24 HOURS BEFORE CAPTURE AT THE BORDER

To the untrained eye the map looked worthless.  Scrawled on burlap with charcoal and grease the cryptic symbols looked like nothing more than the smudged result of an axle repair projected but Sagramour knew better.   This had been his father's map, a man known to the world to be nothing more than an eccentric but known to his son to be a man of secrets and uncommon intellect.

Sagramour left the farm in a hurry snatching the map and his father's sword on the way out the door.  In the year since his father's death he had been running the farm on his own, sowing and harvesting their modest crop of wheat as well as tending to the livestock.  It was backbreaking work but Sagramour has always thrived in the early hours and painful work of the farm. At 25 years of age he stood a head taller and broader of shoulder than anyone else in town and head a reputation as a man of unceasing work ethic and few words.

Sargramour has remained on the family farm much longer than most his age rejecting the mass exodus from farm life that was common among his peers.  Ever loyal to his father he had stayed on when his mother passed away and it was in the years following her death that he began to recognize a change in his father.  Many days were spent working side by side and as they labored his father would regale him with tales of another life and time that until then, Sagramour had known existed.  Perhaps it was his mother's death that made this once stoic man open up or maybe the realization that his son was not going to flee the farm made him somehow worthy to hear the stories.

In the months that followed Sagramour was astonished to discover that his father had once been a soldier and adventurer of considerable reputation and experience.  As time passed he shared more than stories, imparting his knowledge of the world, combat and the forgotten lore of the old gods.  It was during this time that Sagrmour first saw the map.  Covered with what looked, to the untrained eye, like nothing more than scratches, the map looked like nothing more than trash.  However, the rag had been given a place of prominence among his fathers treasured things and stored in such a way that made it's importance to the mad obvious. 

After his father's death, Sagramour spend evenings studying the cloth and speculating as to it's importance.  Days spent at back breaking work and nights spent in meticulous study of this fathers belongings brought a slow dawning of knowledge and the patterns revealed themselves. As his mind swelled with understanding so to did his certainty that this was much more than a simple map.

The attack came suddenly. Within days of his burgeoning understand the hoard arrived. He spotted distant burning fields from the front front porch and watching growing horror as the horses plunged through the flames toward the farm house.  With only moments to escape Sagramour took up his father's sword and crushing the mottled cloth under his belt, crashed through the back door and into the forest. Running through the moonlight trees his ears rang with the final terrible destruction of the farm that he had called home for more than 25 years.  He was on his own now and charging up Pale Pass with an old sword, the clothes on his back and a stained rag that may or may not be a map...this was madness.