[Meanwhile Far away from the Inn]
The woods smelled with the sweet perfume of wild flowers , and the trees echoed with bird calls. The suns own light filtered down from between the leaves and branches, shining patterns of silver and gold on the forests floor . Every tree held its own secret; Seth stood at the edge of his back yard, staring into the woods. To a four-year-old, this was the ultimate lure. Strange lands he had never explored. To his parents it was something that they called 'Dark Woods'.
Sean's mother was busy, pulling out weeds from the vegetables garden nearby. A bit of dirt on her cheek was visible through her light blonde hair that had escaped as she worked. Her light green eyes never saw Seth leave the open space of the back yard. His escape was not planned. It was more out of curiosity than anything else. What goes through a four year olds mind? No one would never know.
He wasn't trying to hide from her, or sneak off. The woods simply called out to him. The tree looked as if they were touching the clouds, and to his eyes, they were. A dragonfly danced around and in front of him, and his little eyes darted from on place to another, trying to catch where it went . Moss grew up the sides of some of the trees, and he touched it, and giggled. It felt like the soft fur of a caterpillar he once found by the back door. His mother had always told him to be nice with anything he found, and not to harm any of the creatures from the woods. He touched the caterpillar with one finger and laughed as it inched it way down the door frame. He soon grew tired , and found something else to do.
He stood still and watched a pair of robins chase each other through the trees , squawking as they went. Two squirrels scurried through the leaves in front of him, then froze as they realized that they were being watched. One let out a squeak and disappeared up a tree. The other followed close behind the first. One stopped and chattered at him. He laughed.
He ran over to the tree where the squirrels had been and peered up into the branches.. After not finding the squirrels anywhere , he looked down and walked on, kicking sticks and small rocks, all the while walking deeper into the woods.
There was an a strange looking stump, that caught his attention, and he walked over, and bend down, to study it. The top of it was covered in blue moss. Mushrooms grew in a star pattern around the stump, and the more Seth stared at the stump the more fascinated he became. He could see tiny shaped moving through the moss They were not bug shaped, but something else. He watched as flickers of light danced here and there , and his little ears heard the sound of music. With two small fingers , he started to pick up one of the strange 'bugs' , when he heard a small voice say " No Seth , you might hurt them". His green eyes grew wide, when he saw a small girl floating in front of his eyes. She was dressed all in silver, and she had little wings that grew from her shoulders. Seth giggled, and placed one hand over his mouth. "Pretty", he said , and he reached out with one finger, and tried to touch her. " No Seth. You are bigger than I am. You might harm me". She knew that he could not harm a family of the fye, but she did not want him to know that . " What are you doing, so far from home. I bet that your mother and father are worried sick about you". Flying around him, and checking to be sure that he was not hurt , she landed on the trunk ." I had better take you back home , before you fall pray to an animal , or worse". She flew into the trunk , and Seth looked in where she went. He could see a great big room , filled with a lot more of the 'pretties'. They were all laughing and dancing to a soft sweet music, and Seth stood and started clapping. The little fye flew back out , with a small robe in her arms. She flew up and landed on his shoulder, and spoke softly in his ear." Seth , it is time to go home".
Seth smiled and giggled and said "Home". She covered her wings, and held on to his long brown hair. She noticed that he was an elf , by the way his ears were pointed . "Yes Seth. It is time for you to go home now. I think I hear your mother calling you. "Mommy" Seths eyes grew wide, and he squealed and started running. "N..no..o Seth. Please... Do not run.There are too meny things that can trip you. Walk, and I will tell you the way home".
Seth slowed down to a walk . It took the fye a long time to get Seth home. He was fascinated by anything that moved . Even when the trees moved, he had to stop and see what they were doing. He would look up, and move back and forths , like the trees. It was a good thing too.
"Come on Seth , the day is growing short, and we need to hurry".
The small fey stopped talking, and she sniffed the air. Smoke, and a foul scent filled the air. Where there is smoke, there is fire. The worst thing a fye dreads. Fire. "Seth", she said in a light musical voice. "I want you to stay right here, behind this large tree. It will protect you , until I get back". She took off her cloak, and spread her wings wide. She flew on , following the small path that lead up to the back yard of the house. She had been there meny times, to watch the young boy grow. She was afraid of what she might find, once she clears the forest. The stench of wood burning stun her eyes and nose.
Her eyes watered as she passed the clearing and saw what she had feared. The house was ablaze, and there were two bodies laying in the now trampled garden.
She saw no one else near the home, but she saw hoofs print, and smelled the sweat from the killers in the air. Tears fell , and she said a silent prayer. Her prayer was answered when a down pore fell over the house and put out the fire. A strong wind blew and covered the bodies with leaves and dirt, and bits of sticks." Thank you , Spirit of the forest, for granting this one wish. They were good people that never harmed our forest. The mother grew vegetables , that were sweet and delicious . The father would always take the dead trees that fell , for his fires. They deserve more, but thank you" .
