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Author Topic: The Book of the Fallen - Chapter 4 - The Journey West  (Read 1353 times)
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Spell Energy / Taint +12/-3
Posts: 715

« on: January 04, 2010, 07:10:52 AM »

On the morning following my manhood ceremony, I was wakened before dawn by Tariq, our familyís Sahi advisor. It was time to leave my family and start my training to become a priest of the Riding Host. Tariq would not be accompanying me to Sharuun but did provide a letter of introduction to an old friend of his who was the leader of the students. I didnít realize it then, but now years later, I know how influential Tariq was and how he had a chosen a life with my family over advancement in the Sorshef. In some ways I wondered if he had been sent to watch over and protect me from what was to come.

I was to ride with a merchantís caravan west to Sharuun.  It would take several weeks with the slow pace of the wagons and the frequent stops, but it was far safer to ride amongst the caravanís guards then to risk passage on the seas or travel alone.  As the High Kingís authority eroded and more of the great families were limiting the flow of taxes to Alvedara, the roads had become less safe, and skirmishes between families and rival merchants were on the rise.

I had never travelled beyond Hallisport so the trip was an adventure for me.  I was surprised to see so many people on the road.  Every day we saw more than a half a dozen small caravans, herdsmen with boro, sheep, or goats, or groups of well armed horsemen. The merchant I travelled with did a brisk business at every stop; buying and selling goods at a profit.  Rumors I had heard that trade was suffering with the slow decline of the Kingdom appeared not to be true.

Even though trade was still strong, there was evidence that the Kingdom of Erenhead was failing.  The roads were poorly maintained, especially a day or more distant from the major towns and cities. People appeared friendly, but even the farmers carried some form of weapon very visibly, as if to warn off potential thieves. My father would be appalled at the thought that any of his servants would need to be armed. Corruption also appeared rife, with tax collectors turning a blind eye or falsifying records.  At that time I didnít realize how deep the corruption went or how it was symbolic of the rot that had taken grip of the Kingdom. The people had lost faith in not just their gods, but in their King.  The corruption and loss of faith may always have been there, but no one saw the dark hand that was guiding it, nurturing it, weakening us before the long night would fall.
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Against the Shadow  |  Forum  |  Midnight & RPGs  |  Games and Stories (Moderators: Kane, Bleak Knight)  |  Topic: The Book of the Fallen - Chapter 4 - The Journey West
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