500 Years Later
.“Come to me . . .”I glance skyward with a knowing grin as I mount my trusted warhorse to go meet mydestiny. On my finger of my gloved hand was
The Ring of Life
, a simple gold orb with anemerald green stone setting that glowed with magic. The ring was the power source for themagic-kissed sword that hung at my side. Together, they infused whomever wielded them withgreat fighting power. I had stolen them off the dead and rotting corpse of their rightful owner during a battle my liege, King Collin of Elyria, had summoned two summers ago. Now, the ringand the sword were mine. Perhaps that’s why the voice summoned me.“Come to me . . .”The midnight sky promises storms, but I care nothing about that. I am on a holy missionand I will not be deterred by anything, especially a little wind and rain. With a final check thatmy belongings are still securely attached to the back of my saddle, I spur my mighty warhorseforward with a quick, “Hup.”The voice of whom I can only assume is God echos inside my head like the hammeringof hooves upon a wooden bridge. At first, I couldn’t believe the Lord would ever wish to speak tosuch a cur as me; I’m a mighty fighting man for a ruthless King who loves his dice games, hismead and especially his tavern wenches too much to have a soul worth saving. My idea of solving a dispute is with a sword, and far too many people have felt the bite of my magic bladefor merely uttering the wrong words, or offering me the wrong look at the wrong time. I’m abastard, I’m supposed to kill in the name of my liege. I never worried about my soul, no man of war does. We all just assume the fires of Hades are our well-won reward for services rendered,and we all boast of how we plan on swimming in the flames with great delight when we finallyget there. Then God started calling to me; telling me to come to him. Me, Tragger Drake, thescourge of all Elyria, was being hailed by the Lord. The pull of His insistent calling overpoweredmy feelings of shame and unworthiness and I am forced to obey, though I have no idea whereI’m going. The Lord has something amazing planned for me and I will not disappoint Him again.I will follow His voice, trust in it to guide me to my destiny.“Come to me . . .”An hour later, lightning rips across the low clouds as the inky sky finally lets loose with acold, angry rain. The downpour devours me completely, chilling me to the bone in a matter of seconds. I tighten my wool cloak around my solidly-built frame and my steel-grey eyes scan myimmediate surroundings. The pelting rain, along with the lateness of the hour, make it difficult tosee very much. If danger is out here, it could be within feet of me and still be well-hidden. I drawmy sword and tighten my other hand on the reigns of my mount. He's a mighty beast, but hedoesn't care for the storm any more than I do. With my heels I spur him forward. The conditionsare going to shit in a hurry; soon the thin roads won't be passable. I feel the presence of Deathclosing in around me. I steal a quick glance to the
Ring of Life
on my hand, it's glowing a bluishwarning to me. I'm not sure if the danger I sense wants the ring or my magic-kissed sword, buteither will only be won by my death. My Lord has great plans for me, I don’t plan on meetingdeath tonight.