The small fye heard the winds speak and they said " The favor must be returned , by caring for the boy. You will raise him to know the forest, and to care for all living things that live in all of my forests. He will grow up to be one that can talk to trees , if he so wishes". The winds died down, and the fye flew back to find the small boy playing around the same tree that she left him at. She landed on his shoulder, and replaced the robe back around her and pulled it tight. She whispered in his ear, " Would you like to go home with me. Your mom and dad said it was ok". Seth giggled and said " Home". She wiped away tears and said
"Yes my little angel. Home"
Seth grew into a very strong, and a very big young man. He was trained to be a scout, to be able to pick up the slightest hint of any tracks. He was shown how to listen to the winds, and the trees, to tell of a storm, or what the weather would be like days in advance. He was shown what plants and herb to use to heal the sick. There were times he had to save one of the fye from being eaten by spiders, after flying into their web. He was given special powers , to be able to talk to the animals, as well as the plants and trees. When it was time for him to go, the fey all came out and threw him a party. There were Elderberry wine, and sweet cakes. The music made everyone dance, and Seth danced along with them. He grew up with strong shoulders and arms. His hair was still long, and he always kept it tied up in a pony tail. His skin was tanned and golden, as it was touched by the sun .He was soft spoken, and his heart was full of all good things. He was raised to be a guardian of the forests, and even the spirit of the woods smiled down on him. He could always hear her in the wind, telling of times when the earth was full of trees, until strangers came, and started cutting them down to make towns, and houses. Most cleared the land to grow things. These things she did not mind, but to waste a tree, or crush a flower was something she hated. She knew that the strangers would hunt, to fill their bellies, but to kill for sport. That was just cruel.
After the party, Seth sat by the tree that he called home. It was a large tree, hollow inside, but still very much alive. It cover him when it rained, and talked to him when everyone else went to sleep. This night, the tree was sad, and it spoke to him.
"Seth, you are going out into the world, and this worries me. There are people there that will try to do harm to you, and not care why. I have asked the Spirit of the Forest, for a gift. It is there , near the doorway".
Seth stood up and walked over to the door, and looked down. There,leaning by the door, stood a bow. It was a long bow, that was made out of the very tree that he lived in. The string was as fine as spider web, and it glowed a soft blue. He bent down to pick it up, and he heard the great tree speak. " The bow, who I have named,is called Selena . She is what I call a living bow. She is a very special bow, made from my branches, and given life . The Fye carved her for you. If you hold her up into the light, you will see".
Seth picked up the bow, and held it high, and slowly turning it , he noticed that the center of the bow, there was carved out the likeness of a female fye. Her eyes were two small blue stones, and her hair made up the top of the bow, while her legs made up the bottom. She wore a short gown, that bearly covered her vurtues . Her soft shoulders held the arrows, to be sighted in.
"She is beautiful. Why do you call her a living bow"? He almost dropped her when he heard a voice say, "It is because I am. I am here to serve you ,But first you must know two things. I will not kill anything that had a good heart. Second thing is, I will not kill unless it is needed. There will be those times, but it will not be up to you to decide". Seth smiled and ran his hand over the wood. "She feels warm to the touch. Where are the arrows. I can not use her without arrows". The trees branches shook, and he heard the great tree laugh. " Hold the bow, and sight in that branch on the far side of the path. Pull the string back, and think about what type of arrow you need to hit it with . You have four choices. These being wood, air, fire, or water". Seth looked over at the branch. " No one could hit that small branch from here. It would be impossible". The tree laughed again. "They say that the trees do not talk, but you are talking to me. Pull the string. Sight in the branch, and see. Seth srugged his shoulders and brought the bow up, and thought about a wooden arrow. He pulled back, and let loose of the string. Like magic, a wooden arrow appeared and struck the limb, splitting it down the middle. "By the spirits of the winds. Its true". He turned to see the arrow disappear. Selena said, "Once an arrow is shot, it can never be used again". Seth smiled up the the tree and said "Thank you , my friend. I will care for her, and I will always know that you are close".
Placing the bow over his shoulder, he packed his things and started walking away. He could hear the cries from the Fye, saying good bye. He waved , but he could not turn back to look. There were tears in his eyes, and he did not want them to see him cry . He followed the path, back to his old home. It had long since been taken over by the forest, and he found two marked graves. He knelt down, an said a silent prayer. He took from his pack a few seeds, and scattered them around both graves, turned and walked away. If he had looked back, he would have seen the Fye that first found him , bring the seeds take life, and cover the graves in a soft blanket of moss, with wild flowers in the shape of two heart. The fye blew a soft kiss into the air. " For you, my little angel", but he was crying to hard to hear.
He was told about a town, called Montfort. The old tree told him that would be a good place to start his adventure. He thought to himself, " It would a good a place as any to meet new people". Wiping away tears, he looked up into the mornings sky, and smiled. "It is going to be a great day to start and adventure". With the bow across his back, and with a light heart , he heads east , over the mountains, and through the valleys.
