"When are they coming back?" "When the Vigil is over." "I want to go to the Vigil!" Finn yawned as his grandmother tucked him into bed. "It's not for young ones, dear. I told you this." Beside them, Helga bundled up the other pillows and snuggled against them. "Father says all children go on their tenth winter." She sneered at her brother, "You'll have to wait four more years!" The grandmother's chuckle filled the bedroom, as soft as the firelight. "Everyone goes to the Vigil in time, my dears. We all must honour those who lived and died before us." "Why?" Finn wriggled under the blankets. "Because we wouldn't be here if not for them." "But why aren't you at the Vigil, Grandma?" Helga was ever the sharper-minded of the two children. She had asked the question earlier that night, and as before it brought a flicker of sadness, like the shadows, across the old woman's face. "Because, Helga... I think of the FateGuard every day. I cannot forget them." "Tell us more about them, Grandma!" "Well... I told you already about those six fateful nights, when the FateGuard were undone by scheming men both within and outside their ranks. Even heroes are not free from the greed and folly that surround them. When Father Gregory, a great man of the Church, was murdered by one of the FateGuard, the King ordered the Night Watch be disbanded. And in their place they put the Legionnaires." Finn pulled the blankets over his head. "I don't like the Legion Hares!" "Many of them were just like you, Finn - young boys who the Church had adopted. They were given armour made from the bones and hides of the Farborn Beasts. It made them strong, oh yes, but they had no will of their own." "Did they keep the city safe?" Helga asked, with her head on the pillow as she watched her grandmother open the old storybook. "Yes, dear. For a while. But some of the old FateGuard never trusted them. Some still believed that Gothenheim would be best protected by men and not monsters. Because, as I told you, dears, the FateGuard had many faults, many weaknesses and heartaches. But they were, each and every one of them, so very human." "But they weren't the FateGuard anymore..." Helga pulled the blankets around her as her eyelids drooped. The grandmother turned the page. "But even in those dark nights, Helga, they were still our greatest protectors."