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Back to the Frontier

Discussion in 'Creative' started by Dukat, Jan 10, 2004.

  1. Dukat

    Dukat Resident Freddy

    Hi all,
    the reason i wrote this is because i have read jeros's and a few other stories, and i loved em so much i wanted to add to em(even though i cant hope to match some of the obvious writing talent here). so heres my attempt...


    --- back to the frontier ---

    It was a beautiful summers day, the rich green of the trees and grass, the sun overhead in the azure sky. The sound of birds could be heard not far off, interrupted every now and again by the sound of a young minstrel practicing. "Yes, it really is a beautiful day." thought Dukat in his absent minded mood. Riding through Cearwent was always the same, everything seemed calm and serene, almost too calm, considering the hell that awaited him in the frontiers. He put the thought aside and began to concentrate on the 'now' rather than the future, as his mentor had once taught him all that time ago.

    Reaching the prydwen bridge took the better part of the day, and it was dark as he came up on the guard position. The guards came to attention as he passed, this brought a small smile, as Dukat had no real rank among the guards, but had helped them fend off an attack from the undead as a teenager, and had gained a certain amount of respect with these men who had watched him turn from a mere teenage fighter, to a Paladin of the Church, and eventually earned the title 'Templar' out in the far off Isles of avalon, on the battlefields of Krondon.

    The highlander shuddered at the thought, yet again trying to forget the hell that had both made him, and threatened to destroy him. The Mines of Krondon where considered hell of earth to those who had seen them, Ogre's twice the size of the tallest highlander swarmed in the place, and to even get there you had to pass the countless sentries on the walls. Yes, that place was not one of the memories he liked to remember.

    Coming to Prydwen keep was a relief, for paladins are not reknown for thier horse riding abilities, and Dukat had been riding all day to get here from his home town of Jeneva. He greeted the man at the gate as he gave his horse to the stable master. "Well met, Jeros my old friend" he said as he approached, the man at the gate was a highlander like Dukat and yet he seemed to always have a grace and charm about him that was uncanny to behold; for Jeros was a Minstrel.

    Jeros and Dukat had been good friends for a long time, Jeros had helped Dukat train before he went off to abermenai, the first time Dukat had seen combat. He had advanced from the low ranks fairly quickly, and eventually caught Jeros up when they met up and fought for the first time side by side in defence of Caledonia, where the warriors of midgard had been thrown back again and again, forced back to thier last foothold.

    Now both had aged considerably, and niether had met since they reached thier fiftieth season, back in Krondon, when Dukat was sent on to the Frontiers, and Jeros to Darkness Falls.

    "Dukat, its been too long" said Jeros as they headed for the barracks, the paladin nodded "That it has, when do we leave for the border?" Jeros smirked "Whats this? a paladin going into battle before he's had a decent meal? wonders never cease!" Dukat laughed at this as Jeros continued "We should arrive at Castle Sauvage before midday tomorrow, and hadrians at the end of the day, all being well." Dukat nodded "ahh good, what of the fall of benowyc?" Cear benowyc had fallen to the barbarian masses the night before, and the forces of albion where rallying a force to retake it. "The scouts report light defences, although the hibernians tried to assault it this morning, the attack was repulsed by a single midgardian group, a scout managed to rip this from one of the lumbering troll's tunic" Jeros brought out a peice of rough threaded cloth with an emblem on it, the banner was a distinctive blue and yellow behind the substantial amount of blood and grit. "Noldy Pride" Dukat said with a grimace, Jeros went on "Yes it does look like it, doesnt it? this may make the fight a costly one, but I'm confident we will come through it, Alcione is planning the raid with Earath and Arterion now." Dukat lightened up at this "How many of us will be on the assault?" Jeros just shrugged and replied "when we get to Sauvage my friend, its been a long day, get some sleep. Your quarters are at the end of the hall, I will meet you at the stable master tomorrow at sunrise" Dukat nodded and walked down the hall muttering somthing about "his" sunrise being a good hour later than "Jeros's".
     
  2. Dukat

    Dukat Resident Freddy

    part 2

    Dukat awoke suddenly, it was just getting light, he pulled the dagger he customarily kept in a sheath within arms reach of his bed and went to the window. It was the start of another beautiful day in the realm of Albion, meanwhile in the keep the guard was changing, Dukat dressed and went out to the battlements. Off to the north he could just see the border cliffs of forest sauvage, and the battlements of the huge castle there. Closer was the village of cotswold, a small village on the outskirts of camelot, and camelot itself was partially obscured by the city walls, with only the tops of the buildings climbing above them. he thought he could just make out the cathedral from here, although it was hard to tell from where he stood. He thought back to the day he had first entered that large holy building, the smells and sounds came back to him, he remembered entering camelot as a teenager after reaching his fifth season.

