Two young boys each sat on a boulder watching their flock of sheep and listening to night owl hoot. A full moon shone across the sky. Suddenly they hear rustling in the woods. "We should investigate that." said the younger one. "Ah it's probably nothing. If you want to go you can but I am staying here." replied the older. Snap! Suddenly they hear deep creaking and the snapping of branches. Some where in the dark, a large tree crashed to the ground. Both jump up. With a loud roar a dragon charges through the woods toward the sheep. Both boys run back to warn the village. As they run, the dragon devours the sheep. He then turns to follow the boys. The boys arrive to the town panting and out of breath. They tried to raise the alarm. It was too late, the dragon had arrived.
At the crack of dawn the towns mayor gathered what was left of the town's people. They stood on the front step of the church. Behind them all that was left of their town was broken buildings, burning hay and destroyed crops. The mayor gathers everyone close. He asks if anyone was killed or hurt. Everyone is talking, crying and yelling over each other. Everyone is sad and scared. The mayor does not know what to do.
Then at the far end of town there is the sound of galloping horses. All the people turn around. Bernard and Andrew, friends of town's people arrive on their horses. Bernard and Andrew quickly organize the town. They first gathered all those who are hurt into the church so they could be treated. Next, they have men find and bury the dead. Funerals would have to be later. They helped the people gather all the food that is left. It is discovered that there is little food left and that most of the animals were eaten. The people are scared and panicking. The mayor asks for Bernard and Andrew's help.
Bernard, a tall man with long, black hair and brown eyes listens to the mayor pleading for help. He lives off from the town and hunts for himself but now feels like he must help. He turns to his friend, Andrew. Andrew is tall with brown hair and blue eyes. They have long been friends.
Bernard remembers a treasure map that his uncle gave him a long time ago. He rides back to his house and finds it inside one of his chests. Then he rides to town and finds Andrew. Bernard shows him the map and suggests to Andrew that they go get the treasure to help the town. Andrew agrees because he likes adventure. They tell the mayor and the town's people that they will help the town. They will bring back the treasure before fall.
They both get on their horses and make haste back to their houses to pack up supplies for the trip. When Andrew is ready he rides to Bernard's house. Bernard finishes as Andrew gets there. Their provisions are: extra pair of clothes, two pots, flint for fire, spices for soup, bread, plate, spoon and sharp knife. They also carry swords and daggers. Bernard carries his bow and arrows. Andrew carries his hunting spears. Bernard holds the map in a secret pocket in his shirt. That night they rest at Bernard's house. At dawn they set off on the long adventure.
They ride through the whole day. They ride silently and quietly. Near midnight they stop and begin to unpack. They are tired but happy about how many miles they had traveled. Their horses, once unsaddled drink from a near by stream. Andrew with his sharp hearing, hears a howling in the distance but thought nothing of it. Then, the howling is closer and answered by surrounding howls. Bernard also stops to listen. Both are worried. They look at each other. Bernard says,"Wolves". Bernard draws his sword. Andrew lights a fire and then he draws his sword. They stand back to back ready to fight.
By now the wolves have surrounded them and are starting to close in. The pack leader, a big gray with a red strip down his back, lets out a deafening howl. The wolves charge at Andrew, Bernard and the horses. Bernard and Andrew use their swords for hacking and jabbing at the vicious pack of wolves. The horses, Trap and Strike stomp and kick the wolves. Andrew and Bernard dodge and stab but the wolves just keep coming. Bernard realizes the only way to scare them off is to kill the leader. Bernard tells Andrew to throw a spear and kill the pack leader. Andrew throws but the wolf dodges. Strike and Trap, whinny in terror and bolt forward balling over the leader wolf. One steps on his bushy tail and the other breaks one of his legs. Now Andrew gets a clear shot and impales his spear into the wolf's neck. The other wolves seeing their leader killed retreat into the woods.
Bernard and Andrew are extremely tired but very alert. They build up a bright, roaring fire. They keep the horses close. They take turned sleeping and watching. Luckily nothing else stirs for the rest of the night.
