Medievia Mudslinger

June 11, 2000

The Fallen Lords - Episode 1: Blood - By Vasago

Grayshore looked at the sky. Rain. He had been traveling for some time but the rain had only started hours before. The thick rain had been little more than an annoyance at first, but now it was an outright problem. Since no town was in view it meant camping, something which is not very enjoyable in the rain.

Grayshore sighed. Well I guess it's better then one of those weird magic storms, he thought. The day before had become interesting when a magic storm had blown overhead and proceeded to defy gravity and other such magical nonsense. That had slowed the journey adding another day to the already long the trip.

Checking the sky showed it to be getting late. Not that he could see the sun, but the general darkness of the sky showed the day to be running toward night. With another sigh he set up camp, and tried to create a makeshift shelter. Failing this, he decided to sleep up against a tree to keep at least some of the rain off him.

Having been a boy of the city he wasn't used to outdoors so it was natural that he be somewhat unskilled in making a proper camp. Being the son of a wealthy shoe maker didn't help much either. However on his sixteenth birthday he had decided to join the guild of warriors, which educated him in every form of physical combat know to man. This knowledge was probably the most important he had ever absorbed, although his teaching seemed to fall just short of making a good shelter.

Having eaten a meal of hard trail rations which, though good, were a bit dry and tasted a bit like wood shavings, not to mention the texture, he decided to try to get some sleep. Even though it was raining, exhaustion won out over wetness and he eventually fell asleep.

He looked out over the lake. Something moved out on its surface, not quite distinguishable yet, but it approached at a rapid speed. It seemed to be some sort of boat but at this distance he couldn't be sure. Was that someone standing on it?

"Who are you," Grayshore shouted out at the approaching figure. Getting no answer he repeated the question. When a response failed to come he decided to ready his sword in case this figure was hostile in intent.

As the boat came closer he saw it was made of wood that was completely red. Dark as blood the wood seemed to radiate evil, such evil in fact that Grayshore had trouble looking at it. Also, the boat had no visible signs of movement, no oars, no sail, nothing. This was not that big of a shock because he knew magic existed in the world, and who could say what was possible.

The figure in the boat however was a different matter entirely. It was a woman of such awesome beauty that Grayshore felt his heart speed in an unhealthy manner. She was blonde with gorgeous blue eyes, and a shapely figure. Of average height, she was probably the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She was wearing a slight shift that didn't hide as much as it showed.

Grayshore felt his mouth go dry. "Hello," he managed to get out. No reply.

The boat skidded up onto the bank, and his breath caught in his lungs. He saw that he had been wrong about the boat. It wasn't blood colored. It was covered in blood. The boat was smeared with it. It was even smeared inside and he could see it pooling in the back of the boat.

"Miss are you in trouble? If so I will gladly-"

"Silence! If you only knew what you are about to do! You know nothing child." Now that was not exactly true he was just over twenty; child indeed! "If you ever see me again you must run or I will kill you!"

"You don't look that tough to me ma'am. But if you say so I will tread lightly in your presence."

"Fool, you still don't see it do you! You are already dead! How do you expect to live ever you kill your self at every move."

"Now you've lost me. I'm not dead and what do you mean I kill myself?"

She gave him a sorrowful look, "You give your blood to me." She pointed at the boat. "The boat made of your blood given freely to me, but given too late." A red bloom of blood appeared on her stomach. "Not even you could save me. Why did you give your blood? Why? You could live so easily, but you chose death!"

"Ma'am I still say I am not dead, but you appear to be...," He looked her in the eyes and gasped. They were dead and staring, lifeless voids leading into eternal nothingness.

"You are dead!" The body crumpled into the boat, "Do not give your life for the dead. You have been warned. Your fate is your own," The haunting voice of the dead woman shivered up his spine as it echoed and then faded.

He sheathed his sword that he didn't know he had drawn, and put his hand to his forehead. It was wet and sticky. He pulled it away, and saw it was covered with blood. Astonished he looked for its source, since he hadn't touched the woman. He found it quickly. He himself was covered in blood. Where did it come from, he wondered. He began to feel weak. This isn't possible, he hadn't been hit! What the hell was going on? He sank to his knees feeling increasingly dizzy. He fell forward and hit...

He sat bolt upright and hit his head on a low branch. He was sweating heavily, and shaking considerably. After holding his head and swearing for about ten minutes he stood up and began to pack up for the journey. A stupid dream was all it is. But why was it so real? He pondered this a while, but when no solution presented itself he decided it was best to start off. It was still a long way to go. He grabbed a ration and decided to eat and walk at the same time on his way.

As he made his way to the Labyrinth he couldn't help thinking about his dream again. Funny but he couldn't seem to get the woman's last words out of his head.

"Do not give your life for the dead. You have been warned. Your fate is your own...."