The Wanderer

I could hear the horses galloping towards us from the east. They were out of eye sight but I could hear them. I stood up from the rock I was sitting on and flicked my long brown hair out of my eyes. I stretched out my well-muscled arm and picked up my sword. My father had given me that sword on his death bed and I have never let it out of my sight.

'Pack up camp,' I told the rest of my group, 'We're going.'

I turned to Merlin, who was a descendent from the great wizard who advised King Arthur.

'Can you slow those troopers down?' I asked him, pointing towards the cloud of dust in the distance. He looked towards the troopers and smiled.

'I'll see what I can do,' he said raising his right hand and chanting some magic words.

'Ok, lets get moving,' I said jumping into the saddle of my horse.

We rode for days without rest but I was determined to reach the castle of Guan. The castle of Guan is the home of Princess Vena, the ruler of the whole kingdom of Quina, my home land. She is thought, by many, to be the most beautiful woman in all the world. She has hair which is as pure as the air and her blue eyes are like pools of beauty which any man would do anything to dive into. Our quest was to meet the princess, to arrange a treaty between her family and the Hondi family who ruled the adjancent country to Quina, Runi. I had taken this quest in an attempt to make myself known as a hero. My name is Karan the Barabaric. I wander the globe helping people in need. I am known as a wanderer. I have bounties on my head in almost every country. Everywhere I look, troopers are following me.

Finally we could see the castle of Guan on top of the mountain Ganu.

'Ok everyone,' I said to those around me, 'This is where things get interesting.'

I pointed towards the castle and began to explain my plan for getting to the top of the mountain when, out of nowhere, a ball of fire landed in the middle of our caravan of peacekeepers. I was thrown from my horse and knocked unconscious.

When I awoke I was in total darkness. The smell of rotting and burnt flesh hung in the air. I felt around to find out where I was, but I couldn't figure it out. The rocks were damp so I must have been in a cave, somewhere in the mountain. Suddenly a ray of sunlight appeared, blinding me. I put my hand up to block my eyes and I could just make out the shape of a man coming towards me. I felt around for my sword but it wasn't anywhere to be seen. I stood up tall, ready to fight.

As the man got close I could see that it was Merlin.

'Where is everyone else?' I asked when he got close enough to me.

He bowed his head. 'They were all killed by the dragon that attacked us,' he paused and then continued. 'I managed to trap the dragon by using magic but we must get out of here before it returns.'

Merlin began leading the way out towards the sunlight. I asked him about my sword because I couldn't go on without it. He told me the dragon had swallowed it.

'We have to get it back,' I told him, 'Lead the way to where you trapped him.'

What once was just a visit to Princess Vena had become a dragon hunt.
We peered over the rocks down to the valley below. The dragon was caught in a large magical net that Merlin had created. I didn't have any other weapons and Merlin didn't carry any. The only way we could get my sword out was by magic. I asked Merlin to try and he agreed. He climbed down the rocky hill and stood in front of the dragon. When the dragon saw him, it tried harder to get out to kill this puny human. Merlin raised his hand and started chanting. Rays of light flew out of Merlin's hand and circled the dragon before a huge explosion of light erupted all over the dragon. When the flash disappeared the dragon was gone and all that was left was my father's sword stuck into the ground. Merlin told me while he was getting my sword back, he found out that the dragon wasn't real but just a magical illusion.

'Let's get out of here before they send another one then,' I told Merlin, picking up my sword.

I looked out across the lake that stood between us and the base of the mountain.

'Can you get us across?' I asked Merlin pointing over the other side

Merlin raised his hand and muttered some magic words and, out of nowhere, a boat appeared. I sat at the stern of the boat to row and Merlin sat at the bow to guide us. It looked like we wouldn't have any trouble getting across when like magic a fog appeared all around us. The fog was so thick, it felt like we were hardly moving. Merlin raised his hand and used his magic to try to lift the fog but it was no good.

