The Nation of Derim has declared war and begun to invade the northern countries. Meanwhile in the southern region of Derim in the small town of Red Wood, two simple farm boys James and Doffin are about to be swept up into an adventure they never would have expected.
"Beautiful today isn't it?" James looked around at the lush forest of oak, maple and beech waiting for Doffin to respond. He leaned over the edge of the boulder.
Doffin sat at the bottom, his copper hair shining, lost in thoughts. He was the son of Eldriv Heavlin the local black smith. His thick arms and shoulder were crossed across his chest. James met Doffin when they were ten. His father had some business with Eldriv and he had decided to come along. Since they met they were like wet on water like his mother said.
"Doffin?" He looked up. "Sorry, what did you say?"
"I said it's a gorgeous day. So nice a peaceful," James rolled onto his back" I swear, if I didn't have to work today I would just lay here"
"Too bad the rest of the world be this calm. Ever since the King began to invade the other northern countries taxes have been going through the roof!" He paused for a second. "Hey, have you thought about what we're gonna do if they try to draft us?"
James kept his face clear. So, he wasn't the only one who had worried about that problem. "I don't know, I guess we could just hide out in the woods. We both know how to shoot bows, it would be lots of work but we could manage it."
"Speaking of work." Doffin raised his hand to his brows in an attempt to get a better look at the sun through the foliage. "What time is it?"
James looked up at the sun from his better vantage point. "Probably a bit past lunch."
"Damn,” Doffin yawned “I guess we better get going then." Doffin got up from his spot and stretched out his back. He looked up at James. "How's your farm doing" James slid down the side to land beside him.
"Not bad" Said james shrugging. "We've been having the same problem getting money to pay but were taking care of it."
Doffin shook his head in disapproval. "I wonder if it's worse at the capital."
James looked over. "I don't know. You ready?" Doffin nodded. "Then let's head off."
As they exited the small clearing James looked back at the boulder one last time. It was where they normally came to spend their time if they had nothing to do. It was roughly the shape of an oval and massive. Twice the size of James and so wide around that they needed four people to reach around it. It was made of a dark grey rock with sparkling white grains embedded in it. Now that he thought about it, the boulder didn't make any sense at all.
"Hey Doffin, has it ever occurred to you that there are no other boulders in this forest that are anywhere as big or made of that type of rock?"
Doffin studied the boulder intrigued. "Now that you mention it, no I haven't. Maybe it came from the Lone Mountain?"
James thought about it. "No, I don't think so. We climbed that thing for a few weeks last year and I don't remember seeing anything like that up there either."
Doffin shrugged "Well that’s all I can think of. If that piece got here then there must be more around somewhere."
James nodded in agreement."We’ll look for some tomorrow, my Dad will be pissed if I came cantering out of the woods into the farm a few hours late."
Doffin chuckled "Ya, now that I'm eighteen I've got more smithing to do."
James couldn’t imagine how Doffin survived with two brothers and sisters. He didn’t have any siblings so he's always had to do everything. It didn't seem like too much to him now but he remember when he found it difficult.
"Well, I'll see you around." Said Doffin.
James snapped out of his thoughts to find that they had reached the fork in their trail with Doffin already part way down his waving back to him. Doffin's trail led to the east road and came out near the village because he lived at the blacksmith. His came out on the north road about half way between the village and his father's farm which was a league from the village. It had taken them a week to make the trail when they found the boulder on a hunting trip. They were only fifteen and went there ever since. He waved back and began the trek home.