Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Chapter 3 W

Chapter 3 W

|Views: 1|Likes:
Published by Titus Cook

More info:

Published by: Titus Cook on May 28, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





Camp Nacil had been formed on a plateau a day's ride from the sea. Past the southern reachesof the desert the weather became harsh, cold winds constantly blowing north surprised unawaretravelers. The Orna were nomads, traveling the southern reaches of the world. This was one of the few permanent settlements, built by the Durma clan. It was distant from the human lands, no army hadmarched through the desert to reach this home. It was upheld for times of need. The houses, if onecould call them such, were large domes of sticks surrounded by frozen clay. A great stone wall arcedaround the camp, sheltering the inhabitants from the winds. The northern side was left open, the Durmacould see travelers several leagues away if they were in large numbers. Several days ago Fa'lir wouldhave done anything to escape the heat of the desert, yet now a respite from the wind and cold seemed awelcome event. He traveled alone, as was the custom of a Walker. Two small swords rested on his hip,and sharp black blades protruded from the sides of his leather gauntlets. He carried a large bowstrapped across his back in the Orna fashion, even if it would be small by their standards. A quiver of long bone crafted arrows was strapped to his right thigh, the fletchings tickling his fingertips as hewalked. He gathered his green cloak around his arms and checked that his face was wrapped against thefreezing wind and continued walking the winding path that would take him to the top of the plateau andto the mouth of the village. As he neared the top he could see the inhabitants. The hunters had recentlyreturned, Fa'lir watched as they started cutting apart a large creature. They broke off the antlers andhanded it to one of their children, who chased around the others, while they screamed in mock terror.Fa'lir laughed as he watched the children running through the camp, oblivious to the troubles of the world. For the Orna childhood was a time of joy. They were taught how to hunt, how to track a beast through the tundra or desert, how to set a trap for raiding armies, how to speak to travelers andmerchants, and much more, but nothing was required of them until their had seen twelve years. Morethen once Fa'lir had seen a child playing innocently with his friends one span, while the next he was joining a hunting party and keeping himself away from the children. Lín Deni, as his people would callher, turned and saw Fa'lir at the edge of the camp. She ran at him. She wore a short green cloak wrapped around her shoulder, and woven gauntlets around her wrists, two small bone knives janglingout of the sides.She wrapped her arms around his chest and gave him an enthusiastic hug.“Fa! Your back!”“What have we here? A beautiful woman pretending to be my Lin Deni?” She gave him a bright smile,Fa'lir felt a twinge of guilt. He had forgotten what she had asked him the last time he left. The innocentdesire of a child, but an unsettling one. She would be considered an adult in three short years. The other children noticed them on the edge of camp and started to charge. He separated from Deni and reachedinto his pocket. He pulled out a small bag as they came yelling his name. Several of their parentslooked over and smiled at the scene.“ Be gentle with the Elf!” He heard a mother warn. He chuckled, they had grown quickly. The Ornadwarfed humans in height, but rivaled the Elves in grace. They grew into their size twice as quick as
the humans, barely a fraction of the time that it took the elves. They were ever slender and fair skinned,a pale blue, or the rare green. He had spent three centuries with their people but he was alwayssurprised at how quickly they changed.“The Kamalian Bakeries send their regards, in the form of honey balls.” he gave the bag to one of thechildren who ran off, ”you better share” he called after the running figure while the other children took off in pursuit. Fa'lir chuckled and walked into the camp. Several of the inhabitants gave him smiles andnods. He had known many of their grandfathers, he was a usual sight among the Durma, wherever their travels took them from season to season. Very few seemed displeased to see him, but they were present.Fa'lir made a mental note to ask the Clan leader Viri.He heard Viri before he saw him, a deep laughter that was joined by other smaller voices. Fa'lir  pulled the wrapping from his face and allowed his cloak to hang freely. Covering one's face during aconversation with an Orna was considered an insult. While children never noticed, he didn't care torisk insulting one of the elders. He turned a corner and found himself looking at the largest dome in thecamp. Several men were gathered in front of it, warming themselves by the fire. Fa'lir recognized mostof them as the Clan Leader's advisers. These were surrounded by the same children that had greetedhim at the edge of camp. Viri himself was kneeling on the ground talking to his daughter. He glancedup as he heard Fa'lir approaching.“Deni here just told us she chose her mate.” he said in a deep voice.“Is that right? Which of these scoundrels has won her heart?” Fa'lir returned with a smile. Viri stoodand gave the elf a hug with one arm, towering head and shoulders over him.“Never thought I would have an Elf for a son, but it is a strange world.” Both of them laughed, Denilooked up at them angrily. Viri release Fa'lir “I told her you are a lousy hunter, and far too ugly, but shewon't hear any of it.” a grin cracking his weathered face. Deni narrowed her eyes at her father.