Chapter 1 The Valley
The air was warm and a slight breeze filled the air. It is Spring time and the sun spread its arms over the valley and flooded the hilly country side with its ray of sunshine. Rams and horses ran free among the grasslands. The mountains that shelter our corner of the world shadowed the southern part of the green valley in a dark shade.
Salmon raced up the Vitum River in the west and splashed around its cold water. The Vitum River created a border on the map that separated our bright land from the dark forest that lay no claim to any light. Only the foulest of creatures resided in that forest and nobody from our village has dared enter its groves for hundreds of years. This nasty piece of land is called the Tenebris Forest. It is unknown what is beyond those sour trees.
Four ancient stone paths chart a path that venture in each of the four directions of the compass. These paths are seldom used, for our people have little use for them, but they still leave their permanent mark in The Valley
The golden color of wheat could be seen in the far distance from the farmers of our part of the world.
Our village does not have an established name but rather an accepted name. We call our little corner of the world The Valley or sometimes The Cross Roads, because all ancient roads lead to our little hamlet. No man is in charge, instead we all look after our own and in turn look after each other. People crafted what they needed to craft and soon a community began to form. We do not know how are ancestors came to this spot of the world, nor do we know where the roads that they built lead. The people of The Valley are happy where they are. There is nobody else to bother us and nobody for us to bother. It is a happy place.
For me, my role in The Village is to find medicinal herbs in the grasslands and foothills next to the forest. I often sit on the tallest hill that overlooks the valley just watch the beauty of everything the sun touches.
Since there is no safe entry into the valley, we don’t get any visitors. In fact, nobody, not even the oldest dwellers in the valley, have seen an outsider with their own eyes. It is said that the last fellow to visit our village came over 150 years ago.
Legend has it that he was a tall chiseled man with long brown hair. His face was dirty and his clothes were battered. He could only recall that he was a warrior from a far off land that was scouting new areas where his enemy may be hiding. But his mind became hazy and ventured to far into the mountains. The next thing he remembered was walking on an ancient stone path to our village. He died 2 days later from exhaustion. His grave is two miles north of our village. While his story lives on in my memory, he and his story are becoming a forgotten legend, for the people of the village have no interest in the outside world. But I do. I want to see what is beyond The Valley’s towering mountains.
When I am walking along the foothills, I see strange critters moving along the brush across the river into the Tenebris Forest. They call to me. I have a raw desire to go. There is no logic behind it but I must go. I must see why the outside is calling to me.