Gems of War novel in the works


As part of National Novel Writing month, I am writing a novelization of a brand new character in the game. Starting with a very familiar quest and using the actual troops and weapons that I collect and use in the game. It’s been a lot of fun and I wanted to share with all of you. Hopefully Sirrian or Salty get a chance to check this out as well. I’d love some feedback so please feel free to comment away. So here goes:

“What do you see lad?” a grumbling voice called from base of a rocky ledge. Far above the armored, grizzled warrior, a crouching figure was looking down into a valley where a pitched battle was raging. He winced at the sound of the man’s voice but the combatants below didn’t seem to hear.

Argent had seen enough. He worked has way back down from the ledge and moved stealthily back to the makeshift camp. Like all wargare, he was covered in fur and had a distinctly canine face. His fur was a steely gray color and he had a shock of white hair on top of his head. Golden yellow eyes darted around the area, always wary for danger. Above and below his right eye was a deep scar which appeared to be quite recent.

He wore armor of thick leather and plate but it was crafted well enough to allow him to move with ease and stealth. A sword rested on his hip and his hand kept brushing over the hilt of the weapon in a nervous gesture. A bow and quiver were strapped across his back and his easy movements showed his comfort with the weapon.

He came to a stop before a tall, grizzled human. His once-black hair had gone mostly gray and a well-kept beard was braided and tucked down behind a heavy ornate breastplate. He carried a sword of very similar design on his hip but also had a brace of throwing knives strapped across his chest and a thick shield strapped to his back. His face was haggard and scarred but his blue eyes glittered with youthful energy and eagerness. “Well, what did you see?” His voice was a deep, rumbling drawl.

The wargare’s reply had a soft, measured tone with only a hint of a raspy growl. “Goblins and ogres, fighting each other. Hard to tell who was winning. The goblins have the advantage of numbers, but the ogres are massive in size and they are better armed. I think I spotted a group of goblins hiding in a cave on this side of the valley.”

“Huh, likely slaves rising up against their masters. The brutes have been raiding all of the coastal areas and the little greenskins usually get hit the hardest.”

“Luther, we don’t have enough people to take on a fortress full of those hulking monsters.” Argent’s tone didn’t betray any fear. He was merely stating a fact.

The older man nodded and looked around at their camp. A small detachment of knights and their horses were milling about. He knew they would be able to break down the camp and be mounted and ready in only minutes, but this terrain was not suited to their style of combat, something that he knew all-too-well. “You’re right. If those goblins are eager to fight back, we might be able to get them to join us.”

“You call them racial slurs, but you’re still willing to fight alongside them?” The warrior looked at him with confusion, so Argent continued. “Greenskins. They hate that term. Did you not realize that? It’s no different than calling my people ‘dogmen’.”

“Huh. I’ll have to keep that in mind. I’ve never had a green… Err, a goblin under my command. Tell you what, why don’t you go speak with a couple of them. See if they’d be willing to join us.”
Argent nodded and turned to leave. Luther’s voice made him pause, “don’t forget the little one.”

A few minutes later, the scout moved swiftly and silently along the rocky ground. Craggy cliffs and mountains loomed all around and his eyes continually scanned for danger. High above, a small winged shape soared and swooped from ledge to ledge. Argent found himself cringing every time he spotted the flying creature. It wasn’t native to the area and would likely draw attention. As he moved in view the clearing where he had witnessed the fighting taking place, he gave a quick wave. The little winged shape zipped down the land on rocks next to him.

A golden baby dragon looked at the Wargare curiously, cocking its head to the side and letting out a puff of smoke from its snout.

“Okay Pyre, you stay back and keep watch. If anything tries to approaches me from behind, that’s when you attack.” The little beast let out another puff of smoke and made a soft chittering sound. Argent nodded and moved toward the cave, watching carefully for any sign of movement. He paused to let his eyes adjust to the darkness. He could hear scuffling along with faint voices, but he had no way of knowing how many there were inside or how they would react. Seeing no other options, he called out in a calm, clear voice.

“Hello! I mean you no harm. I only want to talk. I believe we can help each other.” The voices all went silent and Argent held his breath. A single short figure moved in the shadows.

“Who are you, furface?” the voice was a gravelly snarl. “What do you want?”

