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The face of the Lord Aelori seemed to have aged centuries within just those few fine moments. as Anjui had sad his words. It was as if the man had wished to see the crown taken away from him already and his parents whom he took the throne from in the first place returned to power when they couldn't even keep it from their own child from taking it. Loyalty is where the issue lied. Anjui worked with the commoners on a daily in the fields, Anjui worked daily with the soldiers, including the commanders who lead them. They all felt loyal to him and not his parents even though they held loyalty to the crown that now sat upon his head instead.
The old elf returned to his throne setting himself once again back against the stone chair he looked to the two young males that now stood down the steps from his chair. [#771390 "When is this merge of our two houses to take place? As war season shall soon be upon us after the festivals and replenishing season."] Anjui had paused a moment, he truly had not thought that the transition between the two houses would go so smoothly and that they would spend weeks in talking of negotiations on the idea, in which the house of Aelori would eventually give in, or have their house rank ripped from them by force or by sheer blackmail from Anjui himself. His conditions were more honorary then actually what he was willing to do but it was to be followed now that they were accepted.
Having his brother tap him on the elbow Anjui looked up to the entire family of Aelori, and that of his own family that had not been sent into banishment. [#b62e11 "This will happen soon. Slow process as it will take a few weeks to do, but for now we shall start with leaving my sister here Shyr Tadorar. The Crown shall also go to my brother Ado upon signing of the document which will be done at the next festival as a sign of good faith. The next festival if I remember correctly is the returning of those from the Shrine due to sending them there for school."] Lord Aelori had the look of defeat upon his face. His family had ruled the land of the Molaes Shyr for generations leading back to the time of the first elven king and he was loosing it. for a while to Anjui it looked like the old lord would refuse but it seemed he would let it go, as he knew something that he didn't let on.
[#b62e11 "Lord Aelori, you will be considered a betrayer to the Noble houses and they will likely come for your head and those of your family. I need to know you can defend this land your family has relinquished to me like it was still their own. Your army will listen to my brother with the crown upon his head, but I need to know the nobility that you have under you shall not make a problem when my plan is in fruition and war season comes around. If they do know that I will give them a public execution before they can even put a coin into an assassins hands if I find out."] Anjui had spoken plainly and a matter of fact like his voice gave way to nothing but the feeling of subjective like one would want to.
Bowing again Anjui tapped his own guard and walked out of the hall to explore the place that would soon be his home for the next part of his plan. From here he would launch his campaign against the other houses as to put risk into his own home was not an option, but to use the home of a regnant he would be perfectly fine with. He would also use the trade routes that Aelori had already established and the war fleet that was now under his call. It was but one of the few pawn pieces to his game that he would be playing dangerously fast considering as the fast pace game one single mistake would be fatal and destroy everything.
Being shown to the private chambers that would be his during his visit he set up a single side of chess and moved but a few pieces. [#b62e11 "Slowly, very slowly are things coming into play and very soon the game will become a much quicker pace."] moving another pawn forward Anjui looked at the board of the game, only it was a map of the lands of the Crescent isle and each piece sat one of the noble houses he would have to claim in order to have complete control of the isle without question and without much force to go into it, but a single house refuses and a show of armed forces would have to be used. Anjui being the diplomatic new king of his home had very high hopes that it wouldn't come to such a thing. And with the combined strength of his own home, along with the trade from house Aelori would make all the others fall into the exact place Anjui wanted them to and become regents under his crown.
Lunas had watched as the windlance arrows penetrated the orc forces far out onto the field of hills. He had expected something from behind, but to see fellow wood elves was something unexpected indeed especially in force as it sat. The young moon elf general watched as the wood elves had drove back to orcs and even taken up positions around the moon elves to drive the oncoming assault of orcs back until the moon elves could regain their momentum of assault. Even with the additional forces of the wood elves they were far outmatched in numbers by the orcs, but it seemed that the orcs would break ranks long enough to watch as more of their kin fell to arrows and bolts from the lances the wood elves and moon elves had combined their strength and knew that the orcs weren't going to get through the reinforced wall of soldiers.
