So much blood..
A sickening gurgle echoed to the void as the knife cut through flesh and stayed. The body hit with a wet thud on the grass.
A figure dressed in white and grey armor stumbled away from the battle. His grip tightened on the bow in his hand to the point that the knuckles became white, like his body refused to let go.
Behind him among the trees were several corpses, either with arrows lodged in them or their throats cut. He had managed to take them all out, at least the ones he knew of. Three days of ambushes wore heavily on him and this instance didn't go in the wander's favor entirely.
Leaning against a tree, the breath that came out of him was hitched and labored. His wounds left a trail of crimson among the blades of grass. The white wolf helm that adorned his head was drenched with red and gore, looking like a feral beast. Trying to steady himself he left a smear of blood on the bark, his legs willed him forward.
...Little one...hold on just a little...longer...We’ll get help..
He could barely focus on the familiar whispers in the back of his mind. He didn't understand why he kept moving, maybe it was the adrenaline.
Making a few more steps, his vision became blurred by blood and exhaustion which caused him to trip and fall to his knees. He looked across the vast lake to settle on what he thought was a large tree twinkling with little lights.
Except that was the last thing he saw before the sun rose. Then everything went black.
The early morning air was chillier than normal.
A tall woman made her way down the old path towards the forest. Her long blond braided hair whipped around in the wind as her breath came out in soft while puffs.
“Brigitte, it was just a dream.” The woman now known as Brigitte mumbled, pulling her fur lined cloak up to her chin. Even if she could convince herself that it was, she had to investigate. “A recurring one..”
The call for help and the grey wolf eyes felt so real, like someone or something was reaching out in desperation.
Brigitte stopped and looked around, this was one of the locations hinted in the visions especially the view of the god tree. Except nothing seemed out of the ordinary. So after several long moments and a sigh she turned to head back to the village until something in the corner of her eye caught Brigitte’s attention.
"Blood?" Brigitte tensed up a little, preparing her flail from underneath her cloak.
Kneeling next to the dark crimson pool, poking it with her gloved finger to discover that it was mostly dry. Whatever transpired here happened sometime during the night. Brigitte decided to follow where the blood led and it ended near where the lake and forest met. After a few paces north, she saw bodies half eaten by the wild animals. Her lips turned down to a frown after noticing the tattoos on the arm of one of the corpses.
A black bird with a white skull...the mark of the Talon clan.
It seems they were once again trespassing into the Lindholm lands, she would need to warn her father. Though it made her wonder why they are acting up again, Talon hadn’t been active since the war. Before she was even birthed.
Though something seemed off about what killed some of them. Yanking out one of the arrows and wiping off the gore, Brigitte squinted while studying it. The design of it was not like anything she had seen for her own clan or any of the others nearby. Brigitte was impressed by the layout, so she took one to study later, maybe she could even combine it with her own work.
Heading on further to access more of the situation and report back, a glint of white and metal flickered near a tree. Brigitte cautiously headed over and saw it was a man dressed in strange armor and wearing some sort of wolf head helm that was once white but now covered in blood and dirt.
At least she knew who the archer was who shot the arrows, seeing the bow next to his body. Turning the stranger on his back, Brigitte gasped upon seeing the sword and knife wounds alongside the huge pool of blood. It was a slim chance but she leaned her ear against his chest, maybe he was still alive.
Brigitte's blue eyes suddenly went wide. There was a faint sound of a heartbeat, at least she was sure there was one and a small puff of air from his lips. Without a second thought she took off her cloak and wrapped him up as gently as she could. Also attaching his bow to her chest leather before carefully lifting him onto her back. He was heavier than she thought but Brigitte had carried far heavier loads, hopefully the trip wouldn’t worsen his delicate situation.
Quickly Brigitte walked back to the village in hopes of maybe saving this mysterious man. Left to wonder if the gods had led her to find him in the first place but why her.
The village of the Lindholm clan became buzzing with activity.
Though the blacksmith forge of the Ironclad was the most alive. Manned by the clan leader himself, Torbjorn Lindholm. Short in stature but loved by his clan. His arm was replaced by metal and leather after the war crafted by he himself.
Except this morning he was frustrated since his main apprentice and heir wasn't there.
“Where is that daughter of mine?” Torbjorn sighed. His only daughter, Brigitte was a genius armorer and craftsman but sometimes she was a handful. She had run off early that morning before everyone awoke despite having her duties.
He heard a chuckle and a loud familiar voice. “She is young, let her be free a little longer, old friend.”
