Continued from: Like Ghosts
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Dawn was a wondrous time of day. Something most beasts seemed to miss entirely.
Ethereal fingers of pale yellow and fiery orange crept over the eastern horizon, mist of the morning making the valley beyond the woods almost invisible. The fog was painted in the color of the sunrise, the dales below lush and green from a small shower they'd had overnight. But the skies were now clear as crystal save the escaping storm clouds which hugged the eastern horizon, painting that morning in glorious, fiery colors.
Kaerune and Zeera sat with their new young charge, Ashtail, nearby. They'd grown fond of the young stoat, and saw fit to make him their personal attendant. He stood by, his cream colored fur painted in some places with all manner of designs. He had been a Juska before joining the Ghostkin, the survivor of a dominated tribe. Now the Ghostkin horde held a pawful of the tribal warriors, and the foxes respected much their talent for combat.
Ashtail held a tray with a flask of elderberry wine and an assortment of fruits collected from nearby. The foxes were sharing an early breakfast and small cups of warmed wine to help chase the chill of the morning from their bodies. Nearby, some of their horde were stirring, only a few awake before the sun rise. Scouts patrolled the area, as many visible as those who were not, silently hiding in thick brush or expertly in trees above. The Ghostkin were a varied group of warriors, but it was well known that Kaerune and Zeera preferred the arts of stealth and guile to brawn and brute strength, so their chosen warriors often exhibited skills of the like.
"Where is the rat?" Zeera asked, a subtle hint of impatience in her voice. Something only Kaerune could detect, other beasts only heard her calm, soothing tone.
"Patience, sister." Kaerune responded as he blew on his wine to cool it. He immediately turned his attention to Ashtail. "Young one, how is everybeast? Are they well rested? Prepared?"
Ashtail nodded, some of his fear of the pair had dissipated but he still held a visible amount of anxiety in their presence. Still slightly nervous he might anger them. "Masters, they are well. The scouts have reported no movement, all is calm in the woodlands. The message was sent and received before nightfall, the rat and his assistant should come when they are prepared."
"Good." Kaerune nodded as he plucked a plum from the stoat's tray. This he bit into, careful to keep the juice from staining his fur or his cloak.
"We should be able to come to a fair set of terms, for all involved." Zeera noted as she sipped at her wine.
"I believe so, and with the combined force we might even be able to take the Abbey without much bloodshed."
"On our side."
"Naturally." Kaerune smiled subtly at his sister and then turned back to Ashtail. "Be sure the fish and dove are freshly cooked, and bring it when our guests arrive, no sooner, no later."
"Aye, Master." Ashtail offered with a low bow as he departed to deliver his message and attend his task.