A small village in the southern Shin province…
“My freedom road has led me to the enslavement of my people…But I will spend my waking days flying open the prison doors”-Princess Abail
Captain Aaron had led the princess and her men south out of Rowengaurd through the Shin province of General Mobed’s present possession. The ride had been arduous and tiring for the princess who had been so accustomed to the luxurious life at court. But it had been thrilling to ride on horseback through the kingdom, further than she had ever ventured on her own and without a carriage. Yet, the joy that came with the open skies and winding roads did not last long before they reached the oustkirst of the King’s province.
The fist village they had encountered ravaged by battle had been simply devasted by General Mobed’s own soldiers. They had ransacked the poor town and left nothing for the penniless people to subsist upon. Abail had been met with the desperate pleadings of abandoned women and their starving children. The only remaining men were either too old to assist the young women in anything practical, or too young to be of any real use.
A blubbering woman had forcefully shoved a red-faced, screaming babe into the princess’s arms as if the mere touch of royalty would bless the poor child’s current predicament and end her suffering. Abail had not known what to offer so she rocked and crooned to the little bundle until its cries melded with the noise of the relentless pleas amid the streets. Women tugged imploringly at her skirts and gestured wildly to Captain Aaron and his soldiers.
With dirtied hands and muddied boots, Abail and her guard had walked up and down the village roads passing out containers of fresh water and heavy blankets. When Captain Aaron had gathered all the able-bodied lads together and told them to assist in moving the rubble and the boulders that lined the roads, Abail had invited the women to speak to her individually about their plight. One by one the princess moved through the households, unaware that her calming presence alone had seemed to quiet the tension. The princess listened as the Inn keeper described her depleted larder rations and the farmer’s wife complained of her butchered cows. Although the food and the livestock could not be replaced easily, the remaining rations throughout the town were approvingly divied up evenly between households. With the aid of the princess and Capatain Aaron’s soldiers, the anxious villagers had been guided into a place of hope and determined unity.
A bit of coin was distributed to those of sharper wits who would make the two days travel under the watchful presence of the Kingsmen given by the princess’s leave, to the nearest market square to purchase a pair of milking cows and chickens to replenish some of the stolen goods. Repairs to the looted buildings were quickly attended to as Captain Aaron took directions from a willful old carpenter named Nikemus. The white-haired man shook violently as he wielded his hammer, yet spared no trouble ordering the King’s soldier’s about.
At the week’s end the tired princess and her men left the village with reassured spirits. This was right, what she was doing. She felt it deep within her bones with a satisfying hum along with the new and relentless ache in her muscles. It was then that she realized her ‘gift’ had been blissfully silent since she had left her father’s house.