Vollständige Version anzeigen : The Wolf Guard
Tyrondus looked throught the window of the room. He saw the wildly stretched out wood that bordered his fortress. He knew they contained many beasts, and many tribes of feral creatures. Among the latter, the wolflings, who seemed to have the body of men, but had sharp claws on both hands and feet, the heads of wolves, fur all over their body, a big tale and had their backs arched forward, were the most troublesome of them all. They were occasionally reported raiding outer settlements of his small comunity. Tyrondus shuddered by thinking of the fact that it was his comunity. When he took this role, the Wolf Guard was still a band of mercenaries. It used to be much more, though.
About a century ago, his grandfather, Terend Geran, founded a knighthood, which he called the order of the black wolf. He did this because his name, Geran, meant wolf in the old tongue, and the black wolf was the crest of his family. over the years, the order gained the nickname of 'Wolf Guard'. The order was loyal to the royal family and had suported it through many wars, until the convocation wars swept over their land.
Terend was killed in the wars, and almost the entire kingdom was blasted into oblivion when the convocation took place. Tyrondus' father survived and gathered the remaining members of the order of the black wolf and gave it the name people were using more then the real name.
The band of knights and soldiers had not much left to do then live a life as mercenaries.
For years, they fought for the highest bidder. Many wars thinning their ranks. Until the day, about thirty years later, Paran, Tyrondus' father, died on the field of battle. Tyrondus took over. Under his leadership, the wolf guard were no longer mercenaries. He had lead them back to one of the last places of the old kingdom still intact. The old fortress of his grandfather, and surrounding plains made a perfect place to found a settlement. The settlement soon became a city-state, and the Wolf Guard grew and prospered.
During their times as mercenaries, many dwarves, elves -both light and dark-, orcs and trolls had joined their ranks. Tyrondus thought it only logical that those races got a place in the city-state aswell. So his small realm became a bastion of the unison of most races. A haven for many refugees who still suffered from the convocation, although it has been so long ago. Tyrondus called it Terena, after his grandfather, who founded the Guard in the first place.
Now, five years later, Tyrondus hadn't quite managed to maintain peace on the Guard's island. Vast bands of wolflings that have taken up residence after the convocation have become more then a nuisance in the past few months. Tyrondus had hoped to avoid open war with anyone ever since Terena's founding, but now, it seemed, it was enevitable.He had to wipe out the wolflings before they would take more possessions, more ground
He had to wipe them out. For good.
There is a small camp in Tyrondus' kingdom. This camp is the vantage point for new recruits. In all its sucess in recruits, this camp has become individual slowly, and had the size of a settlement. It had everything required in a village: food storehouses, homes, weapon shops, apothecaries, jewelers, even something similiar to a town hall. But the borders are undrawn, which makes it constantly under siege by wolflings. And the development of the camp is starting to end, the defenses are limited aswell. If this wolfling-terror doesn't end soon, this camp might just be a ghost town. This is one of the most important places in the kingdom, apart from the capitol. The next hero of the realm might be here, ...supposedly. The camp is lead by a dark elf, who is one of Tyrondus' attendants. This dark elf doesn't take cleanliness-problems as a priority - that's why this isn't a village. The narrow streets are unpaved and full of dirt. There is also absoluely no vegetation here. Just like a barren wasteland.
The trainees practice with each other and the veterans. Also, numerous contests are organised each full moon. Even though the darkelf leader isn't exactly a leader of these esquires, the ranks aren't unorganised. But only the utmost loyal and mighty squires come out of here. The others are restricted to stay here until they reach the acceptable level. But if someone stays here for too long, his efforts are all in vain, and he returns to be a commoner. Of course, there are many more things going on in this camp. Even some dark things, which are inexcusable to the Wolf Guard. The darkelf leader got plenty of warnings from the lord's messengers. But he seems to ignore these, and continues to tyrranise the newbies. Tyrondus doesn't know about such things, somehow, these occur unseen. In the reports of several trainees, the phrase "too hard training" can often be found.
In this camp, there is an orc, who had many unfortunate experiences in this realm, and now is his time of judgement. If he doesn't prove himself tonight, he will be releaved. However, battle is an element of existence for him. He will prevail... Or will he?
The orc is sleeping in his tent, on the ground, with only some tatters as blankets. All a part of the elf's training program. The wake-up bell rang. The orc opened his eyes, extremely eager and ready. He is a blue orc, with a bit fumbling look. His destiny is to redeem his past mistakes. His name is Alcedo.
He took his leather armor and cape on him and walked outside. It was a cloudy day, some were still getting up whilest he is awake long ago. He walked around to take one last look at the camp he was in for 4 years.
"Good morning, Al!" - A female voice said from behind. She was a sleek, strong human lady with a studded green coat. Her name is Tina Mantisblade, also known as Tina the Blade (she is called that, because she uses two swords at once, which make her quite a killing machine, a bit like the Iron Ones) -"Slept well?"
Alcedo only grumbled.
"Come on, Al. You know I treat you with respect and all, but don't you think you should be kind too?" - Tina showed sympathy to the orc
"Grrr... today is my day." - Alcedo finally frowned
"You always act like you concentrate on big battles, do you?" - Tina was bored of Alcedo's bold heroism - "Chill! There won't be anything wrong if you fail on this test tonight."
Alcedo then walked away silently.
He walked further down the main alley - if you can call the streets that - and he looked at the young ones and the old ones fighting against each other. Alcedo remembers back, that noboby trained him, combat was given to him at birth. Even here, he only concentrated if there was something big going on on the battlefield. He never trained. This isn't proper battling. We all must train and practice, always. Elseways, the things of the past might fade away, and you'd have no experience whatsoever. But Alcedo will realise that soon. For he's in for an unpleasant surprise.
Helena opened her eyes to the blaring sunlight that streamed through her open window. A cool light breeze circled through the room lifting up the curtain slightly. She untangled herself from the covers and made her way to the bathroom.
When she re-entered her room, the bed had been made and fresh clothes were lying on top of it. Taiyou was eating up the fresh food that had been place in his dish. She pull off her nightwear and shrugged on a red tunic, black trouser and black leather boots. Helena made her way out of the room picking up her coat on the way with Taiyou at her heels.
As she wandered through the gardens, the wet grass splashing up against her boots, towards their meeting place. When she reached the old oak tree, he was already standing there, the man who she had come to think of as a brother, Joseph D. Liebgott Jr., or Lee as most of his friends called him. A wide grin broke out upon his face when he saw her, “Helena!!” he called out, “Helena, you’re late!!!”
“Sorry, I must have overslept”
“*chuckle* How could you sleep through such a beautiful day as today?”
She merely shrugged in return to his question.
“Were is Tyrondus?” he asked
“I don’t know”
“Only a little while left”
“Yes, and then we won’t need to met here everyday….”
“True” he grinned again, “cause you’ll see me all the time!”
