Stories:
Goiren and the Blackened Blades (interactive webnovel)
 
 
By: Tristan van den Bergh, Jan Willem van den Brink, Jan Willem Gombert, Keeley Hearn, Marten van Hooidonk, Ben van Laar, Bob Luigjes, Jurri van Meerveld, Arjan Wardekker, Wouter van de Zandschulp
Genre: Fantasy
Wordcount: 16672

"Goiren and the Blackened Blades" is an interactive webnovel. It is unfinished and visitors can contribute the next part of the story. To contribute, e-mail the next part of the story to webmaster@alcarin.com (submitted work will be reviewed and is subject to the Submission Rules & Privacy Policy).
A discussion thread on the webnovel can be found at the Forums (Fantasy and RPG Discussion Forum).

Each chapter contains an introduction (in italic) that shortly summarizes the story so far.

Table of Contents:
Chapter 1: Daybreak
Chapter 2: Trusted Friends
Chapter 3: The Road Ahead
Chapter 4: Silver Tales


Chapter 1: Daybreak

Arjan Wardekker A cool breeze blew over the fields as the golden flood of the morning sun woke up the creatures in the woods. His sword gleamed with the fury of a red dragon as Goiren sharpened the blade. The other adventurers in his party lay still peacefully at rest. It was many years ago, that he, Goiren, a Human fighter, left his boring life as a guard in Kharmeam, the small town here he was born. He wanted to see the world, he was seeking for adventure and fun. Fun, he thought as he wiped the blood of his plate mail, was not exactly the thing that he found.
His thoughts turned back to reality. A small stream of smoke could be seen behind a hill north of him. What would that bode? Yet another group of those foul creatures? Yesterday's attacks had left their marks in the group and they could really use some rest.


Wouter van de Zandschulp Just yesterday the group had been ambushed several times by ugly creatures that appeared to be a cross between a hairy human and a lizard. The creatures carried pikes and clubs with them, and already had inflicted casualties on Goiren's party. Three wounded and two dead, thought Goiren as he finished sharpening the blade of his long, slender, double-edged sword. He didn't want to fight anymore. Could this be friends? He had lost all hope to find creatures that wouldn't want his life.
He almost wanted to go home again, but a strong feeling kept burning inside of him; he had something he wanted to prove!
It gave him power, power to turn his head and look backwards. The smoke came closer and a sigh of relief came over him when he saw the good-natured faces of the troop of gnomes that came to him.

Ben van Laar Beside him, Ignadus, also a gnome, looked surprised but happy to see so much of his fellows coming to him. As the gnomes have reached them, he asks what they are doing here, and where they are coming from.
The gnomes answer: Hello fellow. It's good to see you. But tell me, we are looking for a paladin called Sensor. And with this Sensor, a certain Goiren should be. Have you ever heard of them, and do you perhaps know where they are?
Well, of course I've heard of them. This paladin here, is the Sensor which you are looking for. And somewhere behind me is Goiren, the other one.

Marten van Hooidonk The Gnomes thanked Ignadus for their honesty and drew their blades.
Goiren was surprised. Why would the Gnomes attack them? What had he done to them? With a tired look in his eyes, he took a deep breath. As if those lizardmen had not been enough... My double-edged blade is twice as long as those little men, he thought. I don't like this, but I'll do what I must. Goiren put away his whetstone and readied his sword.

Ben van Laar Ignadus, who was very surprised, reminded himself that Goiren is much better in affairs like this and hid himself behind Goiren, in the meanwhile shouting that they are being attacked by evil Gnomes.
The gnomes didn't make a chance. Within a couple of minutes, they were reduced to bloody heaps in the sand, although Goiren tries to make sure that as much as possible of them can escape.
But it appeared to be a trap. While Goiren was busy with this troop of gnomes, the enormous army of gnomes which came from the back killed al his party members, and after a hard and violent battle Goiren was also slain.

Wouter van de Zandschulp Goiren blinked once. He has having hallucinations of gnomes; the days just took too much out of him. Thank god that was just a hallucination...
Still determined to go on the next day, he started to look for a place to sleep, till someone reminded him that the smoke wasn't part of his hallucination, something still was coming to him! But he had always trusted his instinct, which had clearly warned him for the thing coming.
He decided to look for a place to hide, and quick!

Marten van Hooidonk Then an orc walks toward them.
Goiren shouts to the orc: "Do you have bad intensions?"
The orc asks: "What are intentions?"
Goiren thinks about a proper answer.
-This must be a very stupid orc.
-Or it is a trap of a smart orc.
-But are there orcs who are so smart that they can act if they are stupid?
-Very unlikely.
-Do there exist smart orcs?
-Never heard of them.
-So, probably it's just a stupid orc.
-But what does he want from us?
-Let's ask.
Goiren shouts: what do you want?
The orc replies, saying: "I want to join you. Please help me save my friends."

Jan Willem van den Brink Goiren notices that the orc is wounded, although the orc has made some attempts to hide this fact by covering them with a thick layer of cloth. Although Goiren has no love for these servants of evil, the orc maybe able to help him in his quest. He inquires what happened to his friends and the orc tells him that they have been taken prisoner by the lizardmen.
Garzan, the Dwarven fighter, shouts that they should help him in smashing some lizard skulls. Besides, the lizardmen might have quite a fortune laying about, treasure taken from their victims.
Goiren agrees on this and his thoughts move back to the smoke that is still getting closer. "Come with us, orc. We'll need to hide from whatever that is," he says as he points at the smoke. The party moves to the thick-packed bushes nearby and hides there.

Marten van Hooidonk Goiren says, "Watch the bushes, if you eat them, we can't hide anymore..."
Hey would someone please kill that insect which just entered my nose? I can't do it by myself, because I can't get my hands free, because I'm peeing...

Ben van Laar Ignadus, one of the other members is happy whit the chance of hitting a orc without the chance of being hit back, and strikes the orc as hard as he can on his nose. Then he says to him: I think it is dead.
Goiren, who have seen all this, sighs. On this way, they will never find out where that smoke comes from.

Marten van Hooidonk While peeing, the orc turns toward the gnome. And while peeing over him, he thanks the gnome for the help. After this he moves unheard and unseen toward the smoke, to see what it is.
Goiren walks with the orc to the smoke. They both see several nice women, baking bread at a fire.

Ben van Laar When the women see the orc, they scream and run away, in the meanwhile shouting: Help, an orc!!!

Marten van Hooidonk But there is one, who sees the big muscles and the lovely look in the eyes of the orc and turns around toward them.
When she finally lies in the arms of the orc, she asks to Goiren, who seems to be the leader: "Can you please help us, there is a bandit-tribe active around here, who kills everyone and steals everything. We are so afraid." After that she calls the other women, who are happy that they are in save and warm hands now.

Wouter van de Zandschulp Goiren rubs his eyes. He now realises that he can try being as though as he wants, but after all those battles he really must sleep for a little while now. He keeps seeing strange things and he has no idea which ones are real and which ones not. And the strange things keep on coming, so many of them, so irritating...
There is only one thing to do for him, it may be dangerous, but he's going to sleep right there and then so he can see what was for real the next day.
He simply lies down and starts to sleep, not even saying anything because he wouldn't know if the person he would talk to would be for real.

Marten van Hooidonk The orc throws the sleeping Goiren over his shoulder. Then he says to the women with a lovely twinkle in his eyes: "Of course I will do anything for you, whatever you want. So I'll help you to kill those bandits. Can you please help us to find those brute dudes."
Goiren has a nice dream about lovely women who ask his help for destroying some bandits, which shouldn't be so difficult. It takes a while before he realizes that it isn't a dream, but for real and that he hangs over the shoulder of an orc, which has taken the lead of the party. He is also the one which is flirting with the women. This is not the way he had imagined and so he tries to get off of the orc's shoulder.
The orc says; Hey, you're awake and puts him on his feet.
Although Goiren feels somewhat dizzy, but he puts on a friendly smile and turns to the women. He gently pushes the orc a little out of the way, and asks the women: I heard that you were in trouble. Can I, the mighty Goiren, do something to help you?
The women say to Goiren: " Well, ok, you can help us too. We still need someone to do the dishes..."

Wouter van de Zandschulp Goiren's dreams are very strange, as they mostly are, about Orcs and woman and stuff... maybe this is a sign strange adventures are about to come over him...
But for now, it are just dreams, while he lies outside on the ground.
While he lies here, some of his companion-fighters are strangely gathered around, not letting anyone near them, whispering to one another while Goiren lies exhausted on the ground...

Marten van Hooidonk Then he realizes that the dreams he had were much more pleasant than this, so he closes his eyes and tries to dream further about the nice girls he met.
And there they are. Oh, they are so pretty.
They ask: where have you been, we became anxious. But tell us, what are you going to do now?
Goiren to the women: "We are with enough people, lets find those men and slay them all.
So, if you can show us the way were they are, we will handle this minor problem.
"They are, they are...."
When Goiren looks at the women's faces, he sees a glance of fear come over them. A dark voice behind him says: "We are here. And now, hand over your money and other precious items or we will kill you and take it from you anyway." Several men laugh nervously.

Wouter van de Zandschulp Goiren and his men quickly and heroically stand before the women, making a living shield. They look at one another and know they are all very tired, but don't like to give up.
Goiren shouts at a fearful man who stand BEHIND the women; he also fearfully walks in front.
Goiren now realises that he hasn't been dreaming, he indeed is in this strange situation.
All of a sudden, before the fight begins, a man walks between the good and the bad guys.
"Anyone wants to buy some lottery-tickets... or should I come back later?" he asks.

Marten van Hooidonk "Hmm..., what can I win with that lottery?" says one of the bad guys.
The orc says: "The one who wins the lottery, gets a nice and sweet candy."
After he said this he gets bored and together with Goiren they start slaying the bad guys. Side by side they protect the women for being threatened by the brutes.
After they have done that, Goiren asks how much a lottery-ticket cost.

