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Meanwhile in Sarenu

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    [color=green:dcv1hf10]Sergeant Il’Edan is ordering the cleanup and new defensive barriers of Iandor to be built.

    He then goes back to the City Hall with his other heads of the army currently with him, and plans the positioning of troops and forces upon the entire peninsula. A representative from Orrndor is with him, as well as a representative from Laineth[/color:dcv1hf10]


    [color=green:89vd47lg]Ch’taia enters the room and waits for the two elvish men and woman to rise to their feet and salute her. When they do, she lowers the hood of her cloak and pounds a fist to her chest. "For victory and the new rule. At ease, soldiers," she says tiredly, having a seat at the table with the others.

    The news of the Crusaders’ arrest had kept her restless. She had been able to save Nella, but there were dozens more she could do nothing about. She rubs her forehead where her headdress used to sit, lost in an Okimean battle, and wishes her headache would leave her.

    "Alright. General Listreth, what is our current situation in Orrndor?" she says, folding her hands and staring expectantly at the elvish man to her left.[/color:89vd47lg]



    [color=green:b437bz1k]General Listreth stands at attention, then leans on the map table.

    "Orrndor is well fortified, Sergeant Major. Outside Laineth, it is our largest military force of the resistance. Reinforcements granted by my troops weakened the city’s defenses somewhat, but it is still quite defensible. My military squadron is here in Iandor, waiting on your command."

    Sergeant Il’edan steps forward

    "Sergeant Major, the representative from Laineth is here as well."[/color:b437bz1k]


    [color=green:4czp3tnf]"I can see that, Sergeant," she says coolly across the table. She trusted Kelbanor greatly, but she knew she needed to assert her authority in front of their guests… besides, she didn’t want him to soften under pressure.

    Ch’taia traces a finger across the map, from Orrndor to Laineth. She locks eyes with the woman to her right. "General T’alef, how’s my home doing?"[/color:4czp3tnf]



    [color=green:qpir5oem]General T’alef says sharply to her. Not because she is a harsh woman, but because that is how she speaks

    "Laineth is doing well. We recently repelled a massive invasionary force at the same time you faced one here, in Laineth. We are gathered here today to determine where our main forces should go considering we have just taken the peninsula with this victory."

    Sergeant Il’edan steps forward

    "We must protect Berista while working on taking out San’ta’lia"[/color:qpir5oem]



    "We cannot afford any troops to Berista, Sergeant. You know this. We must continue our focus on Laineth. If we lose the capitol, we’re done for," Ch’taia says conclusively, peering at the markings on the map. "Sant’a’lia is, of course, a major objective, but we must fortify the Ilvanya Ohtar in Laineth before attempting anything involving the King. Once we move forward on any operation to infiltrate the King’s stronghold, our presence on the capitol will become a bloodbath. They’ll hit us, and hit us hard."

    She tries not to let pain shadow her face as images flash through her mind of the day she infiltrated the Sarenuian Royal Castle.[/color:uylj7hp8]



    [color=green:e1c5lnee]"But Sergeant Major!"

    Sergeant Kelbanor Il’edan speaks hurriedly

    "The Northern Elvish Alliance is now active in war! Iandor was just the first of the NEA attacks. And reports are coming in that the NEA involved itself in the war in the South. We must fortify the border to prevent NEA invasion of Berista, because the Beristan Queen appears to be taking no large steps to stopping this threat. I understand it’ll cost us some men, but if Berista falls, we are done."

    General Listreth steps forward. He says

    "While I do not believe it would mean our end, it is a bit of a risk. Berista has the largest fleet, and if the Beristan land is taken, the fleets will follow. Orrndor can guard the border, preventing the capital of Berista to be attacked if you so command it, Sergeant Major."



    [color=green:7jwsdgw6]"Very well. I will allow a few squadrons of Orrndor’s troops to guard the border. General Listreth, no more than fifty elves, understood? This had better be worth it… we leave a gaping hole in Orrndor. Do not disappoint me, men," she says carefully, rising to her feet and turning her attention to General T’alef.

