Chapter 1....

Tiel gazed forward, sighed, and pretended to listen contently as Lhen the keeper of the Inn rambled about his vast adventure he had just undertaken.

"Well and fine for you old man, but I'm still bored." Tiel muttered.

"Oh cheer up lad!, I am only trying to stir up the adventurer in you!" Lhen yelled.

The Inn was fairly deserted. Only a few wounded Magic users and Clerics filled it. A few tables and chairs were strewn about. The Inn was all in all pretty run down. Red curtains swayed slightly in the windows, keeping sunlight out giving the Inn a most pleasant darkness. The doors creaked open, letting in a whoosh of dust.

Slowly limping in, was a tall man with long brown hair, it dangled in the air near his shoulders as the remaining wind quickly gushed in as the doors closed. The man slowly made his way to the front desk.

"Are there any rooms available?" he enquired. "I also require the aid of a Cleric. Do you know of any? My wounds are less than significant but they hinder my progress." He took a seat next to Tiel and set his belongings down on the bar.

"So what brings you to here, lad?", Behmut inquired. He noticed the boy couldn't be over 18 winters. Merely a child, he thought.

"I come for adventure! I come for a change of pace, for a break in routine, to let go! But there's nothing around town and noone to take me", Tiel yelled.

"You seem a little bit too eager, lad." "What's your name.", Behmut wondered

"Tiel", he said, with almost no expression. "You?" Tiel asked. I am Behmut." They shook hands.

"Well Tiel if you would like to unsheath that sword of yours and go out in the field for a little practice, I would gladly accompany you." "Alright old man.", Tiel muttered. Behmut chuckled at the boys obvious shock.

They exited the inn out to a vast cobblestone courtyard. The cracks in the brick made it difficult to walk; Tiel found himself stumbling constantly. Tiel growled about how delapidated the town was becoming. The courtyard lead to a moderately large field rather close to them.

"Shall we begin?", Behmut said. He shouted as Tiel charged at Behmut with blinding speed and playfully jabbed at his side, testing Behmut's speed.

Behmut quickly dodged him and there sword struck numerous times. After a short pause in figting, Tiel unexpectadely charged at Behmut, butting him in the chest with the blunt end of his sword. Behmut fell to the ground.

Struggling to get up, Tiel helped him to his feet. "I'll be damned, your more worthy an opponent as i thought!" Tiel grinned.

"Well, Tiel, since your so in dire need of adventure, why dont you travel with me?" "I'll think about it." Tiel rasped, tired from practice.

"I'll be walking around town, find me when you make your decision." Behmut yelled, already walking away.

Tiel headed back to the Yevim, and sparked up a conversation with Lhen. "So, have you seen Behmut here before?" Tiel inquired. Lhen shook his head.

Suddenly, the doors of the inn flew open and a man, obviously drunk, in tattered rags stumbled in. Tiel looked up, startles, and yelled "Damn! Lhen, diversion!"

The drunken man shouted "Tiel you little bastard! I'll lynch- , but was interrupted when Lhen bashed into him so hard he hit the wall and cracked it. "Run Tiel!" he shouted.

Tiel ran outside to see Behmut buying blankets from a merchant. "Behmut!" , he shouted, "I'll go with you, but we have to leave now."


Chapter 2

The escape from the man was easy. In his drunken stupor he could not have followed the fit fighters, even with all his effort. Surely being smashed into a wall did not help the mans condition. Behmut and Tiel ran for a very short while, then decided to build a fire.

Behmut glazed at Tiel, "So are you going to tell me who was chasing you lad?" Behmut pondered. Tiel's face had suddenly become very emotionless.

"It was my father." Tiel said quietly.

"But why would your father- Behmut was cut off by Tiel's rage.

"That bastard would beat me day and night. Come home drunk, beat me, go to bed. Repeat the process from when i was born until about 17 days ago and that's my life." Tiel shouted, the anger apparent on his pale face.

