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The Independent Reconnaissance Platoon rushed into the village, which was now a mess of fire and smoke. Seeing the minotaurs and Nameless riders ahead of them, Ios shouted the order to fire. The platoon loosed a volley or arrows and crossbow bolts while Iilah launched several fire bolts into the mass. A few minotaurs and one rider fell while villagers ran past the charging elves, who switched to their melee weapons and gave the lead to Skald, Yol and Kyn who raised their longer weapons.

The elves crashed into the minotaurs at full speed, the Nameless riders having disappeared. The minotaurs knocked the elves from their horses over the course of several minutes of fighting yet were steadily forced back between the elves' blades and Iilah's ranged barrage. The only cause for concern was the disappearance of the riders. Had they fled? Or were they circling around to charge into them from behind?

"Iilah, where are those horsemen? Are they about to flank us?" Ios asked her as he cut down a minotaur swinging at Li and Lorenya, who had climbed onto another and were stabbing it.

"Nowhere to be seen, little one. I can only assume they are hidden among the minotaurs or the smoke. They have not left the village, however. The horizon is clear of reinforcements, yet I would not linger long, the smoke will attract more of them, or worse, the Iukan army." She replied.

Switching to his bow, Ios fired a shot into the eye of a minotaur about to crush Karrick, who was on his back, not moving. As soon as is staggered though, he was back up, not so much fighting normally as disemboweling the hapless minotaur. Skald decapitated another with a single blow from his halberd before blinding another with the edge of his shield, swinging it as if it were an axe. Yol and Kyn fought near him, switching in and out with one another quickly, always advancing and striking in a rhythm as if they were bonded.

"Form up behind the foot-soldiers! Keep together!" Ios called to them. Huld repeated his order and soon they were all moving together, keeping close so that nobody got caught alone and surrounded. The smaller elves moved to the centre and used their bows while the taller ones stood in front and kept the minotaurs at bay. Looking around, Ios still couldn't see the riders. Ios snarled in frustration and sliced a minotaur's throat with his sword and cut the knee of another, dropping it down low so Huld could stab it in the eye.

A shout came from an alley to the left and Ios saw the horsemen come from the smoke, there were only five in a two-by two formation but they were all still mounted. They were more than enough to break their tiny formation.

"Focus fire on into that side street!" He yelled, just as they began to charge. A small volley was fired and the first two horses fell and their riders were taken with them. The next three jumped their fallen allies and continued the charge just before Iilah filled the alley with fire, incinerating the two fallen riders.

Kyn turned and stabbed at one horse which reared and threw its rider before bolting. The other two wheeled around the back of the Platoon and swung for the archers. Ios jumped in the way and parried the sword of the nearest rider before pulling him from his saddle. Barely two metres away, he could see Vicenjr and Tyca fending off the red horseman with the others too busy holding back the minotaurs to help.

"Iilah, come down and help us here! We can't hold them off on both sides!" He called to her with telepathy. As he did so, he realised he hadn't finished off the second rider who was now on their feet already and appeared to be about to use wind magic.

"Shit." He ran forward and swung at them just a moment too late and was thrown back into Huld, knocking them both over. Looking up Ios saw a minotaur bringing an axe down towards them, scrabbling for his sword, he couldn't find it and rolled himself and Huld out of the way just in time. He heard the sound of steel crunching and scraping against the dirt barely an inch from their heads. He scrambled to his feet and drew his knife, looking around for the sword.

The group had dispersed again and Iilah was on the ground now, battering minotaurs away and bathing them in fire along with the foot-soldiers, Li and Lorenya. Huld was also back on his feet and clashing with the wind magic user, the two seemed an equal fight.

Vicenjr, Tyca and Karrick all fought against the red one, who seemed to have little difficulty competing with them. Tyca wasn't a natural fighter and was getting knocked back or sidestepped constantly. Vicenjr was only a little larger and although he was a little better with a blade, he was outmatched easily. He was parried and disarmed. The swordsman brought his sword down towards Vicenjr's raised arms, red flame rising from the blade's yellow glowing runes.

Just as Ios thought Vicenjr dead, Karrick launched himself in the way, using his own sword along with Vicenjr's, roaring in rage and swinging wildly. The red one staggered back, caught off guard but did not waste much time retaliating, he stood somewhere between Ios and Skald in height and was by no means slight. Karrick was no twig, but he was shorter still than Ios and couldn't put as much strength behind his attacks, as quick as they were. He continued his assault but it seemed that the clash was an undirected force against an immovable object.

