Dual Chicken Recipe Healthy and Delicious.

Italian baked chicken strips

1 Package of skinless/boneless Chicken strips

1 TBS onion powder

1 TBS garlic powder

1 TBS Meat Tenderizer

1 TSP Cumin

1 ½ TBS Italian Season

2 TBS Olive oil

Put the chicken in a bowl then pour in the onion, garlic powder, meat tenderizer, cumin, and Italian Season. Add Olive oil and mix together until all the chicken is covered. Let sit for 10 to 40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put chicken on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.

Leftover Chicken Fajita

Ingredients:

Leftover chicken strips from above Recipe

1 Onion

1 TBS Olive Oil

Pepper to taste

Cut the chicken into one inch strips. Take the onion and cut it into strips as well. Take the TBS of olive oil and heat it up in a pan. Place cut onions in the pan and let sweat for about a minute. Add Chicken and pepper. Sautee until onions are clear and the chicken edges are browned. Place in a fajita shell and add salsa, sour cream, guacamole to likening. To kick it up a notch crush up blue corn chips and add into the Fajita. Eat and enjoy.

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My attempt at art.

RoseSo I normally do not sketch or draw at all but today I decided I would try again. Taking a picture someone put on line I decided to draw it. Took me awhile. Let me know what you think.

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What’s in a name Part 3

Garm Ducked a wayward swing from a mace-wielding goblin while simultaneously blocking another swing with his shield. Spinning to his right Garm dodged a third strike coming down toward his bent head. He turned back around and snarled at the group of goblins before him.

Garm heard the breathing of a fourth goblin coming in from behind him. He kicked out low with his foot and felt the resistance of the approaching goblin’s legs give way and heard it landing with a thump. Using his right hand he took his half-spear and flipped it deftly so the point was facing down and plunged it into the goblin behind him whilst watching the three goblins before him. With a spout of blood he pulled the spear free and flipped it once more so that the point was facing forward once more. With the fast motion, blood came free of the spear and hit one of the goblins eyes. The goblin stopped to wipe the blood from it’s’ face only to have a half-spear materialize in his chest.

Again Garm had to pull his spear free but this time he took a step back so that he could react to anything coming. “You shall pay for killing my friends! After I am done with you, I shall hunt your race down and kill every last one of you rotten beings!” Garm snarled at the remaining two goblins. The rock floor of the cave was littered with goblin corpses. Just a few feet from where Garm was standing laid the bodies of his friends. All of them except Scroto had their skulls crushed by a mace. Scroto was the unfortunate one to die from a thrown javelin right at the beginning of the battle.

One of the goblins snarled back at Garm and yelled “Get UP!!!!!”                 Garm scrunched his eyebrows together in confusion. The goblins snarled and charged in swinging. Garm blocked one of the maces with his shield and the other he turned aside with his half-spear. He stabbed out under his shield catching that goblin squarely in the chest. He took a step forward and turned around quickly so that the last goblin was now in front of him again. Garm pulled the spear free and as he did the goblin croaked out “Get up…..” Garm hesitated and looked over at the dying goblin as it crumpled to the floor. As he did he felt something hit his legs taking them out from under him. He fell backwards hitting the ground hard.

Garm sat up quickly. He was staring at Scroto standing over him. “What?” Garm asked squinting from the sun that was illuminating the clearing.

“Anthrax fell asleep on watch. Now we are late. Get ready we need to move within the hour.” Scroto said getting up to get his pack ready.

“Why an hour? I can be ready in a couple of minutes.”

“You forget that Leroy needs time to pray every morning. So just make sure you have everything ready will you?” Scroto replied

“Okay, fine. I have to piss anyways.” Garm stretched while yawning. He get up and started to walk into the woods but stopped and looked back. “Say Scroto, have you ever noticed how similar your voice is to a goblins?”

“Umm, No and I really don’t want to know how you came to that conclusion Garm.” Scroto looked over his shoulder at Garm as he answered him and got something from his pack. “Get ready as quickly as you can will you?”

