Chapter 14: Something Old
The mood felt harsh if not a little tense as Tajaar ached from the battle and his mind still raced from the day’s events little conversation could console any man in such a state, the maester as he always did knew this anguish hidden within him, offering Tajaar to follow him through the main hall to his private quarters at the rear of the library. A simple home for a complicated mind to wander the walls bore more a resemblance to cell rather than a home stippled white plaster now greyed and yellowed with age, the furniture once probably worthy of the lord’s keep today well worn little could be seen of the pattern in the fabric of the two chairs sat in view of the fireplace coated with soot and ash from many years of poor maintenance and warm fires. Calling Tajaar to sit at the fire side as he threw several logs into the fire place atop of the already piled ash pulling a small vial from inside his cloak and launching it into the fireplace, flames erupted roaring high into the chimney, Tajaar stared at the flames as they rose from the logs a thousand memories played out dancing with the flames battles of dragons and creatures he had slayed yet none could tell him of who he was. “The wizard used to say the longer a man stares into a flame the more chance of the fire taking hold inside his mind burning away his memories in the firelight.” the maester told Tajaar handing him a tanker of sweet wine, “it’s lord Hatch’s wine, sweetened, thick and heavy on the ale” with a winced smile Tajaar takes the the tanker closing his eyes he smells the wine before leaning back into the chair to sip it.
The mood in the chambers seemed worlds away from the outside and the devastation his battle had left behind, they sat for a while longer with no words spoken their body language spoke a thousand words of tension and anger of the event. Tajaar broke “this has been a week of madness first the pits, then the betrayal of the Nomey’s, a hound that changes me and now a witch that apparently knows more about me then I do,” breathing deeply Tajaar lets out a sigh before gulping a large amount of wine braking his eye line for the first time to look at the maester as if asking him to fill in some of the gaps he felt lurking over him. “Calm yourself Tajaar I have heard more of where you were found. The Nomey’s had business in towns surrounding the moors about a year ago they arrived after the towns were ransacked by a neighboring clan feud that had taken place, word has it the attacking force was fueled with mercenaries hired by the clans to wipe them out they slaughtered all the women and children while the men were off hunting and fishing. They had to know they were not there as less than twenty men were seen by spies of the Hatch’s riding the roads crossing the moors, that roads leads directly to that village they could be going no other place a few hours later they were seen again a few men shy of the party, either left behind or as I would like to think some of the women fought back lowering their numbers. Not more than a day later the men returned to the burnt out village the bodies arranged in the sigil of the swamps men, blood still running from their bodies into the swamp the returning men toppled the remains of their homes gathering weapons left the village in a fireblaze seen for miles. The Nomey’s seen the traveling villagers weapons drawn the lights of rage in their eyes, they offered them the use of their captured creatures to raid the village, even the numbers as it were on their own they would have been no match, they foolishly took their offer. They tore through the village only to be betrayed for the creatures killed all insight feeding and mauling for sport the Nomey’s threw a spell into the midst of the fight wiping out everything or so they thought there was a few men left alive amongst the rubble and wares they stole that day stunned and without memories they were chained and lead away off by the light of the moon,” by now the maester’s and Tajaar’s tankers were as empty as the bottle that filled them.
“So you believe that I am one of the men lead away by the Nomey’s. Is there any way to know which side I belong to at least?” Tajaar asked almost not wanting to know the answer either he had played a part in the killing of an entire village or he was the remnant of a village now laying in ruin buried in the moors. “ the answer to that matter sadly may never be known to us here as it was not written by the scribes that recorded the battle. Apparently this witch seems to think you of the moors, of the two I would say that is the better place to come from,” the maester was trying to console him he thought to himself as his eyes once again found their way to the flames dancing in the fireplace. “ I wish a man could tell you better news the day before a lords wedding, alas that will not be a chapter of your life revealed by me,”
“What of the witch do you know what she was doing here you could hear our battle I take it?”
“She appears in front of these doors from time to time chanting her chants never stepping inside the doors, these grounds are as old as the mountains or so it’s told over time they have seen and absorbed enormous amounts of power, even without the scripts and spells locked within its walls.” the maester seemed somewhat taken back by the witches behavior yet from his look Tajaar knew that he wanted the same answers he did.
“We must find another bottle to drink,” the maester declared leaving his seat with a slight wobble heading towards a shelf filled with vials of liquids of bright colours and interestingly shaped bottles. “If I did hail from the land of the moors was I part of a family there? Do i have children? Or should I be saying I have children. What do you know of the moors men maester?” Tajaar asked as he watched the firelight dancing. Finding a bottle on the shelf the maester lets out a cheer and begins to lay out the history of the moor lands.
The history of the moors began with Goredon mountain which was one of the fallen mountains collapsed by one such ancestor of a line of elite warriors and lords, now named the Palus town by the wizards many years ago as the marshy fertile grounds were ripe for growing large crops and plentiful grazing ground surrounded the towns and villages nestled between them. Years later battles broke out between two houses one of them embraced the way of the wizard the other fearing it. The battle ended after many years of fighting with neither side ever really gaining the upper hand, they sort peace and a more settled way of life choosing to follow one warrior who not only had fought his fights in the pits through the years of open combat, but had also gained the trust of vast amounts of people through good deeds. Developing a new unique fighting style to be passed through the lineage of his children, backed with an air of divinity in its execution one of the only fighting styles that after the displays in the pit few seldom chose to fight when they came across his banners or disciples.
I know the town dwindles further still as the wizards still lived there and many chose to move off to distant places to resettle away from them as the distrust of their magic grew stronger after the years of battle against it the people were not likely to find a love in their hearts for it again. The leaders eventually divided the land in a bid to save their town giving the wizards and magic users a place of their own to dwell hoping this would see people moving back to their town. No people showed except those who chose to trade with them for crops and herbs. It was only a few years ago a new war broke out between its leaders and they began fighting once more, if the Nomeys took part in finishing off these clans left there you can be certain they had other things on their mind like eventually claiming the lands as their own as not many would likely move so close to the white woods the land would be cheap and easy to acquire. Almost disappointed with the answers he had longed for he raised slightly drunk from the feet to the head announcing he must leave if he was to make his wedding on time. Exchanging good byes was a short affair for them both except to tell Tajaar he would be conducting the ceremony and he would come to his chambers the next morning for blessings.