He was at one with the darkness, at one with the whispering of the grass, at one with the clouds that hung low and menacing above them, their swollen bulk a mass of shrouded mist, illuminated by jagged flickers of white lightening.
His eyes were closed drinking in the very air over the slurp of stew, the steady rhythmic creaks and groans of jaws as they sunk teeth into juicy meat. Meat earned and won, meat fought for in the steady battle to remain amongst the chosen.
Their numbers dwindled, a great crowd that had swelled around the stormseers on the first day now dwindling to but a few handfuls, two dozen mounts stood, tethered around them, tossing fine heads, manes swirling through the air even as they returned to their grazing.
Kelun let out the lowest of contented snorts, the noise enough to give him an idea of her presence, the slightest turn of his head bringing the mare into view, her head proud and upright, coat gleaming a luminescent white in the moonlight, her poise dominant even amongst the mass of stallions.
His gaze softened from thoughtful poise to gentle affection even as he turned back to his own bowl, a deep gulp bringing a chunk of meat upon his sharp incisors and he sunk his teeth into it with a grateful snap.
They had been lucky to have meat at all tonight, a careless step and a bow shot either of great skill or tremendous fortune sending the beast to its knees. His eyes fell upon the bowmen head tilting as he considered the boy before him, perhaps a summer older than, a single ring glittering below blunted squashed features
What are you boy, a natural with the bow or one who rode upon the winds of chance as the sun eagle rides the winds of the plains.
His eyes became light and warm once more his head rising to stare around the fire with the smallest of secret smiles, as he relished in the camaraderie even in silence. There was a kinship their, even above the chasms created by competition and ambition, that they had lasted so long held them together.
So similar...his eyes moved across the fires to the rise upon which a pair of stormseers lingered....yet so different to the bond they held. Theres a deep bond, the result of years held them together, their voices rumbling and deep, their figures a shifting maze of talismans and trinkets, seeming to fall silently against their towering forms, forms that whirred and groaned with noises that set his teeth on edge then seemed to move silently as a ghost.
They must think him slow, for his mind boggled when he looked upon them, struck silent by the sheer size of some of those fangs, too big for the jaws of any creature he had ever set eyes upon. Then his eyes fell upon the casing beneath his intelligence cast upon the winds as he studied the movements that seemed too graceful to be possible in such a bulky casing.
One of them shifted, flecks of gold sparkling in the firelight, the shimmering metal streaks the feathers of the sun eagle, the sight of which had set his lungs aflame, his breath catching in his throat. To bear the feather of such a creature was an honor, but to bear many was a prize beyond comprehension. Aye the stormseer bore the honour of the sun eagle in flight, its likeness cast in thin white scars around eyes that held and bound, froze his ligaments like a hare spooked by the eagles shrieking call. A crying call that seemed to echo deep within the deep rumbling of thunder in the stormseers voice.
It seemed it was this one that watched over them in particular, often the cloaked figure appearing as if he had fallen from the skys to cast veiled words upon them all and Dulai fixed him with a questioning glare.
Do you see potential in me eagle, or do i linger upon the precipice?
The dark eyes flecked with gold turned and Dulai's eyes followed his gaze to seize eagerly upon another figure more recent to the group, his trinkets more sparse, his gaze just as judging as the stormseers yet more poignant, distorted by something he could not quite comprehend, its familiarity shrouded by the rolling mists of another emotion.
His eyes twitched to the roaring beast that had sparked so much talk amongst the aspirants as the warrior had careened towards them, astride the metal beast legs clamped around it like a horse.... yet.... yet it roared, belching a thick acrid mist even as it tore across the dunes, eating up the earth like a starved sabrecat.
His eyes lingered hungrily upon the beast, the sheer speed it promised making his tongue flitter across his teet, his gaze suddenly tinged with shock as sparks flew, a pebble skidding across the fire and into the darkness. H twisted slowly tracing the motion back to its source to find a group of surly disturbed youths glaring in their direction, one amongst them, held his head higher than the others, his scarred features the source of rumour and intrigue, one look into those blood thirsty eyes affirming his suspicions.
A murderer, not a warrior.
He met the murderous gaze and held it, held it a second too long then lingered a little longer, his lips pursed, eyes cold considering the other boy. The slightest toss of his head and roll of his eyes dismissed the murderer even as he turned back to the fire, hearing a growling laugh from a light skinned wiry boy about his own age a grunt of dismissal slipping from between gaped teeth.
His gaze fell upon the fire, though the murderous eyes still seemed to flicker before him glinting in its rippling orange depths, his heart beginning to pound even as his legs shifted, slowly uncoiling like languorous serpents.
He could feels others shifting around him, limbs stiffening like beasts with the scent of intruders upon their nostrils and Dulai let his eyes close for a second, the deep brown orbs flashing open even as his own body tensed
I am at one with my body....
kudos to lillian thorne for the awesome sig