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Registered: 10-2011
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Alaric's Fall

I can still feel that heat. The searing inferno that blade was pulled from. Such fire as that should only be found in hell itself. And the pain. When that blacksmith.... a lowly blacksmith.... when he cut my eye.... I will never forget that day.

I was raised by a raider. No one gets to choose their parents. Since before I can remember we got by on what we could steal. It was anything but glamorous, but we lived. We didn't thrive, by any means, but we lived.

There were, at times, others with us. Sometimes there were children. Sometimes, only me. Then again, even when there were other thivelings (that's what my father called us) they were always bigger than me, or stronger than me. They never wanted to practice fighting with me, or let me play "Pillage the Village" with them. When they did, though, I'm sure you can guess who got to be the villager.

I'd ask about my mother, late at night when he and I were alone, waiting for sleep. Every night he would describe a woman of utmost beauty. Always a different description. When I'd ask if she was my mother, he mumble some words I couldn't understand and fall asleep.

When I got older, I started to pick up more on the fighting arts. He always said to pick one weapon, something good and solid, and make it a part of me. He said to live it and breathe it. I was so interested in everything, I could never focus on one style. Even today I can't decide whether I like a sword better than a spear. I just like to have options, you know?

One day, while I was still growing into my manhood, we came across a very elderly man. At this point it was my father and few others with us. He spoke of a distant place where the land had been rendered nearly uninhabitable by The Great Ices years ago, yet a band of bards had come to make a rather suitable home there. My father listened to that man with more intent in his eye than I had ever seen in all my years. He whispered something, to himself it seemed, and looked at me. A look I will not soon forget.

We traveled for what seemed years. There were many men among us who would whisper of instruments that were made of gold. Lyres that could command the wind. Flutes that made the sky boil. Such musical devices that could only have been given by the gods themselves. They were sure they could retire, if only they could get their hands on them. Not him, though. No, my father hardly spoke, those days on the road to that village.

We trekked through snow for such a time, that many of us began to fear we would never reach our destination. That we would sooner be found as frozen statues, lost to the wasted lands The Great Ices left in their wake. Yet, he urged us forward, my father. He seemed somehow possessed by the shear notion of reaching that village.

We came to the crest of a hill and saw it. The village Thaw, not some majestic place where the heavens met the earth, but just a collection of small shacks. The rage erupted from the men, as they rushed into the heart of the village, breaking down doors and cutting down anyone foolish enough to put up even the most remote form of a fight. Amongst all this turmoil, my eye was caught by my father. He approached a lone hut at the edge of the water, his eyes focused on the sea. In the distance a few islands could be seen, yet he seemed to be looking past them. It was as if he saw something out there, beyond even the sea. Something I was blind to...

I was entranced by this image, when a shadow darted out from behind that hut. A man, in not but the blink of an eye, broke the spell of the sea on my father...with a dagger in his back. I tore through the frigid night air with a speed I didn't know I was capable of. He raised his knife to me, dripping blood from it's tip. Kicking the knife from his hand, I pointed my cutlass at his throat. As his feet slipped out from under him, he rushed back into the hut, slamming the door. With the strength of demons, I kicked his door to splinters, revealing not the assailant, but a room nearly filled by the most monstrous furnace I had ever seen. I searched the room, but found no sign of my quarry. As I continued my search, I heard movement from near the furnace. As I approached the source of the sound, he tore a blade from the fire, and ran it sharply across my eye. The pain ran to my very soul, as I clutched at my eye, forgetting everything, and only feeling that pain. As I fell to the ground, I rolled towards the furnace and caught my clothes on fire. I writhed and rolled, trying to extinguish the blaze that had me in it's maw. I felt helpless.

The next thing I remember, I awoke in a room very different than what I remembered. Looking around, I saw the daylight. As I stood, I felt the majority of my body covered in bandages. I slowly limped towards what I assumed to be the exit of this building, and was blinded by the sunlight's reflection from the snow. I saw a small group of people beginning to rebuild the smoldering ruins of the village. I recognized a few of the people as being a part of my raiding party, but now they seemed different. They looked as if they belonged here. As I approached, I saw him.

The man who had cut down my father, now it the light I could see, was just an old man. He had all the telltale signs of that of a blacksmith. His eyes met mine, but instead of anger, his contained sorrow. He came to me, and told me that my compatriots had explained to him the past few weeks. He knew I would want revenge, but offered instead, a home. A place to heal and begin again. I knew I'd at least need a few weeks to heal, so begrudgingly agreed.

In the time it took to get my strength back, I was taken very good care of and adopted like a son. Even after I had recovered, I stayed with the blacksmith.

I stayed for months past when I was well. Our collection of ex-raiders and what few villagers were left from that night didn't thrive, but again, we survived.

Few outsiders ever came to see us. Once in a great while, we would see an explorer or two, who wanted to recapture the knowledge of our village. They rarely survived the return trip.

There was a dream. A dream that filled me with such dread, and at the same time such purpose. When I awoke, I knew I had to leave. I was needed. We all had to stand. I knew my time in Thaw had reached its end.

As I traveled east I found The Fury. Such a collection of people I had never seen. I knew this was where I should be.

And so, here I am. Amidst dwarves, goblins and elves. There is no place I'd rather be.
10/16/2011, 11:11 pm Link to this post Send Email to AlaricKron   Send PM to AlaricKron Blog

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