9700 years ago
Striding across the yard, her new shimmering white cloak rippled in the wind. The ceremony concluded, she could relax a little. Sergeant. She had been made a sergeant of the guard. She smiled to herself. Walking into the small cottage that was her home, her son applauded.
“They finally did it Min’da. So does that mean you will let me move on to my next round of training?” Giliath chuckled at her, knowing she was going to make that face again. Before she could answer, he sat down on a large crate in the corner of the room. He tapped the top with his hand, a large grin wrapping across his face. “Got something for you. Been waiting for the right day.”
Silannah stood there, surprised. “What did you do?” She tried not to smile, but he brought it out of her. She could hardly have ever imagined being so happy having a child. “Come on then. Show me,” she urged. Tossing her papers and gloves aside she went and sat down. “Well? You going to keep your mother waiting?”
Giliath opened the crate and lifted out a gleaming chest plate. It was wrought in thorium with gold and black inlay. The whole of it shone, brilliant in the sunlight streaming through the window. “What do you think? There’s more. Greaves, gauntlets, a whole set,” he watched her expression carefully. Her eyes grew wide as she slowly rose to take the piece in her hands. Turning it over and around, her careful eye admiring the work. “It took me a while to get the design right. I hope you like it.” Giliath cocked his head slightly to one side, waiting.
“You…you designed this?” her voice a mixture of surprise and impressed. “For me? Oh, my Bandu…you didn’t have to do this. It’s too grand.” Her eyes welled up with tears as she placed the armor on the table and embraced him. “Thank you.” Taking his face in her hands, she kissed his forehead. “Want me to see if it fits right?” She laughed slightly as she gathered up the pieces.
“I would be very disappointed if you didn’t.” He chucked as she walked behind the changing screen. A sharp and sudden crash stopped them both. Giliath ran to the window, looking out. “Min’da! Trolls!” He grabbed his sword and made for the door. She dropped her gift and took up her own slender blades.
Outside was mayhem. “Giliath! Get the untrained somewhere safe! You two, get to the eastern ridge, I need to know how many are coming!” The Sentinels took off in that direction, as people scattered around her to take up arms. A wicked laugh to her right caused her to spin on her heels. A brightly painted face sneered at her. She closed her eyes for a moment and sprang forward. Her swords sang down, separating the tall male’s head from his body. That’s when the wave came rushing in. She adjusted, spun her weapons once and began to dance. She lost all track of what was behind her, focusing solely on slowing the flow of savages running into their village. They fell around her, the taste of their blood hitting her lips. Roaring she charged into the mass, weapons slowed only by the bodies they came in contact with.
One of them managed to get behind her. He brought his thick dagger down, aiming for the base of her skull. She spun around with only a moment to spare, her cloak capturing the weapon, tearing it from his hands all while destroying the glittering silk. “I earned that today, you bastard!” she screamed at him as the tip of her blade sliced him from neck to groin. Turning again she cut down another and another.
The others in town working from the side towards her, finally stopped the push from the west. Running toward her, the scouts reported a group just as large coming from the east. She wiped her hands off on her ruined cloak, now spattered with blood. Nodding, they made their way across after she set guards to hold the hard earned western edge. As the group climbed to the top of the ridge, a gust of wind came rushing in. The fabric swirled around her for a moment, before rising up in two behind her. The sight caused a hush over the village as she raised her swords in front of her and launched herself at the incoming trolls. The cry of the others was something to behold. Giliath stood, watching his mother, awestruck.
Hours later, the weary survivors limped into town. Silannah helped one settle onto the steps of the fountain. “It’s done,” she said with a sigh of exhaustion. “Let’s see to the wounded and get cleaned up.” The other Sentinels just stood there for a moment. “Now? Now would be good,” she urged them. With a sharp nod from several, they started moving again.
“You can all come out now! It’s safe!” she called out into the air. Faces began to appear in the doorways, followed by cheers from the younger villagers. A moment later, a familiar woman approached from the side of the small moonwell. Her garments were torn and splattered from the battle. But there was no mistaking Mire Whisperwind. Silannah bowed before her, unsure what would come next.
“Rise,” Mire commanded. Silannah jumped to her feet, standing at attention before one of the first Sentinels. “It seems to me, we have made a poor choice in making you a sergeant today.” Silannah’s face fell. What had she done wrong? “You, Silannah, belong somewhere else. I am naming you Captain of the Guard for the House Whisperwind. You will accept.” Silannah’s mouth fell open and she simply nodded. “I will expect you to report to our house as soon as you are packed.”
Two days later she arrived at the doorstep of the Whisperwind home. She was shown to her room and given a note. As the servant moved to leave, Silannah stopped her. “Do you…do you read?” she asked the young girl. The green haired child nodded and took the note from Silannah’s hand. “What does it say?”
Welcome to the service of the House Whisperwind, Silannah Redwing.
Your duties begin tomorrow morning.
The girl read to her. Silannah looked confused. “Redwing?” she asked.
“Yes. That’s what the villagers were calling you. Because of the way you flew into the trolls with your blood soaked cape rippling behind you. The other guards here thought it a good name for you.”