The breeze picks up giving warning of a coming storm. Two figures stand around a recently dug grave. Each one takes turns placing a stone and mutter soft prayers. A large man kneels down picking up a small stone. As a young girl continue places large pebbles tears run down each of their faces. As the sky begins to open releasing the start of a serious thunder storm. As the drops fall on the large mans head it rolls around the side of his face; clearing away a small amount of blood. He stands once the finally stone is placed he then stands and looks down.
Argos,”In life you make your way forward and the deeds you do echo in the hearts of those you have effected. Rebecca, thank you for bringing us together…You kept us safe and I am sorry I could not have done the same for you.” The tall man fights back his rage and tears standing firm. He turns to the girl placing his huge hands gently on the outside shoulder of the young lady. The man his wearing a full bronze suit of armor made extra thick. On his back rests a large custom double sided battle ace. Though to a normal man this armor would make most unable to move let alone be effective in combat. Though it seems not to limit this mans abilities.
The one girl was wearing a worn light blue tanned leather armor and a thin brown blanket over her shoulders. Her black hair was soaked and dropping blood stained water drops of its ends. Her fire like orange eyes looked down at the grave as she sighs. Turning she begins to walk back out to the battle field. As she makes her way across the field toward the town in the distance.
Agros Shouts;” Wait up Ash,”
Ash responds in a sad yet harsh tone,” I’ll be back at the tavern when you two finish up!”
Ash continues to head off ahead as Agros looks up to the sky at the rain. Argos thinks about the battle and his actions during it; trying to discover a way that he could have changed this outcome. Argos remains still; staring up at the sky as the rain begins to pour down at a heavier pace. Once Ash is out of sight and the rain covers his words he begins to speak all the while looking towards the sky.
Argos in a defeated voice speaks,” Zues….Ares…Why do you always test me. the battle may have been won but the war is lost. The hoard will return tomorrow and we haven’t the man power to defend the villages any longer. I beg you send us aid, we have lost many in our cause..I’ve dug too many graves….How many more will you let the darkness claim before you help. He slams his fist into a tree causing the tree to split in half as he fights back his rage. He exhales deeply then turns and heads down the path to the tavern.
By the time he arrives the sky is nothing but black storm clouds and the rain has washed the blood from the bodies on the battle field. Creating bloody puddles along the roads edge. He opens the door to the tavern Ash sits dry as can be no where near the fire. Many of the injured remain drinking to their wounds won they still feel defeated. Knowing the last wave has not arrived and will be there by dawn.
Everyone remains soaked besides Ash and one other man wearing a tan cloak. The man also had no signs of blood or battle marks. The stranger’s back remains to Argos as water drips off off his armor all over the damp door way.
Ash now looking at Argos now changes to worried in an instant.
Agros dead lines for the man sitting at the bar in the tan cloak. Ash manages to get in front of him and grabs onto one leg doing nothing to hinder his movements. Argos reaches out and grabs the man by the shoulder and spins him around to face him knocking off the hood of the stranger. The strangers hair is black,brown is his eyes and the strangers skin is a dull gray. Argos is taken back by the age of the man seems to be only that in his late twenties medium build with hands wrapped in thick cloth.
Argos'”Why were you not on the battle field?”
Ash lets go then moves behind Argos silently climbs up his armor, then wakes him on the back of the head with the butt of her metal fan. Argos gets a slight tear from the sudden smack on the back of his head but nods another apology and steps back
Ash chips in,” Sorry mister rough day in the battle forgive us.”
Stranger,” I heard about the battle; seemed like a fierce fight…but I was Captain Argos, as a priest of Charon I was on the battle field making sure the souls find their way to the ferryman.”
Ash,” Well there you go making friends again Argo”
Argos still feeling uneasy just nods for a moment and rubs the back of his neck with his right hand.”Working for the Gods is a noble affair, but I fear the arrival of the next wave. We do not have the man power to stop them.” With a sigh Argos scans the room of the rest of those around only a handful made it through undamaged the rest most likely will not make it through the night.
