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Looking to his left was the kingdom of Anstia, it's beautiful architecture was visible from miles away. Polished white stone bricks shined in the sun. The towers of its keep rose high above its walls, each with a conical roof made of a scarlet flagstone. The glorious kingdom mirrored itself in the moat that surrounded it, the sight was amazing to Balamor.

"Don't let it fool you. What lies behind those walls is a prison for people like you and I." Awkid said as he watched the young Wisebeard stare westward.

Balamor kept his gaze fixed on the kingdom as he replied,

"Do you know what was there before the Kingdom of Anstia?"

Awkid was taken aback by the question, not once did he ask it himself. But it didn't matter to him, what ever was there before had been ruined by the Anstian Monarchy.

"All I know is what stands there now, and it’s hideous."

The Dwarf's statement lingered in his mind. He had an awkward feeling after he said it, as if it was never even said or not said enough. He looked at the kingdom and then back at his arm. It wasn’t his fault he was cursed. The cloth wraps were slightly stained with dirt as he began to fix them. He knew it was the only way to hide it from the power hungry monarchs. Even though they did well for their own people it was their hatred for magic that drove them mad. They would do everything in their power to keep magic suppressed in the south; if they could find it.

“Traveling to the Kingdom I see?”

Balamor and Awkid snapped their head up to see a guard atop a horse. He was covered iron plating and ringmail, leather strapping held a white cloth around him. On the cloth was a sigil, the same sigil Balamor saw on the flags of the Anstian Kingdom. The head of a black dragon with a golden sword down its mouth- The death of the Old Kingdom and the birth of the Anstian Kingdom.

The two travelers looked startled as the guard approached from the west. Awkid quickly finished bandaging his arm as Balamor attempted to answer the man’s question.

"Actually... We uhh... We are traveling south to --"

Awkid Anvorbeard quickly finished his sentence, his tone was serious as he looked the Anstian guard in the eye.

"To the Kingdom of Elkart. Don't mind my Hobbit friend here, he doesn't know the five kingdoms like you and I."

The End

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