The night air was quick and unforgiving the village of Knotsvill. A small poor farming village in the middle of the North Island.
While it looks poor on the outside its in the middle of the North Island trade route under the protection of Lord Bach and his well to do knights of the Fifth Dragon. You have just came into the village a young man with a decent river rat coat to shield you from the cold of the night air.
It has been years since you been back to Knotsvill. Almost instinctively you look to the hill hoping to see your family enjoying a late picnic. Even though you know your family been dead for years ever since that raid from a pack of wild thugs and bandits came threw the village and burned half of it to the ground. Walking down the dirt road you spot a pub a recently new one or at least new to you. As you make your way there you see a group of drunkers swilling down a water skin full of the nastiest smelling ale you ever smelled in your life.
"Aye look it there you look familiar to me boy." said a drunk older man with bushy eyebrows and a distinct smell of dry piss. "You boy hey.I'm talking to you." the old man slurs as you make your way past him and the other drunks. Once your inside the pub the sound of jolly drunk men and bar maidens fighting off the advances of intoxicated men as well a bard singing and strumming his string instrument fill your ears.
You spot a free stall at the bar and sit down and order a beer to kill the dry dust from a long walk from your camp not to far from Knotsvill. The bartender gives you an once over with his good eye and quietly warns you.
"Best take your drink and move that seat is reserved." You look up at him an old fat man with a bald head shiny from sweat looks back at your scared face. "Reserved? Well I'll move when the Lord of the village comes to sit his royal ass on this stall." you say with a gruff voice as you take a sip of the lightly warm beer. "You been told young one but take the fight out to the street when it starts." The bartender said as he walked back to the front of the bar.
The froth from the beer dissipated and you saw your reflection in the golden liquid. You see your short black hair looking messy as always and the scar that runs from your left eyebrow to the top of your skull are more noticeable then your small scars from past battles that cover your face. As you finish your beer and are about to see if the rooms for the night were still available you feel someone approaching you from behind.
"Who's that sitting in my seat?" Asked a huge fat blob of a man who towered at six feet tall and about ten feet wide. You turn around and see the behemoth looking at you with a cruel smile smeared across his fat face. "Your no Lord." You say and turn back around. "The devils do you mean?" The obese man asked as he stepped closer to you with every one of his steps almost bending the wooden floor.
"Only a Lord or a person of Lordly title can have reservations on anything even bar stools in shit covered pubs." You say with out giving the man a second glance you wave for the bartender and order a second beer.
"This little coxs felter just told me to shove off 'idin't he?" The behemoth said to nobody in particular in the crowd that surrounds the two of you. With faster speed then you expected the man grabbed you and flung you across the pub and right out the door. You fly past the group of drunk men that were loitering in front of the pub as you crash into a turned over shop keepers cart.
The few villagers that were up at night all turn to you expecting you to be killed or mauled. The huge beast of a man roars out of the pubs doorway and looks at your body limp in a pile of wood that used to be a cart. Slowly you get up dusting splinters and dust off your coat. "You called me a what?" You flash an evil grin at the behemoth as he takes a step back as you seemed more hurt over his words then being flung around like a child's doll. "Cox felter. He called ya a Cox Felter!" A random voice calls from with in the pub.
With lightning speed you rush at the fat man only to stop two feet from him. Drawing a line in the dirt road with your worn boot you say "You won't go past this line while awake." The obese man looks baffled for a second then decides your a fucking lunatic and rushes at you with a almost bewitched speed for a man of his girth.
You push you coat a side and jump up driving your knee at an angle to the fat man's nose. The behemoth then slumps over the line You drew fully knocked out into a pool of his own blood. You step over him and walk calmly back to your seat. The crowd looks at the behemoth splayed out on the dirt road and see you walk into the bar as if nothing had happened. The people in the bar give you a wide space to walk in most scared half out their minds.
You sit down in the seat order a drink and then ask about a room. "Yeah we have a room it's reserved but I don't think you care." The bartender said while he cleaned a mug with a dirty rag.
Your ears perk up and you ask the bartender "Who reserved it?" The old bald bartender began to look at you then said "An old hunter comes in every day around sunrise to sleep." You think that you finally found him after months of searching this could be him funny how life has a habit of making things come to a full circle you think to yourself.
"What does your hunter hunt during the night." You ask the bartender who puts the mug down and looks at you as if studying you. "What every hunter hunts.game only this game is out at night." You look at your empty mug and the bartender takes the hint and pours you another. "So you mean to tell me your hunter hunts fairies and cursed animals in the woods?" The bartender puts a full glass in front of you.
"Aye that what she hunts works for the village medicinal pusher." You take a swig of the beer and nearly choke on it.
"She?! Did you say she as in your hunter is a woman?" The bartender looks at you and thinks your a dumb fool "aye she as in woman.why do it matter?" You finish your beer and slam the mug.
"Nothing this isn't who I need to see." You drop two gold finstas on the bar and wait for your change. After you get your change you head out of the pub disappointed.
"You lad come here." The old drunk from before calls on you with nothing to lose you walk up to him. "Yeah old man what do you need." The old man looks at you and then says your the old Talvers boy ain't you?" Talvers there's a name you haven't heard in half a life time. "No you have me mistaken old man your years must be catching up to you." The old man takes a step back and looks at you intently.
"Perhaps I do the Talvers boy wasn't such a sour mannered child." You turn and walk away from the old man thinking of your childhood. The hot summer nights on late picnics with your family. The sun would set and that ment sweets for both you and your sister. As you pass the fields of crops you remember helping father and your older sister clean and harvest the crops right before the first week of snow.
