Willem’s grey mare pounded the dusty earth resolutely, bearing its rider swiftly from danger toward the unknown. His brother Harold’s chestnut steed kept pace stride for stride.
Ahead of them the mountains of Avor grew larger. They were headed for a gap in the mountains, known to their household as the First Gate. The brothers hoped this meant there was a way through, they did not know for certain, however their options were limited as their pursuers had them pinned in, outnumbered them at least 10 to 1 and were gaining ground. Harold would have turned his steed and charged them down anyway, but his brother was injured with an arrow still protruding from his breast, sticking out through the scale armour which had no doubt saved his life. Willem glanced back at their enemy, trying to judge the distance. Harold seeing his gaze said “I’d take them on single handedly if I didn’t have to baby sit you to safety”. Willem grinned and replied “I think perhaps there are too many even for one so courageous and handsome as Prince Harold of the House of Wintor. Perhaps, if you would humour me a little longer, this once we would be better to keep the course and seek what sanctuary we may find in the mountains.”
“And if there is no help to be found there?”
“Well then you will get your wish and we will fight the valiant fight of the cornered Knight. The tales of our household are old but there remains truth in them. It is said that the people of the mountains are called the Avorese and that they owe a debt of honour to our forebears and that they are a kind and valiant people.”
“That’s nice,” says Harold, “but will bring us no solace if they don’t exist or aren’t home today.”
Willem looked forward to judge the distance remaining to the First Gate and thought to himself it is not far, however arrows landing behind their horses reminded him it would yet be a near run thing.