The black stallion thudded to a stop. The man swung his metal boot over the horse and jumped to the ground. He pulled out his thick, double sided blade from its sheath and studied the village.
Everything was on fire. Houses erupted in flames and collapsed, wagons and carts were burned to ashes, and soot covered everything. Women and children screamed and cried over their loved ones who were caught in the crossfire. Men with dented helmets and dull breastplates, many of whom were injured, stood guard around the outskirts of the village, protecting whatever was left of their homes.
A few of these men stood in awe of the man who just arrived. None tried to stop him as he passed through the destroyed gate leading to the ruins of the village. His eyes lay on a boy, aged 12 or 13 lying on the street. “Boy,” his low voice rumbled. “What happened here?”
“Them monsters.” The boy said, clutching his bleeding arm. “Trolls, goblins, and wolves too. They pillaged and burned everything, they took all our gold and treasure.”
The man slowly pulled his sword back into its sheath and looked around with his aged eyes. He grunted. “Where’s Analla?”
The boy was silent.
“Boy, answer me.” The man said, grunting again. “Where’s my daughter?”
The young boy lifted his dirt-streaked face. He turned towards the forest behind the smoke-filled houses. “Them monsters,” He coughed. “They took her too.”