Kudzu #8 – Origins of Legends

His mentor did not look entirely comfortable with the eerie appearance of the dummies, but was making an attempt to hide it. It quickly turned out, however, that her discomfort was no hindrance to her accuracy. In the process of showing Dohar how to handle the composite bow effectively, the female mentor put arrow after arrow into the dummy’s center mass and ‘head’. Handling the bow and explaining it to her pupil seemed to calm her down, so when Dohar’s turn to fire came around, she seemed entirely unfazed by the shaped targets. He was unsure whether to put it down to effective tutelage or natural talent, but Dohar’s own accuracy could not be scoffed at. Lyranna seemed delighted, and even the silent captain Larnok seemed mildly impressed. Lyranna had fired all her arrows at a different target, so all the arrows bristling from the dummy’s bark-like hide were all his, but then again, so were the few in the brush behind it. Dohar sighed and nocked another arrow, but found that he could not focus on the target. An oppressive silence had fallen over the clearing, and the warden captain had hefted his mallet from the ground, though Lyranna seemed oblivious to the change in atmosphere. When Dohar lowered the bow, she gave him a confused look. When he then indicated Larnok’s stance with a nod of his head, she seemed to catch the drift. By now, another change had happened in the little clearing. A smell was coming in from the east, a smell Dohar was not familiar with, though it had hints of seawater. The warden captain, however, seemed to know it very well, for he grabbed a bone-horn from his belt and blew a note back towards the settlement. “Brine and bother. That smell only heralds one thing.” Larnok turned back towards them. The expression on his face was that of a commander preparing for battle. “Risen. Servants of a dragon. They must’ve pushed through the perimeter. Lyranna, you need to get your charge back to the settlement, I have my duties to attend.” Dohar barely heard half of what the captain had said. When he heard the word ‘dragon’, he remembered the minions he had fought in his dream. Whatever these Risen were, he knew he could not run from them if he wanted to know more about the meaning of his Dream. So before Lyranna could say a word, Dohar held up a hand to silence her. “I want to help. If the title of ‘Valiant’ is not meaningless, I cannot run from this!” The oppressive silence continued for a moment before Larnok turned back around to look him in the eye. He held the captain’s glare for a moment before Larnok turned to Lyranna. “I trust you do not wish to stay as well?” Her gaze flickered back and forth between him and the captain before pleading a silent no. Larnok pointed back towards the cluster of plantations in response. “Go back into the settlement, follow the flow of villagers.” Lyranna nodded thankfully before almost running back towards the center of the farm. By now a few other Wardens had arrived in the clearing, all armed with a bow and a quiver of arrows, along with a sword belted at their hip. A few glanced questioningly at the largely unarmed stranger in their midst, but none ignored the crisp orders given by the captain. 2 Wardens went silently into the brush to scout ahead, while the rest went around the brush. Given his lack of both training and experience, Dohar was woefully confused as to what to do with himself, so decided to hang close to the captain.

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