“You know a please can go a long way.” Garm turned back and walked into the woods. “Going to pee now I’ll be back.” As he entered the woods it didn’t take too long until he saw Anthrax coming from the other way. “Hey Anthrax. Have a good rest?” Garm smiled as he past her.

“Yea, now we are even I guess. Let’s just get back to Antioch Garm” Anthrax said while limping past. “See you back at camp.” The last seemed as if she said it through gritted teeth.

Garm did his business and returned in a couple of minutes. He came back and Scroto sitting on his pack, eating some dried meat. Anthrax was sitting by her pack leaning up against the tree trunk chewing on some dried meat as well. “That looks good. Have you any more Scroto?”                 “You don’t have any more in your pack?” Scroto asked between bites. Garm shook his head in response. “Okay, here.” Scroto dug in one of his pouches on his belt and pulled out a hunk of dried meat. He tossed it to Garm. Garm went to grab it out of the air but fumbled it up into the air. With a second try he bobbled it up again, with a third grab at it he was able to catch it finally. He immediately took a large chunk out of it.

Garm gathered up his pack and weapons so he could grab them and go as soon as everyone was ready. “So where did Leroy go to anyways?”                 “Over there.” Scroto pointed behind where Leroy’s pack laid. “He should be back soon.”                 Just as Garm took the last bite of meat Leroy walked back into the clearing. “Thank you for waiting everyone.” Leroy walked to the middle of the clearing and asked “So who is still feeling it today?” Leroy looked around at everyone.

In response everyone raised their hands to indicate themselves. Leory chuckled at the sight. “Ladies first guys. Sorry.” Leroy walked over to Anthrax and laid his hand on her arm. As he did a white blue glow surrounded his hand and moved into her body. Her eyes closed and her mouth opened up as if in relief. When she breathed a smoky mist came out and dissipated into the air. “How does it feel now?”

Anthrax stood up and did a trunk twist. As she did, Leroy stood up. “A lot better. Still a little pain but nothing I can’t handle.”

“So we headed back out onto the beaten path….”

“Garm?!”

“With me in the lead of course……”                 “GARM!!!???”

“Hunh? What did you say?” Garm looked down from the horse’s saddle to Flurry Fist who was walking next to him.

“Garm, not that your story isn’t interesting and all but you have been talking now for half a day. Are you even close to where you earned your name?”

“Well it didn’t happen until after Antioch.” Garm stated matter of factly.

“Well how about you tell me what happened, in summary, on the way back to Antioch?” Flurry fist hinted more then asked.

“Hmm, well on the third and final day we got ambushed by some kobolds. Of course I handled it with ease. Afterwards some of us limped into town.” Garm said

Flurry knew what most likely happened was Garm tried to throw a javelin that either sailed way over the kobolds, or he slipped while in midst of throwing and it landed close to one of his companions. He would’ve then noticed that the enemy was closing in fast and took out his half-spear just in time to either take a blow or he was barely able to pull his shield in time.

“So we got into town and the first thing we had to do was find Alton……..”

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Poll for you.

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Questions answered

Chapter 5

 

          That night Kai had the most vivid dream ever. He dreamt he was walking the plains of Minius on watch, when he saw a lone figure a few hundred yards away. The figure had a brown cloak wrapped around his thin frame. His hood was down and Kai could see long straight black hair that was freely hanging around his shoulders he could also see a beard covering the man’s pale face. Kai was confused because he was sure nothing was there just a moment ago. It was a fleeting moment that was quickly replaced with curiosity. The man stood still with his arms crossed inside his sleeves. He started walking toward the figure, as he did he noticed that the man cracked a crooked smile toward him. As he walked closer, the figure’s height seemed to never change. This struck Kai as weird because he knew that as you approach and object it usually gets bigger. It was almost like Kai wasn’t getting closer at all, but he was sure he was because he noticed more and more features of the man becoming clearer. The man’s eyes were a green-blue like that of a humpback whales belly observed from the surface of the water. His face was gaunt, his cheeks and eyes were sunken in, but there still seemed to be a vibrant aura emanating from those piercing eyes.

