Metagore, The Battle For

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: House of Ghosts

The Alberians and the Senturians face off one last time to see who will prevail in THE BATTLE FOR METAGORE.

Chapter 60 (v.2) - This Is Our Land

Submitted: August 14, 2017

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Submitted: August 14, 2017



It had been nearly a week since Moll'ar had left his family and home behind him to go join the war for Metagore. He had plans to go back to them after a full turning of the moon, but even the few days he had been gone was hard enough on him. As they marched through Raven's Bow---passing by deserted villages---Moll'ar thought about his family, wondering if Onnan had come any closer to becoming one with his animal spirit and if Athana had begun to crawl yet.

He feared for his life, knowing he could die in any of the battles awaiting them. He could hear the marching of five thousand as they stomped through the plains lands, nearing the Diamond River. The grunts of the catoblepones and herdbeasts, and the breathing of his men mixed in with the marching---but Moll'ar's mind was miles away. He didn't notice the still smoldering huts from the lion attacks, nor the smells of the decaying corpses around them. He felt in a trance as he tried imagining what his wife was doing, and how she was handling the possibility of being a widow soon---but his thoughts were brought back to the present when he felt a hand on his shoulder.

"My Lord, are you alright?" a fellow morling, Tera, asked him.

"Aye, my mind is just far from me right now."

"I can tell. You are starting to lag behind the rest of the troops, my Lord," she smiled at him, looking up at his feathered war bonnet.

Moll'ar's crown was made up of the red feathers of their banner's bird. Close to the headband, green and red beads decorated the black down feathers of rocs. Stitched onto the leather band was the Oacari phrase 'gravoul de'wa'lléish': warrior of the strix. Upon his face, he wore the city of Alberon's warpaint---yellow across the forehead and black underlining his green eyes.

"Aye, but I will be fine," Moll'ar stated as he grew closer to his army, noticing the halt in their march.

From down the dirt road, a centaur warrior galloped towards the end of the line, slowing as he approached his lord. "M'Lord," the centaur greeted Moll'ar in a pleasant voice.

"Clythis, why have my people stopped?"

"A small platoon of Senturian knights have been spotted just o'er thee hill at thee base of thee valley, m'Lord."

"Take me there," Moll'ar commanded as he mounted onto the warrior's equestrian back.

Clythis galloped past the long line of Alberian warriors and made his way to the top of the hill before them.

Moll'ar dismounted from the centaur, then stood before his warriors---staring at the Senturian army down in the valley. In the center of the crevice stood merely a four hundred fifty Senturian knights---the majority on foot, with only twenty on horseback. In the front of the group of Senturians, Moll'ar could see an elven knight sitting upon a kelpie with indigo-colored scales, with marsh weeds for a mane---a maroon cloth draped across its back so the knight wouldn't get glued to its sticky coat of scales.

The knight held in one hand a short spear and in the other a rounded shield with spiked rivets around the boss. The shield was wooden and painted red with a black serpent head striking at its foe. Moll'ar quickly determined that the guard had belonged to a Learish warrior at one point, as he studied the remainder of the knights---many of which, had also acquired weapons and armor from the Learish that they had once conquered.

Moll'ar turned to his men---the feathers on his headdress blew fiercely in the brisk winter air. "There marches our adversaries. We outnumber them five to one, but they see us coming as we see them. The Senturians in the midst of battle are as strong as ten men, so never underestimate them by the count of their heads, or you will lose yours." Moll'ar studied the warriors' determined faces. "But we have somethin' that they do not---heart! They lust for the warmth of victory, but we lust after the safety of our tribes! Now let us fight and show Lord Darius and his cold-hearted slaves that this is our land! The land of our fathers and of our fathers' fathers! The land that we live and survive by! The land that we will grow old and die upon, or die protectin' what is ours! Until the sun sets in the East, we will defend and serve the West!"

The greatly outnumbered Senturian recruits feared for their lives and turned and fled as the Alberian warriors started to charge down the hillside.

"Stop them!" Moll'ar shouted as his warriors charged passed him. "Do not let a man escape, nor a bird fly, for they will surely return with reinforcements! Take them, and let them know that this is our land!"

