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Adventurer's Correspondance School

The sun blazed in the bright blue sky, shinning through patches that the green leaves hadn't covered. A slight breeze flowed through the branches and leaves of the towering trees, sending creeks and whistles all through the forest. We're almost there, we must be,thought a young man, his brow knotting in concentration.
"This is hopeless," said another young man, slightly older than his travelling companion.
"No it's not, the school has to be around here, somewhere," the first young man replied. They travelled the trail in silence, battling their own inner turmoil. The two young men had been travelling for days on the same trail, and tempers were running short. They were in search of the famous Adventurers Correspondence School. Rocksford, the younger of the two, had convinced Terin, his slightly older friend, to come with him to the school. Rocksford wanted to be a real adventurer, and to do that he needed an diploma from the School (Besides, no good Hero could get through life without one). He was a good fighter, and had a handsome face (which was almost essential to life as a warrior Hero). He was tall, about 6'5", and well built, he was unusually strong for his age. His most outstanding feature, though, was his hair. It was a golden yellow, and seamed to glow with an inner light. Terin was slightly older, being 18, but was smaller, about 5'9", and not built to be a warrior, He was nimble and dexterous, and quite intelligent. He had grown up as a thief, stealing food to feed his mother. He had become very good, not many were better. He, like his friend, had blond hair, but it wasn't the golden color of his friend's.
"Hey!" Rocksford shouted.

"What now?" Terin, who had fallen behind, grumbled as he tried to catch up with Rocksford.

"The sign, we're finally here!" Rocksford said excitedly, barely suppressing a joyful scream. Terin stopped to read the old, weatherworn, faded oak sign.

It read Adventurer's Correspondence School signup, 1 mile or so.
"Well I'll be an Ogre's mother," Terin said, still staring at the sign. "Come on, what are you waiting for, let's get moving," Rocksford told Terin impatiently. They moved off quickly, eager to find the school.

After a short while they found a clearing, which was bathed in sunshine.
They stopped for a moment to admire the beauty of the area, but were off quickly, hoping to find the school soon. They had gained only half of the sunny glade when they heard a deafening roar! They both twirled to see what had made the horrific noise, and there, standing where they had been only moments before, stood a huge Ogre.

"Uh oh," Terin muttered while staring in awe at the monstrous beast only a short distance away.

" you...have any weapons?" Rocksford asked, trying to contain his fear.

"Only...Gulp!...a few daggers." Terin fearfully answered.
"Get ready to throw one," Rocksford told his friend as he gathered his courage and drew his own weapon, a small shortsword. The Ogre snarled viciously when it saw the human, only half his size, draw his tiny weapon. The Ogre gripped its huge club and started towards its prey. With one swing of its gigantic club the human who approached it would crumble in a heap of broken bones.

"Now!" Rocksford shouted at his dagger wielding friend. Steel flashed and thick green liquid oozed from the huge creatures side. The Ogre let out a tremendous roar of pain and fury. Sword raised above his head, Rocksford charged the distracted monster. The Ogre detected Rocksford's quick movements too late, and his sword bit deep into its neck, severing the spine. The Ogre disappeared in a puff of smoke, and all that was left was a shining pendent of gold, inlaid with precious gems.

They both stood, wide eyed, staring at the space the gigantic Ogre had been, only a moment before.
"We did it!" Rocksford screamed,"We killed an Ogre!" He excitedly scooped up his prize, the gold medallion.

"Ya, but where did it go?" Terin asked, still staring at the place where, only a moment ago, the beast had been. Rocksford was dumbstruck, and for a moment could only look at his friend.

"I...I dunno," Rocksford said, stumbling over the words, and wracking his brain to find a reason for the monsters disappearance.

The two young men twirled around just in time to see another huge Ogre disappear in a puff of smoke. They both stared at another gold medallion, unable to comprehend what had happened. They were both completely unaware of the approaching figure.
"Hello?" Said the stranger, now standing directly in front of them. They both jumped back, startled, and almost tripped over each other.
"Who are you?" Rocksford blurted out, being to startled to think of anything else.

"Crysanthia," she said, bowing slightly. She held a bow, with a quiver of arrows strapped to her back. She was stunning beautiful, with dark black hair, worn short, with deep brown eyes, which were magnetizing, and a light complexion. She had an air of self confidence about her, and wasn't someone to antagonize, for she was quick with her bow. Her body was well muscled, with tight, sinewy muscles that identified her as someone with real strength, but her body was also very womanly. "I'm Terin," Terin said, introducing himself,"and this is my friend, Rocksford." Both young men bowed, and for a moment there was an uneasy silence.

"So, what's a pretty girl like you doing all alone in the forest?" Rocksford asked, trying to win her over with his charms.

"Well, I don't seem to be alone now, do I? And, if it's any of your business, I'm on my way to the Adventurers School. My turn, where are you going?" She asked, not moved by Rocksford's comment at all.

"We're on our way there, as well. Would you like to accompany us?" Rocksford asked politely, hoping she would say yes.

