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Old 10-30-2006, 09:59 PM   #242
Child of the 7th Age
Spirit of the Lonely Star
 
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Lindir and Aiwendil:

The meeting had been going on more than two hours when Aiwendil rushed into the circle and pulled Lindir to one side. The istar pointed to the sky and hastily explained where he had been and what would happen later that day.

Lindir stared out across the rock strewn plain, with its tumbled boulders and patches of dry grass. The day was hot and cloudless. Even this early in the morning, the sun beat down in an unrelenting fashion on the camp. The elf could see no physical signs of any storm. "Are you sure?" he prodded. "We can not base our strategy on the weather unless we are certain this will happen."

"I am convinced of it. The birds and beasts can detect a change in weather long before any man. But it is not just that. Rg comes from a place to the south where sand storms are frequent. He is sure the wind is shifting. I tell you, Lindir, this is a piece of luck. We know what will happen, and the slavers do not. Plus, the winds are blowing out of the west. They will be at our backs, but the slavers must ride directly into the gusts. We could not have asked for a better situation."

"There is still one problem, that of timing." Lindir noted. "We do not know what time the attackers are coming. And exactly what time will these winds hit?"

"The falcon thought it would be at dark. Part of what you say is true. If the slavers wait to ride till late tonight, they will see the weather has changed and simply delay their attack. The worst that can happen is that both sides will billet down and not fight until tomorrow. But I don't think the slavers will do that. They are impatient. Their leader wants blood. They will ride out by early evening, perhaps even this afternoon. Already, Rg has left camp to make preparations to greet them in an appropriate fashion, and I will join him shortly. If the men come early, he and I can delay them just long enough so they are caught up in the winds."

Lindir responded dryly, "I should ask you how you plan to do that, but I will not. I don't think our new friends would feel comfortable with the kind of answer I am likely to get. So if you are certain of this, go now and rejoin Rg and do what must be done. I'll work with Dorran and the leaders of the settlers to craft a strategy based on what you have told me."

As Aiwendil stalked off towards the north, Lindir called out after him, "You had better be right about this, or we will pay dearly."

The istar turned around and gestured with his staff, "You have my word on it. And if I am right, I will insist that you prepare some of the finest delicacies from Rivendell once we reach our destination. The foothills should have game and other growing things in abundance, and I will greatly enjoy being waited on by such an old and honorable elf!" With that, the two parted company. Then Lindir returned to the circle, sat down, and prepared to speak.

**********
The planning meeting had nearly ended. The conversation had lulled, and Dorran was putting the finishing touches on a crude map drawn in the dirt that showed where the various traps should be constructed and where men and women should be stationed. Lindir bent down for a closer look and nodded to the men in appreciation, "Khamir, Beloan, and Dorran, well done. This should work. And we have one more piece of good fortune that may tilt the scales in our direction. Aiwendil and Rg have told me that a wind storm will be blowing in at nightfall. Aiwendil and Rg have also come up with a few tricks to delay the approach of the slavers if they should make it over before the winds hit. They've already gone out to start their preparations."

Lindir looked around the circle, expecting someone to object, but no one did. An old man sitting far back from the firepit sniffed the air and then nodded his head in confirmation that he too could sense the weather was changing. Apparently all of those gathered in the camp had lived through such storms, which were not uncommon in the region of Nurn and the plains spreading out to the north. The stripping away of so many trees and so much goodness from the soil, combined with a long spell of hot and dry weather, created the conditions that gave rise to the harsh walls of wind.

"We are lucky then," Lindir conceded. "The slavers will probably not have anyone who can read weather signs. So we will have one advantage, yet we must also be careful. Aiwendil tells me that Azhar and a few of her friends have gone to warn the others who plan to take shelter during the battle that they must secure their things within the circle of boulders at the rear of camp and stay hidden there in the worst of the weather. We must also be careful with the firebrands. The young men doing those should go further out on the plain to the east and strike before the worst of the weather hits, or we will end up with burning brands in our own faces. But one task will be easier. Once the winds come, the slavers will be hard pressed to see any of the ditches or tunnels, even if we hide them crudely. As far as the horses go, I agree. We must not waste too much effort on that. Yet there are a number of young healthy women reluctant to fight who might be stationed at the edge of camp, far from the actual swordplay. They might be able to run down an animal or two, and that could help you once you finally settle into your new lands and need a beast to station in front of a plough."

Lindir looked around the group but there were no further voices raised. "We are ready then. Each must go to their appointed task. We will meet back at the fire by mid-afternoon to set up the attack, and may fortune smile on our efforts."
With that, the circle dispersed, as men and women hurried to carry out the plans that had been made.

Last edited by Child of the 7th Age; 11-03-2006 at 01:14 PM.
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