At last the day had come. The Warlord of Barren Reck, Brashkor had surrounded the remote and well defended castle Brierthatch. More surprisingly, he had held the attack for two weeks. Many mercenaries and warlords before him had tried the heroic task of holding a successful siege against the Mistress and her servants, only to be returned with their bodies sent down the river of Nordell. Brashkor however was a more determined general. Unlike those who had failed before him,he had a vast hold of gem mines in his region.
Using these to his advantage, he trades bits of his land to the corrupt kings in return for slaves, weapons, resources, and almost anything else he could get. He would then use the captured people to wage war on the civilizations he had just traded with to gain the rest of the land, and then take over the vast regions, eventually regaining his lands. He was considered a ruthless warlord, and his reputation was feared for all under the command of him and his brothers.
Earlier in the day a group of scouts had been sent to gather more information on what was happening inside the castle. A turncoat had escaped yesterday, and in return for his families safety he exposed the castles blueprints.“Where are they?” Brashkor's voice demanded.
He sat on a empty cage inside his tent. Rocking anxiously back and forth his temper slowly steamed into a rage. Finally he slammed his hand onto the makeshift table, breaking the wooden shield used as a desk in two. He stomped outside to confront his generals. He walked over to the Spymaster's tent, angerly ripping the curtains off of the canvas. Smoke billowed out of the room, as many undressed women ran at the site of Brashkor's expression. Laying on a hammock flirting with the many women was General Latts, a rather flamboyant figure in Brashkor's army. When Brashkor saw Latts resting on the hammock he nearly snapped, throwing one of the prostitutes out of the way and grasping Latts by the scruff of his collar.
He lifted Latts into the air, nearly breaking the halfling's throat. “Latts, where are my scouts! Why are you here! Weren't you with scouting party?”
Gasping for air, “They're back! they're back! They captured two captains and are interrogating them now!”
Brashkor gave a sadistically angered smile “Then why didn't you tell me?” He grip tightened.“I was waiting for the interrogation to be finished!” “You were waiting for someone else to do your work?”
Brashkor went beserk. He lifted the man even higher and like a ragdoll threw him through the tent into a tree outside. A loud crack followed, and Latts's mangled remains lied twisted around the tree. Brashkor took his tentpoles and violently broke them into splinters, ultimately dragging his larger tent into the firepit. He slowly started to calm down.
“Where is his advisor?” He looked directly at the scouts.
They all simultaneously pointed to him, standing adjacent to Brashkor. He turned to face the man “Where are the prisoners, and why aren't they finished?” He looked sternly at the human.“They're finished and executed my lord. The castle is low on food and disease is getting much worse. They seem to be doing a lot worse than we thought. They are planning one last attack soon, within the next 48 hours. They have a sizable force coming in from the west through the forest. When they are in place a messenger will be sent to the castle and a much smaller force will sally an attack from the right side wall. This force will be used to attempt to burn down the camp.”
Brashkor's face enlightened in glee “Excellent work, I only hope you can do better than your spymaster before you. You are dismissed!”
The moon was rose as a quartz diamond within the sky, the day had been swept into a cold night. Brashkor had emerged a grand plan. One force was to intercept the army coming through the woods. When they were unexpectedly attacked and killed, they will steal the scouts letter and seal. They will deliver it to the castle, sending a false signal of arrival. When the other force emerges from the sally expecting Brashkor's forces to be double sided, Brashkor will surprise them and take her head on, defeating Nedyna and capturing the castle once and for all.
Brashkor stood in front of captain Maleus. “Can you handle this small task or should I send more with you?” Brashkor said in a serious tone.
“If you are to fail me I will personally find you, and I promise you will end up worse than Latts did.” He pointed to the tree that Latts body lied around. Flies had now taken a personal liking to his remains.
“I won't fail you, I will bring an unseen fire to them that will reign similar to the storms across the asphalt plains. I will delight you with their last screams, it is my personal pleasure to strip their every last moral fiber and crush them where they beg.”
Brashkor smiled. “You'll make a fine general one day, may Diskort be with you.”
With that he saluted and walked away. A few minutes later orders were shouted and the troops moved out. Brashkor sat in his tent and contemplated their next move. One after another he took out a map and reviewed it, writing notes where necessary. Two hours passed as the distant screams of combat grew louder and then died down. The marching of troops and cries of victory grew louder and louder as they approached.
