Treachery Against The House Of Fairwin – Chapter 9

Keeping to the most seclusive paths, Sir Aldren rode his mount to the west gate. No one met him in his way. Had they done so, he would not have spoken to them. His face was steel and remained immovable. The west gate was positioned on the opposite side of the city from the main gate. It was much smaller and led only to some insignificant villages outside of Rondinburg.

“Sir Aldren?” a voice blared. It was a young lad, no older than fifteen. He was standing beside the gate, a short spear planted in his hand. 

Sir Aldren reigned up in front of him. His eyes fixed toward the ground.

“The city has not fallen, has it?” the lad asked.

“… No.”

“Then what – ?”

Sir Aldren did not lift his eyes, but his voice was stronger. “Let me past lad.” 

“Sir?”

Sir Aldren rode up to the gate.

“Where are you going?”

“Let me through. Rondinburg is done for.”

“But, Sir Aldren -“

“I will defeat the Earl! Do you hear me! I am escaping to bring vengeance!”

“Sir Aldren, you can’t do this!” The lad stood in his way.

Sir Aldren shoved the boy to the ground. His body was shaking with passion. From his belt he withdrew a set of keys. He took a glance at the lad. Eyes filled with hurt met his.

“You are supposed to defend Lady Fairwin.”

Aldren looked away. “Lady Fairwin is doomed. Rondinburg is doomed. No one could save her.” He placed the key in the lock. Breathing deeply, he turned it and swung the door open. Something made him look one last time at the lad. Those eyes were hurt, deeply hurt. He turned again to the scene before him. The Earl had left some of his troops here as a precaution. They saw him and were rallying to block his way. Let them try. He kicked his horse.

The young lad rose to his feet and stared after Sir Aldren as he charged. A stretch of soldiers blocked his path. He drove straight into the thickest of their ranks. The lad watched his sword fly like lightning. He broke through them. He had made it to freedom. A lump formed in the lad’s throat. He closed the gate and locked it. From the direction of the Fairwin palace came a trumpet call shrill as the screeching wind. It was a signal call. It beckoned. All of Rondinburg was being beckoned.

* * *

Destin braced himself for the impact. Swarms of men collided with the almost nonexistent line of Rondinburg. He heard the cry of Sestin, barely audible in the storm-like roar of battle. “Fall back! Fall back!” If the defenders had wished to disobey, they could not have done so. The men of Galldenborough literally ran them over like a stampede of cattle trampling the tall grass. Swiftly, like fallen trees carried along in a flood, the men of Rondinburg fell back, leaping from the breach and into the city. Ravenous killers pursued them. Retreat turned into flight. Destin could see the men at his side fall back as he outran them all. He could hear their cries as the warriors of Galldenborough ran them down.

Trumpet blasts guided him towards the palace. The streets were void of civilians, meaning they could only be seeking refuge in the palace for a last stand. Destin bounded up the broad steps of the palace and raced through a series of porticos. He could hear the clattering armor of his pursuers. Before him, the fading images of the last civilians disappearing through the palace entrance just caught his eye. Reaching the door, he wheeled around to face his pursuers. They stopped a short space in front of him, some fifteen of them, though thousands more were streaming in towards the palace from as far as the eye could see. Destin wondered if there was an end to them.

The foremost of the group advanced. He was a massive brute with a great two-handed sword. Rushing, he brought his sword down upon Destin. The sword nearly fell from Destin’s hand as he deflected the oncoming blow, then swung around for a counter attack. The brute caught his sword then started to lunge for a thrust, but stopped, staggered, and fell to the ground. Destin’s dagger protruded from his chest. Outraged, the others fell upon him. The opening was wide enough that three of the enemy could attack him at once, but he held his ground. The long years of practice under his master’s training shone through.

Shouts of fighting came from within the ranks of the attackers. Men before Destin were cut down and Galther and Sestin sprang through. “Two are better than one lad,” Sestin shouted. 

“Where are the others?”

Sestin shook his head. “God be merciful.”

Their three swords plied together. Before them, the enemy had gathered in a mass that filled the entire portico and stretch out far beyond. Blows rained faster than hail stones. Beside him, Destin saw Galther beaten to a knee. He was too pressed himself to help. An axe came down and ended the faithful soldier. Destin shifted his position to fill the gap. Sestin bellowed from beside him. “Destin! Get inside and stand beside Lady Fairwin. I will hold these dogs myself.”

Destin parried four blades in a second. “No! I will stay with you!” The next instant, he felt Sestin’s boot slam into his side, knocking him to the ground. Passion filled Destin’s veins. He rose to his feet.

