Sitting at home with my cats. Here is another one.
Maxwell held up his sword, His Sword, and grinned as he studied it for the hundredth time. Four and a half feet of steel worked by the keeps master blacksmiths, its grip wrapped tightly and neatly with new leather, and the edge wicked sharp after hours of careful honing. He held it up to the light and peered down the clean straight edge, carefully testing it with the pad of his thumb. This sword was worth more coin than his entire family would see in a decade, and it was his. The blade slid back into its plain wood and leather sheath with a soft click. He stood up and adjusted his belt again. The sword hung differently than the wooden practice blade he had been using for the last two weeks, and he was not at all used to the weight of the chain armor hanging over his body. He took a few steps and adjusted again so the sword hung comfortably on his hip without repeatedly slapping into his thigh.
“Ranks!” The voice of Sir Kyler Gathright boomed off the walls of the keep and cut short a hundred conversations. Maxwell picked up his helmet and shield and fumbled with his chin strap as he hurriedly made his way to his spot in the row after row of soldiers. He was three ranks back in the third file, almost right in the middle of his unit which was a bit to the left of the center of three just like it. “Telarian forces were spotted this morning landing north of Greyrock Bay.” Every man among them stood silent, some eager for the news, some terrified, and many like Maxwell feeling a confusing mix of the two. “If they make haste they could be over the pass by tomorrow and upon us.” Maxwell managed to get his helmet afixed correctly and slung his shield over his shoulder. ” Tonight we will make camp outside the city and be ready to march to meet them at the first light of day!” A cheer rose up from the gathered men, soldiers who had just a few short weeks ago been farmers, and fishermen, and woodsmen. Among them were the regular soldiers of the keep, but even they had never seen real war. It had been a generation since the Telarians had last been pushed back from Seaguard and few who remembered those times were fit to fight.
The Assembly broke and Maxwell joined the others in packing up his bedding and few belongings. “The Telarians don’t stand a chance” one soldier shouted to the cheers of anyone in earshot. Maxwell added his voice to theirs, though a little voice in his mind did wonder if their few weeks of training had really prepared them to fight against the empires invading army. He shook the thought away. Sir Kyler had fought in the last Telarian war and was leading them himself and Maxwells own unit would be fighting under the command of Sir Thomas Pickering. They had battle hardened knights on their side and Seaguard at their back, there was no way they could lose. He hefted his pack over his shoulder then paused. There was a shift in the noise filling the courtyard. Cheers and boasts were giving way to shouts of alarm, then screams of terror. He turned and his pack fell to the ground. Coming over the seawall were huge spiders, each the size of a war horse. He fumbled for his sword, his mouth suddenly gone dry. Riding these spiders were small figures, clad in armor and firing arrows from short bows. “To arms!” A strong voice rang out and Maxwell found his sword. He pulled it from the sheath as the man next to him fell with an arrow protruding from his throat. Mark he thought, his name was Mark, he was a sailor. The blade felt incredibly heavy in his hand as he lifted his shield and stood waiting for the beasts.