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 BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:08 pm

"Whot the blooy 'ell" Elja said as he and SAm were thrown into the dark room and the door slammed shut. "I thinks we be buggered Sam." he adfded as he and Sam heard the clock snap shut. Sam and Elija threw themselves against the door several times, but to no avail.
"Buggered good we be, El." said Sam as he stood and stared at the door.

Elija reached in his shirt and withdrew the knife that had been given to him so long ago by Basha . He began picking away at the boards around the [lace that the door latch shoul;d be, as Sam continued to throw his shoulder against the door. Meanwhile Patty O'Brien, the battender upstairs was making himself down to the storage area below the bar for another few bottles of whiskey. As he appaoched the place where the spirts were stored he heard a pounding noise coming from one of the lockers. "What ta hell be all this racket." he said as he drew closer to the locker. Unlocking the lock and flinging the door open he stood for a moment with his hands on his hips. "Saints prserve us ...... wht be we here ....... stoways is it ya be." Then reaching down he grabbed Sam and Elija by the ears and drug them out. "To the Capin it be with the both of ya." he said as he twisted there ears and shoved them forward down the corridor and up the steps. He twisted each boys ear as he rounded the bar and walked them across the saloon. Bell caught a glimpse of Sam and Elija and nudged Slick Boards, who looked at both boys coldly. "Told ya I seed em I did." Bell whispered.

Slick Boards nodded and whispered "We'll nab em both, we will. Ol' Scounger 'll pay a right pretty penny fur the both of em." ...... Then Bell whispered "Bloody 'ell right but Splevey might pay more."
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:36 pm


Colleen couldn’t sleep. She was too worried about Raj, Elija and the rest of the children. They were on a riverboat headed to a new city. A new life. She should be happy but she was terrified. And now that one of those….things….had managed to get on board, she knew she’d have to be extra vigilant.

How many times she checked on the sleeping girls, she couldn’t remember, but just to make sure, she checked once more. AS the night began to grow longer, Colleen’s vigilance began to wan. Several times she caught herself dozing off only to berate herself and move to another location in the room and settle once more so she didn’t disturb the girls.

Finally, her exhausted body could take no more. She sat on the floor at the foot of the girl’s bed and leaned against it. Using her arm as a pillow, she fell asleep unaware of the events that were taking place below her. Even now as she slept, an evil creature had killed a man she cared about, had kidnapped her adopted son and his friend and was plotting to kidnap her as well.

Yet she knew nothing of it.

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:46 pm


Colleen had just nodded off when there was a rapping at her door, jerking her awake. The fatigue in her muscles caused her to quiver but quickly a surge of adrenaline made her movements smooth.

"It's me." Whispered Lasekura's familiar voice through the threshold of the door, "Quickly, open the door, something has happened to Elija."

Mallethden listened as the woman's foot steps creaked across the cabin floor. He smile sinisterly awaiting for the door to open and once he had her outside she would be all his. What a prize! Yassun would most be most pleased with him when he not only delivered the Dracomance but also the enchantress. Already he had prepared for their transport. He would render them unconscious, throw them into the boat and drift away. Now that their protector was dead who could stop him? As soon as the woman opened that door he would puck her out of the room and put her out by bringing his fist across her chin. Crude, but effective and at this time of night it would be easy to get her into the boat without being seen, especially with the aid of his magic.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:47 am

Sam and Elija stood before the captain, with the saloonkeeper and two deck hands around them. "We ain't no bloody stowways, gots right proper tickets we does. Wi me mum and me mates." Elija said defiantly "Some bugger what smelt of fish, he throwed Sam an' me in that cupboard and locked the door on us he did."
The saloon keeper chuckeled and said "Right o, a fish man be walking about as proud as ya be. Next ya be sayin' it was a leprican wi a pot a gold what put your arses in the cupboard."
The captain studied the boys closely and shook his head. "We knows what ta do with stowaways lads. To the coal locker with em' ..... let em eaarn their passage shovelin coal."

