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Balamor studied the mans face, almost reminding him of his own. His two thick sideburns and his wide jawline, but he knew there was no relation. The young mapmaker remembered his dream as he watched the bridge builder hoist his comrade from the ground to his shoulder before starting for the Raehl.

       “Wait! I didn’t catch your name!” Balamor yelled out, walking out of the caravan as he continued. “I must know the name of the man who saved my life if I were to tell his story.”

       “The name’s Finn!” The man replied as he walked down the dirt road.

Balamor studied his surroundings, two bodies of slain bandits were sprawled out in the road. What drove such men to rob and steal from simple hobbits? His thoughts contained questions he couldn’t imagine answers for. The nature of hobbits was incomparable with the nature of these men; although their agility would prove superior in thievery, violence was never the first answer.

Balamor waited a few moments letting the aftermath of the encounter sink in. He didn’t bother searching the caravan further, he was sure more bandits would stumble upon the leftovers, and he would join the rest of the corpses if he were to stick around. He started for the next river crossing further west, running over what had taken place this morning.

He was only a mile or so into his journey and already went against his plan to stay away from combat. He wasn’t sure if it was something he could plan for on his travels at all. He realized his only knowledge of the land outside the Raehl was from the map he was finishing. His mission seemed overly ambitious now, but his determination didn’t stray him away from reaching such a goal.

He had too much on his plate to put to waste, plus if he were to turn back and go home, his grandfather would be greatly disappointed in him; failing Farjadis seemed like failing himself and more importantly their bloodline. He knew the old man’s words were a bit outlandish, but there was sincerity behind them that served as proof to their validity.

Balamor strolled down the edge of the Faric, absorbed by his thoughts. He wondered why the Wisebeard name was so special in the first place, and if it dealt with the secrets of the runes.

Who was the mystic Gantis? And why did he give the book to Farjadis? And what about the strange books in the library, how did they get there? He had so many more questions than he did answers to provide them. The only thing he knew for sure was that he was only scratching the surface of an even bigger question.

The End

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