The prologue to a work in progress, tells of an epic battle to overturn the empire.
General Kanub Riyal wiped the sweat off his brow with the back of his hand as the sweltering midday sun beat down upon Hennepin’s Glade. Anticipation hung heavily in the air while the Llendak army crashed through the forest. Once clear of the dense wood, they began a steady march up the rocky back slope of Golben Ridge. They finally amassed at the crest of the great ridge where Riyal sat upon a chestnut horse, their armor shining in the sunlight. Once atop the craggy hill the Llendak officers gained a stunning view of the glade, and the Elven rebels that awaited the imminent attack. There they readied their swords and armor. Behind them, many common soldiers stood shaking in their boots from fear of the fighting that was inevitably about to ensue.
“Make sure they are ready…” mumbled Kanub, as though lost in thought.
Deep, throaty orders were issued among the soldiers, and they grudgingly coiled their muscles making themselves ready to spring forward over the ridge and down into the valley below.
A mere league away the Elven rebels sprang to life and leapt forward with inhuman speed. A hail of arrows accompanied them, and the brown shafts quickly found their mark by mowing down the front rows of Llendak. A deep horn-like sound bellowed from the center of Riyal’s army and the short, stocky soldiers began their march into battle, with Kanub leading the way at a slow trot. The horn blared again, this time from the back of the horde, and the magicians unleashed their pent up energy in deadly crimson jets of light. The luminescent beams screamed over the soldier’s heads and ripped into the elves' front lines, slaughtering all in their way, leaving a path of death and destruction.
The battle was beginning exactly as General Kanub had expected, and planned. Almost as if on cue the Llendak charged to a full sprint, letting loose a gut wrenching battle cry. Kanub unsheathed his sword and raised it into the air as the two armies rushed towards each other. Screaming and cursing filled the air as they went. When the two sides finally clashed, Riyal brought his sword crashing down on the first elf to pass his right flank.
It has begun. The battle to end all battles, the battle to end the hundred-year war, and the struggle for the mighty empire of Talindak.
Broad and short swords clashed together. Screams of agony arose from all around Kanub. Suddenly, his horse bucked and was instantly gutted by an oncoming spear, sending Kanub crashing down to the earth. Pain shot through his back, but in an instant, he was up and once again immersed in the fighting.
A glint of light flashed in the corner of his eye. Instinctively, Kanub ducked and a rapier rushed over his head, missing by a finger’s breadth. He spun around to the left to try and get a glimpse of his assailant. Surprisingly, a human stood before him with menace in his eyes as he readied another blow. Rapier and sword met for a split second, then careened off each other before either could gain an advantage. Kanub hacked and slashed with unmatched speed and skill until the human lay at his feet, clutching its neck.
Admittedly, the human was unexpected, but Kanub did not care. Enemies are enemies and a good enemy is a dead one, especially when Kanub was seeking the throne of Talindak. Adrenaline began coursing through his veins as he leapt gracefully over the dying human, as he heaved a blow at another. The human parried his first blow by blocking a sharp thrust at his chest. Kanub withdrew and leapt into the air, bringing his sword crashing down as if it were a war-hammer. The human dove and rolled away to the left just in time, leaving the sword stuck over a foot into the ground.
The General easily plucked his sword out of the earth as if it were nothing and began to advance on the human once again. Sparks flew as yet another devastating blow, this time aimed at the legs, was blocked. Frustration mounted inside Kanub, and he swung, slashed, stabbed, and crushed his mighty blade at the opponent, but all to no avail. The human was backing up though, and before long he tripped over a fallen comrade where Kanub forced his weapon between the man’s ribs. Several more enemies were slaughtered before much longer at the hands of the merciless General.
An elf lunged at him this time from the left, but the results were the same as before, with the elf lying dead on the ground before him. The clang of metal on metal surrounded Riyal as he stepped casually through the wreckage, continuing the onslaught as he went. Blood was being spilled at an astonishing rate, but the elves and humans continued to pour over the glade’s edge, and into the fray like nothing was happening.
Such a large mass of rebels surprised Kanub. Their sheer numbers were astounding, and they were fearless unlike the weak and easily scared Llendak that he tended to employ. But they were numerous and loyal, exactly what Riyal wanted in his new empire. This was the harshest fighting Riyal had ever endured, but it would all pay off in the end.
Hours seemed to pass and the sun began to turn a majestic topaz as it rapidly descended toward the horizon. Kanub had failed to notice he had reached the edge of the now crimson glade, but from behind a large oak at the edge of the glade, a dark figure leapt out into the open, and fired off three quick arrows at Kanub. Kanub dove, and nimbly dodged two of the arrows. The third clanged off his armor and fell to the ground. Riyal advanced, and raised his broadsword to crush the hulking enemy. The figure stepped out of the shadows, and revealed a huge human, probably a giant. The giant stowed its bow, whipped out a giant battle-axe, and easily blocked Kanub’s attack. Then it dropped to the ground and kicked Riyal in the ribs. He was sent crashing into a mighty oak, and slumped there while the hulking giant approached him. It bent down, and looked straight into Kanub’s face with pure hatred.
“My land gone! You destroy my family, my life!” the giant screamed at Riyal, leaving flecks of spit dotted on his face. “You die now!”
“I don’t think so…” Riyal mumbled, as he forced his sword into the giant’s stomach, and rolled away from the slumping body. Panting heavily, he retrieved the weapon from the giant, and surveyed the battle scene.
The Llendak horde was beginning to push forward into the Elven lines. Grinning to himself, Kanub wiped the blood from his sword on the grass and ran back into the battle. Elves were falling much quicker than in previous battles, which meant that the Mages were finally doing something right. Immortal or not, the elves' power could be cancelled. Kanub’s heart swelled at the thought that the battle was going this well. Sweat dripped from his face as he swung and slashed at any elf that came in his way. He may have even slaughtered some Llendak, but he did not care. The empire was in his sights, and it inched closer with every passing minute, with every dead rebel.
“Retreat! Fall back to the woods!” Came the desperate cries of the Elven officers as the rebel army was officially overrun. Elves and humans alike ran for their lives into the woods, with Llendak cheering and killing any that passed them on the route to the woods.
“HA!” cried out General Kanub Riyal, as happiness swelled in his gut, almost making his stomach revolt from sheer excitement.
Talindak had a new king.