Danai Gabre

Danai Gabre

About the Blog

This blog will contain various stories that I have written, mainly including stories and legends that connect with the World of Cilarion... All stories are written by me personally. Read, comment and enjoy! =)
There are also news and updates on my life, thoughts or themes I have reflected on and there are past stories of my life.

Childlike Attributes

Thoughts/ReflectionsPosted by Danai Gabre Thu, July 01, 2010 20:51:44

Attributes of a Child

In Luke 18:17 Jesus says, ”I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” From this I thought it would be worth considering what attributes of a child are ones that God wants us to have.

Children are commonly known to us as innocent. Similarly God wants us to be clean and free from sin. Adam and Eve were unaware of the concept of sin. Children too are liberated from guilt through the fact that they do not know what they do wrong. They follow their heart. Satan can tempt them too, but they would still not know where it came from or what they did wrong with the parents informing them. It is this innocence which we need. We need to believe in our righteousness, believe in the freedom we have received through the blood of Jesus who is Christ. God has forgiven us for our sins, we need to maintain confidence in the fact that we are forgiven. If we listen to Satan and believe that all is lost, that we are utter failures and unloved, we are rejecting the gift that God has given us. A spirit not of timidity but of power, love and self-discipline (2 Tim. 1:7). We must believe in our innocence without losing humility and remembering that it is only through Christ that we have this righteousness.

To believe we must have faith. Faith “is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Heb. 11:1). This has to do with the expression ‘Childlike imagination’. Children are known to have great imagination, they are also known to believe in things easily. Children believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and monsters underneath the bed. The list goes on. Children believe in the ‘impossible’. They don’t try to explain away an event of the supernatural, they accept and believe. Often it feels like my mind rapidly thinks of logical explanations to why certain things happen, rather than thanking God for what he has done. Because it is God. He is at work in our lives. Often we rationalize what children would easily accept as a gift from Him. This is what we must do. We must grow in our faith to become like children, accepting the miracles He gives us and thanking Him for what He does. This way, our faith will grow and more will be given. Children have a hope and trust in what God can do. This is what we must learn from them; have a childlike faith.

Thirdly, children rely solely on their parents for their well-being. They trust their parents to provide food, shelter and guidance. God as our father is infinitely wise and all powerful! He has everything that human parents could never gain. Earthly parents can lose their job and become unable to provide food, or they can mess up and neglect their children. God never does this. He wants us to trust him as our father. Jesus says that God provides the sparrows with food and lilies with clothes, how much more does he not want to provide for us? (Matthew 6:25-34) We need to rely on God as our provider and protector, like children rely on their parents. If a nightmare haunts them in the night they know they can crawl up into their parents’ bed and feel safe. God is almighty! He can protect and defend us like no other! We often try to make it on our own or rely on the earthly things we have, rather than trusting God to defend us. We need to learn from children. Learn to rely, believe and trust our Lord and Father. He wants a relationship and wants us to need him. We have the opportunity to sacrifice and give everything to him so that he can be our firm rock in the middle of sinking sand.

So as we run this race, let us look to the cross, confident in our righteousness, firm in our faith, and trusting God to protect us and support us.

