At Archet no one seemed to realize what was going to happen, they were all absorbed by their daily activities; Brackenbrook had not wanted to spread the news of the impending attack to not create panic, he believed that when the time would have came the villagers would have been able to defend themselves.
There remained a last hope, the son of Brackenbrook: John, chased out of the town few years before for have putted in doubt the loyaltyof Calder Cob, he went to live in a cottage east of the village here he gathered around him several hunters, as far as they could they kept away from the village wolves and other wild animals.
He and his group of hunters could have been the last hope of Archet.
I learned that Strider had to leave for a matter of vital importance, useless were my attempts to convince him to stay, nor remind him that Archet could have been destroyed that night, he merely rplied that he was leaving us because all the world would have been destroyed soon.
I gave up and thanked him for having saved me then I looked him ride away.
It was up to me then run to warn John Brackenbrook, I left the Hobbits to watch over Amdir and I borrowed a horse from the prison warden and rode eastward.
Brackenbrook was a young man tall and strong with resolute manners, the story of the betrayal of Calder Cob did not surprised him, he was in fact banished six years before for having suspected him, he did not lost heart even though he knew that the attack was imminent, looking from a window in fact we could see the evening shadows begin to lengthen.
Gathered all the men Brackenbrook John explained the situation, he spoke of Calder Cob and his plan to take the power during the speech also a Dwarf spoke, he was Atli who chosen to lives in those lands many years before, he spoke about an ancient East trail that the robbers would have definitely tried to use to catch on the side the people of Archet, but this path was infested by spiders, smaller than those of Mirkwood but no less dangerous, they would have probably slowed down the enemy but anyway we could not lose more time.
We headed for the village, when we took the old path was getting dark; the more we were approaching to Archet the more we could see the glow of a fire, the attack had begun, perhaps the enemy had moved faster.
When we arrived there were people fighting everywhere, I saw the keeper of the prison succumb under the blows of a brigand, many I shot down but more and more seemed to arrive.
I was with John Brackenbrook who seemed determined to reach the main square of Archet, we advanced but more brigands came, we continued to fight meanwhile tha flames all around us the flames were higher and higher, the starry sky was gone in its place an orange glow was all that I could see.
We finally reached the square, there the survivors had erected the last barricade and waited for the enemy, with surprise I saw the old Brackenbrook held sword and shield direct the operations, father and son embraced each other and shed tears each sorry for what had happened years before and for what was happening in that moment, I found with my great pleasure also the two Hobbits fortunately they were fine, the same was not for Amdir who was sitting on the ground motionless and pale, without even the strength to talk; the time for pleasantries, however, was destined to be short-lived and a new wave of enemies was rushing into the square, the Brackenbrook throwed blows with the swords, Atli swung his ax and I rant my arrows, we repeled them back, some brigand was already running away and the battle seemed won, but it was at that point that they arrived.
The same fear that I felt on seeing the Black Knight, the same feeling of death immobilized me and everyone else no one dared to look at the two figures dressed in red who had made their way into the square; with them was Calder Cob with his sneer, admiring the flames that enveloped all the buildings around us, and the completion of his work.
So the “Red Knights” as I call them, spoke with words that everyone could understand, their voice was still made of wheezing and other strange sounds, they no longer wanted to spend time with us so they called him.
Amdir, as if hypnotized, he stood up and at the command of one of the “Red Knights” followed them; useless were our cries it was as if we did not exist, so it was that Amdir walked awa.
Was him part of the plan? Was he working for the enemy? And how Calder Cob could have such powerful friends?
He was realizing his plan, he killed the old Brackenbrook with no pity; that was the last straw, everybody shake the fear off then Calder Cob could not survive, his fool plan was finally ended.
The brigands left were fleeing toward Chetwood, the “Red Knights” had left with Amdir, Archet was burning but we were alive.