(edit: signature removed - FF)
Joseph went home and was happy to know he could became part of the wolf guard.
When he got home went on top of the barn roof and started to sing.
"I wish for this nighttime
To last for a lifetime
The darkness around me
Shores of a solar sea
Oh how I wish to go down with the sun
He liked to sing in times like this, as he was happy.
He NEVER sung before, as there was nothing to sing. Also there was never anyone to sing for. Joseph liked Helena Topaz.
He knew she was in love with Tyrondus but he liked her as a friend as she was kind and was the only person (apart from Tyrondus) that would help him become a knight.
Lee changed into his riding tunic and rode, as this was the penultimate day of secrecy.
He was glad he had waited and waited for this day for 15 years he was glad it was two days away. But he was also upset for the day he would be free was the day his grandfather died. It was the 15th aniveristy of his grandfather’s death.
A day of happiness was also a day of great sorrow. He remembered the day of his 6th birthday. Finding out his grandfather had died.
He was riding out to the fortress gates to meet his grandfather to meet him after his battle.
Lee saw ever knight pass him. They all bowed their heads. Lee thought they were bowing their heads, as it was his birthday. But at the very end of the parade he saw his grandfather’s horse riding up behind the king.
But he was not there. Lee galloped up to the castle to ask Tyrondus. " Is my grandfather back yet Tyrondus??"
Tyrondus bowed his head and started to cry. Lee asked, " What is wrong Ty?? Did someone hurt you?? Tell me!!"
Tyrondus’ grandfather tapped Tyrondus on the head and told him to leave. Lee stepped forward. But Tyrondus' grandfather stopped him.
"What is it Sir? What is wrong with Tyrondus?"
“Nothing is wrong with Tyrondus." Lee saw tears drop off the king's nose.
"Why are you crying Sir" Lee asked
He replied, "Lee your grandfather is dead. He died saving my life."
At this he king burst out sobbing.
"You are kidding me! Right?", said Lee.
But then he saw one of the king's servants bring through Sir Joseph D. Liebgott’s sword.
Now Lee started to cry and then he ran to his horse and rode into the Wolfling forest.
Was still crying when he turned into his wolf self.
He then got off his horse and howled at the full moon.
He remembers the last words he said to his grandfather " You always leave me on special days. Go away!!!!!" At that thought Lee howled even louder that before and cried.
Lee still cries at the thought of it.
He started to cry now.
But he knew why he had died.
He died saving his master's life.
He always knew that his grandfather had said one day, "I will always be with you. Even if I die someday in a great battle."
He did he died in a great battle and he was always there under the old oak, waiting for Lee to become a knight as that is where he became a knight.
Meanwhile, Alcedo was still just strolling, looking at his ex-comrades. Of course, they were never so open to him, because of his stubbornness. But there are some, who appreciate him inspite his rudeness. These people know, that an orc is always grumpy and dark-hearted. For instance, Tina is one of them.
As he went into the tavern called 'The Moaning Cyclops', he was greeted by the great darkelven Deathknight leader himnself.
"Enjoying your last momets as a soldier?" - Thaernson (for that was his name) said - "Your outlooks at my camp were never splendorous. You were always disobeying orders. Such behaviour is unforgiveable here in my camp." - the Deathknight had an evil grin on his face - "But trust me, you will soon feel the weight of undisciplined training."
"My battle methods are none of your buisness." - Alcedo replied coldly - "Just because I constantly train alone - if I ever have trained in my life - doesn't mean I should get a "befitting" punishment."
"Silence!" - Thaernson shouted - "Why aren't you orcs from Urgath normal? What makes you think you can have your own way? Why do you pointlessly run away from such good opportunities like teamwork? Why do you always go the hard way?"
"That is something you'd wished you'd never know." - Alcedo grumbled
"Tell me!" - whilest the orc was going in the Tavern, the Elf still stood there at the entrance - "I am not done talking to you! *sigh* Fine. Just remember, assemble at the gate of Camp Thaernson." - he felt hushed and disgraced.
Thaernson left with these words. Alcedo asked for a bottle of Lenyawine. This mixture of healing herbs and Lenya is a refreshing drink for restless men. The orc quickly drank the wine in a few gulps, sat around idly as if he had nothing to do, then stood up and went out of the Tavern. As he was deciding what to do, a man with full, black wolfling-hide armory approached him. The man said:
"Ah, the orc fellow. Come to drink a bottle of firewhiskey to strenghten your spirit against those hellspawn? You would be a magnificent hunter of wolflings if I do say so myself." - the man reflected a friendly smile - "But as we all know, every citizen of Terenia has the right to hunt them down. Except for the esquires here... Oh, sorry boy. I'm Froeni Brandoon, a guard of the fortress of the Geran family. If I ever have the chance to talk to my sovereign, I will mention your mild tongue to him. I'm not saying this as a threat. But as I said before, you would be a fine elité soldier of the Order of the Black Wolves."
"Isn't that the Wolf Guard?" - Alcedo muttered
"Pardon? Ah yes, how dumb of me to say that." - Froeni slapped his forehead - "Anyhow, are you interested in joining our cause?"
"What cause?" - the orc frowned again
"Easy, we protect the lands and serve justice among the ranks of evil." - the guard answered
"Justice? Killing isn't a just cause."
"No, of course not! But they aren't just killin'!" - Tina said behind him. She definately looked puzzled at Alcedo - "Moreover, I'd thuoght you of all things in the land enjoyed the spill of blood. Dont'cha?"
"I long for fighting, and not killing!" - the orc said
"We do just merely fight! You're muttering nonesense... But somehow I'm not surprised." - Froeni said - "Typical orc! These are the kin we need in the Guard! I know now.... it is your destiny to join us!"
"Me?!" - Alcedo shouted angrily - "Stop mucking me! The only goal right now is the test. What happens afterwards is the thing of the future." - He ran back towards the slums
"That powerful focus again. How lame..." - Tina frowned
"Yes, isn't it pleasing? He is also an authentic liar." - the guard grinned with endless joy - "Just the man for us."
"And what about me?" - Tina pointed at herself. But by the time she finished her phrase, Froeni was already on the move. Tina sticked her tongue at the running soldier.
Alcedo still ran back to his tent, with the word "justice" echoing in his head. He thought: "Should I really help those believers of Light? I have nothing to crusade for anyhow, and my time at this camp is useless nonetheless..." - He stopped and looked up to the sky - "For my ancestors's blood! I will serve Aonir! I am no longer bound to Zarach. I realise, this Order is the last chance to redeem myself." - Alcedo seemed touched for the first time in his life...
In the meantime:
Mitko was home,he had returned to wolf guard teritory after five years,but things had changed.Now he wasn't a wolfguard.He had left as soon as the wolfguard turned in a city-state,that would mean peacfull times for all.He hated peacfull times.After he left he continued his life as a mercenary,fighting for the highest bidder.
