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The Adventures of Larson and Garrett - Garrett's Tale By AaronDennis Characters: 11393

Updated: 2017-12-29 12:02


Garrett's Tale

Larson and Garrett Adventure the Fifth by Aaron Dennis

Published by www.storiesbydennis.com September 2015

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned or distributed in any form, including digital and electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the prior written consent of the Publisher, except for brief quotes for use in reviews.

This book is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Two days had passed since the adventures inside Atjibur. Garrett had thought it best to send a letter to Aluham of the elf village regarding the White Wraith cult. It was a troubling matter; a rebirth of such a vicious cult and in the exact place the elves had originally defeated them. Larson agreed with his friend's idea, but had little time to discuss any further action. He still needed to make a trip through a few towns in order to close Holden's accounts, and so the travelers agreed to part ways for a time.

At the old coal miner's tavern, the morning during which Larson was leaving, Garrett instructed the fighter to meet up in Talsador, a city to the north just on the opposite side of the Lod mountains once his business was concluded. The plan was for Garrett to conduct as much research as possible while Larson was off on his own, and from Talsador, they were to arrange a trip to the magickal city of Xorinth ruled by the Magickal Prince, son of King Roan. By then, the Dude had already organized a trip back to Atjibur to claim the alchemical reagents from spider corpses. Larson explicitly told the young men to flee if the White Wraiths were present. That's when Seanessy announced he was going to lend his hammer to the cause, so Larson and Garrett were all set to conclude their own business and meet up within a week's time without the need to worry over some fool hardy boys.

****

The sun shone brightly through the tavern windows. Garrett waved goodbye to his new friends, made for the markets at the center of Fargo, bought some more traveling supplies, mounted Lola at the stables, and rode out of the city to the northwest in order to avoid traveling over the Colmite River. It was a safe trip up the dusty road and around the mountains. The guards of Fargo were at least competent enough to patrol the road between the two cities, as were the guards of Talsador. There were no bandits, no monsters, and little else to see apart from the wonderful scenery.

The peaks of Lod provided ample shade until sunset. The placid winds of the area caressed pine needles on the west side of the road. Squirrels and birds darted about to snack on seeds or bugs, all the while scurrying up and down the tall trees. The sky grew cloudy during the first evening, and Garrett made camp amidst the reddish pines. Sitting on the ground while Lola slept, the young fencer poked a stick at the campfire. The bright glow of flames cast dancing shadows. The scent of burning pine filled his nostrils. Twigs cracked, and the bubbling sap made high pitched fizzling sounds.

There is certainly something amiss, Garrett thought. Previous events left his mind a bit muddled. Throughout his entire life everyone had maintained that there were no monsters. They had all been defeated at the end of The Second Age, The Age of Strife, and Garrett had had no reason to believe otherwise.

Being the only son of a prolific and educated merchant with a mother, who was a renowned musician before settling down, Garrett had been afforded the best education, the best training, and was all set to one day take over his father's business. Knowing the particular ins and outs of the trade world led to knowing the ins and outs of less reputable transactions, so Garrett originally relished the thought of being a young ne'er-do-well.

Things changed quite abruptly for him when he was seventeen and off gallivanting with friends. A brazen of kobolds, furry men with leopard visages, emerged from the woods outside of a small, fishing community. The ratty-furred, nine foot tall monsters attacked without recriminations. Garrett took an arrow in the flank and just barely made it to safety. His friends, however, were not as fortunate, and Garrett never forgot the event.

He told everyone of the attack; the fishing community, the local guards, his parents; no one did anything. They all maintained that there were no monsters. The young fencer knew then that deep down inside everyone knew that there were monsters, if only a few, but the people of the world had grown complacent and fearful. It was simpler for them to bury their heads, hide indoors, and pretend that the world was perfectly safe. Garrett knew then that he had to redeem himself, fight for his deceased friends, fight for those like him, those who knew that the world was not safe, not from monsters.

I think more people are starting to realize this now; we are not safe, and something dark is brewing around corners unseen. Garrett took the little skull from his travel pack and looked at it under the orange radiance of the campfire. The specks of red and black glittered ominously. He rubbed his thumb over the eye holes, touched the horns, and took a deep breath. Since meeting Larson I've seen more monsters and other disconcerting things than all my previous years. The khalkataurus, a goblin wizard, giant-giant spiders, the rebirth of the White Wraiths…and this Lagos…Lagos, who is he? T

he fencer peered at the tiny skull. A pang of fear assaulted his guts.

Suddenly, the amulet began to vibrate. Garrett's eyes grew wide. He stared intently at the thing in his hand. A frigid air emanated from it, but before Garrett was able to even begin to try to make sense of the event, the campfire drew his attention. It cracked loudly like a dry branch of immense size had split in two. The orange flames wavered and grew and started glowing red. Just as Garrett stood and made to put the fire out, something like a mouth appeared within the growing flames. Lola whinnied like she was in pain.

