R. J. Peters
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CHAPTER I                 He woke up, and tried to get up off the floor, but fell back down; his head was spinning, and he felt a little sick to his stomach as the room seemed to be spinning around. He raised his right hand to his head, and rubbed it as if that would change the way he felt. ‘Where am I?’ he thought. ‘How did I get here? Where did I come from? What’s my name? Bho, Bhor, Chor, Thor-,Thorgor.’ “That’s it, THORGOR!” He exclaimed out loud. “I can remember my name, or is it? I don't really know, but it's the first name that jumps into my thoughts, but why can't I remember anything else.” Thorgor was now talking out loud to himself, as he looked slowly around the room. He was lying on the floor of what appeared to be a large empty room, that had seen better days, and devoid of any furnishings. Thorgor arose very

5 CHAPTER I     slowly; he had to. He still felt dizzy as he leaned against the wall for support and waited for the room to stop spinning, it made him feel a little more nauseous, and he needed the support of the wall to hold himself up. For a few minutes longer the room felt like it was spinning around, and he pressed his hands against the wall to steady him, and after a few minutes the dizziness, and nauseous feeling began to leave him. Pushing away from the wall he stood there for a few more minutes his head was starting to clear, and he was beginning to feel stronger. Then he walked slowly to the open doorway. The door was missing, and he went through to the next room. It was as drab and empty as the first one had been. He began searching through the entire house for some kind of a clue as to what had brought him there, and why? Nothing, the house had been abandoned for what appeared to be years. There were holes in the walls and ceilings. The paint was old, faded, and discolored. He left the house, and closed the front door behind him. Everything was quiet outside, and he watched as a few people walked by. They didn’t pay any attention to him. Thorgor started walking. He didn’t want to seem too conspicuous, and acted like a man who knew where he was going. He needed time to clear his mind, and find out where he was. As he passed a chain of stores, he stopped in front of one of them. Thorgor stared at the image looking back at him. The image was very tall. He guessed about 6’ foot 6” inches with long blond hair that hung straight down to just below his shoulders. His eyes looked as light blue, and clear as the sky. He was dressed in what some kind of fighting clothes with a heavy chain mail shirt that was covered by a black leather vest. The vest was thick to ward off a sword blow. A dark-brown  cape made of some kind of heavy material that hung down to the back of his knees, and heavy dark-brown  leather pants that fit inside of

6 CHAPTER I     high black leather boots, that came up above his calve muscles, all the way to his knees. The boots had flat heels made for walking. From the looks of his clothing, Thorgor guessed that he came from a much colder climate then here. It was a little warm for this type of heavy clothing. At his side hung a plain scabbard with a long broadsword contained inside of it. On his right side, he wore a sheath that held a 4" inch wide, and 12” inches long bladed knife. Around his wrists, were leather straps covered with large brass beads to help protect his wrists from knife or sword wounds. Thorgor looked every inch a warrior with a large frame, well muscled body, and arms. ‘A warrior, Thorgor the Warrior that’s who he was, and that’s who he must be.’ he thought. Turning away from the store window, he noticed a Tavern sign just a couple of doors down the street from where he was now standing. He would go in there, and see if he could hear something that would tell him where he was, and at the same time what was going on. Why couldn’t he remember where he came from, and how he came to be in that empty house? Thorgor entered the Tavern, and walked over to an empty table where he sat down. His eyes traveled around the room very slowly. There were about twenty or thirty people there, most of them were warriors. Some were sailors, and some were townspeople. The Tavern was about forty feet wide, and a hundred feet long, but as Thorgor had noticed, the building was a lot longer than that. ‘There must be rooms behind that far wall,’ the thought ran through his mind. At the end of the Tavern, there was a door there, and Thorgor doubted that it led to the outside. He sat in the middle of the Tavern with his back against the wall. That way, he could hear the talking that was going on from both ends of the room. The Tavern was just like any other; they all seemed to look 

 7 CHAPTER I     Thorgor had been sitting for only a couple of minutes, when one of the warriors who had been looking at him since he had first walked in, left the bar, and walked over to him. “Hail brother, can I buy you a drink?” Thorgor acknowledged the warrior. “Hail brother, I sure could use a drink; I've just arrived, and I’m mighty thirsty sit down, and he pointed to an empty chair across from him.” ‘That wasn’t too far from the truth,’ thought Thorgor. “You’re from the North Country. I can tell from your clothes,” the warrior remarked. “Yes,” replied Thorgor. “How is the fighting going up there?” Before Thorgor could answer the warrior turned from him, and called for two more drinks. “Two more ale’s Barkeeper.” While he was turned away from Thorgor, Thorgor looked at the warrior. He was dressed in lighter material then Thorgor was, but except for that, he was dressed exactly as Thorgor. As Thorgor looked at the other warriors in the room, they too were dressed the same way. Some wore the heavy clothes as he did, but most of them were dressed in the same manner as the warrior sitting across from him. The barkeeper brought the two drinks, and placed them down on the table. “Can I get you anything else?” He asked the warrior now sitting across from Thorgor. “No, not now.” He replied. Then he turned to face Thorgor,

