Simtepkin, son of a hide tanner, stood at the edge of the forest of his youth. This barrier separated the world he knew from the world he feared, its landmarks and inhabitants the stuff of hushed whispers and grotesque legend.
The forest stood atop a mountain, overlooking a valley down below. This valley was the only thing outside the forest of which the strapling young Simtepkin had heard a firsthand account. The Valley of Assholes. But across the valley stood another mountain; beyond that mountain was a stretch of plains and short hills, green and pleasant. Atop one of these hills, crudely marked on the tattered map in Simtepkin’s left hand, was the faint promise of a fruit so rare that his people had never named it–the juice of which was now was the only hope to heal his fast ailing sister.
Rumored to share a distant ancestor with Simtepkin’s own people, the denizens of the valley, Assholes all, shared at least a common tongue. Even nestled deep in the forest as Simtepkin’s village was, they would still hear the bawdy taunting and foul mockery rise up out of the valley
To Simtepkin’s ear, the wind carried a whisper of “Fuck your mother, limpdick,” slurred and somehow even more vulgar in tone than in words. Simtepkin the tanner’s son shuddered.
But Simptepkin the man–the adventurer–steeled his nerves, and stepped out from under the secure canopy of mountain trees.