The Everwood Chronicles: Part 1
Light hits my eyes as I wake up inside this strange land. Around me I see naught but green hills and spruce towers dotting the landscape. As I explore my environment and take in my surroundings, my senses draw me west into the woods past a small pool of surface lava.
There's no telling why I chose to go West, It [i]felt[/i] right; as if I would be rewarded somehow for my adventure into the unknown. I venture towards the setting sun, drawn closer and closer to the horizon; searching for some unknown... thing. The lack of discovery of which pushing me on. The forest is unforgiving, god forbid it allows me to travel in a straight line. Thick patches of fern and dense groups of trees block my forward progress at almost every step. I stop long enough to gather some materials; I would need some supplies to complete my journey. A sharp blade and a hatchet would help me along my path into the unknown.
Half a kilometer I walked cutting my way through the forest - though it seemed like far more - before finally, the dense forest yielded and displayed before me a flowing river winding before a small mountain. The flatlands near the water are fertile; ripe for farming. The plateau atop the mountain, giving a 360 degree view of the land, is a perfect location for a settlement and a lookout tower.
It dawned upon me that the knot in my gut drawing me westward had subsided. In it's place a spark ignited and heat spread throughout my body. "This is it" I thought to myself. "This is where I will call home."
Tree after tree I cut down, stockpiling wood and clearing the land at the base of the mountain. My dwelling is going to need a strong foundation after all. The sun set sooner than I realized and the cold shiver of night crept up quickly. "I'm going to need a better weapon" I thought to myself. I dug down into the earth beneath my lean-to and found a deposit of stone. I had just enough time to fasten a make-shift sword out of a chunk of stone and a spruce branch before the night's beasts were upon me.
One, two, four... six creatures I counted! The slow methodical forward march of the green skinned walkers were barely slowed by my desperate swings. "What strength these creatures possess" I exclaimed as I fruitlessly hacked at my attackers. For what seemed like only a short moment, my focus on the creature in front of me left me blind to my surroundings. A sharp stabbing sensation on my right shoulder brought light into my peripheral vision enough to see that I was completely surrounded by the sickly green walkers. I managed to push myself through the crowd; sacrificing a fair bit of flesh for my freedom. Pain seared across my body as I climbed up the mountain as fast as my feet would carry me; trying desperately to find what shelter I could.
I reached the top of the mountain and was greeted not by safety, but peril... I saw his eyes first, or at least the sunken blackness where his eyes should have been. A total abomination of a creature; a towering structure made entirely of bone - all flesh and organs stripped as if ravaged by a pack of wolves hungry from the winter. When my eyes finally finished scanning and analyzing the creature, I watched his bony fingers nock an arrow into his oak shortbow.I suddenly realized that I was frozen in place out of fear and awe. It was too late to move. It was too late to run.
As the arrow jolted forward from the snap of the skeleton's bowstring, I could only wonder why I was drawn west at all. The arrow drew closer. Why had my sanctuary been desecrated by these vile creatures? What would have happened if I continued forward or even not gone west at all? My thoughts ended abruptly by a searing pain in my right shoulder. The power of the bow knocked me back with the force of falling tree and my weapon - if you could call it that - was wrenched from my hand. Backwards I traveled in air trying to regain my footing when I realized there was no earth beneath my feet, and my body paralleled the flat of the earth. Time slowed to a crawl as I fell. I could only look skyward toward the top of the mountain shrinking before me as the earth's mass pulled me towards the farmland below.
I hit the ground softer than I expected, yet my bag of holding spilled its contents across the grass before me. The mocking glare of the skeleton towering over the plateau ridge was the only thing I could see. My questions and fear slowly subsided, and in their place, a warmth took over me; an easy feeling that everything would be alright. The blackness took over as images of the grinning boned hunter slowly faded into nothing.
I swear I could hear him laughing.