Unclear Visions: Part 14Someone had done a real number on this caravan. The wagons had been overturned, mauled and mangled. Items and keepsakes lay strewn about the ground, each one hastily searched and just as hastily discarded. Dead bodies, still warm, of the human variety lay everywhere. Much of the scene had been hastily burned.Cedric realized the scope of the devastation instantly. Had the bandits and marauders become so bold as to strike this close to Morgard? His teeth ground together at the answer.The snapping of foliage brushed his ear. He snapped about to face the source of the noise, one hand darting towards the short sword at his side. At least Catherine hadn't left him entirely defenseless, the wry part of his mind noted.A moan came from the thicket. He relaxed ever so slightly. That was the sound of an injured, not someone looking to pick a fight. He moved forward, seeking the origin of the sounds. It didn't take him but a moment to find a strapping young woman sprawled out in the underbrush.
Unclear Visions -- Part 13“Hard to believe that so many of the beast-kin could be pushed out of their home. If they'd united, the entire city would have crumbled under their feet.” Rosewood observed wryly.“And then there wouldn't have been a city to in which to live.” Robert said.“Point.”The two continued to make a large circle around their makeshift refugee camp. It was a patrol and tour rolled into one. The bowman wanted to make certain that everything was secure; in the process he pointed out different wagons of interest to the bear. Rosewood studied everything with an expert eye. The more she saw the less her good humor remained.“Morgard's been heading down this path for a long time.” Robert continued. “King Allan died young, leaving his young prince the throne. You can't have a ten-year-old as ruler so a few regents were appointed to keep the peace of the interim.”“And I'm guessing that worked out really well.” Rosewood's voice dr
Unclear Visions -- Part 12Finally, something to alleviate her boredom! Distant as the distraction was, it was still very much welcome. Rosewood hastened her leisurely walk into a brisk trot, eager to find the source of this new amusement.A short distance away, the unmistakable plume of murky smoke broke the skyline. Where there was smoke, there was fire. Where there was fire, there was usually people. Where there were people, there was an end to the endless drudgery of the Pallmoor Woods. Oh, they were nice enough as far as woods go. But the whole forest monotony was getting to her. As was the color green; green had never been her color and she was far sick of it.After so many days traveling down the road alone, it would be good to see another person: beast-kin, human or otherwise.Her jog lasted for several minutes; all throughout Rosewood kept her eyes on that column of smoke. It strengthened as she drew closer, transforming from a thin gray whisp into a thick, black tower that rose into the heavens. Eventu
Unclear Visions-- Part 11The jostling of the wagon did not aid the growing weight of realization on Cedric's chest. Every bump and dip brought new awareness of what he had just done and what it now meant for him. He had broken his sworn oath of loyalty, turned his back on Morgard in its hour of need, and become a master hypocrite.He could have done more. He should have done more. He was blind, not mute. He could have still spoken to the men and the Council. He could have consoled his troops. He could have combated Rathan's evil and turned back the tide of public opinion. But, he hadn't. Instead he had remained in bed like an invalid and wallowed in his own grief as a pig did in mud.Lara. Aside from those fleeting moments of therapy and distraction, he missed her terribly. His earlier words to Thomas came back to him. He sighed. How empty and meaningless they now sounded. Correction: they had always been. They were but weak excuses, a thin veneer of insulation to shield his anger and rage from Thomas and Cath
Unclear Visions -- Part 10From the tower window, Rathan peered at the rabble far below him. What with their angry shouting and burning torches, he found the angry mob scene much too cliché for his tastes. Did not anyone have any sense of originality any more? Still, his whole orchestration had worked marvelously, there was no denying that fact.He turned away from the window and back to his stately, ornate desk. It brushed his mind that soon he would transcend this dreary office and move on to a more stately set of quarters befit a king. The thought brought a smile to his face.A knocking sound on the door wiped the grin from his lips. While he was fairly certain that his spies had stirred up the populace against Cedric only, he would do well to be cautious. One didn't trust what one could not fully control, and no one could ever claim to fully control the machinations of a population out for blood. He stepped behind his desk, opened a drawer, and laid his hand on the stock of the contained crossbow. The