In a world of conflict, two people must do all they can to survive and make it out on top.
In an age where the land is tense and hostile, a single spark would ignite the roaring fires of war. Unfortunately, that spark has come. The Twelve Kingdoms of Tolbyccia has long celebrated the rule of their High Emperor Cadmus. He alone was able to keep all his kingdoms; Diadem, Anuenue, Mira, Alfard, Wazn, Duhr, Meltokio, Halure, Aspio, Zaphias, Dahmgrest, and Yuikologo from revolting. However, in one swift night, the High Emperor was slain.
The Kingdoms quickly fell into strife without his guidance, and almost immediately he was replaced with his son; High Emperor Valorum. Valorum is young and inexperienced, and the kings and queens of Tolbyccia already talk of independence, revolution, anything to put themselves ahead. Valorum was crafty though, and he found evidence that placed the empire of Perisias to the east as the slayer on his father.
To prevent rebellion, he ordered all the armies to mobilise, and declared war on Perisias. He used the grievances of his people to delay any talk of rebellion and focus on war. So from his throne in Zaphias, the High Emperor sends his many armies east to fight an Empire more advanced than his. But that’s a tale for later.
As for the rest of the world, they kept out of it, for now. The two main contenders outside of the war is the small country of Sadaal Suud, who monopolize on the war, selling their abundance of food to both sides. The other is the Turos, who hold the Barbarians of the North. According to intelligence, they are aware of the war, but will not take part in it. But that was inconsequential.
For inside the halls of the great palace in the Perisian capital; Egendarrow, Emperor Victor Leonum was plotting. Plotting a scheme most gargantuan in size, epic in scale, and ruthless in nature. The Emperor would look at a map of the world and dream. Dare to dream the most impossible of dreams, and he began to take steps to secure this dream of world domination.
He saw the world and wished it to be his. He saw the leaders of other countries and wished for them to bow to him. He saw the life of his people and the benefits of being an imperial citizen and wished for all people to live that life. But how to achieve such a lofty goal was always the question was it not? How could he use his one empire to defeat a world of kingdoms and empires?
The answer was clear; divide and destroy. Use diplomacy to his advantage. So he gave the order in absolutely secrecy to an expansionist aligned part of his army, number a few hundred strong. Even the company’s General had no idea of the dark deed that was to be done. When the Tolbyccian High Emperor Cadmus visited a border kingdom on a tour; Aspio, they snuck into the country disguised as travellers and merchants, stormed the city of Aspio, and slayed Cadmus in the middle of the night.
Many died on their attack, but enough returned home safely expecting to be praised for completing their mission. The opposite happened. When they were accused of murdering Cadmus, Victor and his Generals excused themselves, saying a rogue part of the army acted on their own. With the Generals none the wiser, it was the more convincing for his staff.
They put to death all of the ‘rebel’ soldiers to appease Tolbyccia and for a while people assumed it had worked. But Victor knew what was coming, and sent his own wife, the Empress, to a border town to start a royal tour. Knowing that the Tolbyccians would see an opportunity. His predictions came true, and the town was sacked by a vanguard of troops, and the Empress slain.
Now everything was in motion. To the citizens of Perisias, the traitors were put to death but their beloved Empress was still slain, along with hundreds of their countrymen. Internationally, Perisias had every right to declare war on Tolbyccia and seem as though they were in the right. To the Generals, this was a war to defend their homeland. The Emperor Victor, this was the beginning step to the road of total domination.
This all happened mere weeks ago. Our story begins in Fort Hardy, which protected the large town of Yorn in the southwest of Perisias. The early response troops fortified this fort, and were quickly reinforced by the 7th Imperial Army numbering one thousand strong. Not but a day later, the combined vanguards of Aspio from the west, Duhr to the south, and Yuikologo from the northwest appeared on the horizon. Half a day later they combined to form a full army of its own and marched on the fort numbering several thousand.
The Captain of the fort sent word to Yorn asking for militia reinforcements, which arrived the next day, giving the fort a few more hundred men to defend with. They had prepared during the night, and dug two sets of trenches. The trench closest to the fort was filled with stakes and spikes. The second trench served as a cover area for troops to hide in before given the order to charge, with secret tunnels going back inside the fort that the enemy would not find should they take the trench.
So when the militia arrived at the fort, the sky was grey, the air cold, and smoke raised from the other side of the walls. Marching with this militia was a young man with tousled hair and big blue eyes. He was wearing a very nice white uniform, as were all members of the militia. He was scared, but proud that he could serve his country. His friends were part of the militia too, but they were put in file several rows ahead of him.