It was the bright light of the fires littered across the battle field picking up the fallen warriors as their bodies were dressed for ceremony their armor was removed, along with the weapons and the wounds were cleaned and dressed so that no wound could be seen unless you knew where to look. The people that were dressing the dead were the only person who could tell you right where the wound that had killed them were. Those bodies that were missing limbs, or the head that was apart from the body were all dressed just like they were attached to them. Lunas could feel the burning of loss trying to pierce his eyes. The salty taste would burn even going down his own throat as he bit back the words and the bile that both were trying to come up.
Watching as the ceremony preceded Lunas had heard the drums and screams and cries from the orc camp across the field of corpses they had just left to the buzzards and wildlife of the land. They seemed to be bellowing and being shown a feat of strength from the orc warlord that was leading them, but it meant that he was far from impressed if even considered regaled at their actions as of recently. They had lost to spear ears and they had the better numbers, the brute strength, and the war like nature. Elves on the other hand had the training and the advantage of knowing the landscape. Lunas looked out across the field, Tomorrow the land would once again be scared black with the mass of orcs that would come to face them again tomorrow. Looking to the stars Lunas felt the burning sting of the cold of the fall night wind catching on his now bare upper body as he had it removed before the ceremony to the dead. The pathway to the stars was the ceremony to the dead, and it would be passed down the generations to come and would be the only thing that did not change to their culture.
He had finally gotten closed eyes once he got back to his tent and it was short lived. The light of the first sun caught through the purple fabric of the tent and caught his eyes. The elf had stood and got dressed quickly enough for battle as it would begin again soon. The soldiers were assembled and ready for battle when Lunas approached. His general guard on him within second. With out words Lunas placed himself in the middle of his soldiers. The moon elves making a shield around the wood elf bowmen and the windlancers on the ridge had elven Calvary around them. The moon elf watched as the Warlord with his eye patch and stumble of only having a single foot. He watched as the orc drew in one big breath and let it out in a warcry that had started the flood of the orc bodies across the hills. The elves went right into action and the windlances were released and threw orcs all across the hills, Into each other, limbs flew into the trees across the lines and back into the waves of orcs as they crossed the hills. With them however came Ogres and giants as well.
Seeing more creatures Lunas raised his blade to the sky asking for a miracle to happen. The battle seemed agonizing, but it was very quickly paced. A few times the lines broke away from fighting each other long enough for both sides to see the casualties that had fallen and fix themselves accordingly. It was the pause of the orcs however that caused Lunas to turn around again to see the Goddess's banner at his back with the Head Priestess standing at the very center of all the forces they had mustered. It must have been the miracle he had asked for earlier as all the moon elven forces were now mustard on the field and the orcs seemed to run as they did. The blessing was from the banner itself. The orcs knew that they could not win against all the moon elf force and their warlord knew but was killing people even as they fled. Angry he charged, but it was a moon elf that had ended him instead of Lunas himself.
Lunas had instead of removing his armor and such went straight to the wood elf generals tent and he knew exactly which one it was as like all forces his tent was marked in honorary statements. The elf just stepped into the tent, however the wood elf was not anywhere to be seen. It was at this point that Lunas remove his battle armor and had a servant return it to his very own tent. It was the rustling of the tent folds that had caught Lunas's attention he didn't turn around however to face the elf at first until he spoke. [#9dcc38 "Greeting, I am Javi Twinshade."]
The giant cat had crawled into the tent and slowly prowled around the tent to the point where not even Lunas knew exactly where it was at, but knew that the cat was there in there. Turning to face the Wood elf named Javi Lunas spoke a few words. [#9138cc "I am Lunas Sunfury, We have much to discuss."] The young elf looked at the wood elf standing in front of him with a devil's look upon his face. It was however several more moments of silence between the two of them before more words were said.
[#9138cc "The Goddess has blessed you to be able to rally the High Priestess to come after you."] The male pointed to the banner of the moon and stars of silver on purple that hung on the wall of the commons tent. [#9138cc "Perhaps the High Priestess will come join us shortly."]
Javi was first of many of the wood elf rangers to engage in close combat with the orc berserks as they rushed the lines. Of course the elven ranges were far better at combat as they had centuries of training with their weapons in comparison to that of their more mortal field enemy. Elves lived in peace for the most part as long as you stayed away from their homeland they would not disturb anyone. They tended to keep to themselves unless for a very important contract or detail. Trade was their connection to the outside world and would remain that way unless they were called to war.
