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Wanderer and the Orbs of Bravery

New grass, new earth, new snow at every step. Fresh air and new smells at every breath. A new meal, new peopleor other creatures and new stories every evening. A new bed of hay, or feather, or stone, and, new company every night, be it bugs or jackals or a beautfiul lass. I am Wanderer and this was my life. But as life never is for us humans, it was not enough.

I wanted something to stitch together the fine and free fragments of time which I call life and give it a meaning. That something came to me as a repeating, echoing voice in my dreams. "Orbs" the voice whispered first. "Orbs, orbs, orbs". I saw a man with the sternest of faces and the most serious eyes, eyes so focused almost igniting where their gaze fall. The man was there every night, mumbling about orbs but usually thinking, head between hands. In time I started calling him Think Man.

One day Think Man added a new world to his arsenal: bravery. "Orbs of Bravery" he would whisper with a weight on every syllable. He said it in tones of serious conversation repeatedly, as if he was making a different point each time and as if he was explaining the meaning of all. "Orbs of bravery, orbs, orbs, bravery, orbs of bravery". This became an upper layer of meaning in my free life of a wanderer. I was not merely wandering now, I was wandering all the same but this time I was looking for the "Orbs of Bravery".

One day I saw a fierce and crazy imp. Before I could ready meself it attacked me cursing and casting. It's magic burned my clothes and seared my skin. I let loose the bolt in my crossbow, it bolted and pierced the imp through the head. Rubbing yoghurt on my wound I walked to his corpse. There was a shiny black ball where it was hidden before jumping to ambush me. Imp was small and yet brave. Could this object be the orb of bravery I was looking for? I took it with me.

Later that night, when I was asleep my face burried in the curly hair of a village maiden I heard a tiny shriek. I deserted the warmth and softness of my company and started to look for the source of the sound. It came from my leather back pack. I opened it and saw the Orb of Bravery shattered. A baby imp was inside what turned out to be a black egg. It became my companion and the reason why I started walking the path of a tamer.

With time my Imp Wunderbar grown to full size, which is not much. By then I had other animal friends in my pack. One day we were hunting in the swamps south of Horseshoe Bay. Out of nowhere a swamp spider jumped on and stung me. My animal friends killed it for surety but I was poisoned and in great pain. I tried to heal meself but the poison was too strong. I falled to the muddy ground. When I woke up I went to look for the body of the spider and inside it found a green orb. The spider was small and yet brave. And I was worthy of the orb for I survived it's deadly poison. This had to be the "Orb of Bravery" Think Man was thinking about.

Later that night, when I was asleep my arms wrapped around the curves of a village maiden I heard foot steps. I opened my eyne and upon seeing the shadow of a man reached for my shadow wood crossbow. I let loose a bolt and only after that yelled "Who are you!". The man's arm was impaled to the wooden wall but still grasping the Orb of Bravery. After a friendly negotiation with the thief he was eager to tell me that he followed me from the tavern to steal what was apparently not Orb of Bravery but a skill orb. While I was carrying the broken thief to the guard post I told meself while a skill orb was not what I was looking for, it was still worth a lot of coin. Enough to "settle" for what it is worth.

After selling the orb I settled to a modest house and started living the life of a common outlander. I woke up with the light coming from the same window every morning. I smelled the same furniture and stale cheese, watered the same vegetables, walked the same path to the same tavern, came back before moon rise too high and got yelled by the same lass. The pattern was seemingly infinite.

One morning, when I was asleep my face burried in a hay pillow and arms wrapped around a coarse blanket for the lass was again seeing some adventurer, I heard noises coming from my garden. I looked out from the window and saw bandits feasting on my tomatos, peppers and poor goat. I looked under the bed for my crossbow and among one hundred other useless items found it covered in dust. Bolts were gone however, probably used as a kindling for a fire to cook another corn meal. I wanted to call Wunderbar and my other animal firends but they were living a life fit for their nature in the forest. I felt helpless and prisoned.

I was helpless and prisoned allright, but not because of the bandits outside my house. I understood then but it was too late. I heard the sound of hooves getting closer slowly. I peeked out the window and saw a Knight halting his horse in the middle of the circle of bandits. Bandits were surprised, not in a scared way but a crazy way. Their mouths were broad open, stretched shapes only resembling smiles and twitching. Their leader yelled something crazy but the Knight didn't mind him. To much my surprise he turned directly to me and yelled with a voice echoing in his steel helmet and coming out magnified in a horrendous way "WANDERER!". As I shriveled like a dried plum he continued "GROW A PAIR!".

The first bandits were almost on top of him then but he simply drawed his sword and chopped them away like a farmer working on his field. I was not hearing the clashing of steel and shrieking of criminals. I was thinking of something else. The Knight possessed what Think Man was mumbling about all this time. He had "Orbs of Bravery" and he was telling me to obtain the treasure as well. The Knight had balls of steel.