I thought I would have more time to write in this journal. It appears I will only be able to do so between the campaigns. I cannot write for long, as my fingers and arms ache so badly.
Until yesterday, I had never experienced battle before. I had been in fights, but the sight of warriors en masse in front of us was something I had not prepared myself for. A fight is a flurry of blows with a single victor and loser. A battle is more orderly in its methods but more chaotic in its results. I think I prefer the chaos.
The account of our journey so far is as follows. We left as scheduled for Sharom under the cover of darkness, crossing the strait by ferry. Old Charlie, the ferryman, piloted this time as he did every other journey, as though he were bringing the usual passengers rather than soldiers to battle. It was not our first time off the island but this time it was different. We were not with our friends or family, just each other. I'm sure when morning came my parents were upset.
We have not yet arrived in the central region of Sharom, but had to station ourselves at Svastpol yesterday. In order to proceed, we would have to pass the fortress of Jindark, a base of Empire activity. A head on-assault would have gotten us killed, or so we were told. Our numbers were too small to throw the capital by force alone, so we had to rely on the kindness of the surrounding townspeople. It's weird to think that many of the familiar faces who visited Warren's Castle were now giving us food and shelter.
Orders were orders, though, and we couldn't stay long. Our unit -- Tilala, Anne, myself, and two other women -- was to play a pivotal role. It was rumored that there was a city to the west of Svastpol at the end of a path that split from the main road. Not marked on any maps, the locals were familiar with its location, but even I, who once lived not even a day's travel away was unaware of it. But we pressed forward, ahead of the main forces, expecting to reach our destination by sunset.
We encountered the enemy at the fork in the road. Four of their units enclosed on our one. It is only now that I realize how lucky we were to have a supply of healing herbs. I have seen Warren perform wonders with his abilities. The rare challenger who called him a fraud was easily disproved. I had also heard of stories of those who could command the elements of the gods at will, some of whom were in out But I have never seen this same magic used as a weapon. The brilliant fireballs thrown with the intention to swallow their victims in their deadly blaze. It was only the enemy's overconfidence and disorganization that saved our unit from destruction.
But as awesome as the skills of the wizards are, they do not compare the the grace of our unit leader, Tilala. Men like Warren spend years learning their craft, drawing strength from their arcane knowledge, but Tilala operates out of a mystique alien to all others, as do all Valkyries. Her poise and elegance in the mere wielding of a spear is an art in of itself. I never cared for style over substance but in the Valkryie, both are married into a deadly partnership, like one of my father's finest creations.
I'll have to wait for that moment I am forged into that deadly beauty. I didn't get my first kill. Not yet. First I must learn to shoot more effectively in the heat of battle.
Anne, on the other hand, performed spectacularly as she hit almost all of her targets. She made a face with every arrow she fired. I couldn't tell if it was the tension of the bowstring or her disgust at the shedding of blood. Yet she wounded the enemy several times over, only failing to hit an enemy that had begun to flee. Tilala admonished her severely for letting the enemy escape, but Anne didn't seem to be very upset about it. I can only hope she doesn't quit the army. I don't want to lose her because of her morals.
After these battles we found Falsalla hidden under a web of trees and cliffs, but there was no triumph. My heart still longs for more battle while my body longs for rest. Fortunately for my heart, Jindark has fallen into our control, and that means the fighting has just begun.