Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Berserker Part 42

Selenne sat crammed into a wagon, her mother sitting at her side. Hargram decided he would walk alongside the carts to provide the ladies more room inside. Selenne really didn’t think it was a choice, he had long been afraid of close spaces after being so accustomed to the open air and sea and would’ve preferred to pull the wagon rather than be forced to ride in it.

What was pulling the wagon gave her something of a shock, beside the horses grunted a large dogman that had come to be known as a gnoll, it glared up at her from its work scrabbling for purchase along the cobbled streets, scaring her into hastily pulling her head back and slamming it painfully into a rib for the canvas covering overhead.

Despite her aches and pains she was excited to be moving, having spent all the years she could remember behind the walls of the city she was anxious to see the rest of the world. Kastontel, she had heard was one of the largest cities in all the known world.

As they neared the eastern gates, she felt a sudden pang of worry. What if she never saw her home again? Would she ever hear the voices of the people bidding them farewell from the streets and walls? Would she ever see that boy from the barfight again?

Snuggling closer to her mother she tried to put such thoughts out of her mind and relax. It would be a long journey and she had already been up before dawn readying herself. She quickly fell asleep to the ponderous rocking motion of the cart as it slowly made its way out to the grasslands of western Gath


Ivy said...

What is this dogman? A dog/man, the fictional character, or something of your making?

John Albers said...

It was something I had already envisioned; it just turned out there were terms for it developed by previous authors; the most notable of which is Lord Dunsany, who called them "gnoles". I changed the spelling a bit and made them somewhat smaller and considerably less intelligent than originally conceived of. Eseentially they're upright beings similar in aspect to the picture on the link you posted