Part 1

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Kolvar trudged up the forest path deeper into the overgrown woods. He had walked this path for as long as he could remember. The fae village of Fairhaven had been his home his entire life. The same people came and went day in and day out. He thought about leaving when his gifts awakened at age sixteen. His father discouraged him, wanting to pass the family business on to him.

After all, Kolvar was his only son, his only child. It was completely reasonable his father wanted him to remain close by. And being a blacksmith wasn't a bad life, just not the life he would have chosen for himself. His dream had been to travel to the capital of Laz-Rooke to train as a royal guard, maybe one day even become a knight.

Those dreams seemed so far in the past. His life was here now, in Fairhaven with his family and friends. The village of Fairhaven was picturesque. It sat nestled in a small glen, one side pressed against the side of the Darnah Mountains.

All fairies loved the nature of their world, Votierra, and drew their life-force from it. They were in tuned to Votierra and in turn were able to heal and restore their life-forces. Many of the fae lived close to one thousand years. His measly ninety-four years seemed nothing in comparison to that. He had left the disappointment of his youth behind and now enjoyed life in the glen of Fairhaven.

Part of being a blacksmith meant forging new swords and knives. He loved coming out to a quiet spot by himself so he could practice with the swords he created. Although dreams of knighthood were a folly of his youth, he still loved swordsmanship. Practicing and honing his skills after a long day at work was his favorite pass time.

He usually followed it up with a tankard of ale at the tavern. He enjoyed meeting up with his friends before heading to the small cottage he called home. He had yet to find a wife, much to the displeasure of his parents and many of the local women. To keep his sanity, he moved out on his own about sixty years ago now. It was about the time he had taken over the blacksmith shop full-time when his father retired.

He looked around the woods deciding he'd hiked far enough away not to be bothered. The small clearing in the woods was the perfect spot to train. An old tree lay over on its side making the perfect target. He took the scabbard off his back, setting it to the side as he pulled out the sword. He admired his craftsmanship.

Forging weapons was one of the only things he enjoyed about being a smithy. He muddled through the daily drudgery of shoeing horses, sharpening blades, and making tools. But when he crafted a weapon of this caliber, he put his whole heart into it. He held the sword out before him judging its balance and flexibility. Turning, he swung the sword through the air. He loved the world he was transported to when he practiced.

Kolvar sat on the fallen log an hour later. He breathed in and out from the exertion he'd just put himself through. Running his hands through his chestnut brown hair, he leaned back shutting his eyes for a moment. A high pitched shriek disrupted the quiet of the forest around him.

The handsome fairy looked around as he tried to judge what creature could have made such a pitiful sound. He stood, strapping the sword onto his back and checking the dagger on his belt. He walked a few feet into the forest in the direction he assumed the sound had come from. Stopping every few steps to listen, he continued hearing the sound but it had become muted.

After going deeper into the woods, he came to the opening of a cave which extended into the hillside. He remembered seeing the cave as a boy, even exploring it a bit with childhood friends. He had almost forgotten it was here after all these years. The loud screech reverberated off the cave walls flowing out the entrance towards Kolvar.

Of a couple things Kolvar was sure. First, whoever or whatever was making the noise was inside the cave. Secondly, the cave was pitch black with many twists and turns. And thirdly, he knew he would never forgive himself if he did not find out the origin of painful screeching.

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