Well, I’m afraid that I just found out that I’m going to be posting a bit earlier than I’d planned. So, this isn’t very good and it certainly needs a lot of work, but here you go. I’d love to hear any comments that people have as this is a very, very rough draft that I just put together last night.

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Bregda pushed into the large hide covered tent that had served as both her home and her headquarters as the army grew around her own small clan. Three of the leading females of her clan squatted in the fetid, smokey air around a low table, their tails allowing for easy balance in the otherwise precarious position, pointing to various locations on a crude hide map that lay between them. There were two males also in the room, one at the table partaking in the strategic conversation, while her father paced around the brazier in the center of the tent. As Bregda allowed the hide to slap closed behind her all of the elders flicked the air with their tongues, tasting her scent, and then turned towards her with a predator’s grace.

“Finally, you deign to join us.” Hissed Shelaich as she rose from the table and stalked around Hrogar towards her. Hrogar, however, lifted one arm to stop the larger female.

“Shelaich, our warleader deserves respect,” he flicked his tongue at Bregda in what she took to be a sign of good-humor, “even if she does keep her elders on the long hunt.”

Shelaich glared at him, but stopped short of brushing him aside. “A long hunt is one thing, but we’ve been here since near dawn. She’s been fraternizing again, hasn’t she. Laying eggs and hoping that one of the skyborn will fertilize them for her.”

Bregda’s mouth opened in a low growl, but her father’s voice split Shelaich’s anger like a knife before Bregda could even speak. “We are not here to insult one another, Shelaich. Your time of hunting long and leaving hatches for clever males to find are far behind you, and we have had little better to do with our light, as you four proved with your unending bickering over that map.”

Shelaich turned her ire on him, but the other two females intervened, and Bregda’s father turned to her as Shelaich squabbled with them. “I supposed you’ve heard why we’re here?”

Bregda twitched her head in an affirmative, and replied, “I heard something about a vision, though that was all. Can you tell me what your vision was?”

“If Shelaich will quiet down for a time.” He said with a pointed look at the argument in the corner. Bregda admired her father immensely. Though he had been gifted with great powers, it was the air of authority that surrounded him, even when speaking to females of his clan, that was truly impressive. He was the only one of her clan that everyone listened to, even volatile members like Shelaich and hatchlings from her bloodline.

Shelaich and the others quieted for a moment, allowing him to speak. “This came to be last dark as I slept. I had hoped that it would be no more than a dream, but I fear that it was much more than that. I saw our camp not long from now I think for the stars were only a little different. It was dark, and most of us were asleep. Then, a man entered my vision. He was not like the Tenoconeh, though he was about as tall. His skin was much darker, and his hair was a bright gold. He reminded me of the invaders to the north, but something was different about him.” He glanced at the map as he spoke, where the small beach encampment that the invaders had established was marked. “He seemed… older and much more haunted. Though I have suspected that the invaders are old ones, one and all, much older than even the elders of our clan, I believe that this man makes them look like children. It was something in his baring, the way his head hung, the weight in his shoulders, and the stolid acceptance in his gaze. He was not like the others, he did not hate us, nor did he wish to enslave us… but he will kill us all.” Her father paused for a moment, glancing at each of them in turn. “Of this I am sure. In my vision he walked almost silently into the center of the camp, and then a great black cloud like nothing I’ve seen before rose up around him and spread outward from him to cover the camp. I saw through it, though it was opaque, and into our dwellings as the cloud itself ate away our lives, sucking at our years as though they were a marrow-filled bone, until every one of us was decayed with age. After this, the man simply left.”

One of Bregda’s claws tapped on the dirt as she mulled over the vision her father had described. Then she looked to the elders. “What do you think of this?”

Hrogar coughed out a laugh. “We run, obviously. I don’t care how many mystics or skyborn we have, there is nothing in our army that can match the sheer power that he describes.”

“Coward,” Shelaich’s fist bounced off of the top of his skull, a blow that sent Hrogar stumbling a few steps. “They have invited themselves into our lands, taken our food, stolen our sisters! I don’t care what this vision describes. We cannot stand for this! We must destroy them!”

Bregda nodded, first at one and then at the other. “I share your concerns, Shelaich, but Hrogar is right. If there really is a man with power like that which my father describes, there is nothing we can do to stand against him. However,” she turned to her father, “you said that this vision took place sometime in the future, correct?”

Her father nodded, “Yes, not too long, more more than a few darks from now. Perhaps ten or twelve. Perhaps more.”

Bregda glanced from Shelaich to her father and back, “Why would they wait? If the invaders have such incredible power, why would they wait?”

“Of course they wouldn’t,” Shelaich hissed, “of course, it was just a dream.”

“I don’t think so.” Bregda countered her, looking back at her father, “I think that it was very real, but that this man hasn’t arrived yet. Think: would we send our strongest mystics or leaders far over the sea where they would be caught, alone in an alien land? Of course not, we would send others first, and only send our strongest later, when they would be of more use. Father’s vision was a warning. This man that he describes will arrive soon, and we must take action before he does.”

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Okay, that’s enough for today. As I said, I know that this part isn’t very good, but I’ll be happy to hear any comments that you might have about how to improve it.

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