Helios a Primer - Prologue: Dinner with Madmen
Helios a Primer
By: Galier Heiran
Prologue - Dinner with Madmen
The title of this section may seem dramatic, but that is how I felt by first meeting with Helians. I feel that, that first night colored every experience I have ever had with them.
They arrived on our shores with a shipwreck, thirty men of fifty. I recall that they seemed at home in the driving rain, moving about as if it was no different than the sun shining down on them. They came to our village for shelter and we thought they were raiders but a short altercation and a dead man later we realized they were humans and with the kind gestures of an old woman the tension was diffused. They were armored head to toe and each was broad and strong, just one of them was more of a warrior than every man of fighting age in our village. Helmets were finally removed, and they were given faces and I was not alone in the shock to see an equal number of women among them. In our culture women do not fight, although I would add that in our culture Helian women are far too manly in build and manner.
Communication was limited, but we managed to find parts of a shared language as one of them knew some Isaran and I was able to translate some but the lack of more specific words was notable. There had been intent to feed them and shelter them from the storm and see them on their way but we didn't have the means. We had been beset by lizardmen from the south for months and supplies and people were low. I did my best to communicate this to them, but they didn't seem to understand.
That was when the worst happened, we were attacked. A boy came running into the mead hall screaming of his pursuers. I counted us lucky in that much of the town was in the hall when it happened or it would have been much worse. I was able to tell the Helians we were in danger and we had to flee but they outright laughed at the suggestion. I had seen an army raised once, farmers and some lords men and thought it was impressive. At least two thousand all together, but there had been no battle terms were offered and accepted. But I remember being in awe of the gathered force. That memory is soured by the thirty who I saw rise in unison. Helmets were doned and they went out once again in the driving rain. I followed along with some of the other stronger men but next to the Helians we seemed like children playing soldier.
The sound of the Lizard men coming told me there had to be many, I knew I couldn't run away and began to make peace with god, thinking I would die.
The Helians chanted, their language full of hard consonants and long vowels and rolled letters. They charged, seeing only the faintest outline of their enemy. Me and mine, could make out nothing in the rain and were slow to join them. We yelled, but it was to mask our fear. They yelled to cause fear in their enemy.
The clash was sudden and wildly abrupt. The Lizardman slammed against the Helians and crumpled against their shields. They had expected soft farmers and instead were faced with iron armored monsters. The Helians fought with a fierce method, easily they killed three or more a piece. I managed to fell one, my companions were not so lucky and found death from scything talons. The battle had to be only minutes but before long there were no lizardmen left able to fight. The Helians cleaned up the dying with sure footed stomps or swung maces. The rain stopped and the Helians did as well. They laughed at the victory, they had lost no men in the exchange.
Back at the hall they sat on the ground outside, letting the now peaking moonlight dance over their blood soaked armor. They smiled, and talked and laughed and mimed their battle. They reveled in the enemy, they reveled in the slaughter. I was the only of my people to dine with them. My translator and I did the best we could with the broken language and pantomime, but eventually came to an agreement, the Helians would kill the lizardmen, and I would take them to a boat to get them home. I had no idea where I would find a boat, but I knew the lizardmen sailed, and if the Helians could kill them for us, or hurt them enough to drive them away...I would figure it out.
This dinner, in the moonlight surrounded by lizardman corpses was the beginning of my time with them...beginning of the greatest journey and adventure of my life.