Liathara – The Lord, His Army and the Dragon
The Lord of the East awoke on top of a wooded hill. Opening his eyes woozily he checked himself over and found everything OK. No pain. He found himself unhurt apart from a singed beard, damp leggings and a shattered ego. He was not the most feared in the realm any more. He was just a man alone in the hills.
He was surprised not to be dead.
Looking around he could see no sign of his army or the dragon that had taken him. He had no idea where he was and he could see no-one that might help. The last thing he remembered the huge winged creature was coming for him from the sky as he ran.
His personal guard had scattered like frightened children before the flying monster. They were supposed to be hard men, afraid of nothing. All veterans, trained killers. They had never seen something they couldn’t kill before. They had held fast while the rest of the army was routed. They had thrown spears at it and seen them have no effect. Then they ran.
The thing had come at them several times, each time taking men away in its claws. Each time the arrows and spears bounced of its scaly hide. Each time more of his army had scattered, routed and dismayed in the face of such a terror. Eventually all the massed ranks of men were in total disarray and running scared.
The first time it had come before his army and let out a breath of flame. Some of his men, they had looked to their commanders or simply fallen back before it, may falling to their knees. Their best commander, the Lord’s right hand man had roared at the men “If it lives we can kill it. Rally. Hold your ground. You will hold. Archers, take that thing down. Kill it before it kills us!” and they launched volley after volley but to no effect.
Earlier that day the Lord had been proud of his army of men and looking forward to conquest. Scouts had spotted a village in the hills ahead and they expected little resistance. There would be food and women. The village would be trampled, the men and boys recruited or put to the sword. Then onward to take the rest of the realm.
In the end that was the last day of the campaign and there was no war. The scattered men mostly made their way home to their families. The Lord of the East was not seen again and his wife ruled in his absence. She had no lust for war and was just and fair.
I’m submitting this little story, written in reverse, for this writing challenge:
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