Last Stand

“Thanks for the adventures brother,” mused Jon Darcleaver, a smile creasing his lips as he hefted up his trusty, heavy bladed broadsword. The twenty year old was an impressive specimen, standing over six foot, with the build and looks of a gladiator.
“It’s not over yet Jonny,” replied the quiet deadly Mykal Darcleaver, his older brother by six years. While not the imposing structure his brother was, coming it at under six foot, he too had the build of a warrior. He was however vastly more experienced and a feared blades-man.
At the far end of the pass the tightly packed horde of mongrim edged tentatively forward, the ground before them littered with their fellow dead, from their previous attempt to dislodge the two Knights Of Grenz. The brutal and cruel dog-men known as mongrim had been a bane to humans since the first settlers landed at Port Bailey to turn the first sod. At five and a half feet, and close to 200lbs of solid muscle, the humanoid dog faced monsters were more than a match for the normal human pioneer or farmer. With the ability to use melee weapons, or their own considerably deadly teeth and claws, the mongrim they were also versatile and resourceful.
That said, the two men defying them in Potters Pass, were far from normal humans. They were Knights of Grenz, the elite warriors of the kingdom, and from one of the finest and most respected noble families, the Darcleavers. With their jaws set, their resolve firm, and fire in their eyes, the brothers prepared for the onslaught.
With the wary mongrim still a matter of meters from their position, the brothers Darcleaver took the fight to the dog-beasts. With blinding speed Mykal launched himself at the front rank, his long keen blade arcing down and carving open the mongrim horde. Jon, while a measure slower than his famed brother, powered his broadsword, two handed, into the tightly packed creatures. Shouts, screams, the clash of steel, growls and curses all mixed to create the din of battle as the two forces clashed.
“Oh sweet mercy,” grimaced Jon as several remaining mongrim, the survivors of that assault wave, eventually scampered back up the pass to the mongrim lines, in the Emerald Plains beyond. The strapping twenty year old was clutching his side, where blood seeped through the chain mail armor there, and his gauntleted fingers. Before him and his brother the mongrim dead lay knee deep.
“You ok Jonny?” checked a pale face Mykal. Blood soaked his cir-coat, which covered his mail hauberk.
“For now,” shrugged Jon as he planted his blade in the dirt and fished out a cloth to shove under his vest, to staunch the bleeding. He was not used to being injured and grit his teeth in the face of the burning pain. “And you Mike?”
“Nothing to concern yourself with Jonny,” replied the calm confident twenty-six year old as he glanced down at the blood dripping from the fingers on his left hand.
“I can bandage……,” began Jon, but Mykal held up a hand.
“We won’t survive another wave brother,” Mykal declared.
“Well we did hold them for two days,” half grinned Jon, “The king should be happy with that. Time to go?” Mykal smiled and shook his head.
“We haven’t even thinned the mongrim ranks,” pointed out Mykal, “Old Frimgar can keep doing this, like he has done, until we fall, and then the Northern Plains are open to their pillaging. The knights won’t get here until hundreds die.”
Upon discovering the old war-chief of the mongrim, Frimgar, was about to invade Grenz, the two patrolling knights sent their scout back to Port Bailey to raise the alarm, while they held Potters Pass, the only known pass through the Wyrmsbergs, out the Hinterland and into northern Grenz. The narrow defile was the perfect bottleneck.
“I don’t understand,” frowned Jon.
“We have to cut the head off the serpent,” stated Mykal.
“Kill Frimgar? How?” exclaimed the younger Darcleaver.
“You and I both know mongrim and their tactics,” stated Mykal, “We’ve fought them for years. What you suppose they are doing now?”
“Arguing about who will be in the next wave,” snorted Jon, “Cowards!”
“And no doubt Frimgar will haul his battle scarred ass down to the front line to add some motivation,” grinned Mykal dryly. Jon smiled. That meant Frimgar would briefly be a mere two hundred yards in front of them.

A calloused knuckle cut open the face of a mongrim battle sergeant as Chief Frimgar back-handed him off his feet. He glowered at his rank and file troops. No words were needed. The chief demanded results.
“Take the pass!” growled the hulking, intellectually gifted mongrim leader, who had aligned five of the most powerful tribes for the invasion. He shot a glance at the entrance to the pass, cursing the two armor clad irritants.
His jaw dropped when from the pass came charging the very same two knight’s. A brief thought flashed to his cunning mind. He wished he had brought his Storm-Troopers, but it was too late. He whipped his flail off his belt as pandemonium broke out around him. It’s just two you fools, he thought. A fair number did take up arms and charge though.
He brought the massive spiked ball into a swing above his head, as he prepared to fight. The knights were still thirty feet or more away and about to be swamped by mongrim. A sudden pain lanced his chest and Frimgar glanced down to see a long elegant blade embedded into his sternum. The knight had thrown his sword! He dropped and fell, his lifeblood seeping out as he saw the armor of the knights disappear from sight. Chief Frimgar died, along with the Mongrim invasion.

A matter of weeks later the colossal Darcleaver monument was unveiled in Port Bailey by the king. The brothers bodies were entombed below it. It was the ultimate last stand.

This post was submitted by Trent.

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