[RO] cold and black like silt on the riverbed
The Ruins - Western Sector
It looked like rain that afternoon. She had seen it coming in from her porch. In the long days since her return, Salvia had filled her days with work. The house needed it: it had been empty for too long. Cleaning it would take days, and she had other things to attend to. Loathe as she was to admit it, she was old now.

Luckily, it had been her family which provided the answer to her problem.

The girl wasn't a slave, Grievous had explained, but once had been. She had served his family when his children were young. Her freedom had been given to her when he found her debt repaid. He was soft towards them, Salvia thought. It was why he had never become a fighter like his father, not the way his wife had. She had proven herself an ideal Salsolan woman in many respects, even if her frosty demeanor yet remained.

Heulwen was a she-wolf of indeterminate age. They had guessed her at three, and she did indeed look healthy to Salvia. This was Salsola – and in this case, the Eternity family itself – who had provided this for her. She was small, which was unfortunate, but skilled at what she did. Beyond cleaning, she had a skill for cooking, and Salvia had capitalized upon this at once.

Someone like this needed molded properly, or their potential would be lost.

By nightfall, the rain had become a storm. Salvia had insisted the girl stay. She eventually agreed, and slept in the second room. The fire went low, but the wolves were well protected against the cold.

What they could not think to defend against was the entire weight of the old pine when it came crashing down onto the cabin. The sound was tremendous: it was as loud as thunder. Debris exploded and shattered a portion of the fence around the corral. Spooked, the two horses within bolted down the nearest path.

In the dark, two voices began to call out. One, a yowling cat's shrieks, were awful enough to raise the dead. The second, confused and scared, soon rose to a frightened summons.

Backdated to the night of November 13th

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