"We're not going to make it back for the dawn service," Anur grimaced, eyeing the lightening eastern sky, "Sorry Kir, hadn't realized we'd gone out that far."

"It is not a true problem, on Midwinter's Day it's the noon ceremony that's the most important," Kir shrugged, Riva slowing to a jog and Aelius doing the same. They'd gone out the day before because Anur was going stir-crazy and Kir wasn't exactly going to object to the chance to get out of barracks at this point. The night had been pleasant, spent in an abandoned hovel and reminiscent of their first meeting, all expansive gestures and outlandish recounting of events and tales.

Anur's rather irreverent retelling of Ruelan's Ascent given his personal interpretation of a Firecat had been particularly hilarious.

"The re-igniting," Anur nodded, a thoughtful look on his face, "Do Firestarters do that?"

"If one is available," Kir nodded, "In smaller churches, it's often ceremonially lit with a torch from the previous year's flame, no fancy spontaneous ignition necessary. Sunhame's ceremonies would likely start around now and go until the noon service."

"That sounds… horrible."

"It's beautiful," Kir said wistfully, "The hymns, the chants – so many people brought together by faith, even if many of them are power-hungry bastards it's still – it's beautiful."

"Beautiful, sure, but I'm pretty sure I'd be starving by the time it was over," Anur pointed out.

Kir barked a laugh, knowing Anur had been aiming for that reaction, "Godless heathen."

"But of course," Anur chuckled, gleam of success in his eyes.

Kir shook his head, looking towards the pink and gold horizon, a strange feeling of peace settling over him. There was just something about today – about this morning, running late for a dawn service, in the company of his brother and watching the sun rise – it just felt… right. Good.

"I have a good feeling about today."