The knights rebellion

A Groupp of friends get enlisted into the military after committing a crime. They escape and run away to join the rebellion. a story of love and friendship as they help the rebellion free the country from the dictatorship rule from the mad king

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12. A Request

 

Chapter 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The evening has passed quickly and in the morning I sent a messenger to Newfall requesting that Vanessa came to Port Royal for the week before returning to Newfall. She arrived within two days and the week disappeared quickly. But eventually the end came I I was sent by Sir Steven to prepare the men. The king had awarded Sir Steven with a lot of gold for his aid and He had purchased expensive weapons and armor for all his men. The training square was full of a hundred men at arms dressed in black plate armor with red cloaks. This armor was similar to mine but my armor had The banner of Newfall engraved onto it.

“Knights of Newfall, At Ease” I bellowed as the men stood in a more relaxed position.

“You will march onto the warship Veronica which will transport us across the Great sea to aid our allies. Move!” There was a loud thundering of boots as the men fell out through the town towards the docks. A horse was brought to me as well as my sword and shield. I strapped the black and red kite shield to the side of the saddle and clipped the sword scabbard next to it.  The horse tilted over as I swung my leg into the stirrup but straightened as I pulled myself over. The horse rode up behind the men as we marched through the town. Women placed flowers in front of the men as we marched through. We were the last to board the ships except the kings guard. These people did not think that it was our war and that we should send our armies to help fight but they knew that if we marched down onto the docks and boarded the Veronica then they would have to support it. I dismounted as the horse was led down into the hull. On the deck sailors ran about preparing the ship for the sea. I turned to see Sir Steven chatting to the captain. A hand grabbed me on the shoulder and I swung round to see Vanessa stood there.

“What are you doing? I thought you were riding for Newfall with the wounded.?”

“Sir Steven let me accompany you to Zephyram”  she smiled. I saw Sir Steven walking over.

“lad, we are probably going to be gone for months so I arranged for her to come along to keep her company.  We walked down and along to the bow of the ship. The ship had left the port and into the ocean as hundreds of ships sat ready for sail to Zephyram. Hundreds of giant creaking hulks of timber full to the brim with soldiers and weapons ready for sail to aid our allies. The kings ship came next covered in great shields of each of the different knights. It was the biggest ship by far. Triple masted fifty guns it was a sight and a half. Men from all of the ship ran to the port side to sea he come alongside  with the flag flying high. Once the ship had sailed out a bit further all fifty guns sounded marking the start of the journey. There was a sound of cheering as the sailors on the other hundreds of ships lowered the sails and released the anchor The wind soon caught and the ships were propelled forward. Sir Steven, Vanessa and I continued below deck to the officers quarters and we were shown our rooms where our stuff had been placed.

“We will have a meeting with the captain in half an hour, don’t be late.” He nodded before walking off towards the hull. Vanessa disappeared and I decided to tend to my duties. I walked through the lower deck and clambered down into the sleeping and living quarters the room smelt terrible of sick and urine as I saw the ship doctor tending to one of the men. He looked very pale and slightly green in the face.

“Whats wrong with him?” I asked

“Just a mild sea sickness, lots of them have it. They haven’t travelled by ship before. I recommend rest and relaxation for a few days. Could you help?”

I grabbed the mans legs and we picked him up and lay him in his hammock.

“Thank you sir” the soldier groaned.

I wandered down checking each bunk making sure that things were tidy and tied secure so that they did not roll about. The ship lurched violently and  had to grab hold of the rails that ran along each side of the cabin. One of the silors came through carrying a set of keys. He was small and the turbulence of the ship caused him to trip and falland roll over and smash hard into the wall. I ran over and helped him up. And he thanked me before swaying over to the doctors room.

I remembered the meeting I had and ran upstairs into the captains quarters ro find sir steven and a tall ginger ma looking at a pile of maps. I walked I and sat down.

