The 12th day (WQ147) - 12 drummers drumming...one of the elements is "the drums of war"
The 11th day (WQ148) - 11 pipers piping...mmm, none of the elements matches that...oh well, maybe there'll be a partridge in a pear tree on the 1st day...
Here's the link to WQ147 on the Iron Writer site (so you can see the elements and other writers' work)
And here are my first 2 days, I'm trying to write a connecting story, like 2 years ago with Brad Shaw's 12 Days of Christmas, and last years "Reasby Fen" Thanksgiving Challenge.
It feels like a first draft of a larger story...needs work and could be expanded...
Part 1 (WQ147)
The wet grey storm grew closer in the night, wind picking up and half a shutter banged continuously against the rock frame of the only window in the stone hut. Feyle knelt in front of the rudimentary shrine, hands heavy over his sword's guard, the scabbard resting on the cold floor.
"Soon the midnight hour will arrive and you must make your choice, Feyle," said his tormentor, Kristphen the Grim. The sound of a thousand blackbirds leaving their perch floated in with the last full gust of wind. "Your oath of loyalty, Feyle, that is what I seek." A wide grin was all Feyle could see from under Krisphen's hooded robes. Years fighting in these hellish lands, killing his enemies, watching his fellows die, and it came down to this, an oath. Wasn't his service evidence of loyalty? Why did he need to speak such worthless words, so empty of action, soulless, without meaning?
"Are not my actions but proof enough, Kristphen?" he asked, head down in prayer.
"Your actions are not what I require! I need your heart, your mind!" screamed Kristphen, his voice reaching over the storm.
A distant rhythmic sound of drums, the drums of war, entered the hut. Feyle could feel the other's wagging finger.
"And now there is no other choice, Feyle. It has begun, you must do your duty to all those whom you stand for," stated Kristphen. Feyle nodded. It was him and him alone who could bring this all to an end.
Part 2 (WQ148)
“You have your team to lead, Feyle, hand-picked and ready to go,” grinned Kristphen. Feyle gave another nod, wondering who had picked these unfortunate souls and for exactly what skills and attributes. What was this mission really for? Kristphen walked over to the shrine and lifted the holy book. “Your oath, Feyle.” He came over, the book open, and held it in front of Feyle’s face. With a sigh, the tired soldier of many hard-fought and bloody battles lifted his right hand and placed it on the open pages. He spoke the sacred oath of a warrior of the realm and let his hand fall back to his side. “Thank you. Now, go, Feyle. Go do your duty. For your Emperor and his people.”
Bowing while standing, Feyle sheathed his sword and placed it into its grip on his waistbelt. Kristphen stood defiant, arms crossed as Feyle left the stone hut to be hit both by the storm outside and the constant sound of drums. As his eyes grew accustomed to the dark, he saw four silhouettes standing in the street facing him, the team of assassins he was to command, each man a master, each man a killer. He gestured them to follow him and they walked down the deserted streets as equals, shoulder to shoulder.
Feyle knew it was to be a mission of “trial by fire”, one that would test every man’s courage and strength, one of constant attrition and pain, one which may take them all.