The heavy wooden doors, engraved with the image of a dragon, swung slowly open on their iron hinges, revealing a lone figure, a man. Immediately the two guards that had been leaning against the door fell to the ground. Dead.
The intruder cleaned and sheathed the twin short swords he carried, one on either side. He was fairly tall, with straight black hair, crystalline blue eyes, and golden-brown skin that rippled over muscle and sinew. His attire was dark and austere. His only accessories were the two short swords, and a rather large one slung across his back and concealed in black cloth. The most curious thing about him was the rough sack he was carrying.
“They just don’t make doorkeepers like they used to,” the man said wryly. He sauntered into the torch-lit, yet perpetually gloomy and shadow-haunted throne room, wherein sat on a black wrought-iron chair the very person he had come to see. “Greetings, Gripgrim, Lord of Thardus,” he called out in a deep, resonant voice. He over-bowed, more in mockery than respect.
“Welcome, surly warrior,” said Gripgrim, “to The League of Cliché Spouting, Stock Fantasy Characters.”
A scrawny thief sharpened a dagger in the corner and said, “Join us . . . or die.”
“Stay your hand, thief.” said a bearded dwarf. “You can catch more flies with honey than--”
“Silence!” cried an elf as he shot a venomous stare in the dwarf’s direction. “Does your foolishness know no bounds?!”
“Enough! Time is of the essence,” declared Randolph the wizard as he placed a magic amulet on his staff. “Let’s lock and load.”
Opening: Brett Wade.....Continuation: Matthew