Our coming of age celebrations were what you’d expect: lots of drunken revelry, gambling, and a feeling of relief that our schooling is over. The last few weeks, particularly, have been a chore. Being taught ‘how to fight’ wasn’t exactly what I had in mind at the beginning of the year.
It was an odd night too. My parents had a conversation with Vimes that I was trying to listen in to – until Lydia came and interrupted – because my parents weren’t looking too happy. Neither were the Payne parents either. It was a bit of a mystery, but Vimes’ approaching me and the Payne brothers telling me to report to him in the morning, and then the activities that did transpire the next day, well – it’s all clear now.
I’d suspected something already – my parents recently researching Citan mythology, something that tended to interest me more than them, and an unusually large number of scholars passing through. And then our contact with the outside world began diminishing – there haven’t been as many carts recently as there normally are, meaning less messages going back and forth.
The day after the coming of age ceremony I joined the rather hungover twins, Ilford and Max, on a journey north. Vimes wanted us to do some work for him, because we were the best of the bunch after that month of training, and so sent us to the mining town to the north.
We first came across them on the journey. Little creatures out of my story books. Little but vicious, and using swords from our own village at that. They weren’t much of a challenge, fortunately, but they were a shock to the system. Was this why my parents had been researching the old myths? Because creatures of evil had begun to appear. And if these creatures, kobolds I think they were called, existed… what next?