Tales Of The Chosen "Heroes"
It was a bright sunny morning, a perfect day for travelling and the long caravan trail seemed to agree. It snaked its way along the trail to Esterwood city, the front of this trail were only a few hours away from entering the city. The middle of the caravan line was navigating its way through the dense forest. The tail end of the caravans was still trying to pass through a very narrow trail. Sandwiched between a two-story tall cliffside and a steep forested hill that leading down to roaring rapids. The caravans here were in a rather precarious position, causing movement to slow, which tested the patients of a certain young man.
Shawn Lee with hair so black it seemed to absorb the morning sun, was growing more and more impatient with the wagon’s snails pace crawl. Situated on the second last carriage in the entire caravan trail, the entire trip had been long, slow and agonizingly boring. Eyes closed Shawn tried his best to listen in on the sounds of the birds amidst the roaring rapids and ignore the jolty wagon ride.
In all honestly it would be a lot more comfortable if Shawn just walked behind the caravan instead of trying to balance himself on the tiny lip on the back caravan. He had just enough space to place most of a leg on it and then lean his entire weight on it, clutching his left hand to the outside frame of the wagon. Yet he still sat there with his eyes closed.
From a few meters away a lanky man with salt and pepper hair following along the caravan tried his best to try and hide his smile. Despite Shawn’s best at trying to remain silent and hold a neutral expression, it was obvious to Lawrence Fisher that Shawn was bored out of his mind. Its times like these when I remember that Shawn’s still an impatient 16-year-old boy. He learned well from Oskar on how to make himself feel bigger. Gazing up and noticing a few robins sitting about the trees he recalled how hard it was for the entire Thornside posse the past month.
They had only recently arrived in the country of Acrary, after some sort of disaster that happened back in the country Nobelia that Shawn still doesn’t have a clue about. They had to uproot and leave as quick as possible. Leaving most of their valuables back overseas, but at least in Acrary no one was trying to hunt them down. The idea of coming to Acrary was Oskar’s idea, and while the process itself was messy, it proved to be the correct choice.
It helped that they weren’t the only ones trying to enter the city, they had joined the huge caravan trail, unfortunately that also meant that they had to separate in order to get open spots. Though it was only temporary the entire posse had no way of communicating with one another, and it had been like this for over a week now. But they should all be arriving at Esterwood today. With Lawrence, Shawn, Sara and young Michael being the last to arrive.
Quickening his pace a bit he approached Shawn, “Buck up son, only a few hours left.”
Eyes still closed Shawn replied with a simple, “Shut up. Not in the mood.”
Suddenly the wagon halted. Shawn opened his eyes, his dark black irises made it nearly impossible to see his pupils began. “What the?” was all he muttered as he tried to look ahead to see why they had suddenly stopped. Lawrence who was standing was able to move to the side and peer at the caravan in front, the wheels had broke. The wheels in the front seemed to have broken off, with the horses getting unhitched from the main wagon. With a path so narrow there was no way for the other caravans to get around it.
“Oh, looks like we’re stuck here for a bit.”
A massive groan came Shawn, “You have got to be kidding. How long is this going to take?”
“Looks like it’s going to be a while.”
“By the gods, kill me.” Shawn replied sinking down into his seat.
Sara Steg, a beautiful lady with braided coffee brown hair poked her head out of the wagon, “You’ve been complaining this entire time, Shawn. You chose to be in the back of the line, so grow up and stop whining, Michael has been making less noise than you.” Peering into the wagon a 4-year-old boy, Michael, could be seen sleeping on the lady’s shoulder.
Lawrence was about to interject, but unfortunately Shawn opened his mouth first, “Oh, the only reason why I ‘chose’ to be back here is because your Blake, your hubby, actively chose to go on ahead with Oskar, leaving both you and little Michael alone. Without a second thought.”
Sara looking hurt quietly turned her head away, looking down at the sleeping Michael and stroked his head, muttering, “That’s not fair.”
Shawn for his part scoffed and got up, walking to the edge of the path to stare out into the trees. Lawrence sighed and walked over to Shawn, “Don’t you think you over did it a little?”
“It’s the truth.”
“But is it really appropriate to mention it right now?”
“Sure, it is.”
Lawrence raided an eyebrow, “Really?”
“The sooner she stops being an idiot and Blake stops being worthless the better.”
“Look, we’re all a bit stressed right now, but Blake has done more then his fair share. So could you calm down your attitude a little bit, it’s not helping.”
“And keeping me in the dark about that Goldroot event is?”
Lawrence stiffened a bit upon hearing that, “It was complicated. We’ll explain what happened when we manage to organize ourselves.”
“Why does everyone keep refusing to tell me anything.”
“I promise, it will be explained alright. It’s just we need some time first”
Shawn then shrugged his shoulders and started to look at the three wagons that were now stopped, there wasn’t anything special about the sight. A load of supplies and people sitting in the wagons waiting to start moving again, mainly civilians who had jobs within the city.
