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Chapter IV

Among the Stahlgs: Flashback

Saltwell folk need things to talk about with a war brewing in the south.

Published on:
Southern Ialnem Map
Clearmont and Elkhorn counties - Southern Ialnem

“The boy is strange.”

“Right so, I hear he came from the wilderlands. He’s a feral.”

The townsfolk of Saltwell would meet up at the local well after the work hours had finished. Conversations were never very thoughtful or deep. When the Farmer, Rhoystrar had found a boy on the outskirts of town with dirty skin and broken feet, it was the main source of gossip for weeks.

“A feral? Like he’d come from Fartooth, eh?”

“Nah, probably just an orphan from Star Point after it fell.”

“More likely Saomur, am I right? Doubt an orphan could cross the Flint alone. Had to have been there.”

“No sir. There’s no light in any dark hell anyone came out of Saomur alive or intact. If that boy spawns from there, there’s no wonder he’s like that. He’s a bonafide ghost!”

“I don’t know, he has a daze in his eyes like he got kicked by the backend of a mule.”

“Is that why he don’t say much? Townskids won’t talk to him so there’s no saying.”

“Oh he says plenty. He whispers, you see. To the horses.”

“He whispers to the horses? Why’s that?”

“He knows how to calm them. He has conversations with them. They trust him!

“You’re off your stool, you old man.”

“What do you actually mean?”

“I meant exactly what I said. The boy talks to the horses. And they understand back. They listen!”

“At least Rhoystrar found someone to help out with the farm.”

“Why would he bring in some boy like that, I reckon? He’s mad as well.”

“No, it’s like him. Probably feels bad for his daughter.”

“Boy’s weak though. Can’t do much tilling or lifting.”

“Told me son to stay away from him. No telling what diseases he might have.”

“I tell ya, the boy is strange.”

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