Now he was riding with a caravan of merchants who were going to the market in the capitol of the wolfguard city-state.They had heard that the wolflings were becoming more and more active and decided that their bodyguard will not be enough,so they hired a group of mercenaries."His group of mercenaries" he thought with pride.They weren't a second wolfguard but they were still very eficent.He had trained them.
Next to him stood his leutenant,Boris.He was a young human with the phisiology of a bull.He reminded Mitko of himself when he was his age.
He was sudently brought out of his toughts by the sound of an alarm,they were under attack."And only an hour or two to the capitol" he thought"Well a little training is allways usefull".He looked around and saw three dozens of wolflings have already surounded the caravan and more were coming from the forest.A moment later a barrage of arrows hit the wolflings from within the caravans"Which were covered wagons by his recomendarion".He had ordered most of his men to hide inside so only the riders were visible.
He launched an arrow at a wolfling and took out his halbeard making his horse charge against a group of five wolflings.With one hit he killed all of them but he had used to much force on the hit and lost balnce...and grip of his halbeard.He fell on the grond but his halbeard had allready flew out of his hand and hit one of his men in the back,probably kiling him.Mitko jumped on his feet and drew out his sword,then he atacked a group of two wolflings kiling one before it even realised what was hapening and knokced the other one on the ground with a strong kick in the stomach(That what made most of the impact was Mitko's heavy armor)and finshing it while it was on the ground.He turned around to see how more wolflings were coming out of the forest."Come here" he screamed towards one of his horsemen."Go to the capitol and tell them that we need reinforcments if they do not agree tell them that I sent you.Now go"he ordered.Then he notised that Boris was on the ground and a wolfling was over him.
"Oh no you don't" he said and threw his sword at the wolfling.He was planing for the sword to cut the wolfling in half instead the sord started to make circles around it's center of weight and the handle hit the wolfling on the head,but that was distraction enough for Boris to cut the wolflike creature in half with his sword.Mitko took his dager from it's hiding place and started going back towards the caravans.The rider he had sent was probably already in the capitol(What would take the caravan an hour or two was less than 20 minutes riding)but still they would not arive in time his mercenary army was now diminished to about ten men while the wolflings were more than 40."At least I will go down fighting" he tought.
Tyrondus was doing some paperwork when he watched his hourglass. The thing was a dwarven mechanism. When enough sand fell on the bottom, the weight would trigger a mechanism that would flip the hourglass over, and would make the iron bar move a little.
In this case from the 'I' to the 'II'.
"Damn, two o'clock. I'm going to be late' Tyrondus muttered to himself. He left his room and went to the courtyard, where Helena and Lee were allready waiting for him.
"What's this all about now?"
Lee was celebrating the last day of secrets. He rode to the fortress gates in a cheerful mood. He ran up to the old oak singing to himself. He did not have to wait long for Helena to turn up.
When she arrived Lee greeted her with a peck on the cheek. She smiled at him.
"It is the last day of secrets. We should celebrate."
"We must stop."
"Stop what? Why? I thought that we...uh...nothing."
"We must stop this secrecy and ride into the night."
"I would love to but what bout your lover? Should Tyrondus not join us? For he must get to know me again. As I have not lost the god memories."
"We shall ride and talk later."
At this Helena told one of her stable boys to bring her horse. Lee whistled and his horse came up to the gardens. The stable boy appeared. He looked shocked. Lee and Helena chuckled.
"I will show you someday." smiled Lee.
The boy nodded then walked away to the stables.
They rode until sunset. They over the hills and stopped as the view was super, it was the fortress but it looked all the more better from here. When the sun was being to fall Helena galloped home. Lee saw her bedroom light up and the curtains flow backwards as she stepped out to look at Lee. Lee saw Helena standing on her balcony.
From where she was standing Lee would be a black figure with the sun setting behind him. His horse reared then he rode back home to the farm for a good nights sleep, knowing that tomorrow was the day he would be knighted. Just like his grandfather was. He knew that Joseph D. Liebgott sr. would be proud of him and would be there under the old oak tree.
With this in his mind he fell asleep
Mitko picked up his sword from the ground and prepaired for his last fight."Just at an hour or two from the capital,destiny sure knows how to make bad jokes".
One of the wolflings howled.As if in response the sound of fired crosbows came from all directions.The wolflings were killed to the last in a matter of seconds."Great an unexpected rescue"he said ironicly to himself"I am sure that destiny is going to get back at me ten times full"he continued"Probably will get me in some suicadal adventure.Well time to see who I owe my life to."
In the same time several crosbowmen came from all directions the one who seemed to be the leader went towards Mitko.
"Aonir's light,welcome to the lands of the wolguard.We heard the noise of battle and came here to help you.The wolflings have been geting very agresive the last few weeks you have held out very well judging by the amount of wolflings you have killed..."
The soldier stoped talking as soon as he saw Mitko's face.Mitko remembered the leader of their saviors, he was one of the best tactitians of the wolfguard when Mitko was still in it he however had one weakness-he couldn't defend himself that was the main flaw in his tactics Mitko had to save him several times in the past because his tactics had left him without any alied soldiers closer to him than 10 meters.
"I never thought that I would see you again" the commander said "We could use someone like you right about now,maybe destiny has brought you here"
"Here we go" he said ironically "Let me gues you are going to send me on some suicaidal quest or something like that"
"No actualy we could just use a good soldier like you because of the wolflings,I will lead you to Lord Tyrondus he will decide what he will use you for"
"You are speaking as if it is settled" Mitko said while going around the dead bodies untill he found what he was looking for.He took his halbeard out of the back of his fallen soldier and continued "Don't I get a vote in this"
"No you do not,we saved your life so you owe it to the wolfguard" the soldier said.
"Well then, off to the capital" he said with an ironic vigor in his voice.
It was getting darker over the camp. It was slowly time for the last test every esquire has to pass to be either a citizen of Terena, or a member of the Wolf Guard. Near the gates of the camp, there is a large field filled with survival methods. Like weapons, armor, but even catapults, ballistae, magic scrolls, potions and many more. For beginners, this place may seem like any other in the camp, but the tests here make this a nightmare for everyone. For Alcedo, this is nothing. - Or is it?
Later, it was time for the test. The entire field was lighted by torches and campfires. Thaernson was waiting for the unknowing esquires in the middle of the field. Alcedo arrived firstly.
"Well, look whos here?" - Thaernson said unsurprised - "If it isn't Sir Brandoon's favourite orc?"
"How do you know that?" - Alcedo asked firmly
"I know every moment in MY camp. What do you expect?"
"Hmph..." - Alcedo sniffed - "What's the test?"
"You'll fight agaist each other. Newbie against newbie. We'll wait for the second arriver. He or she will be your enemy."
They waited for a few hours, then a thin, handsome, black haired light elf lady arrived.
