The Forlorn Hope

This article was written by Sedos Diacus

I was going to die, and I was excited for it to happen.  Side by side I stood next to my comrades and waited.  The heat seared through the sky like fiery darts that cut into our billowing uniforms and fencing masks; Arizona was hot in March.  We were at Estella Wars for the second largest gathering of medieval reenactment in the world.  Four kingdoms meet on common ground to join forces and have a friendly battle to the death, and I was going to lead my side to victory.

I had been asked by Captain Damian to be the lead in a battle tactic called the Forlorn Hope.  With a sword in each hand, I would stand at the foremost point of a V shaped formation.  Like an arrow, I would march straight into the adversary and sacrifice myself for the greater good.  While all swords of the enemy were trying to kill me, those fighters behind me would kill them as I took as many of the opposite teams blades into my chest.

It was time.  The marshals stood near the edge of the battle field and yelled, “All swords in the air!”  The open grounds turned into a lightning storms best friend as a thousand blades shot towards the sky.  Sweat trickled down my face as fear and excitement fought their own battle in my head.  “Lay on!”  The silence had been broken; the fight began.

Dust flared up behind us as we started forward.  I was in the middle with Captain Damian Azure to my left and Captain Fenton Monterro to my right.  My fellow Lieutenants flanked to either side of the captains and the rest of the team filled in beside them.  The gap between us and our goal lessened with each carefully planned step, bringing me closer to Deaths scythe.  Captain Damian sounded the command to form the Forlorn Hope.  With a trained preciseness, we fell into place and formed a weapon of tremendous strength.  Captain Fenton spoke with words of encouragement that forged us together like a lance in the hands of a black Knight.

My arms spread out wide, both swords at the ready.  Our uniforms snapped in the wind like a dark rainbow, each of us bearing our chosen colors underneath a shroud of black velvet.  My heart beat pounded in my ears, cutting out all sound but that of my own blood.   “For the glory of the rose,” parted my lips as I shouted our battle cry into the taunts and jeers sounding directly in front of me!  “To the rose,” echoed behind as those following me responded!

I never slowed.  A feral rumble resounded through the air as metal clashed on metal.  My swords arced inwards like a vice, bringing six rapier blades into my chest.  I was dead, but so were they.  My team fought viciously, their eagerness to live and prevail inspired by my willingness to die.  The foe could not withstand our determination, and in the end we stood victorious.

Bodies lined the dirt in playful demise, I amongst them, until the marshal declared our side the winning team.  Words of praise filled the air for the Terra Sylvan fencers that opened the door to prevail.  Pats on the back and grinning faces bloated my pride until my helmet threatened to no longer fit.  I smiled back, wiped the sweat from my brow and followed my friends into the next glorious battle.