Crusader ~ Chapter II Part IMature


Chapter II

    Huge chunks of the wall flew from the left, past my face, as I ducked in my chair. The delayed sound of an explosion shook me. I was terrified, and the people around me must have been as well, judging from the screams. What could've caused this? My mind raced as my hearing just started clearing up. The last thing on my thoughts waa that Derynn had been invaded.

      A young human from the audience jumped up on top of his chair and started yelling commands to the rest of us, trying to be heard over the sounds of chaos. "COME ON! LET'S GO! GET TO THE DOOR!"

   Still paralyzed with fear, I wasn't sure this man had the best of intentions or not. Another blast somewhere near by shook the ground, not giving me a whole lot of time to think it over. Everyone else ran to the door by the pedestle as I jumped out of my seat. The exit the blonde-haired man was leading people towards was also the closest, so I didn't have much of a choice.

     I rushed towards the sunlight of outside, but I skid to a halt after I saw the horrors that awaited me there.

   Dragonborn and Humans alike panicked and ran in the streets, searching in vain for somewhere safe. Every building in the area either had a fourth of it blown apart, or was set ablaze. Orcs(!) rampaged throughout, destroying or killing everything in sight with their massive battleaxes. Hideous Orc warmages were firing prismatic missiles of magic from their staffs, aiming for maximum destruction.

   One of those missiles startled me back into action. It whizzed past me as I just barely dove out of the way, reducing the wall behind me to shrapnel. The screaming and movements of people around me faded as my eardrums rung with an intensity so great it was painful and disorienting. My entire back burned as the shards of stone pelted my scales. I couldn't get up, and the pain in my head was unbearable. Mustering all my strength, I staggered up and ran towards a merchant's booth for cover.

      The marketplace that had been impossible to walk through less than an hour ago was now deserted, save for the corpses of vendors who were unlucky enough to have been too slow. I ducked under the stall as the sounds of war surounded me... Nay, the sounds of an attack. Our defense was nowhere to be seen or heard. This was no war...

   It was a slaughter.

       An Orc knocked my booth over as he leapt past. I immediately bounced backed towards the edge of the road, but he had a different target in mind. The monster was chasing a much slower, middle-aged Dragonborn woman. It roared a blood-curdling war cry as it ran after the easy target. 

    Not stopping to think, I picked up a short spear, about four feet long, from the booth's merchandise scattered about the road, and instantly raced to the Orc.

   The lady didn't stand a chance against the killing machine that caught up to her. Her horrific scream shook me to the core as the Orc sliced her open. The fiend swung the recently-created corpse off of his blade. The Orc hollered as he shook the axe high, the thick, chunky blood of the fallen mistress coated on it. The unthinkable act of mindless violence enraged me, and I felt the primal urge to avenge the innocent woman's gory demise.

   Forgetting the attack around me, I focused on the demon that stood before me. I rushed at him with little regard for my safety. Or life, for that matter. The Orc noticed me, and swung his axe, missing me by inches. I lept at the much-stronger-and-larger-than-myself monster and grabbed on to little effect. Trying to swipe me off, the boar-headed Orc dropped his axe. I immediatly took the opportunity and dug my short spear inbetween his ribs. The Orc yelled deeply, and smacked me off.  He crumpled to the ground, holding his wound. I recovered from the blow, grabbed my spear, and took off. Probably didn't kill him, I thought, but I wasn't going to stick around and check.

     The sights and sounds of destruction returned to me at once. Trying to dodge every attack that came close to me, I noticed a horse-pulled cart, with another Dragonborn and a Human on it. I ran towards them as they motioned me to get into the cart with faces of panic. Again, not much time to question, not much choice. I screeched to a halt as a ray of magic shot past, but momentum got the best of me. I fell and rolled as Orcs continued to annihalate the city around me.

