Saturday, January 26, 2008

Prologue (Mark I)

"A wind swept across the valley. By the time we got there, everything was gone. Can you still save it, when there is nothing left to save? Do the trees return to salted soil; can fish swim in streams turned red?

"Elves restore life to the forests. Fairies make wild flowers grow as they fly past. God in heaven weeps at such devastation. Hell cries out its triumph, as rocks split under the heat.

"In the middle of the fires and smoke, the remains of the village still burned. Just as we thought nothing survived, we saw children amidst the ash. Kids, still alive, against destruction so complete. Life lives amongst death.

"My men and I rushed down the valley slope. Nothing to stop us, only burning coals marked our path. Our boots kicked up sparks and embers as we passed. Perhaps, we were being hasty. "Que vive, how could the have lived?" asked my men.

"Rigorous training they recieved, our horses still refused to enter the valley. So clear now, that they knew something that we did not. The stench of those who were consumed by the flame was so great; we thought that was what kept the horses at bay. Until it was too late, we thought we were safe.

"Valiant as my men were, we were unprepared for the danger that was waiting amongst the ash. When it rose and emerged from the smoke, we were caught unaware. 'Xactly what it was, I cannot say. Years in the field, I have seen nothing like it, the eyes burning like the fires of hell. Zachery was the first to fall, the rest soon followed; I was the only one to escape the valley alive."

Sir Eric took another drink of his mug. His brow glowed in the light of the grand fire place. Harron sat across the table.

"Sounds like a dragon to me," Harron said. "Isn't that what you were trained to fight."

"This was no dragon. It was a demon from foreign lands."

"Still doesn't concern us." Harron stood, and left his coin on the table. "Nothing like that will ever reach our village."

"Mark my words," Eric said, "if you let your boy join the Dragon Knights, he will suffer this fate, or one far worse."

"Blasphemy. It is an honor to serve the Knights, and carry on the work of the five great sages." Harron left the tavern.

Sir Eric turned to look for another to tell his warnings to, and buy him another drink. No one else wanted to hear his tales. No one would listen to his heresy. Eric stood and stumbled out the door.