Enderal Man of the Hour - Chapter 1 | Penana

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Short Story
Enderal Man of the Hour
Writer Jochern
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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Enderal Man of the Hour
A - A - A
Chapter 1
May 17, 2018
9 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!4qjTZ6HZV5FDqexokx9fposted on PENANA

Enderalcopyright protection12PENANANKJeAVl9Ny

Man of the Hourcopyright protection12PENANA8RZrLZysYt

Tale of Swords, 479 of the 8th Agecopyright protection12PENANAxE6YTDndbw

Continent of Mordurel, Reikland regioncopyright protection12PENANAtYgddR8z0W

Franz Merdhausen Point of Viewcopyright protection12PENANA88N7Az7815

As I arrived at the encampment of men it seemed worse than I had imagined. I rode in swiftly with four of my Sacred Companions trotting behind me.copyright protection12PENANABzKHxDlUQx

“You there, captain. Report the status of your camp,” I commanded.copyright protection12PENANAqjvHwJzFiz

The wary man slowly looked at me and realized I was a noble.copyright protection12PENANABqIpyiYFr0

“Milord. The Norsemen beat us back at the fishing village just three hundred meters west of here,” he explained as more men, mostly armed peasants and some heavy foot gathered. “Lost half our men in the battle.”copyright protection12PENANAL2zvK7861Z

“Savage Norsemen ambushed us,” a man with a quiver and a bow cut in. He had an old poorly healed scar across his face and a part of his nose was lost.copyright protection12PENANADsi9aPSJvb

“Who holds command here?” I asked.copyright protection12PENANAj7C2walvQN

“Count Dulfric Zaldinger led us milord,” the captain answered. He wore the equipment of a man from the gentry. “But…” he swallowed. “…milord Dulfric fell by arrows and axes and spear from those barbarians. No one leads now, but…well, I recon you do.”copyright protection12PENANAvBP46AbfGd

I spent a second of the fact that Duke Zaldinger’s cousin was dead. he’d been a good man. We had fought side by side before. After a moment of silent sorrow I continued.copyright protection12PENANAejGxtRnmBT

“How many men remain here?”copyright protection12PENANAxV09Ywkk1a

“Some two hundred I recon,” the captain mused.copyright protection12PENANA7xLWBSwN8c

“How many Norsemen are there?” I continued.copyright protection12PENANA1mwIU0zimb

“I’m not sure. More.”copyright protection12PENANAbT6b34InoK

I looked around to note that the levy I brought was funneling into the camp. I gave the forest around us a look before I looked down on the captain once more.copyright protection12PENANAywhjsTcZGk

“Assemble the men captain. We must drive the barbarians from our lands. Sir Sigismund see to that my men join the formation,” I told one of my companions.copyright protection12PENANAcIHJqBJ0U5

“Yes, Count Franz,” he complied.copyright protection12PENANAb6Zih3n0rM

It took quite some time but I personally formed the men in the camp and the levy of eighty free peasants I brought into formations with three rows of spearmen-a hundred wide-with the rest divided into cohorts of thirty. It was inspired by a lose combat style I had seen in my travels in the Free Cities. I rode on my stallion in front of them as they were ready to march and my companions were with me as the slow march began.copyright protection12PENANAKZi2iLVuKC

“Your name proceeds you my lord,” Sir Sigismund told me.copyright protection12PENANAOWlvFL7oM2

“Did it now?” I asked plainly.copyright protection12PENANAuY8thqxEqY

“Aye. The former Reikguard Marshal, the man that sailed to fight in unknown lands,” he said and embellished the last part.copyright protection12PENANArbXJdgv9Kf

“I sailed to the Free Cities, not unknown lands,” I corrected.copyright protection12PENANAMzb75RSdgF

“Well, it’s all the same to these peasants. Some of them have probably never heard of the Free Cities,” he explained his choice of words. “I think their moral rose a bit since they heard it is you that now leads them to avenge their dead comrades. And Count Dulfric I suppose.”copyright protection12PENANAfKDoeUOLze

