Kidnapping on the Green Rills Picture

Again, modern me and contemporary me clash again. Some parts of the limpet mythology that I wrote yrs ago impressed me as original, some didnt. Here's another example, though I kind of like the pacing to it.


The bright red letters that dyed the dusty paper dug fear into Gandidan`s eyes. Across it was a bloody red splatter.
Gamalieland his friends watched helplessly as Gandidan`s face turned cold pale and icicles of sweat dripped from his face. "Oh no," he choked, "they`ve finally found me! Now they`ll come and drive me off to prison camp where I`ll slave like an ox and then be starved as if I was nothing more than a pesky marmot!" The dwarves and limpets ignored him, nor had they heard him well
enough to. (Tatharsul had been found by now on the night that the original company had arrived. He was staying with Gandidan for an extended period of time in one of the other rooms.) The old limpet`s hands dried and shook. He simply felt that he wasn`t ready to be tossed off to Gorgroth and sealed into a dark, dirty dungeon where he would never remember what it felt like to be showered in beams of sunlight. Now, he hadn`t much time to live in freedom.
Sommers' Send Eve came and passed. Back in Limpeton, Kale, and Stinkhorn the limpets partied mirthfully. Barrels of syrupy brown birch and cream sasparilla were poured. Firecrackers were lit and burst into glittering rain. Gaffer Iluvekel Buckthorn, the successor to Gandidan and cousin of Gamaliel, sat in the Gold Wyvern Tavern and brought a crowd to drink rich red brew and listen to more tales of swords and werewolves. Fresh salted flounder, crab, oysters, and trout were hawked from town to town. Limpets did nothing at the end of June except go to parties, laugh, and give and receive presents. They forgot about dwarves, and the dwarves in Wicketwood forgot about them. Seregaur was never mentioned in their talks and greetings along the bright summer roads. Ravenkraaf came to the parties in his wagon with colored pigeons, Curdie Barkers, and Elf Howlers and plenty of fireworks that he had made on his own. Sorrel End was no longer what they all talked about from miles away, and they never looked at Comb Hill, where the home laid. The suttle had been charred to the ground, and everything in it. Ulfgloin looked down from Comb Hill with a face hidden in shadows. Behind him was a party of the Goblin scouts, who lined across the brown lawn with the same long faces.
It blows deep through the woodlands,
As a meadow that winds unend.
In the trees, hides the watcher
The rocks and mountains have treasure that on the maps remains unread,
And tomorrow, is yet to be said.

Ebon ravens fly through red shores,
Guiding the traveler on the ground
Its heavy wings flutter through the water and sound
From red thundersheets in the mountains,
Eagles fly overhead
And tomorrow, is yet to be said.

The river churns the fall of waters
To flow through the seas
The hills coil herdgrasses of yellow foliage,
And tomorrow is yet to be said.

Autumn leaves flow through the dark hither
The wind carries them as moths of fire
Trees hoist walls
Made from meadows' thread
And tomorrow is yet to be said.

The hyacinthing grasses breeze through
Seas of tithing red,
The loess sand erodes from Rivergate..
And yesterday.
The night of Sommers' Send Eve started peacefully. The company could smell dew drops and hear spring beetles from their windows. Gandidan circled the dark house nervously and with the same waning candle, with wax dripping. Several times, the sticky patches of wax hardened on his hands. Then he would curse and continue pacing the traveller`s house. His limpet ears picked up every drip-drop through the haven, which often creaked as it setttled in the night. However, he never could hear the crunching of bone along a trail as evil sounding footsteps approached the Stay. As soon as they could be heard, two glaring red and angry eyes stared into the door screen. It all happened too quickly. The door screen shrieked out in pain with the sound of ripping and the snap of a powerful leather whip. It made a terrible noise, like a cat caught in wire. "You, Buckthorn, open in the name of Lithkemen!" the unpleasant and intimidating voice gruffed. He banged sharply at the door with his knuckles. Gandidan turned pale and shivered. This would be it, he thought, they had found him and they were going to arrest him at the door. His veiny hand reached for the ivory doorknob, pulling open the door. He turned his head back. The armored goblin stomped inside,alone. "Where are the visitors?" he demanded. Goblins often never invite or ask, they threaten, intimidate and give orders to ensure cooperation. "Mr. Scone," the old limpet offered reluctantly, "the guests are upstairs." Scone snorted rudely, "How long have they been here, Gandidan? Weeks? Months?" Gandidan was in far too much shock and surprise to answer. "General Toadhorn gave the specific order that you keep the visitors for one night and then send them off to old Toad as slaves, if they have any use to them," Scone stepped out of the house. Slowly, he began to disappear on the blue moonlit road. The scout didn`t come to arrest him! Gandidan breathed a sigh of relief. "Buckthorn," the wind echoed, "you have two days to give up the guests."

