I and my compatriots live in a neighbouring land, one where the sun never sets. Life is abundant, squirrels skittering through the trees and dogs and children at play. Our king is a just king, one of good intentions and great humour. He gives us the freedom to explore, choosing to guide rather than punish.
He offers us the comfort of friendship and the spirit of joyous gaiety. We scold and snarl at one another like kittens wrestling their littermates, what seems like harshness being merely in play.
The land itself feels our king’s kindness, and the ground is vibrant under our feet with verdant grass and colourful blossoms. And we see, from our vantage point, the ashen sky that hovers over the kingdom nearby. We look on with sorrow, as the people in that kingdom fall under seige.
Without a command or entreaty from our ruler, we stride forward as one, packs of food and blankets on our backs and crude weapons in hand. We seek not battle, but to protect the beleaguered.
We offer them safety in the midst of chaos.
Most do not know where this unexpected altruism comes from, but we have seen the sorrows before.
Darkness came to our land not so long ago. And the trees still bear the scars of the Great Night, when it spread across the land. On that day, lightning struck, setting one of our forests on fire and the torrential rain that accompanied it drowned some of our crops. The warm, clear air suddenly became chill, and we experienced a season of deep winter in that single day.
We still feel the effects of it, even now, when the sun is at its brightest. Food is not as abundant anymore, though we try our best to replace what we have lost.
Our king smiles as he looks upon us, and we know we can go on. But within us is the sense of dread, that the darkness will return, bringing with it more pain and suffering.
It is because we know how this feels that we reach out to our sister kingdom.
We offer them what comfort we can, allowing the Overnight Watch to stand down, however briefly. In their hour of need, we will not fail to answer.
We have never failed them. For they are friends, and they would do the same for us.