    "I’d like to preemptively reinforce Laineth… as a security precaution. Call for seventy-five of the men and women in rural Sarenu’. Only send for those on the list," she says pointedly, crossing her arms across her chest. "I won’t have a repeat of what happened last October Moon. Have I made myself clear?"[/color:7jwsdgw6]



    [color=green:soazguy6]"Yes Sergeant Major"

    They all say in unison

    General T’alef then says in clipped tones

    "Sergeant Major, you have a letter from your parental units."

    she hands Ch’taia the letter, stiffly



    [color=green:g729ahy8]"Thank you, General," Ch’taia answers, taking the letter and pulling the parchment open. When she does so, a headdress falls out.

    [i:g729ahy8]Sergeant Major Estel,

    We are keeping the forces of the Sarenuian Royal Army at bay. Laineth continues to be under our firm grasp, but the Ilvanya Ohtar here would greatly benefit from your presence. Consider showing up some time.

    One more thing… General Edhel’ho was killed last week. I know you knew him well. I thought you should know. His dying wish was to pass on this headdress. He said he saw in the stars that you had lost yours, and that you would know what it meant.

    Remember: you are only as just as the cause you fight for.

    General Estel

    PS- Your mother says to be careful.[/i:g729ahy8]

    Ch’taia folds the parchment and clutches the headdress in her hand, expressionless.

    "Dismissed," she says distractedly, staring into the distance. The last thing she would ever do was cry in front of her army’s leaders.



    [color=green:205x6bys]The room is cleared. Kelbanor stays however, and puts a friendly hand on her shoulder. He then goes to the door

    "If you need to talk, I’ll be at the Treasury."[/color:205x6bys]


    [color=green:5a643r2s]"Thank you, Sergeant," Ch’taia answers without so much as glancing at him. Once she hears the door close, she sits at the table and thinks. She just needed to think straight for a while.

    Could Edhel’ho really be dead? When Ch’taia had accepted him into the Ilvanya Ohtar, he was starving… His mother had been a noble but she was beaten to death by royal guards for openly speaking the truth about the illicit activities of a few members of the Royal Court. He had shown Ch’taia this headdress before, for illustrative purposes.

    Ch’taia now turned it over in her hand before setting it on her head. She didn’t work for King Aldo anymore… Caranist, the Crusaders were arrested. King Aldo surely never wanted to see them again. Why was she wearing a headdress, a sign of someone of royal blood or of someone in servitude to the Crown?

    [i:5a643r2s]I fight every day for a new Crown.[/i:5a643r2s] This is why I wear a headdress.

    She opens the letter and reads it over again. Her father’s tone was always so harsh… he could never simply tell her that he was proud of her. Whenever she accomplished anything, it was always about what he thought needed to be the next course of action. She grips the parchment in her fist, crumpling it into a ball and setting it on fire with a small red fire-starter from her leather bag. When the paper catches fire, she drops it to the ground and steps on it, leaving behind mere ashes.

    Ch’taia braces herself for several minutes, trying to empty her mind. She finally leaves the room, searching the corridors for Sergeant Il’edan again.[/color:5a643r2s]



    [color=green:p6q9d8my]Sergeant Il’edan is at the Treasury. When she eventually gets there, he says to Ch’taia

    "Everything alright?"[/color:p6q9d8my]


    [color=green:z22bn3ca]"Nothing I won’t survive," Ch’taia answers, straightening her posture. She glances up and down the hallway, then places a hand on his shoulder.

    "Kelbanor, I need to speak to you concerning a private matter," she says in a near-whisper. "I had a Vision a few moons ago."[/color:z22bn3ca]



    [color=green:e3rc186u]Stares at her in shock as he is guided by her away

    "What was it of?? Can it help us?"

    stops for a second

    "And are you alright?"

    looks at her with a bit of worry[/color:e3rc186u]

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