The Adver-Ties

By: RedLady

Author's Note: I own everything though almost everyone of the characters in this story are modeled after my friends and most of them are from fanfiction.

Special thanks to Darkshin (my chief editor) and his brother. This story is a tribute to you!

Also dedicated to friends on fanfiction (ready for a long list?) such as Nukerliu, Lener, LiteHawk, Warblade, Karma50, BeserkRage, Chazbone, Hyper Guyver, Diablo-2-Freak, Mr. Platypus, Stonecold, phoenixqueen, and Prettyflower the Nightwalker. I love you guys! Don't be surprised it you see yourself in one of these characters!

Note: This is one of my first serious attempts at fantasy writing. It is a kid's story, so don't expect anything serious. This story actually arose from my hatred for pop ups. Sound strange? Well I guess I am a strange person. Eh heh heh heh. So without further postponing... onto the story!

Disclaimer: By the way, I own everything! So mwahahahahaahahaahaha!

: |-

_

She sighed humbly under the glowing sun. War was never enjoyable. War involved suffering. Not just on one side, but on the other as well. And that was the only thing that kept her fighting. She knew that the Adver-Ties tribe were suffering.

Redulla hated the Adver-Ties Tribe. And it was unusual because normally she didn't hate. But they had killed her family. One day her town was invaded by the Barbaric tribe called the Adver-Ties. After that day she had been cursed. And now she forever chased them in order to get revenge.

But nobody knew completely what the Adver-Ties had done to her. It was strange how people would follow her without questions. Why fight the Adver-Ties? Besides the fact that they dwelt in deadly and sickly magic. And that they could make a person go crazy by their spells. No, the people followed her out of her own hatred of them rather than their own. She planted the seeds in their hearts. Promise of money also helped her lead her army. She was ashamed, but still she led them on, against the Adver-Ties.

Now they followed them through a cold valley at the edge of the Middle Lands in the West. She was going into Foreign lands and did not know how encounters with foreign people would fare. Would they help her? She brushed the thought aside pulling her cloak closer around her. No one could live out here in the icy wilderness, she thought.

She had tried to learn about the Adver-Ties Tribe ever since they had attacked her village. Some said they were a group of followers who followed the God of Pestilence. It was said in their holy book that in following Pestilence, they themselves would be immune to his fury. Others said they were demons who could hurt a person from many miles away using evil magic. She didn't know much about them other than that they had attacked her village when she was just a child, because not many other people knew about them either.

They had cursed her long ago when a group of them passed by her village. She didn't know it at the time, till they had already traveled far away. Now she secretly kept her curse to herself. She kept it a secret all these years wanting to get revenge upon the Adver-Ties who did this too her in the first place.

_

He saw them from far away. He shaded his eyes as they passed up the mountain and toward his gathering outside the temple. Barius cursed under his breath for this procession to interrupt his teachings. His followers where now more interested in the army traveling toward them than his lesson of the day.

"Disband and go to your homes." He ordered and reluctantly his two students obeyed. Before the procession could see him he slipped behind a tree and snuck toward the woods. He did not wish to meet an army in the day light. The night proved to be more friendly as opposed to the hot burning orb that stood in the sky.

They passed under his village and didn't even see the hidden houses and various campfires. Another group had passed near a week before consisting of a band of sickly warlocks . They had painted their faces and continued to walk without any notice that they had walked right by his village. He noticed the gruesome jewelry they wore made out of human flesh. And some of their robes were dyed with blood. For some reason he had forgotten about the earlier barbaric procession, until now.

These warriors seemed to be following the barbaric group. He peaked out from behind a rock to find their leader. He was expecting to see a man clad in rich clothing. Instead he saw a lady upon a the tallest horse wearing a golden red cloak. She led the army onward. He recognized the army as one from the East. How long had it been since he last associated with anyone from the East?

He looked in wonder at the woman for a moment. Then decided to speak with her where ever this army decided to camp.

_

Redulla looked around. She couldn't help but feel as if somebody was watching her. It could have been some sort of animal. The animals and birds that lived here were foreign to her and she wished she could study them more. She held her head high a little glad she was being watched, but inside she was fearful. What if it was a Adver-Ties Man? She secretly looked around pretending to stretch her neck. But she saw no one.

"We shall stop here." She ordered viewing the tall hill on which they stood. Anyone who tried to come from either side would be seen by any scout who would guard. She choose a spot below the hill and the remainder of her army set up camp around her. Night was coming and she did not wish to travel in the unknown vastness of the mountains under the blackness of night, especially if someone was watching her.

