Alarin

“You need to hold it a little lower!”

“Lower.”

“Lower!!!!.”

“Oh, come on! You’re not even trying!”

“Yes, young master,” sighed Gaston Fricken Pooribicle Fiddle Alysius Klesmer Escarl Calitendez, lowering the apple to sit on top of his head.

Thunk.

<Wince>

“Go get that looked at, Gasty, you’re bleeding on the carpet,” Alarin said absentmindedly. Tossing his bow aside, he thumbed through his dog eared book. “I was sure I had it right that time….”

“Are you still here? We're never goiing to have time to practice building man-traps and practice my stealth before cocktail hour if you don’t get that wound seen too!”

Sigh. “Yes, young master,” Gaston Fricken Pooribicle Fiddle Alysius Klesmer Escarl Calitendez said, limping off in the direction of the infirmary.

Thumbing through the tatty pages of the book entitled “How to Become a Ranger in 30 Days” Alarin perused diagrams of sophisticated knots and complicated snares. He sniffed at scratch n’ sniff patches of odors of various denizens of the deep. Ripping out a soft and absorbent page with a paucity of pictures but filled with dense text, he thought to himself, “I just have to learn how to read”, as he headed for the privy.

“Why did life have to be so dull?!?,” Alarin thought to himself as he strode down the corridor neatly stepping around the gnomish drudges scouring the floor. All of his sisters got to have adventures! Just because he was a boy, they thought he couldn’t do anything! Weaker sex! Hmmmmph. I’m just as strong and tough as my sisters! Well, maybe not as tough as Lystra, he conceded. And Estralle could probably whoop him. And, yes, Senese, Venia, Cheylin, Ghelysa, Tressa, Yvella, Vluhosa and Cindy were likely to take him three falls out of four. But still….

“That’s just because I haven’t been given a chance!” He exclaimed, startling the gnomish sous chef preparing the evening’s repast and grabbing some sweets as he went by. “Once I master this book I’ll be super duper stealthy. I’ll stalk the deep underground and slay all my foes!” Alarin pulled his rapier from its sheath and slashed furiously around.

“They’ll see!” he asserted triumphantly disengaging his rapier from where it had stuck in a wine skin.

He walked past the infirmary. “Gasty, are you still getting bandaged?”

“You nicked an artery, young master.”

“Oh, fine! I guess I’ll have to practice stalking and capturing my quarry without you. I don’t suppose your sons would like to help?”, asked Alarin hopefully.

“Errrr…no young sir, they’ve all been taken ill, I’m afraid. Terribly sorry.”

“Oooh! I get to practice my herbalism then!” Alarin exclaimed. “Just let me run to the garden and pick some herbs. Is it the purple ones with the yellow stems that are for upset tummys or are those the poisonous ones? Oh well! We’ll soon find out!”

Gaston’s face took on a look of utter terror.

“But young master! Didn’t you know? It’s time for your final project!”

“Really? But I’ve only been practicing for 17 days and it’s supposed to take 30.”

“Oh, but sir, you are so puissant that of course you have learned at an accelerated pace.”

Alarin’s face lit up, “That’s great! What’s my final project?”

“Ummmmm……,” Gaston looked around frantically and spied a painting of a small ship tossed on a wind-swept sea. “The Seethe! Your final project is to sail upon the Seethe giving aid and succor to all that you encounter.”

“Really? Where does it say that?” Alarin asked, thumbing through his book.

Snatching the book out of Alarin’s hand, Gaston pointed to a page, “See? Right here!”.

“Ohhhhh….. but how am I going to escape? You know that mom won’t let me go on the surface.”

“Leave it all to me.”

Late that night, Gaston crept into Alarin’s room and gently prodded him. “Awake young master! Your adventure is nigh!”

He thrust a bundle of clothes and equipment at him as Alarin rubbed his eyes.

“Quietly now,” Gaston whispered.

With barely a sound, the two crept through the hallways arriving at last at a merchant’s wagon left “fortuitously” unattended.

“You must secret yourself…”

Secrete?!? Ewwwww…..”

Sigh. “Hide yourself in this wagon until you get the surface. When you get there head to the West until you find the Seethe. Good luck young master: I look forward to your return.”

With that Gaston hurried back into the deeps and Alarin set forth on his great adventure.

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