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Balamor could feel the particles of dirt, limp grass, and mortal remains brush up against his legs. Dirty bones and skulls of men littered the placid water, once belonging to a soul and now left as a clear and daunting sign. Balamor’s heart began to beat against his chest as his curiosity suddenly melted into fear. Awkid found a small patch of land rooted with three trees and motioned Balamor to follow. They slowly made it through a dense pad of cattail grass and walked out of the murky water. Awkid knelt at the foot of a twisted tree, covering a large blotch of it’s bark was a thick iridescent slime. Awkid rubbed the cold substance between his thumb and forefinger,

“It’s saliva…” He said as he looked at Balamor.

“From what?” Balamor asked.

Awkid wiped his hand onto his tunic before he answered, “From Du’gahr, The Blind Prince.”

“The Blind Prince of the Steel Isle? Didn’t he die in the Blood Wars?” Balamor whispered, his only knowledge was from old journals, textbooks and poetic tribute to the name.

“Enough questions. Stay quiet, we’re not far now.” Awkid commanded him along with a gesture forward.

Balamor followed without a word, but in the back of his mind he tried to find his own answer. He only knew what was said about Du’gahr in writing, from first person accounts of his triumphs to the old land claims made by the Swords of The Steel Isle. They nearly conquered the entire Southwest up until the start of the Blood Wars. It was then when the Kingdom of the Steel Isle fell from a war on both sides. Balamor read poetry and was told nursery rhymes exemplifying Du’gahr’s rise and fall but he knew anything he was told had loose ends and blanks to fill.

He wondered how a man could live for centuries here, drowned in a depressive land that seemed to feed off itself. Du’gahr especially. The Steel Isle was a place of tropic scent and crystal clear beaches — in the middle of the Wynspur Sea. Balamor knew the southern swamps were no place to live for a man of the Steel Isle, let alone a famed prince. But he was here, he didn’t doubt that, and what kept him here for so long had to be against his will. The muddy ground was unpleasant to cross as the two adventures walked with clothes dripping wet. Awkid held his right arm high to avoid the water, a weakness that worried Balamor a great deal. Until now Awkid seemed unstoppable, he was a thick skinned veteran of the land with the ability to control an awesome power. But in this swamp, that power met deadly odds with the waterlogged soil.

The End

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