Author Topic: Who's war is this?  (Read 362 times)

Earendur Pallanen

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Who's war is this?
« on: September 23, 2005, 09:43:53 AM »
Rain, again, it never stops, mud clings to everything, gray and sticky, staying the progress of those trying to pass. The river had spilled its banks the night before washed away most of the tents. Horses had broken picket lines and makeshift corrals to run for higher ground and had wondered far in the wet never ending night.

Armour slogged down and worry about rust was promoting most to dry and dry themselves manytimes a day. It was cold and wet and miserable, the injured were falling into bad health and the wagons were too bogged down to move. Without cover, transport, or any sign to the end of this miserable weather, spirits were getting low.

Holding the line was becoming an impossiblity as the soldiers prepared to make their last stand. The waters at their feet as they hugged the bank swords drawn they could hear the approch of the other side. The heavily armoured horses making the wet ground tremble, steam rising from their hot breath hitting the cold air making them look like black demonds arising from the mists.

Whos war was this anyway? The question rose in every mind as they stared down the monsterous horses as they approched, and they prepared to hold their ground. No one stirred, no one ran, no one dared. Where would they go just to be run down by those monsterous hooves.

The yell to charge was heard over the din of the rain and the small line of soldiers watched the solid line of black suddenly bore down on them, the sound like rolling thunder.

"Hold the line!" A yell went up as they rose their swords and what few pikes they had went up into the path of the charge and every man prepared to die. No one noticed the lazily circling falcon over head, and a sudden break in the storm as the rain ended and a shock of sunlight brought a hesitation in the chargeing line, a small break formed before the charge rung out to full strength again.

"Hold the line," the yell was repeated, this time louder to be heard over the closing mounted men. Time seemed to stand still for a minute, the sun for a second obscured by what seemed to be a moving cloud, then suddenly the front row of men and horses fell clearing a large swath in the charge as the tightly knit pack found themselves unable to get out of the way of the bodies of their fellow men, soldiers and horses fell in the mud and bodies.

Weary down truben and confused soldiers turned to look for their saviours. A line of mounted men, seemed more like children, to young and small to be soldiers, when they realised who had arrived, gray with mud from days of travel nonstop the elven soldiers were almost unrecognisable except thier size and bow strung tight losing another volley and the opposition fell back in chaose retreating from what should have been an easy kill.

The line of elven horses broke making their way down the wet muddied earth, amoungst their ranks the missing horses. What once would have been a white mare seperated from the pack, her armoured flanks heaving from days of hard gallops. The blond elven male pulling her up at the commanders sides as the falcon dropped through the sky to land on his out streached arm.

"They'll be back," were his only words.

Earendur Pallanen

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« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2005, 10:55:42 AM »
Night fell with a bitter cold, the horses had been settled, blanketed to stave off the chill, the elven even going so far as to bring their animals into their tents with them, shareing their heat with their mounts. The lone form of the elven leader stood on the bluff, the rains had stopped, the ground was hardening under foot from the cold and would soon be little more then a slick of ice and frozen ruts. He watched the camp a few miles from them, their fires flickering in the moonlite, not trying to hide, nor were they, there was no sense, they both knew the other was there.

Earendur pulled his cloak tighter around him, his chainmail warm from his bodyheat, keeping him a little warmer under his shirt and cloak. Shifting he looked back at the sound of someone approching him, there steps heavy and tired as the man approched, smaller now outside his armour and wrapped in a blanket.

"The commander is ready for you," he stated guffly, his voice matching his dirty unwashed appeareance and for a minute the small man was reminded why he kept his company to mainly his own kind. Nodding he stepped back heading down the hill, his feet remaining on top of the still slightly soft ground as the soldier behind him gurmbled about the elven race as he started behind him, sinking in the mud.

Entering the tent he was immediatly hit by the warmth of the near by stove, well stocked and he fought the urge to remove his cloak as he approched the group of big men, seeming small in their presents as he removed his bow from over his shoulder and rested its edge lightly on the ground. The men turned to the in arrival and their commander smiled, the look strained.

"Did you learn anything knew?" The old human asked and watched him.

