Tarmaca Letriss shut her window, shaking her head.
She had taken a mournfull look at the Rhudar country-
side. She lay on her bed, looking at her broadsword,
thinking of what she might have done if she had been
old enough in those days. Tarmaca was merely twenty-two
and the orcs had come when she was sixteen, on a fell
winter's night. How vividly she remembered the evacuation
of her village. How she and her fellow Rhudarians had
marched in the snow all night, the children wailing and sobbing
with fear and frostbite. She had been an innocent girl,
thought Tarmaca, so innocent that she had not truly understood
what the orc-invasion meant for herself and for Rhudar.
The girl remembered the pain of her frostbite, turning
her fingers and toes blue and numbing them beyond anything
that she had believed possible. By the time the refugees
reached Northweald, she was a mixture of cold white and blue.
Then there was her first trip back to Rhudar. She had
not even reached Jutah Castle that time. Instead, Tarmaca
and the others of her company had seen pursuit from a party
of orcs. The Rhudarian girl had been seperated from the rest.
Kayin Loch had been in his old cabin, at the foothills of Omsohle, sheltering himself
from a great blizzard that had sprung up. It was Kayin who had
found Tarmaca, half-frozen, and healed her. She smiled, thinking
of the young highlander. He had saved her from the cold, as well
as the wicked orcs, who had besiged the house, only to
be slain by the two desperate fighters. Tarmaca liked
Kayin, a lot. She knew that Kayin felt likewise about her. . .
copyright George Manes 1996