$100 Contest Entry by Mossy Toes
With a flutter of black wings and a raucous cry, the raven settled on the ancient skull. A hundred years or more in the past, the skull had belonged to a predecessor of Alvar’s or one of their worthier foes-now, though, it was yellowed and crumbling. One of the raven’s scaled black talons curled roughly around the rusted spike that stuck through it.
The raven watched Alvar with wary, intelligent eyes. The Blood Champion spat. Such an omen needed no doddering soothsayer to decipher. The raven atop a broken skull?
“If that is,” he murmured, “then so be it. My skull is the Bloodfather’s.”
“What?” asked Durm beside him. His rough, unguarded voice broke the white silence and the raven’s calm. It clamored away, beating its wings noisily.
Alvar cast his gaze to his fellow sentry, his second-in-command. In a time of war, it was traditional for the Blood Champion to keep the watch. Out of their bond of brotherhood, Durm, his Bloodseeker, had offered to stand beside him in this vigil. He was grateful for the support.
“Nothing, good friend,” Alvar replied. “I merely ponder the battle to come.”
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