It was a quiet afternoon, the birds chirping gently in the warm sunlight, a gentle breeze rustling the branches of a nearby tree.
The village children gathered in the town square in preparation for the festival of bards. The circus folk were busy preparing for their usual shenanigans, and the village men and women all hurried about their business, secretly as gleeful as the children were. This festival came but once every year, and it was the most beloved of all. So beloved, that even the king was known to have attended on occasion.
Now, the children were were in need of distraction while the villagers set everything in place, so each year they would devise a new way to keep there little ones occupied. This year, however, they had been unable to think of anything in time because, as any well bred village member can tell you, there is always more important menial activities to be doing, than THINKING.
The babes had as was the tradition, gathered in the town square expectantly awaiting their new event.
Porbus, the town locksmith happened to be the unlucky fellow who the unfortunate task of telling the kiddies that they had no funfilled activity to employ themselves at, was nervously shuffling his feet towards the crowd of children. Quietly he crossed himself, offering up a prayer in hopes of being saved from this disastrous plight. Porbus, as any could tell upon seeing him, was always rather unfortunate. His nose had, after a very unlucky incident in the tavern, been broken in such a way that its very tip had swollen out into a bulbouse red button of a thing, and had never quite gone back to its original shape. His clothes, thanks to yet another unfortunate event involving a horse, a pond, and a particularly peeved stableboy, had been subjected to an unfortunate amount of abuse and shrank just barely enough to make visible the unfortunately sagging belly of our dear Mr. Porbus the locksmith. His pants which at first glance seemed fine were, unluckily for him, two sizes too small, and showed off the spiderweb network of vericose veins that etched themselves along his bare ankles.
The children sat impatiently as Porbus came to a stop before them. A few snickered as his uncertain voice attempted what he was sure would be its final usage, and squeaked out the words, “Good afternoon...”
On a stool in a shop not far from the crowd of children, sat an old man, with a beard so long it grazed the floor as he walked. He knew all about this little village's predicament, and was indeed rather sympathetic after having experienced the wrath of children more times than he cared to count. A pipe stuck out out from his wrinkled and cheerful face, and though it was secured there with his mouth, his beard was so bushy that that the pipe's end seemingly disappeared into it, so well hidden that even the beard's owner was never quite sure it had indeed reached his mouth. Standing, as slowly as his aching bones would allow, the old man made his way over to the unfortunate Mr. Porbus calling out, “No need for that, Master Porbus. I'm sure you're quite worn out, so please take a seat and give yourself a rest.” The worry torn expression turned to one of utter relief as Mr. Porbus realised he had indeed been saved, and began to think himself not so unlucky afterall.
“Before you go, would you be so kind as to retrieve that stool over there? My legs are not what they used to be.” said the old man.
With haste Porbus retrieved the stool, and set it in front of the crowd. Quickly he made his escape, tripping and cursing as he hobled his way into a nearby ally. Looking at the children the old man said aloud, "It has been years since I have had such an audience. Alright then, shall we begin?" All the children excitedly nodded their heads as.it was a strange series of events and they were eager to see what would happen.
Slowly the old man produced a book from his beard, the letter “P” still barely visible through the wear and tear of age. Opening it, he bagan to read aloud, "This story which I weave in front of you today is one of magic." He gestured mystically with one of his hands. "Indeed, it is one of the best magics known to man. It is a story about love.”A freckle faced boy in the back groaned out the words, "Aww... Mann..." upon the word “love.” and quickly stood up to leave with a group of kids who shared his sentiment.
"Now don't be hasty," spluttered the ruffled old man looking up from his book. "My young friends, all good things come with time. In fact, when you reach my age I am sure you will agree that all Love stories hold the best of adventures.” Sighing, the children sat down once more, pretending, as all young boys do that love wasn't the least bit interesting. Satisfied, the old man continued, “Now, where was I?"
He pondered while stroking his long white beard. "Ah yes, Love. This story is about a boy's love.” he said aloud while looking pointedly at the freckle faced boy, causing a few snickers and a light blush of embarrassment from the lad. “You all know the type, the kind that makes one halt and freeze with absolute rapture at the appearance of 'the one'. Yes, you all know about her too. She is the most beautiful and radiant girl in the village. She stood out like none ever had before, like the sun amidst the stars, and the moon against the clouds. All the young men were in love with her as near as the other women could tell at least.
