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The Top 100 Beatles Songs

Círdan’s note: Here at Grey Havens YA, we are geeks and nerds about a lot of things; remember — it’s not about what you love it’s about how you love it. Some of our members are music nerds, and Spock0528 wanted to share his love of the Beatles with you. Check it out!

When it comes to music it simply doesn’t get any better than the Beatles. It’s pretty much a scientific fact by now that the Beatles are the most important musical inovators of the 20th century. Though they were together for only around a decade they changed the face of music forever. There simply is no excuse for not liking them since they have something for everyone. Their impressive catalogue of music stretched across 13 albums and a vast collection of singles is undeniably incredible and while they will always be known for big hits like “Let it Be” and “Hey Jude” it’s often in their more underrated songs that Beatles were at their most brillant.

Thats why I have decided to create a list of their top 100 songs. Before we start just know that this 100% my opinion based. This isn’t what professional music critics will tell you is their best it’s just my personal opinion. Also there are much more than 100 fantastic Beatles songs. While I was going into making the list I was surprised at how fast the spots on the list filled up and some of the songs I was planning to put on from the beginning had to be left aside.

So without further adieu here are the top 100 Beatles songs. I hope you find your favorites, rediscover some old classics, and perhaps even discover a few new Beatles tracks.

Song:                              Album:

100. Blue Jay Way-  Magical Mystery Tour

99. I’ll Follow The Sun-  Beatles For Sale

98. Sexy Sadie-  The White Album

97. Dig A Pony-  Let It Be

96. Honey Pie- The White Album

95. If I Fell- A Hard Day’s Night

94. Oh! Darling- Abbey Road

93. And I Love Her- A Hard Day’s Night

92. Don’t Let Me Down- Single

91. Martha My Dear- The White Album

90. I Me Mine- Let It Be

89. You’re Going To Lose That Girl-  Help!

88. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da- The White Album

87. Please Please Me- Please Please Me

86. I Should Have Known Better- A Hard Day’s Night

85. Hello Goodbye-Magical Mystery Tour

84. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)- Abbey Road

83.  From Me To You- Single

82. One After 909- Let It Be

81. Yer Blues- The White Album

80. You Won’t See Me- Rubber Soul

79. Another Girl- Help!

78. The Ballad Of John And Yoko-Single

77. She Loves You-Single

76. I’ve Got A Feeling- Let It Be

75. Good Day Sunshine- Revolver

74. Magical Mystery Tour- Magical Mystery Tour

73. I Feel Fine- Single

72. Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band- Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band

71. Michelle- Rubber Soul

70. When I’m Sixty-Four Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band

69. With A Little Help From My Friends- Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band

68. She Said She Said- Revolver

67. Mother Natures Son- The White Album

66. The Night Before- Help!

65. We Can Work It Out- Single

64. Back In The USSR- The White Album

63. Girl- Rubber Soul

62. Hey Bulldog- Yellow Submarine

61. Lady Madonna- Single

60. All My Loving- With The Beatles

59. Think For Yourself- Rubber Soul

58. Got To Get You Into My Life- Revolver

57. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!- Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band

56. Can’t Buy Me Love- A Hard Day’s Night

55. I’m Looking Through You- Rubber Soul

54. Taxman- Revolver

53. Love Me Do- Please Please Me

52. Things We Said Today- A Hard Day’s Night

51. I’ve Just Seen A Face- Help!

50. Get Back- Let It Be

49. Dear Prudence- The White Album

48. Drive My Car- Rubber Soul

47. For No One- Revolver

46. The Long And Winding Road- Let It Be

45. Maxwell’s Silver Boat- Abbey Road

44. Blackbird- The White Album

43. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds- Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band

42. Here, There And Everywhere- Revolver

41. Day Tripper- Single

40. Love You To- Revolver

39. Nowhere Man- Rubber Soul

38. You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away- Help!

37. Paperback Writer- Single

36. She’s Leaving Home- Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band

35. Come Together- Abbey Road

34. A Hard Day’s Night- A Hard Day’s Night

33. Something- Abbey Road

32. Let It Be- Let It Be

31. Help!- Help!

30. In My Life- Rubber Soul

29. Across The Universe- Let It Be

28. Penny Lane- Magical Mystery Tour

27. Lovely Rita- Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band

26. Revolution- Single

25. I Want To Hold Your Hand- Single

24. Within You Without You- Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band

23. And Your Bird Can Sing- Revolver

22. Eight Days A Week- Beatles For Sale

21. All You Need Is Love- Magical Mystery Tour

20. Happiness Is A Warm Gun- The White Album

19. Here Comes The Sun- Abbey Road

18. Ticket To Ride- Help!

17. Strawberry Fields Forever- Magical Mystery Tour

16. The Fool On The Hill- Magical Mystery Tour

15. I’m Only Sleeping- Revolver

14. Yellow Submarine- Revolver

13. Yesterday- Help!

12. The Abbey Road Medley- Abbey Road

11. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)- Rubber Soul

10. Rain- Single

9. Julia- The White Album

8. I Saw Her Standing There- Please Please Me

7. Hey Jude- Single

6. Eleanor Rigby- Revolver

5. While My Guitar Gently Weeps- The White Album

4. I Am The Walrus- Magical Mystery Tour

3. Helter Skelter- The White Album

2. Tomorrow Never Knows- Revolver

1.A Day In The Life- Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band

Okay so thats it! What are your favorite Beatles songs? (Send us an owl!)

Also here is a Spotify playlist I made of the songs. Hope it works!

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Heroes of Rune Chapter 6

Spock0528 writes: The Wait is over. More chapters are coming soon. No Really, Soon. Read the prologue and chapters 1 through 5 at this link. Enjoy!

Chapter 6

Darius

The next morning Darius awoke to the sound of birds chirping outside his window. He rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and sat up. Blaise and Murgran, the fellow orphans that lived with him, were already up and were getting dressed. “Morning”, Darius mumbled. “Same to you”, Blaise replied. “What’s your schedule for today?”, Murgran asked. “Kitchen duty”, Blaise grumbled “And I better hurry. Old Wenchel will hit me with his ladle if I’m late again”.

“And what about you Darius?”, Murgran said, turning to him. “I don’t know. Master Pibb didn’t tell me yesterday.” That was unlike him and Darius had been so distracted last night he had forgotten to ask. While he wondered what the day’s assignment would be, Darius quickly pulled on his clothes. He wore a simple cream colored outfit with a belt and satchel. Ready for whatever the day might bring Darius left the house and said farewell to Blaise and Murgran.

He hadn’t made it ten yards when he ran into Master Pibb. “Hello Darius”, he said, his pink cheeks bulging with delight. “Good morning Master Pibb”, Darius replied. “Sorry I didn’t tell you your assignment yesterday. I wasn’t sure what you’d be doing”. He gave a shrill and rather forced laugh. “I just received a message from the king. He would like you to report to him at once.”

“Whatever for?” Darius asked. “He didn’t say”, said Master Pibb. “Now you’d better get going. Wouldn’t want to be late would we?” “No Master”, said Darius. Pibb turned sharply away causing the slippers he wore to clack together. He sped off quickly, his mind already on another matter.

Darius felt fear clasp his heart as he turned towards the palace. “What did the king want with him? Perhaps they had discovered who he was! Perhaps they were going to have him executed or tortured for information!”, he thought. “No, that was ridiculous. No one knew who he was here, anymore”.

During Darius’s first year in Teroh a boy named Mikkel had walked in on Darius while he was in the vasdi, a trance state one performed while honoring Shidiel. Mikkel had ran out of the house looking for a guard. Darius had followed hoping to tackle Mikkel but Mikkel was faster. As Mikkel had rounded a corner Darius lost sight of him. There was then a crash and a scream. Darius ran around the corner to see a crowd of people gathered around the edge of the rampart. Mikkel had slipped and plummeted over the rampart, his body breaking on the spiny rocks that stuck out of the ocean hundreds of feet below. Darius was relieved but acted sad at the memorial service that the city had for Mikkel. That was the closest call he had ever had.

“No, no one could have found out unless Methelga or Faryx had said something… No, they couldn’t have known he was here. Although that did seem like something that Fayrx would do.” Fayrx had only visited Turk manor a few times but his visits always involved making Darius as miserable as he could. Darius was glad he was dead.