“This is Captain Roberts, he is commander of this vessel.” Sir Steven spoke quickly.

“Nice to meet  you sir”

The man nodded before turning our attention back to the brown paper maps. They contained different sea paths between the two countries. One of the dotted lines had  been traced by a red ink line and I assumed that that was the passage that we would be sailing..

“we will be sailing along this path here  and will land at the fishing town of Aramoz.” He confirmed and folded the map away.

“the whereabouts of the Astofrem Navy are currently unknown and our spies within it have gone dark so I fear there could be a battle as soon as we hit the central waters. Get as much sleep as you can tonight. Tomorrow might be your last.” He said gloomily and walked out.  I turned to Sir Steven “ He’s cheerful.” I stated looking deep into the creases that had appeared on sir Stevens face.

“Astofrem have the best ships in the world. If it comes to a naval battle then you should be afraid for your life”.

I strode out contemplating his words analysis them searching for a hint of hope but he was a man who had given up all signs of life after the death of his only son. His hair had started to go and his skin became worse by the day. His days were numbered and he knew it.

I walked over to the bow of the ship to see Vanessa sitting on the rail the wind blowing her hair backwads. She turned as I approached, her face full of tears. I rushed to cradle her but she pushed me away.

“There’s something you don’t know about me. And I suppose you have the right to know. My mother was a maid in the port  and my father.” She sobbed and I stroked her face lightly.

“This isn’t important” I said gently

“Yes, it is. My father was a protector on the isle of shadows he fought the magical armies that threatened Zephyram. Until one day my mother got a message from the protectors that my father had betrayed his men and fed the magical leaders information that had led for hundreds of men to die.”

When she finished I embraced her locking her in and not letting go.

“I know this is hard for you but where we are going if anyone tries to kill you ill kill them where they stand. Ok?”

she nodded and buried her face in my shoulder. I led her own to our quarters where we slept until the next morning.

I woke to the screaming and shouting of pain and fear I sat bolt upright cold colad sweat streaming across my brow my hands shaking I leapt out of bed and landed heavily moaning with pain. I put on my armour and weapons and quickly made my way up onto the deck in fear of danger. The men were stood on the deck awaiting orders from sir steven. Dark clouds encircled over head and I felt sick to my stomach with nerves. Something was going to happen. The men started to disperse around the ship then a shout came from across the water a language I couldn’t understand. Mist had surrounded the ship and vision was poor.

A large series of cracks exploded close to us as a cannonball smashed into the side of the deck. Shards and spears of wood flew about and several men were blown backwards. Shouts were given and the sailors went to work the cannons were out and ready to fire within minutes and they went of one by one until a couple of minutes later silence. The wounded men had been taken down to the doctor and the hole in the deck had been temporarily fixed.

I took advantage of the break and made my way down through the ship to the captain’s office. I saw him behind his window using a light signaling system with one of the nearby ships.

“What happened?” I asked taking him completely by surprise.

He whirled round to face me but relaxed as he recognized me.

“a lone scout ship attacked us thinking we were a scout but found out we were the fleet. Its been sunk”

 

“what’s a scout ship?” I asked

“a small fast ship that is very lightly armed. It is sent half a days sailing ahead of the main fleet and reports back every 48hours.” He said

“so in 6hours we’ll find their fleet” I said

He saw my worry and started to laugh.

“What are we psychopaths? We’ve changed course to try to sail around them. We wouldn’t risk lives for the sake of fighting.”

I smiled and made my way back out onto the deck. And saw a servant boy scrubbing the splatters of blood off the wooden deck. I felt sorry for him as I remembered my younger years at home trying to scrub wooden floors trying to get the job done to earn a bit more money from my parents to buy treats in the market.

