started this one a bit back, heres the first chapter... hope you like it
Lordon sat on the hillside as the lazy clouds wafed by. With a sprig in his lips and a silly grin he wondered if the track to this lake was truly worth it. The sun was late after noon and lingering on the horizon over the great lake. the sky colors were changing showing the deeper hues of red and blue with hints the suns rays piercing the low laying coulds. The fishing ships were comeing back from their daiy ritual slowly moving to the harbor unload their haul. Lordon lifted the brim of his straw hat and peered an eye to the horizon. “yes “ he thought” it was well worth the effort.”
The fishing boats docked as they could in their respected slips and the dance of fish and men began again. The fish mongers and their wagons inspecting each ships hauls to pick their best catches and haggle over a few coins. With the sun setting fast the docks activity slowed as the weary fishermen left their boat and returned to the town for a well deserved beer and to tell stories and lies of how big the fish was that got away that day. A lone ship made its way into the harbor. The harbor master from his watch waved a lanternto the ship as it passed. He watched for the reply but none came. “bah probably drunk aready” he thought.
The ship sought a slip without a sound. No movent could be seen aboard. The very aire of the ship seemed cold and dark. But with no one other than the occasional cat chasing the dock rats, it was not disturbed or noticed.
Skrag the dock master turned to his faithfull friend of almost 20 years and pated him on the head. The gangly old hound lifted his head and the familiar thud of the dogs tails beat the ground. “come on ya mangey thing”, he said<” time for the walk.” The dog slowly got to his feet, its achey joints pained from the years of service to his master and wostened by the proximity of the cold wet air. But rise he did just as he had always done night after night with his friend and master Skrag. The hound knew the ritual well. He sat his rump on the floor near the door as Skrag attached the weathered old lease to his collar. Then slowly moved out on to the docks as his master turned and locked his office door.
Skrag looked at his list he carried as they made their way along the docks. By this time they had the entire docks to themselves and that’s the way Skrag liked it. For years the old man was the butt of a running joke about the way he smelled worse than his mangy dog. And as the joke went on year after year the story changed a bit to the point where Skrag was openly shunned by most who had never even spoken or even seen him. They knew of the old dock master and trusted him to watch over their ships while they feasted drank. But never engaged the old man and or his mangy hound.
“cold tonight hu boy?” he said to the hound. The dog just kept walking, his joints ached from the cold but this was his job as was the dock master. “Ok, the Lorath….. the frisky maiden… Storms rage…” skrag noted each ship as he passed. Each looked as they had been from the last night, the night before that and so on. About half way down the dock and about 20 boats later, Skrag noted a boat he had not seen before. As this was not to uncommon, ships from many palces docked here. But theywere required to notify him, the dock master as to their arrival and note of ther departure. Skrag sctatched his head and checked his lest again, thinking it an oversight on his part as his memory often played tricks on him. But there was no shipped named for this slip and none were scheduled for another week.
“Well, they musta forgot to tell me they were here or something, let go see to their proper admission.” He said to the old hound. The dog slowed his pace as they came closer to the ship. The hound trailed behind as Skrag walked nearer the boat. “that’s strange,” he mumbled,” wheres the name? wheres the…” the hounds lease became taunt and pulled the dockmasters arm back. Skrag turned to see the hound pulling back from him. “whats the matter old boy? Come on.” As he tugged the leash. The old hound took a step forward then stoped again. Skrag pulled again, “I said come!” and yanked the leash. But the hound stood firm giving a low wimper. Skrag walked to the hound who by now was becoming more agitated than skrag had seen him in years. “wht is it boy?” he leaned down and moved his hand to pat his head. TH hound barked, this startled the dock master, it had been along time since the old hound had the engery or inclination to bark at anything. Skrag stood more upright, as the hounds voice became more feverish. “ok that’s enough,” he tugged at the leash which only made the hound more vocal. Skrag pulled the leash, the hounds collar bit inhis neck, but the hound wouldn’t yield. With a strong final pull of the leash, Skrag felt the cord snap which landed him on his back looking up at the night sky. He lifted his head enough to see the hound running as if he were a pup as fast as those legs would run. Then a shadow fell over Skrag, blocking the moons light, Skrag turned to look over his shoulder in time to see a flash of steel rip through the darkness. A scream clawed it way up through Skrags throat only to be silenced as the throat and the attached head landed in to dark water.
The harbor master on the far side of the docks heard the hound bark, then a few seconds later heard a splash followd by a louder splash a moment later. “Oh hell the old fools fallen in again, well this time he’ll have to get himself out. That’s three times this month hes drunk and fallen in. bah,” He then took another swig of the brandy to ward off the nights chill……….
The sound of the stone on the steek sang to the darkness. the only other sounds were the crackling wood from the fire and the snore from the drunken dwarf. the stone scraped teh fine edge of the sword and the burs from the evengins battel slowly wore down.
more in a few days ....