So late at night when I can't sleep, part of what happens it that my brain will get revving in directions I'd rather be doing in the day, but often the distractions of just being awake prevent my brain from revving like that when I can make use of it.
Over the course of the last week or two, this one particular one has popped back into my head a couple of times, and demanded that I do something with it...
So we have a small, remote village, high in the mountains. The village has a relatively rigid social structure based entirely on tradition. Our protagonist, who is a young man of relative wealth, is the son of the local Priest of Iberimas, God of the Hearth and protector of the village. In this culture, the Priesthood passes via heredity, and this young man has trained for his entire life to one day replace his father.
That one day comes sooner than expected, and he is forced to take the reins of being the village Priest -- which means advisor, counselor and spiritual (and in some cases physical) protector of the village sometime before he is ready.
At the center of the village is an altar to Iberimas, which is housed within the temple, where the priest and his family live and work. Inside this altar is an icon and inside this icon is an artifact known as the HeartStone, and it is an artifact bestowed upon the village by Iberimas and it projects Iberimas' power and has kept the village safe for a thousand years.
One night, the heartstone disappears. Very few clues are left behind, but a rare and dangerous communion with Iberimas reveals that the HeartStone was stolen by outsiders, and that the boy will be forced to travel to find and attempt to recover the stone. It also reveals that many things he's believed about Iberimas may not actually be true.
Early in the boy's travels the boy impresses an old, grizzled veteran (modelled after Tarben Felhammer for those few of you who know him) and the veteran elects to accompany the boy as he has been inspired to re-find himself. This creates a bit of a paternal relationship, which is both comforting and disturbing to the boy.
Also along these travels, the boy learns that the heartstone, while indeed powerful, is not in fact a unique artifact.
I'm not entirely sure where to go from there. As I said, this is what's been flitting around in my head, late at night, when I have no distractions and sleep is elusive, but it's come up several times and I wanted to get it down somewhere. This forum seems appropriate, and, hey, maybe someone will comment (please comment on the site, not on the LJ feed) with ideas for where the heck this story should go.