As the Dreikathi Empire's hold upon the northern reaches of Albedos loosened following their loss upon the continent of Sapience, pockets of resistance rose to overthrow their now weakened masters. Civil war erupted within the city set deep into the caldera of Drakkenmont and chaos spread across the southern expanse in a ceaseless wave. Settlements, towns, and villages collapsed beneath the cruel swathe that the Dreikathi carved in their struggle to maintain control.
The people of Albedos were not so easily broken.
Taking up arms, they fell upon the Dreikathi's brutish overlords without mercy before fading into the wastes as quickly as they had come, becoming little more than legend and myth to the slaves of Drakkenmont.
Byen shifted from foot to foot as a familiar figure came into the gloaming light of the dwindling campfire, his nostrils flaring as he took in her scent with a grimace. "Good hunting, friend? I smell death upon you." The Caentoi raised a hand in greeting to the Ursal, a slab of stout muscle and leathers, that plodded towards him with heavy footfalls.
The Ursal tossed a dark object with a grunt, Byen taking a quick step back to avoid the projectile. "Scout," she rumbled as the object rolled into the light; a sack stained red with dark, drying blood. "Was quick. Bloody. Quick. Have trophy." She sat down heavily on a log before the dying fire, stirring the embers with a blackened branch before fixing Byen with a steely stare.
"And I've such a trophy as well," Byen jerked his head to the left, indicating the desiccated corpse of a headless Vierkathi hunter that swung lazily in the night air behind him with the telltale creak of a rope. "The Deathwalkers will be pleased with our findings."
"Is good hunting," the Ursal snorted in reply, kicking a dry log into the fire with a savage boot and emphatic grunt. "I take ten trophies this moon. You take, pah, three? Not so good. I console you with good drink from their cellar and fine meat."
"Ah, I've had my fill of vakmut flesh from the Underbelly, madam," the Caentoi replied primly, snout wrinkling. "I heard they have started an orych herd in the old shrine's garden. Orych milk and meat to be had with our bounties collected, hm? Much better than the vakmut flesh you've come to love, my dear."
"Ha!" The Ursal thumped a heavy paw against her belly, raucous laughter filling the night air. "If little Caentoi makes it back to shrine, yes? Deathwalkers not pay dead dog. Gatekeeper not so kind, yes?"
"Harel, please! Your constant 'dead dog' comments wound me so," Byen replied, an upturned paw placed against his brow in mock horror. "You are not wrong, though. Now, where is our third friend?"
"He's a name about him, Harel."
"Grees-ka?" Harel snorted as the fire began to crackle to life once more, leaning forward to peer through the haze at Byen.
"Graska, yes," Byen muttered, turning to peer over his shoulder into the dark of the wood.
"Where is he?"
"I asked you, Har--"
A wild, keening shriek echoed from the woodlands as a lithe Aslinn bounded into view.
"Ahh, and here he is now. Our wild one, hrm?" Byen bared his teeth in a grin, yellowed teeth gleaming in the firelight.
"Yesss, see?" The Aslinn chattered to himself in broken Albedi, dropping two decapitated Vierkathi heads to the ground with a wheedling laugh as they bounced across the cold ground. His dark eyes peered down at the Ursal and Caentoi with a feverish glaze. "I kill three, but one.. one get away! He run, he cry blood, leave trail--we find him, yes? We need more trophy for dark kings!"
"Tch.. kings, are they?" Byen turned to glance to Harel, the Ursal already shaking her limbs out and kicking a heavy log to snuff out the campfire with a grunt. "Well, Harel. Shall we?"
"I claim trophy," Harel grunted out, hefting her weapon over her shoulder as she strode into the woodlands. "Blood in the air."
Byen nodded, following after the Ursal with the Aslinn trailing closely behind them. Blood in the air. It was a fine night for a hunt.
Courtesy of @Hadrak