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Amensol's Shadown: The Fox And The Wolf, Part Three

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    October 11, 2019 12:48 AM PDT

    Amensol’s Shadow: The Fox And The Wolf, Part 3

    The 5th Tale of the Unseen Pillar of the House of Amensol, by Benonai

     

    And so the fox went right along,

    His new friend out in front,

    He sniffed out prey until they spied,

    An angry elephant.

     

    He did not see the little fox,

    While huffing down the trail,

    Wolf saved the fox from angry stomps,

    But one stomp got his tail.

     

    “Oh, thank you, Wolf,” said the fox,

    “You really are too kind,

    “Tis nothing,” winced the injured wolf,

    While tending his behind.

     

    “Yaaargh,” the old warrior yelled, bleeding out of a gaping wound on his stomach.  The blade had pierced his liver.  Even over the cries of battle and blood, the noise turned several heads in the midst of all the chaos.  Carinna had been off her horse for several minutes, assisting in pushing the lines farther from the gates of Havensong.  If they could not stay the attack, there would be no place to bring the wounded.

    “Cleric, now!” Carinna yelled as loud as she could.  There was no way her petite frame could drag the man’s burly form out of combat.  A cleric showed up and helped her drag him behind the walls of the city just behind them.  Instantly, more fighters surged forward to take her place.  She stopped for a second to lock eyes with her first officer and waved a flurry of hand gestures to convey her tactical wishes for the cavalry while she was not on the field.  She returned her attention to her friend and mentor dying at her feet.

    “Fix him!”, she shouted at the cleric kneeling beside the old man.  The cleric was  mustering what focus he had left; his body felt drained of his magical energy, mana, from the raging battle.

    “I’m trying!”, the healer shouted back.  Carinna knelt down beside the cleric, at the side of the wounded.  She stroked his face with her hand, usually so intimidating and strong but now tired, his eyes struggling to focus on her.

    “Hugreth, stay focused on me.  Look at me,” Carinna’s usual determined appearance was replaced with anxiety and sadness.  Her voice cracked as she spoke to Hugreth. “Hey… I need you.  You need to hang in there for me.”  Tears escaped her eyes as they looked over at the struggling cleric.

    “He’s lost, ma’am.  I don’t have the strength.  The wound is too deep, and he’s lost so much blood already,” he shook his head in defeat.  Carinna already knew this would was mortal.  And righteous miracles did not happen in this world… not to her.

    The cleric slid away from their side with apology and raced back to his position on the line leaving Carinna alone to confront her tragedy.

    “Stay…,” Hugreth managed to get out, searching for her face.  His eyes were glazing over, his senses shutting down.

    “I’m here, Hugreth.  I’m not going anywhere.” She grabbed his large hand and placed it in hers on top of his chest.

    “Stay… with…,” Hugreth’s breathing was slowing, each breath harder to take than the last.  Sharp pain shot across his face intermittently as his nerves gasped for life.

    “Hugreth, I’m here,” she whispered to his face.  She could no longer hold in her emotions.  The tears ran down the tip of her nose and fell onto Hugreth’s dirty cheeks.  “You’ve always been there for me when I needed you.  When Honnai died.  When my parents died.  When I didn’t know how I would raise my son by myself. I’m not leaving you.  What will I do if you leave me?”  Carinna laid her forehead on his, praying to anyone to spare her friend.

    Suddenly, Hugreth released his hand from hers and brought it to the collar of her armor. He pushed her back and stared into her eyes, and gasped for a breath.  “Stay with… him,” Hugreth said with eyes wide.  The effort expended was all he had he relaxed his arm and it fell off of her shoulder and back to his side.  Hugreth lay dead within the gates of Havensong.

    Carinna’s tears of sadness turned to tears of rage.  In Hugreth’s last breath, he upheld his duty to his friend and king, Amensol.  The same Amensol that had led them to battle against the hordes of the Ravaging Lord and Ossari, their former deity turned oppressor.  The Amensol that had persuaded others against her advice to meet them on the field of battle instead of behind the safety and security of the Silent Sanctum, the retreat built in the side of the Roan Mountains for just this purpose.  The Amensol who sought prestige and the growth of his own fame over the lives of his people.  Hugreth died for the King’s hubris. And now it would kill them all.

