Tynan slithered back over the top of the rock wall and down to the path once more. Calmly, he placed the spyglass in his saddlebag, as a hard spike of indignation rose inside of him. Tynan decided he would rather die than allow the Order access to his caverns, though he felt it would not come to that. After all, he was a famous fighter and sorcerer, and they were little more than common thugs.
Placing a boot in the stirrup, Tynan got into the saddle once more. “Are you up for a battle, my friend?” Tynan asked his mount.
Duraden stamped a hoof in the black gravel and tossed his head, causing his bridle to jingle violently. Tynan took that as an affirmative and drew on a pair of doeskin gloves before loosing Aric from its sheath. He leaned back and sliced cleanly through the ropes that held the small litter behind Duraden to his saddle. Taking Duraden’s reins in his left hand, Tynan quickly called to mind three spells – wind, dust, and fire – then turned his horse to head down the path into the valley.
As they cleared the cover of the steep rock walls and boulders, Tynan kicked Duraden into a fast gallop, holding his head and his sword high as befitted one of noble birth such as he. They were more than halfway down to the valley before anyone called attention to Tynan’s charge down the mountainside, a long cloud of dust and gravel streaming behind Duraden’s hooves. A collective shout rose from the base of the valley and Zentin Thrace called his men into formation. Mercenaries scrambled to mount their horses and fall into line. A grim smile fell into place on Tynan’s features. Just as Thrace finished screaming his orders and his men formed a broad, two-tiered line, Tynan spoke the words to his wind spell then the dust spell. Seconds later a full blown dust storm swept across the floor of Night Valley ahead of him. Winds howled and debris blinded the men waiting for him. Chaos ensued.
Men shouted and horses neighed in fright. Tynan squinted and urged Duraden to plunge directly into the heart of the storm, hoping to ride right past the Order, through the other side, and up Nightstone before anyone was the wiser. He did not have far to go up the side of the peak to the entrance. A mere hundred yards separated Tynan from freedom, and Tynan was confident that they could make it. He realized too late, he could not have been more wrong.
- Into the Darkness, “Prologue”, page 12