Darius approached the North Gate to the palace. As he went to pass underneath the statue of Acosor he was stopped by a guard. “Yes, Darius isn’t it? The king is expecting you. Go on in. We will have a guard escort you to the throne room when you enter the tower. Go on in”.

Darius nodded and went on through. “They wouldn’t let a Zarkaran, let alone the last of the Turks through alone”, he thought.  “They didn’t know his secret. Did they?” On his way to the central tower Darius passed an apothecary, stables, barracks, and a guard tower. Soldiers and official looking people milled about in the courtyard while others walked quickly heading either to the tower or out into the rest of the city. Darius approached the doors to the tower, noting how small they were. Enemies would have to enter single file if they attempted to take the castle and a skilled bowman with a lot of arrows would be just as valuable as 50 men in there. The tower was built for defense, nothing else.

The guard at the door admitted Darius in and had another guard escort him to the throne room. Darius and the guard squeezed through the narrow hallway into the center of the bottom floor of the tower. This was the great library. Shelves of books covered nearly every square inch of the room. An old librarian sat at a table, his nose buried in a book. He didn’t even look up to see Darius and the guard cross the room.

Darius had spent time here working with Barnabas Lessiar compiling information for The Scrolls of the Eastirim. It was one of Darius’s least favorite assignments. The way Barnabas described the Zarkaran gods made him sick.

He had called Shidiel the goddess of plague and disease. It was true she brought these things to those who crossed her but she was also a god of love and life. Zarkaran maidens would pray to Shidiel, asking her to help them find a husband. She was responsible for caring for the baby in the womb, protecting it from danger. She could place blessings on crops and bring people good fortune. She was the protector of mothers and the common man.

Udun was described as a merciless and barbaric war god but Udun led great warriors to victory and taught them the ways of honor. He gave old men and young boys great strength in times of need and he blessed the wives and children of fallen warriors who died in his name.

The way he had heard Barnabas describe them as nothing more than brutal, merciless demons had made Darius want to tell him some of the stories that were told of the Eastirim gods in Zarkaran. But though he had heard such hate from the Eastirim for his people and his gods he could not hate them. They were too much like him, too human. Blaise and Murgran were both good friends and Master Pibb had taken Darius in and was always kind to him. Yet he could not live in both worlds. One day he would return to Zarkaran and if it was the will of the gods to destroy the Eastirim then it must be done. But if there was a way for the people to become one, to unite and…

“No” he thought, angry at himself for thinking such thoughts. “Think of what they did to your father”. And Darius did remember. He remembered his father a man who seemed larger than life, yet was barely over five feet.  A man whose eyes had a special twinkle every time he laughed. A man who let a baby Darius crawl around on him tugging at his goatee. He remembered the night they came. He had been so scared, just a nine year old boy. His father had been fierce that night fighting with two battle axes while Darius hid under his bed. His father had told him to run and then…

Darius’s thoughts were interrupted when he boarded the lift to the throne room at the end of the library. The doors closed and Darius found himself in a small, dark compartment. The lift began to rise, gears and hydraulics clanking and whirring in the background. Both Darius and the guard were silent. Around what Darius thought was 15 minutes the lift reached the top floor, the throne room. It was time to see the king.

The lift doors slid open to reveal what Darius thought was an underwhelming throne room. It was a small circular room with just a few windows that if you looked out them you could see clouds far below you. No decorations were on the walls and only a red carpet covered the ground. The King sat on a small gold throne surrounded by a few guards and advisors. Only the king had a chair. Everyone else had to stand.

Darius stepped out of the lift, noting that the guard stayed behind. He crossed the room and stood in front of the king. He dropped to his kneel like he had been taught. “Rise young Master Darius”, King Alistair said. Darius rose. King Alistair was a man that Darius had only seen on a few occasions. He was a tall, skinny man who had seemed to have a palpable air of nobility surrounding him. He could be stern and threatening but Darius had also seen him happy and joyous, playing with his five year old son on the day of the spring festival. He was an expert military tactician but he also cared deeply for his people down to the last child.

“Young Master Darius”, the king said slowly. Darius’s heart was beating like a drum. “I have some good news to tell you”, the king said. Darius awaited anxiously. “You have benefited greatly from Master Pibb’s orphan program. When you came here you had only a name. Now you, and we, have found that you are quite talented and you are a perfect example of how a young man or woman can turn their life around.” Darius didn’t know where this was going but he was beginning to feel more relaxed. The king continued: “Many of the lords you have served spoke quite highly of you. They said it almost seemed like you had been around nobility before.”

Darius’s chest tightened. “You also made an excellent food taster as I recall”, the king said with a smile. Darius’s chest loosened a little. “ I was quite impressed with you and Master Pibb’s program. I wasn’t sure about it at first”, the king said. “But I am extremely happy with the results. That’s why I am honoring you this next week by letting you squire for Sir Nicholas Snow in the tournament this next week in order to honor Lord Seacrest’s arrival here in Teroh.”

Darius gasped. Lord Seacrest of Sealaurel was the ruler of a neighboring kingdom independent from Eastirim. Sealaurel was home to the finest navy the south side of the River Tywin. King Alistair was hoping to make an alliance with Seacrest so that the Eastirim could have powerful warships in the fight against the Zarkaran. No expense had been spared in the preparations for his arrival.. Minstrels, dancers, a parade, and a tournament between William Gore and Nicholas Snow were all part of the entertainment and Darius would be right in the middle of it. It was an opportunity of a lifetime.

“Thank you sire”, Darius said, bowing. He couldn’t believe it. Squiring at a tournament, especially one as big as this was always one of his dreams. “There is still a lot more you have to learn”, the king said. “So I will have you taken off work this week and have you work with one of my Kings Guard. He will teach you everything you need to know about being a squire. He is waiting for you at the bottom of the tower.” “Thank you my king”, Darius said, barely containing his excitement. “You’re very welcome young Master Darius”, the king said with a smile. “I expect great things from you. This tournament is very important for our country. It could determine the difference between victory and defeat.” Darius noded. “I won’t let you down your highness”, he said. “Good”, said the king. “You are dismissed.”

Darius turned to go but as he did the lift doors slid open and a tall thin man walked out. The tightness in Darius’s chest returned with a vengeance. “Ah, just in time”, the king said. “I was just about to send for you”. “No worries”, the thin man said. He had slicked back black hair, dark skin, and a long droopy moustache. “Darius”, the king said. “This is Ichabod Targearan, He is one of my newest advisors. Ichabod, this is Darius.” “How do you do?”, Ichabod asked. “He’s dyed his skin but he’s still the same man”, Darius thought to himself. “Very well, thank you, my lord?”, he said. “Oh no, not a lord only a businessman”, said Ichabod. He smiled. It was the same smile. The same cruel smile Darius had gotten when the man standing in front of him now had told him to leave his father alone when he was working. For the man standing in front of the King of all of Eastirim was not Ichabod Targearan but Ilixer Targux, the Grand Vizier of House Turk and his father’s right hand man.

Send us an owl: Ooo, what a cliffhanger! What do you think of Heroes of Rune so far?

The Top 25 DS9 Episodes

Círdan’s note: And now for some Trekkie fun! Our very own spock028 lists the top 25 Star Trek: Deep Space 9 Episodes. What do you think? 

017-star-trek-deep-space-nine-theredlist1

Time to count down the best of the best!!!

25. Children of Time

The Crew are forced to make an impossible choice: Leave a planet and kill all of their future descendants or stay and never see their homes or families again. One of Star Treks best moral dilemmas.

24. The Wire

Who is Garak? One lie leads to another and the result is an awesome episode.

23.  Civil Defense

An engaging man vs machine story, Civil Defense shows that whatever can go wrong will.

22. Whispers

O’Brien returns to the station to find everyone has turned against him. What we get is one of DS9s most mind bending episodes.

whispers

21. Little Green Men

Quark, Rom and Nog crash land in Roswell 1947. Shenanigans ensue.

20. The Search Parts 1 and 2

The crew enters Dominion Space to find the Founders. Not only is the episode excellent, we also get introduced to the U.S.S Defiant.

19. Through the Looking Glass

Sisko has to impersonate his alternate self to convince his alternate wife to fight against an alliance of Klingons, Cardassians, and Bajorans that enslave humans in an alternate universe. Need I say more?

18. Past Tense

Sisko has to play the role of an historical figure he accidentally causes the death of when he and Bashir get sent back to 2024 in a transporter accident. Avery Brooks gives one of his best performances of the series.

past tense

17. Necessary Evil

The best Odo murder mystery story, Necessary Evil reveals dark secrets from Kira’s past. The best parts are the flashbacks that show when Odo first meets Kira, Quark, and Gul Dukat.