    Carinna did not stop to dry her eyes as she drew her sword and headed back to the front line at the outskirts of the front gate of the human city of Havensong.  She cut her way through the skirmishes, avoiding the distractions of war and arrived at the side of the Captain of Ranks, Hugreth’s next in command.

    “Lorn, Hugreth is dead,” she said steel faced. Her anger was now overshadowing her remorse.  Lorn looked at her, stunned.  “I’m in charge of the Army now.  I’m setting horses to the gates.  Burn the entrance and meet at the East Gate with the King’s guard and the rest of our troops.”

    Lorn stood still, noticeably shocked at her words.  Lorn knew that the command of the men fell to him, not to the Commander of the Cavalry, but he was not about to argue with Carinna, the champion of Havensong. It wouldn't have mattered if he did.  She had already turned away to her next task.

    “Aye, ma’am,” Lorn finally said and turned to his Second. “Retrieve the oil and get our men behind the gates. Hold fast at the entrance!”

    Carinna moved with purpose.  She raced back to her horse, who was stamping around the entrance of the city, eager to get back into battle.  She mounted and stormed off toward her Cavalry who were busy separating the enemy into groups by fighting their way across the front lines, back and forth, giving the knights time to regroup between bouts.  Many horses and her soldiers laid dead around her, but she was unmoved by the loss at this point and finally caught sight of her Captain.

    “Fall back inside the gates.  We will join the Army on the east side of the city.  Have my men tie off to the pillars of the gate and pull it down when you are ready.  We are in the emergency evacuation plan as of now.”  Carinna waited until she got confirmation that he understood her wishes and she was off again back to the gate entrance.  Her mind raced faster than her horse’s legs, replaying all the foolish decisions the King had made that led to this horrendous loss of life.  She was going to honor Hugreth’s words and stay with Amensol.  And this time, he would listen to her.  He had no choice now.

    The knights cleared a path for the Cavalry to enter the gates just in time as they thundered in and dismounted as quickly as they could.  The ropes were ready, supplied by the armed support who aided those fighting on the front lines.  The main gate to the south of the city was supported by two large wooden beams as wide as the wall itself, about four cubits. The lintel beam across the top was also solid wood from one tree.  They had been harvested and fashioned as a gift from the elves who had helped build the city years before. Twenty ropes each were attached to bars, hooks, rods, and anything that was fastened to the beams themselves.  Then the ropes were tied off to the horse’s armor.

    A horn sounded behind them as Carinna blew the call for retreat.  Lorn yelled furiously at those fighting inside the gate to disengage and flee. His men took off at the same time as the Cavalry.  After a few seconds of constant pressure, the beams broke free of their positions, twisted and slipped just enough to cause a chain reaction with the stone built around them.  The outside edge gave first, and the stones from the top wall lost their grip and fell onto the Revenant soldiers below.  With the decreased weight and momentum, the horses continued to strain under the intense weight and one side pulled free enough to unseat the lintel beam.  It came crashing down, pushing the side beam even quicker, as tons of wood and stone crushed the army below them. As the last of the overhead structure crumbled down, the huge mass of wood and stone now blocking the entrance to the city was bathed in oil from the soldiers on top of the walls to the sides of the gate.  The oil poured over the rubble and the enemy wasting no time climbing over to continue their domination.  Lorn took a torch from one of his men and threw it onto the pile and it burst into flame.  The fire licked up higher than the wall itself within seconds. The enemy that was climbing over was instantly engulfed and those that made it over were finished off by the soldiers of Men.

    Carinna stared into the flames as her own anger burned inside her.  The gate here would be impenetrable for maybe thirty minutes, but then the hole would be an easy entrance into the city.  Time was short to complete the evacuation.  The wounded and the clerics were already making their way through the small but beautiful city to the East Gate.  No doubt, the army outside the gate was doing the same.  Carinna rejoined her cavalry and led them and the archers to the walls of the East Gate.

