When I was young like you, i knew a vast unfathomable world of peace. At first my house and my parents, my friends, my village. For many years, it extended no further than the largest tree at the end of the main road.
I would sit atop the highest branch and stare down the main road. I would ask my father again and again what lay down that winding gravel path. He would answer with the most fantastic stories of busy markets and bustling cities
One year he promised me that I could join him on his journey to the market place after the next harvest. For the rest of the season I could think of nothing else. My friends had gathered their knowledge of the outside world form their parents, as well as older brothers and sisters. By the time the harvest had begun I was convinced that a troll lay waiting under every bridge and that we would be molested by all manner mythical creatures along the way.
I was to be disappointed by my first travels however. The week long journey I had been told about so many times was really no so far after all. The slow pace of the caravan put me too sleep and I grew bored and restless. A child can run much faster than mules can pull wagons!
I stared into the campfire one night and poked idly at the coals.
"What troubles you son?" My father asked
"Can we move no faster, dad?" I replied with a sour tone of voice "We have barely come a hundred paces since we left home!"
"Well now!" my father laughed "Aren't we an eager businessman off to make his fortune at the markets! Don't you worry m'boy, we'll be there soon enough. And when we get there I'll teach you all there is to know about getting the best price for wheat and barley." He smiled warmly and sent me to bed.
- Act 1
This story begins at the end of a mother's life, the beginning of a young man's journey and the middle of a war.