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Total War: Shogun 2 Heaven » Forums » Bardic Circle - War Stories & AAR forum » Undying Warriors
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Topic Subject:Undying Warriors
Khalidbinwalid
Ashigaru
posted 11-07-12 07:44 PM EDT (US)         
Chapter 1: Matter of Life and Death


‘Ten soldiers wisely led, will beat a hundred without a head,’----------Euripides


Sitting atop his chestnut stallion, Pacer, Captain Jason At’lal observed the scene before him with a deep frown stitched on the insides of his lips. The call had come earlier that day that the Red Army was poised to cross the river and take the fight to the enemy, the accursed blue devils of Dynaor.

His soldiers had begun unfolding tents and grooming their shaggy horses one last time in preparation of the deadly battle to come. Good riddance thought Jason, the two armies had been maneuvering around each other for days, each unwilling to make the fatal strike that would start the battle. Even more irksome to the soldiers who would do the fighting, was the constant ferrying of diplomats on either side of the river.

Presumably they had been trying to settle a peace treaty but everybody knew that was not happening. Scratching his head Jason tried to figure out once again what the point of the war really was. The two armies were as different from each other as day and night. He couldn’t help but recall the words of his tutor back home when they were on the subject of history between Dynaor and Filos.

“The city states of Dynaor and Filos had been blood enemies since time began,” the old man would rasp in his peppery voice. “The Filosians were hot tempered and deadly folks, much like the deities they worshipped both in war and in everyday living. Their mountainous lands provided capable men and women used to living in harsh weathers of all kinds. Their love of singing and ale were widely known throughout the seven kingdoms of Karelion as well as their most infamous weapon in war, the longships. “

“Tell me about the blood raids and the wars Master, please tell me,” he would plead. Jason couldn’t help but chuckle how naïve he had been when he was younger. He had thought war was a noble and chivalrous battle between two armies fighting under the laws of honor and chivalry.

The songwriters and ballads never told the real story behind each battle, how truly horrific and relishing it was. Some soldiers went insane with bloodlust while others just snapped and killed themselves in various odd methods. Jason continued to digress into his memories further.

“Will you let me finish, Jason,” he would snap with a hint of a smile on his weather beaten face.

“Sorry Master, please continue.”

“The Dynaor folks were more of trader folk than they were warriors. Their lustrous coastal city attracted more sailors and merchants than any other city in the whole of Karelion. The hot summers of Dynaor were more than a match for the harsh winters of Filos. Enriched by the never ending flow of trade ships, it boasted one of the biggest merchant guilds in the world.”

It was at this point that the battle hungry young Jason started fidgeting and squirming in the hard seat of his chair. Who needed merchants when a good raid made a man rich and still had some money left over to spend on his young and beautiful wife?

With a bemused smile the Master would change topics and talk about the why and where offs of each battle between the two rival kingdoms.

“The raid on Dalia led by Captain Ytrieg was one of the most successful raids because it---,” Jason was jolted from his trip down memory lane by his second in command and best friend Sergent Niale. Deadly waves of irritation radiated from the easygoing cheerful Sergent as he stalked up to his Captain.

“I swear I’m gonna quit this damn company of hooligans and idiots if it’s the last thing I do!”

Cocking his eye with an amused look on his face, Jason dismounted from his mount with an air of casualness. He knew from experience that once Niale got angry nothing could calm him down until he finished what he had to say.

So he quietly listened to his friend rant about the mess his soldiers were making on the camp. Following the wildly animated gestures of his friend Jason at last observed his surroundings properly. He paid careful attention, for this was his first assignment as head of a company.

The pelting torrents of rain last night had made the already muddy ground even more muddier which led to piles of mud stuck in every soldier’s boots. Looking down at his feet, Jason observed the same smeared brown stuff coloring the leather soles of his feet.

Most of the tents were done being packed and the few remaining ones were fumbling around endlessly with the clasps and ropes. Seriously thought Jason, soldiers have been using the same type of tent design for over five hundred years. Couldn’t the tent designers have come up with a better tent design other than the cumbersome one that was standard among all soldiers? Moving on, he noticed a circle of soldiers huddling around two men. Probably up to no good he mused as his gaze traveled farther down the unfolding scene.

The leafy canopy forest had protected most of the supplies from getting thoroughly soaked and he watched the army followers hard at work already packing them unto the pack horses. His riveting blue eyes next fell upon another group of soldier’s practicing their swordsman ship under the steady gaze of Selia, his personal guard, and girlfriend.

