The Lost Sister
The skies were bloody, The two Warden's and I wove our way through the skys. Our enemies had chains and hooks tied to the end of their birds. If they passed us fast enough, they could rip our birds open or pull a rider screaming off their mount. Our creatures exchanged several clawed dives and a few shots between the riders. But something must have hit me. When I got to the ground I passed out. Verza's Husband Frem patched me up. I took a poisoned cut or something, maybe even a glance from a revo. I didn't even feel it. But Lady Alanza and Lord Diener agreed to a cease fire that night from the Wardens. Lady True at Nest Reacher city called the Knights to discuss what occurred. Although Warden did not arrive at the meeting, claiming that the leadership of Warden was undermined by another. Warden didn't seem so aggresive after that last battle."
-Personal Note: Marshal Verner-
Avisland: Robin Territory, Robin Farmland.
Great Ravens circled and Jezails and revo’s filled the sky with thunder. Trish and Volker had climbed up trees to get a look while stayed with the Arbiter. Rankivol stayed back with the Arbiters, Mazan, and the Natives. The three of us advance with Volker on point.
At our arrival, only silence.
No wounded, only the dead laid strewn about the battlefield. A few keeper were left impaled with swords and Jezails but the riders were never on the corpses, dead Roostmen and women littered the ground but still no wounded. Even a few dead Rabenites and Rabenesses. Traitors or loyalists I couldn’t tell. A few Great Ravens had dozens of darts in them and cuts from aerial combat. All was bloody, golden, or black.
A sniper’s gaze had me fearful, I walked slower and kept my head on a swivel. and other dangers still shroud the plains in her thoughts. Ever blade of grass a trip wire, each corpse pile, an assassin hidden within.
“Alright, what happened here?” I asked. “I know this field, we pulled up the vegetation here.”
“Looks like a battle took place. But look here, we have dead Wardens and dead Roosts. I see we have good news finally, we’re not the only ones. The traitors have lost their surprise.” Trish told me from her surroundings.
“What are you thinking?” asked Volker. He moved closer to Trish.
“My theory is, the rebellion needed to seize food quick. If Robin cut them off, they’d starve out. So they took what they could. Now the first wave moved out. Now Roost arrived to stop the rogue forces. The cavalry trampled into the unorganized and scattered the enemy and encircled them with fire. Robin has used that trick to scare off fiends toward Roost guards in the past. We still have something smoldering just a bit over there.”
“I see it, we would have just harvested the crops around those and we’d have watered most of the center field.”
I saw a Roostman I once knew, a squad member of Gold’s squad. A hook was impaled him from a Great Raven and Raven itself was crashed into the tree line. I gazed up and noticed Hex circling. A few other Great Ravens for Volker and Trish kept up in the air but a few linger just atop the stronger and larger trees. The needles whip in the wind and scents of carrion hit my nostrils.
A dead Rabenite. His helmet was cracked open and the face underneath was bruised. Black hair was bloody and he laids alongside a dead Great Raven. I discerned a shimmer. Just a slight glare from a side arm. I reach down and revealed it. A revo. A long metal shaft had him impaled and pinned him to his own bird. He was shot from the sky, or potentially even taken out by another rider.
I slid his weapon into a spare holster. My uniform had a few spots for stashing stuff. I checked its safety and its ammunition. Not even fired.
I stumbled upon one of Raben’s packs. A few darts inside, rations, and equipment. I brought it over to Volker and he filtered out the valuable equipment from the rabble. Darts over batteries, Rations over tent stakes, tarp over sleeping bag, camouflage over pillow. Repurposable gear from convenient gear.
He took inventory form the spoils. Food, water, weapons, hammocks, sleeping gear, armor, utility equipment, and chains. I spotted a special find. A Sword like Trish’s and a Jezail like Volker’s. Very rare items.
I moved to retrieve it as Hex cawed from above warning me. An attacker revealed herself. Her helmet was crushed and a quarter of it was missing from the top left. Her eye glowed in the dark with a fiery glare. I moved back to a guarded stance. My revos flew from the holsters and I double tap each one.
She lurched down after the first two hits and I lunged out with my claws next. She just stood there. Her body fell over. her body was mounted on a Robin rake.
The darts blew her off it.
It was a trap!
It was already dead. A swift figure dived me. And pinned me down as a revo fired a warning shot into the air. The weight of my attacker pinned me down.
I can barely move. Then I’m cold, its metal, near my neck. It’s a revo.
“Off her! Who are you?” Volker ran to my side and pulled his Jezail and lock the chamber with a heavy dart ready.
