Author: R. J. Erbacher

The leather-wrapped handle of his dual-edged battle-axe was slick in his clenching fists. The snow-coated everything of Sverre’s including his helmet, beard, massive bare arms, and boots. He was in the seventh or the tenth line of men, he really couldn’t count that well. All his kinship was collected around him in sporadic rows holding their own axes and swords and spears. Some of them had cloaks or furs draped across their shoulders which they would shrug off as soon as the word was given but Sverre was not cold. He had battle lust pumping through his veins. They all shuffled from one foot to another in anticipation of the attack. There were legions of men, most on the ground but the richer ones mounted on horseback. They had come together, putting aside regional squabbles, in a combined force against this new adversary.

Before them, on the hill, the enemy waited. Snarling yawps echoed down the field frightening none of his folk. They were itching for a skirmish and they had these devil beasts outnumbered by a large margin. Yes, they were huge, half again as big as a man and twice the girth, hideous spawns of some dragon bitch mother. Gristly hides and gnarled backs, black gleaming eyes and clawed hands. But they would bleed into the snow like any other creature under the slashing of Sverre’s axe blade. Some of his brethren would perish for certain but their success as a triumphant army was determined.

Their catapults would begin firing as soon as the battle commenced and the stone missiles would cut through the gargoyle’s ranks ahead of their mounted charge up the mountain. They would come together in a clash, spill the guts of this dastardly enemy and cherish the taste of victory.

As long as they could avoid the monster’s weapons; crossbows of a fashion that were rumored to unleash bolts of fire. And once the fiends were destroyed, they would take the magical castle, made up of a thousand thousand twisted swords and burning with multi-colored swirling torches, that had descended from the clouds. And once again Sverre’s people would hold dominion over these sacred lands.

The flags were dropped, the projectiles released and Sverre surged forward with his comrades, a bellow on his lips, as the onslaught erupted. The melee had begun.