Swords, Shields and Honor

“They came in the night! On boats bigger than our villages! There were dozens of them and before we knew what was happening the fields were on fire! And then our huts! We heard the horses scream and fall down! We grabbed our swords and shields but they weren’t there to fight.”

The tears started to fall as I was telling our elders the story. The look on my son’s face, the fear in my wife’s eyes as they threw them in the wagons and rode off. Our horses dead and they were shooting a tiny metal ball out of a weapon I’d never seen before!

“Why did they come if they don’t want war!?” The youngest of the elders stood up and smashed the but of his spear on the ground! His anger mirroring mines but he was the only other.

I composed myself but didn’t wipe away the pain! I wanted them to know my hate and need for vengeance was real!

“They came to take us! To take our women and children! They burned our villages and crops! Killed the horses! Used weapons I never saw before! They took my family… We ran as hard as we could but when we got to their camp on the river there were to many and us to few with no armor! Give me warriors and let me get my family back!”

My heart was beating! Bloodlust was in my fingertips and eyes but they just sat silently.

Why are they just sitting silently?!

“Why will we not fight?!”

“Tell him. Someone tell him, I cannot.”

Another elder sat up in his seat, his sword shining in his lap.

“We did not know they would attack your village… They came almost a year ago and fell upon the southern villages with weapons we can’t beat. They killed all the men and took the women and children as slaves. We… We made a decision to let them have the poorer tribes in exchange for leaving our villages alone and making our enemies their enemies.”

I could not believe the looks of defeat in their eyes. The fear… I spit on the floor and unsheathed my sword! Their guards and soldiers pulled theirs but no one stepped toward me.

“Where is your honor!? Your pride!? You fear their weapons so you give away your own people! I would rather DIE with my sword in my right hand and my shield in left than live like a COWARD!”

One of the elders sons ran from his fathers side with his spear aimed at my heart, before he could bring it down his head was hanging from his neck. Two more soldiers soon followed him to the afterlife! Their blood staining my armor, they died good deaths.

“Is there any other man that wants to die today?!!!” Every soldier in my village stood behind me, weapon in hand, waiting to share in my vengeance!

Their sons, daughters, wives, horses, lives were all gone. Probably sailing on big boats to lands we would never find! Death, an honorable death in battle against a million men was better than living with this pain!

“You make your deals and lie on your backs like whores but we go to WAR!!!”
I turned my back on the leaders I’d sworn to defend and went to seek my vengeance or die trying!

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