_

Barius crept up to the camp quietly. "I'd better look around before making myself known." He thought. He looked down into the camp from behind a boulder. A huge fire burned at the bottom of a hill as soldiers built their tents around it and cooked their dinner from it.

Nearest to the fire a large red tent was set up with the door towards the fire. He knew that the tent must belong to the leader of the band of soldiers because the woman's huge horse stood next to it. A young girl stood grooming the horse and she looked around before sneaking some sort of cake into its mouth. The horse accepted it readily and then proceeded to nuzzle the young girl as she laughed gleefully.

Suddenly a hand caught him from behind. He was dragged to his feet and forced around to look upon a tall powerful looking man who smiled menacingly.

"The Master doesn't like people sneaking around her camp." The man whispered harshly. "You wouldn't be a spy for the Adver-Ties now would ya?" He asked in a gruff voice.

"Who are you talking to Captain?" a voice asked from behind them.

"I'm not sure." The man answered never taking his eyes from his captor. "A spy?" He wondered. Barius twisted out of the man's grasp quickly and stepped away. The tall man looked at him surprised; then his eyes narrowed.

"Now sir, we're not gonna hurt ya, unless you give us reason too." He added. Behind the man a small boy with black hair and small eyes looked back at him curiously.

"I will go." Barius agreed. "But not as your prisoner." He added planting his feet firmly into the ground.

The big man frowned but nodded. "Of course." He agreed. "We will treat you with all the respect due to a man sneaking around our camp." He added sarcastically.

"Jacquel!" He yelled at the boy behind him. The boy ran obediently to his side and stood there looking up at the big man's face.

"Yes sir, Captain?" The boy said attentively.

"Lead the way for this man to the Master's tent. Don't let him stray." He ordered the boy. And Barius wondered if the Master was the woman he had seen on the tall horse or not. Yet Barius kept his mouth shut as the boy descended nervously down the slope looking wearily back at him.

"This way sir." The boy said and began marching down the slope.

"Go on now sir. I'll let the Master deal with ya, though I don't trust ya. We'll just see what she has to say about it." The tall man behind him said.

And with that he pushed Barius after the boy and followed him all the way down he slope. Barius huffed angrily, but followed the boy without complaint.

They trudged down the slope and came to the edge of the camp. They passed many men's tents on the side of the slope. In the middle of the camp they came upon the huge fire and the lone tent that stood in front of it. A figure sat slumped by the fire and Barius was surprised that he hadn't seen the figure before. The figure did not notice their arrival at first. The same young girl he had seen tending the horse now sat further off eating from a wooden bowl. Finally the figure looked up and spotted them trudging toward the fire. Barius saw that it was the woman he had seen upon the horse.

She was covered in a dark cloak and her hair was tied tightly back. Barius would almost mistake her for a young man if he hadn't seen her earlier in the day. She looked up at him without a smile. It was strange to him how this young woman could be the leader of the camp. He had heard of woman warriors, but they had either fought alone or led other woman.

She waited till they stopped in front of the fire. She never took her eyes off Barius. Perhaps she was trying to read him.

He was a tall man with dark skin. He had a cleanly shaven face and was quite handsome. He wore long black pants and a dark green shirt with a leather belt around his waist. His boot were high up to his knees and his cloak hung disarrayed behind him.

"We found this man sneaking around the Western perimeter up the slope here." The big man announced. She looked at her warrior and then back at the captive man.

"Do you mind explaining what you were doing there?" She asked in a low voice. He gazed at her curiously and realized that she was definitely the leader of the camp.

"I noticed your procession of soldiers earlier." He began. "Your warriors have traveled alarmingly close to my town and I merely wondered why you have traveled so far West into our ancestors mountains? We normally do not get visitors, especially from the East."

She sat for a moment contemplating his words. "I was not aware that a town lay near here." she told. "Perhaps you have seen the people we are seeking? Do you know anything of the Adver-Ties?" She asked.

He stood there wondering if the Adver-Ties could perhaps be the yellow skinned people who had wandered near his town earlier. "A group of Primitive people did travel through the mountain pass about 100 miles from here a week ago. They had a yellow tint to their skin and wore blood stained robes with human skin as jewelry." Barius said in disgust.

"They destroyed my whole village!" The woman said bitterly. "I was one of the few to escape." She added sadly. The small girl who had fed the horse earlier looked at the warrior woman with sympathy. It seemed she was about to say something, but stopped herself.

"I am sorry." Barius said though he knew his words must not mean much. He bowed his head not knowing what else to do. The woman studied him through watery eyes.

