Sunday, 27 May 2007


A bitter cold wind swept across the deserted planes. The man was grateful for his padded clothing, protecting him against the grunt of the frosty climate. His beast, however, was not so lucky; growing up in a near-tropical forest some 1000 miles away never prepared it for the icy cold and he realized they had to find some shelter quickly.

At the foot of those hills there must be a place to spend the night, he thought. They had ridden all day and never saw any sign of life. They could risk retiring early.

Urging his lizard forward, they set off for the hills. Strange, he thought, I would have expected this place to be teeming with people if even half the rumors about its heroes were true. So far, all I had seen was a withered corpse a week ago.

Nearing the hills, his beast became increasingly nervous. Could it be there were people around? Peering around him, the man could not find a single sign of activity. No - there, in the corner of his eyes; gone before he could focus on it. Was there someone there, or was the white snow playing tricks on his perception?

Before he could convince himself of either possibility, the great dragon roared and the ground opened up underneath them. Both man and animal slid inside the great schasm, and everywhere there was snow and ice.

His clothes didn't help much against the cold now, with ice against both skin and cloth. There was not enough space to even shudder. Terror and unconsciousness overwhelmed him, and his mind chose the latter.

The last thing he heard before slipping away were laughing voices, mocking him.

Silly foreigner. Our lands are not conquered that easily.


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