Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Albinor Chronicles Chapter 10
"Clash of the Wardens"

By Marcus Pan

March 11, 003

The sun was beginning to drop below the horizon and the city of Shoring was beginning to end it's day and begin tomorrow when it comes. Shoring is a city of halflings in the coastland shire. In this city is a popular training halle where fighters and guards practice their skills with weapons. As the eve wore on to sunset, men began leaving to head to their homes. Among the trainees was King Baggins Treebeard. Recently arming himself with a fine longsword, he wanted the ability to use it to it's fullest extent.

People gathered and watched as Casey Port, the coastland warden, trotted down the street on his warhorse with five of his soldiers on foot following behind. Casey learned of Baggins' whereabouts and is appalled he would enter his city after breaking out of the union of the Five Shires. A heavy warhorse was tethered outside the training halle. Casey rode up to it and loudly called the traitor's name.

At the door stood Baggins Treebeard. He wore full plate armor and his left hand held a shield, now blank, that was previously engraved with the livery of the Five Shires. His right hand was on the hilt of a longsword. On his breastplate was painted a tree the livery of Forestia, his country. "Back away from my steed, Warden Port. I must be on my way."

"Nay, Treebeard. Under the power vested in my by the union of the Five Shires, I take thee into custody for treason to one's liege." said Casey. For what seemed a long time, the two halflings stood silently without a word. Slowly, Baggins approached. Casey's hand flashed to his hilt. "Lay the weapons upon the ground." he said. Baggins stepped slowly on, reaching for his horse. He slowly untied the reigns.

"Once again, warden, let me be. I must return to Forestia." he said slowly. Casey backed up his horse.

"You and your tree slugs belong with the Five Shires, traitor!" the coastman yelled. "Take and subdue!" he called to his men. The five rushed forward brandishing shortswords at Baggins. Baggins jumped and pulled himself onto his steed as blades began to glance off his armor. His great steed rose on it's hind legs, snorting loudly. People of the city slammed their doors and barred them. In minutes, only the seven armored men remained in the street. Baggins unsheathed his longsword, eager to wield it in battle for the first time. Swinging down with his steed kicking and flailing, he soon dropped the five soldiers in a pool of their blood. Turning to bolt from the city, he saw Casey pulling his sword free and preparing to charge. Sheathing his sword quickly, he loosened a long, barbed javelin from his mount's side. Pulling on the reigns, his horse rose again. Baggins swung and shot the javelin from his right hand. Casey charged, his shield before him. Swinging his shield, he knocked back the javelin, sending it clashing to the cobblestones below. Riding swiftly upon the traitor, Casey gave a might swing to Baggins' chest as he was grabbing a second javelin, nearly knocking him off his mount. Javelin in hand, Treebeard thrust forward, but only hit Casey's shield. The same when Casey swung at Baggins. The horses circled, rising and falling, their nostrils flaring as the two men swung back and forth exchanging blows. The one-on-one fight raged, both men sweating beneath the exertion. With a last-ditch effort, Baggins brought his horse up on it's hind legs. Flinging his shield onto his back, he held his javelin with two hands. He thrust downward just as his steed fell and caught Casey off-guard. Casey shrieked as the javelin punched through his armored side and lunged into his flesh. Quickly Baggins pulled up, ripping the weapon from the man's side. Casey's consciousness slipped and Baggins bolted for the city gate. Holding the javelin in his right hand, he used it to swat at the gathering city guards like flies. Dashing through the city streets, the city gate soon loomed up before Baggins. Gathered before it were a collection of city guards. As he rode up his horse jumped and cleared the obstacle like a small fence. Hiding low in the saddle, he rode on like the wind.

The above item may have been edited by the author since its first appearance in Legends No. 20.