Defensive tactics - short story


Kids, just a couple of paragraphs to keep my hand in. Have a look in the Fan-fic Library if you’d like to read more.

He gazed out from under his hood and fixed a confident smile above his strong jaw.
A little reassurance went a long way at this stage.
“How many today, Lady Sonya?” He asked of the knight with flowing blonde hair.
“One hundred today, Trainer.”
“All of Isgilham?”
“Most of them…a few from Ogron. Get them some meat and bed them down in the recruit house, you can start in the morning.”

He watched them trudge wearily past, through the gate house and past the food silos. The training camps were on the far side, inside the inner wall. No need to stoke their fear just yet. Most were men and women of the villages, tired of the daily grind and raids of the Wildefrost warriors, some were of more outlandish shapes…an ent or two and even a minotaur. Tomorrow, tomorrow he would test their mettle.

“No, listen again…slash, hack, back stab. Right positions. And attack.”

He watched them go through the motions, his keen eye looking for any sign of potential. From the hundred odd, most would end up joining the militia, some might make it as strikers, if they had the discipline. A small few might show a little genuine heroism.

One fellow caught his eye, a cocky dark-haired man sporting a sword and wooden buckler. He stood in a dramatised guard, sword held pointing over his shield, circling a fierce maiden with yellow plaits.
“You, Brand, who taught you that guard?”
“A method of my own invention, Trainer, inspired by the legendary Leonidas”
“Let us see how legendary it is then.”
He gestured to the woman, Ragnhild, who bowed and stepped back. He stood impassive in front of the young adventurer, leaning casually on his double-handed broadsword.
Brand circled, lunging over the top of his buckler, skipping and bobbing, even throwing a glance at Ragnhild to make sure she was watching.
In a flash, it was over - “TRAINER STRIKE” - he spun the huge blade with surprising speed, splintering the shield. Brand stumbled back and was caught in the jaw by a powerful forearm strike, knocking him flat on his back.
He gazed around the camp at the rest of the rabble.
“Tomorrow - defensive tactics. Get some rest… and someone get a bucket and wake up Brand.”