9 - A Fellowship of Friends - After knocking on the door of the house Farmer Tagyer opened up and invited the group in.
"We found your problem and we've taken care of it" Pindius told the farmer after he joined them with some food and water. Sarry and Gyll sat with them.
"What did you find inside my barn?" Tagyer asked Pindius.
"You wouldnt believe me if i told you" Pindius said with a smile on his face and took ate a piece of potato. He swallowed it and finally asnwered at the most anticipating Tagyer; "It was a ghost. A spirit that had not yet gone to the other side"
"A ghost huh... i must say if someone had told me earlier i wouldn't have believed it, but i trust this group. You seem to be fine people. And i haven't heard any moaning since you guys returned"
"There is a hole in your floor at the back of the barnhouse. It led to a beautiful cave. The ghost attacked us there and Pindius defeated it there" Ivar told the farmer.
"How did you defeat it?" Tagyer turned to Pindius again.
Then it hit Ivar; "Yeah- He turned to Pindius aswell -How did you do that?"
Pindius looked at the two and chuckled a bit before answering; "Ghosts are spirits of deceased people that haven't found their doorway to the afterlife yet. This angers most of them and that's why it attacked us. They have great power and can't control it. It controls them. One thing i learned from my study as a Wizard on St. Sybbyl's Academy was that there is a spell to give ghosts the peace they desire"
Sperry dropped in; "Then how come i haven't learned that spell?"
Pindius continued; "That's because i got personal lessons from one of the teachers there. Together we discovered the spell, improved it and in the end it was ready"
"But i didn't 'ear you utter any words" Cain dropped in as well.
Pindius chuckled again. "That's because it's a mind spell. It has to be done with the focus of the mind. It's a spell wich name has to be uttered or a special move is needed to activate it. It's a spell of peace and calmness. I have trained myself to stay calm in desperate situations like the one when the ghost attacked Ivar. I saw it and quickly emptied my mind and thought of the calmness of my home. When my staff made contact with the ghost my calmness and inner peace was transferred to her. Turned out it was enough and she went to the other side. Not to return here ever again"
"Okay now you really need to teach me that spell" Sperry smiled and some chuckled.
"Hehe, in all time do Sperry. In time" Pindius told her.
"Well, that's that!" Kerk made clear as he ate the last bits of his food and threw his napkin on the table; "We should be on our way again"
"But you've just got back here?" Farmer Tagyer was a bit confused by the sudden burst of enthousiasm to get going.
"It's nothing against you excellent hospitality, but Kerk is right, we are travellers and we want to reach The Silver Inn before dark" Pindius told the famer as he stood up himself.
"You guys aren't going anywhere without an reward" Tagyer said as he stood up quickly and ran to his kitchen.
"Aa reward, how splendid!" Pindius said as he eargerly rubbed his hands together.
Famer Tagyer came back a small satchel of gold coins for everyone. He told everyone they deserved it and thanked them countless time while everyone gathered their stuff in the hallway and stepped outside on the beautiful light green grass once again. Overlooking the Silver Plains with Peenda City right in sight.
"You guys coming as well?" Ivar asked Sarry and Gyll whom followed the group to the outside.
"Actually, we haven't told you the big news yet" Gyll smiled as he said it.
"Famer Tagyer told us we could stay here and be his personal farm assistents!" Sarry made clear with excitement.
"That is just fantastic!" Ivar said with wide eyes of suprise and knowing that these two lives were now forever saved; "I promise i'll visit again one day" He told them and extended his hand to shake theirs. So they did.
"We cannot thank you enough my friend. It's thanks to you we got out of that horrible Golbin camp and those dark woods. It is thanks to you we arrived at this farm and met our new family" Gyll told Ivar as he shook his hand.
"Safe travels" Sarry told him with a big smile.
"Safe farmkeeping" Ivar told the both of them.
"Ivar!" Ivar heard his name being called by Pindius behind him. As he turned around he saw the group looking at him.
