It has been days since the battle. Many lost their lives. Had it not been for the protection of the four-headed horseman, the surprise attack led by the Ice Queen would have ended victoriously. But now they’ve been riding for days, tracking the Red king and his guards. The “Reds” as they were venomously called were hellbent on reaching the foot of Dragon Stone Mountain. The mountain was the kingdom of the orcs. Here they would find asylum and safety in numbers. The Ice Queen knew she had little time. They reached the edge of the Silver River at nightfall. No fires could be lit and they watched the light go low and the shadows come up to greet them with a miserable cold and damp breeze, whispering death to their dreams.

At dawn, she sent out the Scouting Eagles. Overlooking the water she breathed the icy air, it was only because the dull ache of many days in the saddle had subsided, that her chest could rise and fall and hum like it used to, the crispy air infiltrated her lungs and made her cold and numb and beautiful. There was never such a pain as this, a pain so hungry for revenge. Her thoughts were interrupted by Dalon the Great, leader of her army and trusty adviser. He approached quietly, “my lady, the Scouting Eagles have returned, the Reds are camping across the river, they are five stones from the bank. The four-headed horseman is with them.” “What do you advise Dalon?” “There is no safe space here my lady, we’ll be out in the open, no option but to cross upstream at Granite Bridge and try to catch them before nightfall.” “You know they’ll reach Dragon Stone Mountain within the day!” “Yes, my lady.” “Does the life of your king, the man I loved mean that little to you?” “Of course not my lady, but the river is filled with pencil fish the men are afraid of the crossing and we’ll need all we have for the fight.” “Dalon, we will lose some, but not all, we will not have this opportunity again! I have lived enough, I have tasted the sea and fallen in love and called someone home and lost them. It will end here, today!

Go and gather the men.”

Facing them, she could smell their fear.

“Men, comrades, soldiers…! Under the draconian rule of the Reds, many of our woman and children have been tortured and killed, our villages were pillaged and burnt, our king was taken from us.”

“We have suffered defeat on many days, today will not be such a day!”

“Ready your horses.”

“As soon as that mist has rolled in, we cross…”

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