Book 9 - The Mist in the Darkness - Chapter 13: Cause and Effect

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httyyd's picture
httyyd
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Joined: 10/12/2013

This chapter took longer to plan some major plot points as well as some research.  This created some writer's block in trying to figure out how to all fit it together.  But slowly, it all came together and I got the chapter done.

 

Hope you all enjoy the new chapter!

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Book 8 - Conquest for the Truth is finished!!

 

Book 9 - The Mist in the Darkness

Coming Soon!

 

Destiny in the Dark

Chapter 3 - Friends and Enemies

 

Proud Leader and fellow member of:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are links to the chapters of my fan-fic series.  The books go in chronological order.

 

The Clue of the Missing Socks.

Chapters 1 and 2                         Chapter 3                                       Chapter 4

Chapter 5                                      Chapter 6                                        Chapter 7

Chapters 8 and 9                        Chapter 10                                     Chapter 11

Chapters 12 and 13                     Chapters 14, 15, and 16             Chapter 17

Chapter 18                                    Chapter 19                                      Chapter 20

Chapter 21 and 22                      Chapter 23                                     Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26 - There is a hidden surprise.  Can you find it?

Chapter 27                                   Chapter 28, Part 1                         Chapter 28, Part 2

Chapter 29                                   Chapter 30                                       Chapter 31

Chapter 32                                   Chapter 33                                       Chapter 34

Chapter 35                                   Chapter 36                                       Chapter 37

Chapter 38                                   Chapter 39                                       Chapter 40

Chapter 41                                   Chapter 42                                       Chapter 43

Chapter 44                                   Chapter 45, Parts 1 and 2

 

The Mysterious Frozen Fire

Chapter 1         Chapter 2         Chapter 3         Chapter 4         Chapter 5         Chapter 6

Chapter 7         Chapter 8         Chapter 9         Chapter 10       Chapter 11       Chapter 12

Chapter 13       Chapter 14       Chapter 15        Chapter 16       Chapter 17       Chapter 18  

Chapter 19       Chapter 20      Chapter 21        Chapter 22, Part 1       Chapter 22, Part 2 

Chapter 22, Part 3

Epilogue/Preview for my Third Story!

 

Thoughts of Guilt

Chapters 1 and 2          Chapters 3 and 4          Chapter 5          Chapter 6          Chapter 7

Chapter 8          Chapter 9          Chapter 10          Chapter 11          Chapter 12, Part 1

Chapter 12, Part 2          Chapter 13         Chapter 14         Chapter 15         Chapter 16

Chapter 17 and 18         Chapter 19         Chapter 20         Chapter 21         Chapter 22

Chapter 23         Chapter 24         Chapter 25         Chapter 26         Chapter 27

Chapter 28         Chapter 29         Chapter 30         Chapter 31         Chapter 32

Chapter 33         Chapter 34         Chapter 35         Chapter 36 and 37

Chapter 38, Part 1         Chapter 39, Part 2         Chapter 40, Part 3         Chapter 41

Chapter 42, Parts 1 and 2         Chapter 43         Chapter 44

Chapter 45, Part 1         Chapter 45, Part 2

 

On the Edge of Mystery

Chapter 1          Chapter 2         Chapter 3        Chapters 4 & 5    Chapter 6, Parts 1 and 2   

Chapter 7          Chapter 8         Chapter 9            Chapter 10       Chapter 11        Chapter 12

Chapter 13        Chapter 14       Chapter 15          Chapter 16        Chapter 17       Chapter 18

Chapter 19        Chapter 20       Chapter 21          Chapter 22       Chapter 23      Chapter 24

Chapter 25        Chapter 26       Chapter 27         Chapter 28        Chapter 29 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 30       Chapter 31       Chapter 32 and 33                         Chapter 34 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 35 Part 1         Chapter 35 Part 2        Chapter 35 Part 3        Chapter 36

 

The Secret Symbol

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7     Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21   Chapter 22   Chapter 23   Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29 and 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39

Chapter 40 and 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43, 44, 45, and 46

 

The Legend of Shadow Mountain

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16   Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23    Chapter 24    Chapter 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29    Chapter 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39    Chapter 40

Chapter 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43    Chapter 44    Chapter 45 & 46

Chapter 47    Chapter 48    Chapter 49    Chapter 50    Chapter 51

 

Teaser "Trailer" for Book 8 - Conquest of the Truth

 

The Crimson Storm

Chapters 1 and 2     Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5    Chapter 6

Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapters 10 and 11    Chapter 12

Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15    Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18

Chapter 19    Chapter 20    Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23

Chapter 24    Chapter 25 and 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29

Chapter 30    Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34

Chapter 35 and Epilogue

 

The Wedding

Part 1     Part 2     Part 3 

httyyd's picture
httyyd
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Joined: 10/12/2013
Drums R Round. Pi R Squared.