Argent grinned as he thought of the words he had just exchanged with Luther about racial slurs. He shook it off and answered, “I am working with a group of warriors on a quest to defeat the ogres of Broken Spire. We could use some help and I think you could benefit from our assistance as well.”

A goblin male stepped fully into view. He was short and had the green skin, typical of his kind but this goblin was stout and broad-chested. His large nose was flattened and bent to one side as if had been broken numerous times and never set correctly. He looked up at the wargare with no trace of fear or malice, but Argent noticed him make a brief glance to the side.

Immediately, Argent stepped back as an arrow clattered to the rock wall to his left. With a smooth, practiced motion he unslung his bow and fired an arrow. He deliberately aimed low and heard a yelp of pain as his shot found its mark. Another goblin collapsed to the ground, an arrow protruding from his thigh. Behind him, he heard the sound of a blade being pulled from a sheath along with quick, thudding footfalls. He managed to dodge to his right as a wicked-looking dagger flashed into view. He whirled his bow around to smack the goblin in the face but the dagger flashed again and scraped along Argent’s side. He hissed in pain and took a few steps back while drawing his sword.

Before either could attack, there was a silent blur of gold as the dragon, the size of an average dog crashed into the goblin’s face, claws and teeth flashing. Pyre disengaged a moment later and Argent brought the hilt of his sword crashing down onto his attacker’s thick skull. The goblin grunted in pain and dropped to the ground while Pyre flew over to the first goblin who was struggling to his feet and attempting to draw another arrow. There was a soft puff of flame and a yelp, followed by a smoldering bow clattering to the cave floor.

“Well, that was nicely done,” the first goblin said with an amused tone. Argent whirled back around to look at the little man, who was standing calmly with his arms crossed over his broad chest. “I think maybe we can work together.” He whistled sharply and Argent could hear the sound of voices and scrambling feet from within the cave. “My name’s Greblek. Who are you?”

“Argent.” He glanced at each of his attackers before pointedly looking back at Greblek.

The goblin shrugged. “Had to see who we were dealing with. So, do you have any food?”


Neat. I want to read more! I’m a fan of writing like this


Looking forward to how it turns out. :smiley:


I love all things writing, so I’ll be here reading!


Wow! Tacet and Salty? It’s an honor to hear from both of you! I’m also glad to see so many views in just two days. BTW, you can find me in game as either Argentwind or Knight Argent. Here is the next part of the story:

An hour later, after sneaking past multiple hostile groups, the goblins were settling into the war camp. There were over a dozen of them and they all bore numerous scars and bruises. Many were eagerly wolfing down whatever food they had been given as they had obviously not been eaten well since escaping from captivity. Greblek stood with Argent and Luther, looking over the camp with a keen eye.

“You only brought a force of twenty to assault an entire fortress of ogres?" The goblin sounded more amused than worried.

Luther replied, “No, we came to assault all three fortresses. The first should be fairly easy as it was all but wiped out a few weeks ago.”

“Ha! I heard something about that.” Greblek was smiling broadly, a disturbing sight with all of his jagged teeth. “Was that your handiwork?”

Luther nodded. “In part. We’re here to finish what was started.” He trailed off as he looked over the bustling camp. “Your folk seem to settling in well. Do they all have fighting experience?”

“Most of them do. We get used as fodder by the big guys. We flush out game from caves and we sometimes act as ranged support. Some of us also do a bit of scouting. We’re a sneaky bunch. What are we doing next?”

Luther took a breath to respond but Argent answered first. “We take out the slave-masters.” The older man looked at him with a raised eyebrow but didn’t interrupt. “Greblek, if your people are going to fight alongside us, we’re not leaving any of them behind with those monsters. I want you to scout with me to get a better idea of their numbers. Luther, you follow with the knights while the goblins flank and thin their numbers with arrows. In all the confusion, a small force can sneak in and free the captives so they can join the fight as well.”

They both nodded to Argent and when they didn’t say anything he added, “Let’s go kill some slavers.”

A few minutes later, Argent and Greblek were stalking among the rocks at the edge of a wide canyon. Small campfires were scattered around the area in clusters of trees or piles of broken stone. Nearby each of these camps, there were slaves secured by ropes or chains or locked in rolling cages. Argent spotted at least a dozen ogres, most of whom were sitting at the fires, eating noisily and slurping from large clay mugs.

