Chapter 2: The battle for Dunav
An army stands, the nervous shuffling of chain and plate joins the rushing wind of winter in a steady murmur of fear. A commander on horseback addresses the crowd, but most cannot or do not listen. They know it all, this is the last stand, if the Galertines break this defence, they have a clear path to the capital of the Ssrellian states - Dunav.
The call comes to charge and in a blur of hooves and blades the final battle begins. Though only moments before they stood in fear and apprehension, now every soldier dives towards their inevitable fate, filled with anger, raw passion and rage. The opposition do not charge, instead they hold fast, their glinting shields locked in a defensive wall of impenetrable steel. As the Ssrellians meet the Galertines, spears are thrust between the shields, killing the first group of attackers. Some soldiers try to climb the shields, but only to be cut down again. The screams of the wounded only infuse more hatred into the minds of the remaining soldiers, they begin to charge at the wall, unsuccessfully at first but with the aid of the Calvary are able to break through in several places. A deafening cheer erupts as the Ssrellians are finally able to unleash their anger on Galertine heads. In a mess of limbs and bloodshed, the Galertine forces are outnumbered. Once the roars die down, it is clear that the Galertines were on their last legs.
As the final soldiers are killed or captured, one man can be seen, kneeling, staring at his hands. His eyes are wide and his face pale, he turns something over in his hand and stands up. He sheaths his sword and begins to walk towards the Galertine camps. A voice calls out:
"Hey! Where're you going Furire?" Furire ignores the man and continues walking.
Screams, pain, blood, death. Such anger and rage had not been seen in Ssynov for a generation. As Stenar ran to defend the walls, he caught fleeting glimpses of the chaos that was developing around the unyielding gates of the fort. But this attack was not an army, not a well-structured battalion or mindless barbarians. This onslaught was a rebellion. A rebellion against Ssrellia? Equality was the basis for the Ssrellian states' formation, so why was there rebellion? The bowmen in the nearest watch tower were taking pot-shots at the incensed civilians, their searching bolts and arrows striking randomly in the mass of insurgents.
As Stenar's weary feet reached the rougher cobbles of the north courtyard - the first point of defence if the rebels were to break the gates - a small troop of guards stood in a defensive line preparing for the onslaught. It was said that the day the gates of Dunav fell would be the day that the states fell apart, now it seemed that theory was to be tested. The hinges began to creak under the sheer pressure of the uprising, splinters broke away, like crude spears of ageing timber. Finally, with a roar of triumph, the gates which held back legions of well-trained swordsmen and scores of siege engines, fell by the hands of peasants. The left of the two doors hit the ground with an almighty crash, which seemed to echo around the walls of the fort for an age.
Then the attack came, a single troop stood no chance against such numbers. A futile attempt to halt the charge was made, but only for a moment. Stenar felt a blow to his leg, looking round for the offending weapon was pointless in the crowd but he suspected it was the back of a shovel that had made contact. He tried to strike out at the stream of attackers but had no room to move. Then a pain in his head and...Nothing.