The two scouts came flying down the hidden steps to the makeshift fortress under the ancient bridge. I let Cai and Bedwyr question them while I hid in the shadows.
“There must be 3000 of those blond giants,” the first said. “There’s more chainmail in the honor guard than in our entire band.”
“We’ll not be scared off by a handful of the devils,” Cai said. “And 3000? What have been drinking? Are there even 3000 of the monsters in all of Britannia? If there are, so be it. I’ll take on five hundred myself, and that’s with my shield arm tied behind my back.”
“Really, at least 3000. I’ve never seen anything like it,” the other scout said. “They mean to break the last of the resistance and rule the entire island.”
I stepped from the shadows and pulled my sword, Caledfwlch. The spirit that was the sword glowed, like a slice of the Moon brought to the Earth.
“Then this is it. We are surrounded by the bones of the land, and we are part of the land as it is part of us. Our forefathers, with the Romans, created this great bridge and the barbarians cower when they see our past glory. Though we be fewer than 500, we shall draw strength from that past and defeat them. They shall not cross this bridge! Myrddin, what say you?”
Myrddin stayed in the shadows, but his eyes glowed. I could see the shivering scouts cower.
“Have you heard of the Greek Fire, my lord?” he asked.
“I believe I have. The Eastern Empire uses it to destroy ships.”
“Exactly. When the bulk of the Saxon army is on the bridge, it will go up in flames. The remainder of the army will flee, but have nowhere to go but up the hill. We’ll be waiting in a spot of our choosing with every strategic advantage.”
“So, after eleven fierce battles, the last stand of the Free Britannia Resistance movement will take place on Badon Hill?”
“Exactly so, my lord.”
Fire flew from Caledfwlch. The spirit of the sword was ready for battle and would not be quenched until it had tasted the blood of a thousand Saxon demons.
“May the Battle of Badon Hill be long remembered. To the Resistance!” I, Arthur of Britannia, shouted.