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A Gilo Story
It was New Year’s Eve and all the little children of the royal house of Milorn were begging for a story. But not just any story, they wanted a story from Grandfather Gilo Lock. Throughout the territories, Gilo Lock was once known as a wise king. Not only in war, but also in heart and mind too. It was already late, so the parents, the Dukes, Ladies, and the King and Queen, told the little ones that they would send someone to fetch the Old Duke of Loquin so that he may tell his young relatives a story and join in the festivities. Now, keep in mind that it was already very late, so a messenger was not sent till morning as the old custom was for the New Year. In the morning however, things started with a rather nasty touch.
“Mother, Eno and Lukan are playing in the rain again! I’m afraid they’ll catch a cold if they stay out any longer.”
A rather lanky boy with short blonde hair stood tall and clean-cut in the doorway. He had deep blue eyes and a slightly bronzed skin from spending his afternoons reading in the sun.
The woman he had addressed to stayed, unmoved, in her position and a grand mahogany table while reading a leather bound book.
“What was that, Cormac?” Cormac’s mother registered her son with a small glance.
“Eno and Lukan are playing in the rain again and Father said that it seems it may turn into a storm.”
Just then a bright flash of yellow light screamed across the sky, smoke billowed from the mark it made into the earth.
Cormac’s mother jumped from her seat and screamed.
“Get your brothers inside immediately!”
As Cormac ran to fulfill his mother’s orders, the door burst open and a intimidating man of six feet and seven inches stood in its mouth, his face full of enragement and worry.
“Ghannie, the boys strayed off of the premises and I can’t find them!” he panted, addressing the woman.
Ghanni’s eyes widened in fear and she crumbled on the floor in tears.
“Don’t worry, mother, I’ll go find them!” That said, young Cormac grabbed his emergency coat and ran out the door.
The anger of the skies grew as the storm raged on; trees were beginning to lose their grip as the winds of Aeolus ripped through them over and over again. Even the mountains seemed to bend to the will of the wind as it continues to roar of the land. The sky even became darker as luminous clouds gathered to block out the sun causing the remote forest land below to become even more eerie to the more common of passerby.
In fact, as of that moment, it was easy enough to see two small figures streaking across the grounds into said woods. Their facial expressions would be explained as ‘a deer caught in the headlights’ with eyes wide and faces as pale as fresh laden snow. With hands holding their hoods in place, the pair ran as fast as their bare feet could carry them.
“Lukan, I’m scared.” Stuttered the smaller figure as soon as the two boys reached cover.
“Hush, I know Eno, we’ll just have to wait in these woods until the storm clears.”
The two boys stumbled across the roots, water soaking quickly through their heavy cloaks, as they tried to find dry shelter in the dark. Soon enough, Eno stumbled and ended up shoving Lukan against the ground, but they didn’t feel just one impact. After what seemed like ages and a series of hits from their surroundings, the boys found themselves coming to their senses in a dimly lit cavern filled with wondrous designs and furniture. When their eyes finally adjusted to their surroundings, they saw a sick figure lying on one of the couches.
It was an old man, with clothes spun of silk, drenched in rain, dirt and blood. The mud slowly seeped into his wounds, contaminating his veins. Hands folded across his chest, the old man took ragged breaths, wheezing and coughing occasionally.
“Is that—?” gasped Eno.
“Yes, it’s Grandfather Lock!” Lukan rushed over to his grandfather’s side, Eno stumbled shyly behind him.
“Grandfather?” whispered Lukan. He brushed a stray white hair from the wrinkled forehead.
“Lukan? Eno? What are you boys doing out in this weather?” The old man’s wheezing burst into a fit of coughing.
“Don’t talk, it won’t do you any good.”
Eno uncorked his flask and held it to the grandfather’s chapped lips. Drinking greedily, Lock drained the flask in a matter of moments.
“Ah, much better. Now, hand me that case over there.” Motioning towards a brown, leather bag in a dark corner, Lock received the bag from Lukan and unzipped it to reveal its contents.
Lantern held high above his head, Cormac grasped the hilt of his sword, using his legs to navigate his horse as he tried to decipher where he was. Looking for any clue to where his brothers were, the young blonde squinted out into the dark. Neighing softly, the horse gave a little jump at the sound of a lone wolf.
“Easy boy, nothing to be afraid of.” Cormac whispered calmly into his horse’s ear. In reality, he was quite scared himself. It was dark, cold and wet. Three things he despised the most.
“C’mon boy. Let’s go towards those woods and try to find some dry shelter.”
