EarthBorn: First Days

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The Shepherds

First Day 8th Quarter

Crowds line the central path trying to gain a view of the knights, they whisper words of prophecy and saviour women look and stare at Legion pulling their children from the paths edge with fear painted upon their faces, Rune looks to everything around him in curiosity ,each object intrigues and interests him including the people who look the same but are not, the lawless reflection before they became deformed and twisted with hatred...Human!...

Rune is impressed, judging by the evidence he was expecting malnourished early specimens with no language or structure, never an army in waiting they have already begun the process, Wayke can sense relief among the waves of anxiety and defeat...

“ I can feel what they feel and it isn’t pleasant or of joy”...Wayke informs his companions and a voice speaks unaddressed...

‘’There hasn’t been such things here for many many two moons’’...the captain goes on...”Not since the alliances of the Peoples was severed’’ Rune seizes the chance to bleed information and questions the captain as he’s willing...

‘’What Peoples?, there’s more of you out there?’’ ...

‘’hahah not exactly’’...the captain says nervously, Rune says no more as they come to the arch entrance of the centre building, the captain tells them to wait while he informs the hosts of the Knights presence... they stand steady looking around taking in everything they can before they go inside, Legion stares straight at a young guard with visions of how to kill him racing through his mind he makes the young sentry sweat with fear, Maidon and Wayke stand together with a guard looking her up and down from the corner of his eye, Wayke stares right back making the guard nervous as he catches his wandering eye, he immediately ceases, Rune is staring up at the plants that climb the arch hiding it’s ornate imagery, he can make out something on the arch carved into it’s polished mossy facet, the captain breaks his concentration returning from the inside of the temple...

“Come strangers, the shepherds will speak with you’’...

the four climb the stairs under the arch and head in the elaborate door’s eons old yet still operable, warm musky air sweeps out revealing a corridor and subjects lining the way forward and every turn possible, tapestry lines the walls with pillars carved in beasts rock totems with flames a foot bringing them almost to life, they come to a second set of grand doors, opened for them they enter into the main court room vast in length with Short stairs leading to an alter, atop this alter sits Three thrones aligned and equal, one of wood, its tangles and weaved ivy lives moving untouched, one of stone, made from the hardest of all stone the age revealed by the glowing magma core that seeps free, the third of Alloy, its sharp edges and smooth finish gathers all light available to shine it is the biggest of the three...

just before the stairs there are small podiums to which the four must stand to await the shepherds. Each takes the step up onto their respective podiums illuminating a trail that joins to a central ornament, a sphere that spins rapidly on the floor like it is scanning them, they do nothing but wait then... three doors open behind each throne and three figures come forward, A man of normal appearance bearded and muscular yet robed from the left door, a shapely female figure emerges from the centre door, lustful in her approach her hood and cloak in blossoms of small red flower, and on the right, a monster of a man tall and armoured with thick black alloy his steps heavy the throne is no gimmick, they make their way to the front and stand before the elaborate pews, each in accordance with their throne they take their seats with nobody saying a word, awkward silence reigns supreme throughout the chamber ...Rune takes the initiative...

’’Huh hum, gre”... the shepherd of alloy raises his hand to halt Runes voice, his hand staying raised until the sphere central to all stops spinning and the trail dims out from the podiums beneath their feet, the metallic clad shepherd talks , his deep husky voice echoes the hall...

‘’You may speak now outsider’’...Rune begins again...

Shepherds, we are the travellers from far, we stumbled across a battle of which our kin were apart of and tracked their movements back here,...we have come to seek answers and if we can, aid you in your struggle against your enemies!”...

silence falls once again, the enchanting female shepherd stands taking turn, soft mature female tones allure from the dark hood and central wooden throne...

’’what doe you mean when you say Aid? What makes you think we need aid from you?”... the shepherd of stone answers before Rune can speak for himself...

’’He means not to be afraid anymore, he means we don’t have to worry and grow in peace which i suspect involves no small measure of bloodshed judging by your attire, your weapons which captain Gore assures us are exceptional to say the least only mean more agonising years of loss”... Rune enforces his words with blunt truth...

“NO more bloodshed then you suffer now except the end result will be honour instead of dishonour, burial and rejoice instead of searching through banquet scraps for loved ones remains ,does this not seem the logical way forward or will you just allow your people to wither and die out!” ...the Shepherd of alloy stands in fury..

“Do not presume my legions roll over like feeble cowards and insult their souls outsider, we don not wither or take the desecration of our people lightly but things aren’t as they were and we must choose our battles carefully, or we WILL wither and die!!’’... Wayke intervenes to reassure the shepherds and defuse the heated situation...

‘’Great shepherds we do not seek to displace but to bolster your position and ensure the savagery ceases, we are absolute in this position and will carry out this agenda with or without your support, this is our purpose and we are prepared to lay down our lives in service to it”...the three turn to each other each looking at each of the other two shepherds nodding , a silent is struck between the three they tell aloud for all to hear...“Commander Rune we wish to speak with you alone, for now your knights can be as our guests and feast or rest among our people’’...Rune turns at the waist to Wayke who gives him an look of relief but, they cannot afford to get complacent, the shepherds wield great supernatural power that much is clear to Rune based solely on appearances ...”We accept , I may take a moment with my companions before I join you?”... All three stand from their seats, the stone shepherd accepts on all’s behalf....

’’At your leisure, we have much to discuss, we will await you in the council chamber”... The vine wrapped shepherd snaps her fingers and a petite pale hooded female steps forward from behind her throne, she glows even in the dimness of just flame light ,the shepherd continues...

‘’Our aid will guide you to us in chamber once you are ready’’... Rune nods and bows half way to show respect...

’’Again you have my thanks shepherds, I will be with you in a few moments”.... three doors open without order and the three rise bow then parade back to the doors from which they came, Rune dismounts the podium and convenes with his knights in a tight huddle so no by standers can eavesdrop ...

“Well that was not a bad start, I like how they knew our names without us saying them, there are other forces at work here”...Wayke says Rune taking over..

“I did notice, they even knew my rank, these shepherds are...exotic!, get out there and gather what you can but do it under guise, we don’t ant to raise any suspicion of our purpose, Wayke you head for the market and barracks, Maidon places of worship and social orders and Legion....just don’t hurt anyone or break anything, just...do your best , I will find out what I can from the Shepard’s and try and get them to allow us to remain residents for now”...

Rune leaves and heads to the aid who awaits him at the top of the alter as a guide, Maidon Legion and Wayke head out the way they came in to explore their temporary home, fanning out walking about the people they are here to help in search of answers...

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