Westford was a small, out of the way little hamlet in the kingdom. Not much came from it except for rutabagas and, as my Lord came to notice, heroes. It probably would have gone unnoticed, if not for two of them solving problems of the realm in a single ruler’s lifetime. It all started with the ogre. It had been terrorizing the resort that His Lordship frequented. A call went out, and sure enough, a strapping young farm lad came in and took down the brute with a pitchfork. About ten years later, a dragon was making off with the virgin maidens of the realm. As you might come to expect, a call went out offering a reward. Yet another young lad arrived and managed to defeat the beast out of nothing more than sheer luck. His Lordship began to look into the realm’s annals. In short time, he found that each and every time the realm was threatened, it seemed to be some peasant boy from the little blemish on the countryside known as Westford, named so because it was the westernmost ford of the river that bordered the realm. This is where I became involved. His Lordship insisted that I make the journey out to this shithole and figure out why every damn hero of the realm seems to originate from here.
I have to tell you, at first I thought it might be the rutabagas. Maybe having a fresh intake of the vegetable straight from the source was providing some natural advantage to the young men who hailed from the region. My investigation into this matter immediately dismissed any possibility of the rutabagas playing a role in increased heroic capabilities. Most of the produce was actually shipped away from the town, the rutabagas that were consumed by the townsfolk were sharply divvied up. There was no chance for a single young man, let alone dozens of them spanning multiple generations to gorge themselves and inherit some mythical power from them, nor any other food in the town.
My next line of thought was just the genealogy of the young men in question. Armed with a parchment detailing all the heroes of the realm, I set into digging up the ancestors and family lines of them, hoping to find a common link between them all. After many long tedious hours spending who knows how many coin buying beers for the imbecilic workers of Westford, I could find nothing to connect any of the heroes. As a point of fact, none of them were even distantly related, defying all my expectations for such a backwater farming village as I was stuck in.
The days dragged on. I tested theory after theory. The only constant was my boredom in Westford. I began to chafe at having to spend so much time in such a dull town where the most exciting thing that happened was a cow birthing. I began itching for anything out of the ordinary. Anything that could potentially alleviate the ever present boredom that pushed down on me. I eagerly watched the postings that went up in the town square, hoping for any excuse to leave Westford to be present on the board. And still, the source of heroism eluded me. If something didn’t present itself, either as an answer to the my Lord’s inquiry or a threat to the realm that would excuse me from my duty, I would surely die in this shithole of a town.
Apropos of: This Prompt