Wouter van de Zandschulp The bad guys are defeated; many of them are wounded, lots of them fled and some died, also in Goiren's troupe, but the damage isn't that big for him; his men were experienced.
"It had to be done" Goiren says seriously, "those poor women must be protected. I hope we will be safe for quite a while and can find a place to rest and eat together."
"And buy lottery-tickets" the stranger says.
"Watch it or I shall have to protect the woman for you too" the Orc says to him in a threatening way.
Not wanting to mess with an Orc, the man walks away.

Marten van Hooidonk Goiren's troupe finds a nice place to rest and sit together, while the women tell were they're from and why they were harassed.
They also asks if they can stay with them... forever...
And after that everyone says together: "Of course you can."

Wouter van de Zandschulp But Goiren realizes that they can't stay here... their lives are in great danger and so are the lives of the ones they are with. He wouldn't want the ladies to get hurt. "We'll rest now. It is getting dark. Tomorrow we will need to go further. We still have a mission to accomplish, although I'm not sure what exactly it is that needs to be done." The party is offered sleeping places and soon the snoring of the Orc is the only sound that can be heard.


Chapter 2: Trusted Friends

Arjan Wardekker It is almost noon when the party wakes up. The birds sing all around and the smell of fresh baked bread hangs everywhere. Goiren had a strange dream again the past night. He saw a city, under attack by hoards of dark figures. Fires burning everywhere. Maybe it's just another dream that has nothing to say. It could be because of yesterday's events. The battle with the thugs was not a nice sight to behold, although he had seen things like that before.

Wouter van de Zandschulp Goiren sees the strange men gathering around again. When they see him, they quickly part, too quickly to be natural.
After wondering about this, Goiren watches his party. It has become a very unusual one. Woman to protect, an Orc, a gnome, a paladin, a cowardly man who is selling lottery tickets. Well, he must be happy with them. These men (and woman) decide to follow him as leader. And he has a clear and good mission, protecting the woman from whatever may encounter them and bring them home. Maybe this was what he wanted to prove, that he can be a good leader.
After these thoughts he decides that it's time to get going.

Marten van Hooidonk When he sees the women, he realizes they are beautiful. He sees there are equal men and women! So he forgets what he said yesterday, about leave the girls and say to them: "Alright, of course you can stay with us."
After he said this all the women start hugging him...

Ben van Laar And the gnome of course.

Marten van Hooidonk Goiren doesn't like that, but when he thinks of the women, he forgets the gnome.

Then he remembers the mission.
When the women are ready with hugging him, he explain them their mission.
They all understand and suggest they take care of the food and other things.
Goiren like that idea and say: "Ok, everybody get all the stuff together, we're leaving."
And their they go, happy as they are, on their way toward the unknown.

When they walk together trough the woods, Goiren realizes he likes one girl very much. And when they stop for a meal, he decides to take action. He takes seat beside her and start a conversation with her. First, she reacts a little bit shy, but after a few minutes, they talk like they know each other quite long.
Her name is Ravira and she is an orphan. Her parent died when they got the plague, but fortunately, she survived. She and her sister were taken to their family, who took care for them until they became adult. After that they decide to leave and see the world. In the village they lived, no man was good enough for them to marry with, so they planned to go to the city, find a man, get married and then return again. But it didn't came that far. On their way to the city, they met a group of young women, who were on their way to a house party?! in another city. They decided to go with them but on their way to that party they almost got ambushed by a horde of robbers. The women ran away and lost the brutes. When they decide after a while to get food and get to sleep, they met Goiren and gang.
After they ate, they walk further and after an hour, or so, they reach the city where they planned to go to.
They split up and take a point where they will meet at the evening to go to the party. Goiren goes shopping with Ravira and when they get back to the meeting point, they notice they're not the only couple which has been created in the last hours.

Wouter van de Zandschulp The whole party is suddenly filled with couples and the lottery-man already is making money with couples-therapy due to all the problems which are already evolving.
"What should we do?" a party member asks when he sees Goiren.
"With all these woman, we must seek a safe place for them to stay, and the man who want can join them then" Goiren says. "But from here, there will only be one way which can lead to safety."
"You don't mean the Path of..."
"Don't say it" Goiren says, "you will scare the woman. It's best they do not know what is before them. The Orc may come in very handy when we reach that place..."
After these words it is clearly visible that the face of the man has turned very grim.
Ravira tells Goiren that she is hungry. He decides to get her something to eat and then get the party moving. He walks to the food supply, but when he looks at it, his face turns even more grim then the one of the other man.

Marten van Hooidonk The food supply has got over one thousand feet and walks away...
Well, maybe it is logical for food which is over a year old.
Let's get to the shop to get new food. We've got luck, it's shopping-evening today.
They buy new food and after they ate, it's time for the party.
The group goes in there and has a wonderful evening.

Wouter van de Zandschulp "It's a nice party, it may be our last" Goiren thinks of. But he decides to enjoy it while it is there.
But all night something keeps going to his head.
Ravira notices more then he realises, because she suddenly asks him: "What's been troubling you all night long?"
Goiren asks her to step outside with her, what he wants to discuss must go in private.
"The food supplies" he says. "I'm sure there was some fresh food. I've been afraid for some time.. I believe there are traitors among us... among the man. This could get very ugly, especially considering the difficult task before us."
"Traitors", Ravira says. "Even among the man who have joined woman from my group?"
"I'm afraid so, which will make this even more complicated."
After this, they suddenly see the gnome flying besides them out of the place where the party is held.
The gnome gets up painfully and explains:
"I just tried to ask her out..." after which he very careful walks back to the party.
After all of their worries, this luckily still can bring a smile to Goiren and Ravira's faces.

Marten van Hooidonk Ravira says to Goiren: "Orcs do sometimes have strange habits. Let's ask him about the food."
Goiren admits and together they walk too the orc. When they ask him to go outside, he follows and on the question if he has an idea about the food which isn't eatable after a short time he says: "Maybe I shouldn't lay the bag with food very near to the place where I'm peeing."
When Goiren hears that he asks to the orc: "Do you always pee beside the bag?"
Orc: "Well, I can't see always if I'm peeing beside the bag, but I must say that sometimes after I have peed, the bag isn't really very dry anymore."
Goiren is happy about the idea that no traitor is among them, but when he looks to Ravira, he sees that she nearly throws up.

Wouter van de Zandschulp "Well, let's go then" Goiren says.
"Do you make up for me if I go or not?" Ravira asks.
"Well, I am the leader of the group" Goiren says.
"You don't own me" Ravira says. "You always think that you are big and tough and the most important person of the world. We woman are there too, you know!"
"Yes!" Goiren says. "To shut up and follow!"
Ravira now has a right to be mad at Goiren, which she uses. Goiren realises that he has obsessed himself to much with power, because of his fear of lack of this.
When he wants to say he's sorry, he cannot find Ravira anymore. He quickly runs through the party to find her, but strangely without luck.
"Woman are nothing but trouble, right, Goiren?" the lottery-guy asks.
"Yeah" the gnome agrees.
"You guys just say that because you don't have any" Goiren says while worryingly walking by. The two follow him.
"She's gone" Goiren mumbles.
"I see strange foot-steps" the lottery-guy says. Strangely enough this is very useful to Goiren. He becomes pale.
"Those footsteps... him again... it cannot be ended this way, not with a fight, I will bring her back. I can't ask you to follow me in this dangerous situation."
"Although we do not get any of it, we will follow you anywhere" the gnome says about him and the lottery-guy, who is shaking his head as a 'no'.

Ben van Laar Goiren sighs.
That are brave words, sir gnome, but I am afraid that you don't know where you are talking about. The man about we are talking is very powerful, and my sworn enemy. He will spare nothing to harm me, even not you. In fact, when he knew you would help me, he would try to kill you, just to freak me.
Then he returns to the rest of the party and says: I am afraid I have to leave you. Some evil person has kidnapped Ravira and I have to get her back. He knows that and will be waiting for me. That's why you can't and should not follow me.
All of you have been very kind to me the last time, and some of you I even can call a real friend.
I hope that time will treat you right, righter than he has treated me.
And then Goiren gets his gear and walks away in the direction of the footprints, his shoulders bowed as under a tremendous load.

Bob Luigjes When he is walking Goiren is very anxious that something will happen to Ravira, so he starts walking faster and faster. After about an hour he hears some screaming. He starts running towards it, but he can't hear anything anymore. When he reaches the place where the screaming came from he doesn't see anyone. He starts searching the surroundings of this place. After a while he sees Ravira lying faced to the ground. He starts running towards her, but he forgets that his enemy must be around as well. When he realises that it is already too late. He feels something hitting him against the head and everything becomes black.
When he wakes up he has a terrible headache. Then he sees his enemy standing right in front of him, laughing.
But then he sees some figures coming up behind his enemy, it are his friends.

Ben van Laar He hadn't counted on so much enemies and he is quickly knocked down by them. Then they come standing around Goiren and ask him: Did you really think that we should allow you to get killed? No way, we still need you for the dishes...
Then Goiren suddenly remember Ravira and he tries to get up on his feet, in the meanwhile asking: How is Ravira, what happened to her?
Then he sees the priest of the party bowed over her. When the priest looks up and sees the unspoken question on Goiren's face he nods once and says that she is still alive and will recover completely, but that she is in shock and will need a lot of rest.
Goiren is relieved, but suddenly he remembers his enemy. He walks to the unconscious body and says to his friends: I know who he is, he is...