I have two music mixes for this chapter.  I don't want to start the first one off for a little bit, so I will link when to start both.

 

The Mist in the Darkness

 

Chapter 13

Cause and Effect

 

Vixxen's Point of View

 

         Morning soon came and I was the first up, or at least I thought because apparently Sigvald has already been up checking on things.  I went to secure some additional supplies Ondott gave us.  I also inspect everyone’s saddle.  When I return to the building, I am able to witness Jarl waking up.  Annabeth had been leaning over with her head against the table all night.  Svana had draped a blanket over her sometime last night.

         Jarl woke up and tried to sit up right away.  He instantly grabs for his side which quickly awakens Annabeth.  She stands to hug him right off but he half yelps in pain.  Annabeth apologizes and keeps saying how she is glad he is alright.

         Jarl asks, “What happened last night?”

         Annabeth looks down and explains, “Skygge attacked again.  Whatever he did to me the first time he used against me this time.  I let him get inside my head.  Thinking he was still there, I tried to defend myself but ended up only stabbing you.”

         Jarl sees her hands start to tremble.  Taking his hand off his hurting side he lays it on her hands.

         “It is not your fault,” he assures.  “I came over to you when I heard you calling out.  I tried to talk you down but what Skygge has done is more sinister than I gave him credit for.  Blame him.  He has more plans and we need to find out what they are and stop them.”

         Svana adds, “Just not right now.  You are in no shape to be doing anything but resting.”

         Knowing she was correct Jarl concedes with a relaxing sigh; Annabeth also concedes.

         Preparing to leave, Ondott saw us off.  We were on our way to nearly clearing the island, but I motioned to the group to land on the northeastern shore of Wengo Island.

         Jarl questions, “What’s wrong?”

         “As well as we were treated by Ondott,” I reply.  “He is up to something.  Now coming from my better vision on life, what Ondott is up to is no good.  But I hope I’m wrong.  Yet, I need to find out for sure.  I am staying behind to infiltrate his camp.”

         Jarl must have been able to tell I meant it and did not put up a fight, “Alright.  As much as I don’t like this idea, I’m not in a position to join you.”

         “This is something I need to do by myself.  I’ll be able to work better by myself,” I tell him as well as the group.

         Jarl nods though seems reluctant to let me go alone, “Be careful.”

         I answer, “I will be.”  I dismount Rag and walk over to Jarl.  “Would you mind if I take your bow and quiver?”

         Kind of surprised by the request, he does a double take before responding, “Oh, uh…  No, go ahead.  You expecting more trouble than one viking can handle?”

         “No,” I assure.  “But trouble follows anytime there is a ‘good’ business deal.  I was always the one to get him out of the trouble.  If history repeats itself and I am wrong about Ondott being up to no good, he is going to need help getting out.  I am starting to think he may have had more to do with why he and I always had trouble with our ‘good’ business deals, but that is just me being of a different mindset now.  Maybe now we can learn a lot by seeing personally what side Ondott is on.”

         I step back and Rag steps with me, “No, Rag.  You stay with the others.  I need to do this myself.  I don’t want anyone else, including you, to be in danger if there is any.”

         Jarl presses, “Are you sure?”

         “I’ll be fine,” I lead Rag over to Jarl, signaling my Snow Wraith to stay.  I add, knowing how Jarl’s mind thinks, “Give me three days.  If I’m not back in three days from now, come find me.  That will give me enough to see for myself and you enough time to find me if I do get into trouble.  Not knowing where Ondott might go, I will leave a trail for you to follow.”

         Jarl now fully agrees with the stipulations of me going alone, “Sounds good, Vixxen.  Come on, Ragnarok.”

         My dragon is hesitant to listen, but with me encouraging him to go, he eventually gives in and leaves.  Watching them all leave; I am touched Rag looks back shortly before Jarl does.  Taking a deep breath, I make my way back to Ondott’s camp.

