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Man: Ah, seems to be just the mounted messenger once again. In any case, as long as it is a single rider, there is no real danger!

How many hardships did we have to endure during the past 30 years of war? Again and again some lord’s army marched through our country and took everything of the little we had. From time to time, some soldiers would even threaten to burn our houses or worse, should we choose not to give what they demanded. Mostly, food for man and horse. And money, of course. Then again, they would simply attack us like bandits, plunder everything and hurt us. Quite a few of us perished by those raids. Some of our younger boys, desperate as they were, saw no option but to join the attackers. As you can imagine, they were quick to become just like them. As our Lord Jesus Christ said: “He who takes up the sword, shall die by the sword”, may it be the executioner’s sword or the gallows.

But now, we are carefully watching the streets whenever we hear about a bunch of troublemakers roaming about. Being warned like that, we do it just like our forefathers have for hundreds of years: we retreat to our trusty, grey tower, the “Griesen Toarn”, as we call it. Walls as thick as two steps of a grown man, foundation walls that are 9 feet in length and a height no blackguard however reckless would dare to climb. Not that bad at all, I like to think. In this way, our families can stay safe and we can defend ourselves by shooting through the arrow slits.

But still, we cannot withstand canon bombardment or fire like this.

Hence, there are still many delegates of nearby regiments coming by here to demand “contributions”, as they call it. They believe that they have a right to do so. And if we don’t cooperate, they will simply hold some of us hostage until we pay the ransom. Like this, we can’t be sure of anything anymore. Nobody knows if we will be able to harvest what we have sowed, if the war will again destroy our fields, leaving us with nothing but acorns and beechnuts to bake our bread. What would I give to finally hear some mounted messenger declare that peace has been made…


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