Her sharp green eyes never missed a chance to correct somebody on their posture, or a give a hint to the right way to swing a sword. Her graceful movements had seen her through many battles by his side, and the way she moved her hips had men drooling over her tent day in and day out. Most commoners went years, maybe even decades without a promotion but unpredictable, savvy, and charming Selia had risen through the ranks faster than any commoner in the history of the Filosian army.

As he peered at her through his helmet, an emotion rarely ever seen surfaced to the Captains weathered face, love. “Are you even listening to me, Jason,” shouted Niale. Jerking his conscious back to reality Jason looked at his friend with a sheepish grin on his face.

“Yes, Niale, I am and yes you are right, we must enforce the rule of law upon these despicable ungrateful peasants who call themselves the soldiers of the Red Eagle Outfit.”

Looking at the baleful expression on Niale’s face Jason knew his friend didn’t believe him at all. “You would’ve believed that if it came out of Selia’s mouth,” he muttered under his breath.

“What, what’s that you said Captain Jason,” Niale craned his ears with a dark look in his eyes.

Hastily putting his hands up in surrender Jason replied hurriedly, “look Niale, me and you just got transferred to this unit, and I know that you dearly missed Griffin Company, but General Darius has transferred us here because this company is the laughingstock of the entire army. Can we please work together to make them better? It will be me and you pal, just like old times. What do you say? You in?”

Looking down at the offered hand Niale’s juggled his miniscule options with narrowed eyes. He could abandon the Red Eagles or as they called themselves Eagle Company and his friend and cozy up to Griffin once again or he could stay and endure the sallow faced green soldiers that he found himself in command off. With a huge sigh he took the offered hand and grudgingly accepted his fate.

“You’re becoming a very good diplomat Captain, a very fine one indeed.” Chuckling inwardly Jason turned around and surveyed the camp once again. If his Master saw the scene before him he would have been shocked and speechless beyond words.

Shaking his head to clear the amusing images of his Master teaching his company about the history of Filos and Dynaor, Jason saddled his horse and rode to camp with the weight of his armor adding to the weight of the responsibilities to come. It was time he taught some sharp lesson to the so called Eagle Company.



Chapter 2:Changing Faces

“It is well that war is so terrible. We should grow too fond of it”—Robert E. Lee


Niale’s deep thunderous voice rang throughout the camp as he called the soldiers to attention. As they made their way to the small grassy clearing the place was used for target practice, Jason couldn’t help but wonder at the raggedy way the company shuffled towards them. The gaunt hollow looks and the sunken cheeks were all the prove Jason needed to know Eagle Company had its fair share of battles in the accursed war.

Their tattered armor made up of loosely intact chainmail, stolen from the dead more likely, was tightly clasped under the standard issue of the red tunic which displayed the coat of arms of the Filosian army. His sharp observant eyes fell upon the armament of weapons ranging from long swords, heavy maces, longbows, and crossbows, and to the deadly axes that were the preferred weapon of the Filosians, which the soldiers wielded.

Though nothing could compare to the amount of daggers the company had. Some were cleverly concealed under the folds of their red uniforms, while others were displayed more openly in belts and knife sheaths.

A commotion fell upon the group as a burly man with a jagged scar running down the length of his left eye pushed his way through the crowd of soldiers. His massive size and the greatswod protruding from the folds of his back made the disgruntled men less inclined to argue with him further.

Here comes trouble.

From the corner of his eyes, Jason saw Niale fingering the pommel of the long sword strapped to his left hip. Before Jason could warn Niale on the dangers of provoking a giant, the man stepped out of the crowd and calmly walked up to the pair.

“Who are you to call the soldiers of Eagle Company to attention,” the man asked them.

“Who are you to question the new commanders of this… this Company,” Niale fired back in a scornful manner.

Before things could get out of hand, Jason stepped between the two and introduced himself, “I’m Captain Jason At’lal, and this is my second in command Sergeant Niale, what is your name and rank, Soldier,” he replied with his authoritarian voice.

“I’m corporal Darius, sir, the commanding junior officer of this company and we are honored by your presence, especially since we have heard so much about your success in the war,” and with that Darius pounded his chest with his right hand and saluted the two commanders.

Hiding his shock at the polite manner of the giant, Jason brushed past the Corporal and addressed Eagle Company in a loud, clear voice hands folded behind his back.

“I have heard a lot about Eagle Company, most of it extremely bad, and the good ones barely above slanderous jokes about what a disgrace this company has been to the army,” pausing slightly he continued, his eyes sharply observing the reactions his words had on the soldiers, “I have heard that this company is full of thieves and cowards, it is said that you’re mascot should instead be a scared chicken rather than the noble beast of an Eagle.”