     

    The East Gate was smaller but it was sturdy and the closest to the Hall where Amensol and the leaders resided.  It was harder to penetrate but more crucial than the main gate to the destruction of the city.  The bulk of the fighting had been toward the main gate but the better fighters had been routed around to hopefully infiltrate closer to the king.  It was the practice of the Revenant to target the leaders of whatever group they fought.  That was why the leaders of each group of fighters were never figure heads or placed by prominence, but the best fighters among their peers. Hugreth and Carinna, one over 60 and one under 30, both led their respective armies because they were the best of the best. And their men followed them and their decisions without derision.  So when Carinna arrived at the East Gate and gave orders to the King’s Guard to prepare the evacuation, they immediately responded before getting word from their Captain, the king’s son, Avendyr.  Avendyr was the best among them.  He had been trained by the best fighter Havensong ever had, Honnai.  But, the King’s Guard still fell underneath the commander of the Infantry, Hugreth. 

    Carinna’s riders had all dismounted and were volleying over the wall to alleviate the fighting to prepare for the retreat northward toward the mountain tower.  The King was still inside the Hall leading the strategy from cover at the behest of the leaders.  A death to the King would be a crippling blow for the race of men at this point, and Amensol, despite his wishes to join the army, respected that fact enough to stay there for the time being.  He was looking over an updated map of the army’s position when a scout crashed through the door.

    “My King, the South Gate is burning.  The Cavalry and Infantry have joined us at the East Gate.  Carinna has called for execution of the evacuation plan.”  The scout paused waiting for orders from his king.

    The king stared at the table for what seemed like forever to those in the room, waiting for a reaction.  It finally came.

    “NO!” Amensol shouted as he cleared the table top with a quick stroke of his impressively large arms.  “She has given up so easily?” he asked rhetorically to the advisors standing around him.

    “My King, the fighting at the East Gate is continuing, but they will not be able to evacuate if the Revenant’s other force surround to the north side.”  The scout knew that his king preferred truth over a sweetened view of a situation.

    The king had been waiting for the fulfillment of the prophecy passed down to them during the Summit on Vesu by the Remnant of Ginto, protected by their goddess  Ginavi from the scourge of evil that plagued their population and turned them into dark and violent creatures renamed the Revenant. The Remnant hed to their conviction that the Ravaging Lord and his army “"would break beneath the Suns of Terminus.”  That conviction had been passed to the Sacred Six races that bound their futures to each other and to that promise; the next ten years spent building the three Sanctums that would spare the inhabitants until the Suns of Terminus would save them.  There were some that believed that heroes from the races would emerge and tear down the alliance of evil the Ravaging Lord had built up.  And Amensol was bound and determined to bring about the end of this war by meeting them head on.  The Suns would reveal themselves in the midst of battle and lead them to victory. It was time that the tide of this war began to reverse.

    “Then now is the time for us to strike.” King Amensol turned from the table and glanced around the room, memorializing this moment in his heart, remembering the faces of his fellow men, those that would share in the new dawn.  “Now, my brothers and sisters, is the time… to loose the Suns of Terminus!”

    The king’s hand felt its way to the pommel of his sword, Godfall, given to him by the council of elves, crafted with magic and imbued with powers to withstand the blow of any weapon ever created on the face of Terminus. Three weapons were given to the leaders of the Archai, the Men, and the Dark Myr, for waging war on the fallen god-men leading the dark armies.  Amensol slid Godfall from its sheath, its white hue emanating from the glimmering surface.  His eyes were wild, anticipating the coming glory and the fulfillment of their destiny. His hand slowly raised above his head, gripping his sword tighter until his knuckles turned white.

    “To war, to victory, to our destiny!” shouted the King of Men and he led his people out of the Hall of Havensong toward the battle at the East Gate.

     

    “Keep firing!” shouted Carinna to the archers taking cover on the top of the wall of the city.  The archers nocked their arrows under cover from the poison darts the Revenant soldiers shot from their positions, popping up only long enough to aim and loose.  Carinna’s cavalry were crack shots, disciplined and drilled to perfection. The path to the north outside the wall was beginning to open, knights meeting the enemy supported by their ranged support.  Three weeks of siege from the Revenant army had taken its toll, but the supplies and the strategies employed by Hugreth, Carinna, and Allistan – the senior advisor and executive officer to the King, had kept the soldiers strong and rested as much as possible while breaking lines upon the gates in the most defensible positions.

