Story - Part 1

Author: Andrew /

Just a little story, we'll see how this goes....

"Walking through a dark forest doesn't get the due that it deserves, especially from those villagers a few miles back. I asked where the next city was and they pointed down the road and just said to follow it. They said that there was a big forest between here (Colmaire, the city I was travelling to and am newly arrived to) but they failed to really express to me the perils lying within.

"But that's just how it goes, eh? I mean, these people put their villages out in the middle of nowhere and first, expect no danger to befall them, and secondly, remain stunningly ignorant of the places around them. They'll sequester themselves and let off and let travellers just take care of business for them. Is it possible for there there to be a society of hermits?

"Well, anyway, I'm passing through and I ask which way to Colmaire and they point (as usual) and say 'You wanna follow this here road, and keep following it. It'll take you straight to the city. You'll go through the forest, go about another day or two and then you'll get there. Big place, can't miss it.'

"Can't miss the city, yeah, no problem. The problem was that forest. That place must have been born from several different levels of the pit, I swear. I mean... Well, it's nice enough for a forest itself but the stuff that lives there? I don't know where these things come from. It's like, when I was a kid, you'd see rabbits, foxes, a bear here and there, maybe even wolves. You wouldn't see these creepy little things in there. I'd make forts off in the woods to play in. I never saw a goblin or a gnoll. They didn't pose much problems but it's more that they just seem... Un-natural.

"So I'm walkin through the forest, right, and the treetops are so thick that, day or night, light ain't makin' it very far through those leaves. I light up a torch and guess what I see? Or rather, what I don't see. The trail. It goes on for about thirty yards and then nothin. Some worn dirt but the trees are everywhere! Then, to make matters *so* much better, the trees seem like they're movin'. I can't say I saw one movin' for sure but I could swear the trees were in different places when I looked back...

"So I walk on and I hear forest sounds and scampering and whatnot. Stuff you'd expect to hear but then I start hearin' other stuff. I tell ya, holding a sword in your hand is a comfort, espescially when you know how to use it but I'll also tell ya 'nother thing. Sounds are terrible things sometimes. The mind can wander and put those sounds onto any manner of beast, ghoul or creature from some gaping hole from the 9 hells, but who knows... It was probably a squirrel.

"As I wound through that forest, I swear the trees kept moving because I soon found myself in a place I didn't recognize at all, even though I'd only been walking for a short time. Feeling more wary, I lit a torch and drew my sword, which made me feel a big better.

"Finally, I decided that I needed some perspective so I threw some dirt on the torch, set it down, sheathed the blade and climbed the nearest tree. My head broke the leaves at the top and I looked out over the forest and, sure enough, the sky was clear but it was dark. I guess I was wandering longer than I thought. As I looked over the treetops with the moon shining down I saw, sure enough, treetops moving. Whole sections of leaves would shift alongside others, scoot around and settle in another spot. It became rather clear that I'd have to navigate this way because trying to find my way down below would be impossible.

"As I climbed down a bit, I heard cackling. Some kind of high pitched giggling or something. Leaves were rustling and then, all of a sudden, something leaped out and grabbed onto my neck. Biting and clawing, it just went crazy. I grabbed the thing by its neck and threw it headlong into the tree I was just in and it crumpled to the ground like a doll. I looked at it and it was this green, pointy eared freakish looking little thing with gnarled, pointed teeth. Goblin. Great, just what I needed. They were usually not ones to travel alone. Feeling grumpy, I moved on.

"After a little while, I started feeling tired so I grabbed a dead log, hauled it over to a small clearing and started a fire. I relaxed for a bit when I felt a draft coming from behind me and, looking behind me, I saw in the firelight, a cave. In that cave, with the light barely touching it, was a family of bears. Excellent, right?

"I slowly doused the fire and moved away. On and on I walked, through muddy patches, constantly moving trees, I even came across some old ruins but didn't know what to make of them.

"Climbing the trees to see the way, I finally reached the edge of the wood and gods was I happy to see it. I found a proper road and made my way here. I got here just this evening and I tell ya, if I never go through that forest again, it'll still be too soon."

"Well, sounds like you've had quite a journey, sir. What be yer name?"

"Oh, name's Rollan. You?"

"Gregory. I own the place. The Broken Wheel's been in the family for..." He counts on his fingers slowly "'bout six generations or so, give or take? Yeh, sounds righ' t'me."

"Ah... Fill me up, will you?" Rollan said, handing him his mug, and Gregory topped him off with the frothing tan liquid that seemed to be the popular choice in the house. From the direction of the door, Rollan heard boot steps come up beside him.

"Ain't seen you around before."

Rollan looked up to see a lanky fellow in dark leathers, a stained, crimson leather cloak and wearing an equally dark red bandanna tied around his head. His face was lean with dark eyes and a black, dagger sharp goatee.

"Let him be, Ced. He's new. Just got into town. This is an inn, after all."

"Yeah yeah. Strong wine?" He tossed a shiny 3 silver pieces on the bar "Keep em comin'."

Rollan looked at the coins. This was more money than he'd seen in quite some time, just rolling across the bar top. He looked at the man who'd just come in.

"Ced, is it?"

"Cedric to you, friend."

"Right, Cedric. What do you do that lets you throw heavy coin down like that for booze?"

"Well, let me tell you." He got in real close to Rollan so he was whispering in his ear. "It's none of your business!"

Rollan looked at the man as he turned away, grabbing what seemed to be a steel goblet from the bartender, filled with the dark red liquid. He sucked it down right quick and tossed it back to Gregory who returned it full. This drink Ced nursed a bit more, and as he drank, he pulled out a small white block of stone and a long, thin dagger (which was one of many, Rollan observed). Ced started carving away on the alabaster block, creating something that was, at least as far as Rollan could tell, undefined.

After finishing what must have been three more goblets of the wine (could have been more) he tucked the stone carving into a pocket in his cloak, slipped the knife away, spun a gold coin across the bar.

"Night Ced" waved the innkeeper.

Cedric turned and left.

Placing 2 copper pieces on the bar, Rollan quietly asked the bartender "Who is that? What's his deal?"

"Oh, Ced? He's just that way. Dunno what he does but he pays well and dosen't cause me no grief so I don't ask. Doesn't seem the type to mix with folks."


With that, Rollan stepped out onto the dark city street, looked left and right down the street and saw what looked like someone in a dark red cloak disappear around a corner. If this fellow was in some work that allowed him that kind of coin, Rollan was determined to get in on the action.


Part 2 coming up!



silent stone said...

If you want people to check out a song, but you don't want them navigating away from your blog, embed a video with the song in your blog. Just sayin'.

And I really like the idea of interspersing stories like this one with the meat and potatoes of your content (discussions of the D&D game). Are Rollan and Cedric characters from one of your games, or are they original to this story?

Andrew said...

These fellas are original to the story and I plan on continuing this. It's a bit of an exercise in my improvisational storytelling within a setting which exists completely (and only) within an individual imagination. I know that I enjoy seeing stories with recurring characters and seeing one come from the ground up and seeing things develop can be extremely entertaining and also thought provoking.

silent stone said...

Ah, now you got a sample going...excellent...

silent stone said...


Andrew said...

It was, just got rid of it on a whim. All blog entries tremble before me. I've given you life and I can take it away! (Or perhaps just little parts of you, here and there, until you're trimmed to my liking...) It's good to be the king.

Lincoln said...

as to the music thing, andrew, you should look up a blog mp3 player... kinda like the podcast player that wizards has, that way, you can take the music you're playing, and upload it to the website, and have it in the margins, just like the new chat box & stuff. :)

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