Author: Kraig Dafoe
PURCHASE SEARCH FOR THE LAST REALM HERE
Search for the Lost Realm is an epic journey in which a young man named Varan wants to find a power which has been missing from the world of Kantania for thousands of years.
Varan sets out but soon discovers his true mission is to save the worlds creator from a spiritual bond placed upon him by the powerful demon, Eldrok.
From demons to dragons and sorcerers to soldiers, battles erupt and Varan must hurry or the world could be lost to darkness forever.
This story does not consist of action alone as Varan faces dilemmas of the heart, struggles of the flesh and complex issues of the mind.
A sound normally dismissed during mid-day, the lock’s scarce clatter rang out like church bells, trespassing on a death like serenity. As tumblers aligned, Varan hoped his crouched frame went undetected on the sage’s porch. With his remaining eye, the thief peered over his right shoulder at ghostly shadows cast upon a vacant street. Choking down his heart, he ever so cautiously swung open the door and, after easing into the shop, he gently returned it to its frame. A shaft of moonlight pierced shutters flush, as the lurking thief, through dusty air, investigated a dreary interior. To his left, shelves of musty books, with their worn bindings, all stood erect by ornately carved bookends. In the near corner, to his right, a large silver-blue sphere, dimly glowing, sat upon a heavy wooden pedestal.
Varan quietly embarked on his journey across hard wood planks toward the rear of the building. If the militia catches my Scathrin ass, they’re just going to kill me... if I’m lucky. With that thought racing through his mind, a disturbing creak from one of the floorboards froze the young man in place. Like a single island in the middle of a vast ocean, Varan stood in the center of the shop, holding his breath. After exhaling the tension, a moment of gripping fear gradually passed and he again, crept.
On the back wall, above the counter, was mounted his long sword. A weapon handed down for generations by the Scathrins forefathers and recently lost by his bravado. In silence, he reached for its jeweled hilt, as the night’s bluish rays softly illuminated the finely crafted blade. With the weapon removed from the first of two mounts, Varan heard a noise that chilled his very core. Hinges from a door that led to the living quarters behind the shop shrieked with alarming volume as it mysteriously drifted inward. Squinting his good eye, the thief gazed that way as his chest tightened and a bead of salty cold sweat settled in the corner of his mouth. He could see nothing, there was nothing in the dark recesses of the frame, yet the door continued to open. In a nonchalant manner a black cat sprung onto the counter-top, causing the startled thief to jump back and rap the weapon’s point against the wall. Fearing the thump against hollowed planks was loud enough to wake the slumbering proprietors, the Scathrin abandoned his regard for stealth.
Seizing the weapon from the final mount, he bolted for the door, as the feline’s golden gaze traced every fleeing step. The soles of his tattered boots hit the dirt road with the dust of its surface trailing behind him. Yearning for sanctuary, Varan dwelled on nothing but returning to his room at the nearby inn. In a frantic state, he charged down an alley and into the back door. Once reaching his room, the winded man quietly closed the door and fastened its dead bolt.
With a heavy sigh, he leaned against its frame to catch his breath and regain his composure. The snorts and stammers of horses, invading the still chamber with echoes beckoning, soon shattered Varans moment of peace. In nearly complete darkness he went to the window and peered through the slits of the shutters. From his vantage point, he saw the porch of the shop, where stood an old Eacye man with a balding head and beside him a young lady with fair complexion and dark wavy hair. In the middle of the road, on a mammoth gray and white steed, sat a massive Eacye warrior with wild black hair and decked to the hilt in bulky armor.
Varan had little respect for warriors and their way of life, but he never actually told one to their face. It appeared this militiaman was in charge as the others around him diligently searched while he periodically barked out a command. Like a great golem of iron he methodically dismounted and knelt, investigating the ground at the base of the steps.
“My tracks,” Varan mumbled. “He’s looking for my tracks.”
Meticulously the warrior scanned the area and eventually proceeded along the Scathrins' route of escape. Varan wet his parched lips as his breaths became shallow and his heart quickened. With concern for his wellbeing, the Scathrin instinctively considered his options. He watched the warrior, who was soon accompanied by another, move toward the alley.
The second militiaman, with a bald head and bushy mustache, looked to be the big man’s partner. Noting characteristics was a strong point of the Scathrins’ and, in this case, he didn’t want to forget a single detail. To Varans relief, they stopped a pace short of the alley and, with a disgusted scowl, the huge warrior headed back for his horse. His partner, giving his discouraged boss a pat on the shoulder, returned to speak with the older gentleman.
