( Episode 1 – Tales of Copper )
Copper stood on the cliff side path, over looking the large valley below. The panoramic view before him was marred by the dark scar of the valley, with it’s darkness that clung to it like a living fog. The ruins scattered across the valley’s floor reminded him of darker memories from his youth that he had long suppressed.
The screams once again echoed in his mind. He closed his eyes and held his breathe. The memories came rushing back in one by one. The creatures, called Uttar chasing him and his parents, like hunted prey. He pushed the thoughts away and slowly chanted to himself.
“The amara forest is miles away.” he whispered as he slowly opened his eyes.
“They say orcs live down there…” He suddenly pronounced as the thought occurred to him.
“I want to meet an orc”
“It would be an amazing thing to meet an orc, don’t you think?” Copper turned to address his companion. His attention once again diverted to something new as is want with changelings.
The man standing next to Copper sighed and slowly walked back down the path. He shifted the weight of the large pack on his back. The clanking sound of metal and tin, rattling together as the pots and pans and various other items clanged together seemed to echo loudly across the dead valley below.
“That there are the forgotten lands, lad… “
“No one goes there on purpose, let alone to simply meet orcs.”
He was use to the little fellows chattering and yammering. To be honest it was nice to have company as he traveled from town to town selling his wares and repairing the odd item here and there.
“Why not?” Copper interrupted.
“Have you ever seen an orc?” Copper could barely get the question out fast enough.
“Tinker, are you even listening to me?” Copper asked, as he continued to look over his shoulder in wonder at the forgotten lands below.
“No, And I told you my name is Braydin” answered the merchant.
“No you never seen an orc, or no you are not listening to me?” Copper asked as he ran to catch up with Braydin.
“Both” answered Braydin.
“You know that no one knows the true history of the orcs… It’s true I asked a mage once and he said so.” Copper continued talking as they walked down the long narrow path that lead away from the valley.
The loud blaring of the horns echoed across the valley, startling Copper and Braydin. Copper instantly turned and looked at the dark valley behind them. The orcs had mounted an all out assault, on who was the question that burned the most in his mind.
“Orcs!” Copper grabbed Braydin as he pointed toward the valley.
Braydin looked incredulous at Copper for a moment. The valley behind them was unchanged, no bands of orcs racing out of the dark mists.
“Not Orcs, Erahaim…”
“Get off the path!” Braydin pushed the confused changeling into the nearby underbrush as the sounds of the horns grew louder.
“Are you sure?”
“I really wanted it to be orcs” Copper whined as Braydin pushed him deeper into the underbrush.
Within minutes the sound of huff beats grew louder and a battalion of Erahaim knights rode past. The black and red banners snapped loudly in the air, as they road by like gruesome birds of death. Their black armor polished to perfection was what impressed Copper the most as he watched them go by.
“It must take hours to polish that armor , and then just imagine how much more work they have after riding all over the place like that in polished armor.” Copper continued with his musings as he stood watching the distant road ahead.
“Finger prints, dust, heck even bird poop would just ruin my day if I wore armor like that.”
Braydin just rolled his eyes and shouldered his pack once again; it was going to be a long, long day ahead of him. That much he knew for sure.
Orcs – In the world of Shadora ( Ancient Darkness and Kaldr Bane Chronicles) are one of the cursed fallen races. They are not your typical Tolkien or DnD type orcs. They are highly intelligent, brutal, cunning and passionate. The orcs make their debut in the graphic novel and appear prominently in the second novel currently being written, entitled Iceforge.
Copper is one of the main characters in the Novel Ancient Darkness and was modeled after my own son. I even made Copper look like him as well. I plan on making this a regular series – Tales of Copper – where we get to see the world of Shadora through the eyes of Copper the changeling.