The Tales of Geadle the Guard

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The Tales of Geadle the Guard
by Geadle Orcat

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Preamble

Dear Reader,

Now that you have put your hands upon this book and
opened it, the time has come to introduce myself. My
name is Geadle Orcat and actually I am not an author
but a city guard of Empo Sar, my hometown.

The stories you are about to read are tales, legends or
rumours I have picked up from the many people
passing my gate every day. To honour and remember
their stories, I write their words down here.

Please, don't hold me responsible if any of the
following content displeases or even offends you as I
am just the messenger, the middleman between the
people of the gates and you. However if you feel the
urge to thank someone for their story because you
found it entertaining and interesting you are welcome
anytime at my gate.

Signed,
Geadle Orcat

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The tale of the Young Red Fox

Once upon a time there was a young fox whose coat
was shining red and he was his parents' pride and joy.
Everyday they told him:"Young fox, dear son. One day
you will be grown up and everyone will admire your
beautiful skin. Be careful because men will hunt you
for it and will try to trap you. Always be on your
guard." And the young fox with the shiny red coat
nodded and answered:"Yes, yes, I know. You always
tell me." And the parents were happy that their son
understood.

One day the grandmother of the young fox got ill. The
parents were busy so they asked their son:"Young
fox, dear son. Grandmother is ill. Could you bring her
these chickens and this rabbit as a gift? But please,
watch out and always stay away from the paths
where man walks.""Yes, yes, I know", answered the
fox,"you always tell me." So he took the chickens and
the rabbit and left the den.

He walked and walked until he heard a lovely voice
coming from his left where the human paths were.
"Stay away from the paths where man walks", he
reminded himself but the voice was so wonderful and
clean that the fox could not resist at least taking a
peak at the singer. He glimpsed through the bushes
and saw a beautiful young girl picking flowers, singing
a wonderful tune. Suddenly she saw the young fox
with the shining, red skin and she smiled, waved at

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him and ran away, along the path, leaving the forest.
She sang:"Oh young fox, beautiful fox with the nice
coat. Follow me home and I will give you some warm
milk and play with you all day long." The fox, who
understood the words, was enchanted by her voice
and followed her home.

When the forest was lying far behind, the young fox
passed an old tree. An owl was sitting on it and shoo'd.
"Shoo, shoo. Young fox, Return. Remember what your
parents told you. Shoo, shoo. Go back young fox." But
the fox didn't listen to the owl and continued his way,
following the girl with the beautiful voice.

Then he passed a second old tree. An owl was sitting
on it and shoo'd.
"Shoo, shoo. Young fox. Don't proceed! Your
grandmother needs you and your parents are worried.
Shoo, shoo. Go back before it is too late!" But the fox
didn't listen to the owl and continued his way,
following the girl with the beautiful voice.

Then he passed a third old tree. And owl was sitting on
it and shoo'd:
"Shoo, shoo. Young fox. It is too late, your day will end
with slaughter. The girl is the skinner's daughter."

The young fox was shocked and now he started to
listen to the exact words of the girl's tune again. They
didn't sound beautiful any more, and the enchantment
had broken.

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"Young fox, pretty fox. Don't be shy and follow me
home, for your skin is shining red. Please stay for
dinner for my father is a skinner!"

The fox turned around in horror and ran, ran past the
last two trees, but no owl was sitting on them. On the
first old tree an owl was shooing again.
"Oh, young fox, foolish fox. Your faults are dear. Run
for your end is near." "Where shall I run?" asked the
fox and the owl answered:"To the forest, deep into
the wood and use the bushes as your hood. Run now,
quick step. I hear the skinner and his dogs, deadly was
his trap."

Fast and faster did the fox run. Into the forest, deep
and deeper. Through the creek so the dogs couldn't
trace him. Through the bushes and there he hid below
a big, dark bush. The skinner and the dogs came to the
creek but didn't know where the fox had run. After
three hours of searching they finally left."Thank you,
dear owl", thought the fox and reached his
grandmother's den the same day to present her the
chickens and the rabbit.

From this day on the fox always listened to his
parents and never put a foot on the wrong path again.

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The Servant and the Spring

Once upon a time there lived a prince of Emposis. He
and his wife enjoyed the finer things in life: good
food, wine and music, but gave little thought to those
less fortunate than themselves.

There were rumours that the water from the spring at
Lutithra's shrine in the deepest depths of the forests
of Firlow brought good health to all that drank it. So
one summer's day, the prince set out for the spring
with his wife and servant. The prince and his wife sat
astride great stallions, whilst the servant was left
leading an old mule, constantly hastened by his
master and mistress for lagging behind as he
struggled to find the strength to keep up. Even
having to carry half the mule's load to speed up the
poor creature.

