Close the Door, Put Out the Light.

SnowTown.jpgThe wind is blowing throughout the town enveloping it in a cold grip. Not a single light is present. The stars are blocked by the blizzard, the moon is dark, and the dim candles of the people have been put out. White is everywhere. The snow smothers the earth and town.

Nobody sane dare ventures outside. The streets are quiet, yet the only sound to be made is the clattering of horses' hooves. Their riders are solemn though they were once proud. Their ancient order has guarded the mountains long before all else.

The people stare from the windows. There's no emotion on their faces, for they know that becoming a casualty of war will be merciful. They watch their only hope leave them behind, but the message has to get through. There is nothing left to grasp but this desperate hope.

Mothers and wives let out mute tears as they try to take one last look at their beloved. Old men are ashamed that they cannot leave with the riders. Sons and daughters long for their fathers' embrace.

But, they ride onwards without looking back.

They are without food in their supplies. They bring no shelter. All in which they have is for war.

"It is only for a day," they say to themselves, yet even they know that is a lie. Everything which is brought is damned to never return and to become the plunder of evil. They bring only their weapons and armor in the hopes that the lighter burden may quicken their horses' pace in the inhospitable climate. They do not bring hope.

Slowly, their town fades into the snow. It vanishes like a mountain behind the clouds. The trees are bare of birds or animals who have long since fled. If only those creatures could speak the message. No, fate has cursed them. They must ride.

Their ears strain to hear any noise. Death's army awaits at every step. Any moment, their scent could loft to a nose or their presence could be seen. It is only a matter of time.

Their captain halts. A mist emits from his mouth every few seconds. His eyes are sullen. The rest of the company realizes where they are, and they become afraid.

The captain directs his horse to the side. It tries to move away, but he forces it onwards. It walks down the path that has far since gone into absolute decay. The other riders are motionless for a moment, then they enter the path of the Devil's Gash.