With the owls sent out to the great kings, the four discussed the upcoming meeting with the clan. There would be need for comfort, calming, food, and making ready.
Val looked at Dragonna and asked "Would you help me with getting supplies ready to support the troops during this time? We will need to make ready sleeping mats, tents, food and other such things."
Dragonna looked at Val with great respect. A leader who would do these tasks was a great leader indeed. "Of course M'Lady." And with that they excused themselves from the great table and scurried off to begin preparations.
Crista too rose from the table and turned to leave. Drago stopped her asking "Crista, could you stay for a moment. I'd like to discuss a few strategies and possibilities just to make sure we have options available should we not receive help."
Crista looked surprised. "M'Lord, I am simply a protector of the land and people. I am not a military mind nor officer."
Drago smiled, aware of Crista's unease. "I understand. I simply need someone to discuss scenarios with. Are you comfortable being a sounding board?" He chuckled a bit.
Crista took a deep breath and said "Of course M'Lord. I am at your service.
The two moved to the strategy table, laid out with maps and flags. Drago went over many different scenarios both with and without help. Crista gently pointed out the ones that didn't work very well and praised the ones that seemed to work best. Growing more comfortable Crista even suggested slight changes here and there to assist the Lord in his planning. Finally Drago decided on the best 3 possible strategies and the two headed downstairs for noon meal.
Drago took Val aside and ran the possible plans by her. She added changes here and there and they settled on the final information that would be given if and when it became necesary.
Together the Magnuses and the Guardians ate their noon meal. Dragonna and Val had gotten most of the needed supplies readied for people who would be arriving soon. The strategies had been worked out. All was prepared.
Voices could be heard in the courtyard. Drago rose and looking at the small group within spoke only "It is time."
Dragonna and Crista opened the doors and strode out with Drago and Val behind. Dragonna and Crista joined the gathered clansmen, cautiously watching for unknown people and ready for anything.
Drago and Val stood hand in hand before the crowd. Val looked calmly at the gathered family in hopes that her calm would help keep them calm as well. Drago squeezed her hand, gave her a loving look and then turned to the clansmen to address them.
"My friends," he spoke, "I know you are all concerned and maybe some are even fearful. I know you are seeking information. I will be honest. At this moment we are waiting for responses from 2 far off kings who may be willing to stand with us," at this the crowd rumbled, gasped, and became uncomfortable, "But I assure you we are not simply going to stand idly while we wait to see what they have to say." The crowd calmed but still looked concerned.
Drago continued, "We have several possible strategies already in the works and I have already sent an attack to free one of our clansmen. I will not stand by and allow you to be occupied. If we free you without retaliation we will leave it at that and remain in peace. If however there are further attacks we will be taking further action. We are prepared for either outcome."
A voice in the crowd hollered "HUZZAH!!" And the crowd repeated in unison "HUZZAH!" in support of this announcement.
Val smiled softly at the gathered people and then whispered something to Drago. A grin crept across his face and he nodded to her.
He looked out over the people and said, "We have nothing to do until we find out the result of the current attack, so my wife has made a wonderful suggestion. We shall hold a great party right here. A fire shall be constructed and we will have a fish feast. Tents are being set up for all of you to settle in while we see what is to come. Let us celebrate, not for a possible war to come, but for our commitment to one another and the Peace that WILL follow no matter what path we should find it down."
Again the crowd cheered, "HUZZAH!!".
Val then spoke, "Fishers, if you would head to the pond to catch us some dinner please. Others who are able would you please help set up the tents. And we need a few people to construct the fire."
Immediately the crowd separated into groups to take care of the needed tasks. For, though war may be on the horizon, tonight would be a wonderful party."