The General of the Cavalry
With the help of Kabtan Yusef, the Elves once again had horses, clothes, and food. And they even had Yusef himself, who was eager for an adventure westward. Upon daybreak, the Elves and Yusef departed from Turuc and rode towards the falling moon. Their directions were simple enough, “Ride west until they speak Tonian, and then south until they speak Handelzan.
They rode west for maybe two weeks before they were stopped by a group of armed men with a checkered gold banner, bearing a red lion. “Halt, trespassers!”, the leader commanded , “Or you will be tried and hanged in the glorious name of Turton!”
“TURTON!?”, a voice from over a hill called in disbelief, “These hills belong to the most beautiful duchy of Clonsay!!!” He drew his sword, but the soldiers from Turton were unphased. “You are far more brave than your meager duchy allows you to be!”, the Turtonian general scoffed, “Now stand down, these prisoners are ours!”
“Yours!? Nay!”, the lone Clonsian was irate, “These ferns are Clonsay’s! These hills are Clonsay’s! And those prisoners are Clonsay’s!! Men!? Charge!!!” And almost as soon as the order was given, at least a regiment of men-at-arms appeared from the other side of the hill. With gravity on their side, they pushed down and cut deep into the Turtonian lines. A skirmish commenced, and although Yusef desperately pleaded to partake, Lithoniel held him back.
The so-recently-alone Clonsian general pushed through the frenzy to duel with the armoured Turtonian leader. It was the most ungraceful fight the Elves had ever seen. Punching, hacking, bashing. The combatants hardly had any respect for their rivals. The Clonsian eventually got within amazingly close range of his opponent, and slid his arming sword into the Turtonian’s ribs like a common thug would with a dagger. A decisive, but seemingly dishonorable victory.
The Clonsians defeated the last of the heavily armed Turtonians, and the rest gave way. Chins held high, the Clonsian general and his bannerman marched up to the explorers. “Welcome to Clonsay, my noble prisoners!”, the General sneered.
But soon another voice called out from the woods. “Hixdale!”, it cried, “This is Hixdale!!” And at least two regiments of soldiers pushed out from the shadows, and hacked their way through the majority of the Clonsians. As per their general’s orders, the Clonsians retreated.
The leader of the Hixdalers hardly had time to open his mouth, before the sound of hooves in the distance forced him to reform his men. A heroic trumpet played a powerful tune. The sabre-bearing cavalry let out their war cries. And the Hixdalers were already running. But the Cavalry gave chase and cut down most of the fleeing soldiers, only stopping when their numbers were sufficiently thinned.
“Cargeff!”, the Cavalry General yelled after them, “Behold the power of Cargeff!” The same man rode his prancing horse up to the Elves and dismounted. “Greetings, visitors. I beg you to forgive the aggression of our neighbors. It’s been days since we’ve last had a war. They’re quite bored, as you can imagine.”
He removed his helmet to reveal brown hair and fair skin, a trait that seemed to be dominant among the previous warriors as well. “I am Policor, His Majesty Good King Thulric’s General of the Royal Cargeffian Cavalry. At your service.” “Good Policor”, Lithoniel, the only one who could communicate began, “We are travellers from distant lands. We know not where we are or what this land is.” “Nonsense!”, Policor guffawed, “Even a fool could follow the great roads of Cargeff!”
“Good Policor”, Lithoniel began once more, “You must understand that we have no understanding of this strange land.” Policor grew impatient, “But the highways of Cargeff are legendary! All basque in their glory!”
Lithoniel sighed, “Please, Good Policor, we are as alien to this land as it is to us. We know nothing.” “You are not from another land”, Policor practically roared, with a frustrated grin still plastered to his face like a scar, “but another world to have not heard of these things! Friends? What strange beings are you?” Suddenly, he shot his gaze to Yusef, “And why have you delivered this sand-eating swindler to my kingdom’s doorstep!?”
Yusef, without waiting for the Elve’s advice this time, instinctively unsheathed his scimitar. A duel was about to begin. The victor's prize, their life.