A Renegade Rogue
Chapter 2: Dreaming of a Kidnapping
6 Years Later
She was on her boulder at the edge of her village again, staring out into the vast plains that she longed to forget. Forget the pain and memories that haunted her, the ones that played before her across the vast fields. Visions of everything she had once been and loved floated up through the untamed grass, reminding her of what she tried had to shed from her memories forever.
Tearing her eyes away from the land she had betrayed her then and continued to as she aged, she turned back to her home, even though everything warned her not to. She always had to look back. Always.
She trembled at the scene before her. Although she had seen it a hundred times it never lost its effect. Violent flames engulfed what had once been her peaceful home and village. Saxons ran ramped through the streets killing and burning anything in their path. Streets that she had walked all her life now fueled the hungry flames that refused to rest until they took everything from her.
Quickly flames stretched out towards her crawling across the earth and encircling her body. Scorching the skin as they bound her body together. Winding themselves around her legs and up her torso, moving into her hair and forcing her eyes open and rendering her head powerless to turn away. The flames wouldn't let her turn away as her life was destroyed in front of her. Forever making her watch.
Her people screamed to her for help. Hearing their desperate pleas, she tried to free her arms. She struggled fiercely against her bonds, only to have the flames wrap tighter around her. Her people are being slaughtered all around her and she could only sit by idly watching. No lives were being spared. Not even the children.
As they each fell one by one she felt their blood splash over her body through the flames. Coating her body from head to toe, but never covering her eyes. Nothing blinded her from the massacre. Their spilled blood was on her hands now and she could feel it soaking into her skin.
Shifting her gaze to the left she saw some were pleading for mercy. But their pleas fell on deaf ears and they slit their throats without blinking. She didn't want to watch it any longer. Wrenching her body she tried to free herself one last time, she pulled and pushed against the flames. Nothing worked and she couldn't move to help them. The flames were too powerful, they never let her move, they never let her help and they never let her look away.
Her people started screaming at her now. Blaming her for their deaths. Screaming that she had abandoned them, left them to die. Screaming that she was the sole cause of their deaths. The screams echoed against the flames, ringing through her ears over and over again. So she will never stop hearing them and so they will never fade. Only continue to attack her ears as so she never forgets them.
Opening her mouth she tried to call out and tell them she would have stayed, she would have died with them. Only to have her voice choked out with smoke. Killing her words before they ever made it to her tongue. The screams had always scared her more then the deaths. They were the dieing wishes words of her people and she couldn't answer them or forget the fear that ran through each of them. The fear always pulled her deeper into the village pulling her.................
"REMORA!!" Someone shouted at her. A sudden cold splashed over her whole body violently jerking her out of the flaming village and into her room. Snapping her eyes open Remora spit out a mouth full of water. So it wasn't smoke she was chocking on, it was water. She tried to pull her arms to her face only to realize that she had wrapped herself tightly in her blanket. Picking her way out of it she let the effects of the dream wear off. Letting the fear push itself to the back of her sub-conscience, until it would call on her again. Rubbing her now freed hands over her wet face and into her drenched hair she sighed out of relief. It over. For now.
Fixing her gaze on her lifetime friend Fiona, who was standing beside her bed with a worried look on her face, it vanished as soon Remora made eye contact with her, silently telling her that everything was alright. Glancing downward Remora noticed that Fiona was holding an empty bucket in her hand.
Using her great intellect Remora mentally took Fiona and added a bucket and came to the direct conclusion that Fiona had come to wake her, seen her thrashing and then taken it upon herself to throw cold water on her in an effort to rouse her. 'Evil Child.'
"Thought that might do the trick." Fiona said to her as a large grin bled its way across her face. She was obviously very proud of the rude awakening she'd given her. Remora glared wickedly at her and the evil bucket.
"Did knocking go out of fashion while I slept?" Remora jested at her while running her hands through her hair, wringing the water out of it. She was thoroughly soaked as so were her blankets and pillows. 'Too much water for only one bucket.' Remora thought as she assessed the wetness around her. Leaning over the side of the bed she found what she was looking for. A second empty bucket. She knew this to be the cause of the blood in her dream. This information didn't put her at ease though. She couldn't shake the feeling of someone's blood following across her skin. The memory made her skin crawl.
