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Wufran: the Beginning

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Wufran: the Beginning

Once they started the fire, that set all the other events in motion.

The fire quickly spread from the outbuildings to the stable, as fires are wont to do, when set in an area of timber and thatch buildings that had been drying for many seasons. Once the thatch on the stable roof caught, the horses started screaming in panic. The two steady old plow horses and the grey mare that was used for riding by the smith that called the stedding home, all were voicing their terror at the top of their lungs.

The young girl, started to rise from her hiding spot at the edge of the tree line. Her blue eyes were huge with tears, seeing the devastation of her home, and she just couldn't let the horses die too. Her brother reached for her but he was too late. The small, golden haired form darted for the burning stable.

"Freda! Come back..."

The voice trailed, into silence, afraid to make too much noise. The boy was probably around 10 years old and he was frozen in indecision. His job was to look after his little sister. Papa and Mama both had repeatedly drilled that into him, but the cautious part of his nature recoiled from following his sister to the burning building. Knowing the raiders were still there, ransacking the main house, made matters that much worse. Adding to the emotional mess, was the fact that Wulfran was hidden because his sister had sensed something amiss on this cold evening in early spring.

The children had been seeing to some final chores after their supper: Wufran gathering wood and a fresh bucket of water to be used in the morning, Freda had taken the evening slop to the pigs. Freda thought she had seen someone lurking in the shadows, so she ran to her brother just as the attacked began. Both of the nordic children knew their best hope at surviving lay in hiding and seeing what remained after the raiders were gone. They had heard the sounds of fighting from the house: Papa was away at the jarl's but Mama was a nordic woman, well used to the violence of the frontier and well practiced with her axe and shield. There were also Hosti, Osten and Brida, cousins of Mama who lived at the stedding, who assisted with the work of farming and Osten was also apprenticed to the smith. Everyone worked, and everyone trained to fight off bandits, bears or worse, that could come out of the forrests.

The fighting sounded like it had died down, when Freda made her dash for the stable. She disappeared inside it and Wulfran stood, but still remained in the shadow of the large spruce tree that had helped conceal them. Little Freda managed to open the main door to the stable and was going to get the horses when one of the raiders came around the stable from the far side and grabbed her. The long angular face of Freda's captor betrayed his Altmer heritage, and he laughed as he carried her, kicking and screaming towards the house.

Two more Altmer emerged and though Wulfran couldn't hear what they said, he could see them laughing, and then there was a dagger in one's hand and he drew it across Freda's throat. Blood fountained out and the three Altmer laughed. Wulfran was momentarily stunned but the sound of the laughter jarred him back to consciousness, as he watched his sister's body fall into the mud, discarded by the Altmer like a broken toy.

Wulfran howled and charged across the yard at the murderers, his only weapon being his belt knife. 

He could never remember what happened next but when neighbours came, after seeing the smoke and flames, they found him weeping and cradling his dead sister's body, next to the remains of three altmer in Thalmor uniforms, that had been brutally hacked to pieces. Wulfran's small knife was found on the ground, its blade broken and left in the eye of one of the bodies.

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