"Ah, Karlina, I presume?" - Thaernson asked humbly
"Greetings, milord." - the elf girl replied as nicely as the darkelf did. This is quite strange. Originally, the Light and Dark Elves are hostile to each other because of their opposing gods. How can one be so kind?
"Thaernson, you're modest today, right?" - Alcedo noted
"Silence!" - the orc got hushed by the Deathknight - "...I presume we should begin. Dear lady, your test is to fight with this evil being. Not a problem, right?"
"Well..." - Karlina looked worried - "I don't want to hurt him, but... I suppose..."
"Hesitate to hurt me?!" - Alcedo got shocked - "Don't be so weak-minded! I won't choke over such a tiny brawl!"
"No... I don't... like battles."
"Foolish talk, dear lady." - the darkelf reassured her - "Beat him in combat, and you will have the chance to avenge your elders' deaths." - the elf girl got nervous
"Okay, your "Highness". Can we get it on? I'd like to get to Fort Geran today, if possible!" - Alcedo grumbled unpatiently
"...Very well. Then let's..." - Karlina really looked scared and nervous - "...let's fight!"
The girl drew her bow and shot a swift arrow at the orc. The arrow struck the orc straight in the right arm. The orc almost fell on the ground, the arrow was made out of a poisonous wood.
"Clever...*cough*...but you need more to beat me!" - Alcedo got off his knees and fell on the ground acting crippled. Karlina went closer to see if he's dead.
"A...Are you alright, friend?" - The lady asked - "So sorry, I didn't want to hurt..." - the orc grabbed the girl at her neck and started to get up. The orc was infuriated.
"You'll pay for that!!!" - the orc concentrated a bolt of mental energy into his graspng hand. He shocked to girl, who fell on the ground very quickly. At that point it was clear, Alcedo is victorious. But then the girl begged:
"Stop...I... don't want to fight! Please...I...I didn't want to...hurt you... Why would you hurt...me?" - There was a storm heading to the camp. The rain began falling very rapidly. The lady continued: - "Let's...make truce...I'll...surrender if you want...just...just promise you will help me."
"In what?" - Alcedo looked puzzled for the first time in his grumbly life
"Come on, don't talk!" - Thaernson interrupted - "There are other squires waiting in this soaking rain to fight! And you don't want to catch a cold, right milady?"
The orc released the girl from his mucky clutches. For that, the girl reflected a friendly smile. But Alcedo just walked away without a word. Back to his tent...again.
"Blazewhisper! Come back!" - the Darkelf screamed, but Karlina hushed him:
"Let him go. He has things to worry about, trust me."
Thaernson grinned evilly again.
"Tell him, that he has lost. Hehehe..."
Froeni went back to his room in Fortress Terenia, where he called one of his esquires forth and said to him:
"Go tell our lord to have no fear, I will find one to slay wolflings for him soon enough."
"Yes, sir." - the squire said obediently and left towards the throne room
The elité soldier sat down on his desk and took a head of a dead wolfling. He said to the inanimate beast:
"Beware little devils! Alcedo is coming for your heads" - Froeni threw the head out the window - "I have an ingenius idea where to put him too..." - Froenni grinned not-so happily
Then he heard a voice from under his window:
"Ey! What's this?... EEK! A wolfling! Make them go away! Away!"
Froeni looked down and saw a troll being chased by a rabid wolfling. The troll laid low, beside the fort walls, but the wolfling cornered it. Froeni didn't alert the guards, but saw as the beast tore the troll to pieces.
"Hmm..." - he sniffed to himself, starting his monologue - "I'll put my orc instead of Mit. He retired anyhow, and it's been long since he came back... I didn't like that poor man. He is too lone. Alcedo, on the other hand will be more sophisticated. I'll see to that..."
One of his squires broke in unwillingly and declared:
"The new recruits are just arriving at the gate. But somehow, we lost a troll warrior. Shall we send a search party for it?"
"Leave him." - he said and went to the window facing the gates. There, he couldn't see the orc, although he is a good scout. - "Is there a youngling called Alcedo Blazewhisper in that lot?"
"Err..." - the squire peers on a list of recruit names - "No, sir."
"By the Gorges of Braga Gor!" - Froeni shouted - "I'm off to Camp Thaernson, squire! Tell the newbies to wait at the gate. I'll be back in several hours."
"But Sir, your job is to train recruits."
"I'm a noble knight! My job is to rid Terenia of wolflings! Curses!" - Froeni ran up the fort walls, he lead a rope down into the wilderness. The squire shouted after him:
"Lord Tyrondus won't like this!!!"
* * Continue * *
MItko finaly reched the capital late because of preparations and paing last respects to his fallen men. But now he was there and there were a
lot of people in the street.
"What is all the comotion about?"Mitko asked the comander of his rescuers.
"A knighting ceremony will take place today"he replied.
"There seem to be too many people for a simple knighting"
"They are knighting a Liebgott"
"I thought that old Liebgott's son didn't want to fight for the wolfguard."
"He doesn't it's his grandson they are knighting."
"Then I am going to see it I knew old Liebgott,he was a good warior."
"But what about going to the lord I have to bring you there remember"the comander said with a almost scared voice.
"Where do you think he will be?He has to be present at all knightings pluss he is not the kind to forget a certain person's sacrifise" Mitko said.
The comander was surprised at Mitko's deductive ability when he left he was as inteligent as a troll and couldn't even understand the simplest ideas that weren't related with fighting.Something had changed with him slightly but noticebly.
"You continue acording to plan I and Mitko are
going to the knighting." he shouted to his men."I will lead you to the place of the knithing"he continued towards the veteran"So you knew old Liebgott?"
"Yes I fought along side with him when I was young,back then he was my idol he sometimes invited me to his house.He always told me that I had a gift for a warior but had to calm down and start using my head during fights."Mitko said with a nostalgic voice.
"Well here we are" the comander said.
She walked through the apple trees, running a hand through her dark curls and sighing deeply.
“What to do, what to do…” she mumbled to herself as her black tail swished back and forth. A whimper escaped through her lips.
“Helena!!” a voice shouted making all her hair stand on end.
“Over here!” she yelled back automatically. A tall man with dark brown hair rushed through the trees.
“What – “ his eyes widened as he looked at her tail and cat ears.
“What’s happened to you?” he asked dipping his brow. “Who did this to you? I’ll kill them!” his eyes flashed dangerously
“Stop it!!” she screamed as she fell onto her knees, holding her head.
“H-helena…I’m sorry…” he moved slowly towards the whimpering bundle on the orchard’s floor.
“Shh” warm arms enveloped her, “sh, it’s okay. I’m here now, shh”
“You’ll hate me now…you’ll shun me…” she mumbled into his shirt and clenched her fist.
“Never Helena, never” he softly kissed her head playing gently with her black curls.
