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Author Topic: Era 2, The Destruction  (Read 3710 times)
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« on: October 09, 2008, 14:17:01 PM »

"They do not fight with us. We are being exterminated. Slowly and effectively."
Despite her officers' protests Empress Hiske had finally decided to go out of her Stronghold. She had not done it for several weeks already. Her staff did not want to hear a word about it, and long time was she furious and helpless. In some moments she was wondering if she was still e ruler of her land or her power had already been overtaken by the military. Indeed, during war, her officers were receiving exclusive authority. And, by Gods, they used them too well.
In any case, the time had come... to remind her generals who is in charge. And after two days of heated debates her commanders appointed an extensively huge and heavily armed escort (in fact, it looked more like an army) and let her inspect the Empire.
 "They better not done it!', the Northern Hallan Empire Sovereign thought as she approached the next... unpopulated city.
She had already passed through several places like this. And all that remained was... smoking ruins. And not a single soul. No one left.
But that was not the thing that made her heart tremble in terror.
All the civilians, which had not been imprisoned, were gathered in one or several places, locked in side buildings and burned. Probably - alive.
"What kind of a monster could be the man who commits that kind of atrocity, and being so methodical in the process?"
The Empress could barely stand on her horse. She closed her eyes and imagined the scene of burning and screaming old men, women and children, all stuffed like animals in the larger buildings, temples, inns, all tied up, coughing, bloody and terrified.
She was certain she could hear them in her mind... praying for mercy, falling, exhausted and nearly suffocated by the thick smoke and in the end... starting to scream when the flames engulf them. She imagined some of them succeeding to escape... only to face the awaiting nomad soldiers, encircling the building.
Hiske opened her eyes again and force herself to look at the burned down city hall and... her subjects' scorched remains.
She remembered that when she was young she used to come to this city quite often to buy some quality dress or something else. She did not need an army to escort her back then. People knew her and instantly gather around her to reassure her in their loyalty and love. Everybody wanted to touch her and the trader did not want any money for the things she wanted to buy. On some occasions she had to call for guards to force the traders to take her money. She fell in love for a first time in her life here. In some ordinary village boy. And though the law prohibited such waywardness... that same boy never left her.
Until barbarians killed him.
One particular barbarian that was.
The abomination which knew no mercy.
The imperian army had arrived long after the bloody nomad leader had done what he came for. The imperians engaged the nomad scum and drove them away. But it was all too late.
The Empress dismounted her horse and approached what was left... from the building and those who the Butcher had locked inside and burned alive.
Though several days had passed since the carnage, the stench was still unbearable. Some of the bodies were not completely burned.
Hiske did not close her eyes, but she cried. She could not allow herself to tremble, because the Empress must never be seen weak.
The tears were quietly rolling down her face.
She took a handful of dirt, close to the ruins, stood up and threw it with a white gesture upon the bodies.
"Do you want to take it all away, Butcher?"
'The sun will set soon, Your Majesty', the Captain had come close in silence and gave her a snow white towel. Hiske pushed his hand aways, wiped out the tears with her sleeve and put the stone mask on her face again.
'I want them all buried."
'But, My Lady, we are talking hundreds of bodies, we will lose much time, and my orders are clear, we have to head back by sunset...'
'Who is your Master', the enraged Sovereign asked.
The Captain knelled this instant.
'Forgive me!'
'These are my subjects, your fellow countrymen, captain... look what are they now.'
The Captain did not lift up his head. Hiske stretched her right arm and grabbed his chin to lift it.
Captain's eyes were filled with terror. His gaze was jumping from his Queen's face to the ruins and back with lightening speed.
'IS THIS THE WAY YOU WANT TO DIE AS WELL', the Empress was out of control. She let his chin go and turned to the soldiers, 'We are not going anywhere until those people, which are your countrymen, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers, have a descent burial, so they can rest in peace!'
She faced her Captain again:
'Did I make myself clear?'
The officer was way too terrified to respond. He only nodded.
'Comply', Hiske ordered quietly.

Twentieth wave results:

Imperian Fortresses destroyed: 1224
Defenders' victories: 387

Nomads killed: 23643491
Imperian soldiers killed: 8914579
Twenty first wave results:

Successful pillages: 1327
Defenders' victories: 245

Nomads killed: 30240361
Imperian soldiers killed: 10213505

Civilians killed or taken into slavery: 18682350

The processing of slaves, if it could be considered that way, was very simple, but very effective.
It could not be something else, because the nomads had been practicing it for three thousand years.
The winner in a battle, who had succeeded in capturing civilians, first go to the Chieftain and lets him choose the best of the "stock". After that the General chooses slaves for himself and then grants the right for his officers to choose too. After the whole process is done, the General can sell the rest of the slaves to other Generals or common nomads. The slaves are payed for in kind, though golden, silver and copper coins can be accepted as well. The nomads equal one cow for ten golden imperian crones. Slaves' price is dependent on their physical strength and health mainly. Then origin, skills and education are taken into account. Most of the old or sick slaves never make it on the way back to the camp, therefore they are sifted out naturally. If, by chance, some of them reach the camp, they are checked by the officers. Usually all of the old captives are executed momentarily and thrown in mass graves which are dug out constantly.
A healthy woman, coming from a good family, could be sold for ten cows. Men go not more than five. Female fertile slaves for house work are in constant demand. Young women and girls are sold out immediately.
After the better slaves are distributed, the rest are taken in their dwelling, if the narrow and smelly cages in which fifty-sixty people are stuffed, could be called that way. They are fed once a day, but some times the nomads could "miss" the wages. Twice a day, when they are not working, the slaves are taken to the specially designed platforms where the barbarians lash them. All other slaves are forced to observe the punishment. The effect is more than educational.
At least two thirds of the slaves do not survive during their first seven days in the camp.
And as for the rest... they pray each day to follow the dead ones into oblivion. The sooner, the better.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2008, 23:10:02 PM by Oton » Logged

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