Hours passed. As Jenny was finishing the clean-up of the yak’s pen, she heard some shouting from the ramparts, both from the village men and voices she recognised from the visiting norn a little over a week ago. While she couldn’t hear their exact words, it was clear from their tone that neither side was pleased. Before Jenny could put her shovel and bucket away, the shouting had ceased, and more men were running about the village, grabbing bows or spears, or heading for the ramparts. She wanted to see what was going on, but didn’t want her father to catch her, so headed for an elevated part of the ramparts that was otherwise not close to the active part. With the majority of the men now on the ramparts, she managed to get onto the small tower without being seen.
The wind had kicked up, so the groups of norn were somewhat masked by the flying snow, but their dark-blue armour made them easily visible against the white-snow. Their blueish skin uncovered against the cold, their dragon-tattoos were clearly visible, and filled Jenny with a dread she had not known before. All the norn she could see were armed to the teeth, and all had bows easily larger than even her father, with arrows to match. She could see Martel ordering young Klian onto a horse headed for the garrison, but just as he reached the gate, an unnatural howling and roaring reached the village. Jenny had heard cave bears before, and while these resembled those, they could not come from any animal she had ever heard of, and every human in the village could hear that they were coming from the direction of the garrison.
Soon after the norn had encircled the village, they started shooting volley after volley over the walls, causing everyone who could to seek shelter in the nearest buildings. Jenny’s house was close to that side of the walls, so when she arrived, she found it brimming with people from all over the village, some of them injured, some of them not. The little hut was filled with shouting and conversation as everyone this was happening and what they could do about it, all the while trying to tend to those who had been hit by the spear-sized arrows fired by the attackers. Some were saying they should gather everyone they could and make a run for the garrison, while those who had been outside when this all started argued that whatever that unnatural roaring had come from would either be blocking the way or attacking the garrison itself. Through all this noise, Jenny heard something.
The whistling and thudding of the arrows had stopped. Others must have realised it as well, for the conversations throughout the room slowly died down, and the men who could still move on their own hurried outside. Jenny snuck away to the back door to risk a peek outside.