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The Mythology of Beardsgaard ~ VI ~ The Quest For Hearthstone ~ .iv


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≈ VI ≈

iv. The Quest For Hearthstone

But as Haeredion crept ever on, and his supplies of food and water dwindled, the peering eyes fell away from his path, and he finally felt alone. The dead silence of the western woods gave way to crunchy leaves, and rustling winds again, and he realized how much he had missed sounds that carried on without his help.

The game had disappeared in this part of the forest, and autumn had taken hold of the land here long enough that there was nothing growing to be eaten. The ground was hard and dry. Rain had not fallen here for some time, and he had found no brooks, streams or rivers along his path.

But as night drew near again, Haeredion came to a clear spot among the trees at the edge of a weathered cliff where they opened their branches to present their guest with a view of the valley below. Night was spreading out its blanket over the wilds as he built another fire - just a small one this night for warmth, as he had nothing left to cook.

As he rubbed his stiff, cold hands together, preparing to strike flint to make his fire, the corner of his eye caught a fleck of copper far off in the distance. The gleaming light across the valley danced softly, and Haeredion was certain it was fire.

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