“Now child,” he patted her head “Me and your betrothed” he said with mock sincerity “have seriousmatters to discuss. Go along and play.” The other children took off at his command, she backed awayand continued to glare at him before taking off after her playmates. Viri gestured to his house and Fa'lir followed after him, carefully removing his boots before entering. From the inside the hut looked morecomfortable than any lord's bedchamber. The Orna only take what they can easily carry with them. For this reason their homes are always sparse, built for comfort and little else. The insides of the walls werecoated with extra blankets, some woven from thick grasses, some made of cotton and wool. The floorswere completely covered with several layers of furs that made the feet sink several inches. Largetorches were secured around the room, standing several feet from the floor. Most of these weresmoldering, casting a deep red light throughout the room.“What news from Kamalia?” Viri asked.“Don't be expecting help from that end. Emperor Pera fears that Amara is preparing for war. There has been too much movement along the border.”“Elemira take them all! The only time Dradu isn't preparing for war is when he is fighting one..”“Kamalia and Amara have been at peace for over fifty years.”“But the tyrants of Amara still send troops through the gap to kill and enslave our people! We haven'tseen peace in a thousand years!”“Perhaps if the request came from a larger clan he would consider it. As it is he waved me off within aminuet. You need one of the eight I am afraid.”“The eight won't listen. All of them refuse to go to humans for aid. They hide in the western desert andspout hate for humans, while the smaller clans are the one's fighting them! Then we start disappearingone by one throughout the desert and they refuse to help!”“You know my council old friend. Together the small clans would be a force any army would fear.”“But we would be immobile. We couldn't gather enough food to keep everyone fed, and you have seenhow we work together.” A wicked grin crossed half of his face “Muru still holds a grudge. And thescar.”
“I'm sure there i-”“That way is even more hopeless then asking Kamalia.”“Perhaps. But it is worth the effort. I have taken the liberty of asking my people for assistance on your  behalf.”“And?” Viri inquired with a turn of his head.“I am still waiting for their response. But don't trust them to honor old treaties. Only watchers have leftthe forest for a thousand of our lifetimes, excluding the war of tears.” Fa'lir looked at the fur coveredfloor. “They don't care about the outside world anymore, as long as it keeps moving. I have tried. But Idoubt it will be of any help.”The Clan Leader placed his hand on the Elf's shoulder.“Thank you all the same. If they deny you I would like to ask them for a different boon.” Viri sat on theground and gestured for Fa'lir to join him.“Shortly after we got to Camp Nacil Clan Mataru came through my camp from their southern routes.They were afraid. Dulak told me that he was planning to travel through Amara, cut through the plainsand find their way to your forests.”“I have told you time and again,” Fa'lir said while shaking his head There is nothing but wasteland tothe north. Beyond the forests of Eithari the land turns to hills of ice and snow. The only creature thatcan truly live in the north are the dragons.”“Legends say that my people came from the Mountains of Almurak. The dragons were our allies. Wecould make a life there, far away from war.”“Even if you could, you would have to travel through Amara, and the...So that is the boon you wouldask for? They will not guide you through the forest.”“I'm not asking to be guided. Simply for them to allow passage if we choose to abandon the south.“It is a dangerous road old friend.”“I know,” Viri fingered an amulet he wore around his neck. “But what would you risk?”Fa'lir sat near the fire listening to the elders sharing stories, an old book laying on his lap. Heallowed his mind to wander, he had heard all of them before, and been witness to more than one simpleact that had become legend a hundred years later. The mothers carried their sleeping young into their waiting beds, others laid on the soft ground whispering into lovers ears. Fa'lir looked to the stars.When he had first left the forest they had been so alien to him. Everything had been different. The tree'stoo small, empty fields stretched into the horizon. But he had accepted all of it. He told himself thatfate could not be changed. Until his first night in the deserts of Kamalia. He remembered looking at thesky and feeling lost. Everything in different places. New stars in the sky shined brightly, while oldfriends were hidden from sight. He remembered crying then. In the desert with no one to hear he weptuntil the first fingers of light stretched over the sky. He had seen three hundred and twenty four yearssince that day. He knew every star in the sky, every tale that they carried and which ones to follow. Buton nights like this he recalled a different sky.He pushed the memories away and opened the woven ivy cover of his travel book. The pagesinside were blank. He sighed and pulled a black quill from the bindings. He felt a dull hum vibratethrough his hand. He closed his eyes and tried to change his mind to Lithari, the elven tongue. As theyears passed it was becoming harder to remember.
 Esteemed Council of the first circle,The disappearances within the Orna continues. It appears that  whatever is responsible is targeting only the smaller clans. These events have caused many of the clans to seek out their more permanent settlements.

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->