Donated Illustrations:


Josh Johns Talent:

Hey Josh, keep drawing. I really like how you did the snake. Keep the illustrations coming and make a collection here. Good job :)




The Bounty Hunter

     After receiving my comminsion from the local Bounty Hunters Office, I embarked upon a quest . . . one which I would not have ventured so willingly into had I known what was truly terrorizing the locals in the vicinity.  I should have known by their vague details and unwillingness to offer any assistance, this would not be easy.

     But, here I was, scouting out the area, anticipating my pay when all was said and done.  Little did I know, that what I was hunting would nearly be my undoing.


     I knelt upon a high embankment and scanned the area for a time.  Just before moving on, I noticed some movement, there, in the trees below.  Maybe that was my target. I had to be sure. There could be no mistakes in this line of buisness.  I had a reputation to keep.

     I invoked Focus, feeling an unnatural serenity wash over me.  As I prepared to engage my quarry, it stepped out from the trees . . . to my dismay.  I knew this was my bounty, for in one of its great hands it held a half-devoured steer.

     "So that is why you all were so nervous," I whispered to myself. The thougt to leave, walk away, entered my mind.  This monster was too much for one man to handle alone.  I was suddenly ashamed.  Coming to my senses, I chided myself for such dishonorable thoughts! I had made a bargain -- given my word!


     I leapt down the embankment, throwing all fear to the wind. In no time I was before the great humanoid, who dumbly looked down on me, suddenly curious.

     "Be gone from this region," I demanded, "or you shall not abide another day upon this earth.  Begone!" I had to give it all fair warning; that was the code of honor I lived by -- taught to me by a great master and friend who took me in when I was a mere boy.

     Slowly, the dark eyes of the giant narrowed as it looked down upon me. In one hand it held the corpse of the steer. With the other, it reached over and gripped a small tree and yanked with all its might, half uprooting it.  Bending low, it dropped its meal to free the other hand.


     As it reached down to grip the tree with its second hand, it stooped to gain better leverage. Instantly, I saw the opening I needed. Without hesitation, I leapt in on the great humanoid, bringing my sword down upon its neck as it stooped. It had to be now; I would not get a second chance at such an opening. With all my might, I struck.

     Vekkaria be blessed, my blade struck true, penetrating deep into the neck of the giant.  With a grunt, it instinctively jerked away from me, backhanding me.  The force of its blow took me off my feet, hurling me away from it, like a man backhanding a common rat.

     My blade flew from my hand as I crashed to the ground.  I'd never been hit so hard in all my days; my breath refused to come to me.  Slowly, the world around me dimmed.

     The last thing I saw was the blurred form of that hulking brute stomping toward me, bellowing and screaming.

     Blackness engulfed me.


     I awoke in a haze, my side mercilessly torturing me.  Slowly I propped myself up on my right elbow, grimacing in pain.  Shaking my head, I waited for my vision to focus. I had to be alive, for if I was dead, the pain would not be my companion.

     It took some time to shake off the haze in my eyes and head. As my senses returned, I beheld the giant lying at my feet, unmoving, unbreathing.

     "Lucky," I gasped, staggering to my feet.  Retrieving my blade, I knelt before the giant and bowed in painful respect, as is the custom of my order.

     "Good journey to you, worthy foe."

     I slowly arose, and cleaned my blade.

     My job was done . . . well, nearly done.  Giants hoard treasure, and I was not about to return empty handed.  The true reward was not the sack of gold I would receive for finishing this bounty.  No indeed.  It was the giant's treasure I sought now.

     For hours I searched . . .


     I entered town, towing the heavy giants head by the hair. The posted guards watched in frozen silence as I dragged my trophy past them.

     It was all I could do to bring it to the Bounty Hunters Office before my strength utterly failed me. You should have seen the looks on all the locals faces -- that alone was a good portion of my payment.  They'd never seen anything like this before.


     Well, all said and done, I made out well.  I had to leave most of the giant's treasure hidden in a nearby ravine.  With the bounty collected, I purchased a few pack mules and retrieve the rest of the giant's treasure quickly, lest the locals beat me to it.

     I wasted no time.


     That night, under a star-filled sky, I guarded eight mules laden with treasure. Swords, armor, shields, silver and gold, scrolls, trinkets and a number of potions were a fine end to this quest.

     I knew I'd gotten lucky.  But here I was, alive, and suddenly wealthy enough to buy the town that hired me.

     Satisfied, I kept watch all night.  In the morning, early, I took everything to the town vault and arranged to trade it all to the local jeweler for a sack full of gems, and a bit of extra money.  It was always easier to keep so much wealth in as small a quantity as possible.  Of course, I gave the jeweler such a bargain, she could not refuse instant payment, which is what I desired. I had to leave town quickly.

     The transaction went smoothly, and I soon slipped quietly out of town.  No one saw me come into town . . . few saw me leave.

     After a well concealed nap in the wild, I ventured northward for one full moon, eventually entering in through the high arches of Cityport Naven, a bustling and well known trade district.

     After keeping a low profile at the famous Golden Feather Inn, I booked passage on a trading vessel headed to the southern end of the continent.

     Life was good. I knew I could retire now . . . but what was the use in that?