The village of Antal’In Caidya had woken up to the fresh flying rumours of people- specificly pirates- visiting their home, a land far away from the seas never to have dreamt of entertaining the pirates. While everyone in the village prepared to welcome their new guests, they told each other tales of what they thought pirates did. Some stories showed them as vicious beasts hungry for treasure throughout their lives, other told of brave souls who had made a contract in blood with the seas so as to protect the lands from its wrath. A few tales told of a group of pirates who robbed from the rich and undeserving to give their loot to the poor. Everyone was beaming with excitement to find out what variety of the sea travellers they were going to encounter.
This lively village housed mostly dusty inns where one could get a refreshing ale and a creaky yet comfortable bed for a very cheap prize. Most women worked as inn-keepers while men did variety of jobs from handling books for the lodgings to farming their own grains for bread and ale, mostly ale, vegetables and fruits for the food for their customers and themselves. Other than making strangers from outside the village content and entertained, the village was also famous for having some exceptional smiths- arrowsmiths, blacksmiths, bladesmiths, swordsmiths and coppersmiths- who were famous for the quality of their work throughout the land. The skills required for their profession were passed down through the family lines to sons and daughters alike- a tradition that was only followed by this village.
The neighbour of this village was a little town that was built up by merchants who had come far from their homes to make money and had decided to settle in the quite part of the country and carry out their business from the banks of the great water canal, lying just outside the village as well as the town, that was the main source of transport in their trade.
Both the village and the town rested in the bosom of the forest of Nihmakhtur. The village believed Nihmakhtur was the spirit that protected the living creatures of the forest and grew herbs in return for the villagers for not harming her home. This belief had been passed down from one generation to another with the story of the first elder who had built this village from nothing. It was told that the elder had travelled miles, through deserts, mountains and even seas to find a home for the spirit and he had not stopped till he found this very mountain that cradled a dense forest on top of it, with many wild animals. The spirit, grateful for the new home, made the wild animals help the man build a home for the few people who had travelled with him to this new land. Since that day, the legend says, the spirit has taken care of the elder’s progeny and his people.
Now as the village folks made preparations for the unknown guests, the children ran across the fields and over the hills to watch for the first sign of strangers everyone was so curious to meet. They wanted to be the first ones to see which tale would describe their guests the best. They had even prepared traps along the road that ran by the side of the forest to the village in case the pirates had a liking for the flesh of children. Among them was a golden-haired boy with eyes green as emerald. The only golden-haired boy of the village. The boy who had no clue what all fate had in store for him for the rest of the day.