    Carinna guided her left flank of archers toward a battalion of Revenant storming toward the King’s Guard and Avendyr, the king’s son. Arrows flew past the heads of the men finding their way to their marks.  Forty Revenant fell randomly dispersed in the large group.  Carinna had learned long ago how to trust her fellow soldiers to do their jobs as well, and thinning a formation of soldiers front to back allowed the infantry to take enemy combatants on in superior numbers instead of having gaps between evenly matched battles.  The archers evenly thinned out the ranks and the infantry fought two to one on the front lines, easily tearing through formations of the dark army.  Avendyr glanced back from his position in the midst of his men and found Carinna’s eyes.  He motioned a pause in support to allow them to resupply while the knights finished off the overmatched battalion.  Carinna turned to signal her forces when she was knocked from her feet by shockwave of air that likewise took down half of all the soldiers at the gate. She quickly scrambled to her feet ferociously surveying the landscape for the source.  And then she saw him, emerging from the cloud of dust stirred up by his forceful landing in the middle of the fray: Ossari, the descended god of men.

    Avendyr stepped through the huddle of soldiers to the forefront, facing Ossari.  “You dare show your face to men, to your entrusted, as a foe?” Avendyr said as he scowled at Ossari.

    “Fall… on your knees… in reverence,” Ossari spoke with power that seemed to rumble in their chests.  Carinna made her way through her forces to get closer to the epicenter. She would not let their plan fail or her people perish so close to safety.

    Avendyr shouted back, “You will find no reverence here, worm. By your own deeds have you been brought low, falling from grace for greed and power; seduced by the Ravaging Lord and made a fool to those who looked to you for guidance!”  The Revenant forces and the army of Men stood still in their places, waiting on their champions to signal the next move.  Ossari cocked his head, his expression masked by his black helmet. Men would not see his face.  Men were not worthy to look upon his majesty.  His sturdy frame began pacing in the clearing, no bigger than a tall man but somehow intimidating regardless.  His movements were without fear, but taunting in their leisurely appearance.  He strolled back and forth, measuring up this mere mortal, Avendyr, son of Amensol.  This fight was beneath him, he thought, and his actions showed it.

    “You may not revere me,” Ossari said, “and you may not honor me, boy.  But, I swear upon myself, you will fear me…”  Ossari drew his sword, nearly three-quarters the length of a man, and held it upside down.  He thrust it downward, throwing it into the ground so forcefully that it sank within a handwidth of the handle. Ossari clapped his gloved hands together and began uttering an encantation as the ground began to rumble beneath the feet of Avendyr.  Avendyr looked around for a possible route of escape when suddenly the ground under his feet exploded violently, throwing him over the crowd of soldiers behind him and against the wall of the castle.  Carinna had reached the gate and was running to ensure his well-being when she was stopped by a group of emissaries racing toward Ossari’s location.

    “Enough!” King Amensol thundered, Godfall in hand.  He emerged from the center of his party and stepped into the cleared circle where the fate of men would be decided. He walked toward Ossari as an equal, fully committed to his belief that the war was all but won.

    “You have come to the end of your days, Ossari, man of Terminus,” Amensol mocked.  He held out his sword toward Ossari and smirked.  The soldiers behind him let loose a battle cry at his brandish, feeling the courage and confidence of their leader.

    Carinna hurried toward the battleground, fearing the demise of the king in his arrogance.  Ossari was no longer immortal, but he was no man.  His power and magic were not to be tested. She had to squelch this fight somehow.  She found her Second and whispered to him to begin rotating the troops out of the gates and up the eastern wall toward the north.  They would need to retreat in haste if something were to end badly, and a feeling in her heart told her it would. She continued her trek throug the mass of living and dead toward the king.

    “As soon as I best you,” continued the king,” I will fell your entire army and bathe my homeland in their blood.  The dark army will not last past this day.”  Amensol began shifting positions, leaving his sword out and pointing toward Ossari as he moved about.  “I have heard the end of this tale. Genavi, goddess of the Ginto and Punisher of Gods, has foretold your doom.  It has been written that…”

    As Amensol began quoting the prophecy, Ossari’s hand opened, and in the moment it takes a rain drop to fall from a blade of grass, Ossari’s sword shot from the ground and found it’s master’s hand. Ossari raced across the distance between them unnaturally quickly and brought his sword up in full arc, catching the guard of the powerful sword of the elves in Amensol’s hand. The sword was ripped from Amensol’s possession and sent straight up in the air. All soldiers stood in awe and fear as the sword lingered in the air for what seemed like forever.  Just then, Carinna finally broke through to the fighting ground and ran toward her defenseless king.