“Can we go home now?” she asked with almost child-like innocence, a thing that no one saw, no one but him. They walked back to the fortress in silence.
“Helena…” he started
“Later…please?” she asked him looking over her shoulder to him.
He breathed out a deep sigh, “okay…night then…”
“Night my lord” she smiled at him as he stuck his tongue out at her. She walked into her bedchamber, threw her clothes off and sunk into her bed.
Helena walked into the dining area and sat down next to Tyrondus.
“So will you tell me about…um…what was wrong last night?” she looked down at her hands as the fiddled with the hem of her brown shirt.
“Um…ever since I was born anytime I got mad or scared or frightened or angry, ‘She’ would take over my body…”
“Who is ‘She’?” he arched a brow at her.
“She is called Naiteki” she looked quickly up at her lord then back down to her hands, “and she’s a cat demon” her eyes snapped shut, waiting for the sharp intake of breath. She heard him put his goblet down.
“How did this come about?” he asked calmly. She opened each amber eye slowly then looked towards Tyrondus. Two blue eyes started back at her, she quickly adverted her eyes to her lap again.
“A great demon attacked my village long ago, and the village elder managed to find a sealing spell for Naiteki. To lock her within a new born baby, umbilical cord freshly cut.” She heard the sharp intake of breath she was waiting for.
“Yes, the child was I.”
“So you have…?”
“Correct, I have a demon sealed within me…”
Hours later, at night, Froeni was just arriving at Camp Thaernson. The rain was over after a few minutes, and the moon was quite full. As he came to the field, he met Thaernson.
"Where's Blazewhisper?" - the knight asked
"None of your buisness, Sir." - Thaernson replied coldly - "That insubordanate orc has fled his last battle. No more Sir Light Darkelf... I'm going to..."
"Put him out of commision?" - Froeni bellowed - "I've just recieved word from lord Tyrondus that even though he failed in the test, he needs to be recruited. Because..." - A lie can easily be seen on Froeni's face, as he was making up an excuse - "Well... let's just say he's needed against the wolflings . Is that a good enough reason for you?"
"Err... tell me what you really want, Sir Brandoon. It's hard to belive you would actually recruit an undisciplined and dreadful orc like Alcedo... Or, on the other hand, the Wolf Guard WAS always unreliable, so it's none of my buisness. Hehe... I guess I can take this as my month-long burden gone?"
"Sure, if he's that much trouble for you, I'll gladly take him up as my apprentice." - Froeni said with a noble smile
Thaernson scratched his head - "Shouldn't we be preparing for another besieging from the scoundrels? I've heard they attack every midnight, when the moon is full..."
"Listen, I need to get Blazewhisper back to the fort before Sir Liebgott's knighting ceremony. And thats in the morning, tomorrow. Just let him go, alright?"
"Fine! Take your damned orc, just leave me alone!" - Thaernson left with these words. As Froeni was moving past a bush at the entrance, he heard something growl from behind the bush. Froeni tried to yell, but Thaernson was right infront of him, who said with his hand to lay silent. They both stood still. Tension was growing even more, because it seemed like the moon is full. Froeni looked worried about his own safety, while Thaernson was concerned about his camp. They didn't know, wheter the best option would be to either alarm the guard, or fight the thing themselves. But it might be that there's only a wolf behind the bush, and there's no danger whatsoever. But in these times, it's hard to think that way.
That's when it finally happened. The thing was spotted by a nearby scout in the tower guarding the camp entrance. The scout immediately alarmed for 'wolflings' heading towards the camp. Thaernson didn't hesitate. He launched a bolt of tremendous pain at the thing, which merely staggered it. He and Froeni then ran back inside the camp. The guard was running in the opposite direction. They decided to take the things head on. Froeni decided to run further into the camp, to bring Alcedo into safety.
But whilest everyone was alarmed and up in arms, Alcedo was still in his tent, forever thinking at the battle he had. He didn't even listen to the horns blow and the battle cries sounding from afar. He just still couldn't get over Karlina and her frail personality. At first, he thought that if others are so weak as well, his place is at the battlefield, fighting for the weak, with the blessing of Aonir. But he wondered, is it right for an orc to be like this? Isn't he supposed to kill to make his doubt and helpfulness disappear? Because of his surrender, he blamed himself for not fulfilling his duty. He swore to himself in the past, that he will fight for Zarach, and for the deaths of the orcs in Boneshiver Vale in Urgath. But maybe it's time to make a change...?
Alcedo was just lying on his tattered bed garments, when suddenly, Karlina came into his tent with a gruesome bleeding on her leg. The orc had to decide now, wheter he'll stay himself, and shove her out, like he always does to everyone, or open up inside and help her. He decided to help... as a change.
"What happened to you?" - Alcedo growled, but Karlina didn't say a word, she just looked at him with a tired and agitated face. She looked petrified in fear, and couldn't move. - "Hello? Say something... Or I'll have to show you the way out!" - the orc said again
"I... said that I need... help... are you... are you still willing to help me?" - she said, silently
"Alright, what needs help?" - Alcedo asked, readying his fists and mind, knowing that it'll be something worth fighting for
"We need to get to Fort Geran and... alert everyone of the danger that's coming. Do you know of Bytan?" she said and lied down on the cold floor, still shivering in fear
"You mean the warden inside the woods, who constantly drives the wolflings away from the important places of Terenia? Yeah... I know him. Why?"
"He's been... he's been assassinated by Shaikan agents... We don't know why or how, but without his special ability to command wolflings, the camp will... fall. WE need to get you out of here."
"Why? Do we have someone else?" - the orc wondered
"Uhhuh... Froeni was waiting for us at the entrance. But, now that the wolflings are inside the camp, he told me to tell you to... to meet him at the mountain paths, leading towards the town of Virnor, one of the defensive fortresses. We need to get to Virnor, and from there, to Fort Geran. The Wolf Guard has to know about the danger lurking without Bytan's help. We need to be up in arms. I could spot from a distance that there are atleast five of the wolflings, or so. Get whatever you need, and we'll meet at the mountain path entrance. Prepare yourself well, because the path is full of cutthroats and bandits. I got myself ready, as you can see..." - she was wearing heavy leather armor with helmet, and with her long bow, and tons of arrows. She continued: - "But I can't defend myself... I... got attacked by my tentmate, because she lost her mind and got frenzied. Nevermind about her, she's... dead" - she started to cry a bit - "But everyone will be dead too, if we don't get to Fort Geran in time. Just hurry!"
As Karlina was going towards the paths, Alcedo stopped her and said: "Alright, I'm ready. Let's go together. You're much safer with me. I see you're not the kind who's used to battles. Let's go. Follow me! And keep atleast one arrow knocked on your bow always. We never know who we meet on the way." - They ran to the paths, watchful and eager. Alcedo finally felt his element in place: This is what he does; make order in the chaos of fear and battle.