 

>>> Start here: BEST EPIC MUSIC OF 2019 | BEST OF ATOM AUDIO MUSIC<<<

 

         I want to be able to just walk up and ask Ondott about things, but he would have told me last night if something was wrong.  He seemed like he intentionally withheld information from me.  Never had he treated me like this.  So, I am wondering who he is in league with to not trust me.  Could the reason be based on my alignment with Jarl?  This is a new position I am not used to finding myself in.  Seeing things from the other side from a life I always was in opposition too, puts the past in a whole new perspective with the present.

         Once I return to the camp, I take the same spot we had the previous night.  There is an uptick in activity with more vikings in all.  I simply observe to see if any developments come up.

         Before long, three large ships come into the harbor.  Seeing them start to quickly load Stormheart’s supplies on them, I know they are all going to leave soon.  From my adventures with Ondott years ago, any time anyone no matter if they were well intentioned or ill-mannered vikings, came to inspect for any reason and then left peacefully, one would be wise to vacant the location in which they found you.  Because if they came back, they will bring more with them to arrest you or to steal your loot.  Particularly with this camp on this island, it has a history for this kind of behavior.  Almost as if those who use this camp have an unwritten tradition in using it.  I work my way around to the left with the objective of boarding one of the ships.

         Since Ondott thinks the crew and I are going home, he must have set everyone to clear the camp and prepare to set sail.  For there are no guards on the perimeter, the time before setting sail was always the time to strike.  No doubt everyone is a little on edge until they set sail.  I easily find a path to the back of the last building near the docks.  Seeing the tracks, I notice another set to have gone this way from the forest; must be Jarl’s and Annabeth’s.

         There are numerous crates scattered around the area than was just a little while ago.  They provide me cover.  I wanted to stay clear of the buildings in case someone was to inadvertently walk behind one and see me.  I wait for an opportunity to board.  While I do, I see Ondott stopping one of the sailors just coming off ship while the others are temporarily setting the ship to dock.

         “Will we be able to leave in thirty minutes?”

         The sailor answers, “I see you are nearly finished with clearing out the camp.  After that they can come help us bring the supplies on board.”

         “Take all the sailors now,” Ondott changes the plan with a nervous tone.  “And speed up the clearing process.  I want to leave as soon as we can.  I don’t want to miss the meeting.”

         Ondott’s urgency in his tone and actions tell me is getting deep in something, possibly he is in over his head.  It would not be the first time, nor will it be the last.  I was always around to get him out of those situations.  I wonder who he has now to back him up?

         With the sailors and Ondott leaving, this is my chance to get aboard.  I do, however, leave an arrow symbol on the corner of the building pointing west for Jarl to find.

         I know Ondott thinks no one else is here, but I get the feeling he wants to be followed with leaving his escape route completely unprotected…  Or maybe I am reading too much into the Ondott I knew and the Ondott I see now.

         I know exactly where to hide, “If this is truly one of Ondott’s ships,” I talk to myself as I swiftly board and make my way to the Captain’s Quarters.  “There will be a hidden place to hide from anyone searching for the captain.”

         Finding said place where I knew it would be, I see a door in the floor disguised by the pattern carved into the wood.  An etched three-foot by three-foot square tile pattern.  But if one lifts the tile directly in front of the door, there is a false bottom to this part of the room.  A compartment with enough room for a few vikings to hide or to store cargo the captain does not want found.

         The compartment is four feet deep and eight feet square.  I put back the tile in its original position, making sure the pattern is correct.  Getting comfortable, I now simply wait.

         Fifteen minutes go by and then sounds of hurried feet and crates hitting various decks of the ship ensues.  Ten minutes after that and we shove off.  I heard the captain bark some orders to maneuver out of the docks before setting a heading to the west.  A few minutes more and the captain enters his quarters.  He too seems nervous maybe more nervous than Ondott.  Sounds of pacing feet, multiple times sitting at the chair near his desk, and leaning on it.  I also hear instruments making subtle marks on paper, probably a compass drawing arcs on a map.  No doubt he has a ruler and protractor to measure angles.  Other things I hear include the typical ones found on a ship:  The water rustling underneath the ship, consistent foot travel on all decks especially after a ship of this size leaves a dock, and the knocking of the oars against the ship’s hull.

