Prior to joining the forces of Saradomin, the narrator lived in a village near modern day Al Kharid led by Elder Tasgall. They saw Saradominist troops led by an icyene approach the village and went to inform Elder Tasgall. Tasgall, knowing what was to happen, began rounding people up as the soldiers arrived. Their leader, the icyene Sergeant Mazakon, demanded to address the entire village.
That night, Mazakon spoke to the village, introducing the singer Elspeth as a human-icyene hybrid. She played a song that spoke of glory in battle and when the sergeant asked for volunteers for the army, many, including the narrator, eagerly shouted to join.
Later, they overheard Tasgall and Mazakon arguing. Elspeth approached them and admitted that she was not actually of icyenic blood, that was Mazakon's invention to explain her musical abilities, obtained through frequent practice. She took the narrator outside the village and sang them an icyenic love song from before the war, causing the narrator confusion; they did not know there was life without war.
Once her song was done, the village was attacked by the Ripper, a deadly assassin ripper demon. Sergeant Mazakon roused the villagers, bidding them to defend their homes while they were cut to pieces. The Ripper faced Mazakon, severely wounding him. The narrator hesitated, unwilling to risk being torn to shreds or distracting the sergeant. He commanded Elspeth to sing. She did as commanded, stopping the demon. It stopped in front of the narrator, who moved to attack when it fled the village.
As Elder Tasgall had been killed during the attack, they took command, gathering survivors in the hall. Elspeth played a mournful tune, but stopped when the Ripper returned. When Mazakon died roughly three hours later, Elspeth ordered the body left outside in the hope that it would pacify the assassin. The narrator did so reluctantly, and when Elspeth intended to give her life to spare the villagers, the narrator went with her. They attacked the demon but was easily flung aside, breaking both legs in the process. They watched as Elspeth weakened the demon and killed it, but was killed as well in the process. They were later found by some of the villagers and restored to health.
They buried Elspeth then joined the army of Saradomin, telling the tale of Elspeth. The tale grew, becoming inspirational. Elspeth was given sainthood. Five years after meeting Elspeth, they were wounded, breaking both legs again and taking shelter in a collapsed dug-out. Knowing no aid was coming, they wrote their tale before they died, expressing gratitude for meeting the saint.