Hey guys! Here is my second Chapter to Karenn's War. =D
Chapter Two: Karenn's Oath
A week after Warren, Verde, Azule, Cassi and I left we were still going strong. We had decided to make for Iltanien, a small village on the outskirts of Gotharn, the counrty bordering my beloved Nainen. Warenn said we could stock up on provisions there. Which was probably a good idea......considering that I had only packed one week's worth of food, as had the others, and walking on an empty stomach just isn't that fun. Believe me, I knew form previous experience.
Late that afternoon we neared the village. At first I felt that something was wrong. I couldn't quite place my finger on it. But the feeling grew stronger and stronger as we neared Itanien. Cassi and Warenn seemed to feel it too. As we walked down the dirt road and across the low wooden bridge I glanced at Warren. His hand was on his sword hilt. Azule stopped at the end of the bridge and Cassi almost ran into him. She looked questionably in the direction he was staring. A feeling of dread slowly crept up into my heart. I felt for my bow and strung it with shaking fingers. Something was desperately wrong with Gotharn. I fingered my red fetched arrow, running my fingers on the smooth ash shaft to calm myself. Suddenly Azule looked over at Verde and their eyes met. They had heard something. I listened too until I heard the fast, unsteady beat of hoofbeats in the distance. Cassi looked back at Warren. We waited in silence. Finally he spoke, lowly, as though it was hard for him to get the words out.
"Off the bridge into the woods. They may be friends, but....just in case." It was as if his words awakened us. We sprang off the bridge into the deep forest and took cover, each within sight of the others. I found a fairly large tree with some vines hanging off it. We waited with baited breath for the horse-riders to come into view. Warren leaned on a tree by the side of the road, pretending to be whittling something with his knife.
Suddenly the riders came into view. Terror gripped my heart. These were not friends. But before I could think what to do I leaped out to stand beside Warren. There were about a score of them, riding like the wind. the horses were fine, of Eriantle descent, their coats, which were white with black speckles, brown stockings and flowing black manes, gave them away as descendants of the great horses of Eriantle. But it was the riders that gave off the feeling of terror. They were dressed in black armor, visors down, and all that was leather on them-their cloaks, boots, sword sheaths and the horse's trappings, were all bright red. A plume of horsehair dyed red rose from their helmets. I felt rather than saw Azule, Verde and Cassi come up beside us. I drew my bow. Cassi drew and fired-I felt the rush of air off of her arrow. A rider tumbled from the saddle. Before I knew what was happening I had fired two shots and Cassi another. But they were on top of us now and there was no room.
Warren, Azule and Verde charged with swords drawn, Cassi and I were right behind. I remember very little of that fight, except my fear and the agency to stay together. Somehow we managed to stay together as we battle all the way through them. From the corner of my eye I saw Verde grab one of the horses bridles and Cassi another. I barely had time to swipe away a blade aimed at Cassi. I realized they had prisoners. I felt Warren push me onto a horse and press another bridle into my hand. I kicked the horse away from the fight. I rode past Verde and gave him my arm-he jumped behind me. I looked back and saw the others following on horses, then I drove mine deep into the forest. No one was following us. After we had gone a few hundred yards I stopped. Verde and I jumped off. Cassi rode up. Behind her a girl was half on, half off the horse, sobbing. A young man sat on the horse I had led. I glanced behind Cassi. Warren and Azule weren't there. I jumped back on and before Verde could stop me I was galloping back. I heard hoof beats behind me and Cassi's voice, but I didn't stop. Warren was back there! I rode onto the path. I could hear sword clanging and I unsheathed mine. All I remember was a burning desire to save Warren, and nothing was going to stop me.
I threw myself into the knot of riders, hacking this way and that. Cassi was behind me, waring off the blows. Couldn't see Warren! Where was warren? I heard a faint shriek, I turned, behind me a rider had Cassi off her horse and was tying her up with some rope. Her bow was broken on the ground. I felt a blow to my back and came tumbling off the horse. I turned and unhorsed the rider who had felled me, then ran for Cassi, but the rider had ridden off with her in front of him. I heard her cry, "Karrenn!" as though her heart would break.
Turning I madly plunged back into the fight. I found an old man on the ground and stood over him, fighting with all my strength-or at least what was left of it. Suddenly I heard a thump. I turned and saw Warren's body slung over a horse and ridden away by another rider. Azule found me and we fought back to back. there were only five or so left. They surrounded me. I knew I couldn't keep them in forever. I glanced down at the old man. He was dead. We abandoned him and ran for the trees. Verde appeared just then, and took two down with one swipe. I turned and we three battled back to back until they were all gone. Silence fell over the clearing. Bodies lay all over the ground. I went numb with shock and dropped my sword. For the first time I had spilled human blood. Warren and Cassi were gone. I realized there was a cut on my arm and a few on my back as I sank to the ground. And I wept. For ten minutes or so I was lost in my grief. I looked up and saw that Verde and Azule also were weeping. Soft hoofbeats sounded. The two people we had saved rode into view. The young man slid off his horse, then helped the girl down. They stood silently, staring at us. I wiped my face and stood up. I took my sword and held it out before them and the two brothers.
Slowly I forced the words out of me. "I swear by my sword and by the blood of my brother and by my life that I will not rest until I have avenged his death or capture and have saved my friend Cassi who was more than a sister to me. "
Azule put his hand on his sword and Verde did also. "We too are bound by your oath," Azule said.
I cleaned my sword on the grass and sheathed it. Bending down I picked up Cassi's last arrow, spilled on the ground. My tears dripped down onto it. I put it in my own quiver. I picked up Warren's sword. It was broken about two inches from the tip. His sheath had been sliced off. I sheathed what was left of his sword and tied the broken belt around my shoulder. Looking up to the blue sky I silently renewed my oath. I would find them. Even if it took my own life.