A lone stranger walked briskly on the dusty road that never ends. His distant image shimmered, distorted in the heat of the morning sun. The stranger was a young man, about twenty in his years, maybe more, maybe less. The few worldly possessions he had were in a well-worn leather satchel under his arm. His trusted companion was an umbrella. He had acquired it somehow, somewhere, by a passing chance. If the need arose, it sheltered him from the burning sun or from rain. At times it had been a handy deterrent to ward off any over inquisitive dogs. And once, when wielded with the dexterity of a skilled swordsman inspired by fear for his wellbeing, it had served him well in convincing some ruffians that there would be no easy pickings from his empty pockets.