“It is not proper to speak ill of a man that died for his land Sigismund,” I reprimanded him.copyright protection12PENANAJ0qHKEXfOI

He nodded apologetically, “Apologize my lord.”copyright protection12PENANAvAhHHnyAAO

It was a mostly silent ride ahead as we approached the hills separating us from the shoreline and the fishing village. Sounds of shouting and laughing men could be heard and their origins had no doubt about them, they were Norsemen, the barbaric people from the Northern Wasteland. We halted at the foot of the hill for a moment and I looked to the men. I drew my broadsword and raised it up high.copyright protection12PENANAfQzTeOO2zo

“Men of Reikland! Do not fight for Reikland but for your dead brothers in arms and for your families! No mercy to the barbarians!” There was a roar of fervor, an almost zealous cry from men ready to kill.copyright protection12PENANAhjpI19mYpb

I led the charge on my horse with my four companions. We kept our speed decent enough to not outrun the men and end up alone with hundreds of Norsemen. From the top of the hills there were thirty meters to the beach and I counted at least over a dozen longboats, and Norse men and a few women spread out on the beach and burning remains of the village. They were completely unprepared for us. One of them-a man-held a standard with the red star surrounded by white of House Zaldinger, with the sigil of two wood chopping axes centered in the star. It had recently caught fire as if they were burning it. They all scrambled for their gear, almost in a panic.copyright protection12PENANAGULYCsma3X

“Cut them down!” I yelled.copyright protection12PENANAZjNzc2n14X

We charged down and I lead my companions into the center. The first swing with my sword cut across the face of a Norseman. It cut deep and sprayed blood. The second I slashed at raised his shield to protect his hairy face and my broadsword slid off. However my companion Sir Lother held a javelin-like spear I had first seen used by soldiers of the Free City Myroshi, a pilum it was called and I brought the design back for the use of my men. The pilum buried itself deep in the wood shield and forced the hairy man to let go of it in favor of his two axes. With a spin of my stallion I bashed open his unprotected skull. The eighty levy men I brought were all carrying two pilum on their back.copyright protection12PENANAqmhP5iZrho

“To arms you cornflowers!” A woman barked. “Are you Norsefolk or Nordlings!” I assumed the Norsemen saw a comparison with the Nordlings as an insult. Their cousins in the Northland region, directly north of Easterland, had adapted western kingdoms ways of warfare into their own and assimilated part of Easterland culture with their own both. As I slashed the back of a running Norseman I saw the woman that yelled. She was a tall figure with long auburn hair and strong arms that gripped the shaft of a warhammer with a small blunt end and a spike on the end opposite the blunt end. She raised it towards the sky with her right hand and ran forward with a fierce, almost animalistic, battle cry. To me she looked in her forties with olds scars were the skin was bare.copyright protection12PENANACYjoWVRj6U

“Sigismund, give me one of your pilum!”copyright protection12PENANAg6d3Gq53sa

My companion lobbed one over to me and I raced towards the woman. If my experience with the Norsemen served me well they would route when their leader fell. The Norse quite dependent on their leadership and put a lot of trust and faith in them. Behind me I heard the battle, or slaughter, commence as the men threw themselves over the unprepared raiders.copyright protection12PENANA1SxiHCBG4S

She had spotted me and raced towards me, in a moment I raised the pilum and threw it at her. She barely dodged it by throwing herself on the ground and preform a roll to the left. In a moment she was on her feet again and I had sped past her and committed to spin around to face her. My blade was already bloodied and ready to taste her blood. I prepared to halt or swirl when she jumped aside instead of getting trampled underfoot. With my shield I knocked a man that tried to approach as a short distraction, however, it proved long enough and the woman rushed me and used her warhammer to smash the right front leg of my stallion. I fell, horse and all, but was lucky to not end up underneath him and break something. I rolled and blocked her strikes with my steel Heater shield. Thrice I blocked before I found her knee and kicked her with my steel sabatons. She released a cry of some pain and I rolled to the side and rose to one knee. With seconds to react she was about to slam the warhammer down on my head, in an act of pure instinct I jabbed the sword into her gut with both hands and dropped the shield. The blade penetrated her light padded armor on her abdomen and she gasped.copyright protection12PENANA5HQp5NlW6s

