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 Book I: The Chosen of Water

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PostSubject: Book I: The Chosen of Water   Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:39 am

Chapter 1


Jerek looked up at Father Gabriel. Next to him, was Friar Garrol, pacing impatiently as he heard, for the third time, the younger priest's reasons for leaving the temple. “I cannot simply ignore the signs that the One has given me. I have studied the Writings and they all speak of the signs that the One shall use to light the way for the Seeker.” The three men were in a small room. It was poorly furnished, with nothing but a small bed and a sturdy wooden desk. On the desk there stood a miniature figure of the One; Jerek’ small altar.

The window at the other side of the room allowed some light to filter in, imbuing the grey walls with a faint glow. “But,” Gabriel began, “you could be wrong. Or let’s say that you’ve interpreted the Writings correctly. Who says that you are to be the Seeker who will unite the Four? Why not the elf, or the dwarf? And do not forget of the wielder of Fire, whose race is not revealed. What makes you think that you are the one and not he?” Jerek sighed in exasperation, his shoulders sagging slightly as he realized he’d have to explain himself again. Looking at both Garrol and Gabriel, their brown robes fluttering slightly as a breeze swept into the room, he began, once more, to explain his assumptions. “The writings speak always of ‘the river that shall gather the Elements.’ I am the wielder of Water, and so I am the river which gathers the Elements. I also wish to remind you of the wandering nature of humans. We have always ‘sought’ things beyond what we have, and many races have called us seekers or followers. It is clear to me that the One has placed all of these signs at our disposal so that I may learn of my task, and find the others.” Gabriel shook his head, and looked away. Garrol, noticing his friend’s weariness, picked up the argument. “And if you do find them? What then? Last time I read the Writings, they spoke nothing of where you must gather them all to, just as they spoke nothing of the Fourth Chosen, the wielder of Fire.”

Jerek was prepared for this argument, but nevertheless felt a bit nervous. The earlier breeze had subsided and the young monk was beginning to sweat under his leather clothing. “The Writings speak of the Chosen as being tributaries to the River, helping it swell in order to reach its destination, and to find the Fourth. You must look past the literal meaning, and into the symbolic meaning, Brother Garrol. The tributaries are the other Chosen, the wielders of Air, Stone, and Fire. Each one shall bring with them a ‘clue’ to where we must go.” The studious cleric then turned to Gabriel, saying, “Father, it is you who always taught me to have faith, and to be steadfast in my beliefs. That is what I am doing now, though it may seem foolishness to you.”

Gabriel sighed, then, and looked towards Garrol, nodding. “Well, we tried,” the big man said with a chuckle. “What do you mean?,” said Jerek, a look of utter confusion on young face. The older men laughed, and threw back their robes, Garrol revealing heavy steel armor that was, if a little dented, polished to perfection. On his back hung a claymore which had been hidden by the large friar’s hood. Gabriel himself wore a leather cuirass, along with greaves and leather gloves. The deep brown of his armor resembled a lighter, less encumbering form of a monk’s robe. On both sides of his hip, lay two short swords, light and gleaming. Jerek was amazed, for he had never imagined these two monks, Garrol being twenty four, four years older than he, and Gabriel being forty two, to have any sort of weaponry or armor at all. “Um, mind telling me why you’re wearing that?,” asked the startled Jerek, though he already knew the answer.

“Isn’t it obvious?,” asked the large Friar. His merry face cracked into a smile, his brown eyes gleaming while his short hair fell across his forehead. “We’re going with you,” said Gabriel. “You’re not ready to go on a quest like this on your own, and Garrol here wasn’t about to miss it.” Gabriel smiled, his smile reaching his gray eyes. Jerek couldn’t help it, he smiled too. “Well at least I’ll have Slowstep for company,” said he, referring to Gabriel’s mule. “Oh, we won’t be taking mules for this little outing,” Gabriel said, his smile widening. Garrol laughed at the young man's renewed look of puzzlement, saying, “we’re taking the horses, Jerek. Windfoot, Shadowfeet, and Greystorm are already saddled and ready.”

The cleric shook his head then, thinking, They planned to do this all along! All the arguing and the ‘defeat’ was a clever ruse to ensure that they’d come along. He chuckled silently, and nodded. “All right then, we set off at dusk.” Gabriel and Garrol both nodded as well. The latter went to his small room in the temple, as did Gabriel. They might as well get the last good sleep they might have in a long while. Jerek sat down on his bed, the feather mattress was as tough as always, but he suddenly missed all of the things around him. He wasn’t even sure he’d ever come back. Some of the monks said that he was wise for his age, and acted in a more maturely than most twenty year olds, but sometimes he felt like a frightened little boy. He sighed, then, and lay down to get some sleep. His jet black hair covered his grey-blue eyes as he closed them, quickly falling asleep.

Jerek woke with a start as Garrol shook him. “Sorry,” he whispered, “but Gabriel says it’s best we’re off now.” the young man nodded, his weariness gone, replaced by a fierce determination. He stood up from his mattress, grabbing hold of his bag, and reaching for the supply sacks. Inquiring for them, Garrol assured him that they were stowed in the horses’ saddles. He went down several flights of stairs, the lit candles casting an orange tinge to the dark temple walls. He could hear the silent footfalls of the monks as they traversed through the temple, and the soft singing as the worship chorus practiced in the Altar Chambers. Flickering torches lined the walls as Jerek walked through the long hall leading to the antechamber. Old wooden doors dotted the walls as they went past, some bearing the noise of activity, while others stood quiet and unoccupied. Jerek smiled and nodded at the monks that passed him by, yet the smile did not touch his eyes. He was saddened that he was leaving, though he secretly admitted to himself that he was more than just a little bit excited at this new adventure. Both of the young men had donned their monk’s robes once more, in order to not arouse suspicion, though Jerek could see the bulge where Garrol’s claymore pressed against his robing, the hood hiding it from anybody that did not know what to look for. Reaching the end of the hall, the great temple gates stood over twelve feet long, and the roof rose high in the antechamber. They exited quietly, the gates creaking softly as they went through. Gabriel nodded as he saw Garrol and Jerek exit the temple, motioning the former to ride Shadowfeet while Jerek mounted Greystorm, the gray stallion nickering softly. Gabriel, mounted on Windfoot, goaded the mare into an easy pace, trotting moderately from the gates. After three miles or so, Gabriel stopped Windfoot, and turned her around, facing Jerek. “Where to, then, Seeker?,” Gabriel said. “North,” the young monk responded. “The Dwarven Kingdoms are there, and I’d rather have a Dwarf to back me up most of the way, wouldn’t you, Garrol?” The man merely chuckled and spurred his horse forward, shaking his head. Gabriel stared at the two from the back of the line, a touch of sorrow in his old face.
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PostSubject: Re: Book I: The Chosen of Water   Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:57 pm

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