The stranger speaks up,” I assume the road to the mountains is still cut off, I shall pray to the Gods for each of you.”
Ash speaks up a bit alarmed,” I don’t think I want you praying to the ferryman for me till I can no longer stand.” Not from any formal schooling her views and knowledge of the Gods was slim, and the ferryman gives her the curiosity creeps. Not really sure why everyone has the desire to seek their favor nor fear not being in it. Long time ago Argos once tried to teach her the ways of Ares and Zeus but, she was not sure if he was still trying or gave up years ago.
The stranger stands and makes his way over to a clearly dying man, but before he steps away from Argos and whispers in his ear,” Gods always listen, only the worthy will ever hear their voice, but you can always see their work in those around you. Help will come if the Gods favor it, if not than we shall ride the ferry together. ”
Argos sighs and the true words spoken to him as the man begins to say prayers for the soon to be deceased. Argos orders Ash and himself some food from the Local wench who was well off in years. Ash smiles at the prospect of food but it vanishes before Argos sees it.
Long ago Ash found it was just easier for everyone else to keep her feelings locked up. She has a strong will and cold presence, missing out on the carefree years of being a child. She kept her black hair long in order to hide her face and ears from those around. Argos had discovered outside a brothel begging for change. Guessing do to her pointed ears when he found her she must have been a whores abandoned half breed. As purest still raged throughout the lands half breeds are treated like lower class and not welcome in any realm. So she became good at hiding from the random physical out lashes of the common folk. It was often that Argos would have to remind her not to be hateful in return. Though being the son of a God his experiences were less aggressive and more servitude in nature. Though this established a hard core of honor within his morals that no one who had met him would ever question.
Argos and Ash sit in silence for some time before their food was brought. They eat, drink and relax in silence, the inn keeper informs them the only rooms clean and free were already purchased. They sigh and try to find a corner to call bed for the evening. It was at this time that Cecil stumbled through the door, Snowy and Kross shortly behind.
Cecil heading straight for the man the stranger is standing next to pausing for a moment before waving his cane at the man who, is hit then disappears. The tavern gasps, as Argos stands up to confront Cecil as Cecil Shouts,” DEMONSTRATION!!!”. The Argos stops as Kross Snowy and Ash look around perplexed. Every injured man in the tavern has fully recovered. Their armors have been mended and the energies refilled. The tavern errups in cheer and disbelief. Argos looks at Cecil confused and amazed as he can not fully grasp what just happened no one at the tavern can.
Cecil,” Satisfied Mr. Kross, now tell me what it is you sought me out. ”
You are a man of your word,” Says Kross still wondering just what this White Raven was.
Argos reaches out to grab Cecil by the shoulder but misses as Cecil slides right out of his grasp. “What….sorcery is this healing magic died with its masters. How….” Argos drops down to his kneels before Cecil assuming he must be some kind of God. He then proceeds to thank him and pray.
Well that’s more like it. “Cecil smirks at Argos as Ash follows in kind kneeling by him, Snowy sees this and smiles kneeling next to her.
“Get up you loafs, he is no God, not sure what to make of him…but No God looks like him by any means.” It was at his time Kross eyed up Argos and Ash, He closed in on Ash and with a quick motion moved the hair out of her face so he could see it. He glanced back at Snowy and nodded as if he had hunch on something but wasnt sure. Ash brings her hand up to catch his. Once Grasped he feels a growing cold emanating from her hand causing his skin to turn blue and become painful. He breaks her grip and jumps back as Agros stands. Glaring at Kross for coming that close to Ash.
“Kross this town is full of strange people….been meaning to ask when night arose and all this rain came from it was morning and sunny just a few hours ago. That storm just arose out of no where”
Argos asks with aggression,” why did you not fight coward?”
