The Working Barbarian

A Tale of Blood, Fire and Steel

The Beginning

In the Old Time, when the world was young and men still spoke in words made of fire, there was no shortage of heroes. Men and women who were more than just mere people, heroes whose names echo through the eons even now. Those whose might and will were so great that their merest footstep scoured their legends deep into the living rock of the earth.

Wherever you may travel even the commonest and most unlearnéd of folk know their names: Wælfwulf the Wise, The King of Stone; Ingunna, The Whore of Knives; Plynr the Keepsaker, Knower of All Things; Krung Nak To, The Star Witch.

Their tales remain. Told around hearths and campfires, to children and hoary faced warriors alike. Only their legends still live. For the good that men do is oft interred with their bones, while the evil that men do lives on. So even though they are long vanquished the horrors of dread villains yet lingers: Aagb, The Baddest of Men, Scourge of the Steppes; Xaxathoon the Grumpy, Butcher of Souls; Illidriss, a woman so evil that even the king of demons called her a “right shit.” For them, both their evils and their legends persist.

As the centuries passed, heroes dwindled. Till there were none left to stand for what was right and good and just. And while evil still haunted the world, so did it become a dark and unwelcoming place. Till nowhere was safe from the likes of The Whelpslayer or Gütte Ragworm as they carried out the will of their long dead masters.

But sometimes there will rise a hero. From the wastes of ash there will be sifted a shining nugget of gold, or from the white glaciers there will tumble a ruby the size of a fist. These rare and beautiful scions of fate, burn briefly but oh so bright. In a scant span of years they force back the tides of evil and for even the smallest shimmering day, bring hope back into the world.

As the years grow on and fewer and fewer heroes emerge, the tasks they face becoming greater and greater. But still there is a glimmer of hope. For hope weathers the coldest of winters and sleeps deep beneath the earth where no claw nor mattock will rip it out. And so long as hope remains they will always come a stranger or a nomad, a warrior or a shield-maiden. A soul who is willing to reach forth into the world and right what is wrong, someone who has the strength of spirit to grab fate by its horns, to stride proudly into the dark places of the world and claim their destiny and birthright. Someone with the fortitude to stand-up for you and I, to look evil in the face and say “Not on my fucking watch sunshine!”

The last of these was Noddy the Holder, Wielder of Mysteries. He journeyed into the endless black sands of the far west and like so many of his predecessors, no trace of him was seen again. As the vacuum left by the disappearance of the noble Noddy grew with lengthening years, fate saw fit to find a new hero. Though they do not yet know it themselves, they are destined for greatness. Far beyond the mountains of the deep north, whose passes are known to but a few, in the white wastes that scarce see the sun, there our hero has risen and from there they make their way south to earn their name. The first stage on a long journey into legend.

1 - The Beginning

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The Heroes

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2 thoughts on “The Beginning

  1. Pingback: Vote Now, Or Forever Wish You Had | 12 Books in 12 Months

  2. Pingback: It Awakens… | The Working Barbarian

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