The angry and sour looks the soldiers were shooting at him pleased Jason profoundly.

They’re still prideful of their mascot, and their company. Good I can work with that he mused quietly to himself.

“If you want to get your pride and honor back, then you must earn it, by becoming the greatest company in this army. I will work you to exhaustion if I must. But I will not tolerate my company to be the laughingstock of the whole army. I will not tolerate my soldiers to be laughed upon for being part of this company.” Replacing the sullen looks on their faces was hope. They knew what he was talking about, they couldn’t go anywhere in the Filosian army camp without soldiers from different companies taunting them behind their backs, or even in some cases right to their faces.

“What can we do to make that change happen, Captain?” inquired Darius with his polite low voice.

“First you shall split yourselves into four equal groups each consisting of two dozen men, Corporal,” the surprised looks on the soldiers faces were washed away by eagerness, they really want change.

“Each group, lets name them name them squadrons for now, each squadron will be commanded by a squadron leader of my choosing. After splitting yourselves into four equal squadrons, you then shall split each squadron further into another four equal squad sized groups. Niale, Darius, and Selia, you are the squadron leaders. Got it? Go!”

The hesitant soldiers were quickly wheedled into action by Darius, Selia, and Niale. After a considerable amount of time organizing themselves the soldiers then split again into sixteen mini-squads

Gesturing for Darius, Selia, and Niale to follow him, Jason started walking to the small hill overlooking the camp. The soldier’s enthusiasm for change was intoxicating the young Captain. He was already planning battle strategies using the flexibility of his squad’s tactic.

“What are you planning Jason, what is this ‘squadron’ business? We need to teach these men discipline and order rather than playing at parading techniques?” Niale exclaimed with a bitter look once they got to the top of the hill.

“We need organization first Niale, if we just let them batter away at each other with their rusting swords and splintering shields, then this company is guaranteed to lose a third of its soldiers in the battles ahead,” Jason replied, and continued with an irritated voice “And Niale, I know you miss Griffin, but can you please try to help me here? We’re Eagles from now on, try to keep you’re unsympathetic comments to yourself. If you want to be a Sergeant in this company, then try to act more like a Sergeant and less like a sullen child!”

The dumbfounded look on Niale’s face was all the reassurance Jason needed to know that he had gotten his point across. Turning his attention to the other two, Jason couldn’t help but notice the way they tried unsuccessfully to hide their amusement.

“What are you two laughing at?” he questioned the pair in an angry voice, “You guys are as much trouble to this outfit as he is. I told you to organize the soldiers into four equal squads, and it took you more time than it should have to split the soldiers up into four equal squadrons,” the amusing smiles quickly disappeared behind smooth hard faces.

“Glad we are on the same page! Now, moving on, we need names for the four squadrons, and Darius I need you to recommend a leader for squadron four, I plan on overseeing the whole operation and therefore I won’t have time to lead squadron four,” seeing the nodding heads, Jason continued, “the last thing we need to do is to get proper armor for the soldiers.”

“We have asked the supply Sergeant for armor many times, Sir, but each time he turns us away with vague explanations as to why we haven’t got the armor we need. Most of the armor you see us wearing have been scavenged off the dead, and the ones that haven’t are rusting remarkably fast in this humid weather,” Darius explained with quite dignity.

“Really now? We shall have to configure that conniving evil despot after this meeting,” exclaimed Jason in disbelief.

“Do you guys have any names for the squadrons?” asked Jason as he looked back at the fidgeting soldiers behind them. After the trio exchanging glances, Selia finally voiced their thoughts out loud, “We think we should let the men decide what their squadron names shall be, Captain. It would be better for moral if they have a part in the command of this company.”

Giving his assent, the meeting broke up and they headed back to the practice range. Jason couldn’t help but notice the way Selia’s red hair billowed around her face as the wind picked up.

“Selia, Darius, I want you to come with me to go talk to this Supply Sergeant about the armor we need, Niale, go tell the soldiers to prepare themselves for battle, if there ever is a battle Eagle Company shall be ready to do their share of the work. Don’t forget to inform them that they can choose their own squadron name. We will come back shortly.” The sullen look returned to Niale’s face and with a big sigh Jason continued, “Can you accomplish all of that Sergeant, or can you not?”

With a hard voice Niale nodded and walked away towards the camp with a stiff back. Shaking his head Jason turned to Selia and ordered her to fetch their mounts.

