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Raven's Retreat
The Dark Isle Saga Chapter 1: Grim Hollow Part 3
About this creation
After leaving Haldur's Crypt, Sarlina led Taryn through the village and towards the forest outskirts. She set a fierce pace, a look of mischief upon her face....

Taryn follwed keenly but slightly confused.

"So are you going to explain where we are headed and what this is all about" he asked?

"My dear Taryn, arn't secrets far more fun" she shot him an amused glance.

"I guess" he replyed, "But for once I'd like to be prepared for the enevitable trouble you're about to get me into!"

Sarlina stopped and turned to face him. Her face was unreadable at first but then she smiled.

"You love trouble, it shows in your face, i've seen the glow of joy you get when things turn ugly" She laughed, then put her arm through his and they walked on.

"There's so much evil in this land Taryn" she sighed. " We live in dark times but we do nothing to change it, we just accept and carry on with our lives, hoping and praying."

Taryn nodded, "Yes, but life is what it is. We make do and enjoy what special moments we can, thats all any man can do."

"No Taryn, it won't do, not for me." she retorted. " Avalonia was once a mighty realm, the first land settled in Historica and beloved by the ancient Druids. Our ansestors lived in paradise but they took it for granted and let it be overun and now its lost."

Taryn had heard this stories, all of us had. "Exactly, Avalonia WAS, not any more, those times are past, Avalonia is lost. The remaining legacy of our once great land retreated into the Dark Isle. Here we are, look at us now!" Taryn shook his head saddly. "This is all that remains, this is how it is."

"Not for long!" Sarlina pulled away and looked at him. " You know the legend of Haldur's heir...Avalonia's heir?"

"Of course, just that, a legend." replyed Taryn.

"No legend Taryn" she smiled wickedly. " I found Haldur's Scroll."

Taryn looked at her in bemusment. Legend says that the mighty Haldur kept in his possession a powerful scroll passed down by the ancient druids. It is said that the scroll contains secret knowledge on how to summon the ancient powers and restore the land.

Taryn shook his head, then looked again at Sarlina, not sure weather0 to believe her. "Even if you have found the scroll, there is no way either of us could read it."

"Very true." she smiled. "Infact, the scroll is empty, just a bare piece of parchment."

Taryn frowned "Oh well in that case I could make use of it myself, need to write a tally of my latest hunting kills." he laughed.

"Don't be stupid Taryn!" she snapped. "Just because it looks empty doesn't mean there's nothing there. We just need to reveal it and thats exactly what we're going to do."

"We are?" Taryn asked wearily.

"There's an old hermit who lives not far from here in an old abandoned cottage. He can help us, that's where we're going, to see Raven." She smiled and walked on ahead.

Taryn looked up towards the sky and smiled to himself. "Here comes trouble".

Finally Taryn and Sarlina reached a crest of a hill from where they could look down towards the old ruined cottage where Raven had taken shelter. It seemed to be an old farm house, much had collapsed and now lay twisted and overgrown. They walked on down the hill and made their way up to the cottage.

"So who is this Raven fellow anyway" enquired Taryn "And whats he doing stuck out here in this crumbling mess?"

"I know very little about him, only that he has knowledge of the old ways, or so I was told." she spoke, then stepped carefully over the debris that lay strewn about the place.

They came to a door that appeared to be locked, a tree had crashed through the roof, probably blown down during a storm and it had made the remaining roof section very unstable. Sarlina moved forward and peered through a hole in the plaster.

"What a shame, there was a time when this would have been a fine home. Now it lies in ruin like everything else." She pushed firmly on the door and it scraped open.

"Don't go in there" Taryn warned "Its not safe."

Sarlina frowned, then turned to go inside but Taryn pulled her back. "Let me, i'll check it out." he said firmly. Sarlina smiled and nodded.

The room was small and damp. Rotting wood littered the floor and birds nested amongst the remaining roof beams. In the corner lay some empty barrels but there was no sign of life.

"See, that wasn't so dangerous now was it?" Sarlina spoke sarcasticaly as Taryn ducked back out from the room.

Taryn looked at Sarlina, then kicked the door which resulted in a large roof beam come crashing down in a flurry of leaves and dirt. "Oh yes, completly safe!" he replyed, then turned and went to walk away but then stopped as he realised an old man was watching them.

The old man was standing by a broken cart, his hair was a dirty white and his face lacerated by time. He stooped over a short wooden pole which he used to help keep his balance. The old man stood motionless, watching the two of them. Then slowly he turned and made his way around the back of the house.

Taryn turned to Sarlina, "I'm guessing that's our guy?"

"Only one way to find out" she replyed, then jumped over the low stone wall and made after him. Taryn followed close behind and they made their way round the corner of the house to find the old man waiting for them by the doorway.

Sarlina walked slowly towards the old man. She bowed her head then brushed the hair back from her face and spoke. "My friend and I are looking for a man named Raven who is said to live here, do you know of him?" she asked softly.

The man stared inquisitively at her for a few moments then slowly nodded.

Sarlina smiled shyly "You're him arn't you? Your Raven?" she asked.

The old man once again slowly nodded. His face showed not one hint of emotion, as if he were as lifeless as a stone. He just continued to stare at the both of them, his gaze unsettling.

"I need your help" she said fervently. "I happened upon an ancient scroll which I believe to be Haldur's lost scroll of legend" she continued. "But it appears empty and so I need help to reveal what is hidden." She watched his reaction carefully.

The old man seemed unmoved by her words and Taryn rolled his eyes and shuffled restlessly. He thought it was all nonsense. Sarlina stood confused, unsure of what to do next. She was about to speak some more when suddenly the old man turned and went inside the cottage, closing the door behind him. Sarlina frowned.