"He beat you when you were a small child?" Behmut asked, timidly, unknowing if he is going to bring up horrible memories for Tiel.

"It does not matter, I got back at him though." Tiel grinned very slightly, his face still somewhat expressionless.

"And how is that?" Behmut wondered.

Tiel reached in his pocket and pulled out a sash. It was a very delicate sash with gold laces, carefully sewn in golden string, it sparkled in the sunlight.

Tiel put his hand in the sash and took out enormous amounts of gold, pieces of jewelry, and 2 red stones that were so immaculate Behmut could not keep his eyes of them.

"What are those red stones?" Behmut asked excitedly.

"I do not know, they were in the sash when I took it from my father." Tiel said proudly.

The two stones glimmered in light of the fire. Tiel touched the 2 stones together and a few tiny red lightning bolts surged between the 2 stones.

Tiel and Behmut exchanged glances.

"When I was younger, I had only one friend, he was a Thief by the name of Barg. His father taught him everything he knew. Barg was young, but he picked up the tricks of the trade easily, then taught some of them to me. I am a warrior, but I can steal from the best of them." he pronounced, with a big smile on his face.

"Your quite the interesting case, lad." Behmut said.

The sun was going down. It was a cloudy night, but the clouds mixed with orange and red made such a beautiful sight noone dare asked for it to be sunny.

"So where are we going?", Tiel wondered.

Behmut gazed up at the sky. "To the city of Reldon."

"And what's there?" Tiel asked

"One night, I was praying to Faras, and a vision came in my mind of great suffering, all i could see were blurred images of people running, screaming. Bodies being buried."

"I must see what is happening to the people of that town, and offer my hand."

Behmut remained silent for quite some time.

"We should stop for the night.", Tiel said, breaking the uncomfortable silence.

Behmut agreed and they started setting up camp.

When the fire was dying out in little flickers of flame trying to stay alive and the sweetbread was all devoured, our heroes lay fast asleep. It was a windy fall night, and the bushes around them swayed as a sudden gust of wind put out the remaining fire, leaving only glowing red hot coals.

Tiel was half way awaken bye rustling sounds around him. They seemed to change location in a very fast manner. Tiel peered around, but could not see much in his sleep glazed eyes. He dismissed the sounds, and lay back down. He then heard unmistakeable cracking noises and rose to his knees, drew his sword from his sheath, and peered around.

He was about to get up to further investigate the noises he swore he heard, when two hands clasped on his head from behind him. He heard something like "Unah Kemle Bas" spit out from whoever or whatever was behind him. Tiel struggled to set himself free from the grasp once more, then he collapsed and fell into a deep sleep.

Behmut woke to the sound of bird chirping gleefully, basking in the bright morning sun. There were barely any clouds in the sky, the few there were had passed in Behmut's slumber.

He roused Tiel. Tiel rubbed his eyes, pondered a moment at if what happened in the middle of the night last night was a dream or reality.

Tiel reached inside his pocket and shouted "No!" as he realized the bag he had stolen from his father was gone.



Chapter 3


Behmut and Tiel walked in the mild fall morning, discussing last nights events. It was an unusually cloudy morning. Little sun shown through the dark clouds. "It looks like rain." Tiel muttered.

"So explain to me again what happened last night." Behmut said.

Tiel's face became a deep frown. "I was awaken bye some rustling. I looked around, then everything went black. I...I can vaguely remember this, figure, then I awoke." Tiel said sadly.

"So your sure you didn't just dream this? Behmut wondered. "Yes im sure!" Tiel hissed.

"Well, we cannot spend all day looking for your sash, we must move on." Behmut said.

The fighter's mood's seemed to lighten a bit when the bright orange sun shown through the clouds. Leaving the openess of the field, Behmut and Tiel entered a vast forest. Behmut was lagging behind Tiel, who was anxious to explore the huge land that was before them. Tiel jumped on a rotten trunk of a tree that had fallen. "This forest is great!", Tiel said excitedly. The sun came out and flared down in streaks as it peaked through some of the humongous trees.

