Tarnstead was a quaint little town in Escala.
Escala was a vast country of rolling hills remaining near-entirely treeless and naked for the most part. Today, the sixty-third of Aleil in the year of 1410 of the fourth age—two brothers and a wagon full of fish (not-so)fresh from The Breaking River creakily made their way into the quaint little town of Tarnstead. Cordh was the day of the week, and soon Khori and Werdud would be amongst a hundred other salespeople and merchants from cities along the Brotherly Road, peddling homemade goods, wares, and produce.
It was a long trip for the brothers from their home of Wyattstorch; a rainy place that smelled of fish, mustiness and stagnant waterways. Their journey was full of wet spring snow that melted when contacting the ground, the occasional bandit or wolf, and mediocre-at-best sleeps in the raggedy cloth tent they carried with the fish. Arriving in Tarnstead was a welcome event. A full month (and the final month of winter, if I may add) on the road took a toll on even the strongest of men. Sure the researchers from the prosperous capital of Velleste could last on roads much worse than the Brotherly Road for longer than three months and in some case up to a year. Upon returning home, they’d be sure have found out less than stellar things regarding their wives and families. These things the brothers Khori and Werdud would never have to brood over.
The brothers being brothers could be told apart in many ways. Physically they were as comparable to the other about as much as a blade of grass is to a loaf of bread. Mentally and in their actions, they were different as well but much more fraternal. In the traits which Khori lacked, Werdud exceeded—in the characteristics that Werdud lacked, Khori excelled. They balanced each other out faultlessly.
Khori; the older of the pair, was the age of nineteen-turn. He had shoulder-length long brown hair which hung in a disorganized fashion and was hardly ever brushed. Frequently, said hair draped over his hazel eyes like torn up curtains. His face was smoother than the naked skin of a new baby and nowhere in the near future would his hopes and dreams of growing a beard come to a physical realization. Up for debate was the cause behind his belly which fell over the waist of his pants. Werdud would tell Khori that it was his intake of salty foods causing his excess belly-weight, where on the other hand his mother would blame it on regular consumption of stouts and ales. Large quantities of stouts and ales at that. His belly hung down just passed his leather belt which of course held up pants that covered short legs. Height-wise, Khori stood a less-than-average five feet from the ground.
His counterpart, Werdud, stood a full half-foot taller although younger than the two—by two turn, to be exact. Werdud always carried a stoic attitude and seldom had time for nonsense. His face bore a constant face displaying no emotion whether truly happy, sad or any sort of feeling and spoke monotonously. No belly hung over Werdud’s belt-line, but his core still was miles away from vascular and defined. He too took a liking to the bubbles and good things that came with the ingestion of beer. Especially those of a dark colour. Werdud’s hair was long and wavy like Khori’s but was not quite as long. Also, it was significantly tidier and maintained. He took pride in his looks to an extent. Not to the point of damn near insanity like the folk from Theyn or Ufros—no. To only the point that he was accustom to via the actions of his mother.
Regardless of the falling snow, the spring air wasn’t cold on the skin underneath the matching brown jackets the Brother’s wore. A harmonizing combination, the wardrobe selection made with the wet snow. Dense snowflakes floated to the hilly land and would only drift along the sides of the road, nowhere else. The sun was smothered by thick grey clouds that hid even the faintest glow
“I’m shocked your ice-cast has lasted this long.” Khori said plainly, breaking a ten-mile silence.
“The Pleysian’s taught me well. At least the simplest of their magic.” Werdud replied.
See, one cannot transport fish from Wyattstorch to Tarnstead and keep them fresh; this would be no less than total folly. For fish (or any meat) it is merely common sense to keep it on ice to prevent unwanted sickness or even…death. Coming down with a food poisoning or stomach infection was never a pleasant thing, and an occurrence such as that would deal a tragic blow to their moderately successful fishmonger business.
Now to answer your question which all the likes tells me that it concerns the ice-cast that Werdud has created.
Werdud was a man of ever-expanding knowledge; knowledge of the useful sorts. Books to some extent taught the young man of things vague and only barely actionable given the assets he had at his expense in Wyattstorch. To the majority of extent, he had learned things from many adventures with none other, than Khori.
Although only nineteen and seventeen respectively, the two brothers spent much of their young lives traversing the northern half of the world and meeting many sorts of people from many different cultures and religions. Hopes of traveling the southern half of the world, especially to witness the customs and foods of Plessese remained only a goal for Werdud.
On a trip three turn past, Werdud met an old enchanter in Catesbridge called Shalend. Through the summer of the year 1407, Shalend mentored Werdud in the basic magics originating from Plessese. There is a time for that story which involves three drastically differentiating things being: a hungry brown bear, a virgin, and a bottle of pure alcohol, but that time is not now. The magic he learned was fundamental but nothing to cause droves of excitement. A certain level of excitement was in fact expected. Who wouldn’t get excited from learning how to conjure a small fireball or create small ice?
The latter, of course, is what Werdud cast on the trout, brokenfish, pickerel, and salmon. It was actually quite pleasant because it hid the fishy smell that no one ever seems to like from tickling either of the boy’s nostril-hairs.
“Only Shalend, you mean?” Khori chided.
Werdud grunted and murmured undoubtedly rude things under his breath.
Long road trips could get rather—awkward at times with the brothers.
“Shalend retained the knowledge of twenty Pleysian’s, Brother. For that, I am thankful.” Werdud said.
“And when do you plan to teach me these things? It has been two—no, three turn since you’ve learned enchanting.” Khori asked.
“We’ve covered this every time, you oaf. You lack the patience and that’s it. To enchant, one must be patient. You are not patient.”
Khori sighed over-dramatically which was not-so out of the ordinary, “You are not the enchanter you think you are.” He countered fraternally.
Werdud punched Khori’s shoulder with intentions to inflict minor discomfort.
Werdud’s fist struck the thin chunk of flesh just below Khori’s left shoulder. A dull bony ache ran along his upper-arm, “Save it for the return trip, fucker. We have a full month left in return trip.”
The thought of another month on the road stirred an odd feeling in Werdud’s stomach. He grabbed the unhappy thought and placed it in his back pocket to later address as the town of Tarnstead appeared when the Brother’s reached the top of a hill. It developed into sight timidly and charming under a mile away; buildings made of old wood which couldn’t be found anywhere near. This led to buildings standing in an eggshell-like state.
“Ah, there we go!” Khori proclaimed as the horse-drawn carriage continued rattling and their hooves made a hollow galloping sound. Happiness was abundant in his voice.
“A sight for sore eyes,” Werdud added. He put the horse reins in his left hand and reached his right hand behind the uncomfortable wooden seat. From under the raggedy tent and a few blankets, Werdud fished out a sixty-four-ounce glass jug of beer. He took a full sip and passed it to his brother. “Off to work we go.”
GET THE REST OF THE CHAPTER HERE
that if you or anyone else even comes close to stealing or using any of my stories without my consent, or giving me credit, know that I strongly DO NOT approve. These actions will not be tolerated.