[Fan Fiction] LtF: Frozen - a little Book II teaser... ^_^

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CrazyBernie
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[Fan Fiction] LtF: Frozen - a little Book II teaser... ^_^

Post by CrazyBernie » February 11th, 2010, 4:35 pm

Yes, I'm a slacker... I've got two other shorts that I've left hanging. All in good time, people. :mrgreen: In the meantime, I've cooked up a little something for Book II, just in case there wasn't enough reason to be excited about it's impending release. :twisted: Without further ado...

Lewis the Fighter: Frozen

It was a ferocious blizzard; the winds howled through the pass and lifted up as much snow as they brought down. This melding of sky and ground made it all but impossible to differentiate the direction being traveled. As though to mock any would-be traveler, it would occasionally let up for just a moment, allowing a glimpse of the surrounding lands. Then the winds would continue their assault, the white wall of frozen water reducing visibility down to an arm's length.

And here I am in the middle of it. Can't imagine what the hell I was thinking. Lewis pulled the heavy cloak tighter around himself (it did little for the cold, but kept the wind at bay - somewhat...), and raised a hand to his face just as a stinging blast of ice nearly blew him off his feet. Being sunk into snow past his knees was the only thing that kept him upright. Pulling out a compass and wiping the frost from its lens, he took a bearing when during the next lull in the storm and adjusted his course. He had to tap the compass several times before the small arrow began to rotate... I guess even magick has its limits in this cold.

A large boulder came into view off to his left side; he took the opportunity to rest for a moment. It offered little shelter; the winds did not originate from a particular direction in this storm, but it was certainly better than no shelter at all. Pulling a small package out of his backpack, he removed from it some dried meat and a small hunk of bread. Frequent stops to refuel were required to keep up his energy level in the biting cold. After taking a drink from a waterskin that he dug out from beneath his shirt, he packed up and left the boulder's protection - and ducked just in time.

The troll's fist struck the side of the boulder, knocking a large amount of accumulated snow and ice from its surface. This was no regular troll; it had grey skin, a coat of shaggy fur, and was half again as large. It definitely had the right temperament, and Lewis dived to his right to avoid the other fist. This cold is dulling my senses... this is hardly the time to stop and stare! The snow was making swift movement difficult, though the troll had little trouble. Shrugging his backpack, the unfortunate adventurer grabbed his scabbard as the beast before him launched another assault. Unfortunately, he discovered the sword to be stuck fast in its sheath as he made move to draw it forth. Aw, hell!

This time the troll's swing made contact. Lewis turned to the side just in time to avoid the full force, but he was still sent flying into the boulder. The impact knocked the sword from his hands, and he struggled to remain conscious. The massive animal slowly advanced, sizing up its prey. Great, instead of freezing to death, I'll become lunch for the ugliest troll I've ever seen... if that's even possible. It's out of the cooking pot, into... well that's probably not the best analogy. He found his ability to find humor in this situation more incredible than the creature in front of him.

From out of the blinding storm came a flash, and the troll let out an unearthly howl that managed to drown out the raging winds. Its left shoulder was suddenly ablaze with fire, and it frantically - and unsuccessfully - tried to extinguish the flames. There was another flash, and this time fire erupted in the snow in front of the beast. Shrieking one more time, it turned and loped off into the shelter of the blizzard. Well that was... odd.

A figure emerged from the direction of the flashes. Lewis was unable to make out any features, his vision blurring as reality began to fade. The figure was short, but rather wide, and seemed to be cradling something in his arms. Something tugged at his mind... This all seems... familiar. Has it happened before? Funny how I only seem to remember things when I'm in danger... perhaps the adrenaline somehow counteracts the serum and jogs the memory... whiteness turned to grey, then black.

*******

The warmth of a fire radiating against his face stirred him from strange dreams that he could not recall once awake. A campfire blazed before him; he sat up suddenly, and was overcome by a wave of dizziness.

"Whoa there, lad - take it easy. After nearly being Gerty's dinner, an' almost freezing to death out in that mess, you're lucky to be alive."

Okay, I'll bite. "'Gerty'?" Lewis waited for his eyes to come into focus, and his surroundings to stop spinning.

