The Mission

Winds ripped at his furs; great boulders forced him to walk beside his horse rather than ride, but Lord Malachy knew his mission was urgent. Troops gathered on the borders of his land, separated only by the Anon River.



He smiled a little. “They’ll have a hard time crossing the river won’t they?” he said to the yellow dog that accompanied him.



He came alone not wishing to put anyone of his house in danger. Should the jackals find a way to cross into his lands, best to let them think he’d fled like a coward.



He wished he left before the autumn wind whipped the mountainsides, but he couldn’t go back.



The dog growled and returned to his side. Horses. He heard the thunder of their hooves and stood, half blinded by their armor in the sunlight. Malachy pulled out his broad sword. If he were to die in these godforsaken mountains, he would do so as a man.



“Old fool,” a familiar voice said. “You should have come a month ago.”



He bowed. “My Lady, you grow more lovely each day, but war is upon us. We must prepare.”


She shrugged. “You rode all this way. You may as well ride to war with me.”