Fantasy

Torqueadian Fables are more than just allegorical stories to stimulate imagination.  They offer an insight to the Realm of Torqueadia and motivation of the characters.  We invite you, read along and enjoy.

Edward Winter aka Tiny – A discussion at the “Curios and Cutlass Emporium,” 

by Stanley Morton Correspondent for the Torqueadian Times.

Some say that Torqueadia was formed thirty years after the Uniter’s demise. Others argue the numbers of years like it matters, it dose not. It’s over two thousand years or more now. The fact is, due to this mans ability, the tribes of the old lands became unified to fight off a greater trouble than their own private squabbling. The teachings of Torque ne’ Dirwyn Dinas Llew became dogma and the fundamental doctrine of the priestly class. From all of this, the church of Torqueadia formed.

The basic tenets that underline the way of Torque allow for a person to thrive as part of a greater whole.

Being accountable for your own actions and following a beneficial lifestyle that pertains to the individual, echoes throughout the Empire of Torqueadia by the decisions a person makes.

Being responsible for your own health and wellness assists others as they do not have to pick up your burden and can deal with their own.  There will be times when assistance is needed and again honesty with yourself allows you to accept this and together we can all move a head – otherwise it’s like crewman fighting over the dead captain’s hat as the ship sinks.

Torqueadian fables 
–  “The Shadow that protects the light”

The Torqueadian stood alone with her back against the light and faced the darkness, which contained fear, ignorance and doubt.

Rain began to fall.

Typical, she thought.

Feeling the cold soak into her soles as she stood in the pooling rainwater, the Torqueadian lifted her gaze from her feet. She immediately changed her thought externally and focused on the situation unfolding. As her chin came up, she spied her nemeses in the crowded darkness.

She gripped one Torqueblade in each hand and the touch was reassuring.

One blade she had named Resilience, the other Retribution.

The Torqueadian cried her challenge to the darkness, “I know you, I accept you. Come, embrace my blades!”

Then darkness swarmed around her. She intercepted the onslaught redirecting force. The energy passed round her and over her. She was a shining blur, like a bright star in the cold winters night sky. She moved with precise control, each of her strikes burning the fear and ignorance away.

The kin of stagnation fled before her shadow.

Only she remained.

“Standing stalwart before the light, protecting those within.

Leading with example, a Knight Paladin.”

Torqueadian fables
 – “Thieves from ignorance”

He smiled with relief as he reached the top of the hill. “This place is awkward to navigate all gnarly and over grown with brambles,” he thought.

The old watchtower is always overlooked; the forest had taken back its domain. Here, after the escape, he would be able to rest from his pursuers.

He made a mark on his face as he wiped away the sweat and filth.

He winced as he rested his back against the rock wall.

The relics had been getting heavier and warmer to the touch; if it wasn’t so cold the radiating heat would be annoying. Only a few hours to dawn, then the rest of his squad would be here. Or at least the ones who have survived he thought.

“Why all this fuss over these two old things, petrified with age, the markings are faint, can’t quite make them out. Just old an’ rotten?”  He asked himself.

His inner dialogue nearly missed the sound outside.

His head snapped round, a noise to the right. “Could this be the lad’s?”

He whistled the song of the marsh thrush to see if the remainder of his squad would reply. As he waited he moved further back into the shadows. Nothing, it’s all quiet, not even a breeze outside. “Now these old wooden blades are burning my hands, what the salt?” He thought.

From outside of the watchtower came a calm voice, “I believe you have what is mine”

“How had this person found me? Hold on? Is that – is that a girl?”

“I don’t know what you mean, I was just getting some rabbits for me family. You know, breakfast? I don’t believe they belong to anyone?”

“That’s not nice Samuel, stealing and now lying to me. How are the blades? Getting heavy yet?”

Samuel winced again as he shifted his position.

“How did she know my name? Must of caught one of the lads. A young girl, they sent a young girl, I am not sure if I should be insulted,”  and then he mumbled “This will be short work.”

A sack came tumbling through the broken window frame and partially snagged on a nail. The contents spilled, making sick wet thuds as the beaten shapes rolled across the stone floor.

“Your raiding party I believe?” said the voice from outside.

Samuel’s face became a sneer, and his normal calculating thought process was taken over by rage, he decided to smash these damn useless wooden trinkets over that bitches head. Cutting the heads from my lads – barbarians! With lighting speed he rushed out of the door with one blade raised. All pain from the chase forgotten replaced with rage and fueled by adrenaline.

Outside in the cold morning air, he stumbled and halted. He saw his crew bound and gagged. Heads firmly attached to necks. A trick, this annoyed him even more. In front of disheveled squad stood a young lady. The lady did not seem exceptional by any standard, some may say plain by most standards, average height, athletic, sharp eyes and short red hair. Dressed in simple attire, but fixed in the hunting way.