Greblek nudged the wargare’s arm and pointed to a pair of ogres standing more-or-less at attention. Argent nodded before glancing up at the sky where he spotted a glint of golden scales as Pyre found a vantage point from higher ground. Looking back over the valley, he took note of one camp where ogres seemed to come and go regularly.

He leaned down and spoke softly to the goblin. “We take out the sentries as quietly as possible. Then we head for the camp over there.” He pointed to the secluded campfire where another ogre was walking away. “Has to be someone in charge since others are reporting in. Once the alarm goes up, the rest will charge in but the more we can take out before they get here, the better.”

“Sound like fun.” The goblin clutched the hilt of his short sword and followed closely behind his taller companion. Within minutes, the pair had moved within charging distance but they still hadn’t been spotted. The two ogres stood among a pile of rocks ranging in size from that of a man’s head to a few as large as the goblins. Thick wooden cudgels were strapped to their belts and they wore armor that was a mix of hide and metal plates. Their exposed skin was covered in tattoos.

“Ready for this?” Argent asked but when he turned around, Greblek was gone. He grinned to himself and took a deep breath. Knocking an arrow to his bow, he let the missile fly. It struck home, burying itself in one ogre’s chest. The giant-kin grunted and looked down at the arrow with a confused look. Then his eyes widened as a second arrow sunk into his flesh only inches away from the first. He turned to look at his companion and pointed down at the twin wooden shafts.

“Hey. Look at dis,” he spoke in a deep rumbling growl. The second ogre sentry looked down at the arrows and then grunted as an arrow lodged into the left side of his face. He reached up and brushed the arrow away, breaking off the shaft and turned to look where it had come from. The first ogre turned as well and suddenly cried out as he felt a sharp pain in the back of his left knee. His leg buckled underneath him and Greblek jumped out of the way as the ogre crashed to the ground.

The sentry still standing reached for a boulder while squinting out at the rocks where Argent was hiding. As he knocked another arrow, he barely managed to fire in time before a boulder larger than his head came sailing toward him. His shot went wide and the rock crashed into the rock wall behind him. Shards of stone showered him and he could feel blood welling from numerous scratches. With a growl of pain, he pulled another arrow and fired in one smooth motion. This one struck the sentry in the chest and sunk in deep. The ogre faltered and tried to call out but the arrow had pierced a lung.

The brute leaned down to get another rock but there was a flash of green as Greblek lashed out with his short sword and severed the muscles and tendons of the ogre’s arm. The limb dangled uselessly and he looked at the goblin in shock. “How you get loose?” He said haltingly.

“I’m never gonna be in a cage again.” Greblek replied. Then he lashed out with his blade once more and sank it deeply into the ogre’s stomach. The giant-kin lashed out with a fist but the goblin easily avoided the blow. The doomed creature fell to one knee which allowed the goblin to leap up and slash him across the throat. A spray of dark blood covered the rocky ground and he stepped out of the way as the ogre collapsed with a heavy thud.

Argent was already charging across the open ground and moved passed where the goblin was making sure that the first sentry was dead as well. Greblek looked up with a wicked gleam in his eye and followed after, blood still dripping from his sword. As the wargare, got within a dozen steps of the ogre leader’s camp, he drew his sword. A swirl of blue energy surged in the air around him and coalesced along the blade in his grip. Moving swiftly and silently, he closed the last few steps to where the ogre was seated.

This brute was larger than the rest, with think corded muscle over his entire body. He turned to look at the much smaller assailant charging toward him and jumped to his feet while drawing a double-bladed axe from his belt. He moved with a speed and grace that seemed impossible for an individual so large.

However, Argent’s strike was faster and he slashed the blade across the right side of the massive ogre. There was a surge of energy as frost formed over the wound and the slave-master howled in pain. Seconds later, Greblek flashed into view from behind the ogre and he drove his sword point-first into the back of his thigh. He threw his head back and bellowed again. With his head back, he noted something strange in the air above, a streak of gold followed by a blast of flame that lit up the sky.

After giving the signal, Pyre dove down toward the melee. He slashed at the ogres head, drawing lines of scarlet across his scarred face with his sharp claws. The ogre swung his axe flashed, barely missing the small dragon. Before he could swing again, Argent captured the ogre’s attention with another slash of his sword. This strike clanged off the metal plates of his armor, but it had done its job. The ogre wasn’t attacking Pyre any longer. Diving under another slash of the brute’s axe, Argent narrowly missed being beheaded. He rolled away as another strike slammed into the ground where he had been less than a second before.

