The Legends of Kayshall  Chapter-5   (The Horrors of War)

The Legends of Kayshall Chapter-5 (The Horrors of War)

A Chapter by Bruce Grimes

Only the Righteous can stare evil directly in the eye and not be scalded blind by its vial gaze, thus giving them the chance to strike it down once and for all. Quote: Sir Bolandurus





Only the Righteous can stare evil directly in the eye and not be scalded blind by its vial gaze, thus giving them the chance to strike it down once and for all.

   Quote: Sir Bolandurus

                  The Horrors of War

               (In the City of Valley Point)

  As Kallander looked out over the field he could see that all of the siege towers had been moved into place, they stood about twenty feet from the wall now. With the siege towers in place, there drawbridges loomed over the edge of the wall ready to be dropped into place and their deadly cargo unloaded. The Rovers had moved ballistae to the top of the wall towers and crocks of oil were being brought up to be used to set fire to the enemy troops and the towers, all there was to do now was wait for the attack. That evening as the sun was setting there was a new type of arrow passed out to the men on the wall. The Sergeant told them that these were arrows of exploding and that they were very dangerous. Every man was given ten exploding arrows to be used during the towers attack when the drawbridges were lowered. Kallander looked over at the man next to him as he held one of the arrows up.


   “What does it do?” Kallander asks the man as he looked at the strange looking arrow.  


   “That ‘V’ shaped head has a liquid in it that the alchemist came up with that explodes on impact. Now the stuffs a bit unstable so mind your manners with them and don’t drop one on your foot if you want to keep it,” The man said as he put his arrows away and sat back down.


   Just as Kallander was putting his arrows away, the training master that Kallander had faced back in the arena of the Rover camp stepped onto the wall. “Who is that man?” Kallander ask the Sergeant.


  “That, young BloodRaven is Lord Colantray second only to the King,” The Sergeant said with a smile.

  All the young Rovers seemed to take notice of the Lords presents as he walked down the battlement stopping and speaking too many of the different Rovers that were crouched in fear behind the battlement. Lord Colantray seemed to have an aura about him that somehow inspired the men, giving them courage. When he finely reached Kallander, he just stood there and stared deep into his eyes for a long moment. For some reason he started feeling as if the fear of the upcoming battle had been snatched away and his courage had been restored.


   “It is been a while since the trials young one. I’m glad to see you’re still alive; King Raylanty wants to see you at the command post. So get your stuff and come with me,” Lord Colantray said as he turned and led Kallander back off the wall. They made their way through the city streets; passing through several district gates till finely they arrived. Kallander stopped and looked around before they went in; it was so quiet on this side of the city that it was hard to believe there was a battle going on, on the other side. The Kings command post was set up in the Inn of the Rabid Squirrels over by the west gate. As they entered the Inn; Kallander could see the King standing off to one side. He was wearing his black and gold field plate armor, it may have looked grand but the King himself looked tired and worn out. It almost seemed as if the armor was holding him up; instead of the other way around. King Raylanty was talking to Derracky in a soft and tired tone. After a few moments he turned to see Kallander.


   “Good you’re still alive; I was a little worried that after the last three days we might have lost you, I am glad to see that is not the case. I suppose you’re wondering why I called the two of you here, well let’s get straight to it. I have a proposition for you; two openings in the Order of the Crest of Agarith have opened up. This doesn’t happen often and when it dose the spots are filled quickly, when I heard about these openings I thought of the two of you. I’m going to be leaving the city to take care of something’s at Worrg Gate so I need to know your answer tonight. Either way I’m promoting the both of you to the rank of Knight. So kneel down and Colantray if you would do the honors,” King Raylanty said as he poured a mug of ail. The two of them knelt down on one knee and Lord Colantray raised his sword and sat it on top of Derracky’s head. “I knight thee Sir Derracky Lancor in the name of King Raylanty Larson the Lion Claw,” And then he turned to Kallander and sat his sword on his head. “I knight thee Kallander BloodRaven in the name of King Raylanty Larson the Lion Claw, now rise both of you as Knight’s in the Kings army,” Lord Colantray said as he slid his sword back in its shelf.  “Now as Knight you have the right to choose one man to promote to the rank of a Footman's Knight to serve as a personal captain and adviser to you. He will answer to you and only you so choose him well,” Lord Colantray said as he sat down and started eating a sandwich. 


