SEIFER'S SACRIFICE

Prologue

The group of large barbarians, four in number and one being female, encircled the fountain that sparkled in the moonlight. Though the water was exceptionally clear, the bottom could not be seen as a reflection of a small fishing town's dock, with three figures sitting cross-legged at the edge of the pier, were seen trying to catch some fish in the middle of the portal. Regardless of the calm painted on the group's faces, within each of them swelled a rage that eagerly wanted to be freed. One of the four, a tall and muscular man whose red fiery hair ran all the way down his back and a thick red beard that ran down his chest stood back, glaring at the central figure in the pool.

"How can we be sure that he is the one?" he sternly asked.

Beside the red-haired barbarian, to his left, the only woman amongst them stood back from the fountain. She was the sight of true beauty, with her curves in the right places and with a pair of perfectly swollen breasts. Turning to regard her companion, brushing away some of her golden locks of hair from her eyes; she laid a gentle hand on his shoulder.

"Do you doubt that I do not know the murderer of my husband?" she countered, drawing his attention away from the fountain.

"Enough!" bellowed the third, an elderly man whose body seemed to be failing him but all that knew the crazed one knew he was more than capable of defeating any three men in combat. Spitting out some of his wiry stalk white hair out of his mouth, he continued his tirade.

"He will, mayhap, die by my hand yes…but why care, do we?"

Both the red-haired barbarian and lovely woman had to take more than a few moments to understand that ramble. The woman shrugged but her companion seemed on the edge of erupting all of his built-up rage into the old man across the fountain. He would've indeed done just that if the fourth didn't intervene.

"Calm, all. He is the one as the lady stated and we care because we all desire retribution—"

"Retribution for what?" another voice cut in from above. "The man defeated our father in combat. Even you cannot doubt that my brother."

The interruption was unexpected but the fourth was not at all surprised. If this meeting was to be a secret they would've picked a more secluded spot than out in the open night sky and in the popular meadow where the ancient Reflection Fountain laid. The warrior lifted his right arm, which had only a stub at the end and began scanning the land. Up in the tree nearby, the warrior wasn't surprised to see the only member of the community who was against the hunt and death for the one that took his father away and sat with his legs dangling off a branch.

"You called that a battle! It was more like a thief stabbing an unsuspecting victim in the back!" the honorable warrior cried.

Patting the air with his hands to calm his sibling, the handsome man in the tree smiled. This was not the first time they argued about this same course and though the situation never was resolved, the two were at an understanding for the other. Though the man in the tree felt that the prey wasn't in any wrong, he knew that his companions hunted for far less than the death of one of their own. No, the four before him needed this, for the target has just question their own mortality when such a weak man could so easily defeat their strongest warrior. Some lost a father, others a husband and more than a few lost a close friend. This wasn't about retribution, it was about revenge, and that he wouldn't take that away from anyone.

The four turned back to the fountain. The man in the tree never stopped smiling. The entire tribe was in an uproar for several years. No one wanted to leave without being absolutely sure that the murderer was the right man before they began their hunt. Though he thought it a complete waste of time, the handsome man couldn't help but enjoy the activity in the tribe, activity that hasn't been seen in decades.

His smile vanished as a whisper in the wind caught his attention. The words were barely audible but the quiet night made it much easier for him to hear every syllable. The urgency in the message was genuine and the man sighed. He didn't want to get in his friends way but neither did he want to be involved. Now, with the eerie whispering wind, he just may have to.