16. Our Man Bashir

The most funny DS9 episode, the crew is forced to play roles in Dr. Bashir’s James Bond type holosuite program. The catch: If they die in the program they die in real life The James Bond references are hilarious and every actor hams it up for this loving parody.

15. Covenant

Kira finds out Gul Dukat is the leader of a demonic cult. The fact that the cult members are portrayed as real people is what makes it so creepy. Marc Alaimo and Nana Visitor both give great performances.

14. Image in the Sand/ Shadows and Symbols

The Season 7 opener has Sisko and Jake going on a spiritual journey, Kira and Odo negotiating with the Romulans, and Worf, Martok, Bashir, O’Brien, and Quark battling to avenge Dax. The story is big, epic, small and emotional at the same time.

13. It’s Only a Paper Moon

After losing his leg Nog escapes reality and hides in the holsuite. This episode recieved praise from veterans for realistically showing whats it’s like to come home from war.

nog

12. Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges

With a title that means “In times of war, the laws fall silent” you know it’s gonna be good. Bashir stars in this intense and complex political thriller that debates morality.

11. In Purgatory’s Shadow/ By Inferno Light

There is just so much awesomeness in this two parter. Cardassia announces their alliance with the Dominion, we get to see Worf take on a bunch of Jem’hadar, Enabran and Garak have a touching moment and we learn a shocking secret about Bashir.

10. Rocks and Shoals

The second episode of Season 6’s opening story arc, Rocks and Shoals shows that the Jem’hadar can be complex characters while giving us an action packed story. Meanwhile Kira is unable is to work next to the Dominion and we witness one of the most disturbing and shocking moments in the series.

9. Trials and Tribble-ations

The crew is sent back in time to the original U.S.S Enterprise to prevent Captain Kirk from being murdered. Hilarious and well edited, this episode clearly shows the differences between the two series.

sisko kirk

8. Hard Time

O’Brien is given memories of being in jail for 20 years. While he struggles to readjust to station life he must come to grips with the things he did in jail. Dark and mind bending, this is one of the series’s best.

7. The Siege of AR-558

War is Hell. It’s a simple message but its hammered down hard in the violent episode that’s unlike anything you’ve seen in Star Trek before.

6. Favor the Bold/ Sacrifice of Angels

The end of Season 6’s Dominion War story arc, this two parter features the epic battle to retake DS9. Not only does it feature one of Star Trek’s best space battles, it also tells a sweet and heartbreaking story of Gul Dukat and his daughter.

Dominion_and_Federation_fleets_meet

5. The Visitor

Jake Sisko throws his life away attempting to get his father back after he is lost in an accident. The story is complicated but it’s the father and son bond that makes it so great. The end scene is just beautiful. I cried.

4. Far Beyond the Stars

Sisko has a vision he is living in a segregated 1950s America working as a science fiction writer who writes a story about a space station in the future called DS9. The scenes of racism are hard to watch and Avery Brooks gives his very best performance of the whole show.

3. Duet

This was the episode where I knew DS9 was the best Trek of them all. This Season 1 episode is a simple yet effective story that is as beautiful as it is disturbing. When a Cardassian arrives on the station Kira goes to extreme lengths to have him captured. But is the Cardassian who he says he is? Is he a simple file clerk or a  murderous psychopath?  The episode is held together by an amazing performance by guest star Harris Yulin.

2. What You Leave Behind

DS9’s finale accomplished everything it needed to. Every character is given a satisfying sendoff and every story arc is tied up wonderfully. The episode features the shows best ship battle and the final showdown between Sisko and Dukat. An amazing ending to an amazing show.

1. In the Pale Moonlight

Sisko attempts to have the Romulans enter the war using any means necessary. Bad decision leads to bad decision and Sisko is forced go against every one of his values. I could never imagine this episode working in TOS (The Original Series) or TNG (The Next Generation). It’s something only DS9 could accomplish, a dark, haunting, episode that questions whether the ends justify the means. Strong performances by Avery Brooks and Andrew Robinson add to the fact that In the Pale Moonlight is not only the best DS9 episode, but one of televisions greatest episodes of all time.

pale moonlight gif

Send us an owl: Is your favorite episode on the list? Do you think Deep Space 9 is the best Star Trek of them all? Let’s hear all your thoughts! (I might not reply for a while, I’ve got a Star-Trek filled Netflix queue awaiting…)

Heroes of Rune Chapter 5 (finally)

Círdan’s note: Many suns have passed, and I’ve grown no closer to uncovering the secret of the World of Rune. I had begun to worry I would never find any other texts aside from Chapters 1, 2, 3, or 4. But Huzzah! I’ve just come across this scroll from spock0528: “Sorry guys. This one took me a while. New chapters coming soon!” Could it be? See for yourself in Chapter 5 below!

Chapter 5

Farion Stormborn

The soldiers of the Eastirim marched all throughout the night. What was needed was quickly packed up and what was not was left behind. Armor was hastily shoved on, weapons stored, and the massive war machines were loaded up for transport on wooden carts. Renly quickly put on Farion’s armor. Farion was impressed with how efficiently he did it. The armor of the Eastirim was a set of overlapping steel plates that covered the body. The armor was designed to take hits with light and medium weapons effectively but also allowed the wearer to have quite a bit of maneuvering room. It was not the strongest but it would not slow the person wearing it down too much. The helmet covered the entire face except for two narrow slits for eyeholes. The top of the helmet was an iron spike that, if necessary, could be used as a weapon. Each standard Eastirim soldier was equipped with a large sword and a small round shield. The sword was large but it could still be wielded with just one hand by strong warriors. The shield was small but powerful and it was often used to slam enemies to the ground rather than block attacks. In half an hour the entire army was gone from the campsite. Only tents and campfires, still smoking, were left. The men were gone. The battle for the fate of Rune was about to begin.

Farion marched beside Mason and Heimgal the whole way to Pymnimily. Renly had gone to join the rest of the squires. He would meet up with Farion when they reached their destination. The march was a hard one. The Zarkaran had chosen an excellent time to attack. The scout had reported that he had seen a fleet of Zarkaran warships heading for the beach near Pymnimily from the old watchtower stationed there. When the Eastirim arrived it would be in the wee hours of the morning. The men would have been marching all night and in no condition to fight. It was the perfect strategy for taking Pymnimily valley.

Fighting back the urge to yawn, Farion continued to move at a brisk pace. He could not afford to be tired, but it was hopeless. By the time the battle had started he would have been awake for more that 24 hours. He felt his eyelids start to close and his pace begin to slow. He jerked himself awake. He bit his tongue as hard as he could without biting it off to prevent himself from drowsing off again. He had to focus.

Around five in the morning the weary party of soldiers arrived at Pymnimily. The valley itself was a narrow passage only around 20 feet wide and 15 feet tall. It was an ideal place for an invasion because numbers did not matter in such a narrow pass. Here both armies, no matter their size, were equal. On the opposite side of the valley there was a sandy shore and after that the River Tywin. Farion could see around 50 Zarkaran warships closing in. The black sails of the approaching ships fluttered in the breeze. Farion knew that each ship could hold around 300 troops. That meant that the Zarkarans were outnumbered by around 3,000. This, in any other battle, would affect the outcome but this was Pymnimily. It would be anyones guess on who would be victorious.

Pymnimily’s southern side was home to the Great Watchtower. It was an ancient tall structure, built before the time of Drake Furror, and it was where Acosor stood when he separated Rune into two and created the River Tywin. At the very top of the tower there was a telescope put in place by Drake Furror so that when the Zarkarans rose again the Eastirim could spot them from a long way off. The telescope could see for many miles and it was what the scout used to spot the incoming warships. Farion could see General Icarus and his commanding officers ascending the steep stone steps of the watchtower.

