The Fires In The Morning is the third chapter in "An Ambodian Adventure: A Firewing's Tale" written by Ivar Firewing

3 - The Fires In The Morning - "There you go," Sven said as he loaded the last jar of milk on famer Daggot's carriage. The farmer walked over him. "Good job today, Sven, here's your copper," and he handed Sven a bag of copper coins.

"You can take the rest of the day off if you want," Daggot told his worker. 

"Are you sure Daggot? My son wanted to help today." 

"Maybe some other time then, I don't have any work left," Daggot and then smiled. "Tomorrow he can come." 

"Thank you, I'll tell him," Sven said as Daggot climbed on the carriage and swung the reins so the horse started moving. "See you tomorrow, Sven." Daggot tipped his hat to his worker as Sven waved at him and walked into the crowded streets.

On the market Ivar was talking to Sylla, the girl from yesterday while he helped his mom with groceries. They even waved at farmer Daggot as he passed by with his carriage. 

"So, would you like anything?" Ivar asked Sylla

"No I'm good." she smiled back 

"Alright then," 

"I'm enjoying spending time with you," she blurted. 

Ivar stopped in his tracks and looked at her and after a few seconds he smiled. "So am I, with you." 

Both teenagers smiled as they continued their pace through the market. 

"Do you think we could, maybe, go somewhere when you're done here? Just us?" Sylla asked.

Ivar looked at her with a big smile. "Well I promised my dad I would help him on Daggot's farm today if there was any work, so I'll have to wait until he comes and picks me up." 

Sylla smiled, "Good, because there he comes," and she pointed to Sven somewhere further down the market, obviously looking for Ivar. 

He then noticed his son and ran to him. "Hey son. And...uhm... Sylla right?" 

"That is correct," Sylla smiled. 

"Okay." Sven then focused on Ivar again "Ivar, I-"

Before Sven could finish his sentence loud growls and screams were heard form the village gate. A few moments later the carriage of farmer Daggot came rushing by with immense speed and when Daggot tried to stop it, it tipped over. Then he and the horse were helped onto their feet.

"What happened!?" most villagers cried out as they saw the damaged carriage laying on the ground. It was covered in claw marks, and so was Daggot. 

"Monsters! MONSTERS IT WERE!!" the unfortunate farmer cried out. "THEY TRIED TO MURDER ME!!" Daggot cried one last time before the loud growls and howls were heard, this time much closer. 

As everyone in the village turned around and watched the gate, Goblin Riders, riding fell monsterous beats, were heading for the village. They are armed with swords, spears, torches, bows and many more different weapons. 

The townfolk started to panic as the Goblin Riders brought down the small gate of the village and started to spread out all over the place. They started to burn down houses, slay bypassers and plunder money. 

"Ivar get out of here!" Sven said and pushed his son and Sylla away as they all started running. A lone Goblin Rider had noticed them and gave the crowd chase. The Rider leaned a bit to the left to trying cut Sven's head off when he got closer but Sven looked back while running and quickly dodged the long, rusty sword. The Rider didn't care and continued riding forth, decapitating several people. 

"Daggot!" Sven yelled as he ran to the farmer and then helped him up. They both hid behind the walls of nearby house. 

"We must round up all the men," Daggot said "The women and children must take the Northern Mark while the men hold these monsters off!" 

"Let's pull back to the Town Sqaure and gather anyone who is willing to fight there," Sven said and helped Daggot up again as they pulled back from the now burning Market.

Ivar saw his father carry farmer Daggot and quickly took over. His father gave him a nod of appreciation and then headed for the town's stage. He jumped on it and started his plea: 

"All men willing to fight must gather here in the sqaure! These monsters are still terrorizing the market and there is nothing we can do about it! But we can give our women and children a chance to escape these fires! I need as many men as I can get to fend these creatures off when they reach the square!! WHO'S WITH ME!?!?" 

A lot of "I's" were heard from the crowd and the women started evacuating while the volunteers gathered what they would use as their weapons. Pitchforks, spades, swords, sickles and more commonplace objects were now being used as weapons by the once-peaceful villagers. 

Ivar quickly ran home to grab his sword and when he came back he saw all the men lined up as the Goblin Riders were heard approaching. Ivar drew his sword and, just like everybody else, awaited the Goblin's first move. 

"Hahaha!" a foul voice came from behind the black smoke walls; "Do you really believe these pathetic peasants are a match for my pack of Riders?" the voice shouted and one Rider jumped through the smoke into open view. It seemed to be the leader as it was riding a bigger beast and was himself bigger in size as well. His face was covered with tattoos and his upper body was naked but covered with scars. His skin: dark purple. 

He started laughing again and within a glimpse the other Riders came forth from out of the smoke and charged the line of peasants. 

"Hold out your weapons!" Sven shouted and everyone obeyed. That was only good because several riding beats were slain. Unfortunately, also a few villagers. 