It took longer than Seth expected when he headed east. He did not know that the forest was ever that big. He did not know that he had long since walked out of the woods that he had called home for so meny years. "I think we should have been there by now. How far did the old tree say it was?" Carrying the bow across his shoulders, he looked back when he heard her say "He never said. All he told me was that it is to the east". Seth shook his head, andlooked around. "Well we have been traveling east for as long as I can remember. I have not seen another person , since we left home. You would think we would at least see a village or something by now." Kicking a rock , he walked on .
Days turned into Weeks. They, in turn , turned into months, and then years. Seth began to enjoy the things that he saw while walking. Every day brought new sight. He saw waterfalls, that fell from great mountain peaks, and landed so hard, he had to yell, to hear his own voice . Trees that were so tall , and so big around that it took him almost all morning to walk around them. They looked like they touched the sky, and by the way they looked, they did. Between the forests, he found valleys that flowed up from the trees, and blanket the earth with green grass, and meny colored flowers.
There were times, he found small villages, and had to work for a meal. He did not mind the work , and would always do a good job. He received a few coins for the work , and he always made sure that he kept them in his back pack. He did not know what they were for, until he walked over a rise and saw a large lake , blocking his path. The air tasted like salt, and he could not see the other side.
Around the lake ,laid sand that was pounded hard from the waves.
He tried walking around it, but he could never find the other side. He was going out of his way, and knew something was wrong. "Do you think its magic? I have never seen a lake this large, have you?" The bow thought for a moment, and then answered him. " I have heard that there are meny lakes like this. They are called oceans, and the only way to cross them is by floating over them using something called a ship." Seth pulled his ponytail , a habit he got into while he was young. " Then we must find this ship, and see if it will take us to the other side." He walked on , until he found a small fishing village that was built near the ocean. He found a small dock, and a few people that were working, weaving nets, and fishing off the side.
He walked up to the oldest person , and asked "Excuse me, but do you know where I can find a ship that will take me to the other side"? The old one looked up, said, " Yes, there is a ship that comes by here for supplies every week or so. It depends on the weather. They stop here and trade things for dried fish , and our nets". The old one looked up and down at Seth, and smiled a toothless grin.
"They do take passengers, but you must pay their price. If you do not have it, then you will have to work for your passage. It is back breaking work , but I see that your use to that type of work." The old man laughed, and then pointed at the bow. "If I were you, I would not show that bow to anyone around here. It is magical , is it not? There are a few men that would try and take it from you, to be used for their purpose, which is evil. Watch for them. They will be wearing red boots".
Seth thanked the old man , and took a few coins from his back pack and handed them to him. " Thank you kind sir. This is more than I make in over a month. You are too kind". Seth looked at him , and asked , " What are this coins used for. Do you trade them , or are they a symbol of your worth. Every one I have worked for has given me those. I have a back pack full , and they are getting heavy. Is there some way I can exchange them for something lighter?" The old man looked like he stuck himself with a needle . "Son, where have you been? These coins can buy you anything you need , and if you have enough, you can buy your way over the ocean. Follow me, and we will see what you have. I know a place that will exchange them for other coins. Ones that will be lighter on your back." On the way, the old man explained that some of Seth's coins were worth more than others do to the metal of the coin.
Seth followed the old man back to his house. It was not much to look at, just a few sticks, and string holding them together. The roof was made from some leaves, that he saw growing from a tall tree. The tree looked funny to him, because the leaves only grew up from the top. It had strange looking orbs hanging from the bottom of the leaves. Some dropped on him when he shook it. He thought they were fruit , until he tried to bit it. He found it to be to hard to eat,and left it there. The old man went into a back room, and then came back out.
With him was an older lady. She had gray hair, and her skin was tanned and wrinkled. She had eyes that looked blue. As blue as the waters outside. She was dressed in a old tattered dress, and a faded shirt. Over her head she had a rag , pulled around to keep her hair out of her eyes.
She smiled up at Seth, and said " Please, make yourself at home. We do not have much, but what we do have is yours." Seth heard the bow say "They are good people. You can trust them." Seth smiled,and pulled up a chair, made from a dead tree trunk. " Thank you. I am Seth ..Seth Fye. I am from a place that is called Dark woods. It is meny....meny days walk from here. I am sure that you have not heard of it. The old lady cackled and said " Yes, the forest of the Fye. I have heard of tales that a baby was raised by the Fye. You look much older than I thought you would , Seth Fye. I am Gabby and you have met my husband Garth. He tells me that you are carrying a heavy load, and wish to make it lighter".