After many hours of travel, they finally arrived at
Lutithra's shrine. As they approached the spring itself,
the wispy, light white figure of Lutithra appeared
before them. Speaking lightly, she recited:

Drink here plenty, good noble and kind,
This water will heal and soothe your mind,
But be your will, evil, false or cold,
This water will choke, burn, spit and scold.

The prince stepped forward confidently. Once every
day he prayed to Lutithra, every month visited her

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shrine and every year held a festival in her name. He
drank from the pool without hesitation, but coughed
and spluttered and swore as it scolded his throat. He
looked up in dismay at Lutithra.
"But forever have I worshipped you, most gracious
Lutithra!" He exclaimed. Lutithra waved him to the side
and beckoned his wife forward.

She gave her most radiant smile, as she prayed at
least twice a day to Lutithra and even after her
husband's failure had no doubt that she would be able
to drink from the pool. But even as the water passed
her lips, she too coughed and spluttered, clutching her
chest in astonishment.
"But my lady, surely my beauty and devotion to you
is testament enough of my good faith!" She pleaded.
However as with the prince, Lutithra waved her aside
without answer. This time beckoning the servant
forward.

All three jumped in surprise at Lutithra's
acknowledgement of the servant. The prince opened
his mouth in outrage, but the look Lutithra shot him
silenced him instantly. Lutithra's gaze warmed as she
turned back to the servant, who approached the
spring gingerly. In truth, he had never once prayed to
Lutithra, nor visited her shrine, nor sacrificed anything
for her. Only a glimmer of hope in his heart gave him
the strength to approach the pool. He knelt by the
spring and raised a handful of water to his parched
lips.

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He took but a mouthful, expecting the same
unpleasant choking feeling that his master and
mistress had. But it did not come. The water passed
easily over his tongue and down his throat, soothing
his aching bones and as he breathed in a sigh of relief
he felt refreshed and more alive than he had for
years.

"You must be wondering why only your servant, who
has never shown any devotion to myself, was able to
drink". She said, turning to the prince and his wife.
"You must understand that your devotion to my
name matters not: only devotion to my cause will gain
my trust and my respect. Though he has so much less
than you, only the servant shows any real kindness
and benevolence to others in his life." Explained
Lutithra, smiling down at the servant." You are all only
human, after all, my children. No-one can be entirely
devoid of all evil, but the servant was the only one who
truly strived to achieve it."

The three then returned to their home, to a rather
different life. The servant still walking beside the
mule, but neither was over-laden or hurried by their
masters.

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Shrachlor, the Dolorous Queen

Understand this: Shrachlor is not merely a vicious
beast. She is not merely the queen of some spider
tribe residing underground. No, Shrachlor is so much
more than that. You have heard the rumours, the
myths, the lies. Now it is time you listened to the
truth.

Shrachlor is the only offspring of two different
species of spiders. Furthermore, one of said spiders is
considered to be the last remaining specimen of a now
extinct species. The resulting offspring would in most
cases die when developing its poisonous attributes,
as the two different poisons will react with one
another and devour the baby spider. This was not the
case with Shrachlor. However, because of her
mixed-species parents, she is unable to produce
offspring of her own.

As proof of her unique existence, she carries the
trademark of her mother's species: a set of spikes or
horns erupting from her back. These horns are not
only venomous, but also protect from aerial attacks
to some extent. Sadly, in Shrachlor's case the horns
are only partially matured and provide little or no
protection at all, forcing her to seek shelter
underground. There is also evidence that she might
have developed a form of intelligence far beyond
what a spider should be capable off. Whether this is a
result of the unorthodox pairing of two species or not

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is still uncertain.

Her current residence is by the Portho Brook, near the
gulley known as Tirapeth Gorge. For centuries this has
been the breeding area of fierce arachnids. There have
been several attempts at purifying the area, with no
success, with little thank to Shrachlor. Her charismatic
aura imprisons other spiders in absolute obedience,
thus making her the queen of a tribe. The tribe seems
to serve as compensation for her infertility.

Shrachlor is the only one of her kind, and the resulting
loneliness is heartbreaking. She seeks the warmth of
a loving family. Now, it might seem impossible for a
mere arachnid to express feelings, but keep in mind
that Shrachlor is more than that. Her mindless
subjects are not enough to satisfy her needs. At the
same time, her primitive instincts tell her to feed.
And as such comes the origin of the rumours
surrounding her. Her conflicting "emotions" have, over
time, developed into the cruelty of torture, and she
now finds great joy in tearing her victims apart,
slowly and thoroughly.

The dolorous queen, weeping as she devours her
prey--longing for a family yet feeling the pain of her
hunger. Anger, sadness, rage, murderous intent,
primitive instincts. They all combine and make
Shrachlor what she is.

I will free her, I will provide her with the love she

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requires. I will become her family, or die trying.

In memory of Esterhazy Mutbukin.

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