I have written all that you have read that you might better understand some of the things to come to pass later; and I ask that you remember Weckar and Mire Storm, Yamurik and my sister Navat, who spoke to me the night the Lonireilans took me, and who has yet a part to play in the tale I’ll relate.
A few years passed between what I will now tell and the night we captured the smugglers and stopped the flow of refugees, for a time, out of Onappa-ka. However, that act precipitated certain others, others which took years to culminate.
Rouk province mustered its forces again and again, in summer and in autumn, and smashed themselves against the Lonireilan army in Onappa-ka in the hopes of taking the city back. Each time, we repulsed them with jagged spears and barbed arrows and high fortifications. The wind cut them to ribbons on the plain. Many I knew died. I was lucky enough to escape unharmed, at least in body.
The Tash and I never came as close to touching as we did that night in the hospital. We avoided each other at the mess table, in the training hall. Some shared horror drew, but repulsed us. We could not give voice or action to the thoughts that plagued and tormented us. Nights I lay alone in my bunk, knowing she was only a few steps away. My heart aches to think of it, even now. If you have passed the age we were, you will understand how our desires raged, and you may understand our disgust and shame and horror at the very idea of pursuing them.
It is enough to know that in the intervening years, I became fluent in Lonireilan. I continued to practice and train in war, with bow and spear, sword and shield, using such activities to distract myself when the nightmares came or when my thoughts raced or my adolescent desires surged. I thought myself quite adept and, in our little company, I suppose I was.
Know that I became sergeant of our company when Uruverres took an arrow in her shoulder and got a rot. She died, but de Trastorces named me as her successor. This was a source of great pride.
And know that, in the great chain of acts and challenges and mistakes that followed, many more of the same were set in motion, and that some of them have not yet heard the last of their echoes, and that the meeting of myself and Weckar, Navat, and Mire Storm, has led me to this cell, and this pen, and this page.