Seth pulled off his pack, and started dumping coins onto the table. Coins of all descriptions fell out and rolled everywhere. There were Lead, Copper, Steel, Silver, as well as Gold and a few Platinum coins. " This is what I have. Will they be enough to get me across the ocean , and on to Montfort?" Both Gabby and Garth stood there, with their moths open. " You have all this, and you dress like that?" Pointing to his clothes. They were nothing more than what the Fye found after the house burnt down . An old shirt , with the sleeves burnt off to the elbow, and a few buttons missing. A dark pair of pants that had the knees wore out. A faded black pair of boots, that had holes in the bottom , and was patched with tree bark. The fye tried to make clothes for him while he was growing up, but each time they finished , he grew to big . They finally looked through the house, and gathered what they could. They knew he would find people to help him.
"Let us count the coins, and then go to the store and find you better fitting clothes. Then we will see about exchanging the others for some coins that you can carry." They went about the small room ,and started picking up the coins. "I have a silver. I have two coppers. Here is another gold." They took the coins and placed them in order of value. After counting them all , Gabby whistled . "Seth ,you have a small fortune here. You could buy the ship and have them take you anywhere, with change left over." Seth shook his head. "No,I am not needing to own this ship, only to take me to Montfort."
Gabby cackled again. "It will take you across the sea, to the other port. From there you can take a caravan to Montfort. I know the captain of the ship, and he will see to it, that you make it to Montfort. Now then, lets get you over to the store, and find you something to wear. We also need to hid the Bow. If the red boots see her, we will be in trouble". They took the coins, and placed them in small nets. Each net held certain coins. Copper for one, silver gold, and platinum for the others. The lead coins, they used to pinch the nets together. "Someone cheated you with these coins". Seth did not mind. He figured that the meal was enough.
Seth placed the bow across his shoulders, and taking his back pack,headed out the door, with Gabby and Garth close behind. "Let us go the back way. We are less likely to see any red boots."
The shop was clean and well stocked with all kinds of things. "Here, go into the back , and see if these fit." Gabby threw him a pair of black pants, a white shirt , underwear, and socks. Garth handed him a tall pair of black shiny boots , and pointed at a door. "
Back there son. There is a small room with a mirror. When you get done, come out and let us look at you." Seth smiled and walked back to the room. A second later he came running out, with only a shirt on. Gabby gasped , and hid her eyes, while Garth grabbed him and pushed him back into the room. "Seth!! What are you trying to do,scare Gabby to death? What's wrong?" Seth looked at Garth, then back at the room. "There's someone in there. I saw him. He had long brown hair, a white shirt, and no pants. I saw him run out . "
Garth looked at Seth and started laughing. After he wiped the tears from his eyes. He said " Seth , that was you looking at yourself in the Mirror. Its like a piece of glass that shows your reflection. Here, let me show you." Garth walked in ,with Seth in tow, and pointed out the mirror, hanging on the far wall. "See, it is you. Not a stranger. Now get dressed. I have to go out and calm down Gabby." Laughing all the while shaking his head, Seth heard him say , " That's the first time I have seen Gabby blush."
After figuring out how where everything went , he walked out, and showed Gabby and Garth." Now that looks a lot better. You look more like a man now, than a scarecrow. I think it needs one more thing", and Gabby reached for a long cloak , with a hood. " Here, this should keep you warm on the long ride to Montfort. It should also hid your bow, until you have need for it. I had the shopkeeper make it to carry the bow . You do not have to keep throwing her over your shoulder, and she will not show, if we pass a red boot." Seth placed the bow under the cloak , and put it on.
"Your right. I can not tell that I am even carrying her, but she is within easy reach. Thank you." Gabby and Garth paid the shop keeper, and then when out to exchange the rest of the coins. " You will find a secret pocket in the cloak. There you can place your coins, and no one well know. They will be there, until you need them.
They walked on and found another shop. There they exchanged the smaller coins for better ones. "Remember to ask how much something is, before bringing out the coins. You do not want to 'tip their hand',and pay more than something is worth. If they see that you have more, they will raise the price. Also remember, that some coins are worth more than others. If you need a copper, and you have steel , then you should get change back". Seth shook his head, trying to remember everything being said. At last Gabby said " Enough Garth , your only confusing the boy". Stepping out of the shop, Seth bumped into a few red boots.
" Watch it boy, or you will have to pay the price". One of the men said, and pushed him away. Seth said " I am sorry sir", and remembering what Garth said, he asked , "and what would that price be"? Seth watched as the man he bumped into, turn a bright red. " The price, my funny little friend, would be about a pound of your flesh ,hanging from the tip of my blade", he said between drawn lips. " I think that is a bit much for bumping into you. Would a copper coin do instead"? Seth heard a few of the other red boots laugh. He heard one say " Ya , Brack , are you worth a copper"? Another one said " I bet he will want change back ", and more laughter grew from the crowd of red boots. Everyone shut up, when Brack turned and gave them a look.
"Boy, I am going to take more than a copper out of your hid". Brack started to draw his blade, when Garth stepped up. "Brack , Please excuse my friend here. He did not mean any harm. He is not from around here. He did not know"....and he was hit with the back of Brack's hand.