Argent kept dodging one attack after another, but couldn’t retaliate in the wake of the ogre’s fury. Luckily, he didn’t have to. Pyre unleashed another blast of flame that scorched slaver’s chest and face. While the ogre was dazed from searing light and heat, Greblek struck twice with an almost supernatural speed. The ogre staggered under the barrage but it was Argent’s sword that finished the fight. The smaller man had maneuvered into place in front of the brute and with a mighty thrust, he drove the point of his sword straight up under the ogre’s chin, piercing his throat and driving up into his brain.

The trio panted with exhaustion while looking down at the fallen foe. Then two sounds caught their attention. First was the angry shouts and growls as the rest of the ogres in the slave camp moved to attack. Weapons clattered and heavy footfalls churned up a large cloud of dust. Second was the thundering hoofbeats of a score of well-armed knights followed by the thrum of bow strings and the hiss of arrows flying through the air.

The ogre offensive melted under the onslaught of Luther’s forces and within minutes, the camp was quiet again. Crouching down, Argent retrieved the axe that the slave master had wielded. It was surprisingly well made and the balance was almost perfect. With a shrug, he sheathed his sword and held onto the axe while Greblek rifled through the ogre’s pouches and the contents of his campsite. Once he had stuffed his own pouches he looked up at Argent with a broad, jagged smile.

“This was a good start.” He said with a note a pride. He looked over to where the goblin slaves were being released and cared for, by knight and goblin alike. “A very good start indeed.”


Longest Update Yet! Getting into the meat of the quest. I appreciate those of you who are checking this out!

The war camp had doubled in size with the addition of the goblin slaves. They were eager to fight back against their former masters and though many were not capable enough for a close up skirmish, they could still draw and fire a bow. Those too injured or unskilled to fight worked around the camp to cook and repair weapons and armor.

Luther and Argent stood over a large flat stone that doubled as a table. Spread out on the surface between them was a sheet of parchment bearing a crude drawing. Luther pointed to a blocky shape at the end of a meandering line. “This is the first fortress. Like I told our little green friend, it’s not likely to have many troops left there. It wasn’t very large to begin with. Our scouts have reported that they’ve got a large kennel and a lot of cages. That means warhounds.”

Argent pointed to the map. “Is that what this is supposed to be? A dog?” The drawing was so crude that it looked more like a horse or a crawling man.

Luther shrugged. “Artistic renderings were never my strong suit.”

A third voice intruded on their conversation. “So what do you bring to the table, old man?” Greblek stepped into view. He had armed himself with a bow and his armor looked as if had been upgraded as well. Luther scowled and looked like he was about to respond angrily, but the goblin continued with a placating gesture. “No offense, general. It’s just that I’ve seen the young pup here in action twice and the only thing I’ve seen you do is ride around and shout orders.”

Luther relaxed as he removed his hand from the hilt of his weapon. Argent, on the other hand, was seething at being called a “pup”, but he held his temper in check and let the other two talk. Luther glared as he responded. “I’m skilled with a blade from horseback or on foot, and I’ve seen more fights than you have sunsets. I’ve commanded in battles ranging from skirmishes to full scale wars.”

Greblek nodded, seeming satisfied with the answer. “I’ll leave you two to your planning. You just tell me where to send my boys.” With that, he stalked away and was quickly out of view.

“Where do we send them?” Argent asked.

“Assaulting a fortress isn’t something that we do with cavalry. It usually requires a siege. We’re going to need more information. You up for another scouting mission?”

“Always. I’ll report back soon.”

Less than an hour later, Argent was crouched in a small stand of trees within sight of the fortress walls. It was generous to call this a fortress. The construction was mostly wood and stacked stone. The walls were burnt or crumbling in places and he could see numerous areas where a small force could slip in unnoticed. Only a handful of sentries manned the walls and the gate was completely missing. A ramshackle wooden structure was put in place but it looked barely capable of standing up to a strong wind.

“What a dump.” A soft voice from behind made Argent almost cry out. He whirled around to see Greblek crouching behind a rock, staring out at the fortress. The goblin didn’t seem to notice Argent’s alarmed look. “It’s going to be dark soon. You wanna sneak in to see if the inside as shoddy as the outside?”

