This is an Idea from Megatokyo, Endgames.
All rights go to Fred Gallagher, Creator of MEGATOKYO.
It was to be simple. The armies of the south, the Reahthans, charging in, her cities defenders lined up, hurling rocks at the approaching army. and once close in the magic users like herself, who were spread out amongst the troops, were to wreak havoc in the enemy's ranks. Anyone left the Kuith, her people, solders would remove. It was a simple plan, often the ones that do best, but she still had doubts. It was to be her first engagement. And there was something else. There was something she barely felt in the air. something waiting. Something cold. She shivered against the warm air, as if the temperature had fallen only around her. An old veteran, a man who had been with her since the start of this, looked to her. He was one of few who were worth the Kuith armor, and he wore them proudly, a hint of an old smile was tugging at his lips. Her olive colored eyes look queerly to his, in annoyance at the smile.
Her small gray jewel, the Kuith way of showing she was a magic user, glinted dully and verily contrasting against her pale yellow hair that shined almost too brightly in the clear sky. Her simple yet serviceable robe and dress were a dark gray in stark difference to her pale skin. A woman of opposites, yet in a frail and demure way, she was very easy on the eyes. But those who knew this maiden understood she was not to be crossed, for her power was so great that only fools or very brave men would ever approach her. Much like her old friend, though he a little of both, was still a good man.
"Pirogoeth, what ails you on this day? Say not nerves, for we are evenly matched in men but our magic is more than ten his. We know the land and he does not. This battle shall be easily won; Kuith will not loose many." His words were a comfort, the fact he did not call her by her birthright as a royalty. After all this was a battlefield and on such, no one was a better man or woman than the next. Still the feeling refused to leave her, a strange feeling from the east of her city, to the right of her position. outwards in the sea, emptiness was beginning to form in her perception.
She shook it off as the sight of hundreds of men charged towards her; the rocks of her defender's Siege weapons began to fly. In ten minutes the commander of the opposing side made an abrupt call and pulled back his men, many littered the ground but, sadly or happily of the fact she could not tell, Pirogoeth noted most of the attacker had pulled back to their original positions in a small town on the edge of the forest there. Her city's armies had suffered only a few casualties. Pirogoeth never was one for fighting unless it need be, unless she or her companions were in dire straits. Her friend looked confused and unsure as he began to speak aloud.
"I wonder what made that man so hesitant to attack suddenly, from what I hear he is known for being a brutish sort of man who does not stop or run from a fight. Something is brewing, and I do not like the taste of it." She calmed herself and her mind once again was allowed to wander. At an instant she felt the nothingness and the cold feeling of a watcher. She stiffened and looked as a cry came out.
"Something is coming from the sea!" A soldier amongst the ranks, probably no older than a boy, yelled out. The men turned to see hundreds of ships as far as the eye could see sailing towards the city, their sails a horrible and putrid pale green. Even before the first alarm could go out, the ships became givers of death. Weapons unlike any Pirogoeth had seen began to tear into city, everything was ripped and torn to pieces. A new volley of the weapons hit amongst her and the southern army's men. Huge pillars of dirt and flesh flew up into the air, covering the survivors with their comrades. The first ships landed on the soil not but moments later, and creatures of a shadowlike horror began to disembark from the vessels, they spewed forth destruction and death from all sides as she stood somehow unscathed, only to watch as these things began to burn her town and eat her comrades and enemies alike.
Women, children, young, or old; it did concern these new invaders. It seemed nothing mattered to them and everything seemed to be an obstacle to their movement. It was quickly realized her magic would not work, for the nothingness had sucked her dry of it. Night soon began to fall and somehow during that night she had remained unhurt, sitting in mute shock as her life as she had known it was ripped into the nothing that seemed to be all around her. Her old friend, by now she could not remember his name, was around her, fighting off things that surrounded her and a few survivors. They raged all though the night, loosing a man here or there in the bloodiest ways. Somewhere a sword was put in her hands but she could not remember the blade ever being used despite the unnatural and stark blood of the dead monsters around her that stained it.
Dawn approached and she could see a group of men making their way towards them, their armor familiar but not recognizable to Pirogoeth. The leader, his armor still clean and undamaged was a towering man, his red almost spiky hair glistening from his effort and a look in his eye as if he was truly enjoying the killing and slaughter that the two days had wrought. She knew by the face that he was a leader of the first invaders, A Reahthian. The group, after losing a few of its dwindling numbers made it to Pirogoeth's.
"Aye, who be in charge here!? I see a truce might be in order for our escape of this evil that surrounds us." He bellowed, the Kuiths looked alarmed by the man, who only not a whole day ago was setting out to kill them, was now addressing them as fellows. Her old friend spoke up.
"We, unlike you, you miserable dog, have to hold to our city, least we let it fall." The man laughed as if it were the funniest joke he had ever heard. He then pointed behind him. What the defenders saw cut them to the heart. Kuith, its ashen remains and crumbling walls filled them with dread as not a sound came from the city, any voices or screams. Not even the city as it fell to its doom, just a silent groan as it faded into the gray mists that came from the sea.
A few of the Kuiths gave out a mighty wail that caused the beasts, who for some reason held back as the Reahthans came into the fray around Pirogoeth's survivors, to charge. Many of the Kuiths died, to broken to defend themselves. The group began to move away, towards the forests and its inviting safety, Pirogoeth did not follow. Surrounded by death and destruction she fell to her own inner demons and collapsed into the inky darkness. ---
When she awoke the sun had moved far into the sky, the sound's have battle had faded but still echoed in the air. The presence of the watcher knew she was there but seemed content for the time to have her left alone. Cold and numb she laid with the shadowy beasts and tattered remains of her friends and human enemies. The things were all around herm chewing mindlessly at the bodies of the fallen. Slowly, unsure of herself, she rose and reached for the sword she dropped. Mindlessly, tears fell from her eyes unable to stop; she was struck from the hopelessness of the scene before her.