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Prince Eldon

The World of CilarionPosted by Danai Gabre Mon, July 20, 2009 10:55:30
“My brave Tripolinians! It is our duty to defend this land, to create an environment where our children can grow up safely, to take care of this world that El Elyon has given us! Now let us retake this land that our ancestors once had! For glory and honour! To give hope to our people, and a future to our children! This, is why we fight. Tonight, the ground will turn black with Naeglim blood, and tomorrow we shall wash it away and plant a future. Are you with me? Tripolinians, are you with me? ARE YOU?” Prince Eldon raised his great spear, and the ground shook as the soldiers rattled their weapons and shouted for triumph. The sun continued its path downwards as night began to claim its domain.
He put his spurs into his chestnut stallion. It rose onto its hind legs and then rushed forward with a dash. The legionnaires behind him rushed forward with him. At the other end of the field Naeglim began to form; putting up their pikes and scythed swords in defensive positions. An arrow flew against Eldon but he was able to dodge it and it just skimmed the rim of his platinum helmet. He sent his horse forward with a final push of his spurs and jumped off into the crowd of Naeglim. Around him the legionnaires joined him. Metal clashed. Grunts of pain and shouts of desperation began to erupt. He swung his giant spear, the spearhead itself was almost half a whole arm’s length! On it were inscriptions of the Blessed Tongue, it was an old, precious weapon which he had inherited from an old mentor. The spear cut through a Naeglim’s throat and hit the next in the shoulder. Eldon removed it quickly and then stabbed it through. They were pressing forward. This was their time and their victory. The legionnaires were cutting through with their square shields and short swords.
Then it came. Its terrifying presence filled the area like a dark cloak covers the light. The Deirm grinned broadly and lifted its great two-hand sword. Eldon was caught by surprise and only barely blocked with the blade of his spear. Sweat had appeared on his forehead. The Deirm’s blows were heavy to block and hard to dodge. A small circle of Naeglim had formed around the two captains. They laughed as they watched Eldon struggle to survive.
Some legionnaires saw their prince’s predicament and came to his rescue. The fight between Eldon and the Deirm continued as the Naeglim around started to fight the legionnaires. Eldon twirled his massive spear, killing a Naeglim and then thrusting it against the Deirm. The Deirm jumped out of the way and then retaliated with a great slash, which Eldon just barely managed to dodge. A legionnaire shouted, voices were crushed underneath the clashing of metal. Eldon held his spear against the mighty blow of the Deirm. He could feel his strength deserting him. He would not hold up long against this Deirm any longer. It was too strong. Suddenly in the midst of the duel a legionnaire had decided to try and help. Eldon recognized him. It was Fieran, an old friend who had been his duelling partner as a young teenager. Fieran stabbed his short sword into the side of the Deirm while its blade was locked with Eldon’s. The Deirm snarled and turned its head to see who would dare to harm it. Fieran spat in its face while trying to pull out his short sword. The Deirm swung its two-hand sword and Fieran’s head rolled to the ground with a thump, his face showing a moment of surprise. Eldon screamed in fury and, while the Deirm was watching its victim, thrust his spear, Ishandir, into the heart of the Deirm. The Deirm grabbed the spear and pulled it through completely, pulling Eldon to himself.
“You only killed me out of luck,” the Deirm spat defiantly. It tried to lift its sword in an attempt to finish Eldon too, but its black blood was pouring out rapidly from its wound. The Deirm sunk to its knees.
“This is for Fieran.” Eldon took up the Deirm’s sword and removed its head.
The Naeglim around them stared in surprise. A Deirm had not died before. Deirm were impossible to kill. Without their leader the Naeglim did not know what to do. If these soldiers could kill a Deirm… they would be next. The Naeglim turned and fled.
Eldon’s company pursued them to the edge of the land. Once they had crossed the river into Naeglar, there was no longer any point in following. The land had been retaken. They had won. They had even killed a Deirm! Something that was incredibly rare and had not been done for decades. The legionnaires cheered and celebrated that evening. It had been a great victory for Tripoli.
Eldon sat alone in his tent, mourning the losses. The men that had died under his leadership. Each one had been his responsibility. Forty-six had been lost. Each name would be honoured and remembered when they returned. But what was honour to a dead man? What was honour to the families that had lost their beloved husband or son? Tears dripped down Eldon’s cheeks. He knew his words would never be able to compensate for the pain that he had caused them.

Copyright © Danai Gabre, 2009-02-01

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Destroyed - Eleyna Part IV

The World of CilarionPosted by Danai Gabre Fri, June 19, 2009 19:49:20
Destroyed - Eleyna Part IV

Eleyna sat up straight in her bed. Cold sweat poured down her brow. She had dreamt that Naeglim were coming to attack them. The house had been burning. First she had thought that it was actually true… Another drop of sweat ran down her cheek. Then looking out the window she saw torches in the far distance. She blinked hard twice, felt her throat tighten in fear, and a slight trembling of her hands occurred as she heaved herself out of bed. She had to warn Emmeline and Doran.