Wouter van de Zandschulp "You all came after me?" Goiren asks touched.
Everyone nods, except one man, who isn't able to because he is tied.
"You were going to tell us his identity, I believe?" one man asks.
"Yes" Goiren says. "This is..."
Suddenly he hears wolves crying. He stops his sentence and moves his head up.
The wolves have a strange effect, his enemy gets up and seems to have all of his powers back. Quick as the wind, two wolves run beside the party and take on the man and run along.
Goiren is terribly moved by all of this, and is not able to say anything else

The next day, his closed friends, the gnome, the fearful man and the Orc decide to go watch how he is doing.
Goiren seems to have gotten over it a bit, he still seems very week.
"Friends" he says soft. "I MUST speak to the entire party" he says louder.
The four of them walk into the middle of the group. Everyone is busy like every day.
A couple is fighting, one throwing with the dishes, someone shouts about a fake lottery-ticket and some man are in an argument.
"Quiet" the gnome shouts. "Will you please be quiet."
No effect is to be noticed. Goiren cannot be heard over them.
"QUIET!!!!" the Orc suddenly bursts out so loud that everything goes completely quiet and in shock.
"Thank you" Goiren says. "I have a very difficult choice, I must go after my great enemy and try to get him before he gets back to his land, where I will probably never catch him again. Since I'm not sure you'll be with me if I go, I can better not tell you anything more about him now.
But if I do, the rest of the party should take those woman to a safe city to stay... without me."
Everyone in impressed.
The group of men that gathered around before secretly, now seem to gather around more openly. One of them even steps out of this group and speaks:
"You go then, Goiren, and we will take the party further. We have decided which of us should be the new leader."

Ben van Laar The rest of the party, who didn't gathered around with them, do all burst out in shouting. Things like: "you can't mean that" or "are you crazy" or "cowards" are heard. The opposite group starts shouting back. After a short while, everybody gets more frustrated and when a fist is raised, there suddenly starts a huge fight (see the regular fights in the town of Asterix and Obelix). Goiren tries to raise his voice over the rumour, but is unable to. Suddenly the lottery-man is thrown out right before the feet of Goiren. With a ferocious grin on his face he tries to get back to fight, to help the poor gnome who is attacked by two other party-members.
But then he is grabbed in the back by Goiren who demands an explanation, because he doesn't understand anything of it.
What do you know about this what I don't know? he asks to the lottery-man.
The poor fellow mumbles something like:
Well... eerrr... I... eeh... Do you know...
Look, we didn't want to...
It is obvious that the man doesn't know how to explain.

Arjan Wardekker A dark, vaguely humanoid shadow behind a tree remains unheard and unseen. The shadow smiles, softly whispering to himself with a cold and dark voice:
"Hah hah... the fools, I've got them right where I wanted them... fighting amongst themselves. Time is running short for you, Goiren, time's running very short indeed.... And when your time is up, I will be waiting for you. And I will enjoy myself once more...."
The shadow steps into the tree and vanishes, leaving no trace but a handful of panicked beetles.

Jan Willem Gombert Suddenly a loud screaming is heard. Everybody that is not within 10 feet of the screaming stops fighting. They see some people flying trough the air and when the last dust and men are gone they see the orc standing. Alone. "sorry" he says, "I just had enough of this. Now everybody listen to Goiren or else...

Wouter van de Zandschulp All attention suddenly goes undivided to Goiren. Goiren isn't quite used to this or ready. He is holding up a small man and his other hand is in a fist, ready to punch. But his body is frozen by the sudden quiet surrounding.
"Err.." he starts.
"Err... Hello. I am Goiren, as you might know. I.. hum... I am divided what to do, actually, so some advice may come in handy.
First of all I love Ravira. She is stubborn, but so very beautiful, not only from the outside, but it radiates, and..."
While talking he looks at the tent where she is resting.
"If I go I haven't got the time to see her recover and bring her back home."
He gets quite emotional.
"But I have to stop my enemy or many innocent souls will fall, I'm sure, and my honour with it. Furthermore, I have got all of you. Some of you I would like to take with me, some not, and oh yeah.. I almost forgot.. I've got some traitors. Yeah, well, that are the ones I like less, you know, and it gets this situation to a point that I do not know who I can trust."
Goiren looks around once again. He is getting a more naughty look over him. He likes being in charge and getting attention.
The situation is almost impossible to act right upon, so let's try to do at least something.
Suddenly, before he acts, one traitor steps forward again.
"It's simple politic, Goiren" he says. "I have got a lot of man behind me, you don't even know who you've got behind you."
The Orc, standing behind Goiren, threatens to scream again because the crowd gets noisy.
Goiren notices him because of this.
"You may have got a lot of people behind you, but I have got an Orc behind me, who I, ironically, DO trust. Orc, will you please pick up that man for me?"
The Orc does so and the man isn't that much of a talker anymore. He doesn't seem to have all that many man behind him anymore, either.
"So, I will teach you to mess with my group, mister" Goiren says in the kind of voice that would chase away wild bears.

Later on, the man hangs in a tree by his sweater. Goiren realises that this was quite good fun, but that there must still be some group of traitors and that the Orc won't fear them for ever. So he sees his best possibility to gather the few he knows to be trustworthy, send some of them away with the woman and Ravira and chase his enemy with the most strange, small and befriended party he could ever imagine.

Jan Willem van den Brink Goiren ends up with the orc, the gnome, and the lottery-man. These are his trusted friends. He sends the others away. He thinks it's better to do it now, while they're still afraid of the orc. Strangely enough he doesn't even know the names of his party members.
"So," Goiren says. "I trust you, and I would really like it if you went with me on my quest. But before we go there are two things we must take care of. First of all, we need to bring Ravira to a safe place. And second, I would really like to know your names."


Chapter 3: The Road Ahead

Arjan Wardekker A lot has happened the past few days. Goiren and the party where attacked several times, he fell in love with Ravira, a woman he had met yesterday, and his party has split up.
He felt sorry for that, although he knew that with traitors in the party his life would be in great danger. He had wandered with the party for several years and he liked all of them very well. He had no choice though, especially after this morning's uprising. He had to pick a few trusted friends and journey further with them.
And so the new party set on his way: Goiren, the Orc, the Gnome and the lottery-man, a strange person he had met yesterday that tried to sell him lottery tickets in the middle of a battle. He didn't even know the man's name. To be exact, he couldn't remember a lot of things, among which the names of the Orc and the Gnome, who had been his trusted friends for years now.
They set out that afternoon, leaving Ravira in the company of his ex party members who would bring her to safety. The risk was much too great if she where to travel along with him. He, his opponent, would surely use her against him.... Who was his opponent anyway? Goiren could not remember, although he knew him... somehow...
Night fell as they walked off along the road, an uncertain future to pursue, an unknown yet familiar evil to face.


Jan Willem van den Brink The small party made a camp besides the road. They gathered around the campfire, in silence.
"It's a quiet night," the lottery-man said. "I could say it's too quiet, but I actually like it this way."
The orc growled in agreement.
"Well, I think there's something wrong," the gnome elucidated.
Immediately, Goiren stood up. Suddenly his blade was in his hand.
"What do you mean?" he asked the gnome, while searching the surroundings.
"I didn't mean something like that," the gnome explained. "Sit down and relax."
Goiren put back his blade and sat down.
"I meant," the gnome said, "that there is something with the lottery-man."
"With me?" the lottery-man asked, surprised. "What's the matter with me?"
"Is he a traitor too?" the orc wanted to know, and he already grabbed his battleaxe.
"No, no," the gnome quickly calmed the orc down. "It's not that he's evil or anything."
"Maybe you should make your point now," the lottery-man said.
"Or shut up," the orc growled.
"Look guys, I don't know what's wrong with him, but something about him bothers me, definitely."
"Typically gnomish," Goiren said. "By the way, I still don't know your name."
"My name is Taelm Nory," the lottery-man answered, while he shook hands with Goiren.
The gnome jumped up.
"That's it!" he shouted. "That was bothering me!"
"What?!" the others wanted to know.
"We didn't know his name!" the gnome smiled.
The orc snarled. The gnome walked towards Taelm and shook his hand.
"My name is Lluff Abcudegim Nosx, but you can call me Lluff."
"I am... ehh...! Lluff, what's my name?" the orc said.
"Ux," the gnome answered. "Your name is Ux."
"Ahh yes. I'm Ux."
"How wonderful!" Taelm said. "Now I can sell you lottery tickets and write your names on them!"
"So that's how they're called," Goiren thought. "Now I remember. How could I ever forget their names? It doesn't make sense. I travelled with them for years. maybe the rest of what I forgot will return to me now too. Maybe I will remember the identity of my sworn enemy. Maybe..."
"Well guys," he said out loud. "I think it would be wise for us to go sleeping. We probably have a long journey ahead of us and I want to leave early tomorrow morning."
That made him think again: "A long journey? But where to? We are following my enemy as if his tracks where clearly visible on the road, but in fact we haven't seen any sign of him in the last days. Still, I'm sure we're going in the right direction. How can I be sure of that? It doesn't make sense. Nothing makes sense."
He stood up and walked towards his small tent.
"Good night, fellows," he said.
"Good night, Goiren," they replied.
Ux threw sand on the fire to put it out, and then the three followed Goiren's example and went to bed too.

The next morning, Ux awoke because of the scent of venison. He stretched himself, yawned, blinked a couple of times, and stood up. The sun was still hidden behind the trees of the forest they were travelling through.
"Good morning, Ux," Goiren greeted. "Did you sleep well?"
"Too short," Ux groused.
"Take some turkey," Goiren offered, and he pointed with a large knife towards the meat, which was roasting on a spit above a fire.
Ux took the knife and cut a large piece off.
"Nice," he said after the first few bites.
Taelm joined the two.
"Turkey for breakfast?" he asked. "It takes an orc to find such eating habits."
Ux took it as a compliment and he grinned a greasy grin. Goiren shrugged his shoulders.
"I like it pretty much myself," he said.
"Well, I think I'll have an apple," Taelm said, and he found one in his bag. "Is there anyone else who wants an apple?"
"Sure, I'd like one," Lluff answered.
He walked drowsy to the fire and took an apple from Taelm. They sat down and ate, quietly.
"You must have been up early," Taelm said to Goiren, when they were gathering their stuff after the breakfast.
"I was," Goiren said. "I was tortured by nightmares when I was sleeping, so I stood up even earlier than I planned. I looked around in the forest and encountered a turkey."
He pointed towards the pile of bones.
"That orc has quite an appetite, don't you think?" Taelm asked.
Goiren nodded.
"Ux is a great eater," he said. "Are you all ready to go?"
They all answered affirmatively. The sun just peaked over the trees when they walked off along the road, through the forest.

