Talon and his parents rode along in their carriage at the head of a
caravan full of food and goods.
Talon peered out his window at the desert outside.
He could just see over the window’s ledge and it bumped his
nose as the carriage made its way down the ill-used road.
He expected to see sand but didn’t.
Like most “deserts” it was just arid and void of lush
looked up at one of the companion guards that rode alongside him.
He wore chain mail and a leather cap brimmed with iron.
A sword was strapped to his side and his shield dangled from his
sat back and looked at his mother. She was beautiful, or at least
he thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world with a lovely
name of Mushina. She, like other ladies of the court wore her
black hair pulled back in a bun. She sat back gazing out the
window with a distant look in her eyes. She wore a red dress and a
jade necklace of a tiger, the family insignia of the second born of the
house of Rongxing. She was not born into the house of Rongxing;
she married into it.
was her husband’s heritage, Trinel, the Earl of the East Gate of
Cannor, Talon’s father. He
sat beside Talon and wore his light dress coat and black trousers and
his sword lay at his side in its scabbard.
He was reading a scroll the best he could given the bumpy ride.
looked back at his mother. “Why
are we coming here, mama?”
turned and looked at him with her dark brown eyes filled with kindness.
“I told you, love. We’re brining these people food.”
they’re hungry. They have
been a drought...” she saw the blank expression on his face.
“That means no rain for a long time.”
looked at her husband and said, “He gets it from you, you know.”
looked at her and raised one eyebrow, smiled, winked and returned to his
bumped along. Talon stared
at the hilt of his father’s sword.
It was a long blade, which he couldn’t see since it was in its
scabbard, but he could see the crossbar and hilt.
The crossbar curved up towards the tip of the blade.
Leather covered the handle in a way that begged Talon play with
it -- although he knew the punishment would be something close to death
if he did.
Talon turned to see that one of the companions had ridden up to
his father’s window and addressed him.
“Riders approach from the southeast.”
rose from his seat and replied, “Bring us to halt captain.”
leaned forward and placed her hand on his as he exited the carriage.
“Are we there already?”