On which hinges the destinies of our heroes
Haft, after answering the call to arms, marches toward Anvard with the rest of the Narnian army, gradually positioning himself closer and closer to King Edmund’s party in an attempt to keep an eye on Prince Corin. Even so, he is not close enough to get a truly good look at Shasta when the boy joins the group.
Lower Slopes of Stormness Head
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This is a wide meadow on the southern slopes of Stormness Head, littered with
gray boulders that glitter with mica. It is open and grassy, shaped like a
bowl, with small white mountain flowers sprinkled indiscriminately throughout.
The dense pine forest that covers the mountainside higher up shelters the area
from the worst of the north wind. The path passes through to the west, climbing
into the trees, and descends to the east.
From this height most of Archenland can be seen. The town of Andale is a little
distance to the east, and rich green forest extends for miles to the south,
with the thin grey-gold line of the Calormene desert beyond. To the west are
lower fields, golden with wheat, then forests again, very far away. The view of
the base of the mountain is blocked by a low ridge that rises on the southwest
side of the bowl.
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Corin is engaged with sword swings, testing his blade for balance and seeing if he can remember King Edmund’s most recent lessons.
Edmund is hefting his own blade, testing the weight and the sharpness of it. He handles the sword with ease. “Hold a bit further up the hilt, Prince Corin, and you might find that grip easier,” Edmund observes amiably.
Sigyn stands beside her sister, her tail twitching as she watches her fellow Narnians.
Peridan is on his horse, a handsome bay war horse. The man looks confident and calm, though there is a suppressed fire in his eyes. His eyes survey the army, having handed the banner of Narnia to a banner carrier.
Nimera remains near her sister, looking a bit miffed, but nevertheless ready for battle.
Aliyah takes the scene in, noting their Majesties as she does so. Ears are up and alert, every muscle in her body tensed.
Drune stands next to his Alpha, expression grim and posture tense. He looks between those gathered before turning his focus onto King Edmund.
Lucy strings her shortbow and plucks the string to test it. It reverberates as it should and she nods with a pleased expression. She glances over the party.
Edmund catches his sister’s gaze. The younger King’s expression suggests that he is fully cognizant of the seriousness of the situation at hand. “Everything as it should be, Lu?” he asks her quietly.
Lucy musters a reassuring smile. Her answer to his question is perhaps purposefully louder for the benefit of those around. “All is as it should be on our end.”
Edmund nods, satisfied, before speaking a few words to his sister.
Edmund mumbles “… cannot…risk … … … … … will…have … tell … and…I … it will not be pleasant. … remember…his age, and … … not…have … for being…on the sidelines.”, to Lucy.
Corin looks up at Edmund attentively as he instructs him, shifting his grip and doing another practice swing. He grins. “Will we attack immediately, your Majesty? There is little time to lose.”
Shasta watches Corin and attempts to mimic his stance, failing. He does not look at all sure about all this.
Peridan says, “Patience, young Prince. We need to wait for the scouts to get back. It is reckless to rush into battle without knowing what we are rushing into.”
Edmund adds, more audibly, to Corin, “Your Highness, a word with you while we await the scouts.”
Lucy, in turn, sighs and nods to what her brother has said. She murmurs something back.
Lucy mumbles “Perhaps … could … from the … … might be … … easier to … his promise, … we … … … him.”, to Edmund.
Tempest stands by her packmate, nose twitching as she sorts through all of the scents rushing at her. She stands ready, awaiting instructions.
Corin sighs with exasperation at Peridan. “I know, I know, but my father needs us. Waiting is… ugh!” He kicks at a stone. After a while, he makes his way over to Shasta. “How is that armour fitting you?”
Shasta moves his shoulders forward and back, trying to get it to settle. “Rather ill, I’m afraid. How do you move about in all this?”
Corin chuckles and moves about Shasta to adjust his straps. “It is a /bit/ awkward, but it just takes some getting used to. Anyway, with all the running you’ve done to get this far, I’m sure a little armour couldn’t slow you down much!”
Peridan continues to survey the army, eyes landing on the Wolves. He trots his horse over to them, bowing from his saddle. “Winterden wolves, I presume? Narnia thanks you for your service and for volunteering to participate.”
Drune dips his head. “It is our honor to serve Narnia in such a way.” He lets out a breath. “Hopefully we can help bring this to a swift end…”
Tempest says, “We are glad to be of service, Son of Adam.” She nods in agreement with her packmate’s words, falling quiet once more as she lifts her nose to continue scenting.
Edmund replies to Lucy, “It cannot hurt. Thank you, Lu.” He beckons Corin to him again, more firmly this time, pitching his voice above the commotion. “Prince Corin, a word.”
Shasta looks up to where the King is calling his friend. “I think King Edmund is looking for you.”
Corin looks to Edmund and clucks to his pony, nudging him over to the King. “Yes, your Majesty?”
Edmund sets his charger in motion, riding a little way apart with Corin. He does not speak until they are at a distance where they can be seen but their conversation is not liable to be overheard.
Peridan gives the Wolves a another nod. “Still, your service is appreciated.” He then moves down the line, encouraging the soldiers, giving out pieces of advice, and checking on last-minute details. He seems tense, awaiting the charge.
Drune gives the Son of Adam another nod and shifts a bit, eyes wandering the gathering once more before he leans in and mutters something to his Alpha.
Drune mumbles “… ready … …”, to Tempest.
Aliyah lets her gaze flicker from one to the next as they speak. She remains silent other than a few nods, however, solely focused on what lies ahead.
Corin mumbles “Oh, … … … I know what you’re thinking. This … fellow will … someone … … … him in the battle, and I will do … …”, to Edmund.
Edmund gives a slight shake of his head.