The mist cleared and I saw a couple of miles in front of us a huge column of warships. As men reacted they opened fire. Cannonballs smashed into the ships sails caught fire and thick putrid acrid smoke burned my throat. I coughed and doubled over clutching my stomach. Men screamed as others lay about dying with strips and planks of wood protruding from their bodies. The deck ran red with blood. And the gunners worked as hard as they could. Ships sand all around me. I turned and printed up to the captain who was staring with disbelief as ships sank around us.

“Get us out of here well catch up later just save the lives of the crew.” I shouted

“No, we will fight till the end.” He said drawing his sword and killing the sailor steering the ship. As his body hit the floor I tried to grab him but he shook me off. The first mate grabbed a piece of wood and smashed the captain with it sending him sprawling. As he got up I drew my sword and pressed it against his neck.  He tried to grab for it but impaled himself deep onto the blade. He turned and threw himself from the ship and into the thrashing waves. I turned to the first mate.

“Ill get us out of here, clear them from the ship. “ He shouted pointing to the enemy soldiers who had boarded the ship. I found Sir Steven and we ran at them.  The first went down as sir Steven smashed the hilt of his sword against the head of one. I thrust the tip of my sword into the gut of another his blood splattered onto the floor as he fell. The third looked tougher and blocked sir Stevens thrust while drawing a short blade and plunging it into Sir Stevens stomach as sir Steven fell I felt white hot rage explode from me and I sprinted into him not caring for my own life. I attacked with fury and again and again I smashed the hilt of my sword into the base of his nose before driving the blade deep into his ribs. He groaned before laying still. I saw that we were sailing away from the carnage and so I shouted clutching sir Stevens’s body. He was breathing and I screamed for help. A couple of sailors brought over a stretcher over and we carried him quickly down to the doctor who fought to save his life. I walked back up onto the deck to see men lying about on the deck. The enemy bodies had been thrown long since overboard.  The bodies had been slowly transferred onto the winch and had been wrapped in linen and slowly winched down into the hull. I walked down to my quarters where Vanessa lay shivering in the corner. When I walked in she gasped and I at down next to me.

“I thought you were dead” she sobbed. I hugged her and I explained what happened. I helped her into bed and we slept for the rest of the day side by side.

When I woke I was hit by a sudden guilty thought.

I jumped out of bed and got dressed readily before sprinting down to the medical bay. Sir Steven was having a conversation. He smiled as he say me but his face changed when he saw me glace at the wad of bandages that surrounded his body. They were obviously fresh as most them gleamed white but the few surrounding his gut were stained dark red.

“Now I’m sure you’ll want to have a conversation but before you do hurry down to the kitchens and say that this man will die unless he gets three bowls of hot steaming porridge with a sprinkling of sugar.” The doctor smiled and I turned and made my way down to the kitchen. There were two cooks working one; a large fat jovial man, smiled and passed me two whereas the other a man of my age glanced a look that meant he didn’t think I should outrank him in a way that I did. I juggled to find a good position to carry the three hot bowls and managed to transport them back up to the medic’s office and placed them down as they started to burn my arm. I handed one to each of the men before pulling a chair alongside the bed.

“How is his condition?” I asked the doctor as Sir Steven started to eat.

“He’s very lucky that you got him to me as soon as you did. Had it have been longer than he would have died up there. The wound is deep but I treated worse. The knife penetrated the large colon but I’ve stitched the hole shut and also stitched the cut in the skin. His condition is stable but was critical a few hours ago. We kneed to analyze his condition every few hours but id say he’s on the road to recovery”.

I smiled and started to eat the porridge savoring the sugar. It was delicious and I ate quickly to prevent it from going cold.  When we had finished the doctor collected our bowls and walked down towards the kitchens.

“Thank you for saving my life.” He coughed turning to me. His voice was very fait like a whisper and there was a cold chill in the way he said it.

“I haven’t got long left so I’ve decided to discuss my lands and what will happen to them. And ive reached the conclusion that the best thing for my lands will be for someone to take control of them in my place. Now that would have been my son.” He paused and a single tear rolled down his cheek.