Karrick tired with time, but distracted the red one long enough for Tyca and Vicenjr to recover, who fell back to the others in the group and fired into the mass of minotaurs with their bows once more. Ios saw his sword lying nearby and snatched it up.

"Karrick! Switch to the other rider, support Huld!" He shouted, running forward to relieve him. He lunged at the red one who crashed the side of his fist into the base of Karrick's skull, knocking him out instantly and retaliated against Ios. The two parried back and forth for several minutes as Ios called that Karrick was down, shouting to Vicenjr to recover him. From the corner of his eye, Ios could see that Huld had struck down the wind magic user with the help of Li and Lorenya. The red one demanded the rest of his attention however.

They continued fighting and he noticed that his opponent's sword was getting hotter and hotter, the runes darkening to an ominous blood red glow. In the middle of another round of parrying, the red one caught Ios off guard and shouldered him before coming in with a heavy downwards slash. Ios was forced to bring his sword up and stay where he was, locking blades.

"So, we meet again, so called 'White Plague'. Perhaps I should call you a 'White Shadow' instead? After all, you are never done following that Morvin boy around. Where is he anyway? Oh, wait, he is a prisoner in all but name back in Iukan, is he not? Yet, here you are, stuck with only a few soldiers and an aging sergeant. Why do you still fight for the race that has banished you, White Shadow?" The red one sneered at him.

"How do you know that? Who are you?" He shouted back. "These soldiers are all I need to take you down!" He shifted his weight to the side and threw the red one off. The taller man barely staggered and regained his composure quickly before retaliating.

"A very relevant question, for sure. I am the spymaster. Of course I would know this." He took a theatrical bow and looked up, a sly smirk on his face. "You, however, may call me Nydreich Vollhart." Barely having finished his statement, he threw a bolt of fire at Ios who barely dodged the flame. Following up the magic attack, Nydreich slashed at Ios several times.

Gradually being forced back, Ios glanced about him again. A stable of horses was open and the animals inside were baying loudly in panic. The team continued to struggle against the minotaurs, which were much larger in number and better equipped than he initially though.

It was apparent that the every villager had either escaped or died so he sent Iilah the order for the others to pull out and escape using any horses they could get and saw Harlow lead Tyca, Lorenya and Li to fetch them from the stables.

Ducking to avoid another slash, he retaliated, pushing forward to a fast mixture of cuts, stabs and slashes accompanied with jabs from his bladed elbows and knocks from his plated knees. Nydreich gritted his teeth and held his ground, even pushing back, using his size to his advantage. The two cut and nicked one another, getting more and more aggressive in their attacks. The larger man grabbed Ios to hold him still for a stab and was bitten as a result. His eyes widened in anger before he closing as Ios head butted him, making him stagger back. Ios slashed at him once more and Nydreich barely blocked it, retaliating with a quick lash of fire, forcing Ios to jump away.

Opening his eyes again, he looked seriously pissed off now. He dragged his hand across the blade once more, the runes turned whit and the fire became more intense. Shit. He charged forward, gripping the sword with both hands and swung wildly at Ios, who had to dive aside. By the time he had turned back to face him, Nydreich was almost on him again. Raising his sword in defence, Nydreich battered it aside and kicked him in the stomach, knocking him back and off his feet. Planting his hands on the ground he cartwheeled back quickly, recovering himself.

As soon as he was upright he had to duck down again to avoid the blazing edge of Nydreich's sword swinging for his neck. He pushed up with hand into Nydreich's arm, opening up wide for a counter and stabbed at his side. Nydreich twisted away once again and threw fire at Ios, catching his shoulder and making him grunt from the searing pain to bear it and pat out the embers quickly. By now the others were all mounted and moving for the exit of the village. To his right, Iilah continued to hold back the minotaurs with a constant stream of fire. Despite her trying her best, they were slowly edging forward.

"Iilah! The others are out, let's get out of here already!"

"I agree, let us leave this place." She responded and suddenly turned, charging towards him and Nydreich. Ios jumped onto her saddle as she passed while Nydreich dived out of the way. She took off immediately, narrowly avoiding her tail being grabbed by snapping it back and forth, lacerating several minotaurs.