Edmund mumbles “We do wish … to take … … him, … what we … say … … is this, … … … … too … … … risked … the coming … … the Calormenes were to … … … you, … … … used as leverage … your … You may … … you are … stay out … … fighting. Those are our …”, to Corin.
Tempest looks to Drune, quiet for a moment before she nods firmly. “You?” she asks him.
Drune’s expression is hard as stone as he nods, claws digging into the ground.
Drune mumbles something incomprehensible to Tempest.
Shasta watches Corin ride away from him, looking uncertain and a little lost in the big crowd.
Tempest nods her affirmation.
Tempest mumbles something incomprehensible to Drune.
Corin makes a sulky face. “That’s just what that dwarf said. It’s not fair! He’s my father and he needs my help too!”
Edmund’s manner is regal as he addresses Corin.
Edmund mumbles “… is … … question of fairness or … … … … … assisting your … by ensuring … … come through the … safely. … … have … … … … … … your … … … … Your Highness, you must … the part … a … … and do as … are asked.”, to Corin.
Nimera nudges her sister, muttering to her. Her eyes still assess the army.
Nimera mumbles “… we survive this, … … to speak with … afterwards.”, to Sigyn.
Sigyn gives her sister a look that’s half apologetic and half just as miffed with her. She nods simply, looking to their leaders to await further orders.
Lucy watches her brother pull Corin aside and sighs softly again as words are exchanged.
Corin squishes his lips into the most displeased expression imaginable, but nods to the King at length. “I understand, Sire.”
Edmund holds Corin’s glance for a few long moments; then, satisfied with what he sees there, he nods once and brings his charger about to rejoin the others.
[At this point, Haft’s player joined in.]
Drune keeps a keen eye on the King, looking ready to spring at the first order.
There is a distant thudding that comes from the south. Soon an Eagle appears on the horizon, soaring through the air. He lands next to Peridan’s horse and the two exchange words. The man then trots his charger towards the King. “Your Majesty. The scouts are back. Rabadash’s army is focused on battering down the gates of Anvard. The sun is in a good position for us to attack from the rear and catch them off guard.”
Lucy removes her cape at the sight of the scout, tucking it into her saddlebags.
Shasta hangs tight upon the reins of his pony as she bucks a little at the sound. With some effort, he manages to get her under control.
Haft glances at the boy on the horse.
Corin’s pony even has a sulk in its step as it takes Corin back over to Shasta. “Come on. Queen Lucy will be with the archers, so we had better get moving.”
Shasta mumbles “… … not going … then?”, to Corin.
Edmund addresses the assembled Narnians, his voice carrying well to each ear. He is every inch the king as he speaks to them. “So, once more into battle, dear friends. In times of peace, there is nothing which so becomes an honest Narnian as quiet humility, but now the blast of war sounds shrilly in our ear, and we must answer. Summon up all the courage in your noble hearts and rise, true Beasts of Narnia. Your Kings and Queens summon you against our foes. Any Narnian who has no stomach for the fight, leave with our entire goodwill. Those of you who choose to take up teeth and hooves and horns and blades and claws will be remembered long after this day passes, for you will render service to the Lion and to your Kings and Queens. As for us, we go forth to meet the Calormenes in their strength, and we will not flinch. We will not cower. We will not be afraid. Follow your spirit and upon this charge, cry, “For Narnia and the Lion.” He raises his sword, and moments after, Edmund and his charger are a blur as they charge forward toward Anvard.
Peridan nods as the King speaks. He speaks quietly to the banner carrier, who begins to move forward in front of the King. The Lord Peridan yells, “For Narnia and the North!” He follows his King.
Aliyah steps forward as the Eagle approaches, her ears and tail twitching, whether from nerves or pent-up energy, it is hard to tell. Doing this causes her to wind up near the Leopards. She offers a nod to both. As the King speaks, she bristles, ready to run into battle.
Drune sucks in a deep breath as the King finishes. His claws rip into the ground as he springs forward, loping after the King, a fire growing in his eyes.
Lucy shouts, “For Narnia and for Aslan!”
Tempest echoes Queen Lucy’s shout. “For Aslan!”
Nimera leaps forward, moving into battle.
Corin makes a gesture for Shasta to keep his voice down, and shares a sly wink with him before kicking his pony forward.
Lucy leads the archers to the rear of the line, from which point they can provide cover for those charging.
Shasta looks somewhat alarmed at the wink, but follows suit.
Edmund’s charger pricks back its ears and canters at full speed once the banner has been raised. The younger King of Narnia sits steady in the saddle, and the sound of his approach is like thunder.
Queen Lucy and the company of archers take up their positions from a vantage point behind the main line. Meanwhile, the balance of the Narnian forces charge down upon those assaulting Anvard’s gates.
Before the Gates of Anvard
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A flat green space at the foot of the mountains opens here, sheltered by the
slopes of the northern mountains. Stormness Head looms high to the northeast,
its peak nearly always in clouds, and the double-headed peak of Mount Pire
rises over the trees to the northwest. A steep ridge like the side of a bowl
curves around from the northwest to the east, and the ground descends into
dense forest to the south.
At the center of the clear area is a small turreted castle, facing east. Its
weathered walls are built of large blocks of red granite that glitter faintly
in the sunlight, and elegantly functional ironwork graces the front gates and
portcullis. A stone cobbled road wide enough to easily facilitate the passage
of carts and carriages crosses over the broad green lawns from the castle
gates, disappearing into the trees to the east.
]-- ,%~ -----------------------[
Rabadash grumbles in frustration at the ram’s slow progress. “Put your backs into it, you dogs! I want those gates open. Your empire demands it!”
Ilgamuth mumbles “… did … O … patient … … that … … gate … … … … …”, to Ilgamuth.
