Somewhere in the dark a trumpet blared, it's shrill sound cutting through the nights silence like a knife through fabric. Men in armor rose to their feet with weapons in hand as torches were lit and raised into the air casting a faint glow in the small area that their light could reach. Armor reflected the light as the group of soldiers moved forward. No voices rose in conversation as they seamlessly moved themselves into formation, only the clatter of metal plates coming together filled the nights air. Footfalls were silence upon the damp grasses that the men walked upon, the goal ahead of them, a small town who's lights had long since been extinguished with the nights arrival and the residents departure into a dreamland.
As the group neared the small town torches were lowered and soon extinguished as the soldiers slipped between the rows of houses. Soon the sounds of doors being smashed open filled the night and quickly after the screams of the dying were lifted above even that. Fires were lit upon the homes, turning them into massive beacons of light that rose high into the air as the buildings were consumed.
Eventually the sound of weapons clashing and men fighting joined the horrible symphony that was taking place. Death had decided to ride this night, and this simple home was the target of its agents. Brutal slaughter turned the streets red and the fallen bodies of men and women dotted the main square of the town. When morning finally arrived the town was only a broken shell of its former self waiting for the carrion to arrive and pick it clean.
As the Blood Hawks came within sight of the towns charred remains the only task that remained was to ride on and hopefully catch up to the people responsible for the slaughter. It had been a border town and the likely agents behind its destruction were easy enough to figure out.
It took two days to find the trail of the men who had slaughtered the town, and another to catch up with them. It was night when the Blood Hawks struck, striking the advance group of soldiers in a unexpected rush from their left flank. Blood soaked the grass and men screamed in pain as life was taken from them with blade and spear.
Faces rushed passed Alexander's vision, his brothers taking down foe after foe as he ran and dodge in a panic. This was his first real fight, the first time he had experienced men dying in front of him. He lost his balance and stumbled to the ground, striking it hard. As he pushed himself up the body of one of the enemy landed in front of him, blank eyes staring him in the face. Alexander felt a sickness build in his stomach and vomited as he pushed himself to his feet. In a daze he spotted a man running toward him, and out of fear and instinct he brought his spear up which caught the man in the belly. Panicking Alexander pushed forward, driving the spear into the mans stomach further causing the mans body to go limp. Alexander's grip on his spear loosened, pulling the weapon from his hands as the man fell to the ground. Another charged from his left, falling a few feet from Alexander with an arrow in his back.
Someone shouted for him to snap out of it, prompting Alexander to draw his sword as he followed after another of the Blood Hawk members. He seemed to forget much of his training in the first few moments of sword on sword combat, his arms seeming to move on their own as he brought up his blade to cut through the torso of a man. As the sword swung down time seemed to slow for him, and before the blow could land Alexander lurched forward out of his dream. A cold sweat on his body as he tried to regain control of his breathing. As much combat as he had faced, nothing could ever get rid of that first terrifying battle in his mind.
"By sword and shield we shall forge a path into the future"