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josh23
November 24th, 2010, 04:33 AM
Tan watched the sun set slowly, setting the sky ablaze in the most beautiful colours he had ever seen. The shadows cast from the trees and hills seemed to cradle his devastated regiment. Soon the night would cover the dead in a blanket of frost, a final farewell of sorts.

Hope as well as men died here today, he thought wistfully. He wouldn’t live on to tell the tale, neither would any of his men. But people would know, they would remember the rebellion against Minothere, and the men that had died fighting it. Good versus evil, man versus woman.

The snow crunched not far from him and he reached for his sword in the blood-soaked snow instinctively, only to remember that his arm ended in a charred stump. He sighed, the pain had long since dulled into something resembling acceptance. He leaned against a large moss covered pine as though it were a throne, and he a king expecting a loyal subject. The image was somewhat ruined because of his wounds, half of his body scorched beyond recognition and a foot of spear sticking from his belly.

“ Poor bastard, not a one of your men tried to run.” The man was tall and lanky, with close cropped hair. His unmarred skin his soft hands and light eyes gave away the fact he had never done any real fighting. A great general nonetheless.

Tan looked around, blood dripping from his open mouth. A battlefield was a story of sorts, scattered bodies somewhat resembling a line told you of a cavalry charge. Hauntingly straight rows of men spoke of charges ended by volleys of arrows. This story was of traps, two thousand men chased into a small valley and surrounded, and then mercilessly slaughtered.

“ How many?” Tan asked wheezing, as he wiped blood from his lips.

“ Seven.” Tan doubled over twisting the spear, his coughing consumed him, slowly he fell forward. Cringing in pain he tried to push himself back up but found himself unable.

He stared at the blood-soaked snow, “ we fought well,” he wasn’t trying to convince himself, he knew he had fought well. The odds had been stacked against them and there had been no where to run to. He just hadn’t anticipated the enemy to move so quickly.
“ You did.” The man knelt and righted Tan so that he was once again leaning against the tree. His eyes scanned the hills searching for women responsible for his defeat. On the highest hill, almost out of his eyesight to the west he found them. Seven women. Seven witches. Seven Daes Menar.

“ Our scouts reported the Daes Menar were two days ride from here.” He looked next to him, Jaren Sori laying face down, seven or eight arrows piercing his armour.

“ A few are,” the man looked at him strangely, “ do you know who I am?” Suddenly Tan wasn’t sure, now that the man was closer he looked much more battle worn.

“ Therin White?” He asked, though he already knew, the man was the reason he had become a soldier.

“ This is the seventh army, who did you think we were.” Age didn’t seem to be much of a burden on the man, the wisps of grey in his hair and the lines under his eyes seemed to add to his stature.

“ We were betrayed,” he lowered his head in shame. It made all the sense in the world, no army would leave its only route into enemy territory defenceless. “ The king?”

“ Dead.” He sighed disappointedly, the king of Mezrah, Loial Mirkush had been the only king to openly declare war against Minothere. The witches own personal country.

“ And the rebellion?”

“ Finished, you were the last real threat. Within a month Mezrah will be in peace, and a new king chosen.” Tan nodded to himself, he had guessed as much. He didn’t know what could stand against the Daes Menars power. How could one fight an enemy that could set the air itself ablaze, or destroy you with the very thing you stood on? But he had to try, men were second class citizens as long as they were around. Simply because they were unable to wield their powers.

He had fought a futile battle, he had known that from the start, but he had done what needed to be done. Future generations would remember that their parents and grandparents had fought against a deceitful, oppressive ruler.

Tan reached for his sword once again, remembering once more that he no longer had a hand. Therin hesitated, as if expecting an attack.

“ Finish it?” He asked quietly. Therin nodded slightly, unsheathing his own sword. The blade rasping against the leather, and the serpent marking him as a blade master seemed to ignite as the setting sun brushed it.

“ It was an honour.” Tan closed his eyes and Therins sword took his head a moment later spraying the pine with blood.

Therin knelt to clean his sword and noticed the serpent, just barely visible on Tans sword. Looking around he realized the ring of dead, most of them his men, that seemed to surround the man. In a final act he unsheathed Tans sword and rammed it into the ground beside the fallen captain. Marking his final resting spot.

As the shadows covered the valley Therin made his way back to the living. Behind him he could hear the crows screeching as they began their feast.

Sir.
November 25th, 2010, 09:59 PM
As a whole I like it, especially the dialouge between the two. but the beggining has a slightly unbalancing romantic quality about it and I wonder if leaving a little more mystery around the daes menar might help intrigue readers a little further.

josh23
December 3rd, 2010, 10:43 PM
ya you might be right, does seem to throw the story in a different direction then intended, and ya your definetly right bout te daes menar :D

Thaks for the review!

valo123
December 3rd, 2010, 10:54 PM
I don't have time to critique now, but I don't think the first sentence says what you want. I'm pretty sure that how it's currently written suggests that Tan is setting the sky ablaze. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, though.

Sir.
December 5th, 2010, 08:14 PM
I would say that otherwise, the setting the sky ablaze comes across as imagery not actions. Honestly I'd say its some of the best description I've read on this site.

josh23
December 10th, 2010, 11:06 PM
Thanks sir :D

valo123
December 11th, 2010, 01:38 AM
Maybe because its a double entendre it sounds off to me. "Tan watched the sun set slowly, setting the sky ablaze in the most beautiful colors he had ever seen." Every other time I read it, it sounds correct then wrong. "Tan watched as the sun slowly set, setting the sky ablaze in the most beautiful colors he had ever seen." I'd go with that one to silence any questions.