(Draft version pending final edit)
The ancient town of Degrainia was now on full alert and battle prepared.
The Zachanians full of bravado and confidence waited for the dawn light with mixed feelings of optimism and determination.
Across the valley in the city, the Degrains were also now feeling confident, the walls had been sealed and behind them sat thousands of warriors, amongst these barbaric fighting beast were wizards and witches and a legion of Imperial palace land soldiers, with swords sharpened and arrows primed, they sat silently in the night waiting for the dawn to break where the ravages of war would begin.
The night before a battle was always a difficult time on both sides if the front line.
Nerves set in and oaths of life and death were whispered passionately under breath. Old friends looked at each other with affection and respect, silently accepting that this may be their last time together. Rest and sleep was troublesome as men tossed and turned with their minds in turmoil thinking about the horrors of what battle may bring. Doubts of defeat and the joys of victory dancing in their minds as their hearts yearned for their loved ones back home. On this night as both armies sat across the valley facing each other the only enemy was their imaginations, to some they were haunted by their thoughts, to others it inspired them but to all….it succeeded to unnerve them.
When dawn arrived it brought with it the usual eerie silence, men rose from their slumber and prepared themselves but words were sparse, men looked at each other and spoke with their eyes, only when the commanders arrived did everything burst into life, the drums began and the sound of horses and orders being shouted soon filled the air. Now there was no turning back, now was the time for the primal instincts to surface where men roused themselves into a frenzied mood for battle.
Lord Talon walked amongst his men, an inspiration to them just by his relaxed and confident manner, some soldiers saluted him as others bowed before him and some even thanked him for restoring their dignity and honour.
When Talon joined Lord Heikan at the front of Heikan’s army he was impressed at their appearance and calmness, Lord Heikan had instructed his army to show full house colours, flags of his royal house were brought to the front as the drums banged ominously on the hill. The soldiers stood in their lines looking eager for blood with their polished weapons in hand.
“By Apollo, they look impressive.” Talon thought as he jumped on his horse.
“Talon! We was wondering where you were - thought you may have returned to Zachania!” the king joked as pulled up beside Talon's horse.
“When we return home it will be to announce that Degrain is now part of Zachania!” Talon shouted back at him proudly.
“THEN LET US MAKE IT SO!” Lord Heikan shouted.
Talon looked across the valley and then turning to the king asked if they were ready to attack,
“Are we ready sire?” he shouted just as his grandfather rode alongside him.
“Grandfather stay close to me.” Talon said as he leaned closer and offered his hand for his grandfather to grab.
“BY YOUR SIDE!” replied his grandfather proudly.