Elija glanced at Sam then kicked the captain in the chin, Sam kicked the saloon keeper and they both ducted under the grasping arms of the deck hands and ran out onto the deck. There they split up Sam running one way and Elija the other. A cold chill ran up Elija's spine. "Mum's in danger." he thought to himself as he mounted the rail and climbed up to the upper deck.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:56 am


If Colleen had been in her normal state of mind, she would have used a bit more caution and questioned why Lasekura was knocking on her door informing her there was something happened to Elija but in her fatigued fogged mind, all Colleen knew was that Eljia needed her. Still, out of sheer instinct she felt her hand close around the familiar, cool hilt of a short sword. With a glance at the sleeping girls, she walked to the door and unlocked it.

On the other side of the door Mallethden would hear the door being unlocked and soon it opened enough for Colleen to have enough room to step outside so she didn’t wake the girls. The look in her dark blue eyes was nothing short of fearful as she looked to the man she had trusted to protect her and the children.

”What’s happened Raj? Where did you last see him?”

Colleen had only one thing on her mind and that was finding Elija and protecting him. She had no clue she had just put herself in danger by leaving the protection of the room she shared with the girls. But she felt the hairs on the back of her neck rise in warning as she heard a noise that sounded like something on the railing. Furrowing her brows, she turned her head to look just beyond Raj’s shoulder at what might be coming up the rails.

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:08 am

Just as Elija reached the deck railing a momentary flash of dim light shone. There he could see Collene step out and what looked like Lasekura standing in a small pool of water. The smell of fish perminated his nostrils. Lifting himself to the cross railing Elija jumped feet first and struck, what appeared to be Lasekura at the base of his neck, causing then both to fall to the deck. As Elija landed on his back he yelled "Mum run!" Sam came running up the far staircase followed by two deck hands close on his heels. As two more deck hands rounded the opposite end of the passageway.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:18 am


Colleen was completely confused. As she watched Elija attack Raj, she yelled at the boy.

”ELIJA! What are you doing? Have you lost your mind, young man?”

Not knowing what was going on and thinking Elija was attacking who she believed to be Raj, Colleen quickly tried to put herself between the boy and the man. The short sword she had been holding onto hit the deck with a clanging thud as she tried to protect Raj from Elija’s sudden outburst.

”Stop this madness! Right now! What the devil is going on here!?”

She had yet to see the water that had puddle where Raj had been standing and the smell of fish was pushed aside thinking they had perhaps come across a place on shore where some fish had died and collected.

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:33 am


Mallethden gnashed his teeth angrily at Elija, but quickly hid his expression from the woman the boy called Mother and assumed an innocent role. He smoothly rose to his feet and tried to calm the boys down as Raj would have done.

"Please. Elija, Sam come to your senses. You're frightening your mother."
he told them as Colleen stepped in to intervene.

Now was his chance! He prepared to strike, but then two more deck hands emerged from the shadows and suddenly the odds were against the Mermadon. He was not as fair as a fighter out of the water as he was in it. That was how and the only way he was able to dispose of the well trained warrior, Lasekura. To challenge all of these men on deck, one just might get lucky with a pistol or knife and that was a risk that Mallethden did not want to take, but his window of opportunity was narrowing. Somehow the boys had been released from their cage, but it seemed that the Captain and his men were after them for another reason, one that the woman would no doubt vouch for.

Mallethden saw only one last option and that was to silence the boys. In the confusion, as the deck hands scrambled about to get control of the boys, Lasekura caught Elija's eyes. With Colleen's back to him she could not see what he was doing, and the semblance of the Sergeant made a quick gesture with his finger nonchalantly across this throat while motioning his eyes to the woman.