“Naeglim!” She screeched, shaking Emmeline who continued to sleep like a hammer without its blacksmith. “NAEGLIM ARE COMING! WAKE UP!” Eleyna screamed loudly, but both continued to sleep. “Please wake up…” Eleyna whimpered, tears starting pour down her cheeks. She turned Emmeline’s face with her tiny hands and a tear dropped. Emmeline sat up as the salty water touched her face.

“What’s the problem dear? Did you have a nightmare?” Emmeline said sleepily. Nightmares had been a common occurrence for young Eleyna after Tripoli’s fall. Too many sleepless nights Emmeline had been forced to sit up and convince her they were only dreams. Not reality. It seemed like she was going to lose out on sleep again.

“Naeglim are approaching us! I had a nightmare so I woke up, then I saw torches in the distance! They’re coming!!”

“Are you sure dear? Let’s go check the window all right? Maybe it was all in your dreams?”

“NO! It’s real!” Eleyna dragged Emmeline out of bed and to the window where the small torches far off could be seen. But they were slowly getting larger…

“Doran! We must flee! Wake up!” Emmeline felt anxiety growing within her. She shook her husband roughly, his eyes flying wide open in surprise.

Rapidly necessities were thrown together. Food, clothes, a short sword and a hammer. A blacksmith never left her hammer.

Doran appeared in the doorway leading three saddled, short, stout horses. Emmeline helped Eleyna sit in her beige pony. Doran had grabbed a hunting bow and fastened a quiver next to the horse’s saddle. Then they were off. In the distance roars and growls were heard as the Naeglim came forward. Like demons they havocked the house into flames. Eating their way through the air the flames slowly consumed the once peaceful farm.

They galloped southwards. Passing through a small glade of trees a couple of more Naeglim appeared. They grinned evilly, their diseased faces twisting horrifically. Warts with greenish-yellow pus had burst out in several places. Eleyna’s mind was distantly absorbing their appearance, having no idea of what else to do. She considered puking as their squished, sick faces looked revolting. Doran notched an arrow and fired. A crooked-backed Naeglim fell in surprise as an arrow struck through its pathetically old and rusty scale mail. The remaining two Naeglim jumped up with their scythed swords. Eleyna’s pony reared and she only barely managed to hold herself on. Emmeline dismounted to duel a Naeglim using her hammer and short sword. Blocking the rusty sword with her short-sword she bashed the hammer into the Naeglim’s head, black blood splatting out. Doran spurred his pony to trample the remaining Naeglim who attempted to flee. Eleyna felt tears run down her cheeks. She emptied her bowels from the horse and then only barely caught herself as she momentarily blacked out.

Emmeline wiped the black Naeglim blood from her face and then sat up again.

“Be strong. Find strength within.” Eleyna absorbed Emmeline’s few comforting words. They rode on, spurring their horses for a bit to create a larger distance between themselves and the raiding Naeglim. Eleyna looked within her, trying to find the strength Emmeline was talking about. The images replayed in her head. The death of her brother. Blood everywhere, flowing like a river from Tripoli’s heart. The Naeglim’s deformed face after Emmeline’s hammer struck home. The cries of the fleeing Naeglim as the pony struck it down to trample it. The piercing smell of rotting corpses from Tripoli. Death scenes continued to play in her mind. She tried to recall her mother’s face to find strength but found only the flames consuming her house. Rocks falling from the sky. Nothing seemed to help. Hours later they made camp. Being unable to sleep Eleyna prayed as her mother had taught her. But no words of thanks were found. She couldn’t thank El Elyon. She had nothing to thank him for. What had he done? Death had struck her family. Her new home, which she had only stayed at for a bit more than a week, had been consumed in flames. She had nothing. Rather than thanking him she could even blame him. If he was El Elyon and all-powerful then why hadn’t he prevented the Naeglim from killing her brother? Why had he allowed Tripoli to fall? If it was part of his plan then his plan was bad. Everything was bad. Tears continued to fall. Her dreams stopped. She slept deeply but felt more alone than ever before. The night skies wept twinkling, starry tears.

