Warlords Of Stone & Blood
Ah so this isn't a challenge so don't get your hopes up. I have tried making my stories interactive but it just stresses me out so I won't do that.
I am going to type a story for one of my sets Warlords Of Blood and stone. If you are interested you can read along. I'm not going to put this on the saga section like my interactive story for my former set.
I am going to type a story for one of my sets Warlords Of Blood and stone. If you are interested you can read along. I'm not going to put this on the saga section like my interactive story for my former set.
Prologue Part I - The Tundras Of Flöghorn
Art by Franklin Chan
The winds howl fiercely as the icy cold voraciously devours all but few within its icy maws. Frozen blades and clad steel march against the fierce snow, as soldiers bear arms against the overwhelming blizzard their fingers vapid among the voidlesness of Flöghorn. It has been 15 months since the General Gander III under the command of the throne sent this fruitless march to clear the southeastern trade roots, roots that have been monopolised by the cannibalistic tribes of frost giants under the watch of Vforn The Frost Bone. A march of 5000 men strong, reduced to 350 scared and weak. Soldiers forced to resort to cannibalism in order to survive, and the sick left behind under the frozen care of these unruly lands. "One march!!!" a man the squad leader shouts with less than vigor, as they move with lethargy among the crusted ice with necrosing gangrenous fingers under their stiff armor before being ambushed by a group of frost giants under the command of the very scourge the seek to negotiate with.
limb by limb a rose red is painted across the cold as as armor and bone are broken all the same. To the frost giants, all is the same. The weak helpless soldiers can only wait in fear as their ranks break upon the sight of their devoured squad leader. Swords are raised meaninglessly as the brutal warlord Vforn crushes skull after skull. When all is done a diluted pink is encrusted along the snow, as the remnants of the soldiers become mummified within seconds. The giants begin to march back to base when all of a sudden they feel a weird pulse of energy and fall unconscious. Vforn being the purest of the giants only gets knocked unconscious, but when he comes to, nothing but withered husks remain of his hunting party.
End of prologue part 1
Prologue Part II - Brood and Horn
Art by Brotherwise Games
*clang* *clang* *clang* steel rings across the borders of Jotmir and Iron Keep as blades clash upon blades in the blood soaked land of Gameer. For 3 years now Gameer has been the site of conflict between two merciless war tyrants. Zabu, The Iron Minotaur, who rose to power through mutiny, betraying the former thane of the fort Alzar, The Mad. Most call him a monster. A man born with the strength of ten men, his claim to fame rose when he single handedly took an army of 50 men outnumbered, dawning his fabled iron horn helmet. A ruthless killer, he has pillaged, plundered, killed, and mascaraed to expand his keep's territory. But his greed and thirst for battle knows no bound. He now seeks to claim the lands of Gameer using his steel guards, and push further into Jontar's lands and claim Jotmir for himself.
On the other side there is Jontar, a fierce warrior at heart with no fear for blood. Jontar single handedly fathered the fierce wildernesses of the red sand desert to single handedly forge the kingdom of Jotmir. Alzar bore no heed to Jontar because he underestimated Jontar's influence, but with time Jontar's company grew and he forged a kingdom. Seeing the land progress, Alzar desired to have them for himself, and invaded but was felled by Jontar before being betrayed by his own in a last plea for help. Jontar has fell threat after threat in order to establish his power, some from within some from the outside. He keeps the skull of every worthy adversary or foe he makes as a part of his throne and a reminder of his dominance. He now stands yet again between Zabu's path.
Scream after scream, clang after clang, grimace after grimace, go back and forth as the warriors stand to battle each other. Zabu cleaves three soldiers of Jontar with ease as he makes his way to Jontar, who easily dispatches two at once. Zabu begins to charge at Jontar picking up momentum as Jontar's warriors try to get into his way with little success. Soldiers fly into the air as Zabu's army begins chanting their war cry. Just as Zabu gets close and Jontar almost cleaves his neck, they all freeze. A silence unheard of in 3 years spreads in the battlefield before both sides' armies collapse, leaving Jontar and Zabu standing but weakened.
End Of Prologue Part 2
Prologue Part III - Grathusk The Great
Art by scribble path studios
Deep in the untamed salt marshes of Kalthur seven miles east of the elven forest of Eskara war drums ring fervorently. Ogres, orcs and beasts carry heavy logs and masonry as they construct their brutal war like buildings in the city of Clan Ulgar. Within the city sits the Blood G'orr arena, a brutal arena where the disgraced of Kalthur fight for their right to survive. Ogres, orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, and viashino chant wildly among the side as two warriors contend. The five chiefs sit on the center thrones as Grathursk the greatest of them sits on the largest throne. The current contender and champion of the arena chose by Grathusk to ensure none of the disgraced leave the arena unbeheaded fells champion after champion as the red soils of Blood G'orr are painted even redder and redder. The champion lets out a chant that pumps fervor into the hearts of the observors by the side. The champion in his arrogance then turns to the chiefs. "Grathusk!!!" the crowd goes silent for a while, "you sat in that throne as chief for ages while Trughar does your dirty work, well no more. I Thrughar, challenge you for the title of Chief." The cloud goes silent in part anticipation and part fear. Clan Khar'th's Chief stands to speak "Trughar, you disgrace my clans name, you are not born from a noble clan, nor are you son of a chief, and yet you dare commit treason against the grand chieftain?" The Ogre in the arena ignores the chieftains remark. Grathusk gets up and picks up his hammer chuckling "I accept your challenge Trughar, but should you fail, your family shall answer to me as well."
Roaring booms in the arena as the bystanders cheer. The crowd at the side grows larger and larger as message travels by word of the chieftain fighting. War drums ring by the side as Grathusk walks in the arena and orders the guards to get Trughar more proper armor. Trughar with a massive shield and war blade rushes towards Grathusk and swings heavy cleaves that are deflected by Grathusk's hammer. Grathusk swings his hammer at Trughar as he blocks with his shield unsuccessfully. The shield buckles like a leaf under the weight of Grathusk's hammer as he is sent flying across the arena bearly landing in his feet. Before Trughar can catch his breath a hammer descends upon him as he blocks with his war sword causing it to bend, the strike is followed by another, and another. Before Grathusk turns and lifts his hammer letting out a war cry causing the crowds to go louder than ever before. Grathusk turns descending his hammer for one final strike. Thrugar drops his sword as he barely dodges out of the way, the strike crushing the ground beneath it. Grathusk then lifts the hammer and follows with another surely fatal swing but then a wave of dread washes across the arena. Most bystanders faint, some resist it, but Grathusk and the chiefs remain mildly unaffected. Whatever the energy was, it seemed to have dissipated quite a bit, but for now it will have to wait. Grathusk descends the hammer painting the arenas of Blood G'orr even redder.
End Of Prologue Part 3
Chapter One - An Old Foe
Art by Verhasselt
White walls of chalk like marble line the outskirts of the kingdom of Gladius, towering over the cities they protect, unchallenged by any but those who seek death. In it's capital of Vikn, within the courts of Niran's castle of Victory keep sits three figures of high esteem. The first figure who sits to the left of the table sits Yora, the half elf queen who successfully united most humans and elves under the alliance of the late queen of Truilia and quelled hate amongst them; In the middle sits Niran. Niran once a great gladiator and an undefeated champion, became king when he took reigns against the immortal knight Crag once he had felled the king of Gladius, formerly known as Arid Vale. Niran served as inspiration and motivation for the few that remained in the wake of the destruction, and for that was awarded the title of the champion king. In his over 25 years of reign none have dared challenge the Kingdom Of Gladius; To the left sits a renowned commander, under the instructions of the throne of Kalvor Gander the III. They each sit in the table as they discuss the events that transpired in the past few weeks.