Snowy,” we are not cowards!!!” she says alarmed standing up in protest as Ash finally looks at Snowy and Snowy returns her gaze. Their eyes meet and they look confused as Snowy reaches out to brush Ash’s hair out of her face once again and around her ear. Snowy smiles brightly and gives her a hug seeing their ears are alike. Ash struggles to get away from Snowy who only grasps tighter till Kross pulls her off while explaining to Argos. Snowy having been pulled off of Ash pouts but then giggles as she measures their heights. Ash however is clearly uncomfortable about Snowy’s excitement, she does smile too brushing half of her hair from her face. First time that she can remember that someone was so excited to see her.
“Look here you giant boy scout, first off we are just traveling through here to find…well him.” Points over to Cecil who smiles, tilts his head and waves pleasantly before turning away to the formally wounded who have surrounded him with praise. ” Secondly its poor manners to insult someone before you introduce yourself. My name is Kross Kindu, my warm hearted hugging companion is Snowy…huh…well its just Snowy. ”
Argos taken back by the lack of intimidation given by Kross, lowers his rage filled tone to mild annoyance having been called rude. ” I am Argos, Son of Ares solider of justice, This is Ash Coldhands.” Argo bows slightly then stands rubbing the back of his head wear a bald spot is slowly forming. As Ash merely nods to Kross as she is trying to contain Snowy’s energy. “I suppose I owe you and apology then Mr. Kindu. I ask for you assistance in the upcoming battle to save this town. ”
” Kross, just Kross Argo….Son of Ares…bah….so formal. I have not connections here and have a youngin to look after. Besides there isn’t any value in it for me.” Kross says with passive care.
Infuriated by Kross’s lacking sense of honor he turns and lifts up Ash placing her on his shoulder.
“Come on Ash lets go find somewhere to rest we have a big day tomorrow we need to be refreshed and ready. ”
It was at this time that the tavern owner slide past them and headed to Kross handing him a key and Snowy a key. They thanked the man as Argos just shook his head and glared.
Ash sneers as well, “Figures….” she mutters in disgust.
Snowy smiles brightly then takes off towards Ash and Argos. Kross gives chase but its too late she reaches out and grabs Argos hand placing her room key in it.
“Take my room, Its fine I swear Kross can move his snoring butt and make room for me, wouldn’t be the first time had to rest in the same room, wont be the last time. ” Snowy says with innocently.
“Well that’s all fine and dandy but what about Cecil? Was going to share my room with him but now we three are going to be cramped up in one room.” Kross says selfishly
“NOT a word from you Kross….I don’t want to hear it its the first time I have met someone my age and race out here in the world of man and by God I will not let her nor her friends sleep out in the cold. Besides Cecil can go home…he doesn’t live that far away. ” Snowy says upset with Kross. ” You know it wouldn’t kill you to be kind to others once in awhile. I mean hell your last name spells kind and you are such a selfish jerk.” she says taking Kross’s key away from him. ” How about you sleep outside.”
Argos and Ash watch this display a bit confused but pleased to have been given a room for the night. Snowy’s face is a reddish orange from the anger. Kross swallows his rebuttal about how if he was so selfish why does he take care of her, he sighs looking over at Cecil who is holding up a horn of ale and those around him cheer him like a battle hardened hero. Argos slightly envious of the attention given to this strange man though grateful for the aid to his soldiers. Ash jumps down off of Argos now staying here for the night she goes up to Snowy and thanks her. Snowy grabs Ash by the hand and leads her upstairs to the rooms to talk quietly.
Kross watches them run off looks up at Argos and sighs again,” well looks like you win this one big fella. ”
” Your company is truly a wild fire isn’t she.” Argos commented.
“You honestly have no idea….if you need so much help why haven’t you prayed to the gods, “Kross inquired.
