The Stormbringer, Part 1
Back in the village the horses were drowning. The waters had flooded over the breakers and had swept down into the paddocks. Inside, they held back while the horses screamed, such a human sound. The crash of water hitting against the rocks, mixes with the cries and the rush of the torrent. The whole valley was drowning. Still they remained inside. You never went out during this storm.
This was the third night that the rains had poured. The third night that the heavens had opened and released their wrath upon the land. This was the night it would end as it had begun; with death.
The three sheltered on their hill, waiting and praying for it to pass, knowing it would not. All in black and hunkered round what remained of their fire. They knelt because they had burned all the furniture in the room. All the comforts had gone into the flame now. The seats, the benches, the tables.
“Why did we come?” said the first
“For honour, I suppose” said the second
“Why else?” said the third
It was true that they had travelled long and were weary and the worst was yet to be done. Then the storm came in all it’s blackness and hung over them. They knew it for a sign. So they waited. Soon he would come. He always came with the lightning.
The thunder rolled and at last the lightning struck.
Three times the lightning roared down the valley, each toll coming closer than the last. Then a knock at the door. A gentle tapping, a delicate rapping at the shelter door.
The three men stood and turned to face their fate as the door swung inward under it’s own volition and the stranger entered the room.
He was dressed in black, but the black of clouds. The material rippled and billowed with the wind and the stranger stepped forward supported by his oaken stick. He approached the fire and crouched nearer to the flames which seemed to reach for him then, like lost children.
“Do you know me?” said he, his voice soft like a breeze
“We know” said the first
“We have always known” said the second
“You’re the Strombringer” said the third.
“Aye, I am the Stormbringer. And the storm is round your heads now. Strong and thick it grows”
He turned then and looked at their faces for the first time. Each felt judged and naked to those eyes.
“Why did you come?”
“For glory” said the first
“For honour” said the second
“For duty” said the third
This was the moment that the three had been bred for. It has always been this way.
Three villages surrounded this valley and for as long as anyone can remember every thirty years a storm had come. Dark and trouble it would roll over the land and drive the people inside their homes. The animals would bray and scream and run to shelter though some were always caught in the deluge. And always on this night three were born. Three boys who would come crying amidst the storm. And then three would leave to fight it.
From the moment the three are born they are raised to fight the storm bringer in the hope that this would be the last.
“You” said the Stormbringer pointing at the first man