Moments later, Varan heard muffled conversation down in the lobby, which dissipated seconds after it commenced. Making his way to the dresser, where a bottle of Shoquor waited like a lonely friend, Varan listened for approaching footsteps, but heard none.
On the chest of drawers sat a large lantern, which he lit to brightly adorn the chamber’s decor with a trace of amber. Furnished with a large comfort chair, a pallet garnering drab blankets and a corner oak closet, the humble features of the room were all he required. Feeling the heat of the muggy night, the young man splashed fresh water on his face, from a bowl provided by the inn.
A couple of shots of this potent brew should do the trick. Varan poured the sharp smelling liquid into a small glass. “It will calm the mind and relax the body,” he whispered in such a manner to convince him that the alcohol was medicinal.
As the first couple of ounces seared his throat, Varan decided his original prescription for tranquility was insufficient and continued to indulge. After a third of the bottle had been consumed, he stopped pacing and lazily leaned against the chest of drawers. As he looked at the ripples on the liquor’s surface, a humble grin came over his face. A fleeting memory, of a rare warm moment with his father came to the forefront of his thoughts.
Red skinned demons, scoundrels and cutthroats they were referred to by the majority of Kantania. Veshnarin they called themselves, professional thieves of high esteem. Stealing not only those things of great monetary value but of great significance to others, with pride they would display and defend these items so all could see what a master they were at the trade. Varan’s father Varell was such a master.
With the bottle over half gone, the Scathrin became aware of his image in the mirror across the room. In days gone by he wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to take a gander at his debonair features. Now these features were shrouded by a thick beard and cloaked with long brown hair that shadowed his face like that of a dark hood.
Varan slowly moved the way of the looking glass as his right eye gazed upon the gaudy patch covering his left. A viscous wound delivered by the hand of his older brother Varcain that cut so deep it not only severed their relationship, but the bond between Varan and his father as well. From that day, he would have to bare this scar and garner this covering, reminding Varan of his disturbing past. Though it happened over ten years ago, the feeling of hatred and vengeance he harbored raged on with a determination to right the wrong at any cost.
In a fit of painful frustration, the Scathrin tore the band of black from his head, staring wildly into the gaping socket. With a venomous gaze he focused deeply into the affliction, watching the veins pulse with each beat of his embittered heart. The young man reared back to strike the object, which revealed his shame, when common sense overthrew the urge and restrained his trembling fist. If the militia were still in the area, the crash of shattered glass would surely peak their curiosity.
Varell had always favored Varcain and made no bones about showing his partiality. The entire family expected that one-day, Varcain would take his father’s lofty position as the greatest Veshnarin from their region, or perhaps all the Scathrin isles. Varan, wallowing in self-pity, drank to a state of delirium. Passing out in the chair, the empty bottle slipped from his grasp and rolled away from its victim.
The next morning the young man awoke to the sound of a busy street and to the stench of rancid drool that had settled under his chin and soaked into his vest. His head pounded like a bass drum and his joints ached as they had many a morning after a night of drinking. Varan sluggishly made his way to the large bowl of water, and splashing the cool liquid on his face, he became more alert. With a cottony mouth, he pooled some water in his palms to rinse out the dry feeling. As he leaned down Varan noticed the distinct smell of ammonia omitting from the dingy fluid. Apparently during his drunken stupor, he used the basin to empty his bladder. With a look of disgust, he released the water, and grasping the dresser, he gazed upward. How much lower can I possibly sink?
Reeking of strong alcohol laced with malodorous urine, the young man exited his room in a state of dazed apathy and headed for the bathing area. On his way, Varan passed a young lady who moved aside and, with an appalled glance, placed a silk hanky over her nose. The woman’s reaction was of no consequence to the Scathrin who was now sulking about his subterranean status among his family and peers. Soaking in, what amounted to an oversized barrel, the young man’s spirits lifted slightly as the grime of days past washed, away. Fulfilling one need, Varan decided to go downstairs to the Tanner Inn’s pub and eatery.
The young man wore his finer set of clothes, consisting of richly colored loose garments. A trademark of the Veshnarins, the apparel displayed their bold attitudes and casually covert ways. For Varan, the baggy duds had a second and more useful function, in creating a little deception when covering his slim yet wiry frame. Before leaving his room, he carefully wrapped the elaborate hilt of his sword in soft leather, securing it tightly with thin cord. Most weapons were identified by their hilt, and Varan didn’t want to take any chances that someone could pick his out as the one stolen.
