The Story Of Sindarin Oakheart
The streets were chaos. People running frantically away from the commotion. Explosions shook the stone houses of Ebonhawke.
Riots had broken out among the stalls of Kestrel Market.
A man clad in fine silks with sharp, intelligent eyes and black hair yelled to a woman on the other side of the table laden with goods.
"Sopha! Let's go! We'll be burned alive by the Separatists if we don't get out of here!"
Sopha, a medium height woman with dark hair and blue eyes, clearly frightened, quickly gathered as many of the valuable silks as she could.
"Sophie, there's no time. We must go!" exclaimed the man.
"Seamus, we can't leave without the coffer!" cried Amalia.
Seamus dove under the table digging frantically for the coffer as another explosion just a few stalls down sprayed debris in their faces. Separatists were spreading through the market from the South end, pistols and torches in hand.
Eyes burning from debris and the sulfuric smell of explosives, Seamus felt his hand grasp the corner of the steel-banded wooden coffer. Yanking it from its hiding spot among the silks and bags of dried herbs, he scrambled to his feet. "Lets go, now!"
Seamus and Sophie ran for their lives, the sounds of roaring and crackling fire interrupted with screams, pistol fire, and explosions behind them.
"We have to get to the center of the city, the Hawks Heart. The Vanguard will be gathering there and we'll be safe. This way!" Seamus panted heavily with fear between his words.
The two darted between fleeing folk and dashed down a side alley with other frantic citizens. Behind them, Separatists were gaining ground, slaying, shooting, and falling upon any who were not quicker on their feet than the fanatics.
The couple picked up their pace tearing through the alley when suddenly they crashed into a woman just as she stepped out from behind a large, wood crate. In a scramble of dust and confusion, the couple looked at the woman they had crashed into. Laying on her back, in her left arm was a bundle of rags with the wail of a infant child coming from within. In her right hand, she bore a black, round cannonball with a long wick hanging out. The couple quickly realized she was clad in all leather, a red bandanna wrapped around her face, and blondish red hair the color of the early autumn leaves tumbling to her shoulders. She was a separatist! Amalia screamed and started to scramble to her feet.
"Wait! Please, wait!" cried the masked woman. "Please, please for the love of the gods, take my son. I have to stop them, please, take my son".
"You're... you're not with them?" Asked Seamus in shock, still on his hind-quarters on the ground.
"No, please. They've murdered my husband and turned our coalition into something it's not. We were never violent people, we just had different beliefs about Queen Jennah than most. There's no time, please. Take my son, I can't give him to the separatists and I can't let him be hurt. Please."
She scrambled over to Seamus, unloading the bundle into his arms. Through the folds, he could see a face. Fair skinned, thin white-blonde hair, with deep green eyes gazing into his. The child was suddenly calm, making Seamus' hair stand up on the back of his neck.
"Does he have a name?" Asked Sopha.
"He does... it's Sindarin. Tell him his father was a very brave man".
"What about you? What's your name?" she asked.
"Amalia" she replied.
Just as the name left her lips, a musket ball buried itself in the crate between them. They spun around to realize how dangerously close the Separatists had come to them. Fifty yards down the alley, the mass of rebels raked the alleyway like a horse-drawn plow. At the head of the column was a man dressed like Amalia, leather clad and a red bandanna around his neck. A black mohawk divided his scalp, and a long red scar stretched vertically from his left brow to his left cheek.
"Amalia! I've been looking for you! Come over here and lets have a chat. Your dead husband would love for us to settle this!" yelled the man from down the alley.
The woman looked back and forth between the couple "Go, now! Please. Take care of my son. I have to go now".
She lept to her feet and started walking towards the rebels, her hands tucked behind her back concealing the small cannon ball.
"Pierce, you have to stop this, this is not what the founders wanted! You're killing innocent people!" she yelled.
The scarred man laughed "I have killed few in comparison to the Charr".
Seamus and Sopha scrambled to their feet and hurried down the alley, the small childs eyes locked onto Seamus as they ran. They reached the corner and Seamus stopped to look back at the woman and the rebels. Behind her back, a small spark flashed and the wick of the bomb was lit. Tucking it in her belt, she raised her hands up in surrender as Pierce and the column came upon her.
"You're right, I give up. I give myself up to the cause" she said calmly and cool.
