Guardian

What is one, lowly peasant boy in a world of implacable Kings and scheming, murderous Nobles?


One with a destiny beyond imagining.


Young Braen is a simple shepherd, like his father, and his before him. Nothing ever changes in the village of Stonesthrow, save for the turning of the seasons.

But when death finds him, the young man quickly learns that 'the end' is not so clear-cut.

At least, not for those granted the gift of immortality.

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Author's note

(Some of the names and terms I've outright invented (which is most of them) might be confusing as far as their proper pronunciation goes, so here will be a (likely) ever-expanding list to aid you, dear reader, with just that!)

Braen - Bray-en (Celtic inspired)

Rion - Rye-on (Celtic inspired)

Meira - Meer-a

Patras - Pah-trahs (Mediterranean inspired)

Kleonic Marathon - Klee-oh-nik Marath-on (Kleon is derived from the Greek word 'Kleos' which means 'glorious'. 'Marathon' was the site of a famous battle during the Greco-Persian wars.

Urik - Your-ik (Anglo-Saxon inspired)

Obfuscationist - Ob-few-scay-shun-ist (Obviously not a 'real' word, but it damn well should be!)
AA

3. Chapter 3

'Always liked that passage' said his Father, strangely oblivious to the priest's odd behavior.

 

In fact, looking around, no one but Braen seemed to have noticed anything out of the ordinary.

 

A hand suddenly touched his shoulder from behind.

 

It was Meira.

 

Her eyes were red and puffy, and her face showed signs of sleeplessness, but she was smiling nonetheless.

 

'Thank you' she said quietly, giving him a quick peck on the cheek before leaving.

 

Braen's face turned beet-red, and the big man chuckled.

 

'She's a good lass, Meira. Might even make a good wife one day, eh?' he winked conspiratorially, and the youth groaned.

 

'Come, Son. Let's get back to the pasture before those ewes give birth-'

 

'A fine day to you, William' said Brother Davin, having suddenly appeared as if out of thin air. 'I apologize for intruding, but yesterday's incident has just now reached my ears, and I would like to hear Braen's accounting of it'

 

The boy looked at his Father worriedly, but William simply mistook it as anxiety from the incident, having failed completely to take notice of the Priest's sudden oddness.

 

'Aye, I'll tell ya right now, Brother: somethin' needs to be done about that Thatcher boy. He's nothin' but trouble'

 

The Old Man nodded.

 

'Indeed, I have noticed the manifestation of the child's inner-darkness: a seed that, I fear may sprout into something far worse than we have thus far seen'

 

He clapped a hand on Braen's shoulder and smiled an encouraging smile, which took the boy by surprise.

 

'Your Son, on the other hand, is surrounded by a whirlwind of destiny'

 

Then that strange, piercing gaze returned.

 

'Destiny of a magnitude only a rare few could possibly be entrusted with'

 

Again, his Father seemed completely oblivious to the clergyman's strange behavior, and Braen began to wonder if there were more to old Davin than could be seen with the naked eye. 

 

'Agreed, Brother: His unscrupulous Father's the one to blame. But if you'll excuse, I've my flock to attend'

 

As soon as the chapel was empty, Davin seated himself and gestured for Braen to do the same.

 

'I am certain you've questions aplenty, Child. Some I can answer, but many I am simply not permitted to, as of yet'

 

'Elder? Why was today's sermon so........strange? And why didn't anyone else notice?'

 

He smiled.

 

'Simple, young one: its true message was for your ears alone'

 

Braen was taken aback. 

 

'Wha-what are you? Are you a sorcerer?!'

 

The Elder frowned.

 

'No, my Son: I am not a follower of darkness, for to be such would be anathema to my very being.........

 

........just as it was for the first' he whispered, seemingly to himself.

 

'The........first?' said the Lad, perplexed.

 

Suddenly, Davin blinked and looked up, as if he had momentarily forgotten where he was.

 

'I fear I've said too much. Do not ask me of this again, do you understand?'

 

Still equal parts curious and wary, Braen nodded.

 

'Good. Now tell me: what happened in your altercation with Rion?'

 

Braen thought for a second before continuing.

 

'I was chasing one of the sheep when I saw them in Farmer Thatcher's Barn. Rion was trying to tear Meira's dress off, so I had to stop him!'

 

Davin nodded.

 

'And how did you do that?'

 

The youth felt his anger rising once more.

 

'I grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, and I.....!........I........'

 

A look of confusion came over his face.

 

'You don't remember, do you?'

 

He shook his head, bewildered.

 

The old Man smiled again.

 

'That, my Child, is because your hidden nature was manifesting itself'

 

Braen looked up, his confusion having only deepened at the cryptic words.

 

'For now' said Davin 'that is all I can reveal. The sun has reached midday, and you had best return to your duties'

 

Wordlessly, the boy got up to leave, unable to make any sort of sense of the bizarreness that seemed to be slowly encroaching upon his world.

 

'A word of caution before you leave: I have looked into your rival's heart, and have seen vengeance. Beware inattentiveness.............for it may cost you your life'

 

Wordlessly, he walked out of the Church, a sense of doom gripping his heart.

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