Chapter Two – Bran

When he was younger, Erban’s father rarely took him north of the wall.  They would trek just as far as he would dare, to the ridge overlooking the tiny village of the flesh-eaters.  Bran was leagues north of there now and knew his father would not approve but ranging in the northlands came natural to him.

“Where are we?” Orin asked quietly. Bran turned his head quickly and glared at his friend. He had told him on numerous occasions that there was to be no talking unless Bran initiated the conversation. But Orin was a talker. While any noise this far north could carry for miles, Bran brought Orin for other reasons. He would not speak of their travels to anyone else and he was deadly with a bow. Bran was excellent with the weapon, and excellence brought from shaft after shaft being launched from his bow. Orin was a dead eye natural.

They were in a new undiscovered land, no one had come this far north and Bran brought his index finger to his lips to emphasis the fact that they should not be talking.

Orin nodded and they moved softly, aware of the underbrush and the overbrush, calculating each move but every quick look down was fed with a long look north. Below them sat an ancient village, the outer walls crumbling, and the structures inside not fairing much better. The flesh-eaters scampered amongst the structures with wild abandon.

The flesh-eaters were savage and vicious but dumb and instinctual.  //SHOW ME//

They wore very little clothing considering the terrain. Bran saw that the little ones appeared to hunt each other as a game with bones that he could not identify whether or not they came from a beast or a body. //SHOW ME MORE, WHAT WAS THE TRICK RAW or COOKED???//

Bran turned back toward Orin, caught his attention and pointed at the two of them and then down into another trail cut into the valley a hundred feet below them.

Orin leaned in toward Bran.

“I don’t know what that means,” he whispered into Bran’s ear.

Bran closed his eyes and breathed in deeply and then pulled Orin’s ear close to his mouth.

“Let’s go down there,” Bran breathed.

“Let’s go back there,” Orin replied quietly as they switched position, indicating the top of the hill and the way back out of valley.

Bran pulled away and pointed back toward the valley. Orin raised his middle finger in Bran’s face and then proceeded to slowly point it back up to the top of the trail they had worked their way down.

Turning away Bran looked back down at the flesheater enclave beneath them. Maybe Orin is right he tought, they had traveled days to get here and had gone further north than anyone had before and.  . .

Orin grabbed the back of Bran’s jacket and pulled him down into the undergrowth. Bran turned once they were settles and Orin flashed his own unique sign to be quiet with his middle finger over his lips. Orin then glared past Bran and Bran turned and saw a party of flesheaters on the trail below them, the trail he had moments ago wanted to travel down to.

Rumors of the hard wall in the far north, the flesh-eaters would never go past it.


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