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World of Ryyah: Birth of the Half Elves
by H. L. Watson

Genre/Category: Fantasy Books
Standard Copyright
Ebook Format: PDF
Total Transfers: 1953

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World of Ryyah: Birth of the Half Elves by H. L. Watson
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Ebook Synopsis

Twelve-year-old Donovan and his best friend, Akenji, are standing on the riverbank in their small fishing village south of the Wood Elven Forest, dreaming about their future when, suddenly, Boric’s Barbarians invade and undertake a massive slaughter. The orphaned boys are kidnapped and face a life of slavery until an Elven commander, Alayna, and her Elven Rangers intervene. The boy’s fate changes when the brave and good-hearted Alayna defies Lord Aden’s orders to kill the human children. She instead obtains a begrudging permission to raise and train them in archery and sword tactics so they can serve as scouts for the Wood Elves. Under the nurturance of Alayna, the human boys learn that the Wood Elves are not the fierce creatures they had been taught to fear.

Also by H.L. Watson on obooko: World of Ryyah: Kerala, and Akenji’s Adventure

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The small village nestled on the banks of the Salmon River just south of the Wood Elven Forest was buzzing with excitement on that bright and sunny morning. It was the time of the salmon run! Hun- dreds of thousands of red-bellied salmon had begun their arduous journey upstream to spawn in the calmer waters at the Twin Rivers Bend, and every able-bodied fisherman was on the river that day, hoping to fill their boats. Clusters of cheering children sent the men off, and every woman was preparing  for  the  festivities  and  feasts that  would go on deep into this first night of the salmon run. Of all   the people in that village, few were more excited than twelve-year-  old Donovan.

Donovan’s father, a metalsmith who built and repaired tools for the villagers when not fishing, had been preparing for this morning for weeks, stocking his small boat, mending nets, and building the drying racks and smoker. Donovan had helped eagerly, sharpening his father’s knives and hooks and dreaming of the day when he, too, would join the  triannual event.

“This is the year that will make all of our efforts worthwhile,” his father had told Donovan and his mother that morning.

“You’ll have fine cloth to make new clothes,” he promised his wife.

“And perhaps we’ll have enough to send you to an apprentice school in one of the free towns so you can learn  a  better-paying trade,” he had said to Donovan. “The salmon will make all this pos- sible,  and  more. You’ll  see. It’ll be our best year ever!”

Donovan’s family had moved from the free town of Benten, which lay about 100 leagues southeast of the village, when he was  four years old and  they had  settled in the small village  in order  to   be closer to the spawning grounds. The red-bellied  salmon  spawned  in only one place on the whole planet of  Ryyah,  and  only  once  every three years, making them one of the most valuable trade items  to take to the free towns. A good catch would make living in this remote place—so far from other human activity—and all their other sacrifices worthwhile.

When the boats moved out of sight, the children began to drift back toward the village. Donovan lingered at the  riverbank  until  most were gone, then turned toward the forest. Immediately, his best friend,  Akenji, was  beside him.

Akenji gazed in the direction of the departed boats and said, “In three years, when the salmon come again, we’ll be on the boats, and children will be cheering for us!”

Donovan grinned at him. “Not me,” he replied. “I’ll be a guard    in the Grand Duke’s army, defending Benten  from  the  Barbarians and the Wood Elves.” He brandished an invisible sword and slashed the air around his friend as they walked away from the river and headed  toward  the  edge of the forest.

Akenji laughed. “Sure you  will! You’ll  be  mending  harnesses for the rich shopkeepers in some free town and charming all the ladies,”  he teased.

“Ah, I’m looking forward to going to one of  the  free  towns,” said Donovan. He smiled as he thought of all the things they  could  buy there—new tools, colorful cloth for his mother, blankets, weap- ons… “And we can go to the carnival,” he added, his cheeks flushed with  excitement.

“Do they really have such a thing?” Akenji asked, a frown of doubt wrinkling his  smooth,  dark brow for  a moment.

“Yes, I remember it,” answered Donovan, although, in fact, he remembered very little about his life in  the  free  town  and  mainly had pictures in his mind of the carnivals from the stories his father  told him.

“There  is music,   food,  and  games,”  he  told  Akenji,  ges- turing wide with his arms as though to show his friend all of these amazing things. “You can play the games and  win things! I will be  the best in the archery game and win a real bow and arrow!” This  time, it was an invisible bow that he drew back and let fly an invisi-  ble arrow high into the air. Both boys “watched” as the arrow arched and descended into the trees ahead of them.

“I think you just killed a Wood Elf,” exclaimed Akenji, punch- ing Donovan’s arm.

“Of course  I did,”  bragged  Donovan,  resisting  the  urge  to rub the spot where Akenji had just punched him. Akenji  was  surpris- ingly strong for his age. “The Wood Elves fear the name Donovan  and  run before my bow and arrow!”

Akenji snorted and looked over at his friend with admiration. Donovan, a year older than Akenji, was already beginning to show signs of manhood. His slender arms were beginning to thicken with muscle and his body moved with a  natural  coordination  that  made the younger boy, who was taller and more awkward, somewhat envious. Akenji tended to imitate Donovan and strove  to  keep  up with  his  friend in all  their many adventures.

Now, he turned to face the forest and said, “I dare you to go into the forest to find the Elf and retrieve your arrow.”

The confident smile faded slightly on Donovan’s face and he glanced sideways at Akenji. “I would,” he said, “but mother is wait- ing  for me.”

Both boys looked into the gloom of the forest, silently, and shivered slightly.