Delnar walked to the command tent with grim purpose the battle
was not going well at all.
"Casualty Report" he barked a bit harshly, the senseless ness of the battle was gettig to him. He was a warrior by trade, First knight of Deren but the slaughter was wearing his resolve. Worse no resolution was anywhere in cite"
"Losses today are about equal on both sides commander" It was Cerin that spoke even his energy and spirits seemed to be waning " 1200 Derenians and 1930 of the enemy fallen"
It was always "the enemy" now never spoke of by name. Early on their name had seemed powerful, given them a sinister air, moreso then just the word enemy. The name had lost it's magic. Now a name identified them as people and thinking of them as persons with lives and familiies, ambitions and desires, only made it harder. Knowing that most of the enemy soldiers were young idealists following orders and not fanatical zealots bent on destruction made it worse. So they were dehumanized, not named., not people. just the enemy, without even the emphasis that capitalization would give them.
The war itself becoming near impossible to bear. There was no reason in it only death. Delnar had tried only once to parley with the enemy. What resulted was asmashing disaster that nearly cost him his life.
The young soldier who had shown him in was a pleasant sort. He seemed generally kind and even concerned about the knights welfare. This made what happened worse, though Delnar knew in time this knight would only have died for his cause or become as fanatical as his commander.
"Well Tyrant!? Have you come to surrender?" The man barked coldly
"What?" Delnar was taken aback "Of course not. I came to parley in hopes of truce"
"NEVER!" The man roared angrilly "There can be no resolution save your total surrender or total anihilation. If you surrender of course the tyrants and the knights who serve as their insturments of opression shall be tried and imprisoned or kiled for their crimes against civility"
"You hypocritical bastard" Delnar stormed his anger overriding both his reason and his code of ethics. "You prattle on about the peoples right to rule themselves yet you deny them that very right. To choose their own form of governance."
"No unoppresed person would choose tyranny and no individual chooses to be opressed!"
"Indeed NOT! None! Including myself" Delnar was beside himself " You simpleton, the people of Deren love Draynor he is a wise and benevolent leader who brought peace to . . ."
"DO NOT MENTION his name! He is a petty tyrant who is loved in word due to his reign of opression and fear. He brought this battle to our shores..."
"These shores, belong to the people of Neld our allies!"
"There are no people of Neld. There is no longer any nation of Neld. There is only the Vandarian province of Neld and its people are citizens of Vandar! This tyranny has been overcome as yours too shall be, and as the people of neld called for the death of their tyrants when their freedom was at hand, so shall the Derenians call for your death. Well not yours, you alas shall not live to that day. Guards arrest this this subversive he shall be put to death at dawn as a symbol to his people to take heart, tyranny will not go unavenged!"
"But sir?" The young man who showed him in protested "He came under a flag of truce..."
"The flag is a deception, a trick, the man is a spy and he will die."
The man looked dejected as he arrested Delnar, but later arranged for Delnar's escape. An act of kindness and of honor. The man died for his courage, several days later his head arrived by courier as a token of the commanders esteem. The note read: Your spy has died in your stead tyrant. May you bear the guilt!
Delnar did bear the guilt, it still sickened him, but it also strengthened his resolve slightly when all other forces served only to tear it down. The man was not a spy of course, he had never seen Deren in peace or in war, and now of course he never would.
"Press on then" Delnar said to Cerin at long last "Press on..."
< Message edited by falerin -- 3/13/2006 5:10:14 >