The moon hung in the sky as a sentinel watching the lonely countryside below. Aelhar crouched in a small grove with thickets on each side of him watching the barely perceptible trail below. It was a trail rarely traveled by ordinary folks. Aelhar was a part of an organization known as the Dark Watch of the Kingdom of Aepsalon. The Dark Watch had many layers, the watchmen in each town, village and hamlet, vales, the watchers located in watch towers between the towns, villages, and hamlets, vales, and farmsteads. The next layer were the foresters and wardens who were assigned to the woods and forests of the kingdom. Aelhar was a first-class forester and his mentor and friend, Vordecai was his warden. Vordecai had several foresters in his ward. The last layer were the rangers who watched and defended the borders of the kingdom.
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Chapter 2 - Kha 1
As I open my eyes to the quiet northern morning, I am met with the unwelcome sight of a rat on the hastily boarded floor. It sits beside my rough cot of wood and hay, looking directly into my eyes with an expression of indecision. I blink sleep from my tired eyes and shift to get a better look at the menace who has surely eaten half my bread already. The cot creaks below me, dwarfed by my unnatural stature. The thing is barely two meters long, a full third of a meter too short and my blistered feet hang off the end like spigots for tap ale. I swat carefully at the little animal, careful not to hurt it. I couldn’t even if I wanted to. The little thing scampers into the darkness before I can even extend my fingers.