"I did knock. You didn't answer so I came into wake you and took me two buckets of water to do so!" She told her in an exhausted tone. Like it took all of her energy to dump water on Remora while she slept. Getting back onto the bed, Remora looked to the only window in her room. The sun wasn't even up yet!!
"WHY are you waking me up at this hour?" She demanded to know why she had been dragged awake at this ungodly hour. Although was silently glad that Fiona had brought her out of her nightmare. Remora had been having them every night since she had left the village. Only when Lucan slept with her did they become slightly tame. His innocent presence seemed to calm her thoughts. She also knew it to be the fact that she had to protect Lucan and even her sub-conscience didn't wish to scare him with her ever-violent dreams.
'Where is Lucan? He should have ventured into my room by now.' She thought as she patted down the bed to see if he was hiding in the blankets. She was very disturbed to find them to be empty. Lucan always came to her bed in the middle of the night. He got scared when he was alone he had told her once. His innocence shinning through his eyes. The dark always frightened him to.
"That's why I woke you up. Lucan strayed to far from the ruins and was captured by that Marius's soldiers. His men took him back to his home." Fiona told her. Waiting for the reaction that was bound to come. It took Remora a minute for the meaning of her words to sink in. 'Lucan. Captured. Somebody was going to die.'
Whether it was going to be Lucan for straying, Fiona for not telling her sooner or the Romans that took him. She hadn't made up her mind yet. She may very well end up killing all three. 'How many times did I warn him not to stray to far?!'
"WHY WASN'T I TOLD IMMEDIATELY?" Remora shouted at her. Lucan was basically her son and she would kill anyone who so much as touched a hair on his head. Throwing the blankets off her, she threw on her best black breeches and a high collar blue tunic. Feeling the talisman sitting high upon her chest under the shirt she prayed for mercy against the men that she was going to kill. May their god get to them before she did.
"I came as soon as I received the news. The forest Rogues were delayed by a group of outsiders. The outsiders were headed to Marius's." Fiona told her as Remora gathered her weapons from the far side of my room. They had been freshly cleaned and polished yesterday gleaming the light for the now rising sun. Remora loved having a professional weapons smith at her beckoning. The things he could do with steal in his hands was truly a gift from whatever god he believed in.
"How many outsiders and how many Romans?" Remora asked as she strapped her sword onto hip, attached her staff and quiver to her back and placed a dagger on her hip and one in each of her boots. She looked like a one-woman army and probably carried enough concealed weapons to arm one. She had kept her weapons smith very busy over the years.
"Marius has 20 guards around his land and 10 inside of his home. As for the outsiders." Fiona paused taking a deep breath of air before she continued. "Remora it's the knights of round table. Arthur and the last of his Sarmatian knights are heading for Marius's home. On what errand I know not." Fiona's voice dropped to a whisper as she told her this. As if the walls themselves had ears. Which in this castle was true.
Remora pondered over this as she slipped her arm guard over her tattoo. Only Fiona knew of it since she had the same one. "Are you sure it's them?" She asked. She had to question her to make sure that she was not mistaken. She slipped her other arm guard on as she waited for her answer.
"Yes. The Wine-Maiden sent word from the Wall of their journey here." Fiona sighed as both women made their way out of her room. They both knew that this would complicate things and the Wine-Maiden was a very reliable spy. She always had been.
"I wonder what they're doing this far north of the wall?" Remora hadn't meant to say that out loud and realized she had when Fiona answered her question.
"Well let's hope that we don't need to find out." Fiona said as they descended the stairs to the surface level. Remora loved her castle. To anyone else it looked like an old set of castle ruins that had disintegrated over the years. But if someone were curious enough to venture in the ruins they would see that the old and wearing castle was only a shell over the real fortress. It made it ever harder for people to find, even if they managed to find it through the intricate maze of trees that were about a mile thick in each direction. The Rogues called it the 'Thieves Thicket.' A very proper name.
