Friday, January 18, 2013


The Tradeheights is no ordinary place. The miles coastline, most of it a sheer drop to the rocky, crashing sea below, was home to a string of towns and villages which had grown like weeds along the coast when Meurig Sheerwind was growing up. Friendly trade began just a few years before he was born into this world, trade to a place to the south that he hadd heard countless tales of: Firalia. Trade with Firalia changed the pace of life on the Tradeheights, and even deeper into this continent that the Firalians called Lyor (Meurig only called it home, however). Thousands moved here, and it became a town where most of the residents only dreamed of a little bit of gold in their paws.
It was this atmosphere that he grew up in and became adapted to. No one race dominated Tradeheights, there were owlcats like Meurig, creatures of the deep woods like the red squirrel tribesmen and the ferrets, strange lizards from Firalia, all types of griffins, dogbats, exotic sandy-coated foxes… All here for one purpose: to earn gold, silver and jewels in the trade of goods. Some were less reputable than others, but issues more serious than drunken brawls were almost unheard of.
The cliffs were steep , but trade was possible thanks to small boats that ran from the cliffs to the ships, and the  hand-pulled boxes that carried goods and creatures up to the clifftops. Meurig’s family ran a tavern in the town of Valyx providing him with a view of the creatures that passed through, from sailors and traders to mages and crafters. By the time Meurig reached his 17th year, he thought he’d seen it all. But he was wrong.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The start of Kai's expedition...

            The morning chill made Kaiser reluctant to leave his bed, but with Ina’s son and Irek in mind, he eventually crawled out. Kai crept carefully past the sleeping bodies of his siblings and snuck past his parents room. He told them he would be out with Irek today helping him out, but his parents had inquired much more beyond that so he didn’t feel the need to worry them with details. He grabbed a shirt, his belt, some breakfast, and as an afterthought he grabbed the knife that usually sat in a drawer by the door. He could see the eastern horizon just starting to lighten with a pink glow. Kai hastened his pace into a bouncy lope as he left his crowded house behind and descended into the sleeping village.
            In front of the shop he saw smoke rising from the chimney and  a light inside. He entered softly, the place was lit up from the fireplace and Ina had hot berry tea and biscuits for them. Irek was sitting by the fireplace with Boer (a fellow farmer) and Ria, Irek’s daughter and apprentice. 
Boer, Ria & Irek

            “And not a second too late, my lad!” Boer greeted him cheerily as Kai accepted the tea and biscuit from Ina.
            Irek and Ria nodded at him and he smiled back before munching on the food.
            “Ina was just telling us exactly what her boy was doing on this trip!” Boer announced.
            Ina nodded and sat down with her own cup of tea, “Yes, he was going to Ourning and Estel villages to buy some items we needed to restock, but he never returned. He should’ve been back four days ago!”
            Boer nodded, “You know, he probably just got stuck chasing after a girl or something, but I’ll go cause I can see how worried y’are.”
            With warm bellies the four of them departed, leaving Ina wringing her paws in her skirt as the sun just barely crested the horizon.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A trip to the village...

            It was late summer in the Moonflats, just turning into autumn. Golden hues were beginning to stand out, and the heat of the sun became a warm glow, competing for space in the sky with the gray clouds.  Kaiser was on his way to the village to visit the little store. His mother and sisters had given him a list of things they wanted, filled his pocket with copper pieces, and sent him off. Kai didn’t mind though, he could visit his friends in the village and hear the news from other villages, which was always interesting. With a little wooden cart behind him, Kai loped into the village at a moderate pace, enjoying the wind in his antlers and the stone beneath his paws.
            The village was nestled between 2 hills where a stream ran through. There were houses, most of which also doubled as shops, for those who lived in the village were usually crafters of some sort. Some were bakers, others made tools, baskets, clothing, etc. It was a modest sized village, big enough to allow Kai’s family to focus exclusively on farming while getting everything else they needed from the village. Kai went past the home of the Grasspaw’s, the Yellowtree’s, the Brontiers, and many others before reaching the heart of the village, where the general store was.  He left his little cart outside, dusted off his paws, straightened his back and entered the little shop.
            Inside was quiet, nothing unusual for Velvelin. He looked around for Ina the shopkeeper but the little jackalope was nowhere to be seen. He picked down the aisles, grabbing this and that. He eventually meandered towards the back of the shop where he heard harsh whispers from a small office room. 

