Amborn

And the Suvlor of Lumerlth

By: C. Anthony Goggin







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7uble of Contents

Prologue գ 5
Chupter One գ 9
Chupter 7Zo գ 31
Chupter 7hree գ 43

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Prologue

5


The wind howled through the halls of the
savior, whipping up dust and sand and spinning it
in intricate patterns. Amborn wrapped his cloak
tighter to shut out the chill, staring at the swirling
dust he got the impression that if only he looked a
bit closer and for a bit longer he might see Ortanu's
plan unfold before him. Glancing about he could
not help but notice a subdued atmosphere about
Pintera. Ever since Zaleth had left, the halls had
lost some of their light. Hearing footsteps he
turned to see Hermes walking towards him.
³You have been summoned to the high chamber
Amborn´ said Hermes in an almost whisper, not
wanting to disturb whatever it was that had held
his attention for so long. Looking at Amborn, he
could not help but wonder why he had been sent to
find him, glancing at him from head to toe; all he
saw was an aging fool, covered in dust with an
unkempt beard. ³The lord himself has requested
your presence´.
Standing up Amborn winced slightly; had he
really been sitting down for so long? Hermes
noticing his discomfort offered an arm as they set

6
off towards the chamber of gold.
Standing at the entrance to the Golden halls
Amborn felt his Lords presence all around him. It
felt like a spring morning just before a
Thunderstorm. ³Enter´, the word erupted into his
mind with such force and power. It hurt, but in a
good way, a heady mixture of pain and
overwhelming pleasure at having his Lord, his God
speaking to him. Stumbling into the Chamber
Amborn was almost blinded with rapture, simply
from being in his presence. Dropping to his knee's
Amborn barely managed to whisper ³what would
you have from me Ortanu?´
³I am troubled´ Amborn heard pulsing in his
skull... ³I fear that Zaleth has fallen´.
Hearing this Amborn started to panic. His dear
friend killed? But how, Zaleth was protected by
Ortanu¶s own will, surely no harm could have
come to him. ³Lord but how? Surely you yourself
protected him?´
Amborn then felt sorrow erupting almost from the
walls, and it took all he had not to be
overwhelmed. ³No Amborn, Not slain... fallen. He
has gone the way of the morning star. He has put
me from his heart and now claims dominance over
the lands of Serapnoir. He already holds the Cities
of Lamerith in thrall´. Hearing this news Amborn

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was filled full of questions. How had Zaleth, one
of their brightest fallen? And then there was the
question of Serapnoir? He had heard of no such
thing.
Ortanu, sensing the questions Amborn did not
dare ask sighed. ³Serapnoir was to be my new
World separate from Earth, Amborn. I created it in
my image after realizing I had failed man. I had
hoped to do better. I thought a world that did not
know my touch, my voice, and my will might
prosper where a world flooded with false prophets
claiming my voice as their own failed. I sent the
brightest of you Angels down to watch and guide
where it was needed. To help and to watch...to lead
by example...But I was wrong.´
Amborn could not believe what he had just heard...
Zaleth turned to the dark, a new Earth created?
³But Lord, why tell me this? What can I do?´
³Go Amborn, you are my arch in this, I have
watched you. I have seen your soul. Go to
Serapnoir, heal what can be healed, save what can
be saved and stop Zaleth.´ With that Ortanu waved
a hand and the divine wind rushed through the
Chamber, lifting Amborn and carrying him away...


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Chupter One

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Amborn looked around as many different
images flashed before his eyes, it had seemed like
a lifetime that he was falling but he fell still.
Thoughts still rushed through his mind about
Ortanu¶s great order. What was he meant to do on
this land that he knew nothing about? What of
Zaleth? His best friend and the head Angel had
fallen. What would this mean to Pintera, land of
the Ortanu¶s? Surely there was something wrong,
some piece of information that he had
misunderstood, but before he could think of
anything he saw blue skies and clouds below him.
Soon, he could see the land around him. It
reminded him of Earth, its peaceful mountains, and
rivers running through the plains. Right as he was
marveling in the beauty of it, he thudded down on
the ground and he felt his body quiver in pain.
Looking around he saw that he was on a very tall
mountain, in fact, it was the tallest in sight. Before
he got up he took the time to massage his knees
which absorbed much of the impact, and were
quite sore.

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Looking around he saw no path down, and
decided he must climb down. The trees were a
beautiful green that reminded him of his cabin on
Earth. The many different shades of dirt and grass
were amazing in their glimmer, and shine. He
walked gently for some time before coming to a
large drop off and had to find a decent ladder
formation of rocks to climb down on. But as he
lowered his foot down, the rock underneath it
cracked in two sending him down through the air
toward the bottom nearly two hundred feet below.
He was certain he would land hard and break his
back but just before the moment of impact, he
stopped. Floating in the air he wondered what
could have done such a thing. As he thought about
it, he slowly lowered to the ground and was placed
down softly and comfortably.
He stood up to examine himself and the area, but
found no remarkable reason for his miraculous
save. How queer, he thought to himself, does this
land of Serapnoir have resistant gravity? He
walked along a small clearing, edging towards the
small pond below. For nearly seventy years he had
been dead, and had never experienced thirst. Now
that he felt it again, it came strangely but naturally
to drink the water. It was cold, and as it touched

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his lips it brought back many memories of his past
life. He remembered cold milk, and hot eggs fresh
from the stovetop. He remembered going hunting
and looking for squirrels with his son. Amborn had
not thought of these things in a long time. Not
since he was accepted to be an Angel of the Order,
and his son turned down had he thought of his life.
When becoming an Angel, you are transported to
Pintera, land of the Ortanu¶s away from all of the
other spirits. For thirty long years, Amborn had not
seen or heard of his son Adam. He wondered what
it must be like, to be in Heaven along with the
other spirits. Pintera was a wonderful place, and he
loved being in the service of Ortanu«but he could
not help but wish to be with his family.
He finally reached the bottom of the great
mountain, nearly three hours after his arrival at
Serapnoir. Past the fields he could see many
different lands and rivers. There was a vast lake,
with a river heading north. Through a mere whim
he decided to follow it, and began his journey to
wherever he could find people. The river was long,
and narrow, but its water was crystal blue. In it, he
could see an assortment of fish and frogs as they
swam around and flopped above the water. After a
while Amborn was wondering if there was any

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intelligent life on this new planet until finally he
saw something drinking from the river in front of
him. It appeared to be a great horse, larger than
any he had ever seen; at least fifteen feet tall. As
he approached he noticed something very strange
about this creature, it did not appear as most
normal horses do, its chest bent up into a very
peculiar shape. This horse was not a horse at all, it
had the body of one«but it had the head of an
ape! Amborn stopped dead in his tracks about
thirty feet away in hopes of not being noticed. The
strange creature finally looked up and stared right
at him. Amborn¶s knees shook and he fell to the
ground as it met him face to face.
³Hello human. I am Derek, who may I ask are
you?´ Did this horse creature just speak to me?
Surely not! But the ape face continued to look at
him with wondering eyes, and Amborn built up the
courage to answer. ³My name«I¶m Amborn.´ The
creature backed up a bit and shook his head,
³Never heard of you. Where are you from,
Amborn?´ To this Amborn did not know how to
reply, he could not speak of Heaven, or Ortanu or
surely he would be punished. ³I am from very far
away«.what, if you don¶t mind my asking, are
you?´ This for some reason or another caused the

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creature to laugh. ³That¶s a good one, ³What am
I?´ very funny.´ ³I¶m sorry mister, but I honestly
have not a clue what you are.´ Slowly the creature
stopped laughing and began to stare at Amborn
blankly, ³You don¶t?´ ³Sorry, but no I don¶t.´ This
made the creature frown a bit, ³Very odd, most
humans know very much about us Gargils.´
³Gargils?´ ³Yes, that is what we are called. We
mostly live in a place called the White Oak
Forrest, but surely you know of the great white
wood?´ Again Amborn was embarrassed to admit
that he knew nothing of these creatures or places.
³Surely you are not of Lamerith, if you truly
know so little.´ Derek calmly stated with a
chuckle. ³Uh« no I¶m not.´ This finally calmed
the creature and the two began conversing about
their day and before long Amborn asked if he
could tag along with Derek, as he knew the land so
much better. ³Normally, people are not allowed
into our city, but you are not a man of war I can
tell«it will be up to the guards to let you in, but I
will take you there if you like.´ ³That is fine«may
I come?´ The large ape head shook in agreement
and after enjoying a few more sips, they headed
towards the White Oak Forest.

