The Crystal of Decadence by Carl Hiscox

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SUMMARY: Chapter 1: Trail 1- Evasion (chapter unfinished) I needed something else to work on whilst im editing my first prologue....these stories arent linked together atm. another 1st draf so it will probably be full of errors :P

All was silent. It had been now for over two hours. Goram risked a glance over his shoulder. Through the mass of trees he could see a faint glow emitting from peaks of the Dwarvern Mountains. Morning had come. The young man placed is hands together and produced three hoots in the fashion of a Snowy owl. Goram counted in his head "1,2,3,4,5" exactly on time he heard the reply. He wasn't sure what animal it was supposed to imitate. Goram's friend Stryke could never master the sounds of different forrest dwellers. Nevertheless, Goram recognised the sound and the two boys slowly and carefully advanced to their agreed meeting point, directly under the big oak. When Stryke spotted Goram he couldn't prevent a sheepish grin from appearing on his face. The hard and boring part was over. Now the fun would begin.

All the young men of Trinton were gathered in the market square where they would be told what was required of them. A town magistrate greeted them all and gave the boys their instruction. They were told in short that they would have to avoid capture from the Dukes rangers for twenty four hours starting exactly two hours after the meeting was over. This was no easy feat. The Dukes rangers were renowned for being some of the best in the whole kingdom stretching for hundreds if not thousands of miles across the green sea. The boys were told their boundaries which included the whole town except from buildings that were in use, therefore abandoned buildings were allowed. Each year a few boys who could not handle the cold weather could be found hiding and usually asleep inside one of the many unused buildings in Trinton. The main place to hide however was in Blackwood forest. Miles of nothing but trees and the odd cave. The forest was home to many animals and it wasn't unheard of for one of the boys to get hurt during the ‘game‘ which is held every year.

When the boys were dismissed they all sprinted off hoping to get as much of a head start on the rangers as they could. Goram was the only one who did not run. He saw Stryke running towards him when he stepped into an abandoned building and signalled Stryke to join him. Stryke appeared reluctantly and looked eager to go. Goram seemed in no hurry and smiled at Stryke
"What!, we only have two hours. We need to get a head start on the rangers"
Goram paused for a moment then began to speak
"Every boy has ran off into the forest by himself and without a plan. We however are going to take a few minutes to sort out a plan and we are going to work together. That way we have more chance of succeeding.
"Sounds good" A grin spread onto Stryke's face as he realised how clever the idea of a plan was. A little time spent now would no doubt be made up by having a clear idea of what they were going to do.

The two boys sat for a while a discussed their plan. The would make for a dense part of the forest which Stryke knew well and would find god places to hide. Once dawn had come the boys would signal each other using the sounds of one of the many creatures which inhabited the forest. The plan worked well the boys only once spotted rangers and they walked past the two boys at a safe distance. Now they were under the big oak where they would undertake he final part of the task. Each boy had to sneak into the town itself and gain entrance into the town hall without being caught by one of the rangers. Depending on how long the each boy avoided capture he would be given points and If he somehow managed to gain entrance to the town hall he would be rewarded with bonus points.

Stryke smiled at the memory. He was amazed that he hadn't came up with the idea of making a plan himself however he was grateful to Goram for the idea.
The two boys started at a jog in the direction on the town. Even though they were making more noise than they would of wanted the quick speed was essential while the sky was still dark. Trying to gain entrance into the hall in daylight would be an impossible task