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HALT! The clanging gives way to silence,
A hush penetrated only by the breeze
And the proud flapping flag - the standard held high.

A dim line looms in the distance,
The shadows of barbarians, a horde of heathens,
Approaching, mirroring, praying.

Left-Right, Left-Right, Left-
Stumble, Repeat.
Chafing breeches, cutting chainmail,
Steeling your skin while steeling your nerves.

Time for the speech.
Donned in finery,
The General rides ahead,
The eyes of a Berserker...

“Gird yourselves men,
Unsheathe your swords,
Wield them as though for your lady’s reward.

Square your shoulders,
Hold your head high,
Let them know death when they look in your eye.

Who are you now?
Noone of worth,
Here you won’t be saved by your Noble birth.

Think of the loot,
Riches divine
Take what you’re owed from the cowardly swine.

How could we lose?
Swell now with pride,
We can only win with God on our side.

Now is our chance
Prove yourselves men
Slaughter the Bastards again and again!”

And so we charge,
Bloodlust in our ears,
Swinging away in a mad frenzy

A blow to the face, a sword to the thigh,
Yet somehow still moving forward

Though look at that man,
Is he friend or foe
In all of this blood and filth - Who can tell anymore?

Slash right, Slash left – Parry!

Though they do look the same,
They fight the same,
They bleed the same
They die the same.

But in the end we all want the same,
To try, to live, to win,
Yet there is one desire even greater for some:
To be that Hero loved for centuries to come...

Author's comments (Elishna O'Donovan)