Outside a stable boy had already packed their horses and readied them for departure. Walking up to him Remora patted him on the head and dropped him a silver coin. The boy looked up to her and gave her a toothy smile.
"Thank you lad. Now I want you to tell Velvet of my leave and also remind him to send for extra patrols in case of Saxon attack. Is that clear?" She ordered of him. Placing her hands on his shoulders she stared straight into his eyes. She could see he feared her but also respected her greatly. The boy nodded his head passionately.
"Yes I promise I will." He said before bowing and running to find the next in command. Remora felt a pang of jealousy towards his innocence. So young and eager. Shoving it away she moved to her horse Falcon. She had put Shadow out to pasture 2 years ago and now rode her fowl. A beautiful black mare with both attitude and power. Just like her.
"Mystic we had better get going." Fiona called to her. She used Remora's Rogue name as she had been told to. It was too much of a danger to anyone in the Rogue to have anyone knowing their real names, so they went with names that were given to them by their comrades. The Rogue names also gave you your statues among fellow Rogues. The more deadly the name the more you were feared. And a stupid the name meant no respect from others.
Lifting herself onto Falcon, Remora gave a final glance at the old ruins that were contained the fort. They had become her home over the years and she had a feeling that the next time she saw them something was going to be different. But she didn't know what. Remora felt Falcon shift underneath her anxiously wanting to get going.
"We're going have to be overly cautious with these knights Hawk-Eye. They don't work in the same fashion as the Romans." Remora muttered the last part out of frustration. She could always predicted the way the Romans fought and never had to think twice when it came to dealing with them. The Romans never thought when they were fighting, these Knights most certainly would. 'Damn. More work then.' Remora thought as her grip tightened around Falcon's reins.
"But I thought they're under Roman command?" Fiona mentioned as they rode quickly through the tight paths of bush and trees. Fiona was right, but she was too young to remember to look deeper into things. Remora had told her many times; Never trust the surface of the running water, it never tells you what's running underneath it. Drawing in a long breath Remora picked through her knowledge of the Knights as they turned a tight corner.
"Yes they are, but according to the Wine-Maiden Arthur places himself on equal levels with his knights, therefore they have influenced his strategies greatly." Remora told her as they made it out of the Thieves Thicket. Marius's home was relatively close and it would only take them a few hours to get there.
"Hawk-Eye." Remora said. Fiona turned her head to her as they continued at a fast gallop down the rode to the Romans. "Don't be surprised if they fight in the same fashion as us. They may be under Roman command, but they are still Sarmatians by blood." Remora told her as spat out the last part. Fiona nodded in understanding at her words, but sent Remora a dark and dirty look for the tone in which she had said them. Remora needed to remind her that they were not their allies in any form. They were bound Rome and would do nothing about it. That is why she held little respect for them.
"At least they don't ignore and hide their blood right." Fiona muttered under her breath. Remora knew that she hadn't meant for her to hear her comment. The fact that they had entered hostile territory prevented her from retaliating even if she had wanted to. Which she didn't. So she chose to ignore and forget it was said.
Yet as they continued to ride, she couldn't think of anything other then the haunting truth behind Fiona's words. Remora had never told anyone that she was Sarmatian, not even the ones that she would trust with her life. Nor did anyone know of Fiona's, Lucan's or her true tribal heritage. She had long ago decided to have all of them wear arm guards over their tribal tattoos whenever they were not alone.
Remora never wore the talisman out in the open. She had always feared what would happen if they found out that; not only were there still members of the Wolfbane tribe alive, but that she still held the Sarmatian Kingship. She felt that she knew that her own people would not accept her as their ruler and then exile her from her own homeland. Then she would be hunted until she was killed so that Sarmatia would be forever un-united and lost to its enemies for all eternity.
"I think we should hide the horses here and make way by foot from here." Fiona's voice spoke, starling Remora out of her train of thought. Looking around her Remora hadn't even noticed that they had already arrived at Marius's land. She scolded herself for losing her focus again. One day her wandering mind is going to get her into trouble.
