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The Tale of Thunder - Chapter Two (Beyond Kara-Tur - Part One: The Beginning of Another Tale)

Author: 
Thunder Kayowen(Ryan Goodrich)
Old Vault Category: 
fanfiction
Old Vault ID: 
217

Killian looked up from where he was writing at the sound of knocking at his door. With a grunt, he heaved himself up from his chair. Stiff from writing for so long, he stretched and knuckled his back as he approached the front door to his cottage. He lived a very quiet life, dwelling in a small log house near the Lake of Mist, several days' travel away from the city of Almorel. Visitors were most uncommon this far away from the Golden Way, an extremely well-traveled trade road in the middle of the Endless Wastes.

Opening the front door, Killian instantly recognized the person standing before him. "Ashford! What are you doing here?"

"Good day to you, Killian," Ashford smiled. His clothes were covered in dust from an apparently long journey. Ashford gripped his walking staff tightly, as if supporting himself. "Mind if I come in?"

"Oh, yes of course," Killian said, suddenly remembering his manners. "Please, have a seat."

Ashford nodded appreciatively, easing himself down into a chair.

Taking a seat, Killian picked up his pipe, taking several puffs from it. "So, Ashford. What brings you to Faerun? Last I saw, you were settled down in some city several thousand miles southeast of here in Kara-Tur."

Ashford nodded. "Aye. That I was. A few months ago, I received a book. It spoke of Thunder's past as a knight, gladiator, and then a mercenary. The strange thing is that after it told of Thunder's battle with the dragonkin as I remember them being called, and his surviving it all, the remainder of the book was blank. I could see the creases where the writer had written, but all the ink was gone."

"That is indeed strange," Killian frowned, rubbing his chin. "Forgive me for asking though, but what has this to do with me?"

"I remembered you from when Thunder came through Greenwood seven years ago accompanied by you as well as several others; I can't remember their names. Thunder said you'd been with him for the past year or so back then. I hope I'm not assuming too much, but I assumed that you were in Thunder's company until his death. Am I right?"

"Aye," Killian puffed his pipe. "But how did you know to find me here?"

"Since your names was the only one I remembered of Thunder's friends, I asked around. You'd be surprised of how many know your name, Killian. So I sought you out once I learned of your location. And here you are."

Killian furrowed his brows in through. "Excuse me for repeating myself, but what has this to do with me?"

"Don't you see? You have the rest of what I have been looking for inside your head. The rest of the Tale of Thunder. With you being a sun elf, I am sure your extensive memory holds the rest of Thunder's tale. That is why I sought you out. To ask you to tell the rest of the story which lies unfinished."

Killian sat in silence a few moments, gathering his thoughts while he puffed at his pipe. "I shall tell you all of which was not written. Do you like listening to stories? Good. This one will be long. Every story has a beginning. But on top of most stories lie larger ones. The story I will tell you of will be the story in which Thunder's tale was weaved into."

*******

Both of Killian's parents were human. Erik and Alysan Tallis were the only parents he had ever known as a child. Due to the face he was of sun elf blood and they were not made him question his heritage as he grew older. Both of his parents had managed to avoid answering over the years which only accomplished in making him even more curious. All his life he'd lived in the small village of Valdaire, located several days' travel north of the large merchant city of Tsurlagol. The farthest he'd ever actually been from Valdaire was to Tsurlagol, except that had been done under the watchful eye of his father.

Killian's father was a winemaker, and a very skilled one at that. Wanting Killian to grow up and take over the business some day, his father had begun teaching him how to make wine and tell when it was all settled and ready to sell. Killian's father always traveled to Tsurlagol to sell his vintages when the wine was ready for selling.

Killian had never really known his mother, for she had died of on illness the village cleric had not been able to cure when he was seven years of age. What he did know of her, his father had told him. Many years ago, Erik had left Valdaire and came back several years later from the Sword Coast with Alysan as well as a child, Killian.

As a child, all of the other children avoided him because of how different he was. The only child that became friends with him was a moon elf by the name of Arden Albrekiir whose father was the village ranger.

As Killian grew, he became more renowned in the village for his hard work, bull's-eye shooting with a bow, as well as how fast he learned to do things. Many of the boys who had avoided him as a child took his traits as what made him unique as well as a good person and became friends with him. Many of the village girls ranging from several years younger than him to several years older seemed to take an interest in him as he aged.

