Difference between revisions of "Kingsley Family/Alyssa/The Butchery in Brive"
(Created page with "This story ran from 10/30/2019, to 11/2/2019 after a disastrous battle in Brive ordered by Alyssa where King Kay Peregrine was killed. It outlines the reactions from the vari...")
Revision as of 07:44, 2 December 2019
This story ran from 10/30/2019, to 11/2/2019 after a disastrous battle in Brive ordered by Alyssa where King Kay Peregrine was killed. It outlines the reactions from the various nobles of Perdan after the death of their king. Alyssa's participation in the battle is located above in the scene "In Brive". Her reaction to the battle and the aftermath is located below in The Lion (Part 2)
Kay knew they would lose this battle immediately as the enemy army assembled on the other side of the field. They had reinforcements Imperatrix did not account for. And Perdan's side was missing many of its allied troop commanders. It was too late to fall back though and so this battle had to be fought.
And thus the king's fate manifested on that day. His men fought like lions and true lions they were. A company after a company overwhelmed and wiped out by the unending hordes of enemies. The king was wounded, his blood trickled down his steel plate eventually being consumed by Perdanese sacred soil. It drank so much blood already and still it was not full.
Kay counted the banners slowly approaching his position. Their faces were all blurred. An army of ghosts. A host of revenants or automatons. No matter how many the defenders of Perdan would kill, they always magically reassembled and came back again. For years and years. They did not care. Like they were not real people, but an ancient curse, mindless, merciless, unrelenting. A curse haunting him for his ancestors' sins. One you can not plead with. One that would just suffocate you slowly and silently like a withering disease. "I did not choose this" he thought to himself. He was losing blood and it was hard to think straight.
They started the retreat too late. His bodyguards found themselves the last men standing on the hill. Kay saw almost a thousand men training their bows and crossbows on him. "This time even Shadowdale showed up" he thought to himself. Then: a cacophony of snaps followed by a chilling sound of a thousand projectiles traversing the sky. Bumps of large round shields forming a carapace over his head. Thuds of countless arrows piercing wood, metal, soil, flesh. Sharp screams of pain. Sounds of heavy hoofs and boots closing in.
. His twelve remaining men formed a tight defensive formation around him. A devil's dozen against the great northern host. The archers lowered their weapons. Were the men ordered to capture him alive? Perhaps. The enemy finally engaged. Thirty riders charged head on while two large companies of foot were scaling the hill from the sides. Some nobodies from Sirion and Caligus. But wait, there was a familiar face among the men. Elizabeth the mercenary. The woman who ate at his table and then went on to kill his old friend Emperor Shady and destroy his realm. Now she is back to get his head for her new masters in Sirion.
"May gods forever curse mercenaries. People with no honour and no shame." He thought to himself as his remaining men started falling around him. As he himself reeled from a heavy blow and knelt on the red grass. "What a terrible thought to become a final point of my existence. This does not even matter. Does not matter who dealt the final blow. What matters is the way I lived up to this point. I wish there was one man standing, who I could send back with my last words. But alas, none of my men will be spared. And thus my last words must be thought, not spoken. And my last thoughts are with Perdan. With men and women who survive despite all odds. As I die I feel so much pride, so much joy. That I was a part of this great struggle and that I will not be remembered as a bad king. Take heart, you who I have to leave behind! Perdan will stand as long as you do not falter. So do not falter, as I never did. Farewell, my friends. My kinsmen. My beloved children."
