But the Drenai army has dwindled during the reign of Lord Abalayn , and the Delnoch garrison has been reduced to less than ten thousand men, under the leadership of Abalayn's incompetent nephew Orrin. Delnar, the ailing Earl of Bronze , calls upon the aide of Druss the Legend, an ageing hero coming out of retirement for one final battle, and The Thirty , an order of warrior-priests who serve the Source by fighting to the death when summoned to a worthy cause.
The Thirty are led by an albino priest named Serbitar and his mentor, Abbot Vintar. Delivering the message to The Thirty is the Earl of Bronze 's daughter Virae , who encounters and falls in love with Regnak Rek , an ex-army officer turned wanderer looking to flee the imminent war.
Rek learns that he is a baresark , comes to terms with his fate to stand at Dros Delnoch and eventually marries Virae, becoming earl after her father's death. The couple accompany The Thirty to Delnoch, sailing aboard the Wastrel , fending off Nosta Khan 's demonic attacks and battling Sathuli tribesmen along the way.
Though in his sixties and past his prime, Druss succeeds in inspiring and training the Drenai defenders—including farmers Gilad and Bregan —into able soldiers.
Even Orrin finds his courage and competence as a general. During preparations for the siege, Druss is faced with tiring administrative responsibilities, pontificating councilmen and an assassination attempt from a treacherous officer.
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Besides Druss, The Thirty, Earl Regnak and Virae, the defenders are also aided by the well-respected Hogun and his elite Legion as well as forest bandit Bowman and his band of outlaws , including the female archer Caessa. The Siege of Dros Delnoch begins. The defenders are initially able to fend off several waves of attack from Ulric's army , but ultimately the sheer number of the Nadir tribesmen takes its toll and they are pushed back one wall at a time.
Virae is slain at Wall Two , after which Serbitar helps Rek discover his destiny as the Earl of Bronze , donning the legendary armour and sword of Egel. Druss falls valiantly at Wall Four , after being poisoned in an earlier duel with the Nadir champion Nogusha. Ulric honours Druss's death with a funeral feast. Rek and the remaining defenders make their last stand on Wall Six.
All of The Thirty are killed but for Arbedark , who is sent away before the final battle in order to found a new temple. The defenders are outnumbered and defeat seems inevitable.
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Hope is restored, however, when apparitions of Druss and The Thirty appear at the gates and Joachim Sathuli , a tribal prince whom Rek had befriended earlier, arrives with a force of three thousand warriors. Finally, Ulric is forced to withdraw from the siege due to a civil war brewing at home. After the battle, Rek learns that Virae was brought back from the dead by Serbitar, and the two go on to live a happy life together, starting a family.
Ulric never returns to take Dros Delnoch, dying of dysentery during an invasion of Ventria the following year.
"The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend" by David Gemmell
But even as the stories grew in the telling, Druss himself grew older. I practice yoga, I'm pretty sure I can cross more than my fingers. I have just finished to read Blood Of Elves in its french translation. This is a very great book, my favorite one these days! I'm impatiently waiting for Time of Anger!
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The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend
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