Looking back he saw Nydreich standing, watching them leave. He was evidently furious as were the minotaurs, who began tearing down the remaining buildings, leaving the village a burning mess. Ios patted Iilah's side and she headed for the rest of the platoon, who followed her once she took the lead.

"We'll need to move around a few valleys and disperse into the forests." Ios told her with a sigh. "This just got really messy, didn't it?"

"It most certainly has. I cannot imagine this Nydreich will let us escape so easily, he is sure to pursue us for several days or even weeks after this skirmish."

"Skirmish? That was one hell of a skirmish. We lost our own horses and probably half the supplies, unless the others recovered any of their own mounts. Karrick probably has concussion and I would not be surprised if at least one of the foot-soldiers are as well. Run and recover it is..."

EL: Ios' Exile Chapter 4
For :iconelvenlegends: 

----

Well, I got this done much faster than I expected. This brings the word count of the entire story to just under 6,500 words so by the time I'm done with all of this it'll be the length of a novelette at least, which is kinda an exciting thought, I'd only intended for this to be a little project but I'm doing a really good job of dragging this out xD Anyways, Ios has his first encounter with Nydreich in this story, setting up the main rivalry for the story. There's not really a winner in this since Ios and the IRP (Independant Reconnaissance Platoon) had to retreat but they got the letters and allowed some of the villagers to get away. I've been itching to get some action into the series though and this was definitely a good release for that. 

Ownership stuff:

Ios, Iilah and Nydreich as well as other characters appearing in this chapter belong to me

:iconelvenlegends: belongs to :iconsillywritings:
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"Well well, 'Blackbird', how nice of you to drop by. I hope this isn't too inconvenient for you, but measures have to be taken." Ios smirked at the man on the ground in front of him. He was middle aged, his brown hair battling with grey and his face was slowly turning to leather. Ios nodded to Harlow and Yol. "Good work you two, feel free to grab some R&R with the others." The pair grinned, satisfied with themselves. They also earned a small smirk of approval from Huld. Once they had headed off to sit and eat with the others, Ios turned back to Blackbird.

 "Now then, back to the game at hand. No bonus points for guessing it, we're looking for names. People. Places. Plans. C'mon now, let it loose. Five secrets and I'll let you walk away from this."  He opened up, talking quickly and pacing about, the man never took his eyes off him, anger evident in his eyes. He let out a sigh.

"Andren of Redfields. Another informant and recruiter." He said, gritting his teeth. Ios laughed and Huld answered.

"Who do you think told us of you? He was the only one of your line of informants who knew where you were." Ios nodded in agreement.

"Huld is spot on. A heads up, you won't be getting points for names of those below you. Why would we work from the middle of the web to the edge? No, we want further in. Who do you answer to? Who are your peers? Where are they? What are they up to?" He rattled out, not letting up on questions. The man grunted.

"Not saying." Ios raised his eyebrows and looked over his shoulder.

"Is that so? Huld, bring over Andren so that Blackbird knows how we treat the ones who hold back." The Sergeant nodded and fetched a leather bloodstained bag. He dropped it in front of the prisoner, whose face drained of blood.

"You monst-" He started.

"Now now, let's not resort to name calling. Andren played the game and Andren died. If you do not wish to meet the same fate, you had best not hide your cards from me, I will not lose any sleep over your screams. Remember, we still got what we wanted from him. Holding back only brings you pain." Ios interrupted him. The man didn't take his eyes off the bag.

"There are five 'Blackbirds'. We are each in charge of a branch of informants. You have mostly found and destroyed mine. The other divisions you haven't even touched."

"Who are the other four Blackbirds then? Who do they answer to? Eamin?" Huld demands. The man shakes his head. 

"No, we answer to another. You don't need me to say his name, he will retaliate soon and you will see him for yourself. I'm not saying where the others are." His face had returned to its normal colour, the shock of the bag had already worn off. It was apparent they wouldn't get much out of him without torture, something Ios was not willing to resort to, regardless of how many he had killed. He shook his head, drawing his sword.

"You understand that your silence is going to kill you?" He asked.

"I am already dead." The Blackbird replied. "If you don't kill me, he will. I am a liability now." Huld looked to Ios and raised his eyebrows. The former general shrugged.