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They had a long way to walk according to Derek,
in fact, the White Woods lie on the opposite end of
the nation. ³There are many fields throughout
Lamerith as you can see.´ What Derek said was
very true, they had crossed nothing but flat fields
since they began walking. ³So, what is the White
Oak Forrest? Some sort of city, or a forest?´
Amborn asked in the most politely way he could,
³It is both. It is the greatest forest known to
Serapnoir, its trees are a bright white shade, and
the leaves are of a golden color. It is also where the
Gargils developed their cities long ago, and it is
now our home.´ ³What happened that made the
humans and the Gargils dislike each other?´ Derek
frowned a little, ³Most humans are very resentful
of us because of our appearance. They call us
³Freaks of Nature´´ ³Oh«that¶s terrible, we had
similar problems where I come from.´ Somehow,
Amborn truly did feel for the beast, as he could tell
that, in mind at least, Derek was not so different
from him. ³We are nearing the Black Lake now,
up there.´ Derek was pointing at a very large and
deep lake with many creeks stemming from it in
different directions. ³We are roughly half way
there now«perhaps we should rest here for the
night?´ ³Yes, that is fine with me, besides it¶s
nearly dark.´

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The night was peaceful and Amborn enjoyed the
strange fish that they ate for dinner. ³I think I will
be off to bed now Derek. Thanks again.´ He said
as he waved goodnight. His sleep went mostly
uninterrupted and he dreamed of many great
things, but towards morning he dreamed of
something very different. The face of Ortanu was
glaring at him, smiling. ³My lord, why are you
here?´ he asked softly. ³Do not tell of me. No one
can know. Do you hear me?´ Amborn shook his
head in agreement and the light grew brighter, so
much so, that he had to close his eyes. When he
opened them again, he found himself on the
ground by the lake. He stood up and looked
around. His legs were still bothering him from the
fall, but he managed to walk over to the shore.
Derek was happily fishing for breakfast, which
was an interesting sight to see. Being half ape and
half horse, he did not fish like most creatures
would. Instead he kind of galloped along every
once and a while bobbing his head in to attempt to
grab one of the many different varieties of fish. ³I
see you have woken up old man! How about
coming and helping me out?´ Of course Amborn
had no problem with fishing; he had done it many
times before without a pole. ³Hang on; I will just
get my sword.´ He yelled, but as he went to turn

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around a gust of wind blew past him and the water
in the lake seemed to recede from the shore
leaving at least forty fish to squirm in the sand.
³How did you do that?´ Amborn asked Derek
honestly. ³I didn¶t do that! Come on now, let¶s get
some of them.´ They happily gathered the fish and
walked to the grassy area where their fire was. The
lake water slowly came back to rest in its natural
position. ³Amazing«truly remarkable!´ Derek
shouted loudly and with great excitement.
³Yes«very strange.´
Amborn ate in an almost zombie like state. His
mind was on other things. Between his great fall,
or lack thereof, and then the lake; he was quite
curious how so much luck could come to him.
³This is some of the best fish I have ever had, how
about you Amborn?´ ³It¶s«very good indeed.´
Derek laughed at him, ³What¶s wrong with you?
You¶ve been acting strange since I met you.´
³Nothing, I¶m just a little preoccupied is all.
Sorry.´ They finished eating and began packing
their things to be on their way. ³Which way is the
White Forrest Derek?´ Amborn asked in hopes of
sounding normal. ³North West from here, we will
pass by Palamoore on our way.´ ³What is
Palamoore?´ Amborn asked, ³It is the capitol city

17
of Lamerith! Goodness, I have never met someone
as dull as you. What are you doing here if you
know so little of the area?´ This is what Amborn
was afraid he would be asked; after all he had no
answer. ³Just traveling, wanted to see some new
sights I suppose. Like that mountain that I found
you near.´ Derek shook his head, ³Yes, Mount
Gibs is the tallest in Serapnoir. Beautiful, but she¶s
hell to climb.´ ³Yes, I would imagine so«´
Amborn replied in a soft and avoiding voice.
³We are nearly thirty minutes from Palamoore
now; we should see its great walls soon.´ Derek
called out to Amborn who was walking a bit
behind due to his bad legs. His blue robe was torn
and dirty but he felt clean, and reborn. It was like a
second life was given to him, like he had never
died. ³Here, use this staff.´ Derek said as he
handed him a great stick. ³Thank you, this should
help wonderfully. I fell you see, and my knees are
giving me trouble.´ ³No problem, I like walking
slow; it gives me time to look at the scenery. Look,
there are the walls.´ Amborn looked and beheld
walls nearly a hundred feet high and all painted
silver. They went on for miles and miles, but the
size and stature remained true. ³I have never seen
such a thing. They would stop any intruder!´

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Amborn said as he marveled at their size. ³Not
quite, they have been broken through before, but
not by many. We Gargils got in once, during the
battle of the year 998.´ His voice was grave when
he said this, and Amborn knew that there was a
hatred for that year in Derek. ³War? The conflict is
truly that bad?´ ³Oh yes«you see, we Gargils are
very intelligent creatures and we do not stand for
being treated any different. They were using us as
slaves and horses of such. So, our great King at the
time retaliated and we took our stance on the
battlefield. It was fifty years ago, but I remember it
so clearly.´ Derek¶s voice trailed off and he began
to walk faster, so Amborn did not ask further
questions despite his intrigue.
They arrived at the gates of Palamoore at
roughly noon. Derek¶s plan was to just pass by
quietly and to not be disturbed. Plans however, are
made to fail. As they crossed the grassy hill
Amborn stared at the tall golden gates and the five
guards around it. Two of them came walking
towards them with his hand reaching for his sword.
³Sir, what are you doing here in Palamoore?´ he
asked and Derek replied, ³We¶re not in Palamoore,
we are just outside the city, therefore we are
simply in Lamerith.´ Amborn laughed at this, but

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the guard must have found it insulting for he
looked at Amborn and asked, ³Does he belong to
you?´ This idea made him angry, ³Belong to me?´
³This Gargil, he belongs to you?´ Derek nudged
Amborn in the back and he replied, ³Er«yes, he¶s
mine.´ ³Where are you taking him?´ Surely the
guard had no right to ask these questions! Amborn
thought. ³We are just walking, I need the exercise,
and I can ride him home if my knees give out.´ He
finally said with a slight grin, proud of his witty
answer. ³Very well then, on your way.´ And the
guard walked away.
³Nice job there human, even I believed you.´
Derek said as they happily walked away. ³How far
are we now?´ ³Maybe an hour or so, if that.´
Amborn nodded and increased his pace, after the
amazing walls of Palamoore; he could not wait to
see the White Woods. ³Derek?´ he asked, ³Do you
think they will let me in? After what the other
humans have done to you?´ he had been worried
about this for a while, and finally it had amounted
in his brains enough so that he spoke up.
³Amborn«some of them will welcome you
gladly, but I fear the elders will be much more
hesitant. They remember the old days far too well
to just move on like the rest of us. They were

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literally tortured, hung, and decapitated during the
early wars.´ Amborn was shocked at how the
humans behaved to such remarkable creatures, but
he then remembered how things were not so
different on Earth. ³Where I come from, many
animals were mistreated as well, just for being
different. It even got so bad; that humans were
treated badly if they looked different then what
was considered normal«´ Amborn felt strange
talking of Earth when Derek knew nothing of it,
and wished he could tell him. Ortanu¶s message
kept popping in his mind in times like these
though, and he quickly shut his mouth. ³Sounds
like our lands are not so different then.´ Derek said
softly. ³Were you ever treated this way Amborn?´
³No. Or at least not for the same reasons.´ ³Oh?
What do you mean?´ Amborn did not wish to
speak of this time in his life, and simply kept
walking to which Derek did not seem to mind as
he spoke no more.
The fields had turned to trees now and when
white trees with golden leaves began appearing in
scarce amounts, Amborn figured they were nearing
the forest. ³Who is your King, Derek? Is he a nice
fellow?´ ³His name is Alector, but most call him