Kai felt liked he knew this man from somewhere. As he got closer, the man seemed to finally gain in height. Kai estimated that he had to be about seven feet tall now and he was still fifty feet from the man. That is when something clicked inside of Kai’s brain. Of course he knew who this man was. He was the wizard from the book he was reading the night before or maybe two nights? Kai couldn’t remember when but he knew this man. It was Ifrahim himself.

Kai was overcome with excitement and began to jog to him, calling “Ifrahim is that you? I never thought I would meet you, and here of all places! Can I ask you a few questions?” As Kai stopped in front of Ifrahim he was surprised at how tall Ifrahim really was. He was at least seven foot eight judging by his own height.

“Hello my boy” Ifrahim said bending down to be at Kai’s level. “What is your name now?” Ifrahim voice was raspy as if his vocal cords were not used to talking anymore. His voice cracked several times just getting out those few words.

“Oh I am sorry. Forgive my rudeness Ifrahim. It is just I never thought I would actually see you. It seemed that you died years ago. Oh, I forget myself again. I am Kai.” Kai offered his hand as he introduced himself.

“That is a good name. I like it.” Ifrahim said straightening back up and ignoring the proffered hand. “I am happy to see you still around. I was worried for a while there.” Ifrahim smiled at Kai. For some reason there was a chill that ran through Kai’s spine when Ifrahim was smiling at him. “Now what would you like to ask me Kai?” Ifrahim said this with a warmth of a fatherly figure.

“Well there are many things I want to ask you. I don’t know where to start. Hmm.” Kai brought his proffered hand to his chin as he thought for a few seconds. “Oh, I know, maybe you can show me your spell book? It would be a pleasure to look upon your work even though some of it would most likely never make sense to me. Hey, who knows, maybe I would be able to learn something.” Kai smiled back at Ifrahim.

“This unfortunately would not be the time for that. You still have a lot to learn and grow before that could happen, Kai. I like your ambition though.” Ifrahim looked down at Kai then knelt down again to Kai’s level. “Right now it is time for you to take your true form my child. You have done well. I am proud.” Ifrahim smiled at Kai. The smile was almost that of a person who knew a secret that he kept from someone for a long time and now was the time to reveal it. Kai did not like surprises or secrets.

“What do you mean? Do you mean it is time for me to reach my potential?” Kai’s question was of no use. Ifrahim just smiled and straightened up. He took one step back and vanished. Kai was impressed with the magic prowess that Ifrahim must possess to be able to teleport without using words, or gesturers, or even spell components for that matter.

Kai started to feel funny after Ifrahim left. His ears started to itch, his head seemed all of a sudden to clear up as if he was walking in a fog all his life and it finally lifted. The ever presence of magic that flowed through him seemed to strengthen just a little. Next the headache came on. Kai grabbed his head in pain and curled up into a ball in the grass screaming. When the pain subsided just a little he got up and started to walk toward the gate. Another wave of excruciating pain wracked his head and he fell down right on a rock cracking his head open. Kai watched as his blood started to poor out wetting the ground in a crimson liquid just before his eyes.

**************************************************

            Kai woke up gulping air. He calmed himself down quickly and looked around to get his bearings. He was in a room with lots of books, and a lamp was sputtering out above him. The sun looked like it had come up not too long ago. “Phew, it was just a dream.” Kai looked back down at the book he was reading. The story that he fell asleep reading was the one about the gnomes. It seemed to him that there was something different about the book. Almost as if it got just slightly bigger. He also just noticed that the chair seemed slightly big for him. But that couldn’t be so because he remembered it was small for him. He thought maybe Gurmble was playing a trick on him. He shook his head to clear some of the cobwebs and scratched behind his ear as he yawned.

