Monday, October 14, 2013

Battle of Tor Cairas (part 2)

In the dark of night, the battle upon the walls was gruesome. With daybreak, many lay dead upon either side of the walls. The line had held, but with great losses. The Dal-Ra fell back and waited again for night. Freyr, not of a mind to wait for death, gathered his men together and approached Aliralath. He spoke of bringing the fight to the enemy and Aliralath looked at him as though he was crazed.

As they stood in council, wizened old Tralerith came to them. Tralerith, an aged wizard and sworn man of Kalieth, had been busy at work attending the wounded. He moved amongst the people in disguise for he had thought that the work of a wizard was not tied to that of kings. The Mad Weaver, however, spoke unto him and told him that the hour of his doom had come upon him.

So, it happened that Tralerith came to Freyr of the Greenwood and the elders of Tor Cairas. At first, they knew him not, for he was dirty and dressed in ragged clothes. But, as he spoke, it became clear that the strange, aged man before them was someone of great consequence. Tralerith explained to them how they might throw off the greater forces of the Dal-Ra but Freyr was troubled by this. For Tralerith spoke of summoning the great dragon of Kailes, a creature of an ancient and alien mind that was not known to view lesser beings in any kindness. Freyr asked how they might secure the aid of that dragon but Tralerith only said that the forest king was to marshal his forces.

Freyr's caution was cast aside by the elders of Tor Cairas. With great reservations, Freyr gathered to him his able bodied warriors. Tralerith went upon the battlements of Tor Cairas and spoke the enchantments. As he did so, great clouds began to form in the sky. The people of Tor Cairas sought their homes and huddled together in masses, filled with dread. Freyr and his men readied their weapons.

A scream split the air as Tralerith fell to the ground, lifeless as the stones. Down from the building storm, came a great creature. It coiled and slithered through the air like a serpent with leathered wings cracking like thunder. Even as the terror of the people of Tor Cairas was great, greater still was the horror of the Dal-Ra.

Chaos broke out amongst them as the dragon came down low near them. Freyr and his force came forward in the wake of that chaos. Freyr's men had cut a mighty swath through the troubled Dal-Ra before they found themselves facing true resistance. Sharp were the knives of the younger sons of the Dal-Ra who were either reckless or mad for glory. Sharper still were the blades of the Greenwood folk and they won through that hard mass by bloody effort.

Deep in the ranks of the Dal-Ra's reinforcements, the great dragon of Kailes moved amongst them like a viper. Its great maw bit deeply into man and beast alike. Soon, it came upon one who did not bleed and scream as the rest. Where the brood of evil walked, the roiling chaos-dancer found a worthy foe. Maigren, second born son of the accursed one, stood with his mighty spear and great shield. He stood surrounded by the dead of friend and foe alike.

As the sky-serpent moved its coils about him, fair haired Maigren laid about with his lance. Where no iron or steel blade has cut into the flesh of the dragon, the black metal forged by the deamon smiths bit into the pale underbelly of that storm black creature. This served only to move the great creature into higher fury. Maigren watched his foe and worked hard to keep his long jaws away.

So it was that he missed the arrival of Freyr. The sky-serpent paused in a great and terrible stillness before Maigren. The scourge of gloaming let out a scream that sent blood curdling terror through all that heard it. Undaunted, Freyr came forward and buried his bright steel blade in the neck of his damned kinsman. Maigren's spear dropped from nerveless hands as he turned and reached to probe the wound. Freyr wrenched the blade from the deamon's spine and hewed again with the forest's might behind his stroke.

As Maigren's head fell to the blood sodden ground, the dragon flapped its great wings. A clap of thunder echoed over the land as the storm's child rose high into the air. The vanquished threw down their weapons in terror as the great dragon of Kailes gave another cry. Dawn came and the battle was won. Aliralath mourned Tralerith and called upon the city of Tor Cairas to join him. Freyr took the forest folk back into the greenwood, though Aliralath bade him to stay. Thus did the withdrawal of the blessed ones be forewritten in the wake of the death of Morguthu's second son.

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