The Protector’s Lament

The cold desert night air threatened to send chills down Tholden’s spine as he lay against the sand, staring up at the stars.  Ten years ago this day he left home for greater adventures.  He remembered that day like it was yesterday…     “You’re going to WHAT?”  The bellow echoed against the walls inside the villa, making several servants pause in their duties to observe the sudden commotion.   “I said, father, that I am going to leave.  We have talked about this before!  My decision is made.”  Under his father’s watchful glare, Tholden continued to stuff what belongings he could fit into a canvas pack, content to end the argument there.  His father was not finished giving his view of things,...