The wind on the King’s Road blew strong and smelled of an early spring. Already the bogs and marshes to the west were growing ripe. The stink of the lowlands reminded Paul of a privy. Impatient, he searched for signs that banners would soon come around where the road curved through the forest on the east. Pine forests made it impossible to see and he sat back in his saddle. Rock, his black destrier, barely moved as he sat. The horse was well trained and fierce in battle, if it came to that. Paul hoped it wouldn’t. His father had named him Knight a month ago, but his sword remained undrawn in combat.
Maybe they won’t come, maybe the Weaver will be merciful.
His Squire, a young man of sixteen named of Jack, held his banner straight despite the wind. The deep blue fabric flapped as another gust of wind took it, causing the black raven emblazoned on it to ripple and soar. It was the banner of House Halloway, his House. One day he would be expected to take his father’s title as Lord of Hallow Hill, but no son could inherit without being tested. He was almost eighteen and never blooded. His fingers flexed inside his leather gloves and twisted the reigns. Continue reading