As he scratched he noticed that his ear seemed to have elongated at the top. He frantically checked his ear with his hand. It had a point at the top! But how?! Could he still be in a dream? He pinched himself to make sure. “Ouch!” the voice he heard was familiar but sharper as if it was coming from a smaller person than him. Kai’s eyes went wide and he checked both ears. Not only was the right one pointed but so was the left one! Kai thought for a while but settled down shortly, proclaiming to himself that it had to be a joke. Someone must have gotten ahold of a magic potion and poured it on him while he slept. “That is it” Kai said trying to convince himself. “All I have to do is go see the others and we will all have a big laugh. That’s it.” Kai smiled and got up from the chair. He was clearly a couple of inches shorter than he used to be.

Just in case he had to use any means of intimidation Kai took a mental inventory of his spells. He somehow knew some new spells. That is when the pain came back to him. “Wait you can’t remember a headache from a dream. At least not that amount of pain. Right?” Kai thought for a moment then passed it off as possibly picking the spells up from a book that he read. “Yea that is it. I learned them from one of these books. If I could only remember which one. Enh, that will have to come later.” Kai decided he should meditate for his hour to refresh his head and get the cobwebs out first. He got back into the chair and sat cross-legged on it. He folded his hands together onto his lap and began to meditate, as he did he was picturing building a new lantern that would burn for days on end without needing a refill. One that would hold the same amount of oil as any other lantern of the same size. He was also thinking of a way to direct the light so that it would seem as if it was brighter.

Again Kai shook his head. “That was weird. I have never thought of that while I meditated before.” Kai shook his head and took a mental inventory of his spells again. They were all there plus those few extra. One good thing he guessed was that he felt almost healthier, able to take more. The only explanation he could think of for that was he was smaller. He just shrugged and figured it was only part of his weird dream or the prank everyone was playing on him. He got back out of the chair and headed into the main room of the house. As he approached the door he heard clinking of utensils and people talking. He took a deep breath and walked in.

Gurmble was the first to notice the door opening and as he turned his head he said “Hey, sleepy head. I hope you were able to……….” Gurmble stopped in mid-sentence because he was expecting to see the six foot lithe frame of Kai walking through the door but instead he saw a four foot eight gnome smiling in the door frame. Gurmble gasped, quickly standing up he shouted “Who are you? How did you get in here?” Everyone else snapped their heads to the door as soon as Gurmble gasped and stood up. All of them did the same. Everyone’s hands went directly to weapons that were not on their sides. Spike growled and stood in between Flynn and the gnome.

The gnome had brown hair that flowed freely down his face, points of his ears were sticking out between tufts of hair. His face was clean-shaven except for some peach fuzz that was so light you wouldn’t know it was there if you were not standing right next to him. His eyebrows were thick as was typical of all gnomes. His eyes were a deep brown almost to the point of being black. His face looked a lot like Kai’s even down to the few scars that were on his face. The gnome put his hands up and exclaimed “I am Kai!” The gnome had on the same colored cloak that Kai always wore. It even had the same holes in the same spots but the cloak was smaller of course.

“You can’t be Kai. Kai is a human and…. Well….. taller. You are clearly a gnome. Now tell me what did you do with Kai and why are you trying to be him?” Gurmble said taking a threatening step toward the gnome. Flynn flinched slightly when Gurmble took a step toward the gnome preparing herself more for the possibility of confrontation, this made Spike growl and step closer to the gnome as well.

Kai put up his little hands in defence and said “Look, I am Kai. I was here reading the book about the wizard Ifrahim.” The gnome pointed toward the door he just came from. “You can look if you would like.”

“You just came from that room. You could have easily put any book down on the table. I can’t trust you.” Gurmble said stepping closer again. The gnome took a step back but ran into the closed door. His eyes were wide from fear and his mouth was hanging open, almost like he wanted to say something, but he was at a loss for words.