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Alec. He¶s nice enough; I never saw anything
wrong with him anyway.´
Finally a tree line was in sight and they were no
more than two hundred yards away. ³When we get
there, just follow my lead. I will tell them what I
know about you, and then we shall wait for their
answer.´ ³I should say nothing?´ Amborn asked
angrily, ³Not until they have said yes or no«then
you may blabber as much as you want.´ Derek
smiled, and it gave Amborn hope that the guards
would allow him into the White Oak Forest, which
as he could see now; truly was of the most
amazing things he could ever dream of. The trees
rose up higher than any before, and their white
wood shined in the light of the sun. The golden
leaves shimmied in the wind and covered the gates
completely.
³Who goes there?´ the guards shouted. ³It is
Derek, son of Gratics and fellow Gargil.´ He
yelled back. ³Who is that with you? Why have you
brought a human to the forest?´ with these words
the guard sounded angry and Amborn was feeling
his chances slip away. ³I must speak with King
Alector about him. He is a good man, and he is not
of Lamerith.´ ³How can you be so sure? Can you
prove that he is not one of the Palamoore filth?´

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Amborn was shocked at how much hatred existed
for humans as he noticed the face of the guard
flinch at even mentioning Palamoore. ³I must
speak with the King!´ Derek shouted. This
shouting triggered something as the guards drew
their bows and took aim for Amborn. Fifty arrows
came soaring through the air at him and he knew
all was lost. Derek ran out of the way as the arrows
got within five feet of them, and Amborn stood
still, still as a board. The arrows stopped, and fell
to the ground peacefully. The guards looked at
Amborn with open mouths, ³You have brought a
mage to the White Forrest? Why didn¶t you say
so? Bring him in!´ Derek also looked astonished at
this, but the gates opened and Amborn felt himself
being pushed by Derek, ³Go on«´ he whispered.
³I will take you to the King, my name is
Terrence.´ said a large Gargil as he came down the
long stairs from the wall. ³Uh«hello Terrence,
I¶m Amborn.´ Slowly Amborn was beginning to
feel awkward, as he thought of the title the guard
had given him, Mage? I am no mage«am I?
Terrence was talking but he paid no attention, his
thoughts were too many for such trivial
conversations. These weird happenings were
starting to amount to something, but a mage? Such

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things were what you found in fairy tales during
Amborn¶s former life! But he thought maybe, in
this new world of strange things; magic and
wizards did exist. Why couldn¶t Ortanu have
explained more? Helped me with my mission?
Amborn felt a bit of anger at this but accepted that
there must have been a reason, though he could
think of none. As he finished thinking, he looked
up to see a large hallowed out tree with golden
doors and a large flag next to it. ³This way
Amborn, the King resides in this tree.´ Derek
whispered.
King Alector was the tallest of the Gargils that
Amborn had saw, and wore a crown of silver and
sapphire with a look of dignity and knowledge.
³My men tell me that you are a mage«is this
true?´ he asked in a deep bellowing voice. ³I«I¶m
not sure sir.´ Amborn replied in a soft and
respectful tone. ³That is how the other one
responded as well. Zaleth was his name, do you
know him?´ ³Yes! He was my friend, but I hear he
is much different now«is that true?´ This was the
question that ached in Amborn¶s heart the most;
could it be possible that his friend of so many
years truly have become a fallen angel? ³Zaleth is
certainly not the same as he was when he came

24
here«he was a very kind and caring being, but no
longer. He has slain many men and even more
Gargils over the course of a few years.´ Amborn
was struck deep in his heart by this news. The man
he thought he knew was always a good friend, and
seemed to have the best intentions for humanity. ³I
am sorry to hear that. He was a very good friend at
a time.´ The King frowned, ³I know your pain
well. Come in here, we shall speak more.´
The tree seemed never ending in its size, as they
entered a large room resembling a council office,
with a long table and many chairs. The King took
his seat at the end and Amborn took his place next
to him. ³I am guessing, as Zaleth before you, you
do not know how to use your magic?´ Amborn
was amazed how these creatures spoke of magic as
if it was common. ³No, I do not«it mostly
happens by accident.´ The King shook his head
and smiled, ³We can help with that, if you want.´
Amborn wanted to jump on the opportunity but
calmed himself down. ³That would be great sir,
but how?´ ³We cannot show you how to do
everything, each wizard has his own range of
power, but we can show you how to control it and
use it when needed.´ This was all a new world to
Amborn, and he questioned this offer deeply but

25
decided that it would probably be his only chance
and accepted. ³Good, it is late now so we will start
tomorrow. That okay with you?´ Naturally
Amborn agreed, and left with Derek who offered
him a place to sleep in his tree.








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27
Chupter 7Zo

Derek¶s tree was small but well kept. Its rooms
were well laid out and Amborn felt at home while
eating dinner with him in his kitchen which was
painted yellow. ³I hope you don¶t mind squirrel
meat Amborn, I have not been able to hunt for
quite some time now.´ ³Quite all right Derek, I
used to love squirrel, haven¶t had it in a while in
fact.´ He replied honestly. He used to hunt for
squirrel in his past life every Friday with his son.
This brought back sad memories again for
Amborn, and he tried to change the subject to
avoid looking unsatisfied. ³This is some wonderful
stew, what else is in it?´ Derek smiled, ³It was my
mother¶s recipe, it contains a dash of pepper and
the usual spices«but the main ingredient´ he said
while reaching for a bottle, ³is this. A small bit of
banana juice makes it taste perfect.´ Amborn
scoffed at this, ³But bananas have no juice«do
they?´ he asked remembering that all was not the
same as Earth here. ³Quite right, but my mother
found that smashing bananas in a bowl of honey,

28
created this flavor«good isn¶t it?´ Amborn smiled
and shook his head as he took another bite.
The subject of magic had not been spoken of for
most of the night to Amborn¶s great pleasure but it
was inevitable that that Derek would bring it up
eventually. He asked the obvious questions of why
Amborn had not told him, and why would he not
know his own power. Amborn spent nearly an
hour trying to describe the situation without
speaking of Ortanu, or his great mission. He hated
telling such lies when Derek had so far been a
great help in his journey, but knew that he had no
other choice. Finally they decided that sleep was
what they needed and Amborn headed up the long
winding stairs to the upstairs room which sat just
below the main branch layer and shielded all
sunlight from entering its windows. So much so,
that Amborn would have slept late if not for the
loud horn which blasted through the trees and
awoke him with great surprise.
³What was that?´ he asked as he stumbled down
the stairs to see Derek scrambling his things.
³There have been men spotted approaching our
gates, they think it¶s an attack!´ he yelled softly as
he grabbed his bow. ³An attack? Why would the
humans attack so suddenly?´ Amborn asked in a

29
state of panic. ³You.´ Derek replied with speed
and sorrow as he head out the door leaving
Amborn to decide a course of action alone. He
could not attack the men with the Gargils for he
was sent to protect the people, and he could not aid
the men for he had grown close to Derek and
wished them no harm. He thought of staying in the
tree to let it pass without his aid either way, and
even sat down for some time. Before long
however, he knew what he must do. He had just
decided to make a pot of tea when he heard the
pain in his head whisper to him in a voice like a
soft winter wind, ³Stop them all.´ It was a quick
and complicated order from Ortanu, and it left
Amborn wondering what he should do in order to
fulfill it. A great length of time was spent thinking
until the matter called immediate attention and so
he left the tree for what laid outside.
The great King of the White Wood was standing
in front of nearly three hundred of the Gargils and
the King of Palamoore, and he was standing in
front of at least an equal number of men. Amborn
came down from a ladder and to the front of the
line of Gargils to which the King smiled, ³Come to
aid us in the battle to come?´ Amborn frowned,
³No.´ he then began walking through the field but

