The wind came from the south, roaring through Finders Farm outpost. One by one the homins who had come to defend it turned their gaze towards The Trove. Aleeskandaro had anticipated that the Kami would come from that direction and so the outpost guards were ordered to hold the north east section. Elvanae looked to Virg, nodding firmly. Virg mounted his Mektoub, whom he had fondly named elvanae. The creature raised its trunk and stomped on the ground, causing nearby Izams to flutter up into the safety of the trees. The wind had died down and the air was thick with anticipation.
“Homins of all corners of Atys! We are gathered here to speak out against those who thirst for domination over us all! Those homins are not Kami followers, for they do not follow the revelations of Ma-Duk. Ma-Duk teaches to oppose excess but these homins place greed before need!
We are here to say no to their tyranny, no to their intimidation and no to their oppression! This will indeed be a tough battle, but let our honour and integrity shine proudly and let our axes and swords slay those twisted souls! Get in position!”
A great many homins had arrived to support the outpost, amongst them Binarabi and her guild, looking suspiciously unsteady on her feet, the Crest brothers and the Spiritus Artificis family including dearest Tuxi, La Firme, Agan and the Dharm warriors, the Rift Walkers, Divinesoul the Marauder, the renown hunter Spettra and many others including of course Virg and his formidable family.
Elvanae looked to her own family around her, Ravenh and Lessah dazzling in NPC armour, Texon with a mischievous grin on his face, looking Sjhd up and down and Ahokii with a steely look of determination. Last Elvanae had heard, Eilvara, Mely and Guiguimoi were still deep in the Prime Roots surveying the land and battling with its dangers and Aleeskandaro was being held up by Miaccia Stazzo who had, earlier that day, demanded a meeting with Elvanae. The Chief of Guards in Yrkanis had looked as if she was about to explode with rage and would not say why. Aleeskandaro had stepped in for Elvanae. What could be more important than an outpost battle... Elvanae had wondered.
As last preparations were concluded, just over the horizon, a Frippo came sprinting towards the outpost. It raised its head to look up, digging its nails in the ground it halted, shaking and panting madly, clearly in distress. The sharp blade of a long axe came down upon it and the Frippo squealed. The Kami cackled madly in his helmet. And then, the horizon was a mass of shadows and all hell broke loose…
As the battle waged on, Elvanae took a moment to climb atop her mektoub mount and survey the field. She shook her head sadly upon seeing just how many homins had come to attack. Those twisted with greed had no honour to use innocent homins to do their bidding! They were as conniving as ever, luring the outpost guards away to their deaths and hacking them mercilessly.
The wind had picked up again and she saw Virg hastily giving out commands. Slowly, the warriors began to push into the line of Kami mages. It looked to be working… the ground soon became a litter of Kami corpses. Celebrations only lasted for a while before a scout reported sightings of them returning, only this time in even greater numbers. Elvanae felt a sense of dread overwhelm her, she had not dared to hope that she had seen the last of them. She dismounted and fastened her helmet surging into the advancing Kami.
The sun was beginning to set, the light fading. She stumbled over a body, she did not look to see which side it belonged to. She glanced to the left and saw Virg, spells smashing into the forcefield enclosing him, licks of flame and acid piercing inside, burning him. Each collision was causing the forcefield to flare an angry red as it became thinner and weaker. Behind her, a group of mages were being overwhelmed. So much death… so much blood… so much rage... and so much pain.
She felt a blow to her thigh and dropped to the ground. It felt to her as if time had stopped and she was slowly falling. The grass felt so soft, almost cushions. The outpost which had belonged to her guild for generations was being taken. Maybe if she just rested here for a while she could summon the strength to get up again, she owed it to everyone, she had to get up. But the Forest was calling to her. Summoning her. She grabbed hold of a handful of grass and closed her eyes slowly. The sound of battle faded into the distance and a tear trickled down her cheek.
The sudden warmth in her chest reminded her of the time when she had snuck into her father’s study while he was away leading a battle. Inspecting the items on his desk, she had smiled smugly. It had looked like a simple box made out of abhyah wood and decorated plainly with visc sap. She had felt for the groves and pushed hard into them. The box’s lid had opened with a pop. The rum had smelled vile but she had been surprised at the tingling warmth that had spread through her. She had spent the next few hours on top of the Yrkanis stables, refusing to come down and making rude gestures at Miaccia Stazzo. Her father had not been pleased when he had returned. But this time the warmth burned as the blade was pushed deeper...
Elvanae’s eyes burst open and she felt her heart race as she panted. Sweat had soaked her vest and she looked down to see her hand gripping the blanket. Composing herself, she sat at the edge of her bed and looked out of her window. It was still twilight. She sighed loudly. It had just been a dream... and the real nightmare was still to come.She walked over to her wash basin and saw her reflection in the small pool of water. Her hair was disheveled, but her eyes were gleaming with determination. After visiting the hairdressers, she would make her way to Frahar Towers…