Chapter 105 = Convergence
Disclaimer: All characters here are of my own invention, but the original idea of Yoshies, Birdos, etcetera, are copyright of Nintendo, and I make no money from writing this.
35th of Eira, CD 2156; Field Headquarters of the Dragon Slayers
Bent over a folding table in his tent, the new captain of the Dragon Slayers looked up to the messenger. He was handed a bound scroll of paper with a salute, then left to read it on his own.
Strictly Confidential -- Royal Order
Oracles have observed your latest raid was unsuccessful as the targeted village was evacuated before you arrived; investigate why.
Corvan has fallen. Our secret weapon has failed, and ‘his’ condition is currently unknown. Yoshian army is on the move to Sansata. Refer to page 2 for details of the Military Advisor’s plan.
Tactics Division notes that Yoshian commanders, this one no exception, frequently fight in front lines. However, their armour is no different than the other soldiers’. Look for their royal sword, refer to page 3 for sketch from records. After issuing orders return immediately to the palace by his Majesty’s order. You are needed to aid in the recording of research from the material found on your old sword.
May your enemies fall before our might.
The captain went on to read the other three pages rolled up, summoning the second-in-command.
“Are we moving out, sir?” he inquired.
“Not just yet.” The captain replied with a sly grin. He was much better at this sort of thing when he had had enough sleep. “There’s a change of plan…”
Field Headquarters of the Yoshian Army
The Baron looked up from the folding table around which he and his advisors were standing, taking a rolled-up wad of Vaell from the messenger. “Thank you.” He replied, but couldn’t find the energy to put feeling into his voice, dreading the news that might be within the scrolls.
To his Lordship, Baron Martání Taskolenníya
From the Royal Oracles:
The Dragon Slayers are stationed north of Sansata. They have not moved since their attack on Canamiri. Oddly enough the town was completely evacuated before the attack and the refugees are moving to Sansata. It seems they were warned of the attack somehow; we are investigating still.
We have been detecting very strong fluctuations of ethereal energy from the mountains to the southwest. Mostly psionic in nature, they are luckily not nearly as powerful, frequent, or concentrated as those of three centuries ago when Sévar fought against the forces of Klashkna, but are still strange.
There is a lot of movement in Sansata; they know we are coming. However, we are unable at this time to discern what their actions are.
May our sight be blessed by Miyala to aid your forces.
From the General’s Advisors:
After liberating Corvan, we have had reinforcements join us from the city. Many of the medics from the University have aided us, as well as students from other professions, though some stayed behind. We have been able to outfit them with weapons and armour taken from the city guards. Some of the lower members of the Assassin’s Guild have joined us as well.
Some interesting additions include two vampires who claim to have left the Assassin’s Guild who seem to have an egg, and a priest with a hatchling who wishes to be your spiritual advisor, should you require his aid – he says you talked to him before.
Our Prisoner Of War is still using the most colourful language we have ever heard when we remove his gag. He only shuts up to eat, and does so grudgingly. We wished to leave him behind in prison, but it seems that the prison was destroyed in an explosion earlier this month. Details are still sketchy; ask the Oracles.
May Laryshka give us her aid in our time of need.
Royal Military Advisors
The Baron placed the scrolls flat on the table so the others could see. “I’d like those two vampires brought to me. The rest of you, keep planning out strategies to take Sansata. That castle close to it is our major problem.”
“I wouldn’t count on that.” A voice said. Skafria stepped into the tent, closely followed by Tsi-Lau, who was holding their egg. “I can personally testify that that castle is empty… as can my mate.”
The Baron paused for a moment. “How long have you been listening?”
“Long enough.” Tsi-Lau said briskly. “We were both at that castle when its lord died and we saw the castle empty when we left.”
“When you left? Why did you stay so long?”
Skafria folded his arms. “Because we died there.”
An uneasy silence filled the tent as Skafria’s tongue ran over his fangs once. “There was a third… my friend… but I don’t know where he is. No matter. That city is a pit, so don’t worry about damaging it. And that castle ought to still be abandoned. Not to mention its treasure vaults should still be full…”
“Gold and jewels are no use to us right now,” Replied the Baron, “We need to take hold of the city with minimal casualties.”