Renly approached Farion. He wore leather armor and had a sword strapped to his side. He began to tighten Farion’s armor straps and polish his sword. “You scared, boy?” Farion asked. Renly nodded. “Good, that means you’re not stupid.” Farion suddenly remembered that Diggle had said the same thing to him before his first battle. He had quoted Diggle without even realizing it. “We won’t call you in unless you’re really needed,” Farion said. Serving Farion was not Renly’s only duty. During the battle Renly would assist the archers stationed along the top of the valley along with the other squires. If the Eastirim were losing too many men the archers and squires would be called down to fight and Farion and Renly knew every last man (or boy) would be needed. Farion put his hand on Renly’s shoulder. “May Anirab guide your sword,” Renly said. “And yours as well,” Farion replied. It was the standard warriors farewell, but Farion knew that Anirab wouldn’t be guiding his sword today. Anirab hadn’t guided Farion’s sword since the death of Jeremy. He just hoped he didn’t need it now.

Soon after Renly went to join the archers at the top of the valley a loud horn blast came from the Great Watchtower. General Icarus stood at the top of the tower with the mighty horn he had just blew from in one hand and his sword in the other. The design on his breastplate was that of the Golden Dragon of Acosor and he wore no helmet.

“Warriors of Rune,” he shouted. His voice sounded like thunder. “They mean to destroy us. They mean to take our land. To take our women and children. To destroy what has stood for centuries and what will continue to stand for a millennia,” he bellowed. The men looked up. Suddenly they didn’t feel so tired anymore. They now had energy. An energy no man of Rune was without. The energy of battle. “Well I don’t know about you”, Icarus said with sword raised high in the air. “But I’m not planning on dying on the edge of a sword being held by a Zarkaran dog.” The men cheered. The warships were drawing closer to the beach. The catapults were assembled and were being loaded with boulders. The ships were almost at the beach. The men were forming up. The archers were readying their flaming arrows. Farion tightened his hand around the hilt of his sword. The catapults were ready. The ships were in range.

“Fire,” General Icarus yelled. Boulders flew high into the air. There was a moment of silence where the rocks spun through the air silently like a leaf on the wind. Then the boulders found their targets. Several boulders crashed harmlessly into the water but others found their mark. A warship got a boulder right through its hull and it sank into the river in seconds. Another warship got a boulder right through the mast, knocking the ship over. It swerved into another ship sending the men onboard flying. The first wave of rocks had been devastating to the Zarkaran fleet but there was no time for a second. The first warships had arrived at the beach and the men onboard lept off, ready to fight.

“Archers, nock,” General Icarus said. Thousands of arrows were loaded into their bows. “Draw.” Thousands of bows were drawn back, ready to fire. “Loose.” Thousands of arrows curved up into the air then plummeted into the waves of Zarkaran troops. Many men went down but there were still more coming. The final ships had arrived at the beach. The Zarkarans began to run at the Eastirim, swords flailing about wildly.

“Charge,” shouted the general. The Eastirim drew their swords and the men at the front began to sprint towards the invaders. The rest of the army followed and in a matter of seconds all of Pymnimily valley was filled with troops. It was important to get to the Zarkaran before they put up the shield wall. Zarkaran armor was light but what they lacked in protection on their bodies they made up for with their legendary shield wall. The Zarkarans’ shields were long, heavy, curved rectangles made of iron. The shields could be connected side by side with metal hooks. The soldiers behind raised their shields overhead to protect from arrows and the soldiers on the side turned outward and connected their shields with the men next to them. The result was a wall that was not vulnerable on any side. The Zarkarans’ shields each had small slits in them. Too small for an Eastirim sword to get through but small enough for the Zarakarans to get their thin narrow blades through. The men trying to break the shield wall would have to deal with thin blades stabbing them through the chest, throat, and head. The Zarkarans could kill hundreds of Eastirim without losing a single man. The key to beating the Zarkaran in combat was to get to them before they formed their shield wall.

The two armies ran through the valley, swords raised. Farion ran with all his might. Getting to the Zarkarans before their shields were up would be a crucial part of winning the battle. The Eastirim army was almost to the Zarkarans, but all of a sudden the Zarkarans stopped. They rose their shields and hooked them together. Exhausted, Farion ran with all his might but it was too late. The shield wall was closed. It was too late. Farion tried to slow down to prevent from crashing into the wall but he was going too fast. He rammed into a shield with all his might hoping that it might collapse. The shield barely moved. The other men were ramming into the shields with the same success Farion had had. The Eastirim were now extremely vulnerable to the Zarkaran’s thin blades. Farion was pierced through the shoulder by one of the blades, and he grunted in pain. The man next to him was impaled through the throat with the little blade. All around him men were dropping, pierced by the Zarkaran’s swords. The sword emerged from the shield, like a snake coming out of a hole, but this time Farion was ready for it. He brought his sword up and sliced the Zarkarans sword in two. He then repeatedly slammed his sword into the shield. Farion noticed that Heimgal was doing the same thing. Soon men all around them were working to try and bring down the shield wall. At first there was nothing, but then a shield cracked. Then another. Then another. The Eastirim in front cut down the Zarkaran holding the shattered shields. The men flooded into the collapsing shield wall. They had done it! They had broken through. But not without a price. Eastirim dead lay scattered around them, suffering from multiple puncture wounds to the head and chest. Some were dead, others lay drowning in their own blood. Farion charged into the Zarkaran army. He cut down the first Zarkaran soldier he saw. He never even knew what hit him.

Now that the Zarkaran shield wall had been broken the Zarkarans dropped their heavy shields and drew a second of the light and narrow Zarkaran blades. Their swords weren’t as powerful as the Eastirim weapons but they were fast and they had a nasty knack of finding even the narrowest gaps in Eastirim armor.

A tall Zarkaran warrior attacked Farion, swinging his two swords at him in a flashing arc. Farion parried the attack and stabbed the man through the chest with his sword. He hit him with his shield so hard that his neck snapped and the Zarkaran fell to the ground in a heap. Farion saw Mason battling a Zarkaran. Mason had broken one of the Zarkaran’s swords and the Zarkaran was backing away. Mason moved in but the Zarkaran dropped his sword and lept up. Farion saw a hidden blade shoot out of his sleeve and the Zarkaran stuck it into Masons head. Farion moved towards the soldier who had just killed Mason but he was intercepted by a Zarkaran holding a battle axe. Farion was knocked to the ground and the soldier with the battle axe stood over him, grinning. As the axe flashed down towards Farion a spear went through the Zarkaran’s heart. Gendri stood behind the dead Zarkaran. He nodded to Farion and Farion nodded back. Farion stood up and surveyed the battle. The Eastirim were pushing Zarkaran back. Their progress was slow but they were making it. They were winning! They were actually going to win!

But then there came a horrible roar from the beach. Both the Zarkaran and Eastirim soldiers turned to look towards the horrible noise. The noise was coming from a wrecked ship that had washed up on the shore. Suddenly the ships hull exploded and something lept out. It was seven feet tall and dressed in the ceremonial robes of Udun, the Zarkaran god of war. It wore an elaborate headdress that was decorated in various animal skulls. In its hands were a mace and a sword both as tall as the figure itself. It stood on the beach and shrieked. A noise that would make the hair on even the bravest man’s neck stand on end. The Zarkarans began to cheer and every Eastirim’s heart was struck with fear. It was a Shaman of Udun. The shaman charged, straight at Farion.

There are many legends and myths about the Shamans of Udun. Some say they are men given the powers of a demon by the war god himself. Others say they are wholly demon, the children of Poshrux. Some even say they are the products of Zarkaran experiments on there own troops, experiments designed to create the perfect warrior. No matter what anyone thought, no one could deny that their appearances were extremely rare. They are believed to guard the temples of the gods in Zarkaran, and they rarely ventured onto the battlefield, but it is not unheard of for one to lead the Zarkarans into battle.

The Zarkaran soldiers lept out of the way of the charging shaman, Those that were too slow were crushed under the shamans massive feet. Heimgal gave a battle cry and ran directly at the fastly approaching shaman. With a single blow from the shaman’s mace Heimgal was sent flying. He slammed into a rock and lay still. The Zarkarans cheered again. They knew their savior had come.

The shaman was not slowed down by its massive size. It had gone from the beach to the Eastirim side of the battlefield in just a few steps. The shaman was just meters from Farion. He stared into the eyeholes of the shaman’s headdress. He saw nothing. At the last possible second Farion lept to the side, just out of the creatures reach. As he did so he raked his sword across the shaman’s thigh. The shaman kept running, unaware of the bleeding gash in its leg.

“At least it’ll bleed,” Farion thought to himself. The shaman crashed into the Eastirim soldiers, knocking them senseless. It swung it’s mace and sword taking men out left and right. Farion saw him impale two men at once with its sword and lift them high into the air. Farion had to get its attention. He grabbed a dagger from the ground and threw it at the shaman’s head. The dagger went through the back of the shamans skull and stuck out its forehead. That got its attention. It turned around and located Farion. Then it charged again.

