Saturday, January 26, 2008


       Sir Eric was a retired Dragon Knight. His face and arms had many scars from his time with the Dragon Knights. His dark brown hair was ragged and his face unshaven. He returned to Erdon after being injured serving the king. He spent his nights drinking alone in his Homestead, a small under developed plot of land in the forests outside of town. When he came into town, he would visit the tavern and drink.
       That night, he was sitting with his older brother, Harron. When they were younger, many people said they looked like twins. Now no one would make that mistake. Harron shaved every morning, and didn't have any scars.
       The day Sir Eric turned seventeen, their lives where completely different. Harron stayed home and took over the family ranch. Sir Eric ran off to join the Dragon Knights. When Eric returned, he looked old and tired. At 50, Harron still looked young and strong.
       Eric was telling his brother a story about his time with the Dragon Knights.

       "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. The Goddess in heaven weeps at such devastation. Hell cries out its triumph, as rocks split under the heat.
     "In the middle of the fire and smoke, a 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.
       "Our horses still refused to enter the valley, despite their rigorous training. So clear now, that they knew something that we did not. We thought the stench of those consumed by the flame was what kept the horses at bay.
       "My men and I rushed down the valley slope. Only burning coals marked our path. Our boots kicked up sparks and embers as we passed. We were being hasty. "How could they have lived?" asked my men. Until it was too late, we thought we were safe.
      "Valiant as my men were, we were unprepared for the danger that waited in 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 saw nothing like it, 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 drained his mug. His brow glowed in the light of the grand fire place.
     "Sounds like a dragon to me," Harron said. "Isn't that what you were trained to fight."
     "This was no dragon."
     "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 looked 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.