In the days when people were owned by the land, two young girls found their power by becoming ghosts, then spirit guides.
This is their origin-story...
Their Dad had to raise them by himself, as Mother died shortly after birthing them. But as a spirit, she remained on Earth to watch over them. Sal and Jude could see her, and knew their Dad could feel her presence.
The King's soldiers have visited the forest and found their hut, only to be chased away by a specter.
These three make improvements to their hut to make it harder to find, or to find the entrance they use. And learn to leave no trace as they move about the forest, even in snow.
In Spring, the Captain and his troops returned, forcing nearby villagers to make a crossing into the ravine that will enable wagons to bring a hunting party.
Their Dad starts training Sal and Jude to hide themselves in the forest as they hunt and forage for food. What they find in their training is unexpected...
When the morning light finally came, the overcast sky matched the mood of the soldiers. The captain was probably the first up, and got busy kicking and rousing his men into some sort of action. He found that no one had died. Several were burned, but no one burned badly.
Their wagons had been destroyed. Their horses could probably be recovered from the peasants (who weren’t allowed to own horses.) Their tents might be able to be salvaged. There was no food, there was no firewood.
The captain found his officers and made them disentangle their next in command, who had to find their juniors, and so on down the line. Finally, he mustered them all together.
One of his officers took a small group of men into the nearest town to get the horses rounded up and returned.
Another officer’s group was organized to get the tents recovered, folded properly, and stacked for transport.
A third officer’s group was to clean the grounds and salvage anything of value. The trash, especially any bottles, were to be buried in the center of the camp. On top of this spot, they were to make a bonfire of anything too damaged to be repaired.
The captain walked to the edge of the ravine and stared out into it. He waited for reports from his officers when their actions were completed.
By the time the first officer and their horses returned, the other actions were also completed.
At that, the captain had the men lead the horses down into the ravine and then back up, saddle and ride around the entire encampment. Then repeated this many times.
At last they rode off.
Later that day, a single wagon arrived, with a small handful of men to load up the tents and return them to the soldier’s headquarters.
And it was quiet on the land again...