Tale of the Wilderness


I awaken in a puddle of my own sweat and a thick layer of dust on the solid, granite floor. This ancient citadel, dating back to the 3rd age, was home to the Monks of Malus. Large stained glass windows, depicting the numerous deities of the lands, allow one shaft of light piercing through the dark, swirling clouds into the room. There are wounded strewn about the temple, some resting against statues; some propped against stony walls that mirror the appearance of cave dwellings. The altar is used as a makeshift surgery table; broken arrows lie beside those who had been targets of skilled archers. Our clan leader is notorious for going to battle with insufficient intelligence on the enemy. Most of my clan has already dressed for the raid on the Hostilis encampment. Suddenly, our scout bursts through the towering ten-foot-tall oak doors which, after bludgeoning the wall with its massive wrought iron handles, make a resounding echo throughout the room, causing all to turn in its direction. A long arrow has pierced his left shoulder. He stammers as he describes the warriors and archers approaching our encampment in the abandoned ruins; after this ordeal, he collapses. More rise to ponder this new intelligence. Many ask our leader for advice, who is absent in his own pondering of the situation at hand and how best to defend his already fatigued clan.