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Tuesday, June 03, 2008 The Animorpher - Part 1

The diligent reaps and the sloth starves.

Alexis, Hernan, Carolyn and Andreas arrive at the City of Klosser in Edel one hour after they landed eight miles southeast of the city in order to keep their mission hushed up. Enemy spies must’ve known about their mission already, but they don’t need crowd to cheer them like celebrities – thus delaying them further.
A very little man greets the champions as they enter the city gate. He looks like a boy of twelve, but he’s actually twenty-eight years old. He wears no shoe and thick, long hair covers his feet.
With those attributes altogether, he’s easily recognized as a halfling*). The only things that distinguish him from other halflings are: big, blackened scar running rom his left eye to his neck, and a pair of long fangs sticking out between his lips. He also talks most casually.
‘Ahoy, champions. Welcome to Klosser. I’m Dejan Pavlovic, your guide for the next quest. Now we must get past this city at all haste. Because, though it looks peaceful, this city is full of shady, sneaky people who like to meddle with other people’s business. Don’t even stop for a drink. Just walk on until we’re out of the town and go to the Windy Hills.’
‘And then what’s in Windy Hills? Where are the Greaves of Diligence?’ Carolyn asks curiously.
‘The greaves are safe in my village, Ekinmor. The real test, however, is on the way there. As its name states, the Windy Hills of Ekalla mercies no one. So, I have one hint for you: Don’t get blown away. Keep your feet on the ground no matter what.’
‘And keep our mind in our brains, that’s for sure,’ says Hernan, his eyes are all on Carolyn. The pink-haired sorceress tries not to look back at him.

(* Halflings = Sometimes we call them hobbits or colobockles. They are little people living in burrows and tree-tops. In Aurelia Continent, they live in two places: Kingdom of Edel (Regia) and Thyrine. Shorter than dwarves, halflings are very agile in rough terrains.

The walk in the city is quieter than expected. No one seems to care about a group of hunters passing by, even for Alexis in his shining, princely armor. But still, many people are walking about in streets minding their own businesses, and most of them talk in low voices as though all the things they do are secret.
This city is too quiet, Alexis thinks. It doesn’t bother me at all, but I better keep my eyes open. I smell stealth and surprise in the air, waiting to strike anytime.
Dejan the halfling guides the champions through main roads, avoiding narrow streets and alleys. The City of Klosser is like a labyrinth, without Dejan the champiions would be lost, scattered, and who knows what’s next.
The group leaves the city through the north gate. They walk on until they arrive in an open, vast area.
‘You might want to take a rest and eat your fill, because things are going to get windy ahead,’ says Dejan. ‘Oh, yeah, and you may want to keep that tiny, winged one in your bag, ma’am,’ He points to Chiel the micha. Carolyn nods and calls her pet, and the little micha flies into Carolyn’s goodie bag obediently.
They set off again after resting for half an hour, this time for the non-stop track thorugh the open space. The Windy Hills is actually a valley, surrounded by plateaus of Merida in the northwest, mountains of Halethia in the northeast and Ashtri in the east. That makes the wind exceptionally strong in this area, and the rocky hills make this place even more difficult to pass through.
Alexis is fully aware of this, and readies himself at the first breeze of wind that strokes his long, red hair. His eyes shows the same determination as in the Battle of Ingram Coast *) and Enia’s Sanctum **)

(* Read FireHeart Paladins Book One, Chapter Three
(** Read FireHeart Paladins Book One, Chapter Seven

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