Garth coughed his lungs out. Baccas were really heavy on the chest as he found out, but he did enjoy the taste. If he was going to live through this then he would maybe get his own. Firstly though he had to spend whatever little he would earn from this battle on a new house for his mother. Garth had lived with her for most of his seventeen years- up until the soldiers of the Bear raged through the borderlands for their harvest last year- before he decided to join the Greywolf troupe. He was placed in Craig's pack; a small group of battleworn veterans, none of them eager to have a twig like him in their ranks. But Craig had relentlessly put his faith in the boy, putting him through harder training sessions than Garth could have feared. He had even grown some more over time. Looking to his left and right in the shieldwall now he knew that he was still puny compared to the hulking monsters he shared his fate with, but he certainly wasn't a twig anymore. A deep, raspy voice pulled him out of his thoughts.

“They're done. Ready up.” Craig growled as he unsheathed his sword.

 Alpha Ryan stopped about ten feet in front of the soldiers a couple of gangs to the right of Craig and Garth, the farthest gang that belonged to Craig's pack, as Beta Adam rode around the bulk of the army to report to the king. Garth's eyes followed the Beta until he had slightly turned his head, because Craig stepped on his foot. “That's not the man you need to be paying attention to.” He said with a nod to the Alpha.

“Sorry, sir.”

“Just pay attention, boy.” Craig growled as he eyed their military leader up and down. “I didn't train you so you could take a blade whi-” He was interrupted by the Alpha's bellowing.

“These Bears have for long feasted on the crops of our people!” Ryan proclaimed as he started his great, black warhorse up and down the shieldwall. “They have taken your mothers, sisters and daughters as slaves! Pass them around like a jug of ale!” The Alpha paused for a second in front of Craig, looking from him to Garth. Craig looked him straight into the eye and nodded while his shieldside comrade averted his eyes to the floor. “They have razed farms, villages and cities!” Ryan continued, his eyes still on the somewhat meager excuse for a soldier in the wall. “Like cowards they came at night and murdered us in our sleep! Our sons, our brothers and our fathers!”

The End

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