“Raskalarn!” The battle cry of a Raskithecal, her full plate armour shimmering in Faldrun’s light caught Yuli’anyh’s attention from across the battlefield. The bloodcurdling screams of horses and men alike as they were mauled by the Imperial’s wolf contingent and the plated warriors of the Immortal was paralysing. Everywhere she looked, the crimson life forces of both sides splattered the Hotland desert like an artist’s canvas.
Steel mace swooping through the air, Yuli’anyh felt bile rise into her throat as the deadly weapon split open a Nashaki soldier’s skull – his brains exploding across the theatre of war. Eyes wide in terror, Yuli’anyh’s fear was screaming at her limbs to flee, to save herself and to skedaddle somewhere far away.
Digging deep within herself however, she discovered a courage that refused to yield to her fear. It planted her feet in place, it fuelled her arms into action as she drew forth an arrow and pulled tension into her bow. A sort of petrified anger overwhelmed her urge to flee, glazing over her eyes as the will to survive took charge of her limbs.
The young twin broke rank. Veering her aim away from the directions of the rest of her archer comrades, Yuli’anyh ever the opportunist. The tip of her arrow targeting the Raskithecal who had stumbled ahead of the Imperial line. Though, with adrenaline shaking her hands and the mayhem of the battlefield off-putting her attentions, Yuli’anyh’s shaft was loosed from the bow too late.
The arrow whistled safely past the face of the plated Raskithecal as she fell back into the Imperial line, the shaft disappearing into the midst of the raging battle of limbs and blood. The young twin cursed herself furiously as she was pressed backwards, along with the rest of the archer V and Nashaki line.
The gruesome carnage of war rattled the young twin right down to her very core. As the Nashaki cavalry was forced back, all the ground they had gained lost, the Imperials pressed onward, unrelenting, unforgiving.
Nashaki javelins and lances furiously held the enemy at bay, firm footings planted strong as the Calvary was forced across the Nashki infantry line. The infantry soldiers slipped into the gaps between the javelin men, solidifying the Nashaki defence.
Spine-chilling gargles and paralysing shrieks filled the Hotlands Claypan. As Yuli’anyh’s squadron of longbow men continued to fruitlessly fire volleys upon volleys of black arrows into the Imperial ranks, panic began to swell in the archer’s breasts. Working in unison, firing as one, their rounds shot off slowly.
Out of the corner of her eye Yuli’anyh caught the glimpse of her twin brother’s snowy hair, starkly sticking out against the flashes of sinewy red that gathered his long locks in sticky strings. His face was painted with the blood of the enemy, his armour scratched and dented with teeth marks.
The warrior made his way over to the archer commander and screamed in the man’s ear pointing off at a section of the Imperial line, “Concentrate your fire! Get us a hole and we’ll punch through!”
The squadron commander was shaking his head furiously, yelling for Beorn to return to his position, “We must follow our orders!”
Beorn suddenly turned to defend the archer formation from an Imperial wolf bolting under the lances of the Nashaki calvary. Yuli’anyh hastily twisted at the waist, hauling her longbow with her and swiftly released her nocked arrow into the creature’s side. Beorn rapidly dispatched the animal with a ferocious downward hack of his blade, nodding his thanks to his twin. He turned a dangerous glare upon the squadron commander, “We need to break their line! They’re hounding us!”
The Commander furiously shoved Beorn back a few strides, pushing him and roaring for him to return to the front line, which was only a couple of feet away. As the warrior twin turned his back on the archer formation, complying with the commander’s orders, both the twins heard the shriek of a Raskithecal, encouraging her fellow Imperial’s to “Push!”
Suddenly the Nashaki line bowed under the strain. A gladii flicked out from nowhere as a Legionnaire encroached on the archer formation. The blade ripped open the Squadron Commander’s face in a sickening upper cut. The momentum from the slash forced the man’s body around in a whirl, his horrified face gargling and sputtering as his mind raced to catch up to what had happened to his body.
Yuli’anyh watched helplessly in horror as the Commander fell to his knees before her, his crimson blood splashing across her own face as he choked on his own life force. The man’s liquid was warm, sticky, wet, against her milky skin. The young twin’s heart hammered painfully in her breast. Panic threatened to overwhelm her, as her enlarged, fearful gaze sought help, comfort and support from her twin brother.
The Squadron commander collapsed in a soulless heap before the archer formation. 'Their leader was dead. Their leader was dead. Their leader was dead!' That realisation circled around in Yuli’anyh’s mind as she struggled to come to terms with what just happened.
Beorn, a natural born fighter, turned to face the threat, sword raised. A bear-like growl resonating from deep within his throat, he pointed to the huddled group of encroaching Imperial troops before them, “Concentrate your fire!! Punch a hole! Get us an opening! Fire!”
As the outright chaotic intensity of the battling clash drew ever nearer, the V-formation of archers grasped at whatever straws of courage and foundation was presented to them. As panic threatened to consume the ranks of longbow men they adhered to Beorn’s command. With no other plan, with no other source of leadership, they all drew the strings to their bows taut.
Aiming as one, they targeted the nearest pressing section of the Imperial’s line. A deafening 'thwung'
impacted Yuli’anyh’s ears as she released her share of arrows. Working in unison, the group of archers fired one shot after another, hounding into the armoured lines of the enemy, unremitting and without merciful pause.
The bodies of their enemies, slowly, but surely began stacking up. Gaps in their front ranks began to suddenly crop up. Although the Imperials simply swarmed in to replace their fallen brethren, their footings would begin to slip and stumble over the viscera and dead limbs of their comrades. Thus the opportunity was presented for the Nashaki Infantry to take advantage and pierce through the Imperial line.