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Punish

Year 1ac: Late-Fall : The Journey Part:1 : TheBodkins : Aden Active Lore

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Punish    50

“The journey is always more important than the destination. ~ Legendary Lord Punish”

As sunlight crept through the small window of the two-story village home most of the denizens within were still fast asleep. Light now illuminating the humble interior of this small shared dwelling the juxtaposition of fine dwarven weaponry, armor, bubble-gum and a myriad of stuffed animals of every shape and size littered the bunkhouse’s every nook and cranny. As Aden’s most renowned and feared warriors slumber a lone veteran dwarven artisan works diligently below their chambers at a small workbench completing yet another project for his lord and benefactor.

The seasoned Warsmith skillfully draws, feathers and points yet another steel arrow laying it dutifully amongst the pile. The Legendary Lord had been going through a lot of these lately, hunting with his clan at the Seal of Shilen accumulating the necessary experience on his quest to attain the rank of Elite Knight. Finishing another projectile the Warsmith thought of his lord's task at hand and the amazing display of stamina at the Seal. As the sunlight crept into his ground floor workshop The Legendary Lord Punish had been hunting for 26 hours and counting…

Seemingly out of nowhere attaining the Elite Knight Title and Clan Rank of 4 that came along with it had become an all-consuming challenge for the leader of Clan Legendary, so much so in the past day alone the artisan had crafted 20,000 steel arrows to the point his fingertips bled and hands ached from the repetitive crafting task.

He placed another arrow on the pile.

Punish had said to him from the very beginning he would accomplish this task. He’d said a lot of things, the Dark Elf was always speaking of the future, his vision or the way forward. How actions always spoke louder than words and your word only means anything if you do exactly what you say you are going to do even if you find yourself on the losing end of the battle.

He placed another arrow on the pile.

The Legendary Lord didn’t have a small vision, but a grand one. He’d often tell of tales not yet experienced in the workshop of this future alliance he intended to make. The goal was so audacious very few people believed it was possible. Yet; having witnessed firsthand the raw willpower embodied within the phantom ranger when he had told the Warsmith he’d be an Elite Knight by the end of the month, he wholeheartedly believed him.

He placed another arrow on the pile.

“Every journey starts with a single step” the artisan spoke aloud, reiterating something Punish had said. He thought on the statement a moment as he finished yet another arrow, trying to remember how the saying goes… “the choice to keep walking is entirely up to you.” He nodded to himself shaking his head understanding the deeper meaning beyond the words alone. This is why the Artisan believed in the journey he found himself on with the Legendary Lord. 

Just as he was finishing another arrow a rooster crowed outside the workshop window. Instinctively his reaction was of sheer terror as if someone had just caught the artisan trespassing, he froze exactly as he was when the sound penetrated the peaceful interior of the bunkhouse. Without moving a muscle, the dwarf let the pierced silence hang in the still air watching intently toward the open window to his right out of the corner of his eye.

Silence…

With muscles still firm and taught, the silence stood preserved and gradually the artisan began to feel relief and allow himself to relax a bit, thinking to himself he’d gotten lucky that time if only for a little while longer. As he allowed the finished arrow to rest atop the pile of other armaments the rooster's crow cracked the still air of the workspace even louder than before.

“That should do it” the Dwarf stated flatly, knowing what was coming next, eyes rolling slowly toward the ceiling.

Just then an unmistakable sound of feet hitting the floor above rang out through the tiny room, followed by even more sounds of interminable origin or activity, soon a ruckus of tiny feet echoed throughout the dwelling as the once silent home roared to life.

“GRAAMPAAA!” shouted childlike voices from atop the stairs as the unmistakable stampede of dwarven sisters rushed the living space of the bunkhouse. Zoey, Becky, Jojo, Lucy, Trixie, Dipsy, and Peekaboo Bodkins clamored down the steps clad in their pajamas on the only mission that mattered at that moment and time.

“What's for Breakfast Grampa!” exclaimed Jojo Bodkins as she hurriedly ran past the workbench toward the kitchen. “I want pancakes!” Lucy said excitedly. “Have you seen my Mithril tunic Grampa?! Zoey and I start working in Aden for the Taxi Service” asked Peekaboo. Quickly the once peaceful workshop of a skilled Artisan practicing his craft deteriorates into the daily family circus that is TheBodkins.

He placed another arrow on the pile.

Turning to face his mischievous pre-adolescent horde Grampa Bodkins rubbed his aching hands and looked over his troop. Dipsy taking her usual place by his side raised her arms above her head and like a swift practiced motion was scooped up in his warm embrace. Resting her head on his shoulder Grampa looked at her directly and made a motion with his hand as if scooping food in his mouth, Dipsy nodded still half sleepy and pointed toward the kitchen.

Taking a moment, the gentle dwarf playfully booped Dipsy on the nose and sat the young dwarf down with a big smile. “Okay, who wants some Elphie-O’s?” Grampa asked his girls. “I DO!” everyone erupted at once, save Dipsy who looked confusedly at her sisters and then back to Grampa. Making an “O” with his hand and pointing toward the kitchen Dipsy instantly understood with a happy smile.

And so the family prepared their breakfast of Elphie-O’s and happily sat around their small wooden table discussing the various events planned for the upcoming day. “Peekaboo, if you and Zoey are headed to Aden to start your job with Phraust I need you to take this order of arrows to our Lord at the Seal,” Grampa instructed. “Okay Grampa, we can do that no problem!” Peekaboo replied confidently.

“But… take Dipsy along. She’s never been to Aden by herself.” Warsmith Bodkins, instructed calmly as if anticipating a certain response “Grampa!? She’ll get lost or something worse…” protested Zoey aloud with Peekaboo nodding in approval eyes wide with disbelief. Grampa knew she’d never been to Aden by herself, in fact, he couldn’t remember a time when she’d left the safety of his side since coming to the orphanage. He had spent most of the evening thinking about this decision but understood, it was time, it was necessary and it was absolutely terrifying.

 “Just keep putting one step in front of the other, you can do it,” Grampa said looking directly at Peekaboo and Zoey with a smile. Peekaboo and Zoey knew exactly where the old man had gotten that from, looking to each other, then to their sister Dipsy happily eating her Elphie-O’s seemingly oblivious to the journey that lay before her.  

Edited by Punish

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