Falco's Reign - Part 56By the time Falco and Miranda landed once more near the ancient fort, things had already drastically changed. The prisoners of war, fit enough to work, were digging graves or chopping down trees for pyres and the repair work on the fort. A large number of tents had been erected as well, where the wounded of both sides would be treated. A group of hundreds of prisoners in rough clothes, with scruffy beards had been separated from the others and assembled close to where Bloodwing landed.Falco's Reign - Part 56 by Walt-Marsters
“Lord Falco,” Volsung said. “These are militia men from the Sorenson Domain. Like their lord, they committed treason and therefore deserve to die. Shall I arrange for their execution?”
The terrified men started to beg for mercy, claiming they were innocent and had had no choice in the matter. Falco looked rather annoyed and irritable.
“Be quiet!” he shouted. “I can’t hear myself think with all that whimpering. Volsung, there has been enough killing for one
Falco's Reign - Part 55At exactly the same time a victorious Falco landed amidst an exhilarated, cheering army, lord Sigismund Ronval was standing on the outer wall of the harbor of Ronjar, looking down on the enemy camp at the other side of the river. So far, there had been no major assaults or attempts to cross the river. The only hostilities had been the occasional artillery duel, or sorcerers throwing boulders, lightning and fire at each other. But as there weren’t that many sorcerers on either side (most were either with Maud’s or Falco’s main army) they didn’t do much damage. The catapults and ballistae however … Sigismund had responded with spear throwers and catapults of his own, constructed on towers and walls.Falco's Reign - Part 55 by Walt-Marsters
Still, all of this had just been unimportant skirmishing. Sooner or later, the enemy would try to cross the river and assault his city and the real fight would begin. But even that wasn’t truly important. The war would not be decided here, but on some batt
Falco's Reign-Part 54 aka Battle of Orcfang Peak 3Ronan watched, grinding his teeth, as he saw so many brave warriors being shot down and so many more run in a blind panic. He was a tall, heavy man with the posture and face of a simple brute and a grinding voice to match that look. But looks can be deceiving. He had brains as well.Falco's Reign-Part 54 aka Battle of Orcfang Peak 3 by Walt-Marsters
“Form ranks, damn you!” he roared above the shouts of blind panic and the shrieks and pleas of the dying and the wounded. “Captains! Abandon column formation and form battle ranks! Keep your distance from those woods. Stay clear from the god damn gap. Stop those survivors from running off! This is just a setback! That’s all! We have plenty of warriors to crush that whelp and his horde of adventurers and freaks! By Loki’s balls! Form ranks or I’ll gut you myself!”
It was crude but effective. The companies that had still been outside the gap quickly formed a strong, stable battle line. The survivors of the other companies were stopped in their tracks. Some that had be
Falco's Reign-Part 53 aka Battle of Orcfang Peak 2The plateau was bustling with activity. Civilian aides and attendants of the quarter master were setting up tents, parking the carts with supplies, Maud’s personal possessions and last but not least, the war treasury in a square, protected by their own special guard detail. This time however, Maud was not overseeing all that activity. She and her son, surrounded by bodyguards were standing at the edge of the plateau. Both Ursa and Ruadi were part of her retinue. Ruadi, much against her wishes, had not been allowed to join the cavalry charge. General Roykirk had decided that she was too tired, after having ridden an entire night to bring them the news.Falco's Reign-Part 53 aka Battle of Orcfang Peak 2 by Walt-Marsters
Below on the plain, some 22.000 warriors were marching in long columns towards Orcfang Peak. Maud was looking through a spyglass, a precious and rare item she had obtained from the engineers guild. Kian was jumping up and down in excitement at her side and tried to get his mother to give him the spyglass. Maud ignored him. She was w
Falco's Reign-Part 52 aka Battle of Orcfang Peak 1On top of a hill, around which Erin’s army camp had been built, an old logging camp had been thoroughly reorganized and refurbished to serve as Maud’s headquarters and living quarters. Every morning at dawn and every evening, just before dusk, she and her nobles and officers met in the largest of the cabins to discuss the current situation and the events of the day.Falco's Reign-Part 52 aka Battle of Orcfang Peak 1 by Walt-Marsters
Kian was always supposed to attend those meetings, although he sometimes tried to get out of it. Usually, he had to try to hide the fact he was sleepy and bored. Who would ever have thought that waging a war could be this boring? He didn’t know how she did it, as she was at the same time talking to her officers and staring at maps, but his mother almost always noticed it when his eyes started to wander to the crests and weapons and tapestries that had been attached to the walls as decoration. When that happened, Maud always followed the same pattern. First, there was a stern, even angry glare, than a short
The Fallen Star: Chapter 20TWENTY
When the trees finally gave way to the moorland that led up towards the mountains, Lakor was thankful. There was no chance any creature demon or otherwise would be able to sneak up on them without him knowing about it. For a few days at least, the road was clear and they could see for miles in every direction, over the slightly hazy landscape.
