See: Wolfara Forest
11 - Into Wolfara - In the middle of the night Ivar woke up after getting a nightmare about the fires of his hometown. He decided to write a letter to King Gongo to take his mind off these things.
The next morning when everyone woke up they immediately geared up. Ivar went with the innkeeper to the postbirds behind the inn in a shack. For some extra money he was allowed to use one of the birds and attach his letter to it so it can be delivered in a small amount of time.
Ivar looked at the bird when it flew off with smile. He tried to imagine Gongo's face when he read the letter and read about his quests and his upcoming quest. Ivar was sure it will make him happy to know that he is safe and happy as well.
The group mounted their horses, and in Cain's case, his pony.
"I wish you all of the good luck i can offer" Matta told the group as a goodbye for now and the fellowship of friends departed towards the edge of Wolfara Forest right infront of them.
Ivar was amazed by the tall, moss cled trees as they finally entered the forest itself. From the moment they set foot inside the woods they heard creatures of all sorts crying, growling and singing about. It was the beautiful wilderness as Pindius called it.
"You've never seen a forest this great have you not?" Kerk asked Ivar as he came riding beside him.
"No, not at all. Not even the one we visited for the Bloka Leaves was this grand. I never know trees could grow this tall" Ivar responded still looking around in awe.
"Wolfara Forest is known as the greatest and grandest forest of all Ambodia. I believe everyone should have travelled through it atleast once. Although there are some dangers" Kerk continued the conversation but Ivar didn't mind. He never had a good chance to talk with Kerk anyway.
"What kind of dangers?" Ivar asked.
"Oh dangers of all kinds! Wolves, Trolls you name it!"
"How can they be avoided?"
"If one knows the paths of Wolfara Forest the dangers are easily avoided and one can live to breath another day"
"And you know the paths?" Ivar then wondered.
"I have been here before. Many times. I will always remember this place" Kerk answered with a proud smile.
"You were born here?" was the first thought that came to Ivar.
"No, no, no. I named my sword here" Kerk said and proudly tapped the handle of his sword.
"You name swords?" Ivar asked confused. "Why would they name swords?" he thought to himself.
"It is a normal thing. I don't blame for not having heard of it though. Swords are named after the great deeds they do in battle. My sword is named Drillspike for i spiked my enemies down and drilled through the chieftains skull" Kerk told Ivar.
"What about my sword?" Ivar grabbed his sword and held it up in the air.
"This sword is ancient royalty. But it is yours now so it can be renamed. Unless it never had a name to begin with" Kerk could tell from one glance at the sword. That, and because he heard Gongo say it when he gave it to Ivar.
"How will i know when to name it?"
"You'll know when you are ready" Kerk nodded at Ivar.
Ivar took another look at his sword and inspected it carefully. He did slay that Goblin with it to save two lives. But then he remembered the Goblin Riders attacking his village and decided he doesn't want his sword to have anything to with Goblins unless it counts as slaying them.
Pindius stopped and so did the group. They had been travelling all day now and it was slowly becoming twilight outside.
"The evening is upon us" Pindius said.
"Time to find a cave for shelter" Cain said.
"You'll feel right at home there" Kerk teased Cain as he rode by him.
It didn't take long for them to find a cave to rest in. They left the horses at the entrance to rest and themselves they went deeper into the cave. Not that the cave was big. It was more of an open spot that is fortunately coverted then a cave. But it counted as one.
Kerk threw some woods on the ground and Sperry lit if with her magic. They gathered around it and roasted some of their meat they brought with them. Pinda lit his pipe and layed back against a large rock.
"I can already tell this going to be a fine night" Pindius mumbled.
"Let's hope all will be fine when we reach Red Mountain" Kerk said and ate some his meat.
Red Mountain, Ivar immediately asociated that name with the 'eyes' that Matta told them about. He doesn't even know what they look like and yet it still scares him.
"What do you suppose we'll find up there?" Cain threw in the group, obviously meaning the top of Red Mountain.
"Nothing ofcourse" Sperry replied.
"I really wouldn't know" Ivar said when Cain looked him for an answer; "Even if we find nothing i think the journey alone will be worth it. It will for me"
"Mhm, that is most certainly true" Cain said and then ate his last piece of meat.
