Hildmoor - leaves of autumn

Rogue stepped outside, past the row of pillars onto the balcony, clad in a complicated armor of leather straps, a sword tied to his back, a great black cloak. On the armor was the mark of the rearing horse, the glyph of those that go to hopeless battle, to death. Outside on the great square, between the pillars wound with ivy and the falling leaves, and on the countless balconies above and below, stood the last men and women of the Brotherhood, three thousand in all, all dressed in the same black cloaks, torches burning in the fading light, long swords and bows and shields strapped to their back.

Rogue looked up. On the highest balcony where the Erl Tree waned stood Demon, dressed in a spiked breastplate, a barbed sword in his hand. Next to him stood his brother Nomad, and all around his guard, the Men of the Black Branch, the finest knights of the Brotherhood.

Rogue looked down. On the central square, Karu mounted his horse, a score of knights around him mounting as well. Briefly, their eyes met, and Karu nodded his approval.

Then, with not a word spoken, the procession left for battle, through the pass, over the tarnished hills, to their death, ending a time when there was room for Brotherhood. Then Rogue felt a shiver down his spine, as if he was part of some fairy daydream, something so unreal that could only be seen through a looking-glass. The sun went down, the night fog arose. They took their scattered position near Raven Hill.

As autumn comes, the leaves fall, and their color changes from green to red and yellow and brown... it is a time of change. The living creatures draw inward, and those that have the skill of thought ponder upon themselves and the land. Nature grows silent, its glory diminished after the past summer, dies away in the coming winter, but at the same time, displays its radiant beauty in the passing autumn. It is nature's finest hour.

Hildmoor is not a real place, but a feel, the fierce battle taking place at Raven Hill marking the essence of autumn: the melancholy of change, the coming of a terrible and cold silence, the yearning for warm and bright times now long gone - simpler times with green pastures and warm evenings. A great battle, no obvious cause, no definable timeline. A balance between present past and future. A sort of twilight, an anticipation. Between dream and wake.

Inside the halls of the hidden House of Falling Leaves, fire crackles cozily, warm beds are dreamt away - but outside, the cold and majestic battlefield turning-point awaits, a place that you do not yearn for to be, but nevertheless is grand to look at from behind the window-glass.