MoboReader> Adeventure > The Adventures of Larson and Garrett - On to Xorinth

   Chapter 3 No.3

The Adventures of Larson and Garrett - On to Xorinth By AaronDennis Characters: 5482

Updated: 2018-01-04 12:02


"Anyway…I feel much better knowing that Talsador will be safe."

Garrett came away from the cart, and as he did, Dolf slowly came to his feet. They nodded to one another one last time, and then Garrett turned on his heels, and started his weary trek back to the heart of the city.

"Garrett, " Dolf called.

"Yes?"

"Keep your vits about you een Xorinth, " he warned.

"I will, Dolf. Thanks."

The long haul back into the city gave Garrett much time for deliberation. He wondered after what dangers might be present in Talsador if Dolf was investigating something. He also wondered why he needed to take care in Xorinth; the city guards, well versed mages, were known for being solid men and women, but all big cities held secrets, and Xorinth, being the magickal center of Ruvonia, was likely home to dark cults, necromancy, thieves, and perhaps worse.

It was nearly sunset by the time he made it back to the town square. Men and women selling wares from gazebos were making their last calls while closing down. From the center of peasant trade, he made for the temple of Akalabash.

Burning torches in sconces on either side of the doors lit the temple's portico. Wavering shadows created by the errant flames brought a sense of uneasiness, which Garrett felt in his stomach. He knocked on the doors then waited a moment.

After the interior bar slid away and Willem opened the door, he poked his droopy face out. "Master Garrett."

"Greetings, Willem."

"Do come inside, " the old priest said with a wave of the hand. "What's brought you back?"

"Loose ends, I suppose."

The priest busied himself with barring the door. It took nearly all of his strength.

"What do you mean, " he asked while patting his robe for wrinkles.

Garrett frowned, answering, "I've been parading around Talsador, trying to make certain the city is protected."

"From?" Willem interrupted.

"I don't really know, " Garrett trailed off.

Both men watched each other for a moment. The stale air of the temple's foyer remained still, and the cold stonework was as poorly lit as it had ever been. The austere setting was foreboding.

"You look troubled, " the priest whispered.

"I'll cut the crap, " Garrett said with a fierce look, which shocked the old man. "I need to know about the Dark One."

"Well, he's just a politician, " Willem said with mild surprise.

"Yes…that's what I'd heard, but I've also heard he's ensconced in evil rumors; black market dealings, backdoor deals, which leave the populace in a poor state, dark magick, and sinister rituals. Certainly, he's called the Dark One for a reason."

Willem bobbed his head up and down a bit while Garret spoke. He didn't make eye contact during the exchang

e of words, but when Garrett began tapping his foot, Willem looked up.

"Does this have anything to do with your previous concerns, " he asked, gravely.

"Absolutely…I only heard the name mentioned for the first time in years by the mercenary leader, the leader of the band that attacked the other day."

"I see…come, " Willem offered and made his way to the better lit library. When both sat comfortably at a large, wooden table with a lone candle burning upon it, he continued. "The Dark One was more than a political figurehead; he was first a priest of Thaud, God of Knowledge, who then influenced the people in the town of Longmarch by initiating false claims of bandits attacking their outskirts. Once the bandits were exterminated, bandits who were really slaves purchased by the Dark One, the people of Longmarch voted him mayor. Obviously, they had no knowledge of his subterfuge."

"And now he seems to be sending mercenaries out for more dirty work…he wants this goblin trinket…this thing reeks of Lagos and destruction, " Garrett voiced his concerns with care.

Willem shook his head in such dismay that a sense of dread permeated the library. "I do wonder what evil lurks behind closed doors, but listen. With such a title and influence, the Dark One united his people's efforts towards bettering their town; through the practices of knowledge he bestowed upon Longmarch new technology, and new magick, but shortly after, as the town grew into a city, he began making secret pacts and deals with mercenaries, merchants, and banks, and before long, the Dark One had sold the whole of Longmarch to lower class nobles. Oddly enough, he had simply vanished after Longmarch became Owensbrook, the city owned by the Owen nobles."

"I have heard of Owensbrook…I believe my father may have had dealings there…and he still might; he's a powerful merchant of rather virtuous repute. I have never heard of Longmarch, though…please, tell me more."

As Willem divulged the nefarious acts practiced by the Owenses—enslaving servants, sending mercenaries to attack neighboring farms in order to buy up the land, poisoning crops and livestock to force new trade routes into and out of the city—Garrett furrowed his brow in wonder, confusion, and disgust.

"But Owensbrook was established nearly three hundred years ago, " he countered. "How could it be that the Dark One was active then?"

Willem nodded, slowly. "That is rightfully true, young man, so there is the possibility that the Dark One is an elf, and probably a high elf, if his magick is as powerful as I've heard, or perhaps he is not one person, but an entire cult of people, who take turns playing the role, thus prolonging the mystery surrounding the name."

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