A to Z Challenge: I – Ipotane

Greetings, mortals! We have reached I already. How time flies, just like the horses fly through the battlefield. Let me tell you a story about some unique ‘horses’. Listen well now…

I gave a slight bow, as our king joined us on the ramparts.

He gave a nod at satisfaction at the archers stationed at their posts, my soldiers. He walked up to me.
“Well, General. Let’s have it. What does your intel tell you?”
I looked to the plains that lay in front of our fortress.
“Sire, the enemy lord is a horse master, I hear. He has thrice the number of horses we have.”
The king grunted.
“And how many foot soldiers? Artillery?”
I sighed.
“None, sire. They only have horses.
“That does give us the advantage in this battle. No four legged creature can scale these walls. Let them come. We’ll slaughter them like all the others who came before them.”
I pointed to the clouds of dust approaching.
“Here they come, sire. Men draw your bows and wait for my command.”
The king smiled at the incoming wave of enemies. He was brimming with confidence. I waited for the enemy horses to reach arrow range. However, as they got closer I rubbed my eyes in disbelief. There were no men riding the horses. In fact, there were no horses. The enemies were creatures with the face and legs of horses, but the body and arms of men. I felt my men wavering, leaving their posts and retreating into the courtyard of the fortress. Our king stood paralyzed in shock, until an enemy arrow swiftly hit him in the eye.
It was a slaughter. The horse-men conquered our fortress with blazing speed and deathly effectiveness. They skewered my soldiers and hewed through them like butter. Blood and corpses littered the fortress. The air was filled with blood-curling neighs and horrendous sounds of woe.

We had no choice but to surrender and submit to the rule of the Ipotane…

(Word Count: 300)

Oh the horrors of war have their own dread. Facing an unknown enemy can be fearful even for the toughest warriors. How do you face your fears, dear mortals?

Until next time, keep riding…

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