Letters to Darn - DepartureI know it's only been a few days since you left to meet your brothers on the front lines, but I had to write you. I miss you so much . . . I have always known duty could take you away but I never thought it would really happen. It's lonely here without you. I know you asked me to stay safe, to stay out of trouble, but I can't just wait here. Every day I . . . well, I am sure you know. You miss me too. The White Sisters agreed to let me accompany a group of their healers. I will be meeting them in just another few days. Don't worry, my love. They aren't sending us any place dangerous. Just to a field hospice on neutral ground. My father and the Tirashan Queen both agreed it was elysium, safe from attack. So I will be as safe there as anywhere, maybe more so. I worry about you already. I know you can take care of yourself, b
100 Years pt 3"This one is alive," a voice called nearby. The words broke across the darkness as cold and vicious as winter wind. "No," Darn croaked, "Gods, no . . ." Hands grabbed him and he felt himself lifted up. His traitor eyes opened a crack letting in the wicked light of day. How can I still live, he thought. What a cruel humor the gods have. "Looks like his woman didn't make it though," the voice spoke again, "I hope she died quickly." Darn would have laughed if he could have mustered the energy. Failed. Again. Why could he not just die?A jarring movement sent him spinning back into the abyss, the shock too much for his frayed mind. When Darn woke again, he felt warm, almost suffocated by heat. He tried to sit up but his body refused to obey him, twitching feebly. "Hot," he groaned, voice gravelly with thirst. Darn could see a strangely arched ceiling far above him, moonlight shining on the old, polished sto
100 Years pt 2Darn stared at the rubble of the Cloaktower, wondering what to do now. He took a few steps forward, peering into the dark hole, eyes stinging from the smoke. His boot came down on something soft and he almost fell, trying to shift weight back to his other foot. The body beneath him was too burnt to be recognizable, the robes and flesh melded into a charred mass. Darn felt his bile rise and swallowed it back. There was nothing here he wanted to see.As he turned away, a feeble twitching movement caught his eye. Darn walked to it, making out a hand, fingers scrabbling at the cobblestone. He knelt, lifting a piece of timber aside. The boy beneath it looked up at him, eyes bleeding and sightless. Help me, he gasped. Darn could not hear him, but understood. He touched the boys hand, clasping it. I will do what I can, he said. The boy seemed to calm at that, letting his cheek rest on t
100 Years pt 1“Shit.” Darn sat up and rubbed his head, wondering where exactly he was this morning. The night before was a wine filled haze of fighting in the Gauntlet and laughing with Hank. He blinked, trying to clear the grainy feeling from his eyes, hand reaching for his flask. It was gone, along with his coin purse. Darn shrugged and sat up, his body sore and aching. It should be no surprise, he thought, looking at his bed for the night. A few bales of hay and some barley sacks piled in an alley, perfect, he thought. He stood, a sharp pain running down his leg. That had something to do with a dwarf . . . hadn’t he said something about reminding the man’s mother to clean her beard next time? The memory was fuzzy and vague; he wished the results were too. Darn hobbled home to bathe and get a change of clothes. Some coin was in order as well – there was gambling to be done, and drinking to soothe
Something NewA sharp pain shot through Zara's body. She put a hand on her rounded belly, the child within pressing back at the touch. She smiled through it, taking a breath when the feeling faded. It was happening more often . . . these spasms. The midwife warned her to watch for them, and to fetch her if they came frequently, but what was frequent? A few times a day was nothing to worry the woman over. She made her way to a bench and sat down in the warm summer sun. The heat in the stone helped, she thought. A few moments later, she felt another lancing pain, this one enough to pull a gasp from her. One of the street children asked if she was alright. Zara nodded, giving him a smile. "I'm fine. Please . . . it's nothing to worry about." The boy gave her a doubtful look and bolted off. The cleric wondered if he made off with her beltpouch, but another sharp pain took her attention. "Mayhaps . . . the midwife,"