    Chasing down bandits and hunting the undead had been his only cares back then, he had become adept at it, but always he remembered returning to cotswold, and seeing the huge paladins in thier plate armour, with unshakable faith and determination, heading out to do battle on the frontiers.

    One day he had been out scouting the bandit camps when a horse and cart had come down the road, a young woman at the riegns and a child in the back, it was obvious what was going to happen, the bandits saw her a mile away and two of them ambushed the cart, dukat had jumped up and dived into the fray, killing a bandit with a single hit from his broadsword, then blocking against the remaining thief's attack with his shield. The bandit started calling for help when his second attack was parried by Dukats sword, and his cry for help turned to a scream as dukat slashed across the mans chest. The second bandit fell and joined his comrade on the floor as a group of his friends reacted late to the scream, came running from the nearby camp and attacked.

    The woman and her child hadnt been able to run and so the teenager was standing over them, trying to shield them from the blows raining down from them from the ever increasing number of bandits, now some twenty bandits where engaged in the battle, and dukat wouldnt beable to hold much longer.

    Seemingly out of the blue there was the sound of hooves on the road, a lone horse with a Paladin rider. The paladin dismounted and charged the bandits, who had now forgotten Dukat and where solely set on killing the holy warrior. The paladin killed the first bandit to reach him with his shield, then as he parried two or three simultaineous attacks with his sword, he uttered a loud battle cry. The bandits fell back at the sound of it, the paladin had seemed to glow with power and double in size, his sword effortlessly ripping another bandit down before he could run.

    From that moment on Dukat had been awestruck by the paladin. The paladin hadnt seemed to listen when Dukat had thanked him and offered the contents of his wallet as payment. The paladin just looked at dukat and told him to go to the cathedral in camelot.

    That one incedent had been enough to set him on his journey, all those seasons ago, and now here he was, about to head out to do battle on the frontiers, just as those paladins he had seen as a teenager.

    A familiar voice beside him spoke "Its been a long road, and it isnt getting any easier." Jeros always did have that annoying habit of knowing what people were thinking. "I thought you said up at sunrise? call yourself a minstrel?" dukat said, joking with Jeros as he always did "lets get moving!" Jeros pulled a face and bowed "your wish is my command! but dont you ask for us to stop for a drink or three on the way past cotswold!" Dukats face broke out in a laugh as they made their way down from the battlements, and started out for Castle Sauvage.
     
  3. Dukat

    Dukat Resident Freddy

    part 3

    The castle never changed, always a bustling nest of activity, always atleast one group of matching cloaks signifying a Guild force heading out on a raid. This time it was Dukat and Jeros's Guild going out on the raid as usual there was the prebattle nerves, even though any fighting was likely a day or so away. That too never changed, Sauvage always reminded Dukat of that feeling, the nerves, the jokes told by some, the quiet brooding of others. The stone 'pad' was crammed full of sterotypes as always, Armsmen; proud, huge, heavy set figures, some worried, some boasting at thier last bodycount. Infiltrators; confident, small, some of the younger ones showing off thier new blades. Friars; very usually drunk and laughing at something or other. Wizards; tall and intelligent looking, the fire the could call down always seemed just behind thier eyes, the fire there was as unmistakable as it was unsettling.

    The Drakan Templars all gathered in an area just infront of the gate. Arterion was there, advising Alcione and Earath who where planning the raid's finer points. Brabus was standing near Arterion, looking over the planning. Zealine was there, talking with Amberlyn. Juliah and Zinne where having another of thier customary arguments over somthing to do with penguins. Sonne was there too, and seemed to be drunk, putting the odd comment into Juliah and Zinnes arguement about the colour pink. Nothing changed, Dukat reflected. He stood to the side and watched Jeros, who at this point was going round the stone pad, saying he was testing his armour and needed all the girls to hug him. Well, there was somthing else that doesnt change, Dukat thought, chuckling to himself.

    Dukat moved to the armoury and collected his armour, swords and shield from the armourer. They had been left here since he had come back from the frontier, his old armour with the eagle on the chest, his shield with the Drakan Templars emblem on it. His sword was gold, the same one he found the day he reached his fiftieth season. He already felt his old self again once he had suited up. His sword and shield were immediatly familiar once wielded. and all that had changed was his cloak, his old one had been sheared in half in the defence of Sursbrooke, one of midgards warriors had slashed him from behind as he was running forward, luckily he had only lost the cloak and not his spine. The new one shone in the small amount of sunlight coming from the archers window, last of all he collected his helm.

