Kane’s fury was still in full flow through his veins as he mercilessly cut down a hapless sapling that happened to be in his way as he raced through the Silvor Forest. “When I get my hands on the bastards who had the gall to attack us, I will make death does not come easily,” he muttered darkly. He made his way to the Dynio clan’s temporary campground, where the survivors of the attack had gathered and were recovering. The mysterious invaders had retreated soon after Kane and the warriors in his group had arrived to help change the tides. Kane had only managed to charge in and take out a couple of them before one of the leaders barked out an order in that bizarre language and all of the warriors immediately pulled out. The militant efficacy in their actions reminded them of the Drakos-El nutjobs, except for that Metal magic they were packing.
Kane arrived at the camp to see sombrous activity. The medical team was moving around treating the multitude of wounds that had been sustained. Elsewhere, the families that had been fragmented by the loss of love ones where performing the clan’s rites of mourning, beseeching their ancestors to welcome the dead into their fold. Kazeus growled again in helpless frustration and stalked over to the tent of the Dynio cheiftan. “Stormstiker, reporting in, o Grand Clan-Headsman,” he said. A hand shot out of the folds of the tent and yanked Kane in by his vest. Kane felt a rap to the back of his skull.
“I’ve told you a thousand times Dybel; it’s Grand Clan-Headmistress,” a voice said curtly. Kane regained his balance and stood up.
“Heh, it must have slipped my mind again, Draynar,” he said smirking. In front of him stood a massive Amazonian warrior, just slightly taller than Kane’s own formidable frame. She had an athletic body, cords of sinew woven together into a sturdy but unbulky frame. Her Silvery hair tied into a solid practical braid framed the left side of her face. Frosty blue eyes which brooked no nonsense bored down on Kane.
“Damn it Kane,” the woman growled. “This isn’t the time for levity. Or have you already forgotten what’s happened?” Kane’s grin was wiped from his face in an instant.
“Watch yourself Gelisse. I haven’t forgotten anything,” he snarled. “Especially not the loss of a quarter of our tribe. But one of us needs to keep a little bit of damn positivity around here, or the clan’s just sink into the despair.” Gelisse’s face softened.
“You’re right; it’s just been a really rough time trying to hold the clan together. Anyway, you’ve finished scouting the perimeter?” Kane nodded.
“Yeah, those bastards moved really quick, and they weren’t slouches at hiding their tracks either. Still, I managed to find their trail. It looks like they hightailed it to the south, and they aren’t slowing down either.” He pointed to a map of the area resting on a makeshift desk. Gelisse nodded.
“I see. They came soon after you and your troop left to attack the Drakos-El, so we can assume they were watching and waiting for a chance to strike. Kane slammed his hand on the table.
“Damn it! First they strike when our backs were turned, then they run away as soon as the battle swings the other way. And yet for all of their cowardly tricks, they still manage to kill more than forty clan members. What the hell was this even for?”
“Calm yourself Kane. It won’t do us any good to lose ourselves in anger over enemies out of our reach. We need to focus on recovering for now,” Gelisse reminded him. Kane glared at her for a moment until he was forced to look away by the frigid, poignant stare she levied at him. He took a deep breath and sighed.
“Fine; I guess you’re right. No point in getting angry at people I can’t attack now.” The corners of Gelisse’s mouth twitched into a smirk.
“Of course I’m right, Dybel. That’s why I’m the clan’s leader after all,” she said with a hint of smugness. Kane resisted the urge to roll his eyes.
“I really should be used to this after knowing her for so long,” he thought to himself. “So what now then, Clan-Headsman Draynar?” Gelisse’s smirk vanished as she glared at Kane for a moment before deciding to ignore his slight. She looked at the map again.
“You said they weren’t slowing down?”
“No. I could see where they would stop and take short breaks, but they were definitely booking it.” Gelisse stared at the chart intensely.
“If they’re moving like that…then they might be going to report their findings. This was probably just an advance ambush party meant to test our warriors. The main force is probably not too far behind since they’re traveling so quickly.” Kane’s eyes widened.
“Wait, you think we’re gonna have even more of those bastards to deal with?” Gelisse nodded grimly.
“It’s just a hunch, but it’s the only reason they’d retreat so quickly. They were only meant to test the waters.” Kane grinned savagely.
“Good, then we can start getting preparing to counterattack those bastards.”
“No,” Gelisse interrupted. “We’re not going to stay here. We’re going to gather up the rest of the tribe and move to Kruegr.”
“Are you crazy?!? If those bastards are coming back, we can’t just scurry away like frightened mice!”
“So you’d rather drag all of the wounded into a battle with an even bigger group of these unknowns, Dybel?” Gelisse stated more than questioned. Kane’s shoulders slumped as he realized the implications. The clan was in no shape at the moment to take another assault, especially if the previous one was only an advance party.
“No, I guess not. Damn it, I just can’t let those bastards get off scot free.” Gelisse shook her head.
“I only want to get the wounded and non-combatants out of the way,” she said sternly. The temperature in the room dropped dramatically. Kane saw his hot breath faze out into the frigid atmosphere within the tent. Gelisse’s eyes glowed with an ethereal fury. “Make no mistake Kane; once we’ve made sure the clan is safe…” In one swift motion Gelisse grabbed the famed halberd of the Draynar, Tundyr and slammed its head into the ground. Frost instantly spread from its tip. “I will personally lead every able warrior, and we will come back here and reveal to those invaders why no one is allowed to fuck with the Dynio clan. Our lost clansmen will have a reckoning for their lives.” Kane couldn’t help but be awed by the fierce figure cut by the woman he’d known for most of his life.
“I’ve got to admit, Gelisse,” he said crossing his arms, “when you look this good, it makes me think you really are gonna be an amazing clan leader.” Gelisse rolled her eyes and looked away.
“Your flattery is meaningless Dybel,” she said flatly. For a moment Kane swore he saw a rosy hue cross Gelisse’s cheeks, but wrote it off as a trick of the light.
“I mean, Gelisse, blushing? Never in a million years,” he thought to himself.
“So Dybel, since we need to make sure we’re fully prepared to move, we should take some time and run through all of the logistics together,” Gelisse suggested with a hint of longing which Kane missed.
“Nah, I’m still too riled up. No way am I going to sit here with just you for a couple hours.” The withering glare Gelisse shot him bewildered the fighter.
“If you still have so much energy even after following the intruders,” she snapped icily, “why don’t you make yourself useful and take a couple of your men to scout out the path ahead to Kruegr?” Kane looked confused.
“There’s no reason to scout ahead. The bastards went the other way.”
“Just do it. There’s no reason to take any chances with the condition the clan is in.” Kane held up his hands in surrender. He was never going to understand women and their tempers.
“Alright, alright already. Don’t want to court danger and all that.” He turned away and left the tent. As he exited he thought he head Giselle mutter something like,
“That’s not who you should be courting.” Kane played it off as just her ruminations and went to round up a couple of his warriors.
"I swear, I'm never going to understand women," he thought to himself.