An account by Ser Graf Dog.
When we fight we fight hard and at the end we often retreat with the wounded while the able are still standing. Sometimes we lose some and it is always horrific. Sometimes there is panic and fear and hate as the people try to claim a place in the circle over somebody else and the battle is raging around you and the people are desperate and you can hardly get your words out and you wait and wait for the moment you know you can go and you say the words and then from the middle of battle you find yourself in the void and there is a moment of calm before you reappear. Your pattern links to the people when you travel, to your comrades and the people you need to get out. Before you say you take them all to Winchester or Caer Dannon or whatever it is what you chose as a target before you say it you can see desperate eyes and fear and pain and your pattern reaches out and wants to connect to them all but there is a limit and you can’t do it. So you take a circle full and the people push in and rage and shove and some collapse into the centre as others disappear and it’s always bad but sometimes you’re thinking how the warriors could of done better and you could of healed more people and if we had done better this would not be so bad and the people who are not in the first transport maybe had their own fate in their hands and you go back or you pray for the next transporter to land with you soon and usually nearly everyone gets out but there are tears for the ones what didn’t.
Carlisle were like that and not like that. There were the same faces of panic and people hating how long it took to do the rite but they was squashing into me trying to pack more and more people into the circle. Loads of them haven’t transported for a year or more but then they all wanted and needed to get out. There were women dragging frightened children and angry faces everywhere. Beastkin clawed their way in and people were screaming at each other or huddled up with blank faces and wide open eyes. There were people getting in my face for me not going fast enough and there weren’t nobody making a joke and nobody there was the person to blame for what was happening to us all. In the sky there was darkness and we could see the weird swirling tunnel traveling from the distance and stuff from near it just flying into the sky and scattering and raining down on us. There was dust everywhere and screaming and a horrible smell like when hair burns. Some people tried to plead with me and some just argued among themselves and when we landed they were being all emotional and all emotions like people so happy to escape that they were crying and wanted to hug me and people angry that they had come without their husband or whatever and they were all shouting and still crowding me. Every time. And I kept yelling at them to get OUT OF THE CIRCLE and they didn’t realise it was because I was going back. There was one man who was this tall elf and I recognised him but can’t remember his name and he was in my face saying about how he knew who I was and he didn’t care and I needed to recognise my place in the world because fancy titles don’t make you immune to accountability and if his son dint get out there would be problems between him and me and he wouldn’t listen to what I was saying and so I struck him down unconscious and yelled that anyone else taking a space in the circle would not be coming back a second time and then they cleared out and dragged him out and it was just in time as the magic gathered to let me go back to Carlisle. I done this for more than an hour and it never got no better and there was never enough room in the circle and I could feel people hating me because they didn’t understand and I didn’t have time to explain except for what I tried to explain as part of the transport rites but they couldn’t hear me and I didn’t have enough space or time or words to make it better. One hour at least and if I could I would still be doing it now because they didn’t deserve this. They never done nothing wrong. They were the ones what stayed in Albion and fixed things up and made the new farms and tidied out the town and let us be able to start to settle outside of the makeshift temporary places. They were survivors they were important they were Albion. They helped me make a shrine for the Hunter and they were the people who got through the nightmares – the ones caused by the fall and the ones sent by enemies. I was looking in the eyes of people who I had calmed and mindhealed and seeing anger and fear again and there was nothing I could do except for come back and come back and come back again and try to take them to a safe place.
I got about 200. I went back and back and it got darker and louder and people were fighting each other and screaming and sobbing and I kept telling myself that I could keep it up but I was getting exhausted and really even if I kept saying to myself it would be all right and I could get more it wasn’t because there was too many. The tunnel helped loads and the other transporters too and I was doing everything I could and then suddenly there was nothing else to do. I transported like usual and went to Carlisle and it weren’t there I landed. I had to ask where I was and couldn’t understand right away how I could of got it so wrong. I tried again from there and nothing happened. I went back to Caer Dannon and tried again. Bounce bounce bounce back to Humber River every time. So then I knew. The last people I saw shoving around outside the circle, the ones who couldn’t get in with my rite and the next one already going, the ones who ran that tiny bit too slow or chose to go to the circle when the tunnel might of been better or even just running out into the countryside, the ones who stood strong and said no Carlisle matters and I will stand with it until it was clear that there was no way to survive if you stayed, all them people – they died.
Their patterns was ripped out of them and went to their ancestors. At least I know that because Nethras told me. But it ain’t fair and I couldn’t do nothing more.
Carlisle fell and the circle is gone. Havoc too.
And I will build it back. Because I been through too much for this to take me down. Nothing gets to break me now. I hate what happened but I am strong and the people we got left need a new home.
It will be glorious. Just give me time.
Ser Graf Dog
Countess of Carlisle