set his jaw and stared straight at the king, his hand still in salute. The king stared back. The staring contest kept on, neither warrior nor nobility budging an inch. Patriot's nervous tension broke with the beads of sweat dotting his forehead. Finally the king slowly raised his hand to his forehead in a slow salute as if unfamiliar with it. As the king dropped his hand from his head Patriot gave a clean crisp salute.
    “What’s your name soldier?”
    “Patriot, sir”
    The king turned back to the table for a moment. Patriot thought he was going to be ignored but the king picked up a small stack of papers and handed them to him.
    “Sir?”
    “These are training orders, we need everyone to be absolutely ready when the attack comes.”
    “Sir, yes sir.”
    The king turned back to the table.
    “Sir?”
    He turned back to look at Patriot. “Yes?”
    “Would you prefer sir, king, sire, or Rhikora Khan?”
    The sir, king, sire, and Rhikora Khan, all the same person, pondered the question for a moment then chuckled, “Khan is fine.” He then turned back to the table. Patriot waited a moment to digest the information then marched out of the castle.

    Akkene had been detained in light of a recent attack and the authorities wanted to interrogate him, but Patriot wouldn't have it.
    “No, you don't understand this is MY goblin; he couldn't have been with the attacking army because he was with me.”
    That settled it for the guards. Pat and Akkene walked away from the frustrated guards and headed for the first location on his itinerary.
    “Your goblin?” Akkene questioned,” I am not your goblin.”
    “It worked didn't it? Or would you rather be interrogated?”
    That was all the explanation that Akkene needed to satisfy his irritation at suddenly being owned.

    The next several weeks consisted of training, school, and clan information. He attended lessons of specialized weapons classes, specifically long swords and different battle techniques using the long sword, lessons in defending with the long sword, kite shield, and square shield, even unarmed combat techniques. He loved the unarmed combat courses, being able to go from seconds to death to holding the advantage was useful, especially if any more imps decide to take his sword. Defense courses against archers and mages were more difficult, especially the mages. Having fire balls fly at you were pretty frightening and were difficult to dodge. They showed him what to do should he be hit so that the damage to his body is minimized. They taught him the signs of shock and internal bleeding and how to treat them. The archery defense was easier though the projectiles came at him at a greater velocity though from a greater distance. If you knew about them they were pretty easy to dodge. The instructor got difficult with it and expected the class to dodge while he pelted them with tennis balls from a mere seven feet away.

    He attended class after class inside the White Knights castle. He studied battles of long ago, Thermopylae where three hundred soldiers stood against thousands. He learned of Delrith, the lesser demon who attacked the city of Varrok, and of the war between the gods. He studied the tactics, the weaponry, the advantages and disadvantages, strategies and anything that may give him an advantage in the upcoming battle.

    Occasionally he went to the gates and watched the horizon for any signs of the enemy. The nights were usually warm, clear, and dry enough to be comfortably. As the summer waned and the temperature dropped he would help ferry food and water to the sentries as well as helped them keep watch and keep the midnight oil burning. When alone by the fire or between his classes he would often go to the castle roof tops, receiving off looks from the attendants, and thought about things, his courses, delving into philosophy, the religion that he just began to understand, and wrote things down in a small unmarked notepad.

    On the eve of war the clan got together to feast on the goods their great king had provided and to mingle with other clan members over dinner. First was business though, discussions, reviewing the plan and commands. Afterwards they talked. For the first time Patriot was in a room with the Wolf Dragoons and only the Wolf Dragoons. He spoke to the king about history and tactics, but eventually the topic turned to Gothic architecture and the ideas behind someone choosing to be Gothic which turned the conversation to philosophy. Inevitably, he found himself talking to Ghost, the clan hustler. They planned out a deal for Patriot to supply him with mithril plate armor in return for the experience as a smith and a lump sum of cash.

    They left the hall that night ready for whatever awaited them in the morning. In the morning there was a war to be fought.
     