         He then mumbles something though loud enough for me to make it out, “We should make the island by nightfall.”

         Satisfied with his calculations, he stands up and paces some more and then leaves.

         Thinking, I assume, “Wherever we are going, it has to be quite a distance away to take until nightfall to arrive.  Granted, not everyone travels by dragon, so time and distance are dependent on the means of travel chosen.  Still, it will make leaving a trail to follow difficult, but not impossible.  Wouldn’t be the first time for this either.”

         One of the reasons I was so confident to Jarl is because I know Ondott’s habits.  Regardless of if he has changed or not, habits of learning from past mistakes will always be in his mind.  He prepared and planned ahead of time while still making efforts to play it by ear when plans went awry.  This is the reason I knew there would be a compartment to hide in, furthermore, I know there to be a window in the back of this compartment where I can leave markers for a trail.  There are many ventures Ondott and I have been on and others even Jarl does not know about.  Sometimes I wonder if I should tell him at all.

         I use the crates in here to makeshift a small marker to distinguish it from other driftwood.  Using my knife, I take the top off the crates and divide up the wood to a few per marker.  I secure the boards with the nails which held them on the crates and then carve a symbol in the wood Jarl would recognize:  A pair of socks.

         While creating these markers, the contents of the crates started to make their presence known with the aromas coming from inside them.  These crates consist of several types of harvested plants and a few herbs, still green.  There are smaller containers full of spices and also a crate full of berries and another full of jars of honey.  I make enough markers to drop one every five to ten miles.  With my knowledge of this area, there are only three possible islands they could be going to make it by nightfall in a ship:  Ransack Atoll to the southwest, Draython Cove directly west, and Coral Isles to the north.  The latter is on the edge of Hiccup’s Map.  The world is a lot bigger, but his map is still the most detail one I have seen of any archipelago.

         All throughout the day, we did not divert our course from our westward heading, so when we arrived at Draython Cove it was indeed nightfall.  The captain never returned to his quarters which allowed me to not be so careful with the noise I was making.  However, I did not want to do anything blatantly obvious.  I took advantage of the berries, honey, and herbs to snack on during the trip.  Also, making sure to drop the markers for Jarl.

         While I heard the sounds, one would hear when ships come into a cove that does not have a dock and needs to be anchored in the harbor, they started taking their inventory off the ships and onto the island.  I started to take my own inventory of the arrows in Jarl’s quiver.  Fifteen normal arrows, ten Piercing Arrows, fifteen Zippleback Arrows, and ten Cracker Arrows.  The way in which he crafts these arrows, all the arrows have a cartridge system making them all interchangeable with each other.  The cartridge is in the arrowhead.  Once a cartridge is inserted, the impact of the arrow landing on its target triggers the contents of the cartridge.  Take the cartridge out and the arrow becomes a normal arrow.  Normal for Jarl that is.

         The workmanship of the bow always amazes me.  Ahead of his time in many areas, but almost expected when Hiccup Haddock III, the “Dragon Trainer,” “Dragon Rider,” “Slayer of the Red Death,” and “Bane of the Bewilderbeast” is living at the same time.  One would only hope to make such an impact with one of those in a lifetime, let alone all four.  The simple aspect of the craftmanship of a bow may seem small in comparison.  Hiccup has inspired more than just his own people, but a generation far and wide.  As good as this is, with it comes those who would have their own agendas to receive their own titles, which brings me back to why I am here.

         I wait for all the commotion to hidedown, which takes another thirty minutes once unloading procedures were underway.  No doubt a few guards are left to stay on the ships.  As I have done in times past, I used the window to escape out the back of the ship, climbing on design elements specifically placed to assist in a faster escape.  Seeing this ship is the furthest ship on the left, I climb around the left side of the ship, making my way across the hull halfway before easing into the water below. 

         One time when pirates had seized our ships and I was stuck in a cargo hold with Ondott -a viking who is claustrophobic- I made mention, “You really should have a room where you can hide safely but still escape.”  From that day forward, he outfitted every ship he bought or built with one.  Thought I saw the last day which that comment coming in handy.

         Knowing this island well, I submerge into the water and swim directly away from the ship for about ten yards before coming up for air.  Repeating the process, I find the edge of the cove and follow it up to shore to go straight for the bushy brush cover.  Draython Cove has very little flat land to be used.  It is mostly all jagged upward elevations.  The only useable part of the island suitable for its purpose are the tunnels and caverns in the island.

