Author Topic: House of Order - Third Assault on Whisperreap  (Read 1049 times)

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House of Order - Third Assault on Whisperreap
« on: January 31, 2016, 06:23:18 PM »
Arm and sally out: Come wrath, come scorn
It is not our departure that the walls will mourn
Under the iron mien of battle we cowed
Their courage and mettle, and left it terror-bound
Sung the song of the Reaping Whisper
Demons did with tongues forked and sinister
Of righteous creatures with swords of gold
And deathly masks and eyes most cold
So fly the few remaining braves through crimsoning fields
Still their forsaken life to our cold steel it yields
Converged upon them did endless clouds of wrack
And die they did with harness on their back
- Whisperreap Battle-ballad


In a fit of fury, the clouds obstruct the afternoon sun- the shadows stretch and meld with the darkness, until a brilliant channel splits the sky; the silence, it shatters. My hands are cold, and the rain loosens the grip on my sword, my shield feels like it is slipping. We are outnumbered, two to one. Is this truly happening? Another flash briefly blinds me. Two to one. My hand, it trembles.

In the rank and file of the battle formation, three ranks in front, I see my commander, Lord Final Harvest of Dust. His visage is righteous and otherworldly. He defends Whisperreap for a second time. The first time, he was outnumbered only three to one.

A crack of laughter silences the rumbling thunder, and the whole rank breaks into giggles. They aren't getting reinforcements? It is two to one?

"Hooah!" The battle commander shouts and the laughing ends and is replaced by chants that echo. "Kill! Kill! Kill!" Even the fury of the sky was stunned by the sound- even the storms fled in terror, and the clouds parted. The torrent of rain became a drizzle, too afraid to even touch my skin. It avoided me, like I bore plague and disease. But it was a different malady I truly carried and spread.

Death.

When they climbed upon the walls and lay eyes on us, they did not see cowed and intimidated peasants. They laid eyes upon the Glory of the Forsaken, and the Final Harvest of Dust, and the death merchants that stood behind them, all grinning from ear to ear, their maws as if lined by a thousand fangs. The volley of arrows on their approach was purposefully kept low, so that they may advance upon our walls, and be embraced by our warm welcome. And once my sword found purchase, hot blood warmed my hands indeed.

I threw before me my aegis of war, and advanced, as the enemy lay on it with blows, and then their lifeless bodies. So piled they became, and slippery with blood, that finding my footing became a dangerous game upon the tall walls, but one I enjoyed to play. Before I knew it, I stood next to the masked tormentor herself, the Glory of the Forsaken, and watched in amazement how she separated mortals from their life and limbs; She cut them down like a scythe harvests the fields, and the mortals scattered, like wheat carried off in a storm. Even Death herself would not dare present herself to harvest the fallen, for surely, even she would fall.

The few to survive and command their courage valiantly rush to the defense of the enemy commanders. But they too fall as the Final Harvest of Dust scatters them; the field blooms with red. What is a mortal army to the stuff of legends? Creatures ripped out from the tales of the cataclysmic wars stand against them. But for the 1 in 100 mortal that survives an encounter with them, it is more and less than legend. There is no magic, or world ending strike that cleaves hundreds of soldiers and warps the body in unspeakable ways. They are men. And they are not. They are as if possessed by thousands of years of martial power. Potentates of warfare, each and every one of them. They bleed. They die. But not easily. No. Not easily at all.

The final words our lord commander spoke was: "I accept thy Geas of Surrender. Welcome to Whisperreap."

Eliel Maserin
Sergeant of the Third Whisperreap Medium Legion
« Last Edit: January 31, 2016, 07:01:52 PM by Weaver »

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Re: House of Order - Third Assault on Whisperreap
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2016, 06:24:57 PM »
AFTERMATH

"What happened here?" "The enemy attacked us at Whisperreap, Lord Lieutenant." "And?" "They were defeated, Lord Lieutenant." "I can see that..."

The field before him was covered in bodies. Broken, twisted, bodies. Like flaming fragments from a burning world, their bodies still suffused the ground with blood, not even touched by carrion.

"I can feel Xia. It was here." The masked figure reaches out with his hand, grasping at the empty air. "All around me. Under my fingers. Present. Yet not." "It is the Blade That Is Not, after all, Lord Lieutenant." His mask turned towards the captain of Whisperreap's garrison. ".. But we did not see Xia, My Lord Lieutenant. This was the doing of the House of Order."

His violet-red eyes became tiny slits in the mask as he regarded the captain. Was his memory somehow altered by evil witchcraft, or does he speak the truth?

"Then what happened, Captain of the Garrison?"

"They came in the morning. They laid their camps before Whisperreap, and shortly after, Idima Tarquinian joined them, bringing more soldiers. During evening, we were celebrating our coming engagement. And--" "Celebrating?" "Yes, My Lord Lieutenant. We were thankful for the opportunity to crush their spirit and chase away the color from their face." "Hmph." He grunted, though the sound was betraying his approval. "Then what?" "Then they came. It was Glory of the Forsaken's idea to keep the archer volley to below the pinnacle of maximum performance, so that she and Lord Final Harvest of Dust can dismember them personally in the melee, and rout them." "Is this what happened?" "Yes, Lord Lieutenant. It happened right there." The captain pointed his gauntlet-plated finger to the top of the wall, and beneath it, where bodies lay, torsos and limbs separated from the rest. A truly powerful force mowed down the mortals trying to climb the walls. "I see." "The rest of the army followed the Champions, and we cut them down in such magnitude, that we had trouble advancing further, because the bodies were obstructing us. But the enemy broke at the sight and fled."

A heavy sigh escapes the masked figure. He was not pleased. "There was no sign of Xia, Lord Lieutenant. The Imperator... he is gone. So is Xia. It all disappeared when he fell into the Void upon his death."

The masked figure grasped the air once more, as if trying to find what his senses were telling him- but he could not see into the Tapestry. If it was truly there, he could not know. No one alive could.

"And no unusual happenings or incidents?"

"The morning dew was frozen. But that is it."

"Very well. I shall return to Westhold then."

"Er... come to think of it. There was one strange event. When we sent Celamel, the quartermaster, to bring more ale, he reported seeing a black flame from a lantern. But it turned out to be ash piled on the glass panels. However, he was drunk, and could not specify if the flame itself was black, or the light."

The Lieutenant grunted once more, "Put it out of your mind. The burden of death plagues this place and the Tapestry is weakened. That could explain this ominous sensation in the air. Report if you find any evidence of Heaven's Arsenal."

"Yes, My Lord Lieutenant. May dawn forever be upon you."

Manet Rasar, Captain of the Whisperreap Garrison, to unknown member of the House of Order

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Re: House of Order - Third Assault on Whisperreap
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2016, 06:59:17 PM »
Please do let me know if my writing style is too over-the-top, as recounted from the narrator, not the perspective of the characters-- that one I try to keep as worshipful as I can. But if as a narrator I do not seem impartial, do let me know, and I'll fix it.

Other than that, disclaimer, I am not a poet. Feel free to laugh at my pathetic attempt. I am re-reading and blushing as I write.