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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
The World of CilarionPosted by Danai Gabre Fri, June 19, 2009 19:49:20Destroyed - 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
“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
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
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
Images/ArtPosted by Danai Gabre Wed, June 03, 2009 11:26:50
An image of a Naichar contributed by JaYbOc :)
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.
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.
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…
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.
of them answered.
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.”
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.
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.
mind raced. It was hopeless anyway. This was their chance. Their chance to fulfill
what was already inevitable. It was a chance at greatness.
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.
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?”
of them raised their hands, lusting for more power.
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.”
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.”
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.
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
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
The World of CilarionPosted by Danai Gabre Wed, May 20, 2009 18:06:21The 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
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.
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.
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
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
“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
Copyright © Danai Gabre,