Whilest running towards the paths, Alcedo asked the elf girl, who finally had enough energy to run: "By the way, what's this Bytan got to do with the camp being besieged?"
"I'm not sure..." - she said with a few huffs - "He was last seen around the camp, tracking down some wolflings. He said that the "Main Pack" is on his way to the towns in the mountains, near Fort Geran, and there's this pack, that's going to go besiege Virnor."
"And... how do you know all this?" - the orc asked again
"Because..." - but before she could answer the question, Tina met up with them along the road. She looked very tired.
"Dammit! The place is gettin' wrecked! What's say we get outta here, guys?" - Tina said. It was easily seen that she ran all the way from the entrance... and that's about a mile. She tried to reflect a smile, to show how much she's thankful that these two are still alive. - "I heard that a lot of cadets here went suicidal. I'm glad you didn't, Al."
"Hehhh... why would I? I got this elf to protect." - Alcedo said, pleased
"What? I...*giggle*, I didn't ask you to help me... You volunteered to guard me" - Karilyn felt a bit happy and smiled.
"Let's keep moving... Tina, do you know some else we should rescue and we could use in battle?" - the orc said
"Err... yeah," - she stated - "We got some footsoldiers at the infirmary, west of here, willing to guard people. If the wolflings haven't reached them, we can ask them to help. Then, I have a friend of mine, who's called Coval Irus, he's a Human priest and a fighter. We can really use his healing abilites, I'm sure. His tent is a bit east from here. I do hope he didn't kill himself. And... there's one more risky place we can go... The caravan station and resource silo is north from the entrance. If we can fetch food and supplies from there we can ensure a comfortable journey."
"And... the mountain pass is south from the infirmary, behind the archery hall. Is there anyone in the hall?" - the orc asked, nervously looking around
"I know!" - Karlina noted - "I left my poisonous arrows in the hall. I want to go get them. But I think everyone already fled from there..."
"Okay, so, who goes where?" - Alcedo asked the others
"I need to go get Coval." - Tina said, everso wanting to take command - "I'll watch over you, Karlina, ok? After we get to his tent, we can go to the infirmary. That leaves you, Al, to go to the caravan station. Remember, just be VERY careful and don't go into combat with those things, get me?"
"Please, be careful, friend." - Karlina said, feeling sorry for the orc. She wanted to hug him, but Alcedo rejected
"I'll be fine. Just get all the stuff, and we'll meet at the mountain paths!" - Tina and Karlina ran east, and Alcedo ran back to the entrance, southeast. Fearing for his life, Alcedo embraced himself...
"Sir? A messenger came in. Camp Thaernson is under attack and will likely fall."
"Unsure. Assumed high."
"Damn it. Send out riders. Bring all civilians behind Terena's walls. Pull back all my forces. As soon as the knighting is over, we will strike out and end this wolfling menace once and for all. I want all my forces at the ready."
"Yes, sir." The soldier made a bow and left Tyrondus, who resumed staring out his window.
**Liebgott or Alcedo, continue**
Meanwhile, Froeni was still on his way to Alcedo. He still couldn't find him. But, while passing through the slums, he saw him, headings towards the entrance. As he was trying to make his way to alarm him, someone or something howled from behind him. Froeni turned around. It was a strange man, who looked like a wolf. It was fully human, except for the head, which was half-wolfling, half-human. The human half looked scarred and thin. This man is obvliously some sort of a hybrid. The abomination went closer to Froeni, who drew his sword. He was somewhat scared, since the beast had inhuman eyes. Bloody, as the wolfling's eyes. Fearful, as death. Horrible, as many experiences of torture. Froeni dropped his sword in panic and tried to leg it. However, before he noticed, he was entangled by wolflings, ready to tear him apart. The abomination "growled" at the wolflings, which let Froeni go.
"What do you seek... grrr... foul human? Grrrr...Khmm... Your blood boils with life. All the more befitting for a handsome dinner! Mwehehe...grrr!" - the thing howled loudly, and so did the other wolflings. Froeni fainted in panic.
Meanwhile, Alcedo was at the main gates, where everything was at war. The gates were collapsed due to the infirmant swarming of the wolflings. Almost all buildings were either torn apart or burning. The orc noticed a small wagon at one of the buildings. That wagon must be the resource silo Tina talked about. As he moved closer to it, he saw a few footmen battering a wounded wolfling, presumably to prevent it from tearing the resources apart. The footmen sliced the beast at all ends, but it just kept going, but not at a fast rate, since one of its hind legs were broken. Alcedo decided to claim this kill for himself. He crunched his fists and ran towards the injured wolfling. He swung a whirling fist at it, which tore up its neck. The wolfling fell to the groung, howling with pain. Its neck was horribly severed. So badly, that it was torn in half. The footmen came back from the trance of war, where they saw Alcedo grasping the neck innards of the wolfling.
"That was incredible!" - one of them stated - "You're an experienced warrior in this camp, right? Can you lead us?"
Lead -- that word was the first thing that surprised Alcedo. He never lead anything before. Maybe this is his first chance to lead a whole army? Enev though they are severely injured, they can be useful in battle.
"What's in the cart?" - the orc asked with utmost nobility
"Food, material and jewels." - one of the footmen declared
"Good, now let's take the resources and..."
But before he could finish, the footmen stopped in grief. Froeni was running from the slum blocks. His arms were bitten off, his head was badly crunched, and he was blinded. The footmen were all in a state of disarray due to the sight of this poor man.
"What happened to you?...Sir?" - Alcedo asked politely.
"Ugh..." - Froeni coughed blood and died quickly. The footmen all panicked.
A figure, the previous wolfling spawn showed up with a foaming mouth.
"Where is... my... blood prize?! Where is that wretched kitten? Where is... Naiteki!?" - Alcedo commandeered the footmen behind the barriers of the broken gate, so they couldn't be seen. Alcedo stood in one place, with his face calm as ever. The wolf man approached him with a hard growl.
"Tell me, you fiend! Where is Naiteki?!"
"What are you talking about?" - Alcedo replied like he was dumb (which he was, in this case...)
"Naiteki is a cat demon... a useless pile of little misery! It is an accursed thorn in my side!... Ohh... grrr..." - the thing sniffed all over Alcedo - "You seem like just the tyran for me. Are you...khmmm.... are you ready to take orders from a beast like me? Do not dream of saying no! GRRR! I will skewer you in place if you say no!"
Alcedo nodded slowly. He wasn't afraid - or was he? Coming face to face with a being like this is terrible.
