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They are the fastest things I've ever seen. I swear it. The trees shuffled around us, but those black wraiths were gone. They are more intelligent than the other creatures in the South. But they have a weakness, as do all mortal beings. The light is their enemy. How they manage to avoid it during the daytime defeats me. You must use the light. It was my only chance when I became lost in the forest, thanks to the damned Gnome. But I've seen the Parins up close — they are as sickening as they are horrifying.

The mapmaker looked up at the Dwarf who was studying him as he read the purple cloth book. He knew all too well that Balamor was startled by the account on the twenty sixth page.

Awkid started, "I've dealt with them, and you will too. We are trespassing their territory. We are the intruders Mr. Wisebeard. There is no doubt the Parins will protect what they consider their home."

Balamor quickly replied, "That's quite a perspective you have Dwarf, though I will have you know Hobbits do not defend before they welcome." Waving his finger in certainty. The peaceful hobbits didn't believe such wickedness could be spawned by nature. Something or someone made it that way, and for reasons Hobbits couldn't comprehend.

He hopped to his feet and strolled to the wooden counter dipping his hand in the crate of various fruits Awkid was packing. Grabbing a red plum from the assortment he took an obnoxious chomp, still chewing as he spoke.

"If you ask me, something has these strange creatures enraged. At least that's my perspective on things. Who was this 'Necromancer' anyway?"

The crate of fruits made their way to the thick floating shelf above them before Awkid poured himself a cup of mead,

"A long time ago, centuries before you and I stepped foot on the Earth, a time when the world was not what it is today, magic was prosperous. It was everywhere, and the Anstian Monarchy was nonexistent."

Awkid took a gulp and sat at the table with Balamor to finish his story. The young mapmaker was barely familiar with the tale, and so he sat quietly as the Dwarf went on.

"The Old Kingdom was in power then. It was lead by the hand of the Mystic Red King. It was said that he singlehandedly reunited the races of man after the devastation brought by the End War — perhaps by using his magic. He chose one man from each race to join his rule. The Humans, the Dwarves, the Gnomes, and of course you Hobbits lived under one sigil so to speak, and each of them ruled the Kindgom alongside the Red King. It was a peaceful age for mankind, and those five bloodlines lead the Kingdom for centuries."

Balamor finally cut in, his curiousity besting him once again,

"So if these four families along with this 'Red King' were in power, then how did the Necromancer come about?"

The End

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