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The Thorin Brother's Chronicles: The Early Years


The Thorin Brothers: The Early Years

Part I: The Last Storm

Azhara stood with his father looking out across the ocean. Azhara loved the smell of the air at the shoreline, the briny smell filled his nostrils with every breath. It was a welcome reprieve from the smell of lumber and fish rot he was used to inside the village. It wasn't that Azhara minded being a tradesmen, he enjoyed following in his father's footsteps. There wasn't another man on their island across all the other northern tribes that could work wood the way his father could. It was the storms. No matter how many times Azhara and his father would rebuild, it seemed only a matter of time until another vicious storm would sweep in and tare down months of their labor, a house here, barn there, there was always rebuilding to be done. Azhara had a deeper desire, something that would swell up in him every time he looked out on the ocean. Freedom, adventure, the unknown. The feelings pulled at him, he let out a very audible sigh.
“You see the storm coming too eh boy? Best go and gather our supplies, we will have work to do tomorrow” his father said.
“Work without payment” Azhara muttered under his breath.
“Watch your tongue boy! People pay us when and with what they can, times are hard with the ports closing you know that. These people are our kin, that be more 'an enough reason for us to be helping keep these building's standin” his father scolded.
“Yes father” Azhara replied as he turned toward the workshop. As he walked back he looked up and saw a single wagon leaving the village. Damn you and your father Thurston, he thought, two of you always seem to have someplace to go when the bad storms come. You better be bringin me a new hammer back from those mountains this time, last one you brought wasn't big enough to drive a spike through a twig.
Up on the path leading into the mountains Thurston rode alone with his father. He was training to take his father's place one day as the shaman of the tribe and conduit through which his tribe was connected to the outside world. “I don't understand why we have to go to the mountain tribe father” Thurston complained.
“Oh, and you would rather stay and be here to deal with the wrath the gods have sent us? Surely you can see how big this storm will be” his father replied.
“Well at least I wouldn't be bored. There isn't even any big game to hunt up there. And if I have to eat another bland root stew I swear to Odin himself I will through myself off the top of that mountain.”
“Oh calm yourself Thurston,” his father said laughing. “Besides, it is important that we keep good relations with the mountain tribe. They provide us will all of our metal workings. Would you have their loyalties falter and go to a rival?”
“What rivals father? The western tribes are tied to us through marriage, We provide the mountain tribes with lumber, scrimshaw, and seafood in return for their metal workings, and the tribes to the east are so few in number and disorganized that even if they did manage to unite under one banner they would hardly have enough to match the numbers of our own tribe let alone that of the western tribes combined with us. We rule this island and you know it.”
“Oh my son, if only I could get you to show as much interest in the Gods as you do in politics and tactics, what a leader you would make one day.”
“I have no interest in the scheming of the Gods father and you know it, I would much rather see the flesh and blood of my enemies.”
“Is that why you associate with the carpenter's son? The simplicity of things that the two of you get into?”
“Azhara is a good friend father, loyal, strong, and a passion for greater things than our humble living. I have you to thank for that for showing me the outside world, and he has me to thank for passing that along. We will not stay here you know this.”
“You are too wise for your age my son. I know that you aspire to greater things than I, but I can still have my hopes.”
“Your way of life is dying father and it is taking the rest of the tribe with it. Surely you can see that, our people have not found work outside repairing and maintaining our own villages for years now.”
“Yes I know this my son, such is the reason I will call the tribe to meeting upon our return.”
“What are you intending father?”
“I wish to move us to the mainland. We have enough connections there that we could take a few ship loads of our brothers to establish a new home. One closer connected with the rest of the world. If they will not come to our ports for the skills they so once valued, then we shall take our ports to them. If we stay here then we will die as you have said.”
“I fear the elders will not like this idea father.”
“I share your insight son, but there are enough among us that see our way of life dying. I can make enough of a following to see us across the ocean and safely set up a new home. But that is for later, come we are here.”
“Yes I see that, I was hoping that if you kept talking you wouldn't notice.”
“Hush boy, for that you get to unload the wagon. Take the supplies to the smith, you know what we need so get it and be ready to set off. I plan on making this visit as short as possible.”
“Yes father” Thurston unpacked the goods brought from his village for trade. A few pieces of the best scrimshaw that can be found on the island, some wood workings to trade for metal supplies. Supplies that would not doubt be needed with the coming storms. The coastal tribes were the only ones who knew the harsh livings of the storms, by the time the storms made their way further inland they were of no real strength to cause any real damage. Thurston approached the blacksmith shop with the goods for trade. He needed to get some basic supplies. Nails, horseshoes, some farming tools, the usual things needed on the shorter visits. The mountain tribe knew that they did not like coming to visit and Thurston and his father knew the mountain tribe had no liking for extending their hospitality. It was a relationship born of mutual need.
After the trading was done Thurston had a few pieces of scrimshaw that he had carved himself to trade. He looked at the wares of the smith and two items caught his eye. One was a maul of rather large proportions, decorated in ornate markings and prayers to the gods. On each side of the head were two mammoths. Beasts of amazing stature that have long since disappeared from the island, it would be perfect for Azhara he thought. The other was a beautifully crafted polearm. It looked as if someone had taken a short sword and placed it on a shaft. “What do you call that weapon smith? It is most interesting looking”
“It is a glaive young master, a design from the mainlands. Would you care to handle it? Ayla, get the weapon for our friend.” A small girl ran to the weapon and removed it from the rack. It was remarkably well balanced for its size. It felt amazingly comfortable in Thurston's hands, almost as if it were crafted just for him.