Orcs were brutes that many would see as war hardy and blood thirsty savages even among their own kind there was war. Orcs fought and died by the blade, they would fight to the end even if it meant the loss of honor to their name. That was of course until recent when a new warlord was chosen for them to lead the clans to battle. Their down fall to the new warlord however was he chose to attack moon elves in their own forest. It was the warlord that now stood on top of the hill behind the massive force of orcs that had come into the Dreamwoods.
It was this orc that Javi was sharing an eye locked glace with as swords were being swiped left and right away from him as the honor guard around him defend their commander and would do so until their death or his order to not do so. The orc was larger then the others. Bulkier, but he had so many defining features to set him apart. He was missing his right tooth that normally would stick out. His left was drilled through and had several metal rings around it to show his stature and prowess to take pain, as orc's teeth were like the elves ears a symbol or mark of pride. Of course the orc also had black armor covered in black blood which Javi guessed was only from the orcs he had killed earlier in the night or yesterday due to disappointing him for not destroying the elves.
The orc seemed to glaze over the field as his forces were pushed to a stand still. The smile on his face however worried Javi just a little bit, perhaps this orc was not so dull and stupid as those who followed him. Blowing on the dragon tooth horn at his side the orc warlord let out a battle cry of some kind and more orcs swarmed over the hills, only this time giants accompanied them as well. Javi looked out across the field of battle now. His forces were already showing signs of becoming over ran, but they would keep fighting.
It was then from behind him another horn sound came. Turning in his saddle quickly Javi saw the legions of the moon elves once again marshaled, only this time under a single banner. The Goddess's symbol upon the banners that marched forth. The moon elves seemed to have mustered their elite Templar. Dressed in black tunics with silver armor with a single symbol of the moon stamped on the chest guard.
At the lead of the new forces was a single male who looked across the field of battle and only raised his sword above his head. With the sword being raised the moon elf forces let out a battle cry that had caused the orcs to pause a moment in their push. It had even caused a few of them to turn around to face the elves spears pointed towards the forces that had yet to move.
[#9dcc38 "The Goddess blesses us today soldiers. Fight with all your might for her eyes are upon us."] The elf screamed over the roar of the orcs as they charged forward faster now for fear of the whip and blade from behind them. The elves moral was renewed and so was their fighting spirit as more elves joined the line behind them. The moon elf elite pushed the orc forces from both sides and even stopped them from advancing any more with Calvary driving back the reinforcements that were suppose to help by killing several of the giants that had come with them and squishing orcs behind them.
The warlord it seemed was more angry then before as he took his guard into the battle field with him as well, only he didn't care what he was killing he swung his blade at anything that moved including his own guard. Rage was not helpful to him at this point however as the closer he got to the elven lines the more damage he did on the way to even his own forces. This had caused his forces to scatter away from him as far as they could get. This had made him an easy target mostly as even with being a solo orc he would be a hard kill as they had a high tolerance to pain and could loose a limb or two without stopping. It would have to be a swift fight.
Javi had stepped in the way of the orc as he went and tried to rampage into the elven lines only to have elves duck his blade and swing their bodies out of the way like they were dancing with him, which seemed only to irritate the orc more. Javi had drawn his twin knives as the orc got to the other side and was making his way back. [#9dcc38 "Stupid Orc don't know when to give up."] that had caught the things attention as his eyes went from spinning with his body to be fixed on Javi the blood red shot eyes peered down at Javi like he was a target that the orc would kill easily. [#9dcc38 "You lost and can't even understand that so you push more and more."] the taunts won out and the orc charged letting out a loud howl of anger. Diving at the elf as he took to a roll on the ground.
It was the slight sticky feeling on the back of his neck that had caused javi to place his hand on the nap to his neck. A little bit of blood drew away with his hand, only it was black instead of red like elves. Standing and turning around Javi held up his hand so the orc could see the blood upon his hand. The orc started looking around its body trying to find the wound, but finally figured out that it had lost its weapon and its hand when he looked between Javi and himself. [#9dcc38 "Now you'r without a weapon."] raising his blade Javi gave one final sentience to the creature.