“But the people back you”

“No, listen you are under the influence of pain killers do not think about doing that until we know for sure. Please remain positive” I begged cutting him off completely.

“Ok, we’ll talk about it another day.” He smiled. I patted him on the shoulder before walking out of the bay and climbing the ladder up onto the deck. The wind was strong and the sky was blue. In the far distance to the port side there was land. A group of sailors were looking at it. The captain walked over

“That’s the land of the Giants, black sky they call it. A Very dangerous place. We’re sailing past the magical triangle. Another day and we’ll arrive at the protectors. The most heavily fortified land in all of the world. It is where he men and magic do battle. The rebellion has been crushed. We need to restart it. Most of the men will win over the protectors but we will sent a group of men to try to win over the magical armies.” He said explaining it to me

“How are we going to do that”

“The mages will teach that person their ways and he will challenge their leader in combat. Its almost certain death.” He spoke solemnly staring out to the island which we were approaching rapidly.  He ran up the stairs to the bow where the first mate was standing yelling orders to the crew who prepared the ship to slow down. We passed the headland and into one of the bays. As we came close to the shore the attitude and atmosphere changes instantly. The sky was grey and a light drizzle of rain splashed down onto the deck of the ship. As we came up to one of the jetties. Men caught the ropes and pulled us into the side. Gangways were placed up against the side and men and the captain wandered down onto the jetties.  And it looked like he was talking to the man about where we had been. He pointed up at me and kept talking. He indicated for me to come down onto the jetty and I made my way down. To where they were stood.

“This is currently the commander of the soldiers on this ship and we kneed to speak with your commander.” The captain said.

The soldier paused for a moment before turning and walking up to the fortress on the top of the hill. Indicting us to follow. We walked up to the castle where upon our arrival the drawbridge was lowered an the solid oak doors opened. Inside stood in the middle of the courtyard was a man with a full set of black armour like mine with a black helmet and black cape. In his sheath sat a fully black sword. When we approached he lifted his visor and stepped forward.

“I am the commander of the protectors. And men die here every day so that you people can live their lives free from true danger. “ He spat on the floor in front of us.

“Please, we really need help to save Zephyram” I begged

“Where was Zephyram when we needed help?” he replied, his anger rising

“My Lord has been wounded but he will explain everything” I said as a last resort.

“And who would that be?”

“Sir Steven Of Newfall”

“Sir Steven has been wounded?”

“Yes, You know him?”

“We trained together as young men. Would you lead me to him?” he asked his aggressive tone changing.

I turned and he followed. We made our way out of the fortress and back onto the ship. The Commander got strange looks from the men who were marching off the ship clad in their black and red plate armor. We went down to the  doctors office and the doctor came out. The commander introduced himself and the doctor let him through. I closed the door behind him. I left them to talk. The doctor sat down next to me and placed a hand on my shoulder.

“ I have some bad news; Sir Stevens wounds have worsened. Despite my best attempts to heal the wound the blade has penetrated too deep. I fear his days are numbered.”

I swallowed hard thinking about what the doctor had said.

“How long does he have?”

“A couple of weeks at the most. It depends on how the next few days go.”

He looked at the floor sadly before patting me lightly on the shoulder. The door opened and The commander walked out and stopped infront of me. If you can get the magical armies to stop assaulting us we will march with you.”

He nodded to the doctor and marched out of the cabin. I chased after him and grabbed his arm as he left.

“How might I achieve this?” I said cornering him into the stairs.

“I have a man who will take you to the isle of shadows. There you will travel to the great tomb of Alizar the powerful. There you will find a sword buried with him. The greatest sword ever forged. It was made using dragon fire and took many years.  You must use it to destroy the leader of the magical armies. That is all I will tell you. My man will tell you more. Meet him in the center of the courtyard at the black fortress at noon tomorrow. Return with the allegiance of magic or don’t return at all.”

