Prologue

Barth made his way surely over the rocky ground, glancing back now and then to check for pursuit. Nothing. A hawk wheeled overhead, in the reddening sky. Barth knew the veiling charm worked only once, but he muttered the words again, just in case. Who knew who could be peering out at him through those yellow eyes. He pulled the hood of his Shroud lower over his head, thanking the Raffey again in his heart for the gift. It was now the dusty color of the rocks beneath his feet, and hid him well from the eyes of his father's scouts, though not the eyes of the hawk.

He didn't know his way, yet he was not altogether lost. He headed towards the dark blob that was Fabian's Forest. And after that, the sea. He couldn't see it yet, and he only caught glimpses of the forest every now and then, but he followed his compass to the southeast. That eventually would lead him towards the sea, and Long Bridge. It would be a long journey, and he had not stolen a horse. The brig-skin pack on his back was growing steadily lighter, and the clear mountain air filled him with a strange happiness. So different from the cold and bleak hallways of his childhood, the confined life he had been forced to lead. He made his way through unknown paths, glad he no longer recognized the view. He knew the land around his home for miles, but he was now a fortnight's journey away from the Colony, he couldn't find his way back, and could only continue onward.

The ground below him still climbed steeply, and a hare regarded him with bright eyes from her hole, the day was dying slowly, the sky blushing with the angry sunset of the mountains.

Then, suddenly, the rock broke away, and he stood on the edge of a cliff. A steep valley opened before him, a small stream, a bunch of old willows. A perfect place to camp for the night. Barth gazed around, there was still perhaps an hour's worth of light left before the darkness came on with its stealthy quickness. But there was no path to be seen leading towards the valley from where he stood. There was perhaps a two hundred feet drop between him and the valley, easily climbed. There was rope in his pack.

Very quick prologue, I'll post the first part of Book I when I've sufficient reviews for this… as in, any. Please review ppl, thanks.