One boy though, stood out from the rest. She said once that it was his eyes that made him so different. They seemed deep, and ageless, like eternities of years were stored behind them. They held her captive that day for that brief moment in which she stared back.
The boy however, was less surprised about her eyes than she was with his. Instead, he froze from the realization that she had gazed upon him, and felt like he was bare and could hide nothing from her. As you have already guessed, the two fell in love. The boy was 12 when that happened; the girl was of the same age. It was not until five years later that our story really begins...
Last edited by clairsior818 (2011-12-16 19:13:20)
Tell me what you think of this as the simple beginning, please
Chapter 1: The field in the middle of the woods.
Gently, he brushed the hair away from her eyes allowing his fingers to trail along the delicate outline of her face, his hand coming to a rest on her chin where he then pulled her closer for a slow, smooth kiss. The couple lay in an open field, which they had discovered during one of their long and frequent getaways. It had been five years to the day since they had discovered each other, and they dared not waste a moment of their time. Their's was a kind love; a true love. One that could not be bothered to rush itself, and was therefore left untouched by the normal whims of adolescant relationships.
The young men of the village had long since given up even attempting to speak with her, as she had no eyes for any but Him. She was name'd Eloway, and he was Kayle. No more perfect a couple had come to exist in that village until they had arrived. Their bond was deep, deeper even than the wellsprings of life said to dwell in the distant mountains of Kerach, in the land of Hiedan. The village they lived in was a strange one indeed for no matter how much time seemed to pass, the only thing that really changed were it's occupants, whose moods were famed for their inconsistency. The land retained it's hilly, yet graceful sloping shapes, and it's variety of vegetation. It yielded many small crops, of wyrmstools, Catsbane, and parsnelk wheat. During winter this land endured little trouble because for whatever reason, Gallad, the God of Shifting Seasons kept this isle safe year round from the tumultous turnings of weather that the rest of this strange world endured. The people were clever, and well known for their poetic verse and songs. It was seemingly a place that time had left unstrained by the scorns of war, and the tidal shifts that were the comings and goings of kings, and emperors.
As the sun began to set Kayle and Eloway lay side by side gazing at the lazily drifting clouds accented by the suns peach and fire orange colors which lit up the sky a final time before nightfall, much like it was giving a finale to a long and arduous performance.
Eloway cuddled into the crook of Kayle's arm and laid her head against his chest. A familiar shiver passed down Kayle's spine as Eloway settled comfortably against him. The light weight of her head against his breast was a source of elation that never wore out with use. The pair was perfectly content to stay exactly in that position, be it for but a moment, or an eternity so long as they were together.
Kayle stroked the length of her arm until his hand came to Eloway's and they interlocked their fingers in a well practiced, and loving fashion. It was midsummer; the breeze gentle and warm without being overpowering. Most of the bugs had retreated for the season while others like the bees and ants seemed to work all the harder, always, always preparing for some distant moment when their hard work would turn up some unknown profit which only they would fully understand. The mood created by these things was gentle and soothing like a mother’s hand on her child's back when they have a bad dream. The trees rustled lightly in the breeze, letting off the slight scent of maple and pine which then drifted into the atmosphere. As the hours past with Eloway and Kayle locked in their embrace, the sun slowly drifted down and eventually out of sight. Eloway slowly pulled herself into an upright position, as the twinkling lights of the first stars of night became visible. Kayle doing the same inquired in a happy, lazy voice, "What is it?"
Eloway looked at him with mischief in her eyes and said, "You know perfectly well that I can't stay out with you all night, my parents would be frantic. Moreover, do you realize what the village housewives are already saying about our getaways? If they caught wind of me staying with you over night they would believe we were engaging in some dreadfully heathen activity, and you can imagine the kind of looks we would get for that."
With that, Eloway stood up and began to walk away.