Obligingly, the portcullis raises and the great gates swing open with a mighty creak. Knights and lords on chargers thunder out, riding down any unfortunate soldier on foot in their way.
Azrooh’s eyes are fair bursting from his head with rage as he whips his men into another swing, when the gates finally begin to screech open. The ramsmen are caught off guard, slipping and losing their footing as the ram strikes the gate side-on and shoves them roughly backward. The ram drops, crushing a handful of Calormenes in the process.
Edmund thunders forward, carried on the back of a charger, sword in his hand. His approach is preceded by the cry of “For Narnia and Aslan!” taken up by a chorus of voices. The sound of Edmund’s cry is like thunder. “Forward,” he shouts.
Sigyn crests the ridge, her paws pounding the dirt as she directs herself towards the Calormene cavalry. She leaps for a horse, claws extended as she roars and slams into the horse’s flank. The beast screams in terror and shies into the other horses surrounding it.
Nimera rushes into the fray, roaring with everything she has. She leaps at the first horse she notices.
Sigyn throws back her head and roars into the sky.
The Calormenes keeping watch against outsiders have little time to take in the gate’s opening before the Cats are amongst them. Most of them scatter in terror at the sight of the approaching demons. Ilgamuth barely manages to keep his own horse under control as he calls out to his scattering men, “Cowardly fools! Stay and fight or the punishment you will receive will be a thousand times worse than anything a demon can bring!”
Drune is on the Cats’ hind-paws as he crests the hill, letting out a ferocious howl before leaping in after them, going for the nearest Calormene horse.
Peridan comes following his King, his eyes filled with fire for his homeland. He guides his horse, swinging his sword. “NARNIA! ARCHENLAND!”
Tempest launches herself across the ground, howling at the top of her lungs as she tackles the first foreign soldier she reaches and snaps at the horses.
Rabadash whips about in his saddle, regarding the Narnian chargers with shock. Soon the expression refines down to cold fury at the interference, and he screams, “Tarkaans! We are betrayed. Ilgamuth, hold that line! Do not let these demons any closer!”
Aliyah runs at full speed towards the fray, jaws snapping at the leg of a soldier.
Haft raises his sword, face grim. “Archenland!” he bellows.
Anradin gives a great shout as the line of horses and beasts appears upon the ridge and charges downward. “To your mounts, archers, and about!” As one, the archers flanking the ram most closely are in their saddles with backs toward each other, wheeling to face the horses charging toward them from both directions.
Lune rides out the gates at full speed, sword in hand, leading the charge. He roars, swinging his sword, “Archenland! Archenland!”
Dar rides beside his King, bent low over the saddle for speed, armor clanking. As he rides, he wields a blade.
Darrin rides on the opposite side of King Lune from his brother. He takes up the King’s cry as he charges, wielding his sword. “Archenland!”
Cole charges behind his King, sword out and mouth open as he lets out a battle cry, swinging at the nearest Calormene.
Colin urges his black steed forward, close on the heels of the King as they pour out of the gate, bellowing a battle cry of “Archenland!” as he points his blade for the Calormene army.
Tran charges from the gates behind the King and the brothers Dar and Darrin. His sword is drawn and ready, and the cry, “Archenland!” is on his lips.
Shar rides in behind the others as well, taking up the cry.
Chlamash exclaims, “Men! Form ranks and face these northern barbarians!”
Azrooh presses his back to the ram, eyes wide as the Archenlander forces charge past him, trying to keep out of the way as he reassesses the field of battle.
Ilgamuth manages to bring his horse back under control, swiping at the demons with his scimitar while calling out to his men, “Hold your lines! Fight back!” Most of those who did not fall in the initial assault regain their composure, beginning to retaliate.
Aliyah holds tightly to the soldier’s leg and yanks him off the horse, pouncing as he falls and burying her teeth into his neck with a snarl.
Nimera continues her assault on the horses of the dismounted soldiers, clawing and roaring.
Sigyn slashes at every horse, roaring to scare them and drive them out from under their masters. Calormenes tumble left and right as their terrified beasts flee the Cat’s claws.
Corin sits on his pony a little way up the hill with Shasta, looking down on the field. He shifts in his saddle restlessly.
Six massive giants thunder down the slope behind the Narnian army, every footfall shaking the ground.
Johan rushes out from the gate, holding his sword up high, his eyes scouring the area for any Calormene who would dare to come near.
A giant swings low, knocking a goodly number of Calormenes to the flying.
Azrooh’s eyes turn to saucers at the giants’ advance, and he breaks his cover, remounting his horse and tearing off at a gallop back to join the Calormene line by Ilgamuth. “With me, men! We are outflanked! Draw a circle against the enemy!”
Ilgamuth barely manages to avoid the giant, unslinging his crossbow and fixing a bolt in it as he rides. He urges his horse some way away before standing in his saddle and aiming at the giant’s eye just as Azrooh approaches.
Anradin brandishes his scimitar and cries out to his now-mounted archers, “The slopes! A volley upon the slopes! They will fall where they ride, by the gods!”
Chlamash leads his men forward to attack the oncoming Narnian army, his scimitar extended. “For the glory of the EMPIRE!”
Drune yanks a Calormene from his steed, slashing him with his claws before turning and quickly catching sight of his packmate in the chaos. Bounding after her, he leaps atop the Calormene she just downed, claws digging into him.
The giant, struck in the eye, drops like a felled tree, crushing anything unfortunate enough to not get out of its way.
Edmund engages Corradin, one of the Calormene Tarkaans, a giant with arms like the trunks of trees. For some time, there is only the clang of sword against scimitar as they trade off gaining ground. Edmund brings his blade up just in time to avoid a nasty swipe to his arm. The young King’s features reflect bravery and determination; the Tarkaan’s snarl is a rictus of bravado as he pivots and charges at Edmund again.