Joanan took a step forward, bent down and squinted. “He kind of looks like Kai.”

“I am Kai. Joanan, you have been my friend my whole life. You know me. Tell them it’s me.” The gnome looked past Joanan and said “Whoever decided to pour whatever potion on me that did this to me it isn’t funny, okay? I would like it if you guys would stop. You are starting to scare me right now.”

“How can we really take you for your word? You could have done anything to Kai in an attempt to find out any information from us. If you really are Kai then you will have to prove it.”

“I told you I AM Kai! How else would I know that your father died recently, or that all of us came to you on the exact same day with similar stories? And who would still have this shoddy dagger because he paid ten gold pieces for it?” the gnome said

“Everyone knows all that. The dagger you could have easily taken from Kai. You need to do better than that.” Gurmble said stepping closer threateningly. “What did you do with my friend, you thief?” Gurmble growled this last part out.

Joanan put his hand on Gurmble’s shoulder to get his attention. “Let me try Gurmble. I know a way that can truly let me know if this is Kai or not.” Gurmble huffed and took a step back and gestured for Joanan to go ahead. Joanan stepped forward and slouched to be more at the gnome’s height. “So, if you really are Kai then you will know what I said to my father as he laid in his deathbed.”

“I was there I remember that. Hmm, let me see.” The gnome looked down at the floor and put his chin in his hand and thought for a while. He smiled and looked back at Joanan and said “You told your father that you know you could never live up to his standards. That he was the bravest man you have ever known. You also told him that growing up you had only one hero and that it was him. He inspired you to do your best at everything you tried out. The last thing you told him was that the lord will accept him with open arms and should he have any sins left in this world, that whatever good deed you did from now on would be for his salvation, and in his name.”

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*shrug*

So i have no clue why, for my followers chapter 4 is not showing up on the reader. So if you would like to read Chapter 4 of Adventure with a dwarf you can go to my home page and read it there. Thank you very much.

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Chapter 4

Gurmble walked out with a smile on his face. As he passed Gravelhand he thanked him. This put Gravelhand a little off guard but Gurmble didn’t care at all. All he could do was think about the journey and getting to the goblins. He wanted to know why they were attacking now of all times. Gurmble was fully intending to go alone but got the idea of asking the others. He knew they all left their own homelands. Now maybe they will be up for a little adventuring with him. There was only one way to find out. Gurmble unconsciously started to pick up his pace as he headed for home. He just couldn’t wait to share the news and ask them if they would be willing to join him in an epic adventure. One that could possibly be shared with your grandchildren someday. With all of them, just maybe, they could foil the plans of the goblins enough to stop the attacks even if they didn’t survive it. Gurmble ran, as much as a hobbling dwarf could, to the cabin.

Gurmble burst into the building with force, huffing and gasping for breath. Everyone looked at him expecting the worst. Elderist half stood up almost expecting to have to fight his way out of the building. Joanan shook his way to his feet hiding behind Elderist fully expecting the goblins to come in chasing Gurmble. Flynn jumped up with her hand to the hilt of her sword. Spike, who was laying down just about to go to sleep, jumped up so high he hit his head with a thump on the table bottom. Spike landed on all fours with haunches up staring toward Gurmble. Gurmble just waved them back to their seats and sat down in the closest chair trying to catch his breath. Spike gave a low growl and turned around in a circle until he laid down again at Flynn’s feet.

“I have (gasp) a question (gasp) for you (gasp) all.” Said Gurmble as he huffed. Then he just put up a hand and said “Just (gasp) give me (gasp) a minute to (gasp) catch me breath (gasp)”.

They all sat there waiting for Gurmble to speak next. Elderist looked at Gurmble and said “Just like a dwarf, No endurance at all.”