Scrambling to his feet Kayle followed and hurrying to her side his hand found its way behind her back and he pulled her close himself. Smiling with surprise Eloway allowed him to lull her into a gentle kiss. Holding it for a while until Kayle broke off suddenly and whispered into her ear, "Let me deal with your parents, and let the village housewives say what they like, but let me hold you a little longer? My arms are not yet ready to take their leave of you."
She smiled and kissed him again, a brief flash of hope flared into his eyes and was gone just as quickly when she pushed him away. Laughing she said, "Either way, we do need to go before the wolves emerge." Sighing Kayle looked down to the ground, then suddenly grinning again he looked at Eloway and said, "Well how about tomorrow then?" Smiling she walked away leaving her hand open for Kayle to hold as they walked back to the village.
As they left the clearing at that precise time unknown to them, something dreadful had begun in the village. A foreign ship had appeared off the coast of the small village's ports. A flaming beacon of fire had been lit to guide these unlucky travellers to shore, as the rocks were treacherous after nightfall. The vessel landed with a deep thud against the wet sand of the Isle, and the local fishermen stood outside of it waiting for it's occupants to announce themselves.
Last edited by clairsior818 (2011-12-22 19:17:32)
A good beginning.
From inside, a deep animal like voice barked an order in a language which caused the fishermen to grow pale with fear, and over the sides of the ship flew the large and deadly bodies of the saxon invaders, whose screams of fury seemed to shake the very foundations of the village. The fishermen had no chance against these strange creatures; these monsters of war. They were dead before their bodies even hit the ground. The villagers froze when the first of warriors strode into the square. They didn't know to run until he released another awful war cry, and by then it was too late. His brethren threw themselves out from hiding and began the slow, methodical slaughter, and ransacking of the village.
Eloway and Kayle had reached the edge of the forest which lined the path to the village for miles around. Eloway stopped short as a red glow erupted on the horizon, and an unnatural heat radiated from it. "Kayle... the village..."
Without a word the pair raced towards the home they had grown in. Each thinking the same thoughts. Each equally afraid. Each frighteningly determined to stop whatever evils had befallen their home. No matter the cost.
The saxons continue'd with reckless abandon and childlike merriment the destruction of every bit of village they found.
"Heller!!" Yelled one of the men to his superior. Heller acknowledged him with a dismissive wave. He was tall man, weathered by many years at sea, and by the many battles whose scars were brandished proudly on his body.
The women had been gathered and shoved into cages that were far too small too hold them safely for any large length of time. Dragging one of the few remaining men of the village to the cages, Heller drew a long, wickedly curved blade from it's sheath at his hip. The women, beaten and bloodied whimpered as Heller placed the sharp edge of the blade at the front of the mans forehead while grabbing the raggamuffin scraps of hair on his head, and holding him up by it. The man began pleading, screaming, begging for mercy as the blade slowly cut the flesh away from the bone. The women wailed in horrified misery, as the mans scalp was peeled from his skull agonizingly slowly. After a while the man quit screaming, and his body went limp while his blood poured itself out onto the ground.
Kayle and Eloway saw all, hidden by the shadows cast in the flame covered world of their village, too shocked to even speak. Before either of them fully comprehended what was happening, Kayle rushed out and launched himself at the saxon holding the scalp. The saxon heard him and knew he was coming however, and launched a kick into his stomach that thrust him directly into the path of a falling fire strewn wooden beam. Trapped beneath it, Kayle screamed as the flames ate at his midsection. His scream caused Eloway to shriek, and as her world tumbled around her she was captured, and forced into one of the less densely packed cages. Kayle screamed continuously. He called for Eloway. For his brother. His father. And then with one final screach of agony he lost consciousness.
Heller smiled to himself feeling rather accomplished. Signalling his men, they gathered their spoils and stored them on their ship. The women wept incessantly as they too were stored on the ship, which smelled of dirty, sweaty, unkempt, savage men. Within the span of an hour the ship once more set sail.
Forgive me if the segments feel short, I'm currently trapped at a chick-fil-a and am typing away with my phone.
Please give your opinions, and I hope you've enjoyed so far.
