It's about how one man is thrust into the middle of a battle for a world he never knew existed.
Zabosh, eastern Deurnholt (approx 250 miles east of Deurnholt City)
The sun was always slow to rise in the Eastern Frontiers, and this day was no different. The port city of Zabosh was an important hub of trade in Deurnholt, facing out to the Bozha Maura (God's Sea in the ancient language of Deurnholt) ships from many worlds came to obtain supplies for long voyages, do trade with the locals or settle down for a new, more stable way of life. the harbour was a gargantuan mouth, the wooden piers stretching like giant's limbs out to to the sea.
The city centre was, as usual, bursting with life, voices proclaiming sale of all kinds of goods; spices, herbs, wines and ales, fruit, jewels. People pounding the cobbled roads, strong-arming their way through the hoards of people to get to the taverns, which were filled with sailors of all kinds of race and nationality.
On the edges of the city, the Watchmen stood guard, their minds half drifting to thoughts of good ale and fine company. In the distance a rumble could be heard, like thunder, but of a deeper sound, like an ancient demon rising from it's slumber. Soon after came the boom of cannon fire as the towers facing the pier were engulfed in dark flame. Laughter and cheers turned to screams as cannon fire bombarded down on the city square like meteors in a forthcoming apocalypse. On the piers, black ships sprung into view as if from thin air, came to a halt and mercenaries, bearing swords, rifles, staffs and crossbows came swarming off the ship, like rabid dogs unleashed upon the world, they ran, wrath unfurled towards the city, destroying buildings, butchering anyone who got in their way.
The town Guardsmen had tried to assemble a counter attack with Mage Warriors and normal men-at-arms, however, by sheer numbers and professionalism, they were soon overran and ravaged by the legions of warriors who had come to raze it to the ground.
As soon as the battle had begun, it was all over, the stripped bare carcasses of the buildings aglow in flame, black smoke heading skywards as the city burned to the ground....
Deurnholt City, Deurnholt...
The wind howled viciously in the black cloak of the midnight, the city outside was lashed with ever-increasing bands of rain, like an unrelenting army commencing a siege. The King was in his War Room, meeting with his top army officers and his trusted advisor, Eadric.
"So what is the damage done?" Asked the King, in relation to attacks that happened on cities on the Eastern Frontier. The King was worried, because although fighting in the East of the region was common, the attacks were becoming more professionally organised and frequent "What has become of Zabosh and Kitaal?"
"Zabosh is a ruin and we have lost all communications with Kitaal" General Khaled Natuun replied, stopping to clear his throat, Natuun was perhaps the wisest and most experienced of his Generals, the scars of his face telling tales of various Eastern expeditions and skirmishes "In all honesty, Your Majesty, the attacks were most swift and unexpected, I believe that whoever is training them is experienced, well-connected and resourceful"
The King sensed an air of accusation in his tone, not at him, but someone close "Do you believe that there are defectors and traitors amongst our Forces?"
"I'm not sure, but the way Zabosh fell so swiftly, it couldn't have been some Frontier tribal militia, nor could the Gate of Zabosh opened up so extensively without immediate counter-attacks in place. Whoever was behind the attack, had strong powers and tactical awareness" The rest of the top brass began to feel uneasy, some throwing accusative glances in others direction, some began to turn their heads downwards, others began to whisper in hushed, worried tones to each other. The chatter began to accelerate in volume until Eadric slammed his hand on the table to signal silence.
"Your Majesty!" Spoke Eadric for the first time "I believe we should send scout teams to both cities, and request a report on their findings, if we can obtain some sort of pattern, motives, and so forth, we may be able to find out who they are and what they want" The King and the generals nodded in agreement.
"General Natuun!" The King fixed his gaze upon the general "I will put you in charge of this expedition. Assemble God's Sight and Doomwatch squadrons, I want them to scout the areas, and I want the cities of Pesheken and Drogmitsar to reinforce their defences, I suspect they'll be at high risk of attack" The General nodded in understanding and exited the room to make preparations. "The rest of you, I want you to help prepare the rest of the cities for war, I want you to begin conscription in the cities" He then turned to Eadric "I want you to summon the Eastern tribes to the castle for an emergency meeting at once!" They all nodded in understanding and replied with Your Majesty before leaving to make their preparations...
Birmingham, United Kingdom, Earth...
The city was warm, unusually so for a mid-April evening in England. John Carter was working the night shift (again) at the Jackson & Davidson Exports Ltd corporate sales department, frantically panicking trying to finish a sales pitch to some unheard-of Chinese manufacturing company whose name he long since forgotten. His eye's began to feel heavy after a long graft, and, even though he was a relatively fit person, who liked to play rugby and occasionally do boxing, he found work increasingly eat away at whatever time he once had to himself. He rubbed his eyes and ran his hand through his short black hair, kept short from his days as a Marine.
"Bloody sales pitch!" He mumbled to himself, confident that there was no-one around to hear his monologue, he carried on "I used to have a life, now it's just writing some s**t for some t***er I couldn't give a t**s about" His less than savoury monologue beginning to pick up pace until he decided to stop for coffee "I think I'm going mental!" He stated, like a doctor diagnosing himself. He had a couple of minutes off before restarting his work, which he decided to stop after half an hour's extra work. He then began to turn off his computer and pack up his possessions. He then made his way sluggishly to the car and began the 15 minute drive back home. He drove past the nightclubs and bars and felt a longing sense of envy for those who could go out on Fridays, he ignored the feeling and carried on.
He arrived back to his modest home and proceeded to switch the T.V. on and pull out a can of lager from his fridge, drinking away (yet again) the rest of his years, silently wishing to himself how his life would change; wishing to be back in the centre of action (like in his Marine days), but, little did he know how much his life would change.....