The Land Between the Lands

February 12, 2012
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The Kingdom of Valor sat atop a mighty mountain with ridges that would be described as impenetrable walls. The castle reached so far into the sky, it seemed to silhouette the stars. Below the Kingdom, there was an endless wasteland, a vast, dead area that supported no life. No plants were grown there, and not a soul dared to step onto the moist soil. It seemed to give away at the slightest touch. Superstitiously, it was rumored that any man who stepped onto the plains with bad intentions would not make it across.

Below the mountains, and across the Kingdom of Valor, the mighty Pearce Empire loomed. Though the Pearce Empire, composed of many Kingdoms, could have easily overtaken Valor in an instant, they too dared not cross the valley—until now. Three brave warriors were selected to journey across and infiltrate the city. They were to pose as messengers, and rip the kingdom from the inside out.

The three warriors chosen to carry out this dangerous task were Lady Arwa, John Tribbot, and the notorious marksman Sir Tredion of Scott. Lady Arwa was the bravest and most mysterious of the three adventurers, having come from an origin unknown to her companions. She was an expert swords master, and had a quick, agile swing that would make any opponent think twice about his approach. John Tribbot was the oldest and most intelligent, though, and was very disappointed to hear that he had been picked for the task.

“This isn’t a good idea at all.” He said, shaking his head in distress. “We should flee the Empire altogether and head north, somewhere safe.” He said.

Lady Arwa shook her head, long brown curls secured in a tight ponytail. “You and I know that there is nowhere safe north. And the Empire has many spies—we would not get through before being caught.”
Tredion looked up stiffly from where he sat, equipping a steel boot. “It isn’t a long way across. It will be a day’s journey at most if we start now and do not stop.”

“There will be nightfall…” John reputed, shivering at the thought of what could happen in the dead of night. “After all, no one had inhabited the area for years. Who knows who or what might survive in its depths?”

No one replied to this, for John’s words still itched in their minds. Even as they headed off, waved on by hundreds of eager villagers, they fretted what did lie ahead.

The three adventurers stepped onto the soil and immediately sunk to their ankles. It seemed to be mud which had sat, seemingly undisturbed for years. But how did mud form with no rainfall? No one spoke or even dared to question the matter as they trudged tiredly through the thick murk.
And then a fog fell on the plain.

John, being the most reasonable, suggested that they stop and take camp. “It won’t be safe to travel in an unexplored area…in the dark.”

Lady Arwa turned to smile at John for a moment, and then faced Sir Tredion. He frowned, not fully willing to take on the responsibility of convincing John. “If there’s anything we have to learn from this adventure, then it is to leave our cowardice behind us. Come forth with open thoughts.” He declared, the words echoing and dying in the endless mist.

They continued on, though the sheer length of the journey itself was beginning to catch up to them. Lady Arwa began to tire. “We barely have any food. I’m starting to agree with John. Can we take a rest?”

Sir Tredion shook his head. “If we stop now, there’s a chance that we will never start again. Let us reach Valor before morning.”

The three weary souls carried on. No one even bothered to stop when John Tribbot turned back to the Pearce Empire. From that day on, in fact, no one knew where John Tribbot had departed, but it was rumored that he had escaped, gone north, and somehow resumed a happy life among the villagers there.

Rays of light began to penetrate the lowlands, exposing the two crawling figures that slogged through the filth. Lady Arwa and Sir Tredion of Scott would not give up. They had been instructed by their kingdom to perform a task, and they would perform that task. They would destroy Valor and take it for their own.

Tredion paused. “We are almost there. Let us rest first, so we have strength to continue and arrive by nightfall.”

“Yesterday it was foretold that we would arrive by morning.” Arwa countered sullenly. “For all we know, we are going around in circles. North, that is where we should go.”

“We have the barest provisions. I will rest and make my way to Valor on my own. You may continue on as you wish.” So he slept, and though no one knew how or why, there was something in the heart of the plains that despised the empty intentions of Sir Tredion. Generations from that time, passed down from father to son, it would be rumored that Tredion had been taken into the miserable depths of the swamp, forever peaceful in the cold.

So, on that same frigid, snowing night, Lady Arwa arrived on the grounds of Valor. It was different here, different than the Kingdom that she had come from. The houses were crafted from Cedar Wood, and the air was filled with the scent of pine. There was a feeling of happiness in this place, where the children went sledding and laughter echoed through the breeze.

As you might guess, Lady Arwa dared not disturb the passive society. In fact, she stayed, finding a place to live, bettering her swords craft from the techniques of others, and learning the common Valorian way of life.

The stars were out at night, scattered above the two cities and the endless wasteland that separated them. Never again was the balance disturbed. Forever, the land between the lands lay quiet.

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This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

KateLA said...
May 18, 2012 at 4:16 pm
I like it-and it has a good message of peace which I love, but just make sure it doesn't get too cliche! :-)
Writer_Jordan replied...
May 18, 2012 at 6:07 pm
I know this was one of my warm up stories, kind of just to get me back into the writing mood. I absolutely agree, it seems very cliche now that I am re-reading it.
IamtheshyStargirl said...
Mar. 16, 2012 at 10:20 pm
You lead into your stories incredibly well, and you end them equally beautifuklly :) It was a pleasure to read and comment on five of your works, thank you. 
OwenDark said...
Mar. 3, 2012 at 10:47 pm
Forever, the land between the lands lay quiet. Beautiful.
Purplefeary134 said...
Feb. 17, 2012 at 11:07 pm
Oh my god I love love love Love love love love it
Regs_the_Shorty said...
Feb. 17, 2012 at 8:07 pm
I LOVE IT!!!!! 5 stars! I have nothing, nothing bad to say about your work! Keep up the good work!(: If you have time to check out any of my work I would really appreciate it!
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