---
Thurston Thorin

Master-At-Arms - Fury of the Called

Black Dog Clan

"Vires et Decus"
"Teach by example, if your student does not survive then he was not worthy of the lesson"
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Re: The Thorin Brother's Chronicles: The Early Years


“I will take this and the maul over there, the one with the mammoths on it. Oh and please, I am no more your master than I am an elf.” The smith laughed and handed Thurston the weapons. As Thurston started to make his leave the smith stopped him.
“Please take this too,” the smith placed a belt around Thurston's waist containing a set of finely crafted throwing daggers.
“I've no payment for this,” Thurston responded while feeling the weight of the daggers.
“The respect you bring to yourself and you show to me for someone as young as you, that is payment enough between clansmen.” Thurston bowed low to the smith and then turned back to the wagon to wait for his father. Perhaps this trip was not as worthless as he thought it would be.
Back at the village the storm was smashing one building after another. Azhara was already framing out walls and roofs for homes and barns. He was using a design from a plan that Thurston had described to him from one of his visits to the mainlands. Their clan was of a simple and hearty people, they really didn't spend much time on developing new technologies that didn't involve collecting food better or killing someone better. The new design used a triangular frame work for the roof rather than a flat top. When thatched and lacquered over, the angle made rain run straight off rather than pooling on top. This made center supports virtually unnecessary depending on the size of the building. Azhara had framed out a simple shed the day before, just four wall posts and a roof using the design. It was still standing strong in the storm even though it was made from scrap. “Just what in the nine hells do you think you are doing boy?” Azhara's father asked.
“It is a better design father. This will make the buildings much stronger and the angled roof will make the rain flow off instead of gathering.”
“Where did you come up with this idea?”
“Thurston told me about a village he visited in the mainlands. They have bad storms too. Not as bad as us, but I thought we could maybe see if this would help.”
“We have been building things the same way for years son, there is nothing wrong with the way our ancestors did it and if it worked for them it should work for us. Now when you have your own free time you can fool around but we can't afford to waste time.”
“I am not wasting time father, I am trying to help. Just because the ancestors did things a certain way doesn't mean...” Before Azhara could finish his protest, his father back handed him across the face sending him sprawling into the far wall.
“Damn it boy do as you are told. You keep listening to everything that boy you call a friend says and every tradition and value that makes us who we are will be gone. I won't let him poison your mind as his father did his.” Azhara's father smashed the frame he was building to tinder with one swing of his maul. Azhara's eyes started to well with tears, he fought them back as he tasted the blood start to flow into his mouth. He griped a throwing axe at his belt and threw it past his father as he sprang to his feet, burying it into the wall just past the giant man's head. He then ran out into the storm heading into the hills outside of the village. His father started after him in a rage, dumbfounded at what his son had just done. He would beat the boy to with in an inch of his life this time. Just before he stepped out of the shop he saw Azhara run underneath and through the shed he built. It was the first time he had seen it, he stopped and watched his son fading into the distance. His heart sank as he remembered Azhara excitedly telling him he had something to show him while they were standing on the shoreline. He watched the structure, the rain pouring off of the angled roof, the supports not swaying an inch despite the massive gusts of wind. In the silence following a deafening crash of thunder he heard a familiar sounding crack and then crash in the distance. He looked over to see the roof of his neighbors home caved in. His shoulders slumped as he turned to look at the remains of the frame his son was building. Propped up on the wall was a finished frame section. He picked up his maul and started to replicate the section using the best lumber he had. A single tear streamed down his cheek as he hammered the first boards together.
