Endvar and Fossa's “Cottage”
sat on the front stoop of his grandparent’s cottage in the Andril
Mountains. The excitement
of exploring and swimming had already worn off and now all he wanted was
someone to explore and swim with. It
wasn’t easy finding another eight-year-old here.
Talon’s grandparents lived on the outskirts of a small mountain
village called Selma nestled in among the evergreens of the Elentil
River Valley. Although
Selma lay at the intersection of a mountain road and a caravan route,
only the locals knew the town existed.
Even the tradesmen that traveled this route rarely stopped at
Selma. Instead, they
stopped at the Fortress of Carmel on the southern side of the Andril
offered his grandparents solitude, but solitude wasn’t what Talon
needed. It had been hard
for Talon since his parent’s death, he had no other family –
no brothers or sisters or extended family besides his grandparents.
Some great mystery surrounded his grandfather’s past, something
that made connections with an extended family a dark secret. If he ever asked, they would tell him that his aunts and
uncles “moved far away” and if he asked further, they wouldn’t
answer. Something must have
happened; some family feud or sin they wanted to keep private.
So, Talon knew of no other living relatives besides his
he had developed a deep bond with them.
Even though they were no true replacement for parents, they had
tried helping him as much as they could: coming out to the capital of
Cannor where he lived and staying with him until he finished out court
training each year and when summers came, taking him into their home.
Now, after the newness of another summer vacation had worn off,
he once again felt the generation gap between him and his grandparents
starting to widen and for the first time he understood why. They chose to live out the remainder of their twilight years
away from the hassle of court life whereas he wanted to explore and make
friends. His grandfather
used to hold the respected post of Earl of the West Gate and that post
was now conferred upon the young Talon but he hated court life.
Both his grandparents spent their entire life as ambassadors
whereas Talon wanted to become a knight or join King Leonid’s army and
avenge his parent’s death. They
looked forward to gardening, quiet nights, and most of all, fishing with
their one and only grandson; he wouldn’t be able to see his friends
from the city for weeks until school started again and fishing was
starting to get real old. The
only highlight of his stay in Selma now was an occasional visit by a
merchant named Mishmar who came to visit his Papa and taught Talon to