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Chapter 3: Stories
                                                 
Ah, the morning, being woken up by songbirds and greeted by loved-one, except if you are Hector, being woken by sleepy guard and greeted by the donkey. 'Oh well,' thought Hector 'still better than the street.'. 'Wake up kid, time to go.' Said guard, 'Come for some food first, trust me you gonna need it.'.
Now Hector had a chance to get a good look at the guard. He was a middle aged man, not too tall but stocky. His hair was short, and beard shaved, from what he could see it was black, contrasting the pale face. He than entered into a guard house, a modest structure, holding the table, furnace and few chairs. On the walls hanged a collection of old wanted lists, and two army-grade crossbows. The guard himself wore a chainmail covered with cloth, alongside hamlet and sword. Symbol of the town,town ringed with trees,
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Literature
Chapter: 2 Journey begins
Hour or two later they finally arrived home. Their homestead is small, small house on the one side and winter barn for cattle on the other. Their family are cattle farmers for generations, and thousands of cattle have came trough their pastures. The family hold respect from the other families in the village do to their commitment to retaining of the ways of their fathers and grandfathers, so you can imagine the fallowing reaction.
'We are home!' called Hector, 'Apologize for being late, the market was busy today.'
'How much have you sold?' asked Galo
'All of it, here's gold.' said Hector after drooping the bag.
'Good, choosing you for the head was a good move, I was thinking to give it over to you now.'
'Give over what?' he asked, confused.
'The homestead what else, you have proven to be a good choice, even if you lack enthusiasm for... '
'I am enlisting into army.' Boldly interrupting his father.
'Huh, I might got old so I may not hear well, but have you just interrupted me?'
'Your he
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Literature
Chapter 1: Prologue
It was a ordinary morning, a intro to another busy day at the homestead, sun was already up and cattle is getting hungry. The stable door are opening and old farmer is slowly starting to feeding the livestock. He is not in the hurry, the field work have been finished, the crops and straw are all packed-up, winter is close now and there is not much left to do today. He comes back home for breakfast his wife have been preparing, soup, as usual. He in his late 40-is, tall and strong man, shaped by hard peasant life. Short brown beard covers his tanned face, visibly impacted by sun and age. His wife, women in 30-is, is shorter, almost tiny compared to her husband, with long black hair falling down her back.
‘Where are the kids Isa?’, asked the farmer.
‘Aura is in town, she said that she got called from the guild, most likely for that talent of her.’
‘We both know that it is a curse, not a talent.’
‘Oh, come on Galo, when you will let it go! She did
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Did stegosaurus flee from predators?
Want to share a theory (that has probably already been proposed before).
A popular assumption I see about Thyreophorans (Stegosaurs and Ankylosaurs) is that whenever a predator approached, the defending dino would respond by facing the other way and, feet firmly planted on the ground, began swaying its tail to deter the predator.
I'm going to suggest that it was more likely the Armoured Dinosaurs responded by simply running away.
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When it comes to this anatomical feature, virtually every dinosaur has it, which means it's likely a universal feature.
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Ah, the morning, being woken up by songbirds and greeted by loved-one, except if you are Hector, being woken by sleepy guard and greeted by the donkey. 'Oh well,' thought Hector 'still better than the street.'. 'Wake up kid, time to go.' Said guard, 'Come for some food first, trust me you gonna need it.'.
Now Hector had a chance to get a good look at the guard. He was a middle aged man, not too tall but stocky. His hair was short, and beard shaved, from what he could see it was black, contrasting the pale face. He than entered into a guard house, a modest structure, holding the table, furnace and few chairs. On the walls hanged a collection of old wanted lists, and two army-grade crossbows. The guard himself wore a chainmail covered with cloth, alongside hamlet and sword. Symbol of the town,town ringed with trees, lied on the cloth, but otherwise it was brownish pale in color.
'Thanks for everything, sir, but I must ask why did you take me in, not like you are obliged to do so?' Asked grateful Hector.
'Again with the sir, never-mind, why did I took you? Well because you remind me of myself when i got the same brilliant idea, except I was left on the street, not an experience i wish reputing, so yeah that's why.'
Than a hooves stooping could be heard outside on the street. 'Who is the authority of this outpost!' yelled someone outside, 'Here, here, wait a moment.' hurried a guard to the door.
'I am for the time being.' said guard.
'Identify yourself.' said man, and messenger, most likely from the capital, and clearly of a higher rank.
'Corin Sud, Roadwood town watch, and currently the authority of this guard-post, milord.'
'Verywell, the message is as fallowing, 'To all loyal towns of the Estilia, and by the order of the Count Istwan the Wise, a force of recruits are to be raised, from the age of 19-25, for service in Imperial army, at-least some number of recruits must be collected, the gather point is at the nearest army recruitment point, disobedience for the order will be punished.' Now solider, where are the other guard posts at the town?'
'Not many, there's one close to the hall, although you most likely were there, and the one further west on the opposite side of the town, if you hurry you might be able to get to them and reach the next town before night.' explained Corin. The messenger, clearly in the hurry just stormed to the west.
'What was that all about, I have not heard of any war starting?' Asked Hector concerned.
'Nah, most likely replacing old generation of soldiers, they do this from time to time.' answered Corin, used to this stuff, 'Although, you might catch a free ticket out kid, the message often comes with a coach, they come to pick up anyone from the town watch who might be interested, they usually stay at inn nearby, just in the next street, the 'Guard's wife' don't ask about the name long story, anyway if you go now you might catch them.'
'Thanks, that was quite convenient, so this is goodbye. Any last advice?' Said Hector while packing up.
'Stay quiet and never say you are bored, that will go a long way, oh and I heard rumors about forming of mixed companies, if that is a case be very careful what you say or do.'
'Thanks, I hope we see each-other soon.' Thanked Hector one last time before going beside corner.

