Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Siege of the White Mountain Vol. 3: Due to the Dead--Part 29

All around Sylvester the battle raged, a confusing mass.  He saw the ragged forms of the army, and the Flagellants leading it, trying to hold the Kizaks back with pikes.  He saw men fall to the ground, dead from arrows, and sword strikes, and spears, and he saw them die from being trod on by horses and hundred other terrible ways he had not known about before this terrible day. And he saw things that lay inside men, and he was not talking of some metaphorical ideals, but actual fleshy things which did not look pleasant.

And he tried to keep himself from being sick.

His eyes trailed over the battlefield, trying to find Sir Georges, who he'd been riding besides, early in the battle, but lost.  He could not find him, however, no matter where he looked, and he grew worried, for he thought something terrible might have happened to the Acting-Archon, as had just happened to that Flagellant, who lay sprawled on the ground with his stomach ripped open...

He averted his eyes, and then he saw him--proud and tall on horseback, battling with a Kizak who seemed to be Sylvester's age. The pair's swords whistled through the air, as they tried to strike each other down.  Sir Georges' blade seemed to close on his foe--when an older Kizak rushed forward, shouting some... strange word that Sylvester seemed to think was a name, and put himself between Sir Georges and the younger man.  The old man's sword came out, and soon he and Sir Georges were fighting, as strange drops of red flew off him. And then Sylvester realized that the old man had taken a wound and was bleeding, but fought on.

And then suddenly he was staring a wolf, gone white with age, that was leaping at Sir Georges, and then they were toppling to the ground, and then, then he heard a shout, and this word, he did know.  "The gates!" a man cried.  "The gates of the White Mountain open!" 

Sylvester turned, and saw them, those great heavy gates that they had hoped to open for them, or to batter through if they could not.  They were opening now, but it was not a good sight.  They rode out, a group of knights in the service of the Lasliez, with Duke Rainald at their head. 

"Lasliez!" he cried.  "Lasliez! We keep our word!"

Behind them came pikemen of Montalban, and behind them... for a brief moment, Sylvester saw them.  The Dark Lord and his lady, he on the back of a griffin, her simply floating in the air, and more men on griffinback, following. 

"Cthonique!" cried the Dark Lord.  "Cthonique!  In her service!"

"Du Lac!" shouted his wife. "Du Lac!  By sea, and sky!"

Sylvester gulped and felt something strike him in the head. He was dizzy for a moment, and then he fell from his saddle to the ground, and his vision went black.

No comments:

Post a Comment