Grass. Beautiful, endless hills and valleys of grass. I had loved to just sit on a slope, lay back, and watch Aera fall below the horizon. But times had changed. From setting suns to violent brawls with thugs.
Back in Altene, life was good. My Father taught me a bit of stavesmenship everyday, and my mother showed me the art of healing. In the old days. Before the bad ones.
It was the 11th day of Palut, if you went by Iridinian calendars. My father was crafting fangstaves, and my mother was healing a wounded wanderer. I heard someone yelling, and I opened the door to hear what it was. "CINERANS!" a villager yelled. My dad suddenly jerked his head up, and grabbed his quarterstave. I took one of the fangstaves. My mother led the stranger to an abandoned shack. The entire village men and boys were lined up where the Cineran troop was closing in. Someone yelled out a battlecry, "For Altene!". The Cinners swarmed in on us. We fought side by side, jabbing and attacking them. We were greatly outnumbered, but managed to defend ourselves. Suddenly, I heard a cry of pain. I looked to my right, and saw my father fighting a Cineran. The Cineran slashed, and hit my father square in the neck. He fell to the ground. "Dad!" I cried. "Fight them. Even if you die trying, fight them." he said weakly, took a final breath, and died. I roared, and look around. Cinners fighting two on one with the villagers. I couldn't take it. I took the stave from my father, and started jabbing his killer. The footman took a bashing to his face, and fell KOed. I rused around, helping the other villagers, and gave the last hit to the last footman. No one lived from the battle but me. When I went to where my mother was hiding, I discovered her dead. The man had been a Cineran spy. He had apparently died of his own wounds after killing mother. I looked around the village. Not a person moved. I gather up some rations, a stave, and a knife, and headed for a better place. A place where people didn't live in fear every moment. So I started for Iridine.

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