Outside of the caravans were the younger and healthier people traveling along, various humanoids, one peculiar traveller stood out, being covered head to toe with full plate armour. A longbow and a recurve bow strapped on their back with a broadsword on their hilt, they stuck out compared to the rest who wore the most basic of clothing. Attached to each wagon was a driver and two militia soldiers, offering security for both the citizens and probably more importantly the supplies.
“Not much of a security force.” Shawn noted.
“Well, rather green, but better then nothing.”
“Nothing doesn’t attract attention, they do.”
One of the soldiers with curly hair seemed to have heard them speak turned towards them with a dirty look, “Hmph, worthless lowlife.” Before turning his attention to a younger child riding one of the wagons.
Shawn smirked, “Not wrong.” In the corner he noticed the armoured figure give a quick shake of the head. Shawn chose to ignore it. Looking over towards the broken wagon he could tell that this was going to take a while.
Some more time passed, the wagons ahead had already moved off into the distance and the wheels still haven’t been fixed. Shawn leaning his back on the cliffside wall was busy zoning out when he suddenly noticed the armoured figure, who had just stood there silently start to look around. What is he looking at? Shawn tried to look at what got the armoured figure’s attention.
Following the helmet swivels, he noticed how they were directed to the trees where the birds were. Bird watching? Well, nothing better to do, I guess. Shawn then blinked; a frown appeared on his face. The trees had several birds hanging on the branches chirping about a few minutes ago, in fact now the trees were completely barren. He hadn’t noticed the birds due to the roaring of the rapids. Suddenly Shawn was at full attention.
“Lawrence, we have a problem!”
Lawrence turned his head towards Shawn, about to ask why before he heard a guttural battle cry coming from the hill. Jerking his head back towards the hill he saw several figures climbing up the edge armed with blades charging the caravan.
Upon them making it up the hill and passing the trees they could be identified as warriors of chaos. Fanatic fighters who worshipped the dark gods, corrupted by chaos their main goal is to kill all non worshippers.
Soldiers in a panic started yelling orders and attempted to form a line to block the attackers. Unfortunately, with only six of them the line that was formed was thin and could barely cover a single wagon. The soldiers quickly abandoned the line and tried to take on the over two dozen warriors of chaos that came charging in yelling their battle cries.
All travellers that were following the wagons pulled out whatever they had to defend themselves with as the rapid warriors crashed into them. Those who were in the wagons sat in fear huddled together in a vain hope that no one would notice them.
Lawrence gritted his teeth as he pulled out his machete ready to take on anyone who approached him, before hearing a scream from his left. Some unlucky traveller collapsed with an arrow sticking out his back, quickly glancing up he noticed a small handful of warriors of chaos up on the cliffside raining down arrows. Cursing Lawrence starts to move closer towards the cliffside wall to avoid the archers’ line of sight.
Seeing the driver of the back wagon being slain and the horses about panic and crash into the wagons in the front. He quickly ran over and cut the harness, freeing the horses, allowing them to run wildly through the fighting and into safety.
Sara and Michael huddled in the wagon along with five other passengers, Sara clutched Michael close to her. A couple arrows slammed into the wagons roof. One of the other passengers could be heard sobbing. Fortunately, their driver had unhitched the horses from their wagon. Peering through a small hole on the side of the wagon she could see the warriors running in and attacking everyone. Not again. Not right after Goldroot. She prayed for some miracle to get them out of danger.
The armoured figure quickly whipped out their longbow, firing once and managing to strike one of the archers in the chest, sending him careening down the cliffside slamming into the ground dead. The figure then switched back to their broadsword as quickly as they fired their arrow and began crossing blades with a chaos warrior who had approached them.
Noticing that the broken wagon in the front had now been overwhelmed, with a chaos warrior climbing onto it and another standing over a mother and a young girl a few meters away. The curly haired guard laying next to them was motionless and the passengers from within being slaughtered Lawrence rushed in. Quickly running in he dispatched one by surprised before the other warrior jumped over the wagon to engage him, mouth frothing with rage. The extra momentum caused Lawrence to be pushed back. Nearly toppling over, he steadied himself as the warrior readied his strike.
Then the curly haired guard came to life, opened his eyes, unsheathing a dagger, and stuck it into the back leg of warrior. Roaring in pain the chaos warrior fell to his knees and Lawrence easily finished him off with that.
The soldier with blood oozing out his forehead with ragged breath eked out. “Hah… get… get my family…” Pointing at the mother and child.
“Don’t worry, your safe now.” Lawrence tried to assure them with his best smile. Quickly glancing around, inwardly breathing a sigh of relief as the chaos warriors seemed more focused on the wagon’s contents then them.
“Now let’s help your father and get out of here.”