Despite the fact that it had a dagger sticking through its head, it didn’t seem hurt. Only angry. Farion was surprised. That should have killed the creature instead he was its next target. Just as the shaman reached Farion he dove to the side and jumped onto the back of the shaman, his sword raised high. But the shaman appeared to be expecting this. Before Farion could plunge his sword into the shamans back it grabbed him and threw him off. Farion was airborne. He landed hard on a large rock. The creature dropped its sword and grabbed the mace with both hands, moving in for the kill. Farion couldn’t move. His collision with the rock had knocked the wind out of him and he lay there, gasping. The shaman was nearly on him when Farion saw Renly, out of the corner of his eye, stab the shaman in the leg with his sword. They must have needed the squires!

When Renly stabbed the shaman he must have severed some kind of artery. The shaman shrieked and twisted around awkwardly, hitting Renly with the back of his hand. Renly was knocked over and Farion saw blood pouring out of his check. The sword was left quivering in the shaman’s calf.

The breath had returned to Farion’s lungs. He jumped to his feet and ran at the shaman, hoping to get there before the shaman killed Renly. Just as the shaman raised his mace over the collapsed Renly, Farion reached the shaman and swung his sword aiming for his neck. But again the shaman seemed to be expecting it. The shaman grabbed Renly’s sword, ripped it out of his calf, and plunged it into Farion’s side. Farion dropped to one knee. Blood gushed from the hole in his chest. Even though the pain was excruciating Farion climbed to his feet and ripped Renly’s sword out of his side. The wound began to bleed faster but Farion didn’t have time to notice. Using every last bit of energy he could muster, he picked up his sword and ran for the rock he had been thrown into earlier. The shaman followed quickly. He had to get to the rock before the shaman got him or else he would be finished. Just a few more feet. He had to make it.

With one final burst of strength Farion leaped onto the rock twisted around and jumped again. The shaman swung at him with its mace but it had aimed too low. Farion passed over the shaman’s mace and brought his sword down through the horrible creature’s head. The shaman was slammed to the ground and Farion’s blade stuck deep into the earth, pinning the shaman there. The shaman twitched, but, after a few seconds, it finally stopped and died.

A cheer went up from the Eastirim side. The shaman was dead. But the battle was far from over. Farion fell to his knees. He couldn’t see Renly anywhere. Then, to his surprise, the shaman’s body withered away and turned to dust. All that was left was a pile of ash and and a sword, deeply embedded in the ground. The Zarkarans starred in shock. Then they charged forward in one final push. Farion tried to stand but he had lost too much blood. Fighting the shaman had taken him far away from the rest of the Eastirim army. He lay there, without a weapon and completely defenseless. The Eastirim charged at the approaching Zarkarans, but they would not reach him in time. The last thing Farion remembered before he blacked out was a heavy boot of soldier, he could not tell whether he was Zarkaran or Eastirim, coming down onto his head.

Send us an owl: What’s going to happen to Farion? Tell me, I must know! …Ahem, excuse me.  Wow, what a thrilling tale! Please share your thoughts for spock0528 below and keep a lookout for Chapter 6. 

Heroes of Rune Chapter 4

Cirdan’s Note: I’m pleased to introduce to you another installment from our very own spock0528. I don’t know about you, but I’m thoroughly enjoying our journey through the World of Rune! Make sure you’ve read the prologue,  chapter onechapter two, and chapter three before continuing on the adventure below!

Chapter 4

Eastior 

They say he died with honor. But is dying really honorable? Is laying there muttering and sputtering, bleeding out and gasping for your last breath really honor? “No,” Eastior whispered to himself. He knew it was not possible to die with honor. He knew there was nothing honorable about dying.

These are the thoughts than ran through Eastior’s mind as he watched the morticians prepare his father’s body. He stood in his father’s study looking out through the window to the courtyard below. He watched the morticians in their ceremonial robes do their work. The stitched up the spear wound in his side and dressed him in the robes of a lord. Two stones with drawings of wide open eyes were laid upon his real eyes making him look as if he were still alive. Was there honor in this? To be dressed up like a doll? To have the wound that caused his demise to be covered up like it had never been there?

He heard Silgafrane enter into the study behind him. She sat down in her father’s chair and did not say a word. Eastior made no attempt to strike up a conversation with his sister. He just watched as his father was transformed into something he had never been.

It had been nearly a week since he had heard the horns blowing. It had been nearly a week since he had heard Silgafrane screaming for him. Nearly a week since she had told him that their father, while out on a hunting trip, had been ambushed by a pack of dark elves. A week since he learned of the spear that struck him in the side. He had come in laid out on a horse, barely breathing. He had died that night, with no idea what was happening. He only moaned softly and laid there as the doctors worked frantically to save him. Alabaster Arganean died with no idea that his children were sitting next to him, praying to the old gods that he would come back to them.

And now Eastior would take his place. Take his place as the Lord of the Elven House of Ranann. It was a position he did not want. He had spent even more hours in the library than usual researching elvish law. He was trying to find some way he could pass on the the throne to Silgafrane. She was the warrior in the family. The one who knew how to talk to the people. The one who could rally and inspire. But there was no way she could become lord. Even though she was older than him by three years he was the son and he would inherit the kingdom.

Eastior was the opposite of what you think of when you think of a powerful lord. He was short for an elf, about the size of a man. His bright red hair went down to his waist and it was never combed or brushed, making it look a wildfire was going through it. He had a bad bout of acne on his face and very bad eyesight (probably from his constant reading). Eastior’s glasses had several different lenses on them and he always twisting the knobs on his glasses so that he could rotate between his different lenses for each range of sight. Eastior was a poor warrior. He remembered when he was just a boy and his father tried to teach him how to use a sword. He had gotten frustrated and had spent the whole practice session getting whacked around with a stick. He was even worse at archery. He could never hit the target, let alone well, anything. What Eastior loved to do was to read. He read books of poetry and books of history. He read the great elven epics and books of law. He spent more time in the library than he did at home. Eastior was not very good at making friends either. No one really seemed to understand him. He was the son of the lord, a great warrior, yet he knew nothing about fighting. To many, the only thing elven about him were his pointy ears. So Eastior spent most of the time by himself. He liked it that way, but now he would have to communicate quite a bit if he were to become a lord of an Elven House.

“What kind of a ruler would he be?” Eastior wondered to himself. But he already knew, didn’t he? He would be a ruler just like his father. He would settle a few petty disputes, go to council meetings, and do nothing to expand or strengthen elf culture. He would be put in the grand masters history book as a lord and nothing more. Just like his father and the countless other lords that ruled before him.

When seven families of high elves had decided to stay here, convinced this was their new homeland, while the other elves sailed on, did they know what would happen generations later? Did they know that their “homeland” was called Ragar, a land deemed godless and forsaken by both the Eastirim and Karkaran?  Did they know that the seven families would form seven Houses that would separate from each other so much that not one elf had seen another House in generations? Did they know that while the Zarkaran and Eastirim battled on and the mighty Drake Furror led one final charge against the Zarkaran forces that the elves would sit idle in their towers and that any elf who left to join the fight would be banished from his House? Did they know that lord after lord would sit there as the elves lost their honor and nobility. As they lost all development and culture. As the power that the race of elf once carried slipped away like the finest silt through fingers on the windiest of days.

“No,” said Eastior to himself for the second time that day, they couldn’t have. Silgafrane stood up and walked over to him. There were tears in her eyes. Eastior adjusted the knobs and lenses on his glasses so that he could see her properly. She knelt down beside him and whispered into his ear. “I think you will be a great lord.” But he heard the uncertainty in her voice, saw the slight quiver of her lip and the quick darting movements in her eyes.

As Eastior watched his fathers body being prepared, he had one last final thought: “Yes, there was certainly no honor in death and certainly no honor in being an elf.”

Send us an owl: What do you think will happen to Eastior? Do you agree with his views on death?

Heroes of Rune Chapter 3

Cirdan’s Note: I’m pleased to introduce to you another installment from our very own spock0528. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been itching to find out more about the World of Rune! Make sure you’ve read the prologue,  chapter one, and chapter two before continuing on the journey below!