“Though I have prayed for aid, none has come till your friend over there. First time anything helpful has come along Snowy said he didn’t live to far from here so perhaps he would be willing to help. ” Argos replied
“Figures… Gods….as worthless as they are powerful. Only time they get off their asses is when one of them fucks up. Hope one day you see your nothing more than a pawn in a game…and this is the board. As for Cecil, I do not see that happening the man is blind. Doubt he would be much help on the battle field, off of it defiantly . Besides there is something off about him though I can not put my finger on it.” They both look over at where Cecil was standing only to see a crowd of men drinking and no sign of the mentioned man. ” Perhaps you missed your chance to meet him, I am slightly annoyed at Snowy, we traveled so far to meet him and then she just takes off with Ash…Children….appreciate nothing. ”
It was at this point the large door covering the entrance is knocked off its hinges flying towards Kross, Argos catches it inches from Kross’s face. Kross nods a very grateful thank you to the large man as the two “Angels” Kross had seen earlier hover through the door. They appear to be the age of Snowy and Ash and about their size. Their wings easily over the same size.
Argos goes to greet the presumed messengers of the Gods, as Kross pulls him down and whispers a very important question. “Before you do anything boy scout have you ever seen or heard of angels that look like these too?” Argos having heard this stands back allowing them to look through the room.
Golden seraph lets out an enchanting request,”We are looking for the White Raven, to answer for his crimes against his kinship. We request you stay out of our way as we search, if you have any information on his location or those that could be hiding him. Please speak now.” The room remains silent as they begin to tear across it, pushing people out of their way searching every main area of the tavern before. Demanding the keys to the rooms from the Tavern keeper who hands them over willingly. They check all the rooms, Stumbling in on Snowy and Ash.
Snowy and Ash had been talking to each other about how they came to be where they are, how they have to normally hide their ears, and how dumb their older friends are. Having been interrupted by angelic like beings, Snowy glares and yells at the Black seraph about not knocking and demanding an apology which she does not get as Ash tries to hold Snowy back and calm her down. Kross hears Snowy yelling and rolls his eyes, grabbing the handle of his sword he carefully makes his way upstairs with Argos following behind.
The seraphs search the room as snowy protests, they then leave the room with no apology given, Snowy inflamed with rage begins to heat up. Ash is forced to let go as Snowy’s skin becomes bright orange and the flicker of flames erupts around her scorching the ground. Snowy takes off into the hall wall as the wood below her feet turn black as does her dress. The black seraph turns and looks at Snowy tilting its head. Kross runs up behind Snowy and hits her on the back of the head with the butt of of his sword, knocking her out cold. He apologies to the strangers, before picking her up and walking back into the room. The seraph turns and returns to its search. Snowy’s dress turns to ash and crumbles apart. Ash grabs a blanket and Kross wraps her up. Argos covers his eyes till Snowy is covered properly. Not sure exactly what happened but he has been known to have to knock out Ash for her own good from time to time as well.
“She is going to be angry when she wakes up…but at least she will live to see tomorrow.” Kross uttered.
Argos enters the room and allows for the seraphs to leave without knowing why exactly they came here nor what they really were.
“Perhaps its best if we all get some rest,” Argos suggested.
“Kross good idea, you two take Snowy’s room I’ll keep watch here, just might not be safe when she wakes up for Ash to be in the room. Rather I be the one that gets turned to toast,” he says with a grin. Having sleeked back into a room for the evening.
“Is she going to be okay?” Ash asks concerned
“She will be fine….for a water elf she sure has a lot of fire magic unchecked in her. When she gets over emotional it tends to spill out in the area around her. Found her in the ashes of hut, two bodies burned beyond any point of telling their kin was also in the area. She was crying, red and hotter than embers. Once she saw me she began to calm down…she then giggled…and well here we are. From time to time she has nightmares and tends to catch her bed on fire, or get upset with someone and burn them. Normally she doesn’t remember her fits, and apologizes the next day. Hope she didn’t burn you Ash.”
“No I am fine, I don’t burn easily fire elf ancestor in my past for sure, I mean just look at me.” Ash states.
“I should have known.”
“Well Ash lets get to bed we have had enough excitement for one day don’t you think. Leave this heathen to tend to his ward. ” Argos yawns.
Kross smiles at the heathen phrase as Argos and Ash leave closing the door behind themselves. Kross takes a pillow and blanket setting up the floor stretches out on it.
“It was nice to have a bed for one night at least….” He exclaims before shutting his eyes.