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We Wanted Those Infidels Dead

Templar Flash Fiction

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3 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Grantaire

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Posted Oct 21 2012 - 09:22 PM

 

[color=#000000;] [/color]Hast seen the white knights as they march past? Tell me, hast sighted the black footmen that follow as night follows day? Hast seen the cross of blood that binds them together?

 

[color=#000000;]Tell me, have you seen the Order of the Temple?[/color]

 

 

[color=#000000;][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]-x-x-x-[/color][/font]

[color=#000000;][font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]     [/color][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]The night was deep, and there was silence on the part of men; only the sounds of nature could be heard on the old path that ran through the forest. Day was done, and most travelers were well indoors, in inns or the homes of farmers who would house them for the night. For it was perilous to be about in the dark. [/font][font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]     [/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]But the sound of hooves could be heard, and the slapping sound of mail and padding. The lone horseman was clad in a black mantle, the hood back from his brimmed helm. The mantle was drawn close about him, and the red cross at his left breast stood starkly out, even in the night. He traveled at a brisk cantor, and neither man nor horse seemed at ease, despite the arms on man and horse. [/font][font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]     [/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]The night was perilous even for the brave and knightly. [/font][font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]     [/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]His gaze roved from one side of the forest to the other as he rode, almost expecting arrows to fly from the shadows; any native to this land would have told you how likely such occurrences were, even for armed soldiers. [/font][font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]     [/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]But perhaps this soldier was held higher than the others, or else he was plain lucky, for the forest yielded none of its perils, and presently he reached a clearing, reining in his horse and dismounting. Although he was not now alone, he seemed to be more relaxed. Five men stood off the road; four clad the same as the rider. The other two were clad in while mantles, and wore sugarloaf great helms.[/font][font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]     [/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]One of them spoke as the black rider walked forwards.[/font][font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]     [/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“Is the location spotted and scouted, brother?” he asked, his voice deep, with a courtesy that seemed inherent to it.[/font][font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]     [/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“I have looked, and have found it to be so, lord commander; the bandits have little regular sentries, and are fattened by their latest raids.”[/font][font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]     [/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“It is well then,” the white clad commander said. “We can move out, take them unaware. Come, lord brothers, On behalf of God.”[/font][font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]     [/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“On behalf of God,” came the muted response from the others as they mounted; the scout without complaint despite the lack of rest. But although they were swift in leaving, they moved at a relatively slow pace. The white clad knight leading them beckoned the scout to his side.[/font][font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]     [/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“What approach shall we take, brother?” he asked.[/font][font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]     [/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“The brigands have set their camp in the foothills, commander; it has good tree cover, and several caves. They have set up their main camp in a shallow valley between two spurs of mountain, where they have a fire pit, and several crude cabins. Normally, they would have one or two sentinels, but tonight they are too wasted from their raiding to care. One drunken sentinel badly placed, mayhap two.”[/font][font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]     [/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“It will not be the easiest target, brother. Not all are drunk, and they greatly outnumber us,” the commander cautioned, more to himself than to the scout. His brow set in a frown under his helmet.[/font][font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]     [/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“We will arrive in a minute, commander,” the scout said softly. In response, the knight held up his hand and gave a sharp, but still muted, command to halt.[/font][font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]     [/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“Brother Sergeants, you will follow on foot. The knights shall lead the charge. The infidels are smitten by their greed, and offer no organized watch. We shall scatter and confound them, and you shall smite upon them.”[/font][font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]     [/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“On behalf of God,” the others responded, and they set off, the sergeants leaving their horses behind.[/font][font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]     [/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]The camp gradually spread out in front of the riders’ eyes, the glow of a few fires through the spaced out pines, the dim shapes of a few buildings; most importantly, the sounds of human life. The two knights quickened their pace, shifting into a swift cantor.[/font][font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]     [/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]To the bandits, there was nothing more startling; one moment the peace of the night and the warmth and heat of the fires enveloped them, the next horsemen crashed through, scattering the fire and thrusting several unlucky brigands through with their lances. Bodies crashed about, to their feet or to the ground, some stumbling around drunkenly, not knowing whether to fight, flee, or just collapse. The knights vanished out of the fire area after the charge, leaving the bandits a few seconds of respite, a chance that was lost in the general confusion. Skillfully maneuvering, the two knights split and charged back into the clearing, one from each side. Two more bandits collapsed before they were gone.[/font][font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]     [/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Even still, they had not yet routed, now trying to form some defense even in their unreadiness. The knights’ tactic of hit and run, while confusing and line-breaking, could not achieve the carnage that a pitched attack would have, and there were still over a dozen men left. But even as they—somewhat—armed themselves, the main Templar force arrived. Bolts flew out of the trees, piercing two more bandits, and even as they looked towards this new threat the four black-clad warriors charged headlong into the fight. Outnumbered three to one though they were, they had a clear advantage over the unarmored, ill armed ruffians they faced. Several fell in the first clash, and the cries of the wounded outweighed the sounds of weapons clashing. Hardly a half minute into the fight, and the six remaining bandits broke, fleeing for their lives. Surprisingly, the four Templar did not pursue, quietly watching the ruffians flee. Two of them unslung crossbows, reloading them. To them, the fight was done. Cries rang out from the forest, and the Brother Sergeants knew that the fight was done for those remaining brigands, ended on the points of the swords and lances of the two Templar knights lying in wait.[/font][/font]