When they were finally alone Jason asked the giant standing next to him “Who would you promote to lead the fourth squadron” as they stared at the camp below them. Like ants the soldiers were scurrying around under the booming sound of Niale’s voice.

After a few minutes of thinking, Darius finally replied “Her name is Riley, a remarkable soldier really, smart and thoughtful. She saved Eagle Company many times throughout the war as our ill fitted commanders made tactical mistakes that could’ve gotten us all killed.”

“She sounds…. Like a very good leader. Why was she never promoted?”

Turning towards Jason, Darius responded “When you are in Eagle Company, if you achieve Corporal, you count yourself lucky.”

Looking into his black eyes, Jason replied “This I promise to you Corporal Darius, we shall make Eagle Company the envy of this army, we shall become the glowing jewel that all companies rally around in the heat of battle. We shall equal the majestic accomplish of the once famous Dragon Company.”

With a dubious look Darius opened his mouth to reply back but the neighing of horses distracted him as Selia walked up to them with the horses. Darius gigantic black horse was a fitting match for the bulk of the warrior.

Any soldier had a right to be afraid of a charge from that black beast and his rider.

Selia’s white mare looked like a pony next to the black beast, and Pacer shifting brown eyes matched his owner’s observant ways towards everything.

“Mount up, we have a tyrant to uproot today,” commanded Jason as he mounted his horse and slid his feet on the stirrups. Selia and Jason did not notice the cold glint of darkness that sprouted from the giant’s eyes as they rode to the main Filosian camp.

"When I am in the battlefield, I love it more then when I am in my house"-Khalid Bin Walid
Questions, Questions, you always ask questions-Teacher
Why sir, questions are the basis of human intelligence-me

[This message has been edited by Khalidbinwalid (edited 11-11-2012 @ 04:50 PM).]

AuthorReplies:
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 11-08-12 03:45 AM EDT (US)     1 / 8       
Cool story!

I noticed elements of Anthony Riches in it, and parts of one of my own unpublished stories. If you continue along that track, your epic shall indeed be epic!

There were a few grammatcial mistakes (me and you, instead of You adn I, prove instead of proof, etc) but overall rather entertaining and gripping.

Skål, to a new skald in the making!

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Listed on my page for your convenience and envy.|||||||||||||||||
Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII
Khalidbinwalid
Ashigaru
posted 11-09-12 10:52 PM EDT (US)     2 / 8       
I'll have to check him out Terikel I don't know him, and thanks for the commentary, greatly appreciated.

"When I am in the battlefield, I love it more then when I am in my house"-Khalid Bin Walid
Questions, Questions, you always ask questions-Teacher
Why sir, questions are the basis of human intelligence-me
Khalidbinwalid
Ashigaru
posted 11-11-12 00:56 AM EDT (US)     3 / 8       
Chapter 3: Feat Of War


"Battle is an orgy of disorder"-George Patton




As the trio of companions made their way through the leafy canopy surrounding them, Jason couldn't help but notice the many nooks and crannies from where enemies could spring and ambush them. The noon sun overhead cast slight shadows as they rode their mounts through the treacherous muddy ground beneath them.

Looking a through the corner of his eyes, Jason observed how starkly different his two comrades were. Darius’s thick massive frame coupled with his gigantic Greatsword was a sight to behold. Including his Greatsword, the warrior had a dagger the size of a mini sword strapped to his left hip. His longbow and war axe were stowed away to either side of his black beast. While his massive red kite-shield was safely harnessed on the warrior’s back, it could be easily shifted into position should the need ever rise.

The slight red-haired warrior next him was in contrast an even deadlier foe in battle. Her slight flexible figure matched the two deadly daggers strapped elegantly to her chest. As well as the scimitar on her hip, she also had a longbow strapped to the side of her prancing white mare. Her scarlet round shield nestled cozily on her back, the strings easily bridging the bond between the shield and her neck.

The gentle breeze wafting through the trees ruffled Jason’s blond hair as his feverish eyes scanned the countryside, never stopping on a certain place for long. The whickering horses coupled with the amount of noise their steel weapons made worried the brawny warrior to no end. The fear of ambush was plain to read on the warrior’s face as they passed through yet another overgrown patch of trees in the path.

His two companions were no different. Darius’s bulky neck swayed from horizon to horizon checking for the slightest movement from the ominous forest surrounding them. The catcalling sounds did not help to ease the already jumpy warriors as they made their way onto the road leading to the main Filosian camp.

