The Battle of Demon Canyon
By: L. Craig
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.
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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