Of Kings and Men
The War of Heroes
“The War of Heroes was a major conflict between the city of Penrok and the land of Minar-Beyond-The-Sea.
At the height of the God War, the realm of Minar sent a great army of Minarians, Ssalla and Miirian men clad in armour of shining bronze and with long spears that reached the tops of the walls of the city of Penrok. They were as yet unknown humans from beyond the lands of the First Men and thus managed to take the First Men by surprise, taking their lands at ease until they reached Penrok.
At Penrok, the great walls of stone posed a great problem to the outsiders who dwelled in cities protected by wooden walls – something they could burn. Their only hope was battering rams, which they built in great numbers, and sent against the iron gates of Penrok every day.
So vast was the army of Minar that even with the great losses they suffered each day due to the arrows and stones of Penrokians, and the diseases in their camp, only after a full month of assaulting and falling back were they so few that they broke and fled, pursued by the garrison of Penrok, until they were all cut down, leaving but a grim battlefield strewn by corpses both rotten to the bone and fresh.
Thus, when the news of the defeat arrived in Minar, a second army from Minar was sent to Penrok, this time led by the hero known as Gahenr the Bold, who fought with Panar the Smith on the bridge of Penrok. For ten hours they duelled, each supported by his own Gods, until they were each so broken and wounded that both armies were weeping for their great heroes. The Creator Gods thus used the blood and tears of both hero and man to restore both Gahenr and Panar.
Again they fought, for more than ten days this time, until again they were broken, wounded and dismembered once more. Again the Creator Gods bound them together with blood and tears, and strengthened each of them with stone and earth.
As they fought again, neither side could wait anymore and lesser heroes, such as Old Grymwin and Bolgar Witchslayer from Penrok and Lorg Blood-Drinker and Lady Rala from Minar and Garab Wyrmtongue from Ssalla and Olar Gram, Son of Weryn, Son of Dolf from the dark lands of Miir, clashed next to Panar and Gahenr. So fierce was the battle on the bridge that it raged for a month, until the bridge of Penrok splintered and broke from the force of Panar’s last hammer blow, spilling both the remains and living, mail-clad warriors into the waters of Penrok’s moat.
So great was the carnage that blood had tainted the moat water a grim red and so many tears were shed by the men who saw their great heroes die and be crushed underfoot in the melee in the moat that it seemed as if the End Times themselves had come. The Creator Gods themselves looked upon the horror and wept at so many of their chosen falling and rising only to fall again, that a great rain began that lasted for a week, but they wept even harder when their restored heroes cut each other down again and again until very few could be restored to life again – only a few of the Penrokians, the wisest and greatest, were restored – all of the Minarians that were restored by the heather Gods of Minar were quickly cut down in the fierce melee in the moat.
Only Panar of Penrok, now blinded and with but one arm, had survived the clash atop Penrok’s bridge and then led the defenders of Penrok in a sally forth, charging across the blood and body-filled moat in a frenzied state against the pikes of the army of Minar, which broke and ran when the Penrokians reached their lines, the frenzied heroes cutting a great swathe amongst the demoralized Minarians. So great was the slaughter that when their heads, hands and feet were sent back to the Queen of Minar, she died from horror at seeing how many of her proud heroes and warriors had been slain, and the realms of Ssalla and Miir then rebelled and tore apart the land of Minar."