Close to the eastern guardpost lies the inn 'Guard's wife', a known gathering point for the town guard. Most of the costumers have just finished duty or slacking on the duty. There are quite a few former guardsmen, gathering together to recall old days. Inn itself is quite ordinary on the first sight, but few things make it stick out from the rest. First ,and most obliviously do to number of guardsmen at any given time, it is very rarely robed, with stupid or inexperienced robers quickly finding out why. Secondly do to it's connections with Roadwood's administration this inn is an center for many diplomatic and important trade agreements, usually happening behind in the hidden rooms. Third reason, and most important one for our attempting solider, this is a place where Imperial recruiters come to rest when visiting Roadwood, and today was no exception.
As Hector entered inside he quickly drew views from regulars. He was not a guardsmen, and obviously not a diplomat or important trader, and his age made it quite obvious what he was doing here.
He approached to the innkeeper and before he could ask he got an answer.
'You came for recruitment, have you? '
'Yes, I heard that Imperial recruiters were here.'
'To the left from you, two men next to the window, ask them, seeing that they were out of luck today they might not ask too many questions.' Pointed innkeeper and continued on his work.
Hector approached the two men, both in the Imperial uniform, one on the left had a officers hamlet with feathers, clearly showing a higher rank, while the other had just an ordinary soldiers hat. Despite the deference in rank, the two seamed quite relaxed to one another.
'Men this trip was poor so far, no wonder that the conscription was made mandatory this year.' Complained the solider to the right.
'It seams so, but at least the next station is bound to give us somebody.' Said officer with certainty.
'My lords, if I may ask?' asked Hector nervously, clearly unused to talking with rank that high.
'Sure go ahed, just make it quick, we are going,' Said officer, before speaking to his subordinate 'hey Benci, pay for the beer and get the horses ready, we are leaving as soon as I finish with this lad.' With solider leaving the conversation continued.
'Have you came for the recruitment lad?' Asked officer.
'Yes I heard you are taking volunteers today.'
'Well this is your lucky day lad, you might save us a embarrassment from going empty to our next destination, and you seem like good, strong young lad, I only need your name and basic information like age and any previous training if any, for now?'
'Hector Cabalona, age 19, no previous training.'
'Good, all checked in, it seams we are good to go.' Said officer after writing down information, 'What is the matter lad, relax a little, you are not at the drill yet, save the stiffness for when you get to the army.'

