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It was the first day of spring. Nature was slowly regaining its former glory, the green leaves beginning their growth anew. A cold wind made the mostly bare trees sway in a slow, lazy dance.

The sun slowly peeked over the horizon. The golden rays of light danced upon the town below, giving the dull cobble streets a pleasant pink glow. The farmers were already working the field, some stopping for just a moment to look at the beauty that was so rarely present in their lives. It was a constant battle of survival, always wondering whether the soldiers would trample their crops, or a monster might decide to attack. Such were the times in Revera. Times of fear, times of war.

On a hill overlooking the town stood a man. His face bore many scars, each a light pink contrasting the darkness of his skin. His thick brown hair was cut short, so that it was barely visible. Anyone who'd have seen him would've guessed with ease that he was from the south, if not for the obvious features than from his accent once he spoke. He looked to be anywhere from forty to fifty years old, judging by the wrinkles on his forehead. The lightness and the grace which he held in his step were, however, that of a young, sprite man. Light chainmail covered his chest, and his shoulders were covered by thick leather plates. He had a scarlet cloak draped over his shoulders. Both cloak and a corner of his armour bore the emblem of a red dragon- a sign of the dragon riders.

A heavy sword hung on his back, secured by several leather straps. The leather on the handle seemed worn and was peeling off at the edges. It had been a while since the rider had replaced it.

The blades of grass bent with his every step and sprung back up as soon as his boot lifted off the ground. He left no trace of ever passing through there, as it had been over a week since the region's last rainfall, and the ground was still cold and frosty. An icy wind picked at his skin through the thin layers of clothes he wore, but it was a welcome sensation.

Even though the morning was very pleasant, the man was on guard. Dry, cold weather meant some pasins could try and quench their thirst with the blood of innocent villagers. The hounds the size of ponies looked like they were sent straight from the Underworld, although they didn't possess a single drop of magic in their blood. They were big, meaty beasts which dominated northern Revera and anywhere where there were enough trees and not too many other predators. Their size made hunting difficult as much as it made killing easy. The man had witnessed several heads getting chopped straight off by those beasts first-hand. A mere guard could easily get mauled, and the town before him was so small that the guards were most likely lazy drunkards. The army barracks, positioned right by the tiny town house, seemed barely big enough for five people to fit in there.

The walls surrounding the town weren't worthy of the title. Most of the wall was in ruins, or would be soon. Some parts were missing completely. And the runes which were supposed to shine and deter and weaken the monsters were unrecognisable, only one or two out of hundreds giving off a soft, white glow.

The man wasn't sure how the town was still standing.

But he wasn't there to admire the view nor criticize the walls- he was there because a new rider would be joining their ranks. Everyone felt the sudden appearance, and the man could easily pinpoint from which house the sudden burst of magic had come from. He even saw it from his vantage point. It was located at the edge of the town, near a crumbled part of the wall. A dirt road connected the what seemed to be the poor part of town to the rest, and the house of the future rider was in a similar shape as its town's walls. The dull, red paint was peeling off and there was a gaping hole on the roof- that was about as much as the rider could see, even though his sight was enchanted far beyond the capabilities of a mere human.

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