The Master’s Decree.
It came to pass in the fourth hour before the dawn approacheth in the land of Europe, a messenger went forth unto the place of the Gryphon Warriors and spake unto each, saying: “Verily, arise and don thy battle garments and go thou to the gathering place, for thy master has decreed that it shall be so.”
The Gryphon Warriors, awakening, muttered into their beards and reviled the messenger, saying his mother hath no morals, and his father knoweth him not. And they arose and sought out their socks, and went forth to break bread at the Inn.
At length they gathered together in the sanctum sanctorum known as “Briefing” and their voices were stilled, for they were in the presence of the master. Disciples arose and spake unto them, telling of routes, of targets, and of signs in the clouds. At last the elder master arose and spake unto them, “Yes verily I say unto thee, thou art fortunate indeed, for thine enemies are sorry put and do naught to oppose thee. Go forth, therefore, girded for battle, and let them that go AWOL beware, for my wrath is great.”
Then the Gryphon Warriors went forth to their lines of iron chariots and prepared the rituals, and girded their loins for battle…. And the command arose from the master and the mighty chariots of iron made a great clamor as they went forth. And behold, all the Gryphon Warriors were present, save one who went AWOL, and the elder master curseth him, saying, “Thou shalt now know the full measure of my wrath.”
The Gryphon Warriors proceeded throughout the land to their appointed places-- to become one with earth and wood, and to prepare their weapons for battle against the evil ones. But the rain falleth in torrents and the land became as gravy and beset the warriors. And the wind did rise and the snow did fall upon them who yet remained at their duties, dwelling in the soil and eating bread and meat from unsavory pouches. And for a time, they knew not sleep.
But verily, in due time, the instruction was passed and the Gryphon Warriors returned to dwellings and families. And the elder master commendeth all on their abilities, as his disciples did revile and curse these same abilities in writing. And all was yet at peace, as the Gryphon Warriors cleaned themselves and their battle tools … in preparation for the next messenger to stir them from their short--but welcome--slumber.