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Tuesday, 19 September 2006
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The Day Before the Next- Part II, A Vengeance and Sworn to be Avenged
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And so the story is continued in part 2 of The Day Before the Next as l'Ambertrou prepares for siege.

Day Before the Next - Part II, A Vengeance and Sworn to be Avenged


The silence was deafening as we scurried to the courtyard. The gates creaking open; the sounds of worried people cluttering the thick tension of the air, the sound of horse hooves interrupted. A knight almost falling straight from his steed to the ground, bloody and mortally wounded.


"Sir Knight! Speak of what did this to you?!" Baron Guillaume asked quickly before the knight could pass out.


"Beasts of Chaos... Alexander... dead. Siege; Beregond." Were the only words that were sputtered from his bloody mouth before his timely death. As the words delicately broke the frozen surroundings, the feeling of a broken heart had pierced me. My own father? Dead? By the hand of Beregond?! At first it was sorrow, then confusion, and soon enough anger. My fists clenched, my heart beating in a sudden fiery rage. What lack of honour, what lack of chivalry, what-


"Jean;" Dante said cutting my thoughts off, "This is a hard time for us all, but he is coming now. It is up to us to defend the people, put your vengeance away until the time has rightfully come to honourably claim that which was stolen from us." He said.


Yes, Dante spoke wisdom, but another part of me wanted otherwise. Another part of me imagined a world where there was no fear, there was no Chaos, there was no betrayal. For this world to happen- I had to fight for it. It was only a moment of thinking before I decided that if this is what I had to do then this is what I had to do- the bearing of such responsibility on a mere teenager.


I was rushed to the armoury not too long after by the local nobles. Armed in the thickest of chain mail and the sharpest of swords, I was handed another piece... a lance. The lance was known as the Black Lance of l'Anguille. The very lance my father had once bore during his days as a Knight of the Realm and the knights of l'Anguille and l'Ambertrou for centuries. It was originally white and made with the strongest steel and wood in its time, yet over years it was blackened by the very blood of Chaos and Orcs as it was shed endlessly on the lance. Only the tip has been repaired with sharpness over the years- solidified in a sharp hooked shape point of steel. It was then coated in liquefied Bretonnian Gold. I strapped it to my back, but I knew I would be upon the walls for this battle. A helm was then handed to me bearing the sea dragon of l'Anguille, but I put it down. If I was to slay the murderers of my father, I would let them seem my face.


The peasants were brought behind the ring walls of the fortress of l'Ambertrou. The men-at-arms took to forming in their retinues once again, assembling before the gates and those men which had not had the training of war grabbed their longbows and were coated in whatever spare armour we had. The braziers were lit and so were the great torches of the fortress walls.


As we prepared for battle even further, one could stop and listen. Even though the winds and the storm brewing overhead were ear-piercing, one could hear the drums of battle coming. As I took to the walls along with some other nobles, the men-at-arms assembling behind me and at my order almost like a personal bodyguard, we waited. As time passed, the sound of the earth shaking continued to wreck my nerves. As the rain began to pour down from the sky in a slow but harsh rage, the drops upon our armour and the visions of my own cold breath seemed to be the minor things I noticed... and I smirked slightly. It is odd what mystical natural things you notice or hear when you are waiting on the edge of what may just be your oncoming death; and then it came.


At the hill top not too far off, fiery beacons lit the edges. Lightning flashed and it came into vision; the dozens of Beasts that had assembled from the forest... and there in his dark black and red barded steed was Beregond. His great sword lay over his shoulder and an evil grin had warped his face.


The army began marching in sync, it was without even an order. The call from behind me was given: "Longbows at the ready!" as the sound of arrows being slung into their bows was heard, the next order quickly following "Aim!" as the sound of strings being pulled back, stretched to an unattainable level, and the deadly words came forth: "FIRE!"


The dark sky was lit by score upon score of arrows as they were let loose into the night sky. Some landed upon the beasts and sickly lit them on fire, some were simply wounded or scorched, yet without even a moment's hesitation they marched on. Ladders became in vision held by herds of the ugly things, and deep in their ranks was a well-protected Battering ram.


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