Trava woke with the dawn, feeling the cool air on his face, making his nerves tingle. The pale light outside filtered through the treetops, speckling the foliage with flecks of silver.
Slowly rising from his bunk, Trava thought as he often did that this was the same as uncounted mornings, each like the last. He didn't question why he was there, though, he had to guard this post against the enemy, lest they find a way through the wall. He had his duty to to, and he had followed his last orders for the last fifteen years without exception.
Buckling on his armor and sword, Trava took up his usual post in front of the locked gate. A slight breeze gusted through the tunnel into the wall, shifting the gate on it's creaky hinges and rattling the rusted chain with a dull clunk. A bird perched on a cracked stone up on the wall, causing a small shower of stone fragments to cascade upon the ground. The bird took flight with an angry scream, not noticing the dark figure hidden in the brush far below.
Trava stood as his post, looking for any sign of danger, although it had been years since he had last seen a human being. As he looked on, a shadow began to detach itself from the distant gloom, taking on definition as it approached the gate. Trava drew his sword against the possible threat, alert to the shadow's next move.
Within a couple yards of the wall, the figure revealed itself to be a man, cloaked in black and bearing a glittering rapier in hand.
“Let me pass, I do not intend you harm.” The voice was soft and alluring, as if his voice alone could draw you into oblivion simply by listening.
“I will not allow you by, I have my orders.” Trava could sense that there was something powerful about this being, something that made him shudder deep inside, although he was careful not to betray his uneasiness.
“Your orders no longer apply, the civilization you guard has long since fallen into the dust. I only need to enter and search for that which I was sent to seek.” As he spoke, he slowly glided forwards. The guard raised his rapier higher in warning.
“Nevertheless, you will not pass by me. I do not know if you speak the truth.” Although deep inside, he was reluctantly forced to face the likelihood that the man was right, it explained so many things; why he had received no news for so many years, why no one had issued from the portal he was guarding so carefully for so long. Still, he had lived this way for such a long time that his being rebelled against the possibility of any other life, for if he guarded nothing of value, his existence would become pointless.
“I ask you one more time, let me pass! Otherwise I will be forced to destroy you.” The cloaked man's voice now resounded with anger, more frightening than the previous softness.
Trava didn't respond, but dropped to one knee in a fighting stance, his ancient armor crackling with the motion. The man in black approached him, rapier raised in challenge, an intent look on his face...