The march General Gander sent has not returned word of their successes leaving the General fearing of their demise under the cannibalistic tribes of frost giants that reside north of them, in their attempt to clear up the trade routes. To add to the mounting concerns, a burst of necrotic energy seems to have affected kingdoms across the lands which has lead to casualties within the surrounding area. The last time such magics where used was in 50 years ago when Craig used it before the war of Arid Vale began, to propagate his ascension into a lich knight and gain power. Gander remarks about the unlikeliness of this spell being casted by Clan Ulgar or the Kingdom Of Flöghorn because despite their reluctance to co-operate, informants of King Of Kalvor state that they where most likely affected. Yora quickly confirms that it couldn't be the barbarian's leader Jontar, nor could it be Zabu because they are too consumed in their long standing war. Eventually the trio reaches a consensus that the cause of this spell is most likely the hostile elves of Northwestern Eskara, or the further North West Kingdom of Guldrazz lead by the Spell Tyrant Sha Du Mar. With that, Yora decides to offer passage to Gander's party through Southern Eskara forest so they can avoid the conflict near iron keep and investigate the matters. Before the groups part, Yora remarks that she can not guarantee safe passage through the northern parts of Eskara, and that Gander should send his party with care.
End Of Chapter One
Chapter Two - A Conflict Birthed Part I
Art by Sanghyun Kam
Gander and his cavalry travel west bound towards their Kingdom Of Kalvor to report their findings. Upon arriving they are greeted at the border of the kingdom walls by a minor skirmish between troops from the Clan Thrugar of Kalthur. Their chief stands with them in combat with shamanic prowess as he dominates thee few soldiers that dare take him on. Meanwhile Orcs and Ogres alike tear through the minor defenses of the armored soldiers taking three or more of them before they fall. General Gander taps his horse lightly with his boot as he commands his elite cavalry to reinforce. They charge into combat beheading the enemy troops with their superior mobility. Gander slashes and cleaves mercilessly as he moves from soldier to solder with his clean silver sword.
The tides are turning for the forces of Kalvor when a stray blast of negative energy similar from the one before bursts forward, knocking Gander of his stead. Gander rolls for a while before tumbling in his feet to block the next blast from the shamanic chief. The soldiers who rush him are repelled by the shockwave from his staff as he slams it in the ground. "Cursed Kalthurs, it was thee that cast that foul magic all along I should have known it" Gander remarks. "Do not be afraid human, Grathusk and the other chieftains have nothing to do with this. I have been promised greater ambitions by the death god. No longer will I have to live in the shadow of Grathusk, that foul excuse for a cheiftain. His family stole my fathers throne by rite of conquest and maintained it through fear. A betrayal by his own brother. I shall become something far greater. Once the rest of the Kingdoms fall, the Clan Ulgar will be the one to blame. In the chaos, I will seize power and rule it all." As Thogar the chieftain finishes his sentence, he sends another blast towards Gander who blocks it narrowly. Gander rushes in swinging as the shaman evades, as the shaman returns blasts his direction. The remaining guards rush to get reinforcements, but when they see Gander has the upper hand they decide to hold off. Gander cleaves, slashing the shaman's chest before kicking him behind as he falls to the ground leaving his staff behind. Gander rushes in to finish Thogar, as Thogar lets out a grin and starts lifting up his hand *stab*. Red blood drips on the ground, spreading across the parched grass of the keep. Sputters of blood are let out simultaneously as a sword covered with blood drops down.
End Of Chapter two.
Chapter Three - The Wild March Part I
Art by Andreas Rocha
two months later
Armored troops march from the kingdom of Kalvor march through Southern Eskara with Queen Yora's blessing. It's been a while yet disturbances continue to mount from the mysterious source. Gander leads the charge. As they march through the forest in tandem with the some Truilian troops and queen Yora's second lieutenant Traben, elven, human and even some half elf troops observe from the tree tops and sides with their weapons neutral as the troops pass by and head North.The journey is long and treacherous but for the most part it is uneventful save for a few bandits here and there. It is the fifth day of the march and the soldiers have set camp until they are ambushed by a mysterious force. Soldiers awaken to the sound of loud roaring.
Art from Wattpad
Gander and the company bear arms as they prepare to defend against the massive behemoth. Soldiers shoot arrows at the massive beast as it charges but it tears through the several armored soldiers with it's beastly maw. Several soldiers from the Truillian battalion under the command of Traben fire arrows with ghastly precision towards the one of the beasts eye blinding it as it turns in rage to strike at it's assailants. Soldier scramble to dodge as several of them promptly get crushed. Gander rushes in but he lacks the usual tact and combat prowess he usually has as he clumsily strikes the beast with shocking success. Three more beasts of a slightly smaller build rush by tearing through the ranks even more, but they are quickly dispatched by groups of Kalvorian and Truilian soldiers.
The troops survey their losses as Gander drops his sword and picks up a bow and promptly aims it into seemingly nothing in the trees and hits an elf from a far knocking it of it's beastly steed. He marches towards it with his sword as the elf remarks "These lands are off limit Kalvorian. These lands belong to the beasts and nature around here." Gander to his soldiers' horror picks up the sword, and uses the blade's flat to crush it's larynx. The soldiers from the Truilian battalion are left uneased, but more so than that, soldiers from the Kalvor battalion worry about Gander's new found blood lust. While the soldiers from both sides spend their time assessing their losses, burying the dead and making camp, Traben examines the body of the crushed elf known as The Wild One. He eyes the arrow wound suspiciously as he pulls out the arrow from the necrotic wound. The march continues on through the forests of Eskara.
End Of Chapter Three Part I
Chapter Four - Wild March Part II
Art by Taiga
The soldiers tread the upper North forests, their ranks having suffered by one fifth from the Wild One as well as elven ambushes by Zariel's rogue elves, since they began their two thousand army march. They treak through the forests anticipating ambushes. The weary soldiers know that they can not rest and they must push through. It has been two weeks since the campaign began and the soldiers are running low on provisions. As wild luck has it Zariel's warriors do not seem confrontational....yet. As they are marching through the forests under the watch of Zariel's troops above the trees, Gander subtly raises a finger causing one of his soldiers to suddenly raise their bow against their will and fire an arrow into one of the hiding elves causing them to die. Traben turns to reprimand the soldier, but before he can a hail of enchanted arrows rains down causing some soldiers to be wounded while most hide behind their iron shields. Gander yells out a command "Men, they are the aggressors, attack." Traben side eyes Gander but also gives the order for his troops to mobilize as well.
Elemental arrows rain from all directions as the ally soldiers sprout branches, freeze and explode. The Truilian troops have no problem handling the archers or ground troops due to the flexibility of their troops. The Kalvor's though suffer heavy losses due to the their lack of dominance off the ground. Gander is forced to constantly duck behind his shield as arrows continuously rain down on his direction. He runs and slashes clumsily but heavily taking a few soldiers down. Before a red hot arrow hits his shield causing an explosion that launches him aside. Zariel walks out firing a rapid volley of unnaturally fast arrows. The arrows find the Truillian troops with ease knocking them down as Zariel's forces offer support. Gander goes and picks up another shield but almost instantly has to raise it when Zariel takes aim towards him, as a streaking green arrow hits the shield breaking it and launching him back. Traben manages to take down multiple soldiers but an arrow soon finds his shoulder. Zariel snaps the arrow and rushes to help Gander as he draws his lightsword forcing Zariel to block.