"No." Rocksford's heart sank, he had not expected such a outright declination. "But, I will allow you to accompany me, for your own sake." Rocksford's face brightened visibly, and she smiled inward to herself.
"It was your kill, madam, so the amulet is yours." Terin said, being polite as possible.

"No, you take it, I already have one." Crysanthia told him.

"I wonder why all the Ogres around here disappear when they die, and leave behind these medallions." Rocksford said, examining his own prize.

"I don't know, maybe they're some kind of test, and the amulets are proof that we passed this test." Crysanthia offered.

"Hmm, sounds reasonable. That's probably it." Rocksford said, unconsciously staring at the beautiful Crysanthia. "Well, we should probably get moving Miss Cr..."

"Call me Crysy," she interrupted him,"I mean, umm, sorry. My friend's call me Crysy."

"OK, Crysy, let's get going." They found the trail through the meadow and followed it into the woods, never talking, and all three thinking something else.

They travelled on the trail for another 15 or more minutes, sometimes having to hack brush from their way, or avoid a hole that had been dug in the trail by some animal or another. They soon came to another, smaller, clearing, only about 15 feet across, with a large tree in the center.
"Hey look at that tree," Crysy said, pointing at the tree in the clearing.
It had a large red box nailed to it.

"What's that?" Rocksford said, looking queerly at the box. They walked cautiously toward it, and when they mutually decided it posed no threat, walked to it so they could read the lettering that was scratched out on the face of the box.

"What language is that?" Crysy and Terin asked in unison.

"It's Shepierian, I think." Rocksford told the others.

"Can you read it?" Crysy asked, astonished.

"I can't make any promises, but I can try. It says If you have made it this far, who are a worthy fighter, but now, you must read this aloud, to prove you are intelligent as well. If you can read this, the box will open." Rocksford read aloud to his friends. Magic flashed, and two slots appeared on the front of the box.

"Huh, what's going on?" Terin asked, feeling flustered.

"Hey, there's more writing now, and it's in common." Crysy said, " Put your prize for a fight well fought here. It must be the amulets." She quickly took off her medallion and stuck it in the slot. After a tense moment, a single sheet of parchment slid out of the second slot. Crysy quickly caught it, and looked it over carefully.

"Well?" Terin asked expectantly.

"It's, umm, some kind of form. It's title is Adventures Correspondence School Beginners Form. What's that mean?"

"Here let me see it," Rocksford said. Crysy handed the form to Rocksford, and after a minute he said,"The School isn't a place we go, it's just where the books are written. This form is a signup type thing, so they'll send us tests and books and stuff. We came all the way out here to get this form, now we have to have the Mail Wyvern take it to this address," he pointed to the address,"and then wait for a reply." After a moment of disappointed silence he continued,"They give us tasks to perform, like learning a certain spell, or killing a certain monster. Here you go, this is your's after all, not mine," he said, handing the parchment to Crysy.

"So, I fill this out, send it to where ever this is, and that's that!" Crysy said, practically yelling.
"Damn! I can't believe I let you drag me all the way out here for this!" Terin yelled.

"It didn't take much persuasion, and watch your language, we're in the presence of a lady," Rocksford put his amulet in the slot, and caught his own form. "I don't know about you, but I'm doing this, whether it's at home or in Merete!"

" 'Spose I may as well, since I'm here." Terin put his medallion in and grabbed his own paper, crumpling it. "Well, I'm on my way then, good-bye!" Terin started walking off into the forest.

"Wait, where are you going?" Rocksford asked, stunned.
"You didn't expect me to go back home, did you? I'm a thief, and that's all I'll ever be. I can't survive as a thief in Tristram, now can I. Good-bye, fair lady, and good-bye Rocksford." With that he abruptly turned and disappeared into the woods. Rocksford just stared after him for a moment, then turned to his beautiful, and now only, companion.

"Well, that was unexpected, but I should have known. I can't believe it, we've been best friends since we were tiny babies. Well, whatever's best for him." Rocksford shuttered, know that he would probably never see his friend again.

"I'm sorry, it sounds like you two were very close. But look on the bright side, you still have me," she said, trying to cheer her up. To her surprise she felt two strong arms wrap around her and pick her off the ground, in a smothering hug.

"Promise me you'll never leave me, please!" He said urgently, as if his life depended on it,
"Of course, I'd love to stay with you, all my life, I am with you." She replied, to his great relief. He slowly set her down, not quite willing to let her go.

In the end, Rocksford and Crysanthia went back to Tristram, sent in their forms, and passed with flying colors. They both became world renown Heroes, going everywhere together. Terin travelled from town to town, building his wealth a little bit more in every place he stopped. He eventually settled down on the island of Merete and became the master of the Thieves Guild. Now, you may be wondering if they every told about the school. They didn't, it was part of The Agreement. All their grate deeds and fantastic feats of daring and cunning have been lost through the passage of time, but all who read this will know the real story, and the memory will live on.

This nice short story was written by QfG Kid, I in no way attempt to take credit for writing the story. This story is posted with QfG Kid's permission. I enjoyed it, I hope you did too.

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