Daniel squeezed his heels against his horse gently and the creature moved quietly out of the wooded shelter and into the silent field. Something was amiss here, Daniel could sense it. If his magical Gift did not alert him to the presence of death, surely his intuition would have. There was something in the air that made the hair on the back of his neck stand on end. He shivered in the humid August night. Archimedes tugged his head to the right and Daniel patted the horse encouragingly in its neck. The gelding didn’t like to be scouting in the unclaimed territories any more than its owner did.

Wind wrapped around the sycamore trees on the edge of the field and they creaked like old wooden floorboards. Daniel swung his head around, but as far as he could see the in the black night, he was completely alone. His senses led him better in the night than his eyes. He could only guess where he was going and without the stars to lead him back to the camp, he would be completely lost.

Daniel swung his leg over and slid off his horse, springing on to the ground like a startled rabbit. He waved his hands over the growing grass and it pricked his palm like a cactus. Daniel straightened and let the wind brush against his cheeks. It smelled of burning, and of rot. Archimedes’ cracked leather reins grasped tight in his hand, he stepped forward. There had been much death in the Borderlands, especially in the much disputed fertile areas. Sometimes it was difficult to distinguish the difference between old death and new death. Most of the scent of death that rode in the wind was old, some of it travelled as far as the northern reaches of Kyrix.

Some death, in this very area, was new. There had been some sort of skirmish here recently. At the risk of stepping on any bodies and disrespecting the dead, Daniel moved forward until his foot knocked against something soft. He squatted on the ground and brushed his fingers over the body. It was small, but complete. Probably a child. It was said that many nomadic tribes and gypsies lived in the Borderlands. The poor creature was probably an innocent, caught in the crossfires of a greedy war. Daniel sighed and mounted his horse.

There was no danger in this lonesome field. Just unfortunate death. He would report as much to the Captain, and then request leave in the morning to bury the child, as well as any other bodies in the area. Gypsy, soldier, or simple civilian, the dead deserved to be laid to rest.

.

Word: Nomadic. || Time: 15 minutes. || Character: Daniel Hawthorne.

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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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