A dark horse

Nirick was pleased. He enjoyed riding but with his stature horses were difficult. This beast, and the saddle that transformed as soon as he sat on it to adjust to his frame, seemed attuned to him. Lacking the weight of an average man, most horses didn't react to his gestures. This steed seemed more aware and ready to do as he bid it.

He took off at a fast pace then fearing the 'men' - and he used that term loosely - would be far behind but saw they kept a fair pace with the horse. He saw how they seemed to run on the wind beneath their feet rather than the actual ground. "Thank you, Lord Vampeer," he said aloud in a whisper.

In hours they reached a ridge within eyeshot of the outpost.

Ivar and Cain were there, understandably. "Sire, let me take the men in, prove their worth. I know that you or the prince alone could likely best the whole of the outpost, but we need to see what they can do as this is just a taste of the full war we are now only beginning."

Ivar nodded.

Cain seemed to nod too, likely hoping Nirick died in the fight, but Nirick knew this was the time to prove himself maybe even more than before.

He divided the men into four groups; two large and two small. The smaller groups would attack from the north and south, where the task would be harder for them, and seemed the least likely vantage points to assault from. As they would begin, he would lead a larger contingent from the east and another from the west would attack as well. While these were more heavily fortified, they also offered the best cover to conceal their numbers.

Once everyone was in position, Nirick gave a signal, having asked Vampeer to simply fly overhead as a swarm of bats, blocking the moonlight long enough that all would know that was the signal to begin.

The two groups, fifty each, marched to the north and south sides of the outpost. Slowly, surely, and heavily shielded, they could make headway but would be easy targets. Hearing archers called to the respective sides of the keep, he and his men began.

A dozen men were to stay back, as cover fire, after landing bolts into the walls themselves. The hardened wood and special tips pierced the walls firmly, making for excellent handholds. Nirick took the lead up the wall, followed by the rest of his men. His men were to shoot anything that presented itself on the walls above and once they reached them, join the group.

Nair a shot needed be fired, the men inside occupied by the advances from the north and south. Nirick was pleased to see a squad across the way cresting the wall as the same time as he and his. They took down the few men remaining on their respective sides and as planned, split into three groups. One to the front gate, one to the rear, the last into the keep itself.

He'd told the men before they began, "Anyone old enough to shave and not dressed in refinement dies, the rest we leave to Ivar and do with as he pleases."

It was a bloodbath.

Only once before had Nirick been in battle, when his home was attacked by a band of hill tribesmen. But before he saw them routed, they'd killed his entire family, wife, and child. He'd sworn that day to never see the ones he loved perish again. Three years he spent, working odd jobs, perfecting his weapons and honing his skills. What he did next couldn't be called a battle, but genocide. He'd tracked that hill tribe back to their home and obliterated them. Every man, woman and child saw their life ended by his blades. He'd crossed a line that day... a place he could never return from.

While he'd been away was when Zoria attacked. He had nothing left and no hopes otherwise and figured even a Vampire King was better than a foreign one.

This night was reminiscent of the hill tribes people. No one, save the women, children and noblemen were spared and their fate would be up to Ivar...

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