"Say your last words." Ios told the man.

"You have already met the centrepiece to the network, but you will have much more difficulty getting rid of them than the rest of us." He said with a smirk.

He swung his sword and cut the man down in frustration. There was a good deal of people who he could have meant. At least Ios knew he had caused them some damage. Perhaps Blackbird had something useful on him... patting down the body he found a set of keys and a letter from a trader in another town with what he supposed was the dead man's house number scrawled on the envelope. The letter seemed like a warning, they had already visited the trader. Flicking his hood up he turned to Huld.

"I'm going to check his house for anything further. I leave the fun job of dealing with the body to the rest of you. We may not have much time if he has contacted this 'centrepiece', so we won't be able to cook the deer in the bag just yet. Have everyone ready to scramble if need be." He turned and headed for the village.

Several minutes later, he had snuck in and found the correct house, getting in by a back window. It seemed devoid of life, no family. Not even a guard dog to watch over the living room, which had several filled bookcases. Unusual for a villager. Then again, Ios knew the man was more than just that.

Creeping up the stairs, he found what was the only bedroom of the house. Half of the room was taken up by a rookery holding several crows constantly cawing at him. Ignoring them, he walked over to a desk and started opening drawers. Most were filled with either blank paper or letters to a random assortment of people, making no reference to the Nameless or Iukan forces.  Reaching for the last drawer, he found that it did not open.

Running his hands along the edges of the desk, he found a small keyhole on the opposite end to the locked drawer. Trying the smallest key of the set, he grinned as there was a click and pulled the drawer open to find it filled with new letters.

"Hmm, what do we have here?" Starting from the top of the pile he read through them. Most didn't make sense and babbled about different birds and animals fighting one another.

Reading through a few more, he realised that these were codes. He noticed several references to a 'White Plague' or 'Green Wave' killing several birds. This must be him and The Independent Reconnaissance Platoon. There was also reference to a 'Blue Steel Eagle' several months before. One month after though, the 'Lapis Eagle' was killed by an 'Emerald Lizard'. Were they talking about Hass Gwerder? Ios hadn't realised that there had been so much attention drawn to him over that. Ignoring that, the 'White Plague' and 'Green Wave' were mentioned several times and one message in particular worried him;

 

"Blackbird of the North,

if you have contracted the White Plague as you suspect, hold the Green Wave at bay as long as possible, the doctor shall arrive with the cure in three days time. In saying this, if we cannot treat the disease, we will have to cull you to prevent others contracting the disease. Continue your duties until then as best as possible.

Phoenix."

Three days from now? Ios looked at the date, the letter had arrived three days ago. They were going to be here soon. Grabbing the letters, he stuffed them in his forager's pouch. He opened the window and let all the ravens loose before slipping out of the back window once more.

Looking back over his shoulder, he noticed that several figures had arrived in the village on horseback. Most were cloaked in black, brown or grey with simple swords hung from their waists. One, however, stood out in bright red. That was him. The centrepiece. It had not been so long ago that he had first encountered him, but he was instantly recognisable. If he was here, he didn't know how close the rest of the Nameless forces were, Ios had only ever seen him with Eamin or the Sorceress after all.

"Iilah, the spymaster for the Nameless is here! We need to leave NOW. Tell Huld immediately!" He began to run for the woods and as he ran across the open ground, he could hear shouts from the village.

Along with the men on horseback, a large group of minotaurs had entered the village. Naturally, the villagers had not taken well to this and had scrambled out of their houses with whatever could be used as a weapon. Small fights had broken out and smoke now rose from the Blackbird's house. Still running for the woods, Ios heard the group's horses ahead of him and turning his attention to them, they were right in front of him.

"Sir, Iilah has filled us in. Shall we depart?" Huld asked, his voice hurried. A scream sounded from the village and was cut short. The younger elves looked to the rising smoke. Vicenjr was the first to say anything.

"General... we aren't leaving these people to die, surely?" He frowned. The others looked at him expectantly. Ios vaulted on his horse, his mind made up.

"Of course not. Besides, we have a centrepiece to take. Form up for a battle, one ranged volley then we charge into them." He readied his bow and Iilah took off into the sky above them. Huld looked furious, but didn't say a word, maybe he acknowledged the fact that the younger elves needed to do this, Ios didn't know and, frankly, he didn't care.

