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A free-build for the Guilds of Historica and a continuation of the story of Adira Magdeburg. Please check here: http://www.eurobrick...howtopic=116423 and the ones before it for backstory. You are a coward. You can not even die honorably. You ran from death! The words played over and over in Adira's mind, forming a cadence with the pounding of her feet on the rough mountain path. The wind bit into her, but that pain was trifling in comparison to the bitter pain of these words. After all, what had she ever lived for but courage and honor? And now she was running like a frightened hare, running as much from her defeat as from the death or torture that awaited her back in the valley. Finally her legs would carry her no farther and she halted, leaning on one of the numerous pine trees along the road. People passed her by, making for the pass to the Nestlands, but none of them made eye contact. They knew she had failed them. They knew she continued to fail them. But Adira did not care anymore. She had no pride left to protect. She was bled dry. Slowly she removed her cumbersome outer armor and laid it at the side of the road. It was of Mitgardian make, some family heirloom. As soon as she took it off she felt refreshed, no longer protected, but at least free to move around as she was used to. “Lady Magdeburg.” Adira tensed. She knew what she would see when she turned, but she did not want to face it. Why can't he just leave me alone, like everyone else? Slowly she turned and stared at Havers defiantly. “What is it, Captain Havers?” Havers returned her stare levelly. “There are still people in the town down there. We must do what we can to rescue them.” Adira sighed. “The town is lost. They will die there or in the mountains.” “That is NOT true!” Havers' voice was emphatic, almost desperate. Adira took a step back from the fury in his eyes. “Some might escape! What can we do but try?” Adira studied him coldly. “Who is it that you can not find?” Havers glared at her, groping for words. “Me Lady!” Adira spun around, her face red from her altercation. What she saw didn't please her. Adelwight, occupationally a goat-herder and a member of the town Council, stood on the path, armed with a heavy battle-ax and flanked by two young men similarly armed. Behind him stood a square, thatched, and carved log house that she now realized must belong to him. He had been the last deciding vote in making her ruler of Estolad, but he had been very hesitant. Now he would speak of her failure, and probably not in pleasant terms. The man's eyes were grim. “Where are me and me sons needed most?” Adira was taken aback by the question, but quickly regained her composure. “Wherever you most wish to die.” Adelwight let out a laugh that sounded almost like a bray. “That'll be right here, next to th' home of me fathers, and right where the flea-bitten varmints can find us!” It took a moment for Adira to understand what she was hearing. This man is staying here to die when he could probably escape with his family. Why? No. She refused to think of the answer. Instead she posed an indirect question. “What of your young ones? Who will take care of them?” The man's old but fierce eyes turned on her, and she saw immediately that he knew what her true question was. “Me Lady, courage has nothin' to do with charging into the middle of a fray, and all to do with standing where ye have always stood, even to death. We're doing this for our land, every tree, every hillock,” he paused, looking strait at Adira, “every person.” The patriarch leaned on his ax, staring out over the valley. “Ye still have a life to live, a people to lead. Protect me bairns, and all th' people of Estolad that go through that pass.” There was nothing Adira could say. These men were giving up their lives for a town who had spurned their council, and practically invited the enemy to their doorstep. They were giving their lives for her. A tear sprang from Adira's eye. Slowly she started up the path. She noticed that Havers was no longer behind her, but she did not care. Let him kill himself down there. If there was anyone left in that town they would be Desert King prisoners by now, but these few survivors still had a chance. She could help them. To be continued... The build. This build is approximately three months old by now, so most of you might have seen it on Flickr by now. I hope the story made it worth it, however. Back in the middle of the summer I decided I wanted to try something more Mitgardian (surprise surprise) so I made this. This also was posted for the Colossal Battle Contest on Flickr and brought to our County fair, where it won a meaningless little first prize sticker (along with half of the other open class entries. ). I hope to post the next installment, a crossover with Gedren, sometime this month. Soli Deo Gloria & Sola Gracia!