Devlin spent some time helping his crew with the ship; he figured an active mind was better than an apathetic one. He gave some quick orders to his squire Robin of House Bier whom he had allowed a few days free to roam the castle and returned to helping. Even so, he couldn’t stope the thoughts drifting into his mind.
                Yet what he thought surprised him. When thinking about the tournament it filled him with an anticipation that had not been present within him since before his Captain's death.
                A year ago, young Captain Damyen had been killed in battle, Damyen was family by marriage. As the last King had died nearly a year ago, he had returned home during the peace-tim with the Barbarans to grieve with his own family. Devlin's own father had not grieved at all beyond courtesy, but he had.
                The bond created in war was a powerful thing, and they had been close.
                He had tried to travel to Ascocen for the funeral, Lord Damyen, the father of his Captain, had  not allowed him to pay his respects at Ascocen. Besides that, he had been disappointed to find his sister had been away, celebrating her new marriage in the fabled city of Rosenfield in the more distant south.
                Outside Ascocen, he had met with Lord Damyen and the two had not gotten along too well.
                Devlin had been the squire to Lord Damyen’s son for a year when he first got to the war, but he had proven his ability, and King Leon had knighted him on the battlefield and made him a Sergeant of the army. The youngest Knight in living memory, it was said.
                Devlin was fitted with plate armour and a green gambeson emblazoned with the Dray insignia just as his shield was and the armoured palomino warhorse he now rode. It had felt good to bear the insignia of his own house instead of the Drayvon one. He still fought under Damyen, of course, him being the Captain of the Royal Army of Ascocenda, but now he could sit on Damyen’s war councils and his voice would be heard. Even if his Captain still called him squire.
                Then the day had come.
                The scouts had previously reported a heavy Barbaran presence in the area, two hadn’t returned.
                One of the knights suggested a retreat; another knight suggested that they move to join forces with Captain Garrett Callister who was reported to be in the area and then proceed the attack.
                Devlin knew Damyen better however and their minds were one and the same.
                Devlin spoke up. He’d suggested they travel up the Slogland, keep to the highest points and goad the Barbarans into an attack.
                It wasn’t an attack without good cause. The scouts had also reported that a senior Warchief was amongst that camp. If they could capture him, they could use him as a bargaining chip, interrogate him for knowledge and effectively weaken the enemy. If they waited, he might have been joined by a greater force or retreated or even taken them unawares. It was reported the numbers were with them too, three Louenans for every Barbaran.
                The first Knight called it brash; the second called it reckless glory-seeking.
                He retorted, stating that the side which took the biggest risks was more likely to win the war.
                The argument had lasted hours until Damyen had put an end to the debate. They were going to attack.

The End

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