Tales of Tancred: A Pursuit into the Northern Territories of Hesa (part I)
A Storyteller to School
The storyteller barely ever left his holdings in the Tavern, let alone to speak in front of a classroom full of scholars. This time he was asked to recount the turn of the 4th Age, about the massive expansions the Tancred kingdom undertook while King Jhojan reigned. Then more specifically about the Warden-King Rondulf and the Romitons. How they fought for the Port-City of Hesa, the long pursuit up the country to the Northern Territories. Then speak on the Northern Territories of Hesa if there was time.
The roads from The tavern had been muddy, for the past few weeks the clouds produced an afternoon shower that left the roads in disrepair. The company had to be late a day, they set up camp along the road. The sky opened up which meant at least a few hours of drying could be expected. "We can count on leaving before tomorrow's afternoon shower, they roads will be dry by then." A messenger told the storytellers camp at large, then ran to the next camp to parrot the message along.
"Strange little man," said the storyteller, "he reminds me of a legendary monster in the forests of the Northern Territories. They called it, 'The Wendijgo.' It would catch humans like a spider and turn their minds to its bidding. Luring more hosts to its lair in the heart of the forest." Many at the campfire circle shivered, which gave the storyteller a smile. The monster was a creature that existed during the turn of the 4th Age, it was a creature that didn't sleep and had 6 lidless eyes that were ever watching for prey and new hosts. Rarely would a traveler encounter the creature. It was more likely to run into a zombified host, each using differing talents to lure you into a trap.
"Go on then, tell us a story if you please," half shouted a young man holding onto his girlfriend. Who from the blush on her cheeks had asked this guy to ask the storyteller for her.
"Legend says that only one of these creatures ever lived," He pointed towards the Hesa island across the Dal Eburaedia, the dark forest could be visible due to the massive trees that were able to grow there. Even in contrast to the healthy forests just to the south, which gave off a dark green hue relative to the northern neighbor. A pair of islands could be seen off the coast of the Hesa. Both were rock barren with no sign of plant or animal lift, save the seagulls that landed there. "It was there that Warden-King Rondulf killed the creature." Pointing at the pair of rock islands.
The sun began its descent behind the clouds and in response, those around the camp began to relax and listen to the storyteller regale them with another one of his stories.
"Let's see, we will start right after Rondulf freed the city from siege and chased the Romitons up the coast. You see the Hesan forests cover most of the northern portions of Hesa. Some say they are blessings bestowed upon them, even hunters would remark on the bounty of venison and small game throughout the forests. A man could get lost in the forest and come out healthier than when he went in." The Storyteller laughed a full belly laugh. "Well, eventually Rondulf charged into the dark forests of the Northern Territories. He wanted the head of the Romiton leader, but his men were too fearful to enter, or even leave the safety of the Hesan forests. It is said that he wondered about for days and by his account, he encountered over a hundred zombie-like humanoids. Rotting flesh clung to the skeletal structure by threadbare ligaments and tendons. It wasn't until on the fifth day, he encountered a creature so pale it showed bright white in the darkness. It looked slimy but scaled at the same time.
A putrid site, the Warden-King described it first looking at him, 'I felt an electric shock run up and down my nervous system constantly for over a minute. I lifted its head from a carcass it was devouring, it tore a piece of rotting flesh from a young woman's face. All six of its eyes fixed upon him, all the while crunching on its recent bite. I hasten a sleeve-throwers blade and took out an eye, it screamed. Oh, the sound was otherworldly. I felt as if it were trying to rip out a piece my soul.'
The story goes that Rondulf then ran west, to find the coastline. The creature had an unnatural speed for its frail-pale body. It caught his majesty just before he reached the coastline cliffs, a net of clear silk had been woven about the openings. And the Wendijgo was waiting, it is said they fought a mental battle through the night. Rondulf was a stubborn man and believed in the magic of family. He credits this thought and those special memories for sustaining his mind as the Wendijgo attempted to kill his mind.
A passing ship had seen his majesty battling the creature, to which a select few sharpshooting archers were commissioned to light the webbings aflame. Without shooting the Warden-King. The flames broke the mental battle and in regaining his feet, Rondulf plunged his sword into the creature's five remaining eyes. Christing it with the monster's blood and giving the legendary blade its name." He smiled at the shocked comprehension of the couple at the end of the campfire. Many of the common folk knew about the legendary sword that was passed from Hesan Warden-King to the next, but not the origins. This was a story to end the night on, He bid the listeners a good night and retired to his tent. Tomorrow he was to sail the Dal Eburaedian sea to the Hesan University, he prayed the sea gods would be merciful as he closed his eyes to sleep.