Argent let his heart rate and breathing settle before replying. “I’ve heard the hounds inside. Sounds like a pretty large number. There’s not much coming and going. That gate is not set up to open and close easily. It’s also not large enough for wagons.”

Greblek was nodding and scanning the walls. He looked up in the sky and squinted. “Is the scaly one up there?”

Argent shook his head and pointed to the tallest spot in the fortress, a sentry tower. Sitting on top of the structure, looking completely at ease, was the tiny dragon. He was looking down into the courtyard inside the walls. None of the fortress’ inhabitants took any more notice of him than they would of a crow or a pigeon.
“Clever little guy,” Greblek said with a grin. "Too bad you can’t see through his eyes or talk to him. I hear some of the sorcerers from Karakoth can do that with the little demons they summon.”

The thought appealed to Argent. He had heard of familiars and they sounded extremely useful. He had also heard of hunters using birds like owls or hawks to aid them in combat. He shook away the distracting thoughts and turned his attention to the fortress.

“I have an idea,” he said after watching for a few more minutes. Greblek looked at him with a quizzical expression but didn’t say anything. “We sneak in and take out some of the sentries and find whoever is guarding the dog pens. We release all of the animals. In the dark and with the scent of blood in the air, they should go into a frenzy and attack the ogres. If we stay out of the way and do whatever we can to add to the confusion, we can let them do the work for us.”

An appreciative grin played over the goblin’s face and he said, “I like the way you think. Only thing I would change: don’t release all the hounds. They could be really useful if we’re going to be fighting more of their masters in the days to come.”

Soon after the sun had set, Argent and his companion moved quickly across the open ground toward the walls. They had picked one of the partially collapsed sections of stone as their entry point. The wall was too unstable to have any of the ogres watching that point so they were able to approach undetected. They scrambled over the rubble and entered the courtyard. The scent of dogs was very strong inside and they could see dozens of wooden pens scattered around the area. A large stable was used as a pen for a pack of the growling, yipping animals.

The largest pen held close to a dozen hounds, each as large as Greblek and some even larger. That would be their main target, but first, they had to stir some trouble. They moved silently to a small building where they had spotted a pair of ogres sitting and eating a meal. A dog sat in the open doorway of the structure. It was lying down with its shaggy head resting on its paws. Greblek moved quietly around to an open window while Argent readied himself with three arrows held in the hand gripping his bow. He moved slowly and kept himself in the shadows until he could see one of the ogres seated inside.

Greblek made a quick motion with his blade and then leaped into the window. At the same moment, Argent release his first arrow, followed quickly by his second and third. Each one found their mark and ogre barely knew what had happened before he was dead. The target of Greblek’s attack started to move as his dining partner died in front of him but the goblin’s sword slashed deeply across his throat and then plunged the weapon down into the spot where his shoulder met his neck.

The dog took note of the sound and the sudden smell of blood. It turned around in the doorway but Greblek was already back out of the window and moving into the shadows toward the large dog pen. Argent was moving in the opposite direction toward the front gate. He was already pulling two more arrows from his quiver and when the ogre stationed at the gate came into view, he knelt and fired both shots. The first thudded into giant-kin’s abdomen. The second shot slammed into a steel plate covering his right shoulder.
Argent cursed as his target gave out a shout of alarm. He drew and fired another arrow and this one found its mark and it sank it the ogre’s fleshy neck. It choked and gurgled but he reached up to snap the arrow shaft as he reached for his weapon. Argent was already charging forward, his sword drawn now and with a burst of speed, he closed the distance and slashed across the ogre’s stomach. The large humanoid died a messy, though silent death. The damage, however was done.

“Ah well,” he said with a grumble. He waved a hand over his head and made a loud yipping sound. Pyre launched himself from his perch on the watchtower and dove down toward the wargare. Argent pointed to the gate and said in a clear voice, “Burn it!”

The little dragon unleashed a blast of flame on the crude wooden construction. In seconds it was blazing, but Argent was already on the move again, this time toward the large stables. He heard shouts of alarm and a chorus of howling and barking as the warhounds charged around the courtyard attacking anything that moved. Between the smell of blood and smoke and the disorienting mix of darkness and flames, they were in a frenzy. Argent could only hope that Greblek was not in the middle of that.

