Even if the village was initially named differently, it’s been forgotten for what seems like eons now. Located by the sea near the main crossroads and inhabited mainly by fishermen and traders, the Old Vulture’s Nest did not stand out in any way from tens of other seaboard Hibernian villages besides two things: it was known as the oldest existing village in the whole region, and, had an unusually high, even though not completed, Townhall. Its lengthy construction made it one of the landmarks of the territory.
There was also a third thing which not many knew about, but that was how the village got its rather bizarre name. The old ruler of this place, Plinus Lacer, was known to always sit on the balcony right under the Townhall roof, looking bold and grumpy most of his ruling life. He indeed reminded a vulture, patiently waiting for his prey to draw their final gasp of air before going in for the kill.
“I heard that the Old Vulture is on his last legs, huh?” The guard said, joining his commander going up the hill toward the Townhall. “I would not bury him right now,” Marcus replied, “For nearly thirty years that I live here, Plinus Lacer hasn’t aged a day since I first met him. Still, it’s impolite to call him Old Vulture even if he doesn’t hear it. He’s a good ruler who cares about his lands.” The guard nodded in agreement. Marcus smiled. His garrison was one of the most stable units on this seashore, in no small part due to the friendly and honest atmosphere that he managed to maintain with his soldiers.
“The fortress is growing,” The guard stated, following where his commander was looking. “They settled in only a week ago, and now it’s visible without a spyglass.”
“It is, indeed,” Marcus agreed, focusing on something.
“I do not want to sound scared, commander,” the guard admitted to Marcus, “but I do not trust our ruler’s grandnephew. He might be a good architect; I know you grew up together, but if he is on our side, why does he build a fortress next to us instead of helping us here? The wall-”
“Don’t remind me of the wall,” Marcus said abruptly. After a short time in silence, Marcus sighed, realizing he was a bit blunt to his guard. “Yes, you are right. I need to talk again about our defence to the Old Vulture. Dammit! To Plinus Lacer!”
[TO BE CONTINUED…]
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