The Paladin Order Reformed 35 Rallied
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It's funny how quickly and slowly time pa.s.sed as I rode, it felt like riding through sludge as if the air itself tried to oppose such a hapless reunion. Although, that was probably just my own imagination. Still, it felt like I was in a dream, maybe because I've had this nightmare already.
I just hope it doesn't end the same.
I rode quickly through the forest pa.s.s, soon riding by the familiar fields that encompa.s.sed the town.
I crested a hill, my horse panting with exhaustion, then looked down to see my worst fears realized. The once serene town was engulfed with uncontested flames, ravaged bodies were strewn carelessly across the bloodstained cobbled streets.
Observing the grand atrocity made me feel so small, I felt so insignificant, foolish for even holding the belief I could help. The smiling faces of Sir Richard and Aliece flashed in my mind before going to occupy the same places as Rachel and the others. Any semblance of peace I recovered after losing my squad was lost.
In fact, the pain I felt at losing my friends seemed insignificant in comparison. Broken dreams littered the ground like the burning trash piles that now filled the streets.
Where rage had previously flooded me, I only felt disappointment and shame. Sir Richard spent so much time training and teaching me, but I didn't come in his time of greatest need. I failed him, I failed again.
As I was pitying myself, condemning my own failure once again, the sounds of raging battle could be heard. Only a valiant cry of battle brought me back to my senses, the voice of Sir Richard, gripping the reigns I rode towards the Order's stronghold to the east.
I rode past felled villagers laid unnaturally on the ground, ones that had fallen long before I arrived. But my focus was on the stronghold before me, it was battered, scorched with fire and flame. But men stood valiantly against the tide of demons that swarmed at the base of the walls, threatening to drown any soldier caught in its tide.
A battering ram crashed as the demons clamored up the few ladders still on the wall, but any that climbed were easily cut down with swift strikes.
Fireb.a.l.l.s, enhanced-arrows, lances of light, a hail of projectiles rained down into the demon ranks, but as one was struck down two filled their place.
The defenders fought with ferocity, but even at a distance, I could see their weariness. They fought with everything they had left, the few remaining defenders striking down demons with deadly efficiency, but this was to be their last stand.
The last bastion, to take as many of those d.a.m.n demons with them.
I looked around, as I was watching the battle, my Beast Riders caught up and now waited for my orders. My fearful expression turned to expressionless stone as I announced.
"That stronghold is my home, in it lies my friends, even now the one I know as my father is fighting to protect those still within its walls." I looked back acknowledging my unlikely allies. I drew Sir Richards...My mythril sword saying.
"I have done nothing for your support, but I ask all of you now, will you fight for me? Will you follow me to the gates of h.e.l.l to kill those demons!" I exclaimed while raising my sword above my head.
Their cries carried over the sounds of battle, silencing both demon and human alike. I kick my horse's flank and lead the charge at the hundreds of demons swarming at the base of the stronghold.
Our approach reverberated over everything, the deafening clamor of pounding paws on the cobblestone paths were only rivaled by the shrill war howls that rose collectively from both wolf and wolf-men.
The orange glint of the setting sun contrasted with a stark white light that gleamed from the Moon Claws, glowing around us as we charged. Fear filled the eyes of every demon, but Sir Richard and the others didn't waste a precious moment.
It was a pretty familiar scene, reminiscent of something, but I can't pin exactly what down. We crushed the demons between our frontal charge of cavalry and the wall, pinning them between nas.h.i.+ng teeth and an impa.s.sible wall with death raining from above.
It was a slaughter.
The Great White Wolfs the wolf-men rode tore through their attempt at a defensive line with their deadly claws, as carnage ensued, the only thing that could be clearly seen was the slas.h.i.+ng lights of wolf-men's Light Claws.
I cut down any demons that I could from my saddle, any that the tip could reach felt its bite. I thrust my sword through the eye of a demon, piercing through the back of his skull. But my sword became caught in his eye socket.
A demon impaled the side of my horse with a spear, piercing its lung. The horse collapsed under my weight causing me to tumble to the ground. I was stunned for a second, I tried to get up, but suddenly a demon rushed me with a raised spear, ready to pierce my skull to avenge his friend whose eye socket still held my sword for me.
I reached behind me gripping the hilt of my dagger, but even as I grabbed it I knew that I wouldn't be able to draw it in time. I raised my hand in preparation for casting a firebolt until something landed on top of the demon, crus.h.i.+ng him under its weight.
The object stood up and plunged a greatsword into the demon's chest for good measure, Sir Richard turned and smiled widely before frowning at the impaled demon with my sword.
He plucked it from its holding plae and returned it to me saying.
"I gave this to you expecting more respect for such a prized treasure of mine." He helps me up and returns my sword to me. He grinned playfully saying.
"Please try not to lose it, it's worth more than this entire town probably." That surprised me somewhat, I knew it was expensive, just not that expensive.
He patted my shoulder and returned to the battle that was raging around us, he joined the ranks of the wolf-men that had dismounted around me, allowing me to have that bit of banter with Sir Richard.
I jumped back into the battle, not willing to allow Sir Richard to show me up. We fought fiercely, but the battle stagnated as it went on. We had better troops on both sides of them, but the demons had numbers. I did my best to keep us from losing troop unnecessarily.
I stood by Sir Richard's side as we tore through the enemy troops, I watched his back and he compensated by watching my blind spots. We started whittling them from around 500 troops to a couple hundred, still, we couldn't overextend ourselves and risk being outnumbered as we fought.
I controlled our forces, calling bloodl.u.s.t filled troops back into the ranks. We fought close together, never getting too far from each other. Inching our way through the battle.
After half an hour of fighting, the rest of the troops arrived and the remaining demons were slaughtered. Any that didn't surrender died, there were no other survivors.
I stood in a field of bodies and carnage breathing heavily trying to regain my lost breath. I was covered in blood and wounds, but the day was won. Sir Richard walked next to me and put his hand on my shoulder, he didn't try and give some profound words of wisdom or speak at all.
I wouldn't be able to hear him over the great cries and howls of victory that came from all around, It is finished and its a good thing too. I'm tired.
We shared our supplies with the town survivors and with the members of the Paladin Order. Next, we stripped and burned all the corpses, save for ones who had family or friends to claim them. We buried those, its all we could do for the dead.
After, we held a great feast for our victory. It wasn't just to celebrate the victory, it was also to honor those who died. Surprisingly there were very few deaths on our side, only 5 wolf-men died in battle, but there were 27 wounded.
Before we started the feast, Lili and I helped heal any wounded, along with any of the Orders clerics that were willing to help. Most wounded had minor cuts and bruises, but some of them had infections, they would be out of action for at least a week until they could recover.
After we had the feast, Lili and I took some time to gaze at the stars and spend some much needed time with each other, before we went to sleep. Both of us lived, Sir Richard and most of the brothers from the Paladin Order lived. I'm grateful for this little blessing, I've already seen enough death in the short time I've been alive and I don't need anymore.
I looked down from the stary night sky onto the manged, war-torn town that was once my childhood home. Many places that held precious memories were meaninglessly destroyed. I just hope I won't have to see much more of this, but even as I thought this I knew that seeing more of this is inevitable.
The Paladin Order Reformed 35 Rallied
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The Paladin Order Reformed 35 Rallied summary
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