At the Battle of Whiterun - Much further on in the story probably the Mid-Point
Rickard looked behind him, 1800, Steel Armour clad Stormcloak War Chargers with Chainmail helms; his own company he founded with Jarl Ulfrics permission, backed by 500 Stormcloak Archers and 16 Catapults.
The War Chargers themselves were taught by Rickard Sword-Runner himself. He taught them how to fight from horseback with sword, spear, axe and lance, for only the biggest, toughest and best soldiers could join the War Chargers, each of them over 6ft 7in, they truly were a fearsome sight, and the only stormcloak battalion to be made up of soldiers from each of the holds, Falkreath, Whiterun, The Pale, Winterhold, The Reach, Eastmarch, The Rift, Haafingar and Hjaalmarch, and each were split up into 9 divisions whose steel kite shields and standard bearer bore the Coat of Arms of their respective holds.
But, what made the War Chargers different was that they were not made up solely of Nords, although they made up the majority, there were Red Guards, Khajiit, Wood Elves, Dark Elves, Bretons, Argonisns, people who were fighting for their homes, for their freedom, for Skyrim. To show all of Nirn that this is not simply a Nord Rebellion, but a rebellion for all who call Skyrim home, for all who have experienced the long cold of Skyrim, and have earned the right to call Skyrim, Home.
Rickard rode at the head of the column as it unfurled in a long line across the plains like a giant steel snake bristling with spears. Before them lay Whiterun, the Stormcloaks main force had already began the battle with the Dovakiin at its head as it rushed the main gates. The archers and catapults in Rickards company had readied themselves at had targeted the city, their arrows alight and boulders covered in tar.
Rickard raised his steel clad arm with his mailed fist into the air, the archers took aim, the seconds slowed and slipped by as time itself seemed to slow, then, his fist dropped, swift and heavy as a giant fiery wall lifted from the very earth in one motion, flying through the air in a flaming fury, smashing into the city with a roaring crash as the western stone wall of the wind district collapsed in an explosion of red glory.
Rickard looked to his right, upon a raised patch of earth stood four figures, two slender figures encased in silver-steel armour, silver blonde, and auburn hair flowing in the wind, as two others stood holding his own Coat of arms, A pair of golden lions rampant facing each other on a field of black with a white shield between then outlined in gold with a black cross on it, a red horse and steel clad knight stood at its centre, rearing wielding a golden lance
He spurred his steed forward up the hill, a huge crystal white war horse, almost 6ft 8in in height with a long golden mane and tail, encased in enamelled silver armour.
He rode up alongside the two slender figures, Linevia and Mjoll. He turned to face the bristling spiked steel wall behind him.
"My brothers and sisters!" He roared in a bombing authoritative voice of steel,
"See before you the feeble might of the glorious Imperial Legion" he called out as a rolling laughter spread through the ranks
"Today my brothers and sisters we show all of Nirn what it means to be from Skyrim. It matters not what colour your skin, furred or scaled, we are all the sons and daughters of Skyrim! These imperial dogs no nothing of the cold hard winter winds and waters of the north! These lands are where this empire was founded! Lets us show them that no longer will the north bend the knee to weak willed old men! Arise riders of Skyrim! Arise riders of the north! Feel the cold on your face and take heart in it! These are our lands not theirs this is our home!
Forward unto death
Forward unto glory
Forward war chargers!" He boomed as his mighty horse reared beneath him and the deep horns sounded Bummm-BOOOOM bummmm-BOOOOM bummm-BOOOOM
He tore his Spartan helm from his saddle, its black plume ridding down the helm.
He slammed it down on his head, spun around on his horse, kicked in with his knee and shot off like a bolt as the noise of reading lances and steel shields sounded across the hills, 1800 strong.
The riders rode closer and closer to the burning breach, black arrows flying overhead. Rickard thrust his shield arm out and as graceful as a water dancer 1500 riders broke off south headed for the Stormcloak camp with Mjoll at its head to help the the assault on the main gates
As they neared the breach the smoke began to clear 14 men stood in the breach, 9 legionnaires and 5 Guards whilst 7 more guards manned the wall with bows. Thrusting his Lance into the air before readying for the charge a group of 70 men in his own Battalion threw their spears, long hollow 6ft spears tipped in Silver with a lead counter balance at its base. The 70 spear like javelins cascaded down upon the wall breaking on the stone, sinking into soil, straw and flesh. four of the archers fell, picked off their feet by the monstrosities, alongside 3 of the ground men, all guards.