. His eyes were blinded by gushing blood. But he clearly and vividly saw them all before him. Banetal the wise and Smiddich the pirate. Genteel Ulric and poetic Lucius. Maximus the loyal and Samuel the valiant. Pragmatic Benjamin, dignified Druzil. Mikial the ancient, Bo the chicken peddler. Scarlett and Christopher - the new lions. Lionheart Alyssa and the spirited valkyries flanking her: Isabel, Isana, Dustiria. Joreb.. the good man Kay unreasonably doubted. And many other faces less often seen at the court but no less dear to Kay. They were all smiling at him. But their eyes were sad. Suddenly the crowd parted and a woman stepped forward. He immediately knew who she was. Rhiannon his long lost love. "My Rhiannon, but I thought you were dead!" the king thought with joy and surprise. She nodded and extended her arms for an embrace. "Yes, we were separated, my love. But not any more. Come. We earned this". He raised his hand to touch her beautfil face. And then the butcher's axe descended and blew out his light.
Isana sat, stunned, eyes unfocused on the missive held in trembling hands.
"The King... no... how..."
The music came to an abrupt stop.
Lucius was stunned at the news, his mind quiet for the first time in years.
Benjamin sat down hard on the burned stump of a tree when he heard the news.
The King was dead.
He had seen so many kings fall in recent years.
His elvan companions maintained a watch as he sat in thought. They wouldn't join him in grieving the man. He supposed he understand. Men died all the time in their experience. What was one more? But they held watch so no one else would bother him.
Benjamin sucked in a long breath and came to his feet again. There would be time for grief later. Now was a time of action, and men of action were in small supply in times like these.
Benjamin patted them on the shoulders in thanks for holding watch over him, and they exchanged raised eyebrows with each other. He knew casual physical contact, especially with a man, was not common in their culture. It was why he did it at every opportunity, and the two elves who had chosen to leave fallen Oligarch with him had long since resigned themselves to his oddities.
And today he would show them another oddity. They would have mourned for weeks if one of their own died. Especially their ruler. But today, Benjamin was going to do something that would really throw them for a loop.
He was going to get back to work, because there was no time for mourning at a time like this.
Blood covered and in shock she looks at all the fallen. She failed her duty to protect the Imperatrix. Half her men dead the rest scattered to the wind. Worst was realizing the king had fallen. The one who accepted her first when she crossed the border into Perdan on foot with nothing. Her eyes close briefly pain on her face evident before her warrior face slams into place. Her charge was not dead. her duty to the Imperatrix and Perdan still was there alive as she was. She rallied her men and searched for Alyssa to help bring her home.
The arrow still lodged in his shoulder, Christopher tried to notch another arrow but could not. He sat in complete disbelief as the King fell. The man who took him at his word when Christopher sent the message asking for a chance. He accepted the man from Shadowdale when all he had to do was dismiss the letter.
Christopher would do everything he could to avenge his King's death. He promised himself that.
A cool wind blows on the fields of Brive as the armies of Perdan, Vix and Perleone set up hasty fortifications and set their lines to defend. They were more than outnumbered; the attackers had more than twice the men of the defending rank - history would be made today in this rural midlands.
Smiddich and his men were in the front line, with the cavalry ready to unleash hell. The Duke men, like the Black Bladed Duke himself, were heavily armored titans, standing grimly against their cowardly foe.
Archers exchanged a few volleys as the men and horses began their grim advance. Emperor Stanmore and his unit took heavy fire, and the Imperial line faltered Stanmore Stromhar, Emperor of Perleone, Royal of Perleone has been wounded by Pride (22).
Yet in return, the Sirion Commander, Marshall and Duke was wounded by the King of Perdan himself; grim tidings of the battle to come. Elric Altenahr, Commander of Sirion, Duke of Sirion, Margrave of Sirion, Marshal of the Army of Sirion has been wounded by King's Guard (42).
Smiddich and his men overran the guards of one Sirion lordling, smashing through his lines and running through the Count, swords a'piercing and maces crushing hip and shoulder. Theodius Goldhammer, Count of Tallbar has been wounded by For the King (40).
They were fully surrounded now. Allied Southern knights were cut off from retreat and the Northern cowards circling. The defenders are vastly outnumbered, and panic spreads throughout their ranks.