The fight was intense. Beasts jumping out from every corner, disappearing and reappearing through the black smoke created by the burning houses. Villagers waving away with their so-called weapons, hoping to hit something or someone. The Pack Leader charged in and cut off the head of one of the villagers as he made straight for Ivar. Ivar didn't see him coming as he was already in a sword fight with another Goblin who was knocked off his riding beast. Sven saw his son was in danger and quickly picked up a bow from a fallen Goblin nearby and shot the Pack Leader's mount before it could take a bite out of Ivar. Ivar then, now having slain the Goblin, charged the Pack Leader, who is equipped with a battle mace and simply knocked Ivar's sword out of the young Firewing's hands. Sven then charged from the side and knocked the Goblin over. Ivar ran to his sword and picked it up, but then stood face to face with one of the mounts of the riders, this one's rider already slain. Ivar waited until the beast made a move, and it did. Ivar avoided the giant mouth of razor sharp teeth and jammed his sword in the creature's forehead, slaughtering it. 

Meanwhile Sven had lured the Pack Leader after him to the town's fountain in the middle of the sqaure. Its water was now red for the dead body of Mayor Fangji lay in it. Sven stepped in the ice-cold water as the Pack Leader slowly closed in on him, growling with anger. He then screamed and swung his mace toward the Firewing, who quickly ducked down. The mace came crashing into the statue of King Durran Firewing, the builder of Lakeside village. Sven quickly shot up and made a move to slit the Goblin's neck. Before he could slit the neck his arm was caught in a tight rope coming from a nearby Rider protecting its master. In seconds Sven tried to rip the rope off was forced off the fountain on the rocky painful ground. The Pack Leader grinned from ear to ear and rose his mace again, ready to crush Sven's skull. When he brought his weapon down, Ivar jumped in and cut off the Goblin's hand. The Goblin started screaming from pain and Sven took this oppurtunity to throw a small knife clipped to his belt into the stomach of the Goblin that was holding him down. Ivar untied him and together they ran off as the Goblin Leader was rolling in pain on the ground. 

Further, towards the end road of the village, the women and children were evacuating. 

"Come on Sylla," Miriandus, Sylla's mother, said as she had ben pulling her daughter along all the road.

"But what about Dad, Ivar and the others?" she qeustioned with the intention of going back there. 

"They are doing their duty and we are doing ours, NOW LET'S GO!!" her mom shouted furiously.

Before Sylla could obey, loud growls and howls were heard, gettting louder and louder. Every women or child turned around to look back. 

In the meantime Ivar and Sven, together with many others, had retreated towards Middle Town, at Firewing residence. The Goblin Rider has followed and started to rain down arrows of fire now, burning down houses quicker and faster. 

Ivar and Sven hid inside. 

"Why are these monsters doing this to us!?" Ivar screamed with anger as he looked outside and saw Mulgan getting  slain at the Lakeside Tavern balcony. 

"These creatures do as they desire and please. They have probably being watching us for several days, planning out the best way to wipe us all out." Sven came to stand next to his son and shivered at seeing Mulgan's dead body, as he had just seen the man yesterday night. 

"Wipe us out!?" Ivar repeated pretty shocked. "I though they wanted to plunder us." 

"Not by the looks of it," Sven said and drew his sword again and gestured Ivar to do the same. "I will go lead the men into battle and you, Ivar my son, you will go to the women and children and help the men escorting them!" 

Ivar hesitated a bit but nodded and his father nodded back. 

Sven kicked out the door of his own house and charged into battle while Ivar took the other road.

When Ivar arrived were he was supposed to help he came across a terrible sight. All the women and children, slaughtered, murdered and ripped apart by the Goblin Riders. The monsters knew they would do this and awaited them. In the distance he saw more flames rising. He wanted to leave but then saw the body of Sylla. He walked over to the pale, stiff body of the girl he had hoped to build a relationship with. He kissed her forhead as a farewell gesture and ran back to Middle Town. 

Once he got there everyone was silent if not for the crackling of fire and the collapsing of what were once peaceful houses. Ivar looked around but saw nobody. He then heard a loud thud behind him and as he turned around he quickly dodge a bite attack from one of the mounts of the Goblin Riders. This one still had it's rider on its back. But the creature itself had a knife in it's eye, with someone's hand still hanging on. 

It then charged again and Ivar tried to jump on the beast but instead he was sent flying through the air. As he tried to get up the Rider had already started a third charge at the young boy. Ivar rolled to the side and avoided another mouth of razor sharp teeth. He jumped up and when the beast charged again he managed to grab ahold on its head. The riding beast was blinded by two legs dangling before his eyes and crashed into a burning bakery when Ivar tried to stab it's rider. The beast died on impact. Ivar and the Goblin quickly got up and clashed swords several times. But Ivar's training had paid off as he was quicker and forced the Goblin to the ground and then slashed its neck open. Blood came oozing out. 

