Molyneaux Kenneth - Klassen

Author : Molyneaux Kenneth
Title : Klassen
Year : 1990

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Chapter I. Chop! Chop! A mighty axe sliced down again upon a helpless log. The axe, raised towards the azure heavens above, came to a stop as the blade glinted cheerily in the bright sunlight. Then a slight whistling sound ensued as the blade hurtled through the air and into the defenseless log. The large brown log split in two and would provide great warmth when fire consumed it. Although it was a brisk, chilly day in the beginning of spring, sweat from the day’s efforts massed upon Klassen’s forehead. This pool was thrust away by the powerful hand of Klassen. This woodchopper was an effervescent, salubrious man of twenty seasons who wore a crown of sandy blonde hair and whose life pulsed with vigor in dark blue orbs of sight. He had a hard, solid frame and it was evident that the hard work he practiced sculpted a muscular physique. He wore a simple but sturdy brown tunic with matching pants, befitting the woodsman that he was. Taking a brief repose by placing a black-booted foot upon his woodcutting stump of oak, Klassen scratched his short, golden beard as he gazed about the surrounding wilderness. The joyous blossoming of life was overtaking the pleasant expanse and the buds on the trees ordained a ripeness of fertility that was sure to follow. Some trees were still bare and skeletal but they too would have the breath of flowering life imparted upon them. A robust breeze swirled about and brought the refreshing smells of nature to Klassen’s nostrils. Breathing vigorously of this sweet, delectable treat, he was greeted by the charming sounds of the squirrels gnawing away at nuts, birds greeting one another, and a far-off cry of what sounded like a prowling wolf. The soothing sounds of nature were a symphony of solace to him that calmed his aching, passionate urges to destroy that which threatened the livelihood of his people. The era in which Klassen lived was a dank, dark time where the icy blasts of dishonor and mental pollution had spread across the land. Plagues of corruption had poisoned the citizens; they allowed wave after wave of vile beasts to inhabit the civilized lands, horribly tainting the world of Teramon. The exact source of this malignancy, Klassen could not determine, but it certainly manifested itself in myriad ways. There were many diseases to be cured in the enervated land, but Klassen’s homeland of Urtgart was mainly crumbling under the weight of despicable creatures that were passed off as “equals.” At first this silly notion was rejected wholesale by the upstanding Nobilis race, which Klassen was a member of, but the myth became more and more solidified until many took it as an adamant, absolute truth. Klassen, however, was not deluded. Although Klassen and his clan lived a ways from the town, the mere presence of the creatures was irritating. The mass immigration of these unwanted beings began when he was but a mere lad and at first it wasn’t so bad. He would occasionally play with several ogres that, while hideously ugly and immensely fatuous, were certainly fit. As the numbers of foreigners swelled, though, the differences between the Nobilis people and ogres became more distinct and violence on the part of ogres was common. Violence and criminality escalated exponentially as more ogres swarmed to the once beautiful hamlet of Urtgart. Filth and squalor accompanied not only the ogres, but also the other foreigners as well—the perfidious orcs, the thieving hobgoblins, and the wide-faced imps—to name the most prominent. So many of these undesirables had entered the town that now it was difficult to safely perambulate through the streets—lest foul immigrant hoodlums assault and perhaps even slaughter anyone who dared frequent the hamlet without protection. Upon seeing such a disastrous policy of migration, it would seem logical to reverse the tide of woe that had befallen Urtgart. This was not to be, however, as the prevailing force throughout the four corners of Teramon—the Universal Church—would not allow it as they promoted accepting everyone, no matter how sickly, vile, or corrupt. This policy of buffoonery tolerated the lowly elements instead of systematically eradicating the contaminating weeds that had overrun the once-prosperous garden. As a result, the proud and superior Nobilismen were being drowned in a raging flood of inferiority. The Universal Church had powerful sway across the realm and Klassen loathed its dishonorable, weak, and suicidal doctrine. Klassen valued honor and strength as prime virtues and was also disgusted by the superstitions propagated by the church. Glancing around it was clear to him that none of nature’s eternal laws had ever been broken. The myths of spirits, ghosts, gods, and devils simply cluttered the brains of his valued kinsmen. This Universal Church had so many poisonous ideals that it was like a colossal trash heap in Klassen’s mind that continually proliferated itself. One dogmatic belief that came to his mind was how these scrofulous villains promoted loving every creature, but then proceeded to torture, burn, and decapitate those who disagreed with anything the priests might utter. To top it all off, this cult of dishonor scared its adherents stupid by creating a demonic vision of a diabolical torture chamber of blazing fire that was purported to be the destination of any who didn’t toe the line of the church’s ideology. It mattered little that no such place had ever been reported to exist. As a blue jay streaked across the sky creating a colorful blur, Klassen was reminded of the blue cloak his tutor had worn. Aristotle was his name and brilliantly perspicacious was he. He formed Klassen into the man he was and was sorely missed. It had been some years ago before this great man had disappeared. What exactly had become of him, Klassen knew not but he hoped he was simply on a journey somewhere. Death was a very likely possibility for Aristotle but Klassen hoped for the best and wished to resume his friendship with his mentor. The disappearance of this splendid friend was quite an emotional experience for Klassen, especially since the values Aristotle held were the same as his own. Although Klassen’s father had been there to raise him, it was Aristotle who taught him to be virtuous and honorable. So the blustery winter some two years ago had been especially brutal, as Aristotle had gone off on his usual hike—even though it was snowing—and had never come back. Day after day had gone by in bleak melancholy, yet Aristotle didn’t return. The man was old, but tough, and it was hoped that someday, any day, he would return. The lugubrious winter dragged on but no sign of the scholar had presented itself. It was a difficult time for Klassen but it had hardened him and he devoted himself to living a supremely virtuous life in memory of his dear friend. This wicked time had been the chasm of Klassen’s life, his nadir, but he felt confident that due to this extreme low, a magnificent zenith would follow. This rising wave of optimism attracted to Klassen a pleasant squirrel who eagerly darting amid the grass, looking for a tasty nut to satiate its hunger. Remembrances of the good times that Klassen had with his mentor flooded his mind in a relaxing wave of nebulous nostalgia. The squirrel, the birds, the trees—nature itself—was a favorite subject of Aristotle, which he passed on to his student. Although the Universal Church frowned upon the art of literacy to all but the priests, Klassen was taught to read at a tender age. His family knew how as well, but it wasn’t until Aristotle came about that Klassen really learned. The precocious child quickly absorbed the sciences. The trips to the forest to observe nature in all her splendid beauty were unforgettable and brought a swift smile to the visage of Klassen. Glancing down at his worn and fragile book, Klassen knew his preferred field lay in heroism and warfare. It mattered not at all whether the writing was fact or fiction so long as the virtues of honor, chivalry, and heroism were depicted in magnificent grandeur. The book that was grasped by the woodsman was his favorite collection of stories—“Adventures in Heroism.” He must have read the tales a hundred times, but they always retained their magnetic pull over Klassen and once again he began to read from the pages that seemed as though they might disintegrate in a soft breeze. Hurled mightily, Klassen once again entered his own realm as he read the inscribed words of dauntless valor. He assumed the lead role in the stories, of course, and felt the tingling vitality of power whenever a battle broke out or a doughty deed of honor was performed. ...

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