Zhelavar watched as the Dread Lords tore across the village, her mind cicatrized with images that would influence the rest of her life. She gazed in shock and awe as the three dark riders systematically decimated the populace. Having been little more than a vagabond child, she knew not the loss that was occurring. In her eyes, this was but another change and little else. She watched as the riders sought out each villager, much the same way that she used to track the rats behind the butcher's hut. The scent of the fallen horse that lay burning beside her, the screams of the townsfolk as the horsemen ran them through, and the vision of a violent animal frenzy around her… it was the grown ups playing the hunting game. Images danced in her head, as she pictured herself upon one of those horses, hunting much bigger prey than mere mice in an alley. A stirring occurred to the left of her, and she glanced over to see what it was. An elderly man who was trapped beneath a water barrel had broken free and was crawling slowly away… hoping not to be seen. Zhelavar knew how she despised when the rats would sneak away on her, and her body now shook with contempt for the old man.


Bursting from safety, she leapt out and pounced upon the man. "Hey, this one getting away!", she cried out to the dark riders, "He getting away!" The nearest of the Dread Lords, the archer of the group, rode over and looked in astonishment as the young Zhelavar struggled to hold the crippled old man down. "move kid. Ill show u how to pin them down." He moved his bow aside and smiled. The smile turned to a sinister laughter as he drew a massive crossbow from the horse’s pack. The clicking of the draw gear thundered in Zhelavar’s ears as she watched the archer ready the weapon. The Dread Lord raised the crossbow… loaded the bolt… and fired it deep into the old man’s chest. The body went limp instantly, and an ankh-encrusted stone rolled from the corpse’s hand. Zhelavar looked up at the archer, and shouted, "I helped ya catch him, didn’t I? I did good, right? He was gonna get away. I hate when they get away." The Dread Lord laughed as he ripped reagents and gold from the body, "hehe ur gonna make a good pk one day." Zhelavar hadn’t the slightest clue what that meant, but she didn’t care. She helped a hunter today, and stopped the rat from scurrying off.

The Dread Lords soon rode off, and Zhelavar skipped through the burning town. She beamed with pride and contentment as she made her first promise to herself… she was going to do her best to be just like the hunters she saw today.