How had they found us? We had been so careful--never to leave tracks, never to draw attention, never to reveal our faces. We journeyed through wind, rain, freezing cold and scorching heat--stopping not for light of day nor cover of night. Though we felt we could not take another step, we pressed on. How many times had we fled? Countless. Sometimes because of dangers real; sometimes due to fears imagined. We could never take a chance, however the price of discovery being too great.
How they had found us did not matter now. They were here. Under the cover of darkness, they had surrounded the house. Their arrows flying through windows. Their screams piercing the night. I see the body of Erdel slumped in the corner. We had been together for so long, and had been through so much. He was more than a brother. He was the first to die; he would not be the last.
They were now amassing attacks against the door—its resolve was quickly fading. Lorin stands beside it, wielding his axe. Death surely awaits the first who enters that threshold, but others would follow. How many would it take before even his battle skill would be overrun?
Not a warrior by choice, Emma hides in the shadows with sword drawn awaiting the onslaught. She is but a child, but years of flight had toughened her skin and stolen her childhood. She would not go easily.
Ruman stands by the window, bow in hand. Courage alone causes him to appear in that window to keep them at bay. Many would fall by his mark this night, but it would not be enough. We were too few, while they seem to be without number. We did not expect them to find us. We had been too quick, too careful. We would cry out for mercy but we know none would be found. We each know that rest will only be found in the grave.
I hear the cries of the baby and a frantic mother as she tries to comfort and protect her offspring. The child is our hope, and the chance for freedom, but now its fate is bound to our own. We have called out for help, but fear it will come too late.
From the darkness, harsh orders are issued in a tongue we do not understand. The pounding on the door stops. Outside, there is a pause in the war cries of the enemy, followed by an eerie silence. What evil is to come upon us?
From my position, I see one torch, then two appear in the darkness. Their cries for blood return louder than before. It is then I smell the smoke, and know the house has been set ablaze. We have been sealed in a tomb of fire.
Hope has turned her face, and delivered us into the hands of Death. Come quickly Death, and deliver us from this darkness.