"They are camped a mile and a half off, their numbers have been halfed, but they still out number you by almost 3 to 1."

"We must withdraw," he muttered and Earendur smiled softly.

"I think I have a better idea."

Earendur Pallanen

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« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2005, 01:22:28 PM »
"Elven lore and story," the big soldier grumbled from his seat on his horse, none to happy as they fallowed the line of smaller horses who did not appear to have the build to carry and armoured man, at least not a normal sized man. "Why do we fallow this Elf, he has shown nothing of his knowleadge accept what he has heard in story and verse."

"Hush Tramour, if you hurt this alliance we are all dead," rumbled his commander as there horses slipped not for the first time on the iced land below their hooves, it was not easy going.

"We are retreating," the man snarled.

"You are moving to a more stratigic stand," Earendur's always pationt voice answered as the white mare appeared at the soldier's side, both horse and ride silent in movement.

"Do you make no noise at all elf?"

"Not so much as you, if not for the sound of your horses the whole army of Gaundor would have heard you by now. If you do not trust my judgement you do not need to fallow, but high ground makes our arrows go farther and theirs shorter, if you wish, you may stay down here and face them head on." Earendur offered, brushing back his cloak hood to look down the ranks of the stumbling horses and men.

"Better to face my enemy with drawn sword, then die a cowereds death," he rumbled.

"I have no intetion of dieing Tramour, do you?" The elven questioned and the big soldier grumbled and inarticulate reply.

"Then be silent and concentrate on riding, soon enough you will have to turn and face the freash horses that are fallowing us," Earendur heeled his mount off, loping forward and towards his people, feeling his mount coil under him, ears pinning before she bucked slightly a warning to the older elven male to get his heels out of her sides before she dicided he could walk the rest of the journey and he quickly complied, speeking a soft apology for his impationts and rejoining his people.

Earendur Pallanen

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« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2005, 09:46:29 PM »
All night seems purpetual at this point, and the cold had set in to the bone, the warmth of his cloak was all that kept the chill from reaching passed his exposed fleash as Earendur watched the flame of the camps below him and in front of him. Behind him in the valley behind him were the men they had spent the better part of the day moving, their wagons pulled together for relitive safety and warmth. The soldiers themselves were armed and shivering below him, the line of elven worriers to either side of him were streached across the bank in both directions, all kneeling low to stop from being seen.

Not more then an hour pryor there had been a scout on this bluff, looking below on their fires, making a decision on weather to strike this night. Once he had gone Earendur had gathered the men and elves, driving them onto the bluff, the soldiers making the lower line behind the archers with just enough room for the smaller forms to get through. Earendur was silent, making sure that everyone was in place and that he had the distance down before he moved, the motion not lost on the line as one they moved, heading down the hill.

A hundred paces later they once more dropped to their knees and waited, men were mounting horses below them as the rear guard breeched the top of the hill and knelt in wait. Their was no moon again tonight, only thick forboding clouds that forwarned of coming snows, winter would hit middleearth with a vengence soon, and the war would take on a whole new meaning. Seeing the moounted men start towards them Earendur turned to his second, motioning to him to aim for their mounts, no horses would mean one disadvantage and motioned down the line as the command was carried and the elves strung out their bows, aiming for the horses' exposed necks.

For a minute there was a whisper of silents, bows strung tight, muscle tense and ready to release, and a sensation of almost hesitation, the calm before the storm. At that point the world focused, down to pinpoint sensation, the bow strained and smooth against his hand. the arrow tought against the string, ready to fly like a punging falcon on its prey, the movments of the animal below, his target, the warm body that would soon feel his sting. Then with the sound of a wind through leaves a release, and fourty arrows loosed into the air, sailing almost silent and smooth on the evening air, dropping with deadly procision.

Horses dropped with screams of agony, men's cries echoing with them as they becamed trapped under their writhing mounts. Already another arrow had replaced the first and sent sailing before a thrid was knotched. By then the world below them was in confusion, yells for shields and order to the scrambling men were yelled. Again he let fly with his people and watched men fall below their unslought. Soon enough someone would point out where the fire was coming from and the true fight would begin.