            “Are you sure he just didn’t get caught in some bad weather?” A males voice was saying.
            “Yes, I’m sure. Tren is never this late, and isn’t afraid of bad weather. I’d heard rumors before I sent him off but I didn’t pay them any mind…” This voice sounded like Ina’s, a frail old jackalope.
            “Yes, about trouble in Jurness. I didn’t pay them any mind though, you know how traders do like to embellish their tales. But now…”
            “Ina, you mustn’t be afraid. I can take a few good jackalopes with me tomorrow and head out there to search for him, if you’d like…”
            “Oh Irek, would you? I’m worried sick, I can barely work and I feel it in my bones that something awful is going on.” Ina sounded close to tears by this point. Kaiser was completely caught up in his eavesdropping by now and was surprised to hear that she was talking to Irek. Irek was Velvelins unofficial leader, everyone turned to him when problems arose in the village. He was a full-grown jackalope, dusky gray pelt and huge antlers. He’d seen more than thirty winters and had traveled all the Moonflats in his youth as a trader, but eventually settled back down in Velvelin as a blacksmith.
            Kai’s arms had begun to ache from holding so many things and he decided he needed to pay. He coughed and knocked on the frame of the doorway. Teary-eyed Ina looked up, “Kai, my dear, I didn’t hear you come in!”
            “Hello Ina, and Irek. How do you do?” Kai put on a charming smile.
            Irek nodded and Ina stood, “I’m fine, although, I don’t know if you overheard… but Tren hasn’t come back from Ourning and Estel villages, and he was due back a week ago with new goods.”
            “I’m very sorry to hear that, Ma’am.” Kai bowed his head and held out his arm to help her walk to the front desk where she kept her coin-case and notes. “Did I hear something about a search?” Kai glanced at Irek.
            Irek stood from his seat and followed them, “Yes. I’m going to head out tomorrow. I don’t suppose your family could spare you for a few days?”
            Kai had to suppress an overeager twitch of his tail as he nodded, “Of course, we shouldn’t be harvesting for another week, I think. I’d love to come help!” Although Kai loved his life on the farm, it was a rare treat to travel around and an even rarer treat to spend time in the company of Irek.
            Irek nodded, his great antlers swinging slowly. Ina sniffled and thanked them as Kai paid and left.
            “Before sunrise, Kaiser!” Irek shouted after him as Kai sped back up towards the house with the now-full cart.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Kaiser of the Moonflats: An Introduction

            He never wanted to be a hero, or a warrior, nor did he ever think that he would ever wield a sword. Kaiser Silverpoint would have been content to live the life his parents had, and their parents before them. They were farmers, gatherers, and occasionally, traders. He lived in the Moonflats, a land of meadows, gentle hills, flat prairie and sparse forest. Quiet streams wound their way lazily through in some areas, and swamps lived in some of the lowest places. This was the homeland of the jackalopes. They grew vegetables, grains, and some hardy fruit, they picked berries and nuts, made goods; baskets, cloth, carts, pottery. Their lives were busy, but peaceful.
            The Moonflats was dotted with villages which were connected by generations-old paths. Kai (as he was called by everyone) lived in Velvelin, towards the center of the Moonflats. There, he resided in his family’s ancient house with his parents and siblings, nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts. They all shared in that life, a growing prosperous people with a love of life and food and craft. That world was soon gone, in place of a frightening life of war and fighting. Kai hung up his farm tools in favor of a sword. He never wanted this.