Gander and Traben attack together rushing at Zariel who still seems to have the upper hand. Traben remarks at how rusty Gander's fighting has gotten but Gander rushes forward ignoring the remark and switching to a more aggressive strategy. Gander pommels Zariel with his hilt knocking him down. Gander continuously hacks, slashes and pommels for minutes before gaining composure. When he turns Traben shakes his head disappointedly at him as the remaining men Zariel commanded surrender their arms as their supplies are looted from them. When all is done, a third of the army has fallen.
End Of Chapter Four Part II
Chapter Five - A Short Rest
Art by Ruxing Gao
It has been a grizzly march through the forests. The soldiers leave the forests of Eskara weary and shaken. Northern arctic frosts symbolize a new challenge ahead of them. The soldiers set camp and establish banter between both respective armies. Gander fails to leave his tent further prompting the various rumors spreading about the camps. The soldiers share rations as they express doubt in the more recent Gander, comparing his recent exploits to the ones that made him the once renowned knight of Kalvor. As he listens from the corner, Traben can't help but agree in silence with the soldiers in regards to Gander soldiers about his odd mannerisms and ogre like combat strategies. The soldiers continue their chats eventually transitioning to more worldly matters before heading to rest.
Deep in the night
Odd hues of crimson red emanate from Gander's tent while the soldiers are deep in rest. Two of the weary watch guards out of the five decide to go investigate the source of the illumination, but upon arriving they are assured by Gander that it is nothing to be concerned about.
The next morning
"stand in place!" Gander asserts a military like command to the Kalvorians as they form file behind the commander in preparation for the march. Traben utters an word meaning a similar phrase to the Truilian's in a dialect consisting of a mixture of common tongue and elvish. The Truilian's have come to incorporate elven and human culture in their daily lives since the merging of their armies under Yora's crown. All the armies form file as they march forward through the icy peaks of the unclaimed barens of Icemir.
End Of Chapter Five
Chapter Six - Graveyard To A Sword
Art from pinterest
"It appears the winds have calmed" Gander says to Traben as he lowers his shield as they march into the land known only as the unclaimed territory. Swords line the flat surroundings which offer little cover but the soldiers' armors for either of the assaulting or defending sides should an assault occur. Rusted and new; silver and bronze; longsword and short, all manner of swords line the ground. Some logged in the open maws of giant like bones, some in the torsos of more humanoid skulls. All manner of bones litter the surroundings, and the tale tale bronze of rusted blood surrounds most if not all of the swords. The soldiers march for hours within the untamed scapes when suddenly one steps on a recently mutilated body's skull. The soldier rolls back in fear as the realize that the skull belongs to non-other than a little youngling, possibly conscripted at the age of 13 full moons. The soldier screams in agony as Gander approaches and offers a pitiful look of disgust towards the soldier. "Get up and fall in rank soldier, least you draw attention to us." The soldier looks at Gander hesitantly, could this be the man he once looked up to? "NOW!" Gander yells prompting the soldier to form rank.
Twenty minutes of awkward silence go by as the Kalvors and Truilians march across the silent lands, then suddenly, a stray sword meets a soldier's throat causing them to gargle in agony, the soldiers look up as Gander instructs them to raise their shields. The Truilians do the same but their lighter shields built for mobility are easily penetrated by the heft of most of the swords causing massive casualties on their side. The armies push through the assault before encountering a feminine figure hovering meters above them. The figure issues a warning, "further transgressions will not be tolerated upon my land Gander. You and yours should have known from the treaty that passage through my territory is forbidden." Gander slowly lowers his shield as he assesses the casualties "We have urgent business with Sha'du'mar, the journey would have cost us another two more weeks to complete had we avoided your lands." Traben turns in anger and faces Gander "You lead my army in harms way without an armstice? I would have never known the great knight to be so reckless." Gander ignores Traben and continues addressing the figure. "We will be out of your way soon so allow us passage." The figure muses for a second before ultimately responding "The only way through here is with blood." Shaer rains swords on the armies as they are forced to maintain rank in order to flee as Gander issues a tactical retreat. Clearly there is no way they can deal with Shaer without suffering massive casualties so they flee with their shields over head as they struggle to lose Shaer and head towards the spell tyrant's keep.
End Of Chapter Six
Chapter Seven - The Tyrant's Breath Part I
Art by Michael Wang
The army steadily enter the North West Kingdom of Guldrazz and dark clouds loom over it's frost covered terrain. purple streaks of arcane lightning burst from the sky, striking the jagged distortions that are the peaks of Gul sending debris flying amongst the sharp winds. As expected the environment and the inhabitants of it are hostile. As the army marches through they face no shortness of troubles. The drazz army launches proxy warfare using its dragon knights as they rain fireballs down on the withering army. As they march further and further the amount of soldiers they have to deal with increases, Gander and Traben begin to question whether their enemy had been anticipating their arrival. As the army approaches the castle they come to the realization that they have reached a dead end. A massive chasm stands between their way. It seems that the only way across to the castle will be through the jagged aether mountains. Two more hours pass by as the collected company decides to take a detour through Gallows Peak, everything is going well until a drazzian dragon spits flame on the back of the mountain passage cutting the armies in half as they fall to their demise. After hours of marching the company approaches Guldrazz Castle and in their way stands a massive Drazz army. The armies charge into each other as spells, arrows and swords clash amongst each other. Traben and Gander cleave through the army the massive army despite their superior numbers as they make their way through the Drazz army. As more Guldrazz reinforcements approach, Traben looks at Gander and nods to him, signaling to him that Traben will lead the fighting outside. Gander cleaves his way into the castle and makes his way in.
As Gander bursts through the doors he his assailed by fireballs from a swarm of spell swords as he lifts his shield up in defense and blocks them. They rush at him with maces and swords, but he parries and blocks becoming slightly overwhelmed as time goes on. Gander manages to demolish the small force as he joltz through the marble halls. From the side three mages zoom from the sky launching fireballs towards Gander as he weaves and dodges. A stray fireball approaches Gander way faster than he can block, forcing him to turn and slash it. The fireball explodes launching Gander through a wall. Gander injured gets up in placing a hand on his wounds causing it to heal. Gander rushes through the new hall as the wizards zoom by. Gander turns a corner sliding behind a pillar as the mages approach. Gander unsheathes his sword and places it in the way of the mages who are moving way to fast to stop, causing them to become decapitated. Gander cleans his blade with their robes as he approaches the the main hall of Sha'du'mar.