The windows of the pub were blown wide, letting in the warm breeze and brazen sun, which drove the swaggering man to a shaded corner of the room. The aroma of fresh bread and pig fat sizzling on the skillet, careened throughout as the smell of hay lofts from across the way, frequently intruded with the periodical gusts. As was his room, the eatery’s decor was simple, sending forth an air of hospitality to all those who dined. Varan sat alone at a small table with his head in his hands, as the late morning crowd loudly conversed, having no mercy when dragging and shoving their chairs across the wooden floor.
Out of the corner of his eye, Varan saw the waitress. A young girl, with short brown hair and soft milky skin, she wore a brown short dress and white top. Her brown leather boots shuffled from table to table as she enthusiastically did her job. With the color of her hair and hazel green eyes, it appeared to Varan, most likely she was local.
The young man ordered strong coffee and dry toast. With a cheerful smile, not returned by Varan, the waitress came back and placed his request before him.
“Um, If there is, ah… anything else you need sir,” she stated awkwardly while trying not to stare at the reeling man, “just call for me.”
The young woman stepped back and looked at him with a hint of distress in her eyes. Varan glanced at her with disgruntled acknowledgement, then looked away to stuff a crust of bread in his mouth. As the young man consumed his modest breakfast, he saw a huge brown-skinned man enter the pub. It was the militiaman from the night before and, in the sun’s light, he looked even more menacing. One facial attribute of this nearly seven-foot tall man, caught Varan’s eye over his dark goatee and square jaw. As the breeze lifted strands of his long black hair across his hardened expression, the warrior took in the room with eyes that were not Eacye, but Savashod. That would explain his tremendous size, stature, and lack of intellect in his expression.
In the Scathrin’s opinion, the Savashod was a race of overgrown green-skinned imperialist with barbaric demeanors. Like a warmongering wave from the northland, they would storm down wreaking havoc over the mainland. If it were not for the Ryore, another massive people but of good nature, this city of Magniowa would also be under the ogres’ tyrannical rule. One of the features of the Savashod that differed from other races was their eyes. Unlike most, the Savashod had light colored pupils and dark retinas. This warrior’s green eyes possessed that difference.
Wearing a welcoming smile, the bartender waved the militiaman over, as others in the hall cordially greeted the warrior.
“Sergeant Maus!” he bellowed, pointing at a large tray of assorted foods and a pitcher of grape cider. “Why don’t you join me?”
The militiaman, with weighty footsteps, lumbered toward the counter, however before reaching his destination, a perky waitress and a few of her lively friends intercepted him. It was evident that this hulking figure of a warrior, with biceps rippling, was extremely disorientated when talking with the ladies. The stern expression the Sergeant held when entering was quickly melted away, becoming a series of half grins and subtle nods. The youngsters, with energy abounding, buzzed around the man as if he were their idol.
I guess it’s good to see the law enforcement getting such respect. Varan thought as he drank from his mug.
One of the skills the Veshnarin’ were particularly proud of was the ability to discern and store information, then if confronted in the future; they could use the knowledge to their advantage. Quite innocently Maus turned the Scathrin’s direction with their eyes locking for only a moment, a moment that was entirely
too long for Varan. The sword at his left side grew in weight, as he became immensely aware of its presence and the chance of Maus spotting it. Varan, in casual surroundings, was a cool character when sober, giving the militiaman a slight bow of the head while continuing to eat.
The Scathrin finished his meal and, after tossing more than enough copper pieces on the table, he departed. As he walked through the double-doors, Varan unconsciously clasped the hilt of his weapon, being uncomfortably aware of the Sergeant’s presence behind him.
Still dealing with the lingering effects of alcohol, Varan decided to walk it off while scouting the multi-racial city of Magniowa. With the melting pot of cultures and peoples, the common language of Kantania was a must, and a tongue in which the Scathrin was well versed. Having already procured the item he came for, he would turn his attention to more lucrative ventures and, in a city this size the potential was limitless.
As he walked the busy streets, Varan stopped to take in the magnificence of the fortified palace, with its tall shrubbery’s and gray rooks boldly towering into clear blue skies. Its drawbridge lay across a shimmering mote with the building’s seemingly polished stone reflecting off waters calm. While standing slightly enchanted, Varan considered moving from the inn where he currently presided. If I was to relocate, that cretin of a Sergeant may put two and two together. Ah forget it, an infidel bruit like the Sergeant doesn’t intimidate me, and there’s still so much more I want to experience here, the man thought as he gazed about.
