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Chapter two! Hoping its more user friendly this time.. T_T Anyway, got part three set up and good to go tomorrow, so enjoy, and let me kno what you think!
As she walked, she caught sight of a familiar plume of smoke, curling through the air in the distance. Soon she came to the ruins of a crumbling stone tower. Moss covered it in splotches of dark green, and vines snaked across its surface like a nest of snakes. A solitary raven perched atop it, pecking ruthlessly at a snail. The bird regarded Siobhan with a solemn expression, not used to many visitors through these parts, then turned back to its meal. She kept walking, and turning round a boulder, she came to the edge of the bog.
There were wooden planks strewn here and there in the filthy water, if it could be called water, it had the consistency of a thick soup that made soft sucking sounds as air bubbles rose slowly to the surface and popped with a wet “splat” that sounded most unpleasant. A thick layer of mist rose a few feet from the ground, making it difficult to see where to place her next step. She moved hesitantly onto the meager pathway, often having to jump from one plank to the next, then having to catch her balance to avoid falling face first into the putrid muck all around her. Suddenly, something moved, slithered across her boot. Siobhan gasped in fright, hastily giving her foot a slight shake to shoo away whatever repulsive thing had crawled out of the murky depths. There was a hiss, and after hesitating nervously for some time, she looked down to meet the cold gaze of a deadly bog viper, its diamond shaped head swaying back and forth, dangerously close to her leg. She didn’t move, afraid to give the slightest provocation for an attack. After standing deathly still for what seemed like forever, she was relieved when the snake slithered away into a clump of reeds, its smooth black body glistening with slime.
Shuddering with disgust, Siobhan hopped quickly to the next rotting board, hoping that the other, more dangerous inhabitants of the mire would pay her no notice. The mist parted, and she saw solid ground once again. Smiling, she stepped from the desiccated walkway onto the firm rocky earth. There stood a massive hedge of brambles, almost obscuring a crude wooden shack. A crow flew past , its harsh cries echoing in the thin air.
She walked right up to the hedge, and began to search around, until her hand came to rest on a particularly thick vine that had coiled loosely into a small spiral. It had no thorns, but a smooth, almost polished surface. There was a small word engraved on it, the letters so thin she had to squint to see it. Entris. She smiled to herself, knowing the meaning of the word. Enter. It was High Elvish, a language which, like its people, had been lost to the centuries. She knew then that she had come to the right place. She closed her eyes and spoke softly but clearly, “Melonnadris.” Nothing happened. Siobhan frowned. Had he changed the password? Was that even possible? She was so puzzled, she didn’t see the figure lurking behind her with a wooden club in hand. She turned around, just as the dark shape delivered a smashing blow to her head. Pain exploded inside her skull, and she knew no more.
When Siobhan came to,she wasn’t quite sure what had happened. Her head was spinning, and she found it difficult to stand. As dazed as she was, she struggled stubbornly to her feet, and looked around. She was in the middle of a campsite in a small glade, just on the edge of the bog. There was a campfire burning, and there were charred bones just on the edges of it, smoking from the heat of the coals. Around the fire she could see a number of meager tents, but she could not see anyone who could tell her what was going on.
“Your awake, I see.” She turned around. There behind her stood a man clad entirely in leather, with a wide brimmed hat on his head, two gray eyes shining from beneath its shade. He had a short pipe in his mouth and was chewing the stem absently. “I trust you are not uncomfortable.. "
“I"m not exactly sure whats going on.” said Siobhan nervously, not knowing what to make of this man, and whether or not he would try to harm her.
“Would you like to know?” he replied. His gray eyes studied her for a moment.”We, meaning my companions and I, are hunters by trade, and this is our camp. We"ve had little luck it seems, of late, for all the animals seem to have gotten more cunning, and have avoided our traps . Murtoll, our look-out man , saw you wandering about by the bog. I apologize for his.."methods" in bringing you here, but we cannot be too careful. You"re not that dangerous, are you?” he said with a grin, revealing a set of perfectly white teeth.
“No, I don’t believe so.” said Siobhan, responding with a grin of her own. “In any case, I"ll be on my way.”
“Are you sure? It will be dark soon, and the Bogwood is not a place to wander alone at night. We have an extra tent somewhere I believe, and we have plenty of food. Stay the night, and you can start off early in the morning. And don"t worry about being harassed. My companions may seem rough at first, but they"re as harmless as fawns. Well, grumpy fawns with an attitude and a bit of a drinking problem, but you get what I mean. So, what do you say? Will you join us for supper?”
“I shall. One moment though, if you please. I don"t think I know your name.”
“Then I shall give it you. My name is Cyrus.”
“ I"m Siobhan.”
"Well then, Siobhan, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance."
"Cyyyrus!" came a call from a campfire nearby. He smirked.
"That"ll be Jayden I"ll bet, drunk again, the poor sod. I"ll see you tomorrow, I hope." And with a nod, he strode off toward the other campfire, from which more inebriated reveling could be heard.
As the night slowly fell, the stars twinkling into view in the dark expanse of the evening sky, Siobhan sat against a rough hewn chair, enjoying the warmth of the fire, not to mention the delicious rabbit stew that had filled her (and her stomach) with contentment. She could hear the trappers and hunters speaking to each other in low, tired voices, about strategies to escape a charging bear, or what herbs and potions to use to treat the bite of a bog viper. She smiled, her mind finally put at ease about them. She was among friends.
She could not get Cyrus out of her mind however, nor could she bring herself to trust him. He was handsome to be sure, as ruggedly handsome as only woodsmen can be, but whenever she saw him flash that disarming grin, it made her think of the bared fangs of a hungry predator, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. What is he hiding? she wondered as she crawled into an empty tent one of the woodsman had set up for her. Soon though, sleep came, and she worried no more about Cyrus as she drifted slowly into peaceful oblivion..
|"The Adventures of Siobhan" Chapter One||The Adventures Of Siobhan Chapter Three|