By Rick Rude
The sounds jolted me back to consciousness. I chose not to stir, unaware of what I would be in the middle of when I arose. The sounds of fresh battle mingled with the metallic scent of blood mist in the air. Every sword drawn, every shield strike, every cry of valiant death was music to my ears. I was born for this, raised to believe in it, and seasoned to participate in it.
This was war.
This was insanity.
This was what I lived for.
I opened one eye and shifted to find myself pinned beneath several bloody heaps of man. The poor soul immediately on top of me had his throat slit by a very nice blade stroke, clean and quick. The guy on top of him, however...he was fucked. His head had been smashed by a shield, bits of brain matter and skull gummed together like egg shells in a pile of pink tar.
I could hear the battle close by, it hadn't moved much since I had fallen from my horse. I climbed free of the bodies and reached for the nearest weapons. My hands delivered on this day, finding first a beautiful one handed longsword and next a Morningstar mace. The mace had a few spikeseconds broken off, presumably from a helm or even a particularly gruesome caving in of the skull. I gave each a swing and bellowed my return the the battle as I poured heart and soul into my charge. The first man I came upon I brought down a crushing blow from my mace upon his shoulder. He dropped to one knee and I quickly vaulted over him, turning to strike at neck with a quick slash from my blade. It connected, and the mighty blade seperated his head from his shoulders. No time to waste, the armies were in full swing. I sought another opponent, this time finding one who brought the fight to me. I braced myself and stopped his blow with a quick and powerful block. I responded by kicking him firmly in the chest, pushing him away and skewering him through the belly with a firm jab from sword.
I was just about to finish him when I felt something like a thunderclap connect with my back. I crumpled, stunned and struggling to gather my wits. I rolled on my back just in time to raise my sword and block a powerful blow from mace. A man stood above me, laughing, but I could hear no sound. Dazed, I looked around and observed the rest of the battle. Men dying, everywhere. Yet, no sounds came to me. I was deafened, and this with the heat of battle only stoked the fires of my determination. I pushed off my attacker and leapt to my feet, slashing wildly for his gut. He tried to block, but only succeeded in moving his hands in front of the blow. In one quick sweep, his hands were no more. My blade hungered for his silent scream, and I pressed onwards. One strike to the knee, now he knelt before me in pain. I towered over him, the defenseless man seeming to silently beg for mercy. I had none... his screams pierced my deaf ear and brought the sound back just as I smashed his skull in with the pommel of my blade.
I turned to face the fury and a slow smile crept across my face. The red mists and streams flew all around me, splattering my armor and my skin, staining me red with victory. The sun dipped low in the horizon as a single horn of retreat sounded, and a vicious war cry echoed from my brethren. Tonight, we remain undaunted in the face of chaos. Tomorrow, we send our enemies to dine with there God's