8 CHAPTER I      raised his glass, and said, “To the next adventure.” Thorgor raised his glass, and replied, “To the next adventure.” They both took a long drink of their ale.  “My name is Tandor.” The warrior stated. “Mine is Thorgor.” “Thorgor!” Tandor exclaimed. “Yes I’ve heard of you.”  “You have?” Thorgor questioned in surprise. “What warrior hasn’t,” he answered, as he turned away.  “Ho, warriors,” he called out to the others in the room. They all turned toward him. “This is Thorgor the Warrior. Then he raised his glass toward Thorgor.  “Hail Brother,” he said in a more respectful voice. “Hail Brother.” They all said, as they all raised their glasses toward Thorgor. “Hail To Thorgor The Warrior.” This greeting amazed Thorgor, and he sat back in his chair as a look of amazement suddenly crossed his face. They all seemed to have heard of him or his name. But was it his name? Being a   

 9 CHAPTER I       warrior, could it be that he had only heard of the name too, and thinking that it was his own decided to use it?’ “I’ve heard of your fighting ability, and the stories about you are true.” They said you were a giant and very strong. Now that we have met, I can tell you that I used to think the stories I heard about you were over exaggerated, but you appear to be exactly as the stories described you.”  “What have you heard about me?” Thorgor asked him. “Do you know where I came from?”   “Two years ago, or as I have been told, you suddenly appeared, and fought in a big battle, for one of the Kings of the North, and it is said that you almost single handedly defeated his enemy’s army in battle. Since then you seem to show up whenever there is trouble, and the side you fight on, always win.” “They also say in battle you fight like twenty men.” You’ve become the most famed warrior of all, and now I’m sitting here with you in front of me. I am honored you are a legend in your own time. I have always wanted to meet you, and here you are. I haven’t heard of any trouble up North lately, and with the trouble around here, I guess it’s only natural that you’ve come here. Whose side are you joining?” Thorgor sat there quietly for a moment, and thought about what the warrior had just told him before he answered. “I don’t know yet? I thought I’d look around, and see for myself before I decide. As you say, I only fight on the right side, and that’s why

10  'CHAPTER I     they win. The people who are right, and fight for their cause should win. I have always believed that, what about you?” “Tandor looked at Thorgor for a minute, then replied. “I fight for whoever pays me the most. I’ve never cared who was right or wrong, only how full my money pouch was.” Thorgor sat there apprising Tandor, and sizing him up, just in case they would someday meet on opposite sides in battle. He was about 6’ foot 1” inch a powerful looking man, roughly 220 pounds, and well muscled. His hair was black, and the same length as his own was. He looked to be in great fighting shape, and from the way he had been talking, Thorgor realized, they might choose to be on opposite sides because of their different Philosophies. ‘That would be a shame,’ he thought. ‘He liked this warrior, and he sensed from the beginning Tandor would be a worthy adversary in battle. He would like to have him on his side, but only the Gods would decide that when that time came.’ Tandor was saying, “I know this differs from your way of thinking, but that’s the way I’ve always been.” ‘Yes, he really liked this warrior, for Tandor was being truthful, and you couldn’t ask for anything more than that in life.’ They sat there drinking, and talking for a few more minutes. Just as Thorgor was about to order two more ales, six sailors walked into the Tavern. They were all big burly looking men. The one in front of the others seemed to be the leader. It was he who spoke up first. “Six ale’s barkeeper, my men, and I are thirsty.” He then looked around the

11 CHAPTER I     room, and spying a table at which two townspeople were sitting at. He walked over there followed by his men. They surrounded the table. “This table belongs to us, get out,” the leader said in a tough sounding voice. The two towns people were evidently scared, and didn’t move fast enough for him. He grabbed one of them, and threw him on the floor. Then he reached across the table, and grabbed the other one, Drawing back his right fist; he was about to strike him, when something grabbed his arm. It felt like a vice was clamping down on his arm. Turning his head, and at the same time he let go of the townsman. There at his side, stood this giant of a man. The stranger stood about four inches taller than he did, but seemed to be much taller. “I wouldn’t do that if I was you,” the warrior said. “You want to take his place?” The sailor replied. All this time Thorgor held onto the sailor’s arm. “I’m standing here aren’t I,” answered Thorgor. The sailor started to throw a punch with his free hand. Thorgor quickly spun the sailor around and lifted him up off the floor as easily as if he was lifting up a baby. He held the sailor high above his head, and walked over to the Tavern door and threw him out before the other sailors could react. Tandor, and the other warriors in the room had risen, and now stood behind Thorgor. Seeing this, the five sailors turned, and left the Tavern without saying a word. The warriors gave a loud cheer. “Hail to Thorgor the Warrior.”