Even with the Senturians fleeing, the Alberian army quickly caught up with them---morlings and arrows met with them first, followed by their remaining forces. Adrenaline coursed through the veins of knights and warriors alike. The Senturian recruits were overtaken as their minds started to become overwhelmed by the vast numbers stampeding towards them. Their pointed ears---tucked behind wool and steel---rung with the intensity of each strike and perry. All of their recent training to become part of the most celebrated knighthood of the six kingdoms fled their minds, as the only thing they could focus on was trying to make it out alive.

As the Alberians started to flood the recruited knights---drowning them under their charging feet---Moll'ar look over his men from afar. The two highly decorated warriors that had stayed back to protect their lord could see no emotion upon Moll'ar's fierce face. He just slowly walked down the dirt path---the cool air brushing against his tan cheeks---with no expression, except determination. The lord did not care that his men were defeating the strongest knights in all of Metagore---even though the victory tasted bittersweet---but he had grown hardened with the numerous lives of his men that were being lost to a war that he had been against. A war that he had only allowed himself to be drug into in case a battle against the invaders they were slaughtering---as few as they may be---stormed the city's walls and butchered his people.

"Look there," one of the two warriors that had stayed back with their lord spoke. "It appears like reinforcements are a comin'."

Moll'ar's gaze tethered to his left. Upon the hill north of the battle, two silhouettes stood against the darkening sky. The two knights stopped on top of the hill's crest, looking upon the battle. One knight was fully clothed in armor, while the other appeared to be nothing more than a skeleton of bones holding up a metal cross that gripped onto a small portion of a shredded banner---no sigil noticeable, just the blackened, gray fabric that remained.

"Reinforcements, aye?" the other laughed at the sight. "Appears to be two more ironclads that are ready to die today."

Flashes of light flickered amongst the clouds, followed by a clash of thunder rumbling over the ground. The wind started to howl as Moll'ar reached for the spear that had been draped across his back. He gripped its wooden shaft tight in his fists as he stared at the two silhouettes, which were standing still upon the hill. "Do not underestimate what a Senturian knight has under his iron sleeves," Moll'ar informed the two warriors.

"What?" one of the warriors chuckled out. "That one does not even have sleeves; just mere flesh and bones, he is."

As the wind halted and another streak of lightning boomed across the sky, a single arrow pierced through the chest of the naive warrior. Moll'ar quickly unstrapped the wooden shield that was latched to the back of his belt and protected his body with it. With the fall of the first warrior by his side came another arrow, but the second missed its mark---impaling into the soggy ground. Moll'ar peered around his shield---trying to make out the source of the arrows---only to see the sky raining down metal bolts onto his current position.

With no other option, Moll'ar sprinted down the hill towards the brewing battle. As he ran---his war bonnet ruffling through the air---he glanced over at the two lone knights standing upon the summit; but as his eyes found them, they were no longer alone. A hoard of knights mounted upon fiery steeds broke their way over the crest of the hill. They all guided their mares around the battle, enclosing the Alberians and the recruits into a confined circle.

Moll'ar found himself amongst his men, stabbing and deflecting the knights' jabs. Fear from the intensity of battle quickly entered Moll'ar's mind. He still had the numbers, but deep down he was well aware that there was little hope for his men to emerge as the victors.

Sweat dripped from his soaked hair and into his eyes. His body and tanned clothing became stained with blood and gore sprayed out from the fallen. Surrounding him was nothing but a storm of disorder and violence---a chaotic blur of colors. A cohesion of chants and screams of injured men and beasts alike could faintly be heard over the thunderous sounds of steel striking steel.

What was left of the Alberian warriors---after the continuous onslaught of arrows bombarding down upon them---managed to surround their lord, trying to protect him from the tips of their enemies blades.

Moll'ar nervously followed the mounted knights circling them with his eyes. Studying their speed and position, Moll'ar shuffled his way out of the crowded warriors and took aim with his speer. As he noticed the archers ready their arrows, he propelled his weapon through the air, until it impaled itself into the front shoulder of one of the nightmares---causing it to topple over and sending its demon rider hurling into the fields.