End Of Chapter Seven Part I
Chapter Eight - Tyrant's Breath Part IIArt by Ming Chang
"State your business human." Sha'du'mar directs his ire at Gander "You have walked into my domain and caused chaos within it." Gander lifts up his sword nobly and responds with an uncharacteristic smile facing away from the door just as Traben bursts through the door behind and draws his bow "You have caused much harm to the people of these realms, especially the people of Kalvor and Truilia, and for that I seek to bring you to justice." The dragon mage turns and hisses "Enough of your heresy, I have done no such thing shaman." Gander lowers his sword for a moment and loses his smirk for a second as Traben directs a question to him "What does he mean by Sham..." Before Traben can finish his question. Gander picks up his sword and charges Sha'du'mar but the sword is stopped by an invisible force causing Gander to be launched to the wall of the chamber. Traben fires a volley of arrows at a Sha'du'mar which all fall short of their target before exclaiming under his breath "force shields," Traben pulls a disenchanted arrow and fires it at Sha'du'mar finding his target on Sha'du'mar's left arm. Traben begins preparing a second arrow when a burst of lightning zooms by causing him to duck and his quiver to unattach from him. He struggles to dodge as the arrows from his quiver are levitated towards him by Sha'du'mar like darts on a dart board. Traben is about to be cornered when from the side Gander attempts to tackle Sha'du'mar who grabs him by the throat and launches him through the window, and into another tower. Sha'du'mar picks Traben by the neck and begins heating up his hands causing Traben's skin to begin searing. In fear, Traben removes his short sword and attempts to stab Sha'du'mar but he grabs it with his scaled hand and begins melting it while still holding Traben. "I must commend you for lasting beyond a mere second, goodbye." Right as Sha'du'mar is about to finish Traben, a gutteral scream of rage eminates through the broken window as Gander leaps up the building with inhuman strenght and launches his sword towards Sha'du'mar's right shoulder pushing him into a wall causing Traben to fall. Gander rushes with speed towards sha'du'mar and pushes the sword deep causing Sha'du'mar's arm to sever. The dragon screams in agony as it lets out an intense blast of continuous force towards Gander causing him to scream in pain as he bleeds from his nose. Quickly Traben grabs his bow and lets out a voley of three arrows causing Sha'du'mar to begin fleeing towards the window. Gander gets up and rushes after the exausted dragon born as he leaps out of the window and lets out a whistle. Right before he plummets to the ground, a massive dragon unlike the other ones before swoops in and grabs Sha'du'mar zooming with him to the skies not to be seen again. Traben begins heading for the throne to grab Sha'du'mar's staff as proof of their victory, suddenly a blade goes through his heart. As Traben lies there bleeding, Gander walks past him grabbing the staff and breaking off the crystal, as Traben's conscious fades to the sound of maniacal laughter.
End Of Chapter Eight Part II
Chapter Nine - A Conflict Birthed Part II
Art by Mike Daarken Lim
A blast of necrotic energy launches a figure into the runed pillars of a circle in Guldrazz. It appears Sha Du Mar has ran short on his luck. His dragon mount lays dead besides him as he reels back in fear his cauterized arm injury reopening. Surrounding the area, lies the bodies of many soldiers Truilian and Kalvorian, felled not to him, but another instead. Sha Du Mar tries to conjure a spell weakly as the runes around him begin to activate, but only manages to cough up blood as he looks in fear then *crush*. A necrotic vortex bursts from the rune circle in the peak of Gul as the multiple channels surrounding it filter mana into it that promptly becomes corrupted by the vistor's presence. The energy scatters around the distorted surroundings, distablizing the lands and causing bolts of purple lightning to streak through. Dozens of Drazzian dragons and dragon knights fall from the sky due to the intense blast of necrotic energy as they wither into nothing more than flowering husks. The warriors and mages on the ground face no better fate, as the pulse spreads killing with rapid succession. Within hours the channels of Drazz have been depleated as the lands of Drazz become more unstable.
One week later
Deep in the main courts of Truilia, a general speaks "The Kalvorians have betrayed us. We have to act, to not act will be an insult to all the soldiers who you risked by placing them under his hand. You must stand with us or you are against us." Yora sits in the throne "I agree we must act, but we must act with caution. I must admit, I had not imagined Gander to be this kind of person. I had always imagined Gander to be more noble than this, but only a few passings ago, the channels of Gul opened unleashing another wave of necrotic blasts. This warrants action." Outside of Truilia calvaries mount with bows and swords as they form units outside ready to head out to war. Foot soldiers march coating their bows in poison as they ready themselves for war. Volley after volley of practice arrows are shot in the practice grounds from presumably rookie soldiers under the watch of veterans, as they hit robin hood after robin hood in the shooting ranges. Elsewhere in the training fields, short swords slash through tree and log as if it was butter as the conscripts work on their foot work and swordsmanship. Yora against the better judgement of her advising council decides to lead the march.
End Of Chapter Nine Part II
Chapter Ten - The Crowns Twice FallenWithin the royal courts of Kalvor, generals sit in a round table amongst the throne of Kalvor, King Eldvar, as Gander warns them of the imminent threat of the invading Truilians. Gander spends the next fourty minutes explaining the betrayal of Traben and Yora to their efforts during the march to Drazz and how ultimately he had to kill Traben. Upon some deliberation from the generals, they all agree to prepare a garrison to defend themselves.
Three days pass and the invading army goes unseen until a third dawn when a massive force lays foot upon the Kalvorian ground. The soldier within the Kalvor outpost rushes to awaken some of the sleeping guards as war horns go off and Kalvorian soldiers march out of camp. Battalions of soldiers consisting of soldiers, commanders and generals rush to armor up as some mount on horseback and prepare to defend the throne. Meanwhile one of the soldiers who sounded the horn is meat with a threaded arrow to their throat. Archers rush to mount up to the walls but as quickly as they mount they are taken out with the superior Truilian archers. The Truilian's use their tributchets to fire arrows at massive speed towards and above the doors of the city walls breaking it down. It is at that moment that the castle doors go down and the warriors charge at each other lead by Gander among other generals. Blow after blow is traded as the more aggressive Truilians dominate the Kalvorians on both land and ground. The tides of battle shift between both sides with each General after general falling on each side. Meanwhile within the castle keep, soldiers fall left and right as the Truilian Drumaaz poison soldier after soldier in their unhindered passage towards the royal court. They approach the chambers and slaughter the queen and king with ease, passing their royal guards like child's play. Meanwhile outside, the Truilian's despite suffering massive casualties continue to dominate the field. Gander notices this and scouts their source of galvanization, Yora. This is finally Gander's chance to rid her for good.
Gander charges on his armored stead trampling over Kalvorian troops who try to stop him to no avail. Yora notices him approaching and draws her bow firing three shots. The first shot is sliced by Gander's sword causing it to split in the air. The second shot finds the horses eye causing its path to become derailed right in time for the third shot to hit between the armor platings into the knee causing it to fall. Ganders is launched off his horse and sent sliding amongst the dust as he uses the momentum to tumble and slash the legs of Yora's horse causing her to leap off it. Yora fires a volley of arrows as Gander picks up a dead soldier's corpse and uses it to defend himself. Arrow after arrow sticks before he lifts up his sword to strike. Yora pulls her sword rapidly, slashing Gander and spinning before going for a second strike which Gander quickly parries. Yora kicks Gander behind but notices that Gander's weight even in armor is more than he usually weighs. Gander is launched back as he is forced to pick up another sword while avoiding the second volley of arrows that follow him. Truilian soldiers clash with him as he struggles to navigate the battlefield. He rushes in and swings a heavy block at Yora causing her to block. Gander grins as the weight of his sword pushes Yora back. Yora kicks Gander's knee causing it to cave sideways, forcing Gander to break contact. Almost unnaturally, Gander's bones snap back in place catching Yora off guard as she notices the prior cut from before is gone as well. Yora rushes towards Gander and picks up a shield launching it at him disorientating him. She then follows it up with a stream of overwhelming strikes from her short sword and volleys from her bow knocking Gander down.
