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The skittish man looked over his shoulder before he made his way up the creaky steps of the tavern. He wasn't supposed to be here but he didn't have a choice. There was an evil coming...an evil so vile and so horrible that the fate of every man, woman and child in the surrounding kingdom would be in mortal danger if he didn't seek help. Two nights ago, he had been followed. The undead black bird was nearly silent when it stalked in the treetops among the gnarled branches. He looked again over his shoulder to see if he could spot the bird but to his surprise, the undead creature was no where to be seen. Each step towards the tavern doors entrance echoed audibly, and despite the boisterous noise coming from inside, the creaks and groans under his weight seemed to weigh heavily into the night. With a shaky, outstretched hand, the man opened the door and entered the tavern. He was immediately greeted with warm air, the smell of ale, and a symphony of music coming from the stage just left of the bar. The atmosphere of the tavern seemed to calm the man's nerves and he made his way through the crowd to settle at the bar. "Whadda having, sir." The short, burly barkeep asked as he wiped down a glass and threw the rag over his shoulder. The barkeep was bald with a dark brown beard that was trimmed neat and cut short to the neck. He had kind brown eyes that seemed trustworthy and to the skittish man, he felt comfortable around the barkeep, even though it had been mere seconds since he sat down. He wasn't really sure what he wanted though. The long journey had taken a toll on his body and he had actually grown sick to his stomach over the last day's ride to get here. "I, um...well," the man cleared his throat, "I'm actually looking for someone." He said to the barkeep. "Aye?" The barkeep asked. "So nottin to drink fer ya? Maybe some hot boar stew? It's the best in all the kingdom." As if his stomach ache was instantly cured, the sound of boar stew made the skittish man's mouth salivate. How long had it been since he last ate, he thought to himself. Two days? "Actually, the boar stew does sound quite nice. I'll have a bowl of that." "Comin' right up!" The barkeep announced cheerfully and scurried off to the kitchen. When he came back just a few seconds later, he had a faded blue bowl filled with the piping hot stew. The smell of the boar nearly cramped the man's stomach up as he realized just how hungry he was. He nearly snatched the bowl out of the barkeep's but restrained himself. "There ya go, sir. Gallup's world famous boar stew. Hell, we took down der beast not twelve hours ago so ya know its gonna be gurd!" "Thank you very much. And you must be Gallup?" the man replied with a thankful nod. "Nah, dat's me brother. I'm Garrick, the most handsome barkeep in all the land!" The barkeep chuckled so loud it nearly drowned out the music. After a moment, he caught himself and turned back to a more serious demeanor. "So...ya say yer lookin for someone, eh? Gotta name?" "I don't know the man's name, per say. I've heard him called numerous things if I'm being completely honest. The Red Wolf?" Garrick paused a minute, his eyes shifting to the back of the bar. "Well...I do know a man by dat name but he's not to be bothered at da moment." "Really?" the man sat up from his boar stew, almost excited. "I dare say, it's rather urgent that I speak to this man. It's a matter of life and death!" Garrick saw the terror in this man's eyes and almost felt sorry for him. The barkeep got down low to the bar to whisper something. The skittish man leaned down with him but couldn't hear the words over the music. Then, Garrick nudged his head towards the back of the bar where his eyes shifted earlier. The man turned his gaze in that direction and saw a leather clad man sitting by himself drinking a mug of ale. His features where like that of a warrior; well muscled and tight jawed. He appeared to be tall with his legs stretched out under the table, one foot crossing over the other. His skin was fair, which made his other features stand out like a sore thumb. Atop his head was a mess of wavy red hair. Even in the dimness of the bar you could tell. And with that look, the man sitting in the corner gazed back. The look paralyzed the skittish man as he noticed the piecing blue eyes burning through him. They were the eyes of a wolf. Gulping down hard, the skittish man grabbed his hot bowl and made his way over towards the red-haired man. As he stood before him, the red haired man held his gaze the entire time. "Go away." he muttered, his voice gruff and raspy. Almost as if he hadn't spoken in days. "But sir..." "I said. Go. Away." He cut off the skittish man and pointed back towards the bar. The skittish man, feeling more confident this time, sat his bowl down on the table, pulled out the chair on the other side, and sat down. "Sir, my name is Sibis Davizo