Monday, September 15, 2008

The Final Battle

The fire cackled and burst sending up little fireflies that barely managed to escape the flaming tongues that darted and flicked lasciviously. Five men sat cross legged around and stared at it. They sat on rattan mats made soft and smooth from prolonged wear.
'They said he can take down entire armies,' said the man in velvet blue robes, His face was hidden by the hood. Little slivers of electric occasionally emerged from one part of his body only to leap to an area nearby.
'They said he does not bleed,' said the man with dark brown leather armour. He had a bow on his back. His sword lay sleeping beside him. 'I know a man who saw the whole length of a sword plunged into his chest. He said Tanoth didn't even flinch. After he had killed the man who stabbed him, he pulled out the sword out with his right arm and went on fighting.'
'He is no man,' declared the oldest looking man amongst them. He was dressed in robes of liquid that gave the impression it was shifting about even as he sat unmoved. He turned slowly toward the young unassuming man dressed in almost plain brown clothes and spoke to him. '
'And that is why Greshen. You are our last hope.
Greshen kept on staring intensely into the fire.
'May I not fail all of you,' he finally said wearily.
'Are you sure Greshen is up to this? He is but a boy who has not seen battle,' asked the man dressed in light chain mail. "And Tanoth is a Lord of War. He has been in the thick of many great battles, if not single handedly brought them to an end himself.'
'What choice do we have Marlock? You have seen from afar how Tanoth has levelled whole armies in a day. If we save Greshen, are you his equal?'
Marlock turned his eyes away from the fire to the night, as if to cool them. The cackling seemed louder all of a sudden. A gentle breeze danced with the fire, swaying it this way and that.
'But neither is Greshen,' he said resigned.
'But the prophecies...' began the blue robed man before he was cut off.
'Damn the prophecies!' Marlock suddenly swore. 'Almost none of them came true. You see how we lost in Minath and Kilonth? You see how painfully and miserably we lost those cities? Nobody could imagine those cities falling to Tanoth. The only prophecy that came true was that of Tanoth.'
'Tanoth was the first of the prophecies,' retorted the old man.
'So it will be the only true one?'
'No, but perhaps Greshen's prophecy is the last and it too will be true.'
'Perhaps. Perhaps. I've had enough of your perhaps, Ti. I have...' raged Marlock before he was interrupted.
'Enough!' shouted the man with the leather armour. 'It is enough that Greshen has to face him tomorrow with our aid. Do we now need to ruin his spirit and ours the night before, Marlock? You think we do not think as you do Marlock? You do not think we have been so disappointed and let down by the failure of the prophecies? But what choice do we have? What other means do we have? Our armies are exhausted. There is no magic or weapon that we possess to defeat him. So do not blame Ti. He has helped guide Greshen this far. And though this is a great gamble. It is the only chance we have. The prophecies he may cling to may be wrong but his heart just like ours is true to our cause. If this be the only topic of conversation tonight, I suggest we all catch what little sleep we can. We leave at the first break of dawn.'

************************

The morning sun shone upon the battlefield that was littered with endless corpses and bloodied body parts that lay between the light green grass and shrubs. The five men gathered atop a little hill beside the battlefield. Below them three large regiments were marching into the battle field with their flags flapping excitedly in the strong wind that blew.
'Commander Ullok will lead the initial attack. We hope to weaken him somewhat or at best distract him before we commence our own attack. He will give the signal for us to attack.'
Greshen watched the three large regiments grew thinner and smaller until they finally looked like little bumps on the horizon. Moments later he heard a brassy horn being blown which indicated the battle had begun. Soon after, Ti directed the party to commence their descent and journey to the heart of the battle. As they got closer to the battle, Greshen could feel a warm sadness filling the air. The screams of sheer agony filled his ears. His feet splashed into puddles of blood. Then in the distance he saw swaths of men falling down just after a large sword flashed in the sun before descending to the crowd of screams and limbs.
Suddenly Greshen could hear his heart beating in his ear. His legs grew weaker and weaker the closer he got. The thin short dagger at his side grew cumbersome and almost loathsome. He tripped over a cleanly severed arm and stained his brown clothes with blood.
He felt a soft touch on his right shoulder.
'Are you ready Greshen?' asked Ti gently.
'I don't know if I'll ever be,' replied Greshen.
'You will truly ever know when it is over.'
'Perhaps it is best that way.'
Then a low mournful horn blew.
'It is time,' said Ti.
The mob of soldiers in front of them slowly parted until Greshen could have a clear uninterrupted line of sight to Tanoth. His other four companions stood beside him on both sides, their weapons drawn and with their murmurs afoot to cast the defensive and offensive magick. Tanoth was tall and large even at a distance. When he disposed of the soliders before him, he saw Greshen and they locked eyes. Tanoth was a massive eight and half feet tall clad in what looked like enchanted leather armour. His black and damp shoulder length hair clung to his deep red face. He had red eye pupils that trembled with rage and hatred.
He lifted his massive serrated sword and pointed it at Greshen, his arm perfectly straight, without effort.
Greshen could now feel his heart beating wildly as his chest swelled. He felt a small bead of perspiration slide down the right side of his face. His eyes suddenly stung and he wanted to cry. He was paralyzed with fear.
It was then that Greshen very carefully drew his dagger.

3 comments:

art harun said...

More...more...and cepatttt!

Oldstock said...

Now this is cool...

Eagerly waiting for the next chapter.

Daef said...

Heh, thanks guys but I regeret to inform you that thre is no continuation or next chapter! This is my little experiment of writing very short pieces of fiction that focus on those moments before it reaches a significant point or before a significant event.

I had fun writing this one though. If the muse visits me for the second part, I would be happy to oblige. But until then!