He would kill her right then and there if the boy didn't keep quiet. Hopefully this would hold his tongue until the Mermadon was able to figure out a better plan.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:08 am

Elija glared at the imposter and said softly "Wux tuch sia dask vur si geou svadri douta preah ekik." He the staggered to his feet and stood with his fists knotted at his side, his eyes dark as two pieces of coal. He turned his gaze to Collene and his expression became relaxed and innocent "These buggers think me an Sam be stoways Mum. Weeze gots locked in a cupboard down by tha saloon and was tryin' ta gets out, when tha pigs ear keep nabs us an takes us ta the captain."
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:29 am


Colleen didn’t recognize this strange language Elija was using nor did she appreciate the fact he was using it making it impossible for her to know what he was saying. As Raj got to his feet and Colleen put herself physically between Raj and Elija she saw the deck hands scrambling to the upper deck. As they began to wrestle with Elija Colleen quickly put an end to the chaos not knowing what had taken place between the disguised Mermadon and Elija.

”ENOUGH!”

The authority in her voice caused all of them to stop what they were doing and pay close attention to the infuriated woman who now stood among the small group with her hands curled into tight fists at her side. Her dark blue eyes pinned each and every one of them with her glare as she tried to clear up what was happening.

”The boy is my son. I am traveling with a group of children and we all have valid tickets to be aboard this vessel. Our tickets were procured by Marshall Kallend in Meirathal. If you check your logs with the ticket master aboard the boat, you’ll see for yourself. IN the meantime, I will gladly visit the Captain to clear all of this up. My escort, Sargeant Lasekura, will gladly accompany me to help clear up this misunderstanding. As for the boys being locked in a cupboard near the saloon…..you were a boy once. Did you do everything YOUR mother told you to do and stay out of trouble?”

The men glanced at each other and shifted nervously on their feet as they let go of the boy. Colleen may not have had any children of her own but her ‘mother’ mode could match any natural mother and the men quickly felt as though they were standing before their own mother’s. Finally one of them shook his head.

”N-No ma’am. W-we didn’t do as our mother’s told us but the boys…”

Colleen cut the man off before he could finish.

”Are MY responsibility, not yours. Now. Let me get the boy secure. I’ll find his friend, Sam, when I go to talk to your Captain.”

Looking down at Elija, she held her hand out for him to take then clasped her hand around his when she felt his small hand touch hers. Moving over to the cabin she had emerged from, Colleen knelt down to pick up the blade she’d dropped making it look as though she was tying Elija’s shoe. When she glanced up at Elija they exchanged glances. When she stood back up she handed the blade to Elija using the material of her skirt to obscure the view. When she stepped inside she left the door open on a crack then knelt down and whispered to Elija as she drew him into a hug.

”Stay here. I’ll get this all cleared up. I don’t know what’s going on here but I intend to find out. If Sam shows up, let him in but DO NOT LEAVE THIS CABIN. I mean it, Elija. No matter what. I’ll be fine. I promise. I’m not as defenseless as it may seem.”

Colleen reminded Elija then of the fact she still had some weapons she had forged upon her only not visible to the naked eye. They were small but they would do the trick should she need them. With a soft kiss to his cheek, she stepped up and out the door. Even as she heard him start to protest, she closed the door and stepped back up to the deck hands and Raj.

”Please. Lead on gentlemen. It’s late and I have children I need to tend to before they wake up and find me gone. I don’t want them to get frightened and start looking for me.”

Glancing at Raj, she gave him a hard look letting him know she had some questions for him as well.

”Shall we, Sargeant Lasekura?”

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:34 am


Mallethden was please that he and the boy had arrived somewhat at an understanding. It seemed he truly cared for the enchantress and for now he was able to use this affection to his advantage while he stalled for time. The Mermadon had to remain surreptitious among these Humans for the time being and so he would have to continue with his charade.

"Yes, Miss Smith." Replied Mallethden with Lasekura's voice.

Mallethden sensed disapproval in her tone. Just another problem he had to worry about. How did Humans every get anything done? They were such busy creatures but fortunately they were predictable. Already, he was relying on the boys disobeying their guardian and venturing out on to the decks. As soon as the opportunity arose to take the enchantress he wouldn't have far to go for the boy and he could then whisk them both away into one of the lifeboats and make his getaway.

They made their way to the Captain's quarters, Lasekura trailing behind the disgruntled woman. Three of the deck hands had accompanied them else the Mermadon would dealt with her then and there. Once they reached the cabin they knocked, and an elderly man smoking a pipe answered.

