Para Bellum Share A Seasonal Tale In The Night Of The Bright Tree

December 23, 2018 by dracs

Para Bellum have a seasonal offering for us all, a seasonal short story from the world of Conquest. Gather round one and all as we hear the story of Hjul the Fisherman and the Night of the Bright Tree.

The story takes the form of a folk tale, to be told around the hearth as the darkness creeps into the heart of winter.

Fisherman Hjul's nets have been coming up empty, but with the darkest night of the year approaching, Hjul sets out further than any other from his visit to feed his family and appease the gods.

It was the darkest night of the year. It had been a lean year, a poor year, during which too many an end of day had found the nets of fishermen empty or as close as can be. Hjul was no exception and, if anything, he was rather one of those mostly afflicted. But he was of sturdy folk, Hjul, such as our village makes, for he was indeed one of our own, no matter what others claim. And he was also a proud father and a pious follower, venerating the Aesir and the Vanir as was proper. It was his love for his family and his faith in his gods that urged him to the sea that day, for in good Hjul’s mind, both deserved a feast and tribute, on that most sacred of winter nights.

And so it was that he left the shores even before the bright hours had come, along with others that shared as brave a heart as him. Before the sun even rose, they pushed their boats on the ice, guided by their lanterns on their boats bows, until they reached the water, and from there they sailed straight south. At the start of the bright hours, he threw his first net with the others but, as was usual that year, the nets came up empty. As the bright hours reached their peak, he and a handful of others, no more, sailed further south and tried again but still their nets would come out empty. One by one, his fellows made their way to the frozen shores, but Hjul’s pride was hurt and his honor wounded. Alone he sailed still, until the shore behind him looked distant and Mannheim was but an island to him. And there, as the bright hours faded finally, he threw his nets for a third time.

The story is a good recreation of that kind of story pattern, and the language keeps well to the tone of the setting. But this is a seasonal story, so I'll leave the ending for you to discover.

A Merry Night of The Bright Tree to all!

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