General Alcorn’s force made ready to march before daybreak, striking tents and cinching up loads on wagons. The troops ate quickly and were bolstered by news of the impending arrival of the rest of the Tuskwater Dragoons, who were supposed to meet them today after assembling from across the realm. They should reach Silverstep late that day, or the next morning at the latest.
No one knew that the morning pickets hadn’t reported in before the clank and low rumble of an army about to move was matched by a rising howl from the east, as a great wind storm coalesced out of thin air in the morning calm, whipping through the army and blinding men with dust and debris, and blowing over many. Were it not for the roar of the wind the troops would have heard the screams and war whoops of barbarian horsemen quickly closing from the east, just as the sun rose over the Tors of Levenies in the distance, further blinding the men.
Not far behind the front ranks of the enemy cavalry galloped a single rider, given space all around by the Nomen, in both reverence and fear, given what they’d seen their Prophet do with her magic and how she was not bothered by collateral damage. The massive cat on which she rode bounded forward at a lazy pace, since it was so able to cover more ground than the Nomen horses.
The petite figure’s hair stood almost on end, stiffened by layers of lard and dye, and she squealed in delight as the moment of contact drew closer. Aside from her boots and riding gloves she was naked – and filthy. The elf was lost in a moment of pure warrior bliss, the only rational thought being the knowledge that she was about to restore balance to her lands.