30
only made it half way before the angry wave of
Gargils charged as well as the humans. They
charged toward him intent on destroying each
other. They were within ten yards of each other,
with swords raised high before Amborn took
action. Feeling a wave of air seemingly go straight
through his body, he stamped his staff into the
ground and yelled in a mighty voice, ³EVERY
ONE STOP!´ and slowly, a yellow wave went
through the crowds of soldiers sending them
hurdling to the ground on each side leaving
Amborn the only man standing while the Kings
looked upon him in wonder.
³Uh«´ he mumbled as he struggled a way to
explain himself. ³Look, I don¶t know why you
think I am so important,´ he said looking at the
human King. ³And I don¶t want you dying over
me.´ He said looking at the Gargil leader. ³What I
do want is to talk to everyone about an important
aspect of this feud. You fight each other and hate
each other«yet there is a power in the East that
hates and kills both of you. I wish for a
meeting«a conference of sorts to speak with all of
you in a civilized matter.´ Amborn was nervous
and it showed greatly for his great intelligence
seemed to not want to help him come up with his

31
speech. ³King Alec, and King Laos, I wish to
speak with you if that is alright with the both of
you.´ he said again as the Kings looked on in
astonishment. The human King could not get his
mind of what arrogance this strange wizard had. ³I
will speak with you whenever you require´ the
Gargil King said kindly but King Laos did not act
in such a kindly way. He stood up and walked
strait to Amborn¶s face and mumbled curse words
under his breath. ³Very well, but no guards!´ he
spat, ³Good, there should be no need of them
anyway.´ Amborn smiled and walked away
towards the gate.
The armies were left to think about this while
Amborn walked through the trees thinking to
himself about what he could say at the meeting.
Instead of going to the Kings tree however, he
headed for Derek¶s. He felt he needed time to think
so that he could have all the words in order and not
make a fool of himself. He walked in the door and
sat on the nearest chair which was hard and made
of some sort of stone that had been sanded and
smoothed over. Even if they decide to not continue
battle, what on Earth could I say? He thought to
himself. The use of the word Earth made him

32
chuckle, realizing the others wouldn¶t know what
he was talking about if he used it again.
Derek soon came walking through the door.
³What are you doing sitting there? The Kings are
waiting for you!´ Amborn smiled and stood up,
³They can wait a bit longer I think«wish me
luck?´ ³Of course, this is very stupid you
know«but if you do this right it could stop a long
lasting rivalry. So, yes I wish you luck.´ Derek
replied with a smile and Amborn left the comfort
of the tree to head for the angry leaders who
awaited his arrival in the tallest, whitest tree. Here
we go, he thought to himself as Derek waved
goodbye.
The path to the council room was long and full
of doubt. Amborn was questioning his mission
more than ever and wanted to kneel down and beg
Ortanu for answers. The door was intimidating and
he found it hard to reach for the handle. Amborn
had never known such stress but handled it
decently as far as his outer appearance; any
passing person would never guess the trouble
going through his mind. He walked into the
council to see many people sitting in the chairs all
staring at him. Some of them were men who
looked very dignified and others were Gargils who

33
looked old and wise. Amborn was standing there
in his blue robe and with his red beard messy from
the wind and felt slightly embarrassed by this.
³Good evening, I see you have decided to take up
my offer?´
Many of the men scowled and the Gargils did not
look all too happy either but Amborn walked to the
only empty chair and sat down with hope and
optimism. A long silence fell over the crowd and
Amborn finally began to feel uneasy again. He
thought quietly while the others stared at him until
he finally broke the tension. ³Zaleth as we all
know has killed many of both our armies. Gargils
and men alike have been slain at his hand and he
continues to seek reign over Lamerith. Yet despite
this common enemy you continue to seek battle
with each other and waste many a good soldier
trying to take the other out. Are you blind? Or are
you truly mad?´ he asked in a sad tone and the
King of Men took the situation to yell, ³What
would you know about it stranger? You come from
a far off land and decide you can tell us what we
are doing wrong? You weren¶t here!´ Amborn
smiled a bit and calmly responded. ³You fight
these Gargils simply because of their looks. What
does that say about you? Let us fight the ants for

34
being too small, or perhaps the bears for being too
big? Its madness and it has got to stop.´ The King
was both embarrassed by and angered by this.
³You claim this war is because of the men? Do
not forget how many of us have been killed by
them as well!´ Amborn stood up and his face was
grave, ³They have chosen the wrong path as well,
that is not the point tonight. Tonight we make
amends and move on with our lives. There are
worse things in the world than a petty war that has
been going on for far too long. Two wrongs do not
make good. Now is the time to come together and
see the light. Both of you have strayed from the
path, both of you can turn around and come back.´
Finally King Alec spoke, ³Amborn is right. Now is
the time for salvation, the threat in the East is to
grave to carry on fighting against each other. Only
together can we survive.´
The room felt the silent cry of the wind again
and Amborn smiled as he felt victory near. ³My
friends, I come here as the middle ground. You do
not know who I am or where I come from, but I
come as the peacemaker. Join me, and together
Zaleth will fall. I cannot possibly achieve victory
without the combined armies of both men and
Gargils. Please«´ This decision was not an easy

35
one for both sides, the battle of men and Gargils
had been going on for nearly all of Serapnoir¶s
existence. But as if suddenly seeing the light, King
Laos stood up, ³Let it be known, that the year 1125
was the year that peace was brought to the Gargils
and Men by a mere stranger. I now am going to
retire to bed.´ After that the men all left the tree
leaving King Alec and Amborn alone.
³Do you think he is telling the truth sir?´
Amborn said quietly to avoid being heard. ³I feel
he is, but I fear that the common folk may not take
to this alliance kindly. It will take time before we
come to respect each other but only time will tell I
suppose.´ The giant creature stood up and bid
Amborn farewell as he left the council room. He
made it half way to Derek¶s tree before he realized
the luck he had just had and the mass importance
of what had just occurred. For the first time
Amborn felt confident in himself and his mission.
Perhaps Ortanu had made a good choice after all.




36


37
Chupter 7hree

The next day the men of Palamoore had left and
King Alec was sitting in Derek¶s living room as
Amborn walked out of his bedroom, still aching in
his knees. ³Hello Amborn, Derek was just telling
me how you were tossing in your sleep last
night«bad dream?´ Amborn was a bit shocked at
the randomness of the Kings question but
answered truthfully. ³Uh«I can¶t remember to be
honest, probably.´ The King shook his head and
waved him to the neighboring chair. Amborn sat
down and looked at the King funnily. ³What are
you doing here sir?´ he asked politely. ³I thought
you wanted some help with your magic?´ ³Oh. Of
course, I forgot.´ Amborn replied and half smiled
trying to not let the King think he was lying, which
he was. ³Well then, come to my tree at noon and
we shall get started. Okay?´ and he stood up
walking to the door. Amborn agreed quickly as
Alec was halfway out the door.
Derek finally came in from the kitchen with
some funny looking bread that he offered to
Amborn as breakfast. ³What was that all about

38
Amborn? He looked very strange when he came
in.´ ³Just wanted to tell me that he¶s ready to start
my lessons in magic«´ Amborn paused and
laughed at how funny this all seemed, he was
getting lessons in magic from a horse with a
gorillas head. He thought back to his life on Earth
and began laughing again. ³What¶s so funny?´
Derek asked who had been looking at him
strangely. ³Oh, it¶s just how different Lamerith is
than my old home«´ To this Derek looked at him
with a questioning look, ³Funny, I didn¶t know
there were places that much different than
Lamerith«where are you from Amborn? I have
been asking and asking, and yet you hold out. Tell
me!´ he asked laughing. ³Derek, I really can¶t. I
am sorry but it¶s just not allowed right now.´
Amborn was scared that he would begin to upset
Derek, and it was of conflicting wants. He wanted
to tell Derek, but he wanted to keep his promise to
Ortanu and the promise to him had a much higher
importance. Derek took it well however and shook
it off. ³Want some tea?´ he asked as he went back
into the kitchen.
³I will return soon Derek.´ Amborn said as he
walked out of the tree to look back down the path
to the High Tree. This time, it didn¶t look quite as

