Maple Grove

Annay walked slowly beside the town wall running her fingers along the almost invisible lines between the massive stones. The slowness in her step was caused by her concentration on the artistry of the long forgotten dwarfs who had hewn blocks of stone so precisely that a strand of her hair wouldn’t fit between any of them and that she didn’t want to concentrate on what she should have been thinking about.

She mused to herself, “Will anything I do be remembered in four thousand years like the dwarfs who made this wall?” She looked around to see the other monument left by the dwarfs, the massive tower in the center of town where Duke Rangefield lived. “How many other things did they make that have been lost in time? A keep that was destroyed seventy years after it was built, but what else? An inn? A town hall?” She wondered if it really mattered.

Next week they would be officially celebrating the 4,000th anniversary of the founding of the town, 3,900 years since the rebuilding of the town with the help of other dwarven artisans. That was when the second massive tower in town was built, the one she used to live in with Master Samuel Gees. She walked slowly away from her previous home and continued to follow the wall down into the lower town where she now lived.

The dwarf’s work was evident here, too, they built the lower wall during the rebuilding 3,900 years ago. The other remnants of their work in the lower town were a few stone buildings. Everything else in the lower town was made of wood - built to last decades, not centuries.

Annay smiled as she passed a small stone shop. There was a sign on the door that read, Restoring the past - Maple Grove Preservation Society. Annay took her finger off the wall and replaced it with her back. The cold stone felt good on her back and she pressed her back into it until she felt a couple pops as her back realigned itself. “Too much thinking,” she thought, and that was the end of her denial.

The thoughts she had been repressing came flowing back, more like a flood for having been dammed up, much like the flood of turpis that had laid siege on the town for the last four weeks. In fact, what Annay had been trying not to thinking about, the turpes, and her current pondering about the fate of her legacy, were all tied together.

Annay had been asked to be part of a scouting party, who’s mission it was would be to sneak across the fertile flood plains to the north of town, which were now covered by dying fields and burned out farmhouses, and up into the foot hills and the turpis’ camp. She knew three of the other people who would be part of the scouting party, in fact two of them were her best friends, but the leader of the party was someone she had never worked with before.

They say that a party is only as good as it’s leader, and Annay was worried Cadmon might not be up to the task. However, her friends had already committed to going and their chances would be much better if she was with them.

Annay pushed herself away from the wall and started walking again. Ahead was a beautiful fountain, but today the figures of the young boy and girl skipping stones into the fountain brought to mind all the young children who weren’t on the streets playing. Annay knew what she had to do.

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