1: The Hero of the Lake - Part One
Updated: Oct 5, 2020
The fire burned bright in the fireplace of the Slumbering Dragon in Brindledown. It was an autumn evening with a damp wind blowing in off the lake. A fire was just the thing to cut the chill, and Jalek, the proprietor, was glad for anything that made his customers happy. Happy customers were good customers, and he was now bustling about the common room, huffing and puffing, doing his best to keep them that way. Cries of “Hey Jalek!” and “Ale, more ale!” were heard above the general din in the crowded room.
The Slumbering Dragon was the only inn for the small village. It was the gathering place for the villagers and travelers passing through. There were few enough travelers these days, so the bedrooms often went empty while the common rooms were full of local fishermen and farmers. On this evening most of the locals were in the wood-timbered main room with the large fireplace. In front of the fire, and around the room’s edges, sat small groups of men (and a few women) with pewter mugs of ale on the tables in front of them and pipes in some of their mouths. Conversations rumbled on, some quietly some loudly, and songs were sung by those who’d had a good amount of ale. Jalek’s three large black dogs sat on the floor and looked up when a voice was especially loud and wagged their tails when a song was sung.
In one of the corners opposite the fireplace and away from the main throng, sat Felanar and his sister Kara. Both were well-known here, having grown up among these villagers, and now were adults, aged twenty-five and twenty-three respectively. They were quiet as they drank, speaking only to each other. Although they were known to the villagers, and were on friendly terms with them, they were in some ways outsiders. For one thing, there was this business about visiting the elves. Most of the villagers had never even seen an elf, and what’s more had no desire to, but Felanar had been to Elaria several times! He even dragged his poor younger sister there last time, they said disapprovingly. Yes, others said, but he hadn’t been there in several years, so maybe this had passed. Others responded that they had seen the pair talking to animals, which was a very odd thing to do, and nothing good would come of that, you mark my words.
Of even greater concern to the villagers was the way Ravesfel had arranged to have the boy trained. The guardian of Tranith Argan showing an interest in the boy, they remarked. The guardian! What could such a dignitary want with the son of a Low Man? And the training went on for years, they said. Of what use would that be to a fisherman? He should just let his own father train him, they felt. No sense getting mixed up with High Men business from the distant city.