  6. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    Chapter 6
    It seemed too early for the war to begin. Nonetheless he stood upon the city's wall with bow in hand gazing out to the legions of goblins rising out of the early morning mist. He looked over himself to make sure every scale of his armor was in place, that his sword was in his sheath and that there were plenty of arrows in his quiver.
    “Time to rise and shine boys”, Khan called out to his clan,” Time to be ready for battle, to fight for victory.” The pep talk went on as Patriot looked to the field below, looking at the goblin commanders giving the same pep talk to the legions below. Goblins were only grunts and they knew it, fodder to use up as much of their ammunition before the real battle began. The tirade went on, “we have the might of three clans, and we will crush them!” Rhikora Khan lifted his head up to the sky and yelled with all his might, “Wolf!” The clan finished with a thundering, “Dragoons!” The Knights and Rising Demons joined them to create a rolling thunder throughout the land of the words “Wolf Dragoons”.

    Khan filed through the rank giving personal pep talks and making sure everyone got up to their defensive positions. When he got to Patriot he eyed the death grip he held on his bow and the arrow that had been placed into a firing position.
    “Easy now, we have a few surprises before we let loose the arrows”
    Patriot nodded and forced himself to relax. A dwarf bumped him.
    “'Scuse me matey.”
    Patriot said nothing but moved to the side and watched the diminutive bearded being set up his contraption. The contraption turned out to be the famed dwarf cannon. He glanced down the line to find several being set up. “Nice surprise”, he thought.

    The goblins began bellowing chants below and the clang of swords and shields being banged against the other could be heard for miles. The goblins started forward.
    Khan's voice rose over the sound of the goblin horde, “Cannons fire!” A massive fusillade of steel cannonballs rained down on the goblin formation as the concussive blast deafened Patriot. The steel spheres blew off heads, punched through armor and flesh, and turned a once respectable goblin into an inconceivable mess of soft tissue, bone, and limb. Once they hit the ground they bounced breaking off legs like a hatchet through light jungle. Some bounced up higher and crushed the goblin's chests in, crushing their organs and pushing their armor into their own hearts. Steel death flew around the goblin warriors shredding their will to fight and their bodies alike. It was a grisly scene. Patriot made a mental note to cover his ears before the next blast.
    “Fire!”
    Another fusillade raced down to meet the crumbling formation below. The blast noise seemed worse even when his ears were covered. He glanced down the ranks and noticed several soldiers had been knocked to the ground from the force of the blast “And I'm on the safe side of these things”, he thought with an eye on the blood stained, limb scattered field below.

    A deep toned horn sounded somewhere below. The goblin army, now in chaos, began to reform its ranks and the goblins began to charge the city's gate. “Cannons fire!” Khan bellowed. Patriot quickly covered his ears just as the word “cannon” was uttered, but it didn't help much. The blast caused him to step back and his ears to ring for some time. He glanced over the edge to see how effective the cannonballs were at such a steep angle. It looked like hell.

    The cannonballs went straight through the goblin's pointy little heads from the top, proceeding to penetrate through the neck, stomach, and out the back to bounce up through another goblin's gut before finally coming to a rest and exploding blowing off more goblin heads and limbs. The goblin army did minimal damage before being routed.

    A momentary lull; the sounds of the goblin retreat dying, the ringing in their ears slowly dying away he heard. A low murmur gradually arose from the mist. The murmur rose to a low chant and kept increasing in volume until the words were clearly audible. Something about Zamorak's wrath, but Patriot wasn't listening but rather watching the enemy clan step out of the mist, moving o slowing and chanting like a thing possessed.

    A chill ran through him. Their enemy was beginning its pep talk, their leader shouting about how pathetic the Dragoons were, about how the Dragoons were nothing more than dogs, and a joke about how most of the Dragoons wouldn't even show up to defend their own city. Patriot glanced down the line at rows of shining runite blades and plates, the gleaming dragon scales and steel tipped arrows and the fierce, agitated looks in the Dragoon soldiers' eyes. He peered down into the mist, his ears picking up the pep talk and malicious laughter.

    “Cannons, archers, catapults, and mages prepare yourselves to fire a fusillade from hell”, Khan shouted. The dwarfs were calm; they had been waiting for the next volley since the goblin retreat. Patriot, on the other hand, regained his death grip on his bow. His left hand quickly checked his rune supply, finding it full. With his runes safely stored he placed an arrow on his bow and pulled back the flax and prepared to fire.
    Khan yelled furiously, “Wolf!”
    The clan returned the furor, “Dragoons!”
    “Unleash hell!”

