Brother arrived well before the 16 and was briefed by the people of Northwich about the assault on his people.
Learning that the Man with the Shepherd’s Crook was taken and his sheep scattered brought a slow burning anger. He had done so much and built a school. He had taught Jeptha to read.
Upon replenishing provisions, he set off at a steady gait towards the pequin habitation.
Lord Rainport was haughty. “Behold shepherd, the pequin, exactors of fear, flees at my approach.
“They know their master. Soon, you will know yours. The portal is open, and I have the instructions to control it.”
The shepherd said simply. ” You have no power unless it is given you.”
The statement enraged Lord Rainport. He spurred his horse causing his mount to canter. The shepherd fell and was drug along the forest.
He stopped his horse. “Soon you will be grateful for death, shepherd.”
They approached a large stone. The portal flickered. “I will appease the other side with blood, and the power of the portal will be harnessed.”
The shepherd stood, head slumped. He was exhausted from the ordeal.
Lord Rainport took the lead off the horse and yanked the shepherd to the portal entrance.
“Look with dread, sheep herder.”
He lifted a strange lock from a pouch.
“With this incantation, I unlock life, the earth. and the air!”
The shepherd smiled. His bound hands reached into his waistband revealing a shiny metallic object. “I hold the keys to death, hell, and the grave.” He thumbed through the set. “Oh yes, the water and Spirit as well.”
Without a word, his bonds fell off and the shepherd stepped into the portal. The lock crumbled to dust and the portal vanished.
Lord Rainport was shocked. With a gauntlet, he struck the rock. Nothing. The portal was gone and the shepherd had vanished. His tools for the ritual crumbled to the ground.
His horse reared. Attempts to secure the reins failed and he galloped off. A tingling sensation came over Lord Rainport.
Realization hit him. It was the shepherd that held the pequin at bay.