"You seem to be knowing where you're going," Taelm said to Goiren. "You didn't hesitate a moment at the road junction."
"To tell you the truth, I have no idea where we're going," Goiren answered. "I have never been here before."
"But how did you choose our path, then?"
"I'm not really sure. I kind of felt the right direction. I know it sounds crazy, but I can feel the direction in which my enemy goes. I can't explain it."
"Well, I don't care. I have been here before, and I know that this path will lead us out of the forest, and to a small town. I can probably sell a lot of lottery tickets there!"
"You probably can, Taelm. Moreover, we can buy provisions there. We'll probably need them very soon. You can't hunt down a turkey every day."
"But maybe the enemy didn't leave the town."
"He did. I know he did. I can feel that he's not that close."
"Fascinating."
Goiren shrugged his shoulders.

Later that day, the party arrived in the small town of Luivorg. Taelm immediately strode off, to find people who were interested in lottery-tickets. Ux went to the nearest bar and had a lot of fun there with the beer, his battleaxe, and the other people there. Lluff said he needed a weonor, which he claimed to be a very famous gnomish invention. He asked in every shop if they could sell him one, but without luck.
In the meantime, Goiren bought provisions at 'Soldo's'.
"Are you making a long journey?" the shopkeeper asked, while packing Goiren's order.
"Yes. I'm headed north, with a couple of my friends," Goiren answered.
"North?" the man looked up, apparently surprised.
"Yes, north. What's wrong with that?"
"Well, nothing I suppose. How many people do you bring along with you?"
"Why do you want to know that?"
"Oh, I didn't mean to be rude. It's just that... well, you know... it's not safe there."
"It's not safe where?"
"Up north. The creatures have left the woods there lately."
"Creatures?"
"Yeah, you know. Dark and foul beings. They've always been there, but they stayed in the woods and they didn't attack anyone, except the fools who left the road. But a couple of weeks ago we received the first message of some merchant who had been attacked by these beings. They roam the roads and the fields around the woods now. It's very dangerous there."
"Well, unfortunately, we'll have to go anyway."
The shopkeeper handed over the goods.
"May the great spirit protect you, then," he wished.
"May he do so."
Goiren took the goods and left the shop. He found the others in the bar that was wrecked by Ux.
They were the only customers. The barkeeper stood behind his wrecked bar and looked desperate.
Goiren joined his friends, who were sitting at the only table that was still standing.
"What has happened here?" he wanted to know.
"A party!" Ux grinned, and he waved happily with his battleaxe.
"Did YOU wreck this place?" Goiren asked.
"Yep!"
Goiren shook his head and saw Taelm, who had a black eye.
"Were you in the fight too?" he asked.
"Not here, no," Taelm answered. "I was selling lottery tickets on the market square when someone asked if I was with the orc in the bar. I said: 'Yes, I am. Do you want a lottery ticket?' and then the man hit me. So I said: 'Hey, you could just have said no, you know.'"
"Let's get out of this place," Lluff said. "It's a crazy town. The have a wrecked bar, people hit lottery-men, and above all, they don't sell weonors anywhere."
"You're right, we should go," Goiren said. "But I must warn you. We're headed north, and I heard it's very dangerous there at the moment. There are foul creatures roaming around."
"I'll squash them," Ux said fearlessly.
"Yeah, we can handle them," the Lluff said. "Unless it are gnome-eating wood spectres, of course. Are there any of those?"
"I don't know," Goiren said.
"Can I sell them lottery tickets?" Taelm asked.
"You can try," Goiren answered.
"Then I will go with you," Taelm declared.
"Me too," Ux said.
Lluff looked worried: "I hope there are no wood spectres. Well, I will go with you anyway."
Goiren took a good look at his party.
"They'll just have to do," he thought.
He stood up: "Okay then, let's go."
He left the bar, with Lluff and Taelm following him. Ux walked towards the barkeeper.
"How much?" he asked.
"How much what?" the barkeeper asked, frightened.
"The beer, how much is it?"
"Four silver pieces."
Ux paid. He started walking towards the door, but then the barkeeper felt the flame of courage suddenly burning in his chest.
"Wait a second," he said, knowing he would lose his whole business anyway, when he didn't confront the orc. "You will have to pay for the wrecked furniture too."
Ux turned around.
"For what?" he asked.
"The chairs, benches, and tables."
"How much?"
"Ehh... I think, about two gold pieces."
Ux threw two gold pieces on the bar and left, leaving an astonished barkeeper. The others waited for Ux outside. They divided the provisions and left Luivorg.

Wouter van de Zandschulp Night has fallen.
A while left from the big road, a little smoke can be seen. A small campfire is to be seen with around it a small gnome, a big Orc, a man and a sleeping lottery-man is lying against a tree, after falling into sleep, being forced to volunteer to stand guard by an Orc.
Goiren is dreaming.
He sees himself, a little boy. His father is warning him.
"Do not go to Uncle Cadabra, Goiren" he warns.
After this he sees himself going there anyway. His Uncle has all kinds of bottles with strangely colored liquids and stuff. Smoke comes out of some of them. His Uncle looks at him with a smiling face.
'Little Goiren!' he shouts. 'How nice of you to visit! Will you help your uncle with a little task?'
Goiren sees himself nod. His uncle says to him: "YOU CALL THAT STANDING GUARD! THE GNOME COULD DO THAT BETTER!"
Goiren blinks and he sees the Orc yelling at the lottery-man. He yawns and gets up to calm his men.

Later on they're walking again. Goiren feels very strange. It's because of his dream. Weird dream. He cannot get this apart from the feeling of his enemy and where that one is.
His feelings about this matter get quite messed up. At a moment he's not sure anymore were to go.
The gnome notices.
"Shall we rest here?" he asks friendly, doing this to spare Goiren in his hard time to decide which way to walk.
Goiren smiles thankfully at Lluff and later they are eating a bit in the grass.
They are a strange party indeed, luckily Ux keeps everyone from getting to near.
Tealm is yawning.
"Just a little nap and we are ready to go" he says.
"When exactly did you get the impression we were at a holiday?" Ux asks him.
Goiren sighs. A party has it's disadvantages.
He must decide now. He has a great feeling of a enormous danger being right in front of him if he keeps going. His dream has in some way refreshed his memory about something he is not sure of and about that he must admit that he is afraid. Very afraid, terrified for what is ahead.
But in another way he knows there is no easy way this time. If he does not go straight to the danger it might be too late.
He knows he must get his enemy before his enemy is too powerful.
He looks at his party members.
"Are you sure you guys want to keep going to the greatest danger?"
"Sure" Lluff says.
"Absolutely" the Ux says.
"Well, if you've got a better idea, I'm willing to listen" Tealm says.
"Okay" Goiren says and sighs. "We will go on in the direction we were walking."
Goiren starts walking.
Lluff and Ux follow him.
Tealm looks at them surprised.
"I SAID, if you've got a better idea, I.. I.. isn't anyone listening what the lottery-man has to say. O very well. And no-one is giving me time to get my stuff together and to get ready... you JUST walk away... great. I should just leave you guys and go... go to..."
Tealm looks behind him and thinks of all the dark creatures the bartender warned them about, according to what Goiren said to them on the way, and how they probably are sneaking around the area they already have passed.
"Hey! Wait for me!" he shouts and runs after his friends.

Jan Willem van den Brink Just some ten yards separated Taelm from the others. They weren't walking very fast, so the gap became smaller quickly. Then, all of a sudden, a dark figure jumped out of the forest, without making any sound. The being was about nine feet tall and vaguely humanoid shaped. His whole body seemed to be a shadow. Only the eyes glowed with an eerie, red light. Tealm stopped running, stumbled and fell.
"Help! Help!" he screamed terrified.
The others turned around quickly. Lluff and Ux were totally surprised, but Goiren immediately jumped forward with his sword in his hands. Just as the shadow creature stretched its claws towards Tealm, Goiren hit the creature in the back. The blade cut through the being as if it existed of jelly. As soon as the sword leaved the creature's body, the gash started closing. The creature didn't seem to be hurt at all, but it turned around fast to face his attacker. Taelm crawled away as fast as he could. Luff and Ux stood next to Goiren. The three raised their weapons defensively, while shuffling away backwards. The being didn't move. His eyes check out the three.
"He checks out who he wants to hit first," Luff said.
At that moment, the creature jumped forward. His speed was so incredible that none of them reacted fast enough to parry its attack. The being targeted Ux. Its claws reached for the orc's arms and grabbed both. Both Goiren and Luff reacted. Lluff struck the creatures leg with his sword, but the wound healed immediately. Goiren chopped off the arm and it fell to the ground. The creature howled in pain en let go of Ux, who looked extremely pale and seemed to barely be able to remain standing. The shadow creature picked up his arm and pushed it against the stump. The reattachment seemed to work.
"Let's get out of here!" Lluff yelled.
Goiren pointed towards Ux, who used his battleaxe as walking stick.
"He can't outrun this thing," Goiren said. "Anyway, I doubt if any of us can, so let's finish him off!"
The being was ready to strike again. It targeted Goiren this time, and went for the arms again. Fortunately, Goiren expected this and jumped away on time. The being growled angry. Its eyes seemed to burn. Goiren didn't wait for its next attack, but took initiative himself. He jumped up and swung his sword. He hit the creatures neck and cut off the head. While the eyes blacked out, the head fell off the shoulders and the body perished.
"Run!" Goiren shouted.
He and Lluff supported Ux and they ran away as fast as they were able to.
"Hey, wait for me!" Taelm shouted.
He looked at the dead creature in front of him and thought it was still very scary. Not half as scary as being alone in this forest, though. He hurried past the body and caught up with the others.
"Why didn't you help us?" Lluff shouted angry.
"Ehh, I did help, I prayed you'd win," Taelm said.
"Oh, shut up and help us carry him."
Some yards further, Ux passed out completely. They carried him along with them, too afraid to take some rest. None of them saw the body of the shadow creature coming back to life again. And none of them saw it crawling around, searching for his head...