Soon after, Moll'ar knelt down behind his shield as it absorbed a few of the metal bolts. While he was knelt down, a fellow Alberian fell beside him---his face was so crushed in and deformed, Moll'ar could not make out who it had been.

Startled by the reveal of the dead warrior, Moll'ar's green eyes quickly shifted around him as he stood, only to witness a massive war hammer being swung towards him. He immediately lifted his shield and lunged backward as the hammer came into contact with the wooden plate of protection---shattering half of it into splinters of wood. The Alberian lord staggered from the great blow but managed to obtain his balance rather quickly as he drew out his hatchet and dagger.

The Senturian approached Moll'ar once more, swinging his hammer with just as much force as the first. Moll'ar ducked and glided his torso under the large, blunt weapon and sliced the Senturian's leg just above the kneecap---one of the few places his body wasn't covered by a plate of metal. The knight collapsed, holding onto his leg in agony as the Alberian lord stood straight and delivered a mighty swing of his hatchet into the neck of the knight.

Moll'ar's feat of killing the Senturian didn't last long as a large troll rammed into him---knocking him off of his feet. Moll'ar quickly retrieved one of his hunting knives as he started to raise himself up, but the Senturian troll thrusted his knee into the morling's face---causing his head to ricochet off the metal greave and onto the muddy ground. Upon the impact, the troll stomped down onto Moll'ar's hand gripped around the knife---crushing his fingers and hand under his heavy weight.

Moll'ar gasped in pain as he began to sit up---blood streaming from his nose and out of his mouth. Before he could get fully upright, the troll pinned his neck to the ground with a trident that he had obtained from the Learish---one of the prongs grazed the side of Moll'ar's neck as it passed by. By that point, the pain from the fresh gash barely registered in his mind. All of the nicks and cuts were drowned out by the heightened throbbing of his crushed hand still restrained under the troll's massive boot.

Even in all the pain, Moll'ar struggled with all of his might to grab onto the trident and remove it from around his throat---but the weight of the troll leaning upon it was too much. Moll'ar's dark tinted faces started to become pale---growing a faint shade of purple underneath the caked on dirt and blood.

As Moll'ar still squirmed on the ground---beginning to gag and gasp for air---a hornless demon approached him with a slight limp in his steps. The demon knelt down beside the Alberian lord and took in a deep breath of air through his nostril cavity. "Do you smell that? The scent of sweat and shit from afterlings and humas that don't know their place in society. That smells like victory," he spoke with a sense of mockery in his voice. "Your tongue can almost taste the metallic of the blood shed in this field---of the liquids drained by your men, fighting to serve you as their lord. I guess it's a blessing they won't see their land taken from them. Why don't you just go ahead and bend the knee and end all of this?"

"I will never bend the knee to Lord Darius," Moll'ar managed to speak. "You will have to kill me first."

"Alberon will be Lord Darius' whether you bend the knee or not," the demon told him as he stood to his feet. Looking over Moll'ar's body, the knight continued. "Look around you. You don't have enough men to keep your kingdom safe."

"Smite me if you must," Moll'ar grumbled out as he glanced around the field to see his men with fewer numbers than the Senturians. "But I will not just give over my land."

"Your land?" the demon bellowed out in a laugh. "Maybe I wasn't clear. I am Ser Dagrus, and this is our land now! If I want these fields torched, then they shall, and Alberon will be known as the Sentries of the West."

"If you burn our fields, then there will be no food for either of our kingdoms."

"Food?" Dagrus asked. "We survive off of meat, not roots in the ground." The demon knight turned his attention to the troll standing over the Alberian and commanded him, "Let him stand."

The troll yanked the trident out of the ground and removed his foot from Moll'ar's hand. Moll'ar stood to his feet---his shattered hand held close to his waist, while the other rubbed his throat as he panted for air.

"Now," Dagrus began to speak to Moll'ar once more, "have your men drop their weapons, and there will be no more blood shed here today."

© Copyright 2018 D. L. Stewart. All rights reserved.


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