At the edges of maps, cartographers used to draw tiny krakens, pixies and other eldritch sprites under legends such as "Here be dragons" to ward off those who's hearts yearned for adventure, but quivered at the thought of danger.
Some, however, read such statements and see them as a challenge. Daring where others would see daunting.
Some people just have to know. And sometimes they find something incredible, fame and fortune and renown the world over showered upon them.
And sometimes they don't come back.
The Eastern forests stretched like diaphanous green mould from horizon to horizon. There are no paths between those trunks, no roads and no villages. No way faring inns, no blacksmith to fix that broken blade and no farrier to reshoe the horse now long since drowned in a quagmire. Only darkness.
And in the darkness, monsters.
Sylvia lifted her eyes and looked to the heavens. It was raining, droplets spattered her face and though she was wea