And then, One Morning…
The world has changed. It sounds like a cliché, but it’s true. In the Kingdom of Folas however, most didn’t notice, much less care, about the changes that were happening beyond their borders. This is not surprising, as common Folasian wisdom , “We keep to ourselves, and the rest of the world leaves us alone. Why should we care?”
It was in this kingdom of apathy, a young man was rushing to his parent’s kitchen. Today, on the eve of his eighteenth birthday, he and his parents were setting out for Fortak to attend the Founding Festival, and celebrate his coming of age, a day that he had been looking forward to for months.
Arriving in the kitchen, he found his parents were already there. His father, Toram, was sitting in his usual seat, regarding his son as he sat down across from him. His mother, Elan, handed Boran his breakfast as he sat down across from his father.
“Thanks Mom,” he said quickly before diving into his meal. It wasn’t long before he noticed his father’s glacier blue eyes glinting in amusement.
“What?” Boran asked his mouth full of food.
“Nothing,” Toram replied, “Just hoping nothing gets caught in whatever’s been growing on your face.”
Boran scowled, but didn’t reply, still self-conscious about his recently grown beard. His father kept himself clean shaven, a product of his past he always said, but Boran liked having a beard. What did it matter if it was patchy?
“When are we leaving?” Boran asked, changing the subject before the mockery could really get going.
“As soon as you finished breakfast,” his mother said as she sat down between them. “We need to get to Fortak in time for lunch with Besan and Iragor.”
“So I have to finish one meal so we won’t be late for another one?” Boran asked. “Isn’t that a little redundant?”
“He has a fair point Elan,” Toram said. Elan then glared at both of them, her piercing blue eyes bowing their heads immediately. There weren’t many people that could withstand Elan’s gaze, and her husband and son not among them.
Needing to changed the subject, Toram asked his son, “Are you packed?”
“Yes,” Boran replied.
“Your sword?” Toram asked.
“Yes,” Boran answered.
“Your dress shirt?” Elan asked.
Boran sighed as he replied, “Yes.”
Elan smiled, and Boran averted his eyes agaiin. He hated that shirt, but he was smart enough not to argue with his mother. Besides, he would need it for this trip anyway, the Founding Festibal holding a number of formal events.
The three finished their breakfast quickly, and then gathered their things for the trip. Boran his bag and wooden sword outside to find heir draft horses, Felipe and Nico, were already hitched to the wagon, with Toram’s horse Bull standing beside them, saddled and ready to go. Boran threw his things into the back of the wagon, and was about to climb aboard when his father said, “Get those crates in the back first. Your mother and I are going to sell some of our crop while we’re in town.”
Boran considered fighting it, but he wanted to get going. Just as the last crate was loaded, Elan walked out, looking quite different from a few moments before. Her kitchen clothes put away, she was wearing one of her favourite summer dresses, a deep red that hugged her still slim figure. Her appearance drew a wolf whistle from her husband, an action that Boran did his best to ignore.
“Toram behave yourself,” Elan said as she let her hair out. The blonde waves cascaded down her back, increasing her beauty a hundred fold. If Boran didn’t know any better, anyone would assume that she was a woman in her early thirties instead of her mid-forties.
“Why should I?” Toram asked, with a wry grin.
“Because if you don’t I’ll tell your son about the time a horse peed on you,” Elan replied, and Toram’s eyes went wide.
“I’m sorry, what happened?” Boran asked, smiling at his mother.
“Never mind,” Toram said as he mounted Bull,. “I’m riding out to Hagar’s to make sure everything’s arranged. I’ll catch up with you later.”
“Be careful,” Elan baid him, “There are rumours of goblin coming down from the mountains.”
“I will,” Toram said, and then walked Bull over so he could kiss his wife goodbye, “Be careful yourself.”
“We will,” Elan replied. Toram kicked his heels, sending Bull into a gallop while Boran and Elan climbed up into the wagon. Boran took the reins and whipped the horses into motion.
As they rode away, Boran looked over his shoulder to catch a final glance at their farm farm. It was so peaceful and quite, the only home he had ever known, and as excited as he was to be heading to Fortak, he would miss sleeping in his own bed for a few days. Little did he know that today was the last time he would lay eyes on that farm for a long, long time.