21st of Floodtime 383 ONT, 2:21pm, the village of Glenrummy, Glenrummy Gorge, 27k south of Lockland Keep
Thaden threw himself from the top of the building, reaching out with the weave to confirm his course was true. At the last moment as expected Aury slammed into the wildcats side causing it to stagger to the left. Sword in hand Thaden brought it down with all his might slamming through the creature’s eye and connecting with the brainstem behind. It yowled pathetically once and dropped to the ground dead. The blood smeared Waylen climbed down heaving heavily to catch his breath. Aury came up beside him, scratching once at the creature’s throat to assure it was well and truly gone. He breathed heavily as he looked to his companion a half smile on his lips
“That was the last of them I think, perhaps we should have brought your friends… that was more difficult than I thought it would be” the cat mewed in agreement as she licked her paw and began to try and clean some of the blood from herself. “You don’t need to do that Aury, I’m sure it tastes foul… I have some soap and can help you as soon as we assure the area is clear” the cat again mewed her thanks to him. As the two surveyed the area; they noted the town’s people were starting to come from their hovels and then saw Icarus flying towards their location, the bat did not appear to be at ease. Thaden pulled a rag from Aury’s saddle bag and wiped his blade clean sensing that the work was not yet complete.
“Hail Icarus, the Felinious have been vanquished or driven off; how fares the eastern end of the gorge?” Thaden said as the Clava landed.
“ne ochen’ khorosho…” the Clava stopped as the Waylen shook his head, he then rolled his eyes and switched to Mamalian so that Aury would be able to understand as well. “Not well, the far fields have been cleared of Raven’s but during my interrogation of a Wyzel I have discovered that it is known that you are here. Thrawn himself is on his way with fourteen companies of highly trained battle troops. They will destroy this town and turn it to ash, then likely turn their sights towards Rosemellow.”
“Blast!” the Waylen cursed. He did the mental math… it was not kind. They would need to move thirty three people overland and quickly, the villagers were hardy folk but not well equipped for long journeys. Thaden nodded to Icarus and with a tilt of the head ushered he and Aury to follow as he marched towards the centre of small hamlet. As he did his cheeks reddened as members of the hamlet began to cheer and applaud for them
“Well Done Guard Mouse” called a Chipious Farmer
“Our Debt to the Guard” Said the Hedgie Blacksmith
“Praise be to our brothers of the Clava” a Scurrious women hailed. Thaden took a deep breath and called upon the weave so that all in the town would hear him
“Good people of Glenrummy,” he began “It is true that we have indeed won the battle, the Felinious and Avians have been defeated” again he was forced to stop as a series of hoots and cheers came from the townsfolk. He knew this would haunt him. “Unfortunately the day is not won for us… as we speak, Grand Admiral Thrawn is on his way here with a force beyond the capacity of myself and my companions.” To this there were gasps of worry
“But you are a Guard Mouse” an old Scurrious called out, he wore the apron of a Tanner “There is nothing that can defeat a Guard Mouse when he is on the side of right” the man said quoting the ancient song. Thaden hung his head
“I know well the song of Ben-Jie, but sadly there are indeed things that even with the aid of the Weave I would be unable to handle… I might survive a confrontation with this group, but I could not guarantee the safety of you or your families” he said ushering to the villagers “I am sorry… but we cannot stay here, Thrawn will kill you all, and burn your homes to the ground… we must flee”
“Flee?” called out a Hedgie women
“where will we go” Called a Chipious man
“What of my mill?” called another Chipoious man
“or my smithy?” called the Hedgie Black smith
“What of the children?” a Scurious women yelled. Thaden raised his hands to try and calm them down while he spoke.
“Gather what you need, but only what you can carry, we will never be returning to this place, but I promise you that I will find you a new home, a safe place where you can once again build lives and rear your children safely. Go quickly and choose wisely what you will bring, we leave in one hours’ time.” With that he turned and stalked back to Aury and Icarus.
“priyatnaya rech’…” Icarus began, but received the glare and once more switched languages “Cutting it a bit close aren’t you?”
“We can’t expect them to leave their homes forever and not give them at least a little time… Icarus, please head to the eastern end of the gorge… let me know if our enemy enters your sites, else meet back here in an hour” the Clave nodded and took flight. “Aury… I am sorry, I may need you to pull a wagon… the people have a few hand carts, I will go ask Mr. Twofur if he can fashion some into a wagon so that we might travel with a few more things…” that cat nodded her agreement, he knew she would, but it felt wrong not to ask. “Ok, I’ll do what I can to help these folks get packed, if you want to head west and start scouting a few trails, find the easiest paths we can take that give us the most cover… watch for preators, and remember we will have carts with us, so nothing too tricky” the cat offered an energetic mew” and turned scampering for the western reaches of the hamlet. Thaden took a steadying breath and walked towards the smithy, preparing himself for what was yet to come.