In the afternoon of that same day, the path Goiren and his party followed led them through a large clearing.
"Let's rest here for a while," Goiren suggested.
"But what if one of those creepy creatures finds us?" Taelm asked.
"At least they won't be able to sneak up on us, like that first one did," Goiren said.
"Yes, and I really need some rest," Lluff said. "That orc is really heavy, you know."
They had managed to bring the orc round, but he was still too weak to walk without leaning on his party members. Goiren directed the group to the centre of the clearing, where they all sat down.
"You two watch the forest," Goiren said to Lluff and Taelm. "I will see what I can do about the state Ux is in."
Lluff and Taelm nodded.
"Are you feeling any better now?" Goiren asked Ux.
"Nope. My strength is still gone," the orc answered.
"I have some herbs I use when I feel tired and I need some strength to go on for a while. Maybe they'll work for..."
"There!" Taelm interupted him. "Something moved! There!"
He pointed to the forest. Lluff and Goiren looked in that direction, but nothing happened.
"You must be mistaken," Lluff said after some time.
Goiren gave his attention to Ux again.
"I'll put the herbs in water. Maybe it works," he said.
"Okay."
Goiren took some herbs from a small pouch and put them in a small wooden mug he carried with him. He then poured some water from his waterskin in the mug and gave it to Ux. The orc sipped it away.
"Tastes awful," he said.
"That doesn't matter, as long as it helps," Goiren said.
Ux handed over the mug, but thereupon he fell asleep and snored like as if he was hibernating.
Goiren cursed: "That wasn't what I had in mind. Seems like we have to stay here a bit longer, guys."

An hour later, while Ux was still sleeping, Lluff saw a shadow being walking towards them, along the path. He couldn't tell if it was the same one or not, but he noticed that both his arm and his head were a bit twisted. Or was it just his imagination?
"A shadow!" he shouted.
Goiren and Taelm jumped to their feet.
"Oh no!" Taelm cried. "We're all going to die."
"Maybe if you shut up and fight with us, you won't die," Goiren said. "Look at the gnome. He's small and not very smart, but he fights well and has survived all fights so far."
"Yeah!" Lluff said, but then he thought about it and continued with: "Hey, that's not fair!"
Taelm ignored him and asked: "Ahh, you say he survived all his fights. How do you know that?"
"Of course he did!" Goiren shouted. "He would be dead if he didn't."
"And who tells me he is still alive?" Taelm asked with a smile.
"Ehh, guys?" Lluff interrupted. "The shadow is already halfway the clearing."
And he was right. The shadow WAS already halfway the clearing, still pacing along easily.
"If Lluff was dead, he wouldn't be standing here, would he?!" Goiren shouted.
"There's always the possibility of him being UNdead," Taelm explained.
"If you two won't stop arguing soon, we'll all be very dead soon," Lluff said.
"Oh, shut up, stupid gnome" Goiren said. "Don't interrupt an important discussion."
"Important?!" Lluff yelled. "But it doesn't make sense at all! I'm not dead or undead at all!"
"Are you sure?" Taelm asked. "Maybe you just forgot the fact that you were killed a long time ago."
The shadow was closing in on them.
"How can you possibly forget something like that?" Goiren wanted to know.
"Yeah, it's not like I'm an idiot or something," Lluff added. "I'm sure I would know if I was dead!"
"No, I didn't say you are an idiot," Taelm said. "But you are a gnome. That says it all."
"I must say, he does have a point there," Goiren agreed.
Lluff opened his mouth to say something, but then the shadow reached the group and stretched out his arms towards them. They could do nothing but stare terrified to the creature, waiting for its cold touch. But then, with a growl and a raised battleaxe, Ux jumped in front of them. He swung his weapon with great skill and anger. The axe hit the creature's neck and decapitating it, probably for the second time that day.
"Idiots!" Ux snarled at them, while kicking the head away.
The three just stood there, blinking their eyes. Goiren was the first one to see what has happened.
"That thing enchanted us," he said. "Otherwise this could never have happened."
Taelm looked at the body. It was already crawling around again.
"Watch it!" he warned, while stepping backwards.
"It's searching his head," Lluff said.
"You're probably right," Goiren said. "But he won't get it. I'll take it with me."
"Take it with you?" Taelm asked scared. "But it's scary and evil."
"It's much more dangerous when it's attached to the body," Goiren said.
He walked to the head, carefully avoiding the body, picked it up and put it in a bag.
"Let's get out of here," he said. "Maybe there are more of these beings in this forest."
They left the clearing.
"Oh, I almost forgot," Goiren said. "Thanks a lot Ux! You saved our lives there!"
The others added their gratitude.
"Don't mention it," Ux said. "You saved me and my strength."

They camped another night in the forest. Goiren was afraid to go to sleep. Afraid of what he might encounter in his nightmares. But it had been a long day, and he was tired. He fell asleep. And the dreams came...
Goiren found himself facing the shadow again. he chopped off the creature's head, but this time the eyes didn't black out. They turned blue and became human eyes. The whole head changed. The darkness changed into the skin of an old man. he vaguely recognized the man. Wasn't he a relative of him? Yes, he remembered. The man was his uncle, Cadabra. The eyes stared. Fixed on his eyes. The mouth opened.
"You! Kinslayer!" his uncle said.
He? What did the old man mean? But then he saw the body lying on the ground. It was no longer a shadow. It was the body of his uncle. He had decapitated his uncle. He WAS a kinslayer!
Goiren screamed: "No!"
He felt a hand covering his mouth.
"Shut up," Ux growled, and he removed his hand. "You attract shadows."
Goiren was wide awake now, and they were all looking at him.
"What's wrong?" Taelm asked.
"Nothing," Goiren said, not very convincing. "It's nothing. Go back to sleep."
Lluff and Taelm looked each other in the eye, shrugged their shoulders, and lied down again.
Ux concentrated on the surroundings again, but Goiren stood up and said: "I'll stand guard now. I wont be able to sleep anyway."
"Okay," Ux said, and he walked to his sleeping roll.
The rest of the night Goiren was paying more attention to his personal troubles than to the possible threats in the forest. Fortunately nothing happened. The next morning, they all awoke early. Apparently no-one wanted to stay in the woods a minute longer than necessary. They struck camp and travelled further.

Bob Luigjes After an hour or so, Lluff feels something moving besides them. But when he looks there he doesn't see anything. But the strange feeling emerges again, he still doesn't see anything. This keeps happening for a while and then Lluff can't take it anymore, so he whisper to Goiren: "I have the feeling we are being followed, but I can't see a thing."
Goiren replies: "Yes I have the same feeling, and for a moment I thought I saw something moving, I..."
Goiren didn't got to finish his sentence, because something jumps out of the trees, just before Taelm. He screams, and tries to run away. But a black with grey creature, who is a bit smaller then a gnome, grabs his legs with two hands so that Taelm falls to the floor. Taelm doesn't stop screaming, he is terrified. While the creature holds him with two hands, his other two hands swing a black sword towards him. Ux is he first one to respond. He hits the creature with his axe and the creature falls backward. Taelm is free, and runs away, still screaming. The creature rolls over and jumps on top of Ux, who is too late with evading. Goiren and Lluff both strike the creature with all there power. A black liquid spurts out of it, but it still holds Ux. Ux makes all possible moves to get it of, but it doesn't work. The creature raises his sword again, meanwhile holding Ux.
At the same a similar creature jumps on top of Lluff. But before it can hit Lluff with his black sword, Goiren chops the head off. Black liquid is spurting to all sides. "Get it off me!" Lluff yells. Goiren tries to get the body of the creature off, but it is stuck. It still clings to Lluff. "Hold still, Lluff" Goiren says "I'll try to chop his arms of one by one." "Be careful!" is Lluff reply. Goiren chops three arms of after which he can pull the dead body of Lluff. "'nks" mutters Lluff, who is a bit confused.
Meanwhile Ux is in serious trouble. He bumps his head against a tree in an attempt to get the creature off. The creature drops his sword, but still holds Ux his head. Ux bumps against the tree again and again. The creature loosens his grip, but can grab again , this time covering Ux face. Ux is slowly suffocating. He tries to hit it with his axe, but it doesn't work.
Then Goiren runs to him. It is too dangerous to attack the creature with a sword because it completely pushed itself against the face of Ux. Goiren hesitates. Then Lluff comes running with a lighted torch. He tries to burn the creature away. It works, the creature falls to the ground. Goiren chops his head off with at once.
Ux drops to the ground, exhausted, but still breathing.
Then they hear Taelm screaming. They look up and see him running their way with two creatures behind him. Lluff and Goiren jump forward. They both hit the creatures, but not very effective. The creatures attack Lluff and Goiren with their swords. Lluff is hit, Goiren is missed. They both strike again killing the creatures. Black liquid is spurting over them again. Lluff is now almost completely black. He yells "AAAHHH, that stuff hurts in my wound!" Goiren tries to clean his wound. "That's better" Lluff says, "but it's still hurting." "I just hope it doesn't get infected" Goiren says, meanwhile bandaging the wound.
Ux and Taelm come walking to them. "We need to go, we have to rest a little further on." Goiren says.
After a while they camp at an open spot in the woods. They are all very tired.
"Where were you, when we needed you?" Lluff asks to Taelm. "Why didn't you fight?"
"I don't have a weapon." Taelm says.
"But you can wield a sword?" Lluff asks again.
"Of course, I'm not an idiot!" Is the indignant reply.
"Then I have a sword for you" Ux says. He gives Taelm a long sword. "I only use my axe at the moment anyway."
"We expect that you fight, the next time." Lluff said.