He ripped his arm free and continued to leave the ship. I turned and walked to my cabin where I expected to find Vanessa and when I entered the door she had wrapped up warm in thick clothes.

“I heard where you are going and im coming with you. Don’t say no, im not risking losing you.” She said at last standing up standing up and facing me.”

“No, I wont say no. But where im going its is probably the most dangerous place that we could possibly be. Do you still want to come?” I asked staring into he deep blue beautiful eyes.

“Yes” she spoke at last.

I leaned over to my armor and drew the short blade and sheath.

“Keep this concealed under your clothes and make sure nobody knows its there.” I said handing it to her.

We filled a bag full of food and Vanessa carried it out. When she had left I put on my plate armor making sure everything fit well. The sword felt natural resting against my leg, so I made my way up to the courtyard with Vanessa. In the center stood a man in a black cloak. When we arrived he walked over and removed the hood to reveal a man with a long white beard and a shaven head.

“The woman cannot accompany us.” He said

“She comes or I say to the commander that you were unwilling to cooperate with us. How does that sound?”

“Fine” he grumbled showing his annoyance

“now, where we are going it is going to require a huge combat skill to stay alive. Show me what you’ve got”

He picked up a large heavy oak staff and stood in a wide stance the wood staff running diagonally across the front of his body. I drew my sword and swung it heavily towards his flank. I saw his face change as an arrogant smile crept in. he thought I was going to be easy. But as I was about to come into contact with the heavy staff I retracted my sword and made a few short arched thrusts doubling the reach each time. The end result sent him off balance as I brought my knee into his stomach winding him and bringing the hilt of the sword down heavily onto his back. He fell forwards onto his front groaning and writhing in the dirt. Eventually when his breath returned he held his hand out for me to shake. “Master Arnold, the wy you fight is impressive, very impressive. Who taught you to fight?”

“Sir Steven”

“Good man, I knew him as a boy. Shall we?” he lead us through a heavy iron door out of the defended side of the fortress. I could not have been prepared for what lay the other side. A trench system was set up with high watchtowers with cannons protruding from holes in the stone. Men ran about carrying large spikes and different assortments of brutal looking weapons. They all looked tough with ugly scars and draped in mud. Men lay about dead or dying and the doctors struggling to save them. We made our way along the lines until we reached a bunker very heavily fortified. Inside there were piles of supplies. Arnold lifted a box to reveal an iron trap door. After grabbing a lit torch from the side he descended into the darkness below. I went next and when I dropped Arnold handed me another lit torch. Arnold walked first then Vanessa then me at the back. The tunnel was small and I had to duck down to get under some of the supports.

“This tunnel was dug to provide a way behind enemy lines. But the  other tunnels collapsed before we could send men through.” Arnold explained.

Eventually up ahead I could see daylight and the tunnel appeared at the back of a small cave. The cave was completely flooded so I guessed we had reached the sea. Moored to the rocks was a small rowing boat and Arnold climbed aboard. Once we had all climbed in He extinguished the torches and put out the oars.  We left the cave and headed towards a bank of fog a few hundred meters away.

“Ill suppose you’ll want to know more about where we are going and what this artifact really is. Well thousands of years ago when the magical and the human empires lived in harmony there was the greatest of all the mages;  Alizar the powerful. He had a sword forged of dragon fire. He combined his powers in this sword and by conroling it you have the alligience of the magical armies. Unfortunatley the sword choses who it answers to and that is the only reason that the current leader of the magical forces hasn’t taked over the world.” He said continuing to row through the thick bank of mist.

“Where we’re going it is very dangerous so do as I do or we’re all dead. Ok?”

I nodded thinking abot Vanessa; I should not have let her come. I would never be able to forgive myself if she got hurt.

 The clouds disappeared and my mouth dropped open with true fear. For infront of us was the Isle of shadows. Home to the remaining warlocks.

 

 

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