Two of our main characters, Aethan and Falton have ventured far beyond their own lands. They have ventured across the winter wastelands as they work to evade those hunting for them as they strive to solve the riddle placed before them. An unexpected encounter gives them a clue.
Eldridge took a seat across from Aethan and began the tale of Turin’s face.
Long ago in times before history was recorded, before the times of men, before the sires of Euwold and Locland were at hand, before Eorath the Great came from the mountain world to live upon the plains there were an ancient people who dwelt in this land. For whatever reason they are known as Turins. Thought to be a hearty and noble people, they believed in the religion of the earth. Life for them flowed from all things. They worshiped plants and animals, water and sky, earth and moon. They dwelt in a range they called Noran Dur, very likely the oldest place known in all the world. Their most sacred ground lay to the north, very near the waters edge of the Ice Sea. To this day it is unnamed.
To that end so lore has it, they constructed a great temple hewn of the very rock and stone. Massive by any measure, mountains were single rooms unto themselves. Within it they planted a garden filled with the roots and plants they worshiped and used in everyday life. The very waters of the sea were funneled into the landscape and used to feed it. Huge clefts were carved into the mountains and they became the waterfalls, the life’s blood of the greenery. Those gardens it is said are the very forests we walk this day. Long did they dwell in those lands until time passed them by and they fell into nothing more than memory and tall tales, rumors and ghost stories to tell round the fire to scared little children. All that is left of them is a single marker, a ghostly face carved into the mountains, weathered nearly beyond recognition over the ages. It looks to their temple and lush gardens that they would never forget their lineage.
“Why do men fear it?” Falton slugged back a drink and felt the warmth rush down his throat. He closed his eyes tightly.
“It is forbidden to go there. The garrison has truly one task at hand and that is to keep all away.”
“What garrison? I have seen no soldiers here.”
“They pulled out near a week ago. Why I do not know. It has never happened before.” Falton and Aethan looked at each other. Perhaps they knew the answer. “Our masters are superstitious. They fear the old ways. Long have their subjects been unhappy with their lot in life. It is said the ways of the old kingdoms were enlightened and men were free, though that was so long ago perhaps it is merely wishful thinking.” At that, Eldridge sent a drink down his own throat.
The riddle of Turin's face.
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I hope the holidays are warm and welcoming to one and all.