[#9dcc38 "Don't pick elves to try and attack next time."] Swiping off the creatures head with a single swift blow Javi had the thing mounted to the cliff side by arrow and screamed out so all the elves and orcs could hear. [#9dcc38 "Your leader is dead Orcs now run away back to your lands in the north and never return. Let this be a warning to you that if you step foot within the lands of the elves again we will destroy every single one of you."] It was then the orcs understood the elves were sparing those that were alive, and they turned and fled off the field before anything else could happen. As they were fleeing several of the orcs were trampled under the foot of those behind them running away. Several were even trampled under the foot of the elves that chased the orcs as they ran away.
Javi had taken a deep breath and raised his blade to the air and with that the elves cried victory. [#9dcc38 Cylys sai si Kydaer."] Honor to the Goddess. It was a victory cry all elves knew by heart. It was meant to be a two fold thing it was meant to honor those that had died on the field of battle and to appreciate the living for the work they had done to keep everyone else alive still. Javi turned to a couple of his honor guard close by [#9dcc38 "Have the bodies of the dead giving the warrior's highest honors. They died protecting not only the soldiers behind us, but the forest itself behind them. Had the orcs gotten any farther much of the forest would be burning."] Nodding the wood elf left and started removing the bodies of the fallen wood elven soldiers and giving them proper rights of hanging their bodies in the trees close by. As the ropes were being left to swing in the trees ashes were placed upon the dead bodies and the trees would seem to swallow the bodies into the trunks of the trees themselves.
Javi had returned to the makeshift camp of the combined elves as the rites were preformed well into the night for the fallen elven people, not just the wood elves but the moon elves as well. Stepping into his tent Javi noticed a single male moon elf bare chested standing in his tent, the sickly sweet smell of sweat came off him, but he looked prim and proper like that of the nobility of the moon elves, what little nobility stature they had held themselves to outside of their factional system within their own kind. [#9dcc38 "Greeting, I am Javi Twinshade."] The male didn't say anything at first, but turning to face Javi his dark purple eyes and long black hair set him apart from most other nobility as they tended to keep themselves very pristine when in the prescience of company even other members of their family.
It wasn't until his eyes caught sight of the pearly white teeth of the giant black cat that was laying on the floor behind the elf that he saw that the cat was the same size as his own mount and that was saying something about how large a moonsaber could get from their kitten size. Looking back to the elf that now was reaching for the shirt that lay at his feet Javi only guessed the cool night air helped with the sweat of heat from battle. [#9138cc "I am Lunas Sunfury, We have much to discuss."]
During the relax time he had Ado had watched as many of the construction of the home was under way. It was a slow progress at first. It had to do with their altitude, and so they had to get the resources to build the walls from the lower lands or possible from the mountains that surrounded them, but that meant destroying what natural borders they had. and that just would not be allowed.
Ado had sent a message to the Dwarven clans that would be found in the underway under the Crescent isle. Anyone who had known their history knew that there were a total of twelve major houses within the Dwarven world. There were three that called home under the Crescent isle, four would be found under the Abor country. the other five would be found within the mountain ranges of the middle country of Arath. Leaving no Dwarven people to be found in the underway or the tunnels of the old world and far western country of Dalin.
To the north was countries that elves didn't keep track of besides that Humans expanded upon them like rabbits, and Orcs were north of that, and even farther north was the frostlands of the Norsemen and Trolls. To their south was the great land only known to have the civilizations of the Lizardmen and desert races. below them was the southern frozen lands, that supposedly were uninhabited besides the natural ice cold creatures such as polar bears, dragons, penguins, frost worgs, but the tunnels of the old dwarven empire once made it believed that the dwarves ruled even these lands.
Ado was now finally after weeks of waiting getting the three houses under the Crescent isle to come to their hall. Most dwarves would have preferred to meet in a setting of their own making, however Ado would not leave his brother to be assigned by someone before his reign actually saw first light. He also made it very clear that his brother the king of the house would be there and they can speak terms of an agreement between the dwarven houses and the house of Starlight.
He had met them at what was known only as Si Bali. It was the gate between the tunnel systems of the Underway and House Masjhol. The Vale was not a normal passageway, but was an old fortress built back in the days of the Elven empire, when dwarves and elves were at war. Fortified to be protected from the tunnels themselves and outside the mountain range it was built into Si Bali was the second most fortified stronghold on the crescent isle that only to the Capital of the entire isle itself of Mi Shareas.
