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[Lum's Travel Guide] Solace Forest

edited July 2015 in SotA Stories
Septembre 10, 386 P.C.

It's been a year since I arrived here, in the heart of Solace Forest.  Strange to think that the one place we were taught to fear the most growing up now feels like home.  Like all families in Ashhaven, mine would venture the well worn paths around the perimeter of the forest through the patches of bright yellow buttercups.  Mom and pop would catch rabbits, and if they were lucky, a deer.  Both picked any cotton they happened upon for our clothes.  I was allowed to wander and play as long as I stayed in sight.  The truth is that, as far back as I can remember, I always wondered what lie beyond the rock formations and up the hill at the center of the forest.  It drew me even as a little tyke.  Yet I could never stray beyond the path around the perimeter.  One or the other would always call me back quite insistently.  When asked why, the only response they ever gave was, "it's a bad place."  For them, yes, that was very true.

Things started to change as soon as I realized that most of the people I saw in Ashhaven were only seen by me.  My parents thought my imagination odd, and tried to convince me what I saw wasn't real.  They did so with greater intensity as those in town started to mock and ridicule my strange behavior.  It wasn't so much what they said, or the fear that lay behind it, but the simple fact that no one in Ashhaven would help me understand it.  I endured everything until I was old enough to run away to Ardoris and consult the libraries there.

I learned quickly under some strange masters in dark basements.  They wanted me to stay, but I knew I would never be satisfied until I figured out Solace Forest.  I'll never forget the day I first climbed that hill and arrived in the ancient graveyard.  Standing there, I closed my eyes and raised my arms as a chorus of the dead called out for vengeance against long dead foes in a forgotten war.  I fueled there desire until one clawed hand broke into the light, and was joined by many others. 

What I have done here in Solace pleases me greatly.  Many of my soldiers now patrol the ruins of their long collapsed fortress.  It is essential that no one interrupts me as we enter our final preparations. I am not content with mere soldiers, they must have equipment.  Copper and other things are hidden away here on the hill for them to mine and craft into weapons and armor.

Hopefully, next year I will return to Ashhaven on my birthday.  Everyone will believe that I've come for revenge.  Why should they understand now?  I have mastered the very forces of life and death, they will never understand.  There is only thing left for me now - control.  As much of it as possible.

Comments

  • You see dead people! Nice story. Starts in all innocence, and then heads to a dark place. Nice!

    Observations:

    The truth is that, as far back as I can remember, I always wondered what lie beyond the rock formations and up the hill at the center of the forest.

    I think you need the past tense, which is lay. 

    I'll never forget the day I first climbed that hill and arrived in the ancient graveyard.

    'at' is probably more conventional, but your choice of preposition. Probably one of those cultural differences.

    I fueled there desire until one clawed hand broke into the light, and was joined by many others.  

    their

    Hopefully, next year I will return to Ashhaven on my birthday.
    Not important, but you missed a chance to write "I shall", which sadly is in decline.  :) 

  • Thanks for the edits - all spot on!
  • Oh my! I just started these with this story and I see that they are dated. If I can, I shall read them in the correct order.
    First sentence has "arrive" instead of "arrived" as the verb.
  • Thanks!  Noted and corrected....
  • eek! yes that is a bit scary - will be careful adventuring in Solace!

    i did have a couple things:

    They did so with greater intensity as those in town started to mock and ridicule my strange behavior.  It wasn't so much what they said, or the fear that lay behind it, but the simple fact that no one in Ashhaven would help me understand it.  I endured everything until I was old enough to run away to Ardoris and consult the libraries there.

    I think you are trying to stuff too much into that middle line - also too many 'its'.. a little confusing there.  Also, if you could possibly describe one or two of the torments he endured, then  when he says he 'endured everything'  we can understand and sympathize with him...

    Thanks Vyrin, another great story :D

  • Thanks Sophi, that's good advice!  I am hesitant to make changes since Lum put it on his list already.  How about I post a new version below here just to do it....


    It's been a year since I arrived here, in the heart of Solace Forest. 
    Strange to think that the one place we were taught to fear the most
    growing up now feels like home.  Like all families in Ashhaven, mine
    would venture the well worn paths around the perimeter of the forest
    through the patches of bright yellow buttercups.  Mom and pop would
    catch rabbits, and if they were lucky, a deer.  Both picked any cotton
    they happened upon for our clothes.  I was allowed to wander and play as
    long as I stayed in sight.  The truth is that, as far back as I can
    remember, I always wondered what lie beyond the rock formations and up
    the hill at the center of the forest.  It drew me even as a little
    tyke.  Yet I could never stray beyond the path around the perimeter. 
    One or the other would always call me back quite insistently.  When
    asked why, the only response they ever gave was, "it's a bad place." 
    For them, yes, that was very true.

    Things started to change as
    soon as I realized that most of the people I saw in Ashhaven were only
    seen by me.  My parents thought my imagination odd, and tried to
    convince me what I saw wasn't real.  They did so with greater intensity
    as those in town started to mock and ridicule my strange behavior.  It
    wasn't so much what they said, or the fear that lay behind it which hurt.  It was just that no one in Ashhaven could satisfy my hunger to know how to use my gifts.  I
    endured the parents who wouldn't let me play with their kids.  I survived withheld dinners and much time confined indoors.  How could anyone be surprise that as soon as I was old enough I ran away to Ardoris to
    consult the libraries there.

    I learned quickly under some strange
    masters in dark basements.  They wanted me to stay, but I knew I would
    never be satisfied until I figured out Solace Forest.  I'll never forget
    the day I first climbed that hill and arrived in the ancient
    graveyard.  Standing there, I closed my eyes and raised my arms as a
    chorus of the dead called out for vengeance against long dead foes in a
    forgotten war.  I fueled there desire until one clawed hand broke into
    the light, and was joined by many others. 

    What I have done here
    in Solace pleases me greatly.  Many of my soldiers now patrol the ruins
    of their long collapsed fortress.  It is essential that no one
    interrupts me as we enter our final preparations. I am not content with
    mere soldiers, they must have equipment.  Copper and other things are
    hidden away here on the hill for them to mine and craft into weapons and
    armor.

    Hopefully, next year I will return to Ashhaven on my
    birthday.  Everyone will believe that I've come for revenge.  Why should
    they understand now?  I have mastered the very forces of life and
    death, they will never understand.  There is only thing left for me now -
    control.  As much of it as possible.
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