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Library: The valley of Black Death

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Author: twomi
Date:Oct 12 2004

The valley of Black Death by Twomi
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It was an astounding evening, the sky was clear-blue with a few small stars
sparkling in the horizon. The view was perfect, no shrouds of darkness could
be sensed. The host of white-breasted, yellow-winged birds flew chirping past
us. We were waiting for news, good news and the spirit was high. My wife was
to give a birth to our first-born child, my son, the heir for the crown of
Kingdom of Sêagan.

I had many years still ahead of me, but it was time to raise a successor. Many
years had passed while on the eastern frontier, fighting to save our lands
from the orcs. For years they poured in from the infamous valley of Kîrguh,
'the valley of Black Death'. The once beautiful valley had been a home for
hundreds of peasants and farmers. It once was a green bed of colourful
flowers, almost as far as the eye could see. Sadly, the earth in the valley
isn't green anymore, nor the flowers grow in there anymore.

It was seven seasons ago, when the first attacks hit us. Our scouts could not
warn us, they were ambushed and slaughtered; their heads were stuck in the top
of pikes and those orcs carried them back to us, as their banner. They mocked
us, they mocked the dead and spit on the heads and disgraced them. Our blood
boiled when a wounded messenger told us what he had seen. We were almost
completely un-prepared for an assault like this.

Quickly prepared for battle, our group, not bigger than three hundred men,
left for four days ride to the east. A selected group of excellent riders were
chosen to spread the word in the domain; to call the men into arms. It would
take several days before the defences of your capitol city would be organized.
The women, children and youngsters were left home to gather a stock of food,
sharpen swords and cure the few wounded who had made it.

We encountered only a few more survivors on our ride. People looked terrible,
they were hungry and thirsty; they had bleeding and ill-cured wounds and they
were exhausted and scared. As closing to our destination, we gave them two
spare horses we had; they were almost as exhausted as the men and women, but
their noble spirit kept them going. We loaded the injured in the hastily-made
wooden carts and sent them hurrying to the safety.

The sun had already set down when we stopped for the night. Having ridden like
the whirlwind for two straight days. We had to rest before able to meet the
orcs as they were reported to be fierce and brutal, merciless. Those horrible
invaders were clad in black, and they received a nickname of Black Death. My
heart ached as I let my imagination wander to those once green fields; I saw
destruction and death, piles of the dead. We had to reclaim those lands from
the orcs, the kingdom was truly open for any attacker from the east unless we
controlled the valley. A quick plan was made at the campfire that night. We
didn't know how many orcs there was, they've had days to reorganize or bring
in more orcs; we hoped that wasn't the case.

Early at dawn, we put off the campfires, hid the equipment we didn't need to
the nearby woods and clad ourselves in the finest gear we had: the white
battlesuits of Sêagan; full shields reinforced with finest silver and
inscribed with protecting runes; wielded the longswords of our ancestors, the
gifts from the Elves. The swords were still sharp, even the gift had been
given many generations ago, and many battles had the swords seen. We ride
silently as the weather was on our side; there was no real cover after the
woods, save the fog covered us now.

We saw more heads stuck in the pikes in the ground, I suppose they were set to
scare us, show their might and power. We managed to control ourselves and
instead of fooling ourselves into unorganized attack, we gathered our hate of
orcs, ensembled our pride and glory and fury. The sound of horns in the crisp
morning was powerful and strong; awful to the enemies of Sêagan. The valley
long after echoed the sound of horns and it was upkept by two skilled men;
they refreshed the echo by timely blows to the horns.

The panic was tremendous in the ranks of Orcs; even they had prepared for the
counter- attack, the sound of horns and wide ranks of horsemen appearing from
dissolving fog in their white armours, shiny shields and terrible elven-made
swords was too much for them. It was a slaughter, they had no real chance as
we were furied and our spirit was high. The numbers were on their side, they
had brought in more orcs but their ranks never held long enough. The ground,
previously spotted in red blood of our kind, now turned to black as we took
back what was ours. Severed heads, mutilated bodies and dismembered limbs
covered the ground and the black blood of the orcs coloured the valley. It was
quickly over, the day wasn't at noon when we finished our hunt for the last
escaping orcs. 

Until we were returning from the last hunt, I didn't even notice I had been
injured. I had been hit by a black feathered arrow, in the shoulder. My shield
has a dozen of broken arrows stuck in it. The arrow that hit me had been
poisoned; and soon after I returned with half of the men to home (another half
were left to rebuild the defences and guard the valley for new attack), I got
sick. They say I was close to death then; only a pale ghost of myself through
the winter. One day at beautiful spring day I had waken from the brink of
death.

I don't want to remember that anymore, I said. We are supposed to be
celebrating the born of the prince, once a king in this domain. After few
hours, the door opened and one of the elders came out with a small, fragile
child in his arms. He gave him to me, I looked my son with fatherly grace,
smiled at him relived that he was healthy, and lifted him up in my arms to
show him for the people who had been waiting with me and shouted to the
cheering crowd, 'All hail the prince!'. 



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