The day began as did any other day. Men awoke from slumber and Aide's tended to equipment while maids fed horses and oiled saddles. Archers brought with them Bowyers and Fletcher's to insure that their arrows would shoot true, while the archer himself tended to his own bow, for only he knew how taught the hemp should lay when nocked. Blacksmiths addressed armor while soldiers were responsible for their own weaponry. Swords need be ground and polished daily to ensure a razors edge. It would be the only thing that one could trust fully while on the field during battle so it was normal fodder for one to upkeep his own blade.
These were not commoners that swore the oath to uphold the Law. These men had been bred for battle. They were pulled from their mothers womb wielding a sword. They spent countless hours on range while their siblings were sent off to schools of higher learning. It was not about money or fame. It was about upholding Law and defending the King. It was about fearless loyalty to your brothers in arms and making sure that promises made to loved ones for safe return were kept.
As I look at my men from above the encampment, mine eyes welled up with tears. I knew that any number of these men, my beloved men, would be laid to rest in the coming days. The Skithe had extended his reign far into our homeland and began spatting threats at our King, and this, I could not have. Skithe was not aware, but his death was drawing closer with each passing day. I stood atop the gully, calmly caressing Fires hilt. Fire was the first of two swords fashioned for me, the second being Ice. Fire was forged using the ashes left behind from my brothers passing. It raged and spat violence. She held no prejudice and yearned for revenge. I tried to keep Fire sheathed as much as I was able, for I did not like who I became when I loosed her on the field of battle. And the second, named Ice, was much more subdued, but when mine hand and it's hilt met, we united as one in the same. As my brother would say, "watching Ice and I on the field was like watching a master poet, put pen to paper." Ice was a gift, given to me by my father when I was deemed a soldier by The Guard. It was nothing more than a well crafted blade, made for sparring. It wasn't until my brother's murder, that I would come to know the true power behind Ice's subtlety. It was not until the first of my tears fell onto it's cross handle, that it began to speak to me.
When I was younger, this was a recurring dream that I had had. I started writing a book with a buddy of mine a few years back but for one reason or another, the idea got shelved and I tucked it away with a box o' dreams, along with a few songs and a few poems that I had wrote in college. This is an excerpt from the prologue. It is kind of funny how things like this come back around. I had completely forgotten about this up until a day or two ago, when I ran across it while looking for something entirely unrelated. I hope you enjoy this.
Catch you all on the flip.