Haft mumbles “”I’ll show you glory of the empire.””, to Haft.
Haft mumbles “… show you … … … …”, to Haft.
Tempest moves from one fallen soldier to the next, making quick work of them.
Rabadash’s eyes burn with fury and he charges toward a centaur, slashing his scimitar wildly against its side. “Die, you foul demons! You shall not have my prize. Your barbarian queen shall be mine!”
Shasta stares down on the field, only taking his eyes away to glance at his friend.
Peridan urges his horse towards the nearest soldier, dispatching him with his sword. His face is grim and collected, though the fire has not died down in his eyes.
Eston, in the chaos of the battle, does not realise that an enemy soldier is behind him until he is struck. He collapses from the blow.
Aliyah darts among the horses and soldiers the Leopards have caused to fall, scaring some horses into trampling their former riders. As one tries to rise to his feet, she leaps atop him, finishing him off quickly.
Several Fauns dash amongst the fray, vaulting and attacking with their pikes.
Tran makes use of his shield to fend off the arrows still hailing down upon the gates. With the sword wielded in his other hand, he slashes at the Calormenes who still stand around the fallen ram.
Corin catches Shasta’s look and flashes his version of an apologetic grin. “For Anvard! For Narnia and the North!” he cries and sets his pony into a terrific canter downhill!
Shasta’s pony follows after Corin’s, with very little direction from Shasta.
Haft joins battle against one of the Calormene infantry, swinging with grim competence.
Lune holds a broadening line in front of the gate with his lords, booming joyful threats to any Calormene who comes near before dispatching them with terrible skill and fury.
Dar raises his shield aloft to catch an arrow whizzing by just before it threatens to strike Lune’s mount.
Johan notices Eston getting hit in his back by an enemy. He rushes towards him, holding his sword up high. He slashes with as much strength as he can, aiming for the shoulder of the Calormene.
Cole raises his sword, blocking an incoming attack before swiftly cutting across the offending Calormene’s midsection and felling him.
Nimera snarls as she continues to bite and claw. However, a stray blade smacks her on the side, causing her to yowl with fury and pain.
Eston tries to stand, but collapses again, though he does see the Calormene soldier stagger under Johan’s blow.
Azrooh finds himself closing with a ferocious Bear, at least twice his height and Tash only knows how many times his weight. He makes up for his size with determination, however, the the flash in his eyes matching the glint of his sword, and he swings out to stab the beast.
Edmund presses his advantage. The Tarkaan he fights sneers and makes one more attempt to force Edmund’s blade out of his hand. Edmund’s charger springs forward, taunting Corradin by taking the King just out of reach. Enraged, the Calormene mutters an invective against the barbarian king and, taking up his scimitar in his massive hands, swings it in a direct arc at Edmund.
Aliyah glances sharply in Nimera’s direction, paws barely touching the ground as she approaches the Leopard. Snarling, she rears up to send the one with the blade flying before he can attack Nimera again.
Ilgamuth’s horse is hit by an arrow. It is all he can do to jump out of its saddle, rolling on the ground to avoid being crushed under the horse. He scrambles to his feet as fast as he can, now finding himself on foot and engaged in battle with a goat-footed demon.
Corin barrels into a Calormene soldier, using his naked fists to punch him out of his saddle, with all of the weight of his pony’s charge behind him. The soldier groans and sprawls to the ground in the mud of combat. Corin cheers and leaps off his mount, drawing his sword.
Johan pulls his sword back and slashes at the Calormene again as he staggers back, aiming to finish it.
Colin slices left and right at several passing soldiers before engaging in a clash with a Calormene cavalryman, which results in both of them being unseated.
The Calormene fighting Johan tries to fight back, but in the end it is Johan who is victorious.
Haft turns from dispatching his Calormene and turns to see the young Prince enter the battle. He attempts to move toward the boy, but the battle sweeps them apart.
Darrin fights with determination at Lune’s side, his horse gradually moving in the direction of the downed Calormene engaged with the Faun.
Peridan rams his sword mercilessly at the heads of Calormene soldiers. He is still mounted, using his charger to dodge blows and soldiers.
Rabadash swings with the swiftness and ferocity of a demon himself, for all of his talk, and rains down several cruel blows on the centaur.
Anradin rides into the fray as the full force of the Narnian line reaches his own. At his command, his men switch to their scimitars in place of their bows and ride in behind him. One of his first targets is a small mounted figure, and he slashes at his sword arm.
Lune catches a glimpse of his son–one of them–and his face wipes briefly with horror followed by exasperation. He clunks a soldier heavily on the helm with the hilt of his sword and urges his men on, claiming more ground.
Chlamash finds himself engaged with a centaur. The blows are terrific, and Chlamash’s horse rears several times!
Drune ducks under a sword quickly before twisting hard and latching onto that Calormene’s arm, quickly yanking him from his saddle.
Nimera gives a glance of gratitude at Aliyah before rallying herself and entering the fray once again.
Edmund narrowly avoids the Tarkaan’s blade, but the momentum is enough to allow him to raise his own sword, and with a single sweep, bring it down on the man’s neck. Corradin falls to the earth with a loud thud, his head landing just nearby.
Johan turns to where Eston kneels. He clamps one of his arms around one of Eston’s, pulling him back towards the castle wall, next to the gate.
Dar follows Lune’s gaze, his face going grim to see the Prince at the fringes of the battle. A Calormene approaches too close and Dar strikes at him, driving the man back from their position.
Ilgamuth makes a fierce slash at the Faun, causing it to buckle as he deals the finishing blow.
Azrooh slays the Bear with a very lucky thrust, shoved upward through its gut. It slumps forward, heavy and ready to crush him. He manages to pull himself out from under it at the last moment, and he heaves a few relieved breaths before scanning the field once more. “Where is the King of Anvard! Who is the leader of this motley band of devils and cowards?”