"Sit down sir." She beckoned. "I feel that there is nothing to fear from you if you are one of the native people of this area. Perhaps I could ask for some assistance in the layout of the area for I am unfamiliar with these cold mountain regions."

Barius looked wearily behind him at the big man who had not moved since they had come to the bottom of the hill. The woman saw his glance and looked the big man in the eye.

"Nicholas." She ordered. "Away." He bowed respectably and walked away. The small boy look at the woman who nodded at him and he followed the captain.

"You must excuse my captain Nicholas. He may be rough at times, but he is loyal."

She shooed the young girl into the tent and turned toward him. Standing she announced, "I am Redulla. But you may call me Red."

He bowed his head respectably. "I am known at Barior Magnus Demarch to my people. But to the Easterners I am known as Barius." He looked over at the Warrior Woman to see if she recognized his name.

"I am not familiar with this name." Redulla said pouring herself some sort of dark brew into a tin cup.

"Have you heard of the Bovine Wars?" he asked, accepting the cup of brew she handed to him.

"Of course! Who hasn't? When demons abduct our livestock, well, the news travels quickly."

"Well, I fought in those wars and received the title 'Paladin' soon after that."

"So there is more to you than meets the eye." Red speculated. "I thought Paladin's would be living in glory back east."

"I chose to retire." He announced. "After the Bovine Wars, I never looked upon cattle the same again." He laughed.

"Why did you retire?" Red asked. "Most of the men with the title of 'Paladin' are living in wealth, fame, and glory!"

"I wished to return to my homeland." He shrugged. "Besides there is more here for me than back east."

"I see..." Red said. After a small pause she added. "I would like to see your village, if it is permitted."

He looked at her shocked. "If you leave your weapons behind, I see no reason why you shouldn't be allowed into our city." He answered.

"And if you would be so kind as to help us form a map of the region?" She added.

"Sure why not?" He answered looking forward to mingling with the people of the East again. But he was confused as to how and why Red was leading an army.

"How is it that you became the leader of an army?" He asked. She looked at him almost shocked at the question.

"Do you think that because I am a woman, I am a worst leader than a man?" She asked angrily.

"No..." Barius said softly. "I've just not seen many women leaders whom an army would follow."

"We all have some vengeance against the Adver-Ties for one reason or another. And what vengeance some don't have can be bought with gold coin..."

"Mercenaries..." He realized.

"Yes, most of my men are bought. But Nicholas has gathered a few who would follow me without gold coin."

"Is he a mercenary?" Barius couldn't help but ask.

"No." She chuckled. "He's just an old friend."

They were silent for a minute in their own thoughts. Red sipped from her brew absentmindedly. Barius sniffed wearily at his, then passed the strange smelling brew into his throat. It was sort of bitter, but made him feel warm in the chest.

"Yes, we have been following the Adver-Ties for a month now. I never would have guessed they would still be a week in front of us when we use horses and they are on foot."

"They had a few beast of burden." Barius said.

"They did?" She asked surprised.

"They looked like small deer, but they were swift."

"Still not enough to carry the whole tribe there..." She said pondering the new information. "We will catch up with them soon." Red said with a bitter tone. "Then we will kill every single one of them..."

Barius shuddered upon hearing her words. Though he should have expected to hear as much from a warrior. But he found it hard to believe that she led a group of mercenaries...

She yawned. "I must be getting some rest." She said looking at the half moon in the sky. "Will you meet back here in the morning, Paladin?" she asked. He smiled inwardly at her words. He had not heard anyone call him 'Paladin' even when he had the title in the East.

"Yes, Warrior Woman." He answered. She chuckled. "Call me Red." She said.

"And call me Barius." He returned. She smiled.

"Thank you Barius for your help. I hope Nicholas wasn't too rough on you."

He bowed his head politely. "Not at all Red." He answered.

"Goodnight." and she smiled and disappeared into her tent.

_

"Can he help us?" The small girl asked in the tent.

"We'll see Lenna." She answered as she donned her nightgown.

"I hope so." The small girl answered. "I worry for you Master." Lenna patted the woman on the head. "The nearer we get to the Adver-Ties, the more Lunaura comes out.

"Don't worry." Red assured. "Once we find the cure from the Adver-Ties, this curse will be lifted and we will all be free to go our separate ways."

"But I don't want to leave you." The young girl whined.

"We'll talk about it later." Red said getting under the covers of her cot.

"If Lunaura comes, what should I do?" Lenna asked.

"Try and persuade her not to go far." Red said sleepily and slipped into a deep sleep.

The young girl looked at the warrior, sighed, and then went to her own cot and tried to sleep.