In the morning they wake up, pack, eat breakfast and get on their way. With luck it is another calm day and they make good time. They cross streams and open plains. They come upon great hills. On top of one hill is a small hut. Bernard and Andrew arrive at the hut and knock on the door. An old man opens the door. He is short with a gray beard and short gray hair. Bernard asks for a place to stay for the night. The old man agrees and lets them in for dinner. Over dinner the old man asks who they are, where they are from and why they are traveling. Bernard and Andrew tell all about their adventure. He listens and then tells them,"You have a long journey ahead. Be sure to stay on the path. If you leave it, doom awaits you at the grim end." Bernard and Andrew listen and thank him for his hospitality. Then, they all go to bed.
Early the next day they get ready to leave. The old man repeats his advice from last night. Again, Bernard and Andrew listen, thank him and then set off. A ways off, out of hearing range, Andrew says to Bernard, "I think that man is a little crazy. 'Stray from the path and doom awaits us', sounds crazy to me. How dangerous can wild life be?" Bernard answers, "I think he is a little crazy too but we should follow his advice anyway."
The next day is dark and dreary. Rain is pouring down. Bernard and Andrew knew that they had to find shelter and fast. A little ways off the path they see a great cave. They decide to leave the path and go inside the cave. Andrew tries to light a fire. Bernard unsaddles the horses and starts to unpack. Andrew finally lit the fire. Bernard takes a stick of fire to make a torch to explore the cave.
While Bernard is walking along in the dark passage ways he trips over a heavy rock and falls onto a hard log. Then, he hears a grunting sound and the log moves. Bernard jumps up. He sees that what he landed on is a troll's leg. He runs back to get Andrew. Behind him he hears a roar and the sound of stomping feet chasing him. He reaches Andrew. Both get their weapons and turn to face the troll.
The troll emerges from the darkness with his club in hand. They all stare at each other for a few moments. Then the troll charges forward. Bernard and Andrew being swifter, dodge aside from the club that slams down on the place that they were standing. Bernard lunges and Andrew throws his spear. The spear clatters harmlessly to the ground. Bernard lunges again but the troll hide is too thick for his sword. Bernard and Andrew try to circle around the troll but the club comes smashing down onto Andrew. Andrew is tossed to the ground and does not get back up. The horses are whinny and clumping around. The troll now turns to them. Bernard seizes the opportunity and climbs onto the troll's lumpy back. Bernard thrushes his sword into the troll's head. The troll falls to the ground.
Bernard gets up and runs over to Andrew. Andrew is unconscious so Bernard tries to rouse him. Finally Andrew wakes up, feeling sore and bruised all over. He realizes his left arm is broken. Bernard makes a sling out of his blanket to hold his arm. Bernard checks the troll to see if he is dead and then pulls out his sword. He stokes up the fire and unpacks.
Bernard laughs at Andrew, "Some crazy old man, huh? What do you think now?". Andrew laughs too. "All right I was wrong. The old man was right. From now on we stay on the path."
The next morning is cloudy but not raining. Bernard packs up. He helps Andrew onto Trap and they leave. They travel until afternoon when they come upon a mountain. Bernard looks on the map and says that this is where they need to go. Andrew says,"I don't like the looks of this place". They find the slim path that travels up the mountain. The higher they went, the colder it got. Soon they found snow on the ground. Ice covered other parts. It started snowing and then the winds picked up. They lost their sense of direction and lost track of where they were going. Bernard realizes they are standing on ice. He hears cracking noises and then suddenly they all fall into a crevice.
Splash! Water rushes over them as they plunge into icy, cold water. Bernard and Andrew fall off Trap and Strike. All struggle to swim to the surface. Andrew, due to his broken arm, falls behind. Bernard grabs right arm and pulls him up. Breaking through the water they gasp for air. With the light from the hole they had just broke through, they look around and see three huge tunnels.
They climb up on the bank in front of the tunnels. Bernard and Andrew quickly check the horses. Trap and Strike are not hurt, but all their provisions are lost at the bottom of the pond. Bernard and Andrew decide the best option is to search the tunnels. Three tunnel entrances towered over them. The entrances are dark, roughly made and huge. Andrew says "Which path? Bernard, if we stray we face doom!" Andrew picks the tunnel to their right. They set off slowly walking with the horses behind them. They walk keeping a hand on the tunnel wall. They follow the tunnel through weaves and turns. Suddenly they see a glint of light ahead.