Seth caught him before he hit the ground. "He did nothing to call for that. Leave us, before you cause any more trouble". Brack spat on the ground, and wiped his mouth off with the back of his hand.
"You are the one in trouble boy. When I get done with you, I will finish the old man and woman off, just for fun. Do not worry boy, I will let you watch, before I kill you. You can watch me strip every bit of skin off the both of them, and I will make nets out of their hides". Seth heard Garth say "Run boy, there is nothing you can do.
Something inside Seth snapped, and he stood up. " Mister, I do not know who you are, but I do know one thing. You will leave this village, or die. The choice is yours", and he stood back and waited. Laughter came from the group called the red boots. Brack waved his hand, and everything became quite.
"Boy, we out number you five to one. Why don't you just stand there, and take your punishment . I promise I will make sure that you die a slow death. Anyway, you do not have a weapon. So, what are you going to do. Talk us to death".
Seth smiled , and drew back his cloak over his shoulders, and reached for the bow. He pulled it clear, and he heard one of them say "Damn", before a arrow was shot threw his neck. He fell , gargling words that no one could understand, and then he died.
" You were saying"? Seth asked. "Now it is down to four".
Brack yelled "Get him", and turned to see two more men , dead at his feet. One had a flaming arrow sticking from his belly, while the other one had an arrow made of water , mixing with his blood. One turned and started to reach for Gabby, to use as a shield. He never made it , and fell two feet shy, with another arrow sticking from his back.
"Well Brack , do you wish to leave with your life, or shall I end it here. The choice is yours. Seth pulled back the string one more time, and Brack saw an arrow that was made up of all four elements.
"N..No..No.. I will go. I do not want to die like they did". He looked to see that all of the arrows were gone. "Damn" was all that Brack could say.
" Now get some help, and take care of your men. If I see or hear that you have came back , I will hunt you down , and finish the job I started. Now Get! you have until the sun sets, to get out of town".
Brack turned and ran , and he did not look back. Seth ran over to Garth , and checked to make sure that he was ok.
" I am ok. A little bruised , but I will live. Seth, that was a good thing that you have done. Those red boots have been terrorizing the town for a long time. Now we can go along with our lives in peace. Thank you Seth. Without your help, we would be under their grip forever".
Seth looked at the dead men, and thought " Serina must have seen the evil in them to kill them. They should have walked away".
Seth waited until the ship came. He found out what a ship was when it entered the port. He stood here in awe, and tried to count the sails that hung from the poles like leaves on a tree. Gabby and Garth came with him, and they talked with the captain. " How much to take this boy across the ocean , and to place him on a Caravan to Montfort. The old sea captain looked Seth up and down , with the one good eye he had. The other was covered with a black patch . He spoke with a booming voice. "Aye, I can take da boy to the other side, be its'a gonna cost ya. He looks like a landlubber. Wil` he hold up in'a storm? I can't a be a baby sitt'n him. I have to much ta do without doing that". Garth passed a few gold coins to the captain, and Seth watched as he bit each coin, before placing them in his pocket. " Ok , but he stays away from ta top side. I don't wa' him gettin in da way of me men. Have him pack his things below. We shove off at high tide".
Seth took his things, and found a small room near the center of the ship, and packed his things away. Taking all the coins from his pocket, he counted out ten coins, and placed the rest in a bag. Making sure that everything was safe, he went back up, and gave Gabby the bag. " I have more than enough coins to see my way to Montfort. The rest I would like you and and Garth to have, for being so nice to me. If I ever get back this way, I will look you up. Now go, before I start to cry. I do not think the Captain would like that. He seems to be a hard man to get along with".
Gabby took the bag with both hands and held it close. "Thank you Seth , but are you sure you have enough? We do not need all this, but it would be nice to get a place without the roof leaking every time it rains. Oh , you need not worry about the Captain . He is always barking orders, but his bark is worst than his bit. You will be safe. That I promise you. Now get settled in".
Gabby grabbed Garth and walked back to the dock. A few sailors came up and puled the gang plank away, and they started to get things under way. Seth stood on the edge of the ship, trying to stay out of everyone's way. He watched as Gabby opened the bag and looked inside. He could see tears in both their eyes, and they turned and waved. Gabby threw him a kiss, and a few of the sailors started to laugh until the Captain came by.
"All right ya bags of wind. We have work ta do. So quit yea lollygagging, and move it. Boy,you best get below. We will be off soon enough". Seth smiled, and went below. He heard one of the sailors say " The boy wont make it through a day, without getting sick". He heard another say "I will take that bet", and a few others chimed in. He smiled. He had never been sick in his life, and he was not about to start.......