Understanding his rider’s commands, the chestnut horse trotted towards a large willow tree that seemed thick enough to keep most winds and rain out for a long while.
Breaking a few branches off the willow and whispering a prayer to the goddess of nature, Cormac began to create a fire. His five years of training with hunters finally seemed to pay off, especially after tracking down a small rabbit for a meal. Feeding his horse some carrots he had thrust into his bag before he set off, Cormac laid out his cloak and blanket to have a short nap.
The storm had not let up much by the time Cormac reawakened, but the dark clouds had left and the sun guided the way once more. Packing everything up and fastening he’s pack to the horse’s saddle, Cormac swung himself up onto the chestnut’s back and took off.
Now, deep within the jungle’s heart, the two brothers of Cormac Malgorn slept peacefully by their grandfather’s side, chests slowly moving up and down. A pair of eyes watched them calmly, blinking on occasion. Sighing, Gilo Lock Malgorn stood up, leaning heavily on his staff, and began to climb a hidden ladder back to topside.
As he reached the top, Gilo stumbled and stepped on a stick. It immediately snapped causing Gilo to silently curse at himself and duck behind some thick undergrowth.
“Who’s there?” barked a male voice.
His sword at the ready, Cormac glanced round to pinpoint where the snapping sound had come from.
“I’m warning you! Reveal yourself and show no mercy and I shall do the same!”
Creeping now on all four’s, the young hunter spotted a pair of glossed boots tapping idly away at the ground. Just when he was about to tackle the intruder, Cormac noticed an intricate carving in the heel of each boot: GLM.
“Grandfather Gilo?” yelped the lad in surprise.
Gilo stood up in shock.
“Cormac, is that you boy? My you’ve grown!”
Heading back to the horse, Cormac let his grandfather lead him to his hiding place.
Pulling back a few fat roots, Gilo smirked and showed the boy the safest of several entrances.
“Your brothers came down one of the wilder ones, Lukan twisted his ankle, but Eno is all right.”
“Wait, they’re here?” Cormac’s tired features twisted into a smile.
“Lukan, Eno! Wake up!” Finding themselves jostled awake, Lukan and Eno jumped in excitement at the sight of their older brother.
Pinned to the ground, Cormac and his brothers wrestled each other, happy to see each other once more.
“Get on with it, get on with it,” Gilo hit them with his cane. “ We need to start heading back if we want to get there in once piece. Me legs are getting that old sense that something bigger is about to happen.”
Bag slung over his shoulder and sword buckled to his hip, Gilo climbed once more up the ladder and joined his descendants out in the opening.
Surprisingly, the rain had finally stopped and the forest flourished once more with the wild beings of nature’s joy. It took several hours to get back home, but the ride was smooth. The only exciting part of the ride back was when the quartet had came across an evacuated village and that still was nowhere near anything worth of interest.
“There it is,” Gilo sighed, “Good ol’ Milorn.”
Eno, unable to contain is happiness, ran straight up to the more elegant holds.
“Mama! Papa! Are you home?” he called, the others trailing behind him.
“Ghannie, come out and see your boys!”
The front door to one of the complexes opened up, Ghannie and the father ran out the door.
“Gilo, oh thank the Gods, you’ve found them!” Ghannie reached out and strangled her sons into a hug.
“Hey, everyone! It’s Gilo!”
All the town’s people began to gather around to see the country famous storyteller. Whenever Gilo was around, everyone was equal; the filth covered peasants, the noble lads and ladies and everyone in between.
“Now that everyone is safe and sound, let’s start up the festivals!” Roared the King.
“Yes, and then Gilo can do some of his storytelling!” Cried the Queen.
The crowd roared their merriment and Gilo smiled once more as he was led to the cleansing chambers.
Soon before the fair ended, a shot rang out and blood began to run down Gilo’s face. Screaming, the crowd ran; some to find a place to hide, others to attend the infamous man’s side. Announced dead two hours later, Gilo had breathed the last words that all of his possessions were to go to his three grandsons as his own sons had died and the women did not gain from their parents. After hearing the news that they had gained so much in less than 24 hours, Lukan, Eno and Cormac went to the death chambers to examine Gilo Lock Magorn’s will. A black notebook was given to Eno, to write in all of the dreams that sparked in his head, a box of paint that changed into any color the painter wished for Lukan to inspire the people of the world of its beauty. And for Cormac, a book of puzzles and filled of past notes of his grandfather to learn wisdom and balance of the world. A note was also given to the boys explaining something they would not share with anyone. This be known though: one week later the children prepared themselves and left their home to tell the stories that their grandfather had left them and spread them to the world.