As they neared the camp, the sounds of battle echoed through the already noisy forest. Urging their mounts to a gallop, they crested the slight hill blocking them from camp and the scene beneath them shocked the warriors into inaction.

A sea of red and blue swam through Jason’s vision as he tried to comprehend what was happening. Before he could gather his thoughts a shout from a nearby tent drew his attention as a Filosian warrior desperately tried to fend of three blue masked warriors. Finally coming to a conclusion, Jason exploded into action as he swiveled to Selia and commanded her “Go back to camp and bring Eagle Company here, NOW.”

Not looking back to see if she heeded his order, he galloped to the foundering soldier at full speed while he drew his longsword from its scabbard. He could tell the giant warrior had followed him because of the amount of noise coming from behind him. Jumping of his horse at full gallop took courage and guts, something Jason had in spades. The startled expressions of the blue masked soldiers quickly turned into horror as he cut down the two nearest him with the swiftness of long years of training.

Darius’s massive Greatsword smashed the scalp of the third warrior in half as he swing from horseback. Looking at the hapless soldier they had rescued, Jason quickly noticed how young he was. The age at which kids joined the war was getting younger and younger as the veteran warriors died off due to endless battles. Shaking his head, Jason gestured for him to mount behind him as he mounted Pacer.

Cleaning the blood off his sword, Jason observed the battle once more. Most of the fighting had moved to the clearing where King Edward’s huge tent lay proud amidst the seething mass of violence surrounding it. Scattered knots of Filosian soldiers were banding together to fight off the relentless surge of the blue masked devils. Jason’s eyes traveled to the bridge; where battle raged with devastating effectiveness.

He spotted the flashing flags of Griffin and Tiger Company amidst the burned hand of the Dynaorians flag. Bear and Lion were holding the other crossing to the river much better than the other two elite companies. But even they were struggling against the hail of arrows descending upon them like falling birds.

The Dynaorian army was overlapping the flanks of Griffin and Tiger, and it was there Jason headed with Darius in tow. Slashing and cutting their way through the ranks of soldiers took more time than was calculated as they were stopped at every opportunity by a blue masked freak.

Some said it was the face paint the Dynaorian’s used that decided many a battle between them and their enemies. No man could withstand the shrieking torrent of a hundred blue faced enemies all seeming to rush at you in particular.

The third member of the party proved to be useful in the mini fights they got into as they slowly made their way to the bridge. Darting in and out of the flashing swords of the Dynaorians, his flexibility and quickness saved him on more than one occasion as he stabbed his opponents with his two short swords. After seeing him miss for the fifth time at an open torso that he could’ve easily skewered if he had proper training, Jason promised to train the lad if he survived the battle ahead.

Finally making their way to the headquarters of Griffin Company, they were greeted by a hail of arrows from the company’s archers.

“Bloody hell,” cried Darius as an arrow whizzed past his head, “Who are we fighting against? Those blue masked freaks or our own army!”

A cry escaped from behind him and whirling around Jason saw an arrow sticking from their comrade’s right shoulder blades. With a curse the two men huddled around him with their massive shields for protection.

Showing his face momentarily, Jason made eye contact with one of the archers. Recognition immediately reined in on the archer’s face and Jason could hear him hollering to stem the flood of arrows peppering the spot where the trio were huddled together.

Once the shower of arrows stopped they continued to climb the hill carrying the injured warrior with them.

“Be more careful where you shoot those things at next time,” Darius told the archers with a look of annoyance on his face. The smart thing to have done in that situation would have been to take the advice of the warrior and move on.

“Why don’t you identify yourselves next time before coming into our field of shooting ra----,” before he could finish the blunt retort the young archer was flat on his back gasping for air.

The speed at which the massive warrior moved shocked Jason more so than the way he almost fell with the injured soldier gripping his neck. Scrubbing his hands on his vest to get the blood off, Darius calmly walked through the ranks of astonished archers as if nothing had happened.

Seeing their shock quickly being replaced by anger, Jason turned to the commander of the archers and asked for directions.

“Up the hill and Captain Jason…………Do you mind keeping your soldier on a tight leash,” the commander answered eyeing Darius warily.

Nodding his assent, Jason cautiously moved up the hill supporting the soldier on one side while Darius did the same on the other. Once they reached the clearing they led him into the field hospital that had been crudely erected once battle had been joined. The milling surgeons were as much in battle as the soldiers down below. The difficult task of preserving live instead of ending it was a noble battle all on its own.

“What do you want?” asked a tired looking surgeon with bloody hands.

