Open Chronicles Ghosts From the Past

Eldrin Kelhorn

Sword for Hire
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Eldrin Kelhorn found himself in a strange place. As he took a look around, he found that he was completely surrounded on all sides by dense woods. It was also dark, and only a thin sliver of sunlight found its way through the dense canopy high above him. He continued to turn in circles, looking for a way out, before stopping as he heard a voice behind him.

"You've returned to us, my son," the voice said in a somewhat saddened tone. "It's been so long." Eldrin turned around to see a weathered man, about as tall as him and elvish, as well, judging by the ears. His dark hair and beard were long and unkempt, suggesting a lack of self-care. Eldrin was confused at first, as he couldn't remember having ever seen this man before. However, after studying his face more closely, Eldrin could barely make out the face of his father under all the hair. His eyes widened as he came to this realization, a single tear emerging from the corner of his eye and slowly trailing down his face.

"My son, why did you leave us?" the man said again, still seemingly saddened. "Your mother and I searched for you day and night. We worried you had been taken from this world..." Eldrin felt another tear roll down his cheek and clenched his fist. He felt himself drop to his knees, his father's dirty, worn feet barely visible through his tears. His eyes widened as he saw another figure approach, this time a woman, also elven.

"Son, is that you?" she said in a somewhat dull tone. "After all this time, the great Spirits have returned you to us." She took another step towards him and knelt down, placing a hand on his cheek and wiping the tears from his eyes. "Why do you cry? We have been reunited." Eldrin looked up at her, a strange sense of peace and calmness rushing over him.

The feeling went as quickly as it came as three other figures emerged from the forest, stopping in front of him. "Stop, get away from him," they shouted, prying the woman away from him. "This one is cursed, look!" Eldrin looked down to see his hands engulfed in flames, and looked back up to see the woman stepping back, a look of fear in her eyes. Eldrin shook his head, reaching forward to take her hand, causing her to let out a loud scream. The others followed suit, huddling around her and backing away back into the forest, their faces marked by looks of terror. Eldrin stood up and took a step forward, trying to get them to stop. The next thing he knew, the trees surrounding them were completely engulfed in flames. The individuals who had appeared before him were running around, yelling and screaming, making every effort to escape the inferno. Eldrin once again fell to his knees, closing his eyes and letting out a loud shout as a river of tears streamed down his face.



Upon opening his eyes, Eldrin found himself in a dark, musty room, laying down on a small, dusty bed. He sat up and rubbed his eyes, which were damp. He turned so his legs were off the bed and his feet on the floor. He squinted as he looked up, a small ray of sunshine shining through a crack in the wall. He let out a bellowing yawn before stretching and standing up, the white sheet he had slept under falling away from his naked body. He approached the small wooden chair that had been placed in a corner of the room, on which his clothes were neatly placed and folded. As he got dressed, images from his dream replayed over and over in his head, prompting him to violently shake his head and stuff the thoughts away.

Before leaving the room, Eldrin grabbed the short, steel sword which sat in its leather scabbard leaned against the wall at the foot of the bed. Placing it on his hip, he opened the door and left the room, emerging in a dank, cramped hallway, down which there were about a dozen or so similar doors and which ended in a small flight of stairs. Eldrin descended and found himself in a larger room filled with cheaply made wooden tables and chairs, most of which were unoccupied. At the back of the room was a bar, behind which stood a short, pudgy man with a large, ungroomed mustache. Eldrin approached the bar and sat down, withdrawing a few small silver coins from a pouch in his pocket and placing them in front of him.

"You know what I like," he said to the man, who nodded and went to work preparing the elf's breakfast. "Anyone come by with work recently?" he asked as the bartender came back with a plate of what looked to be a few small loaves of bread, along with a fat slice of some kind of meat. The bartender shook his head and sighed.

"Like I said last night before you went upstairs, hardly anyone comes through here. If you're looking for work, you won't find it here."
 
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