"Good evening to you. My 'tis been an eventful night." The Captain greeted.

He was cordial at first but his mood soured somewhat when her learned that this woman was the mother of the boy who had so rudely kicked him in the shin. Reluctantly he allowed them both into his cabin and waved away the deck hands. He gestured to a few chairs for his guests then sat back down where he had been before they came a knocking. A book was turned over on the pedestal table and a drink half full with an amber coloured liquor sat by the ash tray. Distracted by the two pleasures he listened to the woman's explanation and verified the tickets but that still did not excuse the boy's behaviour.

"That boy should be disciplined." He told Colleen, "You send him down here to me to be dealt with properly and I will consider this matter cleared."

Mallethden just stood by quietly. He wasn't sure of his place in this matter so he wisely figured to remain silent. Honestly he liked this Captain's style. They boy should be dealt with but he thought it best not to mention this. His observations of Lasekura before his demise lead him to believe that the man was soft and compassionate and so he played that role.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:36 am


Colleen bristled at the Captain when he asked for the boy to be brought to him for proper discipline. There was no mistaking she didn’t appreciate the Captain’s handling of this situation and let the good man know just how she felt.

”Oh? And I suppose your form of ‘discipline’ would be a leather strap taken to his hide. I shall not now nor will I ever physically punish my child. Or any of the other children in my care. They have been through enough physical pain to last them a lifetime already and I refuse to add to that pain. There are other ways of handling children. And your way is not the way I choose. He will apologize to you, in the morning, for his kicking you in the shin but that will be the extent of contact you will have with my son. And I will accompany him to make sure nothing happens to him.”

The Captain began to swell as Colleen talked to him like that. His eyes grew hard and his face began to turn a blotchy color of red beneath his beard. How dare a mere woman talk to him like that?!

”Madame! I am the Captain of this ship. You shall mind yourself of this and speak to me properly.”

Colleen stood up then and pinned the man with her dark blue eyes.

”In case you haven’t figured it out by now, CAPTAIN, I’m not your typical woman and I shall not bow down to your overbearing ways. This may be your ship but that is my son. I shall be for certain the children and myself do not burden you again until we reach our destination in Baloc. My escort, Sergeant Lasekura, shall help me insure the children are kept in check until we disembark from your lovely vessel.”

Turning, she looked to Raj then.

”Sergeant Lasekrua, I believe our meeting here is through. We best get back and make sure our wards are not turning the ship upside down. Besides. It’s late and I’m exhausted.”

Turning to the Captain once more, she gave a curt nod as she spoke in a hard tone.

”Good night, Captain. Do enjoy your book…and drink.”

As the Captain was trying to protest, Colleen ignored the man and opened the door as she stormed out from the man’s private office and started walking back to the rooms as she fumed quietly.

”How DARE that man even THINK I would consider such a thing. Obviously his own childhood was filled with such dealings. No doubt he thinks ALL children need to be handled by such barbaric and brutal ways. Have you ever heard such things, Raj?”

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:06 pm


Mallethden considered the rearing of young Mermadon as he listened to the woman rant. Only the strong survived, it was the natural way of life. Those that were unable to break free of their eggs in time were left to die. This weeded out the weak — a sound philosophy, and yet in recent years they had discovered some mothers giving aid to these runts. This woman was such a creature that would offer assistance to that which should be left to die. How she sickened the Mermadon. Perhaps, he considered, he should wipe out her entire brood and do her society a kindness. He mused at the thought, but he didn't have time for such pleasures. His first priority was the Dracomance, then if it were possible acquire the enchantress as well and it seemed that opportunity was at hand.

As the disguised Mermadon followed behind the livid woman they passed by the very life boat that he had intended to steal in order to cart his cargo. It was late and there was no one on deck. No one to witness the abduction. The situation was perfect and hardly one Mallethden could pass up.

As Colleen turned to Raj to ask his opinion on how children should be raised his reply could not have been expected.

