Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Evran - Chapter One

The sun peeked out from behind the distant mountains, slowly awakening from it’s slumber. As it rose, it’s growing light roused the sleeping inhabitants of the world it watched over. Like a mother waking her children. The light was easily winning against the darkness of night, leaving an orange glow on the landscape, and streaks of pink in the sky. An occasional cloud drifted by, purple and hazy.

Finally the sun emerged completely from its rest, rising into the sky to watch down on all the inhabitants it had peacefully awoken. A bird chirped in a branch not distant, then whistled a merry tune. Other birds, of different colors and sizes, joined into the chorus and soon an elaborate yet simple melody drifted across the valley, being carried ever further by the gentle morning breeze.

Evran stared upwards, enjoying the sun as it rose upwards. Enjoying the warmth its light brought, and the tranquility the bird’s song brought, and the relaxing calm the breeze brought still. It was almost as if everything was peaceful, quiet. Calm and easy. Life could be no more perfect-even if only, for a moment.

As the sun drifted higher into the sky, paling the pink and orange colors from the scenery, Evran returned to the inside of his home. He nudged the door slowly, allowing it to make no more noise then a small mouse. He was being so quiet, as to not disturb his father, who was still sleeping, despite the fact that the sun had risen. When Evran finally managed to close the door without awaking his father, he quietly tip-toed across wooden floors which creaked often to his dismay. He reached his destination: kitchen.

The kitchen of the small home was larger then other rooms. A round table of sturdy wood rest in the center, with three sturdy chairs of the same wood shoved beneath it. Cabinets and drawers held smooth counters which followed the walls closely, with gaps not large enough for even a small ant to crawl through. On the edge of one of the counters sat a loaf of bread, uncut and fresh. Evran reached over and grabbed the loaf, it was hard, and somewhat over baked. Though the golden-tan was appealing. Reaching into one of the drawers, Evran grabbed a small butter knife, it’s metal shining, almost liquid in appearance.

Without much regard to how large of a slice, Evran shoved the knife into the bread from top to bottom, slicing off a piece. The single slice of bread felt soft and weak compared to the loaf when it was whole. Evran left the slice of bread on the counter, as he reached into one of the higher cabinets. From within came a bowl. And inside that bowl was a thick stew, filled with vegetables and meat. Evran placed the stew on the counter, then grabbed the bread. He dunked the medium-thick bread into the ocean of beef and carrots, scooping some onto the wheat good, but preferring to soak up the broth. Eagerly he bit into the bread. By the time he had decided he’d eaten enough breakfast, half the loaf of bread had vanished, consumed by Evran.

His father still did not wake. And so, I will use this time to myself. To the town! He thought, and again made his way through the house to the door. He again, opened the door with great care, again, being sure not to make to much noise, again stepped outside, and again closed the door with the same caution. When at last the door clicked shut, signifying that it was into place, Evran stepped off the small porch of stained birch and into the grass and soil that was his yard. It had rained the night before, and his boots sunk into the soft dirt. He didn’t mind, his boots were thick, and he enjoyed the odd mixture of sunny warmth with rainy dirt.

It was a three mile hike to the town, but it was often worth it. There were usually many things there, and many people. A wandering merchant would usually stop by and set-up shop, trying to sell ordinary items to passerby as “the wonderous stick of Ganew!” Of course nobody in Ifadel had ever heard of Ganew or his wonderous stick, however there were some that would purchase the item either way. Evran found it amusing, the way the merchants tried to peddle normal things as magical items.

The dirt road that Evran traveled was less muddy then the dirt in his home, most likely due to the path being padded down by numerous feet over the years. Like the loaf of bread, the dirt in the path was stronger when pounded together, making it powerful enough to battle the rain and water. Carriage tracks and the prints of chickens from months before could still be seen on the dirt, Evran thought of it as a window into his last trip to the town. At least, his last one with the animals. It was sometime before the winter season, Evran and his father had needed the money of the chickens to pay for food and blankets to survive the cold days.

