Night fell. Miira looked up at the clear sky. There was no light except for their campfire. Her friends were already asleep and Primus Bayn was talking to Latres. Miira suspected she was the leader in the warband. Miira rarely saw the stars. It was either cloudy or the light from the Black Citadel obscured her view.
“Hey kid, can’t sleep?” Primus Bayn asked Miira. He sat down besides her.
“I probably could, but I wanted to look at the stars. They’re beautiful and I don’t get to see them often back home,” she said. The two sat silently watching the stars. Then Miira looked at him. “Primus Bayn, what’s our final mission? I know you’re not supposed to tell us yet, but I have a bad feeling. You’re not leading us into danger, are you?”
Bayn looked down at the white furred cub. “Your mane is getting long. Not just that, you’re all growing up so fast.” He’d always favored her. She was smart, maybe even the smartest cub he’d mentored. He wasn’t surprised that she’d noticed something. Her eyes narrowed.
“I’m sorry, Miira. There’s something I have to do and I need your help. You probably haven’t heard, but the tribune doesn’t like me very much. This is probably my last year as acting Primus. I’ve heard they want me to be a scrapper. Unless… Unless I prove I’m worthy. Worthy and capable of mentoring great warbands, like yours. You lot are the best group I’ve had and the others have seen in years. We just have to prove that you truly are the best.” Primus Bayn had a serious look in his eyes and hunched over towards her.
Miira hadn’t expected this. She liked Primus Bayn very much. Why anyone would hate him that much, she couldn’t understand. Enough to make him a scrapper, of all things. “We’ll help you. I know the others would agree as well. I think it’s a small favor compared to what you’ve done for us.” She didn’t know how much she could do, but she would try. She didn’t want to let him down.
“Really?” He looked up at her with gleaming eyes. “Thank you. I’ll train you the best I can. I’m prepared to do anything to save my life from scrapping. Even death sounds more attractive to me. If they made me a gladium, maybe I could go out into the world and join the Vigil.”
She thought the vigil would fit the Primus very well. “Thank you, Primus. I promise I’ll do my best for you to keep your position as Primus. You taught us a lot and you’d also teach the next generation more than any other Primus I know. I think the vigil would accept you if you applied, even if you’re not gladium. Figure out what it is that you really want and go for it. Even if you have to defy the Tribune.” Miira punched his shoulder softly as encouragement. Primus Bayn laughed and nodded.
“What’s that?” Miira stood up and pointed towards a blue shimmer appearing at the edge of the camp.
“Grr. Miira, get the others and grab your weapons. We’ve got company.” Primus Bayn growled.
Miira ran towards the tents and grabbed her staff. On the way out she poked her friends and told them to get ready for an incoming attack. Torruhk and Sennen were up as soon as they realized they could kill something. Korina and Malkov preferred to stay behind. Miira had to kick them out of bed.
“No, this is not a drill. This is for real. I saw the ghost appear and from what I gathered from Varian, they rarely come alone. We have to defend ourselves.” Miira said with confidence. “Torruhk, Sennen, I don’t want you near the tents. You’d probably destroy our camp. Go with Loculus and kill the ghosts before they can reach the camp. I’m sure the ghosts will appear in different places, so we have to be prepared. Malkov, see if you can climb that tree. You can warn us about incoming ghosts. Snipe everything hostile coming our way. Korina, stay close to me.”
The cubs took their places. Loculus didn’t want the two cubs to join them, but Primus Bayn assured him that they could look after themselves. Malkov took out his longbow and positioned himself in the highest tree in camp. He shouted out the number of ghosts and the wind direction so Miira and Korina knew where to go. Varian and Maris joined them as soon as Varian had calmed down. Latres stayed behind to guard the weapons.
The four male charr hacked and blasted away at the ghosts and made a game out of it. These ascalonian ghosts weren’t the brightest. They were blinded by hatred towards the charr. Meanwhile Malkov saw small groups spawn at the back of the camp. He shouted that there were three coming at the north side. Miira lit up her staff and sent light energy towards the ghosts, while Korina summoned a poisonous cloud around them. It was enough to make the ghosts dissolve. They would be back later, probably even angrier than before.
After an hour, the ghosts stopped spawning. Latres managed to keep her stock safe and the others were mostly unhurt. Only Torruhk had a cut in his paw. Miira immediately tended to his wound and patted it after she wrapped it. “You idiot,” she whispered. Torruhk winced as he felt the pressure on the wound. He apologized when the others couldn’t hear them.
Loculus stood at the center of the circle of charr. “You see why they call this Spirit Watch camp? They came at night now, so they’re easy to see. But they can attack at any time. They don’t sleep and don’t care how much time has passed.”
“Why do they attack us here? And why do you have to defend this place?” asked Miira.
“That’s a very good question, cub. Why do they attack us here? I don’t know. I doubt our superiors knew there were ghosts here. They heard about the grawl camp nearby and they wanted a camp near the crystal shard. Something about the Durmand Priory wanting to research it.” Loculus shrugged.
Latres sighed. “No, we were sent here to clear the Abbey Ruins. But these damned ghosts won’t stay away. It’s not surprising with a statue of one of their gods there. We should just break it. They won’t let us though, because it might endanger the treaty with the humans.”
“Ok, cubs. Back to bed now,” said Maris. “Enough excitement for tonight. Get some sleep while you can. You never know when they might return.”