Good News! The Publish button has been hit one Mongrel’s Tooth and Consequences
Now we just have to wait for the Amazon people to put it through review and out to publish. As soon as I know that has happened I will put out a published post with blurb and link. But to tide you over for the (up to) 72 hours that may take, go forth and read this snippet!
The local hunters were thrilled to be hired for such a hunt. Fame, glory, and the thrill of a battle like this one promised to be had not taken place in at least four generations had them in high spirits. They knew, even if they died, their names would go down in the annals of their tribe forever. They were almost as bad as Fydor over the glory of the situation.
It was when Amraz had gathered his men that the problems started. Both groups were made of professionals, but the Kurds were decidedly old school when compared to the Fabula group. They viewed them as overdressed peacocks, and the Fabula responded in kind, treating the Kurdish hunters as uneducated hicks.
I would later find out that when the Fabula had been forming, more than a millennia ago, this particular Kurdish clan had turned down membership. They felt that the Fabula were too willing to take contracts without looking them over and thinking of the consequences. I have to agree with the Kurds there.
It took days to get them to start working together. Individually or in groups they acted like wolves circling purebred hunting dogs. Neither side sure who would win in a fight, but both certain they were somehow better.
I had no idea how to forge them into a group. It was fortunate that Pelanor was with me. Elven Rangers were used to creating a force, however temporary, out of adversarial groups. The bigger threat always had to be contained, in their eyes. I learned something of leadership just from watching her. Enough to know that I would be a poor choice for a leader.
First, she called Amraz to the drill field and proved her skill against him. He was acknowledged as the most skilled of the Fabula. Their swordwork was amazing, although Pelanor clearly was the more skilled. There was even a level of magic thrown about in their duel. I remembered being struck by one of their spells that threw a bolt of pure force when they were trying to capture me. I saw such a bolt being thrown at Pelanor, but she merely rode it, spinning away, then charging back in.