  “You and Derracky will be taking over Lord Colantray’s job as second in command and he’s taking over mine as commander of the army here at Valley Point. I’m leaving you men in charge of this mess. All I want you to do is, hold the city for as long as possible and kill as many of those b******s as you can. Before I go I will need your decision on whether or not you will join the Crest of Agarith,” King Raylanty said as he took off his breastplate; sitting it down on the floor.


   “Sir I don’t mean to sound ungrateful but if you don’t mind my asking; why have we been made Knight’s and being offered a member ship in the Crest?” Derracky asks with a slight look of confusion on his face.


   “No I don’t mind Derracky. To start with I saw your performances during the trials that you took back at the Colowe Forest. I have also checked on each of your performances on the wall over the last few days, I also have your performance reports for the last five years at the training camp. These things all say that you two have good command ability and the ability to perform in high stress situations. When I put it all together it leads me to believe that the two of you can do the job and do it well. So tell me my new Knight’s; what kind of ideas have you got in mind?” King Raylanty asks as he leaned back in his chair and relaxed.


   “Well I have an idea. Lord Colantray how long do you think it would take to build twenty plank bridges about eight feet wide and thirty feet long?” Derracky asks as he looked from Lord Colantray to Kallander.


   “Well I’m not sure but it should only take a few hours if we put a large crew to work on it,” Lord Colantray said with a thought full look.


   “And how long would it take to get those war wagons over by the west wall manned and ready,” Derracky asks with a slight gleam in his eyes as he looked over at Kallander. 


   “Well to get all two hundred of them up and ready; it would take around four to six hours and that will be pushing it. Just what are you cooking up in that head of yours?” Lord Colantray said more then asks as a look of realizations came over his face.


    “Well gentlemen the Arch Lord Jedack’s troops have been pounding us for the last five weeks if my understanding is correct. So let’s return the favor and counter with a flanking attack with the war wagons and use the bridges to get into the siege towers,” Derracky replied as a stern look came over his face. Lord Colantray just stood there for a moment and then he looked over at King Raylanty.


   “Don’t look at me Colantray; not this time. This one is all up to you and your two new Knights’,” King Raylanty said with a slight smile as he got up and left the room. Lord Colantray stated walking back and forth across the room with a look of deep thought on his face.

  “Let me see if I have this straight. You want to mount a counter offensive; in less than nine hours. You’ve got to be crazed to think this will work; but I like it and its just crazed enough that it might work. But even if it doesn’t, it’ll give that b*****d Jedack one hell of a black eye so let’s do it,” Lord Colantray said with a smile as he sat down.


  Just then King Raylanty walked back into the room. “That’s the type of thing I want to hear. It sounds like I’m leaving this place in the hands of the right men. Oh; by the way, hear are your Command Helms. You’re going to need them in the days to come. I need your answers’ on whether or not you would like to join the Order of the Crest of Agarith,” King Raylanty said as he handed a helm to each of them and stood there waiting. Derracky stood there for a moment in thought. “Yes sir I will, it would be an honor to join,” Kallander did not seem to be as sure about it as Derracky “I will join as well my King,” he said and King Raylanty smiled. “It is good that we will have ones such as you in our ranks. I will have the smith at Worrg Gate get started on your armor when I get there. Well I will leave you now there is much work to be done and I believe I am leaving the city in good hands,” King Raylanty said and then he turned and left the room again. Lord Colantray sent Kallander back to the wall where he told the other commanders what was going on. Then he sent Derracky to get started on getting the War Wagons ready. Kallander set to work on putting together a crew and getting started on the plank bridges. Lord Colantray sent troops down to the southeast gate to wait till they were needed. At some point during the night Sep showed up on the wall where Kallander was at.


   “Hay Sep how have you been doing; still alive I see,” Kallander said as he patted Sep on the shoulder and went on checking the positions on the wall.


   “I’m fine Kallander; I’ve been keeping my head down. I was a little hard on you back at Colowe and I want to make up for it,” Sep said as he started to unwrap a blanket from around a long object that revealed an exquisitely made long sword; the sword had been made from the finest Mithral.


