Day 036: The Road To Wellville
Summary: The scarred scout returns to the ruins of Coesbur to fill a promise.
Date: 07/05/2016
Related: Reapercussions
Pontus 


Day: 036 — Ruins of Coesbur


It was just after breakfast when the carved up Scout arose on the floor next to a borrowed bed he let his 10 year old sleep in. They were his furs but it wasn’t his floor. HIS floor, his house, their village he watch get crumbled from the sky as war rained down on it two nights before. A battle they won for a goal they lost. He rode to drop off a dying kid to a village he didn’t like for a cause he barely trusted. They did everything right and still lost everything they had.

Now?

Now he was in a strange place as his extended family, his friends, and his little girl, Rain, tried to sleep. Starling was asleep next to him, likely to make sure he didn’t get up and keep watch needlessly on the edge of Tondc. He needed rest and She needed her people in one place for a day. Rain needed to know he was there and lived. But right now Benning, Kai, and Wren lay broken in the healer’s house. Arlin was likely still heated over the outcome and he couldn’t begrudge his friend that. Their spirits were broken and the survivors of Coesbur’s rage was stoked.

Wait.

It was early when he finally got up, and it was cold. He had breakfast from the eggs Rain had collected on her own from chickens she tracked down herself. It was something to be proud of. But now? He had a promise to keep.

He saddled up Attrition, his horse that endured him, to that blasted cart and took off.

It was 7 hours on a solitary ride. He was going back to Coesbur. He was going home even if it wasn’t there. In truth the scout was grateful he went alone because he wasn’t ready to be around people. He didn’t handle failure well. All that he had left of his blood family was now rubble. In a way it amused him that he and his home were wrecked beyond recognition of what they once were.

Bloody and bruised hands directed the horse and cart carefully, SO carefully, to the edge of the village as close as he could get. The rubble was everywhere and if anyone was left he’d get his horse trapped there and have a rough road ahead of him. So on foot he went with his usual armament. Sword on hip, two knives at his lower back, one in each boot. With a sack and a spade on his back he was ready.

It occurred to him that this would be a hell of a promise to die keeping, and oddly so long as he was on his own soil he could make peace with that.

He round the corner, over broken timbers, sheet metal that lay scorched and twisted. That was… okay that was their common house… Dirt upheaved in a cater marked where some of the interior farms were, and- ugh. He drew a cloth up over his face. He’d forgotten about the livestock. Well… what was the livestock. There were chunks of ground round that had been flash cooked in the explosion and afternoon heat of the last two days as well as things he deemed ‘indiscernible’. Finally he found his quarry. It was not too far from where his home should be which …. His heart cringed. Where it stood another building had been lifted and thrown clean through it.

He found though a ruin, only two walls in tact and much broken glass and wood. The morning had become afternoon and the sun was hitting peak and the heat was merciless coming down, even in the cooler summer they were having. Pontus used the spade to start clearing debris from this locale. His muscles ached but he kept clearing. He hit brick finally. The pickaxe bit into packed floor fueled by hatred and rage from the subdued and patient scout. Muscles burned and tears stung his eyes, and teeth ground together as he cut into what was a once beautiful home. He was digging it out though; piece by piece for a promise. Every brick that wasn’t slagged. He loaded what he could into the sack, and ladden, spear in hand made the first trip of many across the abandoned town; each footstep echoing from Coesbur’s last inhabitant.

Trip after trip he toiled for hours, and then he noticed something, about two doors down; most of a sign in tact. One corner where it used to hang was broken and it was covered in dirt but mostly the right shape. His hand was swollen and bruised from the labour, but he pulled it in his sleeve to try to clean the caked dirt off of it. Bonus. There was a satisfied nod that THIS…this was what he came for. This would do. He carefully set it aside and made a few more trips to get all of the bits of brick he could pried out and loaded across town on the cart back on the bridge.

His fingers were a bloody, calloused mess from the battle before and his efforts now. He was a hunter, not a stone mason. The sign was wrapped in cloth and the bricks piled and lashed down with twine.

He felt as tired and broken as the city.

He turned one last time and slid his hood back. Slate grey eyes took in the last of it. Quietly, he sage for it a warrior’s dirge. A song for the fallen, that they be remembered with honour and bravery. That its children live on in their name.

A song he’d wrote for his father when he was 15.

He hadn’t Wren or Britt’s voice, but the words were sincere and heartfelt as they were when he wrote them.

Turning he mounted his horse’s back and began the long, slow ride home.

He promised Benning she’d be able to keep her home. It wasn’t as he’d intended, but she would have her hearth returned to her so her family would have a home again.

He’d have to follow the example and move forward from here to rebuild a new home not returning his back on the village that raised him, but letting it rest. And next? Next he would commence in the slow process of avenging it.

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