Before him sat a dwarf. A short and rather stout race, this was only the second he had met. His black hair and full beard had a frizzled look to it, and he was clothed in thick, light-colored animal furs. There was a flame in his eyes that seemed to burn even brighter than the fire before them.

A deep chuckle came from beneath the beard. "Short for Gertrude, it's a nickname I gave her. Works a little better than 'that beast.'"

I will definitely NOT ask how he is aware of its gender. "What the hell was that thing?"

"That was a frost troll." The dwarf put a small pot over the fire. "The only one of her kind, as far as anyone has seen an' lived to tell. She's some sort of abomination, I suppose... but it makes plenty of sense." A pleasant aroma wafted up from the pot.

"How so?" This ought to be interesting.

"Well trolls have a great fear of fire - it keeps them from regenerating. Short of growing gills an' living under water, the Nor'lands are the best place for one to live... there isn't anyplace that a fire will burn."

"That didn't seem to stop you... I'm assuming you where the one who cast that spell."

"Ho ho!" The dwarf found this infinitely amusing. "A dwarf, casting a spell? Ha! Now that's one to tell the grandkids, if'n I ever get me a wife."

Seeing Lewis's confused frown, "By the way, the name's Lundelm, of the Stonecarver clan. Well, not anymore, I suppose. I imagine they've disowned me by now. Have you ever met a dwarf?"

"Well, you're the second - that I can remember anyway."

"Hrmph. Sounds complicated." Lundelm raised a hand when it looked like Lewis was about to speak again. "No offense, but I'd rather not hear about it. Enough problems of my own, you understand. Well you see, us dwarves have no affinity for magic... we can't command spells like you humans. Of course, that doesn't necessarily keep us from using items fashioned by your mages... although it is generally frowned upon."

He reached behind himself and brought forth a cylindrical container with a specially latched cover. Releasing the latch, he removed the cover, revealing a dark, syrupy looking liquid. He pulled a dagger from his belt and dipped its blade into the substance, then held it near the fire. The blade burst into a bright yellow flame. Placing the dagger on the floor, he pulled forth a water skin and poured it over the blade. The fire would not extinguish!

"Put's regular Demon Oil to shame, eh? It's a little something I obtained from an alchemist in Blackwater, shortly before t'was overrun. Vekkar, I believe his name was. Strange fellow, but then most humans seem odd to a dwarf. He was using it for something he called a 'balloon,' but I found a better use here in these frozen wastes."

He picked up an object beside the stool he was sitting in. It was a piece of wood, about a human's arm in length, with a shorter, thin piece of metal fastened perpendicular at one end that had a cord attached to either side. Lundelm grasped the cord and pulled it taught, until it bent the small piece of metal into an arch shape, and secured it on a small hook. Placing a small wooden rod with a metal tip into a groove, he turned and aimed the contraption at a wall, and squeeze a small trigger on the opposite end. The hook released the cord and sent the small rod shooting out, which embedded into the stone.

"I call it a crossbow. It doesn't have the range or accuracy of a bow, but it has a punch as strong as the biggest recurve. It's also smaller, and I can carry a lot more of these bolts than I could with a quiver of arrows. Mix in a little liquid flame and, well you've already seen the results. Like Gerty, it's the only one of its kind, and the reason that I live in this cave."

Lewis finally took in his surroundings. They were in a small, but comfortably sized cavern, and smoke from the campfire drifted up into what appeared to be some sort of chimney. The dwarf had even constructed a door into the opening, made from heavy oak with thick iron bands to reinforce it. There was a bed at the end furthest from the entrance, and a small table against another wall. In all, it was very sparsely furnished, save for several racks of weapons. I guess dwarves don't have much want for decoration. This one seems ready for war.

"You mentioned something about being disowned?"

The dwarf spat angrily into the fire. "That's right. See, us dwarves are builders, the best in all of Eschalon. Building is in our blood. But we're also very narrow minded. Most dwarves are perfectly content with working the trade of the clan they're born into. They all think they're perfectly safe hiding in their mountain, that events that happen elsewhere will have no bearing on them. Well they're all fools!"

Well then, perhaps I shouldn't have asked...

