A Travelling Tale

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
In the gigantic land of Novandria, things are rarely as they appear. When a famous bounty hunter goes missing off duty, his colleages quickly assembles and start the search for their friend. A search much more complicated and dangerous than they could ever have imagined.

Submitted: July 29, 2011

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Submitted: July 29, 2011

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Prologue
 
Midday

It's a rainy day. It always is, in Coldwater. A few claim it's a kind of omen, or that the gods are displeased with us. Some even claim it's magic. Most, however, just thinks Edward Coldwater, the village founder, chose a bad spot in terms of weather. In terms of most things, really. I agree with these sentiments. I can stand the weather. They say rain makes people downwards and sad, depressed, even. I'm always a sad figure, at least in other people's eyes, and so the raining would hardly affect me. There are way worse occurances in Coldwater, though. 
Crops are bad, and the harvest looks meak. And then I'm being generous. The inhabitants are already poor and hungry as it is, and this year's harvest simply will not do. The fishermen can't catch any fish, because suddenly there is none to catch. There'll be fighting over food supplies and blood will be shed, of that I'm sure. 
Talking about supplies; they're dwindling. Not just the food - everything. Tools are breaking, wood rots and iron simply disappears. A merchant from Pinestone - the only town which size is worthy of mentioning in these parts - was scheduled to arrive yesterday, but didn't do so. He was bringing raw material for the local craftsmen, who now has none. 

People have been disappearing as well. Not many, not enough to alarm the villagers and steal their focus from the supply problem. Enough for me however. Three people gone in a week is enough to garner my intention, especially when it happens in a place like Coldwater. A place where nothing out of the ordinary ever happens. A place where misery is part of the ordinary, but sudden disapperances are not. And then there's the Moongrove Forest, which surrounds the village on three sides, the fourth, east, being faced by the Eastborn Sea. Mysterious and scary sightings have been made. People claim to have seen monsters. Nappers, to be precise. While these sightings where made by Elmton, a tiny settlement on the other side of Moongrove, it doesn't take a genius to put two and two together. The Nappers took the missing villagers, and this is why I have come to Coldwater. This whole affair is... strange, in lack of a better word. Nappers should not exist in these parts. A rather large, rather meticulous group of armed men cleansed the whole of Moongrove Forest from monsters a while ago. While I admit this was a long time ago, Nappers don't simply appear out of nowhere, and since no other sightings of them have been made... Well, like I said; this whole affair is strange. Of course these reports could be false. A bunch of drunk farmers aren't the most reliable source of information, but even if such is the case, the mystery of the missing villagers in Coldwater remains.

Evening

I have been thinking about the best way to tackle the problem, or mystery. First I must speak with the locals and gather information. Information about the missing persons, Moongrove Forest and Coldwater itself. Then I will search through the victims' homes, which might not be very popular but nevertheless necessary. After that, I'm going to investigate the outskirts of the forest. Hopefully, this will give me the information needed to decide on a course of action. 
The rain is coming down hard now. The sky has assumed a bleak, grey color which reflects the general mood of Coldwater in a sublime, almost poetic way. Powerful gusts of wind sweeps through the only street in the village, just outside my room. I have rented one of three guest rooms at the local tavern, which has no real name although the villagers call it "The Inn". I've noticed that everything and everyone in and about Coldwater seems to look and act like the weather; bleak, hopeless yet stubbornly persistent. This applies to my room as well. My bed and the table I'm sitting at, writing this, are made of some sort of sturdy, grey-brown old tree. Most likely a local variant of oak. They look ugly, but the craftmanship seems decent since wood of this type is usually very hard to work with. The floor and walls are made of similar wood, maybe even the same, but it's hard to tell because of the age difference. The inn has stood much longer than the furniture. The houses of Coldwater are not of the same wood, though, that is certain. They are made of much weaker material, and were built more recently. I'm guessing the village could only afford so much of the oakwood, and thus spent it on the most important building in a sad life.
Why am I writing about wood... I guess I got sidetracked.

When I arrived at the inn earlier today, the rain was not nearly as bad as now. It felt more like a faint whisper from above, warning me from what was coming later on. Scientifically, I guess that was exactly what it was. I was greeted by a skinny old man who called himself Janyk Tulun, who was adamant about getting the pronounciation of Tztomal correctly, probably afraid of losing his first new customer in, possibly, years if he couldn't even get my name right. Janyk did seem rather friendly, but I can never tell with these innkeepers. Either way he is the only person I've questioned so far. Mainly, he simply repeated what I already knew about the forest, the missing persons and Coldwater. But he did mention one thing of interest; none of the ones that had gone missing were actually born in Coldwater, although two of them arrived as toddlers. I don't yet know the importance of this - there probably is none - but it is as of yet the only piece of mildly interesting information I have about their lives and so I will pay their families a visit when the rain has faded somewhat. Heck, I might even go there sooner. I am not staying in this miserable shithole longer than necessary.


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