Copyright © Danai Gabre, 2009-06-19

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Naichar by JaYbOc

Images/ArtPosted by Danai Gabre Wed, June 03, 2009 11:26:50

An image of a Naichar contributed by JaYbOc :)

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The Creation of the Diragh

The World of CilarionPosted by Danai Gabre Sat, May 30, 2009 18:23:56

The Creation of the Diragh

They had failed. Completely, totally and utterly failed. They were failures. The nations had needed their gifts of healing, but they had failed. People had died. There were dead bodies everywhere. Soldiers. Men. Women. Naeglim. Two ashen-black spots tainted the area where two Naichars had fallen. Tirjan gazed over the field. Hopeless. It was all hopeless. They had been blessed from El Elyon himself yet the hordes were still advancing! Nothing could stop them! People still died, despite the healing gifts that they as Purified controlled. Why were the tides not turning? Why did soldiers still die? He had healed one man’s arm from a deep flesh wound, then a few moments later the man had died to crude pike thrust up his throat! Hopeless. Completely hopeless.

They were split now. The Purified. A few still hoped. Still believed they could help make a difference through their healing abilities. But others, including himself, knew better. There was no future. Beliar would slowly conquer Cilarion and rule it all. All El Elyon had done through giving them these gifts were to slow down the process. The ones that hoped had already begun their journey back to the temple. The temple that only those who El Elyon allowed could see. A group of them, thirteen, had remained, and were still viewing the devastating defeat which reminded them daily of their failure. They had been there three days now. The stench of death had been driven into their noses and dominated their senses. There was nothing but the dead, and the cries and screeches of ravens and crows which constantly pierced their ears. With an occasional ripping of a muscle or flesh by beaks.

Suddenly, there was silence. Utter silence. A silence screaming out that something was wrong. A presence. Tirjan looked up and saw. There were two Deirm and a man. He had dazzling, blond hair, fair skin, a black, flowing robe and blue, beautiful eyes. But there was something wrong. A glint behind the eyes, a darkness smeared with red. Tirjan’s companions had gathered around him. They were thirteen against a man with two Deirm. If he now was a man…

Tirjan knew something was wrong. The Deirm themselves seemed to fear the man, or whatever he was. And Deirm were known to fear nothing…

“Greetings,” the man said softly.

None of them answered.

“I have come with a proposal. I know how you feel. I know the hopelessness that fills you. You want to win, you want power and to be in control. I can help you. You can be on the winning side again. All you have to do is join me.”

“Who are you?” Drashel asked, one of the more outspoken of them. He had always been a bit dumb and had annoyed Tirjan greatly as a pupil.

“My name, is Beliar.” A vile, black aura around him seemed to intensify, and Tirjan felt his insides tremble along with everything around him. “Perhaps, you’ve heard of me?” A hint of smile was on his face. The dry sarcastic remark was said slowly, increasing its fearsome effect. “I offer you, not only to keep your lives, but to gain powers beyond what you’ve had as Purified, powers that will allow you to cause fear into humans for generations to come. You can serve me and gain powers, or refuse, and die.” The last word was said heavily and the Deirm both unsheathed their massive two-handed swords.

Tirjan’s mind raced. It was hopeless anyway. This was their chance. Their chance to fulfill what was already inevitable. It was a chance at greatness.

His insides lurched. Something inside of him disagreed strongly. He felt an infuriating guilt and struggle happening inside him. Beliar’s eyes gazed upon him and noticed. Then they turned red and bore into him. Tirjan felt a honey-sweet voice whisper to him. Beautiful, calming music drummed up inside him. It was all right. It was all inevitable anyway. Cilarion would fall, so why not speed up the process and help? He would gain power and glory. He would be remembered. History would absolve him. Tirjan felt the last piece of hindrance die within him. As if a spirit had abandoned him and escaped out of his mouth as he said “I will serve you.” Tirjan fell to his knees and bowed before Beliar, who grinned. One by one the other twelve joined him and they all accepted Beliar’s proposal.