As Evran traveled the path, wood structures came into view. These were the many houses and shops that were settled within Ifadel. As difficult as it was to imagine, Ifadel was also connected directly to the sea, which made it a prime spot for merchants and travelers. Evran entered the town, and watched the business around him. Woman hurried their children across streets as carriages drawn by horses and oxen walked down many roads. Merchant tents flapped lazily in the calm breeze. The loud clanging of metal from the blacksmith could be heard for many yards from his shop.

Curious as to what the blacksmith was forging, Evran entered the man’s shop. Inside he saw the hulking figure of Borin, the blacksmith, hard at work on pounding something into shape.

“Mornin’ Borin.” Evran says, walking over to examine some of the smith’s finished pieces, which adorned the walls.

“Good morning to ya too, Evran.” Borin replied, not turning to look at him, still focused on his current project.

“What are you making today?” Evran asked, interested by some of the weapons and shields hung on the walls.

The smith brought his mighty hammer down upon heated metal, forcing it to bend and mold like bread dough, “Longsword.”

Evran looked at the mass of molten metal, that will one day be a large weapon, he was fascinated by the idea of such a transformation, but he also realized that he had wanted to visit more shops before he needed to return home, “I have to leave now.” He says, walking out of the shop and back into the streets.

The dirt streets were more crowded then when he had entered Borin’s metal shop. Small clouds of dust lifted into the air by scurrying feet rushing from shop to shop. Many merchants began pitching colorful tents they called shops. These were the wandering merchants, those that tried to sell Ganew’s stick. Evran always found it amusing to see what objects these merchants attempted to sell as ancient and powerful things. Most of the merchants were old, withered and decaying. Teeth missing, gums bleeding and stale. Cracked, chapped lips framing their sneaky grins. Hooked noses, long and beak-like. Many of them were short and had a lazy eye, which rolled from side to side in its socket.

The objects they attempted to sell, as was expected, were merely every day objects like a spoon or a leaf, but with a fictional back story to make it seem powerful and rare. One object in particular caught Evran’s eye. A red gem gleaming with the light of the sun, framed by a gold and silver edge. Gold chains connected the object into a loop, creating a necklace. As beautiful as the object was, Evran knew the merchant would still sell such a prize at an extreme price. Evran, however, was transfixed by the object, as if it called to him. He approached the purple tent and began to haggle with the dirt-stained merchant.

“A fine item. You have a good eye.” the merchant said to Evran, noticing the boys eyes rest upon the gem, “It is said that this necklace once belonged to a family in the hidden race of the Neko. It was this item that broke the Neko’s continent, Nerok and allowed it to drift freely. The gem is supposed to allow even those without mana to perform magic.” The merchant hacked as he finished his explanation.

“How much is it?” Evran said, finally deciding to buy the jewel.

“Normally I wouldn’t let it go at a low price,” the merchant began, but a coughing fit caught him in mid sentence, he quickly recovered from his attack, “But there’s something about you I like… I’ll let you have it for a mere fifteen Glore.”

Fifteen Glore! Evran thought, How can he afford to let this item go at such a cheap price? No matter, I’ll take it! Evran reached into his pocket and grabbed his money pouch. From within he retrieved several coins of copper color. He counted out five of the copper coins, and returned the rest to his silk pouch, which he tied with a thin string and returned to the pocket of his pants.

“I’ll take it.” Evran exclaims, handing the cones to the merchant. The merchant reaches out to unsteady hand, holding the necklace towards Evran. Evran thanks the man and takes the necklace, then walks off to continue browsing other tents.

As he walked along the crowded streets of Ifadel he spotted several other merchants, none of them caught his eye the way the one with the necklace had. He glanced down at the gold chain he still held in his hand. He ran his fingers over its smooth surface, perfectly polished, no scratches or even dents. Both the chain and the jewel reflect everything as perfectly as a mirror, perfectly clear. Evran brought the chain upward and slipped it over his head. He released the magnificent item and allowed it to slide down his neck, stopping at his shoulder.

