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Skerth Tragad

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 4:33 am
by GatorBodine
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, the cold seeped under men's cloaks, under men's skin, under men's bones, to the very marrow. The cold was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel. But it was a beginning.

Icey wind pierced Skerth Tragad's platemail, causing him to grind his teeth and squeeze the reins clasped in his hands even tighter. It was all he could do to stop himself from shivering. Up ahead, he could see the scout returning from his forray ahead of the group, not that they even needed a scout; the tracks were plain as day in the fresh snow. There were two dozen or so footprints leading further in to the mountainous ravine. Some were booted, some were hooved. The captain silently motioned them forward after having a brief conference with the scout.

Two days they had been following the tracks. Two days in the blistering cold, cold enough to freeze the sap and burst the trees. Normally, trollocs wouldn't be able to outpace the party this easily, but this was the Blight, this was trolloc territory. Add in the snow and you've got a recipe for a horse's broken leg if you pushed too hard.

Enough! You're not paying attention, you fool, Skerth thought to himself as he realized he had been staring off in the distance at nothing in particular. He shook his head, as much to refocus as it was to dislodge the snow that had stuck to his smooth face. He wasn't a rookie when it came to marching in to the Blight, tracking trolloc raiding parties. In Shienar, you weren't a man until you've hunted your first trolloc, and Skerth had been a man for several years.

For some, it was vengeance, tracking Darkspawn that had burnt a farm or three the night before on the outskirts of one of the city-fortresses. For Skerth, it was a duty to his country. He lived in Medo, the main port village of Shienar, resting on the banks of the River Mora, and as such, had little to fear from the raids that seemed to be occurring more and more frequently in the northern part of the nation. Each winter, when the raids were least frequent, but the most damaging, he would head north to Fal Dara and assist where he could. Frequently, this meant guard duty on the walls of the city-fortress, occassionally, it meant diving in to the Blight with sword and teeth bared, ready to strike down the enemies of Light.

But Light, was it hard to head north this time. What he wouldn't give to be back in Medo, sitting on his knees with his ear pressed to Merean's swollen stomach, listening to every heartbeat, feeling every kick from the child that was inside her. His child. Merean, the most beautiful woman he had ever met, named after the founding Queen of Shienar so many years before. Merean, the girl he had grown up knowing he would marry, the woman who he did marry, the mother of his child, had convinced him to head north. "We will be fine without you, my heart," she told him with a hand on her stomach. "If I can handle putting up with your wool-headed self for this long, there's not much I won't be able to handle."

Light, I'm doing it again. He pushed the longing for his family out of his head, steeled himself against the gnawing cold, and followed the men, his brothers, further in to the Blight.