  “It was Teano’s prize sword Relderran; he would have wanted you to have it Kallander. I still expect you to become every bit as good as what he thought you would; but I have faith in you and believe that one-way or another you will. So I’ll stick with you no matter what,” Sep said as he handed the sword to Kallander.


   “Sep thank you but I can’t take this. It should go to Teano’s father; not to me,” Kallander replied as he tried to hand the sword back.


   “Yes you can this is a sword of war, it belongs in the field not hanging above a fire place. Besides you’re the only one of us that knows how to fight with two long swords. So who better to give it to then you? You’re the only one that can use it,” Sep said as he pushed the sword back at Kallander.

   “All right I’ll use the sword,” Kallander said, as he took the sword he noticed that Sep wasn’t wearing any armor.


   “Say where’s your armor Sep? You should be wearing it at all times on the wall,” Kallander said with a concerned look on his face.


  “I don’t have any. I lost it about a week back when it got ripped up,” Sep replied as he pulled out his flask and took a deep pull off of it. Kallander got wide eyed at the idea of him being up on the wall for a week without armor.


   “Come with me and I’ll see what I can do about that,” Kallander said as he turned and started walking down the wall. Kallander began asking different men that he saw that weren’t wearing any armor if they had any. Some said they did and he ordered them to put it on, others said they had none so he told them to come with him and Sep to get new armor. He led the entire group to a small building. It was stacked full of different types of armor. Kallander told the men to find something that would fit them and go back to the wall. If they see anyone else that needs armor they were to send them to get it. Kallander took Sep into a small room in the back, and handed him a suit of Black Elven Chain Mail just like the one he was wearing.


   “Here Sep now you have some good armor. From the way things are looking you’re going to need it. I’m also giving you a new job to go with it. I need a captain and you’re it until your dead, besides this way you’ll be able to make sure I live up to everything you think I should,” Kallander said with a smile.


   The work went on all night long, the hammers and saws could still be heard as the sun started to let itself be known from behind the distant Pedrick Mountains. All of the bridges where finished and one hundred and twenty of the war wagons were in place at the north end of the fortress. There were special brigades of men by the gates and just below the wall waiting to storm the towers and flood the field. Derracky had gone and joined Lord Colantray and around ten thousand other men that manned the war wagons and the Calvary. Kallander and Sep stood on the battlement and watched the sun break over the top of the Pedrick Mountains, casting its light over Arch Lord Jedack’s massive army. Each looked at this with their own sense of dread for they knew today was going to be a day like none either of them could ever imagine. Just then huge chunks of stone started flying back and forth over the wall. Kallander watched them fly for a moment and then gave the order for the battle trumpets to sound.


   “Well Sep; I’ll see you after my friend,” Kallander said with a grim face.


   “You’ll see me long before that; I know that for a fact. You’ve never fought in a battle before, I have. If you want to stay alive you team up with at least one other and you work together. So you just stay with me and we’ll make the end of the day,” Sep said with a large smile. The plan was to wait till Lord Colantray’s troops where charging from the north and then use the exploding arrows to clear the top levels of the siege towers. Placing the plank bridges across from the wall to the towers so there drawbridges could not be raised and then taking the towers by force or setting them aflame from within. For now it was just a matter of holding the wall long enough for Lord Colantray and Derracky to get here with the charge.


  Kallander and Sep stood on the wall and watched as Lord Jedack’s army lined up and readied its self for the attack. It was an impressive sight to see to say the least. Jedack’s army was mostly made up of some strange wolf headed men like creatures.


  “I’ve never seen anything like these creatures before, have you?” Kallander ask as he watched the massive army form their ranks below.


  “No but my father told me story’s about such creatures that he fought during the battle at Bendel Pass. He said they were called Rekens and they were near to unstoppable and that was when everything was in your favor,” Sep said as he looked from the battlement on to the massive army below.


