Bedtime Stories || Xanthe May 14, 2018 15:47:28 GMT -7
Post by iunia on May 14, 2018 15:47:28 GMT -7
Iunia’s contingent had been enjoying a week of relative peace. There had been few lasting skirmishes with the weather so cold, and fighting was already few in far between in such a strange, stormy land. No one wanted to risk losing troops to an uncertain gambit, and between the weather and the terrain, there was a lot to be uncertain about. Hoping to beat back that uncertainty, perhaps, Iunia and seven others had been tasked with mapping the nearby tribal lands. The lands were unclaimed but by the native Attonians, and the claim of the Attonians, however valid, would do nothing to stop the engines of war. The Malscure-Rielcia forces were keen to gain an upper hand where they could, and knowing the land was the first step to conquering it.
Their little team included a surveyor and a mapmaker for this purpose, but Iunia was neither of the two. She was there with five other soldiers as guards, protecting the two fragile civilians from enemy combatants. Well, enemy combatants and any potential “savages.” Iunia found to title somewhat ridiculous— it sounded like something Hase would say when chiding her for not using silverware. But the noncombatants they were escorting seemed terrified by the idea of the natives, their heads probably filled with over-exaggerated stories from the mainland. She overheard one of the two muttering something or other about not wanting to be eaten, and she snorted.
Iunia hadn’t seen much of the native Attonians, and the few she’d seen from a distance didn’t seem to keen on trying to attack and eat her. The stupidity of fearing a scary bedtime story caricature over an actual threat, like an opposing soldier, was ridiculous to Iunia. She kept this two herself, but she smiled when one of the more vocal soldiers started in with ribbing the surveyor.
All eight members of their little party were wearing thick wool and boiled leather, good for keeping out the cold and little use against attack, but it wasn’t as if reconnaissance warranted actual plate armour. Most of her companions had declined to take a mount, but the surveyor, a heavyset man carrying more than one bag of tools, had insisted on a horse. Iunia resented being relegated to horse-whisperer, but the man was an inexperienced rider and the forest was thick, so the bulk of the centaur’s job had been leading the man’s pack animal.
At the moment, that had stopped to break for lunch in what could hardly be called a clearing, but was close enough. Fenwick had shot down a large bird, and now they were roasting it over a spit, unwary of the smoke. Iunia was relishing the opportunity to eat something fresh and not rations, and at first she thought the mapmakers’s horrified face was in reaction to the impropriety with which she was devouring the animal. She quickly realized this wasn’t the case, however, when the man shakily pointed somewhere behind her, muttering the word “savage” under his breath.