A treacherous fog over the waters had given the Elves a false sense of security in their last remaining stronghold, Avarris. But now the Human Empire of Arkanar had taken the Avarrian fleet by surprise, most of the Elven ships never even made it out of the port. Cheers rose from the Arkan ships as they catapulted huge rocks at the two Colossi that had protected the Avarrian port for centuries. Each of the huge statues had their feet planted firmly on two large pedestals, pointy ears stuck high in the air and their blue crystal eyes directed at all who entered the harbor.
On land Aryas carefully poked his head around the crumbling wall that offered him and his men shelter near the city’s main gates. His dark brown hair waved in the wind, dust blew in his face. The white sun partially blinded his eyes, forcing him to shade his forest green eyes from the light. On the city wall he noticed the wretched Elves, ready to fight till their last breath for their city. Sweat dropped like rain from Aryas’ forehead. Fiercely he wiped at it, leaving a black trail of mud on his face behind, and reached down for his water bag. Suddenly, an arrow slammed into his bag forcing him back to reality. Aryas jerked back his head with practiced swiftness, realizing the arrow had just missed him by an inch. But then he noticed the last of his water had just dripped out of the water bag. He let himself hang against the wall and wearily sighed. Normally this wouldn’t happen to him, but he was exhausted.
Addressing the men near his side he said “We must pray to the gods for a good outcome, for the end of this accursed war! When we win this battle there will be universal peace throughout the Empire and we can spread the True Religion to every single person.” The men took off their helmets and bowed their heads in a moment of silence. Aryas felt a familiar hand on his shoulder, the voice equally recognizable. Cugarta smiled at him, “Your face looks like it’s losing the war, you remind me of my old ass that died a couple years back. Let’s show those bastards what the Arkan Empire is made off!”
Another salvo of rocks was fired at the statues, one of them hit a pedestal and the whole statue crashed into the sea. It effectively blocked the entrance to the rectangular port where most of the Elven fleet remained stuck. The Arkan ships fired flaming arrows at the trapped Elven vessels, setting them ablaze. The flames spread rapidly, giving Aryas and Cugarta the sign they had been waiting for. They knew it was time to attack the main gates now. Aryas’ eyes flew wide open in spite of the dust swirling around and he looked straight at Cugarta, grinning, “This time we’re dealing with them for good!”
The heroes drew their swords in unison and stormed the walls without a glance towards their troops. Stunned, the soldiers looked at each other for a brief moment, then they took up the battle cry and chased after the two madmen. Arrows flew past their ears at an alarming rate but they pressed their position with steadfast conviction. Several siege ladders carried by some of the men were shoved up against the battlements. Each time, they received a drenching rain of boiling oil for an answer, which soaked the men and left them convulsing on the ground as their flesh blistered painfully. The ensuing chaos was horrific: boiling oil was repeatedly poured over the ladders and screaming soldiers either jumped off the ladders or fell down in agony.
As soon as one bowl of oil was emptied, Cugarta sped up a ladder. He jumped onto the immense stone wall and slashed a head off with one swing of his sword. He commented off-handedly, “Try to keep up, brother”.
Aryas reached the top of the wall right after Cugarta and lashed out against an Avarrian behind his friend, leaving another dead Elf on the floor, “ You wouldn’t get far without me”.
Cugarta grinned boldly. His eyes widened with surprise as another Avarrian stormed towards them with weapons drawn. Swords rang like thunder as the blades met and the combatants contended for an advantage. The duel was decided when Cugarta slashed a gaping hole in the belly of their attacker. “Three, I’m ahead by one!”
The remaining soldiers now scaled the wall and joined in the fight with the Avarrians. “This is for the Battle at Kinhys.” “This is for Kiostra!” They screamed a battle cry every time they plunged their swords into an Avarrian.
The smell of blood and death gradually overpowered the city. There was no time for any of the Arkans to notice however, their bodies seemingly acting on their own, without conscious thought or mental effort. Metal met flesh with a frightening regularity. When Aryas realized he could swing no more he paused to take a quick breath, and looked at Cugarta.
Cugarta smiled nostalgically. “Remember the time when we…”
“Look out”, Aryas screamed and drove his sword through an Elf that was about to decapitate his friend. Looking around he discovered the wall was theirs; the enemy lay beneath their feet, broken and bleeding in the death throes.
A few Arkan soldiers scrambled to get to the main city gates and began to pull the enormous chains to raise them. The men pulled hard, grunting loudly. More of them joined the effort, each adding their strength to the group. Slowly the chains began unwinding, opening the gate.