Red and Golden Banners.Mature

The black and muddy line of the marshlands lay before them.

They'd past the black mud river near a day and half ago, set up a temporary camp in the dead plains of the Wild last night, and this morning left it and marched in battle formations towards the heart. Not a breath of wind was felt, and no opposition had been seen.

This was not a good thing. And as the sun slowly dropped toward the western horizon, and Zaragath, the first moon made its debut on the Northern Horizon the ranks of spearmen and peasants drafted into the armies grew nervous, and glanced at the four flying banners in front and center of the company. Yet the sound to retreat never came, the commanders continued their march into the wild lands, heedless of the danger they were putting their men into, determined to crush any and all opposition in the Northern reaches of the Wild.

Ateal, a captain of the Carthean regiment marched beside his men, growing uneasy as they were. He and his men were up the back and to the left of the Alliance army, underneath the banners of the Golden Lion, on a backdrop of red. They were one of ten Squadrons that made up the spear sections of the Carthean regiment. 

To his direct front was the heavy infantry of Carth, renowned for their giant rectangular shields, tight formations and extreme discipline armed with short swords they made an ideal wall between the softer, more unorganized troops and the enemy. Championed and hailed as "Pride troops" They were the frontline of the entire army.

To his left there was a pack of approximately two hundred warriors from Lok'Roth, the Wolf City. They wore plate breastplates over sleeveless woolen tunics, draped over there shoulders and covering all of this down to their very feet was their trademark woolen cloaks. They carried their signature dual-handed broadswords on their backs in handmade sheathes. "Barbarians" they were often called by the northern kingdoms, and rightly so. Whenever on campaign they stopped shaving, they wore their beards as a mark of pride to show their dedication to the cause. Most of them stood a head taller than the average Carthean man, and they were all heavily muscled, and broadly set. Not many weak children survive the harsh, icy lands of Lok'Roth. In battle, they were unmatched, wielding their broadswords like toys, and working in groups of five or six they devastated all opposition. Covered in individual personalized tattoos, only one tattoo remained constant, a Black Wolfs head, branded onto the upper right arm. They marched under their banner, the same pattern as the tattoo, a black wolfs head, cutting into a snow white background. Swinging his gaze across to the far right, Ateal could see the Black and White banners of the other half of the Lok'Rothean troops, guarding the other flank of the army.

To his immediate right, troops from the island nation of Neperal marched. Their gold and blue banners, a golden eagle on a royal blue background were flapping lightly in the wind. The Neperalians strength came from the sea, and while many of their troops were experienced at fighting off pirates, Ateal knew more of the men beside him were simply rowers or deckhands that had been equipped with standard small bronze buckler shield and steel short sword. But the real strength of the Neperalian ground army was their archers. Carth would field archers if necessary but they were made superfluous next to the long, dark haired bowmen and women of Neperal. Armed with bows as long as their own bodies, these arches could put an arrow between the eyes of werewolf from five hundred meters away, if they were quick enough... and the wolf was standing still.

Directly behind him, he knew rode the knights of Carth, fully plated in shining steel and armed to the teeth with various lances, longswords and knives. Highly skilled, and mounted on purebred horses from the Carthian fields these men were literally knights in shining armor. All decorated in the Red and Gold of the Lion city, but the true interest came from the troops marching inbetween the knights.

A purple banner, with a white Rams head was all Ateal could see of the men and women of Rethonia. They were mages, and though very few in number, and very weak physically they could decimate huge areas, the full extent of their power is unknown, and many of the more powerful mages refused to condone violence, so they were rarely seen in their full glory. A small number of elite bodyguards marched with them. Clad in enchanted plate and wielding polearms and swords they were nigh unkillable.

There were three armies like this, Armies of the Alliance they were called. The most powerful gatherings of men the world had ever seen, and yet despite all of this. Ateals hands were sweating against the wood of his spear as they marched into the marshlands with the blanket of dusk slowly settling down onto them.

The End

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