Tales of Teir
Before the tale actually begins, as the author of this story I feel it is necessary to give you a brief introduction to the events that have taken place in the near past. Firstly, the entire story will revolve around the massive landmass in the northern part of the world of Teir. Four regions mark this landmass, and they are: Illacor, Valgaria, Blik, and Shienk. The tale shall begin in Illacor, but for the most part it will take place in Shienk, the land east of Illacor.
Here is a map of the northern landmass with all four regions identified:
As you can see, Illacor is the only place with rivers that are named. This is for a reason. The main character of the story is unaware of the names of places in Shienk, so I think the reader should be as well. However, for the sake of the story I have included several names, just so thing aren‘t too confusing for you. And now…for the ‘current events’.
Illacor has just recently named a new King to the throne, actually roughly two and a half years ago, but that is fairly recent given the fact that the former King had last some sixty years. The new King’s name is Vorenicus Avrovil, and up until now his reign as King has gone relatively smooth. It has been well documented that the Nothren of Illacor are enemies with the Haakian of Shienk. However, the two sides have gone without war for more than twenty years, mostly in part because of some shrewd diplomacy between the former Illacor King.
Now that has changed, and the two have had a few words with another, or at least King Avrovil and the Emperor of Shienk, Junias Caultic. The two disagree on an area in the northeastern part of Illacor, fairly close to the city of Karuun in which the story starts out at. King Avrovil believes it is rightfully Illacor’s, but Emperor Caultic insists that the land was stolen from Shienk hundreds of years ago. The King says that such a remark is ridiculous since it happened so long ago, while the Emperor says that he is the only one in Shienk’s history brave enough to take back the land that is “rightfully” theirs. This sounds simple, but do you honestly think it is ONLY about land and nothing else? I’ll let you decide on that for yourself.
This quarreling of words have gone back and forth for some two years now, with no fighting taking place whatsoever. But it’s only a matter of time until the final hand is dealt, and both sides collide. And now the story begins. I hope you enjoy it…..
Chapter One: A Problem Before the Problem
Standing next to the city fort, in the middle of Karuun, I was talking with my good friend Fevlin. We had just finished making our daily rounds through our small and secluded town, making sure our soldiers were on patrol, as well as looking out for any wild animals that may have crept into town from the forest in the east and north. I am the Captain of the Karuun army, which us mainly comprised of volunteers. I wouldn’t say my job is too hard, but I definitely wouldn’t say it is easy either.
Of course, some of the people here in Karuun don’t believe that. They think I was named Captain just because my father was the former Governor, before he drowned drunk that is. Because of my father’s questionable way of life I’ve always been touted the same person, even if that is totally wrong. I am not my father, and I’ve proven that these first three years of my service by protecting Karuun from any dangers, rebuilding what was once an extremely weak militia into a larger and more skillful group of soldiers. But some people don’t want to see that. No, they’d rather remember the bad things so they can have something to complain about.
“You’re right, but can you blame them, Cyric? I mean, your father was a fairly bad person.”
Fevlin is one of two people that I can really talk to about anything. That was one reason why I wasn‘t getting angry at him for calling my father a bad person. The other reason was that he was right anyway. My father really was a bad person, and I can accept that. My mother was a wonderful woman, but she died when I was just an infant. My father had seen other woman of course, but none of them stayed more than a night, if you know what I mean.
“Yes, but when will they forget him and realize what kind of man I am? It’s starting to aggravate me. Three years now I’ve been nothing but great for this city. And what do I have to show for it? Nothing. I get no credit whatsoever, and I am not appreciated at all.”
“Well, you got me and Ollie,” he laughed. “Voren and your sister as well. I guess that counts for something.”
I rolled my eyes and said, “Great, four out of five-thousand people think I’m a good person. And where is Ollie anyway? He was supposed to have joined us this morning.”
“Who knows. Probably getting drunk at the tavern or smoking his sugarshoot again. Or maybe both, I wouldn’t put it past him.”
