Fort Burning

I had looked in my story of “The Barbarian” and it turned out a section coming just after the “Wolf Battle” I entered in #BlogBattle number 12 needed to be completed.

Allow me, please, to inform you that the beginning in the above link to the story is being altered. I felt it doesn’t relay the action I wish the story to be filled with. It is really difficult, as the first sentences are what propelled it into existence. As said in France; “c’est la vie!”

Below is the section of “The Barbarian” I wanted to share. It is rough, and still just an idea. Nothing is concrete until the dust settles, right? And even then it can be altered.

Fort Burned

The fort blazed out of control.

All about, women and children wailed for those trapped inside. A line of men trailed from the well in the town to the entryway, passing buckets of water as fast as they could to throw into the inferno.

The 20 foot tall outer walls were dwarfed by the flames licking the wooden structure and shooting upwards, black and grey smoke billowing from the tops of the dancing yellow and blue tongues. A violent display.

The heat slapped the Barbarian with almost tangible force as he neared. He scanned the scene looking for anyone who could give him information. He considered shouting to the people that their efforts were in vain, but decided it better they occupy themselves thus rather than be reduced to wailing with the women.

He saw a man dressed in the garb of a soldier and made his way toward him. The man knelt in the grass and gazed unblinking at the ground. It seemed he may have been praying, probably to Anasas, the goddess of the skies, hoping torrents of rain would come do what the people and their buckets could not. The warrior grabbed his shoulder plate and yanked him to his feet, trying to shake him from his delirium.

“Tell me what happened,” he yelled to the man’s face.

“They came from nowhere. We didn’t have any warning.” His eyes roamed the space behind the Barbarian, never lingering long on any subject. ” One minute everything was normal, the next they were everywhere. Those red uniforms. The screams of the dying. The crackle of the hungry flames. I tried to help some of them. Got a few out in time.” He continued his rhetoric, becoming softer and lapsing into incoherent mumblings.

Realizing no useful communication would come from the soldier, the Barbarian dropped him and continued his search. As he passed the gate, he glanced inside. A shadow formed, flickering within the fire, becoming more solid as it approached the edge.

Able emerged, unharmed from the flames, but blood seeping from a wound on his head. The Barbarian rushed over and caught him as he sagged to the ground.

“Able, what happened? Where’s Nethba?” He ripped a piece of cloth from the bottom of his dark cloak, poured some water on it from his flacon and began dabbing the wound on the Wizard’s head to check the extent of damage.

Able grabbed his wrist, pulling away and causing the Barbarian to lock eyes with him. “His followers. Sent through the rift. Everyone taken by surprise, they had no chance.”

“Blast the gods and goddesses! How did he know to look here!?”

“His spies are everywhere. Not much time. Barbarian, it is up to you to find her again. Return her to her father, before it is too late.”

Able placed his hand to the Barbarian’s chest. When he mumbled an incantation, his hand began glowing a feeble, white light. The Barbarian felt a warm, tingling sensation entering his being.

When he closed his eyes, battles fought long ago played out in his mind, including the destruction of the Forest Æsur. He saw it reduced to charred remains where nothing would grow again, during the final confrontation in the Battle of the Wizards. The devastation rent the very fabric of the Æther.

When Able removed his hand, the Barbarian had seen the entire history of the Red Griffin. The Wizard had tried once before, and had intentions of finishing the task he set out for over a hundred years ago: Annihilation of every other Wizard, thus ensuring he would be most powerful, and then he could take the Twelve Kingdoms for his own.

The Barbarian felt within him, not just the sorrow for the needless loss of life, but also the rage from the wanton violence. He could not fathom the mentality it took to place selfish needs before the greater good. Nor how someone could justify the killing of so many innocents in pursuit of power.

He looked down to Able as tears clouded his vision. “How…?” He could not form the rest of the sentence, as badly as he needed to know the reasons.

“The Abyss.” Able spoke in hushed tones, his strength almost gone. “Barbarian, champion us. Face the Red Griffin, for only you can defeat him.”

“How am I to do that? I have no Power. The Æther does not speak to me.”

Able looked to the sky and held aloft his shaking hand. He began speaking the ancient language and his hand glowed with a bright yellow aura, then he placed it to the Barbarian’s forehead. In an instant, the big man knew his origins.

His Father, Tambur, had been a powerful Wizard, and held a position on the Council Of Wizards. The Red Griffin captured him while he returned from a session, and held him 25 years. Tambur escaped before the Red Griffin could siphon all Power from him, taking his Brother, their wives and children, as well as several other families fit enough to make the journey.

The Æther also showed his birth. He discovered had been named Senus, meaning “serenity in the midst of chaos”. That explained in part why he fared well in battle; panic did not enter his mind.

Then, he saw the massacre of his family, which ended with him being taken, the only one left alive, to be raised a slave.
#

 

So, there you have it. The word given for that week was “rage” but I could not find over 600 words to prune while leaving a complete section. In response to a little prodding, I am going ahead with the share, hoping it garners some views even though it isn’t a response to a challenge.

Thanks for visiting! And, as always:

#WriteOn!

— John

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