"Khmm..." - the thing sniffed at him again - "Grr... you look like a nice sibling for me... or perhaps a fine dinner for my brood? Hwehehe... khmm... You must finish a little task for me first... Get some - RELIABLE - men for yourself and report back to me by means of my brood. If...grrr... my kin find you messing around and delaying orders, I will supper on your flesh! Grrrr! I... hmm... khrrr... noticed ladies heading to the passage further to the land of the Paleskins. Convince them to join your, ehrm... my cause. If you...grrr...do this for me, I will take you to the sacred Saghur Grove. The birthing place for all of my kin. Or...khrr... so says our shaman... Now... GO! Grr! GO with those Paleskins you have and bring your men and goods with yourself. For you will need many things against Naiteki. When... khmm... the time comes, you will besmirch your hand with its blood! And...graah! I forgot! There is one more thing the shaman said: Naiteki is in the shape of a Paleskin, who resides at the main Towers of the Paleskins. From what my brood have heard, her name is Helena Topaz. She is a frail Paleskin. She will surely fall against our will! AM I RIGHT, MY COMRADE? GRRR!!!"
"Yes...y...yes sir!" - Alcedo said with fear
"Do not fear old Somralzann, orc! I have pity for the likes of orphans like you. I was once Paleskin. That was before the mighty shaman made me a Furry One. I have became one of the many Furry Ones of our shaman! The Furry Ones walk, sneak, and kill all Paleskins in our land, until it is over... until...khrr... we own this land. There are much more bigger plans for the "Main Pack". We are only here to stop the Paleskins at this ... grr... place called Virnor. And I AM HERE TO KILL NAITEKI! First, kill this Helena-called Paleskin, then bring me her head, as proof as she is dead! Then...grrr, the real hunt for Naiteki begins! GRRR!"
Alcedo was confused at all the information that suddenly struck him. But... seeing as he has no choice, he made his way to the path to Virnor, with the cart of stuff behind him. The footmen also tried to sneak past the being of fear. Somralzann merely ignored them, though.
"Sir? It is time"
"Ofcourse." Tyrondus rubbed his face. This week had been very tiresome. Constant reports from wolfling attacks seemingly everywhere. He had allready ordered all men, women and children from the threatened areas to retreat behind the fortress' walls. Wolflings couldn't climb walls he know.
Not yet, anyway. But now was time for something more cheerfull. A young lad, promising, loyal, joining the ranks of knighthood. "I'll be right there."
The castle's garden was crowded. Everyone in the capital seemingly wanted to see this event. Everyone crowded on both sides of the road to the castle. In the middle of the pathway a stage was put up. So much for urgent supply caravans, Tyrondus thought when he saw it's construction the day before. He had shrugged and resumed his work. Now he was taking place on the big chair - he refused to call it a throne - ontop of it and watched two lines of his elite guard march toward it, in full glory. When they stood in front of the stage, they saluted as one, then stepped aside, revealing the path, and on it young master Lee, also in full glory. Traditional armor, sword at his hip, carefully, unsure and a wee bit nervous he stepped between the two lines of soldiers. With every step his excitement grew. As he arrived at the stage, he climbed its three stairs, then kneeled infront of Tyrondus.
'your sword' the latter whispered to him.
'oh!' the squire unsheethed his sword and offered it to Tyrondus, who took it and placed the blade on the young man's left shoulder. "By the power that has been bested in me" he replaced the blade on the right shoulder "I hereby officially name you" he placed the blade on his head "knight of the order of the black wolf. Now rise" Tyrondus offered the sword back to the newly knighted man. "And bring justice wherever you may go."
Lee turned around and was greeted by general cheering. Behind him the voice of his lord sounded "Let the feast begin!"
Karlina and Tina reached Coval Irus' tent. Inside, some strange jitterish sound could be heard. As if some bones were hitting each other. Tina rushed in the tent and saw Coval, moving some sort of bones through telekinesis. But once she entered with noise, his concentration broke and the bones fell on the ground.
Coval regained focus and stared on Tina somewhat disturbed.
"Huh? What are you doing here? I'm a bit busy now..." - Coval stopped for a second and heard some screams and wolfling howls - "What's that sound?"
"It's not a nice matter, but the camp is under attack! We need to get outta here!" - Tina reacted hastily by dragging Coval out of the tent
"Wait a second!" - Coval tried to stop her - "I can't go without my..."
"Forget them!" - she interrupted - "Your life is more important now!"
Without a second pause, they made haste towards the camp's back exit. Meanwhile, at the archery hall, Karlina was scouring the halls for her arrows. She stepped in the dark armory with an arrow knocked and stared at the equipment carefully. It looked like the equipment on the racks and shelves were all damaged. Karlina could only guess, that maybe it was the work of a wolfling, or some panicking archers. She slowly moved towards the still-able supplies and searched themm through. After a few moments, she found a bundle of arrows, tied together through a plant's vine.
"Here they are..." - she sighed with relief and put the arrows away
Few minutes later, Karlina, Tina and Coval were all waiting at the path to Virnor. Strangely, no wolflings or refugees made their way in that direction. Everything slowly began to calm down and the only thing in the air was the burning of several huts and houses far away. Karlina was sitting on a nearby bench, assorting her arrows and equipment, and Tina was explaining the entire situation to the still confused Coval. When she finished to report, he exhorted:
"We can not trust this orc... I'm telling you, he'll only get us killed."
"Really? I know him as a good fighter, so he'll be able to get us all to safety. At least until we reach Virnor. From there, you can do whatever you want, but Karlina and I are staying with him!"
"You're making a big mistake, Tina. I suggest you let me handle this." - Coval said with a modest look on his face
"Well, then what is your plan?" - she answered with the same modesty, but she was rather agitated by Coval's neer-do-well behaviour
"I think the best we can do is look for a cave. Wolflings hate caverns, so we will be safe there. Unless..." - he began to ponder
"...unless some bandits or goblins find us first? We don't have enough food! Face it, this is a lucky break for us!"
A heavy sigh left Coval's mouth - "Alright... but we should hurry. Shouldn't he be here already?"
"I'm worried, too." - Karlina noted with a sad expression on her face
"Me too." - Tina said with arrogance - "I bet he's still messing with the cart he should be bringing us. Either that or he's wolfling food..."
"Don't say that!" - Karlina almost shouted, fearing for the "leader's" life
She stood up and saw some soldiers approaching afar, carrying a wooden cart, filled with valuable stuff. And guess who was sitting on top?
"Alcedo!" - she screamed in joy
"What? Where?" - Coval nervously looked around, then later saw the coming soldiers - "Oh, that... Yes, yes... whatever. Good job." - he noted to himself silently
"Good going, Al!" - Tina bellowed with confidence
Moments later, the footmen arrived where the three were, and Alcedo offered a plan and a new situation.
"Okay, people." - Alcedo began his speech - "We have a job to do. We need to betray the royal Wolf Guard and turn freelance, or else we'll be torn apart by those beasts. All that you should know, is that I got an offer to eliminate a Wolf Guard officer... a she to be exact... for unknown reasons."
