Tales of Gandamyr
The Pride of the Ancestors
The Tribe Trainer, Falcor, stood over the boys of the tribe grading them harshly. Some small, some large, some skilled, and some acted as if they were still on thier mother’s titty. He spit in disgust as they sparred sloppily. One caught his eye, at eighteen years of age one towered over the rest. He was a good lad with a strong back, quick on his feet (for his size), proper as all hell, but not the brightest, and had a temper like the fury of the raging ancestors. He was sparring with a boy slightly smaller, and much faster. He was taunting the Large lad, as kids do, and he was not taking it too well…..
“Come on Einar!!” taunted the lad. “ You couldn’t catch a cold with that swing!”
Einar said nothing, concentrating. Trying to catch the smaller boy off balance.
“ You are just as slow as your father!!” all the other boys laughed. The instructor continued to watch, knowing what would happen next…. It happened at least once a week.
“ Leave my father out of this!” Einar roared as he reversed the grip on his sparring axe and knocked the boy to the ground. Einar leaped onto him throwing his axe on the ground and began pummeling Gragnar with his fists.
After a minute of this, Falcor stepped in, “ Slugs!! Break it up!!” throwing Einar easily onto the ground. Gragnar! Take a break and you”, pointing to Einar, “come with me.”
Falcor took Einar out into the middle of a field. It was the logging field. “ Hug the tree Einar.” Einar just stood there. Falcor rounded on him, “ I said hug the tree! You are lucky that I do not send you to camp with the women!”
Einar still stood there staring at Falcor and said “ No. My father has been insulted for the last time. I will not hug the tree. I will not….”
Falcor cut him off “ then go back to the village Einar. I can train you no further. I will speak with your father about this tonight.” There is no place on the battlefield for a stupid lad who will not listen to his betters… now go.”
Einar looked at him angrily fists balled for a moment and then turned and walked away. Einar was seething in anger, but hitting Falcor would only disappoint his father. Einar left, heading to the oak tree in the vale. He would sit there for hours when he was younger listening to the land speak, with his mom you see. Einar would usually not tarry too long, but today he vowed to put his foot down. He would go back when he deemed it necessary. So he laid down and took a nap, thinking of better times in the past.
Late into the night, he Einar awoke suddenly. He smelled smoke. He turned toward his village and saw flames reaching for the heavens. At the, massive young man jumped to his feet running blindly for the village. He felt fear… fear that he would be too late… fear that he would be alone… fear that if he was there, it would be different. As he got closer to the village he could begin hearing the sounds of fighting. The roars the warriors as they were battling men wrapped in Armor. With no weapon in hand, Einar ran hastily into the village to check on his father and mother.
As he got closer he saw his sickened father, fighting three men. His father was losing badly. Fear began overriding Einar’s senses.. a rage unlike any other began welling inside him. Einar was counting the steps now… 80 steps…. Hold on father… As he got within a few feet it was already too late. His father was struck in the back by a blade. And his mother threw herself onto the attacker shrieking wildly. She looked at her son as she was being thrown to the ground, mouthing the words “ Run!!”. As she fell another pounced on her with a blade…. And then the world grew dark…..
Hours later, Einar came to. His Uncle watching him. “ Einar, you killed twenty Novan scum last night.” You are a hero. Your charge broke their ranks. His uncle was not smiling though. Your father is wounded, but will live… Your mother however, died of wounds. She is with the ancestors now. Sleep. I will be back in the morning. I want you to lead a hunting party on the morrow.”
As his uncle left, a deep sadness filled Einar. He had shirked his duties and now his mother is dead and father wounded. It was his job to defend his family…. And he failed. Einar turned over and began quietly sobbing at his loss and his failure. His anger and pride and clouded his judgement… I am sorry mother…. And then Einar fell back into sleep. A troubled sleep that would haunt him for years to come.