39
intimidating, but Amborn was just as nervous. The
morning cold was slowly becoming the warmth of
noon as the sun peaked high above the ground.
There were no shadows and Amborn found peace
in this. The walk was never the less uncomfortable
and Amborn struggled to hum in spite of it.
Suddenly Amborn was jerked back to reality from
his memories when the smell of blood touched his
nose. What is that? He thought as he reached the
gate to King Alec¶s yard. Amborn¶s worries
returned at last.
He was reluctant to open the gate but slowly
pushed it open to reveal the source of the stench.
To his left, there were two dead Gargils and three
more to his right. Finally Amborn glanced to the
center of the yard. There stood a cloaked figure
that appeared to be slowly ripping Alec apart.
Amborn gasped and the creature jerked up and
looked straight at him. The creature stared blankly
as though he could not see around him. Amborn
looked at Zaleth in horror for he saw the change
that had come over him since they last met. His
eyes were uncaring and a pale red, his beard had
faded to a grey and black color that looked sinister
and cruel. He had lost the glow that was
characteristic of angels and he seemed a dark

40
caricature of his former self. Zaleth had truly fallen
and there was no doubt. Amborn fell to the ground
and knew no more.
When Amborn awoke at last, night had befallen.
No one had seemed to have been to or from the
yard since he had passed out and all was the same
as before. Slowly Amborn climbed to his feet and
he left through the large stone gate. He quickly
became sick and vomited which finally alerted the
natives of queer happenings. ³You there, what¶s
wrong?´ a Gargil said as he walked up to the gate
pausing in horror as he beheld the death inside.
The poor creature looked at Amborn in anger and
began questioning him what he had done. Thus
begins Amborn¶s biggest problem yet: proving his
own innocence.
Heads naturally turned to Amborn for questions
for he was the only one to attend the meeting who
came out alive. ³I have done nothing!´ he yelled as
the passing Gargils yelled and screamed with the
quickly spreading news. Amborn sped off to
Derek¶s tree to avoid further cursing, in retrospect
he decided that it was not the best idea to run, for it
made him appear guilty. The lights of Derek¶s tree
shone in the distance and Amborn increased his
speed in hopes of reaching it before any more

41
Gargils showed up. As he reached the door, an
alarm sounded throughout the village and Amborn
knew that what awaited him was hatred.
Derek turned to face Amborn and gladly sang,
³What¶s going on out there?´ but Amborn could
only look down at his feet which were trembling
from the stress on his knee. ³Never mind. How
was your training?´ Derek was still smiling and
has seemingly forgotten the alarms that were
constantly blaring through the windows. Amborn
stumbled over to the nearest chair and sat down
with a slight thud. He looked ill and very grim.
Finally Derek became weary of him. ³What has
happened Amborn?´ he spoke gravely as he stared
onward. ³Derek«I am afraid something terrible
has happened.´
He then recounted everything from the moment
he left the tree to the time of his return in grim
detail. He spoke of Zaleth and his loss of breath
when he collapsed to the ground. He told Derek of
the people accusing him of the crime and begged
for his trust. Derek looked onward in disbelief and
sorrow. ³I don¶t know what to say Amborn«but I
do swear my trust in you. I will defend you at all
costs in this matter, but the Gargils will not be so
easy to sway. They distrust you; they always have

42
and always will I¶m afraid. What must we do?´
Amborn sighed in relief, if only Derek believed
him, he would be happy. But the threat of death
was upon him, for the entire township would soon
be screaming at their door step and they could not
hide behind it forever. ³I do not know Derek. I
simply do not know.´
Amborn had terrible trouble with his sleep
throughout the night. He awoke many times and
often pondered not laying back down. Finally he
seemed to find peace and he fell into sleep softly
and easily. However, it was not of a normal sleep,
he seemed to be flying through a purple sky made
of clouds and fire until he was thrown into a
golden door. He was not in his body; rather he was
watching it from a short distance away. He walked
to a high and mighty chair where far above Ortanu
was sitting humming to himself. ³Amborn, you
have come at last.´ The voice rang loud and clear
but powerful and grave. ³I am sorry my lord«I
did not know I was meant to come.´ He spoke in
fear. ³No need to be sorry, you had no choice in
the matter. I have called you to Olympus for a
reason. It now serves as our meeting place.´
Amborn looked around and saw rivers of the bluest
water, and far off he saw trees of the brightest

43
green. Ortanu was sitting not on a throne, but the
top of the largest tree in the great place. It was
large enough to be more than a million years old
and its branches formed a great chair like shape.
³What do you need Lord? Have I done something
wrong?´ Amborn spoke quietly and trembling. ³Of
course not Amborn, I called you here for my help,
not for yours. I have seen the horror of recent
events and know that you seek guidance. I will
give it to you; speak of what you wish to know.´
Amborn thought for a long while and broke silence
in fear of boring the Lord. ³Do not speak if you are
not decided. Time does not pass here.´ Ortanu
interrupted and Amborn smiled in return. He
gathered his thoughts and decided to ask for three
things. ³If I may, I have three questions to ask. Is
that okay?´ ³Of course, speak them.´ Amborn
stood up and held out his staff. ³What am I on this
Serapnoir?´ Ortanu laughed and waved his hand as
images of heroes came to Amborn in vivid detail.
Quickly the images sank to the table and
disappeared completely. ³Does this answer your
question my son?´ Amborn trembled from head to
foot in the great burden he suddenly felt and the
realization of his place on Serapnoir. ³Why choose
me as the messiah of the people Father? I am only

44
a man of Earth; I do not deserve such importance
in your plan.´ Ortanu stood up and spoke loudly,
³Do not question my plan Amborn; you know not
of what is to be in the coming times. Things have
changed. A great tide of evil is rising in the eastern
banks of Lamerith, but a greater darkness lies
beyond that land. I will not reveal it to you now,
but beware«Zaleth is not the only fret in the
universe.´ ³I am«I¶m sorry.´ Ortanu sat back
down and frowned woefully, this image seemed to
burn Amborn¶s eyes. ³I am sorry Amborn. This
should not have befallen you, but I trust in my
choice still, and I have faith in men yet. Beyond
the lands of the White Forrest there lies a village
that holds the key to your journey. That must also
be revealed later however. What is your second
question?´ Amborn tried to comprehend the
sudden blast of knowledge that Ortanu had
entrusted to him and spoke with a sudden
confidence. ³How do I prove my innocence?´ ³Ah
yes. This will never be fully proved. However, you
may use this.´ Ortanu picked up the table which
seemed small in his grasp; suddenly it shrunk
down further and was placed in Amborn¶s pocket.
³It will work the same way as I have used it here,
call upon your memory of things, and it shall be
revealed. Your third request?´ To this Ambon was

45
weary of asking for it. ³What shall be my next
move?´ Ortanu again frowned and Amborn felt a
warm breeze blow by with a slow sorrow in the air
he spoke his final words. ³Go to Narsik, land of
the warriors and seek refuge with their King. From
there you must find your own way. I will not see
you for some time Amborn. Please take all
precautions for you come closer to Zaleth¶s
fortress here and it is impossible to tell what he
knows at this time. Good luck.´ The wind picked
up and again Amborn saw the purple clouds until
he seemed to be flung into his own body and he
jerked awake. It was daylight.
Amborn¶s chest pounded and his shoulders felt a
great strain as he sat in his bed thinking about the
previous night¶s dream. What had Ortanu meant
when he said ³a greater darkness´? Did Ortanu
intend for Amborn to stop both of the rising evils
in this land, or just Zaleth? What was the second
evil? It was all driving Amborn mad and he
wondered why he couldn¶t just have all of the
answers at once instead of being left to wonder and
to figure it out on his own. To this though he
remembered the Lords other words, ³Do not
question my plan!´ and the voice seemed to echo
in his mind with great resonance. He stood up and

