Black Moon Draw (Four, page 1 of 3)

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The Shadow Knight of Black Moon Draw hunched over the map of his kingdom. The positions of his army and those of his greatest enemy were marked, and his second-in-command stood beside him, quietly observing the familiar process. The mists that had covered his kingdom for nearly a thousand years clung to his dark clothing.

He tapped one spot and then leaned away, ready to roll the map to keep the fog from smearing the ink.

"The battle of Brown Sun Lake will be great indeed," he said with satisfaction.

"You do not wish to wait for your battle-witch?"

"My dreams told me naught last night. I cannot wait. We will move into position."

His loyal second said nothing, and he considered the routes of approach and egress, knowing how advanced his enemy was. It would be a battle the bards would sing about for a thousand years: the barbarian hordes of Black Moon Draw overthrowing the more massive, better equipped armies of Brown Sun Lake. His life had led up to this moment, each battle teaching him a new lesson, a new skill.

Finally, he was prepared, and with little time to spare. Once he claimed Green Dawn Cave and Brown Sun Lake, he would negotiate a surrender with the Red Knight of White Tree Sound, who preferred not to go to battle at all.

Only then, after the ten kingdoms of his realm were subdued, he would face his greatest battle: the thousand-year curse plaguing his world.

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