The lines were drawn thousands of years ago.
The first battle of the age-long war sundered the world.
Now, after the world has forgotten, the darkness walks once more...
Winternight... The Final Epic Has Begun
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This is the story of Winternight, the day when the end began and the truest souls of the seven races of men were called forth to the mountains where the darkness was imprisoned, to bear to their peoples a message that could not be ignored...
The leaves on the trees, still but for the wind, began to tremble slightly, as if the earth shook, then more and more, and a sound came, faint at first like thunder gathering in the distance and rolling in through the darkness. A moment later, the thunder became a roar, and a shape broke through the trees on the southeastern side of the clearing. It was moving impossibly fast, but its features were unmistakable, even in the dimness. It was a horse of a kind both beautiful and terrible. Its black coat shone with magic, and its mane streamed straight out behind it from the terrific speed at which it ran. Balls of red lightning flashed in its eyes, and light danced around its hooves as if it struck sparks from the ground, whether it trod upon stones, grass, or the softest earth.
Talina had seen a Dread Steed once before, when she was very young, and this was a stallion of the kind that belonged only to the Fair Folk. It seemed to freeze for a moment before her eyes, and she caught a profile both noble and infinitely dangerous, perfect of form and limb, its rider seeming impossibly small upon its back.
Talina shrank even farther back into the shadows as it thundered across the clearing, a blur of speed, hooves beating the earth in a continuous roar. Behind it came the terrifying avalanche of the Wild Hunt, of hooves and whips and Fae lights, red and black leather flashing as it pounded past through the darkness. Along with the Dread Steeds came the Dark Hounds. They were creatures of nightmare, the larger cousins of the great forest wolves, bred magically for the Hunt, their eyes and teeth glittering as they followed fast on the heels of their masters' steeds.
Once it began, the parade of shapes and light and eyes racing through the gloom seemed to go on forever, and Talina stood absolutely still, barely breathing. Hundreds of horses and riders fairly flew through the clearing each moment, but they came and kept coming. As Talina watched, the night was broken by a cry from the darkness and two shapes sailed out of the mass of horsemen to land rolling in the grass on the near side of the clearing.
Then, as quickly as the careening train had begun, it simply ended, and the ground was still, but for a little residual trembling that soon faded to nothing. There was no sign at all that the Hunt had passed. Not a blade of grass was bent, and the trees were as still and silent as ever. All that remained were two inert shapes, lying in the grass. (The Full Story is Available Free at www.winternightproductions.com)