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Old 11-20-2007
 
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United Kingdom Rokdar Ironvain
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Heroes of Old


Loem alone held the gate of Taven against a wave of brigands. He was a tall Norseman, well bodied and blessed with long, fair hair that flowed from his jeweled skullcap. At his side were the lifeless bodies of a dozen or so Taven guardsmen, laying in pools of blood - their fiery orange tunics tattered and torn in the mud.They had fallen during the first hour of battle, fighting bravely in the face of hopeless defeat, and were now on their way to Valhalla. However, Loem, their wayward captain, had survived the clash of arms through the might of his sword craft, and now stood upon the broken bodies of many foes. Still, the savagery of the brigands could not be detered by any number of their slain kinsmen, and came at him again and again in droves of a dozen or more.

Loem swung and hacked at the wall of shields that presented itself before him. Many warriors fell there - reeling from the crushing impact of his ancestral sword - Dark Winter - their shields cloven in two, and their spears splintered. He fought with unyielding courage and honor, never ending the life of an opponent who had fallen to the ground, never striking low or using cowardly means to defeat them. His skill with sword alone kept him from harm. By the second hour of battle, two score lay at his feet, choking on their own blood, or praying to their Gods aloud one final time. However each time he drove the brigands off, they returned with renewed numbers - it was a war of attrition that even a warrior as mighty as Loem could not win. He was bound to falter in the gate's defense sooner or later, the brigands knew this, and pressed their assault with careless resolve.

Meanwhile however, Taven's heroic guardsmen battled relentlessly high up on the palisade, fighting off ladder after ladder, casting down wave after wave of brigands as they attempted to take the town's defenses. So distracted were Taven's defenders by the endless assault on the walls, that there were no archers to spare to the gate's defense, nor were there any men-at-arms available to reinforce Loem's heroic stand. All swords and bows were engaged.

In the streets beyond, fires raged, from where the brigands had launched balls of fire from catapults. Houses were being pulled down to prevent the spread of fire, and a general chaos ensued as peasants, business owners, tax collectors and priests fought each other to steal the goods of abandoned shops. The town had become ruleless, and the Count Henry Walsingfeather could spare no guardsmen to restore order. Women and children were confined to the central keep, to avoid the violence in the streets or in the battlefield, with the exception of a few. Hunting Maidens, a sisterhood of mounted female warriors, were marauding around Taven, cutting down any brigands that had managed to break through the palisade. They were brave, the daughters of a warrior tribe which preached the way of arms to not only the males. The Count had called for their assistance before the siege had began.

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Old 11-20-2007
 
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Sven stabbed a Brigand as he came up the ladder, but did not withdraw his sword. only until he had kicked the ladder down did he remove it. Noting Loems skill and ferocity, he mumbled, "Tyr be with you,". Then he rushed down the stairs to the gatehouse, and, praying to Odin, began to unwind the gate chain.
 
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Old 11-20-2007
 
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Sven hacked at a brigand, and spun about to behead the brigand at his back.
"Tyr is with us!" he bellowed as he blocked the first brigand's sword with his shield.
"I wonder where they got the money for all these swords?" he mused as he chopped off the man's hand at the wrist, then he swore as the spray of gore blinded him.
"Freys' lips!" he stumbled into a battlement and put down his axe so he could wipe his face with his cleaning cloth. he finished just in time to see a brigand raising his sword.
This, He thought would be a stupid death.
But even unarmed, Sven was a mighty man. Roaring, he smashed his fist into the enemies' stomach, then lifted the admittedly slight Brigand up and tossed him over the wall. then he retrieved his axe and parried a lunge from another foe.
Dagger, he observed. cheap steel, perhaps?
he then grasped his axe haft in both hands and bowled the foolish brigand over.
Maybe Tyr is with Me, personally. He then felt a searing pain across his forehead.
"Blast! I cant see!" Sven staunched the arrow wound and dashed down to the gatehouse to find a bandadge.

Edit: ignore the first post, my computer didnt display it at first.
 

Last edited by Oracle; 11-20-2007 at 08:24 PM. Reason: sorry about the double post, ignore the first one as this is better.
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Old 11-21-2007
 
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United Kingdom Rokdar Ironvain
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Upon the grassy hills that overlooked Taven, sat Hulgra Stoneaxe, the commander of the besieging army. He was a bold warrior, strong in his sword arm and as tall as any proud Norseman. His silver hair flowed from his wrinkled scalp, tossing and turning in the bitter winds - even in his old age, Hulgra's image was as fierce and as powerful as the most elaborate battleaxe. Quietly, he smirked at the sight of town, eyeing eagerly the rising smoke, and listening with enthusiasm to the sounds of battle far away.

