Rindar's answer to Lord Marcutti's Request
Rindar sat on an outcrop of a ridge overlooking the Buffalo Encampment. He could see far below where the young boys were confined and thought his plan through for one last time.
It was his own entire fault that he had gotten into this predicament. He had let Lord Marcutti get the better of his good sense. There had been no need for him to step forward in defense of the young boy who was certain to be taken early in the chase. It got him banished from the tribe when he killed one of the trackers and a gamekeeper. Now they were back and had demanded his head in payment for his misdeeds. That or ten you men would be used as the bill payer.
He had been summoned by the elders to present himself. He chose to appear an hour before dusk hopefully taking the Wardarians by surprise.
He would make his presence known and in the confusion the captives would be spirited to safety. Then he would run for his life. Several of his friends and relatives of the children had agreed to secure the gate and create impediments within the camp that would slow the response. He would flee through a hole in the fence and at get a jump on those taking up the chase. Outside, along the avenue of his flight he had prepositioned weapons and other essentials he would need to stay alive.
He was early and he sat clearing is mind. He had been taught by his father how to chant and the proper way of communing with the Spirit Gods. He began the process by reducing his thoughts to short phrases that had meter and rhyme.
Give me strength great fathers, he intoned in a low voice. Let me know thy will. Let peace abide the life force, of those I have to kill. Light my path and guide the aim, of arrow axe and blade. May actions show my honor, a warrior unafraid.
He thought back to the day he had first seen Volusia fleeing with her two children.
The gift that you entrusted, I sing to you my praise. Cherished recollections, I’ll cherish all my days. A happiness and wonder came to fill my life. And boundless is my gratitude for daughter, son and wife.
He recalled lying in Volusia’s arms.
My life is lived for having known the pleasures that we shared. When cloudy skies cracked a beam when sunshine briefly dared… To give a spark to tinder, a sinking man a rope and helpless desperation some vestige of a hope. He took a deep breath and slowly let it out…
Regardless what the future holds, I hand my soul to you. Take it, make it, break it, and give destiny her due. Give wisdom opportunity and power to my hands. As tomorrow paints the future in blood upon the sands.
He could see Lord Marcutti standing down there pacing next to the corral. There were twenty War Horses in the enclosure and they weren’t plains ponies. BASTARD! He muttered….WHY ME? Why is my life always called into the reckoning. How many will I kill before somebody gets lucky and I miss a stride…. Juke left instead of right?
He took a deep breath and slide off his perch and moved silently among the bristly sage. Forty- five minutes until dusk. In fifteen I’ll put the plan into motion. As he moved closer he was envisioning the forces he was about to set in motion..
I’ll get a free shot… Who should I take with it? He smiled… and drew back.
At fifty paces an arrow still moves with a maddening slowness. A warrior stepped unexpectedly forward and took the shaft through the neck.
Bad beginning, he muttered, Jumping up on the well. He made eye contact with Marcutti and shook his fist… Then jumped down sprinting down the route of withdrawl. The surprise of his sudden appearance left the Lord in a state of astonishment. He knew for certainty who that arrow had been intended for, and only the luckiest of interventions spared him the consequence. But for the intervention of a kind fate it would be his life now leaching out onto the ground. For an instant he felt his vulnerability and then cried out…
”There he is …Take him!”
However the opportunity was fleeting as the words left his mouth. It wasn’t that they were taken completely unawares… Although they had expected him to appear at the appointed hour, they had expected a quiet and passive surrender. Killing one of his men was not something the Great Lord had anticipated. It had never happened before and who would have believed a savage would dare such an act?
Cries went up…."I see him, there he goes…" and the chase began.
At the hole in the fence, Rindar squirmed through just as a warrior rushed up. He was winded from the exertion…. Expecting no offensive response. He lunged with his sword. Rindar notched an arrow and shot him through the chest.
The soldier gasped crying out and Rindar fled down the outer perimeter of the huts. He had a stone axe positioned by the edge of one of the dwellings and paused catching his breath. Soon he heard the thunder of a war horse racing along the perimeter. He pushed a cart out into the ally as a rider rounded the corner.
The horse reared and Rindar stepped forward swinging the battle axe in a lateral arc. It slammed into the rider’s thigh and the bone cracked. There came an excruciating cry of pain as he dragged his advisory from the saddle and finished him with a blow to the head.
The sun had set and darkness was falling. He could hear the shouts and sounds of confusion as horses were readied and the pursuit organized. He threw himself into the saddle and rode out of the village…into the Rim Lands.