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Author Topic: Era 2, The Unbeatable  (Read 3793 times)
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« on: October 01, 2008, 16:07:14 PM »

Emperor Spanu was one of those rulers often called by older families a "parvenus". Some of them even folded their lips with aristocracy, as if they wanted to have nothing in common with Sovereigns with no origins from the Five Creator-Families.
But they did that only behind his back. No one dared to challenge his authority face to face.
Spanu rarely used force to prove his point. He did not have to. He was just... looking. In silence. And those who can bare that look... started to feel getting small.
The Ardealian Sovereign was the heir of a family of warriors. His grate-grand father had fought for this land during the last Disunity.
"Disunity? It was a bloody civil war, free for all, colored with total carnage, compared to which the nomads invasion is a childish play!"
Nevertheless his family received an official decree, signifying his family as a full status Imperia.
He had often asked his father how, in the world had he managed to gain such an impossible honor. But his father had always kept silent about the matter.
"I suppose it was at the cost of many victims. Both ours and enemy's. And, it is certain that... enemy's were lot more!"
So, Spanu had been raised, disciplined and hardened by the strong military tradition of his family. And no matter how arrogantly the older emperors looked at him, they could not deny the obvious fact - the Ardealid had never lost a battle. Few like him had left. Symbols of the imperian military might.
But... the imperian military might was not enough against the Ever Victorious Horde. Wits were needed also.
"And a lot of luck!"
He hoped exactly for his luck to work today.
The barbarian war cry resounded the valley again. Spanu had prayed all the winter never to hear that savage sound, which was capable to chill any man to the bones.
"What an honor! The Amazon herself leads the army with which she intends to grind my Stronghold!"
The Nomadess had finally finished with her pompous speech and her heavy, bristled with anger and ready to kill everyone army slowly advanced, marching under the dreadful war drums.
The Steppe infantry raised their shield and formed perfect rhomboids to protect themselves from the arrow barrage, which instantly started to hammer them.
"They learned!"
In fact, this was expected.
Emperor Spanu's imperian heavy infantry was put to hold, but the first signs of nervousness.
'Not yet', his captain shouted, as if he had read his thoughts. Spanu smiled in side his soul. There were no people by chance here.
They could understand each other without words.
"And... how many more fine officers will I have to sacrifice?"
He shook his head to clear his mind and looked at the battlefield again.
The barbarians were advancing slowly, along the whole front, already in rhomboids. They would scatter soon, to form lines again to cover the closely following heavy archers.
A classical battle tactic. Too classical. No imagination at all.
"I expected more of you, Amazon!"
Tho nomad rhomboids came into archers' range. And stopped. It was as if they hesitated to go on.
The horn sounded a retreat and the Steppe infantry slowly went backwards.
"She sensed it!', he thought not without a bit of respect. But it was already too late for retreat.
'Burn them!'
The previous day soaked with earth oil ground was lit by a bright flame, engulfing the nomad soldiers. The barbarians blazed like a dry hay and their screams filled the valley. Burning swordsmen were running in all directions, their lines broke and turned into a chirping sea. The burning flesh was smelling awful. The Ever Victorious Horde... was screaming with the voices of its thousands of warriors,
"I like that... battle cry much better!', Spanu thought and ordered the barrages not to stop until the last scream was silenced.

Fourteenth wave results:

Imperian Fortresses destroyed: 504
Defenders' victories: 198

Nomads killed: 3686352
Imperian soldiers killed: 1513024

Flinstoun exited Robust's tent, smelling like a decaying wild boar.
He found Oton squatting few yards away. The Butcher looked like a nomad exactly when he made that posture.
Despite the hellish pain the Wild one came closer to his long time rival and squatted too. The skin on his back stretched and wounds opened on several places, of course, piercing his back like hot iron spikes. Small drops of sweat broke out on the Great One's forehead, but he preserved his frowning expression.
'The Savage's potions do not seem to work', one-handed spoke, while sharpening a small stick with his dagger. He had learned how to do it with one hand several days ago, though he was still cutting himself from time to time.
'I will survive', Flinstoun replied and looked at the Butcher. The same madness was littering his eyes, but it was somewhat more controlled lately. And he had gained some weight. "The Empresses had spoiled him!"
'You did not come here to check on my health, Oton', Flinstoun decided to go straight, 'What do you want from me?'
'Firstly, to tell you that I am not involved in your punishment', Oton raised his hand to stop the Wild's incoming ironic laugh, 'And secondly, I will prove it to you soon.
Flinstoun kept silent. He could not believe him and the Butcher knew it.
'Is that all?'
The bloody nomad leader stood up.
'A storm is coming... my old friend. And it's up to you... weather you will stand against it... or you will be flushed away.
The Wild one frowned even more.
'What do you mean? Oton, speak straight, you were always a plain grunt, leave the riddles... for those smarter than you!'
But the one-handed only smiled and headed for his tent. He turned for one last time and only said:
'Soon... you will have to choose side.'
And he walked away, fast pacing the scorched road, leaving Flinstoun to frown.
"I think I have been out of the game far too long!", the Wild one thought with irritation.

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