“Our friend here is injured and he needs help fast,” replied Jason in the most explicit manner he could muster.

“Oh…. Sure, sure… we can take care of him from here. Thanks for the help Captain.”

Calling forth another surgeon the pair began calmly walking the injured soldier to a nearby clearing on the ground.

As they were about to head to the Griffin headquarters, Jason suddently turned around and jogged back to the swaying threesome.

“Wait....wait, what is your name soldier?”

Looking up at him with clear cut brown eyes, the soldier replied, “ ‘ames Gale sir,”

“You take care, Gale. I worked too bloody hard to keep you alive; you better not die on me now. I’ll come and check up on you once the battle ends.”

A smile creased the pained look on the soldier’s face as he replied, “I ‘ont C’pt I ‘romise.” The pain in the young soldier’s voice made him slur his words together like a drunk.

“You do that soldier, I want you fit and ready for battle the next time I see you,” patting his back, Jason walked away with a heavy heart.

Plenty younger than him have died in this war, he thought with a heavy heart even more will be fed to the brutal machine of war, if it continued on much longer.

Jogging back to the giant warrior’s side, Jason once again surveyed the scene before him.

“It’s not looking good Captain,” Darius muttered quietly.

“Come on, we need to know how best to use Eagle Company once they arrive here,” and with that the two headed for the flapping doorways of the Griffin Headquarters.

**I edited it**

"When I am in the battlefield, I love it more then when I am in my house"-Khalid Bin Walid
Questions, Questions, you always ask questions-Teacher
Why sir, questions are the basis of human intelligence-me

[This message has been edited by Khalidbinwalid (edited 12-27-2012 @ 09:05 PM).]

Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 11-11-12 05:11 AM EDT (US)     4 / 8       
Nice installment.

Grammar and spelling again, but more noticeable this time. They are easy enough to spot on your own, so I won't list them here. I will admonish you to proofread your work before posting. Read it aloud when you do so and see if what you write makes sense. If it doesn't sound natural, then there is something there that needs to be tweaked.

I loved the battlefield description. The King's Tent really stood out, and I could see the sea of blue faces swirling with the red-cloaked Filosians in a tumultuous uproar that poo, nervous Jason was trying to navigate through. Frikkin' excellent!

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Listed on my page for your convenience and envy.|||||||||||||||||
Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII
Khalidbinwalid
Ashigaru
posted 11-11-12 05:37 AM EDT (US)     5 / 8       
Chapter 4: Guide to Making Enemies


“Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand Victories”-Sun Tzu


As Selia raced through the forest at break neck speed, she couldn’t help but feel bitterness at Jason’s command. She knew he probably had very good reasons for sending her back to fetch the Eagles. But no matter how many times she persuaded herself with his intentions, the feeling of bitterness still remained.


I mean I’m good in a fight too, she mused to herself , even though I’m a girl, I can handle myself better than that big ogre I left behind.

She never would’ve seen the small group of Dynaorian’s heading toward the battle site if she wasn’t constantly scanning the leafy undergrowth as she galloped back to camp. Quieting her mare, she drove the pair of them into a small cave like hole well sheltered from wary eyes by the massive tree sheltering it.

Making sure her horse Dancer was well taken care of she crept forward to peer at the men. Their grotesque blue faces were the dominant feature throughout their body. Their armor was inferior to Filo’s armor, but not by much.

Making careful note of where every twig and branch in her path was, she crept forward again to get a better look at the band. The leader had a war axe clutched tightly in his right hand and his round shield was similarly painted as his face. His broad shoulders were covered with the smoothest fur coat she’d ever seen. A nasty scar ran down the left side of his blue face, but to her amazement he was remarkably young, and ruggedly handsome in a way.

He must really attract a lot of ladies from where he comes from, she thought wryly.

She counted five men and even though she couldn’t see him, she knew a sixth was tailing the group. From countless confrontations with the enemy, she had picked up a thing or two about their recurring habits.

Sure enough after a few minutes of patience she spotted the tailgater. His wary eyes and the way he tightly clutched his sword gave Selia all the prove she needed to know that he was far more worried about getting ambushed rather than doing a tailgaters job, which was to flush out any hiding enemy troops behind the band.

Debating over the risk of just shooting the fool in the head or the urgency of her mission, she decided to let him go with a disgruntled expression on her face.

Count your lucky stars; you would have been dead meat if I wasn’t on an important mission. If she failed to bring Eagle Company quickly into battle, the Filosian camp might be overrun.

