Hal- A Druids tale

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a draft of a (hopefully,if i don't get to carried away)short story set in a fictional Fantasy universe called Eldor.

I have written this for my own enjoyment as something to pass time and have uploaded it for fun,i may come back to it at a later date if i want to improve it.

Submitted: April 13, 2013

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Submitted: April 13, 2013

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Hal sat cross-legged at the top of the hill, which overlooked the great glade and provided a spectacular view of the valley of leaves. A flock or ravens glided towards the sunset to his right, and the snow-peaked mountains far to the north were left silhouetted by the orangey glow of the evening sun.

Hal had always come up here to watch the sunset. He’d done all too often in his late childhood-when he was still adjusting to his new home. The hundred glades of the druids were a sacred place, and somewhere where all those who were that much closer to nature were welcome. Hal had been taken there be Dar-then, druid-beast of the bears, some 5? 6? Years ago, when he had become of age to be accepted as a druid. Many of the druids in training who had been taken at the same time as him were less happy with their abduction.

Then again, abduction is a harsh word. Hal had been taken on the eve of his 8th birthday, the year his brother had been signed up as part of the Drakia militia. Hal had been born with bright green eyes which shone in the dark and light brown eyes. He was born a natural druid, which many medicine men, mages and doctors of the human nations consider an affliction.

In his childhood, Hal had been told just that. He had been told that his emotional attachment to nature and his love of animals and plants was part of some kind of mild mental illness. However, this was not the case.

Hal had always felt like an outcast in his birth village, Dankwater, which was located on the fringe of the southern marshes of Drakia. From a young age, he would cry when his father beheaded the chickens which his family bred for food. He also could not bring himself to eat that same food, which gave him the nickname “Leaf-eater” amongst the other children in the village and his older brother. Hal, however, did not feel as isolated as he perhaps was, and often wandered the forests and marshes around his village, and felt as though he was part of something. Occasionally, he would hear whispers from the tree, which were quiet and undistinguishable at times from the winds which whistled through the woods and sent shivers down his spine.

His attachment to nature, however, also brought shame to his family at one point. When not helping his family with the crops or wandering the woods, Hal sat under an old oak tree which sat at the centre of his village, and acted as the meeting place for people in the village and as somewhere for the town crier to spread his stories. Soon however, the same whispers which spoke to him in the forests soon spoke to him in the town.at first they were quiet, but some days louder. They spoke of what had happened in the village many years ago-long before the birth of anyone in the village. It was as the voice became louder that Hal noticed that it was the voice of the tree, and that rather than speaking through a mouth, it spoke through its soul. Hal distinguished the voice of the tree from the other people in the town by its ethereal tone which spoke with such apparent knowledge and wisdom. It was at one moment during his 7th year of life that Hal spoke to the tree,and it answered back. They spoke of many things: the weather, the people of the town, and the tales of old which Hal’s mother had told him before he went to sleep.

When asked by John Gritboot,-the village priest why he talked to himself, Hal attempted to explain that the tree was talking, but to no avail. The clerk simply smiled and muttered something about the mysterious ways of the gods, and walked away.

Hal’s conversation with the oak tree continued until a month or two before his “abduction”-when the oak tree was cut down for timber, and to make way for a village sign. Hal could still remember how he’d wept and wept at the tree’s death and the screams it made when it died many years later-although he tried not to think about it.

Hal’s grief had driven his parent’s mad with confusion and anxiety-but Hal’s behaviour concerning the seemingly emotionless oak tree baffled them beyond belief.

A few weeks later Hal would leave the village and his family forever, and he wasn’t sorry. Everyone in the village thought that the young Rangewood boy was insane-and this of course reflected on his family-who thought that he was simply going through a phase, or it was a passing part of his condition. His brother would often bully him when he wasn’t marching between the village and the militia watchtower some 4 miles away. More to the point, he overheard his mother and his father considering making him travel to Vaco with them for “treatment”.

Who would have actually missed him? Those were his exact thoughts as he left to become a druid all those years ago.  Hal still believed that that was the greatest decision of his life.


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