They say that long ago, the first king of Yndheim stood against the forces of evil that massed around his people, no more than a tiny settlement at the time. Together with the warriors that he trusted most at his side, he drove back the dark forces and founded Yndheim, the place where his people could find peace at last. The bloodline of this king has remained on the throne since then and it is thought by many that the blood coursing through their veins still rings with the power that has safeguarded the land for generations. Chapter One: The Bear of the West The sound of seabirds and the crashing waves of the sea could be heard clearly in the silence of the halls leading to the throne room. The only other accompaniment were the noises that Signe herself made as she hastened to the doors, the hard breathing from her rush and the pad of her footfall over the stones. Within the minute, she reached the heavy wooden doors and pushed it open forcefully, for some force was required to fling it open by virtue of its natural heft and the metal reinforcing it. Care had been taken to make this room as secure as it could be, though few mortals would dare to threaten the man who not only was descended from the founder of Yndheim but was also protected by a group of the strongest warriors one could find. "My king" she said, exhaling the words in a sharp breath as she dropped to her knee before the throne. She was greeted by an impatient huff from the man sitting in front of her, who was waiting for her to lift her eyes so he could beckon her to stand once more. "Signe, must I tell you again how uncomfortable it makes me for you to kneel any time one of us enters a room? I understand that you want to prove yourself but it's unnecessary. I chose you because I trust that you will be a more than worthy captain of the guard: you don't have to try to impress me." A small smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. At times, it was easy to forget how long they had been friends, for he regarded every member of the guard his friend. He knew her thoughts well and was usually able to provide the appropriate encouragement to buoy her spirits. "I've alerted the other guard members to assemble, now, and they should all be arriving shortly. When they have gathered, we will be able to discuss the situation further in depth. When I called upon House Taivo, there had not yet been any further word about their Lord and I fear that we will have to act after all." The expression on the face of the king sobered, for she had touched on the intended purpose of the meeting and they both knew it well. It would be nearly a full moon cycle since Samit Taivo had taken a host of men with him into the tundras and there had been no word from any of them since. Both turned to the door with an expectant expression, awaiting the other members of the guard to report in and begin the meeting.