  The Rekens stood around seven feet tall and were covered in fur of various colors. They were brown for the most part, but there were black and red ones and even a few white ones. The black, red and white ones seemed to be the ones in command and the brown were the standard foot soldier. The Rekens carried large iron swords with curved blades and large tower shields with a half-moon cut out of them so the shields could be locked together. Even with out there weapons the Rekens have powerful claws that could come near to cleaving one in too. The Reken army stood there in total silence for almost ten minutes until a large white one that stood almost a foot taller than any of the others stepped out in front of the battle lines. He was carrying a huge cat of nine tails that he swung back and forth as he walked down the line, then he stopped and raised the scourge high into the air and let out a tremendous howl and then as if they were all one being the entire army let out a howl that echoed through the entire valley and sent cold chills down every ones spine. With the crack of his scourge, another howl was sent into the cool morning air and the attack began. Like the slamming of some great door the Rekens on the front row brought their shields to bear and locked them together in one thundering crash as the second row brought there’s up and locked them in over the first rows heads to block arrow fire and then they started moving forward as one. As Lord Jedack’s army slowly moved closer, the wall commanders readied the archers to fire and stood waiting for the order.


  “Well Kallander its time, give the word,” Sep said as he stood there with his bow drawn back, ready to release his shaft of death.   


  After what seemed like an eternity, Kallander yelled one word “Sostantivo,” which was repeated by all the commanders along the wall and a hail storm of arrows flew down up on Lord Jedack’s army below. But they were quick to react and threw up there shields blocking most of the arrows. As they drew closer the Rekens would drop a row of the top shields and fire huge crossbows up at the archers on the wall and then put the shields back up. All the time continuing to move forward toward the siege towers. The Rekens reached the wall rather quickly and started filing into the towers and within moments the drawbridges slammed down on the battlement with a loud crash and with a howl of ferry a flood of the wolf-headed creatures came charging out on to the wall.


           At the North end of the City Wall 

    By the time Lord Colantray and Derracky had the War wagons and Calvary in place for the charge the sun had been up for two hours and the battle was well underway. They had around one hundred and eighty War wagons and a little over nine thousand Calvary, but as big as there army was it seemed like a fly speck compared to what awaited them. Lord Colantray road his great black stallion out in front of the army and looked up and down the line and he could see the worry in the eyes of his men.


   “I look at you and I see fear in your eyes, you want to flee from this fight because you do not believe it can be won. But if you do and we lose here they will hunt you down like dogs. We will make this charge today and shields will be broken, spears will be shattered and men will die; but we will prevail because we are the Rovers of Kayshall.” Lord Colantray yelled out as he raised his sword into the air and then a great rowing cheer rang out from the army as they raised their swords and spears as well. Lord Colantray road over to where Derracky was.


  “You take the first Calvary down the back side of their lines and I’ll take the second Calvary and the War wagons down the middle and we will meet on the other side.” Lord Colantray said as he saluted Derracky and then road off gathering his troops as the blue banners of the Second Calvary formed around him. The Red banners of the First Calvary formed up in front of Derracky. He gave the unit commanders their orders and within moments the horns to charge where sounded and it had begun. The Calvary went across the plane like a great flood, hitting Lord Jedack’s army with a thundering crash and ripping its way through it.     

                                                        Up on the Wall                                          

  The Rekens attacked the men and elves on the wall with a furry unmatched.  Storming the wall three times and being driven off each time, but the men were being spread thinner with each attack. Kallander wasn’t sure if his men would be able to fight off another attack like that. Lord Jedack’s troops seem to be taking a harder beating than ours. The two forces seem to be about two to one in numbers now. Then suddenly Kallander could see Lord Colantray’s Calvary and War wagons charging down the enemy lines. This was what Kallander had been waiting for. He looked down over the wall at the enemy and gave the order to the archers to attack with the exploding arrows. The men and elves on the battlement started shooting their exploding arrows to clear a path for Lord Colantray and the War wagons. Then Kallander heard some large explosions off to one side. As he looked he could see that one of the ballistae on the wall towers had fired on the siege tower with an exploding bolt and destroyed it. Just then Kallander heard hundreds of smaller explosions which destroyed the draw bridges on the siege towers and then the men that had been waiting below the wall came charging up with the  plank bridges. Once the plank bridges were in place the bloody work of taking the siege towers was started. Lord Colantray’s force was cutting through Lord Jedack’s troops like a hot knife through butter. The taking of the siege towers was where some of the bloodiest fighting took place. When the Rover forces finely reached the ground the battle was raging madly. Kallander started gathering his troop’s to him and moving towards the southeast gate, there were troop’s just inside waiting to flood the field. Kallander gave the order for the towers to be cleared and burned. Suddenly a Reken jumped up and with a hissing growl it swung it’s sword at Kallander’s head; jumping to one side and thrusting his sword forward, impaling the Reken, but not killing it. The Reken let out a scream of pain as it started to swing its massive sword down on Kallander. He tried to pull his sword free but it was stuck, Kallander thought for sure he was dead. Then sparks flew as out of nowhere a sword flashed up blocking the Reken’s blade. Then the sword swung down and laid the Reken’s abdomen open spilling its entrails and spraying its blood everywhere. The creature screamed in agony as it dropped to the ground, Kallander looked up to see Sep standing over him.