There were only two perfectly safe paths to the village, the path which at one point was a Romanus road, had been left untended since the Roman fort had evolved into a town nearly three hundred years before. It was still, and basically flat, but was overcome with grass, and other weeds, and lined by a think pine forest. This road was the only on-land entrance to the village. Everyone else came by sea, so not many ever stayed more than a night there, if that. This little village had been given a name by the Romans before they left, a name which was whispered in the memories of those who had visited there for the rest of their lives, and echoed in the minds of their children. It was called Ave Terra, whose translation was "Hail the land." Eventually, when the traders tongue, Anglish, invaded the area the name dwindled down to, "Ave lond", which was old anglish and Latin for “Hail the land”, and later, simply, "Avalon."
Ambrose, a former Roman Legionary, walked down this specific path in a slow limping gait, aided by an old Rowan staff that his former subordinate had carved for him when he left the armed services of the legions of Rome. His sharp nose had detected the smell of smoke a while earlier, but he had dismissed it as the fire of a fellow traveler. Now, as he gazed at the ruins of Avalon, he knew he'd been wrong. He walked slowly through the still hot but no longer burning embers that used to be buildings, and stalls. Stopping momentarily, he examined a peculiarly deeply engraved set of scratch marks on the ground. He followed it quickly with his eyes and with his thoughts he busily examined the marks, gauging what could have done this damage outside of a pack of crazed demons.
He stopped short as his staff bumped against something that did not feel entirely solid, and diverted his gaze from the engravings on the ground beside him to the object beneath his staff. He froze in horror as the still fleshy flaps of head skin and matted bloody tufts of hair stuck to the end of his staff. Jerking away from it he backpedaled and tripped over the body of the man whose skin it was that lay on the ground not ten feet in front of him. Appalled, he forced himself up off of the ground and away from the body. "Saxons... as good as any demon!" he spat. There was a creak, and a weak groan from a pile of wood behind him, and on instinct he whirled around ready to defend himself from the burly men of the Saxons should they still be near. What he saw was infinitely more horrible. Kayle's body lay twisted, smoking, bloody, and burnt in the middle of the pile of ash. And he was still alive! Working quickly, as he was trained to do, Ambrose gathered this fallen man into his arms, and with the well toned muscles of an experienced warrior he draped the man across his shoulders and with his staff to help support him, he carried the person back to the road, fleeing from any enemy which may still be near. Once more on the path, Ambrose carried the man for hours on end. Never stopping, fighting the exhaustion that ate at him constantly. Finally, as night fell once more, he collapsed with his still living package falling with him. As he slowly lost consciousness, he heard the howl of a wolf, echoing throughout the woodland, and sweeping over their unconscious bodies.
Eol surveyed the two men who had been placed before the Elder Greywolf. One terribly burned, the other still recovering from a crippling leg injury. He had been told of the fire that had destroyed Avalon, but he was unsure he wanted any involvement in it. The Elder had speculated that these men had great spirits to still be clinging to life so desperately. One man near dead from exhaustion, the other near dead from some unexplainable torture. Both, like great and mighty warriors, willed themselves to live so much that the shade of death himself was being held at bay. What drove them? He wondered. What holds them here?
Eol leaned in closer to one of the men, examining his face. He had close cropped brown hair, and a small but well maintained beard that gave him an air of strength, and nobility. There was a flurry of movement and suddenly Eol found a hand wrapped tightly around his throat, the breath slowly leaving his lungs, and the eyes of the man he had been examining so closely opened wide. A look of deadly intent, one that could chill the soul of Cernunos himself erupted from this man. He shouted with what little air he had left, and a guard came running and knocked the man out before any serious damage could be done. Breathing heavily, Eol looked with wide eye's at the bemused expression on the face of the Elder who had watched all from a short distance away. Standing slowly, he brushed himself off, and walked away with as much dignity as he could muster. The Elder sighed, and signaling the Guards he had the men taken to the healers. He would not have any person die at his doorstep, especially not when he held the power to save them.
Ambrose saw only flashes of the world around him. Smoke, and pain, and the sounds of a melodic chanting echoed around in his mind driving him near to madness. Fear built in his heart, and he felt utterly incapable. He hated that feeling, almost as much as he hated the Saxons. His mind grew foggier, and he soon slipped into his memories as deeply as one would slip into a dream.
Last edited by clairsior818 (2011-12-23 12:46:58)
good story. keep it up.