Sarian tightened the orange scarf around his neck against the cold. ”Good to see that my memory is still functional, even at my age.”

”Indeed. You have done well to lead us this far.” Jace replied, glancing to his left to see his lieutenant, Halbard, was also waiting next to him. All of their soldiers had passed now, cautiously marching through the silent forest. ”Ser guide, if you would lead the soldiers to the entrance you found, I need a word with my lieutenant.”

The clanner nodded, his gold ear-ornaments jangling. ”You’re the one hoofing the bill.” He stomped off, leaving the 2 officers alone on the rise overlooking the broken village.

Halbard leaned in, trying to be subtle through the layers of metal armour. ”Do we truly trust him?”

While the acoustics of the armour made private discussions difficult, he had long hours of practice from serving in the capital(name?). ”It matters not. Our Lord trusts him to fulfil his end of the deal. He will lead us to our destination, and we will return to Calimdar as heroes.”

The entrance was one of the large wooden gates. Once it had been opened wide, but the passage of time had weakened the hinges on the doors, causing one of them to lean at an awkward angle into the doorway. The remaining space was still wide enough for two soldiers to walk side by side. Halbard went in first along with a spear, then the troop slowly marched through, their clanner-guide following the middle in and Jace following the rearguard. Inside the settlement was an eerie place. Once full of the vim and vigor of life, now it was empty, as barren as the forest outside. The houses and workshops were in various states of disrepair, with none seemingly beyond saving. If Calimdar acted quickly, this village might yet house their people again. After half an hour of careful progress through the streets, they arrived at the central structure; the citadel. Most villages from before the Reincarnation had a central structure, made to house the knights when they were not in the field. According to his Lord, Jace would find their objective in the central chamber of the citadel.

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