"An opening, there!", shouted Smiddich, as he rallied the King and their men to push through, retreat! It wasn't until the fierce melee that Smiddich realised his own surcoat was sticky with blood, and a throbbing in his side - probably not mortal, but deep.
Smiddich Fontaine, Duke of Perdan, Margrave of Perdan has been wounded by Stoutbone Axemen (28).
His legs faltered for a moment, lost his footing, and Smiddich fell to one knee as the same lord dashed the sword from King Kay's hand and ran him through. Kay Peregrine, King of Perdan, Royal of Perdan has been killed by Stoutbone Axemen (28).
An anger welled inside of the Duke of Perdan. All around his men, lords and knights and friends were falling, dying! Kay pushed himself off the blade, his final act of defiance. Smiddich felt a well of anger and resolve rising, and he pushed himself to his feet, You are recovering from your wounds, and able to act!
An axe, hastily thrown, is a formidable weapon, even should the blade miss the mark, there is a length of timber that the face will not forget. Fortunately for the Duke, his blade did not miss. He stumbled, hand to his side, but Kay was there, still and unmoving. His horse whickered, bloodied, as Smiddich loaded the beast with his rider and smacked its rump.
"Fall back! To Perdan!", shouted the Duke, wondering if this was the beginning of the end.
Ulric Hawk swung his sword down hard, cutting through the Sirion boy, he watched as as the blood started to pour from the body, and the boy fell to the ground. The grounds were covered in mud and blood, and there was nothing but chaos going around Ulric. His men were falling left and right, and Ulric shouted, "Captain Reikhard! Status?!"
With the melee occurring all around him, Ulric had lost sight of his Captain. In fact, he started to realize the men he was fighting alongside, most had fallen. He was beginning to become surrounded in the chaos. Ulric kept swinging his sword, sometimes clashing it against steel, mostly just cutting into whoever was around him. That is when he felt the sharp pain in his back. He spun around and saw a soldier preparing to swing his sword again at him. Ulric parried the blow, and kicked with his left leg, knocking the soldier down. Ulric quickly brought down his sword, cutting into the belly of the soldier, spilling out the last meal the soldier was able to enjoy.
Ulric took a couple steps back,and reached to back. He felt the warmness of his blood, and knew he had been cut. There was no way to know how bad it was, but first he had to reuinite with his men and his captain. Fighting through the sea of soldiers, he saw his captain kneeling over a dead boy of the Iron Fury.
"Sir, we don't have many men left. A handful. We have to retreat."
Ulric knew it was lost, but before he could make the order for retreat he heard Duke Smiddich's voice in the distance. Something about it, something was off.
Ulric fought through the crowd, making his way towards Smiddich's unit, when he saw it.
Kay Peregrine, motionless. Ulric Hawk knew what it meant, but he pushed back those thoughts. He had a job to do. Working his way back to the Iron Fury, he gave the order for the retreat. He felt his back start to worsen. As he and his remaining 12 men pulled away from the battlefield, heading back to Perdan, he didn't think about the possible doom this meant. No, he heard how many nobles had been wounded in this battle. He knew how bad it was already, instead he thought back to the tournament in Avamar.
He thought of laughing with Duke Smiddich, and seeing enemies in a different light. They were all equals at that tournament. No one was killing anybody. He had seen across the battlefield the same men and women he competed against. Except this time it was for keeps. This time, to lose meant to die.
He knew it would be that way for now on.
"You're lucky." Master Chance, Alyssa's personal healer told her as he finished changing the bandage on the gash on her belly. She didn't feel lucky but she said nothing. Her body felt broken and she had been slipping in and out of consciousness on the ride back to the city. Resting in her bed in the Imperator's tower she sighed as the healer gathered his things to put back in his bag.
She supposed the old master was right. Had Dustiria not found her and dragged her from the field during the battle, she would likely be dead. She supposed she would need to thank the king for his appointing Dustiria as her guard. She had always thought she did not need one, but reflecting on it now, having someone to watch her back was clearly a wise decision. Together... She thought, laying her head back down and closing her eyes. That's how we must win this. Together.