"Yes? Pindius?" Ivar asked almost knowing what they were going to ask.
"We were all wondering one thing once again" Pindius answered.
"And that is?" Ivar asked another qeustion. He knew what it was but he wanted to be sure.
"Will you join us?" Pindius then finally asked and Ivar felt his stomach turn at the sound of those words. Not in a bad way, but in a way that was exciting.
"Well?" Kerk cut Ivar away from his thoughts as he notices he should've answered their question already.
"Yes, yes ofcourse i'm coming with you guys!" Ivar shouted with the biggest of smiles.
"Then don't just stand there, say your goodbye's and grab one of the horses!" Pindius said teasingly.
The group walked toward the horses. Ivar nodded at Sarry, Gyll and Famer Tagyer who all said goodbye and smiled for him. He quickly grabbed the brown horse that wasn't mounted yet and joined the group's formation.
They looked at him and Ivar felt quite comfortable. "Welcome to the team buddy" Cain said down from on his pony.
Pindius made a 'Eeaah" sound and the horses started moving. Everyone waved at the trio of farmers and they waved thank, eternaly grateful.
Ivar took one look behind, back at Peenda City and the giant towers of Peenda Palace sticking above it's majestic walls. He thought of King Gongo and how proud he would be to see him now. Then he remembered his mother and father, and how extremely proud they would have been. It saddened him but he didn't show it.
At nightfall the friends reached the edge of the Silver Plains. In the distance they saw the large tress of Wolfara Forest towering above a small building located a few miles before them. It was The Silver Inn.
They went inside. It was nothing special. Just another wooden Inn filled with travellers, smokers and heavy drinkers. Sadly the smoke had nowhere to go and just hung there in the air, floating about.
"Welcome The Silver Inn, my name is Dasha, i am the Innkeeper. I must regretfully inform you that we don't have rooms left for a large group as yours" The innkeeper came to them and stood behind a counter.
"Oh that's quite alright we've brought our own sheets to sleep on. We'd like to share the room" Pindius told the Innkeeper and laid two gold coins on the counter.
"Well, i geuss that's alright then" The Inkeeper shrugged and took the money. He wrote down their names after they told them to him and gave the key of the room to Pindius who gently smiled back at the man.
The group sat down and all ordered a drink. Cain and Kerk ordered three together with some lambs meat and held a drinking-eating contest. In the end it was a tie and the two didn't like it but weren't allowed to order anything anymore by Pindius who told them they should be careful with their spendings. After a while a man came to them, clothed in a brown cloak.
"I'm sorry but i couldn't help but overhear you guys talking about a looking for a quest?" the stranger asked them.
The group looked at eachother and back to the man. "Who wants to know?" Kerk spat at him.
The man throw off his hood and revealed himself to be a rather young human. He smiled and told them his name is Darren Matta.
"Well, Darren Matta. What is so interesting about us talking about a quest? This inn is filled with travellers, so why us?" Pindius asked and crosses his hands.
"Because you guys are so different from anything else i have ever seen. I mean, come on, you must see it yourself. Two wizards, two humans and a Dwarf! I'm sorry but you guys caught my eye"
"And your ears" Sperry remarked, not really liking the strange man.
Matta was silent for a small bit and then proceded; "Yeah and that too. Listen i didn't mean to overhear you guys but i just want to say that i...i have a quest for you"
"What kind of quest?" Ivar immediately asked after hearing those words.
"Have you guys ever heard the tale of Mûro-dor?" Matta said and took a chair and joined the group at the candle lit table.
"Sperry and i have. I'm not sure about the rest" Pindius told Matta. Ivar, Kerk and Cain all three shook their heads.
"Alright then" Matta said enthousiacly holding up both his hands; "Let me tell you a tale then"
"Mûro-dor was once a Wizard that had enlisted on St. Sybbyl of Derwentwater Academy of Wizardry and Healing Arts like any being with magical abilities. It wasn't long for he got bullied and was thrown aisde by the other students who considered him an outside. In his lone time Mûro-dor found happiness in the secret performance of Dark Magic. Soon he became extremely skilled in using these arts to his advantage. One day he snapped though. He led a rampage through the school and killed all those whom ever bullied him"
"And then the headmaster murdered him! ...Right?" Cain interrupted.
