Chapter 1Year 1098 of the Peacekeeper EraKimaapallon CityMaster Merchant Waylin kneed his tired horse into a faster gait. He had to find the midwife. Shehad not been at any of the other three homes that he tried and he was desperate. His wife was in labor and needed help.“Elements above, please, help me,” he whispered as his mount rounded the bend in the road.His horse reared and Waylin fought to calm the gelding.“Easy, boy!”The horse snorted and sidestepped nervously. Waylin stared, not completely sure of what he wasseeing standing in the middle of the road.“Please, move. I must pass.”He heard the bushes rustle and his hand went to his sword. The cloaked figure had not moved.When nothing emerged from the bushes, he returned his attention to the figure blocking his path. Timewas escaping and he needed to be on his way. His wife was depending on him.“I am sorry, but I must pass,” he stated firmly. With a tap of his riding crop, his gelding whinniedand shot forward. As they neared the figure, Waylin pulled on the reins, forcing his horse to the left andaround the obstacle in the road.The gelding started to gallop and Waylin turned to catch one last glimpse of figure. He blinked andfelt dread. The figure was gone. He shook off the feeling of doom and focused on reaching hisdestination.Three hours later, he finally found the midwife, Belena, by the edge of the Libain Forest. He sliddown from the saddle and ignored the wheezing of his mount as he hastened to the midwife's side.“Milady! Please, Mistress Belena, I have need of you!”Belena turned and Waylin stopped, his eyes round in astonishment. So the stories were true. Themidwife stared back at him with unseeing eyes.“Ah, Master Merchant Waylin, how nice of you to come visit.” She walked toward him, a serenesmile on her face.Waylin was afraid. He couldn't seem to get his body to move or his mouth to work. He watched inhorrified fascination as the midwife halted before him.“Why should I help you, when you refused to stop on the way here and help me?” she demanded.