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TotTSM – Part 5

WATCHERS

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Three weeks followed from the day of that bizarre incident until the first true snow finally fell. Not a soul within their city could fathom what had happened, or how Voren had managed to survive an evident lightning strike, even though he was insistent that it hadn’t actually struck HIM, but the earth a couple feet away. Even the Elder Mystics had no explanation other than Voren had to have been blessed with some sort of gift.. And had since been very anxious to talk to him whenever they could. While the sudden rush of attention was kind of nice, Voren was a bit uncomfortable with it. He couldn’t get past the feeling that they were trying to get on his good side for something. It was a terrible thing to think about the Elders, he supposed, but still the nagging voice in his thoughts was there.

Before long, however, that nervous shadow in the back of his head crept back in, and Voren found the endless curiosity of the Elders and his friends turning slowly but surely into suspicion. He couldn’t fathom how or why at first, but the more he listened, the more he began to hear the beginnings of such outrageous stories. Perhaps he had actually called that storm to him. He had been wandering around quite often on his own as of late.. Especially on that hill where he went to ‘think’. A crisis had nearly befallen the city and here he was just wandering around.. Maybe he had adverted the one spell of his that got out of control.. He was no Sovorian, he had no right to be tinkering with things he didn’t understand.

Were he any other man, Voren might have become belligerent and incensed by such outlandish implications.. He couldn’t understand how people he had known all his life could suddenly decide he was this foolish Magic Speaker who didn’t have an idea of what he were doing. As much as he might hope otherwise, it was clear to the man that none of HIS words would change their mind any time soon, so all he could do was wait for THIS storm to pass too..

By the dawn of then next moon, Voren was a near outcast. One might never have gathered as much from the look of things, but so many of his fellow citizens were reluctant to engage much with him. It was beginning to get on his nerves. He hadn’t DONE anything to deserve such treatment.  If anything he had done something to prevent a really terrible storm from possibly inundating their city with too much snow to handle, for one. People weren’t exactly treating him like he had a disease, but they had definitely become as cold to him as the weather had turned.

The one thing they didn’t know of was the object he and Freah had recovered from that smoldering hole in the earth, Both of them had come to the silent agreement that this thing was probably better left unspoken, lest someone try to take it from him. Voren had earned it as a prize for his deeds if nothing else. In the free time he’d had since that day, and in between his work as an apprentice to the best Blacksmith in the entire province, Voren had taken it upon himself to craft it into a medallion. He hadn’t dared risk puncturing the thing itself, so he laid it in a small piece of metal and made the clasps which held it in place resemble small talons. Then on the back he had the date of its discovery etched in. A rather fine piece of secretive work, concluded Voren with a smile.

As Fate has a way of doing, Voren began spending less and less time at the shop per request of his master. Work had evidently slowed enough to where his services weren’t required so often. And while he was assured his apprenticeship wasn’t in any danger, there just wasn’t anything for him to do..  It was all too clear to him however, why he was being asked not to come around so much.. Voren was crushed. He liked his job, he liked making things.. He prided himself on being useful. And what was worse was that his marriage to Freah now appeared to be in danger, as well.

How long is it going to take for these people to forget and move on? I haven’t done anything wrong to earn this resentment. I wish they could just see that..

As the winter months dragged on, life in the city remained wildly abnormal.. Almost every day there was a new law being posted, or proposed, or edited or taken into consideration. Fees and penalties became the norm, so much so people were becoming afraid to go out very much. For the first time in centuries, the midwinter solstice celebration was cancelled, purportedly because of an impending winter storm, but when that failed to happen, there was nothing anyone could do. The time of the Solstice had passed, the magic was useless.

Voren spent most of his time in the woods surrounding the city since then. Even going so far as to build himself a little hut to sleep in while he was there. Even as the worst of the winter gales swept through, he bedded down in his small house until it passed. It was one morning, early in the spring when he first discovered the small door in the city wall. Where it lead to, or why it was there, he couldn’t begin to hypothesize. For as old as the city wall was and looked, this door appeared oddly new and quite out of place. It was set back in the wall roughly six inches. With the over growth of vegetation and the vines growing along the wall itself, he could understand how it went without notice..

Several days passed until Voren was able to move the door and get it to open. The hinges were so old they creaked and groaned in protest. Now that he had it open, Voren had to figure out what it lead to, if anything. Perhaps it was just an old storage room. Plucking his torch up from the ground, Voren drew a deep breath and started inside. Either way, he was excited to have found this.. How many others knew of it, he wondered..

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