All right, little intro first:

These are three related stories that are related to one of the 5 books I am in the middle of writing. The last two stories are pretty nasty, especially the LAST one, so... Yea...

Here's the background I think you should probably know:

Audren is the first halfling in my world (Arehl). The war referred to in the second story is the war that ended the First Age. When it is over, somewhere between the second and third stories, the results of the war are basically this: 1/8 of Arehl's land (or thereabouts) is destroyed and uninhabitable. Everyone who fought in it, on both sides, died, along with most of the people living in the land that was lost. This is why what happened to Audren happened. Whee. All right, now go read, and don't say I didn't warn you about the blood... :) No, don't stop, click the 'next' button...