Eston, yelling out in pain, allows himself to be half-dragged, half-carried over to the wall, too injured to walk properly himself.
The giants make their way through the battle line, swinging their clubs as they go. More Calormenes fly through the air, only to fall hard to the ground again.
Corin soon has his Calormene foe on the ground again, despite his attempts to scrabble back to his feet in the slippery mud that surrounds him. Corin’s moves are a little clumsy, but there is great strength behind them, and the Calormene is fairly beaten black and blue with the princeling’s sword.
Shasta’s pony takes him right through the battle, hardly slowing for it. Shasta, sword arm held uselessly out with the hilt not tightly against his wrist, but loose and waving about, manages to avoid Anradin’s swing at him because of his pony’s speed, but the sword is knocked right out of his hand in the process.
Aliyah yelps as one of the giants’ targets falls, his sword slicing into her shoulder on his way down. She stumbles momentarily but quickly regains her balance, muttering to herself, “I will not let this happen.”
Colin quickly dispatches the Calormene he is battling with and he leaps over the fallen body, coming face to face with Anradin, a Tarkaan with a crimson beard and gold jewelry. His expression is grim and deadly and he raises his blade to do battle.
Johan pushes Eston softly up against the wall, making sure he is still awake. He peers over his shoulder to check for potential Calormene soldiers before turning back to Eston. “Stay here… stay awake!”
Edmund continues to pursue the enemy, his sword never ceasing from its deadly work.
Adair stumbles over the wreckage of war, causing Peridan to fall to the ground. He quickly recovers and starts engaging on foot, using his blade skillfully.
Darrin stabs a Calormene foot soldier through the neck and, clear for the moment, lands his gaze on the Calormene who challenged Lune. He glances to Lune and his brother, swipes sweat from his brow, and drives his horse after the man Dar has just driven back.
Eston sets his face with determination, though he is pale and his fists are clenched at the pain. “I ain’t gonna die here, Johan.”
Rabadash hears Azrooh’s cry and grins like a wild animal. “Find him, Azrooh! Make sure these dogs pay for their insolence with their very blood!” He whirls about, searching for the King of these northern barbarians. “Where is the Narnian who calls himself King? Who denied me my rightful bride?”
Haft sees the boy lose his sword, and, assuming it to be Corin, thrusts fiercely through the Calormenes in that direction.
Cole continues slashing through the Calormene ranks, ducking under a few blows before taking a stab at a passing Calormene.
Nimera is at the Wolf’s side, hissing and biting at the soldier who is approaching. “Aliyah, stick with me.” It is not an suggestion.
Ilgamuth has no sooner finished dispatching the Faun than he finds himself engaged in battle with an Archenlandish foot soldier.
Shasta manages to gain some control over his pony, but only just as a spear looms overhead. He ducks it, dropping the reins in the effort, and she panics again, throwing him.
Sigyn springs into the air, leaping at a mounted soldier who quickly meets the ground.
Aliyah nods to the Leopard. “We can do more damage together,” she says, claws raking at another oncoming soldier.
Johan nods towards Eston. “Indeed… you won’t!” He turns around, holding his sword up again and rushing back into battle.
Haft pales, seeing the boy fall.
Anradin, after effectively dispatching his small opponent’s weapon, wheels just in time to face Colin, the knight who has raised his sword against him. As he does so, a third opponent’s halberd swings right for his head. He ducks and rolls, which allows him to avoid the blow but takes him out of his saddle.
Corin finally lands a direct blow to his opponent’s head with the flat of his blade. The life drains out of the Calormene’s punch-drunk eyes and he collapses to the ground in a heap. Corin whoops and holds his sword high before mounting his pony and charging the next unlucky victim!
Lune switches his sword from one hand to the other, wheeling his horse to face the Tarkaan who called him out. Seeing his opponent is on foot, he dismounts, raising his sword in challenge.
Nimera sticks by the wolf, the two lashing out with their teeth and claws.
Colin advances upon Anradin now that they are on equal ground. He smashes at him with his sword repeatedly, his speed and agility a deadly force.
Azrooh grins fiercely and waves his scimitar as he advances on King Lune, his manner wild. “I will kill you myself, and earn the eternal gratitude of my Prince. With you out of the way, your forces will scatter like the leaves of autumn.”
Lune doesn’t waste time on small talk. He smiles grimly and swings his greatsword in a two-handed attack.
Shar lifts his shield, bashing it against the scimitar of an oncoming attacker and overpowering him.
Edmund challenges another Calormene soldier, calling out encouragement to the group of Wolves nearby him and reminding each of them how proud he is to fight alongside them.
Johan, angered by the attack on his friend, rushes to a nearby Calormene soldier, holding his sword straight in front of him and intending to stab right through the soldier.
Chlamash urges his forces, “Fight, you dogs! For Calormen! For glory! For the Empire!”
Tempest’s white teeth flash as she catches a Calormene by the leg and brings him down.
Aliyah’s fur prickles. She glances over her shoulder just in time to see a blade heading for the Leopard. “Nimera! Behind you!” Whirling, she lunges upward, clawing at the face of the attacker, gouging one eye in the process. As the eye goes sightless, the man drops his sword.
Haft, having lost sight of his goal, continues moving toward where he saw the boy fall.
Anradin lands on his feet as he falls from his mount, but he is bent over and at a disadvantage, and only manages to avoid a fatal hit by holding his shield above his head. Despite this, he takes more than one bruising blow to his armor. He slashes below his shield, aiming for his opponent’s legs.
Rabadash scowls like a rabid rat as he searches out King Edmund, slashing at beast and man alike, beating them back with every ounce of his strength.
Shasta is lost in the fray of battle and does not get up. His pony bolts, abandoning him.