She heard the door to her quarters open and watched as her quartermaster, the short and portly Cal Reed entered, removing his helm as he came into her presence. So not all was lost, I still have my loyal soldiers.
"Heard you had woken my lady." He said. His voice was deep and grumbly but Alyssa knew he was a fellow of good humor and heart.
"Only just, lieutenant. I am glad you are still with me." Alyssa offered
Cal and Master Chance exchanged a glance. The healer returned to filling his bag while the quartermaster grimaced.
Alyssa's face turned to concern. "What is it Cal? Who did not make it home?"
"The Captain..." Cal muttered looking at the ground. Chance picked up his bag and gave the other a warning look before walking out the door.
Alyssa closed her eyes and grit her teeth. Tanner was the best of her men, her most loyal, her bravest. Her captain was gone. She thought of all the other soldiers she had lost, she remembered most of their names, but none of their faces. she wondered how long it would be before Tanner's face would be gone as well. She wanted to cry, both from the pain in her arm and her wound as well as from the loss. But she wouldn't.
"How many survivors?" Alyssa asked flatly
"8. Myself, Gordon, Flat Dick, Grevin, Alain, Dorian, and Michal. Master Graham is severely wounded. He may not live.
Graham... Alyssa gulped. Her gruff old squire. He was almost fatherly in a way, more than her own, though he would sometimes treat her as a child. She would miss it, she feared, now that it might be taken from her. Live you stupid old man. I can't lose you too...
Cal looked grim still. It did not sit well. Nothing about any of this sat well with Aly. "Who else." She demanded.
The squat portly man glanced back up from the floor. "My lady. The King."
Aly stood at attention as one of her men attempted to light the fire. He was struggling, she noticed. The lad was just a boy, though he was only a year or two younger than she. He was a miller's son and it seemed as if he'd never started a fire in his life. She waited patiently as he tried to light the torch, standing as still as stone. Her side still hurt. Her healer had warned her not to move around too much, descending the stairs of the Imperator's Tower was painful enough, but the sutures had not broken. She had to see this though. To be here for it. She owed him that much.
Cal Reed, Alyssa's new captain, and old quartermaster stood by her side, chewing on his moustache impatiently. Alyssa's eyes moved from the boy to the man on the pyre. Her former captain Tanner lay upon it. The fatal wounds he received in Brive were sewed up, he looked much unlike the mess that he looked when his body was recovered. The rest of her company stood at attention as well watching the boy prepare the torch to send the young captain of Alyssa's unit to the beyond. Most of them did not know him, she knew. They were new recruits and hadn't even met the brave man called Tanner who had followed her into hell for so long.
I failed him. I failed the King. I failed the realm. And now Tanner, and Kay, and likely Graham are dead. She tried to keep the tears from welling in her eyes. She was the Imperatrix of Perdan. She had to be strong. Everyone I care for is killed by this awful war, and my carelessness. Who would be next? She thought of the weary smile of Lord Ulric, the bright adventurous eyes of Isana, her gentleheartEd Isabel. Why did I think I could do this. I'm just a stupid girl from Whitewater. Finally one of her lieutenants, Gordon, a sullen man with a grim sense of humor snatched the torch away from the fumbling boy and struck the flint himself lighting the torch. He set it down among the bundles of wood on the pyre, where the old captain lay.
The Flames grew as the small company watched them consume the fallen body of Tanner. Alyssa closed her eyes listening to the fire crackle loudly. The roar of a lion. She thought.
The flames consumed and died down, and no one spoke a word. One by one they left, their respects paid until only Alyssa, Cal, and Gordon remained. The dark-haired Gordon approached, clutching his hand.
"Got a bit too close when I was lighting the damn thing. Bit of an asshole, Tanner, burning me hand like that. Don't worry it happens everytime I light one of these."