After what seemed like ages, the nervous wreck moved away from her position. Quietly leading Dancer away from the direction the band was heading, she hopped up on the mare and continued on her journey.

Stopping three more times to let similar bands pass by, she finally arrived at the Eagles Camp. Hearing the clash and bang of weapons smashing into each other before she got to the practice field, she concluded Niale was doing his job as camp leader seriously. Niale’s sharp commanding voice rang throughout the clearing as he called practice maneuvers and moves to the sweating soldiers.

Wrinkling her nose, she couldn’t help but wonder at stench of smell men produced when they really sweated.

They’re worse than pigs when it comes to smell, she exclaimed privately to herself.

Niale’s loud voice irritated Selia more than she cared to admit. Coupled with his arrogant humor and he became a foe rather than an ally of hers. The practicing soldiers stopped what they were doing as they caught a glimpse of her.

Dismounting from her mare, she took her gloves from her hands and stalked up to Niale’s position. She could tell he was annoyed with her even though he tried his best to hide it.

Glad I’m not the only one who’s annoyed she pondered as she reached his spot. Crossing his arms, he waited expectantly for the message he already knew Jason commanded her to bring to him

Why is this guy so full of himself, she angrily thought as she collected her thoughts together.

“The Filosian camp is being overrun and Captain Jason has commanded me to order Eagle Company to battle,” she finally stated emphasizing the word command.

“Really now, is that so?” his silky voice floated from his muscled jaws.

Keeping her calm and retaining whatever dignity she had left, she replied with a hint of anger “Yes, Sergeant Niale’s, that is exactly so. Why? Is there a problem with the order……Sir?”

From the way his eyes narrowed, Selia knew she got to him. Oh oh, if looks can kill, I’d probably be dead by now.

Addressing the crowd of soldiers that gathered behind them, Niale proclaimed “We have orders from the Captain, gentleman. The Filosian camp is getting overrun by those blue faced demons. Their fanaticism shall come to an end today. I’ll be damn if they ever set a foot on Filos again. No matter how much we beat those blue masked foxes, the keep coming back with even more numbers. They must really be desparate for soldiers. Why, I have slain more than a handful of beardless youth acting like they belonged in any sort of army. Our commander has ordered us to battle, and we must heed his command. He is in deep trouble gentleman, shall we rescue him?”

He’s certainly a good speaker she mused as the roaring soldiers finally quieted down.

“If we save the Filosian army from defeat today, then the whole of Filos will drink to our health as the unsung heroes of this war,” the smug look on Niale’s face disgusted Selia even more than she cared to imagine.

He really believes he could be a hero! The bloody idiot really believes he’s Gaeolor reborn!

“When we get back to Filos, we will all be greeted like the kings of old, our ------,” before he wasted the dwindling amount of time the company had left Selia cut him off.

“Sergeant Niale……..there is a battle being fought right now. Can we please move on Sir?”

The dark look he gave her sent unseen chills down her spine. She had just made an enemy that was by far too close to the Captain

He’s going to need watching, very close watching.

The meeting broke up with her announcement and the soldiers headed to camp to gather their weapons. Sidling up to Niale, she asked him in a calm voice, “Which squadron is staying behind to guard the camp, Sir.”

The hate in his eyes was quenched by his smooth voice. “Squadron two, you stay behind and guard the camp while the rest of you come with me. Unless Miss Selia here wants to stay and also guard the camp with Squadron two.”

Narrowing her eyes, she rebuffed the poorly worded threat and replied “I’d rather stay with you Sergeant Niale, if at all you don’t mind Sir. I’m the best tracker in your little army.”

The way his jaw tightened gave Selia a small comfort of satisfaction as she mounted her horse.

Mess with me and you mess with lady death, Sergeant Niale, she thought smugly to herself.

The troops took far longer than anticipated to get them into battle formation and ready to march out. One hundred and one problems made themselves present as Selia fidgeted on the harness of her saddle.

Chiefly among them was the amount of time the soldiers took to put on their armor. Due to a complete lack of efficient armor, most soldiers had patched up the holes in their armor with different shades of cloth they had stolen from the dead.

As the group finally began their journey to the battle Selia couldn’t help but wonder at the unfairness of it all. Eagle Company could have had a perfect nesting place with the other companies but due to the excessive lack of accomplishments by Eagle Company they had been exiled to live on their own a fair distance from the main camp. The young warmongering kind of Filos, King Edward had been the instrument of their exile.

We are saving your butt now, King Warmonger. How do you feel about that Your Holiness?

Retracing her steps for the second time that day, Selia led the band of warriors at a steady jog towards their destination.