Dar advances, attempting to fight his way through to rejoin Lune.
Azrooh braces King Lune’s attack with his scimitar and grins savagely as he shoves back against him, attempting to knock him off balance backward.
Ilgamuth slashes at the Archenlandish foot soldier, who falls to his knees. He puts the scimitar to the man’s chest, finishing him.
Haft, dispatching a Calormene, finally finds himself near his fallen quarry. In the thick of battle there’s no time to see whether the boy is alive or dead, but he makes it his business to keep any enemies as far away as possible.
Tran fights on beside his brothers in arms.
Darrin is just behind his brother when his path is blocked by Ilgamuth, the scarred Calormene who has just slain a foot soldier. He urges his horse towards the man, swinging his sword.
Drune ducks under another sword before attempting to pull yet another soldier from his mount. In the process, though, he is caught in the side by another sword and lets out a loud snarl, falling to the side.
Corin suddenly spots Shasta lost in the middle of the battlefield and pelts toward him, crying, “Are you hurt? Get up! It’s not safe here.” He urges him toward the edge of the combat.
Peridan continues his fight on foot, finding himself deeper into the Calormene soldiers. He roars, “Is that all you have?!”
Johan turns to another Calormene soldier, yelling out, “I’ll show you how a barbarian fights, cowards!” He slashes wildly.
Colin leaps into the air, kicking the crimson-bearded face right in the teeth. He lifts his blade and rams it through the the front of Anradin’s chainmail, right about where his heart should be. Yanking his blade free, he turns and slashes at another passing foot soldier.
Nimera continues her attack, sticking by Aliyah. She continues to scan the crowd for her sister.
Anradin cries out as he loses his teeth, and is unable to return a blow of his own before he is pierced by Colin’s sword. As it is pulled from him once more, he falls to his knees, then forward onto the field of battle, and moves no more.
Lune’s face is calm as he battles, parrying every blow with powerful, jarring counter-swings. His footwork is excellent and he never once loses his balance, but he is distracted when he catches sight of both his sons past the Tarkaan’s shoulder.
Ilgamuth catches sight of the mounted Archenlander just in time to fling himself out the way of Darrin’s blow. Though he nearly loses his footing, he manages to catch himself and swivels around, slashing at the horse’s neck in an attempt to force a dismount.
Shasta manages to get up. He races, stumbling, off the field.
Dar grimaces and fends his opponent off with a cleverly placed cutting blow. He grunts in frustration, seeing his brother’s plight and unable to come to Darrin’s assistance.
Azrooh’s good humour evaporates as Lune turns his advance back on him. His eyes glow with building fire as he struggles to push back. When the King’s attention appears diverted, he presses his advantage by aiming a kick to his forward leg!
Chlamash turns his charger towards the Narnian-Calormene line. “For Calormen!” he shouts, charging!
Aliyah growls as the sightless one finally falls. She lunges downward, biting him harshly in the abdomen. “Brave are you. Lasted longer than some.” She turns, continuing the attack alongside the Leopard.
Darrin’s horse lets out a scream as it sinks to its knees. Darrin barely manages to leap free of the saddle before the horse collapses. He ducks and rolls, coming up to face Ilgamuth with a snarl.
Peridan turns as Chlamash is charging him. He leaps to the side, raising his sword to counter any overhead blow.
Drune is on his paws seconds later, letting out a growl of pain. The sword dug DEEP into his side, and blood trails from the wounds as he dives under another sword and hobbles into the gates of the castle.
Edmund orders some of the Narnians after a group of Calormenes who are fleeing toward the woods instead of facing the Talking Beasts. His horse turns about, ready for another oncomer, and the sun glints off the Narnian King’s battle crown.
Haft is startled by the appearance of the actual Prince, but there’s no time to dwell on it. Both boys seem to be safe, and he has other things to keep him occupied.
Ilgamuth grins a very lopsided grin at Darrin’s expression, making a swipe at him with his scimitar.
Johan quickly looks over at Eston, checking if he’s still awake.
Lune refocuses on Azrooh, new fury in his face. He shoves the man back and aims for the vulnerable point between his helmet and hauberk with the edge of his blade.
Chlamash’s horse takes him past Peridan. With a snarl, he turns his horse around, swinging his blade at the Narnian’s side.
Darrin catches the blow on his shield and then pushes back at Ilgamuth with it, lashing out over the top of the shield with his sword.
Eston is still awake, barely. He drifts in and out of consciousness.
Rabadash erupts into maniacal laughter as he turns to see that it is a Talking Dog that has torn at the flesh of his shin. “Of course!” he shrieks, “Of course these animals would have dogs to fight for them. Come here, beast!” He shakes his leg free and swings wildly at its head. “I’ll have you playing dead for me in no time!”
Dar lashes out at the Calormene in his way, sword swinging again and again as he tries to get back to his brother’s side.
Peridan grimaces a bit as Chlamash nicks his side, but he leaps out of the way before getting too hurt. He swing his sword, trying to knock the man from his horse.
Azrooh swallows as the tip of Lune’s sword lightly scrapes his vulnerable neck, but none of the fury leaves his eyes. “You think to take me prisoner, you dog? You wish me to surrender?”
Chlamash counters the sword, keeping his balance as his horse dances about.
Johan blocks the attacks of a Calormene soldier, pressing his sword against the scimitar, pushing the soldier back.
Ilgamuth staggers backwards under the force of Darrin’s parry, cursing under his breath as he only just manages to catch the blow on the edge of his own shield.
Peridan grimaces but still keeps his ground. He looks up briefly, whistling to see if Adair is nearby.
Lune says, holding the greatsword steady, “Your surrender or your life, the choice is yours. Drop your weapon!”