The main street, a good seventy feet wide, was littered with pedestrians and an occasional militiaman on horseback. Some maidens carried a parasol to shade themselves from the summer’s rays while citizens, glistening, paid a copper piece for a small cup of water or the use of a damp cloth. Varan dropped a coin down for a quick drink. And they call us Veshnarin thieves.
In the distance, he saw the towering gates of Magniowa, which remained open during daylight hours. There were establishments of all sorts, and any need or desire could be filled somewhere within their ranks. Vendors selling a multitude of various goods crowded the middle of the road, calling out to those who passed, inviting them to sample their wares.
Unlike many of the surrounding cities, Magniowa had advanced methods of waste disposal, in turn diminishing the threat of pestilence. Several deep canals were dug throughout the city, to utilize the powerful current of the Magniowa River. This eliminated one of the unpleasant aromas but did nothing to stem the tide of the foul masses and the livestock they toted and lead along for bartering tools.
Besides the taverns, strong lures to Varan were the alchemy shops, where the young man hoped to find alternate forms of intoxication. A bell above the door announced his presence as the air of fine pipe tobacco enveloped his sense of smell. The quaint shop was well kept. Tall shelves on the sidewalls and one in its
core were busy with hundreds of unique substances. It was not long before the sly Scathrin located the items he longed to obtain. A middle-aged Eacye man came out from behind a counter, positioned in the rear of the shop. With a sturdy wooden pipe, well riveted betwixt yellowed teeth and a pleasant expression, he approached Varan.
“Scorcher today, is it not?” the clerk asked, padding the sweat from his partially bald head and shuffling his feet. “This reminds me of the time … oh I don’t know I guess it was three or four years ago when the wife was sitting on the back porch with our granddaughter. The heat must’ve got to her because she was passed out. It was the cutest thing… we found little Ellowese singing her a lullaby. Do you have any children young man?”
“No sir, I don’t ha…”
“Well you don’t know what you’re missing. Just last week little Ellowese looked up at me…”
“Sir, please,” Varan said with a scowl and raised hand.
“Well alright son… you don’t have to be so rude as to cut me off in mid-sentence,” the old man stated pointing the end of his pipe at the frustrated man.
“I’m sorry Sir. I’m just in a bit of a hurry.” Varan responded, disarming the clerk’s aggression. “You truly do have one fine shop here.”
“Well… that’s OK, no harm done. Depending on what you’re looking for, we’ve got many things on the back counter reduced in price.”
“Yes I see…You appear to have practically everything.”
“Practically everything Huh,” the man stated taken aback. “We've got it all. Just the other day Healer Bryant came in looking for Sarth oil. You know you have to draw that directly from the Sarth's claw only moments after death or it spoils. He didn’t think we would have it but …we sure did…yep, we sure did. We have it all, and then some,” the man stated waving his arms at the merchandise.
Varan gave him a half smile. “Well is that so?” he asked raising his brows. “Actually the item I’m looking for doesn’t seem to be anywhere in the shop,” the young sly man said, curiously looking around.
The man was noticeably put out by Varan’s words, losing some of his good cheer. “We have everything imaginable,” he snipped, taking the pipe from his mouth and pointing the stem at his customer. “So what exactly are you looking for, young man?”
“Blood rage,” Varan replied raising his brows again.
“We have that. It’s simple kept in the back,” the man stated with arrogant vigor as he turned away. “If you knew anything about the drug, you’d know its rarity and how expensive it is to produce. Do you think I’m an idiot and would keep something as exotic as that out front to be stolen by some half-ass rouge?”
Varan knew these things and anticipated the clerk’s reaction to be just what it was. The Scathrin watched the gentleman disappear into the back room then, with casual sleight of hand, appropriated one box of Calmaridia’s finest smokes.
“Never mind,” Varan bellowed as he walked toward the front door. “I seem to have forgotten my coin pouch,” he added with a pat of his vest pocket, where the smokes rested comfortably.
Varan heard the man’s footsteps and gazed back to give him a parting smile, when the little bell over the door chimed once again. The Scathrin’s disposition changed dramatically when he looked upon the two that entered. The first was a hefty Ryore Commander with full armor that displayed his rank and countries crest. On his back was a great axe, its thick handle swaying, passing before the sun’s light, while casting its long shadow on Varan’s smallish frame.
