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3/10/2019 2:12:45 PM
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The Lords of Ambros (Chapter 10, Part 1)

Table of Contents: https://www.bungie.net/en/Forums/Post/244705039?page=0&sort=0&showBanned=0&path=1 [b]Chapter 10, Part 1[/b] [i]The previous day…[/i] Locke sat upon a sizable stone at the center of his camp-given into his care, some hours ago, by Roak-, and scanned his surroundings with time-worn vigilance. While most about him lay in the open, guarded from the elements by nothing aside from the crater in which their camp was situated, Locke was warmed by a heavy cloak-another benefit of his friendship with the Wolf. Beneath his cloak was sheathed a third gift from Roak, of which he was constantly aware. This was a dagger of sorts, its blade small, and its design unremarkable, but of exceptional craft and sharpness. It was his only weapon. This is not to suggest that he was otherwise defenseless, however. Roak had appointed, to keep the peace in his stead, several individuals from within the refugees’ ranks who he felt trustworthy. Due to his being decidedly unpopular among the members of his host (largely as a consequence of his conscripting them to a cause for which they cared little, and which promised death as the logical culmination of their efforts), the number of his loyalists was few, and fewer still were suited for the task at hand. Roak, having little choice otherwise, armed them all the same. Thus, there was left to rule in the Wolf’s absence a regime composed almost entirely of two sorts of individuals: the spineless children, who knew themselves to be as much, and who wouldn’t dare fire their weapons even in the direst of circumstances; and the reckless youths, who, having for the first time the authority to end a life, sought to do so at the slightest provocation. Outside of these, Roak had empowered only two. The first was, of course, Locke, who-despite being the others’ appointed superior-hadn’t the physical means to do much at all concerning combat (being, as he was, one-handed). The second was a boy several years Locke’s elder, by the name of Mason, who sat at his right. Though Roak had made an effort to learn most of the refugees’ names, he associated these names not with individuals-each having their own unique personalities, experiences, and such-but with faces. The face of Mason, it should be noted, recalled to the Wolf’s memory the night of his first encountering the refugees, now some days past. It was the face of he who-when the Scavengers came, and all others shrank into the shadows-had stood his ground in order to save the life of a then-unconscious Locke, and in doing so had nearly lost his own. For this reason, it was to Mason that Roak had truly confided the camp and its inhabitants, though neither was made explicitly aware of this, either in word or in thought. This new order, Roak had known, could not resist the pull of chaos for long-nor did he expect it to. Upon taking his leave, at the birth of a dawn that had since passed, the Warlord had been fully intent upon returning within the span of a few hours. And so he had left, on what was to become the routine task of scouting ahead of his force (in order to ensure their safe travels), and had given a final instruction to his successors, which was offered largely in jest. It was thus: “Try not to kill each other until I get back.” To the spineless children among his ranks, the mere suggestion of the possibility of their killing each other served only as further cause for fright. To their more optimistic counterparts, the Warlord’s presenting his final comment as a suggestion rather than an order was, for all intents and purposes, a green light for their killing as they pleased. No members of the third faction present within the camp, who have hitherto gone unmentioned, heard the Wolf’s parting advice. [i]They[/i] were well away from the place of his departure, at the opposite edge of the encampment-and besides, [i]they[/i] would not have heeded his advice regardless of its tone, or of the sentiments expressed therein. You see, [i]they[/i] were those with whom Roak was decidedly unpopular…and while the Wolf and his successors were undergoing the transfer of power, [i]they[/i] were plotting. It was of these that Locke was most wary, and it was for their plotting that he held his watch. In the first hour of his vigil, the boy was most attentive. This was, as it would happen, the time when his guard was least necessary, for most others still slept. Most…but not all. In the second hour, he began to grow bored, and his mind wandered. Upon realizing his mistake, he returned to his task with a renewed focus. In the third hour, a howling wind began upon the plain, dulling Locke’s senses and stirring many from their slumber. In the fourth hour, chaos broke. ________________________________________ [Continued]

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