Whilst preparations for the fish feast were being seen to, a group of centaurs galloped into the courtyard. Ris was in the lead and looked about for the Magnuses.
Drago had heard the stomping of hooves and quickly came out from inside the keep, where he had been conversing with Val about the next steps that needed to be taken. He nodded to Ris and motioned for him to come closer.
Ris moved with 2 of his people over to Drago with a grace only a centaur could. Drago spoke in hushed tones "Ris, what news have ye?"
Ris and his brethren had been gathering intel from the front lines. Ris spoke quickly, "We have freed those who were occupied and the occupiers have turned from them. However we have grave news."
Drago looked confused, "What news could you have that should have you so concerned, my friend? We have triumphed, have we not?"
Ris looked down at the ground and then back to Drago, "Yes we have triumphed, for now, but those who are in power within the clan that had attacked did not see our freeing members in a good light. They have gathered forces and are sending an attack our way. They will be at the outer keep by dawn."
Drago growled low and quiet so the others would not hear. His frustration at the news quite obvious on his face. "We tried to be peaceful. We simply sought for the freedom of those under our banner. If they send troops it is an act of war. However, we will do this right. Send a contingent to disrupt their supplies."
Ris nodded. "What about the keep sir?"
"Do not trouble yourself with that. I will lead the forces here myself. Give my orders to the nearest general to take out their farmers and disrupt their supplies and please continue to keep us posted on news from the front." With that Drago turned to go in and tell Val what he had learned.
Ris did as he was asked. He and his brethren delivered the orders and then spread out to gather more intel on the battles, as well as on the enemy themselves.
All gathered around the large fire and rested from the long stressful day, enjoying good fish and good company. Laughter and stories could be heard from all round. Crista could see that Drago was not enjoying the event though and whispered her concern to Dragonna. "I saw Ris come in with news but we have been told nothing. I have to believe the news is not good."
Dragonna nodded. "Let us keep close watch on things. We may be needed."
When all had finally had their fill and finally things had quieted, Drago and Val stood to address the people. Drago began "Good folk of Einherjar, we have news of the battles being fought. We have freed our occupied encampments and won the day."
The crowd cheered "HUZZAH!!!"
Drago tried to smile but he knew the next news would worry the people, even still he had to continue. "However, further intel has reached our ears. There are attacks on their way as we speak. These attacks are coming directly for the outer keep where my army is now in place to defend."
The crowd gasped. People whispered and murmured. Confusion and fear could be heard in their voices. Mayfong stood and spoke "We only sought to free our people. Why does this other clan attack us for that?"
Val replied to this "May, sometimes people do not look at the big picture. They do not always see the truth of an action. I believe they felt this was retaliation and have chosen to act. Fear not, our army is strong and we will prevail."
May sat down still confused but appeased for the moment.
Drago again spoke, "The first wave will be at the Outer Keep by morning. You are all welcome to rest here. You are safe within these walls. We will know more after morning meal."
Just as he finished an owl swooped down and landed near Crista on the hedges. Crista walked over and pet her friend as she took a paper from it's claws. Not opening it due to it's sensitive nature, she took it right over to the Magnus Drago.
Drago opened the scroll. As he was reading the response a second owl swooped down and dropped it's scroll in Crista's hands. Again she took it to Drago, who opened and read it as well. He then turned to the gathered people and spoke. "The great kings have responded. The Great King of the South has matters he is currently dealing with but he will ask for reports on our progress and if we should need him, he will do his best to send forces. He sends regret that he cannot send them right away. As for the Great King of the East, he sends his blessings upon our plight. He is at our call should we require his help but believes in the mighty hammers of Einherjar. He has not sent aid at this time but we've only but to send word and he shall join us in battle."
Drago looked up and the people looked defeated. He knew they felt this was not good news. "People this is wonderful news. We have made real headway with our friendships with the far lands. These Kings believe in the strength of Einherjar. They have not said no. They have said not yet. The fact that they are willing to come if called is news to be celebrated and the fact they believe we will not have need of them is news to be proud of. HUZZAH!!"
The crowd called out "Huzzah." but it was lackluster and still like a deflated balloon.
Val stood and spoke, "People we have made a name. YOU, the heart of Einherjar have made a name for us. The Great Kings believe in you. I believe in you. We SHALL prevail. HUZZAH!"
"HUZZAH!" Shouted the crowd.
Crista sent her owls out on a new task, to find the scouts and bring news back to the Inner Keep as it is sent. News of the attacks and news of other threats as well. The owls were trained to go to the scouts and the scouts new what to send. Now she would wait.
With that the people settled in for the night. Some slept, some did not. All had their minds firmly on the attacks of the morrow and what would happen next.