"I have." Answered Malletheden, at the same moment as he threw his right fist toward Colleen's chin.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:25 pm


The last thing Colleen expected was an attack from her self appointed guardian and escort, Rajinder Lasekura. So when she turned to ask him the question and was met with a jarring punch to the chin, Colleen’s head snapped back so violently her entire body moved back about a foot.

The instantaneous pain shot clean through her body and the last thoughts she had before blackness overtook her was that she should have paid more attention to Elija and Raj was no doubt dead. She dropped like a rock as she lost all consciousness.

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:07 pm

Elija took the blade stealthly ans put it behind his back as he stepped back into the cabin. When Collene told him not to leave the cabin, he said nothing as the door closed. Placing his ear to the door he heard the foot steps of those outside slowly diminish. Elija cracked the door open again and peered up and down the passageway, seeing no one about he slipped back out the door latching it behind him. Sam was somewhere about and he had to find him. As he passed by a companion way a hand reached out and grabbed him by the collar. Elija, raised the blade and was ready to strike when he recognized Sam , sticking the blade into his belt, Elija said "Bloody 'ell Sam Eyezz near lopped your loaf off. Raj ain't right mate, him and mum took off. Yuz gets back ta the digs and keeps an eye on the gang. Yus don't open that door fur nobody but me." Elija stepped back out onto the passageway then added "Eyez going ta finds Mum." and began his search.

Sam started to protest but Elija was already running down the passageway.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:32 pm


Mallethden discarded his disguise. Assuming the form of Sergeant Lasekura was no longer required in fact wearing his face was beginning to grate on his last nerve. He rather preferred his natural 'Human' guise, that appeared the most like his true, Mermadon self.

As he skulked along the decks, the master illusionist used his magic to conceal himself, blending into the background like a chameleon. Only his sounds, depressions of his feet and a slight distortion of light and dark surrounding his body could betray him, but none were a factor at this time. It was dark and the deck was stiff allowing the Mermadon to move along with little noise. In fact so quiet was the stealthy spy that he was able to move within striking distance of his quarry without him even taking notice.

The boy was young and experienced in dealing with the ways of an assassin. That's what Mallethden could best be classified as. Trained in the art of invisibility and the silent kill, the Mermadon was a deadly opponent when in his element. Unfortunately, he not considered the boy's odd sense of smell. While disguised as a Human, the Mermadon tended to smell as them, with only the slightest hint of their natural scent. The Dracomance, however, detected it quite readily to which Mallethden was yet oblivious.

The boy was nearly in his grasp. The long arms of the invisible Mermadon slowly reached out from the open doorway of q darkened and vacant cabin. All he need was drag the boy in and he would be at Mallethden's mercy. There would be no escape. Victory would belong to the Mermadon!
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:08 pm


Once Elija had left Sam and approached the stern of the vessel, he slowed down, not wanting to draw undo attention to himself, in case some deck hand or officer was making his rounds of the deck. The odor of rotting fish and water soaked wood seemed to permiate the air as he approached a row of dark cabins. Elija moved away from the cabins and closer to the center of the passageway as he crept along, his eyes darting left, right up and down. Slowly he lifted the blade and the small dagger from his belt, holding one in each hand. His steps were purposefull and tense ready to bolt into a dead run, as he had learned to do on the streets and in the alleys that he had grown up in. His mind remembering every trick that Scounger had taught him and Splevey had beat into his memory.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:22 pm


The boy was so close. Had he stayed his course Mallethden would have had him, but something had steered him away. Was it instinct or something else? The Mermadon did not have time to consider the details while his prize was in sight.

The boy held two knives as if he knew how to use them. Malletheden smiled, how he would like to test the boy's skill but he had no time for games. Soon the watchman would come around and he had to have the boy incapacitated before then. It was time for magic and the performance of such required he drop his disguise and reveal his true from. So be it.

The greenish coloured Mermadon became visible and stepped out of the shadows. His milky blue eyes narrowed as he thrust his arms high into the air. At that moment, the air stirred around Elija and he felt cold, so cold in fact that his legs turned numb and heavy, in fact he hardly felt as if he could walk let alone run. A faint blue aura writhed around the boy's trousers, like a ghostly snake of fire adhering him to the deck and slowing his movements. It began to climb up Elija's body, twisting around his arms, his neck and finally his mouth, choking the words right out of him.

