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The Adventures of Larson and Garrett - On to Xorinth By AaronDennis Characters: 10907

Updated: 2018-01-04 12:02


On to Xorinth

Larson and Garrett Adventure the Sixth by Aaron Dennis

Published by www.storiesbydennis.com November 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.

Garrett sat with a frown on his face. Practically twiddling his thumbs while resting in his room at The Cat's Meow, he fretted over the recent events; Cormick had made claims regarding the elven community, which left Garrett with a bad taste in his mouth, and it can't be the fish, he thought. That was some great trout.

After rapping his fingers on his knees a moment, he stood, approached the small, oaken desk, found a quill and parchment, and by candlelight, he sat on a stool to write a letter for Aluham. A discreet warning of the White Wraith cult, their connection to Lagos, and the goblin trinket were the essence of the letter. Garrett also mentioned his traveling to Xorinth in order to meet with a friend.

"I hope he forgives my neglecting to mention this awful pendant when we left him for Fargo, " Garrett thought, aloud.

It didn't take much of an effort to scribble the latest happenings, but it did take some effort to explain just what was at stake—monsters, madmen, and the resurrection of the God of Destruction.

He ended his note with an act of contrition and a warning: My apologies for keeping secrets. Take heed of Larson's words; unite with the humans of Fargo. Something nefarious is at work, I'm afraid, but stay safe, and stay sharp, old friend.

With the letter finished, Garrett stretched his arms over his head, ran fingers through his blonde hair, and walked over to the window. He pulled the red drape aside and peeked out into the chilly night. The view from his room was only the back wall of the adjacent miners' boardinghouse. Fortunately, morning was soon to come, and Garrett nabbed his belongings, the letter, and made his way downstairs into the inn's restaurant.

The only person present in the expansive, wooden room was a young man in peasant's clothing. He was righting the upside down stools in front of the bar, his long hair bouncing about. When he heard Garrett's approach, the young man turned around, pushed his hair back in place, gave a weak smile, and nodded.

"Morning, " he whispered. "Sleep alright?"

"Yes, thank you, " Garrett replied, hurriedly and without breaking stride.

He marched past the bar, vacant booths, and out the door. Need to find a courier, he thought. Remembering he'd come across a mailing office on his way to the temple of Akalabash, the young fencer continued down the darkened streets. A handful of townsfolk made their slow walk to work, to the markets, to where ever their peaceful lives led them. Moments later, Garrett reached the small office; it was a two story, block building with a hand carved sign. He tried to push the door open, but it was locked, so he knocked, and when no one answered, he huffed.

"Well, " he mused. "Guess I'm in no rush anyway."

It was still going to be two days before Larson's arrival, and he wasn't sure if Lola was fit for a ride, so he simply plunked down next to the door, his back resting against the wall. Letting his thoughts drift, memories of better times brought a smile to his face; wine, women, and money had been his only concerns for a while, and that was mostly due to his wanting to forget about the tragedy that had struck his friends, but times were different now, and though they appeared to be darkening, there was hope; he had purpose, and he had a friend willing to fight the good fight.

The sound of a wooden bar sliding drew his attention. Upon standing, he noticed the sky was also brightening. When the door came open, he stepped up to the entrance.

"Morning, chap, " a middle aged man greeted.

"Good morning, Sir. I have a letter to mail."

"Yes, of course. Do come in, " the courier offered. Obliging, Garrett stepped inside. Candles barely lit the office, and all he was able to see was the counter behind which the man stepped. "What have you got?"

"A letter for Aluham, the elven elder in a community near Fargo, " he replied.

"Mmm, " the courier frowned, dusted his gray tunic, and lit some more candles, which revealed his wrinkles. "We don't normally send our men to traipse into the mountains. It'll you cost ya'."

"Understood."

After noting down Garrett's instructions regarding how to find the community, the man asked for a silver piece, sealed the letter, placed it in the outgoing basket, thanked Garrett for his business, and finally set himself to open some windows, so the light of day graced the wooden interior. Garrett welcomed the man for his thanks, walked back outside, and then considered seeking out Dolf; the fencer wanted to make sure Talsador's finest were prepared for more ilk like Cormick; hired men were as likely to start trouble as they were to end it.

"I suppose it's back to The Finagling Frog for the mome

nt, " he deliberated.

The morning breeze kicked up a bit of dust. Garrett quickly tied his hair back to keep it from gallivanting about. With a cacophony of sounds in the air like music—birds chirping, men singing about their wares in the market, and children shouting taunts while playing—Garrett sauntered back to the shady inn. Inside, he found a few people eating a late breakfast.

