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110 Days

Prologue

He ran over in his mind the inventory of his pack as he tightened the straps of his saddle. It would do, at least for this first part of his journey. He knew not what would be his situation once he passed out of the lands of his knowledge, but for now his supplies were sufficient for the task. Satisfied, he mounted and rode out of the courtyard. He had said his farewells to his loved ones and was eager to depart before they thought of more reasons why he should not go. It had been a difficult task to convince them that the quest not be given to another; it was his alone. He would allow no one else to attempt such a dark and uncertain journey.

He rode out from the city just before dawn. The guards at the gate saluted him as he passed, as was their custom. They knew little of his errand, but then, he knew little enough himself; only that it could prove to be a hopeless journey. His heart thrilled in anticipation of the adventure. Hopeless, perhaps, but worth the attempt. Unknown dangers lay ahead on a long, lonely road, but he was not afraid. He would find that road if it could be found.

He paused briefly at the outer defensive wall and looked back across the field at the city behind him. The light of the rising sun was beginning to warm its walls and high towers. He turned in his saddle and put his hand to his belt. Lifting the horn that hung there to his lips, he gave a great musical blast, as if to signal to friend and foe alike that he was setting forth on his Quest. Boromir, son of Denethor, was riding forth, determined to seek in the distant north the answer to a strange riddle and to bring aid to his City, or die in the attempt.

The sun rose behind him as he spurred his steed to a gallop and passed into the mist on the road to the west.