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Balamor soon realized just about every hobbit in the village spare himself had been helping. He felt the distance between himself and his people grow, understanding now that he wasn’t leaving solely to finish his map. He didn’t fit in here, not because he lacked the necessary skills, but his purpose was for something bigger than his small town. His tea was almost gone when he walked off his porch and onto the dirt path. He had to see his grandfather, especially when his father was preoccupied.

He guided himself down the dirt road as the morning sun now greeted the entire town with its presence. The sky above was a clear blue, clouds in thin streaks traveled further south. The feeling of freshness was in the air; although the town suffered, the plant life was given its gift of rain, and now the light from the sun. He turned on to a smaller trail which led to his grandfather’s house. He approached the steps of the green porch front when he heard the voice of Farjadis Wisebeard.

“Balamor! Good to see you’re still alive after all this. The men just finished fixing the porch a few moments ago.” He was rocking in his chair on the porch with a book in hand and a pipe at his mouth.

His face was old at its surface, showing the time he had spent on Earth. His eyes were just as Balamor’s, yet squinted with age. And a long nose hung from his brow, dipping to the start of a long gray beard. He wore a brown vest above his shirt, and thin trousers flowed to his ankles. He was a jolly old man with more wisdom than anyone Balamor knew. Every time he spoke, it could be taken as advice.

“So Barris told me you want to travel outside the Raehl, he wasn’t happy with the idea, but he wouldn’t understand. A Wisebeard is no hermit, even your true father traveled the land, and you must do the same!” He jerked his hand forward as the words escaped his mouth amongst a thick smoke.

Balamor was confused by his words, “But I thought my real father was a bridge builder who lived here in the Raehl?” his small frame planted itself across from the old hobbit. “Why would a bridge builder travel the lands anyway?” he added.

He puffed on his pipe, shutting the book in his lap softly. “You’re right; he did live here in the Raehl. And he was a fine bridge builder indeed. But he traveled as well, taking his trade with him across the lands.” His leg moved from his lap to the floorboards as he leaned forward. “Every Wisebeard must travel and learn as much as he can. Our blood is special Balamor, only you can prove that.”

The old Wisebeard believed in the boy, he had too. It was his duty to keep his bloodline alive, and Balamor was the only chance he had. His own son was gone for over a decade now. He never did learn what fated him after being swept away by the Faric. But dwelling on the thought further only saddened him. He was burdened with this responsibility after his time in Delsis, after his last words with the mystic Gantis.

The End

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