Tiel and Behmut walked for what seemed like half a day. Tiel suddenly grew tired of the forest. "where are we going and when are we getting there!" Tiel said in an almost infant like voice.

"Were going to stop bye Temsa before we go to Reldon. We need to get supplies." Behmut said as he stumbled over some logs."

"How are we going to get suplies if we don't have any gold?" Tiel said flatly.

Behmut laughed. "You think you're the only one with gold around here?" he said.

They came to a clearing, the sun made them squint. In the far distance the fighters could see the city of Temsa. "Finally!" Tiel shouted.

"We should search for a competent cleric while were in Temsa." Tiel said, as if in charge. "If were going to help sick people, why not?" The Thief said, glaring at Behmut.

"Agreed, he said. "But i will do the searching, while you get our supplies."

They kept walking. Tired from their journey, they finally fell upon Temsa. They slowly walked in. Temsa was small, but it was a very well kept city.

The cobblestone roads were all nicely swept and clean. the bushed were a bright green and were pruned with the utmost care. Behmut and Tiel decided to split up.

"Meet back here at eveningfeast." Behmut said, his eyes already fixed on his next location.

Behmut entered a fairly large inn. All activities seemed to stop when he came in. One by one people went back to their business, some still staring at the fighter.

"What can i get you?" the inn keeper said.

"Information." Behmut muttered.

"Well what would you like to know?" the inkeeper said, eyes wide. "By the way, im Runis. I own this inn."

Behmut eyed his surroundings, the inn had no windows. Torches hung on the walls giving the inn an eerie glow. Ale was spilled everywhere on the tables, as if it's inhabitants purposely wanted to drench the tables with it.

The fighter grasped Runis's hand. "Behmut." he muttered. "I need a cleric to help me and a friend in our quest." Behmut said flatly. The innkeeper frowned. "ever since the incident in Reldon all of the clerics offered to travel there to help." he said sadly.

Mention of Reldon sparked Behmut's interest. "What about the incident in Reldon." he said quickly.

The inkeeper stood and his face showed deep sorrow. "The news I have picked up from passers bye and people that stay at my inn is that Reldon is under a horrible plague. Almost everyone that inhabits the city is deathly sick". His frown became deeper. "One man said a quarter of the town's people are either dead or dying." his head dropped down and he shook it as in disbelief.

"Me and my my friend Tiel are on our way to Reldon right now. We hope to find out what is going on in full detail." Behmut said sadly.

The inkeeper started to speak, "Now why would you do that, you just put yourself at ris- but was cut off by Behmut.

"I believe that doing something good for others is the greatest deed done." Behmut hissed.

"Whatever, Behmut." Runis said. "I am very sorry for what is going on there, but I would not risk my own life for them." he said.

"That is where you and me differ." Behmut grumbled.

Behmut frowned and suddenly felt ill. "I....I have to lay down. Not for long, just..until evening feast." Behmut muttered.

"Free of charge then." Runis said, smiling.

"I appreciate it, thank you." Bemut manage to smile meagerly.

He walked upstairs, entered a small room. It had a small bed, a table, and some blankets in the corner. Behmut laid down on the bed, and quickly fell asleep. He was awaken bye a rustling noise. Startled, he jumped up. The innkeeper was dusting his room.

"Sorry to wake you,but it is close to eveningfeast." Runis said happily.

"Thank you for your kindness sir, i must be on my way now." Behmut exited the inn and peered around for Tiel. He saw no sign of him. He walked around town, searching everywhere when he saw Tiel talking to what looked like a beggar. Behmut walked up to Tiel just as Tiel handed the man some gold coins.

"Tiel, did you get everything we need?" he said.

"Yeah, let's go." Tiel cracked a smile at the beggar and the fighters walked towards the exit of the city.

"Why don't we just stay at one of the inn's for the night." Tiel grumbled.

