The rumble turned into an uproar. Cries of injustice and premature laments filled the cavern. Mother's sobbed for their sons while ambitious, would-be heroes cheered for the prospect of adventure and glory. Jacoby looked left and watched Wil brooding, one hand clutched in white-knuckled grip on his dagger's leather hilt. He turned and left without a word, seeking solace from the commotion. Flustered and confused, Jacoby made to follow, but was halted by a deep-chested thunder.
And at once all was calm, the eight hundred and some-odd heads of the Nest all looking towards the dais. This time it was Elder Gama who spoke, a stout and stocky man of sixty years, with a broad, square jaw and broken nose. Some would say he appeared a fool in the feathered robes of the Wise, but never to his face.
Beneath his raiment, flesh was scarred and marked with tell-tale signs of combat. He was one of the only men in the Nest to have left the mountain to aid the Desert Kingdom in tumults of yesteryear and survived to speak of it. For this, as well as his commanding tone and strategic tendencies, the village had elected him a seat on the Wise Council of Elders.
"We have considered all ends. This is no border skirmish of lands leagues afar. Never before have we faced such a threat to our peace. Yes, we may withhold. Yes, we may strengthen our decaying barricades and have the higher ground if any foe should fall upon us. We do not lack for provisions to see us through a siege.
"Yet in the end, we will break. Armed with wood and flint and stone, hide and bone, we are no match for plate and steel. Believe me. The Legions of Sha number amongst the tens of thousands. Our boys will not want for protection. Best to take the Desert Queen's hand, than spurn her offer and risk the Scorpion's tail. The Elders have spoken. Harvest approaches and there is much to be done. We will await the recruiters and feast in their honor. Tend to your duties, we are done here."
In the span of a few short moments, The Nest had been dragged from isolation into the whirlpool of the world. Meekly, the crowd dispersed with red eyes and doom in their hearts.