Prologue

He sits silently, hidden within the shadow cast by the barn. His ears swivel towards the rear of the hut. His purpose in life is to remember all he sees and hears. As the sun sets on the other side of the barn, the furry one stretches out in the shadow. Once settled, he closes his eyes and by all outward appearances, he seems to be asleep. Anyone with a little bit of intelligence would know that this is not true. As the darkness deepens, his black and gray fur renders him invisible to the human sight. He becomes nothing more than a shadow within a shadow as long as he doesn't move. A candle is lit within the hut in front of him. He never opens his eyes, letting his ears register all that is happening within. Minutes pass into an hour and the sun is nothing more than a memory like yesterday and the day before that. Time passes and a high femine voice can be heard emanating from the hut. He raises his furry head and opens his eyes. This is what he has been waiting for all evening. He has heard her voice before and recognizes her for what she is. A story teller that doesn't know it. He hears her call her children to her so that she may once again tell them a story called up from the past............
 
 

Chapter #1

 
 He kneels beside the tiny campfire trying to put some warmth back into his weary bones. Remembering the march of the past few days from Were and into this marsh where the noise is overwhelming. The crickets and bullfrogs create a racket that would hide the sounds of a dragon charging down upon them. The others around the fire are deep in conversation or gambling the few coppers they have away to another. He glances up to peer deep into the fog that enshrouds them, trying to make out other camp fires. Yet the mist is so thick that all that can be seen is nothing more than a slight orange glow.
 His reverence is shattered, by what, he doesn't know. He starts concentrating on what is missing. When it dawns on him that the crickets and bullfrogs have stopped singing their nightly song. Pondering, it dawns on him, that someone has slipped up on them hidden within the fog. He raises to shout a warning when the stillness is shattered by many guttural roars. The beating of drums follow hard on the heels of the roars.
 Out of the darkness come wave after wave of ten foot tall ogres. They have used the sounds of the bog to slip up on the encampment. Scattered and unprepared his comrades and him are doomed. Their only goal is to carry as many of the ogre down through death's door with them as they can.   Rattar, his neighbor from back on the farm, pushes up and to his side as a large foul smelling ogre comes charging in. The ogre takes an overhead swipe at Rattar with a club as large as a wagon axle. Leaving his side exposed to him, he launches in and drives his sword up and into the ogre's arm pit from the back. Driving it clean through and out the top.  The ogre in rage and pain drops his club. Spinning, it delivers a backhanded fist the size of a ham to his chest. Lifted up off the ground he sails out away from the campfire and into the darkness. The last thing he sees is the campfire itself receding from him at an alarming rate.
 
 

Chapter #2

 He groans and slowly comes around. His first thoughts are why is he wet. Slowly getting to his feet, he feels a fire in his side. The last two ribs on one side have been broken.
Looking down, he sees that he has landed in a puddle of water not more than knee deep. Just enough to soften the landing he made while unconscious.
 Turning about, he seeks the campfire that his friends once inhabited before the ogre rolled over them. yet nothing can be seen of it. Either trampled out or burnt out, no one knows how long it has been.
 The sounds of battle carry far and wide across the marsh. Shapes appearing and disappearing through the mist. Moving out across the bog towards the battle, his hope is to find help or a way to defend himself.
 Slipping between groups of ogres and humans fighting. The things he sees are not fit for human eyes to gaze upon. Here, an ogre is ripping a human in two with it's bare hands. There, three humans turning an ogre into raw meat with their swords even thought it has long since died.
 He slips into a hollow between a fallen tree and one that is still growing. About 10 paces away an ogre just finished cutting another human in two. The ogre turns and strides off across the marsh in search of another to slay.
 After the fiend has vanished within the fog, the slight human stands and moves across the battlefield to where the melee just took place. Settling in beside the corpse, he slowly pulls the broad sword from the grasp of the dead man. Glancing into the eyes of the dead man, it dawns on him that it is Rattar.
 Overcome by grief and anger all at once, he no longer slinks across the battlefield. Standing upright, this mere farmer makes his peace with the eternals and strides off across the battlefield to do nothing more than to kill as many as possible before dying to protect his home and family.
 Crossing an open area in the bog, he spots an ogre with it's back to him. Silently he races across the moss. Leaping onto a half sunken boulder in the marsh. He launches himself into the air at the ogre. His body nothing more than a spear. The sword in his right hand is the point of the spear and it is aimed at the neck of the ogre. His sword drives straight through the ogre's neck. A mighty scream rents the battlefield as his momentum carries him past the ogre's shoulder. His left arm whips out to wrap around the head of the ogre. Dragging it down with him to the muck. The ogre is dead before hitting the ground.
 Wiping his sword on the body of the fallen ogre, he hears a battle cry of others behind him. Spinning, he turns to face the charge of not one but three ogres who heard the first's dead scream.
 His choices are to turn and run, knowing he will be cut down from behind. Or standing his ground and dying on the spot. He charges at them with sword gripped with white knuckles.
 The sky explodes with a bright white fire and the sound of bugles and horses can be heard. He knows the sound of the Riders of the Mist when he hears it. Knowing that the battle might yet be won, he smiles as he swings. A spear that is as round as a man's wrist is driven through him. He defiantly snarls up into the oppressive ogre's face while launching murderous upward blow meant to gut the ogre. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees a blur as something smashes into the side of his head. A loud crack and a blinding flash of pain rips through his body as darkness once again embraces him.
 
 

Chapter #3

 
A child's voice can be heard "Momma?". She answers "Yes Dear ?". The little girl asks her question "Momma? Why did he fight ?". She answers that he fought because he had to, there was no other choice. A small boy's voice can be heard asking a question "Who was he?". She replies "He was your great great grandfather's great great grandfather. He fought for us, he might not have known about us or who we are, but he knew we would come one day and he wanted us to be free of the evil ones' rule". She continues talking "You see children, heroes are not ten feet tall and carry the largest sword, they are merely simple people who do what they have to, when they have to, with no thought for their own personal well being". She stands up from her stool as her voice continues to carry across the room "In case your wondering children, his name was Tranbul Deu'lak and he fought at a place called Falcon Bog many years ago". Gently kissing each one on the cheek she shoos them off to bed before blowing out the candle.
 
 

Epilogue

 The canine pushes his front paws under himself to stand up. Turning he slips along the barn wall and into the alley. A few minutes later, he is nothing more than a shadow drifting out of town and across the fields to the edge of the woods.  Upon reaching the edge of the woods, the wolf turns his shaggy muzzle back to glance over his shoulder at the thatched dwellings that hide the hut. The wolf does something that would scare any sane person to death. He speaks softly to himself.
 "For every eight evils I see in this world, I only find one good. Yet the one who does good, does so much as to outweigh the eight evils. I shall remember this man who did what he had to".
 His furry head swings back around towards the woods. Taking a step, the wolf slips into the forest and it gone from sight, leaving nothing to mark his passing.