This is Part of Angrethar, the story of The Battle for the Wrathgate from Aelflaed’s point of view. You can see all of the posts in this story on the Story Archives page, by searching for the Wrathgate category, or through this link.
Late evening before the main push, the air in the forward camps was thick with fog, fear, and the muffled sounds of make-ready. Half-frozen snowflakes flitted out of the dusky whiteness and sizzled on firewood, turning the tops of the tents to soggy slush, freezing and settling on her hair, setting off the copper waves with ethereal white flecks.
Aely sat outside one of the hospital tents, wrapped in a thick, oiled fur cloak, her hands deftly tearing strips of linen into bandages and rolling them – some thicker, some thinner, each set with as much Light as she could find in herself to give. Her mind wandered to the Riders camp, somewhere up in the mountains, and the hours ticked by. Men walked past, and horses – and somewhere a forge was running, late into the night.
She rolled the last of the bandages, stacking it neatly with the others, and stretched her legs out towards the struggling fire.
“Excuse me, miss, have you se…”
The voice trailed off, and she turned, looking up to meet the gaunt, deep set eyes of an Ebon Knight.
“Hae I seen which, nae? This’s Alliance groun’s mos’ly, if y’r lookin’ f’r Ebons, I cannae say rightly where t’ be lookin’.” She peered at him curiously, edges of memory flickering with some fragment of recognition.
He ran one hand across his eyes, face hollow and pained. “No I’m… I used to… Aely?”
One eyebrow arched up. “Ayeh, tha’s me. Sommat I can do f’r ye?”
His eyes settled on the fire next to her, obviously uncomfortable.
“I’d… I’d hoped you’d remember me, for who I was. Or that I was better at climbing trees than you. Bertrand Johansson, at least, I used to be. “
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