New forces are on the move in Vinland! Are they friend, or foe?
A light snow had begun falling as the battle ended. Eriodna always loved Winter, and the snow that it brought. As one of the few Celestials among the people of the Trinity, she did appreciate that it was a trying time for them. They were more accustomed to a much warmer climate and not suited to the bite of Winter’s breath at all. Standing at the corner of an Orc hut, she reached out one hand to catch a large snowflake that fell before her, admiring it for a brief second before it melted.
She looked past her hand to the scene around her. The Orcs had been driven from their camp and her forces were quickly searching for anything of value and loading the Supply Wagons. The weather was trying in vain to hide all evidence of the battle that had raged here only minutes before with a pure white cloak of snow, but the mud and blood was soaking through.
Mud and blood; almost the unofficial uniform of the Trinity troops after most raids, but this time there was already less blood than usual. The Clerics that the King had ordered into the field were expertly healing the wounds of her warriors.
At first, Eriodna and her fellow Commanders had worried about the addition of civilians to their fighting forces, but that worry had quickly been dispelled. Shielded by magic, the Clerics went largely ignored by the enemy, allowing them to assist once the battle was over.
Now, this handful of healers were moving through the ruins of the Orc camp, stopping to assist those that needed it as they went. One looked in her direction, and she respectfully nodded her thanks. The gesture was returned as the Cleric bent to attend to a wounded Archer. Even from several meters away, she could feel the warmth of the Cleric’s healing magic.
The snow began to fall heavier, and she was about to order her army to make ready to depart when Eriodna realised they were surrounded. No enemy was visible, but her heightened Celestial senses were telling her that there were at least a hundred pairs of eyes on her at that very moment. The stealth required for such a feat was extraordinary. Even her own highly trained Shadow Swords only noticed the threat after several seconds, immediately followed by them silently drawing their blades and spreading out around her.
She scanned the nearby treeline for a sign of their watchers, and called out, “Company hold! Defensive positions!” As her command rang out, the remainder of her force rallied into a fighting formation. Instinct and training overriding confusion and fear, ensuring that every able bodied member of her army was standing alert with weapon ready.
For several tense minutes no one moved, as all eyes scanned the edges of the camp for signs of enemies. Eriodna went over the possibilities as she peered around the corner of the hut. It could not be Orcs, for they were not capable of this level of stealth. That meant Trinity forces, but she decided that if an outright attack was coming then it would have happened already. Deciding to gamble, she called out again. “Show yourself, what have you to gain by hiding?”
She froze as a voice answered from directly behind her. “Not hiding so much as waiting and observing. You can learn a lot from that. What I’d like to learn is why is a Celestial leading these Humans?” While keeping her hands visible, she slowly turned. A Celestial male was standing behind her, arms folded across his chest. He was wearing sleeveless dark blue robes and grey jodhpurs. His armor was minimal but ornate; a set of greaves, bracers, pauldrons and half facemask. All pieces bore a repeating wild cat motif. A large halberd was slung across his back.
As he saw her face, he squinted. “You’re not one of us. Where did you come from!?” he demanded.
“Us?” Eriodna echoed.
The Celestial in front of her let out a sharp whistle, and hundreds more appeared around the camp as if from nowhere. Archers all, they were dressed in similar dark blue robes, with less armor and differing facemasks. Bows drawn, each was aimed at a different target, ready to cut down the Trinity forces at a word.
“Us.” repeated the Celestial warrior, drawing his halberd.
Tags: Commanders, digit, kings, lore, Troops,
Published: February 22, 2017
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