Dust swirled and choked the northern gates of the fort as more wagons were brought inside. Many of the carts were loaded with provisions for the expedition that had been planned into the Wastes, but two large covered wagons brought more valuable cargo. Volunteers were being brought in from across the length of Rharne to support the Lightning Knights in their mission. All manner of folk were joining them on their journey into the Stormwastes to investigate the bonfires that had been seen dotting the horizon at night. Something was going on, and the Commander Martell intended to find out.
The wagons containing the volunteers were brought round through the courtyard of the fortress before being brought to a rough jostling stop at the southern gates that faced into the Stormwastes. The gates themselves were open to-trial and the red wash of wasteland could be seen in the distance. Nothing really grew there, just bits of moss, lichen and fungus for the most part so the land remained barren.
All volunteers were asked to disembark by a young Lightning Knight at the southern gates and wait for further commands. The expeditionary force was beginning to form at the gate as more Knights began to arrive and begin forming a neat and orderly line. Two heavily muscled roan Rharnian thoroughbreds were brought forward to pull a large cart stacked to the brim with provisions that would include the team’s food and water along with camping supplies. Squires arrived to pass out free outerwear for the volunteers which mostly consisted of thin oilskin coats that were apparently for weathering any sort of sudden storms that were common in the Stormwastes.
The volunteers were given a few bits to gather themselves and join the line of Knights forming at the gate. After six bits had passed a large dark shadow passed overhead. It was massive and it could only be one thing: a Storm Roc.
The golden and indigo marked avian proceeded to land on the gate of Storm’s Edge itself, tucking it’s wings in a practiced sweeping motion. On the back of the eagle sat a dark haired man in full plate armor with a long staved halberd in his hand. His scarred face looked down at the group beneath him with a critical eye.
“I am Knight Commander Martell, and I will be leading this expedition.” He said with a booming voice.
“You all should know why you are here. For those that don't quite understand.... just know that something strange is going on the Wastes and it is a force that has continued to elude our patrols; which is why we have requested your aid. This mission has been ordered by the highest authority in the land; the Lighting Mother herself. You will find no higher cause than this, to serve our lady Ilaren is the highest honor we Rharnian’s can ever hope to achieve.” His tone was utterly and completely serious. Draven clearly cared deeply for his patron Immortal and took his service to her and Rharne incredibly seriously.
"Make yourselves ready.” He commanded firmly with a tinge of worry woven into his voice. With barely any sign that he had given the Storm Roc a command the bird lifted off from the southern gate with a two great wing beats that sent dust spiraling through the air around the expedition. Draven and his mount spiraled higher into the air before taking up a position over the caravan. Obviously he would serve as both their commander and the team’s eyes and ears in the sky.
The Stormwastes now waited for them. There were perhaps three or four breaks before sunset so the group could cover a fair bit of ground before needing to make camp for the night. Orders were given by the lieutenant in command of the dozen or so Knights that were coming along that they would be leaving within the next five bits. The volunteers were to prepare themselves for departure as best they could, all with the knowledge that they might not return from this particular mission.