My Master Duke Birstan Anak-Aree was betrayed by his own men and sent to the Grim fields to die. His wife was given to a man with no nobility to serve him like a slave and his sons slaughtered, while his daughters were passed around like a chalice of wine to the fat warlords he once called friends. One request was fulfilled to him, and that was to take me on his long journey in the deserted plains we only knew as Grim fields.
Nobody knew how we came to call this place fields of grim, but everybody knew that those unwanted were sent there to die in solitude. First I was mad at my Master, but later on he has proven himself a kind man. That’s what made him so gullible and easy to trick. He was easy to talk to, smart and honest, maybe even a fool for being like that. Sometimes he cried over the fire, hiding his face from me, mourning over his grim fate.
Late at night when we slept under the stars, he would recite his homage of fealty he gave to the King, wipe his angry tears and fall to dreams of revenge. Duke Birstan did that throughout the voyage, when one night he started giving his homage to someone else I did not knew.
– Milord, barbarians. – I pointed at the rising dust in the distance that have passed the hill and he smiled at it.
– Aramon is of a goodwill today. – he said and speeded up his pace.
Our first encounter went bad with few cuts and bruises. I was thrown to dust by a light horse rider and laughed at, while my Master was challenged to a swordfight. He didn’t won, but he did had good chances of cutting their chieftain which rode of exhausted.
Second encounter was when we made our camp on the top hill, close to their village. They broke our tent few times, so we slept on the grass, feasted on the rodents and made huge fires at night like we celebrated. Curious boys were the first to gave us some of their time, teach us their language and customs. My master enjoyed playing with children and made me play a fool for them.
He even taught them how to properly lock the lance, swing a sword and anticipate the strike. It was all just a children’s play until one day a rival clan rode in and slashed the village in half. That didn’t sat well with my Duke, so he came to their aid and helped defend the village. Chieftan let us stay with them as a reward, so the barbarian cavalry grew by the day into a formidable force.
After the third fight, Chieftain died from an arrow in the heart, so my Master inherited the tribe and we started putting armor on horses. Other tribes soon joined us, pledged homage to the new King of the Grim fields, gave him horses, warriors and women to breed with.
Duke Birstan Anak-Aree spent no gold, nor he played tricks to power, but conquered the Grim fields with his patience and smile. Hundred thousand armoured riders, lancers and mobile archers formed the unbreakable cavalry that roamed the Grim fields and gave a fearful meaning to the original name of the scented grass plains we lived in. Soon they will yank their leashes and move toward the Kingdom that banished us, and we will pillage their caravans, starve their cities, raid their villages until cities empty their garrisons to meet us on the open field. Soon, the King will fall. Soon his friend will pay homage to my Master. Soon.
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