“Now Samuel, is this anyway to treat a lady, are the blades getting heavy? Do they burn in your grip? You look tired Samuel, you need to rest” she taunted.

“I will rest when I am back home with my lads,” he said pointing at the bound troupe. “I will rest when the job is done. I will rest when I have buried these blades in you salting head!” yelled Samuel.

He lunged at the tracker. With a simple well-placed step she moved, subtly shifting her weight. The onslaught passed her by and Samuel sprawled across the hillside in the brambles. This added more fuel to his rage.

The trackers voice was calm and sweet. “You are easy to anger Samuel, and therefore stupid. You are big and strong but lack power my dear. You have no knowledge and your kind lack wisdom. Now, give me the relics”

The tone of her voice compelled Samuel to move forward, to give her the blades.

Her voice reminded him of a matriarch.

An alpha mother to the universe.

She who must be obeyed.

He stumbled forward and caught himself.

He fought through the glamor.

I am tired, it’s true,” he thought, “But be damned if I am to let this young whelp take what we have worked hard for.”

This time circling slowly, using the training he had been given in the academy, he raised the blade and stepped forward to strike.

Again the slight tracker’s motion was well timed. This time she slammed her elbow into his ribs and then racked the elbow round to his back as his blade arm traveled past her shoulder. As she stepped into elbow strike, she placed her lead foot on the inside of his attacking leg where his weight was resting.

Her body unwound like a corkscrew, she slid her foot drawing her knee up towards her opposite hip, lifting Samuel’s lead foot off the ground. She replaced her foot after sweeping his leg and twisted on the spot, dropping and burying her opposite elbow down hard between his shoulder blades.

Samuel breathed out and fell heavy into the earth.

The slight figure stepped over the fallen man, although he was big, he did not know how to move, she noticed this and used it against him.

The tracker removed the wooden relics from the oafs grip. Samuel thought the relics would give him power.

As young woman held the relics in her hand the markings glowed in the early morning light.

Samuel moaned, “What are you doing?” he said as he rolled over, no fight in him now. He looked over at his comrades and realized that their eyes were reflecting what he felt.

The young tracker replied “I will release your men, eventually”. “Did you like the bag of rotten turnips I threw at you?” she asked.

Samuel huffed, “You played on my fears”,

“I played on the way you judge yourself and therefore the world” reverently turning the wooden blades in her hands, she noticed that the wood was so old that it seemed to be as hard a rock.

Samuel moved slightly from his position mesmerized by what she was doing, she lifted the blades with ease and grace, they seemed to be part of her. She twirled them, and moved in shadow forms.

Her face seemed to glow, she seemed different.

She seemed not to be present as her body moved.

Then the moment was gone and she stood before him.

“These blades belonged to my great grandfather and were past down through the family. I have never actually held them before. For that I can thank you. Why did you come for the relics?”

“We were told to take your lands power which the relics endowed” said Samuel bowing his head in shame.

Still looking at Samuel the tracker called out “Come forward Captain”.

Samuel looked up from staring at the earth.

There was a motion in the brush and into the open walked several men dressed similar to the young woman Samuel simply new as the tracker.

“High Provost, my Lady, we caught up as quickly as we could, you must not leave unless you have your guard with you”

“Thank you Captain” She smiled, “But as you can see, I am having a nice chat with our guests”.

“She subdued my squad on her own, who is this girl?” Samuel’s stifled his expression of surprise.

“Samuel” the High Provost turned to her captives, you have options, you may go back to where you came or stay here, learn our way and it won’t be easy. Your biggest challenge will be changing the way you think.”

“Why do the scratching’s on the relics glow when you hold them?”

“Oh, the ancient symbols? They are glyphs to evoke a feeling.” She noticed his quizzical look and explained, “Knowledge is used to read the markings, wisdom is needed to interpret. At the moment you have neither – but you will do if you are willing to embrace change and fulfill a destiny?”

Torqueadian fables
 – “Knight Protectors a right of passage.”

The young farmer awoke by the jolt of the wagon. He tried to move his extremities; his feet and hands were still bound by the closeness of the others in the transport. He could smell the foul odor of his body and that of the people next to him. He decided to go back to sleep or at least the half sleep he had been getting over the last few days.

He awoke to another day of punishment, the days of toil rolled into one; the days became weeks and then months. All through this time he sought sanctuary in his mind. He shrugged off the torment as one would shake off the raindrops from an unrelenting storm.

Then the day came. The sun shone through a gap in the clouds. He was told to bathe and change into the new clothes, to place the items he had earned about his person in the prescribe manner befitting a supplicant. Then standing before the doorway his teacher beckoned. Looking solemn, his teacher instructed him to go through. As the young farmer stepped through, he risked a side ways glance, which would normally reward a cuff about the head, and saw a brief smile dance across his teachers face.

