Love and Duty 7: Olive Branch

Lion Age Spring 604

The knight strode out of the meeting hall, head high observing the surrounding with one hand resting on one of a pair of sheathed swords. Once fully clear of the shadow cast by the building, she whistles a few precise notes. Moments later, ten rugged looking men and women with bows and knives move out of the shadows before taking up positions around her.

The small group winds their way through the city taking multiple back alleys and switchbacks. As they progress through the city, additional men and women join the small procession until they make 20. A final women joins their group prior to leaving the city proper.

Once safely within the forest-line outside the city a final group of 10 joins.A man in this final group smiles at the knight. “As you appear unhurried Dana Isabella, I assume the meeting went well?”

Isabella takes the reins of her war horse, Serena, from one of the Spotters and begins leading her alongside the man. “It went as well as one could expect Captain Franco. We will be striking camp to deploy to the Bloodfields to somehow try and hold it potentially against both Orcs and Kuaralites.” She shakes her head, “If we are not betrayed and are both provisioned and supported with the additional troops promised from Heidrich and Trakt and we somehow we survive any battles, your Corsairs are to to return the swords to the city.” She pauses in speaking but keeps walking while she waits for the inevitable.

It only takes a few moments before the quiet of the forest is interrupted by every curse imagined by soldiers and pirates both. After a few loud minutes have passed, “Dana, we can take that dragon’s city and raid all of their parcel’s like you suggested when they first threatened to starve us out. How can you let them insult House Scordato in…..” The man stops mid sentence as he finds himself face to face with an increasingly too common look of rage in his commander’s eyes as of late. Meanwhile, the rest of the Spotters have moved, as if my magic, away from the captain.

“You would do well to remember what happened to your predecessor captain. Our position is tenuous and you know it.” Her voice raises in volume, “Si, I know we could plow through the flimsy defenses that House Drake has stationed within Silbren to obtain rations while our multiple scouting forces raid the countryside.” Again the volume increases as her hand reaches for a short blade strapped to the small of her back. “I HAVE LITTLE INTEREST IN COMMITTING AN ACT THAT SOME MIGHT CONSIDER TREASON WHEN AN OLIVE BRANCH HAS BEEN OFFERED.” The blade slips free and Franco’s eyes go wide with fear as he watches the knight swiftly cut her own wrist before returning the blade to its home.

Isabella closes her eyes and breathes deeply for a feel moments before holding her arm out for one of the soldiers to begin applying fresh bandages to stem the bleeding. “Graci, Pippo. As for the honor of the house, I have arranged a duel between myself and the Grafin to be held if we survive the blood fields.”

Captain Franco chokes out a nervous laugh, “I guess I will having to make a wager soon. May House Scordato always be blessed in the grace of God.”

Isabella turns away and again begins the long trek again to the Black Tower, “Yes captain, may House Scordato always flourish.”

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