I’ve never been accused of being a great man, so I might as well recount the adventures of one who was. Good thing, I suppose; he’d never do it himself. He was never that kind of person. He called himself Bowman Vance, and he was probably the only real friend I’ve ever had. My name is Noah. I was just a boy when I knew him, barely fourteen, but the night he ran, I followed him. When he discovered me hours later, he tried to send me home, even tried to scare me away. It nearly worked too. But I had seen what they’d done to him. I knew their secret. I couldn’t go back any more than he could.
The night we left Master Kota’s estate was a hectic one. Less than an hour prior to our leaving, the entire familial guard had made a failed attempt to overthrow the Kota line. Melias Quartain, the Sergeant of the Guard, had claimed proof that Master Kota was a corrupt noble, and that he was stealing from the town. Of the fifteen guardsmen, only three had been unsure: Bowman, one of his fellow archers, and a young swordsman. They had all grown up in the town of Jujira. Bowman’s own family had served the Kota line for generations.