'The death of my mother drove him insane. He had been only a year old at the time, but he had witnessed a group of Western soldiers slaughter everybody in the village. Few survived. Thanks to my father, Murda, Gurden and myself were spared.'
'Which Westerners attacked your village?'
'The men of King Grans. To the west of Litana. Gurden was intent on revenge, as we all were, but he was poisoned by the memory; the images he dreamed of drove him mad. If it were me, I would have probably gone insane also.
'He joined The Eden about the same time that I began to train with you. He had been talking about it for years; he wanted revenge, but he failed to understand that not all Western kingdoms were as evil as that of King Grans.
'My father desperately tried to disuade him, but as soon as he hit fifteen, he left home, and we never saw him again. Now, I guess the power has got to him. He's an extremist, and despite him being my brother, he needs to be dealt with appropriately.
'My father made me swear to travel here, join the Guard, and defend the West against The Eden. He himself was too old, and knew that he would not be accepted, so he dedicated his life to preventing The Eden from influencing the East to the point of dictatorship.
'I was lucky to be picked up by such a fantasic mentor and such a fantastic friend. I will help you avenge the death of your wife, and I will help you find your son. I know how it feels to lose a loved one, but I also know that mass-murder is not the way to achieve justice.
'We must isolate those who have done this, and we must make them pay.'
Recovery was not needed for Jonrah's minimal wounds. A light toasting here and there, but there was nothing that could be done, and they'd heal themselves whether he was resting in bed or avenging the death of his wife and recapturing his son.
Jonrah remained unsure of whether or not it was wise to solve violence with violence. Diplomacy had been his preferred method since leaving the Guard.
But Lorda had convinced him that it was better to be armed and not use it than to be unarmed and fall because of 'pathetic diplomatic reasoning' as he put it.
Jonrah had to agree with that logic, and so here he was, with Lorda holding two shortswords in his direction, making him choose which he would prefer to plunge through the man that had killed his wife and kidnapped his son. Again, these were Lorda's words.
Jonrah had chosen the lighter one, and although it had a thinner blade, it would be easier to carry. His prize shield had perished in the fire, along with everything else, and so Lorda had lent him one from his own stash, as he would not be using it.
Lorda had 'borrowed' two horses from the Guard stables, and had also collected some heavy armour for Jonrah, remembering his preference from the days when they had been partners.
Lorda preferred the lighter armour; a simple chainmail vest and matching bottoms. He wasted no time stocking up on weapons, however. Dual blades, both thick and yet light, and a crossbow with a sack of one hundred crossbow bolts. For emergencies. No need for a shield when one was as swift and agile as Lorda was.
Lorda had given Jonrah a longbow, and although Jonrah had rarely ever used one, he was equally as talented with a bow as he was with a blade.
They were quite a pair, and both very well-trained in combat. It would just take Jonrah a little work to get back into the warrior's mind-set. He was reluctant to do so, but he accepted that it was probably necessary, and although he had at first only asked for a simple shortsword, Lorda had stocked him up with every necessity under the sun, and with every addition to Jonrah arsenal, he found it more and more familiar, more and more acceptable.
Mounted on their horses at the edge of the forest, Jonrah took a moment to look back at the city of Litana, once his home, but now merely a city, a city with a tragic past, which held nothing for him now.
It would not take them long to get through the forest, and after that, it was simply a matter of avoiding the Eastern towers and the groups of Eden scouts that were no doubt patrolling every corner of the East.