"This should be a good spot to leave them." Remora verbally agreed. It was close enough that the horses would hear them whistle for them and far enough that they would not be detected. Also the stream and small patch of green grass near the edge of the road would refresh them. It was a perfect spot Fiona boasted. Leaving the horse untied Remora sighed. Now came the hard part. Getting in undetected, finding Lucan among the serfs, and then getting out unnoticed before the Saxon army come upon them. NO PROBLEM! It had sounded much easier to her this morning.
Pushing all distracting thoughts from her mind Remora lead the way into the forest just at the edge of Marius's land. Kneeling at the very edge of the tree line she hide herself in front a large tree with a bush in front of her that allowed her a small viewing hole. Not liking the limited sight she had from her spot she silently motioned for Fiona to climb one of the trees and relay the information to her.
She was now grateful for being forced to learn the Rogue hand language. It came in handy when they couldn't use words or didn't want others to know what they were saying. It was also a code the enabled real Rogues to discover fake rogues.
Remora watched as Fiona climbed a large tree a few feet away from her. Fiona clung to the shadows and moved about without making a sound. It scared Remora sometimes to see how stealthy Fiona could be. Fiona perched herself on a branch where she could still see Remora clearly and pass the events on to her. She informed Remora that all seven knights were there and they seemed to be in an argument with Marius. A knight that she presumed to be Arthur moved to a wall that the serfs were walling back up.
Fiona held her gaze on the scene before giving Remora the summed up version of the lengthy event. Fiona told her that the Knights had broken into some kind of cellar and pulled a badly beaten woman and Lucan out of it. Remora felt her blood start to boil at the thought that someone may have hurt Lucan. She nodded to Fiona and used her hand to tell her she could watch the rest unfold through the bushes.
Remora felt Fiona come to her side. "They are planning to leave at dawn. From the message from the Wine-Maiden and the information I gathered from them I'd say that they're heading back to the wall." Fiona whispered to her as they both watched the men move about the camp giving orders. Remora had been right about them not acting like normal Romans. These men actually knew how to organize a caravan!
Remora now watched carefully as rather large bulky man picked Lucan up and carried him to one of the wagons, sitting him on the edge and checking him over for wounds. Remora decided he would live because he had shown compassion to her adopted son. Then flicking her gaze across the rest of the camp she mentally counted heads as her eyes passed over them. Counting again Remora made sure she had counted correctly. 'SHIT!' Four of the knights were missing.
Turning to Fiona, Remora motioned with her hands what she had just discovered. Fiona looked back to the camp to see if Remora was in fact correct. As she shifted sideways to get a better look something flashed in the corner of Remora's eye. She now knew that they had given their position away to the knights.
Remora stared in shock and horror at the hilt of Fiona's sword that was not covered by her cloak. Watching as it reflected the light of the sun with her every movement. The Knights would have seen the shimmering in the bush and were probably heading their way to find out what or who it was.
Grabbing her roughly by the back of the neck Remora pulled Fiona's angry and startled face to her own and pointed down to the hilt of her sword. Looking down Fiona gazed at her shimmering uncovered hilt. Fiona raised her gaze back to Remora and let her mouth dropped. She had made an amateur's mistake that had cost them their cover and given away the element of surprise. 'Stupid GIRL!' Remora mentally yelled at Fiona.
Not wanting to take chances Remora dashed back to where Fiona and she had hidden the horses, Fiona following right behind her. She heard Fiona whistle for Liax as they got near the edge. Just as he was trained to do Liax was waiting on the path for them. But he wasn't waiting alone.
"Shit." Remora gently cursed to herself.
AN: Thanks for being patient with me. I really wanted to make this chapter as good as the last. I have decided that this well be a Lancelot/OC and a Tristan/OC. If you have a problem with these pairings then let me know.
Also a heads up that I'm going to be changing the timeline of the story a little. Nothing major I just need more time to put everything in the story!
For all of your support and great reviews. Keep them coming!
Love Raynacch Silvermoon XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX