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Hero of Allacrost - Prologue Author: Tyler Olsen (Roots) Editor: Tim Hargreaves (Balthazar) Copyright 2004-2006


I watched the men in the pale light of the blue moon. The dark cloaks they wore for warmth only better distinguishing them against the light sand for my trained eye. They were outsiders, easy to track. No wind muffled the sounds of their heavy armor, or covered their footsteps with sands from the great dunes. The Harrvah Knights, though powerful in their great city of stone, were powerless in the might of the desert. The desert was the land of the Muabi tribe, my tribe. Out here, a squad of troops such as this was no match for even a small group of Muabi. I noticed something different about this group though, this group had a recruit with them. By his stride, I could see he was grasping his sword as he walked, a sign of the newest of soldiers. He was focused only on his steps, like the other men. The only warning these men had against intruders were their scouts and their great Mak'ok hounds. The dogs' keen hearing was aided further by their height as they towered over the men, but even their senses were no match for a properly trained Muabi warrior, and Harrvahn sentries were easily removed. The young one traveled in the rear, a mistake in other battlefields, but no matter here. The knights knew that no matter who walked the rear, they were ours if we so wished it. Better it to be the inexperienced one, than one of their own hides. He would have to earn their respect before being allowed to walk in the middle of the caravan. I knew where they were headed. They had taken an inefficient route, but not a poor one. We had seen that their water supply had been blocked, but such problems were not Muabi problems. The outsiders had built their grand city away from the water, because they could not tame the creatures there. Instead of trying to understand their problem, they ran from it. Perhaps better than them trying to destroy it. As they arrived at the blue granite of the riverside, I heard their leader give his orders: "Open your ears and shut your mouths. Our mission is to unblock the water supply. Stay together and on guard, I don't want any heroes or fools dying on the surgeon's table tonight." The soldiers set up a perimeter guard as others began to scout the area. We had not seen what caused the stoppage specifically, ourselves not foolish enough to venture outside during the great storms. This last one had raged for days, and surely the city was in a panic. These men were desperate, and desperate men are foolish men. I left them to their work, and the creatures of the river that they so feared.