The Bitter End

The gate shook under a blow from the battering ram outside. The defenders knew what would transpire in the next few moments, but all were willing to fight to the bitter end to keep their loved ones safe. The soldiers, mostly Conscripts and peasants, stood in lines at the main gate, all armed and armoured in identical armour. At the back of the crowd, the captain of the guard sat mounted on his horse, his colourful plumed helmet stood out from the crowd of other horsemen beside him

He raised his sword high in the air. "We will not let them take this city!" he shouted to the crowd, in a half hearted effort to raise their morale.

The crowd of soldiers raised their weapons and roared loudly, those with shields banging their weapons upon them. The gate shuddered again loudly, startling some of the soldiers at the front of the lines. A cry rang out as a soldier fell down off the battlements above, landing on an unfortunate soldier, who fell to the ground. The gate shuddered again, and the metal head of the battering ram smashed through the thick gate. From outside came a triumphant roar, and from inside, a dismal silence. The metal head drew back out of the gate and from outside, the attacking force began pushing on the gate. The captain of the guard reared his horse back and shouted out. "Pikes ready!"

At the front of the crowd, the soldiers created a shield wall, the person behind them resting a long spear on their shoulder.

A loud snapping sound rang out and the gate gave out, swinging inwards to reveal a torrent of soldiers, who began pouring into the breach. Enemy cavalry pushed past the soldiers, only to fall victim to the spears protruding from the wall of shields. From behind the attacking force came a volley of arrows, which flew over the shield wall into the crowd behind. Cries of pain erupted, and men from the back of the crowd rushed in to help the wounded, before taking their positions.

War cries filled the air as the attacking forces pushed their way past the shield wall, attacking all in their path.

High up in the castle, the Lord of the castle watched his valiant troops fighting of the seemingly endless torrent of enemy soldiers. A badly wounded soldier burst through the door behind him.

Clutching the shaft of an arrow protruding from his chain mail, he rushed over to the Lord. "Sir, they are breaching the shield wall, will we return to the inner keep?" he asked between laboured breaths.

The Lord looked down o the battle, which was raging in the city streets now. "Retreat to the Keep." he said.

Message came to the Captain of the guard in the form of a loud burst from a horn. With that he reared his horse before shouting. "Retreat to the Keep!" The defenders began backing their way up the street, until they reached a corner. The attacking force gave chase, charging around the corner to be met by a hail of arrows from the wall of the inner keep. The last of the defenders retreated into the inner keep and a portcullis slammed shut, nearly crushing a wounded soldier. The attackers retreated around the corner before emerging, hidden by tower shields from the volleys of arrows being fired from the keep. The wall of shields reached the portcullis and from behind emerged a group of men with crossbows. The men with the shields lifted their guard to the arrows coming down from the battlements and the crossbowmen shot through the portcullis, killing several soldiers. The defenders disappeared into the Keep for a moment, leaving the wounded writhing in the courtyard. Silence reigned for a few moments, before a blood curdling war cry emanated from inside the keep. The portcullis lifted and Cavalry began pouring out of the keep.

The cavalry swooped through the crowds of attackers, swinging long swords down into the crowd of attackers. The group swooped around the streets, decapitating any who strayed too close. From inside the keep, a group of soldiers emerged. Hidden behind shields, they held back the enemy with long spears, skewering anybody stupid enough to come within range of them.