Matta shook his head and continued the story; "The teachers got him to stop and expelled him since killing him would mean using Dark Magic themselves. Mûro-dor dissappeared for everyone. It is believed he stayed in Wolfara Forest, the very forest close to this Inn and continued experimenting with Dark Magic there"
"Where else do you think the Sick Mountain comes from?" Pindius interrupted Matta as he smoked his pipe.
"Sick Mountain?" Ivar frowned.
"Don't worry i'm getting there" Matta told the group and went on with the tale.
"He soon reached the heart of Wolfara Forest and found a large mountain. He climbed it, all the way to the top. He is the only way to ever reach the top" Matta said with high enthousiasm. It was clear to Ivar he really liked this tale.
"So they say" Sperry spat back. It looked almost looked like she didn't believe the rest of this story even though she had heard it before like Pindius just said.
"At the top" Matta proceeded as he noticed Sperry was a non-believer; "it is said he used all his powers to create himself a fortress, a frotress for himself and his Dark Magic to reside in for the remainder of his experiments, and even days"
"And that's it?" Ivar quickly wondered. He was really liking the tale, but not as much as Matta himself did.
"Oh no" Matta gestured 'no' with his finger; "Ater many, many years, Mûro-dor experiments with his Dark Magic. Soon the mountain he was on became sick and lifeless. Therefore the name Sick Mountain. Although the real name given to the Mountain these days is Red Mountain for it's many streams of lava pouring down from it"
"And happened to Mûro-Dor?" Ivar asked.
"It is believed Mûro-dor tried out a spell so powerful that not even he could handle it. It killed him on impact and destroyed the fortress and simulteaniously sickened the mountain forever, along with the fields located at the mountains foot, turning them into the now called 'Dead Fields' because there is nothing but death and ashes found on those plains"
"So what is the quest?" Cain then sudenly asked.
Matta responded; "I went to Red Mountain once, trying to climb to its very top and finally find proof that Mûro-Dor was indeed there. When i was halfway though, i came across a tunnel. A dark tunnel. I tried to look into it but all i saw were great red eyes. It looked like thousands of them"
"Red eyes?" Pindius stopped smoking his pipe and looked at Matta with great interest.
Matta nodded at Pindius and concluded his story; "I'm no adventurer nor a warrior, so when i saw this unsettling event, i ran. I came back here to rest and recover but still i can't forget what i might have found on top of that mountain. That is my quest to you if you choose to accept it. To climb to the top of Red Mountain and uncover the truth of the legend of Mûro-Dor!"
"And i'm gonna prove it's just a legend. A myth!" Sperry then responded.
"Shall we find out?" Pindius looked over at Sperry with a look that told her to calm down. He then turned to the group; "What do you guys think? A quest worthy of our time? I myself find it quite endearing"
"I'm up for it! No matter what!" Cain said as he grabbed his axe.
"If he's up for it, then so am i!" Kerk made a fist to show he was ready to do the quest.
Ivar was silent for a moment but then said that he didn't like the red eyes but wants to be part in uncovering the truth about this ancient wizard. Sperry however folded her arms and leaned back, not really liking it. After a short silence she waved her hand up and said; "Fine"
"It is decided then, Matta, me and my fellowship of friends will take your interesting quest" Pindius told the quest giver.
"Get a goodnight rest. You'll need it tomorrow" Matta told everyone before standing up and thanking them.
The rest continued to discuss about their new quest for atleast another hour before finally heading to their room and fall asleep. Ivar couldn't sleep though and just stared outside the window towards the full moon and the bright shiny stars that fill up the dark heaven. "What were those eyes?" he thought to himself before finally drifting away into dream land.