A bay mare hustled into the castle bailey. The clop of its hooves on the cobblestone could have been rumbles of thunder. Atop it straddled a women vested in half a suit of armor. Her hair flowed behind her in tangled bunches. She puffed almost as hard as her mount.“What is it?” one of the nearest lords inquired.
“Gretmot,” the messenger choked, “has been attacked.
The lord’s eyes sprung wide. “The western fortress, besieged?”
The messenger’s gaze dropped. “They were breaching the gate when I left.”
“Who did this?” another lord asked. He wrung his calloused hands.
“The hill trolls seem to have struck up an alliance with an ogre. I think he was of the northern tribe, by his tattoos. Beastly with a tree trunk.”
The crowd of lords and ladies thickened. The Prince was the last to join them, dressed in velvet robes of azure and crimson. “Fear not, milords and ladies. I shall have the best of my knights on the task at once.” His gaze met the messenger. “As for you, Lady Edlewine, I suggest you fix your armor. We’ll need a first-rate troll hunter.”