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The day was still fresh, and the attempts to stop the ladders have failed.

I, Baron Tristen Albreht, mercenary commander for Sarleon, stand with my men and the small garrison for the D'shar city of Ishkoman. Their numbers tallied to 1200 men comparative to our 200 or so soldiers. I stand ready not only for my contract with Sarleon, but as a Knight for the Clarion Call, so my involvement is most definitely a matter of state.

The sun high, as I see the D'shar move, their assault starting. Without hesitation, I fire the first shot missing as the D'shar start to climb over the first wall. That is when it begins... The arrows, the bolts, the axes and javelins alike start soaring and ripping through the air. The sounds of metal clanging, steel piercing armor and flesh... The scent of fresh blood and the sounds of death..

The Hell on Pendor that is Ishkoman begins.

I stand on the left side of the wall, to the right of the ladders, firing my arrows from the Noldor bow I had acquired from Quigfen, the Ruby Rune sword sheathed for the time being. I let loose arrow after arrow, each time, a man drops or is weakened. As I run low, a line of peasants is set up to hand me a fresh quiver. Thank the Gods that the D'shar had an armory of arrows.

I keep my fire up, as men drop like flies from the ladders, their bodies lifeless, some in pain, other's quiet as they accept the throes of death. It is an unequal balance for every four D'shar goes down, one of us go down with him. I do not care for my life is dictated by this siege, this siege for this city...

It has felt like ages, my arm tires, but I refuse to stop... I have gone through five quivers of thirty eight, my kill count nicked on the wall before I fire another arrow, a quick peek shows one hundred and twenty, a tenth of their force or so. I am hurt, but not down. I refuse to go down unless they force my hand down. I keep firing, my arm burning, the heat overwhelming, yet they still come....

The D'shar do not end in their attack, it seems like their man power is endless... Vast like their desert. If it this is the consistent engagement of D'shar I pray this war ends soon. They do not stop climbing... They do not stop attacking.... They continue their assault like mad men. I fire as the men surrounding me thin out, from two hundred to only about sixty men, I keep firing, holding the line until I am hit, then hit again.... Then hit once more.... I fall.

The pain, my arms, my chest.... It is hard to breathe, but I still manage. The world spins... My head hurting... I can feel the exhaustion. Perhaps it would be best if I let the bliss of unconsciousness take me. Yes, that is a good plan.... The world goes dark.

I wake in my bed, the tavern. I rush out to the wall and look, the D'shar have not attacked, but the siege is still in effect. I breathe a breath of relief, but yet...

I gather my men as we leave quick. I am but a mercenary after all, and preserving my men is key. But yet... What I saw.... Was it all but a dream? Was it a premonition, a foreshadowing of the fact that I cannot hold the city alone.

I may never know, but I do know to survive and survive I shall. I am Baron Tristen Albreht, mercenary company leader under Sarleon at the time. I choose to walk away, for I choose to live.

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