"It is not as much as the destination as is the journey" Pindius said as he leaned forward, pipe in hand; "Ivar here is a very calm and thoughtful individual that is clear. All traits of the Lakeside people"
"Yeah, Ivar, how is Lakeside" Kerk then asked with a large smile. He seemed really interested.
"Oh uhm..." Ivar didn't really like where this was going; "It is great. It is very peaceful to say the least"
"Why did you leave it?" Sperry then asked.
"Yeah, why would you leave such a great place?" Cain said as he turned from Sperry to Ivar.
"Wel... i ...uhm ... "
"Ivar" Pindius said his name calmly and Ivar looked at him; "Is this a story for our ears or do you wish it to remain secret with you?"
"It's not really a secret though, it's just that i haven't thought of it for a long while until last night"
"Will you tell us?" Kerk now asked on a more serious and understanding tone.
Ivar noticed everyone looked at him with faces that could read a thousand words. All looked so ready to hear it, no matter how painful. Then he decided to tell his sorry.
"Okay... so you know i am from Lakeside" Ivar began.
"Yes" Kerk said.
"It was April 13th. The morning was as bright and beautiful as ever. I was in the market place with someone close to me when my father found us. Soon the farmer of our village came rushing into the village with wounds and a great deal of panic on his old wrinkled face"
"Why did he panic?" Sperry asked with a voice that shouted interest and fear for the worse.
"A few seconds that felt like hours went by and before we knew it Goblin Riders raided our town and burned it to the ground. The attack lasted the entire day. I couldn't regonize my village anymore when all the houses were burning like torches blazed with light"
"Oh no" Ivar heard Sperry say and say the faces of the guys looks depressingly down at their feet.
"My father and i fought bravely against the intruders together with the townsfolk but we were no fighters. None of us. The Goblins wiped us out" Ivar said and a small tear went down his face; "I saw the bodies of my mother and the girl i thought to love for the rest of my life"
Pindius then layed his hand on Ivar's shoulder. Ivar knew this was for comfort but strangely he didn't feel as saddend nor beaten when he told the story now. As if his grief has lessened.
"After a final stand in the village courtyard my dad and i ran to our house. My father hid me from the Riders but was killed himself. He sacrificied himself to save me" Ivar said and smiled even though he was sad to tell this part. He felt happy though, that his father was such a great man.
He then felt Sperry's hand on his other shoulder. She had come to sit next to him.
"How did you escape?" Cain asked eagerly to hear the rest.
"I hid until i thought it was safe. I ran but was spotted and pursued. I thought i was going to die but by miracle i was saved by a group of Peendian Gaurds who took me to Peenda City to inform King Gongo of the events that occured in my once peaceful village. Gongo took me in and before i knew it i was off with you guys to get the Bloka Leaves"
"Atleast you had distraction from his horrible tradegy" Pindius commented as Ivar closed the story.
"Now that i think of, i didn't feel sadness when i was with you guys. I didn't feel sadness when i was alone in the wilderness. And i felt a strange lump of happiness in my throat when i saw you guys at the barnhouse of doom. I geuss you are right. I had much needed distraction. But i believe it did me good. It is okay to mourn and i will never forget that day where i saw the fires in the morning, but i know i have strength to move on" Ivar said proudly to group but mostly himself.
"I'm happy you told us. Now your people will not only be remembered by you. Ivar Firewing, the lone surivor of Lakeside" Pindius said.
"Even though i don't like saying it i must get it off my chest" Ivar then said for he wanted to say something final.
"And what is that?" Sperry asked.
"If it wasn't for the destruction of my hometown i wouldn't be here, on a great adventure with you guys" Ivar smiled and looked at everyone as he said this.
"And we wouldn't want it any other way" Kerk said and held some of his ale up.
"You are mend for greatness Ivar. You singelehandedly escaped a pack of murderous Goblin Riders, you survived the grief of your greatest loss and found hope in the great travels of the world and the people that accompany you" Pindius smiled at Ivar.
"Right now, i see it as the start of a new life for me. A life ive always wanted. It's sad it had to lose so much for it. But instead of mourning everyday i will make this new life the best life ever lived by anyone on Amodia! In honour of the people of Lakeside and my parents!" Ivar made a first to show his strength and how he meant it.
"YEAH!" The rest joined him and soon they all had fists together to symbolise their fellowship.
That night everyone shared stories. Not stories of grief, but stories of fun, happiness and the wonderful world that lies before them.
Pindius was right. This was a fine night.