Chapter 3
The Changing of the Guard

The heat haze shimmered and cut across the field like a knife. Dust blew, from left to right across the ex Captains vision. He stood there, bowed and defeated, not caring about the heat. It was his penance for his failure to defeat the Clan. His new team had tried to comfort him in his pain but he yearned for the old days with the Clan, of his better times of glory and fame but it was gone now.

On the far hill, he could see the 11 riders of the Clan, they cast a shadow, a shadow he wishes he was a part of. The old Captain turned away from the shadow and joined his new team; he would see the Clan again, soon.

Urbanos watched him turn and head back with his defeated warriors, there was no bounce in his step any more. ‘He gave us a scare at the end’ he said to the Death Warriors to his right and left. ‘We contained him in the end but still has some spunk left’. Urbanos turned his stead and rode down the hill, the Death Warriors turned and followed. AvengerRam pulled ahead and drew level with Urbanos. ‘Did you observe the young ones Lord?’ ‘I did’ Urbanos replied, not turning nor slowing his chosen pace. Did you seen the fire from the front 4?’ ‘I did Avenger, I did. Urbanos pulled his stead to a stop and looked at his old friend. ‘What are your feelings about them?’

AvengerRam dismounted and walked around to the front of Windrider, The stead Urbanos sat on. He stroked its blue black neck and said. ‘Now is the time for the young, we have to let them take the lead. The time is not right for the Death Warriors to come forward and lead again. We must allow the young of the Clan to blood themselves over the season. This was a good test and some of the Clan have seen that they can win when they try. But some have yet to be blooded. They don’t have the faith yet’.

Urbanos looked at him and the rest of the Death Warriors. He wondered, wondered about the Clan and the members in the homelands. Would they stand behind the young? Would they give their support for those yet to prove themselves on the field of battle? He raised his head, looked at his protectors and said. ‘Death Warriors; I agree with the AvengerRam. It is now the time of the young. We, the Death Warriors, have to step aside. You have proved yourselves in the field of battle and have your victories behind you. We have to allow the young Clan to show the homeland just what they can do, on their own. We ride to the place of hero’s and take our rest’. AvengerRam nodded and remounted his stead and joined Urbanos. They turned as one, not towards the homeland and the coming battle, but towards the east and the place of rest.