2.3.3. – Waiting

Day fled like a criminal, stealing the light away. Darkness fell swiftly in its place, iron-grey. An eerie dun light was all that remained of the day as it dwindled, a soft and foreboding warning of the snowfall to come.   Our supper was taken in silence.   We had brought a few precious scraps of bread […]

2.3.2 – Desperate Measures

 Night was always close at hand on a winter afternoon. Our brief expedition to reconnoitre was done under the threat of twilight, and by the time we rejoined the others, dark clouds had rolled in, turning the sky from white to grey.   They had made camp in our absence in the western hollow of a hill. […]

2.3.1.  – Martyr

The sun did not emerge as morning turned to afternoon, and we did not stop to rest. Fedxir and Astrid both agreed, in quiet voices, that it was best to make what speed we could during the day when we might have a chance to see the enemy coming. The uniforms worn by Church soldiers […]

2.3.0 – Drifted Trail

Sky, snow, and forest canopy blurred together in one seamless and all-encompassing sweep of purest white. Each step creaked and crunched through the snow, and the air was cold enough that not a single drop of meltwater ran or fell in the forest. Snow draped each twig, bough, and needle, turning the familiar shapes of […]

2.2.6 – Last Meal

“Morning, ladyfolk,” Blake Bauldry said, swaggering up with his hand on his sword. He had a bit of a smirk on his face. “A fair hunting party we’re turning out to be, mm? More than half women.”   “Only because the menfolk all got themselves killed,” Astrid retorted, and Lia winced. “Oh–Lia, flower, I’m sorry. I […]

2.2.5 – Gifted Blade

Dermot crouched at the end of the tent like some winter animal, two furs clutched to his chest with a bloody, bandaged hand, speaking in a low voice to the woman—the girl—in front of him. She had fair hair that fell long around her shoulders, and wore a man’s coat that was far too large […]

2.2.4 – Hunter Dawn

Sleep clung like boiled tar after three days and nights of walking. I knew before opening my eyes that the night had not been dreamless, though nothing of those unwaking visitations now remained beyond a vague sense of disquiet.   Our tent was barely wide enough to lie side by side, only a simple piece […]

2.2.3 – News Broken

Winter night was drawing around us like the walls of a witchwagon, dark and impenetrable. Larix had followed through on her threat; when our conference disbanded, we found Sedec in the process of excavating a second fire-pit, at the westernmost corner of our central tent. Some of the younger children had discerned that the process […]

2.2.2 – Plans Laid

“The bad news,” Faith said briskly. We had drawn a ways apart from the crowd—as far as we were able in the hollow—the seven of us grouping by the western wall, far from the fire. “A march is hungry work. We ate more than we ought; I would estimate we have enough to feed us […]

2.2.1 – Druid Fort

The briar-ringed hill Berel had discovered was hollow. A semi-circular berm past the height of my shoulder ran around its circumference. On the northern edge, this berm was broken in two places, one shallow, the other so wide that two men could slip through the overgrown branches, if they minded their heads to dodge the […]