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Old 11-18-2006, 05:24 PM   #266
Child of the 7th Age
Spirit of the Lonely Star
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The wind thundered in Imak's ears as he savagely kicked his horse's flanks and urged his mount forward at breakneck speed. He had pulled out ahead of the others but then hauled back on the reins and slowed down to a lope to consider their situation. Even with the murky curtain of sand and dust, he had come close enough to glimpse a rough outline of the camp. Imak could make out a few huddled human forms just ahead, but he still could not tell if the defenders of the camp were limited to men. Young women fetched good prices on the market, and, despite his earlier show of wrath, he did not want to forego that source of profit.

Long years of leading this kind of attack made Imak suspect that several of the younger women and children might have been taken behind the lines and deposited in a safe niche. Quickly glancing over his shoulder, he bellowed at Urlok, "Take four more men and swing north. Approach the camp from the back. Look for a grotto where some of the slaves may be hiding. Get rid of the elders and the babes. Grab a few of the women. Then ride south and we'll meet up in the middle of camp. They have so few horses and weapons you should be able to push on without much trouble."

"Aye, Captain," the older man replied smartly, inviting a small contingent to ride north with him. As the band disappeared into the swirling sands, Imak pointed his own horse towards the south, thinking to approach the slaves from the underside of their camp. They would have the captives in a pincer and be able to fan out and surround them.

With that goal in mind, Imak motioned the men to follow and began cantering steadily south. But before he could advance more than a dozen paces, a lone rider came pounding into their field of vision: a young and healthy woman with golden hair streaming down about her shoulders. The slavers had been working on the plains almost six months and in that entire time had seen nothing as enticing as this. Even Imak turned around to stare and had to pull back hard on the reins to overcome his natural instincts to take off to the west and give chase. He yelled out to his men to hold steady. About half the group followed his command and continued in his track But the other half-- men who were young, impetuous and less experienced in battle--gave a mighty whoop. Spurred on by the heat of battle fury or perhaps not seeing or hearing their Captain clearly amidst the swirling sands, they impulsively jerked their horses around and raced towards the attractive figure. Imak cursed and cried out to the men to return, but his words were swallowed by the hard gusts that battered everything in their path.

Last edited by Child of the 7th Age; 11-20-2006 at 03:47 PM.
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