"Lets just go" said Taryn quietly, "The man doesn't even speak, its a waste of time." He went to reach for Sarlina's hand but was interrupted by the sound of the door opening again. The old man reappeared clutching a red vial which he then held out towards Sarlina.

Sarlina hesitated for a moment, then reached out and took the vial from him. Taryn watched closly, a spark of surprised interest in his eye.

"So this will help.....This will reveal its secrets?" she asked. "But how, what is it I must do?"

The old man motioned with his staff towards a small pale filled with watter. He tipped the pale over and its contents spilt over the ground turning the light dusty earth a dark color.

Sarlina smiled and nodded, "I understand." she said thankfully. "Your help has been most welcome, thankyou."

The old man nodded a final time then disappeered inside the crumbling building.

Taryn moved closer to Sarlina and they both stared at the vial she held before them. "So we tip the contents of the vial onto the scroll which then reveals its secrets i'm guessing?" asked Taryn.

"Exactly!" Sarlina smiled triumphantly, then looked at Taryn amusingly. "You know you should never doubt me Taryn, I knew I was right about this."

"I don't doubt you Sarlina, I just worry about you. I want you to be safe, who knows what danger's this scroll could lead to." he said protectively.

Sarlina blushed, then embraced him, wrapping her arms around his waist. She gently looked up into his face. "I'm always safe with you Taryn, thats why I need you to help me with this. We have a chance to make a difference and restore this land to its former glory."

She pulled away from him and stood looking out towards the far distance. "Avalonia was once sacred, from here we ruled all Historica and lived in harmony. But when the Druids disappeared we abused the power they left us and were cursed with the existance of other tribes and people who came from across the seas. Now we are nothing and Historica has new lands and people, evil, pure evil. But with the knowledge from the scroll we can once again rise up and rid Historica from these other beings and have our sacred realm restored. Once again Avalonia will rule Historica" She spoke enthusiastically and laughed with happiness. "Lets go and make a change Taryn." she smiled and turned to walk.

Taryn smiled coyly back, but something wasn't right. He liked the idea of a restored happy peaceful Avalonia but not at the price of other land's lives. They wern't evil, they were just people like himself who had lives and families, the only difference being that they were from another land. Its true, Avalonia was the first land to be settled in Historica and for a time Historica was just inhabited by Avalonians. But those times had past, new lands and people had settled and they had become more powerful.
"Surely we should be trying to unite with the other lands and then together fight a common enemy." he thought to himself, "Not to rid the other lands from existance". He shook his head and looked up to watch Sarlina walking ahead clutching the vial in her hand. Taryn figured she wasn't thinking straight, her mind confused with the sudden joy of discovery. He hurried on to catch up with her and the two of them walked on, leaving the old man and the cottage behind them.

History tells us that it is Man who causes trouble, that it is Man who wages war and causes death and destruction...but reality was set to prove entirey different.

To be continued...


 I like it 
  June 17, 2013
ravishingly beautiful!
 I like it 
  March 30, 2013
Alright, very nice!
 I like it 
  March 30, 2013
Beautiful work Luke, I can see the effort and patience involved there, well done!
 I like it 
  March 29, 2013
Such a masterpiece...
 I like it 
  March 28, 2013
Awww! You made me a house!
 I like it 
  March 28, 2013
yet another top drawer build!! im looking forward to the day when im working full time, so i can purchase all the green details pieces etc to give my builds more depth and detail!! 5/5 as always!! Chris
 I like it 
  March 28, 2013
All the details are fantastic!
 I like it 
  March 28, 2013
Fantastic work on the ramshackle roof, and the beams showing through the wall of the cottage are a great idea too. The story is beginning to develop nicely as well, looking forward to what happens next!
Luke Watkins
 I like it 
Kevin Dykstra
  March 27, 2013
Whenever I think "hey, mine's decent," I see yours then go "nevermind, I think I'll wait!" Good build, can't get over the colors and details!
Luke Watkins
 I like it 
Simon S.
  March 27, 2013
Very inspiring! I love how you avoid using any normal green in your most recent three builds *runs to bl and buys some sand/dark green*... no really, I like these builds much more than your older ones it's more like something new (guess the older ones were also when you posted them =P )... Brick on! -Simon S.
 I like it 
  March 27, 2013
I really like the story and the awseome building but I don't like the bad grammar though.
 I like it 
  March 27, 2013
the black in trees is nt much in my liking, but, the decrepited look of the house is well acheived, the greenery is also beautiful, bravo, as for the story, well, it s a lot of text for only one scene...I like mine more like a comic book.
 I like it 
  March 27, 2013
The dilapidated look of the buildings is absolutely brilliant.
 I like it 
  March 27, 2013
Excellent construction again. The decay and crooked angles are extremely well done. I think the trees should be equally crooked though...
 I like it 
  March 27, 2013
awesome .. is a dream... bravo
 I like it 
  March 27, 2013
I was waiting for the new masterpiece!
 I like it 
  March 27, 2013
The vast palette of colors you build in lends such life to your creations. I love the gnarled trees and the rotting boards on the roof. Excellent story as well! Can't wait for the next installment.
 I like it 
  March 27, 2013
Nice roofs! The black tree is awesome and great colors throughout.
 I like it 
  March 27, 2013
Beautiful work Luke! The atmosphere, color scheme and architecture is brilliant!
 I like it 
  March 27, 2013
I love the weathering and the ruggedness of the building. The tree technique is new to me and I like it.
By Luke Watkins
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Added March 27, 2013

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