"Wait... who is this offer from?" - Coval questioned with surprise
"Someone, from the ranks of the beasts, that's all you need to know." - Alcedo recieved strange looks - "Don't stare at me that way... I'm in enough trouble already, and I don't need your burdens."
"But... we're not sure of this. I think you're misleading us now." - Karlina silenty stated
Suddenly, in the woods, beneath the road to Virnor, a shady warlock appeared with his face covered by a skinned wolf, with the head fully covering his head, and the rest acting as a cape. He's wearing torn, faint dark green robes, and carries a huge staff as long as he is, with a moon-shaped end. The staff looks like it was made of chalk - or something similiar. The warlock came closer to the four talking people and began to talk with a deep but silent whisper:
"He is not misleading you."
"Wh..what?" - Karlina answered somewhat shaken. Everyone, including the footmen looked at the warlock with suspicion and fear
"This orc is leading you to a brighter destiny. The Black Wolf Empire, as once was, is falling apart, due to Tyrondus' reforms and canonizations. I have heard that the nobles despise his policy secretly. I head, that he is knighting foolish and inexperienced officers, giving useless loans to the wrong nobles, and keeping the army mobilised around the hour. The orc is only trying to stop that. Here is the truth: we, of the Sidepack are trying to approach the Geran Dynasty in a delegant way. Somralzann may be the Pack Leader, but I am in charge here. I command the disobedient Wolflings to spill Human blood for a brighter future. The Main Pack may have other plans, but our intention is clear: to break the power of Lord Tyrondus and his cabal - through rebellion and inner war. You are all more brash pawns in his game for hegemony. He wants to rule in peace, but as we all know, peace can only be achieved through war. So we make our move, with the same tactic, hoping to end his devilish plans, before he can put them into action!"
A moment of silence was lain upon everyone. The warlock was just standing there with a blank expession and some deep and wrinkled breaths. Then Tina got tired of waiting and moved closer to the warlock, asking a question.
"Okay, so you want us to turn against the only place that's inhabited in this land and destroy our homeland..." - but before she would continue, she was interrupted by the warlock:
"Do not lie to me, young lady. I very well know where you were born, and not here. You only l-i-v-e here, but does your living accomadate you for all your hard toil? When are you finally going to understand that this struggle of yours will NOT yield a great rank and a rich keep? I offer a moderate lifestyle, not as luxurious as that of Tyrondus and his people, but a rather delicate and natural space and upkeep."
"Plain barbaric..." - Tina gloats - "I'm in. That's it, no more miss nice gal. I'm gonna get that natural kip even if I have to spill human blood. I never killed humans before, but they're no different than these wolflings."
"And you, elf!" - the warlock pointed at the shivering Karlina - "You are to follow our will without questioning. Your spirit is far too weak to make you strong. Believe what you will, but the humans are all feeble inside. Follow me, and I will make you the most confident light elf alive. Killing others means nothing in this affair. It merely shows that you exhume outstanding superiority. Or if you decide to stay lesser, turn to wolfling food and may the River of Souls torment you for all eternity!"
Karlina crippled under the warlock's threats and immediately yielded with promise and fear. "I'll...d...do what I can. Just spare me."
"And you, priest!" - the warlock turned to Coval, at which point he also shivered - "Aonir guides us as well. There is religious counterplot if we follow Him. Aonir does state that no man can follow beastial ways and stay pure. But we are pure. We have temples, shrines and rituals in the name of Aonir. And tell me, isn't my offer justified? Am I not correct?"
"Hmm... if I consider you a blasphemer," - he said - "what will you do?"
"I would say you have to open your eyes and see my soul... then be the judge of that."
Coval knew that this was the right thing to say. Whoever he was, he followed Aonir for sure... more or less. "Very well, count me in." - he finished.
"There is no need for further discussions." - The warlock begins to walk away - "The four of you are possibly our best salvation against the hegemon and his loyal soldiers. They still think us as brutes and bloodthirsty mongrels. Prove them wrong. Go to Virnor. Stage a rebellion, claim the town for us. Aid us, and we shall aid you. I promise on my honor." - he faded away
After that, everyone was silent of thinking, only the footmen were talking about how gruesome they were - of course, they didn't hear what the warlock said. But the four superiors were all deft with betrayal. They knew they has to change in heart. And they know that once they get to Virnor, they will be recognized as traitors and saboteurs to the feudal system. But they overtake the thrill of conquest and battle. They all had a certain lust for power and recognition now, some even driven by faith. Nonetheless, the entire band will be "corrupted" by the wolflings. What will happen in Virnor? They don't know, but they know they'll get there in a few weeks. Then, Tyrondus will have more to worry about than just wolflings. As long as he or his scouts don't know, they are safe. They only have one alibi and one town to take freely before they're wanted dead. Maybe it would be wise to start at the capitol... but then many have attempted to break anarchy, none have prevailed. To improve their sins, they must take all small settlements under their influence. Only then will they be able to claim Terena, the seat of the hated kingdom. Now they don't care if they're dead before they do that. They all despair that they have been exiled to a scumpit like Camp Thaernson in the first place. Maybe after it's rebuilt, that will be their next target. Right now these four want to conquer the world at all costs - such a childish ambition. But they are not childs, they very well have power to fufill that dream. Life in Terenia is about to change...
Night fell slowly, as the band of survivors from Camp Thaernson and the massacre fled to a nearby clearing. They didn't bother to set up camp, merely to have a bite to eat or a spare thought of relaxation. Alcedo was flexing his body, preparing for whatever might come all of a sudden, trying to be as ready as he can ever be. Coval Irus, the monk of the camp was lying silent on a bedroll near the shady oaks of the clearing, reading a random book. Only it was like staring at it blankly, fully engulfed in thoughts of regret and secrets that he himself tried to unravel with his basic thoughts. Who was that man? How did he come to know of us? And why, by the Light of Aonir, did he choose that spawn of orcs he deems as a champion? Isn't he a loner? Away from the resting site, Tina and the guard were patrolling the scene, killing some feelble goblins and scaring away all the game animals just to awaken some suspicion. As if the fires and the cries of battle didn't create an aura of perpetual fear around the now half-burnt but fully abandoned ghost camp.
And most of all, who cared for a scared and abandoned Karlina, when she was just sitting there, knowing nary a thing about what to do next, she wasn't even sure of where to step now. This was all so sudden, and seemed so wrong. She had friends in the camp, they looked after her, acted like her parents... but maybe that was the point: they decided everything instead of her. So did Thaernson. He kept being the boss of everything, whereas this was a mere staging area, so they could all go into Tyrondus' service.
Into, but now against him. Did he really have something evil inside? Was he really that loathsome? Well, to that Warlock perhaps, but she herself had only heard legends of this "hegemon", that were signs of high value and nobility. What could be his sin? Ignorance? Impatience? Lack of generosity?
Whatever it is, it's trivial now. Their sin will start in a few hours, with the citizens of Vinor as the greatest of martyrs.
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