After rolling my eyes I told Fevlin to head to his quarters inside the fort, while I went to fetch Ollie from wherever he was. Ollie was a good friend of mine as well, possibly even greater than Fevlin. But about three months ago he started to drink, and I mean heavily. The sudden death of his mother is one of the causes I am sure, but that is still not an excuse. As of now he hunts in the forests and sells his findings to the local merchants, but whatever silver he makes he just drinks it away nowadays. I want to get him into the army so he can actually make something out of himself, but Governor Jedic won’t let me until I can prove he is fit for the job.
What of the main reasons the Governor won’t let him on board is his addiction to sugarshoot. Sugarshoot is a common blue plant located in the mountains west of us. People grind it up and then smoke it through a pipe, and blue smoke emits from the pipe. And despite it smelling sweet, those who smoke it tell me it doesn’t taste nearly as good as you would imagine. It is not yet illegal, but smoking it is greatly frowned upon. I’ve never tried it myself but I’ve heard it messes with your mind, makes you see things that aren’t really there and makes you do things that you wouldn’t normally do. I don’t see why people smoke it if it doesn’t even taste good, but I guess it’s just one of those things.
I entered the local pub and looked around the crowded bar and just barely spotted Ollie sitting at a table alone in the opposite corner from where I came in. He was of course smoking the shoot, and also had five empty bottles on the table, no doubt some kind of alcohol. Something about him made me worry. His head was in his hands and he just looked so depressed, and that just wasn’t like him at all. He was one of the more lively persons in Karuun, especially when under the booze.
Voren Geri, the pub owner, was cleaning some drinking glasses behind the counter. He was a Mogtran male, hailing from the country of Lyr, which is far to the southwest. Like all Mogtra, Voren was a tad bit taller than seven feet and had muscles nearly the size of my head. Thankfully for us he was a peaceful Mogtra, like all of his kind for the most part. When the Mogtra migrated to here they had been attacked by our people who thought they were monsters. But they quickly established themselves as respected members of our country, and have remained that for over thirty-five years now. Voren himself is over one hundred years old, which was considered middle-aged for most Mogtra.
*A picture of a Male Mogtra. Voren doesn’t necessarily look exactly like this because obviously he would be wearing some kind of clothing, but at least you can get a general idea of what the Mogtra look like: http://img86.imageshack.us/img86/8826/picture046ao2.jpg
I walked over to him but he saw me before I could tell him to keep quiet, Voren has always been a loud talker, and I didn’t really want Ollie to know I was present. “Ah, Captain, how ya’ doing this fine evening?” he yelled loudly, his furry brown mane flapping at his sides. Thankfully the room had already been loud and barely anyone seemed to have heard him.
“Shh, keep quiet for a second will you?” I laughed after holding a finger to my lip. Then I took a quick glance at Ollie and asked Voren, “So how long has Ollie been in here today?”
“Since noon I’d say,” he responded while chuckling and looking down at his glasses. Of course that also meant he was looking down on me since I was just a tad over six feet. “I take it you’re looking for him?”
I sighed heavily and replied, “Yes, I am. He was supposed to have helped Fevlin and I during our daily rounds, but he never showed up. He looks…depressed in a way. Anything wrong with him that you can think of?”
He squinted his eyes at Ollie across the room and then looked back down at his glasses. “Not that I can think of really, I-” His furry hands stopped moving and his eyes suddenly lit up. “Actually, yes, there is something. Apparently he asked Miss Cezelia for her hand in marriage last night, and she of course said no.”
“What?” I yelled in surprise, for Miss Cezelia was my little sister. She was only twenty-three, me being twenty-seven. That was another thing people dislike about me, that I am so young yet I am already the Captain.
Apparently I had yelled a little too loud, because a few tables were looking in my direction. “Can we talk in the back?” Voren nodded his head and then told one of his workers to keep an eye on the counter while we were gone. He led me back through the kitchen and into a room where all the food was stockpiled.
“Ya’ heard me right, Captain, he asked her to marry him,” he said, trying his best to hold in the laughter.
“Why in the world would he do such a thing? He knows Cezelia can’t stand him!”
“Well let’s think about it, Captain. What does Ollie tend to do all day?”
