Antikas v Golbar

The following scene is taken from David Gemmell’s book, “Winter Warriors”. It is a battle between Antikas Karios and Golbar, one of the Krayakan. The original text can be read in Chapter ten of the novel.

    Antikas attacked, and as their swords met lightning crackled from the blades. The attack was parried with ease and Antikas only just managed to avoid a murderous riposte that further sliced the ruined satin shirt. The Krayakin came at him with bewildering speed and Antikas found himself fighting for his life. Never had he faced a more skilful opponent, nor met a man with reflexes as fast as this Krayakin. Antikas parried and blocked with increasing desperation, and slowly he was forcedfurther back along the bridge. Anger touched him then, for the Krayakin was toying with him. Twice he had an opportunity to lance a thrust through the human’s guard, and twice he merely sliced small cuts in his opponent’s chest.
    “You are very good,” said Golbar, conversationally, while still attacking. “Not the best I ever killed, but close. Do let me know when you are ready to die.”
    Antikas did not answer. Despite his increasing weariness and desperate battle for survival he had been reading his opponent’s moves, seeking out a weakness. The man was ambidextrous – as indeed was Antikas – but he favoured the right, and sought to kill with thrusts rather than cleaving cuts. Antikas leapt back.
    “I am ready now,” he said. The Krayakin attacked. Instead of backing away Antikas moved suddenly forward. As he expected Golbar sent a lightning thrust with his right hand blade. Antikas swayed to the right, his ememy’s sword glancing along his ribs. Ignoring the pain he slammed the black blade through the Krayakin’s chest, spearing the heart. Golbar’s eyes widened in pain and shock, his swords falling from his hands. Without a word he fell back to the stone of the bridge.


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