By Stibor.


As the horse waded through the river, he heard a splash of water, followed by frantic footsteps and giggling – he managed to startle a young village lass who was bathing nearby. He turned away from her, with other, more grave matters on his mind, and rode on towards the distant hill, where a patch of lanky, windswept pines grew. Regular in shape, it brought to mind the barrows of his forefathers, that silently guarded his ancestral soil. Holding a bronze solar pendant between his calloused fingers, he uttered a short prayer – if the Gods favor him, he may arrive at some fort before sundown – he thought to himself. There was something strange in the air that made him uneasy, almost anxious for what's about to come. He reached to the side and drew his akinakes