A Simple Farmer
I am a simple farmer.
We have tended this small parcel of land for as long as our family can remember. The Northlands are beautiful here where the rocky crags give way to tall rolling hills and deep forest. Swift moving streams overflow their bounds with snowmelt and settle back under thick blankets of snow during the long winter. Fields for crops and cattle are cut from the forested valley and a small hamlet is tucked among three rocky outcrops known as Prir Brodir. The Three Brothers.
I had three brothers once. They yearned for the glory of battle. The call of the sea is strong among my people and my brothers scorned this simple, peaceful life. They left many seasons past for the shores and ships to the north. They had salt in their blood and it called to them as the land called to me. I still hear stories of them from time to time and how they fight together like a storm at sea, swift, dangerous, and unstoppable.
Tales of their adventures and far off lands are told about the winter hearth of our ancestral home. It was there on my father's knee I learned my letters and numbers. He taught me what to plant and when, when to hoard and when to give, simple wisdoms learned and passed on. He died five growing seasons past now. Only my wife and two surviving children remain in the house. My son is old enough to be rising with me in the dark hours before dawn to see to the animals. I had dreams once that I would see him grow into a strong capable man with a family of his own.
I do not know if he is still alive, nor my wife or daughter. Three days past a barbarian tribe came from the south. I had hoped to entice them with what stores I could spare and send them on their way. They did not care for such things and too much for my wife. They beat me and left me for dead. I could do nothing but listen as they took my children kicking and screaming from their hiding place. Soon, I knew only darkness.
I awoke to grey skies, cold rain falling on fields still glimmering with embers among the ash like stars in the night sky, and crackling charcoal timbers among the stones of a ruined foundation. Fathers forgive me. There is nothing left for me here. There have been dark tales from the northern borderlands where a new power is rising, terrifying whispers of a Raven God who tortures and twists land and men. In my darkest hour, hope gleams in the distance like the light from a safe harbor. I will find these barbarians, kill all that lie in my path, raze their lands to ash and one day among the ruined land I will find my kin and bring them home.
I am a simple farmer.
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