“Calm yourself down, scout, your bird here almost eat my bait. I need that trap to go off for Wardens not my friend here. Oh my, oh my. Verza is going to be happy. Look how far she’s come.” Her voice was at my ear. I know it like an itch. A painful itch.
Bladed claws clenched me at my neck and her revo pointed at Volker who placed his weapon on the ground. With a squeeze my throat would be opened.
“Oh Volker, you’re so swift for little wren here.” The voice behind me jested.
How did she know that name? She was not an enemy, but why didn’t she just let me go.
“Wren Koko, you gave Gold a big kiss on his way out a few nights ago. I’ve never had to compete with you but wow, you must have smothered him. What were you up to girl?"
"You? You're alive?"
"You rattled Gold's cage pretty bad.” She took off her helmet and let go with her claws. At my height, I see her lack of uniform. She’s wearing a Marshal helmet with no body armor. Only her talons and a great deal of camouflage. A revo and holster were on one half of her body. Her hair was one with the night and her eyes glowed brightly, almost too brightly. Much like a cat lurking in the evening.
“I had a good chat with Goldfuast after you bloodied him up. He was so confused but he straightened it out and he managed to pick a bone with Schrieklich at the infirmary though. It’s not hard to do but it never happened to a Roostman in the Corvus Castrum." She looked at me.
"You know me, girl.”
“Pavise, you’re alive! You’re alive! Pavise.” I saw her face. Her eyes and hair were mine but her face was still the same. Same wicked smile, same pale skin from living underground. The same lust for light in her eyes. Always thirsty, never satisfied; this woman would chase down a dream till it became reality.
“Verloren, whatever you know about that creature in front of you is a lie. Step back… right now.” Volker threatened as he raised his weapon up. "Of all people likely to go traitor, its her."
“Verloren? Oh I love the name, like a bad joke. Or a rebellious battle cry. I love it. Oh, someone’s holding a grudge, relax I’m buddy-buddy with Roost right now.” I understood it. She’s not hugging me. I’m a human shield. Only the blades of her hands aren’t near me. It’s a double bluff.
"Pavise would never hurt me or Goldfuast." I gave her my trust. Still unsure how she was alive or why she jumped me.
“It’s not a grudge Nadel, it’s called a reputation. And anything you say is void coming from a Nacht Jäger.” Volker said.
Rankivol and Mazan arrived with the Raben native and the Arbiters from the sides of the field with their weapons.
I saw a pair of claws drop to the floor. Nadel was discarding her weapons. Her side arm hit the floor and Volker lowered his weapons.
“You’re the last Rabeness I thought I’d see on our side.” Rankivol yelled from over the field.
“You know, I thought I was the only Raben hunter, but who knew, we multiplied like the plague.” Pavise gave me a real hug. “I missed you and Gold so much Wren, we have so much to catch up on. And Gold’s a hunk! You really left the door wide open for me girl.”
“Don't touch that Volker.” Nadel said with a smirk. He had reached for the weapon on the ground. "I've rigged it."
Volker noticed the black spikes sticking out of the dead great raven. but three were merely places underneath. A black spike was pointed to rip his cape from his back. he jumped back startled.
“Played like a fiddle from the start. Oh that’s good.” he said. “You godforsaken jäger.” Volker had to calm himself down.
"You saved Verloren?" He noticed.
I snapped. Of course, I was reaching into a trap. The fake attacker was just to make panic. And someone desperate would rush for the weapon and get spiked.
“How did you line up a kill shot like that?” Volker demand.
Nadel puts her claws back on and her side arm and took a few happy skips to her giant black needle placed in the ground.
“Raben was so organized, and there was no way you’d lose two promotional weapons on a battlefield. So you I stashed it and rigged it to some branches and the bird there. Verloren here sprung my little scare right here, I’m so sorry about that. I didn’t mean that for your Verloren. But you have good reflexes.” Part of Nadel was still there but I’m started to see where the Raben mark ran its course.
The cunning and meticulous nature of fates, I saw it now, every step we would take towards the prize was deadlier. Mettle, cunning, and decisive planning.
“I see you two have met before?” Volker said to calm himself down. This felt like it was merely a joke for her, if we were enemies this would be a killing field, but we were friends.
“You can have the honors clearing up our history Loren, oh I never got to see you during your feathering. Well, you might not have done as well, Verza is excellent for stuff like that. But You were kind enough to leave Goldfaust for me?”
“She was a born in Bedded, the native's there were treated like the feathered. And she had to live in tunnels. She escaped out and worked in the Robin fields with us instead and Roost permitted it."