   “I told you I would see you before sundown,” Sep said with a big grin as the creatures blood ran down the side of his face. He paused for a moment and then he loped of the Rekens head.


   “Sep this is just a personal opinion; but I think you’re having way too much fun at this,” Kallander said as he pulled Relderran free from the dead Rekens chest.


   “My father always did say I was a blood thirsty youngling, maybe he was right I always have enjoyed combat,” Sep yelled as he cut another Reken across the abdomen, bending it double and then lopping off its head with the next swing.


   “Stay with me so we can watch each other’s backs,” Sep said to Kallander and then Sep seemed to go into a killing rage; killing three and four Rekens at a time. Kallander did his best to keep up with Sep just so he could guard his back if nothing else. Sep looked up from the Reken he had just killed and started franticly looking for another.


   “Relax Sep, there over there,” Kallander yelled as he pointed to one coming up behind him. Sep spun around and threw his short sword; sticking it in the creatures chest killing it instantly. Then he ran by it grabbing his sword and attacking another one killing it; then he spun around and cut the second one across the abdomen just before cutting off its head. Kallander and Sep along with his men from the wall finely made it to the gate and managed to get it opened to let a flood of Rovers on to the field. Lord Colantray and Derracky kept charging back and forth with the War Wagons and Calvary as Kallander and Sep fought side by side for the rest of the day. The huge battle was like thousands of tiny battles all taking place at the same time, each one being decided by the quick slash of a sword or thrust of a spear. By late evening the sun was setting behind the Coldsper Mountain range and Lord Jedack’s army had started braking up and the battle was coming to an end. What was left of Lord Jedack’s army started retreating towards the east.


   That evening after the battle Kallander was standing on top of a small hill where he could see the field. He stood there looking at all the death that had come to this place and finely he under stood what his  Pa-pa had been talking about. The foulness in the air, Kallander could smell it now. It was the smell of Death and he wondered if it would ever go away. He could only guess that time would tell. Kallander wondered how they had won this day with them being out numbered almost three to one and still the day was there’s. Then suddenly he felt tremendously cold in the fall breeze as if he were soaked in water, then it dawned on him; he was soaked in sweat and blood.


   It had been a hard day and the next few days would be just about as bad. Because of the lack of healing magic here a lot of the wounded men would be lost. But then again it was probably because of a lack of magic that this day was won. Sep and Kallander walked back to the city killing any of the wounded Reken’s they came across.


   The Rovers would be working through the night and for days to come, stacking and burning the bodies as they tried to get the city ready for a counter attack. Neither Sep nor Kallander though a counter attack would come. Just after sundown Lord Colantray sent a messenger to Worrg Gate to inform King Raylanty that the battle had been won and any reinforcements that he could send were greatly needed. Kallander found when he got back that both Derracky and Dimez were missing in battle.


   “Don’t worry Kallander they’ll turn up. Dimez and Derracky are too tough and stubborn to let anything happen to them,” Sep said as he patted Kallander on the shoulder and looked out over the field.


© 2013 Bruce Grimes

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God u are doing a beautiful job with these rewrites the detail u used with sep fight was equsite I'm proud of how far uve come since I read the first drft I think it needs a little more structure to how the plan followed through u jumped around a lot in how they burned the seige towers to how the surrounded them etc.

Posted 11 Years Ago


(No, I'm not British)

Posted 11 Years Ago

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Added on December 24, 2011
Last Updated on March 26, 2013


Bruce Grimes
Bruce Grimes

Hastings, MN

I had a rather unique childhood to say the least. This and the firm belief that I had a angel watching over me; made it to where I lead a rather eccentric young life. It also contributed greatly to my.. more..