'Prologue' 'The Romans'

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'A Tundra-Wolf Story'

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'A Tundra-Wolf Story'

Prologue 'War-Horse'

The mountain-horses roamed free in the foothills, the high meadows and the valleys all along the western side of the vast mountain range known as the Tallspines. Unlike their cousins below on the open plains the mountain-horses preferred the thick forested hills and steep inclines of the mountain passes.

Hundreds of thousands of turns ago the small three toed ancestors of the horse kept to the mountains and forests. But as the presence of predators increased and receding glaciers left wide open plains below the horses left the mountains. On the plains the threat of ambush grew much less, and they could run free of obstacles to escape. They shed their extra toes to just one hoof and their legs grew long making them much more fleet of foot.

One large herd of the small mountain-horses stayed behind in the forested heights of the Tallspines. They did not lose their toes like their cousins below, instead their middle toe grew large and hoofed with a smaller hoofed toe on each side. They grew large in size like their cousins below, but unlike them they did not run from stalking predators. Their courage grew and they almost completely lost their sense of flight. They stood their ground and fought with a fury that deterred all but the bravest and the hungriest of predators. They made the foothills and high mountain meadows their home. They climbed the cliffs as well as any wild mountain goat and could run and turn on a hairs breath through the thick forest paths. They were very agile for horses so large.

Even for their large size and their aggressive nature they were very shy of man. It was rare for man to venture into their valleys and meadows, but when they did the mountain-horses would watch from afar. If groups of men ventured into the mountains the herds would unite and chase them away.

They were friends to the Elves, the rare Pixens and the little Esari who lived in their Gossamar forests on the foothills of the Tallspines. The Elves called them the 'Nar Frannora' and the Esari named them the 'Doralle Tylo'. No one knew what the wee Pixens called them. The mountain-horses were never asked to be a beast of burden to these races, but only companions and friends to those living around the forests of the Tallspines.

That was until the People came to the Land and bonded with the Tundra Wolves, the bonding that let the Wild Wolf Magic free upon the world. Over the thousands of turns the mountain-horses were always wary of the Tundras and the two stayed apart with a healthy respect for one another. It was only when the Wolf Magic was let loose to aid in battling the deadly Druids Bane that the mountain-horses came to the call and joined with the Wolf People. Since that time the Mountain Horses became stout companions to the Wolf People, a force of nature in battle and in travel they could always count on. The Wolf People named them the War-Horse.

Part One 'The Romans'

Lines of Roman Legionaries marched along the tops of the limestone cliffs that snaked along a sea of calm waters. They walked in the cool early morning under clear sunny skies which gave the promise to hold for a pleasant day. The only blemish General Tiberius could see were the black storm clouds towering high in the far north on the other side of this inland sea. The clouds looked much too far away to be of any concern as of yet. But the weather could change at a moments notice in this northern hell-hole. One had to be continually vigilant.

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