Coming up on another wandering group of Dynaorian warriors, the fourth band she saw that day, the Eagles easily surrounded them and cut them to bits. Her flashing sword personally took the life of a rough looking soldier who wouldn’t stop yelling in his native tongue until she drove her sword right through his throat. His blood stained the white leathers boots she bought a week before from the supply master.

That’s never going to come off she thought despairingly.

Three more times, the group met up with wandering bands of Dynaorian soldiers, and each time they took losses. But finally the company reached the crest where Selia separated with Jason and Darius an hour and half ago. Looking down at the camp she scanned the scene before her with undocumented numbness. Dead bodies littered the ground around the camp. The wounded were crying out for help, but amidst the loud roars of battle, nobody paid attention to them in the least.

The hottest part of the battle was around the bridge to the main camp. She could pick up the flying banners of Griffin and Tiger Company as they struggled to stem the tide of the Blue Faced devils. They were not succeeding and if she knew Jason well, he would be where the battle was hottest.

She pictured the last time the two were alone together. Not enough time! They had barely been together when he was called off for some unknown duty and he left promising to return soon. But he never came back. If he dies in this battle, I will tear him from limb to limb when we I meet him in hell or heaven, she thought with a sour look.

“He will be at the bridge,” Niale mused quietly beside her.

Though she didn’t like him at all, his loyalty to Jason was never in doubt. The two had been together since they were kids.

“Shall we assist our commander in this battle Sergeant Niale? Or shall we abandon him at his time of greatest need?”

Looking at her with a raised eye, Niale waved to the group and Eagle Company joined the battle with eagerness unmatched by all. Fresh warriors of Filos had come; the next few hours would soon be decided by the determination of Eagle Company.

"When I am in the battlefield, I love it more then when I am in my house"-Khalid Bin Walid
Questions, Questions, you always ask questions-Teacher
Why sir, questions are the basis of human intelligence-me

[This message has been edited by Khalidbinwalid (edited 12-27-2012 @ 09:23 PM).]

Khalidbinwalid
Ashigaru
posted 11-11-12 05:38 AM EDT (US)     6 / 8       
I've edited both chapter 3 and 4 to the best of my abilities.....Can you please tell me if there's anything wrong with them. Thanks Terikel

"When I am in the battlefield, I love it more then when I am in my house"-Khalid Bin Walid
Questions, Questions, you always ask questions-Teacher
Why sir, questions are the basis of human intelligence-me

[This message has been edited by Khalidbinwalid (edited 11-11-2012 @ 06:38 PM).]

Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 11-12-12 03:43 AM EDT (US)     7 / 8       
Remaining nits:

From Chap 3:

As the trio companions
As the trio of companions
(Missing word)

crannies where enemies could spring from
crannies from where enemies could spring
(Don't end with a preposition)

The noon sun overhead them
The noon sun overhead (alt: The noon sun over them)
(them is not necessary)

safely harnessed on the warrior’s back, easily shifted into position should the need ever rise.
safely harnessed on the warrior’s back, it could be easily shifted into position should the need ever rise.
(grammar)


they passed through yet another overgrown tree branch
they passed under yet another overgrown tree branch [ or ]
they passed through yet another overgrown patch of trees
(One cannot pass through a branch- it is a solid object)

he galloped to the floundering soldier
he galloped to the foundering soldier
(He was not fishing, he was drowning in battle)


From Chap 4:

He’s certainly a good speaker she mused t as
(?)

Chiefly among them was the amount of time soldiers put on their armor
Chiefly among them was the amount of time the soldiers took to put on their armor

How do you feel about that you’re Holiness?
How do you feel about that, Your Holiness?
(homonym. Your Holiness is a manner of address)

Shall we assist our commander in this battle Sergeant Neale?
Shall we assist our commander in this battle Sergeant Niale?
(Spelling)

Also, there was a lot of thought in this. When a character is talking to oneself, it might be a good idea to italicize that to make the distinction clear.

That takes care of that, the little minstrel thought.

The story itself flows well and is gripping- what you want. The nits above detract from that a bit (I am a bit of a Grammar Nazi) but I am thoroughly enjoying the tale so far.

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Listed on my page for your convenience and envy.|||||||||||||||||
Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII

[This message has been edited by Terikel Grayhair (edited 11-12-2012 @ 03:45 AM).]

The Bald Eagle
Ashigaru
posted 11-12-12 05:28 AM EDT (US)     8 / 8       
Indeed awesomely told tale!
I'll leave the nits to the G.N.
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