He was once a noble Viking general, back when the fleets of the Norse were strong and plenty. He had conqueored entire cities and small princely states in the name of the Kings he had served, making him an experienced leader in war - and a well respected one at that. However, in recent days, Hulgra's honourable warrior heart had turned black with greed. Disallowed a sizeable force with which to conqueor leaderless settlements such as Taven, by his King, Hulgra had assembled himself a vast horde of local mercenries - bandits, theieves, discontented peasants, wronged farmers, envius wildsmen - all formed his army. The attack was swift, and Taven was given but a week to prepare for the onslaught - there was no lengthly siege, no attrition, Hulgra ordered a direct storming of the settlement, promising his men a time of looting and raping...

So was it that Loem, Captain of the Guard of Taven, stood in defiance of Hulgra. All of his kinsmen that had volunteered to aid their captain in the defence of the gate had fallen beneath spear, axe and shield, but he persisted. Time and time again Hulgra's brigands hurled themselves at the wayward defender, yet each time they were repulsed. The pile of broken bodies built at his feet, until he was forced to step back several strides to give him a steady footing on the ground - yet still the brigands came, unending.

The great gates of oak were at his back, and there was no way to open them from the outside, nor did he wish for anyone to open them from within. As far as he was concerned, this was his end, infront of his home, in the glory of battle. He had taken the lives of many foes - had any defenders but looked towards the gate, they may have marvelled in awe at Loem's efforts, but it was not so, for the battle of the walls was becoming more intense with every passing second.

Several more heaves saw down four more of his attackers: scrawly, lightly armoured peasants with rusted swords. He pittied them, but looked ahead eagerly for the next contender. The muscles in his arms were on fire with pain, but he was determined to hold the gate to his last breath, slashing, hacking and cleaving 'til the very end. Another wave came at him, six brigands with studdied leather and goatskinned shields. They were cast down with equal ease.

There was atlast, a respite in the fighting - the brigands relented in their assault on the gate. Loem sat himself upon the wall of bodies he had constructed by no fault of his own! He was weary, his sword was getting heavier, and his helmet was starting to weigh upon his shoulders. His chainmail armour, torn and battered, was soon becoming an unbarable weight - yet he perservered, and refused to lease from his service any item of clothing or equipment that he carried. Meanwhile, the shaken shieldwall of the next brigand assault watched him nervously.

Suddenly, the wall opened up to form an isle down the center, and through it rode a fair haired man upon a white horse. He held his hands up by his head, palms open, and upon his back there was tied to him a white flag - a symbol of peace. Loem rose from his seated position, and drew his bloodied sword to face this mounted foe. Though he did not dash in senselessly to fell his oponent, he waited, patiently.

The mounted brigand stopped within twelve feet of the mighty Loem, and called to him from his horse. "Man of Taven, you have felled an entire regiment of spears. My master, Hulgra Stoneaxe commends you for your valour. But now, it is enough. He has agreed to spare you, if you will but throw down your sword and stand aside."

Loem was silent for many seconds, but then spoke. "I am Loem Songwhispher, Captain of the Taven Guard. It is my duty, to make safe this town. I will not be moved by words, nor will i be moved by the flirtation of a possiblity of life following this ordeal. My sword remains where it stands - in the chests of your soldiers."

The messanger looked angered by Loem's remarks, and spat at his feet. "Fool! Your sword cannot withstand the vollies of longbows from Britania. Surrender, or face your doom."

Just then, Loem noticed that a dozen or so brigand archers were forming up behind the shieldwall. He knew his fate was at hand, if he were to remain in the fight. "Aye." he said, staring up at the messager. Secretly, he unfastened a simple dagger from his belt. "Then my stand be worth a song or two, even if it is cut short by the rash decision of arrows."

The messanger opened his mouth to speak, but Loem's actions were faster. He quickly drew the simple dagger and flung it with deadly precision at the mounted brigand - and there it sunk, into his neck. Blood flowed onto his whining horse.

"You scoundrels have had your answer! Loem Songwhispher, Captain of the Taven Guard, stands before you. Be quick to lease your arrows"

The bowmen strained their bows and aimed at the bravest of the brave - their cowardice was unmatchable. Loem stared at them blancly, letting his sword hang lazily by his side. Secretly, in his mind, he made peace with Odin. Then, before any arrows took to the air, he dashed forwards, roaring at his foes with a lion's ferocity. The shieldwall quickly closed ranks, and spears came down to form a thicket of points - Loem leapt, sword over head.
 



