(pic has been removed: W woman dressed for battle)
“You all shall find glory in the Halls of The Dead,” she said and nodded to the men. “Hurry! That bastard shall not slay another of the Crow Clan.”
This was it. What more is there to tell? The Warrior princess ran to catch up with her people and they moved to safer locations. But in the end this was not her story. Another stood beneath that hill.
An entire continent had fallen to the Dragon Lords. Behind them the land lay to waste. Before them mountains stood tall. All this was now theirs.
He took off his helmet and looked at the destruction. What would they do now? The answer was easy, fight each other. This continent would be ruled by many and he, yes he would stay here next to the mountains. Out there was that woman he had saved some months ago. He could not forget her, and for the first time in years his strict training was swept away by feelings that might be love. He stood in a pool of blood and all he could think of was a woman. For once he was so stirred by emotions that he gave no further orders. The Crows fled and he did not even care.
The image of her disappeared and he put his helmet back on.
“Kill those that still stir.”
The soldier behind him bowed and set out to work.
In a moment of clarity, absolute clarity, he saw the error of death and destruction and fell to his knees and prayed to the Gods. Not his Gods of Chaos but to the Gods of the People of the Land. They heard his prayer and looked down at the world before them. Their people had gone to safer lands but the land itself still cried out. So they did what had to be done and the Dragon Lord fell down dead.
“That one is still moving,” a soldier pointed to a warrior near the edge of the mountain. Unaware of what had befallen his Lord. His friend went towards the man who slowly opened his eyes with the voices of the Gods singing in his head.
“Life can be glorious, “ he said and put a dagger in the Dragon’s throat. Then he smiled and ran. Towards the mountains, and the women he had once seen.
After the Battle
Night closed around the conqueror’s way,
And lightnings show’d the distant hill,
Where those who lost that dreadful day
Stood few and faint, but fearless still.
The soldier’s hope, the patriot’s zeal,
For ever dimm’d, for ever crost —
Oh! who shall say what heroes feel,
When all but life and honour’s lost?
The last sad hour of freedom’s dream,
And valour’s task, moved slowly by,
While mute they watch’d, till morning’s beam
Should rise and give them light to die.
There’s yet a world, where souls are free,
Where tyrants taint not nature’s bliss; —
If death that world’s bright opening be,
Oh! who would live a slave in this?