         As I view the other ships in the harbor, around ten, it confirms some of my suspicions:  This is the business opportunity he was talking about.  They came to trade supplies for something big.

         I have scouted this island many times and know there is more than one way to enter the main cavern.  The island is rough one hundred yards square, in the shape of a crescent moon which can shelter several ships from the nearly all the wind.  Most sailors seek this island out if they are caught out in a storm and need to wait it out.  The island’s central peak is its highest point, a little over a hundred yards.  Other than that, all the other peaks reach no higher than fifty yards with every other point on the island varying in range from there.

         While the ships are continuing to be unloaded, I thought I would go ahead and make my way into the island to the cavern I figured they might hold their meeting.  Taking a path near my location, I run off to the left.  I go to the south area of the central part the island.  My aim is to climb a couple of levels to reach platform, the exit of a natural tunnel.  Many of the tunnels have been dug out over the generations, however, there are still many more natural tunnels still uncounted for.  Although, depending on who is on the island, some may know of them still.

         By the time I enter the tunnel, I am well on my way to being dried off.  One of the perks to having water resistant gear.  This tunnel should not be well known, so I should be able to enter completely undetected.

         As the tunnel winds itself around, I finally reach the main cavern I suspect the meeting to be held in.  The tunnel opens up to a cavern beneath.  There is still an opening surrounding the cavern, almost like a balcony with many columns, stalagmites, and stalactites littering the outside “wall” to be able to look between them and into the cavern.  No one is here yet, so I go exploring.  I do notice the large fireplace hanging above, giving much of the light to the cavern, supplemented by torches on all the walls below.

         There are a few adjacent tunnels I can venture into which should open to similar caverns.  When I start hearing sounds like a blacksmith shop and other mechanical sounds, I find something I am not expecting.

         There is a factory of some kind with several vikings wearing diamond shaped chainmail.  I cannot tell what they are making, but it is some type of processing plant.  Wondering if I should find out why, I remember why I am here.

         Returning to the main cavern, I hear sounds of conversation.  Going back to my previous vantage point, I peak between the stalactites.

         Draython Cove’s main cavern has an arena look to it.  It is about the same size as the arena on Berk.  From where I am, I would be standing on the outside of the chain cage on top of the Berkian arena looking down.

         I see four separate groups of vikings, two to three each.  Each group standing across from each other, two groups on a side.  What usually happens when a meeting is set up on Draython Cove is to auction off some of the best tools, weapons, or instruments that could further a specific trade.  What that trade is, is set up by the one hosting the meeting.  Those invited can either bring their own to sell to the other groups or bring their supplies to buy the tool or weapon.  They can either buy and sell from each other or wait for the hosting party to make themselves known and see what they have to offer.

 

>>>Stop the mix<<<

 

         There is a lot of small talk back and forth between the groups, their leader and their second in command.  Each wanting the other to leave when they all are waiting for the host to come in.  To be invited to Draython Cove, is an honor and a privilege.  However, it is also a good place to size up the competition and possibly do something more.

         Suddenly, footsteps are heard below, and it quiets all the vikings.  With anticipation, I too wait.

         An older female voice of Slavic heritage can be heard, “So, you have decided to wait and see what your host has to offer.  Well, I can tell you zis.  You will never see anything like zis again.”

         Nearly letting out a gasp, I am fully intrigued at who it is, “Why is Griselda the Grievous here?”

         One would think after losing their commander at the Battle of Berk to the true King of the Dragons, one would recoup their losses deep in their own territory to build up their numbers again.  Hiccup and Toothless took every dragon Drago Bludvist had and freed them and offered Berk as a place to live if they wanted to.  The rest of the army that escaped was only a shell of what its forces were when it arrived, from what Hiccup tells us.  He always wondered where the rest of the ships went.  Well, here stands before me the second in command.

         Griselda’s distinctive feature is her helmet.  It is decorated with small fangs and wide antler-like horns.  Reminds me of a Crimson Goregutter’s head.  Her helmet has a material draping from the inside which completely covers the back of her head and the sides as well.  There is also a guard over her nose.  She has the same battle dress she has always had, with chainmail, pants, and boots.  Two bracers and a sword attached to her belt.  Her fashion choice is rounded off with a long fur cape.

