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The Sword of Light: Book One of the Veredor Chronicles

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 village of
Clemensdale continued to be largely 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.
Eben pondered the stories as he packed his bag. He knew the roads that led
north would be dangerous. His thoughts were interrupted by a gentle tapping at
the door. He opened the door and looked out to see Vera, the baker‟s wife, standing
just outside. Vera was a very old woman with grey hair and blue eyes that were
full of cheer. She looked up at him with a warm smile.
„Hello there my dear boy,‟ she said as she stepped inside and out of the cold.
„Vera, I wasn‟t expecting you.‟
„I‟ve come to bring you some bread. We baked it this morning especially for
you,‟ she said, setting the basket down on the table. She turned to face him. „How
are you my boy? We‟ve been worried about you living all alone up here on the hill.
Is everything all right?‟ she asked as her eyes glanced across at his half packed bag
on the floor.
„I‟m fine.‟
„It looks to me you are planning to go somewhere,‟ she said, a look of worry
crossing her face.
There was a short silence as Eben thought of how best to tell Vera about his
planned journey to Ancora. He knew Vera cared for him like an aunt would for a
nephew, and he also knew she would probably be opposed to any suggestion of an
adventure beyond the boundaries of Clemensdale.
„I am, Vera. I‟m going on a journey.‟
She nervously scratched her chin and shook her head. „Eben, you should
reconsider. There are many terrible things out on the roads of Ortaria. Erako
would have wanted you to stay safely here in Clemensdale. You have an important
place in our village. We care about you; you know we do.‟
„I know, Vera, but please understand I have to go to Ancora. If my parents are
out there somewhere I still may be able to find them. I know the road will be
dangerous, but it‟s a chance I‟m willing to take.‟
She took his hand and warmly smiled. „I realise what it is like to have so many
questions and no answers. If you really must go then you also must stay safe. You
don‟t know much about the outside world, none of us here in Clemensdale do.
Don‟t trust anyone. It‟s not like Clemensdale out there; the people beyond the hills
are only interested in what they can take from you. They say it‟s about take, take,
take in the north. Keep your eyes wide open. Always remember your home and
your people. Once you find what you seek hurry home to us. We will be waiting
for you.‟
„Thank you, Vera.‟