The next morning brought a brilliant sunlight. It was always this way after a bad storm, almost as if the gods graced Azhara's people with a beautiful sight in reward for enduring yet another of their storms. He had spent the night in a cave he had found in the hills just outside of the village. It was his sanctuary, he had enough supplies to stay in the hole for a week if he wanted to. He set in his mind that he would stand up to his father and refused to back down this time. He would have his way or leave. He started the journey back with heavy feet, he hoped that he would win this dispute.
As he walked into his home his father was no where to be found. He must have started on the rebuild as soon as the storm had passed. Azhara walked back into the shop to see stacks of his frames throughout the shop. On one stack laid his throwing axe, still imbedded in the board he threw it in. He looked at the wall to see a newly patched hole where the axe had been. Azhara walked up to the axe to find a finely crafted new one laying next to it. Underneath it lay a note from his father. All that was written on the parchment was “Nice throw”. Azhara laughed and noticed something written on the back side as he started to put it down. He turned the note over to find another message from his father.
Yesterday my son showed he was a wiser man than I. Yesterday my son became a man
In the distance Azhara heard his father cursing, he smiled and grabbed his tools. He found him at their neighbors house clearing a way the remains of the roof that caved in. “Don't just stand there boy get over here and help me. I can build these damned things but Odin help me I haven't a damned clue how to hook them together the way you did.” Azhara smiled and showed his father how to latch the frames together to make a solid structure. In the coming weeks every building in the village would have a new roof with Azhara's design. Never again did a roof fall in his village.
When Thurston and his father returned from the mountains the village was still in the rebuild process. This storm had been particularly damaging, and only pushed Thurston's father to present the idea of a move to the elders sooner. He was reluctant as he knew that this would split the tribe. The younger generation would be with him while the older would oppose. There was no way that he could avoid it though, only hope that once a new settlement was established he could convince the elders to move. He would call the meeting that night, though he was the tribes spiritual leader, the elders voice's still carried more weight than his. Especially with his reputation of being more open to integrating the technologies and lifestyles of outsiders into the tribe.
Thurston listened in on the meeting that night. He was not allowed in as he wasn't of age yet, he didn't see the point of a rule like this but he knew that it was only because of tradition. He would go through his coming of age rites come summer anyways. “Thor as my witness Azhara if you pelt me with that rock you are holding I will reluctantly have to dirty one of my shiny new daggers with your blood”
“How do you always know when I am coming, let alone what I am going to do?” Azhara let the stone fall from his hand.
“You have been doing the same things since we were children, I think I have caught on by now”
“You're no fun. What are they arguing about in there anyways?”
“Father is asking for two ships worth of tradesmen and settlers to set a new home on the mainland. The elders are not taking a liking to it, not one bit. Surprisingly your father just agreed with mine though. I was only gone for a week right?”
“A week was enough time for me to change him my friend.”
“Yes, I see the new roofs. Oh, I brought you back something.” Thurston handed Azhara the maul.
“Ah, you got the weight on this one perfect. Whats with the mammoths on the side?”
“I thought it fit you well, strong and dumb.”
“Smart enough to bed your sister last night”
“Perhaps if I had a sister I would actually find that insulting. Come on, the meeting is over let's find out what is going on.” The two slipped off the roof of the hall and met their fathers on the ground, they were talking which was a strange site indeed. Thurston walked up to his father, “What is the decision?”
“Manners boy, I am talking with someone. Never mind, I don't know why I even bother with you. We leave in two weeks time for the mainland. Two ships of volunteers. We go without the support of the elders, but there were too many of us 'young fools' for them to stop us.
“And us father?” Azhara asked.
“Start gathering supplies son, two weeks isn't much time for us to get the things we need for the journey and to start building when we get there.”
The boys clasped arms and ran to start preparing for the journey. They would finally get their adventure. Not the one they were expecting though.

