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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Fantasy · #2211090
This is how it all starts. Not Avalia's begnning, but the story.
Chapter 1: The Town of Autumn’s Edge

Adalia has many countries, many cities, and many more occupants. But it’s the city of Autumn’s Edge that people come to see in Harkenshire. Harkenshire itself is one of the grandest countries in all of Adalia. It’s a melting pot of races, species, and ideas. If you have a vice, you can find it in Harkenshire. If they don’t service your vice, you can build an entire industry around it if you have the motivation. None of the Lords or Earls will try to stop you, so long as you don’t cut in on their own businesses. There is both a trade for bread and baked goods, as well as people who collect meat chunks to scraps of lint woven into carpets, jackets, and welcome mats. Every single one makes a hearty profit.

Autumn’s Edge is so named because there is no Summer or Spring, just Autumn, and Winter. Autumn lasts about 9 months, and Winter, usually 3. Unless the Yeti begin their rampage early, which legend says means there will be a 4 month winter this year. When this happens, the people must stock up on cider and meats.

Ahh, meats. Salted wolf flank, smoked Sasquatch butt steaks, ham of all kinds, and of course, the variety of exotic meats such as Crockagator and Thin Beaked Salmon Crane shanks. If winter was cold and grey, it was at least great for the “Feast of the 2nd Season” which pretty much lasted until Autumn rebirthed.

In the East District of Autumn’s Edge are the High Gardens, a place of peace, reflection, solitude, and, sausage vendors. They just sort of showed up one day and nobody really told them to leave. They also didn’t know where the meat came from, but it was delicious.
The High Gardens were tended by the Druidic Order which keep everything growing and healthy, but they also protected the sprites who flitter around seeing to odd jobs. One piece of the garden out of balance, and things would go askew.

The plants were of many varieties and of vast colors; purples, blues, yellows, greens, and infrared. Only elves could see the last color. At the back of the garden are the Hollows which lead to the Caves of Vision. It was often here Monks would go to meditate and try in vain to see the infinite. To this day, not one had succeeded. It was thought maybe they thought too highly of themselves in the assumption they could see any visions, or, were the only ones qualified.

Today, a dwarf was there. He had snuck in, past the iced plateau, into the most interior of the cave. He carried a candle light, squinting to see further in the pitch blackness. Damn, it was a lot of black. He moved the candle light around which would illuminate only small portions of the cave at a time, but it was enough for now.

He continued to search thinking, ‘it must be here!’. He unrolled a piece of parchment and studied under the flicker of candle light. It was faded and the color was a sort of dark bourbon color from age. Suddenly, the Dwarf’s eyebrows raised and a smiled stretched across his face. “Finally!” he exclaimed.

Ancient Dwarven runes painted across the save walls were before him. His ancient Dwarf was rusty, but what he needed was truly here! He squinted his eyes and closed in on the writing.

“Finally,” he breathed in the frosty cave air, “the original Barley Malt of the ancients. They said it was only a myth.” He copied down the rune on a bit of parchment from his rucksack. “Yes, very good,” he remarked tucking the parchment back into his sack.

It only took him half the time to get back out, and soon he was in the market square, unlocking the big, birch door to his tavern. He let himself inside, closing the door and latching it.

The Tavern was all Red Oak, with hardened floors. The table lamps were Klilko Oil based. Klilko Oil was very slow burning. A small tea candle sized container would burn for a month.

The Dwarf went upstairs to his personal lodging and closed the door behind him while withdrawing the parchment on which the runes had been scribbled on to. He examined them carefully and reached for a book of ancient rune translations and began to translate the text.

After several minutes the recipe began to unfold. Finally, he put down his writing instrument. “Yes!” he declared.

He studied the document for a moment, and then exclaimed just as quickly, “Damn!”

The ingredients were all standard, except “bark of deadwood”. Nobody had seen a deadwood tree in nearly a thousand years. They were often regarded as legend, but this here – this proved it actually existed. But it was key! The bark gave this brew it’s unique, and sweet flavor. There was nothing like it, and he must have it! But how?

He rose and began to pace. He was no adventurer. Dwarves were mostly broken up into two classes: Brewmasters, and Geologists. Everyone else was referred to as a "bum". This, of course, was intolerance. As a Dwarf you were expected to attend to one of the two trades. If you became even an alchemist, you were still a bum.

The Dwarf, who's name it seems, was Breedebecke, stopped on point and scratched his head. "This is crazy. I'll 'jes go, then."

He reached for a parchment, scribbled a note on it, and reached for the cat. "Bring it to Dallowswerth. Got it?"

The cat gave him a reproachful look. He glared back as if he got the message. "Aye, I'll get yeh a can of sardines once yeh come back with the response."
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