He glanced at her. "No, " he howled, stirred the charred wood with his stick, stamped on the cinders, and quickly snuffed the flames.

Out of breath and on the verge of making a mad dash to the road, he had enough sense to notice he had dropped the skull. Giving his environment an abrupt observation, he snatched the trinket from the ground, felt that it was no longer cold, stuffed it in his pack, gathered his belongings, mounted Lola, and got the Hell out of there.

"What is going on here, " he asked aloud while galloping towards Talsador in the dead of night. "That amulet is dangerous. If I didn't know better, I'd swear a fire djinn was about to leap from my campfire, and that damnable skull has something to do with it, with everything. It must be related to the White Wraiths."

As he rode by a thicket of brambles, chirping sounds erupted into the night. They were screechy, high-pitched clicks, something akin to the cries of bats, but somehow more severe. Fidgeting nervously with his gear, Garrett managed to light a torch. He looked every which way, but saw nothing more than fleeting shadows.

"I have to get to safety, " he muttered. "Lola, stay calm. Ride, girl, ride."

The fencer bit his lower lip, trying to remain calm himself. Something in the darkness was giving chase, and whatever it was, cut sharp turns in the air. The image of giant bats accosted Garrett. But from where? Giant bats were practically unheard of anymore, and the ones that existed were said to hunt around only the oldest of forests, but there he was on the road, a well-traveled road, practically in the mountains.

An enormous, black shadow cut in front of Lola and she toppled over, sending the rider to the ground. His torch skittered away as dust entered his eyes, nostrils, and mouth. He gasped, choked, and tried to stand, but the wind had been knocked from his lungs, his knee was twisted, and warm blood poured from a wound on his forehead. Hooves thrashed from beyond the darkness.

"Oi, " a feminine voice called. Garrett looked with blurred vision. The sound of hooves grew louder. "Stay down!"

The fencer managed to roll onto his back. After rubbing grit from his eyes, he saw torchlight, horses, and people in ring mail; a patrol was coming back from Talsador. Forcing himself onto his rear, Garrett watched as the guards dismounted and swatted swords, spears, and halberds at the most sinister-looking, large, black bats.

"It is giant bats, " Garrett exclaimed.

"You alright, mate, " a guard asked.

"I think so."

The fencer took the guard's hand and was pulled to his feet. He then hobbled over to Lola, who was stumbling about in circles. After placating her, he nabbed the torch from the ground, spotted a swooping bat, shot a magick arrow at it, and when the creature hit the ground, he awkwardly staggered over to it, and set it ablaze with the torch. It took only a moment, but the colony of giant bats was defeated. Some of the carcasses were still aflame, and Garrett stared in disbelief at the lifeless, black eyes, the tufts of black fur, and great wings of wrinkly membrane; the guards were also disbelieving. They made remarks of confusion and incredulity before seeing to the injured sojourner.

"Never seen anythin' like that before, " the lady of the guards said. "I'm Sergeant Young."

"Garrett, " the fencer replied. "Thank you for the assistance."

"You gave us quite a scare, " another guard added.

"No wonder you were riding at a full gallop, " yet another guard chuckled. "Where'd these things come from?"

Garrett frowned and shook his head. It was only then that his wounds started hurting; his knee tightened, his head throbbed, his shoulder ached.

"Are ya' headin' to Talsador, " Young asked.

"Yes…I, " Garrett paused. "Yes."

"You don't look well, mate, " a guard said. "We're just on patrol here. I'll ride with you to the city."

"It's no trouble, " Garrett was saying.

"Don't be daft, " Young chuckled. "Simon needs to get back to inform our captain of this as it is. Giant bats, " she mused. "Captain Ograk needs to know."

"Aye, " Simon agreed. "C'mon, Garrett. We'll get you cleaned up, and then ride back together."

Garrett was at a loss. He acquiesced begrudgingly with a shrug. As Sergeant Young and the others made plans to keep their eyes open for bats on their way to Fargo, Simon helped Garrett to wipe the blood form his face. Then, they walked over to Lola to see if she was fit to ride. The old girl was scared, had a wobbly ankle, and looked skittish.

"Hop on my horse, mate, " Simon offered. "Your gal can follow us."

The fencer agreed, and with a little help, managed to climb onto Simon's horse. The two then started on their way to Talsador. The night air was a bit chilly during the bouncy ride. Chatter of a possible nest of giant bats was foremost on Simon's tongue. Garrett made no attempt to derail that belief. Moving at a slow enough pace for Lola to follow made for a three hour trip, and that just brought them to the base of the north side of the mountains.

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