Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2309598-Shadinar-Chapter-1
by Mouser
Rated: 13+ · Novel · Fantasy · #2309598
Opening of a sword and sorcery style Fantasy


Legend said that Faerie had a magical connection to the mortal lands in that Forest of Mists. My father was Neren Stali, an Elf out of Faerie. He wandered there for a while in the mortal’s forest. There he met my mother Ariana Wilan who was a seventeen-year old girl hunting mushrooms and herbs in the forest.
He was smitten by her beauty and she by the handsome elf. They arranged to meet periodically there in the wood. After five months with Fall coming on he stopped coming to their assignations.
I was born seven months later.
Talid Hanre, her mortal suitor before Neren, took the pregnancy and abandonment in stride. It agreed with the legends of the Fay he had grown up hearing. Frontier communities thought little about pregnant young brides.
He proposed two months before I was born. When I was born with the pointed ears, eyebrows rising at their ends, the almost golden colored hair and amber eyes the midwife named me Fayborn. My parents named Marden.
I considered Talid my father for he acted like one. He was a tough taskmaster but also able to give praise when he felt it was merited. His humor was rough and ready and always near the surface.
When I was twelve he began teaching me how to fight. It was that kind of environment learning to fight was a necessary skill for most people attached to the Baron in the small border Barony. Talid was a sergeant in the Bramhill Guard. They were few but with the Baron’s direction they worked on any crimes committed in the town of Bramhill or its outlying hamlets.
Periodic sweeps of the borders with the Horses Guard looked for themselves. They also listened to the farmer’s stories of what they had seen and any problems in the hamlets lining the woods edge.
It was mainly routine but once ten years ago a roving band of Goblins had swept out of the Forest. The Baron himself bringing his personal guard, horse guard and town’s Guard had driven them out in one sweep, mostly lead by the Baron himself.
Protecting the hamlets surrounding Bramhill was the Barons duty. The result was that the hamlet people were loyal to him, acknowledging him as their Lord.

Talid did weapons training for anyone interested as we were on the frontier. Applicants had to be thirteen years old and have parental permission.
It was when I started training with the wicker weapons and a padded shirt I discovered a previously unknown skill.
It was strange but in the heat of the practice I could suddenly move faster than before. It seemed that everything slowed down in the practices except me. I could score contact more easily and avoid the counters of my opponent much more easily.
Talid was fascinated when I suddenly seemed much faster easily defeating all the practice students.
“I’ll see if your speed can overcome fifteen years of practice,” he announced stepping into the practice circle.
He had one of the other three trainees tell us when to begin.
At the word begin Talid leaped toward me.
As soon he moved things started moving slowly. His practice sword he had extended toward me. I turned my body to the right letting the weapon miss me and slashed at his right leg smacking his padded thigh.
He pivoted to follow me with a sweeping blow at waist level. I twisted out of reach as fast as I could and brought my weapon down on his extended arm at the elbow.
He dropped his sword and nodded his head ending the fight.
I almost collapsed suddenly weak and ravenous. I had been using this new speed half a dozen times. The last took most of my remaining energy to move fast enough to avoid that thrust and the last of it in striking him again.
He saw me sway and he stepped forward. He took a grip of both my shoulders. I don’t know if I would have fallen without his support or not.
He ended the practice and led me home. On the way I explained about my sudden weariness and huge appetite.
In the house he sat me down and handed me a mug of mead. As I drank the honey based brew I could feel my weariness became ordinarily tired. Next he handed me a slab of my mother’s fresh bread smeared in butter.
“Energy food,” he nodded for me to keep eating, “After that much leaping and fighting you’ll need meat too. I know what the Baron told me in the field after the engagement with those Goblin attack years ago when I was still not even a Corporal. ‘Bread and mead for energy’ he said, “and meat for muscles.
“This speed must be because you are Fayborn,” he nodded as I tore into a piece of smoke cured ham.
“It just suddenly seemed like everyone and moving things I could see was moving much slower than ever before," I tried to to explain.
“I won’t need to understand how you do it. With your speed you might even stand a chance against the Baron,” he sighed shrugging “I’ll have to think about this. What weapon would be best for you?”

