[Fiction] Road to Mor Aldenn

The road looked no different now than it had an hour ago. There was dust in the air, and lots of it, but Esrimal had gotten used to that and now it was just another thing that bothered him. A little dust was nothing, what the traveller really wondered about was all the wild creatures who made Ossindrillon their home. Back in the village, he had heard so many stories, one worse than the other.

Even now, Esrimal could hear the voice of his uncle as it echoed in the back of his head.

Lad, the road to Mor Aldenn is no place for a young man, there’ll be orcs on the road, if you are lucky, and stone giants if ye are not! They care nothing for the likes of us, no they dont! All those nasty creatures care about is food. And thats what we are to them…food!

Esrimal knew those words to be true, even though he had never left the village before, but did he really have a choice? There was nothing back in Moon’s Folly, at least nothing to keep him there. His uncle had wanted him to work at the farm, but that was no work for an adventurer!

Esrimal had always thought of himself as an adventurer. It wasn’t really true, though, all the adventure he had ever had was climbing up to Halca’s Stone to spend the night under the dark sky. There were stories of ghosts, of course, but thats all they were, stories and everybody in the village knew it. He hadn’t fooled anyone with his display of courage.

Perhaps if Esrimal came back from Mor Aldenn with something truly magical, maybe then the others would call him by his full name and perhaps even, be proud of him. This thought was what had driven him out upon the dusty road, a thought that would haunt him until he laid eyes upon the City of Mages!

His mind had wandered for a bit, but suddenly a loud sound ahead of Esrimal tore him away from the past into the present!

What could possibly had made such a horrendous sound, certainly not another traveller like himself, or even something humanoid? It had to be one of the creatures that his uncle had warned him about.

Esrimal grabbed the only thing that he knew could defend him, the rusty dagger belted at his side. It didn’t look like much, but without it, Esrimal would have felt completely defenseless. He was defenseless, though, because no one had ever bothered to teach him its use in a fight.

For a good long moment, Esrimal the Traveller stood on the northward road, dagger in hand and with a heart that beat faster than any horse could ever hope to run. The road turned, making it impossible to see what lay ahead of him. Had it been winter, perhaps he could have spotted the beast between the naked trees, but now the summer leaves made it near impossible.

Another sound broke the silence, and then a third. They were shrill beastly sounds and Esrimal got the sense that two unimaginable creatures were fighting eachother in the dirt road ahead of him.

Esrimal started forward, his courage regained. The beasts were not out to hunt him, they were hunting eachother: a comforting thought.

More to come.

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