Jordan leant forward and patted his horse affectionately on the neck. They had been riding hard since dawn and the horse was snorting heavily and had started to pant. His hand came away slick with sweat and he wiped it absent-mindedly against his thigh.

“We make camp here!” He shouted over to his son Sweden as he crested the hill a hundred yards to his right. He turned and jumped out of the saddle landing lightly on the dusty ground for all the world like he was just rising from a restful sleep. He was enjoying being out, away from the mundane task of marshalling an army.

Sweden acknowledged the order with a wave. Not a moment too soon he thought to himself. His steed was almost ruined with fatigue.

He signalled the order to halt and make camp to the  five riders that had pulled up behind him. With a groan he dismounted from his horse and holding on to the bridal, walked the animal over to where his father stood, hands on hips, eyeing the surrounding terrain.

“We may need to rest the horses for another day before we set out again.” Sweden said to him as he came up beside him.

“I do believe we may be in luck my boy,” Jordan slapped his son heartily on the back, ignoring what had been said. He pointed to a spot on the horizon. “Do you see those birds over there?”

Sweden squinted at the horizon. The distant glow from the firewall made it difficult to identify details through the soft evening haze.

A chill ran down his spine as he realised that his father was pointing at the distant black specks of vultures circling something out on the barren plain. Was that Denmark?

“I will ride out tonight father, as far as my horse will take me.”

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