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Author Topic: Era 2, The Nomad Summer  (Read 3497 times)
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« on: September 30, 2008, 15:23:35 PM »

The wayward and extremely whimsical spring... was suddenly gone. It was as it never had been here.
In one day the damp northwestern winds was chasing the torn clouds along the whole bright blue sky, on the next day - they were all gone - both the clouds and the winds.
In one day the wet and muddy earth was stumbling wagons, horses, nomad and imperian feet, chilling them to the bones, on the next day - the hot sun started to scorch it.
The air was so stiffly and damp all living things, residing in the land of Imperia, were barely breathing.  It was almost as it would be in some General Robust's jungles.
In two days all the moisture had vaporized... and the hellish heat gripped the free lands. The merciless sun was as if it wanted to push the mortal enemies to the ground with its nearly deadly rays.
Perhaps the nature had finally tired of this endless war too and it was trying to show this to barbarians and emperors by any means necessary.
But they did not stop. On the contrary - they engaged each other more fiercely than ever, knowing no mercy, no rules, no honor, no rest.
The nomads met the summer with joy. This was their time.
And imperians... saw the summer brought by... Oton.
His master had wisely smelled the imperian disunity and despite the reinforcements from the Steppe had not come yet, he boldly sent his blade do strike the civilian imperian population.
The barbarians had successfully pushed the royal military presence back from the eastern provinces and it was a time for the front to be carried out westwards, in the very heart of Imperia.
"Where we truly belong!"
Xaoc considered the beginning of the summer to be the most suitable time for this decision. So Oton led the attack.
As if he was dissatisfied from the weather, which was not hot enough... The Butcher had decided to cook the lands of Imperia even more.
Again the free cities and villages were burning and the suffocating smoke was mixing with the screams of children, women and old people, rising to the sky without being heard of somebody, up there.
The Butcher did not care about anybody up there hearing at all. The nomad camp was in need of slaves in order to meet the incoming reinforcements adequately, which were already traveling, carried by thousands of ships from the mother land. And, as much as he was concerned, the imperians needed... to fear. They needed a loud slap on the face. They needed their trade routes dried out... like the Steppe rivers sometimes dry out during the endless scorched and hot summer months.
"They needed to be killed until no one is left!"
Well... at least he was good at that.

Thirteenth wave results:

Successful pillages: 543
Defenders' victories: 159

Nomads killed: 3972795
Imperian soldiers killed: 2725884

Civilians killed or taken into slavery: 3485167

A giant black ship showed up on the calmed sea horizon. It was clearly resembling a grotesque monster, even from ten miles distance. But they were not built in the Steppe to win beauty contests.
They were build to carry much in their monstrous holds. To carry people. Lots of people.
Another ship showed up, little to the right, exactly the same as the first one in size and shape. A third and fourth followed shortly...
In half an hour the whole horizon had been covered. Thousands of ships. Countless. And new kept coming.
Xaoc lowered his looking glass and smiled.
"At last!"

In the far corner of the camp the nomads were chanting loudly the Butcher's name, who had led them to yet another victory. Oton was riding between the swords and shields waving columns of soldiers, looking arrogant and cold straight ahead. That was Oton who he would like them to see. Always victorious. Always coming back with long slaves convoys. Always with tons of war spoils. The longer all of them was seeing him a winner... the stronger his positions were to become.

In Robust's tent Flinstoun was screaming with pain, while the Black Marshall was treating his back wounds with his ointments for Mother knows only which time. "I am not a magician! Despite you all think of me as such!", the Tree Father had explained the situation with irritation. During one of the rare pauses, when the fog of agony retreated, the Wild one had definitely started to wonder himself weather he had made the right decision to let himself in the hands of this savage to torture him.

And on the central street Jane, the Amazon, was inspecting the lined heavy infantry for one last time. They looked mean. Healthy. Unbreakable.
"But not immortal!"
The Nomadess knew... many of them would not return. Half of them at least. If not - more. But it was about time for the main imperian Strongholds to be engaged.
"Without siege machinery, though!"
Jane folded her lips with anger. Where is now Flinstoun, when he was so much needed? Healing his wounds, which he got for his treason. Jane thought deeply who would benefit from Flinstoun's discredit.
The first and obvious answer was Oton. But it could be anybody else. Including her. She left that thought in the back of her mind and promised herself to think it through when she comes back. Also, she was very curious why did Oton keep holding two Empresses as captives.
"I'll be damned if he is not up to something!"

The war for the lands of Imperia was entering its decisive phase.
For the second time.

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