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The Sword of Light: Book One of the Veredor Chronicles

approaching storm. Dark clouds were rolling across the hills to the east. Thunder rumbled from above
and echoed throughout the valley. He reached out and fastened the shutters as lightning lit up the sky
The hut was made up of a single room with a central wooden table and two single beds against
each wall. An oil lantern filled the little room with a warm light. On top of the table was a small metal
box. The young man sat down and gently lifted the lid off the box. Inside was a piece of folded
parchment paper. He took it out and unfolded the letter. He then began to read.
Brother Erako,
I send to you this child. His name is Eben. Lady Kaloren has requested that he be hidden from our
enemies. She has assigned me the task to protect the child. I must ensure he is placed somewhere
where he will not be found. She has also requested for the Ecorian Sword to remain with Eben. I know
I can trust you to protect this child. It is truly important that you accept. We are living in a dangerous
time. Our numbers are few in these lands. The rumours are true; the hand of evil reaches south. I will
only say a little in this letter of our troubles. We have encountered our old enemies in Ortaria. There
is also word that they have entered Vastoria. We can only hope that the Cosmic Gate holds true. We
fear the time grows near. One of us will come to take Eben from you soon.
Eben had read the letter at least a dozen times, and with each reading more questions entered his
mind. The metal box had been hidden beneath Erako’s bed. The contents of the letter had shocked
him deeply.
For most of his life Eben had lived in the southern hills of Ortaria. He had been taught the craft of
surviving in the wild rocky land by Erako, the Huntsman of Clemensdale. Erako was already an old
man when Eben was entrusted to his care, and he singlehandedly raised Eben from when he was only
two years old. Few memories remained of the time before Eben had arrived, only vague recollections
and faces of people who he could not clearly remember. Eben had always been told that a stranger had
left him and had promised to return one day to take him away, but the stranger never returned. The
months turned into years without a word or message.
Over sixteen years had passed since he had arrived at the small remote village. In the depths of
winter a fever had overcome Erako. The old huntsman passed away peacefully in his sleep. Life in the
village had not been the same since Erako’s death.
Eben had always been told that if he waited someone would eventually come to Clemensdale to
explain his origins, but after reading the letter he felt a deep desire to search for the answers himself.
There was so much that he wanted to know: who Carlin and Lady Kaloren were, and where had he
come from, but mostly he wanted to find his parents.
After several hours the storm had passed. Questions continued to circle around in Eben’s mind.
He knew that he would have to leave his home and begin a dangerous journey if he was ever going to
have a chance at discovering any of the answers. Clemensdale was a humble village and very far from
anything evil or treacherous. The people were shy folk and went about their business without much
care for the happenings of the wider world. The village was tucked away in the hills and mostly
forgotten by outsiders.
Many dreadful stories had been brought to Clemensdale by peddlers, drifters, and nomads. The
Kingdom of Ortaria had once been a peaceful and beautiful land. Rumours continued to surface that
something menacing was growing in the north and east of the country. The summers had grown cold
and the winters long and icy. Crops had mostly failed, rivers were depleted of fish, and few animals
remained in the forests. However, even with all these happenings, the little village of Clemensdale
remained mostly untroubled. The farmers had little to complain about, the bakers still baked, the
shepherds still tended their sheep, and the village folk were as happy as they had ever been.