    Patriot let go of the flax and his arrow shot forth, a single drop of rain in a hurricane of steel. Time stood still. The fusillade looked as if it had been launched by the devil himself. The arrows were so thick that the sight of the enemy was momentarily blotted out from the thickness of the arrow storm. The temperature around him shot up as the mages conjured balls of fire and throwing them towards the enemy all in sink. The concussive blast of cannon fire deafened the group as the steel spheres traveled down to wreak havoc. Above massive multi-ton rocks flew from the city's trebuchet complex.

    “Fire! At! Will!”

    Pat reached into his quiver and yanked another arrow out; he put it onto his bow and fired. An arrow whistled past his ear, and then another struck his shoulder as the siege archers counter-fired. He staggered back then popped the arrow from between the dragon scales and placed it onto his bow and fired it back to where it came from. He took another and aimed nearly straight down and fired into a soldier's face. The arrow struck between his eyes and he toppled, blood spurted from the wound. He fired another into what would have been the soldiers head, but the helmet he wore only suffered a small dent. He fired again to the same effect.

    Something hot struck his chest. He fell over backwards, struggling to breath. He lay there precious seconds before glancing at his chest, the scales were glowing red but otherwise no obvious damage except for the inevitable burn that was to be fixed later. For now he got up wincing and fired another into the mass of troops below. He reached into his quiver to discover the arrows had spilled out when the blast knocked him down.

    A scream so inhuman, bat like, was emitted from somewhere in the distance. Another screech followed it, then another. If the mass of soldiers beneath weren’t enough to deal with this would certainly be the icing on the cake. The battled continued but as the cries got closer Patriot stopped and searched for the source of the hideous cries. He saw them in the sky swooping down with razor sharp teeth and flaming tongues. That sealed it; Zamorak was involved since there was no way any mortal could coax a dragon to fight for him no matter how strong or convincing he was. The serpentine bodies of the dragons hit the wall which sent several soldiers plummeting to the earth. The dragon was the largest threat so Patriot attacked. It had its back to him; he launched himself forward with sword posed to strike. He drove the blade into the dragon with as much force as he could.

    His result was unsatisfactory as the blade went only a few inches into the dragon's thick hide. It did however garner the dragon's attention. It swung its tail and the spikes missed Patriot's head by a hair's breadth. Patriot hacked its tail uselessly as the dragon burned his comrades. It spun in an attempt to rid itself of him, but he held on for dear life as his legs were flung out from beneath him. He felt his outstretched legs smack into someone's head. The dragon flung him into the air at last, and then batted him down onto the stone, pulverizing several of his bones. He struggled to his feet just as a dwarf swiveled a cannon to fire at the dragon. The cannon fired, the blast swept over everything, deafening everybody as the steel cannonball flew at the dragon. With a loud crack the cannonball hit the dragon's scaly hide and bounced back to the stone floor and ricocheted into Patriot's stomach. The force pummeled him backwards against a wall. He grunted as he lifted the heavy steel sphere up and over the wall to explode somewhere below.

    Patriot was dazed, taking quick, shallow breaths. Most of his internal organs had been pulverized to a pulp. His life passed before his eyes: memories of his mom's cooking, nights gazing at the stars with the old man, fishing trips with his father and grandfather, the vampire ordeal and countless others, yet managed to watch the continuing battle.

    Standing on a stone tower, green cape flying in the wind with all manner of hell behind him was Rhikora Khan. After seeing a single creature burn and crush so many of his men he looked sincerely peeved. He glanced at the symbol covering his gauntlet and summoned the power of the mystic wolf dragoon and the force of his innermost will and attacked. He summoned fire into his hands and launched fireball after fireball at the dragon, screaming in a rage all the while. The dragon turned and blew a blast at him, but he ducked behind the tower's stone and hurled fireballs over it.

