Seated on a log by the coals of the fire, Xentril glanced over each of her sleeping companions as she kept the watch. Balestrider’s laborers were dim, blanket-covered lumps huddled around the second, larger pit of coals, watched over by Lorak. The lord himself and her warriors were closeby and she could hear their breathing. Having so many companions again made her nervous, but she had to admit to herself being somewhat comforted by their sleep noises. The bard even sounded musical in her sleep, her soft whistling snores seeming to play the melody that accompanied the rhythmic sounds of Cuinas’ breathing. Viktor muttered for a moment in a language she did not know, then rolled over and quieted.
She returned her watch to the night, as her hands moved over the edge of her axe, freshly honed. That knick had taken most of her watch to smooth out. Damned Troll bones are tough on the blade.
Lorak slide onto the log across from her and shook Viktor’s arm, waking him for the second watch. As he moved to wake Cuinas, Xentril halted him with a quick gesture.
“Let the girl sleep a while longer, I’ll take half her watch. She is not used to this life and is sleeping poorly. We will need her rested tomorrow.”
Lorak grunted, then took over the space as Viktor vacated it. The pale Karnathi nodded silently to her and left to watch over the laborers. He moved with a lethal grace that she admired, even having just been woken from a restless sleep.
We are still working out how to fight together, but we are becoming an effective warband. Each have our own strengths and are learning to use them together with a brutal efficiency. And each warrior’s strength complements another’s weakness. All my companions could be worthy of their own inner dragon – the dark protector, the intuit seer, the silent guide, and the teller of tales.
She still thought like a leader sometimes, though she knew she was unfit for the honor. She was a mindless killer now, dishonored and unable to control her rage. Her life was spoken for by the dragon below, unless she could somehow redeem herself. But her shame was so great, the lives she had taken could never be replaced. The only way she knew to redeem her honor, to reclaim her place among her clan, was to die in battle. For she was a kinslayer.