The Keep Itsten, long abandoned had rustled the dust off and from its belly spawned a darkness no one could have anticipated. The land was falling, Kincaid knew that; but it was falling faster still. The Veran, demons he had only encountered on two occasions in his life; once as a child and again when one attacked his father, were now wildly aggressive and pouring out of the ancient fortress. Kincaid tried to plea with his mother, convince her of the impending danger but she had lost her will when the king died. Then, under the urgency of recent reports of attacks and the people looking to her she allowed Kincaid a meager unit to explore the threat.
Kincaid lost four of his five men at the Keep, and the fifth from grievous wounds after they returned. He clenched his teeth thinking back on it. If his father were here this would never have happened. But he wasn’t. There is nothing that can be done, she said. Though even now, he regretted his decision; and even more so if it was his last moments with her.
This was it, he thought. Whatever occurred tonight would change the path of everything.
Kincaid knelt before the din of battle, the reflection of shadows and men played on his blade. The ground was trampled and soaked with blood and sweat. He intended to give his fair share of sweat and blood before the night was over.
His father’s blade had fit perfectly in his hands, a master crafted longsword with balance and speed unlike any other he had held. He stood gripping it with both hands and marched towards the fray.
The attack occurred the night Kincaid returned. The Veran were using blitz tactics; strike, retreat, ambush, retreat. The archers stood with arrows knocked and pointing towards the entrance of the city. Since the Veran couldn’t be seen they would have to pierce them with arrows in order to have any idea where they were. Those defending the front line knelt to give the archers full view and rest even if for only a moment. Heavy breathing and the moans of men being frantically, and most often hopelessly treated for grievous wounds patterned the otherwise quiet night. They all waited.
Whispers spread as soon as Kincaid reached the front lines. Men squared their shoulders and tightened their grip on their weapons; moral was lifting. He gave a reassuring look to the soldier next to him, who he recognized immediately and returned a grim smile.
Kincaid whispered, “You’re our eyes archers, hit them with as many arrows as you can and we’ll do the rest.”
A hushed response came in unison.
Suddenly sharp scratches could be heard just outside the gates, everyone was tense. Kincaid leaned to the soldier he recognized and asked, “Do we know how many there are this time?”
“No sir, the first few attacks were all new after they retreated; but the last one we noticed they had already been hit with arrows. So we’re assuming they’re almost out if they’re sending their wounded in.”
“We can’t assume anything,” Kincaid said. “Is the Captain or Lieutenant here?”
“Yes sir, there is a team of archers in that building with him. He’s getting a birds eye view, an the Captain is assembling more troops.