I sighed again and leaned against a large box, holding my hand against my head because I could already feel a headache coming on. “So he was drunk when this happened?”
“Yup!” he said, this time unable to hold in the laughter. “I’m sorry, Captain, but I find this funny. On the other hand, I would be high surprised if he actually is depressed because he was rejected. Ollie drinks and smokes a lot, but that doesn’t mean he’s stupid. Surely he cannot be sad about it, since he knows that he was messed up in the mind when he asked her anyway. I think it is actually something else, but perhaps you should speak with you sister first.”
“I would like to talk with Ollie before I do that.”
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you. You know how argumentative he gets when he’s drunk or messed up in the mind. I suggest you walk Ollie to his house, talk to Cezelia to see what actually happened, and then confront Ollie about it when he’s in a more stable set of mind.”
I grinned and patted Voren on the arm, “It’s a good thing you’re so smart, Voren. Thanks.”
“No worries, Captain. I am here to serve,” he said sarcastically and then took a bow. We both laughed at that for a few seconds before returning to the front. Ollie was at the counter asking for another drink. The young woman keeping an eye on the counter was about to sell him another bottle, but I stopped her.
“I don’t think so, Ollie, you’ve had enough for tonight. Let’s go home, it’s already nightfall.”
He looked at me for several seconds with a set of extremely droopy eyes, opened his mouth to say something, and then passed out on the floor. I sighed and rolled my eyes once more as a crowd starting to form around his body. “Get back!” I called out to them.
“Will you look at that, Ollie passed out,” Voren said with another chuckle. “You know, Captain, he’s about the same size as you. How about I pick him up and take him to his house? You better talk to Cezelia to see what happened.”
“That’s awfully nice of you, but what about your pub?”
“Don’t worry, Sari can hold the fort down until I get home. Besides, closing time comes in about thirty minutes. Things start slowing down right around this time.”
I thanked him and then left the pub, leaving our tiny market area and heading straight towards my sister’s home. Like everyone’s home, hers was located in the north and northeastern part of the town, and right beside my own. Her house was actually a bit nicer than mine, only because she actually decorates it and keeps it spotlessly clean. I don’t really care, I’m only in it to sleep and eat anyway.
“Coming!” I heard her yell from within the house once I had knocked. She opened the door and looked rather surprised. “Cyric? It’s going on eleven o’clock, is something wrong?”
“Yes, I think so. It involves Ollie. Can I come in for a little bit?”
She rolled her eyes. “Of course. He didn’t do anything stupid did he?”
“Well, that depends on what you would call stupid. Do you call stupid getting drunk and then passing out in a public tavern?”
“Oh my…yes, come in. Do you want something to drink or eat? I just fixed some bala-bread if you want any.”
“No thinks, I’d like to wrap this up quickly so I can go to bed. Tomorrow is going to be busy.”
We both sat down at her kitchen table, inside a rather small area but big enough for two people. “I hear Ollie asked you to marry him. Is that true?”
She rolled her head from side to side and gave me a goofy grin. “Yes, he came knocking at my house at a quarter past midnight last night. He started yelling something and I could tell he was drunk. I cracked open the door and told him to shut up and go home, but he kept on yelling. He asked me to marry him, but like I said…he was drunk. So why are you asking this?”
“When I walked into the pub Ollie was sitting in the corner by himself, looking downer than I’ve ever seen him. Voren told me what happened, and now I’m trying to find out what’s wrong with him. I was hoping you’d have some information.”
“Wait…you don’t think it has anything to do with me rejecting him, do you? He was DRUNK, Cyric, and I’m surprised he would even remember what happened! I don’t agree with Voren one bit.”
“Voren never said he thought it was directly involved with you, Cezelia, but you should have seen Ollie sitting in the pub. He looked so down. I know something is bothering him, other than his mother’s death. He’s been drinker more and more each week. I’d like to think it’s just the addiction that so many people get, but I can’t help but wonder if it’s something more. I just wish I knew what it was. ”
“Yeah, well I wouldn’t worry about it. Ollie is nothing but a useless drunk and you know it. I don’t care if he’s your friend, Cyric, you do too much for him. If you don’t do anything about his drinking or smoking he’s going to do something bad.”