He couldn’t take the time to look for him. He had his own mission and it had just emerged from the stables. The ogre that came into view was massive in both height and weight. He stood well over ten feet tall and his body was thick with both muscle and fat. He was covered in furs and had large canine skulls attached to each of his broad shoulders. There were a number of smaller skulls attached to his belt, some canine and others more human-like.

As he stepped forward, he was flanked by two of the largest hounds Argent had ever seen. Shaggy dark brown fur covered their powerfully built frames and they looked around intently for prey. Argent slipped into the shadows to his left and watched them for a few moments. The houndmaster strode toward the chaos and drew out a hefty club of wood and bone. He bellowed out commands in the language of giants and though Argent didn’t know the words, he could tell the intent. He wanted order and to find whoever was responsible.
Ogres and hounds were still fighting but as the leader approached, they fell into line and began to follow his orders. Argent knew he had to do something or their efforts would be for nothing. Drawing his sword, charged the trio from behind. Pyre flew just over his right shoulder and as the wargare leaped at the houndmaster’s exposed back, the dragon dove toward the hound to his right. Argent’s strike was solid and blood welled from the cut he delivered, but unable to check his momentum, he slammed into a wall of muscle and bone and dropped to the ground, dazed.

Prye raked his claws at the hound and snapped his teeth into the back of the beast’s neck. It yelped in pain and surprise, but it recovered enough to whirl around and lash out with a vicious bite that just barely missed the dragon. Pyre flapped his wings frantically and moved out of range of the hound’s teeth. Unfortunately, the houndmaster swung his club around to smack into the little flyer and send him tumbling away to crash into the ground.

Argent didn’t have time to see how the dragon fared as the club was now whirling around toward his head. He was still picking himself up from the bone-jarring collision but instead of standing, he dove to his left and scrambled across the dusty ground. The club missed but the second hound leaped onto him, biting and snarling. Teeth clamped down onto his armored forearm and though the thick leather held, the beast thrashed his head back and forth, the movement threatening to rip his shoulder from the socket. He lost his sword in the process but he moved onto his back and kicked at the hound’s chest and forelegs. He couldn’t land a solid strike, but he did get his arm free and was able to scramble to freedom. The houndmaster loomed over him, a bestial snarl rumbling in his chest as he hefted the club and his hounds moved to flanking positions. One of the beasts was injured from Pyre’s attack, but it was still healthy enough to assist its master.
Argent looked to his right where his sword lay in the dirt. As the ogre started to swing his club, Argent dove toward the weapon. The swipe missed him by mere inches and he managed to grasp the hilt of the sword and complete the roll to end up back on his feet. He whirled with the blade, slashing it just in time to catch one of the hounds across the face. He beast howled in pain but still lunged toward him, teeth gleaming in the dim light.

Suddenly there was a solid impact of an arrow in the hound’s flank and it yelped loudly. A second arrow flashed out of the darkness and the beast fell limply to the ground. The ogre turned to look in the direction that the arrow came from and Argent used the distraction to lash out with his weapon. He delivered a serious gash across the ogre’s thigh but he was forced to leap backward as the remaining hound snapped at him. Teeth scraped across his sword arm and Argent hissed with pain. He dodged another blow from the ogre’s club while shifting to his right to square off against the hound.

There was a burst of flame and a flash of golden scales as Pyre clawed and bit at the ogre’s back. The giant-kin roared with anger and tried to swat the dragon with a meaty hand, but Pyre was too quick. He flapped upward out of reach but the distraction was enough for Greblek to get into position. The goblin slashed twice at the back of the houndmaster’s legs, severing the tendons behind his knees.

Now that he had allies once more, Argent was able to focus more on offense. He swept his sword in an upward arc, cleaving deeply into the chest and shoulder of the hound. The beast crumpled in a lifeless heap but Argent was already spinning to face its master. Continuing the momentum of his spin, he moved to the ogre who thudded to a kneeling position. He felt of rush of heat surge through his body as a red haze settled over his vision. Shouting with rage, he drove the blade forward in a powerful lunge. It sank into the ogre’s chest, piercing armor, flesh, and bone as if it were paper. He looked up at the at the ogre’s shocked face and watched as the life faded from his eyes.