“Your duty!” Sestin thundered.

Pausing in the hallway, Destin bit his lip then obeyed. He raced down the halls, sword still in hand. No one was in sight. There was not a sound. Fear began to grip his heart. He looked everywhere for a sign of life, but found none. Reaching the throne room, he felt a surge of relief. Alone, but well, Lady Fairwin stood in the very center of the open hall. She had never appeared to him so tall, so regal, so sorrowful. In her one hand was the signal trumpet of Rondinburg and in the other she held open a trap door. Sestin had lived half his life at the palace but had never known that such a door existed. There was a desolate feel about the hall, but he could hear faint voices coming from somewhere. He paused before the trap door and looked Lady Fairwin in the face.

“Enter,” she said simply.

Half bowing to her, he descended the steps before him. The soft tread of her feet echoed behind him and the trap door closed. Above, the clatter of boots reverberated with an eerie sound and shouting came from the halls. The enemy was in the palace.

5 thoughts on “Treachery Against The House Of Fairwin – Chapter 9

  1. Aggggghhhhhh!!!!!! NowhydidyoudothatSirAldrenhowcouldyoudosuchaterriblethingandleaveallthepeoplewhotrustedyouwiththeirlivestodieatthehandsoftheenemy!!!!!!!!!!!! No, no, no!!! This is not supposed to happen— how could you how could you how could you??????

    I must say that twist was very unexpected, and from a writer’s perspective I am forced to admit that I loved it— but as a reader I hated it, which is good. That’s what’s supposed to happen. It takes more skill to make a reader genuinely hate something than it does to make them love something. So… you did very well. 😀

    1. Congratulations! You win the longest word ever award.

      I guess the pressure’s up for a good ending. I think I can do it, but we’ll see.

      Hey, good seeing you Saturday. Sorry I didn’t talk much – I kinda got the social equivalent of shell shock and relapsed into popcorndevouranomia – a very dangerous disease, but at least a tasty one. Next time maybe I can find a drug to cure that.

      By the way, what are your thoughts on Destin so far? He was intended to have somewhat of a reverse character arc to Sir Aldren.

      1. Yes!!! *adds to resume*

        Um… you mean you don’t already have the ending ALL PLANNED OUT DAEUS????? Yikes… cuttin’ it kinda close, don’t you think? 😛 😉

        Yes, it was good to finally meet you! 😀 I think I got the same thing… totally did not expect to run into you there! 😛

        Hm… Destin. Can I give you the full analysis?
        Thanks. Glad you give permission so easily.

        Destin… the first word that comes to mind is capable. The second is tall— don’t ask me why, he’s YOUR character. 😉 He’s young still— I sense he still has a lot to learn, but he seems a very intelligent young man and I think he’s the kind that mature very quickly. I haven’t the slightest idea what makes me say this, but if we weren’t in the middle of a war I think he would also be the kind to smile very easily and infectiously. He may also be a tad bit stubborn. Competitive. Fair. Humble enough to obey orders, but confident enough to take matters into his own hands if necessary. His ‘colors’ (the vague mental impression I get with every character) are sort of a grey-green mixed with light tan.

        Did you have any other specific questions you wanted to ask? 🙂

        1. Oooh, I like that grey-green with a mixed light tan thing. Sounds like you got the basic idea of Destin I was hoping for. Never thought about tall – maybe a little, not much. I was aiming for a guy who was a deep feeler and an unshakable idealist. In the beginning, this makes him seem soft since the burden of all the evil going on around him really weighs him down. When it comes down to actually fighting for his ideals though, he is 100% committed because he knows it’s right. That’s the whole reason I grouped Destin with Sir Aldren. Sir Aldren was like a fierce lion in the face of the evil, but when it really came down to it, he abandoned his ideals.

          Contrast. It’s fun.

          Oh, and I do have about 50% of the ending planed out, which is as much as I ever have, so the odds aren’t too bad.

          1. Actually you know what, I didn’t register the arc of either character (Drestin or Sir Aldren) as much as I would have if I’d had this thing in book form and was able to just read it straight through, but now that you bring it up I do see that there is an arc for Drestin. I KNEW there was one for Sir Aldren, (duh) but I didn’t noticed Drestin’s as much until you brought it up. You’re right— that’s exactly how I saw it. Idealistic, and later on wholeheartedly willing to fight for it instead of just be depressed by it. He was the perfect contrast for Sir Aldren. 🙂

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