Hara saw the banners being raised on the lead longship. She wiped the sweat from her brow and squinted against the harsh sun to make sure it wasn’t wishful thinking set on by hunger or the turbulent waves of the ocean.
A smile crossed her lips as she pulled the hide armor out from her warchest. She could see the sandy coast by the time she was done with her own armor and harnessed up the majestic wooly warhorn that was her mount in battle. The other mounts in the full bellied knarr ship were getting more riled up by their riders and the scent of inevitable blood.
The deck of the ship was crowded as they made landfall. The swarm of riders flanked around the village as the foot warriors crept into the mud and straw huts. Every thing seemed too quiet to Hara.
The expedition captain call out, “They are empty, but their stuff is here.”
“Could it be plague?” she yelled in return. She could see the trouble on her fathers face. This trip had been hard on him.
He shook his head. “Two fires still smolder. They are close. Be prepared for…”
The words were cut short as a storm of arrows flew through the air. Men called out and some of the beasts howled. Hara had her shield out and was able to stop the only arrow that would have hit her. The infantry started walking towards the scattered group of archers that lined the far sand dune.
The Farheim riders trotted their motley assortment of beasts towards them, but curving around to the right side, almost encircling them. The arrows were not being loosed in volleys, but individually, lessening the impact on the infantry that were closing on them at a faster rate. Once the infantry that supported the warhorns was close enough, Hara raised her massive stone hammer and released a war cry that was picked up by all the other riders. Their mounts surged forward. The archers began to throw down their weapons and run in different directions, mostly towards the waiting infantry. A dark-skinned Ahkotep leader pulled out a smooth curved sword.
Hara urged her warhorn to full speed with his horn down. The swordsman didn’t have time to step aside before the horn picked him up and slung the two halves of him in different directions. The deceased’s lieutenants lowered their spears and stabbed towards her. She ducked so low her face was buried in her mounts fur for a second before she popped up as the hammer reached its full arc. She only nicked the shoulder of one of the spearmen but the power lifted him off his feet and spun him around and into the sand ten feet away. The second spearman’s eyes grew wide and he dropped his spear.
Hara wondered about the soul and spirit of these Ahkotep sand dwellers. They might not be strong enough to even survive in the harsh lands of Farheim. Before she could think more about the survival of her people, a roar echoed across the dunes that set every hair on end. She turned and saw two of the largest terror-lizards that she had ever seen. They dwarfed the mammoths that were the largest things that inhabited the snowy north.
The mounts regrouped and formed up near the infantry who stopped paying attention to the archers who had thrown down their weapons and were running for the village. Hara marveled at the size of the largest of the lizards. It was taller than the masts of the longships, and almost as long.
She gripped her hammer and lowered herself against her mounts fur. Checking her sides for her colleagues, she urged the warhorn forward.