The council was a distant memory already, whilst he crossed the courtyard. Their laughter still stirring up a rage inside his head. The siege would begin any day now, yet the gullible pricks insisted our reinforcements could still cross the bridge to the citadels south. Regardless of his scouts knowledge of them pitching tents within a hares tooth of this apparently untouchable path. Fucking interbred mouth breathers. His hundred strong mercenary band had crossed two borders to entertain a half mile of stone prison. Well, if they wanted it to be their coffin, so be it but by fuck if it was going to be his.
He stood with his freshly polished armour, a contrast to the dull pouring rain. The smell of faeces from the dwindling livestock punching into his nostrils every few moments as he considered his options. “Sergeant! Sergeant Lucas!” A messenger said whilst panting for breath, nearly slipping on the filthy cobbles “Captain Thomas said the mongrels are moving up towards the castle walls, ladders and all!” The sergeant grimaced under his darkened beard and swept his black hair back. Shouting to Uswold, his practically useless hand, passed him his well worn bronze helmet. It’s visor jarred shut from many battles ago, revealing only his bloodshot eyes whenever he adorned it. “Tell them, tell them all – get to the fucking walls. Archers between gaps, soldiers to pass arrows till the ladders come. Get the captains to repeat it! Go!” He took two steps to the stables and rang the bell above where the horses were kept, making them kick out in a frenzy as the chiming rang throughout the keep. Villagers flooded to the church in the centre, drilled priests opening the cellar doors to them, as to avoid any enemy projectiles. The soldiers at the main gate, slammed an extra four beams against the the thick oak doors as to strengthen it against the expected battering ram. The rain began pelting down on the soldiers dark green capes as they fitted on their bronzed helmets, visors snapped shut as they peered over the castles arches. As the captains repeated Lucas’ words, archers swarmed into position, filling any space towards the enemies oncoming shuffle of war cries. Lucas stood on the northern wall of the castle, seeing that the barbaric mongols line curved to the East and West, a watcher on the southern side reported that the same shape had occurred there. “Surrounded, then” he said before a long hard spit of mucus from one of the archers above narrowly missed his sabatons “where the fuck is that useless swine with my bevvy?” A large, balding monk swaggered over to him from the steps leading up to the battlements “Sorry sir, sergeant, sorry” his rosy cheeks betraying any look of sobriety from his face. “Shut it” Lucas grabbed at the mans weak hand and swigged from his wooden jug “Rite you set of sell sword bastards!” He roared to the thirty odd sets of eyes on his wall “First to let one of those dirty fuckers on my wall, has to fuck the monk tonight!” Apart from one suddenly less cheerful monk, the castles defenders roared as one. Every man with a bow took sight down the arrow slits, breath slowing down to get a perfect shot. As soon as the enemy were fifty paces away, they would let loose a volley to repel them, verbally bashed about their brains by the sergeants lofty words he had purposefully bullshit them all tales of valour about his last 90 or so men who perished fighting to the last. Truth be told he fucked them off at a siege similar to this that got over run with mountain men with spears and wolves. Life’s too short to get rabies he’s figured. “Every man wants his name in song” the sergeant had said and to “think of the golden goblets they’d get to drink out of in celebration later that eve” War is business and if that makes him a bastard then he has the right sword for it? Yeah? After he finished off a second helping of the priests frothy beer, he unhooked his soaking cape and straightened his six foot odd figure. Armour still gleaming, he unsheathed the Sword of Bastards, won to him after a rather gruesome duel with a cocky old Thane with quick wit and fuck all else apparently, from the Blackened Isles. Grim around there he’d told people in his youth. Mainly to any woman within ear shot at any given tavern. No man stood between Lucas and collecting his just rewards. Apart from a handful, especially if he was hungover or too many of his war-band had gotten their asses handed to them. Ogres can fuck off too.
“Men, prepare the tar! Captain Adum, aim for the ring, now!” Sergeant Lucas was pissed now. Literally, too. Each of the walls had a huge bowl of steaming dark tar awaiting the first handful of have a go heroes who dared scale the castle walls. It made him think, seeing the stern looks of some of his men. Are these going to be today’s heroes? The saviours of my coin purse? Most of the mercenaries he’d met were usually just on the run. Trying to muster up a back story like they hadn’t been caught fucking a sheep or thieving or raping or however fucked up of a person you have to be to kill someone for coin. Some of them though, he just admit, were just in it to bullshit a heroic story, even though they’d been pissing themselves behind a castles wall. All just to get the first notch on the bed at the first brothel they come to after the dust from the battle had started to settle. Either that or just some heartless cunt who couldn’t their cock at a cow and get it to double glance, has fuck all personality so picks up an axe. He probably needed another beer. Fucks sake.
