Stars were scattered across the sky. The fire crackled behind a young woman in a flowing dusty-blue dress rimmed with red. The cool breeze blew her long, brown hair behind her as she danced to the chanting of her people.
There was a steady drum beat in the background. The woman glanced down toward the fire and smiled at the young man watching her in awe. He appeared tall, even when he was sitting down. His floppy brown hair followed the breeze across his face. Embers danced and lit up his features.
She moved towards him and grabbed his arms. He followed willingly as she lifted him from his seat. She let go and twirled around twice then turned to face him and gave a bow. She took his hands and he followed her lead as they both began spinning around the fire.
The moonlight caught her eyes for a brief moment before his brown eyes caught the moons reflection instead. He subconsciously pulled her closer to him and watched her eyes light up from the fire. Her dress flowed around their legs, caught on the wind.
Several people around them began to keep time with their hands, following the steady drum beat. The beat picked up, causing them to speed up their dance. Both of them were spinning until they got dizzy, her bare feet leading his across the dusty ground.
They stopped abruptly with the drums, facing most of the crowd, and took a bow. They waited for the clapping to stop before taking their seats next to the fire. A woman went up to them, "that was wonderful dears," she said, smiling sweetly. "Just remember what tomorrow is Nomadia," she said to the young woman. Nomadia's smile disappeared as she remembered. "Yes ma'am," she replied and turned her head toward the young man beside her.
"The war between the other nations has not yet reached us. We must remain sharp with our defenses in case it should come here," she continued.
"A figure approaches our camp," A man shouted, pointing towards a rider.
"I bring word from the land of Tagar asking for an alliance with your people."
"What should we do?" the man asked.
"Take him to our lord of course, Jestir."
The man named Jestir led the messenger to a small boat at their lakes edge. After ushering the messenger into the small boat, he got in himself and began rowing towards a small island.
Nomadia watched the messenger cross the lake. Their lord-or more preferred-Lady, had the full instincts of a shark, even when she was human. She was usually very blunt.
The boy next to her rose, looked down at her, and threw her a hand. She took his hand and let him pull her up. "Varden, should we follow?"
"Only if she summons us," he replied. "We will know."