Within the walls of Si Bali Ado had met with the three dwarven houses. Izril Karag, Grom Sar, and Azril Grong . The first to arrive was the Silver Anvil clan, their person was a young women who seemed bright and very new to the idea of politics. She however had the look of a warrior to her, the battle paint was clear upon her face and the many scars on her arms were visible outside of the tunic. The most notable one was the fact she was missing her right hand. The second to show was that of the Jewel mountain house, represented by an older male who held on him robes of nobility, but he held no scars, and no war paint which must have meant he was raised in the priesthood or into the mage ways. As any child of noble dwarves were thrusted into war, and to not have any battle paint meant he must not have taken a life at his age, and for an older dwarf not to have taken a life meant he must have been a healer at one point or another. The third was that of House High Might. Represented by a young male himself he held a sense of arrogance about him like he was next in line to rule all the clans, and it was possible Elves didn't keep track of where the crown of the dwarven people would pass, but he also had his war paint and a few scars like that of the female companion, however he also seemed fully intact.
[#f5990a "Greets From House Masjhol."] giving a sort of bow Ado kept his eyes on the dwarves in front of him. While the elves and dwarves have been at peace, they still had old hatred of one another between clans and houses. The first to speak was the older dwarf in almost perfect elvish. [b "Mal iar o aidor."] Ado stood to look at the dwarf, a sly grin upon his face. [#f5990a "An Idiot would have met you at the gate and done business there. I have invited you into Si Bali. You are surrounded by elven wardens and your several thousand feet above the tunnels and your armies."] The dwarves seemed to be a little upset with this information, even patting themselves down to make sure they still had their weapons upon them only to find they had already been disarmed at the gate, however Ado was also not carrying any weapon, and three dwarves to one elf was an unfair match.
Ado let his smile slip away from his face to return to the stone face he had upon his person before. [b "Get to the point young one, what is it you have asked to meet us for?"] the young prince stepped around a table to reveal several maps upon the thing, a few of them were the new plans to the Citadel of stars. The next was an exact replica of the underway tunnel system found in the world, each entrance and exit was marked with a blue marker while the dead ends were marked with red. The cities were marked with yellow and the abandoned cities were marked in purple. the map seemed to have details that updated itself, with new tunnels being added and some old ones being covered up do to cave ins and the like, but all the systems were there all marked down on the map itself, of course the details were written in elvish, so the dwarves while they could speak it couldn't understand the elvish runes.
[#f5990a "We have records that you are trying to excavate tunnel systems from the underway back into the Pit, but the ones you have uncovered lead only to the Darkworld. The tunnels that your people had built back when the dwarven empire ruled the underground and before it fell to goblins and mass war between the clans. We also know that your rebuilding some of the ruins of dwarven cities in hopes to bring back your empire as much as possible. These cities would open up trade routes for your people which would allow for expansion and more trade and diplomacy with the surface races."] the two young dwarves seemed stunned how could elves know of this, especially elves that were uniformed of the world around them due to their own choice of enclosing themselves on the island.
The old dwarf's stone cold face looked at the map, moving a few of the pages out of the way his eyes drew to a single paper that seemed to cover the table itself. [b "What is that?"] Ado looked down to see the paper the dwarf's hand is upon. [#f5990a "That Lord Jewel Mountain is a map of Karaz Rik."] This is what had caused the old dwarf's face to glow a bright. [b "We thought all maps of the city were gone, burned in the purging fire."] Ado cleared off the rest of the maps and set them in the chair he would have sat in and nodded. [#f5990a "That is correct. Karaz Rik's original details are here. The elves helped build the old dwarven capital, it was designed by my Great Grandfather, the First of our kind Casha."]