"All ready? Independent Reconnaissance Platoon, form up! Ready! Charge!"

EL: Ios' Exile Chapter 3
For: :iconelvenlegends: 

----

Continuing along with the main story I have planned for this, Ios traces his way further into the informant network and ultimately lands up in the first fight for this series (although the actual fight starts next chapter). The leadership issue doesn't really show up in this chapter apart from some disapproval from Huld but that's it, it'll get worse as things go on though, or at least I plan on them doing so, if I can't think of how to progress and resolve the idea further I won't implement it, even though I really want to xD 

Also I said I'd do this something like two months ago, so much for that. 

Ownership stuff: 

:iconelvenlegends: and Eamin and 'the sorceress'- Shiida (only referenced to) belong to :iconsillywritings: 

Ios and the other characters appearing in this chapter belong to me.
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Ios looked over the small village from the back of his horse, reading the letter in his hand. He smirked to himself as he read it, it had taken the group the best part of the month to reach this point. They had infiltrated several villages along the Yurtganen coasts, rooting out Nameless spies as they went. Now, after working their way up the grapevine, they had reached the village that seemed to house the most senior contact in the area.

"Well then, here it is. Harlow and Yol, I'm going to hand it to you two to find and lure out this... 'Blackbird'." he looked back over his shoulder at the pair. Harlow, the double of his father even down to a stubbly attempt at his beard, sat up straight and nodded sternly. Yol, on the other hand, lazily picked his nose. Huld frowned, concerned as usual.

"We can do this." Harlow stated, eager to prove himself to... anyone really. Huld sighed, which was probably what he had done most over the last few weeks.

"Sir, can I recommend sending-" He started.

"Harlow and Yol are going." Ios said firmly. "I know you can, Harlow. Iilah shall keep an eye on you all as usual. Get going. The rest of us will head to the forests and set up camp." The two young men trotted off towards the village. Ios turned his horse and began leading the group to the forest. As he turned, he noticed Huld glaring at him while the other looked on nervously. Ios rolled his eyes and sighed quietly as he rode.

"I'm going to have to talk with him, amn't I? This is such a draaaag...." He said to Iilah through their bond.

"Your decisions are not quite what older officers would make, Little One. It is only natural that Huld is beginning to doubt you." she responded.

"Doubt me? He's never done glaring daggers into my back!"

"Come now, that is no stance to take over this. You have to show him that you are a calculating and strong leader. Harlow is forward and lacks tact. Yol is more mischievous, perhaps there is some cunning in there too, but he is no tactician either, he will likely give the game away and drive Blackbird underground." the dragon lectured him.

This was not the first time their conversations had gone like this. A week before, Lorenya had been discovered by a more Nameless aside from the person she had discovered and the entire situation had descended into a mess when she had to lure them out so the group could ambush them. The townsfolk had been reluctant to keep quiet but a few words between Huld and their leader had absolved the issue. Iilah had not let Ios forget this for a single second. Not that he could forget. Or that the rest of the group would.

"Fine, so maybe not everybody would understand my thinking, but there were reasons I chose them! You know this!" He replied with a harsh tone to his thought, leading was more stressful than he had anticipated.

"Yes, I do. I feel every emotion and thought that crosses you, however. Huld does not. You have to talk with his, as he did with that village leader." Ios shoulders slumped and he sighed again.

The group pulled up to the tree line and dismounted. Within an hour of searching the forest, they had found a clearing and mad camp. Once everyone had set to cooking, Ios pulled Huld aside, preferring to get this over and done with.

"Sir?" Huld asked out of hollow courtesy more than confusion.

"You know full well enough what I'm going to say. Your attitude is having a negative effect on the teams' morale."

"My attitude!?" The Sergeant's eyes hardened instantly, fortunately the other elves were both too busy and too far away to hear them. "Your decisions are endangering the lives of these kids! What were you even thinking sending Harlow and Yol!? They were the last two you should have sent! Especially after what happened with Lorenya! Have you already forgotten about that?"

"Calm down, Sergeant. Harlow and Yol are both confident in themselves and perfectly capable when they set their minds to the task. Have some faith in them." Ios replied, hissing at first but steadily calming down. He thought of how Huld diffused the village leader and tried to replicate his demeanour. "I have not forgotten about Lorenya's... incident either. I am constantly learning here, and mistakes are going to be made but the decision to send the two men was not one of them. Demoralising the team, however, is a very grave mistake indeed. If they do not trust my judgement, they will turn on each other, you must know that."