Brashkor awoke from a light sleep and stepped outside of his tent, an axe in both hands. Maleus stood gallantly with his spear resting in the ground. “Well, how is the outcome?”
“We have the letter from the scout and the seal, we must be soon to deliver it however. Another force is on their way within the next 48 hours.”
“Very good, send him at once, And don't let me down!”
Brashkor saluted him once more and dismissed him. The troops went to take a rest, the guessed arrival time was four hours, A scout will report back when the sally was broke.
The moon had fallen, the sky was an abysmal black. Brashkor scouted across the great band of trees seeing nothing but the shades of colorless gray from the different trees. No birds, no deer, nothing. Even the forest realized the battle to be seen. A glowing light caught his attention, his eyes focusing to his left. It was the glowing rock that the scout wore around his neck. Brashkor grinned at his arrival. Brashkor climbed down from his post, meeting up with the scout in the camp. “Well?” “The messaged was received. I had awaited until they broke the wall down to leave, they are marching as we speak.” “excellent, sound the bells, prepare the troops, we will kill her with the spirit of Diskort on our side!”
With that he let out a war-cry, the morning doves flew in disarray into the air, the marching of troops became louder and the armament of war began.
Ten minutes of an awkward silence followed, and then a warcry was heard as Nedyna's troops appeared from the woods. Her scream was an agonizing and cutthroat one, like a rabbit slowly being cut apart. As her forces amassed the numbers were much greater than thought. They wore metal plate that dripped with blood, swords carved with great accents of waves and clouds, bows that were a color wood never seen to them before. Brashkor stepped out of his tent wearing the stitched skins of his past enemies fought. “Brashkor! You have walked free your last day! When I'm done with you your body will fertilize my fields!” Nedyna yelled.
She rose her sword within the air, and with that a hail of flaming arrows shot from all around the camp. Brashkor looked around to realize he was surrounded by archers. He screamed “Charge!”
His troops broke their formation, quickly regrouping on the attack to defend all sides. When the left and right sides were charged, the units were quickly surprised to what they found, illusions and pit traps. Half of each force charging fell into pits dug in the forest, and the rest were surprised to find an illusion of troops on each side. The trick let their morale soar, they charged the enemies on both sides, destroying what they could as they traveled. Brashkor took targets as well as Nedyna. Maleus took a look at Nedyna, readying his sword to charge. Brashkor took a look at Maleus and threw a sword he picked up at him. Maleus quickly saw it and dodged, but was surprised to learn where it came from. “Don't even think about it.”
With that Maleus nodded and charged in a different direction. Brashkor took his axe from the sheathe once more, watching her in combat. Her moves were coordinated, graceful, almost like a prowess for death. She then noticed him and her delightful grin turned into a bitter spurn. Her two swords flew in her hands into a high raise, and she darted at him. He laughed menacingly, lifting his axe high above his head. As she approached him within ten feet, she suddenly stepped to the left, and he swung his axe from his above to his right, leaving him open. She threw the smaller sword from her hand directly at him. Quickly reacting he fell backwards, violently hitting the ground. The sword missed him within inches, nailing a tree behind him and forcefully shattering the tree into pieces. He quickly recovered and starting standing up, realizing she was now inches from his face. He took his axe from behind him and accidently hit her with the handle. She coughed at the blunt blow of the axe unexpectedly whacking her side and instead fell to his left. He leaped to his feet and gave a strong kick to her head. She flew face first into a tree, her head smacking the base. She bled from her ears, blood gushing out. Brashkor took her sword laying on the ground next to her body and stuck it in the ground in front of her. She was still softly breathing, and she glimpsed at the battlefield desolated around her. Her troops lay dead, those still fighting lost strength at the site of her remains. She looked up at him. He looked at her, with a rare glimpse of concern in his eye. “You are to be respected for the warrior you are.”
With that he took his axe and delivered the killing blow, leaving a gash within her chest. The area went silent. As her troops finally gave up he had each one of them knell in front of him, and severed each of their heads. Then the order was given to gather all the bodies in a pile and burn them. For hers however, he took it to the hill he stood when he noticed it in the first place and buried in the ground, with her sword marking her resting place.
~By Darkest Red