Corin follows Shasta and looks the lad over quickly. “Are you going to be alright?” he asks urgently.
Edmund commands the Narnians with an assurance beyond his years. They have begun to clear away pockets of the forces Rabadash brought with him. “Cats to me,” Edmund calls.
Azrooh hurls a curse at the barbarian king and swings his own blade about, aiming for Lune’s neck!
Darrin presses his advantage, stabbing low at Ilgamuth’s middle in an attempt to get below his shield cover.
Shasta says, “I’m fine. Just a bit knocked about is all.” He breathes hard, rubbing the spot where he fell. “Think maybe we should have done as King Edmund said.”
Dar parries another thrust from his adversary, using his height as leverage to gain a few precious feet of ground.
Rabadash finds the Dog more difficult and tenacious than he expected. It locks its jaws into his calf where it is more difficult to shake off, fangs sinking deeply into his flesh and forcing a groan from his chest. He scrabbles, punching the beast’s head and trying to knock it away with the hilt of his weapon.
Hearing the King’s cry, Nimera turns to Aliyah. “Go find another to fight alongside.” Again, this is not a suggestion. She roars and dashes to her King’s side.
Ilgamuth lets out a curse that’s more a cry of pain as the sword leaves a gash across his waist. “Nephew of a jackal!” He slashes at his attacker fiercely, ignoring the pain.
Sigyn bounds over fallen bodies to appear at King Edmund’s side.
Lune’s blade leaves Azrooh’s neck to parry the scimitar’s blow. He does something complicated and hard to follow with his wrist that ends with Azrooh’s scimitar flying several feet away. Lune’s blade returns to the Tarkaan’s neck, the point hovering just below his chin. “Yield!”
Corin grins, shaking his head. “Are you joking? This is adventure! This is where heroes are made!” He cinches his armor and runs back into battle, knocking the legs out from under an unsuspecting Calormene just as a centaur is bearing down on him.
Darrin just laughs at his opponent, looking more amused than offended by the insult. He ducks behind his shield at the flurry of blows and shoves /hard/, aiming a quick swipe at the Calormene’s neck once he’s hopefully thrown him off balance.
Aliyah nods as Nimera disappears. Though she’d rather go with her, she does notice a familiar Eagle. She gives a sharp bark to get the Eagle’s attention, and with one signal, they are off again, slashing at more of the soldiers. Her energy is waning at this point.
Azrooh’s breath comes in furious snorts. “Yield to a barbarian? Death first!” he cries, and lashes out with his feet in an effort to knock the man backward.
Lune says, “Very well,” and lops the Tarkaan’s head off neatly.
Chlamash charges Peridan, swinging his sword towards his opponent as he does.
Shar finds himself at his eldest son’s side. He makes quick work of a second Calormene heading Dar’s way.
Tempest snaps at another Calormene, grabbing his wrist when he tries to strike her with his blade.
Edmund instructs the Cats who have reached him, “Go after those who attempt flight. If they surrender, give them quarter. Do no killing unless they leave you no choice.” He catches sight of Peridan’s situation and swings off of his horse, pushing through the ranks to relieve him. “Hold,” he calls to the Calormene attacking Peridan, his voice ringing out.
Shasta shakes his head at the other boy as he tries to catch his breath. He dodges a haphazard spear tossed his way and finds a good out-of-the-way spot to keep out of the commotion.
Haft aids Tempest, slipping his sword beneath the Calormene’s armor.
Ilgamuth is knocked back, falling to the ground. He manages to use his shield to block the blow, but his efforts to stand are in vain.
Sigyn nods her understanding and with a quick glance at her sister, springs forward to chase down any soldier attempting to flee the battle.
Peridan stumbles a bit, looking gratefully at the King. He mutters to him.
Peridan mumbles “… … … … side … you … it, Sire.”, to Edmund.
Darrin places a well-aimed kick at Ilgamuth’s shield arm, knocking the shield aside, and drives his sword at the downed man.
Nimera also nods and rushes after her sister, yowling at those fleeing.
Dar’s face is set in grim determination as he finishes his own skirmish, his sword striking out and the Calormene falling.
Ilgamuth’s shield arm bends back awkwardly at the kick, as the shield is still fastened. A searing pain shoots up his arm as the shield, coupled with the kick, causes the arm to break. In this moment of pain, he is unable to do anything to defend himself against the next blow.
Rabadash finally beats the Dog to the ground, leaving it in an unconscious heap. He sucks in a few deep breaths before looking about the field and spying Edmund at last, closing with Chlamash. His grin is hungry as he galumphs over to join the Tarkaan.
Colin finds himself in close proximity to Darrin and quickly engages a soldier lunging for the younger knight. He disposes of him and turns, looking for another.
Edmund nods to Peridan. “It is an honor to have you at our side,” the King says. He calls out to Chlamash, “Will you yield?” Rabadash’s approach is greeted with steely calmness. “Very well, Rabadash. Here we are. Will you yield, or will you face us?”
Chlamash turns his horse as he hears the low commands. “At last, a worthy opponent!” He swings his blade and charges, aiming for King Edmund’s head.
Darrin nods his thanks to Colin as he finishes off Ilgamuth. He wheels, scanning the field for his brother and the King.
Rabadash grins like a toothy demon, his skin is so flush with the heat of battle. “The question is will you dare to face me, you treacherous king among demons!” He heaves his scimitar in a great swing at Edmund’s side!
Peridan nods at the King. However, as he hears the words of the Tarkaan, he turns, face aflame. With a yell, Peridan rushes forward, swinging his sword at Chlamash’s horse, downing it.
Tran fights not far from his King and fellow knights. As he dispatches one Calormene, another rushes up to take his place, and Tran leaps over the newly fallen man to meet him.
Johan runs back over to Eston at the wall. “Hey… are you still awake? Can you show me your wound?”