Several months ago, Kythorn 17th to be exact, Killian had turned sixteen. Today's date was Eleint 30th, 1347 DR, The Year of the Bright Blade, the day before Highharvestide.

Both Killian and his father had gone to Tsurlagol to sell the latest vintage that was ready for selling, also buying food and such that Valdaire wanted to have for its Highharvestide feasts.

It was nearly mid-afternoon and Killian was eager to be home. Both he and his father had been away from Valdaire well over half a week, and Killian was ready to be done with the trip. Their dark gray horse, Alimnight, tossed its head as it pulled their cart of goods from Tsurlagol along behing it. Killian patted its side as he strode alongside it. Fingering his unslung bow, he looked ahead anxiously. Valdaire should be in sight any minute now; they were a good ten miles from the village at most.

A cold breeze blew past Killian, making him shiver. A cold wind in itself was strange at this time of day. It was simply too hot for a breeze to be as cold as it was. Killian looked to the forest to his left where the breeze had blown from. His eyes were certainly keener than the best eye in Valdaire, so he could see deeper into the forest from outside it than most people could.

Movement suddenly caught his eye. A dark shape sat perched on a high branch tree a little ways into the forest. He could also make out a longbow being drawn by the shape, raised, and aimed at him. Killian gave a startled shout as he leapt for the ground ahead of him. Alimnight reared, its eyes rolling.

When Killian looked back to the forest where the being drawing the bow had been. The tree branch was empty.

"Killian!" his father shouted over the cries Alimnight was making. "What's wrong?" He pulled at the horse's bridle to keep it from rearing.

"I..." Killian's mouth was suddenly dry. "I thought I saw something."

"Really?" his father said sarcastically. "Oh, look! I see something too! The road! When you're done scaring the horse can we go?"

"Sorry," Killian mumbled.

They continued traveling along the road. After a few minutes, Valdaire could be seen in the distance. As they closed the distance, they began to pass farms as well as log cabins.

On the left side of the road, Killian spotted Randolph Addara's farm. The house itself was fairly close to the road. Randolph had twin daughters, both of them a year older than he. Laura and Kira had both been keeping their eyes on him as of late. Kira always smiled sweetly at a distance, keeping to herself, but not making it so that her likings of him were secret. The prettier of the two, Laura, was more forward. She always flirted with him or talked with him when he was alone in town or near the Addara farm. She was not one afraid to show how much she liked him.

Killian had to admit he enjoyed the attention girls around his age had been giving him as of late, but Laura's forwardness made him a somewhat uncomfortable. She was fun enough to talk to about anything, but her flirting with him was often enjoyable, if not uncomfortable.

As they began to pass the Addara house, Laura stepped out of the house through the front door, two empty water pales in her hands. As soon as she reached the well, she spotted him as they walked by. With a smile, she waved her fingers at him in a flirting manner. Feeling his ears grow hot, he managed a half wave before returning his attention to the road ahead.

A few more minutes passed and they finally reached the village square. Over to the right, Killian spotted the village inn, The Sleeping Farmer. The innkeeper who was also the village's mayor, Davron Entaro, could be seen outside the inn working on one of the inn doors. The sound of a hammer hitting an anvil could be heard from the depths of the blacksmith shop where Noewll Relkin was hard at work. The other various shops surrounding the town square appeared to be bustling with activity.

Groups of people were spread all across the town square. The girls and women all slightly younger and older than Killian seemed to notice him as soon as he and his father had entered the town square, catching peeks at him now and again while some of the younger girls put their heads together before bursting into giggles and peeking back at him.

"Killian," his father said as they stopped in front of the inn. "You go ahead and unload everything. I need to have a word with Davron."

Sighing inwardly, Killian strode to the back of the cart and picked up a keg of cider they had bought in Tsurlagol. Grunting from the weight of the keg, he headed for the inn. Stepping into the common room, he noticed it to be empty as it usually was. Few people ever came to Valdaire.

"Killian!" a familiar voice said. "I was wondering when you'd get back."

Killian shifted his gaze to the kitchen door. An extremely pretty girl with dark brown hair that flowed down nearly to her rump that was drawn back into a large braid as well as large blue eyes stood framed in the doorway, wiping her hands on the apron. She was Davron Entaro's only child, Seraphina. She smiled at him, her large blue eyes sparkling as she approached him. She stepped up to him and hugged him. She wasn't extremely tall, but came up to his nose in height. He wrapped hi one free arm around here. The two were extremely good friends, but not it was obvious that they were beginning to progress beyond that point.