    Coming back out into the courtyard he sat and waited for the order to move out, Zinne and Juliah had finished thier arguement, and Jeros had finished 'testing' his armour and now joined the rest of the guild as they waited to move out. In just a few hours they would be at Cear Benowyc, everyone was tired by the excitement, worried and yet confident about the coming battle.
     
  4. Dukat

    Dukat Resident Freddy

    Part 4

    Two hours later the Drakan Templars taskforce reached Cear Erasliegh, the last outpost held by albion before the front line. reenforced by a couple of groups of warriors who had volunteered to join the raid, the force moved out on the last leg of the journey, the one that would end with contact with the enemy, the excitement that had died down when they moved out had re-emerged among those in the taskforce who had not yet seen combat. Coming up on Cear benowyc, the individual groups sorted out their last moment tactics, what to do if this or that happend, which person guards the healers and spell casters, and who should join Alcione in the mass havok that is the center of battle.
    Dukat was part of Alciones group, and was to follow Arterion and try to block and attacks the midgardians might throw at him. This job was Dukat's favourite, due to the fact that the alternative was cleric protection, which he always felt inadequate at, though he never told anyone. In what seemed no time at all, cear benowyc loomed on the horizon, the large hill it stood on was outlined in the fading light of the day. Dukat could make out archers on the battlements, and knew that they where the least of his worries. Arterion was given the job of being a battering ram operator, this was known among warriors as a bad job to have, as logic said archers would always target ram operators. It was for this reason that Arterion was given the job, not because he was expendable, far from it, Arterion was an experienced paladin (he had long ago been one of the paladins Dukat had seen in cotswold village) and would survive far longer than many other people. Dukat was given three ram pieces, very heavy things that where hard to carry in the bag slung over his shoulder. Brabus uttered a few words to strengthen Dukat and the others, and they set off.

    The run up the hill was murderous, there was a sudden roar from behind as the wizards and thuergists opened up with thier most potent spells, fire flew overhead and the air was full of smoke. The castle ahead was momentarily blotted from view as the opening volley of firebolts struck it. The archers in the castle started letting thier arrows fly at the assault force, Alcione was leading from the front, seemingly immune from the arrows that filled the sky. Arterion and Brabus where a close second, brabus stopping every now and again to cast spells of health and regeneration, arterion ignoring most of the arrows, blocking the odd few that would peirce his armour. Dukat felt thea strange but familiar feeling as Jeros played a song that turned arrows before they hit them. Dukat suddenly let go a battle cry that made the archers hesistate, and the attackers where spurred on. "not long to go lads!" Dukat managed to shout, breathless as he was, 'your out of shape dukat, old lad' he thought to himself. Arrows where coming thick and fast, any normal man would have found blocking them an impossible task, but after years of training that he felt returning to him, Dukat could block the arrows at ease, it wasnt a challenge as long as he concentrated.

    They reached to gate to the Keep and Arterion began assembling the ram. Dukat now had to earn his keep as Arterion could not use his shield. Blocking for two was more of a challenge than Dukat remembered, but as long as he concentrate, he would manage... or so he told himself. The archers where good, they where positioned to direct a lot of damage at anyone infront of the gates, and so it was increasingly hard to defend Arterion. An arrow shot out from the left, which Dukat turned slightly to block, moving with supernatural speed, then two arrows came from the right, again the shield moved and blocked. Sonne had come up to defend Dukat, so that the three paladins working together could both block effectivley and assemble the battering ram.

    The first gate fell to Arterion's seigecraft, and the phalanx of paladins moved to the second gate. The rest of the attack group where merely providing targets to lessen the amount of arrows coming down on Arterion until the gates went down. with so many people at the gates, things became confused, everyone shouting, the wounded yelling for help, the paladins howling battle cries and the minstrels playing thier protective songs. The arrows made thier constant distinctive sound, adding confusion to the battle, then another round of firebolts hit the battlements, the whole castle shook under the power and the air burned. Dukat and sonne where still trying to block arrows, Alcione and the others hacking at the door and looking for enemies. The second gate went down, a yell went up, and the attack force charged into the courtyard and engaged the trolls and norsemen they found there. Dukat, his designated job fulfilled, felt himself become more relaxed. This was his home, more than the barracks at prydwen or his cottage at jeneva, this place was his home, in the heart of the battle.

    the end
     
  5. Jeros

    Jeros Part of the furniture

    Awsome well done m8. im glad i helped inspire you :) :cheers:
     
  6. Alcione

    Alcione Loyal Freddie

    good story Dukat, didnt know there were so many tellers of tales around.

    :cheers:
     
  7. Dukat

    Dukat Resident Freddy

    Cheers guys :D
     

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