Hrothgar Saga

The epic journey of Hrothgar Sword-Breaker in a tale of violence, bloodshed, and business! Violence in almost every chapter!!

Chapter 1

Onto Dry Land

by: Gesithan
The cold night air carried swiftly the sulfurous scent of slow-match, the only warning of the carnage to be ushered forth. The dragon-headed prow of a sleek longship bobbed up and down in the muddy river, its gentle motion a solitary center of calm for the anxious men aboard. In the watch tower overlooking the river, a fat man slept well, oblivious to the damage his carelessness would soon cause his people.

An earth-shattering, ear-blasting, water-rippling, blast of thunder ripped through the air, accompanied with the brilliant sparking light of muzzle-flash and contrasted with the thick and acrid wall of smoke, and followed by wholesale destruction. The cannon salvo had ripped through half-timbered walls and laid waste to what was just previously a peaceful and pastoral village.

After their introduction, the raiders lept from their beautifully shallow-keeled vessel, weapons drawn. They caused the most incredible ruckus, kicking down every door and shooting out every lock, and treating everyone with barely-contained aggression. Few put up a fight; most of those who managed to get to their arms found their skills no match for these hardened professionals. Valuables were torn from their owners, money, jewelry, tools, weapons, books, and other fine things were all fair game. The looting process was set to continue apace, indeed, until the slightly belated arrival of the village's lord and master, Rembrook.

"Pirates, raiders, vandals, and thieves! Let's kill them all!" he shouted as he and his retainers arrived at the opposite side of the single-road village, drawing his sword and spurring his horse onwards into the barbarians.

"I am no thief," said the one with the longest hair and the finest armor, who held a matchlock pistol in one hand, resting the other on his battle axe. Though the haft was as tall as him, the weapon was no crude felling-axe; the haft was expertly shaped for momentum transfer and the single head wonderfully engraved and fantastically sleek and slim, yet utterly lethal.

The knights of the river-village charged at full tilt, whereas the footbound raiders held fast to the ground, though one did manage to hurl a rock at them. It was only at the utterly final second before contact that the raider leader made a move, bringing a matchlock pistol inches from Rembrook's face.

Needless to say, there was only one man left standing after that moment, and it wasn't a knight. The pistol, tied off to a bandolier, was allowed to drop and the battle axe allotted full attention, and it seemed to twirl its way through a dance of death; leaving wounds no sword or spear could ever hope to achieve in the late seneschal of Rembrook.

"I am Hrothgar the Sword-Breaker, and warfare is my profession!" Hrothgar said to the survivors, who now preferred running off opposite of the road they so gallantly charged down. They had the rest of the night to load the ship undisturbed.

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