The Falcon Flies Once More
(The young Andriy (left) battling a Pertinaxi Loyalist in the streets of Helena)
He had never seen battle before. Though training provided the boy experience, he could only muster within his mind the horrors and glories that came from it. When the horns of rallying and gathering sounded, the rush went up to his mind, a combination of blood and adrenaline that made the lad shiver. Not even twenty years of age, being seventeen, the young soldier, another midst the flock, had prepared himself, but felt uneasy. Arriving ‘pon the gathering of Orenian soldiers, the proud banners of the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska flew high, the eagle proudly presented on it.
Coming close to his soon-to-be brothers in arms, Andriy still had the feeling that he wasn’t properly set for this. His armor felt loose, his sword looked blunt, his vision was blurred by the metal of his helm. But he was determined, to give his best. It wasn’t fast that battle came. Hours and hours the gathering awaited for the horns of battle to be sounded, on the war camp near Helena. Excruciatingly slow moments of tenebrous silence, a space that felt enormous between the war camp and the bridge that lead to the Capital of the Imperium Renatus, that had been drawn.
But they sounded. When the commanders cried out their orders and the horns sounded like a dragon’s roar over the men and women of Orenia, the young Andriy gripped his sword. He reminded himself of the memory of his father, Marius. The man shared his name with the current King Marius II of Haense, and it made him proud, in a way. They would not charge in just yet, the thunderous sounds of trebuchets hurling stones of fire and death over the walls of the Capital, crashing against the streets and the palace, destroying the front of the Palace of Helena, the Renatians withdrawing any resistance from the outer walls.
The screams of injured men filled his ears as he finally charged inside the mud and blood ridden ground of the streets of Helena. To his right, a man of the Reiver company hacked down a Legionnaire and to his left, a Norlander carved through the skull of a Hansetian brother. Andriy picked no targets just yet. Following the main group, the lad headed on to the destroyed entrance of the Palace, now not more than rubble and dead bodies that were stepped onto as the mob of men clashed together in the battle of the ages.
Andriy was savagely thrown to the side by the sheer weight of shields of the enemies, enemies who were quickly cut down by the main force. Andriy had not yet wetted his blade, and it troubled him. Such a dishonor, if they won. Winning a battle without contributing, without wetting his own blade? Unacceptable, the young lad thought. Afront him came a legionnaire. The man, taller than the young lad, roared a war-cry, and his sword came crashing down. Parrying with difficulty, Andriy deflected, with a knee, stunning the man with a well-placed strike, and then carving through the space between his pauldron and his chestplate, rendering the man’s left arm useless.
Afterwards, Andriy would show no mercy. Cold, as he had made himself be for this circumstance, the fallen legionnaire would be short work to Andriy, the lad’s adrenaline filling his brain… and then it hit him. The head of a mace collapsed against his head, denting his armor inwards and making him see three different perceptions. The lad crashed against the ground. Nae… He is a Marbrand. We don’t fall like this in battle… It was all he could think. Mustering himself to his feet, barely knowing anymore where he was… the blowing of the horns to signify retreat ringed in his head.
Andriy had no time to question what had happened, he only wished to live another day. Another day to fight. Another day for more glories. The living Marbrand, one of the few, if not the only one. He carried on his back the weight of the House, and it’s past glories, shunned by mistakes of some. He lived another day, another opportunity to reinstate House Marbrand, to glorify them once more.
The Falcon Flies Once More…