It was a dark time to be an icyene. Saradomin was in another plane, far from us, and the warriors were with him. It was left to Selenome and I to tend the two active farms left on our island. But hard work has never fazed me, not in all my years.
It was not the work that caused our problems, however - it was the rebels. One year, we had more than half our supply of grain stolen. Selenome watched the whole thing, but was powerless to stop it. It was a particularly hard migration.
The Rebels did not make our lives easy. We were ill-equipped and ill-suited to defend ourselves. While the rebels rarely did lasting damage, we could not stay in the position forever.
As usual, we thought that perhaps - we might lose them on the next migration.
A priest arrived. Selenome first saw him and his retinue - three aging warriors - on the horizon as we worked the fields. There were ten of us then. War and the rebels had taken their toll.
The priest landed, produced a letter of proclamation and began to read. He was a former soldier, one of the few to escape Gielinor. He had good news: the war was over! And yet, the priest looked solemnly at us as we cheered. He told us that Saradomin had not succeeded in his goals.
We were farmers; those goals were hard for us to see. We were just happy that the fighting had ended. And, with Saradomin returned, the rebels would finally see justice.
The priest offered his services. A blessing was said over the grave of Ceremino, who had seen many migrations. As we paid our respects, there was a sense of renewed spirit and unity within our little community. Saradomin was returning, and with that would come his protection and peace.
Before He came, though, the rebels attacked, eager to strike at the symbol of their hatred - the priest.
There were twelve of them, coming from the north, brandishing spears. They slashed at our crops as they flew by. The three warriors called the villagers to arms.
How I wish that moment had never come! The rebels were intent on attacking the priest and did not hold back. We stood resolute with faith, knowing that Saradomin expected no less until he returned. Even I took up my hoe and stepped forward.
Thirteen Icyene died that day - seven rebels, two warriors and the priest. Of the villages, young Aserima and her brother Liamenes fell.
But I saw none of that, for I held Selemone in my arms as life escaped her.
I watched impassively as the rebels took our harvest. I couldn't muster a thought.
Before long, the time came for migration. The others left in pairs - not as a community, as they had before - and I was alone. I was ready to lie down and let the cold dark of winter take me.
The shadow drew closer, and the once-bright sun touched the horizon. I went to the grave of Selemone and sat, ready for the Cold Death.
It was then that He came. Like a second sun, He shone on the horizon, and flew towards me unerringly. At his side, almost invisible in Saradomin's brightness, I could see others. Among then was the surviving warrior.
My hope was reignited. Saradomin had returned, and he had not forgotten me.