Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Battle of Lakepoint

The following is based on a true story. Names and locations have been altered or omitted out of respect for the dead. Due to the graphic nature of this story, reader discretion is advised.

War had settled into the lands to the East. Winter neared, and the harvest from the surrounding farmland was vital to surviving the harsh cold months. Armies had fought over the lands for years, it was only natural that eventually they local warlords would reach out to their foreign allies for aid.

The Kingdom of Numenor answered their allies calls, dispatching a sizeable force of fighters seeking to prove themselves on the battlefield. The skill and experience of this force was enough to sway any battle in their favor. The strong warrior traditions of their culture had made them ideally suited to the intense combat they would soon find in the fields and forests.

Tales of valor and victory abounded. Each Numenorian could recount some deed witnessed or committed that had proved their martial prowess. One such tale is of the Battle for Lakepoint, a small garrison that cast its influence across the most vital supply route through the area.

The icy hand of winter had already swept across the fields, leaving behind a chill in the air and ice on the breath. Larger forces had become bogged down in the thawing mid left by the morning rain and ice storm. The two found themselves alone, separated from their army, and behind enemy lines.

The squire had found his knight, outnumbered by a patrol, along the supply route. The two dispatched the undisciplined fighters in short order. Their years of fighting side by side had made their ability to work with each other effortless.

They took a moment to gauge their surroundings, finding themselves only a short distance from the garrison at Lakepoint. With the main army well engaged with their own forces, the fort would be lightly guarded. If the two of them could dispatch the defenders, it would force the enemy to send reinforcements.

They approached the garrison, and kept a watchful eye on the guards. Only a handful for each of them to kill. The knight put on a grin. His squire, knowing the intent, nodded in agreement. The two set off to the fort.

Surprise had seen them into the front gate unimpeded. The two fought as they usually did, taking turns as attacker as the other guarded them. The squire cut them down with sweeps of his glaive as the knight prevented any of the enemy from closing in. In turn, the squire applied pressure to one side as the knight pushed forward and hacked apart the other.

At first, the fight seemed much in their favor, the sentinels had been woefully unprepared for an attack. But then, the full force of the garrison returned as a pair of patrols began filing in. The number of enemies had easily tripled since their attack began. Most men would have considered surrender at such odds, but the pair fought on, renewed by the increasing challenge.

The knight and his squire should have died that day. Each had taken several blows that would have easily killed a man, despite their armor. Just as the enemy believed they had delivered a deathblow, the bloodied fighter would let loose a flurry of blows in return. It was as though the gods themselves had deemed their cause important enough to stave off death and bless them with an angel to watch over them.

A stream of blood trickled from the fort into the lake. The pair of warriors had cut down the garrison to the last man. They were both covered in blood, their own and the enemies. Battered and bruised underneath their armor, they rested, objective secure, and waited. The blood and bodies had been enough to keep the next patrol at bay, but word would soon enough reach their masters.

Fresh reinforcements arrived as soon as they could be mustered from the enemy castle. The army marched down the supply road directly for the fort. The knight put on his usual grin. His squire shook his head and they both laughed. They set off into the woods.

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