The sergeant paused at that, his face giving away his thoughts. He nodded.

"For the good of the group, I will co-operate more. I have one request." He said in a level voice.

"I'm listening."

"You continue doing exactly that. Listen. I am more experienced than you by a long shot and my advice will be invaluable to you. As will opinions offered by the other Iukans. Do not simply trample over us with your status." he said. When Ios thought about it, it was entirely reasonable.

"Former status. Okay, I can do that also."

"Thank you, sir." The sergeant nodded. "My first bit of advice is that we get back to the group and try to bring things back together."

Ios nodded. "Sound advice. Let's go." Walking back into the camp, Ios saw that the troops were sat in their normal groups of friends. Vicenjr sat with Karrick, drawing and Tyca sat playing her little harp for the girls. Skald sat with Kyn, who seemed a bit lost without Yol there. He tried to make a joke to Skald, who simply grunted and closed his eyes to nap. It seemed peaceful for the most part, but Ios that he still had a ways to go before he had their loyalty and trust. Despite what Huld had said, it was going to take a lot more than just a bit of listening to fix this.

"You know the drill, everyone. Let's get some sleep. Vicenjr, you're first watch."
EL: Ios' Exile Chapter 2
For :iconelvenlegends:

----

This chapter is more of a scene setter than anything else, I'm trying to put forward that Ios is having difficulties as leader, especially given that he is young, inexperienced and actually pretty rash in nature anyway. This is pretty difficult to write as it is not an issue I don't typically face but it's an interesting dilemma nonetheless. 

Ownership stuff:

:iconelvenlegends: belongs to :iconrobotswithcookies:

Ios and other characters appearing in this chapter belong to me.
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 Atop the ridge ten elves scanned the surrounding plains, calmly awaiting their final arrivals beneath a pale grey flag. Lounging amongst their mounts, they chatted to one another quietly, some sharpened their blades or waxed their bows, and glanced regularly at the horizon. Two sat side-by-side, drawing as another gently played a small harp. Only one stood. Two the untrained eye, they seemed a group of layabouts, but in truth each and every one of them was fine tuned to their surroundings, but none so much as Huld, however.

 Resting his hand on the hilt of his sword, Huld watched the sea of tall grass sway all around them. The wind caught in his salt and pepper hair, sparing his short, bristly beard. His hard, brown eyes missed nothing, from the grazing rabbit to the watchful owl. One ear twitching, he heard the leathery beat of giant wings.

"They have almost arrived." He stated. The others fell silent instantly, looking in the same direction as Huld. One of the younger elves, a black haired boy with deep, dark, inquisitive eyes who had been drawing twitched his left ear.

"Should we ready ourselves in case it is not him?" He enquired, worried for the others' safety, most likely.

"No, Vicenjr. We are safe from the other generals right now. Only once he joins us we will be truly outcast." A lanky spearman steadily picked himself up.

"Man, about time he arrived! We've been waiting way too long already, my ass feels as if it's ready to fall off. What about you Kyn?" The other spearman yawned, black rings around his dull blue eyes.

"With all this watching and waiting, I feel ready for a nap, Yol." He sighed, also standing along with another, this one armed with a halberd.

"Should we stand to attention for the ex-general, Uncle?" he asked in a husky voice. Huld nodded.

"Yes, Skald, we should. Everyone on your feet. General Morvin selected you all personally. We should show this man that her choice is sound, if not unquestionable."

 The five remaining elves stood, all of which were scouts, armed with swords and bows like Huld. One of the scouts stretched, tilting left and then right, before putting away her harp and standing in line with the others. Another ground her teeth, before asking directly.

"Sir, how strong is this no-longer-a-general? Can we actually rely on him? Dyora didn't say anything about him in the letter she sent me." She fidgeted some more as she stood in line, rubbing a lock of thick black hair between her thumb and index finger roughly.

"Strong enough. He has fought against Eamin several times alongside the young General Morvin. Despite this, Lorenya, we are needed here to keep him alive until he is no longer exiled."