---
Thurston Thorin

Master-At-Arms - Fury of the Called

Black Dog Clan

"Vires et Decus"
"Teach by example, if your student does not survive then he was not worthy of the lesson"
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Re: The Thorin Brother's Chronicles: The Early Years


The Thorin Brother Chronicles

Part II: Out of the mists

It has been 2 weeks since Azhara and Thurston had set out with their fathers and a few of their other tribesmen to search out and establish a new settlement for their people. What once was a bustling port had come onto harsh times, and it was only a matter of time before all of the tribes would be swept away with one of their storms. Their tribe was exceptionally skilled at sailing, but even the most experienced captain would have a hard time navigating in the strange fog that had risen that morning. “I have never seen a fog this thick so late in the spring father,” Thurston spoke while trying to peer through the thick sheet that the fog had created.
“Nor I son, it is strange indeed. But not to worry, we are too far south to be hit by the kind of storm that usually follows this sort of fog” his father replied.
“It is not the storms that make me uneasy, it is what the fog can hide. Not only can we not see anything but have you noticed that the gulls do not even speak. It is as if they know something we do not and are waiting to enjoy the remains.”
“You take the stories from the elves too seriously, there are no sea monsters here”
“And we are not the only men who know how to sail these waters, I'm telling you father we are not alone.”
“Perhaps you should consider heeding your boy's instincts shaman, it is a lesson that is hard learned if you don't get it right the first time”, Azhara's father spoke as they came across the deck. The four of them started to scan the waters, closing their eyes so their ears may better pick up any faint sounds of warning. The only noise was coming from the surf breaking against the bow of the ships. Then a loud thud behind them startled all four out of their focus. They whipped around to see the watchmen that was supposed to be in the crows nest slumped on the deck, a crossbow bolt buried deep into his chest. Thurston's father called an alarm and their clansmen were scurrying about trying to see where the shot had come from. In the distance they could only hear the sounds of gears turning and the soft protests of a rope that was being stretched past its limits. They could see nothing, the fog was too thick. Azhara looked up at the top of the mast and saw a faint glow. There was a burning arrow in bedded into the mast, whoever was attacking them could see right where the center of the ship was. Suddenly there was a loud metallic clang, and then a faint whistle. “GET DOWN!!!” screamed Azhara, the four of them dropped to their bellies instantly, some of the others where not so quick. The ones who didn't drop in time where torn in half, a pair of ballista with a chain between them tore through men as if they were nothing before finally snapping the lead mast. It crashed to the deck, as the four looked up a shadow was appearing in the fog. A massive ship, within moments there were bodies pouring over the rails. The fallen mast had blocked the door to the armory, the only weapons were those the clan had on them. Daggers and short swords would do nothing against fully armed enemies.
A loud thud and a clanking of chain turned the attention of those on deck. A man stood there, shield and flail in hand he uttered a low growl. Two young clansmen looked at each other and charged, the first was shrugged aside and over the railing by the figures shield the second had his head crushed by the flail following. The man's long hair flowing in the wind as he completed the maneuver seemed annoyed more than anything as he strode off to find more prey. Azhara and Thurston's fathers looked at each other only for a moment, knowing what was to come. They grabbed their sons and drug them to the stern of the ship where the fighting had not reached. Each grabbed their packs and weapons and put them on their sons. “Listen boys, we passed an island not too far back, find a piece of debris in the water and make for that island, we will bide you time and follow after”, Thurston's father told them.