"I never had much interest in the building an' development of our city. Creating weapons is what I enjoy. I also recognize the threat that's spreading across the land, which is likely to find it's way past the Solenguard Mountains that you're trying to cross. We need to prepare, to properly arm ourselves, but the Elders refuse to see this. What's more, they're hiding something. They've found something deep in those mines, but they won't tell anyone what it is. It must be some sort of weapon, something we can use against our enemies... I know it! Why else would they keep it secret!" He slammed a meaty fist down on one knee.

"Sounds... complicated."

Lundelm sighed, rubbing his temples with one hand. "Sorry, it's a bit of a sore spot for me. My temper, along with my preference towards weapon development, is why I left Durnore to begin with. Couldn't deal with the constant disregard for our safety." Looking to change the subject, "Speaking of which, what in the gods were you doing out there, heading towards Hellice Lake?"

No point in being evasive. "Actually I was heading toward Durnore myself."

This earned him a look. "Nevermind that you'll likely get little welcome there, are you trying to commit suicide?"

"Hmm. Well, that wasn't on my itinerary. I'm suffering from amnesia of sorts, and from my research, there may be someone up there with important information about my past." Not entirely true, nor entirely false; should be just enough.

"And why didn't you travel through Raven's Gate? There's usually a caravan that brings trade goods from there to the city."

"The Commonwealth has the place on lock-down. They say there's nothing to worry about, but won't let anyone without proper 'identification' to pass through the gates. Short of coming up with a ridiculous amount of gold to bribe the guards, I'm out of luck."

"Hmph, sounds like Durnore's not the only city full of fools. Well travelling across the lake during blizzard season won't get you anywhere but dead. It's all flat out there, with nothing to stop the winds. Not only will you not be able to walk, but the snow and ice flying about will tear the flesh from your bones like a pack of starving Snow Wolves on a scrap of meat." Lundelm grabbed a couple of bowls and ladled some of the stew from the fire and handed it to Lewis.

The stew was hot, but surprisingly good, and warmed him to the core. "My compliments to the cook. Would you have any other suggestions on reaching Durnore?"

Between spoonfuls, "Well, if you're going to be foolishly insistent on getting there as soon as possible, we're not terribly far from Frostbite Thicket. It's quite a bit of a detour, but you'll be shielded from the brunt of any storm that crops up. It'll take you around the lake, and you can follow the mountain back toward Durnore. I'll give you one of my maps; I don't really get around enough to need them anymore."

"Does that troll hang around the forest?"

"Nah, she seems to prefer the rocks. I've been tracking her for a few years now, and I've never found a trace in those woods. Enough about that for now, lets finish our dinner. You're going to need all the rest you can get."

******

The next morning Lewis set out. The dwarf outfitted him with a map, some extra furs to keep warm at night, and more food.

"I certainly appreciate the help," he said while strapping his scabbard to his backpack. Lundelm had coated his sword with a special animal fat to keep it from sticking.

"Don't mention it. Just let it be said that not all dwarves are inhospitable to outsiders." The grin was large enough to be visible under his dark beard.

"Great, thanks for the warning." Not that I was expecting a warm welcome to begin with.

"Here." The dwarf handed him several vials of the strange fiery liquid. "These are a volatile mixture, just like the Demon Oil; make sure you throw it hard enough to break the glass. An' if you need to use it, I'd recommend running in the opposite direction afterward. Be mindful of the wolves as well."

"Right. Thanks again." And on to the next adventure...

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Re: [Fan Fiction] LtF: Frozen - a little Book II teaser... ^_^

Post by Dragonlady » February 11th, 2010, 7:24 pm

:shock: :!: :!: :!: Sooo..cool story..err, great story. :mrgreen:

Clap, clap!
....we need a clapping smilie..

copier, saved in my Book II file along with the screenshots BW has given us as an appitizer.
Sometimes the dragon wins...
Help save the earth. It's the only planet with CHOCOLATE!

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Re: [Fan Fiction] LtF: Frozen - a little Book II teaser... ^_^

Post by Painted Lady » February 12th, 2010, 11:27 am

CB - you are one mean tease! Here I was, happily (more or less) trying to wait patiently for Book II. Then you just come along and post this wonderful story - now I cannot think about anything else but Eschalon :evil:

Great job by the way.....

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