War Swords

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The Rebellion

Shalene Shakel sat in her tent with her leg raised, a metal goblet in her hand. She stared off into the distance blankly before taking another drink of wine.

She thought only of her sister, and the suffering she must have be enduring.

Norman Ramos's death would not go in vain, and the Dominion now had in their hands the woman that was responsible.

Shalene had played the battle over and over again in her mind for the past three days. Something was indeed different now, as soon as that single arrow sliced through her leg.

She winced at the remembrance of the pain.

They had just met with the leaders of their young soldiers, many of whom were lost at the hand of Jordanna the Mystic. All of the ones that were lost in the Lake were surely dead by now.

The thought of their suffering convicted Shalene, but still. She knew well enough that that was the sacrifice of war.

The leader of the Rebellion set her leg down, barely feeling the effects of her wound anymore. One of the witch doctors had been attending to her daily, reassuring to her that it would be a quick recovery.

The morale in the Rebellion was high, and the last thing Shalene wanted was to do was squander it with a minute injury.

With Norman Ramos dead, the Dominion would crown their new King soon. Prince Carlowe was the eldest Ramos heir. The Dominion did not believe in a Queen ruling.

Shalene pondered what kind of King Prince Carlowe would make. From battle she knew him to be an excellent soldier and had been trained his entire life for this role. He was, after all, a Ramos, ancestor of Dornus the founder of the Dominion. His heart, she knew, was inherently dark.

The Rebel leader set down her goblet just as Dano, one of the Rebellion's captains entered her tent.

"Shalene," he greeted, bowing his head slightly.

"Dano," she replied, standing up to meet him. "Have you received a count yet?"

"Of those lost in the Lake attack? Yes. Nearly 500."

Shalene cast her eyes down angrily, balling her hands into fists. "One day I hope to crush Jordanna's neck with my own two hands."

Dano said nothing, the light in the tent reflecting off of his dark skin.

"Anything else to report?"

He shook his head. "No. Other than the ships being almost unloaded, there is nothing else. Most of the men and women have been celebrating the death of Norman Ramos. There are others, however, that are weary of his son."

"I know," Shalene admitted. "I am weary of his reign as well. He is a skilled soldier, far more skilled than his father ever was. That is of some concern to me."

"Do you think your sister--"

"I don't know," she snapped, turning away.

There was a moment of silence and Dano bowed his head. "My apologies, Shalene."

The Rebel leader relaxed her shoulders and waved away his apology. "No, there's nothing to apologize for. It's forgotten."

The captain took a seat across from her. "Some of the other captains and I were discussing getting in touch with our Rebel spies up north. About Adrina, that is."

Shalene took in a breath and bit her lip. "I know. I have entertained the idea as well. However, I'm still up in the air about how large of a risk it would be."

"We discussed that as well," he assured her. "But then Gretania suggested that because of the change in leadership, the Dominion's focus may be elsewhere."

"You may be right," she mused, placing a hand underneath her chin. "We should all discuss this at length before we decide on whether or not to go through with it. I will not take such a risk lightly, just because the one captured happens to be my sister."

"For that, we have the utmost respect for you," Dano told her. "But Adrina is a captain, and for any other captain we would do the same."

Shalene stood, walking across the room to look at the maps of Calaria.

"Send word to the spies regarding the state of my sister. If she is still alive, then we will further discuss a rescue mission. Until then, we wait. My sister is strong. If she is indeed still alive, she can hold out."

Without another word, Dano bowed out of the tent, leaving Shalene to her thoughts again. A rescue mission would be tricky, though Gretania may be right. With the recent death of Norman Ramos and a change of leadership, this could be the right time.

After redressing her leg wound herself, Shalane sat back down and poured herself another goblet full of wine.

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