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STORMONT. A SECOND AGE NARRATIVE

The Age of Heroes

The Last General and The First Ghul

 

Mercer drew his Viking ax, taking a half step forward even as the rest of the entourage shifted away slightly. “You’re an embarrassment. A traitor to a great man and a disappointment to everything Kiánard Logan stood for.” The sentiment was clear in his words. He fully intended on killing Wulf where he stood.

It looked as if Wulf wasn't going to respond at all at first. Except he was darting forward in the next moment. Pike at the ready. Mercer met him part way. They clashed. Mercer deflected the pike. Sidestepped. Wulf dogged him closely. Didn't let him get the space he needed.

 

The other man (creature, beast - the people of Andorra had no adequate word to describe the being they did not yet know was a Ghul) stood watching the pair as they exchanged blows. It, he, seemed patient at first. That was until he smiled, wide and gleeful, and readied his own pike. There was barely a moment's notice before he attacked the remaining commanders with a wide swing of his arm.

While not particularly fast, the Ghul's sheer strength leant him a certain unexpected speed. Bert and Sindarin were both within his reach and were caught off guard as the Ghul struck them both down with a single blow. Caught more by the Ghul's fist than the pike Bert hit the sodden ground hard. He bounced and rolled, coming to rest in the shallow waters on the bank with a pained groan. His sword went flying from his grip and lodged in the sand a few feet away. Sindarin took the brunt of the blow from the pike where there was slightly less power and while he landed in the deeper waters, cushioning his fall a little, he was winded and immediately struggled to sit up to avoid drowning.

A ripple of distress and anger ran through the men and women watching on the far bank and it seemed as though they were about to surge forward in defence of their leaders.

“Hold your positions!” Korbin ordered sharply. The movement had been minute from the corner of his eye, but he knew the hearts of those standing with them and had to stop them from charging in recklessly. They would just get themselves killed if they charged en-mass without thought. He continued to watch the scene closely, mind turning over strategies and trying to analyse this new addition to the enemy forces.

The soldiers shifted uncomfortably, but resumed their ranks and settled again. Many now held their weapons at the ready, eager to intervene. Korbin drew his battle ax, glancing to one side to meet Aserah and Elia’s gazes and receiving a nod from each. They needed to be careful here, but they’d grant him sanction to act as he thought he needed. Looking to his other side, he nodded to Rubik and Gregorious as the other two men landed their Argentavis to join him, drawn by the unexpected commotion. The Dark Lord was nowhere to be seen so it was safe for Gregorious to fight in close quarters.

 

The Ghul was moving again, rounding on Oghren as he took a ready stance. Oghren retreated a step or two as the Ghul advanced step by patient step, grin still in place. He looked pleased with himself, having taken out half of those that had stood before them in just one blow. This time the attack came as an over-head swing of his pike, that same speed forcing the dwarf to quickly lift his battle ax and brace to catch it before it hit him.

Hurried footsteps running through the water caught his attention. Oghren almost faltered on pure instinct as they closed in right behind him. The pike came down from above in a blur. A splash and clash of metal on metal - sparks flew as the blades struck one another. The scene seemed to freeze in place. Pressed in close and braced at Oghren’s side now, Korbin grit his teeth as he took some of the weight off of his friend. The trio were at an impasse for but two seconds. Metal ground and screeched against metal and the dwarves shifted. Deflected the pike down to the side. Stepped around each other and swung their axes almost in union.

Growling now, the Ghul sidestepped. Dodged one and intercepted the other against his free arm. Oghren’s eyes widened as the Ghul took hold of the haft of his ax. It was dislodged from its arm and firmly pulled out of Oghren’s grasp. Gregorious rushed forward to try and help. Korbin corrected his stance. Tried to anticipate the Ghul’s next attack. A gunshot sounded - struck the Ghul in the already-wounded arm. He barely blinked and within seconds the two commanders and Gregorious were throwing up dust and water as they hit the ground. Oghren had been bodily thrown into the feral while Korbin was hit with a solid blow to the center of his chest.

 

Mercer and Wulf paused in their fight as Korbin skidded through the sodden sand nearby them. Both on par, for the moment at least, neither had taken any significant wounds. Blood slipped down the side of Wulf’s face beneath his helm and Mercer sported a split lip. Mercer’s desert gear had taken some damage and there was blood showing through some of the tears. Wulf’s under armour was in a similar state, but his armour had offered him much better protection.

“Yer alright there, brother?” Mercer asked, side-eyeing his friend without fully taking his attention from his opponent.

Korbin coughed as he fought for breath for a moment. “Yeah. Yeah, I’m good.” He coughed again, pushing up to his feet as quickly as he could.


 

--To Be Continued--

Word Count: 955



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