What’s in a Name
By Joshua Bradford
He knelt over the small pond and reached in to take a quick drink of that crisp, cool, fresh water. He sat there for a while afterwards just staring at the ripples that he made. Watching them slosh toward the far end of the pond. Once the disturbance subsided he couldn’t help but notice the reflection staring back at him. His face was pocked from being out in the weather all the time. His raven black hair had flecks of dirt caked in and a straggling leaf was clinging to it on the side. He had the beginnings of a beard peeking through. He couldn’t help but notice how old he looked now. His pants had holes and his chainmail armor had bored holes into the leather shirt underneath.
He couldn’t help but notice how he already looked to be thirty year old even though his age was more like twenty-two. He left home four years ago seeking an adventure for himself.
“Garm let’s go! We don’t have all day” said a female voice from behind him. Garm stood up with a slight creaking noise from his right knee and peered out to the far end of the pond.
“Yea, I’m ready now. Let’s get everything on the horses first though Flurry” Garm said this as he turned around toward the voice. Trees surround this small serene pond, in the distance there was a sound of a babbling brook and the sun was still hiding behind some trees in the distance but still brightened up the forest they were traveling in. Garm was happy to find this place to rest in last night. Garm looked over at the thin elven woman who stood five-foot tall. Not too much shorter then himself. She had on plan cloths that were starting to fall apart at the seams, her long black hair was back from her face with a simple piece of leather. Garm knew her thin look was very deceiving because he saw her break the neck of a griffon before with her bare hands. She didn’t carry much for weapons but she knew how to use an opponent’s size against them. “Oh, and don’t forget the money!” Garm barked as he walked over to her.
“Yea, yea, I know Garm. We have been traveling together now for several years. I believe I can remember how to do this” Flurry said while picking up a full saddle bag and placing it with ease on the closest horse to her.
Garm stopped close to the remains of a fire pit and picked up a backpack laying there and swung it onto his back. He then grabbed a sword that was lying next to where the pack was and strapped it onto his waist using the belt and scabbard it was in. He then grabbed a shield, which was resting close by up against a log, and slung that onto his back as well. “I can’t believe we have to find all those items again. Not to mention all that platinum! I knew we shouldn’t have trusted that shop owner. No matter what he had that could’ve helped us picking up that sunken treasure. We should’ve just paid her for those potions. I could have died happy not seeing space EVER!”
Flurry looked up from the saddle back she was securing to the horse and just shrugged at Garm. “I know you didn’t lose much but that was everything I had! I was saving for a keep!” Garm said. Just as he said this a howling came from the distance. All five foot ten muscular body of Garm could be seen tightening up for action. He quickly put his hand to hilt and looked from side to side scanning the tree line. “I hate those things! Ever since that one time we got attacked by a pack of them.” Garm slowly straightened from the crouched position he assumed. With his arms being bare it showed a multitude of scars on both that looked very much like old bite marks.
“Well if you didn’t spend so much time on the ground I am sure you wouldn’t have bled so much” Flurry said matter-of-factly straightening up from finishing securing the packs.
“Shut up Flurry Fist” Yelled Garm. “At least I am not overly angry at faeries.” Garm looked at Flurry. As he said this Flurry tensed up at the mention of faeries.
“Hey they waist time! And throwing mud?! Seriously?! Who does that?! No one! That’s who!” Flurry spat back at him. “It ruined my cloths!”
They looked at each other staring daggers back and forth. After a short time smiles cracked their faces and they began to laugh. “We have been through a lot haven’t we Flurry?”
“Sure have Garm. I am surprised we are still alive.” Flurry smiled and grabbed another full saddlebag and tied it to the other side of the horse. “Let’s get going. We only have two more days before we get to the cave.”
“I kind of miss Oscar. I hope he is having a good time in the Dwarven halls of his god” said Garm as he jumped onto a second horse that was tied to a tree close by. “Hey, have I ever told you how I got my last name?”
“No, can’t say you did. Just thought your parents name was Fumblehand as well” said Flurry as she handed Garm the reigns of the horse she just packed. She began to walk out in front taking a right onto a beaten path. “Might as well tell me now. At least it will make the day go by quicker.”
“Well, first of all in my clan you have to earn your second name. My fathers was Headhunter and my mother’s was Icewind” said Garm. “I earned mine just about a month before I met you with your mud disguise. During the time I was traveling with a Leroy Jenkins, Anthrax, and Scroto. They all sadly met untimely and gruesome ends.”
“I can believe that one” said Flurry. “Been traveling with you long enough to know that wherever you go trouble always seems to be waiting.”
“Well, it all started shortly after we helped Alton out in Antioch. They were being raided from the north by some Goblins” Garm started. “At that time Scroto was holding all of the loot we got. He also held onto several vials filled with many different substances that can be thrown onto enemies. He had an affinity for Alchemists fire at the time. I was leading the party back from the cave we just cleared out…………..”