    “Amensol, go!” she shouted.  The commotion began the two armies stirring, sensing a shift in the stillness of the moment. As she ran toward Amensol, the sword landed blade down in the ground in front of her, sinking in as if beckoning her to take it.  Without slowing a step, she grabbed the hilt and yanked the sword from the ground while continuing her momentum toward Ossari.  Her arm followed its movement up, then down in an arc, spinning her body around as it continued up again.  Her momentum carried the sword at incredible velocity by the time she reached Ossari, seeming caught off guard by the sudden turn of events. His sword swung around just in time to redirect Godfall around to his side.  But Carinna allowed the continued motion to carry the sword back around without losing speed, and this time Ossari was just behind the move as Godfall met his armor under his arm at his ribs.  The magical sword penetrated the army just enough to slice through the flesh of Ossari’s side.  The wound shocked Ossari, who roared as this feeling of mortal pain shot through his once immortal body.  He grabbed at his side.

    “Avendyr, lead them north. Go!” Carinna shouted again.  Seeing their chance to get all to safety, Avendyr raced to his father’s side as he shouted orders to retreat to the Silent Sanctum. The spectacle was too great for many to even move, with some retreating immediately and some froze to the ground.

    Ossari looked down at his side and brought his hand to his face. Blood beaded down his fingers and dripped off onto the ground.  Carinna readied herself for another melee to give her army a chance to gain distance.  The Revenant army looked for an order, a signal of what they should do as their High Mortal leader stood wounded on the battlefield. Carinna was master of one-on-one combat, and the sword in her hand felt light as a ribbon waving in her hand. She had to give them time. They just needed time.

    Avendyr pushed and guided his father away from the battle as best he could.

    “Boy, what are you doing?  This is our moment! We must fight,” Amensol yelled as Avendyr beckoned him away.

    “Father, we have little time. Carinna has given us the time we need. We can regroup at the Sanctum!” Both Amensol and Avendyr moved with their eyes fixed on Carinna’s fate.

    Ossari felt the dull burning pain on his side.  It was new, uncomfortable, but interesting.  A rush of new feelings poured over him. It was exciting to him.  Something about this new experience made him smile.

    Carinna waited for Ossari’s next move when all of a sudden he began laughing, staring at his hand in front of him.  His laughs became louder and louder and began to ease the Revenant soldiers behind him who slowly joined in the amusement without understanding why.

    “You… are a foolish creature indeed,” Ossari said, still lightly chuckling. “You think you can beat a god? You should have left the fighting to the men and stayed with the children.”

    “My child is safe from your hands, you beast. Did you not know that? Oh, yes, I forgot. You’re no god.” Carinna’s concern turned to anger as she confronted the one who had brought such pain to her life. Honnai, dead at the hands of his Revenant horde. Her parents, killed in a raid at her country home. She needed to protect her son, secured behind the ramparts of the Silent Sanctum, and ensure he would never see the ugly face of war.  “Come on, then. Let me show you how I train children.”

    Ossari’s smile faded in the face of this mortal woman’s taunts.  She would be an example of the fate of the rest of men.  He raced at her, again faster than any mortal could move. Carinna’s perfect form ensured her sword was ready for his first move.  The sword muffled the blow, but it still drove her off of her stance.  She’d never felt power and speed like this before.  Ossari moved again swinging faster and faster, circling her as she parried and tried to keep up with his footwork. His vanity opened up an opportunity as he lunged out of position toward her. She parried the blow to her side and brought her sword up his other side, barely opening up his armor.  The glancing hit gave Ossari pause and he backed away to calculate.  At the sight, Carinna raised her eyebrows and dared him to keep trying with her eyes. She switched her stance to offensive and brought her sword up. She was ready for him.  They just needed time.  And then she saw stars.  She felt herself falling to the ground as her vision blurred and went black. She didn’t feel the impact of the ground.

    Avendyr and Amensol were hurrying the soldiers away from the battle when they saw Carinna suddenly fall to the ground. Avendyr ran back toward her with a shout.  Amensol followed behind.

