Rerinah was a lot of things. He was a strong fighter, but he was also a pacifist. He didn't enjoy fighting as most of his kin did, he was good at it, but that didn't mean he saw the point in going around defeating everyone. He much preferred singing and dancing. It was a quality which often led people to think he was a coward.
In some ways he was, he guessed. If he could run from a fight, he would. his lord, had often told him off for his trait. He shuddered as he remembered when he had been backed into a corner by the dragoon and ordered to fight him.
He had fought well, but in the end was brutally defeated. He had expected to be killed that day for his weakness and his disobedience. But to his surprise he was allowed to live, healed by Kafi under Lord Yeron's mercy, and even brought into the Lord's closest circle.
Well brought wasn't the right word. Forced or maybe blackmailed would be a better word. He remembered that day with mixed feelings, but he accepted his fate. After all, he was did allowed to be himself.
It had been many years before the conflict, after his fight with Yeron he had woken up in Yerons bed, the healer treating his wounds. He called it a fight, he had only managed to get a few hits in before being overwhelmed and beaten into submission.
"If males were still able to carry I would make you into one of my bitches weakling"
He shuddered as his lords taunting came back to him. He had tried to fight back, but the lord was too strong. He should have been killed but he had been healed by the Lord's companion. What was he to be now? A solider? Or was the lord going to use him as he used the healer? Unwilling, tears began to pool in his eyes.
He was a man dammit!
"You fought well" The healer said, his voice soft and gentle. Much like the females had been, and yet still strong. "If it had been anyone else, there is no doubt you would have won, or at least drawn. It is odd one for so good at fighting to run from it"
He turned his head and looked at the healer in confused. The healer smiled, his eyes hiding any emotion. A hand wiped away his tears.
"Do not fear our Lord. He will be merciful, if not a bit angry with you, provided to tell him the truth behind your actions Songpaw"
"I don't use that name any more" snapped Rerinah
"Somehow the name you use now does not fit you. Our names are who we are, and you are not a fighter by nature. You are a bard. You are strong, but weak at the same time" The healer spoke.
"Because Diveshooter suits you healer" growled Rerinah refusing to met the healers eyes. He heard the healer sigh and winced as a hand pressed lightly on one of his wounds, checking it before reapplying a salve to it.
"Diveshooter is who I was. Who I always will be. No matter how much I may change, that will always remind" The healer said quietly, almost like he wasn't sure if Rerinah was going to listen to him or not. "Yeron and I, we're from a different time. When it wasn't usual for more powerful drake lords to take there weaker rivals as hosts. Can't say I enjoyed being his at first, going from being a fighter to his ..." The healer paused biting his lip slightly, "Either way, Yeron has never been to cruel to me. Even when I fought back against him. He always punished me, but never once stopped me from fighting"
"Why did you stop then?"
"Fighting? Tats easy, things changed, and he needed me more then I wanted my freedom. After a time, I just accepted my place by his side. Don't get me wrong, he had never truly loved me, nor have I loved him. I was a trophy, but he always let me fight my own battles"
"You make it sound like I care nothing for you Kafi" a dark voice said from the doorway. Rerinah froze as he felt the anger coming fro his lord.
Kafi snorted. "Like anyone who sees us thinks that"
"Then what are you?" Rerinah felt the words slip out of his mouth before he could stop them. A claw was around his throat and Scarwarrior loomed over him dangerously.
"Better question is what are you? Rerinah" Scarwarriors voice was powerful and dominating as he said Rerinah's name, sending chills though his spine. "Banetraveller , or Songpaw? Banetraveller is a weak coward. One I would not pause forcing into my bed, as he has no place in an army. Songpaw, on the other hand. He's strong and brave. He's the sort I need in my army"
"You don't know either of them" Whispered Rerinah, something forcing him to speak, to defend himself. "Banetraveller works hard for what he's got. Even if he seems weak at times. Songpaw's lazy, and only fights to help people or to help himself. Both sides hate fighting"
The grip at his neck loosened and his chin was lifted so hew as forced to look his Lord in the eye. For a moment Scarwarrior studied him before releasing him. His red eyes cooled back down into gold.
"Scarwarrior needs fighters Rerinah" Yeron spoke, "But we are not stupid. Forcing you to fight would do us both no good. We need loyal men, not forced. Either are we willing to let such a stronger fighter go. I can count on one hand the number of dragoon who have lasted that long against me"
"I guess you're stuck then" whispered Rerinah.
Yeron Scarwarrior looked down at him seriously before closing his eyes, "We're best friends, practically brothers, if it wasn't for the fact we have sex every now and again"
"You asked what Kafi and I were?" Yeron said looking down at Rerinah, his eyes softer, but still very dangerous. "I told you. Now you tell me something. What's to stop me flipping you over and treating you as I would Banetraveller now I've defeated you?"
Rerinah went to say nothing but instead a name came out of his mouth, "Songpaw"
Yeron nodded, "You are right, Banetraveller's a hard worker. Even if you were him, I would have killed you rather then force a good dragoon to suffer though the shame. But you are not him. Either are you Songpaw. Somehow I feel, that part of you is long gone. SO I offer you this. A new live. I will neither let you go, nor force you to fight. You will one of my general, someone I keep close. Someone I can trust. Can you be that person"
Rerinah was speakless. He looked into his Lord's eyes searching to see if it was true or not. "Songpaw, he's still part of who I am. Songs, dancing, eating and drinking. Fighting to protect too, that's all him. But he's gone at the same time. Banetraveller replaced him, trying to fit in a new world but failing due to Songpaw's believes"
"Bane doesn't fit in, no" Kafi agreed, starling Rerinah who had forgot he was there "But that doesn't mean you can't live by your believes."
"He's right, if you were any weaker I wouldn't allow it. but You are you. I will not allow such a strong fighter to be wasted, nor will I deny Banetraveller great tactical ability in battle. As one of my generals you will do both. As neither or both. But listen to this warning. Should you refuse, I will treat you as Banetraveller"
Rerinah looked away and let his tensed up muscles relax. The dragon in him uncurled slightly. He looked up into his Lord's eyes, his own scared one reflecting in him. Yeron didn't hide the flinch at the look in him.
"Will you let us be whole again?" the Dragon in him asked, his voice broken.
"Of course" Yeron said gently, a claw running down his face, "You should never have been broken in the first place."
Rerinah felt his dragoon smile. "I'll follow you. Just don't force me to quickly. Song is just as damaged as when traveller came to be"
"Then your new name will be Songtraveller. The best of all of you" Yeron smiled, before pausing. "You know, someone once told me, that the outside of a person can change, even a name. But the insides stubborn and always stays the same. It will be good to see if that is true or not Rerinah"
Songtraveller leant up slightly and kissed the ring on his hand, a sign of submission and of loyally. Rerinah blanked out after that. His dragoon, pulling his close, closer then they had been in a long time. When they woke they were one again one. Rerinah Songtraveller.
The stigma of being a coward had never really faded. He controlled the urge to run better, but the urge to protect often override that need. SO as he took his armour off to face a beast most would faint at the sight of, the thought of running didn't even cross his mind.
Only one thing ran though his mind. the need to save Viskogrin.
Spreading his wings, he jumped up and flew towards the cook, the air flying pass his wings silently. There had been a reason why he had been named Songpaw after all. And despite all he had been though as Banetraveller and then as Songtraveller, he was still Songpaw somewhere under it all. He was still the dragoon who could move silently. And he needed that ability more then ever now.