Gander rushes in to finish Thogar, as Thogar lets out a grin and starts lifting up his hand *stab*. Red blood drips on the ground, spreading across the parched grass of the keep. Sputters of blood are let out in simultaneous coughs as a sword covered with blood drops down Gander falls down as Throgar's staff leaves a hole in his chest and dies.
Gander looks at Yora in her final breath and remarks "I am sorry we had to meet under such circumstances Yora, I hope that you don't hate me too much for using your friend to meet my goals, as you can imagine, its not easy for an Orgre to gain the trust of the Truilians, and gain rank in the Kalvorian army. I hope that you don't spite me too much about it." Yora falls to the ground bleeding as the war goes on and eventually comes to an end. By the end of the war, Kalvor is in ruins but still standing, and the vacuum of power, leaves it easy to invade.
End Of Chapter Ten
*Marked as resolved* (Thanks Corwinnn)
Chapter Eleven - The Fall Of Kalvor
Art by Shawn Pucket
Months after the war between Truilia and Kalvor, the fallen Kingdom continued to crumble from within. As if a rotten core within an apple, the kingdom slowly fell into turmoil. Thuggery and assassinations ran rampant as corrupt senators imposed harsh sanctions and rules. Nobles and ministers attempted to fill the hole left with the death of the noble family but eventually began filling their pockets instead. Money laundering, fund allocations, and larceny ran rampant as the rich families of Kalvor used technicalities to rob the once prosperous Kingdom of its former assets. Clan Ulgar seeing the weakness of the kingdom mobilized for an attack under the suggestion of Thogar, and the allegiance of Grathusk. They swept through the lands pillaging, plundering, and many other acts unspeakable with words alone. The once prosperous kingdom was destroyed, as refugees fled into neighbouring kingdoms that would take the in. After the successful siege, many would begin to regard Thogar with higher esteem for being cunning enough to notice the weakness of Kalvor. Thus the first seed of descent had been sown within Clan Ulgar.
Meanwhile in Truilia, soft voices spoke of the betrayal by humans of the former queen of Truilia. Soon the council of elves and half elves would gather and discuss in private, eventually resorting in policies that shed bigotry and hate towards the remaining pure human populations. Pure blooded elves would become the highest ranked citizens, as half elves were made second class. As for humans their fate was in the elven hands. A mass genocide commenced that wiped out simpathisers humans and humans themselves within the kingdom, leaving only a few in hiding. Proxy rebellions would spring up, but over time they grew inefficient with the death of key members under the capture of the elves. Zariel's elves would eventually join the new kingdom, spreading their ideology and forming the Kingdom of New Elvia. Thus the second seed of descent had been sown, splitting humans and elves, as the two key allies of the Kingdom Of Gladius vanished.
End Of Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve - Invasion Of Iron Keep
Image by Lewis Bee
It has been a while since the first and second necrotic blasts devastated the realms. The deserts have since gone silent due to the seclusion of both the Keep and Jotmir following the events, and now following the fall of Truilia, Drazz and Kalvor, more and more kingdoms are left uneased. But far in the deserts, a conflict is brewing. Orcs, ogres and other brutish creatures yell war chants as siege machines are hauled through the deserts by lightly armored but tough skinned units each capable of tearing a man in half with just muscle alone. Massive battering rams made of heavy logs, iron and thick briny ropes roll through the hot sands as intense winds blast their thick hide like skin. An army, 800 thick with beasts of burden approach the hills of the sand dunes before stopping, it appears that Thogar is with them. A lean jagged tooth ogre walks atop the highest dune before lifting a war horn half the size of their body and blowing it. Fervor courses through the veins of mindless beasts adrenaline pumping through their veins and warfury roiling adherently, as the armies charge at the keep which quickly garners defenses in response. The orcs unleash large rocks using their catapults towards the keep wall leaving dents upon its walls as brutish units use ropes to climb the keep. Thogar knows that now is the optimal time to invade the keep, they had planned for this, not even Grathusk knows of the invasion. Attaining the keep will not only grant Thogar a stronghold, it will also allow him to get the final piece of the artifact that should propel him to power. As catapults continue raining on the keep damaging the walls, strong ogre units send battering rams hurdling towards the keep gate, but the keep has began it's response. Arrows fly back at the charging units sending them into more of a mad frenzy some breaking out the arrows and pulling them out. Orcish warriors launch steel guards side to side splattering their acrid blood all over the desert sands. Up until now Iron Keep had gotten used to being the dominating force but today the ogres and orcs dominate without mercy. The tides shift towards the ogres and orcs, as the catapult volley is stopped in order to maintain the integrity of the keep. Zabu is beginning to get furious. Zabu gets up and dawns his helmet.
Meanwhile conflict rages on outside like a fury unheard of. Death sweeps upon the steel guards who run in fear from Thogar who enthrals, enfeebles and enshrinks soldier after soldier. All of a sudden, the winds of battle seem to change. A furious figure runs out twin axes in hand as they plow through the army. The ogres and orcs are cleaved left and right as Zabu runs with an untamed fury. Never in a hundred years would have Zabu imagined another would have the audacity to assail his keep and his might unprovoked. Catapults and trebuchets are directed towards Zabu under the order of Thogar's war general but Zabu evades and cleaves as he makes his ways through the armies. 658...532...426..327...210, the beast unleashes a legendary fury never even seen before by his adversary Jontar. Siege weapons and beasts crumble in the face of such wrath. The army, never expecting their fury to be matched begins to curl in fear as they retreat from the massacre...175...135....100..72....50, Zabu, The Iron Minotaur continues on his rampage when suddenly a massive blast catches them off guard causing them to slide on the now mushy corpse filled sands. Thogar marches forward and exclaims his displeasure of having his army wiped out. Zabu is about to begin another charge when Thogar shoots another blast of amplified necrotic energy using his staff, now amplified by the stone he stole from Sha'du'mar. Zabu falls to his knee as negative energy is shot at his helm dominating his mind with memories of fear and horror.
Carnius, how many times must I tell you to not venture into my confines Zabu clutches his helm as if in fear "I'm..I'm sorry...I didn't mean too...no...please don't send me back there" You left me to die there "You...YOU DESERVED IT." Necrotic energy continues to pulse towards Zabu as blood begins to pour through his helm. Memories of torture, pain, and sorrow flood through his thought as he recalls his mistreatments, how he was made less than human, how as a child his village was invaded by his former master, how his family was killed and he was a prisoner of war. All the horrors and pains cultivate before he takes his axe and cleaves his own throat. "What...what was that," the jagged tooth ogre asks. "What will happen to you should you betray me." The remaining march marches towards the fort instructed to loot and plunder the fort, but also instructed to leave Thogar to attend to a specific room in the fort. Thogar approaches the antechamber and looks around, he sees where the final channel lies and places the stone. Instantly an even larger necrotic blast than all the other ones bursts out as power flows into Thogar. Crops die, plagues spread, seals weaken, and the most of the creatures across the realms fall dead. "I can feel it, this is REAL POWER!!!" Thogar says as his form begins warping. Suddenly the power begins leaving his body, Thogar looks around in confusion as he sees a hand has gone through his torso. He only manages to whisper "why" as the power is syphoned from him into a dark elven like figure. "Good things must come to an end Thogar. I appreciate your help, but my promises were false. My duty lies in the servitude of Erebos." The figure further channels their energy into the seals breaking them unleashing three terrors once sealed away and instructing them to spread death across the realms.
