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Fantasy A Small but Faithful Band-IC

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MrThe

Mystery Man
Up in the Citadel of what is now known as Last Redoubt the defenders held firm. Upon the first day everyone was sure that the Demons would breach the defenses, just as they had the other fortifications which stood against them. But miraculously, the defenders tossed back each wave of Demons as if it were a rocky outcrop on the shore. And at the end of the night, when the sun rose, to everyone's astonishment the Demons made camp. It was largely the knights who held everything together, led by the veteran Chaplain of the Citadel's Cathedral. These holy warriors are like a bright flame in the midst of pitch black darkness, and their faith, alongside their strength of arms allowed the defenders as a whole to blunt the attack.

At the end of the first day of fighting the situation is this, the walls are strong, the reserve food supplies are recently replenished and can last a few years, the wells are full after heavy rains last season, and there is enough arms and armor to equip all the defenders. Normally this would mean high morale, but this is not the case. Indeed, morale is likely the first thing to break, because they are besieged by the numberless hordes of hell. Frightening Demons surround them on all sides, and terror assails them daily. And terror is not the only assailant, because sometime in the night, the Demons brought with them infernal machines, spitting smoke and ash, belching flames, and launching projectiles. Now it is the second day of the siege, with no end in sight. Only the horde, blanketing the landscape seemingly as far as the very horizon.
Teltex Teltex ru_ ru_ Soviet Panda Soviet Panda Plutoni Plutoni
 

Teltex

Telemarketing Shadow Demon
The smell of blood, smoke and metal coated the air. Laron pushed by two women on his way to the citadel walls, his mind racing with curses and prayers alike. Somehow this morning had been the hardest of them all, the realization when he woke up that he hadn't been dazed, that he hadn't imagined Hell coming to visit Earth, that the blood and bodies were real. That today was the beginning of his new reality. A gamble each day. Fall or stay standing?

Father, protect me.

Already he could hear the screams of men and the heavy whirring of siege machines as he ran down a flight of stone steps towards the armory. On the other side of the castle, near the entrance, would be the Holy Knights. They stood strong where the demons were most numerous, but that didn't mean the rest of the castle wasn't surrounded. Here, a far back wall, Laron would fight with the other soldiers. While there were a few Holy Knights peppered in between them to guide the way, the vast majority were normal soldiers like Laron, or civilians who'd learnt to pick up a sword and hold their ground. He took in a deep breath.

Protect my soul, and let me stand strong.

Time seemed to slow as a massive boulder slammed into the castle wall, but the fortifications held strong. Just beyond it, Laron could see them. Scores of demons, undead. Hellspawn. Stretching far and wide, a force infinitely larger than theirs. Gripping his sword tightly in his hands, Laron closed his eyes. He was no Holy Knight, but he would fight.

Father, let me survive in the dark.

Let me fight.

Amen


And with a yell, Laron charged.
 

Soviet Panda

Red Panda Commanda.
"Spears front! Push off the ladders!" Vargr bellowed from his position above the common soldiery and the willing hands that were quickly recruited. This was not his first siege. Most sieges fell into a rhythm, though often a much, much slower one. There would be testing of fortifications, probing of weak spots, bombardments, all on a schedule. Though in human warfare, this schedule took weeks to fully go through. In this hellish war, however, their opponent was not limited by mortal weaknesses and slowness.

At his urging, the defenders surged forward, spears impaling demonic flesh and throwing it over and off the walls. He had tried to give as many untrained civilians a spear as possible. It was a simple and reliable weapon. Sharp end points away from you. And the added reach kept the warriors filled with unholy strength at a more manageable distance for them. Those that were not given a spear, were taught the bloody butcher's work of hacking down whatever got past the bristling spear line. Butchers, those that survived the first day quickly came to call them, the ones that slithered through the forest of spear hafts to slit throats and sever the limbs of their hemmed in quarry. He had even decided not to punish the few that had taken grizzly trophies of their kills. Let them have whatever glory they could find here, they probably wouldn't survive long.

Vargr snapped out of his thoughts and lifted his two handed sword to parry an axe blow from a wretched, horned thing. His blade described a quick loop before coming back around and decapitating the horrendous thing. "The Light shines through us!" He bellowed, adding his skills to the melee that had consumed the wall. "The day may grow dark with clouds but in the end the Light always returns! For it is ever present, and watches and guides us! Even now it guides your strikes! Your steps! Your very breath! Through the strength of your arms and the mettle of your spirit will the Light prevail! Fight on, brothers and sisters! And push those damn ladders off the wall!"
 

Teltex

Telemarketing Shadow Demon
The Light shines through us!

The words of the Holy Knight echoed in Laron's head as he ducked beneath a scimitar swing and sliced open a demon's gut. They didn't bleed the same hue humans did - you could tell. Their blood was something vile and putrid, and right now Laron was covered in it up to his forearms. A flash of metal gleamed in the air - and Laron barely blocked another strike, a chip of metal flying off his sword. Yelling, he kicked at the shins of the demon until it fell, then put his blade through its head. An arrow from an archer long distant grazed his side while he locked onto another target, but before he could get to it two butchers cut it down.

