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Legends Of Zyconia Part 4
The Makings Of An Army
Terrek stood atop a large hill surveying the plain. Below, the army was fully assembled and nearly ready to leave. Some of the men had decided to bring older members of their families, which Terrek agreed upon. Although he had seen the occasional young boy. Terrek was an easy commander and had no problem with this. After all, their purpose was more exploration than military. But others would have disagreed since an army that was supposed to number one hundred and eighty men and twenty women healers was now more than double that number.
Diana walked up beside Terrek. "It was very noble of you to let them bring their families."
Terrek looked at Diana and saw that she was now wearing a suit of chain mail and an armored tunic, she also had a dagger strapped to her arm.
"Most of these men are not from the Council's army and are not used to being away from their families, but I fear we may lose some of them on this quest." he said quietly.
Suddenly they were disrupted by a voice behind them. "Terrek," Terrek turned to see Zyron. the prophet.
"Zyron, you came after all!" Terrek embraced the old man.
"I received a vision last night. I am to go with you." Zyron said.
Terrek turned happily and introduced Zyron and Diana. A twinkle filled Zyron's eye as he greeted Diana.
They all looked up as footsteps echoed behind him, this time it was Perrin.
"Terrek the Council has provided you with more chief aides," Perrin indicated as he continued. "This is Ricsis. Jessica and Lynx." Perrin finished.
Terrek nodded in acknowledgment as he formed a first impression of them. Ricsis was a particularly large centaur with a curly black beard. Jessica was a healthy vibrant attractive young woman. But Lynx, he was a wild card. He wore a mysterious long brown robe with a large hood. His hair hid most of his face and a short white beard protruded from the bottom of his hood. Terrek was about to speak to the man hut he turned abruptly and left.
"That was unusual. Wonder where the Council dug him up?' Ricsis muttered.
Perrin changed the conversation. "Terrek. Jessica is leader of the healers that are accompanying us." he announced.
"Well, Jessica I want you to have a healer stay with Zyron in one of the wagons. Also I would like you and Ricsis to spread the word to everyone that I will address them shortly," Terrek said.
Jessica held Zyron by the arm as she and Ricsis led him down the slope into the crowds. Terrek faced Diana.
"Zyron, is my step-father," he explained, "I don't know if he ever forgave me for leaving him those many years ago.
"He didn't agree with my choice to leave and join the Council's military forces but he agreed that it was my choice to make. But seeing him now I don't know if I should forgive myself" Diana looked up into Terrek's downcast face.
"You can't blame yourself for his current condition, and all children grow up and leave the nest, it's the law of nature," she rationalized gently.
"Maybe." Terrek said as he slowly spun toward the crowd.
He noticed them gathering and gazing towards him. He cleared his throat and raised his voice.
"Comrades. I am Commander Terrek I have been appointed by the Council to be your leader on this quest. You have all been chosen for your specific skills in which you excel, and I know you won't disappoint me. We will head east and camp on the banks of the River of Reflection by nightfall. Gather your belongings. it's time to leave."
Terrek mounted Streak, his horse, and pulled Diana up behind him.
"We could provide you with your own horse if you'd like Diana." Terrek commented.
"That's all right. I'm fine," she said. Terrek smiled.
As they rode through the inner city, crowds of people cheered. It wasn't everyday an army paraded through the streets. Finally they reached the huge eastern gates of the city and proceeded through the wall. Terrek rode Streak down slope until he reached a flat plain. Ahead trees dotted the countryside. He waved Perrin to come alongside Streak.
"Perrin, I want you to lead the army northeast a little longer then head directly east. Diana and I will be with Zyron."
Terrek rode Streak back around behind the horse riders and approached the wagon where Zyron rested. From the outside the wagon appeared fairly large, its roof and walls were a tent like structure made of some tough animal-skin fabric. Terrek came behind the wagon and allowed Diana to enter the door flaps. Then he tied Streak's reins to the wagon and entered himself. The wagon continued it's journey.
The interior of the tent like structure was dark except for a brazier of coals and a small clay oil lamp. A small number of wheat sacks lay against the front of the wagon. The oil lamp hung from the ceiling near Zyron who was resting on several sacks. Closest to them. Jessica sat crosslegged stirring a small pot on the brazier. An occasional tremor rocked the wagon as it passed through dirt and mud outside. Terrek stepped over to her and spoke quietly.
"You're looking after him yourself?" Terrek said.
"Yes. I know he means a lot to you. I also have a feeling that he is very important to the quest," Jessica replied.
"Thank you Jessica. Mix your herbs. Diana and I will stay with Zyron," Terrek smiled. Jessica smiled and returned to her boiling pot.
Terrek and Diana lay back against the sacks close to Zyron. Neither had gotten any sleep the night before while collecting Terrek's allies and Diana soon fell asleep. Terrek spied the sceptre in Zyron's hands: the gold frame glimmered in the dark. There was a huge blue jewel on the end that seemed to glow, and many smaller gems along the sides. The sceptre was of the finest workmanship he had seen in his life and on the handle the amityus was featured. The Council's symbol?
TO BE CONTINUED...
TO READ FROM THE BEGINNING GO TO: LEGENDS OF ZYCONIA PART 1
TO READ THE PREVIOUS PART GO TO: LEGENDS OF ZYCONIA PART 3
TO READ THE NEXT PART GO TO: LEGENDS OF ZYCONIA PART 5