Chapter 29 (26th of Vashi in the year 6199)

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Hold tight to your faith

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Hold tight to your faith. For in the darkness, it shall be the light that will show the wicked you cannot be touched.

Book of Earoni 15:3

Wedged between boulders, huddled around a fire too small to keep them warm, Kilan and Daphney waited out the cold autumn night

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Wedged between boulders, huddled around a fire too small to keep them warm, Kilan and Daphney waited out the cold autumn night. Eight more had joined them, all survivors of the assault on Ishenvol. These others had all fled before the fighting had begun, bolting from the field of battle during the chaos when Lady Noranda rent the land apart. They were cowards, but none of that mattered now. All of them were all in the same sinking boat.

The entire party remained quiet until their final member rejoined them in the faint light. "It's still not safe to travel," he informed them. Dressed in farmer's clothes, the man took up a solemn place by the fire. Dried mud covered the bottoms of his trousers and his shoes. "There must be at least a thousand Imperial troops out in these woods."

He still wore his silver ring with the rebellion's symbol etched in it, which put him in the minority of those assembled. Only he and one other still did. The rest of these men had already disposed of theirs, not wanting to risk being captured and having themselves easily identifiable as dissidents.

Daphney hadn't slept since the Rebellion's failed show of force. Her mind was too busy processing every minor detail of their defeat. Two days later, they were now trying to figure out what their next move would be. She lifted her troubled gaze up from the flames to address the situation. "Eventually they're going to find us if we don't get out of here."

"They're making a very thorough search," their scout presented his assessment. "But they've yet to cross over the marsh and march this way. If we head southwest, we could be in the Borderlands in five days."

Kilan threw cold water on the idea. "But we'd have to go over the Low Mountains and through a desert in order to do that."

Another of the men about the fire lamented, "Better that than wind up in Lord Hedric's dungeon. I've heard about what General Nightwing does to rebel prisoners down there. I'll cut my own throat before getting captured."

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