By Ton Hood
It was the day of my first attack on the Gadaenes that I would lead. The weather outside was horrible, the wind was the strongest Iíd ever seen, the rain was coming down heavily, and sky was filled with clouds could just barely be made out through the moonlight.
The day before this I gave myself the duty to scout out the area of the attack. I grabbed my fangstaff and put on my hooded cloak, sagum, and sack then gave my second in command orders on what should be done if I did not return. I left the campsite and headed in the general direction of the enemy campsite.
I walked for about two hours through the grasslands, rain, and mud till I sighted the flickering lanterns of the lookout posts surrounding the enemy campsite. I easily slipped into the camp using the tall grass to hide myself as I walk in. Once in the campsite, I walked around quietly counting the number of tents in an attempt to see how many enemy soldiers were present. The rain came to a stop shortly after I arrived in camp but it was still dark and windy. After walking around the camp I came upon the commanders tent. I quietly walked over to the tent and looked inside, there were two guards just behind the tent flap, one was asleep but the other was wide awake and seemed very alert. I walk around to the side of the tent and found the shadow of the standing guard. I jabbed through the side of the tent with my fangstave at the shadow, and felt the fangstaff connect along with the faint sound of the guard making his last attempt to speak just before he fell to the ground dead. I pulled my fangstaff out of the guard and the side of the tent. I walked back around to the front of the tent and went inside. The other guard was still asleep as I took my knife and slit his throat. I stared down at the enemy general in his robe. I took a strip of fabric and some rope from my sack and quickly bound, gagged, and blindfolded the general before he knew what was happening. I took three flasks of oil from the stand next to the bed and shoved them in my sack. I then grabbed the general and dragged him out of the tent. I then took the flasks of oil and poured them out over the tent then set fire to it. I took the general up in my arms and ran as fast as I could towards the outside of the camp.
I made it outside the campsite and past the lookouts, which were at that point concentrating on getting the troops up and working on containing the fire. I made it a safe distance from the camp and turned around to look at the campsite. Half the campsite was in flames and it looked as if the other side would go soon. My prisoner continued to struggle and resist until I placed the dull end of my knife against his throat so heíd understand.
About an hour after I lost sight of the camp the sun began to rise from the eastern horizon. I removed my sagum and hooded cloak then put them in my sack now that I was out of the enemyís sight. By the time I got back to my campsite, two hours later, the clouds had cleared and the wind had calmed down. It was a few hours before noon and the whole camp was awake and preparing for the attack this coming night. We got what information from the General we needed to know, then confined him to a temporary holding cage.
About two hours after midday I called my officers to a briefing. I gave them general information about the enemy campsite. The number of soldiers, positions of the guard and scout towers, and other such things.
One hour before sundown I mounted my horse and led the troops out of our camp, leaving only a handful to defend it. I was worried that the Gadaene forces would launch a counter attack while we were gone but all I could do was hope they wouldnít.
Moving an attack force of such a size took quite a while. The trip to the outskirts of the enemy camp took nine hours and setup took three hours.
It looked to be about an hour till dawn now. I ordered the attack to start. I watched the four squads of troops carefully lined up with the spears wielders (squad 1) in front, the gladius wielders (squad 2) just behind squad 1, the stave wielders (squad 3) just behind squad 2, and the archers (squad 4) in the back. It was the perfect formation for the kind of attack I was using.
I would have the troops march up to the camp and have squad 4 open fire on the oncoming enemies as they drew closer. When the forces were 25 yards apart I halted the volley of arrows and ordered a full charge for squads 1 and 2, squads 3 and 4 stayed back not too far from the fight ready to take any oncoming threats. As squad 1 met the enemy head on and pinned them down squad 2 rushed past them devastating the enemies rear formations. I dismounted my horse and walked into the battle, slowly and calmly showing no signs of fear. I then charged into the battle at full speed. I paid little attention to what was going on around me as I went in, the only people I paid attention to were the enemies in my area. I looked up to see an enemy knifemen charging right at me. The first thing he attempted was a jab towards my face, which I easily avoided. He made another quick jab at my face, which I blocked with my fangstaff almost causing him to fumble his weapon. I then slashed at the soldiers neck causing a stream of blood, in a last attempt against me the soldier lunged at me with his dirk, I side stepped the hit as the soldier fell to the ground. I then turned around just in time to see a very heavy-set muscular man bringing a club down on my head. There was no time to avoid it and I knew I was going to take the hit. I winced as the club came down on my bronze helmet, my head wasnít hurting, but I had a very bad feeling going from my neck down to my lower back. I felt weakened and tired, but knew I had to kill this man so I took my fangstave and with every bit of power I had left I shoved the fangstave into the manís heart killing him instantly. I removed the fangstaff, which was lodged into the corpse and staggered to the back line.
From that point I donít know what happened and I still donít know, all I remember is waking up in a hospital with a dizzy feeling. I was weak and very hungry. The hospital attendants kept me there for another week until I recovered.
After my quick recovery I was rushed back up to the front lines to be reassigned.