Mallethden strolled over to the boy shaking his head in mock sympathy. "Sorry boy, but this is the end for you." he told him then when he was close, but not too close he bent down so that the tall creature was eye to eye with Elija. "You have spirit, this much I will give you. Stop struggling, just let the eels of Vathesh turn you cold. Then you can see your mother, would that not be... nice." The Mermadon gnashed his teeth as hissed the final word.

Slowly the strange magical eels would numb boys entire body, but it was not an instantaneous process. They first struck the legs, to prevent escape and then the tongue to stop any cries for help, but the rest of the body would remain fairly mobile for a few minutes.

Mallethden barred his rows of tiny teeth together and grinned at the silenced boy. "Yes. I have your mother, boy. She did not even know what hit her."

Time was ticking but Mallethden had tied and gagged the woman should she awaken prematurely. Still, it was not worth the risk to wait too long. The more the boy struggled against the eels the longer it would take him to fall under their spell.

"Stop struggling boy. Give in and perhaps I shall consider releasing your mother." the Mermadon lied.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:44 pm

Elija felt the cold permiate his body starting in his legs, he had felt the pangs of cold before. Long ago as he crossed the mountains alone after the murder of his real parents. Again as he braved the winters in the streets and alleys of Fort Glory, before Dodger had found him shivering and brought him to Scounger. That was cold but not like this, this was a cold like he had never felt. Try as he did he could not make his legs work or find his voice. Slowly Elija felt tired ans sleepy. He kept struggeling his voice a rash harsh gasp as he uttered the words " Eyez s-s-s-sorry M-m-m-mum." and the light faded into blackness as he fell down on the deck.


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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:00 am


As fate would have it, Elija and Colleen began to awake at the same time. The boy had proved to be rather resilient against the effects of the numbing spell and could once more feel his arms and legs, unfortunately he could barely move them. He had been bound and gagged in a similar fashion to his mother who was laid out beside him in the bottom of the life boat.

Above them the could see Mallethden, once more in his human form, turning a winch and lowering the boat into the water. They were nearly upon the surface of the river when they came to a jarring halt as the Mermadon stopped to answer the call of one of the deck hands.

"Just what do you think you are doing?" Asked the man in an accusing tone of voice.

Malletheden disappeared from their sight. There was a muffled cry, then the limp body of the man was tossed over the side of the ship and splashed down near to them. The Mermadon then resumed lowering the boat.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:15 am


Colleen awoke to strange sounds. Her senses were dull and she remained in that in between state where she wasn’t fully awake yet she still wasn’t fully out of it either. Beneath her was a hard surface. She could feel movement. The air was cool and she felt a chill slide over her. And there was this terrible dryness in her mouth. As she tried to move her arms to figure out what was happening, she realized she couldn’t move them. And they were stuck behind her back. And why did her chin hurt her so badly?

Finally her heavy eyelids fluttered open and the reality of her situation suddenly came flooding back to her. Her dark blue eyes grew wide with both anger and fear as she took in her surroundings. She was in a boat and some dark skinned man was lowering it. The sounds of the Baloc Belle filled her ears then and as she heard the tell tale squeak of the wheel that helped lower the lifeboat into the water, she began to struggle with her bindings.

Malletheden took no chances and had firmly bound her hands behind her back and tied her ankles together. No matter how much she struggled she couldn’t loosen them. Looking around again she saw the small but unmoving form of Elija and more fear filled her. Had this man killed her son? When Elija began to stir, she felt a wave of relief but it was short lived. Realizing the boy was bound and gagged in similar fashion, she realized this man was kidnapping them off the boat in the middle of the night.

When she heard the sound of the deck hand overhead she began to move and hit her foot against the side of the lifeboat and cry out as much as she could. Of course with the gag in place and the sounds of the boat as it chugged down the water made it impossible for her to be heard. But when she heard the muffled cry followed by the body falling and the splash in the water, her hopes began to fade yet again.