Gurmble gave him a stern look and said “Look it here boy. I could out last you in any battle. Any day, any time.” Gurmble sucked it a deep breath and let it out slowly. He continued with more of an ease. “Now the things that happened out there were terrible. The worst thing about it is that the king does not want to send out troops to fend off the horde and kill the leader before they lead a mass attack on Minius. I tried to plead with him to give me a group so I could find out what is going on and possibly eliminate the threat. He again told me no. But he did give me permission to go out on my own. The question to you would be. Will you join me? It was an honor to fight with you all today. You are more than capable warriors. I would be honored to have you all protecting my back and I protecting yours.” Elderist pointed a finger in the air and opened his mouth to speak but Gurmble cut him off with a hand and said “Of course we will share in everything that is found.” Elderist smiled and seemed to be happy with the answer.

Joanan looked at everyone and said “Do you know where they are hiding?”

“Well it is my belief that they are hiding up in the mountains. Some say that they are living in the old Dwarven mines. The old halls have been abandoned for years. The story is said that the giants drove us down into the plains. Here we set up Minius and we got so used to it that we never set out to look for the old mines again. It seems after the dwarfs and gnomes finally fought back the giants is when the goblins took over our mines. The location of the old mines are unknown anymore. So we may be searching for weeks or even months” Gurmble said.

Kai said “Well I saw that you guys had a pretty extensive library here. Would there be any information in the books?”

“Maybe. I also have a lot of books in the back room. My father collected them from the old mines, he was one of the original dwellers but forgot the exact location or at least that is what he told me. We dwarfs like our secrets, you know. Also those are his favorite books. That might be a good place to start if you wanted to.” Said Gurmble as he pointed to the door right beside the bar. “I personally have looked through most of them. What I got was a vague idea that it is in the mountains toward the North West. Around a five days march from here. But feel free to look. Maybe you could extract more information than I.”

Both Kai and Joanan shared a knowing look. Kai said “I will take a look at the books you have in the back Gurmble. Sounds like the best place to start. Maybe I can find something that you might have missed.”

Joanan nodded in agreement and said “Excellent idea. I’ll take a look at the library in the city and see what I can scrounge up there. The rest of you might as well rest and we will meet up in the morning to see what we might have come up with.”

“Well, while you guys look at the books I can help build some armor for you if anyone needs repairs or even a new set. I have a great hammer and anvil out back. Does anyone want anything in particular?” Said Gurmble to everyone.

Flynn shook her head. “I will not put anything unnatural on my body dwarf. But if you can repair leather I may need a few adjustments.” Gurmble nodded as if to say he could.

Kai shook his head when Gurmble looked at him questioningly.

Joanan said “If you can I would like to have a new large shield and some chain mail armor.”

That’s when Elderist smiled and said “I could sure use some repairs on these sleeves Gurmble. For some reason they just fell apart. Might get more protection if it wasn’t flopping around in the breeze like your beard.”

“With your mouth nothing can protect you half-elf! Either way give it to me and I will fix it. Flynn I would be more than happy to fix your armor. I have worked with leather many times.” Said Gurmble. Then he eyeballed both Joanan and Elderist. “Looks like they both will not take long at all. Give me about a week. I think by than they will be finished.”

Everyone nodded and went on their way. Both Flynn and Elderist went to train while Kai and Joanan hit the books. That night they all met to find out what they discovered. Both Joanan and Kai shook their heads in resolution “Nothing found out tonight, but tomorrow is another day.”

This went on for several days. Both Joanan and Kai went off to read while Gurmble worked on the armor and Flynn and Elderist trained in the yard with Spike. About the fifth day Kai said something interesting. “I found this book about a wizard who disappeared shortly before the goblin wars. It is said that he was the most powerful wizard in the realms. He helped out all of the goodly races by going to them in their times of need and fixing their problems. The book talks about the locations he visited. I am hoping that one of them might be the old dwarven mines. I plan on staying up tonight to find out. Gurmble you don’t mind do you? I will be right outside your door.”

