It was a warm day in mid-spring, and all was going well for the man who now peered out of the woods. In his sight was a group of exactly 13, he had counted them day and night for the past two weeks. His thoughts went back to the day before he had started his journey, no, his life before he had started his journey.
15 days ago the young man was working in his father’s field. That day he was planning on announcing his plan to leave and start a farm of his own not far from his parent’s. As he worked in the fields with some of the hired hands, a group of about 20 men or so, led by a man clad in light red armor, had entered the field. They inquired into the young man of who lived here, not knowing the consequences he quickly told them that his parents did. The man in red let a small smile creep onto his face, but then quickly disappeared. The man said something below his voice and the men moved along.
As the young man went back to work he heard a muffled scream and started walking slowly toward the house. As he neared it several of the men that were following the red figure came out carrying three bodies, his father’s, his mother’s, and his younger brother’s. At the sight of the bodies the young man let out a horrendous scream of pain, not physical, but emotional. The men carrying the bodies stopped dead in their tracks and several others drew their swords. Not caring about anything but his parents and brother the young man charged the men carrying the bodies. The man at the head of the column fell under his weight and screamed as he tried to break away from the fury of angry fists that were repeatedly striking his face. Blood started to come out of the man’s wounds as he screamed for help. His comrades just sat there and stared in amazement for the whole three minutes until their friend was nothing but a lifeless corpse. As the young man got up and turned toward the next man, the men dropped the bodies and drew their swords.
Several of the farmhands ran away, while several more of the experienced ones started advancing toward their newfound foes. Seven of the men ran toward the farmhands while the rest marched upon the young man. Realizing his predicament, the young man quickly groped the dead body of the man whose face was now unrecognizable until he found the hilt of the sword. As one of the men came within several feet of the young man, the young man drew the sword out in a slashing motion, slicing his adversary’s neck. The man fell down as blood spurted onto the young man from the open wound. There were several screams nearby and three of the farmhands fell down, while one of the evil men fell as well.
Knowing that the end of the farm was inevitable, the young man charged forward with the sword in attempt to catch the enemy by surprise. He managed to do that to one of them, killing him in the process, but the rest were quick enough to avoid him. Remembering the mock fights with his brother, and then the ones the local militia held for training, the young man brought his skills into use. Two of the evil men charged forward. The young man slashed at the one that had his sword in the air, ready to come down, and succeeded in slicing his stomach. He then quickly brought his sword up to block the next man’s attack. A small spark flew and the evil man brought his sword around for another attack, but was again thwarted. The young man grabbed the evil man’s shoulder and spun himself around, stabbing the man in the back.
The young man glanced toward the farmhands and found them either dead or running away. Hope was dwindling, but the young man continued his relentless assault. After fifteen minutes of rough fighting two more evil men were dead and the rest were retreating into the forest with the valuables from the house in hand. The young man had buried his relatives’ bodies and grabbed the family hunting bow. After stocking up on arrows and donning some of the armor from his dead enemies, the young man was finally ready for his revenge. A two week chase had ensued and now here he was.
The young man, 24 year old Corey, laughed as he stared out of the forest again. He checked his gear, and then advanced closer to the tree line. The men, who called themselves the Red Brotherhood from what he had heard, were camped around a dead cow. Corey knocked an arrow and raised the bow, taking a deep breath in the process. He steadied himself and stood in his firing position for about 3 minutes, his grip never failing. Then, as the leader lifted his head for a moment, he released the string. The arrow flew toward its target, singing the sweet song of death. The Red Brotherhood guildsman looked up, but was too late, and the arrow pierced him right between the eyes.
The other troops, the henchmen, looked around and then quickly drew their swords. They checked the body and looked toward the forest as a figure charged out, sword at his side. Corey was running faster than he had ever before, and had taken down one of the henchmen with a slash from his sword. The rest quickly charged toward him. He spun the sword in his hand, a trick he had the chance to practice over the many nights tracking his quarry, and slashed back, re-opening the wound in the stomach of one of the henchmen. Then he swung around again, making a larger gash in the stomach of the man, just enough for him to die after a few minutes. Two down, eleven to go. Two of the henchmen stabbed at him from the front, but he jumped back and knocked their swords away, creating a gap between them. Corey charged for it and swung from side to side, taking out both men in a flash. With nine men advancing on him, Corey had to think fast, and he did. Rushing through an open gap, Corey made a dash for the woods. As he entered the tree line, a pain like no other physical pain he had experienced crept into his arm. Glancing down he saw an arrowhead protruding from it, and he looked back to see the rest of the shaft.
When Corey finally came to a stop he began to tend to his wounds. His revenge was complete enough. Corey let out a loud “YES!” and looked around to make sure no one heard him. Satisfied he went back to work on the arrow. He began to think out loud to himself, “Ya know, this was a great day for me, I finally got my reve-“
When Corey awoke, all he heard was the sound of the sea, then, as his vision came back to him, he saw himself in a cell on a ship. A man clad in light red armor walked by, and Corey sunk back into unconsciousness. As he was tending to his wounds, another Red Brotherhood group snuck op on him and knocked him unconscious, they then took him on a ship and set sail. When Corey awoke later, one of the men let him out of his cell and told him to go down to the rowing station. Corey obeyed, knowing that escape was impossible now. A few of the slaves looked up, while the rest kept rowing. Corey sat down in the nearest seat and grabbed the oar. Every slave was wearing a glove supplied by their captors, as to keep their hands well so a better price could be obtained. A nearby slave whispered in Corey's ear, “I hear that they’re takin’ us to Pendor.” ‘Pendor,” Corey thought, ‘where’s Pendor…’
Part 1: Arrival in Pendor
Corey awoke three days after his capture, his arms and legs sore, and his head reeling from seasickness. He walked up onto the main deck and gazed out toward the not so distant shoreline. One thing he liked about the Red Brotherhood right now was the freedom that they allowed their captives. It’s not like they were going to try to escape when at sea, so they need not worry. There was a shout from the top mast that they were coming into port and that all hands should be on deck for disembarking. Corey stared up into the sky for a moment, then slowly walked over toward the plank that was being readied.
