From the ashes into the flame
1625, Dark season, Death week, Freeze day.
We spent almost two weeks in Apple Lane, repairing the stable after the fire and securing the harvest.
In the afternoon of Freezeday a group of riders stopped at the courtyard before the Tin inn, their horses worn and their visage grim. The leader carry a handful of black arrows in his right hand and each of the other four riders held torches burning with the elemental colours. As the villagers gathered around them the leader announced that Leika Blackspear summoned the fyrd to war, an army was marching south from Tarsh to invade our lands.
Early next morning we left for Clearwine together with four men from Apple Lane. A light blanket of snow covered the ground and a chill wind came from the north as we rode towards Clearwine. In the afternoon the next day we arrived at Clearwine. Outside the Clearwine fort the combined force of Colymar and Malani had assembled.
Many hundred warriors were training, packing and preparing their equipment. At the centre of the camp Leika and Amalda, the queen of the Malani tribe were planning the defence against the Tarshites. The general plan is to block the Tarshites from crossing the river Creek at the river crossings at Two sisters and at Dangerford, these were both natural defensive positions and the only viable crossings over the Creek.
Next morning we march north under the command of Asborn Trueborn and Amalda of the Malani to guard the river crossing at the village of Two sisters. While the rest of the host left for Dangerford.
A special order is given Geiri, he would accompany Kallyr Starbrow together with some chosen healers. Kallyr were only a shadow of her former self, she had failed the Lightbringer’s hero quest she set out to do and received a magical wound that bled continuously. Most likely another hero quest were required to close the wound.
1625, Dark season, Death week, Windsday
After two days of marching we reached the twin village of Two sisters at noon. Asborn and Malani stayed at the south side and set up camp on a small hill overlooking the river bank, if there is a battle they intend to push the Tarshites back into the river. Soon after the tents and camp fires has been set we began to practice for a large scale battle. Jarolar ran our group through drills where we practiced fighting in a shield wall.
There were a solemn and sombre tone among the thanes as they direct the drills in the cold winter air. For lunch we get mutton soup with cabbage and dark bread, this seemed to lighten the hearts of the clansmen and the usual banter started. Rumours are spreading like wildfire within the camp. Some say that Jar-eel the Razoress were heading towards Dangerford, others whispered that the Malani tribe were loyal to the Lunars and would betray us.
After lunch Asborn asked for volunteers to scout the north side of the river. Jarolar raised his hand and Asborn grunted in approval and pointed us at a scarred thane with some horses. We were to observe the road from the north side of the river and warn the main force with a bonfire if the Tarshites approached.
An hour later we crossed the river on a barge we found on the river bank. No Tarshites could be seen so far and we wandered the woods for a bit until Jarolar spotted a suitable hilltop to set up camp. Night fell and I wrapped myself into sheep furs to keep the cold out, dreaming of a warm tavern in Notchet with mulled wine and discussing the latest politics among the matriarchs. I drifted to sleep longing for a proper bed.
After two hours of sleep I was woken by a crash and a huge red flame that roars past Brioc as he hid behind the trunk of a tree. A dream dragon slowly swept over the trees, content with setting the tree where Brioc had been keeping watch afire. Everyone scrambled, Jarolar and I lit the bonfire, but neither the dragon nor any Tarshites were to be seen.
We ran back to the barge and crossed the river during the night. Back at camp we report to Asborn and he called off the preparation for battle. There were plenty of grunting and complaining in the camp. A group of Malani thanes taunted Brioc by hissing and flapping their arms like very very tiny dragons. Brioc smirked but remained calm, some burnt pine needles still in his hair.
Next morning Asborn told us he has received a message that the main attack appears to come at Danger ford. Jarolar were ordered to lead the Ormath Hiortling‘s tribe to Dangerford while the Malani remain and guard the Two sisters. All in all our group and about 100 men marched west. I think we got lost for a while, but Jarolar seemed mostly annoyed at this suggestion and ordered us to hurry up. We reached Dangerford two days later.