The Broken Blade
Village of Haiganhome
Haigan settled with his family on the southern edge of a vast mountain range that soared to the sky so high, that if the sun were to try to reach over it’s peaks, it would remain unseen. The safety this place provided was unmatched in any of Haigan’s travels. He had ventured far to the east, west, and south. Everywhere he travelled, this range was always in sight. It was a landmark one could not avoid for hundreds of miles in each direction. It was so vast, when he once ventured it’s girth, it took him near a month to circle the base.
He had no mount then, it was all on foot. After he found this quiet glade surrounded by a dense forest, he knew it was the perfect place. Barely a stones throw away was a large river that traveled as far as he could in several days with no sign of ceasing. He had heard of the great oceans, but had never ventured so far but he could only think that this great river, that stemmed from the very mountain itself, would travel so far as to touch the ocean’s edge. He swore that one day he would travel it.
Haigan had a large family of a wife, nine children, sixteen grandchildren, and the families of the spouses of his children. Two of his were still too young to find mates, with one still held by his wife, Moira. He was a proud man, and had a great deal to be proud of.
Once settled, the small hamlet grew to a village swiftly. It gained the name of Haigenhome. Having heard of the settled home of Haigan, several other families came to establish homes in the shadow of the great mountain.
Living in the wilds of Draekeon is not an easy task. The forest was cleared in part to allow for a field on which to grow wheat, fruits, vegetables. The wood used to build houses and even boats on which to sail the river. The wilds are not forgiving, though, and oft times creatures of darkness would come and steal away children into the night. Some would be recovered, others were not so lucky.
The men began to build a wall to surround the village. They built small towers on which to stand to give a better view of the outlying areas. Over the years, the attacks grew less in the village, but outside of it the beasts were just as ferocious and dangerous. Many young men would venture out to claim a prize in order to prove their worth and place in the village. The larger the beast, the greater the renown and place they held in the village.
The men were not the only ones who ventured. There were some young women who did as well. One such was Haigan’s youngest daughter. Not an attractive girl, very plain of look. Yet she was strong and knew how to wield a weapon as well or better than most young men her age. She would often spar with her father and on occasion, would catch him off guard and strike well.
She ventured out on the night of her maturity, when she would become a woman and consider the ways of the womenfolk. She knew her role, to take a husband and bear children so the village could prosper. Yet it was not her way, and many expected her to refute it. So it was not a surprise that morning, when the watch was made aware of the screams of her mother, crying out for her baby who had left her bed untouched and her weapon nowhere to be found.
Haigan held his wife to prevent her from chasing after Moira. He had known this was her intent and had allowed her the chance. He had chosen his successor, and if she succeeded, she would lead the clan, and the village, when he was to old.
It was over a week, and still no sign. The huntsmen who ventured out to gather meat for the meals saw no trace of her. They did not even see sign of her having left the village. Some began to doubt she even went anywhere and was instead hidden, cowering, in Haigan’s basement. Though none would say a word to the large man, the whispers began.
A little more than a week later, now three weeks from when she ventured with nothing more than a spear and her wits, Moira returned. Her body was covered in claw marks so deep it was a surprise that she were standing. Dragging behind her on a smattering of wood and leaves, was the corpse of a beast they had never seen before. It’s teeth were the size of fists, it’s head easily the size of a man’s torso. Some parts were not there, clearly it was because of the sheer size of it. She had cut it down so that as much of it she could carry would be brought with her as proof of her victory, while the rest she had left secured to gather later. It appeared to be a wolf, yet the boney spikes along it’s back gave it a horrifying appearance. The marks of swords against it’s body were clear. This was not scavaged, this was slain by a human with a sword.
While most were amazed at her feat of courage, her father looked at her intently and frowned. He held her face up to him and stared intently into her eyes. He blinked a few times, then asked his wife to observe as well.
Gone were the brown eyes of his daughter, replaced instead by golden eyes that glinted in the sun like a metal. She had no iris, no pupil. The entire eye was gold.
At first he thought it was some trickery, perhaps she was not his daughter but instead some shapechanger come to kill them all. After some time, he came to accept that she was indeed his daughter. Her tale of what happened and how she entered and vanquished the beast rang true. She said she was so tired, she had fallen asleep and during her sleep she was visited by a being. Both glorious and beyond imagining, and yet as she, a human. She described it as a being that could change the way it appeared, but even as it appeared human its skin was still covered in small scales of various hues. For a flicker it was black, then red, then gold, then brown. Every color she could image. It spoke of a time to come when man would be needed to defeat a great evil, and that one of her line would be called. To mark that calling, her eyes were changed. Others would also be marked as well, though of different colors. Each of those called would be required to perform a great feat, to climb the great mountain. Then she awoke, refreshed, and ventured home with her prize. It was not until her father said her eyes were different that she even remembered it.
Moira led the clan well, after her father stepped down. They prospered and grew. More families joined them until it became ten in total. Each offered their own abilities. What had began as a gathering of farmers and huntsmen, became a proper village with tradesman, merchants, even an inn. The river became a means of trade and travel further down to other places. More were discovered as time went on, and surely more to be discovered in future. Still none had ventured to the ocean, though when Haigan died, Moira laid his body on a boat and urged it towards the ocean. While none guided it, the current seemed as if a will of its own and every village that his vessel passed claimed to have seen it moving unerringly towards the ocean.
Moira passed on, and as with her father, she was laid to rest on a small vessel and urged on the river towards the ocean. As with her father, it seemed to move unerringly. Even when the weather would force it another way, the raft kept onward.
And so a new leader has been named. Moira’s eldest son, Jacob. Unlike his mother, his eyes were not different. In fact, none of Moira’s children held odd colored eyes. It was considered an oddity and forgotten until a child was born to another family, with golden eyes. Another was born with Red. Still another with Amethyst, and one with Emerald. No two children were born to the same family, nor could they in any way tie their lineage to each other. Unlike Moira, though, they still held pupils and whites. It was just the iris that was marked with the unusual color.
What is to become of these children, none know. Though the villagers watch anxiously, and with some fear, for the outcome of this blessing or curse.