"You can't be serious!" Yol exclaims. "He was that type of general!? He didn't just sit about all day?" One of the girls snorted, this one shorter than the rest in the group but lithe and sharp looking as her sword.

"Who'd have thought it? A general who could lift a sword? Of course he can fight, idiot. How else would he get exiled? By signing the wrong requisition form?" she sneered at him. That was unusually harsh for her, from what Dyora had told Huld. Li was a relaxed but attentive girl, with a dark sense of humour, but not typically stinging.

"Stop arguing already you two, you're going to make us look bad." The harpist, Tyca, added. They both quietened down. A long moment of silence passed, and still the former general had not appeared yet. Huld frowned and decided to distract himself for once.

"Harlow, boy, you're being awfully quiet for once." He said, getting a snigger or two from some of the others.

"Figured I'd just wait and see what he's like. Can't say I recognise the name. Vindril. Never heard of it." he replied.

"Huh," added Yol. "weird name. Wonder where that's from."

"No idea." Harlow said. "Vicenjr, Tyca, you know your noble families, ever heard of it?" Both negative.

"Don't suppose Karrick would know." Yol chuckled, getting a snigger from Kyn.

"Cut it. Now." Huld stepped in. "You are not to provoke him, understood?" The final elf stood silent, ignoring their jibes, looking straight ahead. Dark hair, dark eyes, dark skin. Everything about the boy was dark. Then again, they were all Iukan, dark was their look. This boy simply had an overdose of it, mixed with some silence and an intimidating calm. He pointed towards the horizon and everyone turned to look, seeing a green dragon heading towards them. Steadily it grew larger and larger before coming in to land in front of them. The elves all stared in awe and Huld stepped forward. Everyone snapped to attention.

"The Independent Reconnaissance Platoon awaits your orders, sir!" He stated in his best Sergeant's voice. For some time there was no reply, the dragon simply looked back and forth between them and behind her. She didn't give an impression of apprehension so much as amusement. Eventually a seemingly in-elven sound came from behind her and a young elf slid down her side to land face first on the ground.

"Guhhhhhhh...." The younger elves all peered at him with a mixture of amusement, curiosity and disbelief.

"That's an ex-general?" said Kyn.

"Nah, that's just his attendant I bet." Li.

"He looks exhausted. I wouldn't be surprised if he just had to escape the military..." came Vicenjr's concerned voice.

"Silence!" Huld fumed. Dyora had said this man was competent. What was he doing presenting himself like this? How did he expect to gain the soldiers' respect? He looked to the dragon. "What is the meaning of this?" The dragon looked him in the eyes. They held his own and he found himself unable to look away from their yellow glow.

"You had best watch your tongue with your superiors, sergeant. Ios is exhausted after numerous fights with those far stronger than yourselves. One even more so than perhaps the greatest of Generals." A level but still scolding female voice rung out in all of their minds. The dragon's frills stood partially up, indicating some anger. The boy picked himself up groggily and wiped himself down before stretching, a few bones and joints popping and crunching. There was a number of small, fresh cuts on him.

"Ugh, I knew I was going to feel that wind magic when I woke up. Bloody sorceress." He looked at them all mid stretch with a vacant expression. "Oh, we're here already? Hey, team!" Beaming at them all, his face would have seemed innocent, if it weren't for the four scars and various cuts. He was strange looking too, with long white hair and bright white eyes.

"Uh.. Kyn asked a good question a moment ago..." Yol added his say as usual.

"I was expecting something more..." Harlow mused.

"Impressive." Skald said what everyone thought in one word, his speciality.

"Me? Unimpressive?" The boy smirked, a harsh glint in his eye as he looked over each team member individually. "Pff, subordinates. Bet none of you've even stabbed a minotaur in the eye with an arrow yet. Anyone got some food going? I'd kill for some noodles." The dragon threw him what looked like a concerned look. Or maybe it was unimpressed. Huld couldn't tell for certain, her face didn't move at all, only her eyes and the frills.

"With that, I apologise for his eccentricity, Sergeant. The fatigue gets to his head and he tends to bite back at criticism." The strange voice rang out in his head again.

"Enough of that, Iilah." The boy said. "So... yeah. Food? Happening? Tonight? Tomorrow? Anyone?" He looked back and forth at the various members. One or two of the others set about getting food ready, exchanging uncertain glances. The young former general either didn't notice or simply ignored them. It wasn't unusual for some younger generals to be flippant, detached or even a bit ahead of themselves, but this outright arrogance was unusual, especially from someone with such an unrecognisable name.