Chapter 3

Darius

Darius ran quickly over the cobbled stones, past a row of shopkeepers and through a narrow alley. As he ran he adjusted the strap on his courier bag. He was going to be late. Darius quickly sidestepped a merchant carrying a basket of a fruit on his head. He could see his destination just ahead. With a flying leap he jumped over the stone steps and skidded to a stop just in front of the door to the couriers office. He flung open the door and darted inside. Madame Dreyfus looked up from a stack of papers. “Ah, Darius, did you bring the message from the minstrels guild?” she asked in her dry nasally voice. “Yes Mam,” Darius said as he pulled out the envelope marked with a red seal. “They have everything ready for Lord Seacrests arrival.” “Excellent, now I think you’re wanted back at the palace,” Madame Dreyfus said taking the envelope. “Yes Mam,” Darius said as he exited the office.

Darius strolled through the streets of Teroh. He was approaching the palace, a massive tower that rose so high into the sky it’s head was not visible from the street. Etched into the side of tower was a gold dragon that curled all the way up the tower like a coiled rope. Surrounding the single tower was a courtyard with several small official structures inside it. This was the mighty castle of Teroh, the home of the great King Alistair, the mighty stronghold of the Eastirim. At each of the corners of the square courtyard were the four gates into the palace. Above each gate was a statue of one of the four gods. Each statue towered above the gate so that while walking through a gate you would go under the statue’s legs. Right in front of him was the North Gate and a golden statue of Acosor holding in one hand a sword and in the other a scepter.  As Darius drew closer to the center of the kingdom, the people he encountered grew more official looking and the merchants and street vendors began to diminish. The people here were dressed in fine robes and some wore armor and carried swords. The buildings became taller and less ramshackled. The road sloped steeply upward now, and Darius began to tire.

The city of Teroh was built into the side of a mountain with the palace at the top. Buildings were built on all sides of the mountain and long walkways extended from its many towers. Most structures were made of sandstone and the towers near the top of the mountain were capped with gold and red. Flags fluttered in the gentle breeze of a mid-spring day and the waters of Lake Teroh sparkled below. Teroh was a mass of buildings all stacked on top of each other and all sticking out at odd angles. To the a person viewing the rest of Teroh from the street it was a crazy mess of people and buildings. But from afar it looked as if it were one giant structure instead of the thousands of individual ones. It was quite the view, and Darius saw it everyday.

Darius was part of a special program for orphans in the city of Teroh. Darius had entered the city at the age of ten claiming his parents were killed by bandits. Instead of being put up for adoption he was selected by Master Pibb, the head of the program, to become a royal aid. There were about 15 orphans working as aids at a time and each one was selected from the orphanage by their devotion and loyalty to the kingdom. The aids worked a variety of important jobs around the kingdom. Darius had been a personal assistant to several important lords and helped in the royal kitchens. He had even been the king’s food taster for a while. And now he was working as a courier. The aids did whatever was needed. The program also allowed the orphans to experience a variety of jobs. If they excelled at a job, one of the masters of that trade could select them as an apprentice. It gave the orphans a chance to learn trades that they would have learned if they had parents.

Darius had pale skin, quite unusual for an Eastirim, so unusual many believed he had a skin disease, and blue eyes. His short raven black hair fell loosely in front of his eyes and he was constantly brushing it out of the way. He was around 14 years old (he claimed he had lost track of his birthday) and was just two years away from being chosen as an apprentice by one of the masters. Darius did not know what he would be chosen for. He was decent in all of the areas he had tried but didn’t really excel at any one. Darius found it hard to fit in in Teroh. It was so different from his homeland. He had friends, other orphans in the program, but he spent most of his time by himself. It gave him more time to reflect, to plan, to figure out how to get out of here.

As Darius approached the palace, he ran into Master Pibb. “Ah Darius, I was looking for you,” he said. Master Pibb was a heavy man with a bald shiny head and a pinkish face. Darius guessed that Master Pibb was around 50 but it was hard to tell with his bald head. “I assume Madame Dreyfus got her messages on time?” he asked. “Yes Master Pibb,” he said quickly. Darius got nervous when he talked to Master Pibb. He got nervous when he talked to any official. “I have new orders from Sir Roddick,” Master Pibb replied. Sir Roddick was in in charge of the army in Teroh. “You know very well of Lord Seacrest’s arrival here next week.” Darius nodded. “There is a tournament in his honor. Lord Nicholas Snow v.s. William Gore. You are to clean and polish Sir Gore’s armor and weapons. Make sure there shining! They will be collected tonight so hurry on down to the barracks”. Darius gave a “yes sir” to Master Pibb and headed around to the East Gate where the barracks were.

Darius cursed under his breath. He would be up all night polishing William Gore’s armor. If that even was his real name. Sir William Gore was probably the biggest man in Eastirim. He had bright red hair and was seven feet tall and he looked about seven feet wide too! He had become famous for winning a duel without any weapon when his opponent carried a great broadsword. He had simply grabbed the sword, broke it in two with his own bare hands and smashed the mans head open like a watermelon. This had earned him the name of “Gore.” Or so the story went. Darius doubted it was true, but either way he felt sorry for Nicholas Snow, whoever that was. He seemed to remember hearing it somewhere but he couldn’t remember where. Since Sir Gore was so big, special armor three times the normal size had to be built for him. Three times the size meant three times the polishing, and that meant Darius was going to have a very late night.

On the way to the East Gate Darius heard a commotion. As he drew closer he saw a man standing on top of a crate with a group of people standing around him, listening to him shout. “The last of the Turks are dead! Methelga and Fayrx were caught a fortnight ago near Farbean.”

Darius knew of the Turks. For a while they were the most powerful family in Zarkaran, second only to the King himself. Baron Ramm Turk, the head of the family, was the King’s most trusted advisor. The Turks basically had their own private army that they lent out to the King in time of trouble. Around five years ago the Turks had gotten cocky. They had launched an attack on an Eastirim city called Pinebone. They had burnt the city to the ground, killed its men and taken its women and children away to work as slaves. This caused outrage from the Eastirim and it nearly started a full scale war. The war was prevented when the Zarkakran government claimed the Turks had acted without permission from the government but the Zarkarans still protected the Turks. Action needed to be taken. An Eastirim raiding party attacked the Turks mansion and killed almost everyone inside including the Baron himself. Only a few stragglers had escaped and for the last half a decade the hunt was on. Now the last of them had been caught and killed. This move had not caused war right away, but Darius and many others believed the Turks were the main reason the Zarkarans were rumored to be attacking the north of Eastirim.

“Second cousins of the great baron himself,” the man on the crate shouted. Darius noted that he spit as he said the word “baron.” “Tracked down and killed like the dogs they were,” he shouted as the public viewing his rant cheered.

Darius moved on. He was going to to have to get a start on that armor sometime. He moved through the riled up crowd and continued on to the barracks. So the last of the Turks were dead. Darius thought about it. He had been hearing about the manhunt for years now. Darius continued to think about it. Then he smiled under his breath.

Polishing the armor took his whole afternoon and most of his evening and when he was done a burly attendant collected it with a grunt. Darius headed back to his house that he shared with three other orphans in the program, his arms sore and calloused from the job he had just completed. The others were not back yet. Good, he had time for it. Darius lit four candles and placed them in each corner of the room. He pulled up a loose floorboard near his bed and removed a small item from it. He sat in the middle of the room and put the item in his lap. Darius murmured a few words under his breath. “Ncvx delagreen xuqrt merkxh,” he said as if he was in a trance. He looked back at the door, his eyes wide. If someone walked in and saw this… He put his hand over the item and whispered a few more words. “lmbn haxcv uiz,” he said quickly. He then put out the candles and placed the item back in its safe spot in the floorboard. The item was a small stone statue of Azolael, the Zarkaran god. It was the last thing given to him by his father. His father, Baron Ramm Turk.

Send us an owl: Whoa! Twist! What did you think? Stay tuned for Chapter 4 coming soon!

Heroes of Rune Chapter 2

Cirdan’s Note: I’m pleased to introduce to you another installment from our very own spock0528. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been itching to find out more about the World of Rune! Make sure you’ve read the prologue and chapter one before continuing on the journey below!

Chapter 2

Farion Stormborn

The Wand and the Barrel was a grungy little place run by an even grungier old man named Barney. Farion had been there many times with Diggle while patrolling the northern borders and when he walked in Barney and the usual crowd greeted him with vigor. He ordered a plate of bread and cheese and some whiskey to wash it all down.

