Sunday, January 12, 2014
Week 9: Write an epic battle speech for an outnumbered people fighting to protect their homeland. (Inspired byKing Henry V)
The sun shined down into Gaston’s eyes, but there was no mistaking the numbers, they were outnumbered at least 70 to 1. His men were good, all of them were seasoned warriors. The stood in formation, waiting for the charge. Their calloused, gnarled hands shifted on their spears, the great round shields bearing the eagle standard faced toward the enemy. They had to hold out the day. If they could then it was possible help would be coming; if his runners had reached the capital, and help was sent. They were three big ifs.
“Are you going to say something to the men, m’lord.” Aric came up beside him. His one good eye showed his concern, mirroring Gaston's.
“Aye, I better. I won’t have it said that I neglected my duties as a commander.” He took Aric’s hand in one of his and with his other hand clapped Aric on the shoulder. Their eyes met. “Whatever happens today, Aric, I was wrong to mistrust you. You've been a truer second and a better friend than I've ever known.”
The old man looked back at him. “You have done your father’s name proud, and you've done your king proud. If any commander can win this battle for us, it’s you. I am not afraid.”
Gaston nodded and turned to face his men. He banged his mace on his shield and their voices and chatter died down. “My fellow warriors! My brothers!” Gaston looked over to Aric and then back to his men, “My heroes! Today we stand in a place many others have stood. Time and time again the wolves have come to threaten our home, and time and time again brave men have been the only thing that stood between the wolves and our families. Ulrich!” At the mention of the legendary king’s name his men cheered. “Graydon!” Another cheer. “Stormcraw!” An even louder cheer. “These were some of the men who said no! They would not back down!” A steady beat of spears on the rocky ground began. “We will not step aside because they tell us. We will live free! We will determine our own fate! And we will protect what is ours!” The steady beat of the spears increased in volume. He hoped the bastard wolves could hear it and know fear. “When the bards tell of this day, I would not have them call it ‘Gaston’s Victory’ but rather the ‘Victory of the 3rd legion.’” Another cheer. “We’ve come a long way, we’ve beaten the wolves to our home, and now it’s time to beat them back like the squealing pups they are!”
The men raised their spears. They were ready to go. It was time.