Blood and Peace

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Post by Conleth on Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:17 am

The archers had all been pulled back and all along the battle lines the Northmen pressed hard to break the Gondorian lines. In a few spots the line did bulge inward but there were always more pikes or foot to run up and take the place of men who fell. The Northmen fought with a terrible ferocity. Large, broad axes that seemed more suited for chopping wood than men but they seemed to work just fine for that. Lightly armored they were able to move quicker and dodge more often than the heavily armored foot. The only thing that kept them at bay were the pikemen who reached over the shoulders of those in front and pierced into the bodies of the Northmen who attacked them. A brutal, bloody business but war...was war. Eldarion rode up and down the line with his personal guard hot on his heels. Three bannermen held the white and green banners of Gondor.

On the Northmen side there were banners as well. The blue and white of the Blue Bear Clan and the Red and Gray of the Blood Wolves. In the center was the Black and white of the Iron Fist where Boraden’s father fought and there was where the front lines seemed to bulge inward the most. Boraden sat his large black with outward calm but he had seen those banners too and knew who was there leading them. His father was on the field and Kressara felt the cutting duplicity of Boraden’s emotions as if a blade caressed the flesh of his chest where it would slice into it...and him. Kressara saw that the Anvil her brother had provided for her was now ready for her hammer to strike.

With a nod to the Lead Archer who stood beside her as she sat her dappled gray he ordered his men to nock and then to fire. All those bows snapping at the same time nearly sounded like a thunderclap. Behind her her uncle Eomer with his bannerman next to him waited patiently for the order to steer around and soften their flank with a charge. The arrows seemed to darken the sky as they rose up into the air. After a few moments they began to arc downward and the Northmen in the back began to hoist shields up to block them. By then another volley was fired as the first began to fall among the back ranks of the attacking Northmen. Arrows pounded against their wooden shields but many pierced into men and they cried and screamed as they died. As the second volley fell a third was launched then Kressara ordered them to retreat back between the horses. As the back lines reeled from the arrows she nodded to Eomer who nodded back with a smile and put on his helmet. He drew his horsemen down off of the hill they were on and like a wave of white and brown and black against the green of the soft, spring grass they charged into the flailing back ranks of the Northmen. The horses were brutal in their effect and Kressara raised her sword high and ordered the bulk of her infantry, her ‘hammer’ to move forward and engage the discordant flank of the Northmen host. Her reserves were behind her as well as the Horsemen she held back to run down those who tried to flee. To her surprise and horror though, she felt and much as saw her husband lurched forward down the hill to her right ahead of her. He had not given his word he would not fight but she would feel there was much more to it then that.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:53 am

From where she sat on her horse Kressara could see the battlefield in its entirety. She saw the banners of Gondor fluttering in the breeze, but just beyond those she saw the banners of the Northmen clans. The Northmen were trying to break through the Gondorian line, but thankfully the line held fast thanks to the work of her brother, Eldarion. As her eyes scanned the scene they fell upon her brother as he rode back and forth along the line shouting orders. For a brief moment a memory from when they were children came forward in her mind. Though her brother was several years older than her he would still play with her and one of her strongest memories was of them planning and acting out battles together. For a few seconds memory and reality were intertwined and it was difficult for her to decide if this was all just in her imagination and she was still a young girl playing with her older brother.

The screams of dying men pulled her out of her memory and at that moment her eyes fell upon the Black and White Banner of the Iron Fist clan...the clan of Boraden's father. She glanced over at her husband and didn't need the bond to tell her that he had seen it too. She could feel mixed emotions within him, but didn't know what to say to him and so she decided to simply say nothing at all.