"Sir, we really should be moving on, we have been here too long as it is." Huld told him. He expected an impudent response, maybe even to be reprimanded. Instead the boy seemed to think.

"Hmm... Does anyone have any food already made?" He asked. Vicenjr nodded and held out some bread. He politely took it, a completely different person from a few moments ago.

"Thank you. Assuming all of you are fed and rested, it would be intelligent to move. Now that Iilah and I have joined you, the danger has increased significantly and we are much more visible. I intend to move toward the coast for now, since the Iukans and Nameless tend to steer clear of it. We can recuperate and begin working our way to Eyrden over time. Everyone on board?" Once again, everyone was quiet. His attitude was hard to make sense of. One moment he was sneering and arrogant, the next he was agreeable and showed some semblance of leadership. This was concerning, if his capabilities were fickle and changeable he could be a liability.

"We have already eaten and are prepared to move. As Dyora wished, we are at your command...?" Huld asked, not having been introduced properly yet.

"Ios. As Iilah, my bonded, said. Your own name?" He replied.

"Huld. The others are Vicenjr, our medic. Yol and Kyn are our spearmen. My nephew, Skald, is our third pole-arm user with a halberd. Harlow, my son, helps lead our scouts who are; Lorenya, Li, Karrick and Tyca." One after the other they either nodded, waved or, if they were more confident, gave a 'Hey'. Ios took his time giving them all a good look over as they were introduced. He watched Huld the longest, which made sense to him, he had challenged the dragon, not a move most sergeants were bold enough to make. After a while he nodded.

"Excellent. Mount up. We need to move."  Everyone did as instructed and Huld handed the reins of a spare horse to Ios. Hopping up onto the back of the horse, he patted its neck, a look of recognition in his eye.

"Hm, she even had you bring my old horse. It has been a while..." He stared at the horse for a moment, seemingly lost in thought, before gently directing it forward, setting off quickly for the coast. Iilah followed him, staying on land to avoid being seen. It was strange to see a dragon so large walk alongside a trotting horse, but then again, everything about the conversation had been strange. It was likely to get even stranger as well. Huld didn't like strange. Strange was unpredictable.

 Looking to Harlow and Skald, he nodded. The two nodded back, but their concern was apparent. Some of the others shared the same look. Evidently, the young man had a lot of convincing to do. Facing forward once again, the elves set off after the young dragon rider.

EL: Ios' Exile Chapter 1
For :iconelvenlegends: 

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So this is following some events involving Ios and a couple of other generals. This is gonna be quite a long series possibly, much longer than the Hass Gwerder story so I'm really looking forward to and dreading it xD 

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Ownership stuff:

Ios, Iilah, Huld and his team all belong to me

:iconelvenlegends: belongs to :iconsillywritings: 
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I should probably have updated this sooner but I am back now from my trip, I'll be quite busy but I am here and available now! 
I should probably have updated this sooner but I am back now from my trip, I'll be quite busy but I am here and available now! 

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Revolution24

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:iconnull-entity:
Null-Entity Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thankyou kindly for the watch :D
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:iconrevolution24:
Revolution24 Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2015  Hobbyist
You're very welcome! :D
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:iconajbaby030:
AjBaby030 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
HAPPY NEW YEAR BUDDY!!!!
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:iconrevolution24:
Revolution24 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2015  Hobbyist
HAPPY NEW YEAR! :D
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:iconajbaby030:
AjBaby030 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha woo
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:iconrevolution24:
Revolution24 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2015  Hobbyist
haha xD
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:iconajbaby030:
AjBaby030 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
{Ill start this here!!!}

Delano: *walking with a bag of meats to a clearing where Xipil is relaxing*....!!
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:iconrevolution24:
Revolution24 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Hobbyist
Ios: *notices Delano passing him and having not seen him for a very long time, decides to follow* 

(okay!) 
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:iconajbaby030:
AjBaby030 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Delano: *walking, being oblivious lol, walks off to the clearing*~
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:iconrevolution24:
Revolution24 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Hobbyist
Ios: *stalks after, keeping behind the trees and watching what he is up to* 
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