'Crescent Cove, The Rangers'

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'A Tundra-Wolf Story'

Part Four

     It was just before the mid of night when the first wave of the Over-Captain's Rangers left the hills above Dawnu for Crescent Cove. The bright light of an almost full moon shown down on the men of the Thirteenth as their column rode two abreast into the forest south of the camp. The line of thirty Rangers rode by as silent as a whisper on their feisty, well trained Coursers who were eager to be on the move. The Tundras of the Thirteenth formed into several packs and were already running ahead as point guard for the line of men.

     Anthon sat on the back of Arkumus with Granit alongside watching as the column of men rode by. Several other Wolf Pack Captains upon their War-horses with their Tundras at their side also came to watch the Rangers leave. Salutes of right fist to chest were given as Captain Larsinius, leader of the Thirteenth, and several of his officers went by. The men of the Thirteenth were leaving as outriders ahead of the Giants and the Suthurne Manse on the lookout for enemy scouting parties from the Roman invasion force.

     By the light of the almost full moon shining down Anthon could see the beginning of the road the Rangers were taking into the thick forest. It was a little used trail they would travel upon and he was counting on the Romans being unaware of it. The road would take the Rangers south for a bit and then turn west leading them to the hill above Crescent Cove. Parts of the route were narrow and over grown with shrubs and ferns making it little more than a footpath in many places. Besides clearing the way of any Roman scouts the Rangers of the Thirteenth were also tasked with cutting back the foliage on their way to widen the road where needed for wagons that would soon follow. Unfortunately they would not be able to count on the bright light of the moon to aid them. After just a short distance into the forest the trees grew tall and close together, they crowded the path on both sides and blocked out the sky above. Even in the day with the sun straight overhead the trail through the forest was dark and gloomy. The Rangers would have to rely on their heightened senses of hearing and smell, courtesy of the Wild Wolf Magic through the Wolf-bond. Even in total darkness they would be able to feel their way and tell if any danger lurked on the road ahead. On a clear, calm night like this the Rangers were capable of sensing enemy soldiers as far as ten miles out with very little effort. With the added skills of their Tundras patrolling ahead there would be no surprises on the path in front of them.

     Anthon was fortunate to have the Rangers from Barknormire Province as part of his combined Wolf Pack. As a leader Captain Larsinius was of the finest caliber and the men and Tundras of the Thirteenth Tribe who followed him were steadfast and highly capable warriors. They could be counted on to efficiently accomplish the tasks he assigned them. They could also be counted on to protect the main force of his Rangers while the ambush was taking place, or die trying if they had to.

     "Lars best make it through this in one piece!" Captain Makarios said softly, but loud enough for the line of Captains to hear. He led the Rangers of the Second Tribe from the Arvendon Province. "He owes me coin from playin' dice last night. I didn't stay up late taking it from him just so's he could skip out on his debt. He best not come up with the excuse of dying in this battle neither." The Men along the line laughed lightheartedly at the plight the Captain of the Second was in.

     "Lars is a good man, probably the best of us," Captain Aleksis said, he was leader of the Rangers from the Sixth out of Gundor Province down south. "But he is terrible at dice, I think he owes all of us here coin. Have no fear Makarios, I don't think the Captain of the Thirteenth will fall just to get out of paying his debt to you. He just won't pay!" The Captains laughed a little louder and little longer this time, many agreeing with the Captain of the Sixth.

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