Many great stories were born in the time of the Balinorn Rulers King Decimus and Queen Theolana, with her unicorn Songweaver, though not all were created in Balinor Indeed, there were just as many created in the land of Rek, and in Jesse's Land. Many more were conceived in the Fiery Fields.
The reign of Farnhar the Dark, infamously brief, was the birthplace of heroes. These heroes were what kept all the Shifter Lords' lands from falling apart when the Wars of Succession occurred after the death of Farnhar. They were the ones who ensured that Diablo's dream would live on and that Arioch's Curse would eventually come to fruition. And the greatest of these heroes was Orion.
He was, in essence, the King's Champion, or in this case, the Lord's Champion. He did the dirty work that the Lord himself could not afford to do – killing certain important persons to prevent potentially disastrous occurrences, committing atrocities on the battlefield in order to attain victory; the list goes on. Orion was not always proud of his deeds, but there was one thing he always maintained – his word. He had sworn an oath of fealty, and he would keep it, or, pardon the cliché, die trying.
And the heart of the oath he swore to uphold was a single, simple clause: to protect and keep from harm the Shifter Lord and those associated with him….
So, in essence, Orion preformed his deeds out of loyalty. But, no, loyalty is not the proper word. It was more of a sort of love – not the romantic sort that possesses the birds and the bees, but a sort of admiration, respecting, living love – the sort of regard that families and friends hold for each other, even though they certainly won't bed with their best friend. It was the sort of love that led James to follow his Teacher on that forsaken Friday; it was the sort of love that kept bringing Lancelot back to Camelot and Arthur even though he feared his other sort of love for the Lady Guinevere.
It was this sort of love that possessed Orion to fall for his Lord. Alas, Alas, the Shade of Night.
Orion himself was a general in the Shadow Army. His mount Mintaka was tall enough to carry his great height and breadth, and the pair rode so well together that great victories were wrought using their iron. When Orion had arrived in the Valley of Fear, he had brought with him a large brown and black shepherd dog he called Procyon. When he began commanding, he had encountered many strange members of the Shadow Army – sort of hangers-on that had been conscripted at one point or another and found they preferred soldiering to slavery or a very long and painful death as they served as target practice. One such creature was Murzim – a yellow-eyed dark coated wolf that had been driven out of his pack for attempting mutiny, and then found refuge in the Valley. Murzim was already well acquainted with Mintaka, but the friendship between the wolf and Procyon exploded as the two formed a miniature impromptu pack. They accompanied Orion as faithfully as Mintaka himself. Together the four became the scourge of the world, scouring everything in their path that dared threaten the Shifter Lord Farnhar.
And as time passed, that danger loomed closer, in the form of Taurus the Bull.