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FR:ITCG:FanFiction:2012:Story of an old man - Eredan

De Eredan.

Story old an old man

Cards for inspiration:

- to track down

- tracker’s mask

- "My story it is, what interests you? I shall tell you how it all began." The old man took another long sip from his mug which smelled of spiced wine before he continued.

-"I… I was a trader once. We always took the long but safe route down the Karishi mountain pass to trade our silk for the tobacco and ale of the southlands."

He looked up from his mug and frowned at me, studying my face as if remembering something.

-"I was about your age back then… before it happened."

Time jump

The wagon made a nice pace today and we decided to let the animals take a rest in the village as well as to use our last chance on a good drink and enjoy the pleasures of music in an inn before the long travel through the mountains. My son Tarakim and me, the two hired guards, Aradot and Fioman, and our neighbour’s son Neltim chose a table near the entrance. The common room of the inn was quite big, not really fitting to the size of the village but the trade route kept the customers coming in at every time of the year. A gleeman was playing a slower version of 'the witchblade and the dragon ring' followed by 'watch out for jolly roger'. The spiced wine and the music got to my head but it was then when I first saw them.

We paid our bill and a maid showed us the way to our rooms upstairs. A sound in the street made me go to the window and I saw two people from the common room leaving the inn and vanish in the night.

Tarakim woke me after a short night full of unpleasant dreams. My head was still a bit muffled by the wine and the little sleep I had but I couldn’t get the face of this old man in the common room out of my head. A big scar across his right eye and this evil calculating look with which he studied every newcomer. He definitely looked like a man who knew how to handle a knife.

I told myself that I had too much of the wine and we went to get our wagon ready. Neltim was already mounting the horse and Aradot was watching him lazily. I asked them where Fioman was but all three of them were shaking their heads in response. A little while later when the wagon was ready Fioman finally showed up at the entrance of the stable. He had a black eye and a mean looking cut on his right cheek.

Time jump

-"You want to know how he got hurt?"

The old man looked into his mug and then questioningly at me. After the maid left the table again he told me that we should continue our conversation in a more private surrounding.

Once he took a place in my private room he began his story anew.

Time jump

I shouldn’t have accepted his excuse of a 'tiny' fistfight with some commoner of the village.

Something was wrong and I didn’t trust my feeling about Fioman. We were a good way down the road and the Karishi mountain pass was clearly visible laying before us when the sun was setting. Fioman was not talking for the whole day which was a bit strange because usually he was boasting with how good he was with the girls and what kind of techniques he mastered. I decided to look for a good camp location for the night when I heard a sound of something heavy falling. I turned around and saw Aradot laying on the road. A rock the size of a fist was laying next to him. It was too dark already to make out anything but then it all happened at the same time. Neltim shouted something about red eyes and a demon coming to eat us all alive. I tried to look in every direction at once but Tarakim, who was holding the reins, was already in a panic. Before I could stop the wagon again we made another mile down the road… and left Aradot behind. Noone knew what has happened so I suggested that we go back to look after Aradot but Fioman and the boys were strictly against that. He told us that he also saw the red eyes among the trees to the side of the road and that Aradot is most likely dead already.

Time jump

"What? I should have gone back alone? A trader against a demon didn’t sound like a fair fight to me. But don’t worry. If it really was a demon back then… you would not be able to sit here and listen to my story."

Time jump

We kept going all night long, taking turns in sleeping on the back of the wagon. When it was my turn the sun was about to rise again. Still another 5 miles to the trade station in the mountain pass where at least some more armed men and maybe a witchblade or two meant protection.

Looking against the sun I could not see much but a shadow in the middle of the road. With squinty eyes I tried to see a bit clearer and while the wagon was rumbling closer to the shadow I could see that it was a person on bent knee with the back turned to us. His white topknot was making me stare. It was the guy from the inn with the scar across his eye. He seemed either not to notice us yet or to totally ignore us. When I stopped the wagon and kicked Fioman in the sides to wake him up, the white haired man was standing up and turned his face to give us a look over his shoulder.

Time jump

The old man was shaking and took another long sip from his mug before he could continue.

-"I will never forget what this face looked like…. The face of a demon, a wide mouth showing lots of big sharp teeth, a broad hooked nose, red skin, crowned by two horns. But the most terrifying thing was… his eyes… red and glowing like hot coals in a pit of pitch-black darkness… they seemed to stare at me… no, not at me… right into my soul."

The man was staring at something behind me… apparently lost in thought, he gave a slow nod when I cleared my throat in expectation of his story. He never turned his eyes away from the place behind me and kept talking as if to himself.

Time jump

Fioman was awake now and shouted like a madman. Tarakim and Neltim were sitting up straight where they lay among the silk. The white haired demon with this human body turned fully around and took a step towards our wagon. Fioman, who was the only armed person among us jumped down the wagon and ran away in the other direction. He didn’t come far… another of these demons but this one had a female body came out of the woods behind us making Fionan slow down and finally stop. He turned around looking at me like a wild animal filled with fear realizing there was no way out. That was the last time I have seen him, when he tried to escape into the woods and the demon-like human followed him on his heels.

Neltim was in a panic and tried to jump down the wagon but fell unluckily. Laying unconscious on the ground I told Tarakim to take care of him. I turned around and the white haired demon was standing right next to the horse holding it’s harness. The figure didn’t even move when I picked up the driver’s whip.

Time jump

The old man was looking at me. He placed his mug on the tiny table in front of him. It seemed empty again so I decided to stand up and get some more for him to finish his tale. When I reached for the doorknob he started talking again.


I froze. How did he know my name?

-"I really don’t know what you, Aradot and Fionam stole from the Kotoba…. but it was the deal I had to sign to save my life and the lives of the boys to find you and help bringing you here."

I turned around.

And what I saw… looming behind the old man who was still sitting in his chair looking at me… was a pair of shining red eyes.

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