The Horde

Their dust swept into the lonely guard tower. He coughed and tried to tell himself the watering in his eyes was solely a result of the irritant.

Their numbers were not countless, but they were far greater than one, and I e was all he had.

They continued their march forward. It was slow. He could flee. They were far enough away that escape was a possibility. But that would mean breaking his vow and leaving his post. That he could not do. He readied the few supplies that remained.

He climbed the High Tower, bringing his longbow and all the remaining arrows. When they were in range he began taking careful aim, as if each shot could turn the tide, as if he could empty a river with a cup. He managed to drop more enemies than he missed, but still they came.

It was time for armor. He look his time, savoring the comfort it’s heaviness always gave him. He took time to carefully lash his sword to his gauntleted hand. No matter what was to come, he would face it armed. Last came his shield. It was time to walk out and face his destiny.

He wished he could ride, but he set the horses free days ago. He hoped they had the sense to head away from the mass. He did not want them to be used he leather or meat.

So he walked. He tried to push away the sense of futility. This was his station and he had his duty to perform.

When they were close enough he hailed them, telling them they were encroaching on lands it there own. Turn back or they would be treated as hostile invaders. He told them in the three tongues he knew. Still they marched.

Once again it told himself that it was only the dust that caused his tears.

He squeezed the grip of his sword, said the prayer of the three goddesses and advanced into the horde.

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