“You shall become the Diragh – the Cause of Pain, as it means in Beliarthong.” Beliar said with great satisfaction. “One of you shall become the master Diragh and serve by my side. Who will this be?”

All of them raised their hands, lusting for more power.

"Prove to me you are worthy, show me your skill,” Beliar said, another slight smile on his face. He knew what would come. “Oh, and I only need twelve of you. With me, that makes thirteen.”

Tirjan’s ability of how to heal had now turned into an ability of causing pain. His mind raced, and he looked at Deshel who stared dumbly, as if trying to think of what to do. He had no time to lose. He had to experiment and try to bring one of them down before someone else did. Tirjan pointed his hands at Deshel and focused. The knowledge of how he had once mended joints and tissues he now used to tear them apart. He visualized Deshel’s thigh muscle and then ripped his hands apart from each other. Deshel screamed in pain as his thigh muscle was torn in two. Before Deshel could react, being in agonizing pain, Tirjan imagined Deshel’s ankle ligament and then flicked his hand hard. It snapped. A piercing cry went out to the sky. Tears were streaming from Deshel’s face.

“Please… No more… I beg you… Tirjan… Master!” It was pitiful. Tirjan felt astonished at what he had done… The power… He was panting for breath himself. It had taken a lot of energy of him. But he relished it... There was a joy in wielding the power...

Beliar glared at Deshel with hatred. Anger flared and Beliar sent violet jolt of energy at Deshel who writhed in pain as his blood boiled. Lying in a pile, looking like a torn ragdoll, Deshel whimpered slightly, unable to pronounce any real sound.

“Finish him,” Beliar spat coldly. One of the Deirm approached him. Deshel just looked up as the two-handed broadsword was thrust into his chest, crushing his ribcage and then piercing through his heart. Blood flowed out of his mouth. His eyes rolled upwards. Blank.

“Congratulations,” Beliar said, this time to Tirjan. “You have earned your title as Dar Diragh, the lead Diragh. Let us return to Ashbel, where I’ll teach you how to torture someone endlessly, without killing them. You will be my left hand.”

Beliar turned and began to walk to the distant Aviols who were waiting for their master.

The twelve who were left followed. They were in silent awe and consideration of what they had seen. A few gave a frightful glance at Tirjan, knowing that what he had done, they could all do... They had made their choice. There was no turning back now. Fear rippled through their hearts conflicting with the satisfaction of gaining power. It was done. They were the Diragh. Causers of Pain.

Copyright © Danai Gabre, 2009-05-31

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A Naichar's Mission

The World of CilarionPosted by Danai Gabre Sat, May 23, 2009 18:00:40

A Naichar's Mission

The Naichar swept his black coat closer around itself. It was cold. Darkness ruled and the moon had hidden itself from the evil that haunted the night. The Naichar gripped its reins tightly. The Aviol leaped through the forest. The black horse snarled at the howling wind and the purple flames streamed heavily out of its nostrils. The Naichar knew it was hungry; saliva was dripping around its sharp teeth. They continued to gallop through the dark woods.

Suddenly the Naichar’s blood went hot. It was as if its insides were boiling, an infuriating pain filled it. It clenched its teeth to keep itself from screaming. The Aviol snarled as it felt its rider pressed the spurs in further. The Naichar softened its grip momentarily and then the instructions were blasted into its brain.

“Kill Omidaka. He is planning on uniting Sayto. The Nuyama and Ashima cannot be allowed to unite. Beliar rules with chaos and so chaos must rule the nations. Find Omidaka and assassinate him.”

The Naichar exhaled heavily. The messaged had echoed strongly three times within his head. The Aviol continued to race through the forest. Harena was not far from here. Omidaka would be there to negotiate with the Ashima. If he was killed on this diplomatic trip the Nuyama would believe he had been murdered by the Ashima. Then they would never unite.

