The castle was sleeping, but not really. Ladies were in the south wing, far away from the walls where most of us made camp and patrolled the tall rocky cliffs, looking at the fires in the distance. Tonight I watched at the spider web, sparkling with drops of water and bright moon that played hide and seek with the clouds. Torch illuminated the young lad, guarding the entrance. His breastplate, new from the armory, smiled when the flames deflected from that shiny metal. I told him to drag it through the mud and dirt and hide it’s perfection from the enemy archers that haunted the targets upon the wall, but he liked to look as a fresh knight. Let ‘im die. I can’t be smart for both of us.
Rain came silently jangling on the boys metal shoulder plate, then started to beat the shield and spear points like Zarian war drums that were sitting around the fires. Someone coughed, and old man Ser Nok Dus of Ildock, or a veteran swordsmen he brought. One Royal Dreadman was not enough to hold the siege from 5 000 battle born Zarian archers and 2 000 horse archers. All we had were 500 men, roughly speaking. I jerked a side, lured by a sound of metal hitting the rock.
– Stop that boy. – I grunted at the lad so angrily that the poor bastard thought I’ll slap him bloody, – That could be a grappling hook from the Desert Wraiths. Their commander is fond of attacking in imposibile weather. – I said looking the soaking wet boy playing with his sword out of pure boredom.
– Sorry. I didn’t mean to.
– D’a fuck I care what do you mean. Stop the noise and watch when the fires start approaching the cliffs. – I tossed it and got back to sleep.
The squire returned his blade to a holder and shamefully looked around him to see if anyone was laughing. I heard no such noise again until the first light when the muddy water ran down the cliffs and bells rang to battle stations. Metal on soldiers came in a jangling tune that was music to my ears, however it became more vibrant when the first wave of arrows landed in our perimeter. The lad shook with blood gushing around the dented breastplate, then he finally lost his stand and fell over the wall. I just got to his former place and swinged my eyes toward the horizon where hundred green flags flapped in the passing storm. Yells of the soldiers rhythmically battled the clinking of the gear they wore, and spears crossed each other throwing sparks in a running pace of their careers. Peasants gathered in the courtyard to remove the dead and extinguish the fire from the enemy arrows.
– Men the towers! – Ser Nok Dus screamed pointing his sword at the top of nearby fortification, – Prepare the rocks and splintered projectiles! Sound the bells and keep the damn thing ringing! Let them know our blades are hungry for their sons!
Bells instantly pierced the air with their jangle, then the soldiers shouted the battle cry like it is their last, and strong pounding came knocking on the castle gate. Horns met the war drums that were a lot closer when Ildocian soldiers turned silent in waiting for the impact. Only the occasional sharpen blade clicking the rock and shoulders of a dense combat lines on the wall was heard.