"'Ello, mate, " a man behind the bar greeted. "Will you be staying?"

"No, thank you, " Garrett smiled. "I was hoping to find Dolf."

"The large bloke with the funny voice?"

"Erm, yes."

"He's a miner, ya know. Find 'im at the mines, probably."

"Thanks."

"Sure you won't grab a bite ta' eat?"

"Ah, what the Hell, " Garrett chuckled. "The food here is pretty good."

At that point, he plunked down on a stool at the bar, ordered some chicken, rice, and tea, and continued ruminating about his current situation. That damned trinket…I certainly hope no more strangeness ensues while I'm in town. The tea came up first, served in a small, ceramic cup. While sipping the piping hot brew, what few patrons there were slowly finished their conversations and made their way out.

"'Ere you go, " the barkeep said, drawing Garrett's attention.

He smiled weakly and nodded before sliding the bowl closer to himself. After a quick sniff, he smiled broadly and started shoveling the food down his gullet. The savory juices from the chicken had blended perfectly into the rice, and the lightest touch of rosemary, lemon, and salt really brought the whole meal together.

Garrett paid his tab and made his way onto the cobbled streets. Rather than asking the barkeep, or even then patrolmen for directions, he continued to the guards' barracks. Upon reaching the wooden building, Garrett entered to find Ograk. As was her custom, she sat with her feet up on a desk, picking pulled pork from her fangs.

"Oh, the pretty boy, " she chirped and hopped off from her chair, nearly knocking over the papers covering the table.

"Uh, yes, " Garrett grinned. "I wanted to find Dolf and talk to him about what may come to pass after Larson's arrival and our subsequent departure, but I figured I should talk to you as well…you and your guards seems the most capable I've ever met."

"Yes, " she nodded. "Good you come for talk. You listen, when people like Cormick come, more people come, too, bad people. Guards here good, though. We keep people safe." That brought a frown to Garrett's face. When he furrowed his brow, she asked, "What wrong?"

"Two people died yesterday, and I can't help but feel it was my fault. That's why I've come back to see you…and what you just said is true; I also fear more danger is on the horizon. Dolf and his friends seemed more than willing to help. I'm going to discuss matters with him personally, but I think maybe you should round up others like him, a sort of mercenary band willing to fight for the town…keep an extra eye out for trouble…and no one can know that Larson and I are heading for Xorinth."

"Understood, " she nodded slowly. "When you leave?"

"As soon as Larson arrives, I hope. Though he may want to rest, I'll try to get as far from town as possible as quickly as possible, and speaking of Dolf, I was told he's a miner."

"No, " she said with a touch of surprise. Garrett was also a bit shocked by her assertion. "He mine sometimes to help, but Dolf is griffin knight."

"Griffin knight?!"

"Yes, a, " she was explaining.

"I know, King Roan's elite squadron, " Garrett interrupted. "I won't ask what he's doing here, but now I must speak to him…he must know something of the current proceedings in the capitol. Where can I find him?"

"Check miner barracks. He usually there if not working or drinking at Frog."

"Got it…Ograk, " he said quietly.

"Yes?"

"Thank you, " he said and placed a hand on her shoulder as a sign of solidarity.

"You sure you no want cart ride?" she joked.

He chuckled, winked, and left her to her devices. Since the barracks were by The Meow, the fencer made his way back. It was just after noon by then, and the bright sun reflected an intense light off the stone streets and buildings. Garrett had to squint to keep his eyes from burning. The shadows had become short and scant, thus lacking in protection from the increasing glare.

Inside the stone barracks, which were laden with cots, trunks for the workers, smelly garments, and too much dust or grime, Garrett saw only older men, who were eating lunch after toiling in the nearby mountains.

"Greetings, people, " Garrett started. The weary miners glanced at him. "Dolf at the mines today?"

"He was, " a slightly younger man with graying hair answered. "Always wanders off 'round lunch time."

While Garrett gazed at the man, another chimed in, saying, "The young folk always eat out in the sun; terrible heat today. You know, when I was young, I used to eat out in the sun, too. I was so dark and tan back then. All the young ladies used to fawn over me. My hair was blonde, like yours. Now it's gray and stringy, and mostly gone."

"Bill, " another miner hollered. "He don't need ta' know all that!" Garrett chuckled. "Listen, young man, just follow the trail out of town towards the east. It'll curve northeast and south. Take it south. It'll curve eastwards. By the time you get there, the miners ought to be back, swingin' away at the stone. You'll find Dolf."

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