The two younger dwarves came clanking in their armor up to the table to look at the map itself. [b "How is this possible that the elves have plans of our old empire capital? Especially in this detail."] the dwarves marveled over the detail in the map. It showed in the very center of the city was the Royal quarters. It was meant to house the King and his family. It was a symbol to the city and instead of being dug into the ground it was raised like a tower over the rest of the city. It was the single pillar that held the pit's roof up. Around it in a circle were twenty four houses. Each systematically placed like that of a clock. Starting at the far north and skipping every other house was one of the original dwarven twelve houses. The other twelve were minor nobility or houses specifically built for important figures like Merchant lords, or the Arch mages. Around them was a wall that blocked off the nobility from the rest of the city incase it was ever attacked. Around them was the warrior's cast ring. It was the ring that contained the armory, the army forges, stables, barracks, and the houses to the warrior cast. Another wall separated the Warrior cast from the city. Around the warrior cast was the commons. The market, the shops, and housing for those in the common cast. Bound in another wall outside of it was plain fields that had probably sense grown wild with all sorts of plant life, that is if it wasn't burnt to ash by the creatures that occupied it.
[b "The king would be greatly interested in these plans."] Ado threw the maps from his chair back onto the table. [#f5990a "This is not what we have come to discuss. You need a place for the stone you remove to be taken or brought to. I am saying I have a use for it, just bring it here to Si Bali and we will take care of it from there."] the three dwarves seemed a bit angry as Ado covered up the map, perhaps their focus was on the map, but it would be on him now. [b "Let us discuss this with our king. We will send a messenger with his answer."] Nodding Ado snapped his fingers and a few elven guards appeared from the stone walls. [#f5990a "Escort our guests back to the door and their guards. They have a long journey ahead of them."]
Nodding the elves escorted the dwarven people out and Ado returned to the map that had peaked their interest. It had even drawn his attention. He knew the reason why the dwarves were so interested in it was because the dwarves were always trying to reclaim their old capital. It was the marvel of the dwarven civilization and the peak of their golden age. It had fallen during the civil wars, and the goblins and orcs drove the population to starve itself out. Then dragons came. and purged the entire city. Any trace of the old city was lost to the dwarves, so records of any kind was very valuable to them. However what drew Ado's attention was the fact Anjui was also interested in the city itself, more specifically the very thing the dwarven throne was carved from.
Ado had left The vale and returned to Masol Thysaer, it was also there he spent the remainder of what time they had before leaving on their journey across the lands of the crescent isle. Ado's deal paid off. He had gotten a message three days later that said the king accepted his deal and so Masol Thysaer would grow and so would the Fortresses, and it was in thanks of effort of the dwarven miners and people.
The trip to Shyr Tadorar, the Capital to house Aelori was a very decent one. Through the lands of Masjhol they didn't have any trouble at all, even though they had brought with them guards incase they ran into some on the way from the folks that worked in the fields or lived in the country, or even the guards at Pandyrl Shar. They however seemed glad of the change of the Crown, even if it was to a young lad who had no current experience in actual war, but one day that would change. Their passage within the Molaes Shyr however was far from smooth. It was a matter of watching themselves and making no threatening moves as they had been on a constant watch from the house Aelori guards sense they had left the Fortress on their border.
It wasn't however until they reached the gate that would lead into Shyr Tadorar that they finally encountered a guard. the one that had spoken first was obviously female as her voice gave it away, but she had demanded they stated their business. Ado looked to his brother who only stayed silent, and the guards did not speak either only gripped the reigns of their mounts tighter between their fingers. Anjui had answered her after the second attempt of finding out the reason they were there, but this time his brother answered. It was the look Anjui gave him that told the young prince to give up the scroll.
Producing a letter from within his tunic Ado handed it over to the guard closer to him, which so happened to be the female. Anjui spoke some more, but before he could finish Ado watched as the girl looked it over a few times. In an attempt to figure out what it was they had wanted she was about to break the seal, but Anjui screamed for her to stop. She handed the letter to her male companion and he had disappeared. It wasn't long before he reappeared at the doorway. The female spoke again of how Lord Aelori would see the group.
Ado, like his brother was impressed with Shyr Tadorar. It was a grand house indeed, even for the size of land they claimed they had managed to build even a city as large as its capital, and still have room for probably many more. Instead of his focus being on the details of the city however the young prince kept his eyes on the people around them. Caution was his trade, and it didn't fail him. Curious eyes gazed upon the twins along with the guards they had with them. Of course many eyes were of soldiers and that of the common folk who likely were returning from the fields or headed out to them.