Earendur Pallanen

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« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2005, 09:21:10 AM »
There was no order below, even after the archers had managed to notch their arrows they still did not have the range to hit the elven line, and it took too long for them to realise it. By the time they had thrown aside their bows their numbers were halved. Earendur held his ground as men with swords started up the bluff, firing as many arrows as he could until he had to motion his people behind the human line as the soldiers behind shouted a war cry and charged forward to meet the coming men that were trudging up the hill, their full armor helping to weary their bodies before they were actually forced to fight.

Earendur strung his bow over his back, stopping only a dozen feet from the fighting as he pulled his sword and turned back stepping into the fray and straight into battle, his sword deflecting a blow ment to cleave his sckull, pushing him back and swinging low to sink his sword into his gut. Earendur pulled free his blade before he moved to his next target, his eyes seeking every opening in his oppenents armour and taking advantage of it, moving fast with beyond human agility that kept him one step ahead at just about every turn.

Earendur Pallanen

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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2005, 08:19:14 AM »
Red greeted the morning sky, flowing like cold mollasses down the great hill that had held the bloody battle the night before. The side that should have lost stood over their kills surveying the damage done. Earendur looked around his feet, his sword red with blood, dripping slowly from its tip. His armour and cloak were also stained red by it, thick from the cold, and chilling to the core.

Earendur shifted his stance, shaking blood from his blade before sheathing it and wincing as he moved, limping slightly out of the battlefield and through the line of celebrating men. He didn't see a reason to celebrate they had lost half their men in that fight, and dispite the win they still had four days hard ride to get back to Gundor. Earendur pushed into his tent, collapsing to his cot and looking up at where his mare was standing watching him with concerned eyes and he smiled slightly before striping out of his slacks and started to tend the deep wond in his thigh.

He knew before long he would be called apon again, this time to help get everyone together to head out, but by then the men would be liberily drunk and he would be fighting them the whole way. Gritting his teeth he cleaned his wound, and dressed it before covering it with a clean bandage and tied it off. Once done he redressed and settled on his cot once more reaching for his bloodied armour now on the floor.

Picking up a second cloth he started the slow task of cleaning his weapons and gear with careful hands and setting each peice away with reverance. Then set his saddle bags aside and stood heading back into the cold looking up as the clouds seemed to open up and released the white bounty within. Winter had hit and soon the red hill would be a prestine white, the battle beniethe forgotten till next spring when the sun would uncover the killing here.

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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2005, 12:55:36 PM »
Loud and mistuned voices rose in the afternoon air, still drinking the saddle men was clanging cups and heeling horses weary from the days travel through the cold snow that was gaining weight and thickness on the ground below. Earendur rode alone ahead of the group, his mind deep in the thoughts of what had transpired in the last twentyfour hours, men who thought they were dead had become war heros. How long would it take for the memory of this battle to die and others to take its place?

The mare under him proped slightly as she took a step up, her hooves banging the heavy log as she stepped over it, pulling the elven from his thoughts and making him look around. They were skirting the forest edge, birds taking flight at the sound of the horses fifth three in all, behind him, trudging on weiry legs, heads low ears pinned at the din behind them. More then once the elven thought what good it would do their egos to fall from their saddles, but then, being as drunk as they were, they would probubly just laugh it off.

Earendur turned his mount into the wood, giving her a gentle nudge to continue as the path narrowed enough to force the men into single file, though it stopped the boisterous clanging of mugs, it did not stop the catawaling and the middle aged elf winced as they took on a louder tone. His mare dropped her head, ears pinning as she chewed on the bit in irritation, their own people were behind the soldiers, keeping them moving, they had lost only a half dozen elves in the fight, and now they held their ground against the might of their voices.

If not for the voices the leader of the troop may have heard the approch of the hiden men, but he did not until sword was at his mares throat and hands had cought her reigns before she could rear. "You make emough noise to wake the dead," a voice spoke as nervouse silents covered the group and Earendur looked back, they too were surrounded and he turned in his saddle to once more look towards the voice as the army parted.