Meanwhile Goiren has fallen asleep. He dreams again. It is very disturbing.
He dreams that the bag with the head of the shadow creature is growing and something is alive in it. Then four black arms emerge through the bag. Immediately Goiren strikes the bag with his sword. He keeps hitting it, until he hears the voice of his fathers voice. "Don't come near Uncle Cadabra, stay away!" Goiren opens the bag and sees him again. His uncle Cadabra.
He wakes up with a scream.
"What is it?" Lluff asks.
"Nothing. Just a bad dream, that's all." Goiren replies, but his face is very worried.

Wouter van de Zandschulp Goiren walked for a bit. Not too far of course, since the forest has proven himself to be REAL dangerous. He needed to think.
Did he kill his uncle? Was his uncle a shadow?
He tried to remember so hard his head hurt. A lot.
He came closer to the camp again. Ux and Luff were sleeping and Tealm was actually standing guard for once.
Goiren walked to him. Tealm looked very sad.
"Hi Tealm" Goiren whispered. "I can't sleep."
"O, great" Tealm replied, not all that softly. "I have to sacrifice my sleep for some POWER-HAPPY Orc, while you can't sleep anyway."
"I heard that" Ux mumbled and directly fell asleep again.
Goiren sighed. Still, he did notice Tealm's unhappiness.
"Is something the matter?" he asked.
"I want to sleep" Tealm mumbled.
"Is that it?" Goiren asked.
Tealm just mubled as an answer, clearly not wanting to agree with that vision.
"Didn't you sell enough lottery-tickets?" Goiren asked.
Now Tealm got a bit mad.
"Do you think that's what I'm all about?" he asked.
"Well, you also have had a relationship-bureau, and.." Goiren started.
"You guys are all friendly, but everyone is always mad at me! I never seem to do anything right!"
Goiren realises he has to talk seriously to Tealm about his problem.
"Sit down" he said.
Tealm sat down, quite upset.
"First of all" Goiren started, "to be honest, you really do not do anything right. I can't remember you have. Ever. Maybe you just should accept this."
This strategy did not seem to cheer up Tealm. Goiren realised he had to lift Tealm's spirit to find something good about him to say.
"Well, you did came with me, as one of the few. You weren't one of those lousy, fearful and stupid guys that decided to form a group against me."
"Well.." Tealm said. "Of course not! I'm not stupid! I just waited to see who would win, and then I would join that group!"
Now Goiren really started to question himself however Tealm got to be among his closed and most trusted friends.
"Listen" Goiren said, tired, "why don't you just act a little bit nicer to the other guys and try to fight along. I'm sure you will fit in."
Now Goiren found out there was something good about Tealm, it didn't took much to boost his ego.
"Yeah, I guess so" he said with a proud voice. "You of course see the big hero hidden in me, that's why you claim this, uh? The big and nice hero that will save the day. Yeah, you guys are lucky to have me, you really are."
Tealm walked to his sleeping bag proudly.
"Hey, Goiren, since I turned out to be the big hero, I will need to sleep so I can save the day tomorrow, okay?"
Without waiting for an answer, Tealm lay down in his sleeping bag and started sleeping.
Goiren gave a very big sigh. He said slowly to himself: "He never learns."
This suddenly gave him a flashback.
He saw his father saying this.
"YOU NEVER LEARN, DO YOU?"
His father looked terrible, in a big confusion of mad and desperate.
"YOU NEVER LEARN. YOU HAD TO DO THAT TASK FOR UNCLE CADABRA. YOU.. YOU.."
Suddenly Goiren saw himself as a little boy, looking at his father. The sound of wolves crying was to be heard.
They heard a bang on the window. Shocked they saw uncle Cadabra.. or was it? It looked like him, but than with loads of hair. It grew quickly. They saw him changing into a wolf! "Thank you, little Goiren" he growled. "Thank you for that little flask your daddy wouldn't give me."
It sounded like a wolf's growling, mixed with a human voice.
"IT'S TOO LATE!" his father shouted.
Little Goiren and big Goiren both felt they did something terrible wrong.
Big Goiren found it to horrible and wake himself up out of the flash-back. It was too horrible. He had helped his uncle to relive the dark secret of his family and now his uncle was becoming the powerful leader of a whole bunch of were-wolves. And it was all his fault.

Tristan van den Bergh Now he had figured out why the dreams about his uncle worried him so much he could point his thoughts on how he had forgotten all those things.
He wasn't old enough to suffer from dementia and he couldn't remember a serious blow on his head... It was something else... something darker, and that worried him. Just like the dreams about his family's history.
He shrugged of his thoughts and concentrated on his party. Because of the attack of the four-armed beings, they weren't in a very good shape. A good night's rest would do them very good, but Goiren thought it would include some serious dangers too. He decided they should go further.
"I think it is best we continue our journey to the north. But now we have to watch out even better. I don't want to be surprised again..."

After a while they reached a little river. A bridge made of ropes connected their side of the river to the other. Goiren locked his sword in the hilt and tied his backpack on his back with some ropes on the front. His party members followed his example.
Goiren grabbed the ropes of the bridge and started moving over it. The bridge was quite strong and he reached the other side with ease.
"It's no big thing. You can easily walk over it." He shouted.
Luff followed. He reached the other side even quicker than Goiren. Tealm followed. Although he looked worried he did it as easily as Goiren.
Than it was Ux's turn. He grabbed the ropes and started moving over the bridge... The ropes made funny noises and on the side of Goiren one of the ropes started to break.
"Get moving, Ux! The bridge is starting to break!"
"I hate water, I hate water!" Ux shouted and started to move faster, but with lesser concentration... He almost fell, but with a last jump he reached the other side...
"Pfff" Goiren and the other two sighed.
"I hope we don't have to get over again on our way back..." Luff said.

The turned their backs on the river and looked at the forest in front of them. It was even darker than the forest they had just left.
"Greater perils ahead, I guess." Said Tealm and Goiren nodded.

Goiren felt uncomfortable about this part of the forest and a shiver crept over his back. he looked at his party members and saw the same look on Tealm's face, although that wasn't very special, because he always looked that way.
Luff looked a little worried and tried to cheer himself up by casting a cantrip of dancing lights on his fingertips.
Ux didn't look worried. He was probably too Orcish-stubborn to be worried.
"Let's go!"
The other party members nodded and they continued their long journey to an unknown, but probably very dangerous future.

After a while Goiren wasn't very worried anymore. The forest was quite dark, but he could hear birds singing and heard how small animal tried to find something the wanted in the leafs on the ground. These sounds made him feel more at ease.
"Okay guys. I think we should stop and eat a bit."
They found a good spot for their lunch and they tossed their backpacks on the ground. Goiren looked at Tealm who was staring at him. When Tealm noticed that Goiren looked at him he came Goiren's way. Tealm's throat made a funny sound when he arrived in front of Goiren.
"Gluk."
"Yes, Tealm?"
"Well, uh, Goiren, uh..."
"What is it, Tealm? Is something worrying you?"
"No, no. It's just that I, uh..."
Goiren waited patiently.
"Could you, uh... Could you teach me how to use my sword. It's been a while, you know..."
"But of course, Tealm. No problem at all..."

Goiren put of his armor and sword and searched for two wooden sticks.
"Okay, Tealm. At first we will not use our real sword, but these fake-swords. In that way we won't hurt each other."
Tealm looked relieved and took his fake-sword in his hand.
"Okay. First I shall teach you the standard sword-positions. Take your sword in your right hand and hold it in front of you while your left arm and foot are behind you... That's the first position."
Tealm took the first position with a serious look in his eyes.
"Good, good. And now the second position. Place your right foot next too your left and hold your sword with both hand almost to your chest..."
Tealm took second position. Luff and Ux sat down and enjoyed the lesson as spectators.
"Third position. Right foot one step back and sword in horizontal position while your left hand is in front of you... Very good"
Tealm looked proud and his chest raised a little bit.
"Fourth position. Right foot one big step forward and stab the sword in front of you..."
Tealm shouted as he stabbed his wooden sword in the chest of an imaginary enemy.
"Okay, very good. while shouting you unleash a great deal of power right into your hit. Now you must step back in first position. This is the first of many Sword-dances we fighters have, and if you can do this dance very quickly and with suplesse and agility, which you showed already, you'll make a perfect swordsman..."

The training took a couple of hours and after the second dance even Luff and Ux joined in. Together they danced the ways of the sword until they were tired and sweated like oxes, but were very satisfied about their sword-forms. Tealm looked proud and more certain of himself than before the training.
"Not bad, not bad at all." A woman's voice said somewhere behind them. They immediately turned with swords and battleaxe ready. An astonishing beautiful girl jumped out of a tree. She had long, brown hair and brown eyes and a beautiful face with a heavenly smile on it. Her legs and thighs couldn't be better formed. She wore brown leather pants tightly round her legs and a tunic with a shiny chainshirt under in which looked like made of mithral.
In amazement Goiren and his party members stood still, mouths open and big eyes.
"He, guys, what's wrong? Don't you say something when you meet people? Lost your tongues during the training?"
Goiren pulled away his eyes from her chest and felt his head turning red.
"I'm sorry! It's just that we don't meet so much young ladies in a forest like this..."
"That's true."
The girl stepped forward and shook hand with Goiren.
"Hi, I'm Marianne."
"My lady. I'm Goiren."
"Pleasure to meet you. Who are the other three?"
"Well. This is Tealm. This is Luff. And that is Ux."
Marianne shook hand with the others, who couldn't bring out a more intelligent sound than "Huhu."
Marianne whispered in Goiren ear:
"Could you tell that orc not to stare at my breasts all the time...?"
Goiren got red again and gave Ux a kick on his leg. Ux jumped up and turned around very quickly to grab his backpack and find something to eat with a confused look in his eyes. Luff quickly shook his head a couple of times and said:
"My lady Marianne. Could I ask you something? What is a young lady like you doing in a forest as dark and creepy as this?"
"Sure you may ask that. I come from the city up north from here named Dumenia. That's the city where I live. But I wanted to be somewhere else for the moment and went for adventure in the forest. I've been here for about four months now. There are some very dangerous creatures around, including a black dragon... He has a treasure you wouldn't even dream of. But he's too powerful for me. I'm just good at sneaking and some magic, but not enough to defeat a dragon the size of that... But there's also a silver dragon not very far from here and she has been very kind to me. She has taken care of me as if I was her child."
The party looked in amazement again...
"A black dragon? A silver dragon? We haven't seen one dragon in our whole history as adventurers and you have already seen two of them? That's amazing..."
Said Luff with eyes as big as cups.
"Than you didn't grew up in a place as dangerous as this. But where are you going, if I may ask?"
"Well..." said Goiren. "I don't know exactly. But for now I think we should go to that city your talking about..."
"Well. I could guide you to there, if you want to?"
Goiren looked at the girl. She looked trustworthy, but he hadn't lost his suspicions about her... What was she doing in a forest like this... with a silver dragon...
"How do I know I can trust you?" He asked immediately.
"Do you trust a silver dragon?"
Goiren thought a while. Silver dragons were according to all the tales and myths good aligned creatures.
"Well, I haven't met a silver dragon before, but the myths tell that silver dragons always tell the truth. I think I could trust a silver dragon. Why?"
"Well. What do you say if I let you meet one...?"
Luff jumped up and down.
"Yes, yes, yes! I wanna meet that silver dragon!"
"Well than. Follow me..."
The party took up their backpacks and followed Marianne into the forest.
This trip was taking a weird turn here. Thought Goiren...


