It was his turn to light the fires that night.
They ranged around the base of the blank wall of stone etched with the small carvings, the memories of those who had come back.
So many had not.
He could still remember when their little corner of the world had been discovered by the Empire, the little corner where it was ordinary to be extraordinary, where everyone had a gift. They had been useful, of course.
Too useful. And even when the old autocrat had fallen and they were finally free, too few of them had come back. Far too few.