Son of the East Wind


The night was overcast, the cold wind carrying the scent of fear and bloodshed
with it from the direction of the capital. The woman shivered and huddled deeper inside
the drab brown peasant cloak, much thinner than the rich furs that she was used to. The
open wagon she rode in did little to stop the swirling wind at their back and the wind they
made travelling from cutting through her thin cloak and chilling her lithe figure to frail

She reached again into the basket that sat beside her in the straw, an action more
for her own comfort than for that of the small, warm bundle inside. He slept there,
oblivious to the rattling of the wagon as it hurried down the rough hewn road in the
darkness. She clung to the young child like a lifeline, and he almost was - her last tie to her
family - a husband who would soon be dead to follow her oldest son, another son
corrupted, his mind lost to the evil he served, and a daughter stolen, ravished, and most
likely dead now as well.

She shivered, holding back stubborn tears, knowing they would do her no good. If
all went well, she would be out of the country by the break of dawn, an action that no
person in their sane mind would have ever considered before now. The country, her
country of Saqqara-Etam, was blessed and beloved of Ara, chosen over all the other
countries to receive Her divine protections and Her guidance. Its citizens were protected
against the evils and corruptions of other countries, kept pure because of Her will, and
everyone in Saqqara-Etam knew it. She hoped all the other countries knew that too...

The wagon jolted over a particularly large bump and the boy, startled out of his
slumber, began to cry. The woman lifted the basket onto her lap and jiggled it slightly,
placing her hand in the warm folds of cloth to re-assure the child with her touch, to quiet
his cries. She turned her head back towards the faint lights of the capital, now far behind
her, knowing, somehow, that she would never see the beloved town of her childhood
again, and even if she managed to return, it would never be the same...