The Ryore were a heavyset race with lazy extended ears and wrinkled faces, possessing an elongated snout that supported ivory tusks. This man was bald, and like all male Ryores, had two such tusks protruding up from his thick gray hide. The second, upper and smaller horn bore a slight crack that looked to be a battle scar. Right behind him was a female Ryore lieutenant with stubby hazel hair and, like all female Ryore’s; she had one tusk jutting up from the crest of her snout. She also garnered weighty armor displaying her rank. By first impression it seemed they had no intention of yielding the Scathrin passage.
To Varan the Ryore was a highly unattractive race and seeing the predicament he was in at the time, they were growing uglier by the second. His stomach churned and his head became light, but none of this did he show, as the Veshnarin remembered his lessons well, maintaining a relaxed demeanor. Making the moment all the more claustrophobic, the elder closed in from behind Varan. “Good day Commander Rusard, sure is a scorcher is it not?”
“And a good day to you as well, fine sir. You are quite right,” the Ryore replied.
Inspecting Varan with piercing blue eyes, the Ryore tugged at his belt to secure his girth. Varan, without displaying his fear, began to walk toward the door as the Ryore Commander went to meet the shop attendant. However, the female Ryore did not budge and, with a sharp aqua gaze, she stared down at the Scathrin while wearing an expression of discontent.
“As much as I would love to stand here and drink in your infinite beauty, I really must be going,” Varan stated sarcastically with raised eyebrows and a smirk. “So if you don’t mind.”
Varan attempted to go around the woman only to be cut off and placed back into the original stalemate.
“You took something unlawfully, did you not?” the portly female asked with cynical tones, as she leered at him, seemingly challenging his calm posture.
Varan’s mind weeded through several responses. The Scathrin was confident in his skills and did not believe they saw anything. She’s bluffing. That's impressive for a warrior and especially a Ryore. “Don’t you think your predigest is getting the best of you?” Varan asked as he took a step back and gave her an uppity look to joust her slanted remark.
Before the woman could respond, the Commander spoke up and ordered her to move aside, allowing the fine citizen room to exit. Varan knew the Commander didn’t trust him either, but what he also knew was the honorable nature of the Ryore and how to manipulate their strict codes to his liking.
“We will be keeping a close eye on you Varan,” the lieutenant stated quietly with clinched teeth and bitterness in her tone. “Son of Varell,” she added with a gruff whisper.
Varan left the building not looking back. The fact they were privy to his lineage only disturbed him a little at first. After all, my father was a predominate figure around the world and I’m sure his son’s names were mentioned more than once. Besides the Ryore were more than thorough when it came to investigations or controlling their providence, not to mention that here in Magniowa they had the most prominent archives at their disposal.
A spiritual hall of records that, according to legend, has existed since the beginning of time, the archives, a two-story masterpiece of architecture, possessed all the most prestigious events on tablets which held mystical properties. In Magniowas' early days, the population was primarily made up of those who came here on a pilgrimage to seek truth. Now, the city is filled with a variety of faiths and others whose ancestors came here for adventure and the thrill of the unknown, concerning the archives.
Varan wandered the main strip until early evening, and all the while could not shake the event at the alchemy shop. The fact the Ryore knew who he was and did research on his roots, rubbed Varan the wrong way, making him feel singled out. I suppose for my entire life I’ll be harassed because of all the supposed crimes my father committed, the young man thought, as he watched the people around him go about their mundane existence. It’s also apparent I’ll be subjected to blind hatred for those offenses as well.
Varan, opting to remove himself from Magniowa’s nightly activities, retired to his room at the Tanner Inn. It was a humble and peaceful environment, and for tonight, just what the healer ordered. The Scathrin did so enjoy the festivities after dusk, but on this evening, he desired to relax with his buclabah and get a good night’s sleep. These CM smokes will surely do the trick. The young man climbed the stairs to his room. Moreover, I won’t wake up with a sickly hang over either.