"Because we have a good amount of travelling time left in the day." Behmut said coldly. "Why did you give that beggar gold?" he said politely.

"He told me about how his children are starving, you can't say no to that." Tiel said. "Why are we going to this city to help all these people you don't even know?" Tiel said without expression. Behmut face turned into a deep frown.

"I'm going to tell you something that I have never told anyone before." Behmut said sadly. His frown deepened. Tiel stared at Behmut.

"It's ok, you can tell me." Tiel whispered.

Behmut looked up. "When I was a boy, my mother and I were walking down an alleyway. My mother stopped when she heard a noise behind her. A gang of thieves knocked her over, kicking her as she rolled on the ground. We screamed for someone to help, but people walked bye and immediately turned away as if they didn't see us. The thieves stabbed my mother repeatedly even after she was dead. Noone stopped to help us, it's as if they didn't want to cause any stir in the town. The thiefs took my mothers things, and ran off. It is because of them I have devoted my life to helping others that are in need. I will take a reward if the person offers it, but only then. If the person does not look well off, I will not take there reward.

Tiel stared at Behmut. Behmut's face swelled up and a single tear dropped from his eye. "I.....I'm sorry." Tiel muttered. "I have no idea what it feels like to witness something like that." "Looks like we both have pretty rough pasts huh?" Behmut and Tiel walked until they were too exhausted to stand. They set up camp, not speaking a word to each other, and fell asleep.



Chapter 4

Tiel's eyes shot open, scanning the area. He quickly unsheated his sword and jumped up. "Behmut!" he cried.

When Tiel saw the cloaked figure just standing there he quickly calmed down.

"Identify yourself! What do you want."

"I...I was just lost, i'm sorry if I scared you." the cloaked figure said.

"My name is Ashadelo. Im from Reldon."

Behmut's head shot up, staring directly at Ashadelo.

"Did you say you were from Reldon?" Behmut said, terror in his eyes.

"Yes, my family is very sick. I was on my way to the city of Dharbel to speak with a sage named Votu. Clerics say there is nothing they can do...I....I had to get away, I couldn't stand to be there any longer. If it's me being infected that your worrying about, do not worry." Ashadelo said sadly.

"We need to know what's going on in Reldon, we are on our way there right now." Tiel said.

"Noone can explain what's goin on in Reldon. Everyone is getting sick, people are dying. There's nothing you can do, not even the greatest Clerics of Reldon could help." Ashadelo muttered.

"Well we have to try, ok. I dont want to explain." Behmut hissed.

"Well even though I dont really want to go back there, I suppose I should go back and check how and if things are proceeding." Ashadelo muttered.

"Travel with us Ashadelo, but not if you don't want to go back yet." Behmut said softly.

"Thank you." the magic user said.

Ashadelo looked up. "In all this confusion, I didn't gather your names."

"I am Behmut." the warrior said. "And this is Tiel." pointing to the young man beside him.

The three grasped hands.

Ashadelo was young. Younger than Behmut, but not nearly as young as Tiel. The Mage had a simple brown cloak, it flowed smoothly as the magic user walked. His hair was a light black.

"So what's your story, Ashadelo." Tiel said happily.

"You already know half of it. I come from Reldon. I was taught magic bye my father, he was once a great mage. I would spend countless hours with him, studying spells, trying simple ones in our home. I led a very sheltered childhood." He said sadly.

Ashadelo gazed at the ground. "I have to find a way to help my city." he said softly.

The trio walked through the open fields, oblivious to the brisk Fall day.

"Reldon is not far away, we should make it just in time for eveningfea-

Behmut stopped talking and sat, staring straight ahead.

"Rider's from the east!" Tiel gasped.

Tiel and Behmut unsheathed their swords as Ashadelo pulled his spell book and began reading very quickly, flipping through pages of the tattered book with lightning speed.

The riders rode black horses, gaining speed as they rode toward the two warriors and the mage. One of the riders wore a silver helmet that head tiny black spikes on the front of a pull down mask covering. The other had simple silver armor with a small sword, sheathed.

