Here are some of Kheldar's stories written down.
Tavern under attack
When I was just a little boy, my father and I travelled a lot. My father
kept the both of us fed by entertaining people, and he was good at it. I
sometimes participated by standing on a stool or table and acting out
the story - it must have looked adorable.
Once, in early winter, we had arrived at some tavern closer to the
Borderlands then to Tar Valon. It was a rough establishment, the sort where
honest, hardworking folk come to enjoy their evenings. My father and the cute
little boy - me - were an instant hit with the hunters and the woodsmen.
This was well, for the weather had taken a turn for the worse and now we
were invited to stay a while longer.
The next day I awoke to the soothing sound of the falling rain. The
wind blew coldly over the land, and all the tavern's clientele was
grateful to be inside in these conditions. During the day, I mostly
entertained myself by playing in the haystack in the stables - you know,
jumping into them, throwing it around, all the things little boys
My father came to fetch me, so that I might clean myself. This
evening he wanted to tell the tale "Hawkwings
finest soldier" - if you don't know that one, I will save it for some
other evening. We had practiced quite a bit on my role in portraying the
events in the first part of the story, so my father wanted me clean and
After a quick and early dinner - a good story is always welcome
during dinner, so we had to have eaten before dinnertime - my father
pulled up his chair close to the fire while I climbed upon an improvised (but
steady) platform. Then, with his warm voice, my father gave shape to the
story of the boy who was to become Hawkwings finest soldier long after
His voice changed, and so did my stance, as we both portrayed
different characters. One moment I was a haughty, youthful soldier whose
arrogance cost him the boys friendship and, a short while later, a deep
wound. Next I became the strict, but friendly sergeant who always kept
his men and the village as safe as possible.
The onlookers were enthralled, but so was I. This story never failed
to absorb me so, that I halfway felt I was actually these people. And on
this particular night, the weather and the darkness played right along
with the story: it was a cold, damp night - although the rain had
stopped. The wind had slowed, but could still be heard outside. It
closely matched how I pictured the scene in my mind.
My father came to the attack on the village. The outlying houses were
no match for the still-unseen enemies, but the Sarge felt something was
wrong. As I ordered my men to gather closely, everyone inched forward,
even the maids. I can still here my father say, "... and then,
At that exact moment, a flaming arrow broke through a window, bounced
of the wall to my back and fell down at my feet. Being totally entranced
by my role, I stepped out the fire, picked up the arrow, wielded it akin
to a sword and bellowed out orders. "Barricade the doors! Stay away from
the windows! Get the women and children to safety!". The startled customers
looked panick-stricken at eachother and at my father. "Well, don't just stand
there men! Get to it, on the dovl!" (I didn't exactly know how to pronounce
My father ensured me later that these words had a profound effect on
the crowd and could very well be the reason we survived this. Myself, I
don't know. What I do remember is that suddenly everyone moved into
action. It was quite clear that the tavern was under attack, but we had
seasoned men inside who were not afraid of a fight. This changed when
someone had taken a good look at our enemies: they were tall,
broadshouldered, and resembled beasts walking upright.
So often had I heard my father describe them, that I did not even
think before I shouted: "Trollocs!" That, once again, compelled the
crowd to silence, and the seriousness of the situation sunk in with them
as it of course failed to do in a 5-year-old boy who only knows stories
in which the good guys always win.
I was quickly led away, under protest of course. After a quick count,
there were too many to defend. Unless someone drew our enemies away, we
would be overrun. I remember my father wanting to stay and fight, but he
was instructed to flee with me and take the chance so that "the boy"
Of course, my father had to do that in a manner to help as much as he
could. So we snuck into the stables and climbed on father's horse. Then,
he instructed me to cling to him as tightly as I could, drew his sword
and galloped out of the stables. Straight at the center of the enemy
attack. Through the fog I saw vicious fangs snapping in our direction,
snapping but missing.
Suddenly, from the shapes in the mist a form coalesced to our front.
This nemesis stood out in darkness against his fog-white surroundings.
He snarled something in no language I spoke, and the shapes in the fog
seemed to back off. My father galopped full speed at this figure, and I
clung as closely as I could.
Suddenly, my father gave an freightened gasp. I glanced around my
father's back to see what was going on. Fear struck me then, in a way no
5-year-old boy should have ever to experience. My father wheeled the
horse around and broke through a line of Trollocs (who probably hadn't
seen his movements clearly due to the fog) and sped off.
I don't remember exactly how many days we fleed before the howling and
baying of the Trollocs, evading small villages so as not to have them under
attack. But after we had crossed a river, all that seemed to have been
left behind on the other shore.
The two of us visited the tavern later. It was still standing, and though
they had lost a number of good men, more than half had survived. They
were grateful for my father's action, because it had given them the
break they needed to ensure their survival.
But that's another story.
Hawkwings finest soldier
Outline: a young boy survives an attack by the Forces of Darkness
due to the capabilities of an army sergeant and his men, who were
enjoying some R&R in his village. Inspired by this, and shocked at the
brutality of the attack, he becomes filled with the desire to become as
good as the men that were instrumental in his survival, and so he learns
to become a soldier.
After various encounters, he is noticed by Hawkwing himself as an
outstanding sergeant, and serving in that capacity the young man is
present at most important battles of Hawkwing.
The reason Kheldar likes this story so much is that is offers an
opportunity to tell most of the highlights of Artur Hawkwing, from a
different and much more personal point of view.
The Builder in Tar Valon
Outline: Kheldar (before his 8th birthday) picks up rumours about
something mysterious deep inside the Tower. To satisfy his curiosity, he
decides to take a look. There is an Ogier (one of the Builders) visiting
the Tower. After a couple of failed attempts, he manages to sneak through
to the room and is suddenly standing eye to eye with the "gargantuan"
(in Kheldar's eyes) creature. He almost starts to scream, but then notices
that the creature is reading "The Travels of Jain Farstrider". He sighs
heavily (which draws the attention of the creature) and says "Even your
kind? There are so many much better tales than this one."
Kheldar ends up telling the Ogier a couple of his father's tales
(and learns he has a knack for storytelling) and the Ogier explains a
bit about himself and that he most assuredly is not a Trolloc (all the
while Kheldar was thinking that this was the nicest Trolloc he'd ever
talked to), before a Sister interrupts them and is startled to find this
little boy here.