"Yea-AHHHHHH!" Rickard roared as he aimed his lance in his right hand at the Legate of this group of centurions.
The seconds slowed as the 400 men drew closer and closer to the wall.
Rickards lance drove through the Legates right eye, ripping straight through leaving a huge gaping hole in the right side of his face and his horse trampled a legionnaire in front of him and his lance drove into the heart of a Whiterun Guard and stuck, their feeble shield wall began to break as two legionnaires ran after him.
Rickard felt a sharp sting in his shoulder as an imperial arrow sank deep into it. A loud scream sounded as he looked back for an instant and saw the armer impaled with a bushel of arrows, fall from the wall whilst the rest of the men, 300 strong crashed into the Legions shield wall and it shattered, the men crushed beneath horse hooves like ma stone wall had fallen on top of them.
A group of 50 guards and legionnaires charged at them as Rickard looked forward again, unstrapping his shield he quickly shifted it to his left arm leaving it free as he drew The Ebony Blade from its sheath, weilding it with one hand like a man would a knife.
He let another roar escape his throat, the roar of the lion the Chargers called it so fearsome and frightening that 12 of the 50 legionnaires stopped in fear.
Thrusting The Ebony Blade in the air as he rode past the Hall of the Dead another volley of arrows were let lose into the Legion as Forty city guardsmen joined the battle from Dragonsreach and the Plains District, 21 legionnaires fell.
Rickard howled like a wolf as he swung the Ebony Blade at the fist man on his right, cleaving a gaping hole from knave to collar bone in the man as he swung round at the the left cleaving a mans head in two as the rest of the Chargers crashed into the Legionnaires.
His moment died as he got caught in a press of bodies, Rickard was swinging wildly at the legionnaires and City Guards, hacking and slashing, this way and that way.
His arm was tiring as he swung the great sword, spun his horse left am right, and the unending torrent of mace, axe, sword and arrow blows rained down on his shield.
A large man ran up to him wielding an Iron Battle-axe and roaring wildly as he swung heavily up, under his horse hoping it wasn't armoured there. It was. His axe struck the leather strap holding the saddle to his horse, snapping it but not breaking through the mail.
Rickard spun his horse round to face the man but as he did so his saddle slipped from his horses back as it reared back and brought its hooves down on the mans helmed head, crushing it in the iron cage with a horrifying crunch.
Rickard hit the ground hard, his shield clattering across the stones to the great cream barked tree in he centre of the courtyard as his men cut through the Legionnaires, their numbers melting away like an ice-cube in a hot fire.
Rickard struggled to his feet as a sharp sting struck his body, an arrow, piercing the light mail between his cuirass and his greaves , sinking deep into his flesh as a man charged at him with sword in hand. Rickard swatted the sword from the mans hand, roughly punching the man in the head with a mailed fist. He spun round quickly as a man spun a great-sword at his head, he ducked, stabbed upward slashed right, cleave a gash in a helmed face, swung chopped an arm off, pain, hammer struck steel, spin parry stab, parry slice, parry cleave, block kick punch.
"Raiden" a ghostly voice called out
Duck, dodge, slice, stab, cleave, chop, kill
"Raiden" the voice called out desperately this time
Duck, dodge, side step. Too late.
An arrow embedded itself half an inch in under Rickards arm, the breath sucked out of him as he roughly tore his helm off and threw it down.
"Raiden . Peace. Remember the promise" the voice called again, and Rickard, once again Raiden, was gone.
His pain in his limbs was gone, the wounds too. He stood looking around him a sudden chill as he watched the Icy tundra around him, a girls giggles bounced around him as he turned around.
There stood a girl, 17, beautiful, her ling chocolate brown hair tied back in a pony tail with two braids running down the sides of her head, her aqua eyes staring at him smiling and full of happiness, her tanned skin shinning in the sun.
He looked down at he outstretched arms, a beautiful crystal, glowing lightly with all the colours of the rainbow.
"Take it Raiden, It's yours. Remember your promise, never forget me" the girl said as she placed the crystal in his open palm, a silver chain roped through the top of it for a necklace.
A high pitch screech began to build up all around him as his head began to pound and everything began to vibrate.
The girls form became like glass, cracks, carving their way over her face and body. Then everything exploded. Darkness consumed him. Out of the darkness a man walked forth, the man looked at him, he looked to be 24 or 25, tall 6ft 8in, and heavily muscled his long golden blonde hair hung messy around his head, his electric blue eyes shifting constantly between electric blue and emerald green. A thin stubbly blonde beard strapped his chin and jawline. His voice was deep and commanding, yet strangely comforting and familiar
"Remeber who you are you fool!" He said as the black turned to bright white.