The next session he handed me a pair of training long knives. The blade was about fifteen inches long. The knives were sometimes called Mor Dan knives as it was favored by those plains folk after their bows or spears weren’t practical. Ever trainee began with long knife simulations before moving onto heavier weapons.
Most of us carried a real long knife daily because of dangers out of the wood to our north. To the south the horsemen of the Mor Dan and their fighting skills meant few dangers came from that direction
They were a nomadic folk usually hunting the big herd animals of the Sea of Grass in the south. The Baron’s ancestors with the Barons of Aerlank and Veraal had made a peace with them pledging mutual aid if necessary.
A generation later the new Barons and the one Baroness all responded with all the mounted forces at their command to a request for aid. A large force of men and goblins were threatening the nomadic people.
Their arrival in armor with the tried troops of the Baronies combined with the Mor Dan fighters defeated the opponents at a cost to both.
That battle cemented the relationship with the Mor Dan.
Since that time a ‘two days ride’ of the plains was granted for the farmers of the Baronies and oaths of peace for all time were made.
Like most of the teenagers in the Baronies I carried one of Mor Dan make. They were expensive but worth it.
Talid knew that I was completely ambidextrous, and made me train with one hand then the other.
“With your speed having the option of both hands you should have a great advantage,” he told me. The next morning he gave me his Mor Dan made long knife.

Practice continued and I learned how to use two blades at once. He was right, it gave me a real advantage. I found that with my speed that I could attack my opponents twice while they could only strike at me once.
The long knife is only a couple of inches shorter than the short sword a lot of the Baron’s troops used and could do the about the same damage. They could also be thrown successfully.
From that point on Talid trained me himself. He tried spears and heavier weapons. My ability overrode almost all attacks. Once he threw the wicker knife at me. I avoided it barely and my attack barely touched him.
He kept at me training daily.

At home all my life I had grown up learning to play lute from my mother and with my clear tenor I could sing well. I started singing at the Tower Inn in the town encouraged by my Mother. I found that I could earn silver by doing it.
I discovered that I could use the speeding up to do apparent magic tricks like pulling a coin out of someone’s ear, impossible juggling, sleight of hand things.
I learned that as I used the speed I became stronger, tiring a little less and less of the raging appetite. I also discovered that there were still limits which when done too long the whole cycle of paying for it was even greater.

One evening at the inn when I was seventeen I noticed a gaunt looking stranger dressed in a red silk shirt, black britches and soft leather boots. He watched me do my apparent conjuring of coins and juggling
His face was long and heavily lined. His blue eyes seemed lock onto what I was doing looking intently. His black hair and beard had a little grey in them. I guessed he was in his forties or fifties.
I saw him speak to Oren, the innkeeper when I finished my act. Oren reached the bar again just as I did.
I sipped the mead he automatically had ready for me. But instead of just nodding and moving on he stood there while I took a long drink from the mug.
“Marden that stranger said he would like to buy you dinner. He seemed to think you would be hungry.” He said suspiciously, “He said he thought he could help you, as if he allowed him teach you. But you’re living well enough with your tricks and songs.”
I shrugged and walked over to his table with my mead.
“Hello Marden, my name is Waron,” he smiled up at me, “I’ve ordered you supper. I thought you might be hungry after that performances.”
“Thank you,” I said as I sat in the chair across from him and went on, “Well Waron how could you help me, beyond the supper.”
“I can help you learn to use your Fay strength in different ways beyond the speed you demonstrated juggling. It can do so much more when taught correctly.
“I watched you training with your father. Obviously some form of Fay power has given you what took me years to accomplish. But I understand your position.
“I am a human adept born into a poor family in Shadinar. I was apprenticed to a Red Wizard very luckily. The Circle keeps a watch for adepts at all times and seek to teach the disciplines necessary in magic. That is what I am offering a teacher.’
“You being the teacher you had in mind,” I shrugged, “why? You you’re not Fayborn.”
“No, I’m a Red Sorcerer,” he answered, “I know what you’re going through. I was born mortal with the rare gift of access to what people call magic. It caused me a lot of trouble until I was sought out by a sorcerer who would trained many ways of using it.”
“So I’m not a bard, I’m a sorcerer,” I shrugged.
“No not a sorcerer a Fayborn, and according to legend all Fayborn are powerful in the use of magic. As to my credentials,” he went on and held his hand with fingers apart.
A moment later what looked like tiny lightning bolts went from finger to finger. Then he closed his hand as if around something. A flickering light shown through the spaces between his fingers. He held the hand over the table and opened it. It looked like a small ball of lightning.
I started to reach toward the open hand. He snapped his fingers and the ball was gone.
“You’d have been hurt by the lightning without knowing how to go about it,” he explained and sipped his own beer.
“A neat trick but not a lot of use,” I shrugged despite having been impressed.
“If I had used both hands and really concentrated I could have generated a lightning bolt almost as strong as a thunderstorm. A really deadly use of magic.”
“Sounds dangerous to you too,” I commented.
“I tell you what I can do if you agree to work with me tomorrow for a few hours. Then if you’ve learned nothing, I’ll go away. I’ll even say that the we could do it with the same deal each day after that.”
That was how I became the sorcerer’s apprentice.

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