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February 19, 2009, 7:02 am

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The Field of Ashes


Touched by a sad catastrophe, the Field of Ashes is a solemn memorial to the dead.


The Field of Ashes is an area roughly a day’s ride across, cradled between a sluggish river and a slowly-dying forest. Nothing grows within it; the soil is utterly dry despite the river’s water, and coated in a layer of fine, powdery ashes. Here and there are ruined fragments of old stone buildings, mostly collapsed save for part of a wall here and there - just enough to outline the shapes and suggest that a mildly prosperous village once stood in these places; in one place, a small keep lies in ruin. Now, only ruin and ash remains, with a melancholy aura hanging in the air and weighing down on those who pass through.


Long ago, the Field of Ashes was a town; the name now lost to time, it was a comfortable enough place to live, blessed with fertile soil and clean water. With a mild surplus of food each year, the townsfolk were good neighbors to their neighbors, happily sharing without asking for repayment, content that they were blessed to do good deeds, that others might be well enough off to do good themselves.

Alas, then, that a lord beyond the area who fancied himself a great warrior and leader of men heard of their bounty, and called up his men to ride forth and seize it. The lord, a petty and cruel man by nature, did not care for the surplus offered freely by the townsfolk as he and his men rode into town; he coveted the entire bounty and the land from which it grew, envisioning the army he could feed from it. He was not pleased when the elders of the town refused to kneel to him, even when he spoke of violence against them and their children.

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       By: Michael Jotne Slayer

The old clock tower stands tall, but the bulk of the uppermost storey is crumbling and unsafe, with gaping cracks in the walls. The metal struts and girders supporting the great bronze bells are still intact, though, and the bells survive. The grotesque gargoyles and arabesques which decorated the original design have either fallen into the street (once or twice a year more bricks fall from the tower, prompting calls for its demolition) or have been defaced, but the main doors to the clock tower are still intact and show signs of being kept in working order. This is the home of The Captains, clad in raggedy clothes, with sooty faces, and perpetually runny noses. But behind each set of eyes is the look of a survivor. They live to stick together and make it through each day. Older than their years in many ways, the friendship they share with each other and Wims ghost keeps the core of a childs innocence and hope alive in each. But they are still very suspicious of outsiders. They are a group of street children who live in the clock tower. Some are orphans, some runaways, and some nomads who occasionally return to their homes. But they’re all poor, dirty and perpetually hungry, as well as being wily, unscrupulous and mischievous in a fairly brutal way. Enough of them have suffered at the hands of adults for all of them to be wary of any grown-ups, particularly ones who ask too many questions, although with hard work and a lot of food it might be possible to win the confidence or even the trust of a few of them.

Ideas  ( Locations ) | February 15, 2011 | View | UpVote 4xp

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