46
felt his legs had seemed to finally heal and no
longer pained him as they had for so long since his
great fall. Derek was in the kitchen cooking a
strange smelling breakfast.
³Good morning Derek.´ Amborn said falsely for
he knew the morning was anything but ³good´.
³Amborn«hello. Do you want some turtle shell?´
and he held up some of the odd looking substance.
³No«no thanks Derek, I¶m not hungry.´ Amborn
walked to the living room and sat down with a
thud, outside patter of many feet could be heard
and Amborn became nervous. ³Have they come
here yet, searching for me?´ he asked in a bitter
tone and he wished he wouldn¶t have asked. ³No,
but I received a letter saying to trap you and drag
you to their court. I hope you know that I will not
drag you, but we must go today.´ Amborn sighed,
³Yes, we will meet them after breakfast but for the
moment«I would like to try some turtle if you
don¶t mind.´


47

48
Chupter Four

Time moved unbearably slowly for Amborn. But
his mind seemed ahead of the times as it raced
around from thought to thought. His pocket
weighed down by the small table that lay softly in
it, he stood up from the kitchen table and
exchanged a glance with Derek. Both creatures had
barely known each other for a few days and yet
they both trusted each other more than anyone they
knew. Amborn felt incredible sorrow over the
death of Alector but he felt worse for the Gargils
who remain alive who are now without a King to
guide them. Slowly he realized that he also felt bad
for himself as King Alector was the only other
Gargil who had been open to Amborn¶s strange
ideas and in a sense was his only hope of
communicating with the rest of the forest.
³Shall we leave now Amborn?´ Derek spoke
quietly but with a power behind the whisper.
Amborn looked up and wished he could continue
eating the turtle shell forever despite its horrid

49
flavor and tough texture. ³I believe if we don¶t
they just may come to get us. We had better be
off.´ They both nodded and walked to the door,
pausing to look out through the small window. The
forest was abuzz with madness, Gargils weeping
and screaming, and many of them looking at
Derek¶s tree as if they wished to burn it down by
staring at it. Derek opened the door and they both
slowly walked outside to chants of different insults
from Gargils ranging from young children to old
and decrepit creatures. ³I suppose the reception at
the meeting hall won¶t be much better. What is
your plan Amborn?´ To this he had no good
answer, ³I don¶t have one Derek.´
The meeting hall, a place Amborn grew less fond
of every time he had entered it. But he felt hope for
this visit for he had the help of Ortanu, which was
something he knew he needed from the beginning.
He had walked many miles on this strange world
and through every step he longed for answers and
though they were brief, he had finally gotten some.
Still he wondered whether this would all work out,
and how he could ever defeat an angel like Zaleth.
Zaleth had been one of the strongest and wisest
among the angels and most looked to him when a
problem arose. Now Amborn was alone and could

50
not share his story or even so much as ask for help
from anyone else. He knew that in the end he
would march to Zaleth¶s castle alone, and he
would have to end it all, alone.
The door of the meeting hall was upon them and
Amborn had done good to avoid the evil stares and
dark expressions on his walk there. But now he
was looking, hoping for just one person to smile at
him to break the feeling of dread he had suddenly
contracted. The door opened with a creek and he
walked in with Derek alongside him, the room fell
silent. Gargils of high stature sat and looked at
them with wonder, astonishment, and mostly hate.
Amborn looked at them with a gloomy expression
in return and quietly sat down at the table to hear
what the order was to say. Among the Gargils was
an old and wrinkled man who looked as if he was
nearing the end of his days and they all looked to
him as he walked in and sat down.
³You all know why we are here´ he said in a deep
but fragile voice. ³The sudden and violent death of
King Alector has come as a shock to all of us.
With the arrival of a human in our forest, many of
our kind have decided that it must have been at the
hands of Amborn who sits with us today.´ The old
creature looked at Amborn who looked back

51
wondering where he stood in his opinion. Amborn
reached for his pocked wondering if he should take
the table out now.
³However,´ the Gargil said suddenly. ³I do not
believe this is so. For I have seen a vision unlike
any before it. It was a vision of peace in young
Amborn¶s heart«and his spirit.´ Amborn sighed
with relief but now had more to think about than
ever. The old man turned to speak to the people
now.
³I have seen Alector¶s death and it was not at the
hands of Amborn the Peaceful.´ He said before a
gasp among the crowd. ³No, it was indeed Zaleth
the Retched who has killed our young and vibrant
King. Take this as true for it has been seen by me
and I believe it to be so.´ He finished with this and
stood up to leave. Amborn could say nothing but
suddenly everyone in the room no longer looked at
him with disgust. In fact, they barely took notice of
him and Derek leaving the Hall. Derek had urged
Amborn to stand and leave with him for the
meeting was over.
³I do not understand Derek, why is the vision of
an old man enough to keep my freedom as my
own?´ Amborn asked suddenly as they walked

52
home. ³Because Amborn,´ Derek started. ³Hotani
is the oldest among our kind, and he is our spiritual
guide. He is the head of our religion and we all
look to him for answers. He is our God.´ Amborn
paused cause Derek to walk ahead of him before
stopping to look back. ³Your God?´ Amborn
asked. Derek looked at him plainly.
³Yes, our God. You see he founded our society
and was ultimately the reason why we our able to
live here without fear of attack and invasion. He
saved the Gargil community when we dwindled to
but a few creatures left. He brought us together and
showed us the River of Black.´ Derek replied
quickly and knowledgably. But he left more
questions.
³What is the River of Black?´ Amborn asked
and this got a look of disbelief from Derek. ³It is
the River which gives us our ability to think and
talk«it is the reason for our human like brains.
But it must be taken with caution for the river has
dark waters and some creatures find it useful for
other things. I cannot believe you did not know of
this!´ Derek said in shock for it was common
knowledge around the world that the River of
Black had waters of power and magic. ³I¶ve lived

53
more sheltered than I imagined.´ Amborn said
quietly as they continued home.
Amborn had a lot to think about now, and
answers weren¶t coming. He had not used the
table for he didn¶t have too. But he wondered how
this old Gargil had seen the incident when he was
sure he had been the only one at the scene.
Amborn searched his memories through the night
looking for something he might have missed,
something that would prove Hotani might have
been there. But his memories proved nothing.
Derek was in a lighter mood but the overall
gloom still rested on the forest and Amborn knew
he must soon be leaving without much of an
explanation. He was told to go to Narsik but he
knew not where Narsik was in this vast land of
strange creatures and magic. For all he knew
Narsik would be on the other side of the world and
Amborn without a way to get there but to walk.
Derek was humming a tune when Amborn came to
ask some questions.
³Derek, where is Narsik?´ He asked hoping it
would not be far. ³So, you don¶t know anything
about Lamerith but you know of Narsik? How is
this?´ Derek replied laughing. ³Seriously though,

54
it¶s on the other side of Lamerith, not far from
Zaleth¶s Fortress actually. Why would you want to
go there?´ Derek looked grave as he spoke now, as
if Narsik was a horrible place and this worried
Amborn. ³I need to go there as soon as time
allows.´ Amborn said as he sat down to rest. ³Well
I can take you there if you want; I¶m not doing
anything so if you need me«´ Amborn cut him
off, ³I am afraid I must go alone Derek. I will
leave tomorrow.´
³Why tomorrow? Can¶t you wait a while?´
Derek asked as if he was pleading. ³Afraid not
Derek, but I want to thank you for all your help;
you have been a valuable friend and a light in these
dark times.´ Amborn smiled and so did Derek and
they finished a small dinner before going to sleep.
Derek slept peacefully, but Amborn was restless
and the light of morning came before sleep did.
³All I want is to sleep.´ He said.
Daybreak brought new happenings though as the
forest did not look at Amborn as if he was the
essence of the Devil. This brought cheer to both
him and Derek for they no longer looked at Derek
as a supporter of criminals. They walked along the
cobble paths with smiles on their faces, though
they tried not to think of parting most of the way

