People think barbarians are animals, they live in the wilds off the wastelands in the wilderness, far from the capital along side nature. They are brutal, savage fighters… but they are not animals. Like the Clansmen to the East they have an unspoken code of honour, respect for their women folk, protection for their children and live in harmony with the earth. The city folk considered the skin clad warriors as animals, for their unkempt appearance, lack of uniforms or bodily modifications. Yet the city folk were also used to being subjected by those in uniform, considered inferior and upon the point of starvation cast outside the city walls forced to dwell in slums when they couldn’t afford the Kings outrageous taxes.
The slums were gone now, raised to the ground following the assassination of the King. In the place was erected a barbarian encampment… Thousands of warriors had poured from the wilds, following their leader Grave to the capital.
These men were not animals and some men made animals look civilized … Fendor was such a man, driven to drink through stress and an unbearable guilt he carried for the death of the King. A King he had served all his life until seduced and manipulated by a Southern beauty, Novana. Novana carried his child yet still he raised his fist at her, this added to his guilt which lead to more alcohol, steadily increasing the spiral of self destruction he was trapped in.
Outraged, Grave laid Fendor out with a jaw splitting left hook, sending the drunkard tumbling backwards, unconscious before he’d hit the dusty floorboards. Grave would have killed the man there and then had the two sisters not intervened, Novana and Kaxa stood in his path…
“He is mine to slaughter!” Novana spoke, pure venom dripping with her words, promising bitter vengeance for her mistreatment. “… but not yet, not like this, its too easy…” Reluctantly Grave agreed and the former General Fendor was himself arrested and incarcerated to sober up before trial.
That indicated the end of his short tragic rule, a rule that lasted mere months, from assassin to ruler, father, lover to drunken failure. His decline had been rapid, yet it had been Novana which had kept the kingdom strong in light of his failure. She had orchestrated the rebuilding of the city, It was Novana which had transformed the palace into a hospital, into a school and a shelter. Converting the lavish quarters into useful resources. Remodeling the vast kitchens to feed the hungry, in her command the city had started to slowly flourish.
Yet she handed control over to Grave, desiring to focus on her health needing to recover from her bruises and care for her precious unborn.
That day a deceleration was issued forth, Grave firmly taking command of the Capital City and Kingdom, extending his empire from the wastelands. The former palace guards and city soldiers faced an ultimatum, to join Fendor in the stinking cellars, or simply join the barbarian troops… Even those who had served with Fendor all their lives could not hold any loyalty to a man who had turned aggression upon a pregnant woman… Grave’s forces increased…
Novana also insisted that Alleia should be freed, aware that both babies would share a future fate together, entwined by the magical stones which had created their existence.
No body expected the high tower to be empty and Alleia gone…
Anne Harrison 27.03.17