A man that was almost as tall as the room walked in, hair and beard white as snow. The scar over his eye, earned from a great fight, stuck out but was only matched by his smile.
“Reinhardt, I give her plenty of time to do what she wishes after her duties but still, I need her to be ready to take on the forge.” The small man replied.
“You know she is a good and capable enough leader.” Rein said, sitting down on one of the benches. “Plus she has the support of the clan.”
“I know but I am still a papa and I worry for my only child.”
“You worry too much my friend.” Reinhardt laughed out loud, patting Torb on the shoulder. “We’ve both trained her well.”
Before Torbjorn could say more, there was a commotion from outside. “What could that be?”
“Let us see indeed.” Reinhardt mumbled and then grabbed his hammer.
As the two men stepped outside, seeing Brigitte just in the distance coming to the gate. Carrying what seemed to be a person on her back.
“HEALER! Get Angela now!” Brigitte started yelling once the main gate was opened.
One boy ran past Reinhardt and Torbjorn in the direction of the healer’s hut.
Reinhardt cut a path easily through the concerned crowd to get to Brigitte, offering to take the man off her back. “Let me help.”
“Be careful uncle, his wounds are quite extensive.” She let Reinhardt carefully take the stranger into his arms. “It’s a surprise his gods didn’t take him.”
“Whatever or whoever watches over him wants to keep him here.” Rein said before making a headstart.
“Where did you find him?” Torbjorn asked, falling in step with his daughter.
“On the edge of the forest, across the lake from the god tree.” Brigitte started. “I was awoken by a dream of wolves and the god tree. So I went to investigate because if the gods sent me a message it must mean something. At first maybe it was nothing until I saw blood and...talon corpses.”
Torbjorn was worried about the last part, so the rumors from the other clans were correct. “Go on.”
“I found the stranger not too far. It was his weapons that took them all out.” Brigitte looked at Reinhardt’s back. “I couldn't just let a warrior go unhonored if he died but his heart still beats somehow.”
“For now we’ll see what the witch can do. If he’s meant to live then the gods will deem so.” Torb said, though his mind was more concerned with the proof that talon had surfaced. The other clans would need to know.
It didn’t take for them to get to the hut that stood by itself under a decorated ash tree and catch up to Reinhardt. The curtain door swooshed open to show a blonde woman with bright blue eyes dressed in furs and leather who stepped outside.
“Off with you young man. What is all this commotion I am hearing-” Once she saw the bloodied body she knew her answer and became serious. Gesturing to come inside then to the ‘bed’ made of leather as she grabbed her herbs and concoctions. “Lay him down over there.”
Reinhardt nodded, doing as she said.
“Reinhardt, please get Lady Ana. I will need her assistance as well.” Angela started her observation of the patient, unwrapping him from the bloodied cloak. Not even looking up as she continued her orders. “ Master Lindholm, could you settle the crowd outside. I will need as much peace as possible.”
“Yes healer Angela.” Rienhardt said before heading to get the requested person.
Torbjorn nodded, not liking how she just tossed orders about but she was correct. Taking one last glance at this daughter who looked unusually anxious at the condition of the man she brought in before slipping out.
That left only Angela and Brigitte in relative silence.
“Brigitte, remove your gloves and wash your hands with this.” Angela said shortly, while giving the younger woman a bottle. “Then help me remove some of his armor.”
She didn’t even think twice, Brigitte slid off the leather and put them aside, doing what the healer requested.
Removing the armor proved to be quite a task, mixed with the threat of worsening the wounds and the unusual multiple layer styles. Brigitte pulled the wolf helm off, freeing a crown of tangled white hair. Just under his eyes were strange yellow markings that were better visible in the light of the fire.
Angela removed that last part of the robe to reveal a toned torso with wounds caked with blood and dirt alongside old scars. Strange yellow colored markings also trailed down his left arm, they almost glowed against the tone of his skin.
Angela checked for a heartbeat and breath. "It is very weak but it's still there."
Before Brigitte could say anything the curtain shuffled aside.
"You called for me?" A rich voice said, which belonged to an older darker skinned woman called Ana.
“Yes, we need to act with haste if we are to save this man. Sorry Brigitte but you must leave. Thank you still.” The blond healer looked up at her, eyes saying that there would be no arguing. “Return to your house and be sure to remove your stained clothes and wash.”
Ana ushered Brigitte out to the main room of the hut. “He shall be in good hands.”
“I know.” Brigitte gave the man she saved one last look and left, giving a prayer that her dream was to save him.