These ordinary folks - trained with spear and knife - were damn good at what they did. Laron had received proper training as a soldier before the demons struck, and so he could handle wielding a sword. Still, he felt safer surrounded by scores of his spear-wielding allies, all trying to do their part and topple the ladders. Above him, flaming rocks shot through the air and made smoking craters on the ground, and all he could do was grit his teeth and try to block it all out. Block out the screams. The strikes. The smell of hot metal. The taste of blood. Laron took a deep breath, and all he could hear for a moment was the Holy Knight, with a booming voice as if it came from the skies themselves.

The day may grow dark with clouds, but in the end the Light always returns!

Breath.

For it is ever present, and watches and guides us!

Breath.​

A group of soldiers advanced towards a ladder and Laron joined them, joined the clanging of metal and swinging of swords, entered the bloody fray and watched as a soldier who was right next to him got cut up into two and all he could do was barrel forward, charge ahead with his allies until the ladder was in a hair's length and then -

"Ladder down!" he screamed as a tall siege-ladder swayed and collapsed on the compact dirt, sending troves of demons falling to the ground, each kicking up a cloud of dust as it landed. Laron rolled out of the way of a falling demon before struggling to his feet. His side was still bleeding from the arrow that had skimmed him minutes prior. He held his sword up weakly, surrounded by a similar group of sorry looking, injured men as they struggled to fight on, at least relieved that they had done something in this hell of a war, at least content they had taken down one ladder and had contributed something to the effort. The other ladders - they would see. But for now, they'd followed the Holy Knight's orders, and the Light - even if for a brief fleeting moment - had lived on through them.
 

ru_

𝔭𝔬𝔴𝔒𝔯𝔒𝔑 π”Ÿπ”Ά 𝔱π”₯𝔒𝔦𝔫𝔒
That morning couldn't be called an easy one. Myria cursed under her breath when she heard the yells coming from the walls. She wondered how long the current situation around the citadel would last. More precisely, which one will end first; the siege or her life. She wanted to live through it. It wasn't that she had any firm reasons to stay alive but she also had no reason to die.

She gripped her sword tight. If she wasn't wearing gloves, it could be seen that her palms went almost white from gripping the hilt. The woman took a few deep breaths and charged, steel clashing with steel. While in the battle fervour, Myria felt somewhat drunk-like. She felt like she wasn't able to think straight, nor control all of her moves, the sounds surrounding her weren't as audible as usually and her vision wasn't clear either. The world moved both slower and faster at the same time.

She managed to kill a demon but at the same time she got stabbed right under her collarbone. As the soldier chopped off another demon's limb, feeling warm blood running across her chest, she heard a scream.

The Light shines through us!

She never fully understood this metaphor, a force consisting of broken in many ways, regular human beings didn't appear particularly glorious but hearing those words gave her an irrational amount of hope for the victory.
 

Teltex

Telemarketing Shadow Demon
Laron cursed. He felt like he was back in his room, the world dizzying around him in a blur of steel. He regained focus just as another soldier blocked a strike for him and downed a demon. He tried to return the favour by taking down the next one, but the wound in his side shot daggers of pain up his stomach and he collapsed into the dirt. He felt a arm grab his - and he let himself be pulled up uneasily, watching the human force dwindle as the demons didn't stop.

A short demon ran towards him and he moved to block the strike - but it wasn't going for him. The man who'd pulled Laron up collapsed on the ground, a sword in his chest. The demon was nowhere to be seen now, and all Laron could focus on was the red streak that crept down the man's mouth as he bled out on the field. Laron hadn't knew the man for longer than a few minutes, but they'd withstood hell together, and war forged bonds stronger than steel.

Laron was alone. Uneasily he looked around, tried to focus on the chants of the Holy Knight until he spotted another soldier like him, alone and bleeding on the battlefield. Limping, and battling away the strikes of the enemy, he made his way over to her, just another boulder shot through the air and hit the castle wall.

"We need to get out of here!" he yelled over the skirmish of war, gesturing to the main gate where they'd come. he noticed a nasty wound near her neck.

"You're hurt! There's a new wave of humans, they'll take over from us!"

He didn't know why he'd walked over to her, why he had bothered when they would most likely die tomorrow, but in a way she was the same as him. Both ordinary soldiers. And they would die if they didn't get out quick and recover from their injuries.

ru_ ru_
 
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ru_

𝔭𝔬𝔴𝔒𝔯𝔒𝔑 π”Ÿπ”Ά 𝔱π”₯𝔒𝔦𝔫𝔒
The mixing smells of sweat, fear, blood and death became overwhelming. Myria dodged a blade of a demon's sword. In a couple seconds a soldier fighting beside her slayed the creature, only to have his head cut off by another one the following moment. Numerous corpses and chopped off limbs of both humans and demons were laying beside each other, the blood of both sides of the conflict mixing. Cursing her own weakness and cowardice, Myria drew a bit back from the frontline. Suddenly, she heard a yell right behind her back.

We need to get out of here!

