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Sunday, September 12, 2010 Lumien Fire - Part 1

courtesy of medieval total war

The moon hangs above the sky, giving light into the starry night. On the coast below, torch lights glow in neat rows. The lights come from the tents of same shapes and sizes, in an almost symmetrical formation. Anyone seeing it will be impressed by the display of great discipline and prowess of the Arcadian Army.

Look closer in the camp, and you see weary faces sitting by the campfire. A bunch of soldiers, some with bandages all over. They drink, sing war songs and even do a bit of dance, but their faces show restlessness and worry.

‘’Tis surely a beautiful night, eh, Guy?’ a soldier with bandages on his head breaks the ice.

Guy answers with a sigh, ‘Yes, but I can only enjoy it with my wife and daughter back home.’

Another cuts in, ‘You got a point there, mate. Something is really creepy about this war. An invasion to Lore with Vordac’s Heir on the loose? Hey, I’m ready and willing to fight and die anytime, anywhere, but this is the only thing I feel: creepy. And the creepiest feeling of all is when I saw our Emperor wearing his helmet all the time, anywhere, even in his sleep – that’s if he really sleeps – ‘

The head-bandaged soldier nods, ‘And that makes our nights here very creepy indeed. Maybe we shouldn’t be here at all.’

Guy nods and talks to the third soldier, ‘Hey, are you a new recruit? Never see you around. What’s your name, lad?’

‘Ursa la Rue, Sir. Yes, I’m a new recruit, a conscript from Eltehr.’

‘Hmm... You look and talk a bit smarter for a conscript. Keep at that and you’ll make a fine officer one day.’

‘Well, thank you, Sir. I’ll leep your words in mind. Ah, I think maybe a stroll around the camp can diminish my creepiness a bit. See you around.’

Saying that, Ursa gets up and walks away from the fireplace, leaving the soldiers to talk among themselves with faces gloomier than before.

Ursa walks on to the tents in the center of the camp. He looks left and right, and finds a tent that looks just like any other, except that there’s a commander’s banner standing in front of it. There is no guard outside, in order to keep things conspicuous.

The soldier observes around, looks back to the tent and around again. And then, he comes closer to the doorway. He peeps into the tent and here he is, the Commander-in-Chief, garbed in shining, full white armor and still wearing his helmet, sitting with his right knuckle supporting his forehead. Looks like, he’s doing nothing and most likely, sleeping.

Just as Ursa turns back to leave, a voice calls.

‘What’s your business this late, soldier?’

Ursa responds almost hastily, ‘I’m in patrol duty, Your Majesty. I just passed by your tent, so I thought I would check if you are all right.’

Chris pauses for a while, then talks calmly. ‘No need to check on me, soldier. I’m always alert. But thank you anyway. What’s your name?’

‘Ursa la Rue, Your Majesty.’

‘Very well, Ursa. You may go about your duty.’

‘By your leave, Your Majesty,’ says Ursa, taking his leave. Emperor Sage then sits, back in his thoughts, only this time his eyes as though sparkle behind the visor.


A Medieval Knight

‘MOVE OUT! MOVE OUT! Pack your tents! We’re moving out now! Order from the Emperor! Pack up and march!’

Ursa is shocked on hearing that. What? I just visited the Emperor’s tent last night, and it’s still an hour before dawn. Did he... suspect something?

He knows what to do at once. He quickly packs his things and sneaks out from his tent. One of his tent-mates sees him and shouts, ‘Hey, lad! Put your things outside and help us with the tent!’

‘Well, Sergeant,’ says Ursa. ‘I-I think I left an important thing of mine somewhere in the camp, and I planned to search for it again in the morning. So, please excuse me, and I’ll get back to you in ten minutes.’

‘Oh, very well, then,’ says the Sergeant. ‘Since it’s so important for you. But remember! Ten minutes, and you get back here!’

‘Yes, Sir!’

Saying that, Ursa dashes out from the tent and walks out from the camp. Everybody is busy packing, even the guards just let him move out when he tells them that he’s going out on a scouting duty.

Ursa walks into the woods near the beach. In a shaded, well-hidden spot under the tree, he rummages into his backpack and takes out a small, pearly white crystal orb. Ursa looks right, left and behind to make sure no one is near him, and then he chants,

‘An Maraj Visalar‘me Aschi!’

That’s a strange summoning spell, but it has an effect on the orb. The orb glows and blinks for a few seconds, and then a holographic image is displayed next to it. It’s an image of Rael’charon the elf. The holograph talks,

‘Any news for me, Ursa?’

‘Yes, Counselor, an urgent one. The Arcadians are packing up and moving out now. They’ll resume their march.’

‘Hmm... Really?’ The elf answers, his face looks thoughtful. ‘Tell me, Ursa. Did you by chance meet Emperor Sage face-to-face?’

‘Well, yes, Counselor. When I was observing the camp last night, I spotted the Commander’s tent, and when I moved closer to verify that it’s really the Emperor’s, he spotted me. I gave him an excuse, and he just let me go.’

Rael’charon’s face turns worried, ‘Oh, no, Ursa! Quick, bail out from there! Run back to Alceste as fast as you can! You have blown your cover! Run now, or you’ll lose your life!’

‘Yes, Counselor! Right away!’

‘And Ursa, good luck.’

Saying that, Rael’s holograph dissolves. Ursa shoves the orb back into his backpack. He is about to make a run for it when suddenly, an old man in wizard robe appears before him. It’s Eidos Crydias, the Chronomage! Ursa stops dead in his track. A Paladin who teleported and apparated instantly means certain death for him.

Eidos then talks like an angel of death, ‘By orders from the Emperor, spy from Lore, I’ve witnessed everything, and I sentence you to death!’

Ursa turns pale. He quickly turns away to run for his life. Alas, before he can take another step, before he can even scream, he feels an extreme pain from his feet going up to his head – and nothing anymore. His body has been split in two, a victim of Eidos’ Chrono Chakram.

To complete his job, Eidos rummages into Ursa’s backpack and takes out the proof of crime: the Crystal Orb of Telecommunication, mainly used by elves and in this case, anyone working for Rael’charon.

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