A few hours later the peculiar buildings came into view. Their plate roofs were curved like slides on each side, but at the edges began to slant upwards. Each corner also held various animal figures. Some buildings had four different figures, others only one. One building even had seven differing figures. The target, Omidaka, would be in the building with seven figures. The more figures, the more special and honoured the building was.

The Naichar and Aviol stood hidden in the forest, camouflaged by darkness. Dismounting, the Naichar led the Aviol to the edge of the woods. Small, purple flames continued to pulsate out of the Aviol’s nostrils, creating a rhythmic beat. The Naichar gazed through the black hood that covered its head and face. It could see out, but no-one could see in. If they did, they were cursed with immediate death. Its face could not stand light. If a ray of sun struck its face the Naichar was incinerated into a pile of black ash, just as if it had been killed.

A light burned in the window of the house, it was a short, dying candle. Were they still awake? Or was the candle just burning to make it seem that way?

“Zhast haerg,” the Naichar commanded the Aviol in Beliarthong. It snarled but obeyed. It had seen the last Aviol get pierced with one of the black feathered arrows because it had disobeyed. It also clearly recalled the days as a small foal when the Deirms had battered its brain into understanding the harsh language. Every misunderstanding had resulted in a whiplash. A whiplash from a triple-braided and burning whip... The Aviol still carried the marks on its back. The worst had been when the Lord of Evil himself had slit open a blood vein and taken some of its blood. For that day of training every disobeyed command had resulted in the dark clad figure stirring the cup with his finger. The pain had been indescribable and insufferable. The Aviol had writhed in pain and screamed. The mere memory subdued the Aviol to any command said in Beliarthong.

The Naichar let its main soul out. Leaving its own body the silver soul travelled down into the village. The guards did not expect anyone from here. The village did not even have a wall. The weak wall was facing the south. Did they think Beliar would leave them alone? That they only had the Nuyama to fear?

A window was open on the west side of the house. The soul slipped through. There was a great silence. A scent of melted wax filled the room. There was a small shrine room where incense still let out a sweet scent of prayers to the gods that the Ashima praised. The Naichar soul gave it a satisfied look. Beliar had invented those gods himself. Some of the first Diragh had gone and preached their ‘truth’ long ago.

Finally the soul located Omidaka. He was sleeping on a mattress with a pillow shaped like a prism. His two Sayto swords lay next to him. A Nuyama warrior never went without them. One was longer and two-handed, used for fighting. The other was shorter and used to disembowel oneself if one failed in battle. That way one's family name would not be dishonoured. Both swords were slightly curved and beautifully decorated with characters and symbols.

The Naichar quickly flew back to its body. It pulled out its giant, raven-black bow. It swept its black cloak around itself and glided down towards the house. Everyone was asleep. The house was completely still. The air seemed to stand still. The floor did not even creak. It was a perfect night for a Naichar.

The Naichar hovered over the sleeping man. This was it. It turned for a second to look out in the hallway and immense pain filled it. It turned around immediately. The burning pain that had filled it instantly ceased. A Naichar could never turn its back on a mission. The Naichar breathed heavily from the shock of the pain. It had completely forgotten about the obligation that it had to all missions made through the blood channels. It notched an arrow. The man was still peacefully sleeping. The Naichar felt a surge of desire to take out its anger and previous pain on something. It gave the man a small tap on his foot. Omidaka woke up gaping at the tall, dark figure hovering above it. The Naichar released its arrow before he could scream. Screaming was not unnecessary to feel pain. Although it was always delighting to hear them scream. It gave a sense of achievement. The arrow went straight through the mouth and neck of Omidaka hitting the wall with a thud and a splash of blood. The Naichar pulled two more arrows and released simultaneously. The two arrows hit Omidaka in the chest, puncturing a lung and the intestine system. It was time to get out.

