Following the carnage of that fateful night, Janekfan and Toboe immediately lent aid to the burning city of Trunau. They toiled through the dead of night alongside their fellowship and into the morning rescuing creatures and quenching the blazes that painted the remaining structures as red as the spilled blood on the earth. Lives had been lost this night and it was with a heavy heart Jane set to burying those who had become friends and acquaintances, comrades in arms against a foul scourge.
Over the coming days Jane healed where she could and used what magic remained available to her to brace or rebuild falling structures. She sent Toboe to scout the surrounding land with orders, not to engage, but to inform. How many enemies still lurked in the surrounding wilderness? Were they retreating? Were they regrouping?
She and her brother, Draken, lifted what spirits they could in the tavern-regaling survivors with tales of heroics and daring, of the brave men and women of Trunau who had fought so valiantly to keep claim over what was theirs. Nights were spent in the company of friends and survivors. Though there was still so much left to do, they were all stronger for the hardship they had faced in both the attack itself and reconstruction. These were new bonds forged in the fires of shared adversity, and not easily unbroken.
Days fell into an arrangement of sorts, wake, rebuild, end the time with drinks and merriment. But it was in the quiet of the night, when all else had retired but sleep remained unreachable, with naught but the stars and small insects to accompany them, Jane and Toboe would sit outside the dwelling of her grandfather. She would think then, on a question that had plagued her since her parents’ untimely death, Toboe a still and silent sentinel: could she have done more?
When the light, a promise of new things to come, would creep above a harsh and beautiful horizon, Janekfan would make the same vow:
“Next time, I will fight harder.”