This is the prologue to my first novel, Book one of the Eun trilogy, Eaglesong. Please read, comment if you will.
Crisp winds swirled about a lonely figure, sitting in the wash of shadows on a perch overlooking the plains below. The chill winds of the Heskan night were lit by a late winter moon and carried the sounds of song and laughter, the smells of roasted meats and herbs. The origin of these could be seen in the flicker of lanterns just beyond the crag’s base.
Each night was the same, and he had spent so many now, that he could know the voices, even who cooked that night, and what. The collection of huts and buildings were home to generations of a family; a tribal people that had lived in happiness, and peace, for centuries, as kingdoms rose and fell around it.
They were an island of hope amidst the great expanse of the Anu Heska, and that thought brought a sad smile to the one who had watched over them. He could see other such beacons of kindness and humanity dotting the horizon.
In the years that he had spent in his vigil, he had come to understand that these simple people of the great heskan plains were the most noble of beings that lived on Eun, though they themselves would hardly claim such a title.
Among the Shenoon, as they were known, none represented that more than those he had watched and guarded. It was in their blood that this should be so, for they were descendents of greatness, in more ways than one.
One among them would become the greatest of warriors, while another carried the hope of all the world of Eun within them.
It was because of this that he had kept watch, against an enemy that would one day come, and bring with it death and sorrow.
That day was nearly upon them, much sooner than had been expected. He had always hoped for time to prepare those in whom the future would now be decided. The evil that threatened them all now loomed larger, for the most dangerous of secrets they had uncovered, one that had been kept for two thousand years, a secret he had lived with all his days.
All that had stood between the return of evil so great, that all living things upon Eun shared its peril, was that the servants of that dark threat, the lord of Demons, had never known the truth of how they had been beaten so long ago.
It had been no small feat that it had lasted this long, in fact one could argue that such secrets seldom last from one day to the next, much less whole millennia. Yet despite such impossible odds, many had lived, and many more had died, dedicated to keeping that secret from becoming known to countless Tyrants and servants of evil over the centuries. For once revealed to those whom the whispers of Avthroz might be heard, all might be lost.
He had lost many friends, and though he knew many had died giving their own lives willfully, their memory was all the more painful because not only was he part of the effort to keep that secret. He was the secret.
He, like so many before him, had been caretaker of a priceless burden, one that insured that a victory against great evil so long ago remained so.
Now his time as wanderer and caretaker were nearly over, and he would pass this burden, this most precious of secrets, on to another. He had watched them grow from children to the edge of adulthood, taking heart in the fact that even though still young he could see the greatness within them. This helped to ease the fear that came in knowing that they were not just the one that would take his place, they were the only one that now could.
“Too soon” he said aloud, though there was nothing more than the rocks and the wind to bear witness to his words. Even as he spoke them, he felt the subtle tingling of the arcane power tainted with blackness that told him it had begun.
He leapt from his perch and started down the rocks that had been his home for nearly a dozen winters, moving among them as if he were one of the shadows from the moonlight. He had many leagues to go before the morning came; a morning that would either mark the beginning of the final moves in a battle that began so many years ago, or the beginning of the end, for all of Eun.