Someone was using magic against us.

'I can't beat this spell,' Merlin told me looking worried, 'It is the same person who created the dragon, but this spell is much more powerful.'

I stood up and smiled. 'Then I guess we will have to go around it.'

I dived into the lake and swam towards the moutain. I glanced behind me and I could see Merlin close behind. It felt like we had been swimming for hours but we finally made it to the shore. We dried ourselves off and continued up the mountain.

I could hear someone screaming just above us. I started to climb the moutain faster. Merlin had trouble keeping up but when we reached where the sound was coming from we could see a group of troopers attacking a young boy. The boy was the size of a dwarf and had ears like an elf. There were five troopers all up and I wasn't about to stand by and let it happen. I walked down to where the troopers were. They all stopped and turned to me, their weapons at the ready.
'How about you pick on someone your own size?' I said when I got close enough to them. They all laughed and the biggest one stood up to me.

'How about you just push off, can't you see we're busy?'

I smiled at his comment. I raised my bulging arm up so he could see my muscles. I grinned as I saw his face change from confidence to fear.

'Don't you know who I am?' I asked him with a smile.

'Should I?' the trooper asked with a worried look on his face.

I am Karan the Barabaric and this isn't your lucky day.'

And with that, I attacked. I knocked the big trooper to the ground with one punch. The rest of the troopers charged at me with their swords and maces. I pulled out my sword and blocked their attacks. I flipped over the top of their heads landing directly behind them. I cut two of the troopers in half with one swing of my sword. The rest of them, fearing for their lives, dropped their weapons and disappeared into the distance. The little boy had run up a tree when this was happening. I put my sword away and went to the boy.

'It's safe to come down now,' I told him, 'I'm here to help you.'

The boy hesitated at first and then climbed down.

Darkness had fallen by the time the boy had finished telling his story. His name was Malock and he was a young elf, not very tall but quite strong. He was dressed in rags and was in need of a good clean but under the dirt he was quite handsome, for an elf. Malock was on his way to the castle of Guan to see the Princess. He needed the Princess's help from the troopers who had burnt his whole village and killed his family. He had nowhere else to go. He was a professional thief and was hoping the Princess was in need of his skills and could give him a job. We invited him to join us and he accepted.

We began our journey up the mountain once again. It took us the whole of the next day to reach the top of the moutain. We were so tired we decided to sleep before we moved on to the castle. We could only just see the castle in the distance and it wouldn't take more that half the day to get there. I sat my sword beside me in case someone wanted to surprise us in the middle of the night.

When I woke Merlin and Malock were ready to go. We finally reached the front door to the castle. It was open ready for us to go in. We climbed the stairwell to an empty room. In the middle of the room, Princess Vena was tied to a chair. We ran to help her and, when we did, the door slammed behind us.

The Princess looked up to see us coming and froze in terror. I could see her eyes and saw she was looking straight behind us. I spun around with my sword raised and there, in front of me, was a giant monster. It stood over me as I would to an ant. It raised its arm and with one blow, sent me flying across the room.

I struggled to my feet just as the giant monster was attacked by one of Merlin's spells. The spell must have worked because the monster disappeared but in its place was an old man on his hands and knees. I walked over to the old man to help him to his feet and when I came closer, I could see that he was a wizard and probably the same wizard who had created the dragon and the fog in an attempt to stop us getting here.

'Who are you?' I asked him, as I helped him to his feet. He looked at me with a strange expression and reached into his cloak. I saw the light reflect off the blade of the dagger that he pulled out. I swung my sword around and off came his head. I looked at Merlin as if to say, 'That was lucky.'

After we had introduced ourselves to the Princess she became very fond of Malock and decided to keep him there as a guard. We settled on a treaty for the hondi family and Princess Vena's family. Merlin deided to retire as a peacekeeper and stayed with the Princess as her wizard. And as for me, well I'm wandering the globe again, trying to avoid the troopers who are still trying to catch me.
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