Chapter 4: Silver Tales

Arjan Wardekker Goiren is now well on his way with his friends and party members Tealm the Lottery Man, Lluff the Gnome and Ux the Orc.
Their journey through a dark forest, full of dangers, has led them to a beautiful young woman, named Marianne. She claims to come from a city, further north, named Dumenia. Marianne tells that she has been adventuring for the past four months and has encountered a black and a silver dragon. Although she seems friendly and trustworthy, Goiren still hasn't lost his suspicious about her when she offers to guide them to the city. When Goiren asks how he would know if he could trust her, she offers to bring them to the silver dragon and ask her, because silver dragons are said to never lie.


Tristan van den Bergh Tealm hadn't said anything from the moment he saw Marianne. His mouth was still opened. When he sensed she was looking at him he turned around and shrugged his shoulders. She was so beautiful... He was now about 25 years old, but in his life as a young adult (with interest in girls and everything you could sell) he hadn't seen a girl so beautiful as lady Marianne. He had tried to seduce girls in the taverns in some cities, but for some reasons he didn't dare to make the first step. He never had a girlfriend and thought he would never get one either because he was so shy. But now he wanted to do everything he could to get this girl. But how? He didn't know.
"I'm not good with girls period... So why should I even try. I will never succeed." He thought and became a little bit melancholic.
He heard the girl talking about dragons and stuff.
"She's even more brave than me and I am about 6 years older! Dragons! I can't even imagine how I would react to a simple Gnoll! And she meets with DRAGONS!"
He heard Goiren saying that he would like to meet that dragon... Tealm got scared... very scared... But he wanted to be brave, to impress Anne and decided to go further.
He had learned some sword-moves know, so he was a little bit more certain.
He packed his stuff, sheathed his sword and took his backpack and followed Goiren and the beautiful Marianne.

After a couple of hours walking Marianne halted and said:
"Ok. We're close now and I think it is a good idea that I will introduce you first. So don't speak a word until the dragon asks you something. She can be a little bit vain, so watch your words."
Marianne walked on and the party followed her a couple of yards behind her.
They reached a big mountain with a big cave. Outside the cave laid an enormous creature. It looked as if the creature was made of silver. It had a long tail and for big legs with big claws. It's head laid on the ground and had a long neck. When Marianne arrived the creature lifted her head and said with a beautiful voice for such a big creature.
"Aah, my girl. How are you? What have you brought with you? Who are these people and what is an orc doing in my realms?"
"Forgive me, my Lady." Marianne began.
"I met these people in the forest. And they looked interesting. The were shouting like crazy people, but they were only training with swords and stuff. They are on their way to the north in the direction of my city and I thought. Maybe it's a good idea if I guide them to that city. But first I wanted to see you and let you meet the people. This is Goiren, the leader of this small party. This is Luff, the gnome, this is Ux the fierce orc..." Ux looked proud when Marianne said that. "And this is Tealm, a lottery-ticket-selling-man-and-swordsmen-in-training..." The huge creature looked at the gathered people and the creature smiled... Goiren had never heard of smiling dragons and was surprised and nervously smiled back and bowed. The other party-members followed his example.
"Well. Goiren. What brings you and your men to this dangerous place?"
"Well..." Said Goiren. "That's a very long story and I can't say everything, because it's a little bit a secret. But the main thing is that I trying to find an enemy of mine and that I don't know where he is exactly, but I always have the feeling in what direction he's going... And now he is somewhere up north..."
The silver dragon looked at Goiren and was silent for a moment.
"You're an interesting man, Goiren. I don't meet interesting people very much. You've got a lot of potential and you use it just for about a quarter. You shouldn't look surprised, I think you knew this already, but you are a little bit scared about what it means. You know you're not some child of a god or something, but you've got the blood of mighty ancestors running through your veins. You'll have to find out for yourself how you can use your potential, I can't help you with that, but I do have some insight in magical powers and that's where I can help. Please be my guest for a couple of days. Your friends are welcome too, even the orc and that is a rarity, because I hate that race, but he is not evil, so I will except him."
Goiren stood flabbergasted and couldn't say a word.
"Good." Said the dragon. "So you'll be my guest. But before we speak further I will tell my own name. That's much easier. My name is Fensidimea, Protector of Silvermoon."

Tealm was shocked by the size of the creature and he was terrified. How could the others remain so calm. He thought he would piss his pants. But the dragon didn't attack them and didn't seem aggressive and after a while he tried to listen to what the dragon was saying.
"... Please be my guest for a couple of days. Your friends are welcome too, even the orc and that is a rarity, because I hate that race, but he is not evil, so I will except him."
Being a guest of an ancient silver dragon!? That was amazing! He hadn't dreamed of such a thing. A lot had happened in his life after he had joined Goiren's party, but this was the most exciting ever.
"Good so you'll be my guest. But before we speak further I will tell my own name. That's much easier. My name is Fensidimea, Protector of Silvermoon."
Fensidimea... he had heard that name before. But where? In tales about dragons? He couldn't remember. But there was something mighty about the name... He would try to figure out what he had heard about his silver dragon. And he HAD to try something with Marianne... But for now he was hungry and his stomach made funny noises.
"Aag, you people are hungry I guess. Well, follow me inside my cave and I will see what I have to offer."
And than something amazing happened. The dragon became surrounded by a some sort of fog and a couple of seconds later the dragon had disappeared and instead there stood a beautiful lady with silver hair.
"I'm sorry. I should have warned you. I can polymorph myself into a human. That's easier for you I think, isn't it?"
And than she walked into the cave. Marianne followed directly and Goiren shrugged his shoulders, looked at his party and followed the silver dragon in human form into the cave...

Wouter van de Zandschulp And so began a very nice meal for our hungry troop.
Luff eat about 10 times his size and Ux almost was afraid he wouldn't keep up with him.
The others had to smile. It was amazing that little guy could eat so much.
Goiren looked around. He got a little bit moved. He had grown to these guys so much in such little time. Well, that's what you get when you walk along for quite some time with one another.
A terrible pain came in his heart for a moment. Ravira. Missing her hurt him pretty bad. But it probably was faith. He had to finish the mission and prove himself, before he deserved to be with someone that beautiful. He first had to make the thing right he did wrong in his past. He had to stop his werewolf-uncle he helped mutating.
He looked at Fensidimea. She was so wise, could she see his thoughts? Would she know already? He sighed and looked at Tealm, next to him. Tealm gave a less than improper look. He had food everywhere and with his mouth full he asked: "Nice, isn't it?"
Tealm didn't mean to show such awful table-manners, but the presence of Marianne made him more clumsy than he ever was.
"Well" Marianne spoke. "Now you guys ate about more than 10 people would do, maybe someone could tell a nice story?"
She got no reply.
"Well..." Tealm started very carefully when no-one seemed to have anything to contribute.
Marianne nodded at him and the rest encouraged him to go on.
"Go on, Tealm" Fensidimea said. "You probably are a great story-teller."
Luff lay under the table and Ux used three of the chairs she had too sit very comfortable. Goiren said straight up and seemed to listen or think about something.
"Er.. well.." Tealm said.
"Come on, you talk much better when you try to weasel out of fighting or standing guard" Ux complained.
It seemed Tealm best to stop Ux from giving a even worse impression of him to Marianne to talk himself.
"Once upon a time, there was a hero.. with a.. sword. Yeah, a sword he had."
Tealm got excited after this great beginning.
"He used his sword to.. fight."
Ux looked with a face that showed he was not very impressed by the originality.
"It was a nice hero, he was a.. man and stuff. Well, he fought er.. evil beings. Of the kind you wouldn't welcome inside your sleeping bag. Nope, not at all. Well, and he er... found a... a..."
Tealm looked at Marianne, who strangely seemed fascinated by the story. His stomach felt weak.
"A.. princess and he.. well, tried to befriend her and stuff..."
Ux officially fell asleep.
"And the monsters came, big ones, with teeth we could live in... and even with a spare bedrooms! Of course it would help his teeth already were hollow because of his bad eating habits."
Tealm tried to find a way to end this. He was quite afraid his story would be found totally stupid and pointless and his voice started to get worse hearable every moment.
But how could he end this? He looked shy for a point of his eyes at Marianne. She laughed and seemed to enjoy it all!
"Go on, it's interesting" she said to Tealm.
"Well," Tealm said, with new courage, "well, the hero picked up his sword and he slew the monster in the most terrible manner. Blood was going everywhere, and..."
Tealms voice now made the story sound very exciting.
After a while he finished it.
"And the lived happily ever after."
"That was great" Marianne said.
"Was it?" Tealms asked.
He asked that because now even Goiren had fallen asleep.
"You've got a strange sense of humour, it makes it well.. special. Well, I guess it's time to sleep, according to your fellows."
"Yeah, well, I'm used to staying up to stand guard" Tealm said.
"Well," Fensidimea said, that won't be needed here, although someone should do the dishes. Well, we will see about that tomorrow."
After this she awoke the party-members and showed them their place to sleep. Tealm lay awake in his bed for quite a while.

