Chapter 1

It was around midnight when Sebastian vakarian saw the slave caravans go past. He had been walking for a many days to reach his kingdom, but since the blades, he had doubted his family knew he even lived. He and his comrades had fled after the massacre, and far to many druids lay dead in the streets that day. He still saw flashes of the battles unfold before him and far too often did he reach for an arrow to position in his bow. But when the day dreams past, he slowly slid his weapons onto his back and continued his journey. He thought hard about what had happened in Englashia, how the druid healer, of all people, had slit the throat of the high priestess under the gaze of the temple's guardian. Sebastian had fought through the anguish at the sight of his dead mentor but found himself defending Druids in combat, alongside all but two of his comrades, who openly hated druids. The fight went on for five days and many civilians were lost in the onslaught. Then it ended with a blade in the heart of the marcher Commander, signifying the end of the battle he had been rallying, saving many deaths to come.

Sebastian knew that was why he lived, the only reason why. The marchers saw deaths of many and let Sebastian, his comrades and their leader, Garret go. They fled to the mountains, spending three days in their cover before word spread that other cities were plunging themselves into civil wars of their own. The blades broke apart then, going in separate directions in order to maintain their own lives and Sebastian knew he had no choice but to return to his family and take his place as future king of Hawlaren. Along his travel, he moved from village to village, hearing gossip in taverns on the state of the most highly ranked cities. It was in one of these taverns that he learnt about the death of his father, and how his brother, Joshua may have to take up the throne if Sebastian did not return, but it was many weeks, if not months away, for his family had used every resource to push him away from his lavished lifestyle that had corrupted his being. He had been known as many things before he joined the high in Englashia, Womaniser and arrogant had been one of the kinder words used to describe the young prince. But a life of worship can change a man, and it wasn't long before Sebastian swore a vow of chastity and devoted himself to life in the high. Then he had met garret and the blades and the priestess had urged him to join their party, hoping he would regain some of his fighting spirit and passion. And now it was over, the high in Englashia desecrated by revolting druids, tiered of life as prisoners.

Now on the road, many months from home, he saw the caravan pass as he hid well in the leaves of the forest. His eyes narrowed as he followed the horse drawn thing as it moved at jogging pace well out of the way of a town. Two hours passed as he followed and he was quietly blending with the earth around him, gripping the priestess's amulet as he watched the caravan slow to a stop outside a cavern into the earth and stared in horror as broad-shouldered slavers unloaded weak and fragile slaves off into the caves. So naturally and with his usual impulsivity, he followed them down and in silence, arrow drawn and positioned, ready to strike the heart of any slave driver. He waited in the shadows in silence when he found a cage, but wrinkled his nose as the word "pen" rose in his mind. For that was what it was. These cages were pens and these slaves were the animals. He rose his finger to his lips, silencing the chattering slaves and turned to meet the force of a rat faced man with a curved blade slicing the ait between them. Sebastian released the arrow and heard it strike the knee of the man, who screamed in agony and crumpled to the floor. Sebastian drew his dagger and in a swift and merciless motion, slit the throat of the heartless slaver. She bent down, groping in the lantern light for the keys and turned to unlock the cages. Then her readied his arrows and urged the men, woman and children to follow him out. Along the way he encountered many men who died with arrows in their hearts before they struck the ground. It wasn't till they neared the entrance that he met the leader of these drivers and they fought violently as the slaves escaped the caves to live free lives. Sebastian felt a blade in his legs soon after his fists gripped the neck of the man whom he had pinned to the dirt covered floor. Then he heard the muffled rumble and heard it, the shakes through the walls and cracking beams above them as the cave began to collapse. In panic, he broke the neck of the slavers and stumbled for the entrance, as pillars and walls came down around him. He could only see the trees outside when he fell to the ground and the earth covered him.

But he was fortunate, for in the distance a young thief came running towards the carnage, her feet beating the ground as she slid to a stop, screaming out to any survivors who might not had died in the cave in. And as she searched the wreckage, Sebastian cried out in pain and clawed above and around him. His eyes, nose and mouth were filled with dirt and coal, but he could still move though it pained him greatly. The young thief rushed to his aid, and pulled him away from death