When his eyes opened he was surround by hundreds of figures, all wearing something different, all different ages between 17 to as old as 76, they all stared at him with the same face
"Remember who you are!" They said in unison and the white flashed again even brighter than before, and he was back again on the battlefield.
An arrow was heading for his face, his senses came back to him, he swatted it away as the archer was filled with arrows. Standing up and looking about him, 15 men lay dead around him, his blade coated heavy with blood.
He looked into his palm and there sat the crystal as bright and beautiful as it had been when he first saw it. Slowly he placed it over his head as it came to rest gently on his steel clad chest.
He stood up, and never before had his path been clearer to him.
He rallied his 11 best warriors to him including Linevia. An Argonian, two female Khajiit, an Orc, three Nords, two Dark Elves and A Redguard, Linevia a Wood Elf and himself, who they said was Atmorran.
He turned to the remaining two hundred and four warriors,
"Men, clear out this district before doing so in the Plains District, take as many prisoner as possible and harm no one who does not bear steel against you!" He boomed before marching towards Dragonreaches great Stone steps.
"Rickard are you alright?" A soft voice asked as he turned to face Linevia, her face coated with concern
"Ye-Yeah" he said unsure as they reached the top of the stairs.
Behind the stars stood four young men, 16 or seventeen, sweating profusely in their mail coats and scaled helms,
"Stay, st-st-st stay back" one of the said his eyes moist and red with tears as he waved his sword pathetically at the company
"Put down the blade boy, We won't harm you" Rickard said, he pitied the boy
"Ha ha ha the noble Jarl fear us!" The or named Rangdush bellowed
"You- you, my father fell..." The boy said as his sword fell limp at his side and he pulled his helm from his head his red hair coated with sweat.
"What was his name?" Rickard asked kindly as he took a step forward,
"Joran" The boy replied as the others dropped their swords and sat down solemnly on the wood bridge "I saw your men drag him off" the boy finished as tears began to stream down his face.
"What is your name?"
"Essel, Essel White-Bane"
"Essel White-Bane, if your father Joran White-Bane was dragged of by *my* men then he is safe and will not be harmed, if he is already harmed my healers will look after them as they will do with all the injured of this battle"
"Yes. Would you like to go to him?"
"Very well" Rickard finished as he looked to the satchel on his hip and drew out a phial filled with white powder and handed it to him as the Khajiit twins Rak-Shel and Ris-An removed the barricade
"What do I do with this?" eric asked as he looked at the Phial,
"Spread the powder in a P shape on your cuirass, leave all your weapons here, keep your hands in the air and leave the city through the breach in the wall" Rickard explained as he walked up to the doors.
The four young boys did as they were bid, green boys, unknowing of war, fools, Rickard thought as he pushed open the heavy wood doors of Dragonsreach and the four boys walked off arms in the air, towards the breach, unarmed and of no threat.
As he ascended the stars of Dragonsreach to the great hearth in the middle of the hall he saw Jarl Balgruuf standing defiant, his houscarls and thanes standing defiant alongside the Legion Commander an sever legion soldiers, 17 in total
"Surrender, the city is lost, your forces are scattered to the wind Balgruuf, there need not be any more killing! Surrender and you and your children may go to Solitude with an escort of my own, no harm will come to any of you" Rickard boomed to all of them
"You think me a coward!" Balgruff roared,
"No I think you are a fool who thinks he can stand against a combined force of two thousand men with only seventeen"
Rickard retorted as Quick-Eyes, the Argonian and Linevia fanned to the left an right arming their bows as the rest fanned out to Rickards left and right.
The legion soldiers began to lower their arms along with their commander,
"Smart man" Rickard said aloud
"I will surrender, if all those of my men who survived the battle may return to solitude with me" the Commander demanded
"If that is the soldiers choice they may, if it is not they will not" Rickard replied with a smile as the Legion Commander looked puzzled
"What do you mean" the Legion Commander replied cautiously
"I will give them a choice, you see, I plan to expand my... my forces to include a foot based division, if they choose to accept my offer I will train them myself and equip them myself" Rickard replied confidently as the Legion Commander could do nothing but nod in agreement
"Bloody Coward! Craven! TRAITOR!" Balgruuf roared in anger as the 12 Legion men dropped their weapons and left for the breach in the wall. Five warriors now stood at the top of the steps.