hit counter code Of Blood, Fate and Circumstance
the World




Of Blood, Fate and Circumstance
Author: Erik Collett

Corman sat listlessly in his saddle, rocking back and forth with the slow monotony of foot travel. The wagons were creaking near the back of the procession while their wheels ground through rock, then soil, and eventually the crackling clay. The company had spent weeks on the road, yet Corman felt he hadn't taken the adequate time to mull over the events that had happened to him in such a short period of time.

The Gods were neither kind nor spiteful. Their motives were about forward motion. All that had come and gone in these mere weeks had shown him that the events were far greater than he ever was. His survival while stepping from one dangerous situation to the next seemed to be entirely carried by his reliance on the old Gods of the Vorseman. He had never questioned his belief since he reached out to the gods in the way the Cloverman showed him how they reached to their own. At that moment, he was seized upon by Dagmar, the All-father, and had never left that close connection.

The Gods, however, would not bend their ear to cowardly supplications. They required strength and, in turn, would beget greater strength, greater endurance and allow difficult circumstances to be overcome. The Gods would never carry, but would enhance... As those he now traveled with seemed overly humble with their bowing and scraping--both to men and Saints--they would likely wither under Dagmar and his progeny's scrutiny.

It was an errant thought, his Gods in these foreign lands. However, looking at the Vorseman existing so close to extinction and a whole civilization thriving and growing only a couple of weeks travel to the South of his home. Perhaps it was the way of his people to take the most difficult path. Then, it would seem that the Gods were not chosen by the people, but the Gods had chosen his people. Likely, because of their impossible existence, like trees clinging to a rocky cliff face which may drop into the abyss at any moment. It was just as his own clan had nearly disappeared into that inky blackness in as many days as the centuries it took to establish...



Perhaps their way was better. Perhaps not? Corman could not imagine living any other way; Ever close to death.

He gazed over the standing pikes and banners of the procession. He picked out Calais, Enzo and Silverhawk. Calais, ever watchful and likely very bored as his duties were being taken by the unseasoned younglings that gathered around the convoy. Corman nodded, eyes heavy lidded, Calais' eyes reflected the same thoughtful distance. He had often said in private while they all had been traveling that he didn't know what lie ahead and it made him anxious. The quick pace of life up to this point had him able to focus on tasks at hand, but now there seemed to be a vacancy there. Corman felt it, too. After the brief exchange, Calais' eye's slid from Corman back over the troops again then to the front of the meandering convoy.

Calais did, at least, find company with Silverhawk. She wore the name well, being with sharp eyes and capable of swift, decisive action. He remembered watching the hawks of the Westvahl. Diving through the air and picking up small game through the patches of tall grasses that dominated the plains. Silverhawk had a thin, wiry frame but not overtly lacking in female softness. Corman was used to women with meat and strength. Not overly so, but nearly twice as substantial as Silverhawk's seeming fragility. She held herself well, though, and it was clear she was becoming more and more confident with each passing day. She had found her place. Perhaps that was a reason why Calais felt so out of sorts? Calais seemed like a stranger in a strange land and Corman couldn't help but feel ever stone of that weight as well.

Enzo stood stoically, parting with Celeste had deeply affected him. He had changed completely from the moment Corman had joined the group. Gathering him on the horse in a completely inebriated state and galloping through a hail storm of arrows to meet up with the rest. It seemed he was a lost cause, growing ever darker and angrier with each passing day. The unfolding story of his turn to darkness became more and more obvious as other members of the party recounted the goings on between him, Celeste and the church who ultimately created this party with the intention of sending them to defeat. Corman could never understand such ill will between people, but to him, life was as scarce as it was precious.