Chronicles of Samaaria or the Tale of the Three Andrews Chapter 5

Well here is chapter 5 of the story I was asked to post. I haven’t edited it any, so this is how it is saved in my document. Enjoy. 🙂

 

It had been twenty-five long years since Andrew II had been born. In that time, Tarksee had died during another expedition to Samaaria, and his son had taken over ruling. Seania had collapsed under the heavy loss of its leader and its fine ships were lost to the world. Ever since her husband had died, Jamima had banned the word Samaaria to be spoken throughout Claydad. Tarksee’s son, whose name happened to be Lanathanial, did not believe the stories of Samaaria. So, when Andrew visited him, he did not hear of Samaaria either.

One day however, Andrew, Arie and Cespus, Andrew’s best friend, were visiting Lanathanial in his royal court.

Lanathanial was a fat man and sat plopped in his chair lazily as if he was a doll put there by some giant child who had grown tired of him and did not wish to play with him anymore.

“So, Andrew,” Lanathanial said after the four of them had chatted idly over numerous subjects. “Have you ever heard of the lost Kingdom of Samaaria?” Without waiting for an answer, Lanathanial continued. “I don’t believe in it. What about you?”

The three visitors looked at each other in bewilderment. “I have never heard of such a thing.” Andrew replied and though the four started on a different topic, the name stuck to Andrew’s mind. When the three friends finally left, Andrew walked ahead, while Cespus walked with Arie, whom he had developed a particular liking for.

Inside the castle’s citadel, Andrew determinedly walked to his mother’s bedchamber and knocked. “Come in,” a faint voice said, and Andrew entered.

“Mother,” Andrew said looking at her in distress. “I have just learned of something which nobody ever bothered to tell me and I have been very roused by it.”

Jamima gasped. Has he found out?

“Today as I was talking to Lanathanial, he revealed to me that there is a lost Kingdom called Samaaria. On the way back I pieced together certain events which have occurred and that I have learnt off.

“What I have finally come upon is that I think, father tried to find Samaaria but got killed doing so. I remember you got very restless when I asked you one day how father died. So after he got killed, you banned the word Samaaria to be spoken so that I wouldn’t know about it and wouldn’t try to go there.

“Another time, while searching for something in the cellar of the armory, I came across a few thick books. I thought naught of it that time but now, coming to think of it, one of them had the words ‘Chronicles of Samaaria’ printed on it in bright gold letters which were slightly dulled from age.

“Why haven’t I been told of this? You know I would listen to you if you bid me stay. But now, that I found out after not having been told for twenty-five years, I feel the spirit of adventure pushing me to go there and complete the mission my poor father died trying to do.”

Jamima sighed, “Yes, son,” she said. “You are right. It seems that the John the owner of the armory, whom I told to destroy the Chronicles of Samaaria, hid it carefully in the cellar of his armory.

“As for what you guessed, I have to tell you that you are correct. And, finally, if you want to leave, I will leave that up to you. You are old enough to rule Claydad and make your own choices, so you can decide for yourself. If you come upon the decision to go, I will have a new suit of armor and a fresh sword prepared for you. Also, take my advice, read the Chronicles of Samaaria before you leave.”

“I am not sure that I will go.” Andrew replied simply. But, when he left, he walked straight to where Cespus and Arie where sitting and pulled Cespus away. He told Cespus all that his mother had revealed to him and both of them snuck into the cellar of the armory and found that there were at least six books, each with one thousand and fifty pages, more or less.

“It’s going to take us years to read all this.” Cespus groaned.

“That’s why we won’t.” Andrew replied. “I want to get on this journey as fast as possible, so we will each take one of these to read on our way.

“I’m going to study the maps to plan the route which we will take. You help me tell John to make us two new suits of mail and two new swords.”

Cespus ran up the stairs with one of the books and Andrew called after him. “Don’t tell Arie or anybody else!”

Cespus didn’t reply but Andrew was sure he had heard. Putting one of the heavy books under his arm, Andrew ascended the stairs and walked to where all the maps where kept. Laying a map out flat on a table, Andrew took up a quill and drew an ‘X’ on where Samaaria supposedly was.

“The records say father was planning to go through Medisia and that he got caught in a terrible draught.” Andrew mused aloud.

“What if I go through Bandit Canyon and turn off at the end of Bandit Pass? Then I could cut through Charnia and go through the thinnest part of the Forest of Dangers, and I would skirt the place where father met that terrible draught.

“The only problem is I would meet with Glass Mountain Garrison. That would spoil the secrecy. Unless… Unless we disguised ourselves.” This ended his soliloquy, and he turned to leave. Had he not had his head stuck in the sky, he would have noticed a dark figure retreat before he opened the door. By night Andrew had their route planned and had packed his belongings. He had told Cespus to do so too.

In the morning, John had their new things ready. Cespus was all out to go but Andrew insisted they wait another day…

Suddenly, Andrew woke up covered with beads of perspiration. He had dreamt that on their journey, they had been followed. Suddenly, the three of them, including Arie, where walking along.

Strange faces had appeared throughout his mind. Suddenly, they were walking in a field. Then when they came out of it one of them was covered in sores. Then suddenly, they appeared in some swamps and enormous creatures leaped out from the ground!

The worse part was when they were laying down in this grove where there were some tall strange plants with smooth stalks extending five feet and more. At the top of it was two big wide leaves fringed by green colored thorns. While they were asleep, he had dreamt that they came alive and gobbled them up. He was inside one when he woke up.