and I have come looking for the Red Wolf." Sibis was fully expecting to be cut off again and was surprised when he wasn't, so, he continued on. "And I am in need of your service. It has come highly recommended that YOU are the best scout in all the kingdom and that when it comes to finding things, there are none better." There was a long instance of silence between the two men before the red-haired man spoke. "Go on..." "So, are you the one they call The Red Wolf?" "It's possible. Why don't you tell me what you need first and maybe I'll tell you who I am." "Very well... as I've said before, rumor has it that you can track things down better than anyone. Whether that be people, items or more exotic things. I'll cut to the chase because time is of the essence. I am in search of something called the Book of Life. This book has immense power." "Why search for a book that's only been rumored to exist?" The red-haired man asked as he leaned forward now, interested in what Sibis Davizo was saying. "I was told the only way to defeat Dedd Lyft the Necromancer was by obtaining the Book of Life. Somewhere in it's pages is a spell that could destroy him and his undead army." The red-haired man shook his head slowly. His face was expressionless but his eyes showed something. They showed fear. "Come with me. It's too dangerous to talk here..." ************************************************** Hello All!! Welcome to another challenge! I'm very excited about this one for a number of reasons. 1) My birthday is right in the middle of this challenge! 2) I'm doing some creative writing! and 3) I'm kicking ass in the gym AND the kitchen! This challenge is all about writing, eating, lifting and gearing up for the holidays. Won't you join me?? Goal 1: Tevior "The Red Wolf" Bindreft This goal is all about writing. I loooooove creative writing. I looooove creating fun and interesting characters. To do this goal justice means I need to write little excerpts like the one above and work to do that 2-3x a week. Nothing major, just write for 15-20 min and see what I come up with. I'm hoping to build a fun story for everyone (and myself) and maybe turn this into something I do on a more regular basis! Here's what Tevior looks like: but think wavy red hair and reddish stubble instead. My inspiration is this guy: Possible Points: +2 END, +1 CHA Goal 2: Dedd Lyft the Necromancer Dedd Lyft is the main villian in my story. This is a play on for Deadlift, obviously, but you already knew that, didn't you?? . @Jarric made a good point on my last challenge: "don't be afraid of deadlifts. Just take them serious and you'll be ok." And...that's exactly what I'm gonna do! I'm fine with trap bar deadlifts...but it's traditional deadlifts that have always scared me because I didn't want to hurt my back. I'm usually really solid in practicing good form with ALL my lifts, but I've stayed away from barbell deadlifts in favor of trap bar for a while now. The idea behind this goal is to practice barbell deadlifts at least 1x a week and work on getting better doing those. They don't have to be heavy but ideally I would like to find my 1rm sooner or later. Possible Points: +3 STR Goal 3: Up the Intensity Between lifting 3x a week, I also want to add in 1-2 KB workouts on my off days as well as add in a sprint day on Saturdays. This is about sweating and getting out of my comfort zone. I have a plethora of KB workouts I can do, AND, I have a 35# and 45# KB I can use at the house. I'll be posting my KB metcon's when I do them for anyone interested. Possible Points: +2 DEX, +1 END Goal 4: #SmoothPanther I'm on a 5-day streak right now and don't plan on breaking this. Stretching has been something I neglect. A lot. And I'm never going to perform well in the gym unless I limber up and take care of myself better. I work hard. Now, I need to stretch hard as well. I'll be following Nsima Inyang's Smooth Panther routines each and every day. I'll also be posting these for anyone interested or maybe you just want to follow along with me?? Possible Points: +2 CON, +1 DEX Goal 5: Carnivore-ish If you've been following me recently, you know that I've adapted a carnivor-ish eating style. Basically, this means TONS of protein. TONS of fat. And SOME carbs...like 100-150g a day total or less. I'll mainly be eating red meat loaded up with butter and bacon grease with some rice and potatoes thrown in there every now and again. The idea is NO sweets until my birthday, which I will indefinitely have a cake, and then it's back to the grind after my b-day weekend. Thanksgiving is also a small pass as I'll probably have some pumpkin pie or something. But, my diet consists of almost NO veggies and hardly any fruit. If I do have fruit, it'll be some blueberries or something. But otherwise, it's ALL meat ALL the time. Possible Points: +1 CON, +2 WIS And there you have it folks. Thanks for following along and I hope you enjoy my story thus far Wolf