"How was your trip?"

"Oh, as much as could have been expected," Killian shrugged. "It was just as boring as the last five hundred times I've gone."

"Sounds like you had a more enjoyable time traveling than I did here. Father's been working me day and night for the Festivals tonight and tomorrow. You wouldn't believe how much I would rather have gone with you and your father than stay here."

"I'm sure I could take a pretty close guess," Killian smiled.

Seraphina slapped his chest playfully. "You have a filthy tongue, Killian Tallis. It will take me a while to clean it proper."

"I look forward to it," Killian flashed his eyebrows down at her and kissed her forehead.

If she noticed the kiss, she paid it no mind. "Are you planning on attending the Feast tonight or does your father have prior engagements?" Seraphina cocked an eyebrow at him as she crossed her arms below her breasts.

"I will be attending tonight. If you'll excuse me though, I need to rid myself of this keg before my arm begins to hurt too much," Killian ran a hand along Seraphina's cheek before heading to the cellar.

"I will be in the kitchen if you want to talk," Seraphina's voice followed after him as he went down the cellar stairs.

When he returned from the cellar, Seraphina was gone. Stepping outside, Killian spotted another of his friends, an elf named Arden Albrekiir. Both Killian and Arden were built the same way due to their elven heritage, but Arden's complexion was a pale blue while Killian's was a bronze color. Arden's hair was jet-black and Killian's was golden yellow.

Arden spotted Killian as well and stepped up to him, clapping an arm on Killian's shoulder before folding his arms across his chest. "I was afraid you wouldn't show up until next Highharvestide with how long it was taking you."

"I probably won't be able to come to Highharvestide until next year at the rate I'm unloading this cart," Killian grimaced as he lifted another keg.

"Okay then. I'll just wait until your done before talking," Arden grinned mischievously.

"Thanks for coming to help, Arden," Killian's father stepped up to the cart. "I'm sure he's most appreciative of the sacrifice you're making."

Grumbling under his breath, Arden grabbed a crate of food from the cart and headed for the inn cellar along with Killian. After a few trips, the two finally unloaded the cart entirely.

"Like I was trying to tell you before I 'volunteered' to work," Arden said sarcastically. "Several adventurers showed up in town this morning. One of them is a paladin! A paladin! Can you believe it? A paladin in Valdaire of all places!"

"You mean they're still here?" Killian asked incredulously. Valdaire rarely ever had visitors of this magnitude.

"Yea! He's also got a full grown elf with him, most likely an archer since he carries that bow of his around with him everywhere. They've also got a midget in their group, or whatever it is they're called."

" I believe the word you're looking for is 'halfling,'" a voice suddenly said.

The two looked around. No one was nearby them.

"Have you tall people every thought to look down before?" the voice sighed in annoyance.

Killian and Arden both looked down to see an extremely short man leaning on a cart wheel. Killian and Arden were both short compared to most of the men in the village, but this guy barely came up to Killian's chest! The man was well built for his height, his black hair drawn back into a pony tail while long sideburns extended along the sides of his face. On his back a crossbow was slung while a short sword and two daggers were sheathed on his belt. Killian did not doubt that the man had more daggers hidden elsewhere on his person. The man wore a sleeveless vest which showed off his somewhat hairy chest. He also wore leather pants as well as a pair of small knee-high boots. He would have passed for a human had he not been so... small.

The thing that amazed Killian was that he had never heard the halfling approach. His hearing was a lot better than most people's and yet he'd never heard the halfling coming.

"Much better," the halfling smiled up at them. "What be the names you go by?"

Arden and Killian both gave their names.

"You two seem a little out of place here," the halfling looked around, noting the groups of girls and women catching occasional looks at the three of them. "Your parents human?"

"Mine are both elven," Arden replied.

"My father isn't," Killian said.

"Your father isn't elven or your father isn't human?" the halfling sounded slightly confused.

"He isn't elven."

"And your mother? Is she elven?"

"I have no mother. She is dead." And with that last, Killian turned and grabbed a hold of Alimnight's bridle, starting her off at a good pace, the wagon rolling along behind them.