End Of Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen - The Lost Caller
Art by Sergey Zabelin
Blades zoom left and right meeting no mark upon the ground. Each shot grows more and more desperate as it becomes clear that Shaer has met her match. Each sword that goes towards the undead knight is either deflected nonchalantly, or misses it's mark completely as the figure walks unbothered, the wind carrying it'd cloak like an emblem of it's might. "No, noo, NOOO!!! stay away, you can't...we sealed.." Shaer recoils in fear as she lifts up a dozens of swords and aims them at the knight. "It matters not, I will make sure you never rise again." Suddenly Shaer's swords turn against her as she struggles to maintain control. The swords become directed towards her as her own mind intrudes her, then *Stab*
Thick viscous sands crawl towards the lands of Kalthur, they drain life from nearby plants and obscure Kalthur in a deep sandy haze. The great sandstorm of the Red Sand desert happen every 200 years making this an odd occurrence in Kalthur especially considering Eskara usually takes the brunt of the storms, greatly reducing them unless they travel eastward, an even more rare occurrence. Ghost like winds carry unease within Kalthur, causing many of it's inhabitants to seek shelter in their crude war like homes. The chieftains are about to instruct their respective clans to seek shelter when a warning is brought by a keep guard. "Help, there is a..." The keep guard barely finishes word of their warning when a spirit screams by passing through his chest and lifting him to the sky, he screams in pain for a mere two seconds before dropping to the floor lifeless and cold as the spirit zooms by. More spirits alike fly amongst the desert winds finding prey in the inhabitants of Kalthur. Some fly through open windows, some fly open cracks in the buildings, and behind them, a figure in horseback marches with the desert storms. It is the Lost Caller, to most a legend, to others a myth. Might-Arm, Clan Gruth's Cheiftain, being the commander of the keep walls assembles a battalion to challenge the creature but to no avail. Limbs and souls are torn helplessly from their bodies as they flail in fear in a futile attempt to block. Might-Arm attempts to confront the figure but multiple spirits go through his chest their number's seemingly increased from what they once were. Might-Arm struggles in vain, but even the greatest beasts must fall as he meets his demise to several more, snuffing his soul out of his body.
Swords swoosh and swish amongst the erie silence within Kalthur. Where once screams of terror and horror filled the surroundings a screeching chorus prevails. Or'goth and his clan attempt to hold ground against the spirits as their blades prove ineffective against them merely going through them. One by one Or'goth's army is picked apart, spirits carrying soldiers' bodies like eagles to a prey. Or'goth makes an honorable stand and struggles valiantly but eventually, even conquerors must bow, as he meets his demise in the ghostly hands of three spirits which carry his body in three different directions tearing it.
The Klar clan puts up more of a fight as their use of crude magic grants them some advantage against the prevailing swarm of spirits. Shamans and war goblins take spirit after spirit down with Ugg and Maar leading the assaults. Ugg and Maar use their prowess to turn the corpses of their allies into exploding bombs which proves to be an effective strategy. Blast after blast follows as warriors from clan Klar struggle to prove their weight in worth to Ugg and Mar to avoid becoming the next explosion, but as more and more spirits begin to appear, Ugg and Maar's strategies begin to fail on them. Unfortunately for Ugg and Maar, even if the dumbest brute can make explosions, eventually they must come to an end. A swarm of spirits overwhelms the forces as they become a part of a greater family.
Lastly stands the great Grathusk mightiest of the Ogres, Orcs and Beasts. He wields his hammer with might and strength, denying even the greatest of spirits the breath of his skin as he pummels soul after soul with his rune hammer. Spirit after spirit is brought down as he fights harder than any of his servants ever could. But as Tithus marches closer on closer to him, the concertation of spirits rises and eventually Grathusk is forced to stop and look around. Despite being a demon, he can not help but feel pain for the loss of his people. In a last ditch attempt, he rushes towards Tithus, but even the greatest leaders must meet their end eventually. Grathusk's soul, great in demonous energy, is shattered into a multiple pieces, as an enshroudment of souls confronts him. When the sands pass, only a shadow of what was once Kalthur remains.
End Of Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen - Ice & Blood
Art Uncredited - Pinterest
Heavy boots of steel set presence on the Icy grounds of Flöghorn. A figure dawning dark clad armor marches forward under the veil of the harsh winters of these cursed frost lands. Despite the intense cold the figure appears unaffected. As the figure treks forward, it's sword leaves fading streaks of pink on the snowy ice, signs of a fresh confrontation, as an ambush awaits them at a glacial aperture. Within the deserts of Flöghorn lies the frosted core, an ancient source of energy used to absorb the winters within the realm and limit them within an area, a source created once by an ancient being in order to maintain the integrity of the land, similar to the channels that once existed in Guldrazz. The figure approaches the caves where the core resides, and two giants stand in it's way. "State your business!" One of the three frost giants guarding the entrance boasts. "My business is none of your concern. Now move." The figure's suggestion reverberates within the minds of the frost giants, as for a minute they struggle to maintain their free will. Never before had a more greater suggestion been made to them, that for a minute they almost step aside. Ultimately the figures resist Crag's dominance and all attempt to attack simultaneously. Crag simply leaps above them as if child's play as they strike the ground missing him. Minutes later blood splatters all around the cold ground as the giants hit the ground.
Within the caves the temperatures seem to plunge even lower. With each step the caves grow colder and the vortex of wind pulling those unfortunate enough to wander in there becomes more intense. Minor nuisances of frost giants grow more oppressive in both number and strength. Eventually the undead knight reaches the ice chambers. He moves with intent across the chamber, the weight of forty five frost giant's souls on his blade. He moves unaware or perhaps unconcerned about the dangers of the frost caves, suddenly, an icy blow encounters Crag. Despite Crag parrying, the blow launches him off the sides of the ice cave, causing him to plunge onto multiple ice like structures breaking them. A goliath of a frost giant leaps down without slamming on the ground Crag landed causing it to collapse on multiple levels before he can even react. Crag leaps around avoiding swing after swing, sometimes faltering as the hits launch the knight across multiple chambers with immense strength. Each hit causes Crag's armor to freeze causing him to reconsider his strategy. Crag rushes around luring the beast from pillar to pillar as it shatters and breaks the structures around it. Eventually, Crag slides under the giant before leaping into a tiny crevice, right before a mass of ice falls on the creature killing it.
The knight falls helplessly as he slams around within the icy walls of the cave trying to cleave with his sword to minimize impact. Despite being a lich knight, the knight understands that it is not indestructible. The knight uses it's sword to minimize it's drag as it tumbles, eventually landing into the chamber housing the ice core. Craig leaps, slides, twirls and slashes his way as he gets closer and closer to the core. Frost giant after frost giant, they stand no chance as even the helpless Vforn is caught off guard and is quickly taken down within his chambers. With Vforn's dying breath, he attempts to warn Crag of the danger he is risking unleashing, but he merely ignores it. Crag reaches the Icy core that radiates with abhorrent amounts of cold energy and stabs it. Massive amounts of energy is destabilized, as a vortex blasts from the source. It simultaneously unleashes a tearing pull and a shattering push of hurricane like winds as the structure of the cave begins to collapse. Craig cleaves his sword into the icy floor and holds for unlife as the force threatens to pull him inside. Meanwhile outside massive energy is displaced from Flöghorn and begins heading for the Eskara and the neighboring lands, causing displacement, and killing a lot of inhabitants. Deep within the Iron Keep, the dark elf smiles as pour courses through it's veins. Crag only survives by sheer lack as the cave collapses, a massive pillar of ice falls in the right place at the right time, sheltering the lich knight from the outfall.