    Amensol and Avendyr stopped a few paces away from Carinna’s lifeless body.  A single arrow protruded from the side of her helmet where it had found its way through a slit by the ear.  Carinna was dead.

    Ossari belted out a laugh once more.  He turned to see a Revenant soldier who had picked up a bow and arrow from the battlefield and shot it. It was a lucky shot that would have missed her completely 99 out of 100 times.  This was not lost on Ossari.

    “My, my.  Life is so… fickle, isn’t it?” Ossari said.  He stood in his place, feeling more confident now, being brought back to the fact he was facing mere mortals.

    “We finish this now, you and me!” Amensol shouted, throwing off his burdening coat and shirt.  His bare muscles bulged as he strained and flexed ferociously at Ossari.

    “I am here if you want to… kill me,” Ossari answered. “But don’t forget who you are fighting.”

    “Do you have any idea who you are fighting?” shot back the king.

    “Oh, indeed, Amensol, son of Avendun. See, you are already forgetting who I am,” Ossari said. “I’ve known you your whole life, abandoning your responsibilities, overcompensating by taking on everyone’s responsibilities in your second chance in life.  Though, I must say, raising your own bastard son as if he were adopted, that was a truly conniving trick.  If only he knew growing up.  Did he find out who you really are: who we both know you are?”

    Amensol grimaced at Ossari.  His words just fueled his fire.  Avendyr stood back confused at Ossari’s words.  Why wouldn’t he know his own father? Ossari must be trying to confuse us, he thought.  But, somewhere in the back of his mind, he thought his father had many secrets that he kept in shadow.  One day, he would need to learn the truth from him.

    Amensol grabbed the sword from Carinna’s hand and stared at Ossari.

    “Aargh,” yelled the king.  “I am the keeper of your death.  I am the light that will cast out this darkness for the sake of my people.  I am the greatest warrior of the tribe of men.  I am no longer a subject of Ossari of Vas Demith. I am a Son of Terminus. I am a Son of Terminus!”

     

    The king raced toward Ossari and faked an overhand strike and dropped to his knees as he slid past him.  His sword swung low as he passed clear of Ossari’s blade and brought his sword up the backside of Ossari. The force, coupled with the sword’s own power, brought a stinging blow to Ossari’s right shoulder, penetrating his armor once again. He stood and immediately attacked the backside of Ossari who was still getting used to the pain of injury.  Ossari slid to his side as Amensol swung down. Both leaders caught eyes, hunched over beside one another.

    Avendyr was gaining confidence in his father’s abilities to match up to Ossari’s mortal form, especially with a powerful Elven blade. “For Havensong!” Avendyr cried.

    Amensol smirked at Ossari, staring into the darkness of his helmet. “Havensong will forever be a tribute to your death, mortal,” the king whispered.

    Ossari’s mood changed in an instant.  He would have the respect and fear he deserved.  All men feared him, and nothing would stop him from restoring that fear.  Ossari’s hand reached out and grabbed the blade of Godfall. He held it as tight as he could.  Amensol pulled back on the blade, trying to free it from Ossari’s hand.  Ossari felt the blade cutting into his flesh, but he gripped even tighter. He turned his body and faced the king as Amensol wrestled with the sword.  As fast as one could see, Ossari brought his sword up and shoved it through the left breast of the king. Amensol yelled in pain and still he pulled on the blade hoping to pry it loose.

    “Father, no!” cried Avendyr, unsure of what to do.  Ossari put increasing pressure on the blade as it slid deeper and deeper into the king’s chest. It penetrated the skin on the backside of Amensol’s body and kept going.  The hilt finally rested on Amensol’s breast.  Ossari moved close, holding the king’s dying body vertical, making sure he was the last thing Amensol ever saw.

    “I… will make sure that Havensong, your precious Havensong, will never… ever… be set foot in again,” Ossari whispered to the king. “I swear it… upon myself.”

    King Amensol looked up to Ossari, gasping for air as his mind went fuzzy.  Ossari leaned back away from the King, still holding him upright with his blade.  He brought his boot up and kicked Amensol so hard, he flew off of his sword and landed two spans of a man from where he was standing.  Ossari looked down at his defeated foe, overcome with rage at the nerve of Amensol to think him his equal.  Ossari turned toward Avendyr, still standing silently, looking at his father and Carinna, his one and only love, laying in pools of their own blood.  This was the end for men, he thought.

