Ember’s wings beat the air as he circled slowly above the huge canyon where the Desert Herd steeds had been gathered, almost totally silent, for the past week. Soon he would bring them all to the Sun Herd lands, the richest and best in all Anok.
Ember had chosen a small group of warriors to be his personal fighters, and more joined every day of their own accord, hoping to find favor.
Actually, Ember corrected himself dully, Sprucefeather chose them.
He flew out of the canyon and over the sand to the oasis, turning to peer at Starpebble’s cave, seeing the six guards on the large ledge. Inside was Spark.
Summersong was imprisoned in the next cave, slightly higher, four guards guarding her. It had been unused for a long time, and Sprucefeather had decided it was convenient.
In truth, Sprucefeather ruled the herd. Ember’s spirit had been so dulled by her snakish promises that he couldn’t rise up against her.
Spucefeather’s form rose up from next to the oasis and she flew to his height. “Ember,” she purred.
“Sprucefeather,” he muttered.
She circled him. “Our plan is going well.”
Your plan, Ember thought.
“Yes,” he agreed.
“Tomorrow we will start to Mountain Herd and take it over. I will choose the best warriors and inform them.”
Ember turned and hovered. “You do that.”
Sprucefeather watched Ember carefully. Something has gone wrong. Ember was not the roaring, raging monster she wanted for her plan to take over Anok. He was a dull, hopeless creature with nothing and no one for which to live.
Musing, she spiraled down to a lower height and glided towards the opening of the canyon, where warriors guarded the entrance. She landed.
“Let them out onto the sand,” she nickered. “There is no need to keep them bottled up any longer.” Then she pointed at seven captains. “You, assemble your battalions and report to me near the oasis.”
Her eyes narrowed. “It’s time I paid Mountain Herd back.”
Hey! Thank you so much for reading!
Flintwing~ (over-stallion) dark gray stallion with slate-blue feathers, black mane and tail. Deceased
Cedarwing~ (over-stallion) agile light bay stallion with blue feathers, black mane and tail, thin white blaze
Sprucefeather~ (widowed mare) bay mare with green feathers, black mane and tail
Snowstone~ (under-stallion) white stallion with mint feathers, white mane and tail. Deceased
Stormrain~ (yearling) dark gray filly with dark green feathers, black mane and tail
Hoperiver~ (single/widowed mare) pure white mare with sparkling blue feathers flecked with amber, silky white mane and tail
Stormsun~ (single mare) chestnut mare with turquoise feathers, curly black mane and tail fading to light brown, four white socks, blaze
Rockroot~ (medicine stallion) smoky-gray stallion with deep pink feathers, black mane and tail, white snip on nose
Mistwing~ (over-stallion) white stallion with misty blue and white feathers, silver mane and tail
Ashcloud~ (lead mare) smoky gray mare with smoky purple feathers, black mane and tail, large diamond-shaped star on forehead
Fogfire~ (captain) gray stallion with navy feathers, black mane and tail. Deceased
Moonfrost~ (mated mare) dark silver mare with dark purple feathers, black mane and tail, Deceased
Echoflower~ (single/widowed mare, elder) white mare with pink feathers, white mane and tail
Rainshine~ (yearling) dark silver dapple filly with silver feathers, black mane and tail
Cobrawing~ (over-stallion) bay pinto stallion with green feathers, mixed brown-and-white mane and tail
Dustcloud~ (lead mare) palomino mare with pale green feathers, white mane and tail, wide white blaze
Sunfire~ (captain) gold dun stallion with violet feathers, gold mane and tail, thin white blaze
Starpebble~ (yearling) silver filly with pale blue feathers, white mane and tail, deep blue eyes
Ember~ (black foal, yearling) solid black colt with black feathers, black mane and tail
Spark~ (black foal, yearling) solid black colt with black feathers, black mane and tail, four white socks
Brightsky~ (mated mare) bright palomino mare with mixed blue and purple feathers, white mane and tail
Sunlight~ (single/widowed mare) palomino pinto mare with pink feathers, white mane and tail. Ember and Spark’s dam. Deceased
Summersong~ (yearling) brownish-gold filly with pale pink feathers, light brown mane and tail
Palmroot~ (medicine mare) gold dun mare with amethyst feathers, black mane and tail, black points
Tumbleweed~ (nursing foal) buttermilk buckskin with turquoise feathers, black mane and tail, uneven blaze
Shanika Stormrunner~ Queen of the Fifth, age thirty-three. Tall with long black hair, tan skin, golden eyes. Kihlara mount:
Quinn Cloudburst~ age fourteen. Curly light honey-brown hair, lightly tanned skin, dark brown eyes.
Sami Firetongue~ age thirty-nine. Short crinkly black hair, dark brown skin, amber eyes
Sera~ beautiful dark bay mare with lemon-yellow feathers, black mane and tail, wide white blaze
Ras~ handsome dark bay colt with lemon-yellow feathers, black mane and tail, wide white blaze
Jager~ gray pangare mare with light green feathers at the mantle changing to white at the ends, gray mane and tail
Celaeri~ blue-gray mare with rose feathers, black mane and tail
Viru~ palomino stallion with reddish-orange feathers, flaxen mane and tail