The riders approached the trio right as the two fighters put up a fighting stance.

"We mean no harm! Put down your weapons." One of the riders shouted.

"I am Dekdu and this is my brother Paddum. We're going back to Dharbel. We could not stay in Reldon any longer, it's so sickening to watch people suffer like that." Dekdu said sadly.

"Yeah." Paddum spoke up. "We live in Dharbel, we tried to help save Reldon, but we were useless." he said with no expression.

Behmut glared at the magic user. "Ashadelo." he said. "Don't you need to go to Dharbel?"

"I wouldn't want to interrupt your journey, gentlemen. I will go after you reach Reldon." the mage replied.

Behmut frowned. "Think nothing of it, we will take a short detour to Dharbel, then we will journey to Reldon." the fighter said.

Dekdu got off his mount, his armor clanging. "What are you going to Dharbel for, anyways?" he wondered.

"I am going to speak to Votu." Ashadelo said bluntly. "He has a message for me." the mage added.

The brothers exchanged glances. "Ah yes, the great Votu." Paddum said softly.

"Could you guide us to Dharbel, Paddum and Dekdu?" Behmut said.

"Not a problem." Dekdu said happily.

*****************
After about a half day's walk, the party met Dharbel.

Dharbel was the exact opposite of the City of Temsa. Large but delapidated. It seemed as though a war had just passed through Dharbel, but noone cared enough to help reconstruct the city after the fighting was over.

"Well, here we are." Dekdu said proudly.

"What happened to this place?" Tiel said jokingly.

"Hey it's not much, but it is our home." Paddum hissed

"Votu takes residence in the house on the far east side of the city." Dekdu said smiling.

"Take care, I hope your journey to Reldon goes better than ours did."

Everyone shooks hands, and the brothers were gone as fast as they came.

"Well, let's go find Votu." Ashadelo said excitedly.

The trio started walking east. They passed several huts that were no more than large boxes, atop of monstrous, thick planks and stones. Some family's seemed to have just a tent made out of cloth and sticks, held down bye tombstone shaped stones.

Finally they came to a shack near the corner of the city's walls. There was no door, just a small shack with a square cut for a doorway.

The trio entered the chack and saw a very old man in a tan robe sitting down reading a tattered book.

"Oh, I see I have visitors!" the old man said surprised.

"I am Votu, what can I help you fellows with?" the mage said.

"Votu, I do not know why you sent for me, but I am Ashadelo. I believe you have a message for me." Ashadelo said excitedly.

"Ah yes, Ashadelo." Votu said as he smiled.

"What I have to tell you is about the situation in Reldon. I may be able to shed some light on things." The old man said.

"Sit, enjoy some sweetbread." Votu said happily.

As the trio ate, Votu's face became blank.

"Now. What I have to tell you, must be shared only with trusted beings, is that understood?"

Tiel and Behmut exchanged glances. "I think we should leave." Tiel whispered.

"Nonsense." Votu snapped.

Votu reached for a book on his shelf, almost falling over to get it.

He dusted off the old book, and looked up.

"A great mage attempted to cast a dimension rift in the God of Death's castle, and it went awry."

"The spell killed the god of Health. It broke his essence into two shards."

"The God of Death kept those shards as a keepsake, for anyone who trifled with him in the future, they would know what happens to them."

"Noone knows what happened but somehow the shards dissapeared, and were never found until 200 years later. Five Hundred years ago Reldon underwent a horrible plague, exactly like the one today."

Votu cleared his throat.

"Whoever found the two shards, conjoined them and the plague in Reldon was magically dissintegrated."

"The reason I sent for you, Ashadelo, is I already have hundreds of people looking for the shards. But your father is a great friend of mine and I heard he is infected. I thought you would like to know."

Tiel sat through the story not thinking , just listening. When Votu opened the tattered book Tiel's mouth dropped as he saw the illustration. The bag Tiel stole from his father had the two shards in it.