She glared at him, and he held his hand up. "Sorry m'lady..." He glanced back at the ashes and burned bundles. "He looked peaceful my lady. Finally escaped this war."
She frowned sadly. "Yes, he did. He served loyally."
He nodded once. "When I beef it m'lady, get me one of these as comfy as that one looked."
Alyssa glared at him again. "You're dismissed."
"Aye." Gord said taking his leave with a shrug.
The short new captain put a hand on her arm. "My lady. It seems dark now, but there is still hope."
"Is there, Cal?" She said shying subtly from his touch. "I am not sure of that. For the next pyre will be for the King that I killed."
Cal sighed. "You didn't kill him m'lady. Twas this war that killed him. And yes, he's dead and nothing's gonna change that. But someone new will rule. Someone who can save us all."
"And who is this mythic hero you believe will deliver us from evil?" she said with a frown.
"You, my lady." Cal replied, resting a hand idly on the axe hanging from his belt before he turned to leave.
Alyssa bit her lip nervously as her captain walked away, leaving her alone beside the dying fire.
"I can't..." she muttered to herself. "I'm just a girl from the woods."
First light crept over the fields of Brive. The devastation of the region's formerly verdant lands coming into sharp display - where once grew grain, the fields were littered with blood and gore. A great battle had taken place here, a great battle in a war that had continued for all living memory.
Amidst the desolation, a lone man rode atop a white horse - a staff secured to his back and the twin sigils of a wolf and lion on his livery betraying his allegiance to Perleone and the noble House Camlann. Scouring the battlefield, it seemed as if he sought someone on the field of death, and so when he finally laid sight on a small row of golden tents, he spurred his mount towards the makeshift Southern encampment.
The encampment itself bustled with activity, it seemed all those left alive in Brive had been conscripted to care for the wounded and dying. Healers rushed to and fro, tending to the injured that had been rescued from the field of battle. For most, there was no hope, their bodies broken, their wounds too severe, their infections too deep. Towards the centre of the encampment, a small assembly had gathered to pay their respects- here had fallen King Kay of Perdan, a warrior on the field of battle.
Dismounting his horse, Gaheris of House Camlann hurried towards towards the assembly - Three days he had ridden, straight from the White City when he heard the news. Emperor Stanmore was said to have been seriously wounded as well, however he had received word earlier in the night that the Emperor was beginning to wake from his long stupor. King Kay, however, lay in state in front of the assembly, his body unmoving draped in the banner of Perdan, his sprit seemingly having moved on to another world, his worldly remains awaiting only the word of the lords of Perdan to be buried in their city.
Brushing through the distraught assembled dignitaries, he made his way to towards the body, staff in hand. Gazing on the King's body atop the coffin, it was clear that the cycle of decay had begun, he would need to be swift to have any chance of success. Taking a measured breath, he stepped closer to the coffin - the smell of death polluted the air. Reaching into his waist pocket, he removed a small scroll, memorising the words of power, before stepping forth and laying his right hand where Kay's heart once beat.
The Staff of Little Ogre had begun to glow faintly in the presence of death and magic. As Gaheris recited the words of power, he felt a small pulse in his fingers as the energy of the spell began to to course through Kay's veins. The chill of the morning air seemed to have dissapeared, and the sun, clouded and low in the sky but moments ago, shined brightly, bathing Gaheris and Kay in a bright light that seemed to be drawing away the pollution and death of days past.
Transfixed, Gaheris stood still as he beheld the transformation of the man before him - his breath first in raggedy bursts, then as his heart, more steady. The sickly cold pallor of his skin, to warm and rose. The grievous wounds of battle, mended within mere instants, willed by the healing bond of magic, leaving only scars in their wake. The assembled crowd remained silent in shock and awe, as the beheld life return to the fallen King. And then, as suddenly as it came, the light of the Sun dimmed again, as the transformation was complete, and the Fallen King's eyes blinked open.
King Kay had Risen.