12  CHAPTER I     and threw him out before the other sailors could react. Tandor, and the other warriors in the room had risen, and now stood behind Thorgor. Seeing this, the five sailors turned, and left the Tavern without saying a word. The warriors gave a loud cheer. “Hail to Thorgor the Warrior.” Tandor exclaimed. “Ho, Barkeeper drinks for everyone!” They all laughed and went back to their seats.  Thorgor forgot all about it as he sat there talking to Tandor. Tandor was saying. “You see; that's what I mean; I would never have interfered, because  it wasn’t any of my business. I wasn’t getting paid to protect those people.” Thorgor replied, “Yet I noticed that you of all the warriors in the room you were the first to reach my side.” “That’s different; I like you, and consider you my friend,” answered Tandor. “Thank you, I hope we can remain friends no matter what side; we may find ourselves on in the future.” Thorgor said to him. “I’ll drink to that,” replied Tandor. “To friendship, may, this new-found friendship last for all time.” They both raised their glass in a salute to each other. The two town’s people came over to Thorgor’s table. The man whom the sailor had thrown down on the floor said. “We wish to thank you, and at the same time warn you about that sailor.”

13   CHAPTER I     Thorgor looked at the two men standing at the table. “Warn me, what do you mean?” He questioned him. “That sailor you threw out of here. His name is Sandor, and he’s in charge of a band of men who make their living by kidnapping men. Either by drugging them or getting them so drunk that they pass out, and when they wake up in an old abandoned house or some other place, they find themselves on some sailing ship bound for only the Gods know where for the next two or three years, and they have to work or be thrown overboard. That’s when they find out that these men sold them to any Captain, who would pay their price. The Captains of the sailing ships have a hard time keeping men for the life at sea is a hard one, and as soon as the men can escape they do. Thus, the Captains always have to keep replacing men to keep a full crew to sail their ships. I hear the pay is small, almost non-existent for they have to first work off what the Captains paid for them. They work long hours, and extremely hard. The weaker ones never survive the final trip, and are cast overboard. If you can’t work they don’t keep you. Take care this Sandor holds a grudge against you, and will not rest until he settles it.” They both turned, and walked away leaving the two warriors sitting there at the table. Thorgor laughed, and turning back to face Tandor, he said. “Well, so much for that. What sides are fighting here? As I see it, I’ll need a place to stay so I had better find out now whose side I’ll choose.” Tandor shook his head, “I know what you mean, and I have

14 CHAPTER I     been thinking along those same lines myself. Well so far from the information I have heard, the King of this land, which is called Wok, passed away without leaving an heir, and two of the most powerful princes have laid claim to the throne. The land is now divided in half between the two sides the Princes being first cousins to the late King who left no heirs to the throne, and as each of the Princes are considered quite excellent by their own people. I don’t know whose side you could choose since there seems to be no real difference between the two Princes,” “I guess you are right Tandor.” Thorgor replied. “So, why don’t you, and I join the first one we come too?” “I would be honored to join you Thorgor. That would-be  Prince Werl for he’s the Prince on this half of the land of Wok. The Prince on the other half is called Wrest.” “So be it Tandor. You, and I shall go, and sign up.”  “That sounds like a plan to me Thorgor.”  They both left the tavern. Outside Thorgor said. “You’d better lead the way for I’m still new to this land, and haven’t learned the terrain yet.” “Okay, it’s this way.” And Tandor started walking off. At his side was Thorgor. They were a very impressive, and formidable sight, seeing the two of them walking side by side  down the street. Thorgor stood at 6’ foot 6” inches, and Tandor at 6’ foot 1” inches tall.

CHAPTER I   From across the street, hiding behind one of the buildings stood Sandor with a look of hate in his eyes. He had been watching the Tavern since Thorgor had thrown him out. He watched as the two of them left the Tavern, and walked down the street until they finally disappeared from sight. He would bide his time, and follow them. He had sworn an oath to get even, and get even he would. He Sandor would have the last laugh.