The Heir Apparent

Gareth had spent his the entirety of his life that he could remember on the farm with his parents Joreth and Mabel. In the twelve odd years since Joreth and Mabel had taken him in, the land had prospered under King Heimgar. As his father liked to constantly remind him, back before Gareth came along, the threat of coastal raiders completely ruining the fields was ever constant. In Gareth’s opinion, it seemed like Joreth liked to claim that coastal raiders would descend upon his farm, at least a hundred leagues away from the nearest coast, for Sul’s Day Dinner much the way the town’s miller would visit the pub. Nowaday’s the coastal raiders only showed up on the island’s on the outer regions of the kingdom.

The only disturbances to peace in the region were the single minded bands of mercenaries who assaulted Heimgar’s castle. He thought it strange that they only ever attacked the castle and not once chose to loot or pillage the surrounding town. His father Joreth had done particularly well and would be a good target for the mercenaries. From the time Gareth was a small boy, his father’s farm had steadily grown from having a small three stall stable to a much larger stable and even a barn and silo. Joreth even provided the horses for King Heimgar’s troops, when not ten years prior he had difficulty keeping even his old mare in good health. when Gareth had been younger, his mother had argued with his father about where the money was coming from to hire the workers and build the new structures, but when Joreth bought her some fine new dresses she seemed to let the matter drop.

Gareth was quite happy working on his father’s farm. The hard labor and days spent in the sun left him in good shape with an attractive tan. This led to several desirable, from his point of view, with several respectable townsmen’s daughters. Gareth was quite thankful that his birth parents had left him on in the Joreth’s stable all that time ago, and furthermore, that Joreth and Mabel hadn’t simply turned him out after no one came to claim him as their own. Even when the mercenaries stayed at their home, for the hefty fee that Joreth charged, Gareth never felt the wanderlust that they talked of during their dinners.

One morning, as he was busy guiding the plow, one of the mercenaries, approached him. The man was a tall man; a foreigner with a thick northern accent. He had asked Gareth to spar with him in order to limber up before he and his companions attempted storming the castle. Gareth picked up several helpful pointers from the man, and by the end of the hour they had devoted to it, the man was impressed with his natural ability as a swordsman. In his thick accent, he had offered to take Gareth on as a student in the martial arts, once he had slain King Heimgar. Gareth had politely declined the offer, explaining that he was a simple farmer’s son, and quite happy to be a farmer as opposed to a soldier or sellsword. Gareth certainly was not expecting the tall northerner to return from Heimgar’s castle, and so, the next day, and he was not surprised to see the northerner’s head adorning a pike outside of Heimgar’s castle when took the new stallion up to the stable master their later that week.


Apropos of: These Posts

-Crouse

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