Kantou assured them that they were still heading in the right direction, even when it seemed they were lost. She tried to explain that the path had become overgrown with lichen and moss, but it was still there.
The ground was boggy; their feet sunk into the saturated sward and made a disgusting squelch with each step. But every hill climbed meant that the land was becoming drier. Bare rock replaced the moorland of the days past and eventually, they moved out of the mist and climbed back into the sun.
They re-joined the path through the rocks and boulders and followed the trail for another few days until they came to a
The Fallen Star: Chapter 13THIRTEEN
Clouds gathered throughout the evening and by the time night fell it was raining. A grey blanket washed through the sky, covering everything in a curtain of fine mist. Streams ran down the Hills of Ranico and swept through the gentle valleys leading away from Wrioth and into the north.
Fog descended on the land again, and the rain continued deep into the night. Constant waterdrops beat down on the trees. The heavy pit-patter on the leaves kept Rantil and the others awake. But, underneath the sheltered roots of a brambala tree, they managed to light a fire, so at least they were warm.
Putoko used his dagger to carve into the soft centre of several fresh kana pods, whilst Kantou prepared a blend of herbs and roots that she'd collected throughout the day. Ranico Hills lied on the boundaries of Zi'ran Forest, where the trees were ancient and the plants that layered the floor were rare. She boiled her ingredients together in a small cooking pot, hovering over the fire. Rain
The Fallen Star: Chapter 4FOUR
"That should just about do it," Rantil proclaimed, climbing down off the stool by the fireplace. He placed his hammer down on the table beside him, wiped his hands clean down his leg and stepped back to admire his handywork.
"Thank you so much Rantil," Neetha smiled as she appeared through the doorway to her pantry.
Only the other day, she'd mentioned that there was a small crack in the gable by the hearth. Asol, the village craftsman, had left for Wrise a few days earlier to sell his arnathca carvings in the market. They were small statues, depicting mythical woodland creatures that helped protect homes from illness, and were popular to buy as gifts. He wouldn't be back for at least another week. But with the onset of the Triali season, the nights were getting even colder. Rantil offered to help her mend the hole in her wall himself.
"They fit you well," she mentioned, gesturing to his robes.
Rantil turned to her, and then looked down at what he was wearing. They were fade
The Fallen Star: Chapter 2TWO
Several Days Later
Late evening took its hold over the land and the sky began to darken. Truaine plunged into obscurity for yet another night.
As the lingering light finally seeped away, a ravage of burook flew against the setting sun, reached out towards the silent clouds and soared away into the distance. Once again, darkness spread through the eerie hollows and lumbering hills of Liaport. And with the quickly approaching shadows, the fearsome predators of the night could skulk back out into the open.
But tonight, there was more to stalk than just edapar, buckwri and vunaki.
Three men, lost and afraid, trudged through the wild shadows. Darkness was not only gathering all round them, but gathering in their hearts. Long had their journey been since they left the city, and the endless nights they'd spent hauling themselves through the gloom preyed on their thoughts. Each hour in Liaport took them further from their past, towards an even more dangerous, unknown future. But, e