So You Want To Be A Hero

Prologue

Hans waded through the last of the waist deep snow, glad to finally be able to see green again. He would have been happy with even mud brown, but green lifted his spirits. He was here!

Spielburg!

Ever since he had his sister read that flier to him in the Adventurer's Guild back home, he knew that it was his destiny to become the Hero of Spielburg. No, maybe it was before that, when he opened the mis-delivered package that had contained a nice sword, a shirt of leather armor, and an instruction booklet. The "Hero at home" package, part of the Famous Adventurer's Correspondence School's home schooling program.

At first, he was going to do the right thing and find the person who had ordered the package. But something had changed the minute he held the sword. It felt different in his hand, not like the farming tools.

It felt *right*.

He spent many months secretly practicing with the sword by candlelight in the stable. When the pictures in the manual were difficult to make out, Gretel read the instructions to him. Soon, he was making strong, thick cuts on the pillars in the stable.

That's how Father caught him.

He had been mad at first, since the damages were expensive to fix. Still, he didn't stop Hans from practicing. Instead, he thought Hans wanted to be a sheriff and apprenticed him.

Hans thought the work was dull. Everyone was such a good citizen there was no crime at all in the streets, unless you counted the drunks. His sword had remained in the sheath.

So he had gone to the local Adventurers Guild with Gretel to see if there was any hero work to be done. And there, off to the side of the billboard, was the torn flier for Spielburg. Gretel couldn't read most of the writing, but she did make out that they wanted a hero. He knew that's where he had to go.

His family, not understanding it, still gave him provisions for the long journey through the mountains. Mother had even made him a new red cloak. With his family's well wishings and tears behind him, he set off for Spielburg.

And got caught in the worst mountain blizzard ever.

For days he was cooped up in a cave, trying to save his rations, then trudging through snow almost chest deep at times, pushing his way onward. Only the thought of becoming a Hero kept him moving.

And finally, finally, he had found the village.

He grinned as he brushed the now melting snow off him, striking a pose he felt looked dashing.

"Get ready Spielburg, for your new hero!" he shouted.