The family was near the back of the dusk procession, a young man holding a hand of both of his small children. Little Elie didn’t quite know how to feel. “Papa, do you remember when your father went to the Rialty?”
Giovan’s eyes paused as he remembered something very dark. “I do. I remember missing him very much, not wanting him to leave.”
“Ay Papa! We don’t want you to leave either.” Payter had grown so much in the past year, he was tall, strong for an eight year old. “But I will join the fight too, when I grow up.”
Giovan winced at the thought. That was the only promise a child’s life held, to grow up and join in a fight that noone ever returned from. “Of course. Far before I was born the Rialty would leave on the first full moon of the new year. I will join my father and my grandfather tonight, but the battle may be over before you are grown.” He managed a smile and hugged them both, then walked down the ramp into the hold. Only two more followed behind him, before the iron doors slammed shut.