Gus' lips shortened across rosy cheeks as his eyes took a squint of sunlight from the blue above. He hiccupped comically. Leaving the district, his feet ached a rosiness of themselves, and he knew that his recent days of rest had given them renewed feeling.
Continuing through the city, he came to a guard box, and passed it with a genial straightening. The Seraph guard wasn't looking at passers-by, but was sleepily within thought.
With a leg slung over the side, Gus seated on the large high walkway over-looking the Weston Commons, where he waited, occasionally peering up at the sun or looking down into its shadows.
When a deep roughish laughter chuckled out behind him, Gus smiled and crooked his head.
"Gust!" Yelled the bearded man, whose large dolyak sized shoulders raised with the spread of his arms.
Gus shifted to view him. The man had his helm in his hand; a long sword harnessed sturdily on his back featured a wing motif.
"I thought I'd find you first Del," Gus spoke as he thumbed the view behind him.
"Hey, I'm Seraph. You know I spot you before you spot me eh," Del spoke loudly before adding in a whisper: "Oh hey, you've been drinking."
Gus move away the lower part of his coat and poked at a flask of clear liquor.
"Ah ha! Let's stretch our legs huh," told Delroy, nodding over to the giant set of thick wooden doors that opened to the homes and farmlands outside of Divinity's Reach.
The two men patted each other across the back and made their way together.
Standing solidary, Gus Windbourne took a short breath as he saw the group of Seraph soldiers around him broaden. As one glanced his way, Gus eyed the giant set of thick wooden doors ahead of him. They opened loudly.
A whooping came from someplace in the crowd; in other places, only silence. The unit moved forward, so Gus put one foot in front of the other. As the gate's dramatics diminished behind him, the fields of Shaemoor revealed in their vastness as the ranks spread. It was then Gus saw the Seraph captain that was to lead his group, and inform him, indirectly, that the oaf who'd bullied his younger years, was to battle along side him this day.
Delroy snorted in annoyance.
Del snorted a laugh and split his drink, "Think you got back in time, Gus - may have centaur bodies to wade through the way things are going."
"Ma said…" Gus pondered in realisation.
"I don't want to know, interjected Del between swigs, "there's enough to think about with Separatists and now what looks like an attack from centaurs. The captain feels a change.
"Perhaps centaurs have something to do with it after all. Maybe this is just the start…whatever it is Del, something dark is coming. She didn't tell me much, but that was clear.
Del paused his drinking, "Dragons..?
"Dragons?" Gus returned.
"They are real. Half of the Norn want to prove themselves against dragon invasion."
Gus rubbed his chin with the back of his hand, "Ain't dragons a myth?"
"Ah I don't know, Del spoke into the bottle before drinking away his words, "so much is changing.
"Sir," called a soldier, and his captain spun around; a parchment in hand. The two exchanged messages before the soldier moved into the ranks of Gus' group. Each Seraph here carried a fine sword or bow; each volunteer carried their own accompaniment. Gus pressed his palm into the hilt of his father's dagger. The captain motioned and they advanced.
After a march, it was clear his group was to take a flanking approach through the top area of a cavernous system of earthy tunnels. Gus thought of his elements as he brushed athwart the close sides, two Seraph ahead of him jumped downwards finding easier footing, which gave space for others to move into. It was here Gus saw himself clambering right next to Delroy the bully. Gus hunched his shoulders and fixed eyes ahead. Delroy's own eyes shot to and fro to the back of Gus' head before dropping to the floor.
Ahead the captain's arm shot forwards and a rush came to those behind him, which sent a wave all the way down the group. Gus saw Delroy pass him, along with all the others. He realised he had been at a half-run, and as he looked behind him found he was the last man.
Into view the battle had already fiercely started. The captain and Seraph were into the fray, surprising the enemy as they did. Death had come. At the sight of it, Gus dropped a jaw. An arrow whizzed and embedded itself into rock at head height. A second later Gus took sight of it, spun and pushed himself into the hard cave dirt. A hand held across his skull. Sounds of a woman painfully struck sent Gus forwards to look over an edge to the melee below. He immediately rose onto knees and casted a coalescing fire above an enemy's head which took it's concentration before it extinguished. However it gave enough time for the woman to cut the enemy open. What lay groaning was the dying figure of an ogre.
Another arrow took flight and pinged around him somewhere. Taking footing he clenched a fist and briefly closed his eyes. An oscillating bubble surrounded him in time for a different arrow to bounce from it. Gus saw it land and found it's owner as an ogre pulled another one into the air. Gus flinched, the arrow stung and the shield faded. Uninjured Gus shot his hand forwards and out and opened up a flaming burst of fire into his opponent, engulfing it. A man speared and twisted a fork until it screamed no more.
The enemy lessened into retreat. Gus threw flaming bursts after them as they fought through the group that had flanked them. Across their way a Seraph went down; beside her was Delroy, now left wounded by one ogre full of rage, swinging a large spiked club. Gus jolted into action as the ogre saw its opportunity – Delroy was trapped between a small place and a large anger. Gus saw a long distance. Air bellowed up from beneath him him. The ogre spat sounds as it swung its club upwards. Gus gasped a lung full of breath and sparks jutted from the tips of his body's angles. With steps no longer grounded he disperse into the brightness of lightning. The ogre turned; a flash in its eyes. With a crash of stun, both Gus and ogre fell away within wind.
Gus sat back onto his hands, astonished, seeing the ogre lay awkward, and motionless, before eyeing Delroy, who grinned back at him; a pistol hung from his fingers. A shout went forth from a captain as he planted a banner firmly among the fallen of the cave.
"Your journey's not over so quickly, Gus?" Del grinned.
Snapped away from thought Gus replied, "she said time could be short, and that I should find myself. I've been wanting to get away. It's time I did."
They sat calmly with Del finishing the liquor, before Gus spoke his decision, "A month, then I head to Lion's Arch."
Del threw him a glance, "Could be centaur trouble here within that time, but then what am I to say…you could outrun a centaur."
The two of them grimaced.