With a moment to breath I noticed her red glowing eyes, a sign of blood magic. My eyes shifted to her longboats. The sails were black with a pair of red eyes. Was this the famous Drya Red-eye? It was her famed heraldry at least. No time to ask as she fell on her side and rolled to her back. As I pulled out my sword I released a small stream of blood. With a firm grip of my sword and two fierce strikes I took off her head and raised it by her auburn hair.copyright protection12PENANARmy4qfvvjX

The men was having a good time cutting down the Norsemen for the most part and the death of their leader sent those that tried to fight routing to their ships. We cut most of them down, however, I allowed thirteen to leave on one of the ships and we captured the rest. We chained the men together and on my order the men crucified a Norseman to the mast. It would be a message when they returned home. This was the fate of those that stumbled into my path.copyright protection12PENANAGkPdDxPeeU

“Sir Sigismund,” I said formally as the men cheered.copyright protection12PENANA7jBXIGL4DR

“Franz!” The men cheered my name. “Franz!”copyright protection12PENANAwue5zEk4aD

“Yes Count?” He got off his horse as he came to my side.copyright protection12PENANA2QXS4BpUPD

“See to sending a messenger to Duke Zaldinger’s castle. Gift him these longboats and have his cousin’s body collected and returned,” I ordered.copyright protection12PENANAOXXpVG6GKK

“I’ll have the men start searching for his body,” Sigismund complied. “But these barbarians may not have left anything if they copped him up.”copyright protection12PENANAyheMmOqGSA

“I am aware of their brutality,” I answered plainly.copyright protection12PENANAjUrhMvScqI

I saw my own hypocrisy as I rammed a spear into the earth and brought down the woman’s detached head on the sharp point.copyright protection12PENANAQeGNEBuLhe

“Let us finish up quickly here my friend,” I said as my mind wandered to my wife. She was in the ninth month and could bring our first child into the world any day now. I wanted to make my way home to Merdhausen Castle as soon as possible. I had a three day journey ahead of me to get back. I planned on taking two of my companions on a fast journey and leave the other two to command the levy and see them home to my lands.copyright protection12PENANAvPvKCSy2yq

As we finished up and returned to the encampment a scout alerted me of riders on approach. Mounted knights, forty strong, reached the encampment and I rose to a new horse to meet them. I recognized the blazon of Freudehal and I recognized the Surcoat and plate armor of Count Herman Freudehal in person. The man was five years my elder.copyright protection12PENANADSl5a8A3l1

“Ah, my Lord Franz,” he said as he halted in front of me. I sensed the bitterness in his tone. I had turned down a marriage to his daughter to marry a daughter of Duke Kingswood. “Is your purpose here to throw away your life against the Norsemen?”copyright protection12PENANAMbfsZT3tFk

“I managed it without throwing my life away my lord Herman,” I answered simply.copyright protection12PENANAIaaeUM6sPE

He made a disgusted sound in his throat, “Truly?” he then said.copyright protection12PENANATtxfyHo9LJ

“Indeed. I rallied them men of Count Dulfric Zaldinger and with my own we descended on the barbarians and slaughtered them. regretfully the count fell in the first battle before my arrival,” I explained out of respect, a respect he did not return.copyright protection12PENANAaxVqZUk2nZ

“You’ll forgive me if I search the area to see how many you missed,” he said and started trotting passed me.copyright protection12PENANAn69yk4lqwb

“By all means,” I replied. “If you find a way to seize the glory…” I let the words trail off as I begun to leave the camp with Sir Sigismund and Sir Theobald.16Please respect copyright.PENANAOyDJYDEiF2
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