Two tall dark figures were walking through the forests of Zelenor. The trees, just like those figures, were thin and square-shouldered, sticking up, and throwing dark shadows. The moon, right above them, was hidden in a blanket of pure gray clouds. There were a few spots in the sky, where the stars were visible and their shining was almost compensating the moon's absence. „Those mighty pines mark the end of our territories,“ said the first black silhouette.“We reached the end of your state, my Lord.“ „Quite an adventure, my dear Pip,“ replied the second dark figure, „for my state is the biggest in the whole continent.“ „Perhaps the whole world, my Lord!“ „Perhaps,“ replied the second dark figure, and as the clouds moved a little, the moon appeared and lit up a big crown on his head. „To be honest with you, Pip, I've never been to Zelenor before.“ „But, sir, those are the most famous lands of your kingdom!“ „Indeed,“ whispered the lord. „That's why I asked you to come with me here.“ The two silhouettes continued walking toward one wide glade, a hundred feet away from them. Their steps were fast and stealthy, their breathing monotonous, their faces completely invisible. They reached the glade in a few seconds. The moonlit boots of the lord made two deep footprints in one puddle of mud. „The battle will begin in only a few hours.“ The first dark figure sounded a little frightened. A tiny line of steam came out of his mouth. „You shouldn't be here, sir. Let's return to the castle, the carriage is still waiting for us out of the forests.“ The man with the crown nodded. They turned around and disappeared into the thick of the nearest wood. The eastern horizon blazed, as if the dark skies left this place immediately after the two men. Hundreds of birds started singing their songs, some melodies were very high and others were very low, but all of them were in a perfect harmony. Many new shadows came with the brighter light and many faded. Only the clouds were still up in the sky and now they looked much darker. It was about to rain this morning, and many puddles were about to appear, puddles of water-- and puddles of blood. The battle between the biggest states in the known lands had been the most terrifying nightmare for the last two centuries. The southern kingdom, also called The kingdom of the black swordsman or Dredal had declared war on the northern kingdom, also known as The kingdom of the three phoenixes – Brivindol. Now, the time had come for the battle of all the ages to take place in the hug of Zelenor. The songs of the birds were completely swallowed by thousands of other sounds: rattles of shields and armor, ringing of swords, shouting, and something like hollow praying. Soon every forest creature was forced to run away by the knights, who had come in the wide green glade. Those were the noble armies of Brivindol. They were many, maybe one thousand men and women with shiny metal panoply. They had all kinds of weapons: spears, war axes, giant swords and bows-- a lot of bows. At least half the people were archers. There were about a hundred horsemen and only a few wizards. The warlocks were standing right next to one big man, whose outfit was making him look dark even during the day. He had big crown on his head and two giant metal boots. The king. They were all waiting for the enemy to come. However, that's not where our story begins. There will be no epic battles, nor ultimate fights between strong heroes and kings. Not yet. The story begins in Dredal, ten days before the war, where a young peasant would discover things, that would change the world's history forever. CHAPTER ONE ... I was about to name it "Excercise 2", but decided to take your advices and came up with this. I hope I'm improving.