She turned around to see the one who spoke to her. She was quite perplexed that someone would pay attention to her as there were plenty of more severely hurt soldiers around. She also hadn't made any relationships closer than it was necessary; she didn't want to make friends just to lose them in a matter of a few days. Not letting this unusual occurrence to be at the forefront of her mind she simply replied: "Yeah, we should!" She had to admit it truly wasn't the greatest idea to stay in the middle of a battle injured when there were backup troops ready to fight.

Despite not a very rational sense of guilt, she was relieved that her part in this battle was over. She wanted to go right away but then she eyed the man up and noticed how heavily the man in front of her was bleeding. "You are in a much worse state than me!" She nervously laughed. Partly because she wasn't sure how to react in that situation, partly because to her, it was somewhat ridiculous. "Do you need any help walking back there?! You don't look like you're gonna make it on your own!"

Teltex Teltex
 
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Teltex

Telemarketing Shadow Demon
The soldier in front of Laron turned, surprised, then spoke. She agreed with him, then said something else. Over the roar of steel on steel, it was difficult to communicate, but when she yelled he thought he got the gist of her words. His injury. Around them, the siege continued on, though a second ladder had been struck down. Blood lashed the ground in thick streaks. Laron shrugged at the soldier's words. A small consult with a healer, and he'd be back to normal.

"I'll be fine!" he yelled, shrugging again, then winced at the motion when it sent a needle of pain up his side. He took a moment to catch his breath, then looked up at her. Pride was useless on the battlefield, it would get you slaughtered quicker than a rabbit in hunting season. So, reluctantly, he raised his arm for her to help him.

"...Help would be good, though," he admitted. "The Light shines through us and all, but it can only dull your pain for so long."
 

ru_

𝔭𝔬𝔴𝔒𝔯𝔒𝔑 π”Ÿπ”Ά 𝔱π”₯𝔒𝔦𝔫𝔒
In response to what she said, the soldier yelled something about him being fine then winced in pain right away. But after a short while he agreed to be given support. Myria sighed with relief that she didn't have to argue with him about that. She set the arm he's lifted on her shoulders, flinching slightly when it touched her wound and wrapped arm around his back. "Let's get you to a healer." They started to leave the battlefield. "Just don't pass out, okay?" She asked as if it could change the man's ability to stay conscious but she sincerely hoped he wouldn't.

They arrived at the caserne and entered. Inside, even though people were running around in chaos stumbling one against another from time to time, it was a lot more peaceful than on the frontlines. "Do you know which way the infirmary is?" She enquired.

Teltex Teltex
 
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Soviet Panda

Red Panda Commanda.
His position on the wall was beginning to become untenable. This was to be expected, of course, they had an endless army, he did not. He had to give up ground eventually, it was the only sensible thing to do. The only other option was to overcommit on the outer walls and spread his dwindling forces to thinly only to have them cracked open and pealed apart. And so he signaled the fighting retreat.

"Fighting retreat!" he bellowed into the air, his Knight Brothers relaying his cry further down the wall and organizing the peasant rabble as best they could in the heat of battle. "Each stone we give them will be covered in the blood of martyrs and the ichor of their kin! Brothers and Sisters! Hymnal of Pious Wrath!" After speaking, he began to intone the hymn, his sonorous voice leading the faithful in holy recitation. Vargr was pleased to see some of the demons flinched at the holy piety of the words. That was all the proof he needed that the Light had not abandoned them.
 

Teltex

Telemarketing Shadow Demon
In the barracks, Laron could hear the screams of dying soldiers and the yells of new ones entering the battlefield. He was grateful to be somewhat undercover again, and he hobbled forwards a bit, pointing towards a section that had been cordoned off, with thick sheets providing make-shift walls and rows of hastily scrapped-together wooden beds for the dying.

"There, I think," he said, thankful she was supporting him. Outside, he heard the call of the Holy Knight, and despite the dark words of retreat Laron still felt inspired. He pushed forwards, looking towards the soldier next to him.

"We need to be quick," he said. "With all those retreating soldiers, spaces will be snatched up quick." Indeed, the barracks were beginning to flood with the soldiers coming back from the frontlines. Soon enough would come the Holy Knight, Laron thought.

"We fought them well," he said. "You think we've scared them off?"
 

ru_

𝔭𝔬𝔴𝔒𝔯𝔒𝔑 π”Ÿπ”Ά 𝔱π”₯𝔒𝔦𝔫𝔒
The commotion reminded Myria of when, as a child, she once lifted a big stone and in its place she saw a swarm of various worms squirming around in chaos. It may have been an odd parallel but it conveyed the situation quite well.

"We sure have." She smiled. "But I don't know for how long."

The soldier was right, they really had to make haste due to new people constantly flooding the barracks. Luckily, they were able to find an unoccupied bed rather quickly. She helped him to sit on it. There were too many heavily wounded soldiers so Myria decided not to take up the space others needed more and wait for a better time to eventually have her injuries patched up. Before she left she wanted to ascertain whether he was able to handle the rest by himself or not. "Is there anything else I can do?"
 

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