By Andrew Hunter
Copyright 2010 Andrew Hunter
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Polar winds blasted through the narrow, treeless valley of the Nedorran Pass. Flurries of snow whirled down between the high rock walls and buffeted the naked faces of the human captives whose boots slipped and scuffed across the ice as the troll raiders dragged them northward toward an unknown fate. Four warriors of the Raven Tribe staggered in a ragged line, tethered together by thick leather cords stretched from around the neck of each to the bound hands of the prisoner in front of them. Three of them, tall blonde bearded giants of northern stock, leaned into the wind, heads down as they walked. The fourth held her head high, her long black hair streaming like a banner behind her. Her vibrant green eyes narrowed, searching the white wasteland for any landmarks that might lead her back when an opportunity for escape presented itself. Wrapped tightly in the thin leather and furs of a scout that revealed the feminine curves of her lean frame, Tanys’ limbs ached as the arctic cold leeched out the last of her body’s warmth. She knew her strength would not last much longer, and yet she glared defiantly at her inhuman captors, and would not give them the pleasure of seeing her lose hope.