Raven Sena

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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2005, 01:19:55 PM »
The elven woman stood in silents in her hiding place, her eyes on him as he entered the area, the noise behind him some kind of human song. She knew this elven male, middle aged for an elf he had been sent on this mission to get him out from under her father's feet, something he had been more then unhappy about. He had riden his mount hard from the city, leaving little time for his men to fallow. She had watched him go with some amusement, and now watched him return with the same.

He did not hear them, did not notice their approch, both he and his mare were too worried about the men behind them to be weary of what lay ahead of them. Her soldiers stepped out into the path and even then he almost ran them over, it was the mare that reacted first, starting to rise off the ground, her asent stopped only by a quick hand on her bridal to hold her down. He looked at thouse around him then back at his men who had now fallen silent behind him, fear in their drunken gazes.

"You make enough noise to wake the dead," she spoke as she moved through her people and he turned back at her voice, their eyes meeting and she stopped, pushing back her cape from her face, beautiful and youthful she stood by the mare, absently stroking her nose to calm her. She was elven from her pointed ears to her small stature, with dark straight hair and clothed in the finiest silks and velvets one would question her ability to fight at all.

"Or was it your intention to scare off any who dared to challenge you by making it sound as if there were more of you?" She smiled softly at the words, knowing it would irritate him to know end to have his command questioned.

Earendur Pallanen

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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2005, 01:26:37 PM »
"I do not control the voices of human soldiers Raven, unlike you and your father," he hissed softly, yanking hard on his reigns and being rewarded with the horse rearing as the bit snapped in her mouth once released from the elven's hand and sidestepped, almost knocking into Raven where she stood. He watched her as the mare pranced, unwavered and finily the steed settled.

"Why are you here? Should you not be guarding the entrance to Rivendale?" He questioned, putting a twist into the words to drive it as hard home as she had her own comments, "or has your father decided to remove you from his court as well?" He questioned, heeling the mare back to where she had stood a moment earlier, the white beast chewing hard on her bit in irritation, tail flamed as she pranced in spot, feeling her riders want to move, his irritation.

Raven Sena

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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2005, 01:39:09 PM »
"My father sent me to see you through the pass to Gondur, unless you wish to go alone," she added as she peeled into her pack pulling free freash bread and sweet wine and watched Earendur as he watched her with the food and after a minute she offered it to him. "A peace offering, until I have seen you saftly on your way," she offered as one of her men guilded her bay mare into the forest path and she smiled sweetly, hopeing he would not brush her off.

Her father had sent her here, not just to escourt the elven worrier, but to see to him. Earendur though sent off, was a valued friend and leader in Rivendale, to make enemies with him was to make enemies with one of the most influential families this side of Solomon's mountains. He had sent her to cement the relationship between Sena and Pallanen, and so she shall. She had planned this greeting days pryor, after he had left and had to ride for days in rain and mud to reach the front that should have taken only a day or two.

She waited, her eyes on his as he watched her the mare settled at her side and Raven held her ground, this would end here, or the offering would work and she would ride at his side.

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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2005, 01:53:54 PM »
Earendur watched her, he was beyond bribery, but he was also very hungry and after a second he agreed, taking the bread and wine, settling the wine bag over his saddle horn and waited for her to mount her horse and join him before he started forward once more, her men walking with them, only half had horses of their own. She rode at his side somehow, dispite the close quarters and they rode in near silents.

The food was delicious, still warm somehow and freash as he ate it quickly, drinking a small amount of the wine. His mare continued to prance, it was still bitterly cold and the snow was making the path hard passing, she wanted to run it. He held her in check thoug, insisting she listened to him rather then charge down the path. Once he had free reign he would allow her that pleasure, but for now he had no choice but to request she listen.

He didn't mind the need to remind her, what irked him was that Raven's mare walked silently and well behaved beside him not so much as placing a foot wrong. Dispite it, he was glad she was there, he was tired, going on no sleep and little rest, with her there he could relax a little and enjoy the now quiet of the forest. Somewhere near the falcon flew over them, watching the path ahead for danger and hunting in the silents of the midday air.

