“Crom, I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you, will remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought, or why we died. All that matters is that two stood against many. That’s what’s important! Valor pleases you, Crom… so grant me one request. Grant me revenge! And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you!”
~Conan the Barbarian
War is an interesting thing. It fills people with fear and dread and turns them into things that are best never discovered. We awoke to discover that the rumors of a Hyrkanian army were true. The city was besieged and the people were in a panic to flee before the army had fully arrived. We too decided to make a run for it but the masses of people were so thick that it took us hours to even make it to the gate. The gate of course was closed. We sat upon our horses and watched as people came to the gate and were turned back by the hundreds. John shouted down some man who was berating the guards for keeping him in. In the end we returned to our inn and stable.
The very next day, Pete, Corey, John, and myself went to volunteer as soldiers for the city. The Professor agreed to stay behind and guard the horses, less they get stolen. Pete’s gladiator was left to guard Randolf and the women.
After a day of practice with our new unit Captain Grayson assigned me and Pete as Sergeants. We each chose two people to be our Corporals. Pete chose John and Corey. I was not too certain that Corey was a good choice but friends stick together. I chose Olef and Sven. They were huge men from the north and they bragged about fighting in three campaigns with the Brythinians. Our first assignment was to take a secret tunnel out of the city and scout for weaknesses in the enemy defenses. Once we found them we were to set off flash and smoke devices. These devices would tell our army where to strike. They also would signal the attack.
Once outside of the walls I spoke with Pete and we decided to split the platoon into two groups. I would take one and scouts the southern edges of the enemy forces. Pete would take the other and scout the northern edges. I took my men away from the city and split them into small groups. Each group would enter the enemy encampments and observe. In three hours they would return and report. I waited but after an hour or so I was so bored I decided to leave my HQ under Olef’s command while I went for a peak.
The enemy army was huge, maybe 30-40 thousand strong. I suspect the city only had a force of 10,000 at most. Things truly looked grim. In our advantage was the enemy was almost entirely cavalry. The terrain surrounding the city would force them to fight on foot. This meant that the infantry would hold the advantage. I only hoped the Khans men were not accustomed to fighting on foot.
I returned and discussed things with the troops as they came in. Three of the men must have been captured for they never returned. I guess they may have deserted. Based on the reports, the enemy had begin building siege engines and it was here that their forces appeared the most weak. They would be tired from chopping trees all day and if we hit in that location we could use the siege engine as protection against any cavalry that might come at us. Also the siege engines themselves were atop the tallest hill overlooking the city. The enemy would never expect an attack in this spot and if we could take it, I suspected we could hold it indefinitely.
Sven wanted to carry the charge to the spot but I decided we should try to sneak our entire force close to it prior to setting it off. We would then be able to take the hill while the enemy recoiled at the assault from the city. As we made our way there I saw a huge flash of light, right in the center of the enemy army. Right in the heart of the strength. I started cussing as I ordered the attack. What the fuck was Pete thinking? Why would he send our army right at the strongest point in the enemies forces? I couldn’t think clearly. Anger overwhelmed me as I ordered my men against forces that out numbered us by at least ten to one. We charged and I must say that only when I served on the Yamato, did I see such bravery. Somehow during the battle my forces joined up with Pete’s. He seemed inspired as he issued orders that made no sense. I suppose the enemy was as confused as me because Pete’s genius soon became apparent and we swept over the enemy killing them by the hundreds. I saw Corey go down under a pile of six men and John standing at the top of that hill waving our pennant as his cut down men by the scores. I remembered an incantation that Randle had mentioned and tried it. I know I didn’t really know the words right but this was Hiborea and anything was possible. Pink mist flew from my fingertips and snaked through the battle until they found Corey. The next thing I knew, Corey stood up swinging his spear like a Kung Fu master. I nearly shit myself. It worked. I only wish Pete had seen it since I would love for him to explain the science of how it happened.
Arrows thudded into my mail and one glanced off of my helmet. I turned and saw it. The enemy pennant was just a dozen yards from me. I charged with a ferocity that I didn’t know existed in me.
I slit the pennant bearer from throat to navel and grabbed the spear from his hand. I then started working my way back towards our side of the lines. Men came at me from all sides. Sven and Olef stepped in and swung those huge axes cleaving through armor and bone like it was butter. I found myself laughing a maniacal almost insane laugh. I was happy. Tears rolled down my cheeks and I killed some more. At some point, it seemed like days had passed, we heard the trumpet sound. We had won. The enemy was in a total rout. Svetlana walked up, grinning from ear to ear, and smacked me on the ass. We had won.
After being dismissed by Captain Grayson, we returned to our in where we told our tale to Anslo, a minstrel that was drinking in our place. We ate pig and drank ale and mead and soon enough returned to our rooms and bedded our women as men must after such heroic deeds. I felt like Conan of Cimmeria and I took my women as the slaves they are.
Following the battle we went on a shopping spree through town. Corey bought three slaves. I was shocked when he was told the price for one was that he had to smash her face with a wooden club with all of his might. Corey grinning and took the club and hit her so hard that he broke at least three bones in her face. I thought for sure that she would die. He then proceeded to rape he right in the street in front of us and a dozen spectators, a few of which tossed silver coins on the ground at his feet. We returned to the inn and John used one of his healing potions to fix the woman’s face. I am worried that she will hold a grudge and be a danger to us all. I pray that I am wrong and that Corey can fix things with her. Still I have many misgivings.
I forgot to mention that I too bought another slave. A 14 year old girl. No I am not going to bang her. I bought her to be a servant, clean clothes, cook, set up camp, and stuff like that. Though I am keeping Sam a slave she is still the love of my life and I find it hard to treat her as a true servant in all things. Duralia on the other hand has more important duties and I need her to teach me daily. I suppose now that the war is over we can leave this city and start heading towards Stygia. I wonder what adventures await us. I wonder more how much this land will change us. I do not feel like the same man who came here a mere month ago. Something primal about this place has changed me. I gotta admit, I like it.