"Pa says I'm a dreamer, always with my eye on the horizon."
Raised in a remote village, young William knows little of the world beyond his father's fields. Even villagers have stories, though - tales of war, and honorable knights, and fair maidens - and William knows them all.
Coary is a lost son of Carn Nebeth, a returning soldier who brings with him stories of a devastating war, a dead kingdom and a world ripped in two. William is more interested in his weapon, a simple soldier's blade - yet to a young boy, the weapon of lords and heroes.
Despite the dreams of young William, it isn't long before the excitement of Coary's return dies down, and village life resumes its quietly hectic pace. There may be a swordsman in town, but there are no dragons to slay, or damsels to rescue. Coary himself is more than happy to return to a quiet life, free of the violence he has known.
The war, though, has created many dangerous men. Not all of them have tired of conquest – and some of them have wondered what lay down that lonely country road...
(novella, ~18,000 words)