The rain was coming down hard the late afternoon in the village of Ashtafal, forcing children back to the houses of their parents and mothers and fathers to light the fires and close the shutters. The streets were virtually empty as the water droplets pelted the earth. Under the watchful gaze of golden eyes, a small group of wayward people ran into the boarding house set up just before the edge of the village. Duchess hurried her boarders into the house, giving them towels to dry off with. She smiled at a young man as he passed her going into the house before moving to close the doors. That's when she saw him. A man, a strange man she had never seen before, coming towards the village, absolutely drenched. She ran her fingers through her curly black hair and stood on the porch, watching him curiously.