Chapter Two : The Harvest Moon

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   Behind the cabin he heard a rhythmic pounding and crashing, and knew, before he saw, that his grandfather was chopping firewood, he crossed the clearing briskly, grinning in spite of himself at the thought of his grandfather. He turned around the edge of the house, the soft grass replaced by a path of pebbles crunching under his feet, and came face to face with the old man.

    Edrin Netharu was a tall man, much like his only grandson, but the family resemblance stopped there, he had long grey – white hair, in compare with Taurens brown and relatively short hair, he had a thin hawkish face with a long nose, and sharp black eyes, in compare with Taurens strong, muscled, but not thick, face, blue eyes, and more normal nose. He always wore the seemingly same black frayed robes, and was now carrying an axe over his shoulder. Behind him a heap of splintered firewood was lying all over their back yard.

     He grinned up at Tauren and glanced at the buck in surprise”. Hello boy, seems like you did well enough today.” He said with a nod at the buck.

    Tauren pushed past him and lay the buck down on the rough pine boards of back porch of the cabin, the old man followed, stroking the soft fur of the bucks back reverently his eyes half sad as they always were when Tauren brought in his kill.

    Tauren nodded in agreement with his grandfather’s statement.” Yep, I caught him by surprise; he didn’t even get to run.” He still felt bad about having had to kill it though, and wondered why his grandfather, who had mercilessly killed any number of men in the wars, was sad at the death of one dumb beast.

     The old man nodded.” Well, why you don’t get this cleaned up here. I’ve got to finish this firewood.” The old man swung the axe to a ready position and paced back to the firewood, while Tauren began the messy work of cleaning the buck.

     Some half an hour later Tauren finally looked up from his work, a heap of meat, wrapped in rough brown paper lay to his side on the porch, he saved the antlers and hide; they would sell well too.

      The sun was getting quite low on the horizon, and he knew it would soon be time to head for Carmenton with the meat. He and his grandfather had decided the day before that Tauren and he would spend the night in town if Tauren caught anything, he had been hunting for two weeks now, and was glad that he had caught something at last, even if it had to be on the day before Recruiting day.

     That night there would be a festival in the town where all the men between the ages fifteen and fifty would be gathered together in the village square by the mayor. (Though Tauren wouldn’t be, seeing as he was with the Arrels group) And the next morning a group of judges would have a quick test for each man, assessing his abilities and attributes, and then one out of every five of them would be chosen, and sent to the army base in Fandrinad Province to be trained for three months before they were sent to Arreland for a 20 month service period.

    The Arrels had been in control of Netheron for almost a hundred years, the story of how they had come to power was one that the Arrels did not encourage in spreading, and as a result, nobody spoke of it, and over the years it had slowly faded into legend, and that, even, was fading to myth.

    Of course it was one of those questions that people required an answer to, and there was a story that was told in the land, about how the people of Netheron had, after the Arrels had saved Netheron from their ancestral enemy Halavarde, almost seventy five years before, all announced the Arrel king their protector and lord.

   And so it was that there was always a presence of the mysterious Arrel warriors on Netheron.

   But Tauren didn’t believe that story in the least; it was a fake he decided. The people of Netheron definitely regretted their ancestor’s decision now.

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