“No go ahead. My father used to read all the time till the wee hours of the morning” Gurmble said

Kai settled down with the lamp lit above him on the hook. The desk was a little short but he didn’t mind at the time. He was finally doing something he loved, the pursuit of knowledge.  Kai was so entranced in the book about this old wizard that he did not even know what time it was. This book seemed to be a collection of many stories from different races, as if someone went around looking for information on this wizard. He was reading a story from the Dwarven city. Kai read carefully to make sure he didn’t miss a thing. There was a description of the surroundings that the dwarf who was telling the story gave. A specific rock formation that the wizard seemed to sit alone at to think or study. Kai pulled out a map from a book the he previously read that was all topography around the time of the goblin wars. He was hoping that maybe he could find a location that fit the description.  It didn’t take him long to find a location that was the most likely spot. But there were no names on this map. Kai grabbed a more recent map and pored over it matching up the mountain peaks. It took him awhile, but he felt like he may have found the spot. He stood up and excitedly smacked the table as he smiled. Just as he heard the loud thump he cringed as he remembered how late it was.

Standing quietly now Kai patiently waited for the smashing of a dwarf coming out of the room not too far from him. It felt like an eternity until he heard a loud snore coming from behind the closed door. He let out a sigh of relief. Everyone would be excited to hear what he found but he knew it could wait until the morning. He just smiled looking down at the map. It was indeed to the North West just two days directly west of the current half-elf village. They can easily get close to the opening by going five days North West of Minius. Since Kai had nothing else better to do, and the adrenaline was pumping through his body, he decided to keep reading about the wizard.

He pored over stories that were collected from the gnomes that seemed to interest him. Some of the descriptions of the area felt familiar to him.  Almost like he had been there before. The gnome told the writer about a particular story of the wizard that he found very interesting. It was about a time when all the gnomes in the hollowed mountains that they made home were having trouble with their inventions and magic in particular. Just when the leader just died from an explosion the wizard showed up. Almost like he was called to them from the tragedy. The gnomes were having trouble in picking a new leader. There were several candidates for the position. The gnomes liked to pick their leader by their prowess in magic and building. No one had the talent of the last leader but several young ones showed promise but it was too early for them to really lead a nation. The wizard stepped in with the idea of taking the current candidates and having them build something and power it with magic. This startled the gnomes because they all knew that their magic was not working properly but the wizard said that he would oversee the building and implementation of the inventions to make sure no one got hurt. The wizard had to put out several fires and even stop one gnome in mid-air as he was falling from the failure of his invention “the crank-less elevator”.  In the end with lots of work from the wizard, who the story teller noted seemed to go off on his own several times a day and come back clammy and sweaty, all the inventions worked with no more problems ever with their magic again. They also noticed that the children, no matter if they showed talent in magic, could always cast certain spells. When the leader was picked, his first duty was to take the young ones that showed promise and teach them the ways of the gnomes. The leader noticed that when the wizard left one of the more promising gnomes disappeared as well, a young man who showed a lot of talent in magic and the great ability to ascertain information from written word. Many felt that he may have followed the wizard believing he could learn more with him than with his own race.

Kai found that last to bit to be very intriguing. Most young of all the races didn’t go off rashly, especially one that had potential of leading their people. He decided, instead of dwelling on it, to keep reading. The next story was from the human race.

The wizard showed up one day when the humans were being attacked by a large army of orcs. The story-teller told of a mountain pass where the humans were putting up their last stand. Kai remembered the place well. He used to hear stories from his parents all the time, funny how none of them ever said that the human wizard in the folklore was this guy. His name seemed to fade away from the story only replaced by his great powers.

The orcs were marching into the pass in thousands. The human army had been dwindled down to three hundred men. They looked to stop the orcs for as long as possible in hopes that a retreat of the village could take place. They knew they had to hold out for at least three days. The orcs marched to the mid-way point of the path and the leader stopped and smiled an evil sharp-toothed grin. The orc then pointed up as his smile widened. The three hundred men looked up to see the peaks were covered with orc riders and they knew all hope was lost. The leader brought his hand down fast and yelled a visceral scream of hatred and hunger. As the army ran toward the three hundred men from above and in front, the three hundred spread out in an arrow formation, hoping to prevent the orcs from above to have space to land beside them, forcing them to jump in the middle opening them up to attack from all sides. This would serve for a short time but they knew all was lost at that time and they could only hope that some would be able to escape the massacre.