    The dragon flew up and over Khan and unleashed a deafening scream shortly before burning the side of the tower, melting stone walls. Khan scrambled to the other side as the tower tilted and began its collapse. With nothing short of a miraculous leap he grabbed onto the dragon itself, ducking as it blew flames overhead. It unleashed a scream that shattered Khan's ears, yet he held on. It beat him with its wings and raised its swiping claws trying to get this pesky human off. Khan clung to the dragon and began using its scales as tiny footholds. Suddenly, he sprang upwards and away. The jump took him past the dragon's head. He conjured a fireball and threw it into the dragon's face while conjuring another then threw that while conjuring another. He had fired six before he landed cleanly on his feet.

    The dragon thrashed, its massive tail swiped Khan off his feet. He got up, shrugged off the pain and summoned more fireballs, combining them into what would be a wave of fire. The dragon reared itself up and threw its head back to gather its flame then thrust its head forward, jaws open with fire already seethed in its throat. Khan rushed forward, jumped toward the fiery maw and released a concentrated hell storm into its mouth.

    It screamed the loudest, most painful, and most pitiful scream anyone at the battle that day had ever heard as the miniature firestorm overloaded its systems, burning its mouth, throat, and burning a hole in its flame organ which ignited the creature’s body. Khan ran away from it as it began to internally combust. In its final dying moments its bones and organs were liquefied and fire began to shoot out of its eyes, nostrils, and where the now melted lower jaw bone would have been. It gave one final roar as it became a flaming corpse.

    Khan rushed over to where Patriot lay.
    “I'm not sure if you're brave or crazy”, Khan said.
    Patriot's glassed over eyes merely looked at him pitifully.
    “Damn, c'mon let’s get you some help”, Khan said as he picked Patriot up. Patriot's head tilted back. “He's impossibly light”, Khan Thought. Abruptly Khan dropped him.

    Patriot limply watched the whole battle with the dragon and was somewhat satisfied that Khan prevailed. He heard a voice and was pressed into darkness. He could feel wisps of darkness move past his head faster and faster. He hit the bottom with a thud. The bruised black and purpled earth was surrounded with vines and blood thorns and a swirling black fog seeped in and out of the vines and into the patch of bruised earth. He glanced around looking for an escape. He clutched his side and realized that his sword was gone as well as his armor. He stood there in only his black tee and pants. He felt naked without his armor, especially when there was a battle going on somewhere around there.

    “Patriot!” a deep booming voice came from behind him. He spun with fists up, feet ready in a combat stance, ready to fight to the bloody death. A ghost stood before him and flung him against the thorns, destroying his picture perfect stance and rendering him helpless.

    “Patriot!” the voice boomed again. He could only respond with a weak, “Uh?” It was difficult to breath, a thorn had pierced his lungs and they were now spattered with his blood. The ghost slapped him, a thorn entering his cheek and piercing his mouth. Patriot didn't utter a sound. The ghost pulled his arm out of the thorns with a scraping sound, his arm now a bloody mess.

    “You have done well”, it boomed, “You have done what is necessary for the sake of a clan you don't know.” Patriot just stared at it. It beat the tar out of him to say he had done well?
    “Did you not risk your life?”
    Patriot gave a small wincing nod.
    “Speak!”
    What came out was nothing short of pathetic. “Ye”