 

 

 

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]-x-x-x-[/font]

Mayhap not fitting the theme Pathfinding that well, I needed the flash fiction goal to get me to finish this. The title goes to my brother, who also tused 'infidel' in the same sense as this story (bandits being infidels, sorta a loose usage). But I'm rambling. 

 


Edited by Zarayna: The Quiet Light, Mar 01 2013 - 07:58 PM.

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#2 Offline Kragghle

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Posted Oct 25 2012 - 10:39 AM

:kaukau: Zarayna, keep this in mind: when I saw that the theme was "pathfinding", I knew that basically everything would count.Anyway, the title threw me off in multiple ways, one such way being the use of the word "infidel", but in another sense it almost sounded comedic. I was reminded of Achmed the Undead Terrorist and Jeff Dunham's often dark humor. Now upon full observation I realize that this is not the story at all. In fact, it is well written, especially for the word limit, because you managed to fit quite a bit in, and I didn't totally pen where the story was going to go. Unfortunately, all these plot points come at the expense of characterization, but you do have a good scene nevertheless, and I hope you realize that this is where your strength lies.

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#3 Offline Grantaire

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Posted Oct 25 2012 - 02:38 PM

Picture a gruff knight slamming his fist on the table and barking it; It's a quote from a book, and that was the context of it.I had no attempt to characterize, and I really didn't want to. The point was to give a little backstory to a novel I'm writing, and write a battlescene. I can do characterization somewhat well (in fact two of my other Templar fics, one that I wrote just yesterday, and another which is only posted in the Ambage write off blog focus heavily on characterization), and might have focused on it more, but for the fact that halfway through the story I decided to enter this for the FF contest. This isn't my best story, but it's decent. Thanks for the review. :)
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#4 Online Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa

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Posted Feb 25 2013 - 10:19 PM

[color=rgb(0,128,0);]There was no characterization and precious little story, but it was less about the characters and why they were doing what they were doing as it was about what they were doing. It was something of a tableau, just an enjoyable piece of action with little behind it. Perhaps a little pointless . . . but sometimes writing is worth enough as writing: for the words and what they directly convey, not any implicated meaning behind it. As always I love your style, which has in its own right an archaic ring to it and savors of something you might read in Cervantes, Dumas, or Scott, but with a modern twist of opportune brevity.[/color][color=rgb(0,128,0);]Because you did so well grammatically I'll just point out the few minor errors that caught my eye:[/color] 

Hast seen the cross of blood that binds them together?

[color=rgb(0,128,0);]Now I admit that I am not familiar with archaic grammar, so I am not sure if this was an accident or an error--or if it was proper! It just struck me as odd amidst the have yous.[/color]

 

He traveled at a brisk cantor, and neither man nor horse seemed at ease, despite the arms on man and horse.

[color=rgb(0,128,0);]Heh . . . I don't think he traveled at a cantor. =P Canter? Recurs once later on as well.[/color]

 

Come, lord brothers, On behalf of God."

 

[color=rgb(0,128,0);]Otherwise I guess this will have to be a short review for a short story. I have nothing to complain about. Maybe it wasn't the great American novel, but it was a pleasant piece and I enjoyed it.[/color]

 

[color=rgb(0,128,0);]Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:[/color]


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