hit counter code Overshadowed
the World




Author: Erik Collett

Corman was last again to the dinner table. He wasn't worried as there was always a spot for him. However, it did bother him that he would be relentlessly pestered by his mother because of his tardiness. She cares too much. She should just leave me be. Corman had developed an air of cynicism that made jagged the usually smooth edges of his personality. His eyes glanced toward his father without really seeing him. His father was sitting at the head of the table, looking as stern as ever while watching over his brood. Beolnyr Mastiff's long tousled hair had streaks of white and gray belying age that his eyes would never tell. He seemed to be deep in thought, which he often was. You never knew exactly what weighed in on him so heavily.

Corman, somewhat too casually, wandered over to the vacant chair next to his older brother, Redgurn, who jostled him a bit jokingly as he settled in. Corman just wasn't in the mood for it. A black cloud had been lingering ever since the boys met with their father earlier that week. A certain bitterness pervaded and Corman couldn't get past it. Maybe I don't want to. His face was all too serious which made his elder brother balk. You look as ornery as a gelding." His brother's eyes glimmered as he smiled. Corman returned the smile with deadpan anger.

Everyone had settled in for dinner, the two brothers and the two sister. It was a queer sight as most families within the village had many many more children. It always seemed that the Chieftain's families were smaller, but no one ever paid it much mind. It was also a different experience since everyone had come together for this somewhat formal dinner that their father had called.

The rest of the table's occupants, Corman's twin sisters Fretya and Monwyr tittered to each other with the same voice. They were a remarkable duo, as they had endless things to talk about.. One would wonder why as they were nearly the same person. The only telling difference was that Fretya had a remarkable scar on her cheek and was missing the top half of her left pinky from being unseated while helping our father break in wild horses. The amount of blood was incredible, but their father put her back on that horse immediately without a second thought. He knew that failure could breed hesitation and fear. She didn't


have a choice, she had to overcome. And Fretya did, not only becoming one of the most remarkable swift riders rivaling all members of the village but recently started training, by invitation, for the Valkyries, the female mounted force of the Vorsman.

Monwyr was much more involved with the boys. They flocked to the two, Monwyr, however, being the softer of the two twins, ended up being the object of many young man's affections. As the daughter of the village chieftain, it ended up being more frustrating than worthwhile. Her father was relentless and watchful. From what Corman could tell, their father was waiting for some young buck who would be willing to stand up to him. Corman would love to see the day it happen because you never know what mood you'd be catching father in and, by Dagmar, it would be a sight to behold unleashing on a scrawny youngling that was just growing into his hammer.

Their mother, the bright-eyed and stunning Heidlyn, sat opposite their father. There were stories, many many stories of her numerous suitors and the eventual successful wooing by their father at the near impossible marrying age of 19. She remained an incredible force in the village and often rivaled Corman's father in willpower and popularity. With a word in the right place, she had been able to settle disagreements with much more grace than Beolnyr ever could.

And there was Redgurn: the heir, the eventual chief, the future leader of the clan Mastiff. For Corman, he was a bully with a sharp wit and a sharp tongue. He had blazing red hair with a temper to match. It was a playful, usually turning to spiteful, matching of wills while they were younger, but Redgurn, being first, then the twins with Corman being last. The age difference had always put him at a disadvantage. The age gap was 5 years and a season. Only recently, upon hitting age 13, Corman had only barely started to catch up to his brother in riding skill, yet still at a disadvantage in just about everything else.

Only recently the conflict had become more serious. Redgurn had slightly tempered, but his insults became more direct, more refined. It was something that Corman couldn't counter and it frustrated him to no end. Any time Redgurn's words angered Corman to fisticuffs, Beolnyr brought his heavy will down on Corman to keep him in line while Redgurn chuckled just out of reach.