The gates to the fort opened up, and they marched on through. The troops of the regular army, all wearing hard leather armour with steel protecting their chest, forearms, and legs, were staring at them from either the ground of the walls above. When the young man finally marched through the gates, he became aware of the deafening cries of men coming from where the smoke was rising.
They formed up within the fort courtyard and a very important looking man marched up and down looking at them all. “Yorn militia! I am Captain Terry, I'm in charge here. Now, I don’t know if you pottery makers and yarn weavers can hear this, but if you peel your green eyes hard enough you can hear a battle happening just on the other side of this wall. That means I don’t have time!! The Tolbyccians have invaded our empire, killed our people! You will do your duty to your Emperor and empire!”
The young man’s throat swelled up at listening to the captain, he was terrifying! He looked up and saw rows of archers on the wall firing volley after volley of arrows. Down the wall were several trebuchets with people in robes beside them, mages! A ball of hay was placed on the launcher, one of the mages snapped his fingers, and the whole thing was set ablaze. Somebody shouted to launch it, and the inferno ball was launched over the side and disappeared behind the wall. Several seconds later a large explosion sounded.
“Now I want thirty of you to run supplies! Get water, arrows, anything that can help from the storehouse over there, and get it to our troops on the walls!” Captain Terry ordered, and a sergeant randomly pointed out thirty people who got to work straight away.
“I also want another twenty to run medical runs! Get the wounded out of the walls and into that tent over there!” The Captain continued, and the same deal happened again.
“Now I want this side of the militia to man the walls, pick up a bow, get your ass on the trebuchets, I don’t care! Just get out of my face and into the enemy’s” the Captain pointed to a part of the militia that sergeants then cut up and sent them up the wall. The young man saw his friends going up with them.
“The rest of you, get into the tunnels, and prepare to charge as reinforcements!” The Captain yelled before marching away.
The rest of the militia was guided to a section of the wall that had several holes in the ground; they marched in three by three and followed the tunnels. They didn’t seem very stable, but the young man figured that the mages had something to do with these tunnels. After several minutes they saw daylight again, and when they exited from the tunnels there were troops that pointed them left and right.
The young man went right and marched until the man in front of him stopped, and then turned to face the wall of the trench. The roars of men were so loud now that they nearly split his eyes. Inferno shots whizzed overhead accompanied by a loud bang, as well as hundreds of arrows going in all different directions. The arrows fired at the fort usually bounced off of the stone though.
For nearly ten minutes the militia stood there, waiting in fear. The young man was afraid, but eager. He would go out there and show those invaders what it meant to be an Imperial citizen! A whistle blew, and everyone marched up ready on the ladders on the walls. That was when another sergeant marched behind them, and started giving them a speech that other sergeants were giving further down the trench.
“If anybody comes back, if anyone runs from the battle and comes back to this trench. Then the soldiers here will take these bow and arrows, and shoot you dead!” He roared so loud that everyone gulped.
Another whistle blew, and the militia charged over the trenches with the accompanying sound of trumpets. The young man climbed up and peered forward. The image shocked him. There were dead Perisians and Tolbyccians everywhere, face down in mud and puddles. A few yards away where hundreds of men fighting, everyone, as far as the eye could see! He gulped, and let out a cry of bravery and charge with his fellow militiamen.
Somebody yelled arrows, and instantly three men running beside him fell down with twang sounds. Some of the men they were charging at became aware of the people running at them, and ran straight back at them, they weren’t from Perisias, they were the enemy! They clashed, and people dropped everywhere as they were run through with sword and spear.
He gripped his short spear and little arm shield tightly, and ran straight past several of the men. Not stopping. Just charging. He eventually saw some of the regular army people fighting and slaying everything around them. He thought if he could fight alongside them, he’d be protected. With a new found confidence, he ran over to the army regulars until an enemy got in his way. But only his back. He didn’t see the young man running at him; he was focused on something else. This was his chance to get one of the enemies! He raised his spear and prepared to run and stab the enemy with it.
Something sharp and very painful hit the young man in his side, and the next second he was punched to the ground. He saw a Tolbyccian smile at his victim before running off to attack somebody else. The young man couldn’t move, he found difficulty breathing, and he glanced down at his side and saw blood. A lot of it. Next thing he saw was an army regular, bending over him.
“What’s your name boy?” He asked.
But the young man didn’t answer. He was dead with a look of fear etched on his face. This was not what you expected, was it? But this isn’t the tale we need to tell. This was one story in a world full of people. This young man died at the Battle of Fort Hardy. Which in turn became a crushing defeat for Perisias. Many died, all of them had their own stories, but it’s impossible to tell them all. But there is one story we will tell.
A story of comradely and friendship. Of two people who will go through all odds to look out for each other. In a world where Emperors and kings plot and scheme, where armies march and kill, we will focus on the special stories of this two people…