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A Knight of Leostonnia Chapters 5-8 [Read only] Dragon10
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A Knight of Leostonnia Chapters 5-8 [Read only]

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A Knight of Leostonnia Chapters 5-8 [Read only] Empty A Knight of Leostonnia Chapters 5-8 [Read only]

Post by Tenebris on Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:49 pm

[I will be adding new chapters in posts below]

A Knight of Leostonnia

Chapter Five.

Moving quickly, Solomon hauled himself into the saddle of his warhorse. Rounding the front of the barn, he saw his manservant pointing wildly. There were dozens of loping figures approaching the farm from across the muddy fields. Solomon could not be sure if they were the same ones that had been following them, but he thought it likely. He saw instantly that there were too many of them to fight, and while the notion of fleeing from them made his face burn with shame, he knew that it would not serve any purpose to die meaninglessly here. “Light forgive me,” Solomon whispered to himself, after all it was an affront to the teaching of chivalry to flee yet stupidity was not a virtue, and it would of been sheer stupidity to remain and fight. “Lud! We ride!” Solomon called forth, Lud’s mule bucked suddenly as the wind shifted, bringing with it the scent of the approaching hunters. The poor peasant fell backwards into the mud, and the mule took off over the fields.

Solomon swore, and made to go after the beast, but dragged himself back as more hunched figures appeared, rising from concealment. They leapt onto the mule like a pack of wild dogs, and it screamed in terror as it was dragged to the ground. They were peasants themselves Solomon realised in horror, he saw now, undernourished and filthy, but some of them appeared so devolved and inbred that they were feral and beast like, barely human at all. His steed tensed beneath him, stamping its hooves and snorting in agitation. The starving peasants were running towards them now, closing the distance quickly. Their faces were twisted in ravenous hunger,.

“Keep back, or I swear, I will not stay my blade!” Roared Solomon, holding his blade aloft high. They came on undaunted, and he swore again under his breath. Making his decision quickly, Solomon rode forward and plucked Lud from the ground by the scruff of his neck. He dumped him on the saddle behind him, and urged his destrier on. If the warhorse was overburdened carrying two riders, it didn’t show, and within heart beats they were riding hard up the muddy roadway. The starving monstrous peasants ran after them, but they were easily outpaced. Only one the hellish farmstead was several miles behind them did Solomon reign the destrier in, patter her neck appreciatively. Yet darkness closed in, bringing all its claustrophobic terrors with it, and so their second night within Arlons began.

It was pitch-black as they approached what could only be an inn, yet it was but only an hour after nightfall. The Inn was fortified and build like a small fortress. It had few windows on its lowest level, and these were shuttered and barred. Fifteen Foot high walls topped with spikes enclosed it completely, braziers burned brightly in a vain attempt to keep the night at bay. A stout gatehouse was the only entrance to the compound, and to Solomon’s trained eye it looked able to withstand all but the most concerted siege. As they rode into the light, Solomon remained with his Helm on to conceal his features initially. They were spotted as they approached the Inn’s fortified gate, and sentries levelled heavy crossbows in their direction. Solomon knew that his armour would provide scant protection at this distance, but if he felt any unease he made it a point not to show it.

“Who goes there?” called out one of the Guards. “Travellers seeking refuge and a room” replied Solomon. “The gates are sealed at Nightfall, stranger” came the reply. “Move along.” “What now?” said Lud, eyeing the night with haunted eyes. Wolves howled in the distance and he shivered. “I’ll be damned if we’re spending the night out here,” Solomon said under his breath. “We have the coin”, he called out. “We are not paupers.” How much?” called down the guard. “Enough” replied Solomon solemnly. “Approach,” came the order from the guard. Solomon nudged his warhorse forward, noting the deep scratches and gouges in the front of the gate. The sign swinging above the arched gateway proclaimed the Inn to be called Kings rest, Solomon was amused slightly, pondering if his Father, Damitian, the King of Leostonnia would ever find himself in such a place, it was a distinctive thought that humoured him despite the ever consuming bleakness and dark around him.

A hatch in the gate opened up, just large enough to show the pig-like face of a guard, who squinted at them through a latticework of bars. “Show us the colour of your coin, stranger,” he said. Solomon edged his steed closer and slid from the saddle. He drew a copper piece from his coin pouch and held it out. “You’ll have to do better than that,” said the guard, a smug expression across his face. “This is more than you deserve,” said Solomon. “Take it and open up the gate.” “I don’t think so” said the porcine guard, his grin unfaltering. “What else you got?”. Solomon sighed. “Fine,” he said, pulling a second pouch from beneath his travel worn tabard. This one was made of fine velvet and the sentry’s small beady eyes lit up at once. “Closer,” Solomon said in a conspiratorial whisper. “I’ve only got the one, so it will only do for you, not the other guards.” The man leaned in close, licking his lips greedily. At that moment, Solomon’s hand shot out, slipping through the bars to grab the guard by the throat. “You should have taken the copper,” said Solomon in a low voice. The guard’s eyes were bulging. Solomon shifted his grip to the back of the man’s neck and pulled him violently forward, slamming his face against the bars.

Before the guard could recover, Solomon pressed the blade of his knife to his throat. “I have a new proposition. Open the gate, and you live to see another dawn.” The man tried to speak, but Solomon pushed the knife more forcefully into the rolls of fat beneath his chin, drawing blood. “Nod your head if you agree,” he said, eyes cold and dispassionate. The man’s eyes were wide with fear, and he nodded his head slightly. “Good,” said Solomon. “Open it up,” said the guard, his voice hoarse, and Solomon heard the heavy bar being removed. He released the guard, his knife disappearing. The gate swung wide. “Try anything before I leave, and I’ll gut you like the pig you are,” Solomon hissed, leaning in close to the shaken guard as he walked through. Solomon caught a snatch of the conversation behind him as he led his steed into the walled Inn’s courtyard. He heard guards asking how much the gatekeeper had got. Solomon glanced over his shoulder and caught the man’s eye. “Enough,” he heard the gatekeeper say, looking away quickly.

_______________________
Tenebris's Bio
A look at one of Tenebris's Publications as a Scholar

"Destiny isn't a matter of chance, its a matter of choice. Only we can claim our Destiny when the path opens" ~ Tenebris lamenting.

"Oftentimes in reality, the realists are in the position of the antihero. Neither those on the side of good, nor the side of bad really trust them, as their truth is universal." ~ Tenebris, Archon of the Ebonwing Potentate.

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