Fiction

Travels with a Barbarian: Onto Raglan Crag

By: The Birch Twins

When finally we arrived after a breathless climb over wet grass, it was a miserable place drenched by constant drizzling rain that made the grass slippery and the rocks and ruined walls more so.

Here were only ruins, mostly of unrecognisable rock, and tufty grass, not to mention holes that one could lose footing in, and easily snap one’s ankle. But there upon Raglan Crag, we sat for a moment. For it was not the drizzling rain, the wet featureless rocks or the perrenialy cold miserable valley that made the place inhospitable, it was the silence of the dead.

I sat upon a rock in the rain and listened to that awful silence. It was a silence of hoofbeats, a silence of sword upon wood, and s silence of agonising death, or tears, anguish and an entire race put to the sword in a single day. Here was where the Northers had fallen. Here was where Varnaroks’s heroes had breathed their last. Here was where widows and orphans were born. After Raglan Crag, neither empire would war again for a hundrd years, so full of horror at the scale of slaughter on this hillside were they. Of course those hardy men of the mountains would survive,and even wage war again, but after Raglan Crag they were a different race. They were fearful, they were attacked and carried off as slaves by the dwarves and taken as servants by the empire. The northers mistrust and fractiousness would bring their once glorious land to its knees, and see the entire lowlands fall under the yoke of the empire. Truly I was sat in a place that had changed the very history of our land.

Skarr wandered around the landscape, Doomsayer drawn. She swished the sword to and fro, and for a moment, I suspected she might drive it into a boulder as she often done before when upset or angered by something. I remained seated and quiet, having usually found that the best way to treat an angered norther warrior was to leave her a good distance away. She could hear the silence as I had, the hoof beats, the drums, the war chants. She could hear the quiet ghosts of a dying people, lay dead in the drizzling rain. As I watched, Doomsayer slipped from her grip and it fell to the ground forgotten. As she walked away from the blade, I suddenly saw. She wanted to be with them. To be dying with her people, instead of sat here with ghosts, and me.

Skarr sank to her knees in the mud, and for the first time since I had known the barbarian these good long years, she wept. Knelt there in the mud, in the rain, the blade discarded, I sat upon a rock and watch her weep.
Suddenly she turned to face me. Many people mention to be the barbarian’s brusqueness, her rudeness and general unpleasant demeanor. But they do not truly see her. They see the warrior. They do not know her, her passion, her innocence or her gentleness. She stared at me suddenly, sobbing violently as she knelt in the mud. I knew at that moment we were more than rescuer and victim, or barbarian and cowardly mage. We were companions of the fiercest love. In the direst hour she had ever known, in a place that had inflicted the worst suffering upon her people that they had ever known, she turned to the only one who could bring her comfort. I moved from my rock, knelt in the mud opposite her and held the barbarian as she sobbed.

Today there was no witty repartee from us, no tavern escapades or jollity to conclude our adventures. I held her body until she stopped sobbing. Then, quietly and ashen faced, she stood, retrived Doomsaker, quietly sheathed it, and looked back at me. Nodding, I followed her down the path.

“Falsakre al Mushcra,” she said in her own tongue.

“Ein ishkara” I finished.

We headed down the fell.

Categories: Fiction

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