Hey everybody. I just wanted to let you know that today begins my new blog over at Know Direction. It is called Groundbreaking, posts every other Tuesday, and in it I will be designing a large sandbox location from the bottom up (or perhaps the top down). I had a few pieces of short fiction that I wrote to try and get a narrative view of some of the goings on. Ultimately they did’t fit the flavor I was going for, so they were dropped. Since I wanted to announce that blog here, I figured why not release them while I am at it!
“Well, Master Brewer, what do you think?” The disheveled, round gnome balanced precariously on his chair, glanced at the assorted barley, hops, and vials of water on the table then smiled back up at the dwarf standing across from him. The older, but cleanly groomed dwarf had a look that shifted from disbelief to amazement, and then finally to amusement. “My brothers thought me crazy to have this conversation with you, to be honest. If not for that favor our clan owes your family, I would not be here. What you have shown me, and are suggesting, is just not possible.” The dwarf let his smile fade, and for the first time, the gnome was worried that his idea truly was foolish. “But, if you can show me, and I can see it with my own two eyes. If all of these ingredients truly grow within sight of this … “, he pauses to search for words, “ … truly divine water, I will make sure that Clan Stormbrew goes into business with you!” A smile erupts on the dwarf’s face, and it is clear that he doesn’t do it often. The gnome dances a jig, starts putting the ingredients back into the bag hanging on his chair, and says “As we travel, let’s also discuss what my alchemy can do to modify the process …”
“Sir Reginald, how fares the Queen?” A pristinely dressed man of the cloth asks as a knight in gleaming armor dismounts and hands the reigns of his horse to his squire. “She is in good spirits, Your Holiness, truly a new woman with renewed strength. It would seem the trip was worth the price we paid to learn of this place.” The knight leads the priest over to the carriage, and holds out his hand as a footman dismounts, prepares the steps for the queen’s departure, and opens the door. “Sir Reginald, High Priest, I can speak for myself, you know” chides a lavishly dressed woman of advancing years. She steps out of the carriage, using the knight’s outstretched hand to balance her descent. “Polly” the queen calls to her lady-in-waiting, “Please have summons delivered to the court, I absolutely must share my experience at the Gnomish Dream Caverns.”
“Grandpa, what do you think is up there?” a young boy of about 10 years old asks as he looks up at the pillar of obsidian rising hundreds of feet above the lake water. He leans slightly to his left, blocking the morning sun with the pillar. “Well Jacen, “ the old man pauses as he checks the fishing lines on either side of their canoe, “My grandfather once told me that the secret to the bubbling water is on top of The Dark Pillar. He used to tell me that the Storm God himself put the first fish eggs in this here lake and that he placed a device on the pillar to make sure they hatched twice a year. Legend has it that he placed the device on the pillar to make sure he could always see it, and that we couldn’t reach it.” He winked at the boy. “Has anybody seen the device grandpa?” Jacen’s voice was filled with wonder and curiosity. The old man replied, “I grew up with a boy that said he found a way to climb up there. Nobody believed him. He waited until the winter spawning festival, when everybody was on the water and sure to see him, and sure enough, he climbed his way to the top.” Jacen’s excitement caused him to stand in the boat, rocking it wildly. “What did he see!? What did he see!?” His grandfather calmly sat the boy down and looked away for a second before looking soberly at him and saying “Nothing. The second he reach the top, a bolt of lighting struck him out of the clear blue sky. He fell to the waters below and was never seen again.”