With that out the way they set their coach on the road and moved to next town, or so Hector thought. He noticed that they were moving towards the border and the mountains across it.
'Where are we going, this is not the way to the next town, or any town?' Asked confused Hector.
'Across the Estilian border, and into the Gorije.' answer came from Benci the solider, 'I assume that you heard about it, after all the trade comes trough your town.'
'I know, but what we have with the highlanders anyway, as far as I know they are independent collection of tribes that come from time to time to market at Roadwood.'
'I kinda doubt that's only thing you heard about them, even here at the south we have stories.' Said Benci, still looking at the Hector.
'I have not heard i saw, I saw one of them trow some drunken punk across the street with one arm, when they come to trade they are easy to spot since they are both taller and wider by anybody around them, hell once i came close to one of their women and she looked down on me, let me say it again, the highland WOMAN looked down on me, somebody tall for my surrounding, before that I have never seen women that tall, even man that tall are rare at the lowlands, and worst of all I heard that they send short people to Roadwood in order to not draw to much attention, the 'short' people.' Said Hector, now starting to feel a little afraid, rumors starting to piece together a terrifying image, 'But the latter is most likely an exaggeration.' he reassured himself.
'Incredible' gasped Benci 'we at the south only have stories, there are no direct contact with them.'
'Heh, you kids know nothing if you are awed by this, wait until we get to training ground.' Said officer with an smirk.
'What do you mean sir?' asked Benci, clearly uninformed about what is going on.
'Oh that's right, I still haven't said you, a new order came from Capital for forming of mixed fighting forces, capitalizing on strengths of deferent groups that inhabit the Empire, these highlanders are just one of these groups, even if they are not technically an part of the Empire, but who cares, anyway this is not the most surprising thing you will see.'
'Wait will that mean that old companies got the same order ?' Asked Benci.
'Well yes, in fact we are drooping you off at your company after we pick up the highlanders, rookie as well seeing that you two get along so well.'
'Hear that rookie, you are going to see southland's after-all, and whatever else is dragged there while we travel.'
'Silence we're there' officer hushed them,'now for the you two, they do not have any centralized government, so do not talk like they have one, do not stare, be respectful, and by the gods do not try to flirt with any girls, the men are incredibly protective of the women, you two do not stand the chance in fistfight anyway.'
'Yes sir.' Acknowledged both simultaneously.
At the foothill of the larger hillside the wagon stopped, and two man approached. Hector and Benci tried their best not to stare at the sight before them, the two men were easily towering above them by over the full head and neck, with wide and clearly strong bodies. To further the point both were armed to the teeth, both carried an musked, and a pair of sabers, one had four pistols at his belt, while the other had three. The large powder bag (what they initially mistaken was for water) hanged on the side. They wore vests and shirts, and wide trousers with leather shoes, on the head they had a small, flat cap, and a long hanging mustaches. One was quite older and gray-haired, while the other much younger and black-haired . The two approached the officer. The officer gave them a some piece of paper and they let them go. While the trio continued their journey one thought crossed Hector's mind, 'It was not an exaggeration.'
Chapter 3: Stories
Chapter 3, I hope that you liked it so far. Hector finally leaves a hometown and goes on a journey, now with his compatriots goes to a land less familiar than he thought.    
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Hour or two later they finally arrived home. Their homestead is small, small house on the one side and winter barn for cattle on the other. Their family are cattle farmers for generations, and thousands of cattle have came trough their pastures. The family hold respect from the other families in the village do to their commitment to retaining of the ways of their fathers and grandfathers, so you can imagine the fallowing reaction.

'We are home!' called Hector, 'Apologize for being late, the market was busy today.'
'How much have you sold?' asked Galo
'All of it, here's gold.' said Hector after drooping the bag.
'Good, choosing you for the head was a good move, I was thinking to give it over to you now.'
'Give over what?' he asked, confused.
'The homestead what else, you have proven to be a good choice, even if you lack enthusiasm for... '
'I am enlisting into army.' Boldly interrupting his father.
'Huh, I might got old so I may not hear well, but have you just interrupted me?'
'Your hearing is still good father, you heard me well, I AM ENLISTING!!' now even more boldly, while being stared on by entire house.
'No.' answered Galo shortly.
'How do you mean no, I am not a farmer and you know it, Kike is, and he will make a better head himself.' Now getting angry by his father's stubbornness.
'Not an option, this is my last, and you will obey it.' His father ordered angrily.
'But, I need it, I can't stay here all my life looking after cattle, this is not my...'
'Now when you mention it, the barn is in a need for cleaning, do it, the barn air will clear your mind.' another cold order.
Now enraged, but unable to reason with his father, Hector stormed out of the house.
'Father I must also speak with you..' 'I know what is going on Aura.'
'But..', 'This is my last, I will not let you go in the hands of those arcani! Now go to your room, your wedding dress needs decorating!' Ordered Galo, pointing upstairs.
Aura stormed upstairs, leaving concerned mother and angry father alone.
'You have gone to far now my love, I know you mean best for them, but this is not a way to do it.' Isa replied concernedly.
'You have always defended them, but they need to learn discipline, this is the safest option there is, and best for them.' said Galo. Despite the harsh words he meant best for his children, he knew how precious simple life is, do to his own experience.
Later that day, Hector was returning with the heard from day of grazing. He usually does not do this, leaving it to more interested brother, but today he needed some time alone to think, about his actions, previous and upcoming. Aura have come to him caring bread and cheese for him to eat. 'Here brother, mother sent you this.' 'Thanks, those crazy cows quite tired me.'
'Now about..'
'Don't worry I thought it trough.' Smiled Hector, hiding anxiety from his sister.'Middle of the night, your window, unless you changed your mind.'
Aura did not responded, she knew that this was the only way for her to get the answers she wanted.

