Chapter 19

The rain stopped during the night, and the following day they discovered that the lake and river had flooded, and the water surrounded the hill that had once been Lajolaine. Hugvolsh suggested that it was very likely that the flood swept away any enemies across the river, so they were no longer a threat. He explained that the land was a flood plain that flooded no less than once a year. The only problem that remained was the food supply, and the Barbidons managed to uncover some food stores prepared for such a time. Now they just needed to wait for the water to recede.

Two weeks later the water was low enough for them to begin sloshing toward Lamarjolaine. The going was slow and muddy, but it began to clear up after a week of travel. A month later, they finally reached the devastation that had once been Lamarjolaine.

The enemy had not as thoroughly pummeled the city as Lajolaine, and some structures were still standing. Various Barbidons were wandering the debris-filled streets, collecting and burning the dead. The next day, several ships took them to Elgwith Island where the Barbidon soldiers that accompanied Turos were reunited with any family members that had escaped the destruction of Lamarjolaine. It was then that many Barbidons discovered that their families did not survive.

After several days of mourning and indecision among the Barbidons concerning the future of their race, three Lunari arrived on the island and gathered everyone together. “The Barbidon race must continue,” they said. “Every male that has lost his spouse will take one widowed female as his wife, and they will begin a new family. There is a land to the northeast for you to colonize, nearer to the lands of men who will help you rebuild the former splendor of your race.”

“I can’t just start to love someone I’ve never met before,” one of the Barbidons said. Several others agreed.

“A means of escaping the pains of the past will be provided,” the Lunari explained. “When you reach the shores of Sarda, gather the berries of the worr plant and give them to your best brewers. Each couple need only drink one glass of the resulting beverage, and your past life will be as a dream in comparison to your new life. It will take many years, but the Barbidon race will be revived and prosperity and grandeur will once again fill your culture.”

Turos stepped forward. “I thank the Lunari for protecting my life these past two years, and wonder if the time has come for my return to Atalan or if there is anything else I must do first.”

Zhethou stepped forward toward Turos. “Your purpose in this land is finished,” she said. “It is now time for you to return to Atalan. Your name is mighty, and spreads valor among the lands of men. You will return to Atalan a prince, but one day you will be the Great King.”

Prince Turos bowed. “I will always be ready to answer the call of the Lunari.”

Several others also spoke with the Lunari, and then everyone dispersed to prepare for the journey ahead. Chief Oholohono and Ro’Ana decided to stay on the island, and the remaining Olo soldiers chose to return to their own land. The pirates chose to follow Prince Hifur, Prince Turos, and Jo’Ana to Atalan, and begin new lives there. Two weeks later, the ships embarked on what would be the beginning of a new life for everyone onboard.