We were constructs and less than human. We were servants of the mages that ruled the world or our piece of it. Mage Glowtree was my master and had a very tall and formidable Keep and tower. Beside it was the garrison of the mage king's soldiers. The only way for a construct to be free was if we became fighters for one of the mages.
When I was little I watched the soldiers and practiced. As I grew older I was assigned to help the blacksmith. Which both strengthened me and taught me about the weapons we made. I still practiced every chance I got but now I had real weapons I could use. I was sixteen when a major war came between dozens of mages and the mage king.
My master packed up his household and servants and we headed towards the Quench. That was a large valley where the closest enemy mage was gathering an army. I walked beside the smith wagon and thought and thought. A day before we reached the army I had my chance. I was polishing a sword in the evening when master Glowtree stopped at the tiny fire.
I looked at the smith who was smoking a small pipe and then knelt and bent my head, "master?"
I could feel his gaze before he cleared his throat, "speak Hawk."
I looked up, "master I wish to fight."
He smiled, "you are not a fighter lad. You are short..."
I ducked my head, "I am strong master. Let me prove myself."
He sighed and then did something that surprised me. He knelt, "lad fighters die."
I looked at him and swallowed, "give me a task."
He touched my head and then sighed, "kill mage Doren and take his personal constructs."
I looked up and he stood and turned to walk away. I looked at the smith and he grinned and shifted, "look in the green banded chest. You will find a salt crystal dagger coated with ash. You will only have one chance lad so plant it in his heart."
I nodded and stood and climbed into the wagon. I found the chest and took the dagger before I climbed down. The smith handed me a leather belt with a new steel long knife. I hesitated before I wrapped the crystal dagger and started walking and then trotting. I walked and ran all night and reached the edge of the Quench as the sun was rising.
I slipped around the king's army as I moved into the valley. I crawled most of the time and since I was golden with black spots I blended in. I slipped through the mage's army and moved towards the center of the valley. I had to look at each of the banners before I found mage Doren.
He had three journeymen and half a dozen apprentices. Each had their own tent and the mage Doren had the largest and a pavilion. There was also large tents for the officers that commanded his army. I stayed out of sight as I moved around and watched. In the late afternoon I slipped into the mage's tent.
I searched it with my eyes and could see he only had two female constructs. That did not surprise me since mages sometimes used construct females for sex. They could not get them with child so there would be no chance of fathering a bastard. I found a place to hide under and behind a large hanging tapestry.
Slowly time slipped past and I ignored the thirst and hunger. I heard the constructs moving around and the mage when he came in. I was tempted to move but waited and finally it was night and I heard him with the girls before it became quiet. I still waited another couple of hours before I moved.
I slipped out of hiding and silently moved towards the bed. The two constructs had gone to their own so he was alone in the bed. I pulled the salt crystal dagger and struck swiftly. I shoved it into his throat and up into his brain and twisted and wiggled it. He jerked and one hand snapped out to grab my wrist.
I pulled him back and out of bed and yanked the dagger around and down. I went the other way as I grabbed his hair. I pulled as I brought the dagger back and down into his spine. His head came off and I dropped it and pried his dead hand off my wrist. I was covered in blood as I plunged the dagger into his heart.
I put the head in a pillowcase and glanced around to see the two girls sitting up. I used the sheets to wipe the blood off and moved towards them, "get up."
At the mage's long and wide chest I stopped and grinned. I knew about the chest from my master and moved a large crystal on the lid. The chest would hold the mages spell books and private herbs and extracts. The chest lifted and I looked at the girls, "come with me."
They looked towards the dark bed before coming closer. I cut a long slit in the back of the tent and pulled the chest out with the girls. I looked around and began to lead the chest and girls away from where the king's army was camped. Since we were not coming in or headed towards them no one that saw us said anything.
We walked out of the army and a little later I began to circle around. It took a couple of hours before I approached the king's army from the south. I saw the sentry as he moved out of the shadows and stopped, "I am Hawk. My master is the mage Glowtree. He sent me to kill the mage Doren and I am returning."
