The river behind Bawtun Gilsesh' cottage in the Parcine forest gurgled quietly. His brother, Farowt, was chopping wood for the winter. *CHOP* *CHOP* *CHOP* echoed through the quiet forest as the tin axe felled yet another tree. Farowt was a burly, heavy-set man in his early thirties, with thick eyebrows and unkempt brown hair. After he had chopped wood for almost an hour, he stopped for a minute for a drink of water.
Farowt went down to the spring that bubbled behind the cottage and reached down, letting the clean, crystal clear water flow through his fingers before he brought his hand up and drank deeply. A few more sips and he was ready to begin chopping wood again. When he went to the next tree, his arms and axe seemed to flow together, and with only a few mighty strokes, the tree was cut in two and on the ground. Farowt, feeling strength such that he never had before, moved on to the next tree and struck into that, feeling the force of the blow and reveling in it. He went from tree to tree, knocking each down with two or three mighty blows.
Bawtun came out of the cottage after he heard the eighth tree (by his count) fall. As he neared the sound of chopped wood, he grew frantic. If all the trees were felled today, they would not have the chance to use the wood properly... the entire forest would be wasted.
And his brother! When he came nearer, he saw sweat pouring out of every gland, and the eyes of Farowt seemed bright and joyful. Bawtun exclaimed, "Brother! What has happened to you, to make you so?" Farowt didn't even seem to hear his brother, and continued chopping his wood. Now extremely concerned, Bawtun through his two hundred and fifty pounds of weight at his brother, trying to wrestle the axe from him.
In the middle of the struggle, Bawtun looked straight into his brother's eyes and saw the brightness. And then that brightness was snuffed out, as though it was a candle, and the eyes were simply a dull, matte black. In horror, Bawtun released his brother, and took a few steps back. His brother swayed a little bit, then fell over.
Bawtun ran, ran from the cottage, ran from the trees, ran with his brother's axe. He came upon a troop of Parcine bandits and spent some time with them; that is where he learnt not to speak unless it is important that he does so. Most of the time, he watches and learns and remembers.