    The ghost grabbed him and threw him against the other side of thorns, the thorns making scraping noises as they left his back. He landed against the wall of thorns face first, thorns pierced his cheeks, one went through his lower jaw bone, pierced the soft flesh of his nose, through his left eye, tore through the fleshy outer ear and tens tore into his chest and stomach. Patriot screamed in agony.
    “Speak!”
    Patriot yelled with as much as he could muster with thorns through his vocal cords, “Yes”
    Calmly it spoke, “Let go.”
    “What?” “Aaaaghh” he screamed at the’t’ as the thorn pierced the other side of his jaw and out the bottom of his mouth.
    “Let go!” it commanded as it tore him out of the wall and threw him to the wet sickly earth. The thorns ripped out pieces of his intestines, pieces of bone, his left eye, half of his ear, and one had ripped open his chin from halfway back in his mouth. The thud of his body colliding with the ground shot agonizing pain through his back. The ghost kneeled on his chest, beginning to crush his ribs and disallowing his lungs to provide air to his body. It repeated again calmly, “Let go.”
    Finally, he understood what it meant and stopped breathing altogether. He discovered he did not need to breathe in this hell. The wounds made his body gasp and beg for air but he refused and did not breathe.
    “That too”, the ghost said.
    So he let it go to, the agony that ran through his body coursed from his bloody feet to his lower jaw that had been ripped in half, but now even though he felt it he became an observer in his own body. There was pain, but it wasn't his.
    “Good.”
    The ghost jumped on his stomach repeatedly before slamming his knee into Patriot's relaxed belly. Kneeling, the ghost jabbed Patriot in the face, smattering blood with every punch. With the last punched the bone snapped off and hung loosely from the skull it had been connected to. The ghost put his head to Patriot's, reared up high, then smashed down into Patriot's skull with a sick crunch. His head now had a dent in it where his skull had collapsed. Not a word was said, no scream uttered in agony, no movement to flee or neither struggle, nor any breath entered or left his body during the entire beating.

    “Good”
    The ghost grabbed his wrist. Immediately his wrist burned with an awful intensity that caused air to rush from his lungs in a horrified scream and his body to writhe from the unearthly pain. The fire spread through to his arm then the left side of his body and finally his entire body was engulfed with the burning. He writhed, he struggled but still the ghost held his wrist with a death grip and would not let him free and would not relieve him of the pain. He writhed until what had survived unpulverized was annihilated and what blood was left had rushed from the various holes in his body. Suddenly, the fire retreated all the way back to his wrist leaving his body numb. Finally, the ghost let go of him. Patriot let out a small cry as he touched the afflicted area.
    “Not bad.”
    The burning in his wrist continued but lessened enough for him to force himself into his non-existent trance. He lay there for some time, enough for him to wonder if the ghost had gone before another word was uttered.

    “You have been chosen Patriot”
    “Chosen? Why? For what?”
    “You will see the details soon enough. There are things that will come to pass that will betray you and dishonor your name but pay no heed to them. Lead you to strength they will. Honor restored you will have. Our time runs short. Bear the mark on your wrist with pride, but do not flaunt it. Hide it if you must. You-”

    Thud. Pain arched through his back as he landed on the stone. His throat burned and his stomach hurt. A muffled cry sounded beside him with the sounds of flesh being rendered from bone. He opened his eyes to inky blackness, but heard hundred of wounded cries and the furious screams of combat all around him. He shook his head and vision flooded his entity. He saw Khan looking down at him with a mixture of awe and horror. He sat up and Khan stepped back holding his staff defensively. Blood began pouring out of his arms, legs, and face as reality came back to him.

    “You ight bro?” Khan asked
    Patriot simply nodded.

    “That was an odd dream”, he thought, “wait why was I asleep in battle? Oh, crap Khan is gonna kill me.” He began to get up when he noticed his body no longer was pierced, he had both of his eyes, his jaw was in one piece and yet blood streaked over his arms like water. He glanced up at Khan who was fixated on him, pointed to his wrist. He looked down at his wrist and found the symbol glowing, two swirls inside each other both shrieking violet. He stood up and the sea of blood slid off him revealing soft, fresh, skin on his face, neck, arms, and ankles. His armor had come off and lay where he had lain.

    Khan looked at him disbelievingly when he retrieved his sword but not his armor.
    “To battle, Pat. To battle.” Khan said.
    “To battle”, Patriot repeated. They both turned to the carnage below and with a single look at the other they departed company. Khan rushed back to knock down ladders and fight the troops coming up them. Patriot stood on a stone tower, arms out wide, feet spaced, and head high. His hair lengthened, his wings folded against his body, his fangs came forward as he looked towards the early morning full moon. He held his sword skyward then leaped from the stone tower to the soldier's below, blade ready to strike.

    He landed on a soldier's shoulders, forced him to the ground. He brought his sword about in an arc, knocking the soldier’s helmet off and began to batter the warrior with his sword, putting dents into the armor. Quick slashes to either side kept the enemy off balance. Suddenly, he swung his sword in an arc parallel to the ground and forced the sword across the soldier's shoulders, cleanly decapitating him.