The slaves had been drilled a few times on how to disembark, thus making everything quicker. Everyone had been warned that escape would be deadly, and if they fell out of line then they would be whipped without mercy. Corey took his spot in the second row as everyone began filing down the gangplank. The second Corey’s feet touched the ground; he felt a strange connection to the land. He groped around his neck for his necklace that was given to him as a young child. His father had told him that it was from their home, and that he should treasure it forever. When his hands felt the medallion, it was burning hot, and Corey had to quickly retract his hand to avoid being burned.
The column was quickly led to a raised area at the center of the town; Janos was the name according to a nearby sign. Then, the first slave was led to the center of the small stage area, and the auctioning began.
“50 Denars,” shouted one man.
“I’ll give you 100,” shouted another. The auctioning didn’t last long, and the first man was bought for 150 Denars. The next man was bought for 100, as was the next, then Corey was led up onto the stage. The auctioneer quickly hushed the crowd and told them the quick story of Corey’s valor and skill against the Red Brotherhood, and how he had slain several of them, and even tracked them over the terrain of his homeland. The group fell silent for a moment, and then one man shouted, “I’ll give you 200 Denars for im’,” and then an uproar ensued.
“250, I’ll give you 250!”
“I’ll give you 300!”
“Sold for 500 Denars!” The auctioneer seemed pleased with himself, and Corey led down the line to an elderly looking man. He introduced himself as Robert, “But you can call me Bob,” he said. He was a farmer that needed hands, and had spent a lot of money on him. Corey wasted no time in telling him that he had made the right choice, considering that he had worked on a farm most of his life. Bob smiled and led Corey through the streets toward two horses that looked like they had been carrying a lot of stuff on the way there.
As the two neared the horses, Corey fished around in his pocket and grabbed 30 Denars that he had stolen from one of the Red Brotherhood men while he wasn’t looking. He tossed 10 to a nearby man who looked down on his luck, and then tapped the shoulder of Bob. He handed him 20 Denars and told him that he was grateful for spending so much for a simple farm boy. Bob laughed and told him to saddle up the horse. Corey did so quickly, and then Bob told him to mount up, as they were heading toward bob’s farm.
As they trotted out, Corey thought of running away, but Bob was very trusting of him, so he thought the better of it and followed Bob home. They arrived at Bob’s farm just outside of the town of Fenada. Corey helped Bob down from his horse, and unsaddled the two. He led them into the stables and tossed them some hay. Bob thanked him and led him toward the house. He introduced him to his family, his wife, Lisa, and their daughter, Sara.
After a kind dinner, Bob led them to his room. Corey inquired into where all the other slaves were staying, and Bob laughed. “There are no other slaves; I am working this place myself, with the help of the family of course. I will give you good hospitality, and treat you like one of my family members. Plus, once you work off your debt of 480 Denars, I’ll start paying you as well! Then, possibly in a few years, you can move away if you want to.” Now it was Corey’s turn to laugh.
“Honestly Bob, if you’re going to treat me like that, I don’t think I’ll ever leave. Now before we rest for the night, how are the crops right now?” At those words, Bob’s face grew dim. He told Corey the story of how there was little rain, and that water was very scarce. It was a meager living, he told him, and one that required long hours of toil. Corey told him that he would do his best to turn their situation around and help the farm. Bob thanked him, and bid him good-night.
The next morning, Corey woke bright and early. He crept down the stairs, as the rest of the family was still sleeping. He began inspecting the crops, then he started testing the earth. He grabbed two willow sticks, and began walking over the land with them outstretched. After twenty minutes, the two rods moved and crossed over each other in the form of an “X”. Corey stuck the sticks in the ground and quickly ran back to the tool shed where he grabbed a shovel. He hurried back to the sticks and began digging. After digging about fifteen feet or so, he came across what he was looking for, water. He dug a few feet more, and then tossed the shovel up. He quickly scaled the sides and hopped out.
Five hours later, Corey was pleased with his work. He stared at the small well, roughly 5 feet in diameter, which was wide for a well, and smiled. He had had a rough time finding the needed wood, but eventually did, and when he had, he began putting it together in the rough shape of a circle. Once his base was setup, he made a small area that hung over the center and then attached a bucket. He had created a much needed well for a farm that needed a lot of water.
Roughly five minutes later, Corey heard the door to the house close, and someone came rushing out. The form of Sara quickly came into view and she ran up to Corey. “What are you doing up so early,” she exclaimed, “It’s only 7 o’ clock.” Corey gazed at her with disbelief, at his home the sun came up much later than 2 o’ clock. Sara gazed past Corey at the well and let out a little gasp of surprise. “Oh my goodness, I think you just saved us with this well, oh thank you, thank you, thank you!” She jumped up in the air several times, and her dark hair smacked Corey in the face.
Bob and Lisa came out next as Sara jumped around in excitement. When the two spotted the well, they looked as if they might as well. Bob ran up to Corey and said, “How did you do this!” Corey explained to him how he did it and how it had taken him a lot longer because he had no help. Bob laughed and gave him a manly hug. Corey smiled and patted him on the back, “Now,” Bob said, “let’s get to work on the crops.” Corey laughed and they started toward the field.