A moment later she saw that her brother was ready for her to strike. All it took was a simple nod to the lead archer who then passed the order along to his men. She didn't even flinch as all the arrows were drawn back and released at the same time with a thunderous clap. Her eyes remained locked on where they were to land. By the time the Northmen saw them another round of arrows had been fired. The arrows hit their marks and the sounds of injured and dying Northmen filled the air. Just behind her, her uncle, King Eomer of Rohan, sat upon his horse with his horse soldiers behind him. She knew it was time to being the second phase of her attack. She ordered the archers back and then with a simple nod to her uncle he readied his men and then led a charge down the hill. A few moments later, when she felt the moment was right, she raised aloft her sword...her signal to the infantry to engage the flank of the Northmen.

As the infantry was moving forward she suddenly felt her husband move away from her. Her eyes doubled in surprise when she saw him charge down the hill towards the Northmen. She did not call after him...there was no reason. He would not hear her and she knew from what she felt through the bond that he would not come back. There was a reason he was doing this and she needed to let him go.

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Post by Conleth on Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:35 pm

The passage of time was difficult to judge in a battle like this. Some maneuvers seemed to take no time at all while others appeared to last for hours. Sitting atop a horse watching it all happen before you and not taking part gave the illusion that the fighting took on a painfully slow pace. Men and horses littered the field and the green and brown of the ground soon became stained with the blood of the fallen. There were so many dead both Northmen and Gondorian. The butchers bill for Gondor would not be insignificant but it was clear that the Northmen’s ranks were beginning to thin out and their brown furs and leathers became less and less in the mass of men and steel as the battle continued. The Red and Gray banner of the Blood Wolves fell and Kressara could see a mass of pikeman take down the last of them in a brutal assault.

Boraden had long since dismounted and his blade, face and chest were covered in blood. He had been struck a hard blow on his shoulder but his armor had taken the brunt of that strike. It hung loosely upon his breastplate and exposed a deep gash there. Northmen were all over the place hacking with huge axes or smashing with massive mauls at the Gondorian footman. Boraden’s muscles burned as he swung his large blade at a Northman who had made the mistake of turning his back to him. His blade bit deep into the man’s neck and nearly cut his head free from his body the fell before him. Further and further into the mass of fighting he pushed. He needed to find his father. The turmoil inside him had reached a crescendo as he searched and every foot of ground he took was a hard fought contest of blood and steel. Finally he had reached his father’s bannerman and saw his guardsman as they carved a path before him as he tried to rally his forces and break Eldarions front line. “Grohmtin!” He shouted at the top of his lungs. “Grohmtin!” He shouted again as he drove his blade into the chest of a man who railed to raise up his axe fast enough to block his thrust. Up ahead a large man in furs turned and faced toward his direction. He wore a horned, Iron helmet and his armor under his furs was very much like Boraden’s. His chest heaved and he shouldered his long blade onto his shoulder. He was completely covered in blood. “Ah...there you are! My traitorous boy!” He said and chuckled darkly. His guard held off Gondorian soldiers who tried to push their way toward them. “I had hoped you would be here, there are too many Gondorians,” He said. Boraden’s expression was one of mixed emotions. But Grohmtin still had hope that his adopted son would join him in this last, desperate fight. But he saw his face then nodded as he narrowed his eyes. “Ah...I see...you come to spill my blood?” He said and his face formed a smile that did not touch the fierceness of his eyes at all. “Come then…” he growled as he lifted his blade up and held it before him.

Kressara could feel his pain through the bond. A part of his heart was dying a slow, painful death and she felt the pain of his body as well. He was injured...somewhere in that mass of fighting men and bodies but the pain in his heart called out to her. Clung to her like he was on the edge of a cliff and she alone kept him from falling. She could see it when it happened. The lines of the Northmen shattered and men began to run in all directions away from the Gondorians. WIth a grim resolve she signaled her reserve horsemen to begin their gruesome task of running down every Northman they saw.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:37 pm

Kressara felt a sudden jolt of pain through the bond. It was both physical and emotional pain. It came over her in a wave and she could feel it coursing through her own body. It made her want to scream out from it. Boraden needed her and she would kill every last Northmen to reach him if she needed to! She ordered the archers to remain on the hill and begin to take out the rest of the Northmen individually if they could without killing or injuring any Gondorian soldiers. She pulled her sword from its sheath and gave her horse a swift kick in its flanks. She rushed forward down the hill towards the mass of bodies engaged in bloody battle.