That night, with clouds obstructing moonlight, Aura waited by the window, looking for her brother's mark, and then a colarbird sang. Except, colarbirds do not sing at night, that was a signal, she looked down at the hey stack below and prepared to jump. 'This must be the single most crazy thing I done so far.' thought Aura before lending on soft hay. There came her brother, after checking that she was ok, he asked 'Are you ready, last chance to go back?'
'I'm ready, where do we go now?'
'On the road, come.' They both sneaked out quickly, finding a horse on the far side of the road.
'Wait where did you get a horse, ours are not spotted?' Asked Aura.
'It's Arno's, you know the old lumberjack from the down the road.'
'I do not think that the stealing is a good thing Hector!'
'Don't worry, were just borrowing without question, the horse will return home before he's awake.' Hector reassured his sister.
'How are you so certain?' 'I'am doing it for months now, don't worry.'
'That is not encouraging.' then she saw someone at the door, looking at them.
It was Isa, she came to see off her children, and to wish them luck. The two, looked back and nodded, and hastily took off, not wishing to awake father.
'The ones who look from above, keep them safe, from the world and themselves.' chanted Isa, and came back to do house, hoping for best.

Later that night they came at the town gates, and above from the lookout guard yelled.
'Who comes, identify yourself. '
'We came to find work, can you open the gates we are tired?' yelled Hector, hoping that the guard is tired enough to let them pass without delay.
'Fine, just go I'm to old to check any fool that comes by, and you seam like the fine lad to me.' said the old guard before letting them in, clearly the town watch standards are not quite high.

The town of Roadwood is minor trade settlement, named after forests that encircle it. It serves as a main trade and production hub for neighboring villages,as well a trade point on the eastern half of County of Estilia. Roadwood is small town, with only basic services, including the town market, branches of few guilds, the town watch that also serves as recruitment center for the counts army, and a small Arcani coven, used for checking potential disciples. As common for towns on trade routs, Roadwood has a several inns, filled with tired trawlers, bored peasants, and shady merchants. The central point of the town is a temple dedicated to 'Above Watchers', the common deity of agricultural regions, depicted as a three pairs of eyes on the clouds.

As they came into the town they came to the main square, both barracks and the coven are located there.
'Now this is it, right?' sighed Aura,'nervous?'
'Yeah, but not for me.'
'I will be fine, they are not monsters and demons, it will all be fine.'
'I guess so, so this is goodbye for now?' asked Hector.
'For now, try not to get yourself killed you blockhead.'
'And you try not to blowup your self.' chuckled both of them before each going on it's own path.

In front of the small building stooped Aura 'Anybody there, I came here today, you said that I had something called 'lux internum', the light or whatever, can you open!'
Then the door opened, the hooded man arrived in front of her. 'And why did you came?' asked him with monotonous voice. 'I won't to know about this thing, to control it, will you accept me?'
'We will, you show promise as far as I can see.'
'You will!!' said Aura faltered.
'Yes, you can sleep inside tonight, the chariot goes tomorrow morning.' man continued with same monotonous voice, 'rest now.'
Aura stepped in, with strange mixture of nervousness and wonder, thinking about what comes tomorrow.

At the same time Hector came to the barracks, knocking at the door, hoping that night guard is not sleeping. Then, kinda frustrated guard opened the door 'What are you doing at this time idiot? Do you know how late it is?'
'I apologize for inconvenience, is the army still enlisting?' Asked Hector.
'Yes they do, but not at this hour, are you crazy, wait for the morning.'
'Uh, morning is not soon you know, so...'
'Do not tell me that you intend on sleeping here?'
'Well, I do not have money, and sleeping on the street is not really an option.'
'Fine, if you do not mind the stable, I am not giving you a bed.'
'Good enough, thank you sir.'
'I ain't no 'sir' boy, save that for your officer, now the stable is that way, you should find some straw for you to lay down.'
Chapter: 2 Journey begins
The story continues, and our heroes are about to start their journey, but somebody might be against that.    
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Александар Јанчић
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Thanks for the +fav!:) (Smile)  
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Thanks moi8!, really appreciated your watch!
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Thank you for appreciating my work!
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Hi there, thanks for the watch! :D
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Thank you for the favs on my Cenozoic animals!! ;P
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Thank you for the watch, I appreciate it.  :)
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