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Battle Blades #1--The Battle of Demon Canyon By: L. Craig Woods

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Battle Blades #1--
The Battle of Demon Canyon
By: L. Craig Woods


By dawn, all was as ready as it could be. The lookouts had reported nearly 500 soldiers encamped beyond the canyon and the enemy troops had the benefit of nearly a full nights rest before the coming battle, while Lashki and his men had not rested in days.

At first light, Lashki looked over the battle ground one last time before moving to his position. Their lives were now in the hands of the fickle gods of war.

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The sun would not crest the top of the mountain until nearly mid-day, but there was more than enough light for the 250 soldiers in the first line of attack to see the dirt barricade at the far end of the canyon entrance. A handful of dark heads were visible above the earthworks, but no activity could be seen. The fires lit the night before at the canyon entrance had now burned down to glowing embers and had not been tended for hours.

Confidant of an easy and swift victory over the outnumbered and exhausted invaders, the leader of the attacking force moved his men forward. They moved cautiously, with shields raised, expecting a flurry of arrows to descend upon them at any moment. As they moved farther into the canyon bottleneck, the narrowing walls forced the troops to bunch up, making them an easy target, yet surprisingly, no attack came.

Halfway into the bottleneck, the leader Bekkar howled a challenge and his screaming soldiers broke into a run, intending to storm the earthworks by sheer force of numbers. As the first attackers hit the barricade, they slashed at the still unmoving heads of the enemy that showed above the obstacle. The heads were split open, bashed to a pulp or removed entirely from their bodies, all without putting up any sort of defense.

The first soldiers to top the earthworks attempted to stop their forward momentum as they saw what lay on the other side, but the onrushing force of bodies coming up behind carried them over the top. Many were thus impaled on the sharpened stakes or otherwise injured on the jagged rocks that had been stuck into the bottom of the trench on the opposite side of the barricade. Some of those coming up behind were able to leap over the trench and land safely on the other side, but here they stopped and looked around themselves, bewildered. As Bekkar crested the barricade to one side and saw what was beyond, he shouted a halt to the furious advance and stared about the canyon with disbelief.

The entire canyon was unexpectedly empty.

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