A guard who had been about to release one of the other guards from his watch saw the guards fall. In the midst of his panic, his training took over and he scrambled to get out the sounding horn and blew a loud, clear tone.
The gate flew open at the crash of a battering ram. It was only a weak, wooden, palisade wall and had fallen on the first bash against it. He blew the horn again but was quickly penetrated by three black, barbed arrows. The warning sound stopped abruptly and blood poured out as he fell to the ground, still clutching the horn.
The piercing tone of the horn had awakened most of the people in the village, and all the men rushed to arm themselves with spears, swords, pikes or any other weapon they could find. But they were too late; the gate was down and the Naeglim swarmed in. Men fell by the crude, black arrows before they could even get close enough to defend themselves. They fought back fiercely as they got into close combat, but they were by far outnumbered. It was hopeless. The village was doomed to fall, and with it the last remnants of the great Tripoli nation.
The Deirm laughed delightedly as he watched Traeron, the leader of the small village Aheron, kill a Naeglim. He rushed to meet him after pulling his knife out of the heart of the man who had dared resist him. The Deirm swung his heavy two-handed sword, which the leader desperately blocked with his shield. A loud crack rang through the air from the shield and the Deirm grinned with satisfaction at the knowledge that it would soon break, and the leader would be his. The Deirm thrust his sword at the pitiful man in front of him, breaking the shield in half and leaving a deep gash on the leaders arm. The leader dropped his sword as he fell to the ground, crying out in anguish, clutching at his damaged limb. As he knelt in pain, the Deirm mercilessly beheaded him with a heavy blow. The Deirm was disgusted at how easily the leader had fallen. He felt the thirst for blood fill his mouth and as it dominated his senses he ran to meet more men.
The Naeglim ravaged through the whole village and killed everyone in their way. They set fire to the houses, leaving behind them a trail of flames and destruction. Smoke rose steadily from what remained of the village. A red sun would rise the next morning.
Copyright © Danai Gabre,