Pierce reached out and touched her arm "Today is your day, Amalia. This is the day you die, your husbands legacy. Long live Adelbern and death to the-"
The bomb detonated, filling the alley with smoke and fire. The couple turned and ran towards the heart of the city where they could see the Ebon Vanguard gathering. The infant began to cry.
The leaves rustled ever-so-softly as Sindarin crept through the underbrush, stalking the large antlered stag. It was late afternoon and the forest was bright with the Autumn colors of the Fields of Ruin. He knew he had to make his move soon. With a soft click his arrow was nocked to the string of his powerful bow. He knew where the stag was headed, as he had stalked the trail many times. Through the dense underbrush of Sniper's Woods along a thin trail a clearing could be found with plenty of acorns freshly fallen from the mighty oaks. Another step taken quietly, a mere 20 yards behind the large hoofed animal. Sindarin felt the stick under his foot bend with his weight, but years of hunting these woods taught him to manipulate his steps to minimize the sound.
The stag emerged into the clearing and slowly worked its way to the center, grazing upon the fruits of the earth. Sindarin crept to the edge of the trail and underbrush. Twenty yards was a short shot for young man, no more than twenty five Winters. His bow was deadly at long and short range, and his shots were true at any range between. Slowly raising and drawing his bow, he could feel the tension in the string attempt to resist his strength with no avail. Smoothly, the arrow nock made contact with the corner of his mouth, ready to release at any second. The stag whipped its head up, ears pointed forward, and tail twitching profusely. With a twang, the arrow tore from the bowstring towards the stag. Suddenly the ground exploded around the stag and a large mouth swallowed the beast whole. The arrow skipped off of the hard jaw of the monstrosity that had emerged. Quickly, Sindarin realized what had just gobbled his prized stag up in one bite. A fully grown plains wurm three times the height of any man now gazed at Sindarin.
His heart quickened as he realized how the tides of his afternoon had turned. With lightning speed the giant wurm slammed its head to the ground and reared a boulder the size of a cow at Sindarin. Diving to his right and avoiding being flattened by a few feet, the man stopped at a knee and loosed another arrow with lighting speed. The arrow found home on the head of the wurm and it slouched to the ground. With a grin, he was satisfied.
"Well, that was easy!" he exclaimed
With a screech the wurm sprang back up, another large projectile ready to launch. Caught off guard, Sindarin dove to his right again and narrowly avoided being squished again. Suddenly a loud roar and crashing noise erupted the chaos. A large, brown mass rumbled by him with impressive speed. The large grizzly bear leapt and slammed into the trunk-like body of the wurm with impressive force, slashing and biting with razor sharp claws and teeth.
"Mastin! It's about time!" said Sindarin
With the wurm preoccupied for a short moment, he nocked an arrow, took aim at the tiny throat inside the large gaping mouth of the wurm. The wurm reared its head up towards the sky to bite Mastin, and as it came down he loosed the arrow.
The arrow found it's home in the throat of the wurm as its head dove down. Mastin quickly twisted to the side as the mammoth head hit the ground, still as the morning dew.
The bear turned and looked at Sindarin with big brown eyes, exhaled deeply through its large nostrils, clearly disappointed at the end of the action.
"What? Should I have let it chomp down on you like a Wintersday tart?"
The bear groaned and started lumbering towards him.
"Oh don't give me that. I let you have all the fun you could with that crazyed moa two days ago on patrol. I bet you're still picking feathers out of your teeth"
The bear reached him and stood on his hind legs arms outstretched to the side, clearly waiting for something.
"...fine. You know I can't resist those big brown eyes" Sindarin said as stepped forward and gave the giant beast a big hug, though he was dwarfed by its size.
"Come on bud, lets get to the gates. We're doing on night duty tonight. We can scare the sentries."
With the bear trailing him, Sindarin made his way back through the forest utilizing the trails. He was thankful for Mastin's intervention into the fight. Every since he found the cub four winters past, starved and nearly dead just off of the main road in a snow drift, they have been in-separable. Feeding the bear by hand at first, he quickly realized how much the bear ate. Now, during the day the bear hunted and slept out in the forest while Sindarin tended to his duties with the Ebon Vanguard during the day. He was a scout for the guard, well known for his bow skills and his quick, sharp humor.