Retribution-Andrew Bartlett

Major James Reilly leaped off his dying horse, the noble beast brought down by a volley of black arrows. A veteran of many wars, Reilly was known by many as a ruthless, heartless killer. His hatred of orcs was legendary. Fueled by the murder of his family at the hands of the brutes, Reilly had joined the Royal Army, eager to get his vengeance. Many towns had fallen to the ravenous hordes. One such town was Reilly’s latest assignment. He had come to cleanse the town.
Landing lightly, Reilly quickly unsheathed his sword. With a roar, he charged down the cobblestone street towards his assailants, a group of some ten orcs. Arrows bounced off his blessed breastplate as fire flew from his fingertips, ancient magick engulfing the orcs. Reilly readied his sword, the weapon as eager as Reilly, and went slaughtering the monsters with merciless efficiency. It wasn’t long before Reilly stood alone, dripping with sweat as he stepped over the immobile bodies as he moved on to the next part of the town.

Major James Reilly leaped off his dying horse, the once noble beast brought down by a volley of black arrows. A veteran of many wars, Reilly was known by many as a ruthless, heartless killer. His hatred of orcs was legendary. Fuelled by the murder of his family at the hands of the brutes, Reilly had joined the Royal Army, eager to get his vengeance. Many towns had fallen to the ravenous hordes. One such town was Reilly’s latest assignment. He had come to cleanse the town.

Landing lightly, Reilly quickly unsheathed his sword. With a roar, he charged down the cobblestone street towards his assailants, a group of some ten orcs. Arrows bounced off his blessed breastplate as fire flew from his fingertips, ancient magick engulfing the orcs. Reilly readied his sword, the weapon as eager as Reilly, and went slaughtering the monsters with merciless efficiency. It wasn’t long before Reilly stood alone, dripping with sweat as he stepped over the immobile bodies as he moved on to the next part of the town.

However, something Reilly chose to ignore was that those “monsters” had families as well. While different in many ways to Reilly’s concept of a family, it still existed. And while Reilly liked to believe that he was a hero, he knew that in reality he was stealing somebody’s father. It terrified him to think so, but he had come become desperate to avenge his long lost family and wife. While he claimed he fought with the power of The Nine, he knew that his real motivation was much darker-revenge.

Continuing on with blind fury, Reilly killed every orc that stood in his way. He chased, hacked and went to the next one. He was unforgiving and left none alive. Any who surrendered would not be met with an open hand, but the sharpened blade of his sword. More than twenty years had passed since his family’s demise, and yet still the wounds lay open.

It didn’t take long for Reilly to cleanse the village, but the once picturesque landscape was barely recognisable. Buildings were burnt down, roads cracked. But Reilly knew that the families of these orcs would be nearby. With the blood still on his sword, Reilly followed the trampled trail towards the orc camp. Darkness fell over the land.

Reilly dispatched with the sentries before they even knew of his existence, an arrow through each of their throats. Akin to a blood thirsty demon of old, a battered and blood stained Reilly trundled into the camp. He went about his business with practiced efficiency. Summoning the power that lay within him, Reilly extended his arm and, as he pointed to each of them, set the tents ablaze. Screams of pain and horror echoed throughout the night, as bright as the flames themselves. Reilly watched as his hated enemies burnt in their homes, all of whom felt his wrath.

As day broke, Reilly once again stood alone amongst the charred bodies. He fell to his knees, weeping for the man, the good man, he once was, and his family. Worst of all he knew that the killing had done nothing to ease his pain.

(The Nine are the gods)

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2 Comments

Filed under Fantasy

2 responses to “Retribution-Andrew Bartlett

  1. Jo

    Really? The Nine? you couldnt think up your own gods? 😀 Still, love the reference.

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