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Old 11-22-2007
 
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United Kingdom Rokdar Ironvain
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Loem's blade came down upon the line of spears with the force of a thousand men, and crashed in their midst. Shafts spintered, tips blunted - none of Hulgra's warriors seemed adequately equipped to halt the charge of one so powerful. Loem's body was pummeled and stabbed as he breached the thicket of spears, but he was not slowed, nor did he yield to pain. Instead, he hacked his way through the now terrified and awed brigands, casting them aside like long grass in a field.

Dark Winter was relentless in its lust for blood, cleaving the heads off any that dared step before the mighty champion. It danced gracefully with the spears of the foes that stood around Loem, but it never faltered in his defence, always detering fatal hits and returning them in kind. Soon the shieldwall failed, and the brigands scattered in all directions - only the bravest remained behind to stall the rage of Loem. One such warrior, was a young lad from Denmark, who brandished a sword of bronze. He came at Loem, pittifully clumsy and ill-trained with his weapon. Loem looked down at the young one, and shook his head.

'Clear off, little boy. This is no place for one so young as you.'

But the lad was heedless of his wisdom. He lunged at Loem, but found his strike was too far wide of his target. Loem brought Dark Winter upon the lad's skull, and so ended the last stubborn warrior of the shieldwall. The assault on the gate was broken for a while, thanks to Loem's heroism, for no brigand dared return without hefty reinforcements. However, Loem's luck was outlasted.

As the boy fell to the floor, trailing blood from his cracked skull, Loem looked at the archers - standing in a neat line, four feet apart, opposite him. They fired in unison, and their steel-tipped arrows whizzed through the air until they thudded into the great champion. Loem was peforated, a dozen arrows stuck into his torso and limbs. He fell to his knees, wheezing, unable to breathe. Blood poured from him in small rivers, and a great weariness assailed his taste for combat. The archers may have taken another shot, but they were halted by the destinctive sound of a Hunting Maiden battle horn.

The gates of Taven swung open, pushing aside corpses as they did so, and through them road six Hunting Maidens armed with shortbows and axes. The archers only had time to lease a single, hurried and ill-placed volley before they were rode down by the fearless women - two of which we behorsed by the arrows, but the remaining four held true to their charge. In seconds, seven of the archers lay with arrows in their backs, whilst two more had been hacked down by hand axes. Having certified that the brigands were driven off, the Hunting Maidens dismounted and looked to Loem.

'Aye lad, 'fair say 'ye been workin' a bit too 'ard for ye part.' Said the leader of the Maidens. She was a tall woman, as easily as tall as Loem, and like himself, fair haired. She wore studdied leather and boasted a bow of ivory.

Loem plucked an arrow from his chest and then dribbled blood. 'Leave me be, milady. Odin has chose that i fall here, before the gates. Pitty me not, i have slain many, my death has avenged itself.'

'Ach, can't be doin' that now. Walsingfeather demanded we come to your aid when he learned you held the gate alone, and come we did, but now, havin' seen the situation, i'd say we best get you to a healer.' replied the woman, lifting up her full-helm to reveal a face of many scars.

Loem was lifted by three of the Hunting Maidens, who then dragged him inside Taven's gates, whilst the other three led the six horses on foot.

Meanwhile, a frustrated Hulgra had learned the extent of Loem's impact on the siege.

'The men not dare return to the gates, whether the great champion of arms stands there or nay.' said his scout, kneeling before him.

Hulgra cursed the Gods for his luck, and then drank nervously from a silver goblet. 'How can a single warrior fell so many? Lest Odin himself came down from his dwelling, to lay great pain on my efforts.'

'Milord, what are we to do?' asked the scout eagerly.

Hulgra mused with himself for a while, but then replied with a stern tone. 'Have the catapults and archers target the gate with fire. We shall burn it to the ground until it is no more, and then through it, shall we march with all of my reserves. I will lead them personally if they refuse to do so without sufficient leadership.'

The scout bowed his head. 'Very well, milord.'
 

Last edited by Rokdar Ironvain; 11-22-2007 at 03:21 PM.



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Old 11-24-2007
 
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Sven laid upon the bed, biting into a sword handle to keep from screaming as the surgeon slowly stitched together his forehead.Lashed to the bed with thick ropes, he had nearly been knocked out with beer laced with poppy.
It still hurt.
"just a couple more, and then bed rest for a week, I think."
Sven began to pray for Odin to give him courage.
 
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