“We’re still three days’ march away from Sansata.” Skafria explained. “You have plenty of time to prepare… so listen to us.”
Tsi-Lau spoke up. “We can get in there at night with no problem. They can’t hurt us and we can take over the gates to let you in. Once you’re inside it’ll be easy to take over, same as with Corvan – Sansata’s walls are strong but their only real defence.”
“However…” Skafria continued, “We need a few things from you.”
The Baron’s gaze did not avert itself from Skafria’s fangs. “Need I guess?”
The blue vampire chuckled. “That’s one thing. There’s another, only for the time we are away…” He reached over and gently patted the surface of the spotted eggshell to make his point.
“S-So that’s yours, then?” An advisor asked, staring in deep curiosity.
Tsi-Lau smiled faintly, dipping her head to hide it. “Yes, it’s ours. We want to do our part to make sure it grows up in a world where it won’t have to know what war looks like.”
36th of Eira, CD 2159; Winged Ones’ Aerie
At the crack of dawn, Darkmark landed on the platform just outside the Aerie, his boots making a soft ‘scrunch’ in the snow piled up there. So far above ground, there weren’t any guards to be seen, and he made his way inside, kicking snow from his boots after passing through the outermost curtains.
Peering into some of the rooms as he walked through the corridors, he saw a much different sight to the one he had last known; no longer were there shivering Yoshies and crying hatchlings trying to ignore their hunger, but families of Winged Ones with plates of food, uncharacteristically savouring every morsel. The only ones in the corridors were rationing out the precious food as they went along, restraining themselves from diving into the bags of food they carried and gorging themselves upon it.
Finally Darkmark passed the only guarded room in the entire Aerie; a store-room with curtains over it to keep the cold in; last he had seen, it was where the medicinal herbs were stored. The two spear-carrying winged ones looked at him in faint recognition, but blocked the doorway immediately, the first one, a subdued yellow, speaking to him.
“Sorry, outsider, but this is ours… it’s been so long since we had enough to go around, and we don’t want to run out before we have to.”
“I, ah, had no intention of taking any.” Darkmark said, ignoring how tasty the food had looked compared to his preserved rations. “But where…?”
The other one spoke up, a greenish female. “We were able to raid a trading caravan a while ago. We’re not proud of what we did…” She waved her hand vaguely around the corridors, “But we’re able to feed ourselves, and that’s the important thing. We don’t think anyone would steal out of greed, but many of us have been short on food for so long, certain desires might overtake us…”
“I see.” Darkmark muttered, nodding. “I’m looking for, uh…” After racking his brains for a moment, he came up with the name. “Karva?”
“I thought you looked familiar!” The first exclaimed, smiling brightly. “Are you really the saviour?”
“Yes.” Darkmark replied without hesitation, without doubt. “I am.”
He was pointed further down the corridor and seen off with a smile and a wave. Following the directions, he came to a chamber with the Winged One he was looking for, along with the priest he had seen, and…
“Isn’t it beautiful?” Karva whispered softly, running his fingers over the surface of an egg on the bed, the spots upon it a bright orange.
“You keep saying that…” Marynn murmured, the two of them sitting on the bed with the egg between them. “But you’re right, of course…”
Darkmark coughed politely, immediately gaining the attention of Karva, though his hand did not move from the egg. “Is… is that you, Saviour?”
With a nod, Darkmark entered the room, stepping close. “I wish I could be here under better circumstances, but I need your help… not just yours, but the whole Aerie’s… war has broken out in the inhabited lands.”
“So it happened…” Karva muttered distractedly, dipping his head. “Perhaps if you had come sooner, but now…” He looked to the egg, leaning and putting his arms around it. “Not now… I have responsibilities now…”
“I understand.” Darkmark said patiently. “But are there others?”
Marynn gave him a nod. “We’ll see what we can do. Some won’t want to fight, but others will answer a call for help from our brethren. You need to talk to our leader…”
After a little bit of idle talk, Darkmark left and started to search for the Aerie leader. I just need to gather some reinforcements… and then I’m going to come and help put an end to this war before it can get a chance to truly begin.
I’m going to face my destiny with the help of some allies…
To be continued…