"Where is our passenger "? The Captain yelled out to one of the sailors. " He is starboard , sir, feeding the fish , the last time saw him". A puzzled look came over the captain , until the others started laughing. "Aye Capt. He back there throwing up, what he eat this morning. I knew he couldn't make it a day out to sea with out getting himself sick. He has a pretty shade of green to his face", And the crew started slapping each other on the back. "All right, ya blow holes. Get back ta work. I will be a look'n in on the boy, and see if'n I can fix him up with one of me sea sick potions".
The Captain went back to his chambers, and brought back a small bottle. Finding Seth hanging over the side, and indeed looking a bit green. He hauled him up, and uncorking the bottle with his teeth, Shoved the neck of the bottle in his mouth, held his nose , and made him drink the foul tasting potion. Seth heard one of the sailors say " If that don't cure him Capt. , It will at least put hair on the boys chest", and the crew started laughing harder. Seth tried to break away , but the Captain had too strong of a grip on him. He drank the liquid down, spitting and coughing as it hit his empty stomach. The Captain let go of him, and waited for he potion to start working. Seth felt something start to burn in his stomach , and then he felt a pain building up in his head. He started to have convolutions, his eyes fell back in his head, and every muscle was being to pull tight. He felt like he was going to die.
After a bit, everything started to calm down, and he found that he could stand, and not get sick. One of the sailors walked up, and pulled his shirt apart. He smiled a toothless grin and yelled out.
" Well, still no hair on his chest, so he must be cured". The ship roared with laughter, and then every one turned and went back to work.
It took the ship over a month to reach the shores on the other side of the ocean. Seth learned a lot while he was on the ship. He learned how to tie knots, and to catch, skin and fillet fish. He learned how to climb the large poles that held the sails, and furl and unfurl them when the time was needed. He helped with the sick,when someone came down with a fever, or worse. His experiences with plants and herbs saved more than one man during his trip. He made new friends and saw meny wondered while he looked out over the vast ocean.
Fish that were bigger than the ship itself would come up to the top, and blow water from a hole in the top of their heads. He found out that they were called whales. The pulled up to a small bit of land , that the Captain called Islands. There they gathered fresh water, and the hard shelled fruit that he once tried to bit . He found out that they were called coconuts, and held a sour milk inside. The white center was good to eat, but it made his stomach hurt. He quit eating them after he became sick , and the Captian said he had the 'screaming memes'. All he knew was that it made to go the the bathroom alot.
At long last he saw land , and the Captain said " Thats where we pull into port. There you should be able to catch a caravan to Montfort".
He hated to leave, when they pulled into the docks, but he had to see what the other side of the world was like. His hands were once soft, and pink, but working on the ship made them hard and calloused. His once light skin was now a dark tan. He had cut his hair while on the ship. What once hung down to his waist, now hung just below his shoulders.
He had started to make maps, when he first started his adventures, and they were rolled up very carefully when ever he sketched in them. The Captain showed him his maps, and he copied them . Seth showed his maps to the Captain , of the places he had been. It was like a puzzle of the world, and Seth was slowly piecing them together. "Well boy, this is as fer as we go.. I am gona miss ya boy. Ya been da best mate I ever had". He reached in his pocket, and brought out a small bag. "Here boy. I pay me help, and ya helped out real good. If'n it wernt for your help, I mighta lost the whole crew to the fever. I am much'a obliged ta ya", and the Captain slapped Seth on the back, almost knocking him down." Ha, still have ya sea legs. Don't worry. You will get ya land legs back soon enough".
Heturned and headed back to his ship, all the while barking orders. Seth shook his head, and placed the bag in his backpack. He waved to the crew, and walked down the dock, and headed to town. There he would hope to find a caravan heading to Montfort, and to the Dragons Inn. Even on the ship, he heard tales of the Inn . He found out that it was a place where all types of people come , to drink, to tale their tales, and most of all get together to go out on quests and adventures. He could not wait to be at the Inn, and to see what everyone was talking about.
After finding a Caravan that was going towards Montfort, and paying the price that they ask for, he found himself in back of a wagon. It swayed more than the ship, and it was a lot slower than he expected. " I bet I can walk faster than those Ox. How long will it take to get to Monfort"? The old woman that owned the wagon said " It should not take to long. I would say we will reach the gates , by the next full moon". Seth looked up, and noticed that the moon was almost hidden by dark shadows. He laid back, and he let the motion of the wagon put him to sleep.
There were times he became bored, so he would go out and hunt. Selena would not let him kill anything that was young. He was able to bring an old buck down. Taking it back to the camp, he shared the meat with the others. Some complained about the age of the deer, but the old women told them all to shut up.
" You all could be eating the roots of the trees if it was not for this young man. I told you before we started, to gather supplies for the trip. Because you did not want to pay the prices, then you take what you get". She turned towards Seth, and said "Thank you Seth. I understand why you took the buck", and she looked at the bow. She turned back, and said, "Next time, you will be eating bark off a tree. Now everyone turn in. We are getting a early start tomorrow". Seth heard a few of the passengers mumble something, until the old woman turned and gave them a look.
