Dawn of Ravens

Posted on Jun 24, 2013


Ravens over a battlefield

Picture courtesy of soulsofchaos.forum.com.bz

The banner gently flaps in the breeze. It’s torn and has no meaning now. The sun has just risen over the horizon and the only sound is the eerie cawing of ravens. Other sounds come then that were inaudible at first.
They are the sounds of pain.
Of tiredness.
Of death.
Of defeat.
The warrior looks around him from where he is sitting clasping his sword which was buried into the earth as if for dear life. He is tired. So very tired. He has killed many in the past three days and his body is racked with pain which is also covered is mud, sweat and blood, some of it his.
He’s sitting on a rock looking out to the north at the mountains across a field of the dead and the living which he tries not to look at. He’s seen enough death these past few days. Behind him less than a few hundred yards away he can hear the sea. The sound of the waves lapping up to the beach calms his soul a little.
The cawing of the ravens comes again mixed with that of gulls which swarm over the dead. Other battle-weary warriors half-heartedly try to fight away the eager and hungry birds but to no effect. Some just sit and collapse in exhaustion whilst others walk around like the living dead caught in a nightmare.
The warrior’s mind is crowded with so many images and he tries to block them out but can’t. So much has happened in his life and so much will yet happen. All of this bloodshed and for what? Some of the clan he was fighting against he knew and knew them well. One was a cousin of his and yet they fought against each other for the will of their lords.
In their battle fury they had not recognised one another until their swords had met and by that time it had been too late for the fatal blow had been struck. That was when the warrior had realised the futility of war then. Of battle. He had decided there and then in that split second that he would never again lift his sword against another human being.
War was for fools who believed and followed those that led them and treated them like cattle. There would be no more of that for him ever again.
He looked then at the battlefield, the focus now clearing to see the full horror of what had been done. He thought again of how he had killed his cousin as he looked at the torn and ripped body parts all around him. Crows now join in with the ravens and gulls.
In his mind’s eye he saw the swords clash, screams and shouts all around them. Mud, sweat, spittle and blood flew everywhere as they fought. Screams and shouts came from all around but they didn’t really hear it. Suddenly they paused in their fight, realising who they were fighting. For what seemed like an eternity they stared at each other, confusion in their faces which were filthy from battle. The spell broke then when one of them was hit by an arrow and in the confusion and madness the warrior had struck out blindly and had killed his cousin.
He remembered the blade going in and the warm blood pouring down the sword onto his hands. It was sticky and wet. His cousin had looked at him with shock and horror on his face and then he had fallen to his knees. The warrior had knelt down with him, holding him close, saying soothing words to him. His cousin just looked up at him with a look of something akin to wonder as the light was fast fading from his eyes.
The warrior knew then that his cousin had gone to the gods to dine with them and tell tales of bravery and honour. He too wished for that but knew he had unfinished business now.
His anger had grown then and he had fought like a bear, cutting and slicing his way through any who dared challenge him.
For what seemed like hours, he had killed and maimed his way through a swathe of people until suddenly it had ended. The tide had fallen back, retreating to their boats. Others scrambled to the hills far away from the angry bear and his warriors.
It was then that he had sat down on the rock where he was now, almost collapsing on it through sheer exhaustion. He had just sat there staring at nothing in particular. Just staring.
He had no idea of how much time had passed as the crows continued to pick at the flesh of the bodies all around him. A gentle hand then shook him out of his long trance and that was when he saw the full horror of the battle he had taken part in.
So much blood and so much death. All for what exactly? territory? Power?
He hated what people were capable of and the more he thought about it, the more he couldn’t understand why they did it?
He looked up at the man who shook him. It was his best warrior and closest friend. He ordered him to get the men looked after first then bury the dead. He asked him to keep his cousins body to one side to be carried back to his family for proper burial.
The warrior nodded at his leader and moved off to do as commanded. The leader was still holding his sword tightly which was still dug into the ground.
He pulled himself up and walked away to the beach where earlier the ‘enemy’ had fled in their boats broken and defeated. His sword arm heavy, he dragged the sharp bloody metal through the sand as he walked to the sea. Then walking into the water he knelt down to wash the blood off his protector these long years. after he had done this he went back to the beach stripped off revealing lean and scarred muscles and walked naked into the sea where he submerged himself away from the land and the horrors behind him.
He slowly rises then from the sea like a god of the ocean. He feels cleansed from all he has seen. He knows deep down that he has people to lead and that nothing will ever change throughout each successive generation.
All he can do is his best for them and keep them safe, warm and fed. That is all anyone can do.
He helps with the burials and decides to head back to his home. His wife and his child. A son called Myrddin Emrys. He sees great things for his blue-eyed boy of the mountains and the sea.
For his boy is special. A gift from the Gods. A druid in training…
But for now it is the dawn of ravens and ever shall be until his son grows up to be a man and to change the things that need to be done.
It is his path.
It is his destiny…