I really wasn’t in the mood for a lecture, so I gave Cezelia something she hated. “Alright, mother…”
“Really funny, Cyric. Mother would tell you what I’ve just said. You’re a good officer, you really are. But Cyric is going to be a burden to this town if he keeps getting away with things.”
“Maybe, maybe not. I’m gonna talk to him tomorrow and hopefully I’ll get to the bottom of whatever is going on. Goodnight.”
Cezelia gave me a hug and I left. Fevlin was waiting in the fort barracks just like I asked. I explained to him the situation and he laughed just as Voren did. I wanted to simply laugh it off as well, but then I started to think about what my sister said had. Maybe she was right, maybe Voren would become a burden to the town if I didn’t do something about his problems. It’s not really something I wanted to think about, but I was Captain after all. I couldn’t just keep standing by and ignoring it.
“Eventually I will have to do something if he keeps this up, Fevlin. We can’t have him waking people up at midnight, now can we?”
“True,” Fevlin responded inbetween bites of an apple. “However, what is there to do, Cyric? It’s not like we can follow and watch him all day. Honestly, there‘s really only one thing you can do that will work.”
“Are you suggesting that I throw him in prison?” I asked crazily.
“Well I don’t know, you tell me,” he said, almost in a defensive tone. I guess I was probably and bit too questioning with my own tone. “Do you have any other ideas? Ollie is our best friend, I’m well aware of that. But when he‘s effecting the townspeople that’s crossing the line. And he’s starting to come awfully close to it. Bothering Cezelia isn’t that big of a deal, he’s done that all his life. But when he’s drunk there’s obviously no way of controlling him. Either you do something now or live to regret it in the future. I’m sorry, Cyric, but there’s just no other way.”
I looked at the ground for a few seconds, thinking about what I had just heard. Fevlin was right and I knew it, I just wish I didn’t. It’s like I already said earlier, Ollie has been my best friend since childhood. And also like I already said, he didn’t use to be a drunk. It’s when his mother died that he turned for the worst. But there’s no going back now, because you can’t fix the past no matter how many times you dream that you can.
“You’re right, I think I’ll wait inside his house until he awakes. I need to talk to him as soon as possible. Whether or not you agree, I’m going to give him one final chance. Believe me, I’ll pound that into his head until he can repeat it in his sleep. I can’t keep giving him second, third, fourth and fifth chances anymore.”
“Do you want me to go with you, to keep you company at least?”
“No, you’ve worked hard today. You can go home now.”
“Well, if you don’t mind I think I’ll just sleep here in the fort tonight. I’ve been meaning to work on a new table for our kitchen here, and Lavernius said he’d help me when I get the chance. He’s in there right now so I figure now is a good time.”
“Arlight, then. Goodnight.”
“Goodnight, Cyric. And good luck with Ollie as well while you‘re at it. By Bavlian’s Blade I know you’re gonna need it.”
I hate to keep repeating myself like I’ve already done numerous times, but Ollie drinks his money away. And in doing so he’s been forced to live in the outskirts of the town, in the area where the poor and less-privileged live. He’s not exactly poor by official standards, it’s just that silver usually doesn’t stay in his pockets for a very long time.
When I arrived at his house I knocked lightly a couple of times. Voren answered the door, having to duck under the doorway while coming outside so he wouldn’t bang his head on the wood. “He’s asleep right now, Captain, but he was muttering some weird stuff on the way here.”
“Something about…I don’t know, I think he said something about not being worthy. Most of it was slurred to where I couldn’t hear him.”
“Thanks for taking care of him, Voren. You can leave now. I’m going to wait here until he wakes up. He and I have some things to discuss.”
“It was my pleasure, Captain. I’ll see tomorrow at breakfast with Fevlin as always?”
“Probably not tomorrow, Voren. I‘m supposed to meet with the Governor first thing in the morning. We‘ll try and stop by sometime in the afternoon if we‘re not busy. Have a good night.”