Earendur Pallanen

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« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2005, 08:53:50 AM »
Premission to use by all involved...

Earendur woke with a start, he haden't realised he had drifted off, his mount's steps lulling. He was still in the saddle, he had managed to forgo the embarassment, though how he was not sure. He straightened quickly in the saddle jerking the reigns slightly bringing the mare to a halt as she snorted in protest at his sudden move and the bay mare halted only one step after.

"Earendur? Problem?" Raven's voice was low as the elven male looked around then back at the troops, the majority of whom also seemed to have fallen asleep.

"No, its fine," he muttered and nudged the mare forward once more and Raven quickly moved to keep up her eyes on his tired form.

"You need rest Earendur," she pointed out.

"I can ride," he answered gruffly feeling her grin without seeing it, "Stop smiling Raven," he grumbled at her and looked at her when he felt the should of her mare hit his leg, seeing she had intentionally reigned over him, pushing her mare into his and he felt his coil under him, starting to prance again.

"You need rest," she stated again pushing her horse to meet his walking side by side once more, "Even Jade can't keep moving forever, and the horses behind you grow weariy, its getting cold and its getting dark, stop for the night," Raven pushed.

Earendur sighed, his horse snorting softly and he affectionatly slapped her neck, she had been trudging through thich snow all day, and he had made a promise and he finily nodded, "Alright, take the men to the closest clearing, I'll join you in a bit."

"Where are you going?" She asked watching as Earendur collected Jade under him.

"Scouting ahead," he answered a second before he released the mare, not waiting for her answer he let the mare leap forward, galloping down the path and over the rough ground as if it was nothing more then a perfect road.

Earendur Pallanen

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« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2005, 09:55:00 AM »
Earendur rode hard, as Jade covered the ground in fast long strides as they entered the pass to Gundor, his eyes serching the trail, something nagging him, deep in the back of his mind. He was still trying to figger it out when the snow seemed to burst up in front of them. Dispite a try to jump the sudden explosion of ice and snow Jade still felt her feet tangle in the ropes and she thundered down into a pile of flailing limbs, roaring as she came down on top of her rider.

Earendur felt the air rush from his lungs as the mare struggled on top of him rising and falling a couple of times before she managed to get her feet under her and rose. The elf gripped his saddle as the horse rose, falling down against her neck as the horse stood, trying to clear his vision as the mare roared and reared. Blinking Earendur looked around the horse as she was surrounded by a maruding pack of orcs.

The orc creatures were once believed to be decendents of th elven race, and sense the fall of their lord had fallen into hunting packs, like wolves they stalked the wood and mountain, slaughtring anything that fell into their traps for a quick meal, sometimes attacking each other in lean times. Earendur reached for his sword as the pack lunged at the mare, Jade striking out with her sharp hooves and nashing her teeth at anything in reach. Earendur felt his weight shift and yelled at the horse too late as she moved again and the saddle dropped out from under him.

The ground rushed up at him and a the air for a second time rushed from his lungs as the orcs split chasing the mare while the other half launched at the elf who realised he was all but unarmed, his sword on his horse, his bow on his back. With a yell Earendur kicked off the first attack, drawing a dagger from his side as he quickly jumped to his feet. He parried a blow from a spear shoved at him and again kicked out at the the attackers, hearing distantly his mare slam her back feet into an orc sckull as she fought her own battle.

Earendur pushed out at the group, slashing and striking out at every target who got close enough. He was almost back to his horse when he felt pain rip through his chest and everything around him seemed to go silent then a roar of victory from the orcs.

The elven male looked down at the spear buried in his chest as he felt his breath catch for the third time as he slowly sunk to his knees, his body not seeming to want to hear him. He tasted blood in his next breath, coughing as fluid filled his lungs covering his mouth. His hands shakily moved to the spear gripping the pole and started to push free the blade, the celebrating orcs not noticing as they were suddenly fighting amongst themselves about who would eat first.

He shoved hard on the spear forcing it free of his body, his hand moving to the wound and pressing there to try and stop the blood flow. Earendur struggled to stand, looking up in confusion as white and gray moved into his vision and he looked up into the armour covered face of his mare. Jade lowered her front end as the elf collapsed over her, struggling to get his leg over her back.