A startled yelp sounded out from the halfling as he leapt from his leaning spot against the cart wheel. People leapt out of the way as Killian lead the horse and cart around to the road his house was on. Thoughts and emotions raged within his head. Memories of his mother.

Killian suddenly gave a start when he realized he had passed his house. Ears burning from embarrassment, he turned the cart around and brought it up to his house. His house was built over their shop. On the first floor was the shop that had all the wine ready to sell. In the basement was where they stored and made wine. The second floor was where the bedrooms and kitchen were.

Killian brought Alimnight up along the left side of the house where a patch of dead grass and bare dirt formed a rectangle on the ground from the cart sitting on that patch of ground for a given amount of time. He then unhitched the cart from Alimnight and then lead the mare around to a small fenced pasture out back of their house where the horse was normally left to graze. He closed the fence gate after letting the mare in and leaned on the fence, watching the horse graze as he became lost in thought.

He was angry at the halfling. He wasn't sure why. It wasn't his fault. Some of it was. The halfling's questions had brought back memories Killian had hoped to of forgotten. He was so lost in thought he didn't hear the person coming up behind him until she was right next to him leaning with her back to the fence and her arms crossed.

"Arden told me what happened," Seraphina said quietly, concern in her voice. "You okay?"

"Yes," Killian sighed, dropping his head to look at the ground at his feet. "Just remembering some unwanted memories."

"Killian, sooner or later you're going to have to accept those memories and live with them," Seraphina put her chin on one of Killian's shoulders, wrapping her arms around his waist.

"What would you know about it?" Killian angrily said, pulling away from her. "You've never lost your mother! I did! And unfortunately I knew I had a mother before she died! I could have done without the pain of actually knowing her!"

"Yelling at me won't help make you feel better!" Seraphina shouted at him before lowering her voice. "I'm trying to help you. Pushing me away will only make you feel worse." Seraphina stepped in front of Killian and looked up into his eyes. "Let me help you, Killian," she said quietly, then whispered, "Please."

Killian looked into her eyes silently for a moment before dropping his gaze and nodding. Seraphina stepped up and hugged him. It was a moment before Killian lifted his arms to return the hug.

The two did not notice the figure in a black cloak on the roof of a house lower his bow and disappear over the edge of the house's roof.

*******

Thunder looked up from his book, Storms over Sea, when the door opened to the inn's small reading room that he was in. He looked somewhat out of place reading a book in full plate armor. He was fairly muscular, but the plate armor he wore made him look larger. Across his chestplate, the symbol of Tempus, the God of Battles, which was a sword engulfed in flames emblazoned across a red shield. His hand strayed to the hilt of his sword.

Ethanial Leagallow stepped in, followed by Faelar Eveningfall, an elven archer from the former Elven Court in Cormanthor. Faelar walked over to the wall next to the door and leaned against it, gripping his unslung elven longbow in front of him tightly.

"What news?" Thunder asked to the two.

"I may have found him," Ethanial said, then recited, "'He will be of elven blood, but not raised of the blood.' There is only one here that fits that line. He is the son of a winemaker. He ran off before I could ask anything else and nearly ran me over with his flaming cart! When I followed him to his place where I could ask him some questions privately, a girl came by and talked with him. He seems to be the ladys' man in this village. A lot of the women in this village look at him as if he were the most beautiful thing they'd ever seen. I will admit though, that sun elves are rather pretty; especially the female of the species." He grinned mischievously.

"Enough, Ethan! Spare me of your mindless babble," Faelar cut him off as he rubbed his temples with his middle finger and thumb, ignoring the glare the halfling gave him.

"I shall have to speak with this boy," Thunder murmured, ignoring what was occurring between the two.

"He is most likely to be found in the common grounds now," Ethanial said, fingering the handle to one of the daggers on his belt. "The Eleint Feast has begun."

"We had best hurry with our mission, Thunder," Faelar said. "I've spotted well over fifteen Nightcloaks spread throughout the surrounding areas of the village; some of them were even in the village, hidden on the roofs of houses. They won't likely make any moves until nightfall, so we had best hurry. We have an hour until sunset at most."

"Very well," Thunder placed his book back on the small shelf of books and stood. "We move now. Time is crucial and we don't have much left in our favor."

 

The Tale of Thunder: Chapter 2 - Beyond Kara-Tur - Part 1 The Beginning of Another Tale © Thunder Kayowen(Ryan Goodrich)

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