         She was just finishing up introducing herself and allowing the others to do the same.  Pirates, traders, merchants, and the one and only, self-proclaimed businessman.  The other three I have never heard before.

         “As you know,” Griselda continues.  “We are looking for vikings to align with to help in our efforts.  Zeese efforts present us with many opportunities to make a profit.  If we were to sell you all something to furzer increase that profit, we would give you zose opportunities.  Some the likes of which you can only dream about.”

 

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         The pirate leader is too annoyed and demands, “What have you brought to us buy?”

         Griselda shakes her head, “So impatient.  But as you wish.”

         She turns to where she came from, but from the tunnel opposite me, an object is thrown and shatters on the floor!  Gas fills the arena and everyone including Griselda starts coughing!

         “Traitors!” she yells.  “They have come to steal our prize.  We shall make them pay.  Kill them.  Kill them all!”

         Just then, the vikings I had seen in the other room enter with their weapons drawn as they slowly make their way to the trapped vikings.  Jumping into action, I land on one of the attackers letting him break my fall to the floor.  Rolling to recover, I draw the bow and fire an arrow into the shoulders of the nearby attackers.

         I stand up with another arrow drawn and walking backwards towards Ondott.  The attackers take notice and hesitate in trying to attack me.

         I yell back to Ondott, “Get out of here!”

         Glancing back, I see Ondott struggling to move.  Quickly moving back to him he is almost not moving at all.

         “Ondott, come on,” I demand as I keep an eye on the attackers now walking towards me, knowing they out number me.

         Giving him a hand to get up, I get him going in the right direction.  The moment I did that, the attackers tried to take advantage.  Instead, I do.  I draw a Zippleback Arrow and aim up to the fireplace.  Upon impact, a small explosion occurs which rains down debris on the arena, blocking the attacker’s advance.  I retreat to Ondott’s position.

         I find him near the entrance of the cave.  Sounds of battle can be heard off in the distance.

         Ondott with a weak voice responds, “Go.  Just go.  Don’t fall victim because of me.”

         “I won’t leave you,” I counter as I try to lift him up.

         His body is just limp and will not move.  He shoves me away as he falls to the floor.

         He chuckles, “We had some good adventures together…  I knew you’d come.”

         “Don’t talk like this,” I tell him.

         Just then, from the inside of the cave, something is thrown and collides with the wall beside us, exploding into a spray of mist.  I shield Ondott.  The smell is very strong and makes me start to cough.

         He grabs my arm and basically orders me, “Go!  Don’t let what happened to me, happen to you.  For all the good I always knew you had in you, leave me so you can live!”

         As I stand up, I stumble a little as my legs feel shaky.  It must be that object.  I must get out of this mist.  I must leave Ondott behind.

         Running out to the shore, I am greeted by a full assault on all the ships and vikings who came here.

         This was a trap!

         Nearly every ship is on fire, all but one.  One of the smaller ships which was able to come closer to shore without running aground.

         I run to that ship, telling myself, “Of all the times I wish I brought my dragon, this would be one.  I can hear Jarl now.”

         Halfway to the ship, the attacking force notices me.  They try to stop me, but I have none of it.  Any who tries gets an arrow.

         The ship starts to leave, but I swiftly wade out to it and climb the side.  When I reach the deck, there is an attacker right in front of me fighting someone else trying to escape on the ship.  I grab the scruff of the attacker’s gear to fling him back over head and off the ship.  This frees up the guy I saved to start securing part of the sail as a bunch of random escapees try to work together.

         Seeing they are busy with pushing and rowing the ship out of the harbor, I take it upon myself to take out any would be attacker trying to board.

         Everything is happening so fast.  It is hard to keep up.

         I stop one attacker from taking out someone who is rowing while another one climbs aboard only to drag someone overboard.  An attacker grabs me by the neck, I flip him over only to the have one shoot an arrow at me from another ship.  It deflects off my shoulder pad.  I return the favor to see if his can too, but with a Zipple Arrow I follow with a Cracker one aimed at the gas to knock him and a few others off their feet.  Something blunt hits my back, forcing me to my knees.  I sweep the legs to knock the attacker down.  I use the bow to wrap the handle in front of his neck, dragging him to the side of the ship, and throwing him over.

         All of a sudden, I am thrown up in the air as I hear an explosion.  Before I could do anything else…

         Everything goes black!