Colleen was quite certain the man hadn’t checked her for weapons so the small blades she carried should still be in place. One in the top of her ankle boot and the other tucked neatly away up the long sleeve of her dress near the wrist. Now all she had to do was somehow maneuver herself close to Elija so he could reach one of them……

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Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:55 pm


Sam had stayed put for as long as he could. He, like Elija, wasn’t very fond of following orders. No matter who gave them. He chewed on his bottom lip trying to decide what to do when he finally furrowed his brow and muttered to himself.

”Bugger…”

He silently opened the cabin door then stuck his head out to peer about. Seeing no one about, he took a step out and looked around some more, even peering over the railing to the level below. When it appeared the coast was clear, he silently closed the door behind him and began to creep along the deck, sticking to the shadows.

As he tip toed his way around the deck looking for Elija and his mum, he would duck behind equipment or in other areas when ever passengers or crew members would come into sight. He’d scoured almost every inch of the deck when he turned the corner and pulled up short. The sound of a wheel squeaking caught his attention and as he dared to peek around the corner he could tell one of the lifeboats was missing.

As he started towards the sound a crew member rounded the corner causing Same to quickly duck behind some barrels. As he peered over the barrels he heard the crew man ask what was going on. He couldn’t exactly see what happened but he was no stranger to the sound of a death gurgle. As he saw the crewman flipped over the side of the boat, he realized something was very wrong.

As he tip toed over to where the noise continued, he peeked over the side and saw the boat being lowered into the water. And he just did catch sight of Elija and Colleen. His eyes grew wide as he understood exactly what was happening now. He KNEW it had been too long for Elija to be gone! Now look what his mate had gotten himself into!!!

What was he going to do now???

Sam looked around quickly to see what, if anything, he could do by himself. He was one boy. Alone. On a dark ship. Heading down river. What COULD He do? As he frantically looked around the deck of the ship something glinted in the light and caught his attention. It was a brass bell. He’d seen several of these things hanging on the ship. And he remembered what the crewman told the passengers when they first shoved off: “If anyone should fall overboard, find one of these bells and begin ringing it shouting MAN OVERBOARD”

Sam ran up to the bell and started ringing the bell as fast as he could and yelling at the top of his lungs.

”MAN OVERBOARD! MAN OVERBAORD! MAN OVERBOARD!!!!”

Did he act in time or was the boat close enough to the water for Malletheden to just drop it into the water and get away?

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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:18 pm


"Insolent wretch!" Growled Mallethden looking up the side of the ship toward the main deck. He had recognized the voice straight away and out of anger and frustration gave, Elija a firm kick in his back and when the woman's eyes threw daggers of hate at him he gave her a stomp as well.

"It is too late anyway." The disguised Mermadon snarled.

"You there! Stop!" Shouted a man.

A surprised Mallethden looked up once more, straight into the barrel of a gun. He cursed under his breath in a strange language, but it was not Mermadon nor any other Dragonkin tongue. He spoke in the native language of his Komburan disguise, a language he rather enjoyed speaking.

The Mermadon had not yet set the boat down on the water. It hover only inches from the surface, enough that the waves struck the hull, but it was still attached to the winches. He moved his hand toward one of the hooks to detach the boat and was stopped by a forceful order by the Captain.

"Hold it right there!" Warned the Captain of the Baloc Belle, and with that three more men with rifles appeared over the side of the boat and trained their weapons on the Komburan man. Then when he spied the cargo the man was carrying let out a, "My word! Shoot this man if he moves boys. Seems we have a kidnapper in our net! You there! Komburan! Keep your hands where we can see them!"

The captain then gave his unarmed deck hands a nod and they began to winch the boat back up but Malletheden wasn't done. Not by a long shot. For a but a moment he closed his eyes and when he opened them once more they had taken on their true, pale blue Mermadon appearance. Instantly a thick fog began to roll in, not heavy enough to obscure the sight of the shooters, but it would allow the sorcerer time to act.

He stood over his hostages and stretched out both his hands so that they were both facing the ropes. The men on deck gasped as the watched the ropes to burst into blue flame and begin to burn.

