It is hard to explain. You start by asking yourself what makes a true man. Is it his ability to hunt, or to farm, or to breed stock? In part the answer is yes. Is it his capacity to love his family? In part the answer is also yes. But there is something else. Something grand. It seems to me that there are three instincts which drive us on. The first is self-preservation – the will to survive. The second is tribal. We have an urge to belong, to be a part of a greater whole. But the third? The third is what counts, boy, above all things.

That is even harder to explain. The lioness would willingly give her life to save her cups. That is her way. But I have seen a woman risk her life for someone else’s child. The third instinct compels us to put aside thoughts of self-preservation for the sake of another life, or a principle, or a belief.”

Kebra, to Conalin, Winter Warriors

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