Morning came shortly, and seemed even shorter to Gandidan Buckthorn. "Oh no," he shivered in a low voice as he looked out his kitchen window. "They`re coming for me! When they do, I`ll be chained to a cell and then they`ll kill me when I`m too weak to labor in a prison camp. No, no, I can`t give up the guests to those scumlicks. The Dark King will receive word of them, then he`ll have his stones, and...No! I can`t let that happen!" The limpets and dwarves sat around his Ellend Table, and hadn`t heard a word. "Bring us the larder!" Tatharsul shouted loudly and rudely, "we`ve been waiting an hour for it!" The day passed and the guests still stayed in his house and complained over their food. Then Gandidan finally saw the note nailed to his door.
Gandidan turned over the note, and to the guests, he appeared to just scribble something on it. Then he looked over to the table where they sat at. "Hide into the basement," he rasped, "Don`t allow yourselves to be seen!" Then pushed open a hidden closet that was covered by the ashen fireplace. Gamalielled his friends inside. Gandidan forced the wall shut behind them, with a loud thundering sound. The dwarves eyes were clouded with pride as they looked at what hung from Gandidan`s cellar walls. Swords, Battle-axes, goblets, shields, crossbows, dragon egg shells, all adorned the lofted, but leaky, compartment. A series of stairs led to a hatchway out of the house. It was about midday that Gandidan hid them. Soon enough, they could feel the dying of the day and night breeze. They could hear more footsteps echo from the cold brick. The same footsteps that Gandidan heard; rapid and menacing. "Goblins!" Tatharsul whispered. They finally heard a loud crash that sounded horribly near (and was.) Toad ripped down the door, and behind him, the troop sang a song that brought more worry to Gandidan. "O`er mount, O`er foothill, and into Gorgroth ye go, m`lad! Take a whip to `is bones! Knock `im down an' let `im bleed! To roll `im down the hill with throw! Chain `is wrists and snap `em back! Bleed red in the day`s deep heat! Clapped in iron, hot and deep! Call `im on with the burr of th' knife! Through curtail snows, elite!" It was a prisoners' marching song. Goblins and ogres enjoyed such gruesome ballads. Gandidan, for his part, was chained and marched off to Gorgroth with four of the goblins. The ones that remained on his property began breaking his kegs and crocks and had a long, rude dinner party that lasted all night. As they heard Gandidan moan and wretch while he was sent off to prison, Gamalielfound a leaf of envelope which fell through the mantle vat. Pulling the red cord, he ripped the top open and shook it. Out fell a leaf of brown paper, heavy with the scent of soap fat. Printed on it was a letter:

To the Sorrel E. Company,
General Toadhorn has already learned of my sympathy for his darkness' enemies.
Within a matter of minutes after you read this, his soldiers will come for me. I`ll be
starved in a vault as if I were nothing more than a gerbil! Please leave the inn, as
quickly as you can! They are undoubtedly looking for the stones. You may take
the path out of Green Rills that disappears into Mirewoods, however, I do say
that the woods are full of strange travelers and the magic of Theragol is greatest
there. You must also be aware of two strangers. Feneeid wants the Shadow Knife
back. The Hooded One (for I dare not say his name,) shall begin to ride tonight
(Sommersend Day.) Take as many of my furs and weapons as you will
need with you on you further travels. I can`t imagine those thugs taking any
of it. For me, it may be impossible to go on.
Farewell, and with luck on your travels,

