A man bursts through the trees into the clearing. He is riding his horse too hard, especially through waist deep snow; he doesn’t care. Its clear from the desperate look on his face that fear has gripped his very soul. Hooves disappear into the snow and then churns it up into the air leaving the beautiful smooth snow marred in his wake. “Help!” he screams.
The music ends suddenly and the people stop dancing. Their eyes are rivited to the racing stranger in the clearing. The crowd gasps in unison as the horse breaks its leg on a rock hidden by the snow. The horse flips head over heels and lands on its rider.
The festival is quickly forgotten as a few men and Hailey run out to care for the man… If its not already too late. As the horse is removed Hailey is already vigorously rubbing her hands together with faint crackles of light starting to arc between the man’s wounds and her hands. A look of sadness crosses Hailey’s face as the looks to the eldest man and she shakes her head. The rider manages to gurgle the words “Soldiers coming… killing… everything” through a mouthful of blood. The man’s eyes loose their life, eternally he rests.
The group hears the crunch of snow behind them and turns. “Mayor Crestfall, he just said tha..” “I heard” the approaching man interrupts. “Everyone you have 10 minutes to gather your belongings and then we are leaving.”