55
and the arrival at the gates proved differently.
Amborn looked out as a storm cloud spread across
the sky as if it was stretching to take him away on
a journey he didn¶t want to go on.
³I would have come with you Amborn.´ Derek
said suddenly breaking the silence. ³I know, and
that¶s why I would never have you do so. For your
own good I feel you should stay here.´ Amborn
confused Derek further with every word he spoke.
³I don¶t know what you¶re doing or where your
path will lead Amborn, but I wish you luck and
hope you fare well.´ And with that they parted,
Amborn left the White Forrest without any plans to
return. He was off to Narsik with only an old map
provided by Derek as his guide. From what he
could tell he had a long journey ahead of him but
he knew not what perils awaited him on that
journey; only that his feet would not be happy
about it fore they already ached.
He started his journey passing the huge gates of
Palamoore again though the guards were not so
hostile towards him this time. The gates looked as
if they could hold back the army of Hell and if
Amborn¶s fears were realized, they would be doing
that before long. The sky was dark and rain was
starting to fall when he arrived at the Black Lake

56
to take a rest. He sat and looked out among the
clouds which were looking mean and cruel now.
He hoped it wouldn¶t storm but he knew otherwise
from the thunder he heard from the distant Mount
Gibs. So there he lay for the night, rain pouring
down and all he looked and listened to the land of
Serapnoir. It was a land he didn¶t understand but
he knew he liked it. He felt he could get used to
living here if Ortanu asked it of him. But this
brought back memories of his family, and his
former life on Earth. It all seemed so far away
now. As if from some faraway place he heard a cry
and jumped up. Something was going on in the
trees and Amborn lurched forward to investigate.
The woods were dark and the fog made it hard to
see much of anything. Amborn searched until he
was quite a distance from the lake and he found
nothing but the screams kept getting louder and
closer. He seemed to be right on top of it but still
he saw nothing, the screams echoed in his head
until he fell to the ground from the shrillness of it.
He grabbed his face in agony and wished for it to
stop until finally he fell and hit his head on a rock,
knocking him unconscious. Or at least his body
was.

57
Colors rushed by him until he arrived in the
Halls of the Savior. The silver walls were instantly
recognizable but Amborn was confused why he
had been called home. Had he failed already? He
walked until he encountered Ortanu calling him
from a dark room with no door. He obliged and
entered unknowingly.
³Amborn, I have some questions to ask you
about your talk with Derek and the council.´ He
said in a ringing voice that shook the walls and
rattled Amborn¶s mind. ³Of course, what do you
need to know?´ Ortanu smiled and a light lit up the
room as if daylight had hit suddenly and with great
power. ³I need to know about this creature they
call Hotani. What is he?´ Amborn looked up and
answered, ³Well that«they call him their
God«they worship him like we did you on Earth.´
Amborn knew this was not what Ortanu wanted
to hear but it was very important information. ³I
see. I am slowly realizing something Amborn and I
don¶t know how it will affect our mission. I will
keep you updated.´ Ortanu waved and Amborn fell
through the floor and seemed to land back in his
body. He stood up and walked back to the lake.
After all this, he planned on sleeping for a great
while.

58



59

60
Chupter Flve

Sleep seemed to despise Amborn for it never came
around him and he chose to continue his journey
after trying for over two hours. Now Amborn was
nearing a great patch of wild forests known
unofficially as the Black Forests because within it
lye the Black River which Derek had described to
Amborn. He walked carefully in an attempt to alert
no one of his presence there; but within those trees
there are eyes that see all. Strange creatures not
unlike men can be found there, or so Derek
explained during their last dinner together.
The storm had eased up and the clouds parted
enough to allow a line of sunlight peek through the
green leaves and this allowed Amborn to see a
good path which had been ran into the ground. He
walked along for a while without any disturbance
other than his own nerves. He thought the trees
were coming to an end many times only to see that
they were only receding for short distances and
returning later. But Amborn grew uneasy for he

61
heard noises around him. He wondered if he was
being watched as the hair on his neck stood up.
Tension rose and every cracking twig sounded as
though it were a great oak falling to the ground.
Finally he turned to see behind him and saw what
had indeed been following him.
A small man, and though his stature did not
invoke fear, his appearance did. He had blood red
teeth and green skin. His eyes were black as night
and had no emotion, and he stood there dressed in
bits of cloth with his arms high in the air as if he
was calling something from the skies to fall upon
them. Amborn stepped back to see what was
falling but it was more like diving. Great black
crows were diving at Amborn and began to peck
and bite at his face and neck. Amborn managed to
grab three of them and throw them to the ground,
injuring them beyond flight but more just kept
coming.
Amborn was getting desperate, his face felt as if
it had been ripped to shreds and the small man
seemed to have an endless supply of crows ready
and able to dive at his will. The birds finally gave
break for a split second giving Amborn the chance
to lunge at the man and tackle him to the ground.
Amborn stood up and slammed his staff into the

62
ground and the man fell limp. He was dead. The
birds all flew away and went along as if nothing
had ever happened. It was as if they had not been
in control of themselves and had only attacked due
to orders made by the strange fellow who lay dead
now.
Amborn stood slowly and examined his face
with his scarred hands. He had lost some blood,
and his looks were not to be desired but other than
some scars he was okay. A short rest and he was
on his way again though he decided to be more
careful about which paths he chose from here on
out. Things were so different from what Amborn
expected, and even from what he thought he had
learned since arriving on Serapnoir. This world
revealed more to him at every turn and he
wondered how much was left unknown to him.
This thought made him wonder if some things
were still unknown to the people and creatures of
Serapnoir as well and perhaps were only here
because of Zaleth and his terrors.
Amborn was avoiding any woven path in hopes
to avoid being found again. The trees blended
together though, and his direction was lost. The
map was supposed to tell the answers but his
position on the map was an unanswerable question.

63
He wondered now if he would ever truly
understand anything here without some sort of
guide from Ortanu. He only knew so much and in
order to defeat Zaleth he would need to know so
much more. Why wouldn¶t Ortanu answer him?
Or, and this thought made Amborn
tremble«maybe Ortanu himself didn¶t know the
answers. This thought brought a severe headache
to Amborn and he figured it was Ortanu punishing
him for thinking such a thing. But Amborn was
beginning to doubt himself and his journey which
could lead back to Ortanu. Perhaps questions must
be answered a different way?
Lost and confused Amborn decided to set up
camp in a small clearing with no trees but plenty of
soft grass and a canopy overhead to block out
unwanted light. It was here Amborn decided to put
his worries away and let himself relax for the first
time since leaving the White Forrest. He sat back
and let his head push the grass down feeling it
bend and squeak as the water dripped to the
ground. Here Amborn enjoyed himself as though
he was still in Heaven. Thoughts of Serapnoir and
his old life on Earth were no more here. Rest came
easy, and before long so did sleep.

64
Amborn awoke to the sound of some green birds
singing a tune like no other had ever heard. His
ears delighted at the sound and he rose without an
ache in his body to be found. He looked around the
trees hoping no one was around and found himself
to be quite alone. The trees were still and the forest
was quiet. The river could be heard rushing
downstream nearby and he felt thirsty. However,
he did know if he could drink the water from the
Black River, and so he was forced to continue his
journey without refreshment.
His lips were dry and the aches in his back and
legs returned as he looked out among the many
miles of forest ahead of him. All hope was fading
and the happiness of morning was going away fast.
Suddenly he saw a light between a great bush the
size of a small fort. He pushed through the twigs
and leaves to find he was standing on a large hill
and below him sat a tent next to a young boy or
man who was cooking something on a fire.
Amborn went to go back through the bush when
the boy turned and waved him downwards. He
figured this young man must be kind for his smile
alerted no ill feelings in Amborn. So he took the
time to nearly fall down the hill and greet him.

