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Tales of old – WC #17

Even though it is a different world, the stories still bear resemblance to ours. Or do they? Find out yourself in part seventeen of my 2021 Worldbuilding Challenge inspired by this reddit post from a person named Faranesque:

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Two stories out of the repertoire of Anastasia Sonnengruß, condensed and shortened.

Lovers of Sun and Moon

Directly between the two states of Lustria and Tenebrem there lies the Bordergulch. A deep ravine that is said to be endlessly deep and if you were to fall into it you would never stop.
There are fourteen bridges spanning across this natural border and every one of them is heavy patrolled. Now one day it came to pass that two clerics of both orders fell heavily in love with each other. They graved one another in ways that words can hardly describe. So each night they snuck across on of the bridges, that was called “Urul-Navem” in the native tongue, which roughly translates to “Descent of Dawn”. They always met a certain lamppost where they hang out for an hour before they had to depart. Any more time and people would have started to get suspicious.
Now one day they forgot the time and remained too long. The day was breaking and sunlight was creeping over the horizon as they finally let one another go. But it was too late. From both sides came high ranking priests to forcefully seperate them. Now they knew that they punished, but both also knew that it wouldn’t be too severe. Though it most certainly would not be possible to meet anymore. They would be locked up and kept under strong supervision. And thus, before both sides came to meet under the lantern posts, both lovers, holding one another in tight embrace and without a sound, leapt over the bridge and down into the Bordergulch. They were never seen again but to commemorate the whole event the bridge was renamed. It was and is still called to this day “Urul-Traveni”, meaning “Descent of Love”.

Friend of a Beast

For it came to be, that deep down south in the steppes, almost on the brink of Gorath Nova, there once stood a small tribe. They had a meager but fulfilling live, producing meager crops from the dusty soil. One day though, a beast of great proportions came along. It held a deep rage inside and in its anger killed everyone on that tiny speck of land.
Well, not all of them. It spared a single lone boy, for it needed a small servant to help with all its small problems, like picking weeds from its back and polishing its scales.
The boy was full of hatred for the beast at first. He swore to take revenge for the slaughter of his entire family and tribe. He brooded for years, slowly growing older.
All the while the beast talked to him, having no one else around. It recounted the tales of its own youth, of its upbringing and of its squabbles with neighboring monsters or his stories of long lost friends.
And even though the boy was still full of anger, he started to love these tales, for they were full of adventure and glory. And though he found many opportunities to carry out his revenge and kill the beast, he never once took them. One day he realized he started to become friends with it. And in that moment he also knew that he would never be able to slay it, same as you can not slay your family or your friends. And so he didn’t.
The years passed and the beast grew older. It still fought, but the boy noticed that its strikes were becoming slower and its fangs lost their sharpness. Till one day the beast fought a most glorious fight and for once did not come out victorious. As it lay there on the ground, bleeding and dying, the boy swore in the same manner as he had all those years ago, that he would take revenge. So he adorned the armor of the beast and took its sword in hand. And he ventured forth to slay the one that slew his master. You might notice now, that I never told you what kind of beast it was. You probably thought it was some kind of hideous monster, but no. It was a fellow man.
I will not tell you, if the boy succeed in his revenge this time. For it is not important that he did. Instead you should take to heart, that even a murderer can be a friend to someone, though they still might be a monstrous beast.


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