Standing in the doorway the Naichar suddenly remembered. It took out a small, sharp, star-shaped throwing knife. It was the Ashima’s trademark weapon. It went back to stand over the fallen body of Omidaka. The Naichar threw the star straight at the neck. The wooden floor thumped again. A pool of blood had gathered. It was definitely time to leave. The Naichar glided over the wooden floors, sliding as quietly as ever. The dark, vile aura left the house as the Naichar removed its presence. Warmth flooded into the houses in the village as the Naichar rode away on the Aviol. The damage had been done.

Copyright © Danai Gabre, 2009-01-07

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The Tale of Delving's Father

The World of CilarionPosted by Danai Gabre Wed, May 20, 2009 18:06:21
The Tale of Delving's Father

Thaelving led the band of Tripoli soldiers. More than anything he wanted to return to Aheron. His thoughts strayed to his wife, and his son. He fingered his precious Lewhe longbow nervously. The Naeglim could come any moment. He might not ever see his family again. This outpost would be useless against the machines he had seen them roll out against Farath Dûr.

The wind swept through the small outpost. The palisade walls rattled against its heavy beats. The men shivered in their metal suits. Some bowmen were lucky enough to enjoy the boiled leather which was not as cold against the skin. The short brown-skinned Naeglim were appearing out on the fields. To Thaelving’s dismay he could see them reconstructing the catapults. It was a doomed resistance. He wished he could teleport away. Home. A warm home with the family he loved. He sighed heavily. Duty. He hated it. Maybe death would just be a liberation from the longing that had been haunting him for so long. No. He would fight. He would fight for his family. For his country. The air was melancholic and already the rank of death and doom spread through the area. An old proverb struck him, ‘Death is lighter than a feather, but duty heavier than a mountain’. Yet there was honour in completing one’s duty. There was no honour in death. Not self inflicted death at least. If they died tonight at least they would be remembered as heroes who fought for their country. But then again who would survive to tell their tale? No-one.

Thaelving shook the thoughts out of his mind. He had to focus. The Naeglim were coming. The general had already left with his elite cavalry units. They would warn Tripoli while the unit here had to “hold back” the Naeglim. Like that would work. It was suicide.

The sun had disappeared behind the western mountains. Dark clouds hovered in the night above. A lightning struck out on the plains. To Thaelving’s surprise a few howls erupted. Maybe El Elyon was watching over them after all. Thunder rolled heavily, as if a hammer had struck an anvil. The rain struck down like large ballistic arrows crushing the earth with its heavy impact. The strides of the Naeglim echoed the rain as they charged.

“Brave men of Tripoli! I will not lie to you, tonight we will die! But it is up to us to decide the manner in which we will die and be remembered! Tonight, we will show these cursed Naeglim how to fight! Tonight, we will bring honour to our family names! Tonight, we will shape history! Tonight, you will fight for all that you are worth and we will bring down as many of these demons as we can! For tonight my friends, we fight for all that we are worth. And we fight as men. Tripoli is famous for its strong and fearsome soldiers, and tonight, my friends, we will be that definition and we will prove it true!” Adrenaline rushed through Thaelving as he caught his breath. The men cheered. They would fight. And they would fight well. The previously gloomy mood had been destroyed by the determination to be something. To shape history, and be remembered.

“Archers, ready!” Thaelving roared and checked to see the response. He heard the shuffling of arrows and bows being drawn and ready. “Legionnaires form up at stations!” Again he glanced to certify that his order was fulfilled.

“FIRE!” Bowstrings twanged. Arrows pierced the wind, soaring through it with a will of their own.

Naeglim stumbled in their charge, lethal arrows puncturing their armour. Raging and whimpering howls pulsed out from the charging horde. Some Naeglim attempted to flee but were immediately pierced by the dark, hooded, Naichar. Thaelving had seen a Naichar before. Their accuracy with the bow was legendary.

