****** Watching Stars ******
The sun set on the battlefield, marking an end
to a hard fought day that saw victory only momentarily secured. Blood stained
faces gathered around the fire while the last of the riders made their way into camp.
Heavy was the air they breathed and hearts that they carried, for although the day was over, it may also have been
“We can not turn them back, they are too many” said one of the men who had just dismounted. He was tall and broad shouldered.
lost many men this day, an I don’t expect to be as lucky on the morrow” said another. The second rider was shorter and wider then his companion. They both had long mustaches, the first black,
the second red, and wore armor differing them from the other soldiers. The two
of them approached the fire, weary and exhausted, joining five others with like armor.
friends, we have earned this nights rest, and will rise with the sun anew to battle what ever comes our way” spoke one
of the men. He was taller than all around him, and had hair of flowing gold and
a full beard to match, yet now they were matted with sweat and blood.
you are ever full of hope in these dark times, and a comfort as well” said the first rider. Wiping the sweat from his brow, he took a long drink from the flask presented to him.
times indeed” said one of the men in a rasping voice. “For more of
the men desert us with your words of comfort.”
at him while the others frowned. The man cared little of the ill looks that he
received, but all were too tired to continue the matter.
one approaches” yelled a sentry from the watch tower. They all exchanged
glances remaining silent. The one sitting closest to the tower stood and made
his way towards the ladder. He was a tall and slender man with long red hair. Blood from a cut near his temple ran down the side of his face. When he had reached the top, he peered at the horizon. Uncertainty
betrayed his demeanor.
what do you see” yelled Aquarius.
old man…with a wide brimmed hat…carrying a staff” he answered. The
six on the ground began to murmur amongst themselves.
“Majisto?” Aquarius said to himself aloud, “but I’ve naught seen him in over fifteen years.”
what news he brings?” said the first man with the black mustache.
he wishes to die with the rest of us on the morrow” said the man with the rasping voice.
They all stood now, restless and uncertain. Within moments the gates began
to open and the old man made his way inside. He walked past the assembly of men
and headed for the fire. Silently he stood, warming his hands, addressing no
one. The others looked at one another, nervous and confused. They moved towards him uneasily.
away” said the old man without turning. “I’ll not have you
crowd me”. They waited a few moments before continuing. Finally, Aquarius resolved to come forward.
“Majisto? I’ve not seen you since….”
boy? Where is the boy?” said Majisto.
Aquarius said befuddled.
said Majisto, irritation all too apparent. “Where is he”?
I’ve sent him back to the village only yesterday” said Aquarius.
go and fetch him. I didn’t come here to be gawked at” said the old
man turning around. “And I certainly didn’t come here to ‘die
with the rest of you’” he said, steel blue eyes piercing the man with the rasping voice. “Now hurry”.
summoned a soldier and instructed him to find Leo and bring him to the camp. Majisto
returned his attention to the fire once again. The seven gathered decided to
settle their troops for the night. The tall red haired man, Pisces motioned to
the youngest of the men to join him.
and I will see to our troops” he said to Aquarius, and headed off toward the east end of camp.
man nodded his head and looked towards the man with the red mustache. “Cancer,
see to your men as well, and get some rest”.
on Scorpio, lets see what we have left” he said, and made his way west with the raspy voiced man. The three remaining warriors surveyed the encampment briefly before speaking.
you heard any news from our scouts, Hamel?” said Aquarius, addressing the man on his left. Solemnly the man stared ahead. He looked upon the soldiers,
but it seemed as if his thoughts were far away. Softly he spoke without looking
have returned. The barbarians have halted their raiding for now. It seems as if they wish to eliminate us before furthering their ruin”.
A look of
concern came over Aquarius’s face. “Perhaps you should rest Hamel. We shall seek Majisto’s wisdom in the morning”. He clasped the mans shoulder reassuringly. Hamel looked up
at him. A blank look was replaced by a slight smile. Without another word he headed towards the back of the camp, fading in the haze.
wisdom do you think the blue wizard will grant us friend?” said the man with the long black mustache.
know Virgo” said Aquarius. “We must trust in his guidance, for we
have little else to lead us”.
little choice” said Virgo. “He would not come back after all these
years to have his words go unheeded… Still, I can not help but wonder why
he had you send for Leo. Come; let us get some rest while the night is young”.
spare only a few hours” said Aquarius. “I will see my son when he
arrives and stand by whatever Majisto councils. I owe him that much”.
The two companions
set out towards the rear of the camp to wait for Leo. The old wizard sat quietly
by the fire, content by its warmth and the stillness it afforded him. High above,
the stars watched, clear and bright, shimmering in anticipation of what was yet to come.