Gratnian archers


Cold-hearted defenders of Gratna were already lined up and on the walls. Small hills behind them were tactically occupied with catapults and engine operators that stoically looked forward. Kavad, their general who got elected by the trade and mining colony was standing on his platform where he could see Ildocian ranks coming down from the hillside into the valley. As far as Ildock knew, behind the huge stone wall, Gratna awaited to be taken. Ildocian eyes couldn’t see the massive army nor the line after a line of archers that looked down upon them. It seems, there were no doors in the wall that stood old and half grown in moss.

– Archers! – Kavad shouted and men took pace forward, then they gap their feet back and laid their fingers on the arrows, – Lock! – the command came echoing among the stone walls, the hill and the valley where Ildock dispatched its forces into attack formations, – Aim! – now shieldwall rose over the Ildocian heads which curiously peaked through the cavities in their defences, – Release! – the word launched a wave of arrows that whistling through the air crashed over the metal shields piercing those that were too brave to hold their shields high.

Archers swapped with the other line that had their arrows already placed in the bows. Kavad held his strict face on, his chubby cheeks pumping blood under the helm that was too small for his merchant head. Ildock got his commands to press forward, but now in company of siege towers that were specifically made for these tall bastion. A silent Ildocian growls crawled closer to the wall and entered the center of the valley.

Archers shot a platoon after a platoon of arrows, bathing black cubes with deadly force, when a swing of Kavad’s hand placed catapults in motion. Usually the huge rock was fired from the machine such was a catapult, but Gratnians fired dozen and dozen logs with iron spikes hammered in them, so upon impact the log would split and fly among the enemy footmen, maiming them. A sputum mixed with logs and light rocks kept pelleting the siege engines, made disorder in the Ildocian ranks and kept crippling their attack.

Second time Kavad rose his hand, a fire javelin from ballista landed behind the Ildocian army putting years of uncut grass in flames, evoking inferno that slowly climbed down from the hill and came behind the Ildocian invaders. A crackling sound intertwined with painful cries slammed over the high wall where tongues of fire started scratching the moss from the stone. Arrows flew for the whole night, same as the catapult projectiles that putted Ildocians out of their misery. That night, all you could hear was Kavad yelling “Release” and moans of the soldiers that grabbed themselves from the flames.



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