End Of Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen - Final Rest
Image by Kevin Hou
Shrieks roar through the red sand deserts heading towards Jotmir. Multiple kingdoms have fallen to this so called intruder, and now they have sent someone to come for Jontar's throne. Sand storms sweep blast into the once stable settlement of Jotheim uprooting homes and other structures. Torrents of spirits rush into the lands of Jotmir as warriors cleave with spiritual weapons at them in a futile effort to hold them back. Runic steel carves spiritual flesh within the ever mounting waves. The war rages on for hours within the Kingdom of Jotmir, the spirits attempt to rip souls out of the warriors but their rune markings offer resistance against it making the process a little more tedious. As the vortex of spirits begins to wither down a lone distortion of a horseman begins it's charge towards them. Warriors rush towards Tithius who brandishes his long dark spear. The fighters stand no chance as he rends through their armorless bodies and demolishes their more poorly defended souls. He slashes, skews and cleaves through the warriors on horseback, eventually causing them to become too intimidated to attack. With each death the spiritual army becomes replenished, aiding Tithius in combat. Jontar orders the soldiers to hold ground as he goads Tithius into the sacred lands within Jotmir. The river of spirits rushes into the spiritual lands ahead of Tithius before vanishing. Tithius hesitatates when he approaches, but eventually gets off his horse and walks into the lands. Immediately Tithius's power is decreases as he sets foot within the sacred grounds. Tithius draws his spear, and prepares for combat.
Spear and axe clash as the two combatants fight with each other. Tithius uses his long spear to keep range as he overwhelms Jontar and pushes him back despite his limited strength. Jontar strikes axe after axe strike against Tithius but the spirit's spear soaks in all the blows and remains unscathed. Tithius spins and twirls the spear meticulously knocking Jontar to the ground disarming him. Jontar weaves and rolls, chasing after his axes, but the ruthless spirit knight impedes every attempt at it. Eventually Jontar attempts to kick the spirit but phases through right before a spear descends towards him at an unavoidable speed stabbing his left arm. Jontar reaches with his left hand grabbing one of his axes throwing it at the spirit. Tithius is forced to pull the spear out and use it to deflect the axe right as Jontar picks up the other axe and aims for his head before freezing. Jontar peel away in fear before being forced to regain his composure by an off handed spear hit that launches him into a tree. Tithus follows up by throwing his spear causing Jontar to narrowly evade. Jontar then grabs one of his axes and cleaves Tithius's body, he follows it up by grabbing another axe and delivering yet another blow. Jontar continues the flurry of assaults until Tithius eventually concedes. As Tithus lays on the ground vanishing, he lets out a distorted whisper. "Thank you...now...I...can finally...resssst.". With Tithius gone most of the spirits are released from his curse and seek their eternal rest. Following the casualties Jontar erects and burns a funeral pyre for the fallen warriors who died to protect their kingdom and immortalizes them as heroes.
End Of Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen - Naga's Confrontation
Art by Maximilian Becker
While Jotmir was fighting it's own struggle, the Nirian resistance in Gladius was fighting it's own demons. Gilded steel struck against rusted bronze as naga and warriors were pit together. The great mobility of the naga allowed them to dominate and maneuver the fields, while the humans' adaptability allowed them to adapt to the maneuvers and hold ground. The battle raged on for hours with the Kingdom Of Gladius holding true to its claim of being the Iron Kingdom under the leadership of Niran and his generals. All was not well though. Elsewhere in the field the armies where being torn through by none other than Ssiku, as he invigorated the naga around them and they gored through the Nirian defenses. Ssiku before his death was once the most feared warlord in the realms. Born from the naga clans that once existed in the realms, his clan was almost wiped out by the other kingdom because nagas were considered inherently evil. The actions of the other races lead the naga to develop bigoted ideals which were handed down to Ssiku from childhood. Ssiku would then go on to rise within the hierarchy, establishing himself as a vicious fighter, ruthless warlord, and a prismatic leader to the naga. He waged war after war for 750 years against various kings, warriors and generals before his ambition grew too large and he was felled by the Kalvorian knight Gander Athreben. As the battle continued Ssiku's loss became apparent and he attempted to flee but was felled by Niran himself within minutes. With the battle concluded the casualties even though minimal, the warriors were given a fitting funeral. Niran knows more battles will come, but he will be prepared.
Meanwhile in Iron Keep
Krilar sits in the throne within Iron keep, with zombies flooding the red sand deserts. Within the keep the dark elf discusses battleplans with Craig the only surviving member out of the three resurrected warriors. "To what end I'm I forced to do your bidding?" Craig asks in more than mild annoyance. "We have lost two great assets Craig, but we have gained something greater, we have gained an army. As to why you have to do my bidding, it's simply because I gave you another chance. For years you defiled death by fleeing from it and the patrons who enforce it until you were sealed away. I freed you and if you will not follow me, I will simply return you to dust. Right now we have a kingdom standing between us and my task. Once I gather enough souls, I will be able to bring my patron Erebos within these realms and be rewarded with great power. We shall head for Gladius at the next dawn so prepare."
End Of Chapter Sixteen
Chapter Seventeen - Warlords Of Stone Part I
Art from Wattpad
Stormy clouds loom over the realms, the cold displaced winds of the North encounter the red sand heats churning brutal winds and storms across the no destabilized realms. Storms shatter the skies with their brutal lightning while thunder explodes loudly in the surroundings. A massive force from Gladius mobilizes, warriors of all kinds line up to either avenge their fallen kingdoms or fight for the one they live in. An army of 500,000 archers, soldiers, mages, and cavalry prepare a defense under two of Niran's most trusted generals and Niran himself. The armies are divided into the battalions of three as they prepare for a confrontation. *Boom* A massive fire ball flies into one of the armies exploding and injuring many, the wizards their manage to mitigate some damage but casualties are still had. Suddenly a large mass almost like a tide of decayed flesh wails insufferably as it descends closer to the kingdom encroaching it from every angle. It doesn't take the soldiers long to realize that that is an army of zombies descending upon them. The three armies split up and fortify three different angles of the castle as the zombies move with terrifying speed.
The eastern army of Gladius suffers the first casualties as zombies descend upon them swarming the men with their great numbers. The cavalry jousts through the hoards in an attempt to break up their formations but their horses end up devoured by the hordes causing them to promptly rise against the forces. Trisha the general in charge of the battalion orders the warriors to form a shield wall as the archers and mages shoot arrows back at the hordes. The strategy works for a while until a massive force plows though the shield wall casing it to break and the zombies to pass through. Zabu crushes through the armies with his zombified mass as he causes the fighters to break formation and disperse with fear. Trisha is occupied holding back the hoards on her end so she is unable to assist as the zombies overwhelm the forces more and more. The archers begin to flee backwards but arrows meet their skull with fiendish precision as Yora defiled in her beauty rains root wood upon the soldiers. The army breaks formation more and more due to the resurrection of Ssiku who desolates the soldiers more and more leaving them defenseless to the mounting hordes. Trisha and her warriors hold their ground valiantly, eventually taking down Zabu and wounding Ssiku before being overwhelmed by the horde.
