Breaker Bow – Chapter 1

Before reading the following piece I must give a warning, the following is set in the Godsfall universe.

To quote their site “The world and area maps, as well as the characters and story, are original creations. Many of the city maps, and all of the landscapes and character portraits have been collected from the internet. Godsfall is a handful of people with no intent to do anything with the material we have created / gathered other than play a modified version of Dungeons and Dragons,”

If you wish to listen to the Godsfall, here is a link to their RSS feed, iTunes, Podbay and Soundcloud page.

RSS – http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:8760975/sounds.rss

iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/godsfall-a-d-d-podcast/id962601477?mt=2

Podbay – http://podbay.fm/show/962601477

Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/godsfall

The following is original work, made by me.

Desert far, where none tread

Vast, unending ocean of sand, is how most describe the Sand Hills. The only life that dares trek these wastes are the orc tribes and even they are few and far between.

Thus it leads you to wonder why anyone would call the place home. As a humanoid figure, pulled themselves over of hill, the dehydration caking its lips. The man wore a huge khaki robe and hood, torn by the sand storms that afflict him. The heavy clothing was so thick it made the figure appear twice in weight and slightly increased in size. The swathes of clothes referred to as a hood, covered the pointed ears that denoted elvish blood.

This elf of pale skin, stained by the white sand of the region. Of a day the elf would partake in training his skills and eating whatever he can find, be it dead or soon to be dead, the former being more common. Though the elf at the ripe young age of two hundred and fifty three, should have looked for a human in their thirtieth years, he appeared far older.

Of course the desert was not always home to this elf, formerly a farmer in the south of Wessel, ironically a more complex time. While there had be annual schedules in order, at least between dawn and dusk there was more to do.

Many another ask, why you a farmer? For you an elf, surely a nobleman or druid be, not one such humble denizen. Thus the elf would begin the tale in a simple fashion, “I was born Madal Astinith to Saras and Prismatil Asinith of the high elves of Ani.” He never described the white walls of Ani in detail, neither the canals of water infused with swathes of magic. The crowded markets, and districts that were in some eyes, overpopulated.

Thus he would continue, “I enjoyed the privilege of being in such a position of many a decade. On rare occasion I’d traverse the crowded street of the outer district, there I met her.” Always gesturing to the barkeep, an older woman, coming onto her middle years.

Then while still looking at her with a glint in his eye, continuing with, “This human girl by the name of Alexis Redhill. As an elf I had found it difficult to love, only engaging in meaningless floundering. In the moment she came into view, I understood the most human of emotions.”

Madal would take a break here, allowing his audience, especially the womenfolk to react the information bestowed upon them. Continuing he’d say “I stopped her and asked if she possibly wanted to meet at a tavern, she said yes. Even now her smile still reminds me of that day that was the start of an interment friendship.” Another break for more affectionate reactions.

Alexis would hand the elf a warm mead, “As I spent more time with her, I discovered she had a husband, with which she had two children. Boys, young that loved their father. Frederick Redhill was a crewman aboard the Lilac Silk, a ship that had been exploring the world after the Godswar. Most maps money can buy have been drafted from the Silk’s travels, and Fred always brought gifts for his sons.”

The elf took a drink of his mead, “While Fred was only in Ani for a couple weeks at a time, I still got to know him and it became clear why they were called Redhills, the man had a mop of red hair as did his sons. In the twenty third years since the Godswar, I spoke to Fred about possibly joining the crew of the Lilac Silk. He told me that if I trained, he was leaving for the world storm, to arrive there during the Calm.” Though Madal had never seen the Calm he always wanted too, when the storm that surrounding the only remaining area of land, dissipates. Apparently a sight to behold.

“The journey would take at least two months, so I would start as soon as the Lilac exited sight. When the crew was preparing to go, I brought Fred aside and gave him a pendant infused with healing magics. A memento of my respect and a good luck charm for the journey.” If there were no younglings in the crowd, he’d add “Fred nudged me, he told me that as long as Alexis’ kids had red hair, he didn’t care who she slept with.” Leading to ruckus laughter from the men in the tavern and a few of women. Alexis would excuse herself as always, to reflect on the memory of her late husband.

Madal gave the patrons a break from the tale, his wife requiring console. “Once the Lilac departed I began my training, even getting the Redhill boys involved. It seemed they wished to be sailors like their father, Alexis simply watched at a distance as we duelled. This was done with wooden swords that I carved for myself and the boys. For myself, a longsword, while Ricker the youngest at five was fond of the cutlass and dreamed of being a captain of his own ship. Blemin, eldest by thirteen months, will swear that he would admiral a fleet and all shall fear his mighty sabre.”

The elf then prepared himself for what would next, “Throughout those months I began to make advances to Alexis, to which she responded with some of her own. We soon lay together regularly, growing closer still, in both ways.” More laughter from everyone, Madal always loved this part of the tale.

Now he began to well tears, knowing what came next. “When the Lilac docked in Ani, I knew something was afoot. The ship had arrived three days early, and the crew was known to be fashionably late. Alexis and I rushed abroad to find the whole crew malnourished and afraid, except Fred. The captain told us that as they approached the world storm, a great Kraken assailed the ship dragging Fred into the sea with it.” This wasn’t the whole truth, while Alexis had been told a kraken took Fred, the elf had learnt the true nature of the creature. The captain described it, as a writhing mass of flesh. Stating that, as he looked within it’s gaping maw, he looked upon what was lined with decomposing humanoid faces. As he stared, they met his gaze and began to scream. The captain dare not continue, for Madal’s sake.

The tears were brought on by fear and misery alike, a listener shook the man. Madal began again, his voice shaking at the memory. “That day I bore witness to event, I will never have repeat. My darling Alexis cried, and there was no way for myself to console her. Barely left home for the week following, leaving only for food and postage she did.” A listener remark, that but a moment few ago, he’d been laughing.

Condolences given, weeping aside, Madal once again took a gulp of his hearty mead. “In that time I cared for the boys, even taking them to the royal palace of Ani, which went as well as you’d expect. How I got two boys from the outermost residential zone into such a place? I called on every favour imaginable and gave a few maids the time of their short lives.” If anyone asked him, the sex was excellent.

The audience, glad to hear of joyous times fell silent, prepared for the elf to continue. “I’ve never seen two boys happier, the Godking’s youngest heir quite enjoyed the company of others her age. Those rascals interrupted plenty a vitally important meeting for the survival of Ani.” The farmers mumble something about Wessel is better, and Madal hushed them.

Silence fell upon the tavern, as the raconteur cleared his throat. “Unfortunately, this brought my relationship with the Redhills to the parents’ attention. They finally understood why I would disappeared for days on end, insisting I stop associating myself with the common folk.” The patrons began to grumble, muttering under their breath. Madal guessed these were insults, directed towards his parents.

“When I married Alexis that especially ruffled their feathers. At the wedding they told me, as long they live she would never bear the Astinith name. We took Redhill as our name instead and moved to here.” The Republic of Wessel had welcomed the Redhills quite graciously, despite their little wealth. That tale lost relevance twenty years prior, reminisce bringing tears to his eyes.

A tremor ripped him back to the present, a sound most unfamiliar in the tranquil area. The rumbling were minute, though as the elf listened to the surface, it filled him with dread.

The shakes were become progressively louder, increasing volume with every passing second and it was coming from the south.

Madal began to run, as an Ashworm erupted from the sand.

 

Feedback is very much appreciated! I am part-way through the second chapter, and I don’t want to make the same mistakes, even if I don’t notice them myself.

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