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|A young man sends a letter to his younger brother from a battle. This is a story I wrote about 3-4 years ago, as an assignemt. I hope I've progressed since then...||
A letter from a battle
Jostein Abrahamsen 10c
The letter I had been expecting for such a long time had finally arrived. With trembling hands I opened it and started reading.
As I write this to you I am in a little town just east of Palton. The battle of Palton was a failure. My commander has ordered every man that can fight to be ready to defend if the defenders of Palton decide to come after us. The battle was bad, worse than any I have been in. I will tell you of the battle in my own words here, and I swear to Tarkis that they are all true, so do not believe the rumors you hear, the rumours of a glorious victory to the defenders, or that the armies of Altan ran away as fast as their feet would carry them. These rumours are not true, no matter what you believe in this letter, believe that.
The battle was long and hard, with heavy casualties on both sides. On the first day on our march from this little town to Palton, we was ambushed. The arrows flew from the trees on either side of us. The man next to me fell with an arrow in his chest, never to rise again. We killed the ambushers, but not before they had dwindled our numbers. Not much, but a little. Worse, the morale of our army was lowered. Men grumbled about how easy it had been to ambush us, and calculated how many attacks was needed to destroy us. From that day, scouts was ordered to report every half hour, and if one didn't show up, we prepared for an ambush. It slowed our progress considerably, but we may have prevented another, perhaps crippling, ambush. And so, on the third day from this god-forsaken town, we came in sight of the mighty fortress Palton, the fortress that couldn't be broken, that armies had gnashed heir teeth on for a millennia. We were confident that we could take the fortress, after all we had the great archmages Ponlit, Arkon and Elikas with us, plus their apprentices, a good thirty of them.
I got to know one of the apprentices, Maltor, he liked a good game of dice as much as anyone in the camp. He used to come to the campfires, and we'd sit and talk for a long time. He was a powerful mage, he was, come to learn under the great mage Arkon. He knew what he had to do when the battle joined. He had been a mage of battle before he became Arkon's apprentice. On the day we came in sight of the fortress he told me to stay away from the fighting if things went bad, he was going to do cast something powerful if things went downhill, something to help the ones not fighting get a chance to escape. I couldn't help but wonder what he would do as I went to sleep that night.
The day of the battle came slowly, a fog had arisen from the ground, and covered everything in a grey carpet. The commanders argued among themselves if they should attack today, or wait. Some argued that the fog would hide their approach, but others held on to the fact that fighting in fog was not the best of conditions, and how did they know if the fog had not been conjured by enemy mages? We didn't attack that day, nor the next as the fog covered everything this day too. The third day came, and there was no fog, but a healthy sun. Everyone in the camp bustled about readying for the battle, swords were grinded for the last time, spearpoints sharpened, arrows checked and lances oiled to make them stronger. The horses was armoured, and the knights put on their field plate mail. Then we formed in units. The archers in their chainmail armour and three quivers bursting with arrows, pikeblocks in splint mail and swordsmen in plate armour. And then there was the warriors, where I belonged. We were many, more than swordsmen or pikemen or archers, and we all knew how to use our weapons. Many were adventurers, picked up on the way, and we carried a variety of weapons. Swords, axes, quarterstaffs, maces, flails, and the list goes on. We were not organised n any way, as the commanders saw that our power lay in the ability to move fast, and not in any uniformed fashion. We might have been the most deadly group on the battlefield that day, none beat us, none charged us after the first few units tried and was annihilated. Five hundred men started in the warriors unit, only onehundred and seventyfive fled the battlefield. The rest was either dead or refused to flee or had gone berserk. The battle was a lifetime of blood and death. You don't notice your standing on a dead man the fifth time you fight for your life on one, you don't notice that your foot is sinking down into mud created by blood when you give your enemy a swordthrust to the chest and feel the blade hitting home, sinking into the body and you pull it free to await the next man. Things did not go as expected in the battle. When Arkon died of a fireball which took five of his apprentices with him, none worried to much. When Ponlit was hit by an arrow and the blast of the spell he was casting took all of his apprentices with him, the commanders saw that it was a problem. When Elikas died and his apprentices fled the battlefield, the soldiers began to know something was wrong. Through it all the warriors battled unconcerned with the death and destruction of the mages. When Elikas last apprentice had fled, the commanders sounded the signal to fall back. I remembered Maltor's words and ran from the fighting, hoping that my friend had not forgotten what he had said. He had not. Suddenly a wall of fire separated the defenders from the attackers, and the ones that had been fighting was consumed by fire, friend and foe alike. I ran to were the mages had been, and picked up Maltor, then ran on.
For three days we travelled, and then we came to the town we had left, what seemed as an eternity ago. The army is going to be disbanded, and Maltor and I are going adventuring together. Maybe we will come home to visit you. I think you would like Maltor, he has a kind and gentle heart, and knows what to do in a fight if need be. First we will travel to the mountainous of Chaos, where we may find adventure and treasure. I hope to see you after we come back. If we come back. The mountains of Chaos is a dangerous place and I may not come back to see you. If I do not, I will ask Maltor to travel to you, if he is able to, and tell you how I died.
Sintar, your brother"
I close the letter and pray to any and all of the gods that Sintar is alive and that he will be able to return home one day, any day.
|A letter from a camp|