Bob Luigjes After a long night sleep they all awoke with a good fit feeling.
"Ah, I slept well tonight" Goiren mumbled.
"I'm hungry" Ux said.
"Breakfast is ready" they heard a voice behind them. They all looked back and saw Fensidimea standing there. Suddenly they all remembered where they were. Goiren was the first to reply. "You're up early" he said.
"Early? You've been sleeping all morning!" Fensidimea answered.
"Guess we were pretty tired" Lluff said.
"Hey, where is Marianne" Tealm asked.
"She is gone for a while, she'll be back later. Come on, let's have breakfast first. Well, actually you could say it is lunch already." Fensidimea said.
They all went for breakfast and it tasted them well.
"Shall I do the dishes?" Tealm asked.
"Ah, you remember it, well, that would be very nice." Fensidimea replied.
"I'll help you" Goiren said.
So Goiren and Tealm did the dishes, while Ux and Lluff relaxed a little. Tealm was in a way glad that Marianne wasn't here, because he probably would have dropped some things. On the other hand, she now hadn't noticed his gentle offer to help with the dishes.
When they finished the dishes Goiren walked to Fensidimea to say that they had to leave. But before he had a chance to say anything, Fensidimea called them all with her.
"I can see you want to leave soon." she started.
"Well, actually I..." Ux started, but he was interrupted by Goiren. "Yes, I feel the urge to leave. We thank you for your hospitality."
"Not so fast", Fensidimea said. "I want to give you something first, give me a moment please."
She walked away, coming back carrying some glittering weapons.
"You have a noble quest. But the road ahead is full of danger. Perhaps this will help to protect you on your trip."
She started with Ux, while giving him a beautiful axe, she said: "It belonged to an orc-chief once, and I improved it a little. You are a great warrior Ux, you deserve it." Ux grinned at these words.
Then she gave Lluff a sword saying: "Here is a sword, it is special, but I have another thing for you. Here is a mighty bow. It is really accurate. You might not be used to fight with a bow, but I feel you'll be good at it. And if you don't want to use it, you could also have someone else try it. I also have some arrows for you, some of them with special qualities, be careful with them."
It was Tealms turn now. She gave him a glittering sword. "You will become a brave fighter once, if you'll do your best." Tealm glowed all over when she said this. "But you also have a musical talent. You might want to use this." Fensidimea gave him a beautiful lute. "Why don't you try it?" she said.
"Yes, try it, come on!" Lluff said.
Tealm tried playing it and after a few notes, he started a wonderful melody. Everyone looked at him with admiration, because they could see it wasn't just the lute making the nice sound.
When he finished the song they all applauded. He heard the voice of Marianne "That's wonderful, please play another song!" she said. She had walked into the room quietly when Tealm had been playing.
Tealm looked very nervous and hesitated, but looking at the others who waited for him to play too, he gave in and started playing a simple melody. He made a few mistakes, but after a while it sounded very good again.
After the song, which gave Tealm some confidence, Fensidimea said: "It will encourage the others when you'll be on your journey. Now it is Goirens turn."
She gave him a very beautiful, mighty looking sword. "This sword isn't just very powerful, it also has a special power. It will ignite in flames every time you attack evil creatures. It will do them extra damage. It might have some other powers, but you'll find that out yourself."
"Now then, I guess it is time to say goodbye. I'll give you some supplies for on your way."
"We thank you for all this wonderful gifts you gave us, they're very beautiful." Goiren said.
"I'll join you for a while on your trip." Marianne said.
Tealm suddenly looked very happy, because he thought he had to say goodbye to her too.
Everyone said goodbye to Fensidimea, thanking her for her gifts and hospitality and after that they left the silver dragon, who had been so friendly.

Tristan van den Bergh Goiren and his troop of adventurers walked for about an hour and talked about everything that had happened the past few days. Only Goiren didn't talk. He looked as if a real big problem was buzzing in his head and as if he couldn't find the solution.
Tealm tried to talk to Marianne but couldn't think of anything to talk about.
Marianne waited for Tealm to start a conversation and smiled about Tealm's shyness. At last Marianne started to talk to Tealm and asked Tealm about his favourite music. After 3 seconds they were in a great discussion about music.
After about an hour Goirend stopped walking. Tealm was so busy talking to Marianne that he bumped into Goiren and almost fell. Goiren turned around and looked worried. He stared past his party. The rest fell silent and waited for Goiren to say something. It was silent for two minutes. Than Goiren turned to the group and said:
"I feel there's something wrong... As if there's something unfinished..."
The rest didn't say a word and waited for what Goiren was going to do or say.
Goiren stared again in the direction of Fensidimea's layer.
"I think I have to go back to Fensidimea."
The rest didn't say anything and just stared at him. He was their leader, they would go where he would go (only Marianne would be an uncertain case... She was still an individual).
Goiren started to walk back in the direction which they just had come from. The rest followed, interested and curious about what was going to happen.

Fensidimea stood in human form before her cave and looked not as if she was amazed to see the group back so quickly. Goiren asked the rest to remain on a certain distance and walked alone to Fensidimea the silver dragon. He stood in front of her and tried to say what was on his mind. His mouth opened, but he couldn't say a word. He tried to speak again, but his mouth failed. He gave up and stared in the eyes of Fensidimea. Fensidimea looked back without blinking.
Fensidimea was the first to speak:
"You feel as if something is unfinished isn't it?"
Goiren nodded.
"You've more power than I had expected. And I think this part of the forest keeps you here. I cannot explain to you. You have to find out yourself an on your own. I think you'll have to follow your feeling and hart in this. I can't help you in this."
Goiren was still silent and could only look in the dragon's wise eyes.
Then he turned around and looked at his friends and new partner Marianne. Tealm looked very nervous but exited at the same time. Marianne looked back and smiled at him. Ux looked worried and as if he didn't understand what was happening. Lluff was nervous too and looked down as if his shoes were very interesting.
"I think I have to go. And I think I should go immediately. Please wait here. If I'm not back in two weeks… Continue the road and finish our quest... I will follow your movements in heaven, if such a please exists. Wish me luck and pray for me."
After he had said this he turned too Fensidimea again. Took of his armor and only took his sword with him. He turned for a last time to the party and looked as if he was going to say something again. But he stopped and then ran away into the forest. The eyes of Tealm, Lluff, Ux, Marianne and Fensidimea followed him until he had disappeared in the forest and until the group couldn't hear him anymore...

Goiren ran and ran, following a certain force that attracted him deeper into the forest to an uncertain future...

Jurri van Meerveld Finally he stopped at a marvellous clearing in the woods. A small pond was located in the middle of it. In the middle of the pond, stood a finely shaped female. Her curves glistening wet. Long black hair etched on her back. Her body half emerged in the water. When she turned her head, her eyes shone a brilliant red.

Keeley Hearn He was drawn to her somehow, every second wishing to go closer, to join her in the refreshing pond. A small voice in his head told him there was something he needed to do, but he can't recall what. As he neared the edge of the water the urge to go further grew. Right when he came just a few steps from the edge he stopped, trying to control himself. The mysterious woman began to sing, a beautiful and enchanting song. The sound of her voice rang through the forest. Everything was quiet, except for her singing, the lapping of the water, and the ever-quickening beating of his heart. He couldn't resist it any longer, he started walking again towards the pool. Fantasy and reality became one, time didn't matter, only her...

Wouter van de Zandschulp Suddenly he walked in a bit too deep water and became quite wet. The gnome asked: "What is he doing?"
Tealm was drooling a bit when he saw the woman too.
"She's luring him too deep into the water!" Marianne shouted, warningly.

Tristan van den Bergh Marianne jumped in after Goiren, singing her own song of anti-luring.
She run further. Goiren had stopped, drawn to the magically beautiful woman in the water, but the urging melody from Marianne got some of the fuzziness out of his head. He shook his head en saw something weird. The woman was not standing in the water but on the water. He turned and looked at the Gnome, dancing on Marianne's song, shook his head another time and then returned to his friends.
But Marianne didn't stop running and Goiren shook his head another time because she was running on the water too.
"He" Luff said "What is Marianne? A goddess or something?"
Tealm looked at her and said: "she is the real hero. I don't think I've met someone more brave than her..."
"Bravery, or stupidity" said Ux and than got confused for saying such a difficult sentence.
Meanwhile Marianne got to the women and a magical fight started.
The anti-luring song she was singing stayed in the air and a new song made the second song and than a third voice came under it. Marianne suddenly hold a dagger in her hand and attacked the woman who was staring in terror at her attacker. Marianne stabbed her in the heart. With a loud scream the woman fell on her knees and was disappearing slowly...
The singing stopped and Marianne turned to her new friends.
Tealm got red and thought about how much he loved this woman.
"That was some display of power, my dear Marianne" Said Goiren. "You are a welcome member of this party. I hope you will stand by my side during our travels."
Marianne smiled. "Of course" and looked at Tealm who was trying to hide behind Ux.

Wouter van de Zandschulp "Erm... erm..." Tealm said intelligible.
"He likes you" Lluff said, trying to tease.
"Of course he does" Marianne said. "And he is kind of cute."
Tealm fell over. The rest looked at him surprised.
"He does not move when you kick him!" Lluff called out.
"Come on" Goiren said. "I haven't got time for this stuff. Get going!"
Ux shrugged and took Tealm with him on his shoulder.
"Er... kind of a... special team, you've got there" Marianne said, walking on front with Goiren.

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