The lottery had been held and the young children of the town of Nymph’s Flow were all excited about who had been chosen to retrieve the EverFlame from Kassen’s Tomb and take their place as adults in the small isolated town. Of course, the children couldn’t help but spread the wild rumors they told to each other to scare themselves about the many deaths and injuries, lost parties, fey stolen children and other wild tales but each secretly hoped they had been chosen.
So it was with baited breath, the children gathered in town square shortly before mid day. Other than the children, the town square remained silent and empty. The bells atop Archer’s Hall tolled the midday song, echoing through out the small town the locals affectionately called Flow. As the peals of the bells begin to fade, the first of the townsfolk made their way into the square, dressed in black, as if attending a funeral. They slowly filled the square, moving quietly across the cold, hard ground, their eyes downcast and mournful.
The children although familiar with the solemn ritual were still excited about the prospect of being chosen, but waited impatiently. Finally, a small murmur passed through the crowd as it slowly parted to let Lucca Earthbow through. He led the way with a tarnished silver lantern. Behind him, an old pony drug a cart laden with backpacks and supplies.
Once he reached the center of the crowd, the priest stopped and called out to the assembled townsfolk. “Once again the winter winds blow through the Feywood marking the end of another harvest. There are wolves in the woods, howling at our walls, and serpents in the shadows, waiting to strike. Just as it was one hundred and seventy-four years ago, when Kassen himself left these walls to protect us, so it is today. Where are the heroes? Where are the brave folk that will venture out to Kassen’s Tomb and retrieve the flame to keep this community safe for another winter?”
The priest moved slowly to the cart and picked up the first backpack. He took his time looking at the name, knowing the pause before calling the child’s name builds the children excitement and anticipation. “Moth has been chosen.” His rich baritone voice called across the crowd. A young girl of about sixteen with strawberry blonde hair and dimple, stepped forward and claimed the first backpack. The crowd in one voice replied, “Moth has been chosen.”
The priest reached for the second backpack and cleared his throat, “Clod has been chosen.” A young farm boy stepped forward. His face showed his first beard growing in patches. He reached for the second backpack as the crowd repeated the priests call, “Clod has been chosen.” This continued for Flint and Patrick known by their childhood names of Freckles and Slip.
Finally, the priest came to the very last backpack. He picked it up and without looking at the name, "This backpack was supposed to be for our resident mischief-maker, Mischief. But she broke her legs jumping off the steeple of Archer’s Hall testing a “sugar glider” outfit she purchased from a traveling gnome. As a result, she’s resting inside being treated by our healers. So this bag is for Ivy."
A girl dressed in a burlap sack dress with another sack over her head reached up out of the crowd to get the last backpack. “Ugly Ivy has been chosen,” the crowd responds. The girl with the burlap sack stared at the crowd with blue eyes, a golden ring about the pupil, and moved to hide behind the other children.
After the children had received their backpacks, the priest once again spoke to the townsfolk, “I present to you the brave heroes who will follow in Kassen’s footsteps to retrieve the Everflame! Some of them may not return, but I say to you that their sacrifice shall not be forgotten. Go, brave heroes, and do not return until you have the eternal fire.” With that, the priest pointed to the south, the direction of Kassen’s tomb. The townsfolk as one waved goodbye with cold, solemn looks on most of their faces. They then turned their backs to the chosen children and did not acknowledge them again. The priest handed Flint the old lantern, nodded encouragingly, turned away and left into Archer’s Hall.