The beach sand was drenched in the blood of the fallen. the sky was orange and pink to the east, dark blue to the west, and in the middle above the sky was a beautifully eerie clash of colors stained with scavanger birds. Hungry and growing impatient the vultures and crows above began descending while the victors remained on the battle field collecting their dead and wounded. A vulture which was turned red with the blood of its frehly dead meal ate unaware of what walked towards him.
Nocking arrow to bow Perci took aim. He stopped; planting his feet into the ground he released the arrow. It flew straight cutting through the death clenched air. A second later the vulture fell to the ground twitching as it died from the arrow piercing its neck. Perci knelt next to his fallen comrade.
The man who lay dead next to Perci, clad in leather armor around the waist, shins, and forearms, had been stabbed through his unprotected gut and sliced deeply in his chest. "Taamoiis, you fool. You weren't supposed to die yet. Well come here," Perci said as he picked Taamois' lifeless body up from the sand, "the collector's will see you home to your wife. You once told me it was unwise to talk with a dead man. I hope you were wrong friend. I'll send note back with you for Craddais and his sons that your grave is to be near your father's at your estate and not in the village’s cemetery."
Perci finished walking back to the camp and laid Taamoiis on the wagon with the fifty or so other fallen men of his army.
"You knew this man lord," asked a collector.
"Ha, yes I knew him. We suckled from the same tit. His mother was my nurse maid... many years ago," Replied Perci.
"My condolences lord."
"The title is Commander, collector, but thank you." Perci dipped his quill, which he kept as close to him as his dagger, in the blood of one of his own wounds and wrote on Taamoiis' leather. "Ensure the grave keeper reads that message when you return him to Chorian."
Perci turned to his men who were busy tending to their wounds and praying for the friends which they had lost. His beard was curly, long, and brown with gray scattered throughout. His eyes were green and surrounded with sleeplessness, a scar adorned the right side of his face surrounding his eye like a crescent moon. His hair touched the tops of his shoulders still pressed from the helmet and sweat.
He was adorned in Black leather armor. His chest piece was braided; the braids weaved from the edges and snaked towards the left side of his chest where the braids were tied to a circular steel plate with eight rings on the outside of it. The steel plate immortalized the face of his wife; gold fell from the top of her head depicting her blonde hair. The rest of his armor matched the braided leather and fully covered him overlapping at joints to allow for more fluid movement.
Although his body armor was leather his helmet and shield were both steel, forged from the same fire at the same armory where his chest plate was forged. The shield and helmet both depicted different parts of the same battle. The shield depicted his great grandfather's army shielding themselves from the onslaught of a barbarian horde. His helmet is to be read from the wearer’s right side around the back and to the left. It began with an epic battle depicting his great grandfather's army slaughtering hordes of barbarians until the last one was killed. Directly in the center of the back was his great grandfather stood beheading a barbarian chief. Continue reading and you see peace that eventually ends with the grounding of his families flag on the ground of what is now Chorian.
He lifted his war hammer. "My Warriors!" He yelled as loudly as he could. "We've entered Hell. Those mountains to my back are the supposed back walls of Hell." The range he spoke of was still a three days march away and that would be without the barbarian forces blocking their way.
He continued, "For the first time since our ancestors built Chorian, Miklahid, and Gorf on the outskirts of the barbarian lands we venture further into the barbarian's territory. For years they've ransacked our villages, stolen our cattle like the dogs they are, on occasion raped our women, and killed our children or worse have stolen them."
Perci threw his massive war hammer into the ground so that the hammer stuck into the ground and the handle pointed towards the heavens. "Tomorrow we move deeper into these cursed lands, as we move south away from the ocean we go into a land in which no civilized being has returned from fully limbed. We don't know what evil magic awaits us. We don't know if the Gods will favor us; they've long forbidden us going into the forsaken lands, but the agony the people who live within them have caused us has finally called for blood. We still have much to conquer and if today was a taste of what's to come ahead we may not come back." The crowd roared.
"Those girly men that call themselves Intruian senators have refused to send us aid in our war. We will show those politicians with blood or victory what it means to love and protect ones home. As our wives long for our return our blades and arrows and spears will keep them safe. As our sons play among the pastures we will trample the pastures of our enemy. As our daughters pick tulips in our gardens we will set fire to the barbarian's. As our elders pray for our safety, our ferocity will challenge the gods to stand with us in battle."
Perci looked at the pile of bodies that swelled behind him. "Tonight warriors," he cried, "drink and eat to the fullest. For tomorrow we kill them all!"