People had called him paranoid, and even mad when he had imported the ironworks and spent huge sums of money constructing the watchtower on the edge of his estate. They even went as far to call it his folly and suggest it would bankrupt him. Now, of course they saw that what he had constructed served a purpose, and for that they were grateful. They would soon forget though.
It was only because of the tower that the village was afforded sufficient warning to be saved. Or rather those who had listened were saved. Others, scoffing at what they thought were rantings of a madman, were not so lucky. The bright sunrise and calm sky belied the events of the night before. He had seen the signs of the impending attack and had manned the tower, safe in the knowledge that the silver cage built in the top that that been so costly would save both him and she who was so precious to him, his daughter. When he spied the ghostly riders on the horizon at sunset he sounded the alarm as he had promised to do. After all, they only ever attacked at night, as sunlight was their enemy.
Those in the village who heeded his sign had taken refuge where they could. Shutting themselves into deep cellars and being totally still was the only way to survive. Others, filled with fighting spirit and beer stood little chance. These were not mortal warriors and there was no blade in the armory that could cut them.
By morning the prophecy had passed. They would be safe for another ten generations, although the village would be counting the cost for at least two, and all would be forgotten after five. He wondered if the tower would still be standing when it would be needed again, his legacy for his descendants perhaps…