   One of the Black Priest's warriors came to finish me off. He snarled at me as he towered over me, raising his battleaxe. I managed to toss my spear at his boar-like head, not doing much but distracting him. But that was all I needed, I thought as I rolled out of the way of his falling axe. It hit the hard road with enough force to dent it, and the Orc dropped his axe in confusion. Could they not hold their axes any tighter? I thought. But, it was lucky for me that they didn't. I grabbed my weapon and thrusted it into the monster's gut quickly before turning to run. I heard the Orc fall, but didn't turn to confirm.

   The Human helped me into the back of the cart as he cursed at the Orcs behind us. The Dragonborn looked back and grabbed the reigns of the frightened horse. She yelled "Heyah!" and whipped the reigns. The horse stood up on it's hind legs and kicked. It neighed, lowered itself, and took off.

       The cart shook violently as we whipped around the city streets. I tried to stabilize myself on the side of the cart as I looked out the open back. The level of chaos and savagery only escalated as we rode on. The city I had spent half my life in was being reduced to rubble before my eyes. The few people I knew were probably dead; Superior Larkens, my classmates, everyone.

   Blasts of magic continued to zip past the cart as I glanced back at the other passengers. The Human in the back with me seemed to be slightly older than I was. He had long, blonde hair and wore a chainmail tunic over his clothes, something he most likely stole in the madness. Not that I blamed him, because I had stolen the spear. He seemed handsome, in his prime. He tossed fruit from the cart at the Orcs as we sped past, more for his satisfaction than to actually hurt them.

       I looked up at the Dragonborn in the driver seat. She had a hold of the reigns and was directing the horse away from rays of magic and the attacking Orcs as best she could. It seemed like she had seen some rough times, but her attitude seemed upbeat yet snarky. She kept flipping her middle finger towards the maurading Orcs with a sly smirk. She wore a tunic and pants, not uncommen at the time. She actually seemed somewhat attractive, but I had no idea who these people were, what side they were on, or even where we were going.

   Bricks and wood flew through the air as the house next to us had a chunk of it blown away. The bodies of the innocent littered the road. Most of the buildings were on fire. The sun began to set, casting long, menacing shadows throught town. In the distance, smoke pillars rose to the clouds.

        Death everywhere.

   I noticed a young human lady trying to run from the Orcs in a long dress. She didn't have a chance, it seemed. The Orcs eyed her, probably thinking they were going to take this one with them. She tripped as she ran, as if her vision wasn't perfect. I struggled to recognize her as the Orcs closed in. To my suprise, the lady pointed her hand at the persuers as she ran, and a flurry of blue sparks shot out. I thought I recognized her: It seemed that Katherin knew some wizardry.

        "Stop the cart!" I yelled.

  "-You're kidding, right?!" The driver yelled back. "If you want to save Miss butterfingers back there, *you* can be chopped up by the Orcs!" 

        I looked back at Katherin for a moment, and jumped off. I rolled head over heels as I realized the stupidity of what I just did. I was risking my life, lost my ride out of here, and all in the name of trying to help a stranger that did nothing for me. In fact, if she hadn't have said her speech, I probably could've escaped the city by then. Yet, I felt obligated to help her, especially since I couldn't help the other Dragonborn lady just a bit before.

      Katherin almost fell over me as she ran from the Orcs. I got up and faced them. Katherin ran past me towards the road. The monsters stopped and focused on me, snarling and holding their axes. I pulled out my short spear, and tried to look as brave and strong as I could to the Orcs. Hard to do, considering I was outnumbered four-to-one. 

    As I was thinking of some galiant last words, I heard a horse bray behind me. I turned briefly to see the cart from before make a sharp u-turn, and head back towards me. I jumped to the side as the cart showed no signs of slowing down. The Orc's eyes widened as they turned to run, but they were too late. The savages got what was coming to them. The driver made another sharp turn over the trampled bodies and she forced the cart to a stop.

      "Get in!" She yelled.

   I looked up into the cart. Katherin had already made her way into it, and she held out a hand towards me. I took it, pulled myself into the cart, and we were off.

The End

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