Stepping back, he felt the heat and rage subside as the houndmaster collapsed to the ground with a thud. There was a low whistle to his left and he looked up to see Greblek grinning at him. “That was a nice piece of work there. Re-attuned yourself did ya?” Argent looked at him with a confused expression. The goblin shook his head and chuckled. “You don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, do ya? Well never mind that now. We should be getting back to camp. They’re gonna wanna send out some folks to secure the area and start cleaning up.”

“But the fire? Is it under control?”

“What fire?” Greblek waved a hand around and Argent saw that all of the flames were extinguished. A haze of smoke covered the area and the air felt strangely chilled. Argent felt a wave of exhaustion flow over him like nothing he had ever experienced before. Every wound flared with numbing, icy pain and he wavered on his feet.

Pyre settled onto his shoulder and the warmth of the little dragon seemed to drive away the cold slightly. He took a few steps away from the blood-soaked ground and sat down heavily against the stable wall. He had never been so tired. His eyes fluttered and closed as he lost consciousness.

Greblek nodded and spoke softly, “Keep an eye on him, wyrmling. I’ll be gone for an hour at most. You did good.” The little dragon puffed up his chest and made a soft chirping growl. He settled onto the ground next to the sleeping wargare while the goblin slipped away into the night.


Fantastic work !

our guild is so talented :slight_smile:


Hello Fearless Leader! Good to hear from you!


More sex and violence please.


Violence won’t be a problem. Sex? In Gems of War? That might be a little harder to come by, but who knows where the story will go further down the line.


cedric sparkle sack the male stripper xD


I’m just saying that in my headcanon Titania and Mab get married sooooo…


Oh, I can totally get behind that but I don’t see many romance options on Broken Spire. Ettin on Ogre action… /Shudder Maybe in some other kingdoms coming up. Oh, and new part coming up really soon!


Part 4: Plot heavy but necessary for setting things up later. It’s tricky to explain game mechanics in a narrative way but I hope you like what I came up with. Plus new troops are recruited including someone who will be joining the team!

“Are you telling me that you left him here alone and unconscious, in an enemy stronghold, surrounded by hostile beasts? Have you lost what little sense you had in that thick green skull of yours?” Luther’s low drawl pushed through the haze around Argent’s mind.

“No, that’s not what I’m telling you. I left him here because he was too exhausted to move. In a fortress cleared of any enemies. Surrounded by loyal, fierce animals trained for combat and sworn to protect him while he slept.” Greblek sounded more amused than angry.

“Sworn to protect… What are you talking about?”

“I spoke with the hounds. It’s something that some of us goblins can do – part of our connection to Nature. They recognize the kid as someone to be respected. He killed their Master and their Alpha. That makes him their master now.”

“Right. Fine.” Luther’s tone sounded calmer now. His next words were barely audible. Argent’s eyes fluttered open and he saw the pair standing a dozen yards away. The pair was lit by the light of torches and lanterns and he realized that it must still be nighttime. Agent shook his head and tried to focus on Luther’s words. “So what is this about the lad? He’s an Adept? How do you know?”

“Have you watched him fight? I mean…” The goblin trailed off as he noticed Argent starting to get to his feet. “Well, speak of the devil… I’m surprised you’re awake.”

Argent shuffled toward them. He was still exhausted but there was a surge of energy racing through him. With every step, he could feel the aches and stiffness fading. “What are you talking about? What’s an ‘adept’?”

Luther flashed a glare at the goblin before answering. “What do you know about magic?”

The wargare looked confused. “Nothing much really. There were druids and mystics among my people who could use magic to make the forest do their bidding. They could summon and control animals. I never studied with them so I don’t know how it works.”

Greblek was nodding but it was Luther who replied. “Every living thing in Krystara…” he began.
“And many things not living,” the goblin interjected.

The older knight glared at him again. Greblek made a wave with his hand while bowing his head. Luther nodded and continued. “Every being in the land can tap into the natural magic of the world, a substance known as ‘mana’. This energy can be used to heighten physical abilities, to cure or to harm, or to manipulate the world around us.”

Argent rubbed his hand through the shock of white fur between his ears. “What does this have to do with me? I don’t have any magic.”

Luther scoffed and replied, “I saw you fight, lad. When you took out the slave leader at their camp, you were drawing in water mana, flowing around the battlefield like a fast-moving stream and when you hit him, it let out a blast of cold that I could feel from 50 yards away.”