Meanwhile the western army lead under General Miltar demolishes through the horde with their aggressive tactics as if it is child play. Miltar had a lot of combat experience of all the generals Niran controls, he leads his cavalry on horse back while instructing his warriors to create a phalanx and advance forward. He has his archers and mages cover the flanks while soldiers occasionally open up the shield walls to let cavalry in and out to recover. His tactics greatly cut down the army numbers. Miltar and his cavalry formation charges towards another horde ready to demolish the amalgamation, suddenly a zombie leaps and shatters the ground causing Miltar and the troops on horse back to fall off their horses. The group is devoured before the next wave of cavalry makes it to save the General last minute. Grathusk swings his hammer, corpse decaying, as the pod of warriors attempts to keep him a way from Miltar. He pushes through the army causing a distortion in the phalanx. Suddenly burning corpses descend from the sky like fireballs, exploding beyond the lines and disrupting the formation of archers who are caused to disperse and flee towards the direction of a another orc like zombie that cleaves them mercilessly. As the armies wither down, Grathusk and Or'goth are felled, but the losses are great. Flaming corpses continue to rain on the western army as Ugg and Mar's zombified corpse wreaks havoc on the unfortunate soldiers.
End Of Chapter Seventeen - Part I
Chapter Eighteen - Warlords Of Stone Part II
Art by Artoria Pendragon
Only the central army remains within the chaos as Niran commands with prismatic valor, he looks to his left to see Miltar's army fall, then looks to the right and sees Trisha's army fall. The more Niran looks around, the more his spirit is crushed as he watches warrior after warrior become apart of the other side, and he sees his castle walls damaged. Niran stands there in shock for a minute before a hand is layed upon his shoulder. He turns around and see's a soldier smile and nod to him, he turns yet again sees a diminished battalion that is all that is left of the army outside with some scattered among the field, he turns and sees hope, he turns and sees smiles. Niran picks up his sword and fights harder than ever, he pushes through the hordes cleaving into tar like flesh, he fights as if a new light has been imbued in him, a new hope, a new spark, perhaps a responsibility entrusted upon him by the souls of the dead. Niran rushes and leaps graciously into the air avoiding Yora's shots and clashing with the mighty warrior as he pushes through minor undead and stabs her sending her to final rest. The other warriors watch in awe as they see their king fight, and in turn they are invigorated. The archers shoot volleys with new purpose fraying the army of death, soldiers stab and slash with not hate, but compassionate fervor, the mage's surpass their limits as they unleash waves of destruction on the zombie masses. All good things must come to an end, as suddenly the soldiers are unable to move and are slowly devoured by the enclosing army or kill themselves involuntarily. Craig stands atop a cliff projecting mental energy, as more and more soldiers kill themselves. Niran resists but is bleeding from the nose, he falls to knee and whispers a prayer, as holy energy surrounds him and a large holy blast devastates the field, wiping out all but few outside the walls of the kingdoms with its devastation. Niran gazes at the corpses of the fallen as he cries in sorrow. "Is this victory?" Crag marches forward and draws his blade.
End Of Chapter Eighteen Part II
Chapter Nineteen - Warlords Of Blood
Art by Vadim Sodovski
Niran looks a tear behind his shattered mask. The knight of death marches forward, the crimson haze of the background a contrast to his dark cloaked frame. No words are exchanged as foes meet once again. Niran gets up from his knee and bares not his gilded sword with a hilt so broken, but only the weight of what he has done. He rushes towards Crag pulling a sword from the mountain of charred bones, lifting it in an upward motion. Crag responds with a parry as clash after clash are exchanged. Bones crunch beneath the feets of a bitter black and a sultry gold as stroke after stroke the blades clash. Crag swiftly turns and delivers a disarming kick towards Niran causing him to plunge into a mountain of ashen bones and roll off a hill of them before grabbing on to a shield lodged within the mountain pile last minute. Crag descends from the sky heavily, forcing Crag to block the strike shattering it. Niran rolls sideways and grabs a mace tossing it towards Craig who blocks it with his heavy sword causing it to chip. Niran pulls out a spare dagger from his pocked and rushes at Crag performing a spinning cleave on the chipped sword causing it to break while pushing the undead knight back while picking up the formerly lost sword. He rushes in and delivers a blow into the knight's armor as the pair clashes within the mountain of death and fire. Survivors watch from a far as ping after ping Niran seems to push Crag further and further back. Crag shifts his footwork ever so slightly in order to redirect the force of the hits but Niran leaves no room for rest. Niran goes to deliver the final blow but then an overwhelming presence intrudes his mind.
A yellow sun looms above the sky, its golden warmth embracing his soft cloth. He is just a child, he was just a child. "Niran, Niran!" a gentle voice, a motherly voice calls Niran. "I hope you are ready." The scene shifts to a humid orange, Niran returns to his home, he calls and calls but no one answers. He turns a corner and sees blood and death. He is just a child, he was just a child. The scene shifts into a Niran's teens he is training as a gladiator, so far he has only had to fight till first blood but today it's different. Chants proliferate as the king of Aridvale stares indifferently at the gladiators in the field as Niran is forced to clash with a superior gladitor eventually besting him. The king stands up and gives a thumbs down as Niran draws his blade. He is just a child, he was just a child. Images of death proliferate within Niran's mind, as he is forced to remember, remember all the lives he failed to save, remember all the lives he had to take, remember all the lives he just took. Voices sing with schizophrenic agony " Unworthy, worthless, failure, killer, murderer." Niran falls to his knee as Crag approaches him, he slowly inches his own blade close to his throat He reels back his sword and prepares to end it all when a voice rings out "Hero." Niran rises on his feet the weight of all those who fought, died, and alive on his heart. He rushes in impaling Crag and lifting the sword through the knights flesh as a golden light shines obliterating him. Humid heat hits his face as he looks towards the devastation.
End Of Chapter Nineteen
Chapter Twenty - The End?
Art by Stephan Kopinski
Krilar appears in front of the broken, battered and bleeding Niran. Niran is too tired to fight, to tired to think, but forces his sword up. He rushes and delivers a clean blow on Krilar slashing his throat, he falls of the ground and vanishes to darkness. "You won't kill me that easily Niran." Niran turns around and stabs Krilar yet again, but he simply vanishes yet again. "Gladiator King, at my current level if I willed it, you an all the people here would fall. I am inevitable, I am a cycle that will repeat and repeat forever as long as life exists. So I have come to you with an offer, all the deaths here are on your hand, I can prolong the next cycle, but in return...." Survivors watch from a far as at the peak the figure talks to Niran, he looks back in sorrow, then they disappear together.
5 years later
Following the great war the warriors rebuilt. The Kingdom of Gladius rebuilt under his name and a monument was raised to him. Many of the survivors flocked to the kingdom, but some went on to assemble their own kingdoms, both as tyrants and as leaders. Kingdoms like New Elvia, Gladius and Ulgar Reborn expanded their influence. Blood was shed, stones were thrown, and warlords rose. This became the new world for the warlords of stone and blood. It became a world of peace and war, prosperity and turmoil. Smaller kingdoms merged with bigger ones, while some of them became their own kingdoms in their own respects. Meanwhile in the former lands of Flöghorn a new threat rises as the frosts slowly continue to spread higher.
End Of Chapter Twenty