As Noah turned onto the familiar path home, his ears caught a sound not altogether unfamiliar to him, but which had not been heard in those lands since many years past. There was a peculiar blackness rising from the valley. Smoke. Thick, heavy smoke, and it was coming from the village.
Noah dashed along the road as quickly as his tired old ankles would allow, and as he reached the crest of hill his most feared suspicions were confirmed. The valley below was a scene of total devastation. The village was ablaze. Not a single building was untouched by the flames, and even some of the farmhouses that dotted the surrounding hillside were alight.
Kaleb and Lola Fizman were about a nearby field where they had been tending their flock, accompanied by their daughter and grandchild. They did not turn to greet Noah from his long journey, but instead were transfixed by the horrific scene. As Noah approached them, Lola Fizman fell to her knees and began to sob for her daughter, whose husband was Goodwizard of the village temple and had surely been caught in the violence.
Who could do such a thing, and why? Noah knew there could be only one answer: They had returned.
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