“When we first engaged the ogres, you were moving so fast, I could barely keep up. And that’s saying something for a goblin. And when you fought the houndmaster, you pulled in enough fire mana to put out every flame in the whole courtyard.” He waved around at the scorched structures and burnt ground.

Argent looked around with wide eyes. “I assumed you and the men had put them out.”

“Nope. That was you. And you did that as well.” The goblin grinned and waved over to the body of the huge ogre. His chest was caved in and the furs and exposed skin were blackened and charred. “Hit him harder than a charging rhynax."

Shaking his head, Argent looked around the dark courtyard. Their forces were moving around in the darkness, setting up camps and collecting materials by torchlight. The goblins were working with the surviving hounds and they seemed to be getting along well while the armored knights were clearing out the stables and setting up paddocks for their mounts.

“They can all do… what I do?” he asked quietly.

Greblek let out a bark of laughter. “Hardly! Most folk can draw on one, maybe two kinds of mana and what they can do is limited. Not ineffective, but still limited. You can tap into any mana and have a lot more versatility.”

“Once you learn to control it, that is.” Luther added. He kept his voice low and looked around to make sure no one was listening too carefully. “For now, we need to keep this quiet.”

“Why?” Argent asked, also speaking in quiet tones.

“It’s better that we keep this to ourselves for now. I’ve heard tales of Adepts being hunted when they were discovered. There are forces of darkness in the world that would exploit someone like you. Or kill them if they refused to cooperate.”

“I see.” This was a lot to take in and tough Argent was feeling slightly overwhelmed, he knew that he had much more to learn. “What kinds of magic are there? This ‘mana’ as you called it.”

“There are six varieties,” Luther answered. “The four elements – Fire, Air, Earth and Water. Then there’s Nature and the Arcane. Everything in this world is attuned to at least one of these forms of mana.”

Greblek looked uncomfortable and in a low mutter he added, “There’s one more - Death.”

Luther sighed and nodded. “True. It is the seventh mana, but nothing can truly tap into it and harness it. Death is more of a byproduct of violence and conflict.”

“There is a theory that Death mana is harnessed every time one attempts to destroy another being.” A new voice made all three look over to a new figure. Polished steel armor gleamed in the torchlight, as the newcomer approached slowly. “I apologize for intruding but I overheard your discussion. Is it true?” The knight removed his helm to reveal a ruggedly handsome human male with short black hair and dark eyes.
Greblek grumbled about eavesdroppers but Argent motioned for silence as he replied. “Is what true, Sir Knight?”

He flinched slightly before responding. “I am neither a ‘Sir’ nor a ‘Knight’. Not any longer. I am inquiring about what was said, are you truly one of the Blessed? An Adept?”

Before Argent could answer, Luther caught the man’s attention. “Soldier, you are out of line. Fall back to your duties.”

The armored man turned to Luther and spoke softly. “I apologize, Sir. But I am a mercenary in your employ. I am not truly beholden to you.”

“Since I’m the one paying your bills, you’ll do as…”

“Wait,” Argent interrupted. “I want to hear him out. What’s your name?”

“Draver, Sir.”

“Well, Draver. To answer your question, I don’t truly know what I am. All of this information is brand new to me. Call me Argent, please. I’m not a ‘Sir’ either.”

“If you truly are what they say, you are quite deserving of the title.” He turned to Luther and spoke in a firm voice. “Sir Knight, I am formally removing myself from your service. I forgo all further payment.” Then he turned back to Argent and bowed deeply. “Sir Argent, I pledge myself to your service. All of my skills and training as a Templar of Whitehelm are yours to command.”

Every stood in shocked silence for a long moment until Greblek muttered to Luther, “What just happened?”
Luther ignored the goblin and locked eyes with Argent who was returning his gaze with an expression of bewilderment. The older man simply nodded and Argent shook his head to clear his thoughts. He cleared his throat and spoke quietly, “Rise, Templar. I accept your offer and I look forward to working together.” The man straightened and nodded solemnly.

“We should all get some rest,” Luther said in the uncomfortable silence that followed. “We’ve got a long day tomorrow. We have to get this place secured and then we’ll be moving on.”

“Where?” Greblek asked.

“The second fortress.” As Luther said this, a dark expression played over his face and he seemed to age years before their eyes. Without another word, he turned and walked off toward the camp.