“Why don’t you come down from those trees and join us for some lamb?” Hera spoke loud enough for the Shadow Order to pick up her invitation. Indigo raised her hand to halt her troops as some inched forwards upon catching the scent of the rich roast. Indigo dropped down alone and approached Hera cautiously, she noticed the wards and icons decorating the Witches den, read them and nodded approvingly. Signaling then for her patrol to accompany her.
“Why would you feed those men?” Indigo asked, still wary of the old hag.
“And hello to you too…” Hera replied with a warm smile. “Technically, I didn’t feed the barbarians, Your Highness, Brynn shared the meat in exchange for work.” She indicated to the lone shepherdess beyond the tree line, watching her flock.
“You know who I am?”
“I have a good idea that you are related to the Elite Twelve and expected retribution following the slaughter of the King.” Hera replied.
The Shadow Order gathered around Indigo as they spoke, drawn by the promise of food and news from within the capital but also Hera herself, all were trained in the magical arts, but their skills were basic, just what they needed to know. Save for Indigo, the unique Princess had trained to learn the ancient sorcerers ways from childhood, a youths hobby turned into her lifestyle. To her, Hera was a key to the past and she had to swallow down her own excitement reminding herself of the mission ahead of them.
“Well… There are far too many of you to comfortably sit within my humble home, so let’s get the fire-pit lit, it’s going to be a fair night and there is plenty of space to relax in warmth and there is enough lamb for you all and I feel we have much to discuss…”
Dallymare was one of the smaller dragons, Sheba’s daughter to be exact, around half the size of her mother so swift in flight and honed to Kol’s every touch, the pair skimmed the clouds with effortless grace. He had chosen the smaller lady for her speed and agility, the way she danced upon the cloud line like a slender shadow. They did not want to draw too much attention to their journey and they needed to cover a great distance in haste.
It was impossible to attempt to count the barbarian forces at the city walls, nor conclude their part in this predicament. However the sheer numbers alone were cause for concern, for no known army could match their force.
Kol had been raised with the story of The Child of Prophecy and some instinct alone caused him to steer Dallymare far beyond the mountain pass, over borders and the great arm of a snaking river that glistened red in the golden sunset. He sought the scorched earth where she had been slain, discreetly desiring to pay his last respects. For the Dragons he lived and worked with mourned her loss deeply.
Dallymare shifted course, drawn by the energy at the grave, breaking cover of the clouds and settling down upon the earth lightly.
Gone was the angry tar ridden stain, gone too was the rotten corpse of The Guardian. Instead Kol was stunned to see a lavish collection of wild flowers, blooming in rich vibrant colours, all various flowers, all spread out across a thick spongy moss. The smell was incredible, thousands of flowers filling the air with their alluring scent. Everywhere was so full of life, the air rich with fat bumblebees and shimmering hummingbirds.
Kol dismounted and fell to his knees weeping at the pure magical beauty of the sight.
Anne Harrison 16.03.17