65
³Good day lad.´ Amborn said softly as he shook
the boy¶s hand. ³Yes it is, the sun seems to be
giving us some light finally.´ The boy said in a
very mature voice compared to his appearance. He
motioned Amborn to sit down and they both did
upon logs which were perched next to the fire.
³You look like you have been on a long walk sir,
would you like something to eat or drink perhaps?´
Amborn shook his head and smiled but the boy
handed him a water pouch anyway and Amborn
refused to let a drink get away this time.
³Thanks«err I didn¶t catch your name.´ The boy
smiled, ³James sir, of Ailforth. I¶m out here on a
bit of a hunting trip, how about you?´ Amborn
smiled as he remembered hunting trips of old on
Earth and shook himself to remember where he
was at, ³Amborn is my name kind lad, and I¶m on
my way to Narsik if I can find it.´
³Narsik, that¶s dreadfully close to old Zaleth¶s
fortress. Why would you ever want to go there I
wonder?´ James looked genuinely worried about
anyone going that close to Zaleth. ³I was told I
could find my way there. Seems I have something
waiting there for me. Where is this Ailforth your
from.´ James smiled, ³Only the quietest, most
boring place you have ever wished to leave

66
Amborn sir. It¶s a small farmer town about twenty
miles from Narsik. We get our own bit of injustice
from the hands of Zaleth you see, and Narsik gets
full blast of it. We only get what comes around
them and it isn¶t desirable sir.´ James ended his
words in a grave voice and seemed like he may
have had some serious encounters with the wrath
of Zaleth himself. ³Sounds like I may have my
work cut out for me then James.´ Amborn said this
mysteriously but James did not push for
information out of respect. Instead they continued
to eat the stew and enjoy the cold water which
James continued to offer as they sat through most
of the day.
³You ought to sleep here tonight sir, it¶s getting
dark as it is and you don¶t want to get caught alone
out here at night.´ James said as the stew was
finished up. ³Well, I really should get some ground
covered but if there is one thing I know its how
things get around this forest at night. I had a run-in
with something last night that I have never seen in
my life.´ He replied as the boy stood up, ³Well
then you can sleep in the tent and I will stay out
here to keep watch for a while.´ But Amborn could
not ask this of the poor lad, ³James I could never
ask that of you. Take your tent.´ James laughed,

67
³You may not ask if of me, but I am asking it of
you. Now please, take my tent and sleep well. I
can take comfort from the sleeping sack I have out
here. Good night.´ James closed his eyes and
feigned being asleep so Amborn gave up and went
to lie down indoors for the first time in a while.
The inside of the tent brought memories back to
Amborn as he closed his eyes. He remembered a
time when he and his son had went on a hunting
trip in the woods in Oregon and had slept in a tent
much like the one he lay in now. He smiled and
slipped into sleep without any struggle unlike
recent nights. He dreamed of his journey, as if he
was watching it from just outside himself. He saw
his walk from the mountain he landed on and the
many miles before he reached the Black Lake and
found Derek. He went through every aspect from
the White Forest across the thirty odd miles he had
walked until finding James at the river bed. He
then seemed to see a map with a marker of where
he was sleeping. He had driven off course a bit and
was north of the road to Narsik. He had been
heading toward the border of Lamerith. This dream
continued on like this until he was awoken by the
noise of bacon frying over a new fire.

68
James had woken up much earlier than Amborn,
something Amborn was not used to. In yet another
stroke of kindness James decided to go hunting for
breakfast and managed to find a wild boar that was
now going to be the duos meal. Amborn thanked
the boy many times as he marveled at his cooking;
he had not experience bacon like this and he
wondered if it was different from Earths bacon due
to being a different bread of boar. He chuckled at
what would normally be an insane thought if this
journey had not taken place. James stared as
Amborn continued laughing. ³Sorry dear boy, I¶ve
remembered something funny during my travels.´
Amborn did not like to lie, but it seemed necessary
and harmless. James nodded and stood up to cut
more bacon. Amborn waved him down, ³Quite
alright James, I do not require more nourishment,´
he laughed again. ³No, you have treated me kindly
enough and I would be perfectly happy if you
could just point me in the right direction.´
³Well I can do more than that sir. If you will
allow it I will take you all the way to Ailforth. I am
ready to be heading home and it¶s on your way
anyhow. Would that be okay with you?´ Amborn
smiled and replied, ³Yes, I could use the
conversation anyway. Human interactions have not

69
been so kind to me since I arrived in Lamerith and
you have reminded me of better time.´ James
smiled awkwardly and began packing his things.
Amborn began to help and they were off before
noon crept over the mountains in the south.
Thirty miles Amborn had traveled from the
White Forrest and he was now thirty miles away
from Ailforth. With half the journey done he was
glad to be of company with James for he had
missed a good conversation since leaving Derek
behind. James was unbreakably kind and very
smart which Amborn continued to find along the
six miles they got through before nightfall. Their
pace had been slow but still they figured there was
no hurry. Amborn was worry free and he was
enjoying every minute of it.
³Why would you want to go near Zaleth¶s palace
Amborn? It¶s a right foul place you know and no
good will come to you if you go about it the wrong
way. His forces have done horrible things in
Ailforth and we only hear of worse from Narsik.´
James was continuingly grim looking when he
spoke of Zaleth and it drove Amborn to ask,
³Something had happened to you by the hand of
Zaleth has it not?´ To this the boy did not wish to

70
answer but he figured he owed Amborn the truth if
he was going to trust him.
³My mother was«killed by the hands of a stone
kelt.´ James looked up with a shiny gleam of
sadness in his eyes and Amborn looked down.
³Sorry James, but what is a stone kelt?´ This was
the first time in which Amborn had head of such a
thing and he immediately wanted to know more.
³It is a horrible thing, a servant of Zaleth himself.
He sends them out in waves of ten and fifty. They
keep us ³in line´. They are about twenty feet tall
and carry huge weapons, and being as they¶re
literally nothing but stone giants, there has been
nothing we could do to stop them.´ Amborn sighed
as did James, ³What happened with you mother
James?´
³She tried to stop them from taking our vial of
bluecular water.´ Amborn felt bad asking another
question but he needed to know everything,
³James«what is bluecular water?´ James looked
up, ³It¶s the water from the Bluecular Lake at the
bottom of Mount Gibs. It¶s just south of here.
Zaleth uses it to create his armies. I reckon he
could go and get it from himself but the lake only
lets kind hearted people who have sacrificed for
others to go near it. It has some sort of unworldly

71
power because it can make things come alive with
a simple drop. My mom used it for her cabbage
gardens«he uses it for his kelts.´ Amborn thought
about all this for a while, the Bluecular Lake must
have been at the bottom of the mountain he came
off of at his arrival in Serapnoir but he
remembered no lake. ³The kelts?´ he asked, ³You
mean stone kelts?´ James looked wearily at him,
³Not exactly, he makes many breeds of them.
There are stone kelts and kelts makes of trees that I
know of. But I hear that there have been kelts of
steel and iron attacking Narsik lately so you never
really know I guess.´
Amborn had a lot to thing about on this night and
again he felt the feeling of uncertainty and lack of
guidance. His sleep would not be as easy as the
night before but he took comfort in his learned
companion who had helped him when he dearly
needed it. He knew something of what he was
going against now, though it only made his mind
worry, it was a start. James and Amborn decided
they need not talk of the matter anymore for
memories and emotions sake and so they both
went to bed eagerly and with haste. Amborn
looked at the stars as the world faded black and

72
silence fell around him. Sleep invaded and he
knew no more until mornings illuminating light.
James woke up early, he had wished to prepare a
new meal for Amborn before being on their way
again. Amborn was enjoying his sleep anyway and
continued to do so for about an hour while James
was gone. Then it happened. Amborn began seeing
images in his dreams as he had before and like a
wave of energy he heard a voice call out, ³You
have found the key to everything Amborn.´ This
was all he heard and he saw but a grey room
shrouded in black curtains. James had just returned
to find Amborn trembling violently in his sleep
and quickly tried to wake him. Amborn jumped
and looked around rattled by the strange dream. It
was not a message from Ortanu this time.
Someone else was trying to tell him something.
³Are you okay sir?´ James asked concerned.
³Yea«it was just a bad dream.´



73



74
Chupter Slx










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