“Out on patrol again, Farion?” Barney asked. “Something like that,” Farion answered. He didn’t feel like diving into the complex battle plan he was now in the middle of. Farion left the tavern and headed back to camp. The rest of his trip was uneventful and he met no one on the road. By about three in the afternoon Farion could see the smoke of the camp curling up into the sky like a great dragon. He took his horn and blew three long and sharp blasts, the signal of a soldier returning. He was given the standard two quick blasts of the horn, which meant that he could approach the camp.

The camp was massive. Over 10,000 Eastirim soldiers were staying here and the rows of bright red tents was quite an impressive sight. After meeting with the sentries, Farion returned to the tent he shared with three other soldiers from Bahruna. He was ready for a night around a warm fire with his friends as he waited for news of the Zarkaran’s plans.

However when he arrived at his tent he saw a boy about 17 standing by the opening. When he saw Farion arrive he jumped to attention. The boy had a small dagger and wore a cloak. “What do you want?” Farion asked gruffly. He was impatient and he wanted to get some rest. “My name is Renly, Sir,” he said. “I am to be your squire in the battle.”

What the boy had said made Farion immediately think of Diggle. Diggle had been a knight and Farion had been his squire. Farion remembered a situation, very much like the one he was in now, where he, a clean shaven and oblivious boy had awkwardly introduced himself to his master. Diggle had acted like he was acting now: not very impressed.

Diggle however had not used Farion to polish their armor and assist him in tournaments like most knights used their squires. He had instead taken Farion along the northern border on some “hands on experience.” Farion remembered his first night out in the wilderness… They had been attacked by a band of highway robbers and Diggle had tossed Farion his sword and let him take care of the four of them. Farion had barely managed to take all of them all down, but after the experience he and Diggle had both gained a mutual respect for each other.

After that the two had become close friends. Diggle passed him on to knight in just three years as opposed to the usual four it took most boys. After Farion had moved on, Diggle had been appointed as a King’s Guard in Teroh. When Farion got to visit Teroh, he always made time to see Diggle who was adjusting to his much easier job. Farion’s visits were always a bright spot in Diggle’s life.

25 years ago, Diggle had lost his wife in childbirth. He was crushed by her death but he loved his surviving son, Jeremy. Jeremy had blond hair and cold blue eyes and he looked just like his mother. Diggle insisted that Jeremy stay safe and not study to become a knight. He was afraid of losing his only son like he had lost his wife. This destroyed Jeremy. There was nothing that he wanted to do more than fight for Eastirim but his father refused. When he and Diggle were summoned to stop a rogue Zarkaran force that was heading across Eastirim territory, Jeremy, without his fathers knowledge, had secretly joined up at the age of 17.

When Farion spotted Jeremy out on the battlefield, he prayed to the gods as hard as he could that they would spare Jeremy’s life. They did not. At the end of the battle Diggle stumbled across Jeremy’s mangled body. Around him were the bodies of many dead Zarkarans. Diggle wept with Jeremy’s head in his arms for hours. At that moment Farion knew the gods were gone. They no longer cared for the lives of mortals. How could they forsake Diggle like this? How could they let a man as noble as him suffer this tragedy? It was as he watched Diggle scream and cry for his only son that Farion vowed to forsake what he once loved and respected. After Jeremy’s death, Diggle stumbled into a kind of trance. He had lost his wife and son, and he no longer saw reason in living. Only Farion’s visits kept him going.

“I was told that you were to head to the commander’s tent to give him your report,” Renly said, bringing Farion back to the present. Farion silently turned around and started walking to the center of the camp. Renly followed him like a puppy.

“Did you hear what I said about being your squire?” Renly asked eagerly. “Yes,” said Farion. “And?” Renly asked with anticipation. “I don’t need a squire,” Farion said. “I know sir, but I thought you could really use someone to help you, I have quite a bit of experience–” “What battle experience?” Farion said. They had reached the commanding tent. “Well sir, I may not have had actual battle experience, but I’ve–” Farion entered the tent. He had heard it all before. The young squire willing to prove himself and just getting in the way. In the actual battle, he would test Renly like Diggle had tested him.

He gave his report to the general. “There was no sign of any Zarkaran forces,” he said. Farion asked about the other possible locations for a Zarkaran invading force. “You’re the first we have heard from” General Icarus said. Farion was dismissed, and as he exited the tent, he noticed that Renly was gone.

***

That night Farion was sitting around the campfire with his friends from Bahruna when Renly approached and sat down behind him. The other men took no notice of him. “This leg of goat is delicious,” said Farion’s friend, Heimgal. “Best we’ve had all month,” Heimgal said, wiping his mouth. “Best you enjoy while you can,” replied Mason, the soldier sitting next to Heimgal. “The rest of the scouts are due to come back tonight.” “My bet’s on Baywater,” Gendri, a captain from Bahruna muttered. “I’ll take that bet,” Heimgal said, looking up from his food. “How much?” he asked.

Farion did not partake in this discussion. Instead he was watching Renly. The boy was looking down at his knees. Farion got up and sat down beside him. He felt a little bad about how he acted earlier. The boy needed to know that Farion wasn’t his enemy. “Who’s that you’re sitting by?” Heimgal yelled at Farion. “This is Renly, he is to be my squire in the upcoming battle,” Farion said loudly. “Oh really,” Heimgal said with distaste. “Tell me boy, have you done much fighting?” he asked as if he already knew the answer. “I bet he’s killed a Shaman,” Mason said sarcastically.

The Shamans were the most powerful of the Zarkaran army. Decorated in the robes and headdresses of Zarkaran priests, they were fast and deadly. Farion had never met anyone who had ever killed one in battle, let alone seen one. Claiming you had killed a Shaman was not something that was taken lightly.

“Have any of you seen a Shaman?” Renly asked in awe, Heimgal’s rudeness apparently lost on him. “Gendri reckons he saw one once,” Mason said, now speaking in a hushed tone. “Is it true what they say then?” Renly asked, his voice barely audible. “They’re wicked fast. I saw it only for a second. It killed five men in just a matter of seconds right in front of my eyes. Then it was gone,” Gendri replied, his eyes distant.

“What about the curse?” Renly said. His eyes were so wide it looked like they were about to burst. “What curse?” Farion asked. “I heard about it when I was a child,” Renly said. “And what exactly does this curse do?” Heimgal asked skeptically. “I am not sure. I can’t remember. I think it happens when you kill a Shaman,” Renly said, his voice wavering. “A bunch of fairy stories, no doubt. I bet your wet nurse told them to you when you was a child. Nothing but a load of rubbish, I say,” Heimgal said. Everyone in the group laughed except Farion and Renly. Renly looked at his knees again. Farion started to say something to comfort him. But before Farion could say anything he was interrupted by a horn blast and a shout from a sentry. “The scouts have returned. Gather your gear and get ready to move out. The Zarkarans are arriving at Pymnimily.”

Send us an owl: Wow! What did you think? What do you suppose this “curse” is all about?

Heroes of Rune Chapter 1

Cirdan’s Note: I’m pleased to introduce to you another installment from our very own spock0528. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been itching to find out more about the World of Rune! Have you read the prologue yet?

Chapter I

Farion Stormborn

    Farion Stormborn crouched over the Cliffs of Rylonth watching the ocean swirl around the treacherous rocks below. He was doing one final check for signs of the enemy but could find nothing. It was the end of his second night there and he was ready to return to camp. There he would find a sleeping mat (only slightly more comfortable than the ground he had been forced to rest on here), a warm fire, and the comfort of his friends. Farion decided to make one final sweep of the cliffs before starting the long trip back. He collected his gear and slung the little that he had with him over his back. Farion had brought: two weeks supplies of rations, a cloak, a small hunting bow and arrows, a compass, and a his large broadsword. His mission was based entirely on stealth so he bore no flint or steal or any means of making a fire. He also was not permitted to bring a horse, so a mission which would have taken two days was now stretched into a week…

     Farion completed his detailed sweep of the cliffs in less than a hour. Satisfied that there were no signs of Zarkaran forces, Farion began heading southeast towards the Eastirim camp. Even though he had thoroughly examined the three miles of land that looked over the cliffs he couldn’t help but look back at them one last time.

