*Originally posted in the story starter thread and moved to allow that story to continue* Beowolf crouched in a stand of trees looking over a fenced field, and felt the Northwest wind that had passed from the Great Sea over the Court of Truth Caress his face. Beyond the field stood a small cottage and in the lengthening shadows and dying light of a waning day in Autumn he watched a small boy and his father play catch with a ball made of tied leather scrap. The smile that hinted at the corners of his mouth was not pleasant and it did not touch his eyes, which glistened, over bright, but that could be accounted for by the wind. Surely, it was the wind. He had been born here, well, not this here exactly, but on a farm much like this one. The earth, cleared amongst the towering trees, yielded life in its fashion every year and the smell of pumpkins would overlay the constant pungency of moss and the decay of the old wood. He had played with his father, until the resurgence of Minax and the encroaching of Jou N’ar brought death and destruction in their wake. His father had fallen to a band of mongbats that had erupted from the forest as they were harvesting under a sun much like the one that shone overhead. His father had held just inside the front door of their cottage, pitchfork in both hands, while Beowolf had made his way out a window between the house and a storage shed in the back. With a fierce burning in his heart he could still feel his father’s rough one armed embrace and a kiss against the top of his head. “Go Bee. Stay safe and grow strong and be a man yourself one day.” The arm around his shoulders tightened as if to crush him. “Remember all I have tried to teach you. The good brothers should be of some help, now GO!” A last look into his father's eyes showed a sadness at tasks left unaccomplished and sunrises never again shared, but greater was the strength and determination held within. As he had fled he had allowed himself one backward glance, the door was shuddering in its frame and before it his father, pitchfork now in both hands, braced himself, his head slightly bowed in a final plea to his maker. Beowolf daubed at his eyes with the sleeve of his robe. He was no longer young, a cold fact belied by the strands of gray in his dark beard. Any dread he felt was not for himself, unless it was for the passing of a peace, uneasy as it was, that he had been granted for several cycles of the seasons. By all rights he should have been content. His trade, though not the plow for many years, had brought with it a fair harvest, success, not a few scars and recently some time of leisure. But many questions had arisen over this last year that had not had sufficient answers for his liking. The sudden rift that had opened in Moonglow bringing an accursed horde of foul beasts from an unknown abyss had lingered on with no sense of progress being made and then disappeared seemingly without explanation. Shortly after the rift in Moonglow, small engagements had been fought in several smaller towns with a force that could be daunting but never overwhelming. The trophies of these battles already had a coating of dust in their display at the Knights Hall. He had no real reason to feel the dread in his breast any longer when he looked on Yew, not in particular, yet he felt drawn to return here more and more of late. Maybe it was just the time of year, and his memories. Maybe it was the rumor of stirrings in Destard and the unexpected appearances of great beings in armor of the like the dragoons though much more powerful. But something was stirring on the wind, and Beowolf had pledged life and limb as a protector of this land and its tenants. Behind him, further in the growing gloom beneath the towering canopy he heard the crackle of mystical energy that brought a glowing portal of cobalt blue. Maybe there would be news. Silently, he stood and felt the blood trying to rush back into muscles cramped too long in spring like crouch. "Sentimental old man." He quietly chided himself. As he stole through the bracken towards the gate he allowed himself one last backward glimpse at a happiness tinged in golden sunlight before taking the deep breath and stepping into an oblivion that would take him to where the duties of the moment called.