"Dammit lads!" Exclaimed the Captain, "The bastard's one 'o them witch-folk. Shoot him!" He ordered.

The crewman aimed their weapons but in the fog they couldn't see well enough to ensure that they hit him flush.

"We might hit the woman and the boy!" Replied one of the shooters.

The ropes continued to burn away as the deck hands cranked the winches to raise the boat, but it was slow going. The winches were designed to alleviate the stress of a heavy load and turned very slowly which was why it had taken Mallethden so long to descend to the water. At the rate that the fire was eating away at them, they would snap before they brought the boat near enough to the gunman to ensure a clean shot. They seemed to be burning evenly, but what if one snapped before the other?
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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:55 am


Colleen felt the boot of the Mermadon hit her with such force the pain knocked the wind out of her. Seeing stars as she winced and certain she was going to pass out again, she forced herself to take short, shallow breaths until she regained her full senses. Blinking several times she looked over at Elija and saw the boys eyes looking at her. They were in quite the pickle here.

The sound of voices above them once more brought some desperate hope back into her and Colleen began to struggle with her binds once more. She had to get the blade at her wrist free. It was the only way she and Elija could survive this ordeal. Even as she saw the hateful Mermadon use his magical abilities again and start burning the ropes that held the boat secure to the ship.

Once more she tried to move her fingers and hands so she could reach the hilt of the blade that rested on her forearm. Closing her eyes tight and concentrating on reaching the blade, her fingers had just touched the hilt when she felt a sudden jolt. Her eyes flew open again and she looked up to see that one of the ropes was burning just a bit faster than the other. As the braided strands began to break free because of the weight they could no longer hold, Colleen saw they were in danger of being dumped into the river with no way to properly swim.

Her struggles increased ten fold as she felt yet another jarring jolt from another braid of rope snapping under the weight it was burdened with. Please…she prayed. If there are still Gods in this world, please don’t let this be the end for Elija and me.

But there were no Gods to be found this day. With one final jar the remaining rope couldn’t hold the weight of the boat. To add insult to injury, the other rope that was burning couldn’t hold the weight of the boat by itself and just a second or two after the first rope broke, the other rope snapped. The life boat tilted dangerously and Colleen felt her body tumbling towards the end of the boat. The next instant she felt the cold water of the River Rathilm rush over her body. The water was so cold her body instantly tried to suck in air only to find water instead. As she felt the water drag her down, Colleen struggled to get the blade free.

It had just started to pull free when she felt strong hands grab her shoulders in a death like grip and start pulling at her. Knowing the Mermadon had once more grabbed a hold of her she struggled with every ounce of strength she had to make it as difficult as she could for the thing. All the while she tugged at the blade to pull it free. But she was running out of air which meant she was running out of time.

Now it was a race against precious time she had very little of. Who would beat the clock? Colleen with her blade or the Mermadon with his strength and skills? Or would the dark, frigid waters of the River Rathilm claim her and Elija for itself?

____________________________________________________________________________________
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.


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PostSubject: Re: BOOK 3 - CHAP 4 - The Riverboat on the Rathilm   Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:11 pm

As the life boats rope finally burned thru and the boat fell, Sam and Galley lept to the rail and jump overboard. Sam's feet connected with something solid and hard, then slipped off. Diving down the two boys grabbed Colleen and Elija, then kicked for all threir might towards the surface. Just as they broke the surface two life rings splashed down and the boys with Collene and Elija in tow drifted towards the rings. The men on board shouteded "Grab the rings boys and hold on tight." Reaching for the rings, their burning arns and legs were about to give out, Sam and Galley hooked their free arm in the ring. Two of the deck hands leaped over the side and grabbed Collene and Elija. The men slowly pulled them aboard. All four were laid on the deck, the boys sputtering and coughing. Weasle and Ferret looked on in silence as tears streamed down their faces. Ferret finally asked thru sobs "Iz theyz dead?" As Weasle fell to her knees leaning over Collene shaking he finger between sobs, saying "Ize kills 'im Ize will, Ize swears it Ize does."
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