Through the bond she knew where Boraden was. However, it wasn't going to be easy to get to him. She jumped from her horse and with a strength that beguiled her sex and stature she began to kill Northman after Northman in quick succession. She was agile and quick on her feet, but with a grace much like her mother's fighting style. Soon, blood splattered her face, neck and armor, but not a drop was her own.

Soon, she spotted Boraden through the mass. He was close and alive, that much she knew. She ran one last Northman through with her sword before she rushed over to her husband's side. The fighting was over and the ground was littered with bodies. In a circle of Northman's corpses she came upon Boraden. He was kneeling on the ground clutching the dead body of a Northman and weeping. She spotted the black and white banner of the Iron Fist clan and knew it must be his father. She didn't know what to say so she simply knelt down beside him and wrapped her arms around him to hold him.

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Post by Conleth on Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:02 pm

Eldarion sat his horse with his helmet held in the crook of his arm. He surveyed the battlefield with a frown that could have made a jester weep. ‘What have I done?’ He wondered as he looked at the death and desolation he unleashed on the this place. He would not just say he was following orders or even the request of his father. He would not say he did this out of loyalty for his King. ‘I chose to do this...I chose to murder those men’ He thought silently. Even now soldiers with spears and pikes roamed the battlefield looking for those who were not dead. Soldiers plunged the tips of their weapons into corpses. If they were not a corpse they soon became one. If they were they moved on to the next one and continued on. ‘Light...forgive me!’ He said softly.

“My prince, your orders?” A man with the gold knots of a Captain on his shoulder asked as he drew rein just behind Eldarion. The voice seemed to snap Eldarion out of his stupor and he gazed across the field. “Organize for recovery for the wounded and convert every tent and cot we have for the healers use. Give them as many men as they need to help collect and prepare the dead for burial,” He said and kneed his horse that took a slow step forward. “And for the Northmen?” He asked. Eldarion stopped and his mouth worked soundlessly. “Leave them for the crows and ravens,” He said then spurred his horse to a gallup.

With Kressara’s help Boraden hobbled back away from the field. Their horses began to follow then as they moved toward the hill. Behind the hills the Gondorian camp was a flurry of activity as men brought the wounded and healers began their work to save all who could be saved and end the suffering for those who could not. Boraden stopped and pulled out his flask and Kressara looked up at him. He uncorked it with his teeth then took a long drink from it before he passed it to her. “Where to now Kressara of Gondor?” he asked as if she was more a stranger than a friend or his wife. “When we met I was a Northman. Now...Now I am just a man...your man...My home, my oaths and my allegiances are to you,” He said as he took back the flask. He had told her this before but somehow saying it right then meant alot more than when he said it before. He had done the unthinkable and yet, in some odd way it felt right. Just as him marrying Kressara felt right.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:31 pm

Kressara had Boraden put his arm around her shoulders and she slowly and carefully helped him up and away from the blood soaked field. She did not speak. She wanted to allow Boraden time to process what had just occurred and for him to speak first when he was ready. Just as they moved behind the hill Boraden stopped and pulled out his flask. After he took a drink he passed it to her and she too took a long drink. Even though she had killed many during this war she still didn't like killing. She did what was necessary, but she was not immune to feeling guilt after the deed was done. There might be a few more small skirmishes, but the war was over. However, that did not mean that there was no more danger in this world. That would always exist and she knew that there was more she and Boraden could do...but not now.

"I believe we both deserve a much needed rest. Let us return to Minas Tirith. My family will be anxious to meet you and we can more properly celebrate our union. We can also go through the archives as I promised and see if we can locate information about your parents. Is this agreeable?"

Though Boraden said he would go where she went, she wanted him to be included in every decision they made.

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