He felt stronger somehow, as if the jem was giving him power. As he continues to glance at other marchants he notices a change of light. The sun was risen high into the sky, much higher then before.

"It must be noon... I'm going to be late!" Evran shouts.

He began to run in the opposite direction, trying to reach his house as soon as he can. The tents are hardly more then blurs of color, purples and yellows, reds and blues. A sharp pain stabs at Evrans back. He falls to the ground, grains of dirt jump into his eyes. He rolls onto his back looking up at three figures. They smile and laugh.

"Bariah..." Evran mutters, trying to pull himself to his feet.

Bariah shoves him back down onto the dirt, "Don't struggle Worm. It will be much easier that way... Jerim, search the Worm."

One of Bariah's friends steps forward. This one is much sleeker then Bariah, then even Evran. A long sheath hangs at his waist, black with gold rims. His clothes are dirty, spotted with stains of many variaties. He kneels down and examines Evran for jewelry.

"Jerim, I assume." Evran says. The boy with the katana nods.

Evran smirks as Jerim's eyes stop at a harness in his belt.

"Where's the knife?" Jerim asks, his voice trembles slightlty.

"I lost a week or two ago... it wouldn't be worth much anyways." Evran answers, his smirk fades.

Jerim grabs the hilt of his sword, and stands. He towers high above Evran, and his head blocks out the sun, "Don't screw with me."

"Fine, it's in my boot." Evran replies.

Jerim turns to Bariah and the other boy. Bariah nods and the other one steps forward. He reaches down towards Evran's boot. An expression of pain and shock ripples into his face as the boot smashes into his mouth. With one swift movement Evran manages to swing the thief towards Jerim. Jerim jumps backwards a fair distance, drawing his sword before his feet land on the dirt ground. Evran leaps to his feet. Bariah lunges forward, his hands clenched into fists. Evran steps to the side, Bariah's massive body slams into the ground throwing clouds of dirt through the air.

He grunts and stands. He again tosses himself towards Evran, this time throwing his fist forward and keeping himself on the ground. Evran tries to dodge, but is too slow and takes the impact. He stumbles backward as pain erupts through his shoulder. A crowed has formed around Bariah and Evran, watching the fight. Bariah smirks, soaking up the attention like a sponge to water. He rushes at Evran, building as much momentum as he can.

Evran steps away and drives his elbow into Bariah's back forcing him into the ground. Bariah snorts and jumps to his feet yet again. Evran waits for Bariah to stand. Just as Bariah finally steadies himself, Evran's foot crashes into his gut. Bariah stumbles backwards, and bends over, clutching his gut. Jerim steps forward and points his sword at Evran.

"Allow me to handle this." Jerim glances at Bariah as he speaks, then returns his attention towards Evran again, "This is a katana, a foreign sword. I doubt you've seen one. This will be the last one you will ever see. Enjoy it."

The sword looked foreign enough. It was much longer and sleeker then the broadswords Evran was used to seeing. Jerim allows Evran a short moment to admire the weapon, then propells himself forward at an amazing speed. Evran isn't fast enough, the katana burrows into his shoulder. A pain unlike anything Evran has ever felt before fills a large portion of his body, it makes the pain in his other shoulder seem like nothing more then a small whisper. He glances at the now crimson katana blade. He clamps his teeth together, supressing the scream. It doesn't last long, the pain is unbearable. Evran screams, his muscles twitch. Suddenly he finds himself surrounded by flames. The fire lasts for only a brief second, and is soon extinguished. He looks around. The katana lies on the ground, a crimson pool forming around it. Jerim lies feet away, his clothes torn and his skin badly burned.

Scarlet drops plummet to the ground. Evran turns to face the on-lookers, the majority are shocked and confused as to what happened.

Evran suddenly remembers his injury, "Does anybody have a bandage?"

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