    A sharp pain pierced his side. He glanced down at the arrow stuck in him, he ripped it out and unfurled his black, bat like wings and flew above the carnage to the enemy archer line. He got the entire archer division's attention that immediately fired salvos at him. His wings made him a larger target but he weaved and dove around the steel tips. He dropped right onto one archer, crushing him instantly, and swept his leg out knocking another over before pouncing onto his chest and delivering a knockout blow to the face.

    Another arrow struck him in the shoulder with enough force to knock him to the side. He ripped it out and looked toward the arrow's source. The archer's long hair confused him for a split second. Patriot had always been a loner and rarely came across human warriors before arriving for training in Falador but when he did they were almost always male. Seeing a female warrior and getting shot by one was a shock to him. He didn't believe they couldn't become archers or warriors but he had never seen one. His shock ended when she fired another arrow. He moved quickly with the faint notion that he was going to be beaned with a tennis ball. He rushed her. The full force slammed her to the ground and the two struggled.

    It was a commonly held belief that men were always stronger than women no matter how much training each received. That idea died right then and there for him when she pinned him for a moment before he could squirm out of it. He pounced onto her back, pinning her face into the muck before she spun and knocked him off. He rolled to the side and came to a kneel. She came at him but was swiped away by his small sharp claws, knocking her to the ground with a bleeding throat. He pounced onto her back, limited her breath, and grabbed her bow and an arrow from her quiver and shot another archer in the back before jumped onto another archer when the earth began to shake. He bit into the archer's throat before pausing to figure out what was causing the earth to rumble.

    A trumpet called in the distance as the remaining enemy troops retreated. He would have called it victory had he not seen the sheer panic in their eyes. Soldiers dropped their swords and shield, mages dropped expensive runes, and rangers dropped their bows and arrows and fled. The wounded or dying struggled to retreat. One of the prone figures exploded in a cloud of bones and blood. A chill ran down Patriot's spine at this. He spotted the only archer remaining prone and alive struggling away, smearing blood alone her path. He stooped down and placed a hand on her throat and healed the wound there. He wrapped an arm around her waist and flew off to a safe perch in a tree and set her down, unconscious. He took a flying leap and flew back to the castle walls.

    He approached Doomlord who gave him a glance and kept his distance. The earth shook. He smelt a horrid odor sweeping among the surviving clansmen. Fear.
    “What is this...?” Patriot whispered more a statement than a question.
    “Demons”

    He looked around at the force of soldiers left; they were bloody, fatigued, exhausted men who glanced nervously from Patriot to the direction of the quakes.
    “Him! It’s him! Take him back to the demon from which he came!” one of the clan members exclaimed pointing at Patriot. Murmurs went around.
    “Look at his wrist! It’s a demon symbol I tell you!”
    The crowd had gathered around Patriot, ready to knock him off the tower.
    “Silence!”
    Khan emerged from the back and made his way to the front.
    “Look sir, his wrist glows of evil!”
    Khan merely took off his gauntlet to reveal an etching of the legendary wolf dragoon.
    The troops murmured amongst themselves.
    “We fight now or lose what we've worked for, like it or not Patriot is a member of this clan.”
    Silence.

    Patriot unfurled his wings once again to a horrified gasp only hushed by his voice.
    “Fine, I will fight to prove myself to you. When this demon eats me alive know I died for all of you”, Patriot said as he took a leap off the tower and flew off into the distance.

    He flew straight out to meet the demon head to head in combat. He didn't think he could win, but if death should come he would die with honor. Something hit him hard, knocking him to the ground. He kicked what felt like a massive rock. We was picked up like a rag doll and thrown down hard. He tried to toss the demon in return, he thrust his hand in its direction... nothing but the deep throated laugh of the demon as it began to appear to him. It was huge, twelve feet tall, horns, spiked tail, massive town wings, and claws the size of Patriot's head. Patriot stabbed it with his sword. It laughed before backhanding him across the plain. He got up and tried to tackle it. It was more like he ran into a stone wall. The demon grabbed him by the neck and began to choke him. His own claws digging into its hands and his fang bit into its hand. It hurt enough that it dropped him.

