The Journey Begins
There was much Annalise regretted. She regretted not running after her fathers carriage when it was taking him and many others to the borders to fight the Great War. She regretted not being by her mother's side when she had taken her last breath. She regretted not being near the black river when her little sister was pulled inside by the kraken. And she knew, she just knew, if she didn't travel to the Broken Mountain, she will regret not saving her brother from the Ice Witch.
Annalise Zarbeck knew she could not fight the witch, no one could. But, she knew she will have to do something to bring her brother back safely. The only problem was, her uncle and her grandmother had refused to let her leave their land since her brother was taken captive.
No matter how hard Annalise had argued, they had refused to let her leave their sights. But Anna had a scheme brewing in her mind.
Anna woke up after midnight and scooped up her trusty sidekick, her bow and arrow. She had received the bow and arrow on her eleventh name day just as her older brother had received his sword on his eleventh name day. Her little sister had never experienced that joy because of her untimely death. It seemed as though untimely deaths were written in her family's fate.
Annalise quietly snuck out of their cottage and made her way towards the stables where her loyal steed, Lightening, was waiting patiently for Anna to take them on an adventure. Anna was careful to not make too much noise as she got Lightening ready for their quest. Anna has snuck out of her home many times before without anyone ever noticing but she knew this time will not be as easy.
Her grandmother and uncle knew how Anna could sometimes behave when it came to her family or giving proof of her abilities. They most likely knew Anna would be sneaking out, maybe that was why her uncle had left the doors of his chambers open. Or why her grandmother had placed small items around their home. Or why one of her uncles aides was sitting next to the doors, sleeping.
Anna walked with lightening towards the town center but did not ride him. Her hands gripped her bow tightly, looking around the town with cautious eyes. She had prepared for this journey but she would not be surprised if her grandmother and uncle had set up guards around the town to catch Anna in the act. She will not let anyone ruin this.
Anna's eyes caught sight of the golden arrow held by the man who had used this before to defeat the dragon years ago. Draco Welson. After defeating Daermad Lord of the Skies, he had gone on to take the title of the greatest warrior.
Annalise had an inkling her grandmother regretted telling her stories about their town now. Her other siblings had not believed any stories that came out of their grandmothers mouth or the many other people who believed the myths but Anna believed. She believed wholeheartedly. That was exactly why Anna was planning to borrow the golden arrow from the town center and kill the Ice Witch.
Anna was not only going to kill the witch but end her reign of terror. The ce Witch may not be a queen or ruling any kingdoms, yet she behaved as though she was the queen of the world and they were all her servants. Everyone may believe the Ice Witch could not be killed but Anna didn't. Everyone could die if tried hard enough. And Anna was willing to travel to the end of the world to prove it. If Daermad could be killed, so can the witch.
After taking golden arrow, Anna set on her journey towards the broken mountain. Anna has heard from every person in the town, of how dangerous the road to the Broken Mountain is, let alone the mountain itself.
But not one of them had traveled there. No, they were all cowards. Each and every one of them. They did not stop the ice witch from rising to power. They did not stop the end massacre of the druids. And Anna knew, the people of this town would not be able to save her brother from the evil clutches of the ice queen.
Anna's journey started in the season of new beginnings. The singing of the birds, the sway of the wind, the bloom flowers and plants. It all gave way to new life and new beginnings. The first light came and Anna realized everyone in town must be waking up soon. Her grandmother will put the kettle on for some tea and uncle would be waking up to the sound of his apprentice's loud footsteps.
Anna thought of her grandmothers expression when she would realize Anna was not in bed, not in the stables, not practicing her archery skills in the back where her father had from the beginning taught her how to hold the bow properly.
Her grandmother would then inform her uncle who'd search the whole of the town before coming back to tell her grandmother that Anna was nowhere to be found. Her uncle would also inform her grandmother of the missing golden arrow reported by the Lord Mayor.
Anna thought of the angry and worried feeling taking over her uncle and grandmother. That had all happened when her brother had gone missing and they had search the whole of town before they had received the news of the ice witch taking a prisoner. Her brother.
Anna had been told by many to forget about her brother. To not even worry about him now that he was under the ice witch. Once the ice witch takes something or someone, you can't get it back. Anna had hated how the town had just given up on ever defeating the witch. But Anna will. She was sure of it.
The long journey a head of her took her from Glimmerhook, her town, to Windy City, to Breenshir, to Norchest, to Berkchester. The towns had been easy to navigate but Anna knew the hardest part of her journey was just beginning.
Anna will have to cross Eyville to get to Druford but the path was not looking so good. Eyville would be her last stop to collect items for her journey ahead. Anna would've already been further ahead if it was not for the spring rains. The rains had flooded many small towns and cities, and stopped many traveling humans.
Summer was approaching fast. Soon, Anna will be able to complete most of her journey but the last of it will come in winter. Exactly what Anna was afraid of — fighting the ice witch in winter. Like the witch needed any more boosts in power. Winter was always the worst time for everyone, not only because of the dying crops and blizzards but also the ice witch. The ice witch was at most power during winter and did not hesitate to show everyone.
Much was at stake here. Anna could feel the pressure inside of her. Now, her reputation was on line too. If Anna did not come back, she'd be the fool who tried to kill the witch. If she did come back but without her brother, she'd be called a coward and a fool. If she did come back , well, she'll be known throughout Ersenland for her bravery. She had much to prove.