They told me that I had to stay behind lines. They told me that I had to remain safe. They told me that I couldn't fight.
Then the front line failed. Then the route started. People were pelting through the camp with naked terror in their faces. Generals gave up on the rally before it was even attempted. Support wasn't happening. It was every soul for themselves as the wave of death came forward.
I could have ran, but where was I going to run. I did what any person with blood in their veins would, I stood.
I am not sure where it began. I don't even remember how I got the sword. Somehow I went from standing at the cook fire with a pot to throwing a burning branch into a man's face as he grasped at me while I was opening another's guts with three feet of cold steel. I had the fire at my back and a screaming horde before me.
The world turned red. A scream like the fury of all the gods came from somewhere, I didn't realize until later it was my own voice. As I was in the battle madness, bodies fell before me and men began to come to my call, following me forward. I came out of the madness when my own man's face came before me. The sword in my hand was slick with blood and jagged where the edge had chipped on shields. Pieces of flesh and hair was stuck in those broken pieces that I didn't remember where they came from.
But, my man stood before me, the noise of war behind him. The foe was in flight, our own after them. And I knew in that moment, I was born to the sword. Thus, I earned my names, red brand and shield breaker. My man, he gave me honors due to me and now I stand at his right hand. The others of the village are wary but they listen when I speak now.
I was given my own insignia by the earl. A red sword. My man wears my ensign. I hear whispers that I am the Falcon come again. I know not if it is true. I only know that I am feared when I bear a blade unsheathed.
It is power that is my due.
Written while listening to The Glitch Mob's cover of Seven Nation Army.