Seth followed her back to her wagon, and helped her up. " Thank you Seth. Now turn in. The weather looks bad. We must get up early tomorrow, and try to make it over the river before it starts to rise.If we get caught in the storm , the river will rise up, and wash us all away". She looked up in the nights sky, and then shook her head. Seth smelled the air, and the hair on his arms stood up. "I do not wish to say that you are wrong, but this storm is coming faster than you think. We better get everything buckled down, before we head out. Get some rest. I will go around and make sure that everything is tied down". The old woman smiled and patted Seth on his shoulder. "You are a good man Seth Fye . Thank you". Seth was never called a man before, and he blushed . "Rest, and I will take care of things". He watched as she pulled a blanket out and pulled it over her head .
Seth went around to each wagon, and explained what he was doing. Most shook their head and helped. A few thought he was crazy.
"The storm is along way off. We will be safe , before the rain hits".
Seth smiled and went about tying everything down. The knots he learned would soon save everyones life.
Seth yelled out in the middle of the night " Everyone, lets get up, and head out. The storm is fast approaching, and we haven't much time. Get the ox hitched up, and lets get out of here". He heard a few of the passengers cursing and yelling, until a lightning bolt light up the nights sky. " We have not got much time. Lets go". They started to head out, when the rain started coming down. It was a light rain at first, and a few passengers cursed his name.
"See, its nothing but a light shower. We could have slept until day break, but no, you wanted to go now". Seth did not say a thing. He just kept beating the ox to go faster.
They made the river by day break. The river was just starting to rise, and the water started to move faster. " We have to cross here. Lets move these oxen through".
Seth went with he first wagon, and pushed the oxen to the other side. The river was rising fast, and it tried to push the wagons down stream. The rain came down harder with each wagon that passed by. There were times, that Seth could not find the wagons, due to the rain falling so hard that he had a hard time seeing.
"Hurry, the waters raising. Hurry". He watched as the the last wagon dropped into the water.
He heard the water roar, and looked down stream to see a wave of water, that was headed right toward the last wagon. He called out to Selena. "What can I do? The water will take the wagon down stream, and it will kill whoever is handling it". He heard Selena say "Do the best you can . I will help you if I am needed". Seth heard a cry from the wagon. "Seth.. Help me"!!! It was the old woman. She waited to be sure that the others made it across before she tried.
"Damn", Seth yelled over the pounding of the rain. One of the passengers ran up with a length of rope. "If we can tie her wagon up,we can pull her across to safety, but how are we going to get the rope to her in time. The river is flowing to fast ". Seth pulled Selena down from his cloak, and pulled her back. He thought of a large wooden arrow. "Tie the rope to the arrow, and I will shoot it across to her". "Arrow? I see no arrow". Seth cursed again. He had forgotten that the arrow did not materialize until he let loose of the string.
"Tie a loop in the rope and hold it out in front of me. Make the loop as small as you can get, and don't move". The passenger thought he was crazy, but he knew they did not have much time. Tying a loop, he held it out and shut his eyes. Seth drew the string back, said a prayer, and let the string fly. The arrow appeared, and took the rope. Seth saw the arrow circle around the wagon, and then stick to the floorboard. The arrow drove itself in deep.
Seth pulled with all his might, and the old women slapped the oxen as hard as she could with her whip. The passenger opened his eyes and could not believe what he saw. He ran up and tied the other end to his wagon, and jumping into the seat. He started beating his oxen, to help pull the wagon from the river. The water hit the side of the wagon hard, and there were times that the wagon tried to tip over, but they kept pulling. The rain fell harder, and the river rose up to the last board, and all Seth could see of the oxen were their nose and their horns. " Come on you over stuffed bags of fat", Seth heard the old lady yell. " If I am going down, then I am taking you with me". Seth heard her say a few more words, but later he was told never to repeat them .
After they got the wagon to shore , the old women jumped down and gave Seth a big hug. "Thank you Seth. I was not sure I was going to make it. If it was not for you, this caravan would be lost". The rest of the passengers came up and shook his hand and slapped him on his back. He was blushing so much, his face felt hot, even though it was raining all over them.
The rain stopped after two days, and Seth found out that the old woman was the owner of the wagons. "Yes, I own them. I make this trip about once a month. I go from town to town , selling the things that people want. I make a fine profit doing that", and she laughs. "In a year or two, I am going to sell out and retire. I am going to buy me a nice place and settle down, that is unless I get washed away". Seth smiled, and they started talking about where he had been, and what he had seen over his life time. The old woman sat there, hanging onto every word. At last she spoke. "I would like to have done that. I bet the falls were beautiful. Did you see a rainbow"?