The riders from above jumped in the air toward the middle of the formation. Just as they were about to hit the ground a bolt of lightning hit the first in the air then spread to two more of the riders and kept spreading as it hit from one orc to the other. Danger was no longer raining down on the three hundred only smoldering orc corpses. One of the three hundred ventured a look behind them and noticed a lone figure dressed in brown robes floating in the air. The figure floated up higher into the air as he gestured with his hands, mumbling something. Within a few seconds the man looked like he threw something toward the backside of the orc army. That is when an eruption of fire burst forth in front of them. The air stank of burnt flesh, and screams could be heard coming from the back of the orc ranks. With that the orcish army retreated from the pass and never returned. The story teller noted that there was a large banquet for the wizard, as he left so too did a young man from the three hundred. Again it was noted that everyone believed that the young man must have left thinking that he could learn more with the wizard than with what he was doing there in the village.

That is when Kai decided to look back at the other stories to see if they all had someone leaving with or right after the wizard. Sure enough every story ended the same way. The wizard left and a youth from the village left with him. Some females but mostly all of them were men. Some people even said that he was the cause. The people that were missing were always a promising youth in the community. It was not uncommon for them to travel away to try and find some riches and fame at that time, so it mostly went unnoticed except for these stories. Kai knew that with a pattern comes some suspicion. He quickly grabbed another book from the shelf in hopes of finding more stories about the wizard, maybe some indication of where he came from or where he lived or even if any of the missing youths turned up as wizard’s themselves.

Kai scanned all of the books that were within reach and none of them had any indication of the Wizard in them. No heroic wizards showed up that were old members of a community. It was if the wizard and the youths just disappeared. Kai decided to go back to the book with the story of the wizard and check to see if there were any indications of time frames. Maybe if just one of them indicated a youth with the wizard as if an apprentice he would feel better. He carefully read each story, intersecting important information of known history. That is when he got more confused. For all indication the wizard was a human but a lot of the stories were spanning several hundred years. Some indications were that he was the first wizard, the one who started it all. Kai kept reading as he slowly got tired. It was getting very late indeed but he just couldn’t tear himself from this book.

Kai kept reading until finally he passed out from exhaustion. He dropped face down in the book snoring. He slept so peacefully he did not see the figure that seemed to step out from a shadow just outside the reach of the light. The figure stood about six feet tall and was covered in a black robe. The robe had a hood that covered his face in shadows. His eyes seemed to be glowing a faint green from under the hood. His arms were folded and his hands were in the opposite sleeves making him look almost like a praying monk at midnight. From under the hood a tuft of a black beard could be seen from the flickering light. His lips were parted in a slight smirk as he looked down upon Kai’s sleeping form. That smirk looked like a father looking down upon a child but his eyes flickered with a sense of craziness. He looked as one would think a person who had just lost most of his sense of humanity, but still had some semblance of clarity at times when looking upon one of their children.

The figure unfurled his arms from his sleeves and took another step closer to Kai’s sleeping body. He bent down and whispered “It is time for you to take your true form my child. You have done well.” With that he stood back up and waved his arms over Kai’s body while chanting quietly. A brown aura seemed to start from his body that emanated into a darkness as it got further from his figure. The darkness threatened to take over Kai’s sleeping form but stopped just short. After a short time Kai’s body started to respond with a brown aura of its own. The auras came together mingling.

As the figure finished, he watched as the aura’s collided together becoming one. He watched as the darkness started to take control hiding Kai’s sleeping form. As the darkness subsided the figure smiled once more and stepped back into the blackness behind him, seeming to melt into the darkness.

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