As far as she could see there was nothing but bodies of her people. There was suddenly a cold feeling in her mind as if the watcher had become angry at her defiance. Several of the beasts turned to her, closing in. The fear began to grown and something she could only sense as amusement came from the presence. A shadow reached out, its misshapen form clawing towards her, her fear reached its peak.
"NO!" She shrieked and cut upwards with the discarded sword. A well placed cut sliced what she would guess was the throat of the beast, its blood stained her hands and mixed with her fearful tears as it splashed across her. Pirogoeth slashed wildly, trying to make space for herself, forgetting all technique from terror and numbness, the beasts fell or backed away from the screaming woman. After a few moments she was rushed and began using every ounce of power she had left to defend herself, when while one was being cut down another attacked from her rear. She gasped as she knew she would surely die from the strike.
"Run girl!" The Reahthian yelled as he sliced the shadowy beast in half as it neared her. The path he had made to her was still open and hope began to grown. Her legs gained movement once more and she dashed through the passage of dead beasts. She sheathed the old blade and ran, the man behind her as the shadowy beings gave chase until for some reason they were called back, as if the presence had grown tired of toying with them for now.
The two of them headed for the main road, running quickly they found an old war horse standing there looking alert and unharmed.
"Good lad, did as I taught you." The large red head gave a quick rub to the snout of the beast which seemed to Pirogoeth, who only came to the beast's shoulder, a gentle giant. The old stallion gave a quiet neigh under the attention.
"Why did you come for me, you could have left me for dead."
"Ye old Capitan friend of yours, asked as he died, split twin by those evil things, that you be taken from this place. Twas a man of honor so I gave him thy word as oath. And come for ye I did, so may he rest in peace." He gave a silent sign she guessed was his lands way of showing respect for the dead.
"So there are no others who have survived?" He shook his head. "I see, so I am alone."
"Would you ride with me a while? It has been a long time since I had no companion in my journeys; I fear it could be an end to me in these dark times." He asked with sudden calmness she wished she felt at the moment.
"Should I go with, what would you have me do?" There was a very cold tone in her voice that made the man, despite his size, recoil as if she were just a serpent waiting to strike. In many respects she felt like one as well. "I should just let you rot in your 'end' as you say; you have brought these dark times upon me for coming to my land!"
"And why should I take you? What madness struck me? Away, girl, I have no time for children." He brushed past her and her sad eyes that bore into him.
"I have just reached the age of 18; doth that not make a woman of me?" He looked to her queerly for a moment looking her up and down almost critically.
"Ye could not be my age, not even the body of a girl. skin and bones and nothing more. I couldn't even sell you in the markets. Men want a body that's comfortable and soft like. You would never do. I just as well drag you behind me to hide my tracks should I take you."
"And what sort of brute as you would go and speak to a woman like she was nothing more than horse and mule just here to serve you?" Pirogoeth began, her voice never raising just a simple and quiet question. But one that put the Reahthian at bay because of the unheard edge in which the question had been asked.
"Aye, I suppose should we travel as. understanding folk should, my name be Largo. Capitan Largo of Reahthan's armed forces. And what sort of name should ye go by, wench?" He asked. Pirogoeth wished she could access her magic. A spell was coming to her mind she had long since refused to use for its rather brutal and very slow killing power. Already this fool had her tempting to use it.
"I go by Pirogoeth, kind sir." She gave a small nod of her head. Hoping should she be nice he would be as well. He snorted and pulled himself up into his saddle.
"Bah! Kind sir. A load of rubbish! I am just Largo, wench. Nothing more. My Reahthan is gone, much like your Kuith." He looked away, towards the south, the mists were there too she noted. And for some reason it felt like there was nothing beyond that mist, the void had suck all beyond it clean. "My army was all that was left; and now I am the last of my people. I suppose that make ye the same." His face was somber as he looked to her. "That is why I gave the question, ride with me, for I am alone now too." She knew that she too was alone and it made her all the more determined.
"Aye, I suppose that does make us the same." She walked over as Largo held out a hand; she was helped up and sat in front of him as the old horse turned to begin their journey. After a few moments she cocked an eye and looked behind her. "Not a woman, aye?"
"Aye, ye be not but a boney ghost of one." Largo growled, not amused by the reaction her closeness had created. "Ye don't even smile; if ye did now, then you would be more of a woman than ye sorry excuse of one now."
"Should I feel it was worth my time I would." She replied acidly before sighing and calming. This Reahthian was beyond an annoyance. But he was probably the only one who knew what it was like for her now. So she would keep with him, until she died or they grew tired of the other. Or, at least, until she killed the fool because his exasperating mouth. As they began to move towards the west, the only direction the mist was not to their eyes, Pirogoeth recalled the word's of Kuith's great commander, Eldomuire.
'This will be a glorious day for Kuith! Our plan is to be simple.'
Simple. That day had proved to be the downfall of the noble city of Kuith, and the conquering armies of the long fallen Reahthan. How truly wrong he was. Now the last two survivors of the battle, enemies yet comrades of their shared loss, rode together to the unknown west.
I repost this because I am shocked by how similar it seems, yet the major difference is it seems Largo didn't come and get Pirogoeth. Pirogoeth came and got herself out of the mess.
So very interesting.