Troy stirs, and Northelm stirs with it. His bed is small, house modest, but he thinks this just might be heaven. The open window beckons in the smell of fresh baked bread, a clear sign that the baker’s had been hard at work through the dawn, and the sun’s light is lazily tracking its way across the floor.
Northelm peels back sheets and pelts, for while it is pleasant during the day the nights are still cold. He would like to fall in love one day and share his small life with someone, but Northelm knows he will be content all the same if a wonderful woman never looks his way. He has learnt to take his happiness where he can find it, and there is a lot of quiet joy to be found in Troy.
Northelm dons his armour, the same his father had worn during his time as a village guard. His father had retired years earlier when Northelm had taken his place, and it’s a legacy he is proud to bear. Northelm might not be good with words, but he is tall and strong, and where he fails with conversation he excels at protecting the people he loves.
He starts his day like any other. Goes to the village square to buy breakfast, a pastry filled with meat and vegetables to get him through the morning. He stutters his way through small talk, words tripping over each other, and the bakers know him well so smile politely in return. He eats while walking to the guard station when something disturbs the calm.
A scream, long and piercing, carries across the village before ending abruptly.
Everything stops, time standing still. The villagers look around in confusion before there is another.
Everything happens at once, the market plunging into chaos. People abandon their stalls and children squall while villagers scatter in every direction. Livestock scampers underfoot, chickens forgotten as owners flee to protect their homes. Fire is a deadly occurrence in a place such as Troy, which has houses built from tinder. It means ruin and lives lost, something the village can’t survive.
Northelm drops his pastry and bolts for the well in the center of the square. He’s strong – he can lift more water from the well than any other man – and it will be vital in stopping the flames.
THUD… THUD… THUD…
Something massive disturbs the air, the vibration strong enough to shake Northelm’s bones. Fear crawls down his spine. He dreads to look up, but he forces himself to and there, there it is… in a clear blue sky undisturbed by clouds, a Red Dragon circles overhead.
Over time, we will introduce various characters and heroes in the world of Puzzle Quest 3 in these short story segments.