Order

Ned grew into a quiet young man and kept a low profile in the village. Harry Snookington never spoke to him, but Ned was always met with kind eyes wherever he saw Harry or Lord Snookington. Every now and then, Ned saw Gobba Gronk and his hateful stares. He knew there could be trouble from that direction and decided to keep his distance. But Ned’s mild demeanour disguised the burning vengeance in his heart. He was not the sort of person to let it go when he was wronged. The Malaxians had subjected him to a death march, sold him as a slave, hunted him down and killed his family. Ned honed his swordsmanship alone in the forest, but his desire for vengeance against sworn enemies remained unfulfilled.

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Calm Rage

After the funeral, Ned was told to leave the lodge so he built a small wooden hut at the edge of the village. The orphan lived there with only his dog, Skar, as company. He was given a job as a labourer on a farm and worked hard in the fields during the warm months. During the cold, dark winters, Ned toiled down a chalk mine. It was not an easy life for one so young, but he had known worse. A lot worse. The boy was self-sufficient and had his own place to live. Of his few possessions, the most prized item was the wolf pelt, which was nailed to an inside wall of his hut. It was rickety place and not water-tight, but it was home. He earned his own food and fended for himself. The boy was treated as well as could be expected by the farmer and mine owner.

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Enemy

It was overcast in the morning and Ned’s family were to be buried in the Snook cemetery. Ned was escorted by soldiers and allowed to stand beside Lord Snookington for the proceedings. The crowd parted as military men led the boy to the designated plot, which was set apart from the other graves as a mark of respect. Many people owed their lives to Ned’s father, who had fought so valiantly against robbers and Malaxians alike.

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