And, unknown to myself at the time, there was one who had trodden the winding, narrow path of heroism for me. He had singlehandedly defeated the last threat to the kingdom, the Black Knight of Eransland, and been appointed a knight in the king's service. His name was Avarax--a much more befitting name for a savior than just plain Mary--and at the moment he was riding off to find me.
"Officer Avarax!" The knight turned as an armor-clad warrior knelt humbly in front of him. "We've caught word of the Hero of Ages! Apparently she's residing in a village east of here."
"Ah, good news for once," Avarax droned in his usual monotone. "She is not in danger, is she? There' s no other reason to have been delayed for so long."
"No, erm..." The warrior fidgeted nervously. "It seems... she's just... working as a barmaid..."
Silence followed. Ugh, one never wants to deliver bad news to Officer Avarax... thought the warrior, grateful that he had remembered his helmet today. The knight's tone, however, had not changed. "The Necromancer has forced her into enslavement?"
"Ah... yes. Yes, maybe that is the case. It must be."
"Very well, then." Avarax nodded, satisfied, then turned, grabbing his steed's reigns. "Tell the rest of the men to prepare themselves. We ride off to rescue to Hero of Ages!"
Blissfully unaware of the king's troops riding towards the town at breakneck speed, I took a great swig of a customer's ale, hoping he was too much of a drunkard to notice. I was correct. The day had been a rather unfortunate one for me, having had to haul one unreasonable man out of the pub and having to explain to another's wife that he was the one going after me. And to top it all off, the sky was a particularly ominous shade of gray today, and rain was almost assured.
Despite the omens pointing to a rather unfortunate event, I didn't expect much. For one, I didn't believe much in fate or bad luck--fate had called me a heroine, and I hardly fit the bill. I most certainly didn't want to. Second, nothing ever happened in this quiet little town that was any more urgent than a missing cow. How one can lose a fat old cow is beyond my comprehension, but seeing as the Necromancer preferred to mess with larger cities and places where nobility stayed, we were quite safe.
Well, we thought so. We were wrong.