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'I feel somewhat dismayed that I have to explain this to you.
This is our land. Our fields, our trees, our hills. Our rivers run from our mountains into the seas that surround us. Our land, boy. Never, ever forget that.
Now that Hengelin has decided to return to wrest the throne from our High King it’s time for us to fight. Every one of us. There are those who say that the High Kingship has nothing to do with us as Mondadruil is so far away, and that Hengelin is the High King’s brother and that this is a family squabble over who sits on the Wooden Throne, but do you know who it is that suffers during times like this? Not Kings, locked in their fortresses behind their high walls, and not Lords or Masters who run into their keeps and offer gold to those who assail them.
It is us. Us, who toil in the fields and the forests, who pay our taxes so that those who dwell in the castles and towers can be kept in their finery. We are the ones who fight, who kill, who die. It is our homes that are burned, our fields that are trampled and our cattle that are slaughtered.
But remember, son, if you must swing your sword you’re not swinging it for your Mayor. You’re not swinging it for your Lord or even your High King. You’re swinging it for your land, to protect your family and that which you have built with your own hands.
So don’t ask me again why are we riding to meet our enemy.
As Cuthred walked briskly up the hill behind his father Osirin he glanced behind him. The beacon on the crest of Car Tor had been lit in response to the blazing tower of fire that the beacon on the hilll of Car Ken had become. Car Ken towered over their village and in the darkness the mount blazed brightly.
As they approached Cuthred could feel the heat from the beacon. It wasa cold evening, typical this early in the spring, and he welcomed the warmth. Moths flittered about attracted by the light. He batted one away as his father came to a stop. The twelve men with them, all armed with whatever they could grab when the warning bells of the village hall began to ring out, stopped also. Their hands grasped worn swords, wood-chopping axes and even an old rusting scythe; hardly an impressive show of force.
In the middle of the path leading up to the summit of Car Ken was a body, lying face-down in the dirt. The thick leather armour was penetrated by several arrows, all of them in his back. They were barely fifty steps away from the beacon and Osirin looked up, his sword at the ready.
‘Alright, men,’ he growled, shifting a wooden shield from his shoulder to his arm. ‘Looks like we got us some trouble.’
There was a murmer of dissent. When Osirin took a few steps forward he realised that only two of the men that had accomapnied him had walked with him. The others, including Cuthred, stayed back with nervous expressions.
‘What’s wrong?’ Osirin asked, confused. His eyes lingered on his son.
Some of the the men shared nervous glances and most of them stared at the ground. It was Mull of the northern farm who answered. ‘Osirin… there’s been blood shed here. The armies of Hengelin may already be here. We’re farmers, not warriors.’
‘I’m a farmer,’ Osirin said gravely. He motioned to Cuthred with his sword. ‘So is he. Yet we are here, now.’
‘These are the Lord’s men,’ added Wuth of the river mill. ‘Soldiers. What good are we here? If the armies of the ursurper are here we should flee. Take our families and run to the Lord’s keep, maybe even go to the castle at Verin Ansumott.’'
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And that was it. I'm trying to find my notes on this as I have no recollection of what was supposed to happen next. It's very frustrating.