Its about that time right now the snowfall will begin in a week's time more then enough time to make it to the next village. Walking down the road to your camp outside the village you notice a large tree it seems to stand out to the rest. You notice a old injury to the trees bark.
You swipe your hand over it and see an bullet etched into the bark. Memories of that night flood into your mind.
The raid that came out of nowhere the men on horse back hacking down the men while bandits on foot grab anything that isn't bolted down. Your father fighting off three raiders with a pitchfork and small pistol. The loud booming that came from the pistol as your sister Chantal loaded the used up pistol while father fought them out of the house.
Then a bullet smashing the skull of your father as mother grabbed the both of you and ran to the forest. You weren't sure how but a fire started and before you made it past the forest half the town was ablaze.
Then mother told Chantal to watch over you and headed off in the direction of Lowtown the nearest town to Knotsvill. You waited for what seemed like a eternity then a bandit found you. Your sister tried to fight him off with the pistol but missed. The bandit cleaver sliced Chantal down then you a mere boy of ten was left to fight off this demon of a man. You pick up a large branch almost to heavy to swing but you manage. After the swing hit the horse and sent it bucking wildly.
The bandit tried to get control of the horse but was eventually knocked down on the ground and you clubbed the bandit dead. You look at your sister's limp body and start walking in the forest. Sounds of killings and horses riding down the road is all you hear until A lone hunter finds you wondering the forest and stops you just before you enter the black forest.
A noise quickly breaks you free from your daydreaming you hear the noise again. A snort and huffing sound emanating from the bushes. A wild boar perhaps you think but still a boar tusk is sharp as any sword. You reach for your axe swinging lightly on you hip. As you push you back on the tree you see it coming from your left. A wild boar nearly three feet tall and mad as a whore who's been cheated out of her pay.
You swing your axe at it and the boar stops charging. It paces around you and you see it's eyes color purple this boar been hexted. With a guttural grunt it charges at you. Thinking quickly you jump up on the branch and swing yourself up on it.
The boar grunts again and snarls at your legs. Seems like this hexted beast will not leave anytime soon so you make do and rest your back on the tree and set yourself up for a quick sleep. An hour or so into your nap you hear the sound of fighting. An arrow nearly misses your face and is imbedded to the tree. You peer down and see an tall sender elf woman fighting off the boar.
At first you see three arrows being shot at the boar then a small dagger being flung at it. The boar squeals in pain as all projectiles hit it on its side. The elf woman comes out of a near by bush and while the boar is in pain from the arrows and dagger in its side she whacks it with a wooden stave.
The fight was brief as the boar was losing blood and patience it charges at the elf woman she jumps back balancing herself on the stave. Seeing this as your opportunity you fall on the boar driving your axe right into the skull of the boar killing it just mere inches from from the elf woman.
As your struggling to free your axe from the bead boar skull the elf woman walks up to you. "By the devils why you do that I had him where I wanted. He's mine by right." The elf woman said in voice barely above a whisper while her accent was of the Southern plains her dress and manner of behavior gave her a look of an Orintash.
"By what right is that? I was here first I killed it so by.my.right.it's.mine!" You said as you finally got the axe free. "You were sleeping in a tree rather loudly might I add and then you swooped in and took my kill right as I had it near death." The elf woman woman said while poking it with her stave to make sure it's dead. "I don't snore woman besides if you want we can split the meat being as I lured the boar and you wounded it an I killed it." You said as the elf woman looked shocked at your half decent proposal.
"It's a cursed beast you can't eat it.besides I only want certain meats the most valuable parts." She said as she gave you a look over. "I hate when people stare at me.fine take what you want and I keep the rest deal?" You tell her as you fold your arms. "Uh.deal." the elf woman said and began to cut the eyes out and scrotum and liver "You done there are you?" You ask as she takes out a few last bits out the heart and brain.
"There all yours." the elf woman said as she got up. You notice the beauty that she holds. Her face thin but not ghaunt her eyes oval in shape but a mix of blue and specks of orange.
Her bottom lip full and plush. Her ears sharp but you can tell they been shaved down as her golden hair flows over her tan face. Her look on her face screams "what are you looking at?" but you shake it off. "About time any longer and I have nothing but rotten meat to deal with." You say as you step over the body and pour purifying salt over the dead carcass and make a sign of Gavala the mother of light over it.
With a light shimmer you smell the fragrance of white roses and the meat is purified. The elf woman looks in amazement. "You know purifying magic? You don't look like a priest or monk of the east." You look at her then ask. "Well what do I look like huh?" She thinks about it then says with all certainty. "A bandit King or a.umm.disowned military General banished from your kingdom for acts of cruelty and inhuman methods on the battle field." You looked shocked at her almost uncanny ability to almost describe you to a fine and sharp point.
"I'm no bandit king or a dishonored General. I'm just a traveler looking for an old friend." She looks at you so closely it makes you uncomfortable. "Did I mention I hate when people stare at me." You say as you turn away from her inquisitive gaze. "You should come with me and see Grace she can make you a seer drink to help you find your friend." Said the elf woman.
" I don't make a habit of traveling with unfamiliar women I met in the forest who carry random boar scrotum on there person. "Oh why not?" She asked with a child like innocence in her voice.
You can't help but laugh at her question. "Well at least tell me your name." She smiled and said "My name is Eve of the Orintash tribe." You don't see many Orintash elves up north it is a rather pleasant surprise. "My name is Buck.Buck Talvers."