War Drums

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A deep throbbing woke everyone from their slumber one morning. It sounded like thunder, but not really. My chest resonated. Even from this distance, I felt the vibrations.

"War drums," Lisbet said, almost as if in awe. "I have heard stories from Father..."

Vanyel joined us at the parapet looking out into the distance. "They are often the height and the width of a full-grown man. In the old days, the skins were said to be made from sacrificed men. The largest war drums were beloved and venerated by the clans."

"They are a border tradition, aren't they?" I asked. The beat seemed to be intensifying, the thunder now growling like wild beasts.. or hunting wolves. The storm was fast approaching.

"Prepare our slingshots," I motioned the men waiting my orders. "Boil the pitch. We are going to have visitors."


The war drums kept on going. The men and women grew nervous, fidgeting at their posts. The archers remained rigid where they were. Meanwhile, the drum beats had the cadence of frantic hearts.

"They are herding us in," Vanyel observed. "Typical Dark Hound tactic. Fazalur never changes. Wait for the charge. Ready your pike-men. And..."

"And what?" I blinked, seeing the wry smile on his lips.

"Wait for nightfall. We confound the wolves."

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