This story takes place in the Far North, in a small quaint village on the outskirts of civilization not known enough for a name. Unbeknownst to this village know, it would soon be the birthplace of a new era.
Hooves could be heard slopping through the mud leading through town. The five riders creating a chaotic symphony of noises drowning out the livestock in the area. Their destination was another hundred feet in front of them, a single burning torch placed outside the door.
The riders pulled on the reigns, halting the horses, and slid off, boots sinking into the wet Earth. The snow was melting and the long days of summer, only found in the north, were approaching fast. They tethered their steeds in the side alley beside the house away from prying eyes. In time, the world would know them but tonight was not for the world, it was for the Fraternity.
The full moon cast long shadows and the torch flickered wildly in the harsh frigid breeze as the riders shuffled through the muck for the door. Pushing, shoving and under-breath banter commenced as four of them fought to position themselves to be first through the door.
With a quick snap of fingers the four became orderly once again. A sharp dressed man towards the back threw back his hood showing off a midnight black trimmed beard hugging a tanned face with deep, stern brown eyes. "Quiet!" he hissed as he walked through the other four and rapped his knuckles on the warped wood of the door. He glanced back at the four, "We must stick to the plan."
Several moments passed before movement could be heard and a large voice sounded, "How's the weather out there?!"
The knocker looked back at his other riders before stating, "About 5 degrees colder than my mother's heart and the FOG is rolling in!"
A short silence, followed by a latch being removed and the door swung open speedily, spilling an intense candlelight into the muddy road. The temporarily blinded riders covered their eyes quickly, letting them adjust, they removed their arms to see a shirtless muscle bound man wearing three-quarter length cloth pants and dual-wielding two crossbows aimed at the knocker and the largest of five.
Hands reached for their waist in a desperate attempt to find their weapons before they got an arrow through the chest. "Don't Move!" hissed the crossbow wielding norse man as he took a threatening step closer and steadily moved the crossbows back and forth between the riders. With initial gut reactions dissipating, all five riders took a small step, body tensing, hands outstretched in peace.
"Why are you a day early?!" asked the man, lowering his voice to a less aggressive volume.
"We made good time going over the mountain my friend, decided to ride straight through as the wolves have been getting bolder at night" said a stout, muscular pale man with a long salt and pepper viking braid running down his back.
A intense minute passed as the shirtless man looked at each man in turn, staring into their very souls. The man started to open his mouth when a large cloth could be seen sweeping aside behind him. A young maiden walked through the opening stared straight at the confrontation at the front door tossed her head back and rolled her eyes as every one of the riders yelled, "NICKY!!!!"
To Be Continued...
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