So I walked inside the home. It was pitch black, save for a small fire in the living quarters that Voren must have started. It was a fairly cool outside with a steady breeze, so the warming fire felt good on my skin. Ollie was snoring like a bear in his room upstairs, so I walked into the kitchen to see if he had anything to drink, besides alcohol I mean. Of course, not to my surprise though, the kitchen was littered with bottles, some empty, some full, some half gone, and some shattered all over the floor. It looked like a twister had made it’s way through his house. Of course, I hadn’t visited him in his home in almost two weeks.
Luckily I found a bottle of pear juice, so I took the bottle and walked down into his cellar where he had a small library. Before his mother died he was an avid reader, especially historical documents about the alienic lands to the southeast. Ollie was obsessed with the Zervegei of Zevroth in the northeastern region of Teir. I’ll admit they are an interesting civilization, but Ollie took his interest almost to another level. Because of him I’ve learned a lot of information about them, even though history shows that they have never visited out lands.
I sat down at a table. On it was a sugarshoot pipe and a pile of what looked to be some blue powder-like material, which I knew was basically sugarshoot crushed into tiny pieces, with a couple of other things mixed in as well. I sat on the other side where I had more room and started to read a book that was lying face down. It was titled “History of the Zervegei: The Battle of Canatalo River”.
I must have fallen asleep shortly after that because the next thing I knew I woke up to a ray of morning sunlight coming in through a window that had been built into the cellar. Birds were chirping outside and I could hear the rustling of footsteps as well. I turned around to walk up the stairs and that’s when I realized Ollie was sitting at the table.
“You finally wake? It’s eight o’clock in the morning,” he said without emotion.
I stretched my arms into the air and said, “You should be talking, Ollie. What was wrong with you last night?”
“You saw it for yourself, is there really a need for me to answer? I got drunk and passed out. It happens all the time, everyone should be used to it by now.”
I wasn’t liking the tone of his voice. It was sort of defensive in a way, but at the same time with a smartalic tone. It was easy to tell that something was wrong. “Don’t get smart with me, Ollie. I know something is wrong, I could tell by the way you were looking last night. Something is upsetting you, and I want you to tell me what it is.”
He just chuckled and took a bite of a yellow bala -fruit he was holding, the green juice shooting out from the bottom and spraying onto his table. He didn’t seem to care, and at that moment I knew that was the case. It was as if he was losing interest in everything. “Cyric…the people here don’t like me. I know what I’ve become, I’m a useless drunk and sugarshoot addict. That’s what’s wrong with me. I’ve become something that I never once dreamed of. But that’s alright, I’m gonna leave soon anyway.”
“What?” I yelled. “Why would you leave?”
“Because I’m not welcome here anymore, that’s why! The only people who have even the least amount of respect for me is you. Fevlin doesn’t care for me anymore, I can tell it in his tone of voice. I guess I don’t blame him, but it doesn’t matter. I can’t stay here anymore. It’s time a move on to another place, maybe make a new name for myself.”
“And where do you plan on going? The nearest city is more than fifty miles away.”
“I haven’t decided yet. Froc sounds like a good option now, I could open up a winery or something with the money I have left. It’s the capitol of Illacor after all, so hopefully I can earn some money quick. Either way it doesn’t matter, I’m leaving tomorrow morning and you can’t talk me out of it.”
“You know, Ollie, this is kind of sudden. I was going to try and get you in my army, after helping you stop drinking and smoking. I-”
“Yeah, well maybe I don’t wan to quit! Dammit, Cyric, stop getting in my business all the time! I know you’re just trying to help me and all that, but it’s really starting to get on my nerves.”
I didn’t say anything else to him, and instead I left the house, never looking back. He didn’t say anything to me either, and honestly that disappointed me. I was hoping he’d say he’s sorry and ask me to come back and talk, like he’s always done. But no, that wasn’t the case this time. And that’s how I knew it was over. I’ll admit that I wasn’t as sorry as I thought I would be. Of course part of that was my anger towards him just wanting to give up and leaving, and another part was that I was still in shock. I really wasn’t expecting him to tell me that he was going to leave Karuun for good.
Maybe he would change his mind and stay. I really didn’t think that would happen, but it never hurts to dream.