    Ossari took a step toward Avendyr and stopped. “Avendyr, son of Amensol.  I have a task that requires my attention.  I will meet you again soon.  Watch carefully… from your tower.  Watch to the south. Have comfort in knowing that as slow as your death will be, it will eventually come. And years after, no one will remember your loss and your weakness, or your precious Havensong.”  Ossari turned away from Avendyr and motioned his army toward the walls of the city.  Lorn, who had been managing the evacuation of the soldiers, raced back to Avendyr.  Lorn had no time for mourning, but grabbed Avendyr by his collar and forced him onto the back of the horse before speeding away to the safety of the mountains.

     

    The next day, Avendyr sat in the window of the highest floor in the Sanctum and watched as the Revenant army brought out the enslaved Elvonnen giants they had captured a moon ago in battle.  The giants were goaded to load pieces of the wall of Havensong onto carts and were hauled away to the south. A scout had reported that after all the army had left, Ossari took the unburnt remnants of the South Gate and threw them into the sea south across the steppe.  It was a long distance, but with the giants helping, they would eventually take every stone, board, and hinge and cast them into the depths of the sea.  Havensong would be nothing more than a memory.

    Avendyr had consoled now his people with the heroism of the final battle.  The people were free to get to cover due to the love and fortitude of their great King Amensol.  After the tragic death of his love, Carinna, the great King of Men fought valiantly to his death giving time for his people to make it to safety. They should find strength knowing that his will was never broken, even unto death, he told them.  It was what they needed to hear.  It was what he needed to hear.  They would begin discussing strategy from here on soon enough. But today, this solemn day, as their home was carried off and dumped into the sea, he just wanted to be alone. It would be his turn now, and he had to get his mind right. He would lead his people. Carinna had told him once that they had one job, to anchor the throne fast for the sake of the people. They could not see their leaders waiver or a sign of weakness. It needed to be stalwart in the face of adversity. He would do it for her. He would do it for his father.

    The door to the room creaked open and a young boy about 10 years old stepped through.  All the children had been kept away from the news of battle to protect the young ones from fear.  But he knew that could not be the case for this one.

    “Avendyr?” Kole spoke softly as he entered.  He looked so much like his father, but he had his mother’s gentle demeanor. “Is she really gone? I heard people say she died at the battle.”

    Avendyr’s eyes softened as his attention turned to the orphaned child of his best friend and first love.  “Yes, I’m afraid so.”

    Kole’s head hung down, not wanting to cry in front of Avendyr, the King’s son.  Avendyr left the window and went to him and put his arms around the boy.

    “You mom… hmph.  Your mom, Kole, was so wonderful.  She was courageous in battle. She was slain by Ossari himself on the battlefield. I was there.  Your king raced over to avenge her against the god Ossari himself and challenged him.  He saved the people by giving them time to get away.  He loved your mother, too, and he fought for her honor. And, after an epic battle, Ossari was victorious but wounded by my father.  He was a great man and we were lucky to have him as our king. And, one day, when I’m king, I’ll avenge your mother and my father, and put an end to all these wars. I promise.” Avendyr continued to hold on to the boy as he looked over his shoulder at the ruins of his city.  Anchor the throne fast.  For Carinna. For the people. For his father.


    This post was edited by benonal at October 11, 2019 8:40 PM PDT
    • 186 posts
    October 13, 2019 2:41 PM PDT

    Epic. I was excited when I saw you posted this, but wanted to re-read the preceding parts before reading this part to get the most out of this, and I‘m glad I did. It did not disappoint!

    The battle sequence with Ossari was very well depicted. Sorry to see Carrina go as she was a great character, but the impact was worth it. Loved Ossari’s reaction to her death. You really are taking on some big characters and events and definitely doing them justice, in my opinion. 

    Keep up the awesome writing Benonai! 

     

    • 28 posts
    October 13, 2019 8:59 PM PDT
    Thx therek. Y big fear is that they release some new lore that blows up my story. Would be much better if they just accepted mine and put Godfall in a dark cave somewhere to me to loot.
    • 186 posts
    October 14, 2019 6:58 PM PDT

    I agree, clearly that would be the most sensible approach :) Small request in that case, can the next part include a longbow named Deathpierce. You can give me the location later.