The mare stood in a rush and launched forward just as the orcs realised their prey was escaping. Roaring in anger they moved to give chase as Earendur slumped over his mounts neck, letting her chose the path as she lead the orcs through gullys over hills and back into the wood where they refused to fallow anyfarther, not even an orc was stupid enough to enter where elven lived.

Jade slowed, looking back o make sure they were not fallowing, then turned for the trail once more, her steps slow and careful as Earendur all but passed out on her back, his blood flowing freely over her armoured neck and shoulder as she made her way for the camp she knew would not be far, and only hoped her friend would survive the trip back as each breath cought in his throat with soft wet noises with each breath.

Earendur Pallanen

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« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2005, 10:27:22 AM »
Used with consent of all involved.

Pain, Earendur gasped awake, his voice crying out as he tried to sit up, restaining hands immidiatly cought his shoulders and pressed him into the cot, holding him tightly. "Be still," Raven's voice snapped, her voice strained, "you must be still," she hissed as a carafe was pressed to his lips, the sharp smell of alcohol assulting him before a sharp hiss word at his ear instructed him to drink.

Earendur choked down the foul liquid, coughing slightly as he gaged on it and the carafe was removed giving him the chance to draw a shaky breath. He groaned and cried out again as pain lanced his chest again and something was pushed between his teeth as he bit down on it, his hands fisted in pain as they continued to hold him still. He could hear words spoken but was in too much pain to hear the words.

Slowly the pain died some and he felt a heavy pressure on his chest before Raven started to stich his fleash, closing the gapping wound, her eyes on her work, her ears on his grunts of pain, she wasen't a healer, none of them were, but had she tried to get to one he surely would have died. Finily she dressed the wound and wrapped his ribs carefully and nodded to the elf at his side who offered the spirit to Earendur's lips once more.

He slowly accepted the drink again before it was once more taken from him and he was finily released to move, "Be still Earendur, try not to move," she spoke softly as he looked up at her and forced a smile.

"At least I know I'm not dead, your still hear," he grunted and she made a face.

"The wound hasen't improved your manner any," she growled as she stood, "ungreatful," she muttered as she felt the tent and he chuckled slightly, curling around the wound coughing and groaned, the movments making his chest sing in pain. He looked around as the others exited the tent as well leaving him to rest, and he began to wonder how he had gotten back, and where Jade was as he closed his eyes, letting sleep steal him from his pain.

Earendur Pallanen

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« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2005, 09:22:27 AM »
Earendur woke slowly, lifting his head to the feeling of movment under him and groaned softly as landscape was moving slowly passed him, his saddle warm under him, Jade's steps slow and careful a rider on either side of him made sure he had not fallen. It took a minute to realise his legs too had been lashed to the saddle to help keep him there and he looked at the men on either side of him as they both watched him to make sure he would beable to stay in the saddle on his own before moving their mounts away from his legs and allowed him to sit up fully.

Groaning he pressed his hand to the wound at his chest, feeling it pull and ache with his every breath. Looking around he immediatly recognised to the trail opening to Gondur, the huge city appearing ahead of them, the men behind him perking up at it sight. A sudden reminder to all involved whos war this really was as with shouts of glee they heeled their mounts hard for the city gates as the elven people reigned in their horses dancing as the heavier human mounts ripped passed them charging for home.

Earendur looked down the ranks to where Raven was sitting silently on her own mare, blending in with the rest of the group. He smiled softly looking to the city onmce more as the gates swung open wide, riders rushing out to greet the ones coming in. He waited until they were safely through the gate before turning Jade's nose for home, the line turning to fallow him, it haden't been his war, but he had done as he was told, now he thought silently to himself, he would head for his home and rest, many of those fallowing him would head for the sea to the west to leave this land forever, but he felt a sudden reasponsiblity to remain.

These people were not ready to fend for themselves, no he would remain and keep an eye on them, at least for now. Dispite the pain he heeled Jade into a lazy lope and headed for the forest once more.