     Rylonth overlooked the Aldren sea that the river Tywin ran into. Steep and slippery, climbing the caves would pose a challenge to even the most advanced climber. Dozens of unexplored caves were also embedded into the cliff walls. Rylonth would serve as a sneaky way into Eastirim and with enough time and proper climbing gear the Zarkaran could send in a large invasion force and be halfway to Teroh before an alarm was sounded. That was why Farion Stormborn, an elite soldier of Anirab, had been sent to scout out the cliffs.

    Two weeks ago Eastirim spies posted in Ruir, the Zarkaran capitol, had warned the Eastirim of an invading force heading across the river Tywin towards Eastirim. Less than a week ago the messages had stopped coming. The army had no idea of the location that the Zarkaran would be invading from but there would be three possible location where an attack might come from. The were the beach of Baywater to the west, the valley of Pynimily, and to the very east the Cliffs of Rylonth. Scouts had been sent to all three locations and Farion being an expert tracker and woodsman was chosen as one of them. But he had found nothing and Farion was not surprised. Climbing the cliffs was something that took time and it was something the Zarkarans did not have now that their plan to invade had been discovered.

    Not since the time of Drake Furror had the Zarkaran been in Eastirim and the idea of them returning worried Farion. He had heard of them gathering their strength for an invasion but the idea had always seemed far away to him. For while the gods had all but disappeared from the lives of the Eastirim they had not so from the Zarkaran. They remained visiting often and the idea of the creatures of Ncava being unleashed into Eastirim was enough to upset even the most hardened warrior.

    Farion was just over 30 years old though his eyes showed the light of a man who had been through much more than your average 30 year old.  He had long dark hair that matched his dark skin that all Eastirim had. His eyes were bright green and bore a long dark blue cloak that concealed his sword that was draped across his back. He was from the city of Bahruna and was one of the city’s elite guards. Though he lived in Bahruna, Farion had spent the first half of his life training to be a soldier in Teroh. He had left his parents when he was five years old to train to be a servant of Anirab or a temple guard. 16 years later Farion was stationed at the Temple of Melgen (a lesser entity who had helped the gods in the Ancient War) in Bahruna. Within his first day there he uncovered a conspiracy to kill the governor of Bahruna. He was immediately promoted to head guard. In his first year he was offered a chance to become a priest of Anirab but he declined. He said a soldier’s place was protecting the city but that was not why Farion had declined. Farion despised the gods. 

    But it was not always so. Farion’s parents will tell they never saw a boy more devoted to serving the gods of Fabeu. And it was true but now Farion had no time for foolish deities that had abandoned him and his people hundreds of years ago. He did not deny their existence but he knew they would never return to Eastirim and he was glad of it. He wore the sign of Anirab because it was expected of him. He worshiped and did the ancient rituals every year because it was expected of him. And he prayed with his family each night because it was expected of him. When the others praised Acosor he cursed him under his breath. For the abandonment of this world was not the only reason Farion loathed the gods.

    Farion trekked through the forest. He was making good time. By this rate he would be there tomorrow by mid-day. The Melegren forest Farion was travelling through was uninhabited. In fact the nearest town was several miles away, a town called Sandfly. Farion had been there many times and he looked forward at stopping there tomorrow at noon and having lunch and whiskey at The Wand and the Barrel if he had time.

    As he was crossing a small stream Farion noticed a hizzleberry bush growing by it’s shore. The bright yellow oval shaped berries reminded Farion immediately of his youngest son Brandon. Brandon loved hizzleberrys. He ate them until his face was bright yellow. Most children avoided the sour berries like the plague but Brandon ate them by the pound. Brandon was funny that way. He was six years old, the youngest of Farion’s two children. His oldest daughter was named Tamriel and she wanted to be Eastirim’s first female prophet. She was only 15 but she had spent her short time on this earth learning as much as she could about the ancient gods. Farion and his wife Elba were both very proud of her and encouraged her. Well, Farion tried to encourage her. It’s hard when your daughter wants to be a representative for the thing you hate. He wanted her to be happy and if that meant her pursuing a career as a prophet would make her so he would be happy too.

    Farion had meant Elba in Bahruna and the two fell in love immediately. He hated to leave his family but before he had gone off with the army he had told his wife he had to fight for Eastirim. Not for the gods but for Eastirim. Elba with tears running down her face asked “How do you know you will come back?. “I promise I’ll come back to you,” he had said. Brandon and Tamriel were both hugging him. ” Promise?” Brandon asked. “Promise,” Farion said. “Swear on the gods,” Tamriel said. “I swear,” Farion said. and holding back tears he walked out the door. 

    The last conversation he had with his family ran over and over again in his mind. “Swear on the gods,” Tamriel had said. Farion had thought of the gods as nothing and he was pretty sure that swearing on nothing wasn’t a good sign.

 Send us an owl: What do you think will happen to Farion?

The World of Rune prologue and preview

Cirdan’s Note: By the sea and stars, I have stumbled upon a most fascinating text! Our very own spock0528 has uncovered an ancient scroll that he thought would be of some interest to us. Read his findings below.

Heroes of

Rune

Part 1

 

Prologue

Of Gods and Men

“For the great god Acosor rode on the Golden Dragon from his Kingdom, Fabeu and discovered Rune, land of mortals. He taught the Eastirim, a then primitive tribe of Rune the ways of his kingdom and the ways of his fellow gods. There was Anirab, god of battle and victory, Herarl, goddess of wisdom, and Olset, goddess of the elements. Acosor, god of the sun changed the once small nation of the Eastirim into a mighty empire. The Eastirim prayed to the gods and they answered. For it was a time of peace and of closeness with the divine. But the gods and demons and darkness from the underworld of Ncava wanted Rune for their own. They found the Zarkaran, a tribe willing to do whatever to take Rune from the Eastirim. The dark god king, Azolael lead the Zarkaran into battle against the Eastirim on the Black Dragon. Helping him were his fellow gods, Udun, the dark god of battle, Shidiel, goddess of plague and disease, and the terrible demon Poshrux the Merciless. It was a hard battle lasting many days but finally Acosor and the Eastirim banished the dark gods and drove the Zarkarans back to their home. The final act of the Acosor was to split Rune into two pieces to separate the two nations. The river Tywin was left to be the border of Eastrim and Zarkaran.

All was well until Acosor and the other gods disappeared. Prayers were no longer answered and the great temples of Teroh, Eastirim’s capital city were left unvisited by the divine. Why did the gods disappear? None can say. The gods work in mysterious ways and it is not up to mortals to question them. Still the gods did not reappear for 2,000 years. The two halves of Rune drifted side by side peacefully. The land masses drew near to a new land where new races entered Rune and the noble blood of the Eastirim was all but gone. The gods were remembered as ancient stories among the Eastirim. But then the Zarkarans returned led by Azolael to conquer the rest of Rune. Still the gods did not return. All looked hopeless until the great warrior Drake Furror arose, for he was of pure Eastirim blood. He defeated the enemy in a single swoop with his army of elites and reigned for many years as king. He was as good of a king as he was as a warrior. When he died he was buried in a tomb made of solid gold 10,000 feet beneath the palace of Teroh in the ancient hall of kings.

That was 500 years ago and we have remained safe from the Zarkarans for now. Perhaps they are truly gone or perhaps they are biding their time and preparing to attack again. We cannot be sure but either way we are prepared for war. For we know that the power of the Zarkarans and Azolael are great.”

_ excerpt from The Scrolls of the Eastrim chapter 4 by Barnabas Lessiar and Malistair Huckberry  

Welcome to the

World Of

Rune

 

Follow the stories of four very different individuals in this magical world.

 

Meet Farion

A warrior now forced to live with a terrible curse

Join him on his mission of vengeance

 

Meet Darius

The king’s trusted boy servant who has a dark secret

 

Meet Eastior

A young elf prince who now must take over an elven

kingdom when his father is killed

 

Meet Violet

A nine year old Zarkarvan slave girl who is about to discover her

massive destiny that will change the course of Rune forever

 

New chapter every week

Coming Soon!!!

Send us an owl: Wow! Which story are you most excited to hear about?

What does the Spock say sing-along and logo

Cirdan’s note: Check out this awesome post by one of our videographers, spock0528. He’s got a great music video that he shared at Geek Show, and he’s also included a playlist of his Fandom tribute videos and reviews on YouTube!

Here is the video I showed at Geek show:

And a new log I made for our videos:

Send us an owl: Which video was your favorite?? If you have movie reviews, be sure to post them/send them to us in word or video! Woohoo. 🙂