Ardaric : King Of The Gepids
" They Must Not Slip Away ! "
" Majus ! Majus ! " The king shouted as he jumped from his bed.
The commander of the guard obediently came running into the tent, and stopped near the king. Majus pounded his fist against his chest and bowed before asking :
" Yes, my king ! "
Ellac, who had already begun to dress, quickly began to shout out orders.
" Have my new commander Tutizar mount up our warriors, ...., and go to Sangiban and tell him to get his Alan warriors ready to march before the sun has risen above the distant mountains ! " he commanded.
Before his commander of the guard could leave the tent he shouted out one last order.
" And Majus ! Today you will lead the right wing of my army, while Tutizar heads the left ! " he exclaimed.
Majus paused at the tent opening and bowed.
" I am greatly honored to serve you in this way, my lord ! And I promise I will not disappoint you ! " he shouted before leaving.
King Ellac had never been satisfied with the pace of his mounted warriors, or that of the Alan foot soldiers. Now, with the opportunity to annihilate the Germanic army once and for all at hand, he was especially impatient to reach the Germanic encampment before they could once again escape his grasp. At first he repeatedly sent back messengers to admonish the captains for the lack of progress of his horse archers, and the inability of the foot soldiers to keep up with his trotting cavalry. When threats did not speed up their pace the king simply rode up and down the line himself and personally threatened his warriors.
The Hun horsemen, and the small contingent of Alan cavalry reached the river Nedao just before midnight. The moonless sky allowed the king to easily see the fires that outlined the Germanic camp that lay just on the other side of the river. What he did not see, however, were his infantrymen coming up from the south. As late night turned into early morning the king sent courier after courier to tell Sangiban to hurry his army up to his position along the river. Though immensely frustrated, as the hours passed, all the king could do was wait impatiently.
As the night slowly gave way to the red glow of the morning sky, the infantry finally appeared in the distance. King Ellac quickly mounted his horse and personally rode out to meet Sangiban while he was still over a mile away.
Sangiban, you bastard ! You must hurry your army ! If we do not attack soon the Germanic army may disappear. And they must not slip away into the forests again ! Hurry and place your army behind my horsemen. We will attack as soon as you are in place ! " he commanded his ally in an angry tone.
Sangiban gave the king a look of incredulity.
" King Ellac ! My men have marched for a day and a night. They have not rested, nor have they eaten ! I am not sure they are ready for a fight ! " he replied angrily.
King Ellac's face turned bright red with fury as he answered his subordinate.
" Then I hope that they are ready to die ! " he shouted, before turning and riding back to his horsemen.
As the king reined his horse in between Tutizar and Majus he saw something in their eyes that worried him greatly.
" What is wrong ! ? " he asked in a concerned tone.
Majus pointed across the river, to something that they had not been able to see in the darkness, but said nothing.
The king of the Huns looked across the river and gasped in disbelief at what he saw. The image of dozens of Hun heads stuck on spiked wooden stakes quickly turned his disbelief into fury !
Tutizar reluctantly pointed to the one in front of the others.
" I think the one closest to the river is Edecon ! " he told his king sadly.
King Ellac lifted himself up in his saddle and stared for a moment at the head that was placed in the ground ahead of the others. With a simple nod he agreed with his commander.
When he could again speak he informed Majus and Tutizar of his plans.
" When the Alans are in place we will attack, and make each and every Germanic warrior pay for this atrocity with their lives. And I want all of their heads placed in a pile on top of that hill. All except for Ardaric's ! I want him brought to me alive, for I will personally peel every inch of skin from his body ! " he told his commander with his eyes opened wide in a wild stare at the heads bobbing back and forth to him across the river.
- End Chapter 11
- Next : Chapter 12 : The Battle Of Nedao
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2018.