The North Wind Blows Cold…

He stood looking across the water, the mud from his travels clinging to his boots. Behind him, back towards the center of the town, he heard shopkeepers and tradespeople going about their business. Civilization continued to move forward.

"Civilization," he said with a sneer as he watched the waters lap at the shoreline. He had been far gone from civilization for a great deal of time, wandering, searching. Sleeping on the ground, with nothing but the stars and the moon to accompany him. Hunting and foraging for food, and defending that food from the wild creatures that roamed the land. But now, he had returned to civilization. And he felt as if he were in prison.

He turned from the water’s edge, slowly making his way up the path toward the city center, back toward the bank & inn, watching those around him as the edges of his deerskin cloak fluttered about his ankles. He felt like an animal; a caged animal pacing along the bars of its enclosure, eagerly awaiting the moment it might make good its escape.

But had he not come here of his own accord? he thought, adjusting the sling of his might axe. And why had he returned? His former brothers-in-arms had left for exotic lands, eagerly searching for their next opportunity. It was business with them. They were a Company. Where the gold went, they would follow. Instead, he had opted to return to where he had come; the wilds. More specifically, the wild wastes of the Northern Lands, where the icy wind can cut deeper than any blade, and the pelting snow & ice battered incessantly. He had gone home. Or, at least, had gone searching for home.

But he hadn’t found what he sought. The clans of the North were nowhere to be found; what little evidence of their existence was found told of their departure. He knew many would leave, but not all. He never imagined they would all be gone. And so he wandered, travelling the frozen lands looking for nothing. He simply was.

The sound of horses hooves on cobblestone jarred the big man from his thoughts, and he quickly stepped out of the way as a slight man on a scraggly horse rode through the space he had just previously occupied. The big man snorted, adjusting the deer head & its antlers atop his head, and straightening his kilt. He didn’t know why he had returned here. He knew no one in these streets. He had yet to travel to the Company’s old Fort, but imagined it would be in disrepair. The Forge, once a proud place of craftsmanship and commerce, had faded into the background and become just one of many buildings surrounding the town. Without the influence of the Kade’s, the city had reverted to much as it had been upon his first appearance: calm mediocrity.

With a grunt, the large bearded man turned and began to move towards the western edge of town. He would go and see the Fort, or at least what remained of it. He would discover what it was that had brought him back here after all this time. And perhaps, he thought with a grim smile as he approached the great white bear that served as his mount, perhaps he might yet find the honor & glory he so desired. And the Goreshovel would drink blood again.

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS

Comments are closed.