Ivar continued to run through the burning streets in the hope to find any sign of anyone. But all he found was a trail of death and destruction. Dead bodies of people he once knew, had been ripped apart or were missing limbs which were found back a ways, followed by a stream of blood. Dead Goblins and the creatures they rode were found scattered about too, but much less. Ivar made for Daggot's farm and saw his dad infront he of the pig barn (which was starting to burn) fending off several Riders who had him surrounded. Pressed against Sven's back was farmer Daggot, shakingly holding up a pitchfork. Ivar ran towards them. 

The creatures circled around the peasent and the farmer and one gave charge. Sven pushed Daggot aside and made a long clean cut along the creatures right eye. A second one attacked but the rider of the beast was quickly killed by Daggot's pitchfork going through his body and sticking out of his back. Sven stabbed the squirming beast. Before the other could attack, Ivar arrived and jumped and grabbed hold of the sides of the Rider's saddle. The rider himself was already stabbed by Ivar before he even noticed what was going on. The fell beast shook Ivar off and ran into the burning corn field, whining. Now only one Rider remained. It started circling the 3 people from Lakeside. When he charged, he ran at Sven, who got ready for the blow, but instead of hitting him, the rider changed direction suddenly and famer Daggot ended up in the giant mouth of razor sharp teeth from the monster the rider was riding. Daggot had died. The monster threw Daggot's lifeless body to the side and the Rider grinned upon his small victory before giving the command to attack again, and so he did. Sven quickly placed his foot under Daggot's pitchfork on the ground and threw it up in the air. He grabbed it and threw it in the Goblin Rider's face. The lifeless body of the rider leaned to left and the riding creature turned left, into the burning mill. 

"I thought I told you to look after the women and children!" Sven cried at his son, wondering why he had returned. 

"...They...they're...THEY'RE ALL DEAD!!" Ivar cried out.

Sven looked shocked into the distance. "And what about your mother?" he asked

"Everyone was dead, there were no survivors!! I didn't look for mom's body because Goblin Riders were still nearby and i couldn't afford the risk!" Ivar told his father, now both with tears in their eyes. 

Sven hugged his son. 

As the two Firewings continued through the burning streets of their broken village, they heard howls and Goblin screams coming from everywhere. 

"We must find a way out of here, now!" Sven told his son as they approached Middle Town again. 

"So many dead bodies," Ivar whispered, being slightly in shock. 

"Just continue forward!" Sven said as he started a small sprint.

"Well, well, well, look over there," the Goblin Leader said as he saw the two Firewings passing by the corner he and several Riders were waiting in. 

"Oh no... RUN!" Sven pulled Ivar by his arm and both started to run, followed by an angry Goblin Leader and a small portion of his gang. 

The Firewings quickly moved around a corner and reached their burning home.

"Hide inside," Sven said and pushed Ivar down the cellar doors. 

"Dad! Come with me!" Ivar pleaded. 

"I'm sorry, Son, my tale is over now." Sven closed one of the doors; "And now I'm protecting yours that is still to come." And then he closed the second door. He kicked down the burning wall of his burnt house so the rubble would cover up the cellar doors. 

"NO! DAD, NO!!" Ivar started banging on the cellar doors but then heard the sounds of the Riders closing in and stopped. He ran to a small window in the cellar wich showed the grounds of the street. He saw his father being surrounded by the Riders. 

"Where is the boy who harmed me!?" the furious Goblin Leader spat at Sven. 

"He is long gone, I told him to run for it, and he did." 

"You fool, our creatures can easily catch up with him." The Leader grinned. 

"My son is fast, the fastest in this village. I'd like to see you try." 

Luckily for Sven the Goblin Leader wasn't thinking clear due to his hatred and anger otherwise he would have seen through he fourty-seven-year-old's scheme. 

Sven knew his son was looking but didn't look back, as he knew when one of the Goblin's dismounted his creature and drew his sword, he was going to die... but not without a fight!

Sven clashed swords with the Goblin and cut off its head. Two other Goblins charged at him, one with a dagger and the other with a spear. Sven cut the point of the spear off, followed by the the other Goblin's leg. He then stabbed the now one-legged Goblin in its back, killing it. Before the Goblin with the broken spear could pick up a new weapon, his eyes looked towards the window where Ivar was watching from. Sven quickly slammed his fist into the Golbins face and then forced it to ground while drilling his sword into the stomach of his enemy. Then Sven cut the head off of one of the creatures and stabbed the Rider, who fell to the ground. Then the Leader got seriously angry and slammed his mace into Sven's face. Sven flew backward a bit before hitting the ground. He looked at Ivar and blew out his last breath of life. Sven was killed.

"Hahahahaahahaaaa!!" the Goblin leader laughed and screamed from victory, while down in a small a cellar, unbeknownst to him, a young adult was sobbing for his father's death.