Is it real? Is it important? Probably not....
I am but a young man searching only for purpose, as all young men do.
I'm not very good at it.
Hi Dalton. Have couple of comments. I think the first paragraph is a bit over the top, it's in stark contrast with the rest of the text and I found it a bit confusing. Especially here: "heart-stopping scream of silence messily scythes its way through the sky again and again". Again and again suggests it stops and starts, but then you follow with "It has lasted for nigh unto a millennium, and it will last for an eternity more".
I understand that you are trying to set the stage and create the right atmosphere — just feels a bit overdone.
Another thing I noticed - from the early description I got an impression that there were no men in the village (no males above 15 year old) apart from the Highmen and yet right at the end Elwyn is passing a man, who is clearly not one of the Highmen. This probably needs further explanation.
Also one idea would be to give less description/setting of the world itself in the beginning. I think it would have been better to leave more to the readers' imagination and then fill in the details more gradually as the story progresses and not just through description, but also via the characters themselves. Let them tell/discover part of the story so to speak. It is a separate story within a story and I think it's a good idea to let them develop in parallel.
Anyway, with all my notes and criticisms (hope you don't mind) - I actually think it's an interesting story, looking forward to reading more and seeing further edits.