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AUTHOR: John Garrett
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SYNOPSIS: A young, bitter Elf undertakes a solitary journey, in search of a weapon that could be the last hope of his people.
Jorr had never seen snow before. It wasn’t the kind of weather that Elves traditionally preferred, and so they had little to do with snow.
Stepping shakily out of his boat, Jorr’s foot sank deep into a soft mass of the damp substance. If the wetness of the sea couldn’t get through his oiled leather boots, he knew this snow would fare no better. Still, the cold was unpleasant.
He stood and stretched, satisfied that he could do so after three long, cold days on the sea. He looked out over the vast span of icy, dark gray water he had just crossed and frowned. It had taken so long, it was hard to believe that he had sailed across the narrowest part. Crossing that water again was not something to look forward to.
Then another thought – depending on what he found here, maybe he wouldn’t have to?
In any event, he was here now, and he still had a good distance to travel if the maps were correct.
Bending down, Jorr grasped the side of the small boat that had been his home for the past three days and pulled it completely onto the shore.
The snow was not falling any longer, yet there was plenty of it already on the ground here. The day was overcast, but was beginning to get darker, and the wind was not helping with cold or visibility. Waves of snow dust were constantly washing over him. He pulled the hood of his cloak over his bald head. He had waited too late. The hood had collected plenty of snow inside of it, and now it fell down past the side of his face and down his neck.
What a vile, vile substance!
He resigned himself to the sensation, then looked around some more. The snow-covered beach was stark white, contrasted with a row of dark, dead trees just a short distance away.
A very lonely place.
Jorr dragged the boat through the deep snow up towards the trees. He was so tired, but he had to get to those trees and get a fire started, or he would surely fall asleep and freeze to death.
If that happened, the hope of the Elven people would die with him.
Grasping the small pouch he carried reminded him of how painfully little food he had been able to bring. The Elves had little enough at all in these dark times, and Jorr had hidden away as much as he could before his trip. It was not a lot. He had hoped for a bountiful forest where he could hunt, but as the island had grown into view bit by bit he had realized the forest was dead.
Just as the Elders had said it would be.
They were right about this, but that did not mean they were right about everything…