Freebie Mondays: A Brief History of Darfinfaelar (Flash Fiction)

Freebie Mondays: A Brief History of Darfinfaelar (Flash Fiction)

I don’t often write flash fiction. I have trouble with short. Most of my stand-alone novels grow into at least trilogies, and most of my trilogies turn into longer series. Even the shorts I share on my blog here rarely ring in at under 1,000 words.

But every now and then I feel the itch. Recently I started thinking about The legend of Kantis and how much fun it was to write a bite-sized chunk of a character’s history.

I also enjoy playing with writing concepts, and sometimes I think the details left unspoken paint as much of a picture as the ones you choose to share. I wanted to write something not necessarily vague but that would serve as an outline, a shape into which the mind of the reader can insert the blanks.

Since I haven’t written much about my Winds of Chaos guest characters, I thought that might be a good place to start – especially since Darfin isn’t much of a talker.

All the PCs in the Winds of Chaos campaign really know about Darfin is that he is an elf who came ‘from far away.’ He is a member of the Knights Radiant (a paladin), and that he fought on the front lines of the goblin war.

Here’s a tiny bite of his origins. I hope you enjoy the picture it paints as much as I enjoyed writing it!

When the demons came, I was too young to assist in repelling their attack.
Or so many voices told me in the wake of the slaughter.
But I felt the weight of my sword in my trembling hands, and should have been able to lift it for at least one strike.
I survived, but I shouldn’t have. And the guilt ultimately drove me into self-imposed exile.

* * *

I spent a long time wandering before I realized a warrior’s might has nothing to do with his sword. Nor does it have anything to do with his shield, his armor, or the gleam in his eye – though that can sometimes speak to the source of his power.
Strength and courage are only part of the equation. And often, not the largest.
The true power of a warrior comes from the mind – from the will and drive to do what’s right.
The day I realized that, I spoke my vows.

* * *

I’ve never believed in gods, and I don’t pray to one when I fall into formation. I haven’t always been as confident as I think I should be. I’m certainly not fearless.
I’ve wavered from time to time, and questioned a fair number of orders.
I don’t think I would be myself otherwise.
I’ve learned that courage isn’t the absence of fear, but the ability to act in the face of it.
I still can’t go home. But if I could go back in time, things would be different.

* * *

I didn’t hesitate to thrust my sword through the heart of the next demon to cross my path.
Though maybe I should have.
The world will be better without its taint; that is objectively true.
And I don’t regret the small taste of revenge.
The questions didn’t fill my head until after, when the beast’s blood pooled at the base of my boots.
The church would tell me it matters not from whence the beast came, nor what purpose it intended to serve.
But when the nights are long and peace eludes me, I wonder still what message it carried and if I would have felt differently had I let it speak the words.

. . .
Incidentally, I streamed the creation of this post in case you want to watch it come together!

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