Three more volleys followed the first one. Naeglim fell, yet more filled their place. They were like cockroaches crawling out after someone had lifted a rock. A massive boulder flew over Thaelving’s head and crashed into the wooden tower that had stood proudly behind the gate. Men screamed and bodies cracked as they fell. The wooden outpost had been obliterated into four jagged poles that had been its foundation. Smoke and dust erupted violently as walls were struck by the catapults. As the walls failed the Naeglim were suddenly amongst them. Thaelving threw his bow and drew his simple, standard Tripoli long sword. Running down the simple palisade stairs he joined the legionnaires and swordsmen who were slowly pushing back the short, scar-faced Naeglim.

The legionnaires’ spears with the large square shields were able to keep off most of the Naeglim from even coming close. The coarse, black-feathered arrows thumped against the silver-blue shields, but were unable to penetrate them. Lightning struck the fields again. More howls erupted amongst the battle cries. Thaelving saw the legionnaires fall in front of him and rushed out.

“Attack!” He thrust his sword into a confused Naeglim. A strike just missed him at the side. He turned to face the Naeglim which snarled and struck again. “For our families!” He dodged and finished with a thrust. The Naeglim’s eyes bulged open in surprise. Black blood poured out. “For our country!” He slashed another one at its arm and then spun to complete with a stab. “For the good of this world!” He yelled as his men fought beside him. He saw men shielding each other by picking up fallen legionnaires’ shields. Some where even risking their lives for their comrades by extravagantly exposing themselves to save each other. The Tripoli soldiers were becoming berserkers but with each others’ survival solely in their mind. It egged them on to fight for their lives. Thaelving would have cried at the bravery and heroism his men displayed had he not himself been in the midst of battle.

Thaelving’s sword broke as he blocked a Naeglim’s black axe. His shoulder shook violently as the axe sunk through his armour, but luckily the sword had taken the heavy part of the hit and it only just scraped him. The Naeglim pulled the axe out and Thaelving grunted as he stabbed the sharp broken sword into the Naeglim. He picked up a nearby two-handed sword to continue fighting. Sweat poured down his face. He rapidly beheaded a charging Naeglim. His arms bulged out of the strength that was needed to fight. An arrow struck him. He felt his legs fold underneath him. Clenching his teeth he yanked the black-feathered arrow out of his thigh. He thrust his blade through another Naeglim and then fell to the ground again. Another arrow stood out of his other leg. He tried to push himself up but fell again, tasting the bitter, bloodied earth. He spat out a clot of blood and phlegm. As he got himself to his knees he looked up. The two-souled Naichar stood before him, arrow drawn to the place where its ear would have been.

“Do you wish to live?” It snarled cruelly.

“No-one wants to die,” Thaelving replied cautiously.

“Look around you.” He tried to turn his head slightly. His soldiers were dead, a small battalion of fifteen men were still fighting in a tight circle, but it was a doomed cause. “You have lost. But my master Beliar offers you life. He is convinced that with some training you would make a perfect Deirm in his army.” The Naichar’s voice had a high but sharp tone to it. It felt like an arrow piercing itself into his mind. Thaelving felt himself consider its words. Then his thoughts returned to his wife and son. No. He would die with honour. He would prove his family name’s worth. Only worthless wrecks betrayed their cause and country.

He heard his faint voice barely echo his thought.

“No? You refuse my master’s act of mercy?” The Naichar laughed. Its hood as always covering its face. Thaelving thought he almost saw a bit of it and shuddered out of fear. No-one survived seeing a Naichar’s cursed face.

His mind drifted back to thoughts of his family. Faintly he heard an arrow being released. Then again and again. Blood flowed down the remains of the outpost. Pain screamed into his mind. The burning, piercing arrow wounds all burst out in pain, telling his body to stop it. Thaelving saw his wife in front of him, imagining the smell of her hair and the tone of her loving voice. Then he saw his son as a toddler walking towards him a wide smile on his face as he took his first steps. Memories flowed into him filling him with peace. He forgot the pain and surrendered.

“Fool,” the Naichar murmured, surprise in his voice as he watched the dying man smile faintly. It released its seventh arrow to finally end the man’s life. Thunder rolled, the storm echoing the battle’s harshness. A rain of tears dropped heavily from the skies.

Copyright © Danai Gabre, 2008-12-13

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