An Intruder Warned Us
Teverius, the youngest of their brotherhood, was every bit as light as Chavias was dark. Pale hair free down his back, save a thin warrior’s braid tapering aside his face. Blue eyes assessed a rock at his feet. Demeanor bleak, he knelt to collect it.
“What is it?” Chavias queried.
Rhyers’ eyes narrowed on the bit of sandy stone Teverius held, before he tossed his chin toward the steep embankment. “That came from up there.”
Teverius’ free hand moved to his sword hip as his eyes traveled up.
Deragan noticed the blonde man’s intensity. He's worried now.
“Ground creatures have vanished.” Rhyers’ green eyes squinted into the distance, studying every bit of grass staining the barren expanse with his expert tracker's eye.
“Mardichi noticed the birds as well.” Raese Merlinus commented, eying the tracker. “You look strained.”
“Everything is quiet because there’s evil here. We know how this ends.” Rhyers sighed, giving Raese a sideways glance. “Aren’t you strained?”
“Not until we spent the whole of last night speaking of it...” Raese admitted with a rough chuckle.
It’s a fact. Deragan knew the intruder’s words had been all they discussed, until finally falling into exhausted slumber as the fire waned.
“The old man told us we die today.” The tracker reminded. “All chances of turning back forsaken.”
“Not an option for me anyway.” Raese’s green eyes were unflinching. “We told the Captain we’d follow. Even into this, I’d not turn back.”
“Nor would I.” Rhyers nodded toward him. “I wasn’t suggesting otherwise.” He sighed. “But we can’t say we’re unaware we aim for our demise.”
They’re good men. Brave. Deragan was proud to walk among them. Prouder to fight alongside them.
Raese Merlinus shrugged. Dark auburn hair may’ve made his features plain were it not for vivid eyes bespeaking Celtic heritage and the regal air he possessed. Made obvious by how gracefully he swept his mantle from the path of his stride.
He wasn’t raised a peasant, not like the rest of us, we all know that.
“Loyal heart beating to the end.” Rhyers’ remarked, eyeing his green-eyed friend.
Raese smiled back at him.
“My friends won’t fall without me!” Acharius Sevence boomed. Thick features too fierce to be European. Norse heritage obvious in the breadth of his chest and arms. Echoed in his blue eyes and the blonde hair draping his armor.
He and Mardichi are our strangest additions. The viking and the barbarian…
“That metal wear makes you look enormous.” Alazareth Bodane noted.
He’s a behemoth anyway! Deragan would’ve laughed were his gaze not focused on the canyon walls.
“You like it? Freshly forged.” Acharius tapped the metal at his chest with the side of his fist.
“Why on Earth-”
“To be buried in armor that shines.” He tightened his fist in anticipation. “To be remembered for our courage.”
“Courage you have, Brother.” Alazareth slapped the Viking’s back. “But I doubt the army awaiting us will be much impressed.”
“I’m certain they won’t.” Acharius’ chin hitched. “But ask me if I give a damn.”
Deragan nodded, smiling faintly. He’s utterly fearless.
“My skill with a sword and sharp reflexes will keep me afoot long enough to take a number with me!”
“We’ll die a warrior’s death.” Alazar concurred.
“Entrenched in blood and battle.” Acharius nodded.
“I’m honored to be amongst you.” Alazar's tawny features were resolute as he nodded.
“You do well pretending calm.” His twin, Sebastian, sidled up to comment from the side of his mouth. “Like you’re not afraid of those awful predictions atall.”
Alazareth always looks calm. But there’s a storm under the surface. Deragan had learned that well over the years he'd mentored the man in battle.
Sebastian had only joined us to be at his brother's side.
“I fear nothing.” Alazareth’s face hardened. “Least of all an intruder’s hollow warnings.”
“You’re terrified.” His twin said perceptively. Shouldering Alazareth with a cheeky grin. “It’s okay no one can see it but me. You look stone-faced as always.”
“I’m ready.” The somber twin’s look was steady. “And regardless of how much I dislike you, I’ve decided to do my damnedest to make sure you, and the Captain suffer minimally.” Alazar said haughtily. Spinning the sword he'd drawn, expertly.
“You will?” Sebastian’s blonde brows shot up as he put a hand to his heart. His tone eeking honey. “How endearing.”
A mirror image of Alazareth, save longer hair and more frequent smile, Bast turned away but his twin's voice stopped him.
“But, Brother.” Alazareth called in a warning tone.
“I know how you think. Don’t get your hopes up. I’ll again prove more warrior than you.”