A Wanderers Tale
Story based loosely on the novel idea by Nathan Fielding
Segment 1: The Beginning
Section 1: The Way of the Wanderer
As tales of the wanderers become more and more sparse, less believable, less original and more unlike those of Antiquity, it makes me wonder how such a great race came to vanish almost completely, but with my mind dwelling on such a subject I begin to make conclusions based on the common knowledge of the wanderer.
We are (that is the Wanderers), and always have been, a warrior race, full of diverse fighters and warring clans and families. So I guess that the depletion of the wanderer does make sense after all. I suppose the cataclysm that imploded our former planet may have something to do with it too, but all these factors only lead me to believe that all people will meet their own ugly fate someday. And the last of the Wanderers will either perish or move on, this I know because it is our way, our nature, our instinct, if I dare call it that, but no matter what you choose to call it, the fact remains that the wanderers will fight themselves into extinction due to destiny or nature of just bad luck, I can’t say, but the immanent doom looms over the head of every wandering soul in the world and the galaxy, a doom that will eventually bring my life and the life of every other wandering warrior to an end sooner or later.
It would seem the Gods have some grand design that is over all our heads, and beyond the reach of all our imaginations. I can only hope that this doom falls after my time, or perhaps some miracle will change our fate (or bring it down on someone else), but all this is simply speculation in the end. Mere conclusions that one young wanderer has deduced about the future and predictions based on the past. But only time will tell what providence awaits the wanderers.
While wanderers are the same as a whole grouping, we are also an extremely diverse group, with different clans having different weapons, attire and beliefs. Wanderers are often perceived to as “families” or a “race”, we are really more like “religious followers”. What I mean to say is that we can move from one group to another, joining one by becoming an apprentice (this is voluntary, unless done by a family agreement) and therefore learning your sensei’s ways and adapting them into your own unique style.
So why is it that anyone would willingly join a group of people who are renowned for fighting, abandoning their home for years and seem to have a curse on their kind? That question is easier to answer that one may expect. The answer is simply that humans crave adventure; this is especially found in young people.
Such was my case. I longed to be independent and lead an exciting life. So my story begins when this yearning at last overtakes my carefulness and fear and I strike out on my own in search of a sensei, a trade, and an adventure of my own. How was I to know I would find that and so much more?
Section 2: The Lonely Path Ahead
I lay in a grassy ditch, dozing off with my money coins and my favorite trinket, a small amethyst crystal, clutched in my hands. As a young girl of fourteen, my knowledge of the world is slim. I know only what I want, but not exactly what I’m looking for.
After two long days of moving quickly away from my home in Kenai, I am hungry and doubting the whim that sent me fleeing from the safety of my home under the bright yellow moon, avoiding those who would stop me. I hear footsteps and attempt to squish myself further into the medium height of the grass and continue in a false slumber. Several whispers and muffled steps are followed by a cry out and a tug on the rope attached to my amethyst. Immediately I roll over and kick the scavenger in the mouth. As he slumps to the ground, wailing in agony, I jump to my feet and tear off as quickly as they will carry me.
The sudden commotion causes the two horses, belonging to the men, to squeal in fright and canter away. The second man begins to pursue me on foot, leaving his comrade on the ground by the road. The man seems a little out of shape and a bit overweight to be chasing down teenage girls. I hear his breathing become labored as he tails me, heading toward to woods. As I run off the road and jump a small creek, he missteps and lands square on his chest in the cold, shallow water.
I continue to run without looking back, hiding my childish grin, my coins jingling merrily in my back pocket, amethyst around my neck, continuing toward a tall maple tree just off the road. When I reach it I slouch on the ground and doubt begins to shadow my thoughts once again. A wanderer is not a typical choice of venue for s girl, maybe this was a bad idea… As the doubt overtakes my brain I slip off to sleep again.
I wake up, bleary eyed, to the steady beat of hooves. As my eyes slowly come to focus, I see the scenery slowly passing in front of them. I suddenly jerk wide awake as the memories come flooding back to me. The chase, the vague dream of a foreign man lifting onto a horse and riding away… The sudden movement causes me to loose my balance and slide off the horse. I hit the ground with a painful thud and look to see a man reining the horse back and turning to look at me.
His face was expressionless and blank but there was a look in his eyes that betrayed his composed facial features. Those eyes spoke of bravery and their brightness told of a hidden sense of humor and a love of fun. But what stood out most on this man were not his eyes or his posture, but his cloths. The cloths he wore were undoubtedly from the North. He wore light-weight deer-skin boots, pants of an unknown animal hide, and a coat that hung nearly to his knees with furry cuffs and collar. He had long, lank, black hair that was dirty and knotted, but it did not make him less appealing, it added a rugged aura to the man on the horse. I realized he was probably not as old as he appeared, my guess would put him around twenty or twenty-five at most. His poise gave off a sense of wisdom that only comes with age.
He had a unique bow set upon his lap, most likely made of some animal bone, and a quiver filled with white feathered arrows. There were also two smaller daggers, about six inches in length each, strapped to each side of his hips.
As I sat on the ground analyzing his appearance, he let his stone-face façade fall and allowed a friendly smile to grace his face. He jumped from his tall bay and walked over to me. He had a somewhat accusing look on his face which extremely irritated me, Like I meant to fall from his stupid horse, I thought. Nonetheless he reached a hand out to help me to my feet. I looked from his face to his hand and pushed it away, maybe a little more harshly than I intended. He didn’t seem to take offence and simply walked back over to his horse as I stood and brushed myself off. He looked back to me, and then spoke in a heavy northern accent. “Young lady, to where are you headed? I apologize, but there were several men on the roadside wandering about, its not very safe out here for someone of your –uh- stature.”
He attempted to say it carefully so as not to offend me, but the insinuation still made my blood boil. But I was really in no position to loose my fury upon this man who had only good intentions at this point, so I swallowed my pride and replied, “Where are we now…and who are you because you’re certainly not from around here.” As he looked at me he seemed to be pondering his response. After a slight pause he said, “It is becoming late and Aune is tired, shall we set up camp and eat before all this discussion, my story is rather long and I’m sure you have your own tales to share.”
At the mention of food I felt my empty stomach squeeze in pain with an angry growl. So with the blood running to my reddening face, I solemnly nodded and followed the man into the nearby grass.