Now let us continue with the story:
Yurdin hated his job as a guard, it was so boring. Still, he appreciated the safety of it. Being a gate guard insured a life free from the dangers of the battlefield. And he wasn’t alone in his post, Glinton, was always on duty with him, and they got along well.
Glinton was half asleep, when Yurdin saw the King coming out of inner gates, covered in blood. Yurdin screamed at his partner “Glin! Wake up! It’s the King!”
The sleepy guard was startled by the call. His eyes widened in horror when he looked where his friend was pointing. They both rushed to aid their King. Glinton reached the King first. He was about to ask the King what was wrong with him, when the King’s fist sent him flying back. Yurdin stopped, for a second, confused by what just happened. His friend lay on the floor, unconscious. And the King was approaching him slowly. The guard wanted to move and do something. But do what? Help the friend who got beaten by the King? Would he be considered a traitor if he ran away now? The King had already reached the fallen guard. He raised his right leg, and brought it down on Glinton’s face, smashing his head.
Yurdin still wasn’t moving. The confusion he had before was replace by pure horror that froze him in his place. The mad King lifted his leg from the pile of meat that used to be Glinton’s head, and continued moving.
It was the sound of the guard house door, opening violently, that brought Yurdin to his senses. He looked at the door, and saw Hylven rushing toward him and shouting “Get away from the King, Yurdin!”
The frightened guard barely spoke “But…”
The King didn’t seem to notice Hylven’s approach. The knight used the slow pace of the King to his advantage, and reached his friend just in time to pull him by his hand, and run together back to the guard house. The King didn’t seem to care about them escaping. He stopped and followed them with his eyes, until he noticed the opened door of the guard house. He was enraged for some reason. His scream made Yurdin stumble, almost falling on his face, if it was not for Hylven’s help.
Although they had a head start, the King was almost trampling them before they crossed the door. Yurdin fell down as soon as they entered. He immediately turned to face the door. A wooden wall would not stand in the way of the giant King.
But all he could see through the door was Casbian’s Bakery. He looked around him “This… This is my house?”
Hylven was leaning casually on the wall “Yes, we’re in your house, friend”
“But how? And the King? What is wrong with the King?”
Hylven got away from the wall and headed for the door “Listen, Yurdin. Get out of the city, now. Head for the forest, it is the safest place at the moment. Don’t mind the fog, use it to hide. I will come to get you when it is safe to comeback”
“Wait, what is going on? Hylven…” The knight had already closed the door behind him. Yurdin got up, and hurried to open the door. But Hylven was not there. “He just slammed the door, where did he go?” wondered the guard. He remembered the mad King, and immediately headed for the city gates. Upon reaching there, he saw that he was not the only one evacuating. Many people were rushing to the gates.
To the north of the Capital City, after the great plains, where the Battle of Red Hill was fought, lies the great fortress, Dartom. It is said that long ago, the dwarves ruled the plains of Shrinkshard. And when the giants came, Dartom was the last fortress to fall. It was built from the black rocks of Mount Svarg in the north. The giants besieged the fortress, not able to penetrate its great walls. But the dwarves were too proud to stay hidden from their enemy. With no one coming for their aid, the brave warriors stormed out of the gates, only to be crushed. Some legends say that the dwarves were able to bring down one giant before they perished. But many people consider this an exaggeration by the dwarven historians.
According to the available history records, the giants made Dartom their capital city.
Under the role of the Shrinkten Kings, Dartom became the training grounds for the Shrinkten army.
Sir Trist, the oldest white knight, was posted in Dartom. He oversaw all the training activities in the fortress. For his old age, he was a very active man. He sparred daily with grey and silver knights. And the soldiers marveled at the outcome. Each time the sparring would end, with Sir Trist standing in the middle, and the rest of the knights either knocked out, or barely standing. He is considered the strongest of the White Knights. Although no one has ever witnessed, or heard of, a fight between them.
The old knight was walking on top of the fortress wall, inspecting the archers posts. “And you think you can face an invading army with an aim like that?” He was scolding a young archer, who has just been assigned to the southern wall. He was about to show him how to properly shoot the arrow, when he heard a racket from the southwestern tower. He motioned to one of the soldiers to go there. And Sir Trist noticed an unusual movement of the soldiers on the western wall. The soldier he sent came back from the tower “My lord, you need to see this”
From the top of the tower, the Old knight saw a great sand storm heading for the fortress.
“I haven’t seen a storm like that before, we better get the horses inside.” said one of the soldiers.
“That is no storm, soldier” Said the White Knight, then he ordered him “Get down to Sir Vaulhime, tell him to post his archers around the wall to command the trainees. Get everyone inside, and close the gates, and tell Sir Roygle to commence siege preparations.”
The soldier did not move, no one did. Sir Trist shouted at them “Wake up! Soldiers! The dwarves are marching toward us! We are at war now, get over yourselves and start moving”
To be continued…