Blue Eyes

On a ridge high above the smoking ruins, arctic blue eyes sharpen with focus. Though she was watching from a great distance away, she could plainly make out the humanoid figure stumbling out of the village. A ragged cloak, dirty and charred, surrounded the person, and a sheathed sword was held tight to their chest; they seemed to carry little else besides. Still, it was a survivor. As far as she could tell, the only survivor of those that did not flee before the fire descended. Perhaps no action was needed. It didn’t look like the stray would last very long, as already shivers wracked their body and their head was hung low. Yes, she decided. There was no need to interfere with this one. Their fate was already sealed.

But then, another figure burst from the tree line. The lightly-armoured figure had been running hard, a three-pronged spear raised and ready for battle. The strange spear was lowered as the man surveyed the burning village. A helmet covered his face, but his posture betrayed confusion and disappointment. His back straightened when he noticed the lone survivor. Rushing over, he stopped a few feet short of the figure, weapon still in hand. The cold, glowing eyes on the ridge blinked. Perhaps the survivor’s end was even closer than she initially thought.

The two stood there for a moment. She was too far away to hear if they exchanged words, and didn’t have the angle to see either of their faces. They had both frozen, as if waiting for something to happen. But nothing did.

A minute passed. Finally, the helmed man stepped closer. The cloaked one shifted awkwardly, then fell forward. The helmed man dropped his spear and reached out to catch them. The cloaked one let themself fall into the man’s arms, still clutching the sheathed sword in both hands. Soundless sobs lurched through the cloaked one’s body. The helmed man took one last look at the village, then began to carry the cloaked one into the forest, back the way he had come. The cloaked one continued to cry into the man’s arms until they were out of sight.

This changed things. The helmed man would try to help the cloaked one; that much was obvious. The frozen eyes turned away from the ridge. There were Iceroamers nearby, coming to investigate the roars that had shattered the sky not hours before. The ruins would fascinate for a time, but not forever. The helmed man had not covered his tracks in the slightest. Action would need to be taken.

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