The sound of rustling, dry leaves filled the air for a moment, as the fall wind blew through the trees of the Hazelwood Forest. The night air was cold, and though it was not yet winter, Absylon could see his breath in the moonlight. Whoooosh. Absylon’s heavy blade cut vertically through the dying wind. As he swung the crescent blade repeatedly, he drifted into thought…
“You must be one with your blade, Absylon. You are one of the Hayabusa clan. The heavy blade has been our mastered style for generations. Even during the golden age of our people, the Hayabusa clan has always stood fast in the belief that the strength of the two-handed blade could always over-power any other form of combat. AGAIN
Absylon, now not much older than a hatchling (about 3 years old), rushed at his father, Arjhan, wielding a long sword. He felt clumsy with a long sword, and even though others his age used short swords, his father insisted he use the larger blade. “Grraaaahh,” he yelled as he charged Arjhan, only to feel his blade glance across his father’s massive sword in one effortless movement. Absylon fell on the ground, face first, and his snout stung a little. He shook it off and turned around onto his back. He saw his father’s outstretched hand, took it, and as Arjhan pulled Absylon up he said, “Your enemies will not extend this same courtesy. Treat your enemies with the same respect as your allies, but always be wary.”
The clashing of blades rang through the cool, desert night air. Torch light glinted off the eyes and crossing blades of Absylon and Arjhan. Absylon, now 6 years old, felt much more comfortable with a long sword in his hands now. He had been training for about 3 years now and had grown strong and confident for his age. Each blow that his father threw at him he was now able to deflect; and even though he knew his father was holding back, occasionally he could even counter with an attack of his own. Each time that would happen, he would see his father’s eyes light up with pride for just a moment.
Their blades continued to clash furiously, and at this moment, in the heat of it all, Absylon had the advantage. Then, Arjhan did something unexpected. As Absylon pressed his attack, Arjhan swung his mighty sword with a speed and strength that Absylon had never seen before. The force of the blow not only cut Absylon’s long sword in two, but the wind knocked Absylon flat on his back. He looked up at his father, wide eyed, and again his father extended his hand. “You have done very well,” said Arjhan as he pulled his son up from the ground. “But, I think its time you began training with a bigger sword.” Arjhan went into a tent for a moment, and returned with another sword. This one was much bigger than the one that lay in fragments in the sand. “From now on, you will train with this sword,” said Arjhan as he stuck the great sword into the sand at Absylon’s feet. Absylon pulled it from the sand, and tried to lift it. He was able to lift it with ease, but he was reminded of how he felt 3 years ago.
“You now see but a taste of the heavy blade’s power,” said Arjhan. Now do you understand why one great blade can always over power another smaller one when mastered?” “Yes, father,” Absylon said, still in awe by his fathers mighty blow. “Good,” said Arjhan as he turned his back to Absylon. “Again!”
Absylon breathed in the night air and let it fill his lungs. The moonlight glinted off his falchion as he took one last final swing. He exhaled deeply and then planted his sword into the ground. He looked up to the sky through the canopy of the Hazelwood Forest, and reached up to feel his eggshell fragment, which he wore around his neck…
“Absylon. Come here for a moment; your father wishes to speak with you,” said his mother, Korinn. Absylon, now 15 years old, walked over to his parents and kneeled before them. “You’re an adult now, Absylon. I think its time you had this.” Arjhan reached out with a closed hand and dropped an amulet into Absylon’s cupped hands. Absylon knew exactly what he was receiving, because all Dragonborn received a piece of the shell that they hatched from once they reached adulthood. The shell fragment was smooth, bluish, and had a slight curve to it. But this amulet was different from the others he had seen. Etched in the center of the fragment was the letter “H” with his father’s heavy blade behind it. This emblem had a faint glow to it that fascinated Absylon. It glowed brightly as it was placed in his hand, and then, as quickly as it had lit up, it dimmed to nothing but an etching. He looked up at his father and noticed that Arjhan’s amulet glowed very brightly, and there was a different sword etched behind the “H”. “One day yours will glow like mine; maybe even brighter.” Arjhan grinned, “As you grow in strength, so will the glow. That is a special engraving that only the head of the Hayabusa Clan receive. My father made mine, I made yours, and one day you will make one. There is a great deal of responsibility that goes with this amulet, for you will one day be the head of the Hayabusa clan.”
Absylon pulled is falchion from the ground and sheathed it on his back. He turned back towards Medina. It was late, and his training for the night was done. He was not too deep into the forrest, but he knew that it would take him some time to make it back to the Howling Moon Inn. The dry leaves cracked under his weight, and as he passed by the trees, Absylon drifted into thought again…
“I think its time for me to leave Hayabusa Village, father. You have trained me well, but I fear that I have learned what I can here. If I truly want to be the leader that I must one day become, then it is time for me to venture out to prove my worth and see the world.”
Arjhan said, “You fear? Do not fear anything; for fear is a wretched disease that drives one to cowardice, and that, Absylon, is a moral failing. Do not begin to think that you have learned everything. Take what you have learned here with you, but you must always be hungry for more knowledge. You fight well, but there is still much you must learn. However, you are right. This day comes to all who will one day lead the Hayabusa clan. In order to truly master the heavy blade, you will have to fight in more battles than those fought with your own father. I have laid the foundation, but it is you who must live and fight to mastery.”
Absylon walked across the open field that spanned the distance between Hazelwood Forest and Medina. As he viewed the silhouetted town, he saw the Howling Moon Inn. He counted the lit windows until he saw where his room was, and was reminded that he had better meet up with his companions Jinlil and Amraphenen before he went to get something to eat. He chuckled to himself as he thought about what each of his friends might be doing. Amraphenen was probably trying to steal someone’s money pouch, and Jinlil Harno was probably sitting in the room pouring over her books. She had a strange sort of fascination with the arcane, and it was that fascination that Absylon truly admired. She seemed to be just as devoted to Magick as he was his blade…
Absylon scanned the desert. It was the heat of the day and the peaks of the dunes blurred as the heat radiated off. Dispite this blurring, he noticed a figure coming over the dune nearest the Hayabusa clan’s desert camp. “What do you see, Absylon?” Absylon looked behind him to see his father. Absylon pointed out to the desert and said, “I see someone out there, Father. I’m not sure yet what it is.” He continued to watch as the figure cleared the apex of the dune, and while it was hard to tell, it seemed to Absylon that the figure was staggering about in the heat. Then, he saw the figure fall and he watched it roll down the dune and come to a halt near the base. “Looks like they could use some help, son. You had better go see if you can help them.” Absylon nodded and began to run over to the collapsed figure.
When he approached the unconscious figure, he realized that it was a relatively short, chubby woman of human descent. She was dressed in robes and clutched a bag that looked as though it had nothing but books in it. He glanced at her belt and noticed that her water skin was completely empty. Absylon picked the woman up, slung her over his shoulders, and walked back to his village.
“This woman needs help,” Absylon said to his father with urgency. “Bring her to our tent, and lay her on one of the bedrolls. Get a cold rag, put it over her forehead, and wet her lips. We will take care of her until she comes to, and then we shall find out who she is and what she is doing here,” said Arjhan.
…More to be Added Later…