“No, we will stay and fight”, Azhara protested.
“NO! You two will go and carry on the bloodline of this clan”, Azhara's father barked. The four looked at each other solemnly. They knew this would be the last they would see each other. The boys put the packs on, each clasped the forearm of the father and pressed their foreheads together, a final embrace. They stepped to the railing, Thurston's father offered a simple prayer. “May Thor protect you with that hammer that came from out of the sea and may the lightning hold all evil away from you.” As the final word was spoken Azhara's father flung the both of them far out into the sea. The two scrambled under the weight of the packs and found a piece of the mast and clung to it and started to paddle to the island in the distance. The sounds of the slaughter dying down as the got further from the ship. An explosion startled them and they turned to see their ship a blaze. They drifted, swaying with the sea and watched the ship, their clan burn and slowly fall into the sea. A second explosion lit up the other ship and for a single moment the colors it flew were visible. A circle with cards laid in front of it, an image that would be burned into the minds of the two boys for the rest of their lives. With the last explosion the final visible portions of their ship were consumed by the waves. “All-Father, send your Valkyries to welcome our fallen brothers into Valhalla. Have mead waiting for them and watch over them so we may see them again when our time comes” Thurston muttered. “Come brother, we must get to the island while we still have the cover of the fog.” The two continued to paddle for the island.
After what seemed like days they reached the island. They did not stop to rest even for a moment but traveled inland until they found a small spring, the vital source of fresh water they knew they would need. They stopped to refill their water skins and rehydrate. Then took an inventory of what supplies they had escaped with. They had everything they would need to survive for about a week if rationed properly and tools to start setting up a camp. The two set to work, neither speaking or making a plan but knowing exactly what the other would take care of. Azhara started on gather fallen trees and trimming them down to make a simple shelter until a more permanent one could be built while Thurston foraged for food and set traps on game trails. This was their routine for the next few days. Neither speaking until one night Thurston broke the silence by the fire, speaking in their native tongue to hide their topic. “Should we invite them to join us by the fire or just kill them?” referring to the presence that had been watching them for the past two nights.
“Are you sure it's a them? I'm hoping for an it, it being a boar or even a nice size bear. The small game on this island is barely enough to feed a dog.”
“It's a them brother, they have been too careful to keep their distance for it to be an animal.”
“Can we pretend it's an it? An it would taste really good right now”. Thurston replied with a sarcastic look. “Just saying...I mean we could just close our eyes when we eat it”
Thurston switched to common tongue, “Who ever you are, you may as well come join us by the fire and introduce yourselves for if you watch us another night I will take it as an insult and you will find an ax and sword buried in each of your chests.” Neither looked up from the fire as the figures came out of the woods.


---
Thurston Thorin

Master-At-Arms - Fury of the Called

Black Dog Clan

"Vires et Decus"
"Teach by example, if your student does not survive then he was not worthy of the lesson"
7/5/2011, 1:17 am Link to this post Send Email to Thurston2028   Send PM to Thurston2028
 


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