They head to the light and come upon a great entrance. They look inside and see a vast room full of treasure and goods. Then Bernard's eyes land on a huge bonfire next to a massive dragon. Andrew looks at Bernard and says "Now What?" Bernard turns to Andrew and says "The fight is on!"
Bernard and Andrew both turn back and look over the dragon. The dragon is sleeping on a mound of gold. He looks about twenty feet tall and is covered in red and gold scales.
Bernard and Andrew leave the horses behind the entrance and sneak into the room. The dragon heard them and looks up. He is surprised to see them and then he becomes angry. He shoots a fireball at them. Bernard rolls to the right. Andrew rolls to the left. Both dodge the fireball. The fireball hits the top of the entrance and it all collapses. Bernard and Andrew are trapped in with the dragon.
They draw their swords and charge the dragon from each side. The dragon shoots a fire boll at Bernard and swings his tail at Andrew. Andrew dodges but Bernard isn't so lucky. The fireball singes his clothes and burns the right side of his face. Bernard falls to the ground. Andrew charges and slices the dragons hind foot. The dragon flinches and turns on Andrew. Bernard gets up and charges the dragon from behind. Andrew turns and jumps behind a mound of gold. Bernard runs and jumps on the dragon back. He is about to slice down when the tail swings round and knocks him into the wall.
He lands right next to Andrew. Andrew-and Bernard look at each other. Andrew says, "I think we strayed from the path."
Bernard answers, "Come on. We can do it. Let's kill this dragon. You swing on the left side. I'll go under and stab his heart."
Andrew answers, "Sounds like a plan." He jumps up and swings to the left side. The dragon follows him. Bernard jumps up and runs toward the dragon. The dragon swings his tail at Bernard. Bernard slides under the tail, rolls over his foot and lands under the belly of the beast. He thrust his sword upward and straight thru his heart. The dragon rears up on his hind legs, roars and tumbles to the right landing on his side.
Bernard stands up, walks up to the dragon and pulls out his sword. Andrew walks up next to him and says, "I am glad that is over."
Bernard says, "Now we have to dig to find Trap and Strike." Bernard and Andrew begin to slowly dig through the rocks and rubble. Then they hear a whinny. Both turn and look behind them. There stood Trap and Strike. Behind the horses they see another smaller entrance way that was hidden behind some gold. Bernard and Andrew look at each other and laugh.
After Bernard and Andrew finally stopped laughing, Bernard suggests they set up camp. Bernard gets the remains of the bond fire and packs it up into a small fire by their camp. Then Bernard says,"I am going to explore to find a way out". Bernard picks up a log with fire on it and starts walking towards the smaller entrance way. Later Bernard returns to find that Andrew is asleep. Bernard wakes up Andrew excited because he found a way out.
Bernard and Andrew find bags and start picking up treasures to take to the village. They find:
Then they find tools and weapons:
Then way in back they find a wooden cart. In the cart they discovered the best treasure yet-food! They find salted pork and some stale bread. It is not tasty they are still gratefully.
After they ate their fill they loaded the wooden cart with the treasure. Then they attached the horses to the cart and found the exit. They came out at the bottom of the mountain.
Here they found grass and a stream to drink from. They unhitched Tarp and Strike and let them eat the grass and drink the water. Bernard and Andrew stretched out on the grass to rest. Above then is the moon and the stars. They fall asleep.
In the morning, Bernard and Andrew wake up and begin the long journey back. Recognizing the way they came they set off for the town. On their way back they meet the old man again. They say, "Hello" and talk about their adventure. The old man wants them to stay but they said, "No, we have to get on home before winter."
The old man says, "Okay, but be sure to stay on the path. If you leave it, doom awaits you at the grim end." Bernard and Andrew answer, "okay." and leave. This time they listen and stay on the path.
In five days they return to the village. The town's people are excited and happy to see them return with all the treasure. Now they know they can rebuild their homes before winter. They unload the cart with plenty for all.
As Andrew and Bernard turn to leave a sea-serpent rises out of the pond so Bernard says,"Here we go again."