Keshian War Epilogues

EVENTS NEWS #28
Date: 4/14/2013 at 0:24
From: Anonymous
To : Everyone
Subj: Keshian War Epilogues

Fred the Warmistress of Sar-sargoth puttered about her work, as much as a trollish woman of statuesque build and years of brutal training can putter. Behind her towering form, a young goblin was eagerly clearing and hacking up various wet, slobbery sounding things as he struggled to get his warmistress' attention in the 'polite' way she had trained (read: beat) into him.

"Oy! Meestress-Lady Fred! Ack--" the little man turned to quickly spit out a small bone, likely from some badly digested kitten. "We's been ta see da Witch-King!"

Fred's shoulders sloped down into a relaxed curve of muscle as she turned to look at the goblin, remembering suddenly that his name was Sproket and he'd had a particularly difficult time learning to march straight. She'd often thought perhaps he'd just needed his feet broken, but had spared him the pain when the war with Kesh rose to such a fervor they needed any man capable of holding a sword.

"What say? You go?" Earlier in the week, the goblins had been whispering amongst themselves, word having finally spread that the Eledhel were celebrating some festival the goblins called 'My Hats Uh Goldses'. Fred idly wondered at the time why goblins would care, but such oddities of their sort were simply that. Odd.

Nodding so quickly his tuft of hair waved like an off-kilter flag, Sproket excitedly babbled on to Fred of what was likely a whole 10-second meeting with the Witch-King. Somehow, though, Sproket managed to work in a tale of the daring exploits of himself, Tora, Malinx, Grudar, Ridire, Rykros, Tethysia and Starra slaying the magically-enhanced Keshian Behemoths and capturing Yashar in manacles.

Waving her hand in an attempt to stop the flood of information that seemed to pour in mildly unintelligible syllables from Sproket's mouth, Fred finally bellowed, "ALRIGHT! Go! Be off!" And with those words, the history of Goblin-kind... well, it's a story for another time.

-----

Cocooned in the glow of a monumental victory, the Eledhel were still abuzz with stories of valor and bravery, not the least bit the final blow by Zacc that released the last of Ilomba's power, killing one of the most horrifying enemies of his people. As the sun rose, it shown down and illuminated the crystal that now sat on Spellweaver Lethis' work table, innocently holding all the power of Ilomba Umdhelbi trapped within its facets.

It had taken almost another squadron just of the council's most heroic people to bring down the magician. Lethis was still a bit stiff and grumbly about having traversed most of the Vale of Dreams behind Phoenix Captain Ran, the 'Thousand Year Trek' he'd joked as they wandered about in olive groves and deserts before finally finding the correct temple.

"I'm getting too old for this," the Sage grumbled again, frowning at his worktable and the glowing crystal he'd been up all night trying to unravel. Finally surrendering last night's battle of wits to the enigmatic spoil of war, Lethis gathered his robes and left for the Merath un Galad, where Queen Aglaranna was already greeting her people. Awards were to be given to many, Naftali, Aerrant, Xarcon, Narcissus, pretty Abijah with her fierce commanding tones, Silas and Elaisa who must have run back and forth between the Vale and the Forest countless times, and all the others who fought and died bravely for their cause. Lethis did wonder if they'd celebrate the humans who assisted, the thought making him grimace slightly as he approached the Golden Oak.

"Ah well," he muttered to himself, "Nothing a few sips of tea won't cure."

-----

Setting the last of their forts aflame, the men of Hazards squad stood in silhouette, their shoulders drooped and heads not quite as high as the retreating figures of their former peers.

"Predators all came from Loriel, they've left a few hours back," one of the men mumbled, his accent a little heavier and laced with whiskey. "An' Billy from the Krakens went back too. Sad..."

"Aye, last of his squadron, right? Fought down with Fantom, Nemi, Renatta, Taevi, and Raelyr, went to all the way to Shamata with Duke Guy... didn't he lose an eye?"

There was a low murmur of agreement as the group still stood. Each of them bore scars from the war, mental and physical. The tallest, Ordan, was now just a touch shorter since he lost his leg in a particularly vicious attack in the final sieges to destroy the Keshian Behemoths. His commander, Raelyr, had had to pull him from beneath a collapsed fort and rush him back to the city for treatment. He'd not seen his people triumph beside the Eledhel and defeat the vile Ilomba Umdhelbi.

Each man stood as if trapped there, watching their fort crumble into ash. No one had much thought of where they'd go after they finished. Ballads never much covered that part, and they certainly didn't have it in them to go back to their old lives as farmers and husbands and, well, in Laurent's case, thieves.

It was Laurent who finally broke the listless silence. His fingers always moving and twitching, he idly jingled his coin purse, the clanking silvers inside making a twinkling sound that slowly drew his lips into a grin. "Gentlemen, the Prince may've given us the boot, but he sent us out the door with enough to keep us from bein' parched!"

-----

Wine flew wildly across the silk-draped room, the crash of the Empress' goblet accompanied by a guttural scream of profanities that caused her servants to flush despite their lovely, dark complexions. Jumping in with a graceful sweep of her arm, a handmaid hurriedly placed yet another goblet of Keshian chardonnay down beside the raging monarch and straightened again, her face once more impassive as she stood by whilst the tantrum continued.

It had been like this for weeks. Word had come from the north over a year past proclaiming Prince Sanjar's mighty strength and victories against the Kingdom. So weak, they said were the Moredhel in their frozen keep, that they had gratefully fallen into his hands, eager to be enslaved. It was but days, Sanjar proclaimed, until he was back with enough riches and slaves to prove his worthiness to the Empress.

No one dared smirk then, but that was before. Before Yashar fell. Before they realized Sanjar's blind faith in the magician Ilomba, a man so feared and outcast he was thrown from their own lands and in exile for his crimes. Now, the people laughed and jeered. They called the Empress' son an imbecile, they hunted him as much as the Kingdom men, wanting revenge for his waste of a war. His stupidity at believing Ilomba Umdhelbi wished to help.

Scooping up her fresh goblet, the Empress glared past her cowering courtiers and took a long drink. No trace of the many refilled goblets slurred her voice as she growled out to her subjects, "We want his head! Sanjar will die for this embarrassment!"

Penned by my hand on the 26th of Agaeis, in the year 44.