The Story Of The Good Leader (The Stoyteller Novel)

The Storyteller

 

Chapter 1

 

What we cherish

   

"My turn? Already? Fine, so be it. I will tell you the most harrowing tale you have ever heard. Perhaps the most human. Perhaps not. Perhaps this will be a tale which echoes within the souls of each of you men and women of true honour. I leave it to you...

   

'Many years ago, a village spokesman stood up strong and firm against a tyrant, the tyrant considered himself a king, a man amongst men. He, along with an army of well-paid mercenaries numbering in their tens of thousands, swarmed village after village taking the little every village had, pillaging and killing where they could and leaving nothing but devastation in their wake. They had crossed borders from a territory I cannot name to the territory in question, which I too cannot name.

   

' They came as an endless wave which crashed mercilessly upon its first target. Blood spilt freely as though water from the rains of the heaviest of storms. As you can imagine, news traveled quickly, as news does when devastation hits anyone’s neighbor.

   

‘The territory's ruler was informed and his men were dispensed. But every move the ruler made was a move too slow. For the tyrant used horsemen to commit his raids. He went as far and taking spare horses to take away resources, women and slaves for his personal use and to be sold in outer lands.

   

' They were impossible to intercept, almost divine in their ability to follow the ruler's movements. With skill unheard of by any ruler he demoralized and weakened an army of one hundred and fifty thousand strong. Truly incredible.

   

' But unexpectedly a small village of little consequence won the war. For this village of little consequence rested on a hill overlooking a large portion of the open plains and wheat fields that produced the finest of breads.

 

'Bakers and farmers watched as smoked billowed up to the skies, turning the heavens black. They were struck, their hearts stunned by fear but still unwilling to leave their homes for the village was all they had. They loved their lands too much. And who, knowing a thing about love whether it be the love of a child, a land or a woman, could argue? The village leader convinced them all that they would do no such thing. This one man and farmer-led his comrades to hard labor. Hundreds upon hundreds of men and women, the entire community, erected pikes and iron thorns across the lands before training in the simple yet humble art of archery. They trained until their arms could not move. They worked until their fingers bled.

 

'The largest man to the smallest child was equipped with a weapon, something completely unheard of amongst warriors and leaders. No man bothers training women and children in the art of weapons for good reason. How would they stand when endless hoards fell upon them?

  'This was a declaration to the leader's brilliance, for when the tyrant's men fell upon them like the rains of a monsoon, the village countered.    

'Pikes and thorns were raised just as the attack came, the horses reared, the attack faltered but, not to be outdone, the horsemen pushed on while constantly being peppered with arrows. The counter attack was immense. The invasion force slowed and threatened to falter completely but onwards the raiders pushed.

 

'Many men and women from the village were cut down by arrows shot in retaliation and a filthier, bloodier fight ensued without swords ever being crossed.

 

'For, you see, the villages had no warriors, no soldiers and no aid from the ruler, only wood. Wood chopped into bows and arrows of the most inferior kind, but little criticism can be given to a wall of sharpened wood being hurled at you and if you survive, it would only be long enough too see another wall being sent. The raiders pushed only to collide with a wall of iron spikes the size of a thumb tied to thick but flexible rope made from iron, strengthened and bent into hoops.

 

'The horses entangled themselves and bucked, turning away from the wire. And just like that the attack faltered, the day was won, but at great cost on both sides. The tyrant lost thousands while the village lost only six hundred, but those six hundred were fathers, grandfathers, uncles, sisters, mothers nieces, daughters, sons, friends of all ages. Their blood stained the walls so favoured by the members of the village. But there was little time to come to terms with their losses. There was a battle to be won.

 

'The invaders returned, death and fury, in their eyes, as I'm sure you fine and men know what happens when a mercenary army is forced to fight a little too hard, work a little too hard. They naturally show a little too little mercy.

 

'So, the leader, knowing, this from a past unknown, reinvigorated the village to fight once again. Tables were carved up where arrows were needed, something few people had ever considered. Once again, the raiders descended upon them. The pikes were lost and only the barbed rope remained but that started to slowly lose its effect, many trickled through, they climbed over the fallen and trickled past the final defences.

 

'Death came down upon the village in the form of swords, armor and broad-shouldered and merciless men, salvation appeared only to come in the form of meat cleavers, rolling pins and farming tools in the arms of plain citizenry.

 

'It would have been a disaster and had started out as one, but a horn blared. The armies of the ruler had caught up and surrounded the mercenary army. War crashed down upon them. The people fought on fighting into the darkness of night and on until the bright light of morning.

 

'When the sun rose up into the night sky, pouring light up the hillside allowing clear sight over the battle scene for one and all, they could see that it had all ended. The horns of victory were played and the tyrant with only a hundred surviving men made a run for it, fleeing a trial and an eventual execution. The day had been won, the villagers had been stabbed, slashed, cleaved, shot and burned to death. Seven thousand, nine hundred and sixty-three dead in three days and two nights. Those who had survived were still not given much time to mourn, though when one thinks about it, how is one to mourn the deaths of over seven thousand people? And for how long?

 

'The villagers were hailed as heroes, every one of them, they were given tax immunity for a hundred years and the village leader was given his weight in gold and named chieftain and sheriff of the entire area which included three formerly destroyed villages. He proved to be the wisest of leaders. The three ruined cities were reformed, farms were tilled by the young and living. The land prospered with the books he'd written on his own effort and the collected words of his people, workers and professionals.

 

'But, unfortunately though many of the tyrant’s men had been killed, the tyrant himself had survived, moving on to work in other lands though as nothing more that a simple bandit, no longer a god or king. Though a simple man now he was still an angry man, a man filled with jealousy and hatred. He set upon the sheriff and an assassin, the likes that none have seen in many a year. 'The Golden assassin.

   

'The Golden Assassin entered the village by unknown means, he entered the house from the roof, dressed in the golden armour, reaching the master bedroom.

 

'He brutally killed the chieftain and his two wives, killing the second wife slowly for that was the wife he cared for most, he cut her throat and watched her struggle in the pool of her own blood. Finally, he pulled the chieftain's youngest son and stabbed the chieftain in the heart, so the chieftain would know his son had seen him die and that the son would tell of his brutal death to the entire territory. A tyrant's revenge, a leader's sacrifice a new land's birth, heroes, villains, geniuses, mad men, take what you will from my words.

'But I hope you take this. With the right leadership, the right words at the right time. An entire land can be turned on its head or rather a small village could hold back an army. And that is my story...

 

'But...Darkness envelops my home a little too heavily for my liking, meaning that I must be off. My fellow guide will come in the morning. He will take you to the Lord's Keep, I am sure you will find it just as stunning as The High Gate.

 

'Any gratuity or money you wish to give as a thank you may come directly to me before I finish packing my things." Nceba said pushing back one of the bangs covering his left eye.


If you enjoyed this, there is a full novel about the child who survived. I hope you did enjoy and participate. Thank you.


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