As he groped in his pants pocket for the key, Varan noticed the scent of sweet perfume in the air and the soft voice of a young lady in the room across the hall. The Veshnarin, with a perked ear, fought his insatiable curiosity and the urge to eavesdrop. With a turn of the key, the door eased open and Varan soon followed into the shadowy chamber. After lighting the lantern on the chest of drawers, he saw that the housemaid had refreshed his room. With four days gone of the six-day week, he paid for in advance, and his funds running low, Varan intended to fully enjoy the comforts of the inn. If he did not land a job or come up with some money, he would soon be sleeping outdoors like he had many a night's past. But for this evening that’s not the case and tomorrow will take care of itself. The young man lit the first CM smoke. The flavor of the leafy cigarette was smooth and its effect delightful. Varan sat back in the comfort chair and slowly indulged into a euphoric peace, as he took in, held, and blew the smoke upward. It was not long before the Calmaridian drug had the young man’s conscious reeling and his thoughtful mind wandering from subject to subject. The sounds around him intensified, from the shutters gently rattling as the warm breeze trickled through, to the muffled voices of those in the adjoining rooms.
The young man was torn between simply hitting the sack or going across the hall and seeking out the angel that belonged to the alluring scent. As he pondered this dilemma, Varan tugged at the brows above his good eye. Scathrins were blessed with three eyebrows that started at a point over the bridge of their nose and fanned out and upward toward the temple like crows’ feet. Whenever the young man was deep in thought he nervously tugged at the thin brows. She’s probably a hideous wench and I’ll end up regretting what I did in the morning. “Not like I haven’t done anything similar in the past,” he said to himself, followed by a subdued laugh as he exhaled.
With his thoughts still on the opposite sex, Varan reminisced about his first love and the feeling of foolish youth that came with the experience. Fallese was her name and she was the daughter of his father’s best friend or Uncle Claybius as they called him. If only my self-proclaimed hero of a brother would have known about our relationship, Varan thought as he reveled in the secret. They’re bonded now and have a little arrogant bastard child of their own named Varell, in honor of my arrogant father. I wonder if my brother misses his sword, he concluded, looking over to the fine weapon.
The emotions he was experiencing toward his brother were based on pure anger. The feelings toward his father however, were that of a hurt child masked by the bitterness of years past. Varan didn’t want to, once again, let the ghosts of his former life intrude on another evening and shook them free, recalling brighter memories.
The Scathrin began to dwell on his true love, the glory of becoming the greatest Veshnarin ever. Though his peers were off and running with their careers and his was at a crawl, the young man still felt confident. If he could just get a big break, or make a tremendous find, it would propel him into fame among his people. There were three major possibilities to look into, and two of these were located in regions far away. The third was the legend of the buried city of Magniowa and the realm that was lost with its fall. According to those of faith, the city was the first and only with seventy-seven righteous families living under the rule of a holy King and Queen. In the Magniowan archives, that now stand, was kept the huge tablet of divine knowledge. Within the very molecules of this great stone was sealed the realm of total understanding and the pure power of knowledge itself.
On a dark day, the wicked warlock of the underworld convinced the King and Queen, if they were to touch The Divine Tablet that all things would be revealed to them. Then they would be able to better serve their beloved followers. The story is not clear after that meeting, but it is said the tablet exploded with portions of the holy stone falling strategically throughout the world. None of the tablet’s particles have ever been discovered, with some believing they were quickly gathered up by the evil master’s minions, as others proclaim they could not be touched by such wicked spirits and will be revealed in time. These same faithful who, as one, still hold true to this account, believe the races of Kantania all have roots in the first Magniowa and the seventy-seven families that dwelled there.
Time was kept after that day and now eleven hundred and fifty-six years later they search for The Lost Realm and artifacts from the first city of Magniowa. If Varan could find any piece of this huge divine tablet or the submerged city, he would, without a doubt, become a popular and influential figure. With dreams of grander swimming about his head, the Scathrin swooned with hopes. Before long the drug hit hard and in an absolutely relaxed state the adventurous youth bedded down, falling fast asleep.
Reconsidering his position the following morning, the Veshnarin determined he would primarily remain in his room for the next three or four days. Varan thought it wise to allow his recent unlawful act to drift further into the past before showing his suspicious face. At night, he would make an occasional trip to the main road, covertly appropriating some extra cash through his adequate pick-pocketing skills. During the daylight hours he would exercise his nimble frame and practice the arts of his trade in temperatures over ninety degrees. A Veshnarins livelihood depended on being at the top of his game, and calisthenics that honed these aspects were never taken lightly by the young man, no matter what the conditions. The late evenings were spent dwelling in solitude, when Varan would take a cooling bath, than indulge in a hit of buclabah before retiring.
How would you rate the first chapter of Search for the Lost Realm?