Created: 2004-11-09 12:10:17
THE BLACK DOGS
Night had falen over the passes, but the smal caravan moved on, slowly and defiantly through the mountain pass. There was a time where rich, luxurious caravans such as this would not have dared move along this pass, especially at night. The coach was luxuriously crafted, and bore the carvings which clearly indicated it's royal heritage. The driver was well dressed himself and it would be clear to anyone watching that he was the employee of royalty. The last inn on the route was nearing. It was merely a small hole in the wall now, but those who frequented the place could still remember when it was a staple of tis mountain pass.
"Sir, it's getting late? The Twilight Tavern is just a short distance ahead. Should I instruct the driver to stop there?". The young servant's nervousness was evdent in his voice.
"And why would we do that reginold?", the older gentleman asked with a haughty tone in his voice. "The horses are still fresh, and we can rest comfortably here."
The young man stared out the window momentarily, his eyes fixed on the moon which stood high over the tavern as they passed it. There was no safe place to stop between there and te next town, which was a full nights journey away. His mind raced back to the stories he'd heard of this road. As a boy he'd heard them, the stories of travelers found dead along the roads, of the giant black dogs which roamed the woods along the mountain passes throughout maxim. He'd heard of the eyeswatching in the dark, and the sound of whispering in the dark places not spoken of. He tried to put the thoughts out of his mind, but he saw the images in his mind. He remembered the dreams, the horrific dreams he'd had, and the fear that one day he himself wold have to face the dogs.
It had been at least ten years since he'd last heard the rumor. Since then it had been allmost forgotten by everyone. No one spoke of the phenomina anymore and thus, it ceased to exist. Or so it had seemed. It was true that he'd traveled this road any times since then, with nary a thought of the dogs. It's true that noone had claimed to have seen anything out of the ordinary for over ten years, bt why tonight did he feel different. Why tonight did the passing of the twilight Tavern seem such a terrible omen. No doubt he was letting his imagination get the best of him this time. He couldn't have that as a junior statesman, it would be unaccepable, and besides, their carriage was being escorted by 4 of the realms most skilled knights. They would be fine.
'You're right sir." he said still looking out the window, but there was no answer. He turned to find the elder statesman sleeping deeply slumped over aganst the side of the carriage. "I suppose a little sleep wouldn't hut so much." Reginold thought as he leaned aganst the plush wall of the carriage. He felt a slight twinge of pain in his neck, and reached his hand up to rub it, but he found he could not move. His eyes grew heavier, as the world began to melt away in frnt of him. The colors ran together, and created new, dark shapes. he heard voices, but could not make them out, and then, in his mind he saw it, the forest. The image was black, with a full moon above the trees. It cast just enough light that the very top of the forest could be seen, and nothing else. His body began to relax and he was unsure whether this world was reality or some sort of fantasy. His eyes closed bt the images remained.
Outside the carriage, the driver laid on the ground staring into the woods. He'd never seen so many dogs, They were everywhere, the woods was full of them. The woods were so full, in fact, that they seemed alive. As the poison took effect the carriage driver too fell asleep. Meanwhile a few shadows moved about in the darkness. They entered the carrage and saw that the poison was taking it's effect. The men would pass soon, if they hadnt already. A quick visual scan noted te small locked box which they opened reaily and removed the contents. A trety between two large isonian and foretin guilds was on its way to be approved by the foret side. Darden could not have this, he would not have this. It semed that in this moment there was only one group capable of taking care of the task at hand, and that was the black dogs.To this day noone is sure what happens in the mountain passes after dark, or why after ten years the rumors of the dpgs have returned. One thing, however is for sure these legends are legends which have allways been better left unspoken.