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Subject: Disturbance in the night

Harion and Cirad
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Date Posted: 18:59:20 09/15/02 Sun

The smoke swirled around the yard. Acrid, choking smoke that made eyes water and sting. Harion cautiously made his way across the rough ground. Clothes and personal belongings ripped and strewn across the grass.
Orcs loved to destroy.
The smoke grew thicker as he approached the house. Black wisps curled from the charred, black shell of the house. Burnt almost to the ground.

He was searching, desperately searching. He was going to see it again. He couldn’t help it. He tried to turn away, but it was impossible. The smoke, he couldn’t see anything. Tripped. Looked at the ground.
Oh no, not again. There it was. On the floor, lying for him to trip over. He felt sick. The familiar wave of nausea as he saw it again.
The arm. His mother’s arm. Ripped off at the stump, blood covered, pulpy mess.

Then the body, next to the house. Black, burnt shape, hardly recognisable.

Harion jerked awake and sat up, panting heavily. He gazed wildly around the dim little room attempting to calm his breathing. It was two years since the orcs had killed
his mother, why had he had such a vivid nightmare tonight?
He wiped the beads of sweat from his forehead as he thought about the dream. It was so real. Almost as if he was actually there again. Was it telling him something? Had it
happened again? The thought of Lirna on her own was terrifying. Would she be able to get everyone to safety? Since finding his wife’s body, Harion’s father had become
more childlike than Seema, he would be no help.
Harion felt so helpless. There was nothing he could do to help them. Except earn money. Pay off the huge debt and go home. As soon as possible.

Harion’s breathing returned to normal. He could hear mutterings coming from the room next door, the sounds of someone tossing and turning. Was everyone having nightmares tonight? There was something strange about the dream. Something not quite right.

Suddenly, the entire side of the building vibrated slightly, he could hear someone pounding heavily on the front door. Someone out there, at this time?
Harion pulled on some clothes and hurried downstairs. The door was practically caving in under the battering it was receiving. A voice was shouting loudly, the words muffled through the wood.

Harion opened the door cautiously, only enough to see who was out there. A warrior stepped back slightly, shaking brown unruly hair from his face.
“Is Madjael there?” Cirad asked.
Harion decided to play ignorance until he knew more.
“Madjael. Come on you must know him. He spends most of his time here.”
“Sorry, I’m new. Haven’t learnt all the names yet.” Harion was watching the warrior closely. He was obviously annoyed about something, his mannerisms were taut and strained.
“For goodness sake, how many lazy, drunken layabouts do you have here?” Cirad was getting worked up again.
“More than you’d think.” Harion decided to humour him. “besides, the one I think you mean isn’t that bad.”
“Whatever” Cirad was losing patience. “Is he here?”
Harion pointed to a door at the back of the tavern.
“I last saw him go in there with some girl. That was hours ago. He’d have left by now.” Harion made to close the door.
“Wait.” Cirad used all his strength to force the door open. He stormed into the tavern
“Hey” Harion cried indignantly. Cirad ignored him.
“Madjael, are you in here?” he bellowed. There was no reply.
Cirad stormed over to the little door and pounded on the smooth wooden surface.
“Madjael, answer me. Come out!”

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