Cirdan’s Note: I’m pleased to introduce to you another installment from our very own spock0528. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been itching to find out more about the World of Rune! Have you read the prologue yet?
Farion Stormborn crouched over the Cliffs of Rylonth watching the ocean swirl around the treacherous rocks below. He was doing one final check for signs of the enemy but could find nothing. It was the end of his second night there and he was ready to return to camp. There he would find a sleeping mat (only slightly more comfortable than the ground he had been forced to rest on here), a warm fire, and the comfort of his friends. Farion decided to make one final sweep of the cliffs before starting the long trip back. He collected his gear and slung the little that he had with him over his back. Farion had brought: two weeks supplies of rations, a cloak, a small hunting bow and arrows, a compass, and a his large broadsword. His mission was based entirely on stealth so he bore no flint or steal or any means of making a fire. He also was not permitted to bring a horse, so a mission which would have taken two days was now stretched into a week…
Farion completed his detailed sweep of the cliffs in less than a hour. Satisfied that there were no signs of Zarkaran forces, Farion began heading southeast towards the Eastirim camp. Even though he had thoroughly examined the three miles of land that looked over the cliffs he couldn’t help but look back at them one last time.
Rylonth overlooked the Aldren sea that the river Tywin ran into. Steep and slippery, climbing the caves would pose a challenge to even the most advanced climber. Dozens of unexplored caves were also embedded into the cliff walls. Rylonth would serve as a sneaky way into Eastirim and with enough time and proper climbing gear the Zarkaran could send in a large invasion force and be halfway to Teroh before an alarm was sounded. That was why Farion Stormborn, an elite soldier of Anirab, had been sent to scout out the cliffs.
Two weeks ago Eastirim spies posted in Ruir, the Zarkaran capitol, had warned the Eastirim of an invading force heading across the river Tywin towards Eastirim. Less than a week ago the messages had stopped coming. The army had no idea of the location that the Zarkaran would be invading from but there would be three possible location where an attack might come from. The were the beach of Baywater to the west, the valley of Pynimily, and to the very east the Cliffs of Rylonth. Scouts had been sent to all three locations and Farion being an expert tracker and woodsman was chosen as one of them. But he had found nothing and Farion was not surprised. Climbing the cliffs was something that took time and it was something the Zarkarans did not have now that their plan to invade had been discovered.
Not since the time of Drake Furror had the Zarkaran been in Eastirim and the idea of them returning worried Farion. He had heard of them gathering their strength for an invasion but the idea had always seemed far away to him. For while the gods had all but disappeared from the lives of the Eastirim they had not so from the Zarkaran. They remained visiting often and the idea of the creatures of Ncava being unleashed into Eastirim was enough to upset even the most hardened warrior.
Farion was just over 30 years old though his eyes showed the light of a man who had been through much more than your average 30 year old. He had long dark hair that matched his dark skin that all Eastirim had. His eyes were bright green and bore a long dark blue cloak that concealed his sword that was draped across his back. He was from the city of Bahruna and was one of the city’s elite guards. Though he lived in Bahruna, Farion had spent the first half of his life training to be a soldier in Teroh. He had left his parents when he was five years old to train to be a servant of Anirab or a temple guard. 16 years later Farion was stationed at the Temple of Melgen (a lesser entity who had helped the gods in the Ancient War) in Bahruna. Within his first day there he uncovered a conspiracy to kill the governor of Bahruna. He was immediately promoted to head guard. In his first year he was offered a chance to become a priest of Anirab but he declined. He said a soldier’s place was protecting the city but that was not why Farion had declined. Farion despised the gods.
But it was not always so. Farion’s parents will tell they never saw a boy more devoted to serving the gods of Fabeu. And it was true but now Farion had no time for foolish deities that had abandoned him and his people hundreds of years ago. He did not deny their existence but he knew they would never return to Eastirim and he was glad of it. He wore the sign of Anirab because it was expected of him. He worshiped and did the ancient rituals every year because it was expected of him. And he prayed with his family each night because it was expected of him. When the others praised Acosor he cursed him under his breath. For the abandonment of this world was not the only reason Farion loathed the gods.
Farion trekked through the forest. He was making good time. By this rate he would be there tomorrow by mid-day. The Melegren forest Farion was travelling through was uninhabited. In fact the nearest town was several miles away, a town called Sandfly. Farion had been there many times and he looked forward at stopping there tomorrow at noon and having lunch and whiskey at The Wand and the Barrel if he had time.
As he was crossing a small stream Farion noticed a hizzleberry bush growing by it’s shore. The bright yellow oval shaped berries reminded Farion immediately of his youngest son Brandon. Brandon loved hizzleberrys. He ate them until his face was bright yellow. Most children avoided the sour berries like the plague but Brandon ate them by the pound. Brandon was funny that way. He was six years old, the youngest of Farion’s two children. His oldest daughter was named Tamriel and she wanted to be Eastirim’s first female prophet. She was only 15 but she had spent her short time on this earth learning as much as she could about the ancient gods. Farion and his wife Elba were both very proud of her and encouraged her. Well, Farion tried to encourage her. It’s hard when your daughter wants to be a representative for the thing you hate. He wanted her to be happy and if that meant her pursuing a career as a prophet would make her so he would be happy too.
Farion had meant Elba in Bahruna and the two fell in love immediately. He hated to leave his family but before he had gone off with the army he had told his wife he had to fight for Eastirim. Not for the gods but for Eastirim. Elba with tears running down her face asked “How do you know you will come back?. “I promise I’ll come back to you,” he had said. Brandon and Tamriel were both hugging him. ” Promise?” Brandon asked. “Promise,” Farion said. “Swear on the gods,” Tamriel said. “I swear,” Farion said. and holding back tears he walked out the door.
The last conversation he had with his family ran over and over again in his mind. “Swear on the gods,” Tamriel had said. Farion had thought of the gods as nothing and he was pretty sure that swearing on nothing wasn’t a good sign.
Send us an owl: What do you think will happen to Farion?