The Fate of Naburn
The fire was warm, but it was the light that drew the villagers to it on this mild, moonless night. A feast had welcomed home the warriors; meat for all and the first of the sun-ripened crop had been ready to pick. Now they would while away the evening in talk and song – remembering their deeds and those who had not returned.
“We walked the coast road to the mouth of the river, we stayed with the Crabbers who work the silt of the bay. Tide’s bad in Spring, so the barter was welcome.”
“You will have passed my old village – Naburn, where the cliffs shallow out to the beaches”
“Yes, we did – it’s gone though. Ice-folk came in the winter,
“Never have! You must have passed a ruin – there’s plenty of failed villages on the coast, the sea is not kind.”
The warrior did not meet the eyes of the questioner,
“No mistaking. I am sorry to bear the news but Naburn is gone, Ice-folk killed them and took their food. They wouldn’t trade with them so
“How can you know?”
“Crabbers told me.”
“How can they know?”
The warrior looked up then, met the eyes of the questioner.
“The Ice-folk told them.”