The Final Blessing

After the Gods created Man, they gave him Woman to be his friend and companion as he journeyed through life.
To Woman they gave a chest containing blessings for her descendants. Woman was told never to open the chest,
lest these precious gifts escape. Curiosity finally led Woman to open the chest and the divine blessings were
lost...- all but one.


Elpis shook his silver mane as the darkness surrounded him. He stepped onto the ancient path and felt the ground
pull at his hooves and the air grow heavy with the despair calling to him. When the darkness cleared, he found
himself standing on a beach. He tossed his head and a golden glow from his horn surrounded him, pushing back
the chill that hung like the touch of death. The stench of rotting bodies mixed with the salt spray of the ocean,
creating a palpable fog. Red tinged water swirled around his hooves as he carefully followed the call that brought
him here.

He stepped around a large outcropping of rocks and saw a man sleeping next to a small fire. He stepped closer
and lay down beside the man. The ornateness of the man's armor and sword, which lay under his right hand,
indicated he was a person of some importance in this place and time. Elpis studied the rugged face for a moment,
noting the streaks where tears had flowed during the man's dreams.

He bowed his head, and gently, as not to wake him, touched the man's forehead with his horn. With practiced
ease he entered the man's thoughts and began drawing the despair from his soul.