Months have passed since Varon took his army over the Northern Mountains and entered the bewildered realm of Zandor. He was sent to an adventure of discovering a new land that laid behind the Holy rooftop of Drakian Gods and now he was in the foothill, facing a great forest that feared him.
Foreign tribes haven’t left paths he could follow, only rotting trees and wild beasts that howled in the night. The next morning, his army was ready to move into a vast and obstructed realm of shadows.
Light horsemen scouted ahead, his archers set on sides of a moving army were to engage the enemy attacking his flanks. Varon looked at the tall trees, lush treetops throwing shade, Sun periodically caressing his face while the hum of leaves rustling in the wind sang a song for him.
Noise made his men draw blades, his archers stretching their bow strings, arrows locked. A deer raised his head from the bush and galloped away. Their breath of ease was met with another deer and then another, and few dozen more ran pass them, the whole forest was moving, wild beast hasting for safety.
– Blades, men! – Varon shouted and steel exited the holsters.
Varon’s eyes slanted at the horizon where motionless trees forbade his gaze to go deep. Horses of him men returned, no rider on them and then a ghostly cry amplified. With a hand raised up, his army fell to formations, shields bashing each other as they built a red wall.
Silence played games with his nerves, made him rapidly move head and anticipate the approach of lasting screams. Second rise of Varon’s hand made spearsheads breech through the gaps in the shieldwall and readied his men for skirmish.
– Standfast men! Here they come. – Varon said, his voice shivering, when a spear whistled near his head, broke the wooden shield and killed the man who held it.
He turned in a jiffy and saw a frightening length of a weapon that was thicker and longer than a lance of his knight.
“What sort of a power is needed to throw such a heavy spear?” – he asked himself when a fusillade landed on his men, killing fifty of his footmen, wounding three lines behind the shieldbearer.
– Retreat! Retreat! Retreat! – the horseman shouted wielding a sword over his helmet, when an arrow struck him down, an arrow that plunged him all the way to the feathers.
A hail of rocks started pounding on the running men, bashing their helmets, chasing them to a greater speed. Varon followed his army, hesitated to catch up with them, because he wanted to see the enemy. Zandorians remained hidden for a few more seconds, but then he saw antlers among the tall trunks, bones hanging on their clothes, men and women standing side to side.
Varon snapped the reins and moved his horse to a gallop. No Drakian went north again.
And some more mysterious stories.