The sentry held a sword as he moved closer and looked at the girls before looking at me, "how do I know you speak the truth?"
I held up the pillowcase, "because I took his head."
He looked and backed up, "stay here."
He moved back and called for the watch sergeant who sent a runner. By the time word got back I had a dozen soldiers around us. The watch sergeant escorted me through the lines and the army to the mage Glowtree. He was waiting in front of his tent and looked at the girls and smiled at the chest.
I knelt and turned the pillowcase over to dump the head out, "the mage Doren is dead master."
He gestured and a light appeared over the head. He nodded, "well done Hawk."
He gestured and the chest moved towards him, "keep the girls lad. Sleep with the blacksmith and tomorrow I will give weapons."
I nodded and turned towards the spot I knew the blacksmith would be. He was awake and grinned as I stopped, "good work lad."
I glanced at the girls, "the master gave the girls to me."
He chuckled and gestured to the wagon, "spread a blanket under the wagon for now."
By the time we laid down the girls were exhausted and just fell asleep. I did not last much longer and laid back and closed my eyes. I slept until it was late morning and one of the girls touched my chest. My eyes snapped open and I looked at her and she bit her lip, "we need to go to the bathroom."
I blinked and turned my head before I nodded, "I should have..."
I turned and started to crawl out, "come with me."
First it was to dress and then I took them to where the jakes had been set up. Next was the kitchen where I introduced them to the cook and her helpers. We ate a late breakfast of warm cereal and then I left the girls with the cook. I returned to the blacksmith and he smiled as he turned and started pulling out chain and weapons.
He told me the mage Doren's army had surrendered at first light. He grinned and handed me a sealed note. It was from mage Glowtree and I blinked when I read it. I shifted and nodded to the blacksmith, "I need to go to their camp for a wagon and the mage Doren's tent and belongings."
The mage Doren's journeymen and apprentices were with my master and the servants in the camp were terrified. I found the mage Doren's wagon and took everything out of his tent. I packed it away and then took the tent down and added it to the wagon before I led the horses back to the master's tent.
He glanced at me and turned to gesture. The chest I had returned with floated out. The lid was open and it was empty and he smiled, "so your new girls have something. Get with the scouts after you set up the tent."
I nodded and ignored the others as I lifted the chest to the wagon. I set up the tent beside the blacksmith and put the horses with his. I slipped into the cook tent and told the girls about the tent. I left and went to find the leader of the scouts. He was an older journeyman that would never go beyond the level he had achieved.
He smiled and slapped my shoulder, "well done Hawk."
He turned to a map and started showing me where the scouts were and our patrols. He gave me an amulet to wear that would allow him to see where I was or what I saw. I left and moved to the south and away from camp. Three hours later I turned to the east and followed the edge of a grove of trees.
I saw the beginning of the scouts an hour later as I knelt behind a bush. I touched the amulet and heard journeyman Melick, "what do ... shift a tiny bit to the right."
He growled when I did, "those are from the mage Alec. Be careful and try to get a count."
I went further east until I saw his fighters and the wagons. I touched the amulet and started to murmur my count. Journeyman Melick finally hissed, "enough. Return Hawk."
I drifted back and turned before I started moving quickly. This new army would come up to the south of Doren's camp. Once I was ahead of the scouts I began to trot and turned north slightly. It was evening when I slowed and walked to a sentry. He started and then looked at my amulet before passing me through.
I checked in with Melick before going to eat. The girls were in the tent when I got there. I sighed as I stripped and tried to wipe the sweat off. Tandy was the first to move and came to pour water into a basin. Silver followed and knelt as she wet a cloth to wash my legs. Tandy started on my head and then my upper body.
The cool water felt good as they used combs until I was purring. They grinned at that and when they were done I pulled them up and gave them both a kiss, "thank you."
.... There is more of this story ...