"Then she had to fake her death didn't she?" Volker asked.
"Pretty much, but now the tribes don't do that anymore." Said Nadel. “How many civilians do you have bringing up the rear?”
“A handful, a few fate natives are keeping guard. Where is he, Goldfuast, is Gold okay?” I remembered his injuries. If Raben wanted pay back he’d be a target.
“He’s only in the danger he puts himself in. I love him for that though. He’s a nice guy, but he’s got this fire! He made a full recover after two days. Their bodies grew back pretty quick. They’re like lizards with their tails. Or something like that.”
Mazan interrupts with her mechanical filter, “Did Goldfuast ride out to the northern mountains?” Her weapon was raised.
“Oh please… I personally saw those orders go through, And alerted Lord Folter and Lord kaiser.
Gold’s the good'st, goody two shoes you’ve ever scene. He’d have stayed and fought till his last breath Arbiter. And I love the suit on you, it looks great. But I must say, the concealed weapons are going to get you a nasty warning. Is Lady True your fairy Godmother?” She poked and jested.
“I’m her apprentice.”
“Right down to the glass slippers, fully repeating revo, custom shot.” Nadel laughed.
“Watch it!” Rankivol shouted as Mazan activates twin blades on her arms
“So jumpy, if you were my target,that needle would have sowed you into a warm sweater. But twin blades... those won’t help you much against Raben though, if a cataphract hit you, those things would snap right off. You’re better off just crushing people in your fists.”
Our group was interrupted
“Rankivol! Trish!” The Native with Arbiters shouted. "Anson has the civilians in the front running to us. As he brings up the rear.
“Keep your weapons down," Trish yelled to them.
The Natives stop at us and Arbit runs to the center of our group.
“You’ll be fine guys. It’s a patrol.” Nadel explained.
“I saw a Raben squad and Roost guards.” Anson said in a bout of huffing. As seen, a squad of Roosts in golden armor arrived, helmets and swords. And a squad of Rabens hungs up in the trees before the plains began, Messer riles and Jezails trained.
“Nadel!” A Rabenite saluted. “Who are these? Two Scouts, two Fates, two natives and a few Arbiters. A cataphract?” The Rabenite took a kneel. “Your honor, are you from the convoy to the mountains.”
“What am I chopped liver, Narr?” Nadel made a fuss.
“Hi Nadel.” He said casually. You should head to camp. You’ve been out a while. We’ll take it from here. You’ll need rest. Get it while it’s night. You’ll be better for tomorrow."
Mazan addressed the Roostman. "I am Mazan of the Arbiters."
“Wren!” A Roostman shouted from the squads formed up. "Whoa, it’s you!” A familiar voice recognizes me. My old neighbor, and Gold’s frined, Starker Roost Watcher.
“Stark!” You’re alright! Do you know if my parents are okay?”
“Yes, we had Robin get clear. They’re at the southern fort. Gold had Robin moved way off for safety. They should be just fine Wren. Your force was patrolling the mountains?”
“It’s Verloren now. Yes, we were on our way back to the the Roost tribe. We need to get to Kaiser."
"Kaiser met up with your clan's leaders, don't worry. A force arrived just before yours from the mountains. They said Rankivol told them about the ambush on the radio and they survived."
"How’s Goldfuast?” I asked him. He took off his helmet. And walked me away from the main group.
Volker began talking with Narr and Rankivol. Mazan stepped up with her Arbiters and the patrol returned us to their safe location.
“Gold moved us to the Festung. Roost’s Fortress. An entire area is already for your birds and Robin allowed the location to hold stock piles. Our two weeks start now. Until we’re cut off, and a tribunal will begin. How are you coping right now? I see blood on your claws.” Stark said. His face was full of pity, his armor did little to shield his heart form the misfortune of others. A man of empathy and experience.
“A Rabeness scout had Rankivol pinned down. I lept up and killed her. It was her or Rankivol."
The two squads got were walked to the entrance of the Festung. Two towering walls protected a keep in the mountainside and six towers made a semicircle figure on the second wall.
The fortress blurred in my eyes. I started to limp as my legs lost balance and quivered under my feet. I turned to reach out for Stark for support but the claws raked out with speed. Stark moved back and a his hand grasped his sword. It never left its guard as Volker siezed his arm. And Trish and Nadel grabbed me quickly before I hit the ground.
"She's exhausted." Trish shouted.
"Yeah, she killed a fiend, she's hiked miles, climbed a rock face and saw battle." Volker explained. "It was amazing she's taking this as good as she is."
Weariness enjoyed its brief victory and I passed out.