The first chapter in a progressive work based on a relationship of a father and son as a war rages between two kingdoms.
If you were to walk two nights and a few hours from here you would reach a chasm as deep as our city is wide with a breadth of nearly 4 furlong. The only thing separating us from them, the enemy, the reason we've been forced to burn the chasm into the earth in the first place.
I remember when I was a small child, son to a common man, all but 10 years of age. I remember the fifteen of thirteen of the year four hundred and five. I remember the yells from the messengers who rode through the city streets, “Queens' call, news from the east, from the front lines, gather at The Grand-Square for an announcement”.
The blocks began to bustle with talk and speculation over the news, as no one had heard anything but rumors and mostly bold false claims. This would be the first official announcement of the war in over 6 months. “Hurry on Brand, we'll miss the news if we doddle.” my father said in an excited tone.
My father was a tall man, hired hand to the city as a street keeper. More respectable than some commoners, but still didn't bring in enough silver to keep a house with a cobble-stone front street like the ones ones he kept presentable.. Although his earnings weren't great he was smart with his coin; his money was meant for his family, not the tavern. He was able to afford a plot of land near the end of Gael district near the outer walls of the city. Gael district was not the poorest in Gam'gren Fall, it was the second. The smell was more bearable than that of Garron district but still not anywhere near that of a summer rain over grassy knolls. Our streets were made of mud at best and worst with a drought which brought more dust than any man could stand.
The Grand-Square was a medium length walk from where we we're so our pace had to be quick, you would have to be a fool to miss a Queens' call, especially in times of war.
When we arrived at The Grand-Square we were part of the last few groups pouring in from all of the other districts. The Grand-Square was a massive open area, a fissure in the layout to Gam'gren Fall. Architects and workers were tasked by the King Tiberian, late husband of Queen Ta'el, (Queen of all lands under the shadow of Gam'gren Fall, may she live forever, and her reign be glorious) to complete a masterfully built common area for all those who served beneath the king to gather, trade wares, stories, and of course as a stage for the kings entertainment and a podium for his announcements. The north of the square had a platform that was raised by 3 rods and was off limits to all other than entertainers and those of royal descent. The ground of the square was laid bricks of marble and obsidian, the walls laced with lattice and Creeping Gourd, a fine vine with flowers as yellow and bright as the sun itself. The royal correspondent began his the dictate the Queens' call.
“Queen Ta'el, (Queen of all lands under the shadow of Gam'gren Fall, may she live forever, and her reign be glorious), has received news from the front, and with this news, along with counsel from the high advisers of Gam'gren Fall has come to a decision regarding the next steps forward in the war.”
The crowd began to murmur to itself, whispers and assumptions were flying around like leaves in the wind.
“All men over the age of fifteen years and in good health are now called forth to uphold their responsibility to the crown. As we've moved forward in our efforts against the Kalei of the east, our main forces have diminished in great numbers and we need to replenish our losses or face defeat.”
Silence struck The Grand-Square for the first time since its construction was completed.
“Conscription officers will be assigned to every district, all those who attempt to subvert their duty to the crown shall be thought as traitors to the kingdom and shall face punishment of death by hanging. Information will be provided by the conscription officers posted in your districts. God be with us in our efforts against the Kalei”
I remember when I was a small child, son to a common man, all but 10 years of age. I remember the fifteen of thirteen of the year four hundred and five. I remember the day my father went to war.