One of the chaos warriors armed with a rusty falchion approached Sara’s wagon, a large arm pulling back the wagon canvas, all seven pairs of eyes stared at him in horror, someone screamed. Giving a nasty grin he gave a quick laugh while drinking in the fear and began to lift his blade, aiming to strike down on Sara. Sara in turn put herself in front of Michael while he in wide eyed fear whimpered at the sight of the chaos warrior.
Suddenly the chaos warrior froze, falchion only raised halfway, his face switched from confusion, horror, and then finally pain before dropping sideways hitting the floor. From behind appeared Shawn, with his bag hanging of him, round shield on his right hand and knife now embedded in the fallen warrior. Standing over the recently back stabbed chaos warrior he looked at the group sitting in the wagon in annoyance.
“Why the hell are you still sitting here? Get out of the fight already idiot!”
Looking dumbfounded at Shawn for a brief moment she simply nodded and picked up Michael and stumbled out of the wagon on shacky legs, the rest then followed suit. Standing out she noticed fully just how outnumbered they were, half the soldiers seemed to be laying on the floor.
Shawn pulled out a short sword and then stood right in front of an elderly gentlemen. Facing the cliff, he lifted his small round shield over their heads causing an arrow to bounce of harmlessly.
Then he proceeded to prod the group to move further down the road away from the fight, back down the path the wagons originally came from.
“Stick to the wall, don’t make scene and shut up!”
As Sara and the rest hugged the wall and shuffled their way down the road, fighting occurring all around them. Shawn stood there constantly swivelling his head waiting to intercept anyone who attacks. Shawn noticed how the some of the chaos warriors started going after the supply crates and the ones on the cliffside began to drop ropes so that the crates can be tied and lifted. Supplies, right, the main reason why they’re here.
His attention was then refocused to a charging chaos warrior, hands clasped to a battle axe crazed look in his eyes ready to strike. “Rahhh!” roared the corrupt warrior with the intent to crush the smaller fighter in front of him.
Shawn quickly moved his left foot forward, having it pointed directly at the warrior, then moved his right foot behind in a ninety-degree angle and waited.
The chaos warrior moved two steps closer, Shawn looked back to check if the archers were still busy pulling up the crates, they were.
Two more steps, Shawn raised his short sword up.
The fiery rage filled eyes of the chaos warrior was met with cold black eyes.
Two more steps, the warrior began to lift his blade.
Suddenly Shawn pushed of from the ground with his backfoot, gliding above the ground for a meter, upon landing his right leg replanted itself onto the floor. He then lunged his left foot forward until his knee reached a ninety-degree angle, tilting his head up slightly he was now only a little more then an arms length away from the warrior.
The chaos warrior still in midstep looked down towards his opponent in a strange lunging stance. However, before the chaos warrior could process, Shawn thrusted his sword arm forward the blade piercing through the neck of the chaos warrior. A look of shock appeared on the face of the warrior as Shawn pulled the blade back out, before the body hit the floor Shawn had already turned around to check for more enemies. Seeing no immediate threat, his attention focused back onto the Sara and the rest.
As they moved past the last wagon, the armoured warrior began to guide the passengers
trapped in there out to join Shawn’s group of unarmed and move along the trail to safety. Shawn counting the additional heads that suddenly appeared, looking rather peeved turned to the armoured figure and quickly yelled, “Don’t thrust more responsibility on me!”
“You’ll manage.” An echoey feminine voice replied from the helmet.
“Grrrr.” Was all he replied with.
The few remaining caravan travellers that were fighting started to join up with the group in their retreat. Shawn noticed Lawrence tailing the back trying to help that soldier along with a few of the passengers. Of course, he is. The only thing that was going for them right now was that the loot seemed more appealing than a bunch of stragglers to the chaos warriors.
One chaos warrior seemed to find that an injured soldier with his back turned was too tantalizing to ignore and approaching Lawrence’s small group. But before reaching them he felt a stabbing pain on his right pectoral chest, looking down he found a short sword embedded there. He could have sworn that no one was close enough to stab him. Looking up to try and find culprit the last thing he saw was an arrow flying towards him.
Shawn pulling back his now empty left hand turned over to look at the armoured figure who had just loosed an arrow. The armoured figure turned helmet meeting his eyes.
“You help people needlessly.” Was all Shawn said before turning his head back to the front and fishing out a hatchet.
As Lawrence and the final few members reached the larger group, they all began to retreat down the road and into the woods. The warriors of chaos no longer cared about the remaining travellers as they posed no real threat, and the supplies were far more important. As they moved further away from the wagons the noises of the chaos warriors finally quieted.
Taking one last look before the wagons were out of sight, Shawn cursed. In less then ten minutes a simple trip to Esterwood city had been completely ruined. Looking at the group of scared and wounded desperately trying to get away from their attackers Shawn could only feel a sense of hopelessness as he moved further into the woods.