Corin charges toward the Wolves and Leopards where they are picking off stragglers, his sword flying aloft. He stands by them and fights with all his strength.
Edmund stands his ground, facing the onslaught of the two Calormenes unbowed. He narrowly escapes Rabadash’s blade, but he does not yield. “It is you who have committed treachery, Rabadash, and you will answer for it.” He takes a firm hold on his sword and presses the attack.
Chlamash falls from his horse as the beast collapses, but he rolls to his feet and takes a swipe at the Narnian King’s back.
Eston stirs slightly at Johan’s words and shifts to show a very nasty-looking wound that just missed any of his armour.
Rabadash dances around Edmund, making sure that his attacks always flank the Tarkaan’s, and keeping the Narnian King on the defence. “I answer to no northerner. Not you barbarians or the demons you call your subjects! It is you who will pay for your insolence!”
Johan inspects the wound. “Blast… you can’t leave it open like that. I can wrap it if you want!”
Haft pursues those who flee toward the edge of the battle. He overtakes one Calormene and engages him, exchanging several blows before overcoming his opponent. Wiping his brow, he turns to see the boy he saw earlier, crouched at the outskirts of the field. But hadn’t he just seen Prince Corin with the Great Cats? He pales, looking at the boy, and nearly misses the Calormene approaching from behind. Turning quickly, he raises his sword but stumbles backward.
Eston gives a weak nod at Johan’s offer. “Yeah… don’t want to bleed to death…”
Edmund swings a mighty blow in the direction of Chlamash’s ornate breastplate. He dances as well, with a nobility that is out of keeping with his age, the King’s sword acting as an extension of his hand. “You have already lost your prize, Rabadash,” he states. “Our sister is not for you.”
Peridan rushes to his King’s side, wielding his sword. His face is grim and set as he tries to keep King Edmund from being killed.
Lune turns away from the dead Tarkaan, casting his eyes around for his sons. He breaks into a run, leaping over fallen soldiers to reach Corin. “/Thou/,” he growls, blocking a blow meant for his son. “To the walls, young mischief. Behind the line, immediately if you please.”
Haft falls to his back. Winded, he raises his sword again as the Calormene rushes forward. His enemy falls on top of him and Haft pushes the body off.
Johan rips off a piece of his shirt, wrapping it at round Eston’s wound and tying it tightly. “Sorry… this is the best I could do.”
Shasta is just visible, hidden behind a slope of hill in the green expanse.
Rabadash grimaces at Edmund’s rejoinder and curses as Peridan joins in the fray, sending him back. “I shall regain my prize, by whatever force is required!”
Dar manages to reach Lune’s side just as Archenland’s King admonishes his son. His armor bears several dents from the fray, and his demeanor is somber.
Shar rides beside his eldest, eyes keen for his other son.
Corin looks up at this father first in pleasure and relief, but then realizes he has been caught and looks as guilty as seems appropriate. “Yes, Father,” he replies sorrowfully, but keeps his sword at the ready as he jogs back to the castle walls.
Chlamash roars, locking his blade with Edmund, then turning to slice at the Narnian King’s side.
Darrin ducks a blow from a Calormene foot soldier and strikes the man down, then looks to Colin, who has ended up fighting just at Darrin’s back. “Sir Colin!” he calls out, having laid eyes on Lune and Dar. “Shall we to the King?” He gestures with his sword and blocks a blow from another soldier.
Haft rises, turning toward the slope of the hill.
Edmund presses his blade against the joint in Chlamash’s armor, just enough to create pressure. “Chlamash, you see why you are brought here. Is it as you were told? Will you yield now? I vow to spare your life. Many of your countrymen are in retreat, and you see what has become of the others.”
Colin turns when Darrin calls to him, and he nods clearly, looking in the direction Darrin indicates. He moves to his fellow knight’s side and covers him as they move toward the King.
Tran is not far behind Sir Darrin and Sir Colin as they make their way toward their King.
Haft walks up the rise toward the boy. “Come, lad, you’ll be alright now,” he says thickly. “I think you’ll be wanted below.”
Dar’s expression eases when he sees his brother approach. He nods in Darrin’s direction, indicating to his father that both of his sons are well.
Lune follows close behind, not letting his son out of sight again, and glances around the battlefield quickly for a sign of the other boy. He takes his stand near the gate, saluting his knights with his sword as they join him, and nods toward Rabadash.
Darrin hacks his way through the remaining scattered ranks of Calormene foot soldiers, Colin at his side. He catches sight of Tran after a moment and gives the man a nod, angling his approach so that he can watch Tran’s back as well. He’s panting by the time they near the others, but he gives his brother a nod.
Tran acknowledges Lord Darrin’s strategy with a nod and a turn to cover the other direction as they move.
Peridan aims his sword at the Prince, trying to push him away from the King as King Edmund engages the other Calormene.
Rabadash cries out in frustration as Peridan moves between him and his quarry. “Out of my way, you imbecile! Unless you wish your body to feed the ravens!” He leaps up onto a mounting block, grinning maniacally at his new advantage.
Feeling the blade against his armor, Chlamash recognizes his peril. He looks into the Narnian King’s eyes as he speaks and sees many things there. “Truly, you are a worthy opponent, O Narnian King,” he says, and extends his scimitar, hilt out and blade facing back at himself.
Edmund puts up his sword to accept Chlamash’s in the ancient gesture of fealty. The younger of the Narnian Kings replies, “So we have sworn, and so will we guarantee, since you have pledged to take up arms against us no more. We know what it is to be swayed by lies and treachery, Chlamash. We accept your surrender. Go forward from this day and prove as good as your word.”
As Rabadash and the very last of his men are defeated, King Lune and King Edmund claim their joint victory in the shadow of Anvard’s gates.