After considering if the dream had a real meaning, he dismissed it as a nightmare and quickly pulled on proper clothing. Then he put on his mail, making a slight chinking sound as he did so. Quickly, he pulled a hunter’s jacket and pants on over his armor. Then he swung on his pack, girthed his sword and ran to Cespus’s room, not noticing the shadowy figure that ran lightly behind him.

Knocking softly on the door, Andrew was quickly answered by Cespus who came out dressed similarly. As they passed the dining hall, Andrew left a note on it for his mother and ran out the door behind Cespus.

The two fleet footed figures ran silently across the stone cobblestones. At the gate they were hailed by the guard on the wall who demanded their business so early in the morning. “We are two hunters who came in this morning.” Andrew called out, trying hard to make his voice coarse and rough. “We are heading for the Forest of Dangers and wanted to get an early start.”

“You better be careful.” The guard warned. “It’s very dangerous out there. By the way, what did you say your name was?”

Andrew was taken aback. He had not expected to be asked this question. “Um… Well, my name is Daniel. People call me Dan of the Forest. My partner here is called– Spark.” Cespus glared at Andrew in the darkness while Andrew just smiled mischievously back.

“I don’t remember hearing of those names when you entered.”

“You’re the night watch aren’t you?” Andrew asked confidently.

“Well, yes.” The soldier said doubtfully still not understanding Andrew’s real meaning in asking this question.

“Well, then, the day watch must have seen us come in as we came early this morning. So you wouldn’t have heard our names.” Andrew finished triumphantly.

“Okay, let them through.” The guard ordered peering at the two figures carefully. The gate was pulled up and the two figures ran out into the dark road.

“Why did you have to choose such a stupid name for me?” Cespus hissed his entire face frowning, Andrew could just imagine the knives flying from his friend’s eyes.

“Sorry, I just couldn’t think of anything else.” Andrew replied grinning jocosely. “Anyhow, we cut off the road here. We don’t want to make too many curious friends.” The two young men walked off the road and started walking in the undergrowth.

As the sun rose, more and more people came streaming out of the city gates. The road that Andrew and Cespus were walking beside led to a small village.

“We go around this village.” Andrew whispered to Cespus. “Then we’ll come around the back of it and walk about five miles north. Finally, we’ll camp at the mouth of Bandit Canyon.”

“We’ll camp in such an open spot?” Cespus hissed sharply. “Or are you going to leave me in the middle of the night and hide somewhere so I get a big fright?” Cespus asked, still mean spirited and suspicious.

“No, I wasn’t.” Andrew grinned shamefacedly back at Cespus. “I just wanted to camp where my father camped. Listen Cespus, you have to forgive me. I really couldn’t think of anything else. If we don’t trust each other, we’ll never get to the end of this journey.”

“Okay, okay, I trust you.” Cespus admitted. “I just wanted to carry your joke on giving me that stupid name a little further.”

Andrew punched Cespus’s shoulder playfully and Cespus punched him back. “But wait,” Cespus said thoughtfully gazing up into the blue sky. “I sure would like one good hot meal and a place to rest these sore feet of mine.”

“Well, then,” Andrew said decidedly striking of in the direction where there was some red earth. “We will go into the village.”

“But are you sure?” Cespus questioned doubtfully. “That princely face of yours is well known – Hey! What are you doing?” Cespus asked Andrew who by now had tousled his hair and was busy rubbing red earth in his face and hands. When he came up, Cespus barely recognized him.

“Well on my word,” Cespus breathed in amazement. “You look every inch like a sunburned hunter who has just come back from a hunt. In fact, if I wasn’t disguised myself, I would be afraid to journey with such a dubious looking character.”

Andrew sprinted lightly up towards the road and Cespus followed. They soon arrived on it and surprised a peasant driving a mule cart. He leaped back while his cart ran into a ditch. He glared at the two strangers angrily as they walked along towards the village.

“Let’s try that restaurant yonder.” Cespus said trying to make his voice sound gruff and unpolished. Andrew nodded and they entered a small restaurant by the name of Gabe’s Deer Shanks.

Inside they were met by a wiry old man whose small black eyes flicked up and down as he scrutinized them carefully.

“I’d say you be outland hunters.” He said as his eyes flicked towards their swords. “Pardon me for saying, but you two don’t look very wholesome to me. I hope you ain’t here to cause troble.

“Ah,” he said his eyes resting on Cespus’s face. “Here’s a noble one. Give me your word you won’t cause troble and I’ll give yer and your friend a place to rest ‘em weary feet and some nice hot piping stew. How ’bout that?”

“That would suit us fine.” Cespus replied, trying to make his voice sound grave.

When they sat down, Andrew said indignantly to Cespus. “That old man better watch what he says. Unwholesome indeed!”

Just then the old man returned with their stew.

“By the way,” he said striking up a little conversation. “I’m Gilburd.”

“I thought your shop’s name is Gabe’s Deer Shanks.” Andrew said almost choking on his soup.

“Gabe was my grandaddy’s name. The store’s been passed down all the way to me.”

At that same moment, Gilburd was drawn into the kitchen by the sound of stew boiling over. When he returned, Andrew and Cespus where gone. For payment, Andrew had left one gold coin, which was worth many more small meals like that.

The two soon reached the edge of the village and turned from their westward direction too a northward direction. Suddenly Cespus whirled about. “What?” Andrew hissed.

“I heard footsteps– Light, shadowy ones.” Cespus replied.

“No peasant would be this far from the village.” Andrew said and the two men looked at each other with meaning in their eyes. Somebody was tailing them!

******End of Chapter 5******

Hope you enjoyed! 🙂

~Michael Hollingworth
Disce Ferenda Pati – Learn to endure what must be borne

 

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