    He drew a fireball and threw it at its face. It looked dazed so he flew up and bit its neck. It knocked him down and crushed him underfoot. It stepped off of him and gouged his body with its unholy horns and flung him overhead. He landed hard as his body hurriedly, desperately tried to repair the damage. The demon roared at him and was about to crush him for good when it roared and spun. Patriot looked at its back, a cluster of arrows were stuck in it. He tilted his head up and looked past the demon to see a phalanx pounding the demon with arrows in volleys of five and fireballs in volleys of three. Patriot kept lying there willing his body to heal as they fought. After an eternity the demon roared and vanished into the nether realm.

    Khan stepped into his field of vision.
    “Thought you could use some help.”
    “Yea, thanks.” Patriot replied in a whisper.
    Khan held out his hand and Patriot took it and got to his feet. The remaining clan members began walking back to the castle leaving just Khan and Patriot on the plain. The sun touched the horizon and lit the sky up with all manner of golds and oranges.
    Patriot looked at Khan and said, “Victory.”
    “Victory”, Khan repeated, “It’s a glorious morning.”
    “I love the smell of victory in the morning”
    Both of them chuckled.
    “Let's head back.”
    With that both Patriot and Rhikora Khan headed to the gate.

    Chapter 7

    in the main hall of the King's castle every member of the Dragoons and their allies sat in front of the world's largest buffet talking, eating, laughing, and have a good time. Awards were handed out for acts of bravery, purple hearts for being wounded, and various other awards. Khan was voted for the Golden Dragoon metal for his bravery for defeating the dragon at the battle. Doomlord racked up over forty kills and was awarded for it. Patriot won a metal for his willingness to fight a demon and a dragon alone and the insanity award for attacking the enemy army without armor and survive, and a purple heart for his wounds. There was an awkward moment of uneasy silence every time he got an award, but it was fine by him, he was just happy to be walking. At the end of the meeting, when they had run out of food, Khan shouted, “Wolf!” and the clan responded, “Dragoons!”

    Khan approached Patriot as he was about to leave.
    “Pat, I need to speak with you. Follow me.”
    “Yea sure”, Patriot said as he followed Khan to just outside the city gate.

    “Pat, I don't know how to put this.”
    “I think I know what this is about.”
    “The men want you out of the clan.”
    “After traveling all way from Al Kharid and risking my neck for people I don't even know?”
    “Yea I know, but they have rejected you as a clan member.”
    Patriot quietly repeated, “That will betray you and dishonor you.”
    “What's that?”
    “It has been prophesied”, Patriot said as he began to leave.
    “Wait a minute”
    “Hm?”
    “Keep in touch.”
    “Okay”
    “I need your medals back.”
    “What?!”
    “When a clan member is kicked out of the clan the member must be stripped of their honors.”
    Patriot took them off and handed them to him.
    “Great way to say goodbye, eh?
    “Here take this”, Khan said as he handed Patriot a small opal sphere the size of a pebble.
    “What’s this?”
    “A communication orb, like I said keep in touch.”
    “Ight, one last thing.”
    “Yes?”
    “Where is my goblin?”
    “Acne or whatever its name was?”
    “Akkene”
    “He escaped during the battle, sorry.”
    “By escaped do you mean 'executed'?”
    “No, all the guards took part of the battle and when they returned his cell door was open and he was nowhere to be found.”

    Patriot looked towards the horizon as Rhikora Khan walked back into Falador. “Perhaps I'll see that knucklehead again”, he thought. He headed to the tree where he had put the archer and found it empty, but climbed it anyway. Upon climbing in he found a small note stuck to the tree with an arrowhead. He took it and read:
    Thanks for planting me in this tree and saving me from the demon. Perhaps we will meet again in battle. The Mafia will destroy you next time.

    PS I have you goblin with me.

    Patriot smiled at the thought of the goblin running around free. “Ah well”, he thought, “That takes care of that problem.” A deep voice interrupted his thoughts, “Train.” Patriot looked out towards the golden setting sun, toward Akkene, toward her, toward his destiny, towards all manner of heaven and hell. “Into the wilderness I must go and go I shall”, he said. With that he walked off towards the setting sun.