As the horde got to the set mark, Captain Adum, a pale skinned Northerner, dipped the tip of his arrow in a lit torch. The arrow soared towards the sky before plummeting at the feet of sweating, grunting invaders. A single bright spark flickered, before the whole circumference of the castle illuminated in a wide fiery circular barricade. His men’s eyes reflecting their anger as the fire danced in their pupils, grins climbed their faces as the enemy could be heard screaming in horror caught off guard. The flame had been only a few feet in width but enough to scorch a man If he tried passing it without a permanent scar. In Lucas’ eyes, he thought names of warriors however great, may be forgotten but if he could make some fuckers tell the story of when they tried to kill him.. it might make his name live that bit longer. Plus he fucking hated these heathen bastards, especially since both his brothers had fallen in sieges fighting them in the past three months. Gone too soon but never forgotten to him. The drink helped, maybe not with fighting physically but definitely within himself. For now.
After a few moments, he could pick out the charred remains of some fifty warriors, hopefully the younger, more agile ones, burnt to ash. It hadn’t taken them long to roll barrels before the edge of the fire and sling there lengthy ladders at an angle. One man weighing down the end so the other scruffy bastards could sprint over the top, only to be shot down by arrows as soon as they scaled the flames. Heavy rain eventually dimmed the fire to embers and the whole army was now visible, lightly silhouetted by the fading glow. There were at least three hundred of them left, give or take a few as the occasional straggler got a loosened arrow to deal with. Dusk. It was definitely going to be a long night for Lucas and the Unlucky Hundred.
Tribe leader and all round bad motherfucker, literally, Champion King Un-Dun had been preparing this attack since two moons ago. It had taken him three of Mighty Cragg’s leaders being beaten to death with his mighty oak war-club, Sloth and the torture.. and eventual death, of five of the tribes greatest shamans blessings to help gather an army of this size from the worlds largest mountain. They had all said that the omens in the mushroom clouds, whereupon they foresee the future of kings, had warned of dark storms surrounding his plan to seize the nearest outpost on the outskirts of the white devils territory. The thing about Mighty Cragg was, if you were brown there you could not leave there. Not just due to the arduous two day path it takes to climb down, covered in spiked rocks, canyons filled with jutting shards of stone and over a hundred species of venomous reptiles, wild desert-fur bears who were almost seemingly always wanting to eat a human and not forgetting the lack of water. The thing was, you see, that although it was ten miles broad and five miles high, with over one thousand inhabitants – they could never quite get on. By that, I mean, is that war was a constant, ever flowing red river. Ten tribes lived up on the mountain, roughly one hundred or so to each one. Each with a different sport animal to worship, each claiming theirs to be the ultimate ideal of God. That was their problem, belief. Champion King Un-Dun has been told this in a mushroom cloud filled tent and immediately set about a grand scheme to rid all the tribes of this and to gather them under a new belief, one he called, Dik-Tati-Ship. All they had to do, was everything he said, or they’d be killed. An honest days work involved forcing other tribes to follow you or meet the swift blow of a rather large and rather brutal looking collection of wooden instruments.
You can only imagine his shock and disappointment at seeing the more youthful and loyalist segments of his army burnt to a crisp. His imagination soon became pure rage which in turn turned to him beheading, then disembowelling an innocent bystander with a gnarled spear. That would show them. He ordered every man, in his army to grab the pouch from around their neck and drink its content. Vew-Du powder. It sent a man into a fit of rage, he had seen his father take three arrows to the chest in one of its stupors and continued to win a battle before falling in a heroic embrace with the rival tribe leaders head clutched into his hands. The remaining few hundred of the greatest, most chaotic and badly organised army the Mighty Cragg has ever mustered, descended upon the citadel with everything they had.
Sergeant Lucas had a grin on his face, one knee resting against the face of the thick citadel wall and his hand gripped around his pommel. He had not lost a single man just yet but knew he was now running low on arrows, the hand to hand combat must commence. After several years at The Gheinfeld School of Sword Arts, crippling self doubt poured into him by his teachers there, the lack of a family having been raised an orphan at the school, mixed with his numerous anger issues had led him down the vengeful path of turning to alcohol as his crutch. He knew the past three pints he had downed were taking hold of him, upping his confidence, stopping his god forsaken shaking hands. Then a dart flew into the eye of his errand boy, bursting into a red soaked mist. More darts flew over the walls and he saw a score of his men gripping at their necks, veins bulging as there bloodshot eyes melted out of their sockets. Kaku-Cobra poison soaked darts, damn fucking snakes.
He saw them now, a mass of screaming wild men. If only he had time for another drink.