The light was bright, so much so, it blinded him.

“What have you learned?” the voice echoed.

I must be in the great room, he thought and then replied. “I am free to choose my own prison. However, I prefer one with no bars”.

“A good answer. Now take that what belongs to you”

With a sense of achievement he bent on one knee and grasped the handles of the blades.

He stood up.

As he raised the symbols of passage above his head, the assembly cheered.

Torqueadian Fables – “The Traveling Tinker”

The tealeaves rolled lazily round in the pot of simmering water. The old man sat under a spreading tree and watched the steam rise from the pot. He had walked for two days to the market to sell his mended pots and pans. Once a month he would visit the city, the closeness of the buildings and people made him feel uncomfortable. Still, the goings on, the back and forth, the general hustle and bustle amused him and reminded him of an anthill.  The last few weeks had been very hot and the dust in the market place rolled across the floor.  Today the weather suggested that it was going to another hot day.  Fortunately the big tree offered shade and there was a tender breeze that made the leaves move.

There was just enough of a breeze to make the day comfortable.

He rested with his back to the tree he viewed the market place waiting for his tea to steep. The smells of the market always amazed him, so many unique spices. The food being cooked by the vendors made his mouth water.

He reminded himself that the first time he had eaten from these stores he had felt ill. He had felt tired afterward and a little bit sickly. He had also nearly lost a sale due to that incident. So he reminded himself not to eat at the market again.

Anyways food should always make you feel awake not sleepy, that’s rotten food that is. The Tinker thought to himself.

A loud noise ensued and drew his attention; it meandered from stall to stall as an eight-limbed beast with two heads. As the beast got closer it became apparent a man and a woman arguing. About what, he did not know. It seemed heated; the young woman waved her arms, physically punctuating each part of her conversation. The man, his head down had arms crossed.

They were walking towards him. The old man shifted his position a little bit and leaned forward to pour himself a cup of tea. He sat back against the tree and blew over the tea to cool it down.

The young couple stood in front of him, unabashed they continued to argue.

The young woman said, “I just can’t believe that you can’t see it?”

“I can, but I don’t feel that it is important, I believe that we should by the young bull and not the cow,” said the young man.

“Well we can buy two cows for the price of the bull, we can have milk and we can breed the cows”

“Yes I understand, but we can make more money for studding out the bull to my uncles herd. We can buy cows later”

This argument took the old man back, of course both were right but they were wasting energy. This cyclical argument reminded him of when he was married. Ah Martha, I miss you so. The old man sniggered at his memory. He realized that the discussion had stopped. He looked up.

The couple stared at him. He smiled “If you don’t mind me saying, you my young lady, see only the short and not the tall. And you my good man, you see only the large and miss the small” said the old man laughing.

Eresh – Ki, the eater of dust – “The blades of Torqueadia”

She could taste it on the air.

She could feel the change, a prickling on her hosts skin made the hairs stand on end.

Eresh Ki looked upon the field of her followers all embraced within her many facets. Her host was none the wiser; he had no knowledge of her presence. His arrogance blinded him to his weakness.

Her influence grew.

Eresh Ki saw through many eyes and day-by-day grew stronger. Her influence slowly crossed over to the material world by swaying the emotional contagion of the collective consciousness.  A suggestion here and a nudge there turned the herd from a state of euphoria to fear born of lust and hunger.

The energy accumulated at large gatherings, Helthaheth games, Concerts, and Ceremonies were all possible harvest lands and now, evermore so, as her abilities were at their most potent.

Her hand stretched out and the shadow it cast fell up on her followers, she spoke out, “Swift my child?”

Swift closed his eyes as soon as he heard the question, when next he opened them he stood on that pale land.

“Mother, you awaken? We are close to the prize, your host has aided you well”, he said

She stood next to him. “Walk with me. Tell me? Have you faired well in my absence?”

“I have lived, and the hosts blur into each other, I have missed the radiance of your being my lady.”

“This is why you are my hand Swift, above the rest, you are the most noble. How many Veho are left that follow? I no longer hear the multitude of voices.”

Swifts head fell, he sighed. “We number only three. Ratcliff fell this night. The low tone trapped him in his host as it expired”

“No matter child. What we have lost in Veho we have gained in willing supplicants. Perhaps we may even find those who are adaptable enough to cross over. We shall see in good time. Mean while, get me those hideous blades.”

“Yes mother,”

Swift opened the eyes of his host that sat crossed legged on the park bench. Next to him were Finley and Deville.

‘”How was she? Was she beautiful?” asked Finley

“Will she speak with us soon?” asked Deville

“Yes. I am sure of it.” He paused and pointed his hand to the tree line. “Be gracious though my friends, for here is her gift to us, the loyal family,”

Walking from the shadows from within the trees came the hungry Rager’s.

 

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