The Rending Dark.

I own EVERYTHING!!!! That's really cool to say! Lol sorry! Too much Lord of the Rings!

Umm, this is the prologue and you will do good to remember a few things from it for further reference into the story.

I am in the process of editing and rewriting this at the moment so let me know if I have missed anything! Thanks!

*****

The tavern erupted into laughter and applause as the man in the middle of the room finished his tale. He told a story of trolls and damsels in distress, of gold and riches, all bestowed on an unlikely hero. The listeners cheered and, while calling for another round of ale, looked to the next person to share their tale.

"Come now, who has one to beat that?" a rugged man asked from his chair, a house whore perched on his lap with her arms around his neck. "Surely someone must have another!"

"Why don't you tell of one of your adventures, Burlick?" a sword-for-hire asked from the bar, a slight jest in his tone.

At this the whore giggled, "He has many adventures yet none of which are fit to share!" The room again laughed and Burlick reddened.

"I have a tale!" A voice suddenly cut through their delight. All eyes looked to the direction of the stranger.

In the far corner, shadowed by the overhanging stairs, a cloaked figure sat, hood drawn over its hair and face. "Indeed, I have a tale." It repeated in a clear and proper voice. A voice of a woman.

The men stopped and stared, until finally Burlick broke the silence. "We have no time for stories of dressmaking and cooking. So be off girl, run back to your husband or father, which ever it is that claims you." The bystanders chuckled at this, much to the amusement of Burlick.

No one expected the mysterious girl to reply, let alone in the manor of which she did. "While some others of my gender may find delight in cooking in order to feed plumb bellies such as yours, I prefer to live by my sword. I belong to no one and answer to no one, especially someone of your status."

At this Burlick jumped up, shoving the whore off his lap. "Insolent girl" he cried while fumbling to get his half-rusted sword out of its sheath. The action caused the girl to rise, and in a movement swift and graceful, while not fully opening her cloak, she pulled her own gleaming sword free. With it held firmly in her left hand she guided it over to Burlicks' throat, a smile upon her lips. A hush fell over the room and Burlick went redder than before.

"Now, if no one wishes to hear my tale I shall happily go elsewhere." She addressed the crowd, still pointing the tip of her blade at the enraged man.

"Your tale it is then!" the warrior that had previously jested with Burlick said, eager to ease the mood. "What is it of?" another shouted out. The girl's smile broadened and she returned her sword to her waist.

"I can tell you what it is not about!" she teased while sitting down back in the dark corner, shadows eloping her completely. "It is not of dressmaking, nor cooking, nor even love for that matter." She paused and studied the faces of her listeners. Some seemed doubtful while others seemed intrigued, but all eyes were on her so she continued. "It is a story of hate, rage, darkness and death. But above all, it is a story of evil. It will not make you laugh such as the last, for it will cause you to look over your shoulder in fear," at this some of the larger men in the room snorted, but she continued on none the less. "No matter how strong you think you are it will make you look, especially at night while being in the woods, or even when at home enjoying the fruits of a hard days work. It shall also make you never trust anyone again, even your friends, but most importantly it will show you that good does not always prevail."

A candle blew out near her, even though there was no draft, as she said the last line, allowing her to completely disappear into the darkness, her clear voice the only indication that she was still there. And as more drink was passed around, a hush fell on the room as the storyteller began her tale.

***** tbc.

Hope you liked it and please review.

Minka Greenleaf.