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Balamor was only a baby when Barris Oakfoot took him and his mother under his wing. Growing up, Barris was his father, even after the death of his mother Liya. Barris took care of him as if he were his own child. Although his demeanor appeared to be intimidating at times, his voice was humble and comforting as he spoke.

“Done with your studies for the night I see?” Balamor nodded as he stretched his small frame. “What is it that had you down there so long?” His father added. Balamor yawned and replied

“I was looking through some old history books is all.”

He and his father had talked a few days before about Balamor’s trade as a map maker. They agreed that he must travel to learn more about the lands if he wanted to craft accurate maps. Although Barris would rather have his only son follow his own trade of carpentry, he was convinced by Balamor’s grandfather Farjadis to let Balamor find his own trade.

It was when he reached his adult years that his interest in cartography grew from a hobby to a passion. It was an odd trade to take up as a hobbit, but it spawned from his time in the library as a child. Before his mother Liya had passed she would take him down to the library sometimes for hours, and teach him about the books and scriptures. He learned to read and write at the age of four, and began drawing maps of his village the Raehl. His interest in the trade eventually led him to making a map of the entire Southland.

His father wasn’t pleased with the idea of a hobbit traveling further than a few miles outside the Raehl. But he knew it would happen eventually whether he agreed to it or not, and Farjadis would have changed his mind on the whole matter anyway. As good of a father Barris was to Balamor, the judgment of Balamor’s only remaining blood far surpassed his own. The tense eyes of Barris studied Balamor a moment, trying to find anything beneath his vague response. He turned to the stove and continued cooking as Balamor left the kitchen silently, walking only a few feet before his father yelled out to him.

“Supper will be ready soon Balamor, you should eat.  An empty stomach won’t do you any good."

Balamor replied down the hallway “I will join you shortly!"

He proceeded down a wide tunnel-like hallway, the supports bowed to the round structure of the hobbit home.  The doors he passed were of heavy oak cut into circles, each fastened to the wall by a large metal hinge. As he neared the end of the hallway he drifted to the left and reached for the door to his room.

His hand came from beneath the long sleeves of his robes and wrenched the door open. Stepping in quickly, Balamor shoved the door closed. He stood within his small bedroom, its walls studded with wooden lathe which met a polished oak floor. Its surface was covered by a green throw rug, which lay pinned under various furniture. His small bed was up against the only flat wall in his room. The others were angled to fit the shape of the hillside the home dug into.

The End

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