Gandidan Buckthorn, E.L.S.;E.R.W.; Gff.
The goblins had made enough of a mess in the traveler's house, and now the dwarves listened to them rip through each room, in a frantic search for the guests. What an evil trap they put Gandidan into! Gamalielwaited until he heard the goblins begin to shove at Gandidan`s secret mantle with their fingers. "Now!" he whispered loudly. The company marched quickly down the cement steps and popped the latch of the red doorgate that led out of the house. They fled from the Stay like wasps escaping a burning nest, with Gamaliellugging several pounds of armor behind. Their legs flew them down into Gandidan`s garden. They rolled onto a deep bed of crocus vines. "Ow! Ow! Goblins! They found us, Bill!" shouted a new voice. As everyones' head rose, the company saw who was with them. Bill Stickers and Tom Thistletweed reached for their lantern poles as everyone else eyed them. Then they all laughed. "They`ve moved over the Green Rills, and now they`re inside the Stay," Tatharsul finally said in a low voice. Yet, I don`t think any of the dwarves were pleased. "And just how long were you following us?" Mithdil demanded. "N-N-Not long at all, and why am I telling a dwarf?" Tom answered. Gamaliel had no intent on beginning another fight of limpets and dwarves. "Before Gandidan was sent to prison, he left out a letter for us," the well-to-do limpet said in a voice that struggled to stay calm. He pushed the aged paper under his cloak. "His instructions are to travel through Moorwood, though he discourages it," Throtro whispered from behind them. They didn`t feel comfortable at all with the trail that Gandidan offered. Moorwood was a swamp. Fairy butter and moss clung to the skeletons of towering marsh trees. A deep shadow cast over the woods. Haunting cries of owls surrounded them, and there were no pleasant summer sounds. Puddles of oozy swamp water sponged the moss which squished and squealed like wood frogs. A heavy, and foul fog of swamp gas floated under their noses. The trail was slowly disappearing into the black of night. Behind Green Rills was the worst place in the Realm that wanderers and vagrants avoided like the Rivershade. Tom and Bill guided the way with their lanterns. "Did you hear that?" Tatharsul said too loudly. "No," Gamaliel grit his teeth, "what did it sound like?" "Sort of like a heavy breathing," the shadows of more owls dove over them as they flew away, knowing there was danger. Then Gamaliel heard the newcomer, too. Heavy horse hooves clattered over the harder ground. Each time the hooves clapped, they came closer. "What`s that infernal noise?" Scedval shouted. Then they could see the shadow of the horse and his rider, drawing nearer.

I think about now it should be safe to reveal the identity of the stranger, though I want to keep this new villain distinguised from both the Hooded One and the Dark Riders. Her story contributes to the drawing of the Wars. She was a vicious warrior princess forced into marrying the prince of a foreign land, under their parents' wishes to join kingdoms with Prince Jakkin of Icanthria. At the time she met in secret with the Marquis Zakar against her parents' wishes during his leave of duty. In order to gain full control, she poisoned her weak husband once she became pregnant with Eric, the heir who later raised thrulls in secret during the Mammoth Wars. Long after her death, she became imprisoned by Seregaur, who sent her soul to search and destroy any rebellion against the Dark Lord's retaking of Ligeia.

As for the Marquis Zakar, who left the village entrusted to him for military service, he eventually finds himself imprisoned by the insect-like race he was sent to fight, and is imprisoned to the end of the Mammoth Wars. He is eventually rescued some 40 years later by Gamaliel and his friends, and finds his true love a prisoner of Seregaur...and one of his deadliest adversaries.
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