Exalted: Northern Skies
Though he has barely started puberty, young Darius’ hands are strong and useful around the Greenfield he calls home. All assume that one day he will surpass his father in height, no doubt to the amusement of his mother. Farmers by trade, they live a simple, but rewarding lifestyle. The Haslanti League relies on their many Greenfield’s for sustenance, and they in return rely on the League for protection. Once, years before he was born, his father helped fight off a handful of barbarian invaders. Though in no way a warrior, he lived through the encounter and Darius often asked to hear the story over and over again.
Heroics are the stuff of his dreams; standing toe to toe with vile barbarians, wyld-twisted creatures from the frozen tundras, and the thrill of battle. His practice sword could barely be called such, merely a crudely fashioned length of wood. Each day, when his chores are done he repeats the simple attacks he has learned. Though he knows his parents are not pleased by his constant obsession with life beyond the Greenfield, they support him and encourage his youthful antics.
Today, however, is a different day. With his chores done, there is no swordplay to be had, no monsters to fight, and no stories to hear. Instead, young Darius is off running. Past the edges of their homestead, beyond the fences and scrubland that marks the edge of the Greenfield he runs. Already he is behind schedule, he can tell by the direction of the sun. He pushes himself faster to make up the lost time. Soon he is standing at the highest point near his home, the hill offering a commanding view of the barren landscape beyond. But it is not the land that draws his attention, it is the sky.
Each breath draws the cold crisp air of the North, he notes that he has set a new record to himself; having counted each step as he ran. There is a storm moving in, and he was worried the approaching storm front would obscure what he is here to see. Thankfully, it is moving slowly, leaving the sky around the Greenfield partially clear. Though tired, he stands and stares, using his hand to block the glare of the setting sun. Soon, his face beaming, he catches sight of what he has ran all this way to see.
The air boat moves slowly as it breaks through the clouds, descending towards the Greenfield. Every month it arrives, bringing supplies from elsewhere in the League in trade for foodstuffs; and every month Darius is here, rain or shine, to watch it arrive. The glory of the Haslanti League, the air boats hold a special fascination for the youth. To him, they represent what it truly means to live, the freedom to travel and the pride of service. As the massive vessel passes over, he waves and cheers it onward, the crew laughing and waving back.
He hopes that one day it will be him who is waving back.