4/2/2022: Call The Banners
I’m trying something new. Every day I’ll write for 10 minutes. I won’t limit what I write to any particular thing. It could be fiction, poetry, an essay, whatever. The goal is to write and then publish and share it. I need to get over my fear of publishing and I need to build a writing (and publishing) habit.
This is a story in the life of Argvid, who I introduced a couple of days ago. This takes place long before he entered his peaceful valley.
Banners flapped in the breeze. A few hounds bayed across the field at their counterparts in the opposing camp. Dusk approached like an anxious suitor, and the men were eager to embrace him. Argvid stood next to his uncle and three cousins on his father’s side near the front lines. His own father would be here now if not for the Caskell bastards standing on the other side of the killing field.
Argvid, his kin, and most of the rest of his clan wore dirt, mud, and viscera like uniforms. They fought these past three days. They would fight three more, ten more, a hundred more if need be. There was always bad blood between the Caskells and the Reichts. Unrequited love caused this flare-up if the bards could be believed.
Far and wide the bards sang throughout the mountains, hills, and valleys that summed up the lands of the Reicht clan. Sent by the Council of Elders, they told the common folk about the good Herr Pick and his attempts to woo the Caskell dame, Adriana of Pont Bluff. He brought her a gift every day, each more extravagant and costly than the last, until, alas, he could afford no more on the 23rd day. Argvid’s uncle, Gunnar, was a Pick man-at-arms and told Argvid and his sons the less romanticized version of the story.
“The Herr is not the man his father was,” Gunnar said around a cookfire one night. “And he knows everyone knows it. So he went to find himself a powerful wife, and the Dame, she is a little older, a widow, but still young enough to bear children. But she wouldn’t let someone with such ‘weak seed’ into her marriage bed.”
“Uncle,” Argvid said, “are you saying the Herr called the banners because a woman rejected him?”
“Well, he can’t actually call the banners,” Argvid’s father said. “But he went to the Elders, and they called the banners.”
“Over some shit noble marriage proposal?” Gunnar’s middle son, Patr, said.
“They understood that the Herr appearing weak makes the whole of Wallaria look weak,” Gunnar said. “If they didn’t avenge the Herr’s honor, we’d be attacked from all sides by anyone looking to take over.”
Three days and nights passed since that discussion. On the first day of fighting, Argvid’s father fell to a Caskell spear. Argvid avenged his father’s death by killing the spearman, but he was still hurt and angry. He wanted more blood.
Drums beat across the field and rain began to fall. Wallarian archers lit their arrows to light the way to the enemy. Argvid wanted more blood, and he would have it.
If you like what you’ve read, please let me know, and I would also appreciate you sharing it with your people (or very smart pets). What are your favorite cinematic battle scenes from film, television, or literature? If you want to make sure you don’t miss these, subscribe to my newsletter below or subscribe to my social networks. Thanks for reading!