Seth smiled and said yes, and then told her about the trees, how they reached up and touched the skies. She laughed and told him not to fib her, be he reached in his pack, and pulled out a drawing . He showed her the drawing, and pointed out the deer, that was standing by the tree. " The bucks horn was twelve pointed, and you can see how wide his horns were. Now look at the tree. It was so wide that it took me almost half a day to walk around it. I could not draw the whole thing, but I captured it the best I could. I thought about climbing it, but the branches were so far up, I could not see them . The wood was a deep red and very hard to cut".
The old woman shook her head. "The sights you have seen, Seth fye. I bet you are the only person to see those sights. Never have I heard such a tale. I hope that some day, I might get the chance and see the wonders that you saw".
Seth smiled and said " When you retire, I will take you there, and you can see for yourself. The old women shook her head and smiled. "I would like that Seth Fye. Thank you. Some day, I will look you up, and take you up on that journey".
The journey came to a stop, when the caravan rolled into Montfort. Seth said his good byes and was told how to get to the inn. He was surprised to find Montfort so big." All the other villages were never this big", he thought to himself. He walked down the main street and looked threw all the shops windows. Before he knew it, he found himself standing outside the Inn. He stood at awe as he looked around.
" The way they talked, the Inn was this magical place, with walls made of gold, and the roof was made of silver. Ale ran like water, and there were people waiting in line to get in. Where is the Dragon that hold the gates open"? Seth shook his head, and walked in to the inn.
The smell of food and the sound of glass's being brought together made Seths stomach growl. He looked around, and finding a table near the entrance, he pulled his backpack off ,and sat down. Reached in he found the bag that the Captain gave him. He Opened it up, and pored the contents in his hand. There were no coins, only some strangelooking pieces of cut glass. Some were red, while others were blue. A few of them were clear. He held one up, and looked through it, and laughed when he saw the pattern it made.
A young lady walked up to his table and smiled. " I would not show those off if I were you. Someone might take them from you", and she laughed." I am Sara. Would you like something to drink"? Seth smiled and said "Yes, thank you". Sara stood there for a moment, and then asked "What would you like? We have about anything one would want". Seth thought for a moment then asked, "Do you have any elderberry wine? That is my favorite drink. Also, would you have something to eat? Anything that's good will do. I am not choosy". Sara nodded her head and said " Yes, I think we have that. Let me look and see". Seth watched her leave, and then he took all of the pieces of glass and placed them back in his pack. He held out one, a blue on , to give to Sara. "Why would anyone want to take these away? I better ask Sara when she gets back". He looked around the room, and saw meny strange looking people. Some looked like him, but were black, with white hair. Others looked strange to him. They had on plates of metal stamped to look like their bodies. Every where he looked, he saw different type of people, and this made his head hurt.
Sara came back, and placed a glass of wine and a plate of food in front of him. She smiled and waited for him to pay her. He looked up, and then remember what Garth said . " How much do I owe you Sara"? Sara thought for a moment, then said "How does one steel sound? That will cover the food, and I will be back to fill your glass". Seth knew that he gave all his steel and silver coins to Garth and Gabby. All he had was the copper ones. He remembered the cut glass, and held out his hand. " Would this do? I am not sure if it worth anything, but I have more", and he reached in, and took out the bag and shook it. Sara's eyes grew wide, and she took the gem and held it to the light.
" With this , you can buy the Inn , but I don't think that Hugh would want to sell it". Seth looked at her and asked " Then these pieces of glass are worth something then"? Sara laughed and then looked Seth up and down. "Your not from around here, are you? Seth shook his head no, and blushed.
Sara sat down with Seth, and explained that there were far more things worth more than coins. The cut glass, were in fact gems. They could buy him anything he wanted , if he so desired. Seth smiled and listened to everything that Sara had to say. " But I do not need much. The forest and the trees have everything I would ever want. You keep the gem Sara. I have more, and you have been so nice". Taking a drink, and tasting the sweet flavor of the wine once more, he asked " Can you tell me if there is anyone looking for an adventure? I was told that this is the place, where all adventures begin". Sara looked around, and then pointed at a small table, near the back." There was one person asking for help. She sits back there with two other men and another young lady. She has called them over to talk . She is the one with the glowing white hair, and the eyes, that glow a deep sapphire blue". Seth thanked her and looked over at the table.
He could not help but think that the one Sara pointed out, looks like one of the Fye, but only bigger. She was beautiful, and Seth smiled.
Seth watched the table, while sipping on his wine, and trying to get the courage up to talk to the young lady. He reaches for his pack with one hand and with the other, grabs the glass and the plate of food. Walking over the the table, he smiled, and looked at the young ladies that were sitting there, and then at the men. He waved hi, and said " Excuse me, but I was over there , talking to Sara. She told me that you were looking for help . Would you mind if I sat down, and we could talk about a job? I don't need much money. I am just seeking an adventure". Reaching for a chair, he places his plate of food down, and almosts spills his glass of wine.
" Oh, sorry"..... Blushing, he sat down , and placed his backpack beside him. Looking around the table, he says " I am Seth....Seth Fye, and you are?.............