Chapter 1

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She was frightened. Her father wanted her married and her options were very few. It was a grave matter of family honor – her family’s and the prospective bridegroom’s – whatever she decided.

And, as always, when honor was on the line, so was blood.

She looked out of the window, near her cot in the attic, at the green Herian valley under her family household. A beloved view. This view, at least out of this vantage point, will have to stay behind. Whatever comes to pass she will have to leave these known women quarters promptly.

*****

There was going to be a raid tonight and Romial was excited and nervous. He was only out on one raid before and witnessed very little of the violence, let alone took part in it. That raid ended only with a beaten and humiliated opponent. This one was different. This was an act of war. A war Gjergj had already started with his actions and negligence, but nonetheless, the drawing of first blood still had significance. Read the rest of this entry »