Chapter 21: A Fleet Arrives
Copyright© 2015 by Allan Kindred
"Look. Look!" An old lady screams, as she points out to the sea. "It's a fleet!"
It is indeed a fleet. It is a massive fleet of ships that cover the horizon. There is no mistaking those horns, or the flags that fly from the many ships. The Elves, the Minotaurs, and the English with the Welsh, Irish and Scottish with them, have arrived.
The enemy, taken aback by the yet unseen turn of events, pulls back out of the city to regroup and reassess this new threat. Allan knows at this point that they are not a professional army, because if they were, they would have kept pushing to wipe all forces on the ground out and to stop the ships from landing their forces.
"Greetings, brothers." Allan says.
As Allan says it, he falls to his knees with no energy left for life. Luckily the elves also have magic users, and set to helping the wounded. Luck is an unseen force, but the truth is luck mainly exists because of preparation.
Elven magic is the oldest magic next to the dragons, and the strongest and purest magic, except for Stephen perhaps, but even their magic cannot fully pull Allan back from the brink. His stomach wound is infected and has gone septic. Allan lay in an unknown bed with a high fever and the shakes. Apparently Allan turned over command to the head elf just before he went unconscious.
The enemy is gracious enough not to attack again the rest of this day. It takes the elves and minotaurs hours to unload their some three thousand troops. The minotaurs have brought two thousand men, and the elves have brought the remaining one thousand. The biggest number comes from Tera, which number about three thousand, and apparently more are coming. Again, if the enemy would have continued to press their attack they could have overrun them, never allowing the full force of some truly potent fighters to reach the land.
At first the elves only seem concerned with finding the dark elves and punishing them, but when they see the true state of things they temper their plans. They pass out supplies, and just their presence of grace and strength gives hope to the people. The original Allied Army of Light now barely numbers over eight hundred, and they are exhausted and bloody.
After the reinforcements, the Allies numbers grow to around six thousand eight hundred, but will still not be able to win the day. Especially now that night is getting closer and the demon dragons again begin appearing in the skies.
Probably the best thing the elves bring to the battlefield is their legendary abilities with bows, and since they have magic they can enchant more arrows to keep the dragons at bay for a while longer. The elves are such graceful majestic creatures. With their long hair, piercing eyes, and almost royal way about them, they lift the spirits of the dying.
The minotaurs, on the other hand, their majesty comes from their vicious powerful demeanor that is second-to-none. Many stories about Rax are told to them this night.
The force from Tera is made up of English, Irish, Welsh and Scottish soldiers. The English bring with them their beautiful heavy cavalry. The Welsh, who are also legendary bowmen, bring that divine ability with them. The Irish are just plumb crazy, and you can have no one better at you side in a melee fight. The Scottish, of which Stephen and Allan were born, are just tough.
"Emma. Emma. EMMA." Allan is having a nightmare he cannot wake from. He is slipping into the abyss as he watches Emma reach out for him. She sees that she is not going to be able to reach his hand and pull him from this fate, so she jumps into the swirling black mass that is the abyss with him. She lands right into his arms. With both of his arms working perfectly, Allan hugs her for all that she is worth. Allan is angry with her for jumping in with him, only to die because of it, and tells her so, but in truth all his fears and loneliness go away, and again all his life's sufferings become worth it a thousand fold.
One second they are back at her village falling in love all over again. The next they are in Scotland raising their children. Allan forgets about the abyss and accepts this time, however it is.
As the dawn approaches, the horns of the elves begin to blare for all to hear, and the power and beauty from them give everybody strength. In actuality it really does give them strength, for hidden within the harmonious notes is magic.
The enemy wastes no daylight, and this time the dragons attack full force. At first they spend their time destroying buildings, but eventually they turn their attention to the people.
The enemy still numbers close to fifty thousand, with more reinforcements coming in every hour, but they are taken aback by the efficiency of the elves, and the sheer brute force and veracity of the minotaurs when they are able to fight in groups. When the enemy runs into the forces of Tera, they think they are just more peasants fighting for their homes. The professional soldiers of Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales soon show them what it is to be a real warrior.
The first wave of the enemy's advance is pushed back, but even the all-knowing elves begin to realize that all they have managed to do is delay the inevitable, but they will nonetheless meet their deaths with honor and pride.
The enemy only waits twenty minutes before launching their next assault. The Elves and Welsh take down the enemy in droves with their bows, and the Minotaurs lay waste to the enemy conscripts with their battleaxes, swords and spears. Unfortunately the English are never able to utilize their heavy cavalry, so they have to fight hand to hand in the streets. The bodies of the fallen soon begin to make their own wall, which helps the allied forces hold them back even better.
But not even the greatness of the elves, minotaurs, the few remaining dwarves, even one ogre, and the humans, will be able to prevail against the conscripts, mercenaries, dragons, and as they are about to find out, the dragonmen. The true enemy is about to show their faces in full force.
The fighting is continuous and bloody. The kill ratio has gone up significantly after the elves, minotaurs and professional human soldiers arrive, but the numbers are so lopsided, and the first dragonmen make their way into town accompanied by the magi.
The dragonmen are fearless, and for good reason. There is more than one sighting of a dragonman charging a line of elves or minotaurs with an arm chopped off and ten arrows sticking out of him, but still coming nonetheless.
The enemy uses their conscripts simply as fodder so they can get into position to lay waste to this continent. One sure way the minotaurs find to bring the dragonmen down is to cut off their heads.
Soon the city is on fire by magical fire. Even the stones and dirt are burning. Black smoke rises from the devastation, as if the abyss itself is reaching out to steal your aura away. The magi of light stand powerful against the magi of dark, but again sheer numbers begin to wear down the great effort being put forth.
In dreams do we live
In song and story do we go on
An outcome of legend
Battered and wronged
But even as we lay dying on the battlefield
Our last thought is at least we fought for something worthy