Series: Seven Forges
Publisher: Self Published (March 28, 2014)
Length: 10 pages
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Scars is a short story that focuses on a minor character, Wollis March, from Seven Forges as he spends a night interacting with King Tuskandu of the Sa’ba Taalor.
For those of you who have not read Seven Forges as of yet, it is an epic story of Captain Merros Dulver and his small band of adventurers who are attempting to transverse a wind blasted, ash covered, frozen tundra called only the Blasted Lands. Merros himself is a retired soldier from Fellein; a world spanning empire that controls the majority of the known world and desperately would like to swallow the rest – including the lands under the legendary peaks called the Seven Forges.
The silhouettes of these huge volcanoes have tantalized the Felleins for generations. Their mesmerizing glows giving rise to visions of riches and untold secrets harbored in their fiery embrace. However, the icy tundra of the Blasted Lands has turned back ever adventurer who has ever attempted to cross it. Still the Fellein’s dream of reaching the distant peaks, and so Captain Dulver finds himself the latest man sent out by the powerful of Fellein to cross the wastes and reveal the secrets of the Seven Forges!
But the Blasted Lands are unforgiving of even the hardiest, most prepared explorer, and soon Merros begins to lose hope he will ever reach his goal. When disaster strikes his group in the form of ferocious beasts attacking and nearly overwhelming them, all seems lost . . . until unexpected help arrives in the form of the Sa’ba Taalor.
These strange, grey-skinned people appear out of the swirling winds; faces covered by their veils and their bodies strapped round about with innumerable weapons. That they say they are from the Seven Forges is unbelievable to Merros, but soon they prove it to be so by guiding the Felleins through the Blasted Lands and into the lush valleys at the volcanoes feet. There Merros and his group are welcomed with open arms and embraced as long lost brothers to the native Sa’ba Taalor.
Soon, the news of Merros’ success is sent back to the Empire by magical means, and an idea is hatched to bring a group of Sa’ba Taalor back to Fellein. Something that is surprisingly easy to arrange, as one of the Sa’ba Taalor kings, Tuskandu, agrees to accompany Merros back across the wastes to civilization. And so Captain Dulver returns home a man of renown with the hope of launching a new epoch in history, as Fellein and the Sa’ba Taalor embrace in friendship. But deep down, Merros has his doubts about his new friends from the Forges, and he wonders why these people are so secretive and hide so much of themselves from their supposed friends.
This short story focuses on Tuskandu himself sitting around the campfire with Merros’ best friend, Wollis, weaving a simple story that tells so much about his people and shedding light on their history and secrets. For these reasons, “Scars” is a fine story for anyone with an interest in the series and especially the Sa’ba Taalor themselves.
Read the story for free.