Within the throne room Ado paid attention to the nobility and royals in front of him. The young prince did side glance once or twice to look at the guards which were placed every few paces placed up against the wall in pairs. Eventually his brother Anjui caught his eye, but Anjui wasn't looking forward at the nobles in front of them, but around at the building itself like it was what he had come for instead. Nudging him slightly with his elbow Ado had forced Anjui to focus on the task at hand. Dealing with the nobility of the house.
What had happened within the next few minutes seemed to all be a dream to Ado, how was it his mother could use him to conspire for power, even from a lower house of all things. Yes she would be expanding their territory and even expanding their trading value and military out put, but it also would hinder them in the long run, as to merge the two houses meant that diplomatic ties would end up being damaged somewhere for Felwood. It wasn't until the word Marriage came out of his brother's mouth that Ado was paying attention. So the rumors of it were true their mother had indeed planned on using all her children to bring other houses to bend and knee under her foot if she could. She was indeed a clever women, but not witty enough to have it done quicker.
It was however the young Mylas's voice that had called his attention away from his own thoughts. Ado had just heard whispers of how Mylas would be returning to Masol Thysaer with the pair, but their sister Shaelia would stay here in Shyr Tadorar. How was it possible that she would stay here when they didn't know where she was at? Or did Anjui know where their family was, but did not speak of it as it did not matter to him? There was a moment of silence before more words were spoken. The deep voice of Lord Aelori and how he had a condition of his own and that was that their family would be allowed to retain the family name of Thaelyr, and also allowed to return to the lands they once claimed as their own, as nobles under Anjui.
These words shocked him, but yet Ado couldn't speak out against them. He missed his siblings, even his mother and father, but he would keep an eye on them and make sure none would take the crown from Anjui by any means.
Time seemed to go very quickly for Anjui. It felt almost like yesterday that he had taken the throne of his home, and given his army the plans for expansion across all of them, but that was many days and nights. To be exact it was a little over two months ago. It was very near to the time of war for the High elf houses, and it would be a bloody one. Most likely the second bloodies war upon the crescent isles in the history, that only to the civil war which had caused the faction to split in half the first time.
The young male elf had left the safety of his home to gather his dream, but to do that he needed far more soldiers, and much more land under his banner to make sure they lasted. Anjui sat at the center of a line of horses, himself upon a young mare, her coat was a dark chestnut brown. Next to him rode Ado upon a light golden yellow stallion. Around them rode armed and fully combat ready guards. The two in front of them rode a silver white stallions. The two behind them rode black mares.
While they were away Anjui set in motion the plans he had placed. While his trip would lead him north and hopefully be a success he doubt it would last long and he would expect an attack from house Aelori even if they agreed to the reason why he was there in the first place. While time was a key factor the young king had placed his commanders in over seeing the construction. Their focus needed to be on the capital first then to go and expand the forts outside of the city. If they had to wait on fortifying the forts then at least the majority of the construction would be done.
The group had set out across their lands to meet the trees of the Silver woods. Inside these woods was house Aelori, a person they had made an enemy of during the brief night during the winter festival. They would be stubborn, but worse was that Anjui knew guards were already watching them and waiting on the orders to attack the group before they reached the estate of the nobility. The order it seemed never came, but Anjui knew that if they were to be ambushed it would have to happen before the estate, otherwise if a single survivor were to escape they could claim the house attacked them out of war season.
Anjui realized they would have a hard time finding the house if they didn't already know where they were at. It was actually the reason why he brought along with him the guards. the four of them had already been to the house and would know where it was. They had been to House Aelori with the ambassador from the house before, a few times they traveled back and forth. The group stopped as they came face to face with a swift fall. It was what kept the outside world away from the house itself. The house had no walls, no towers nothing, but it was hidden so well within the forest itself one could go one hundred years inside the forest and walk past it several thousand times and not know it.
The guards took a left turn and disappeared below the cliff line. It was almost like they had fallen, but it wasn't so. They had taken a pathway down. The twins follow the pair and were followed by the other guards behind them. Looking over the side Anjui saw that it was at least one hundred feet drop from where they were at to the river or sea below. Going across a perfectly carved bridge the group was halted at the end of it by two guards that came away from the stone that surrounded a door. [b "State your business here."] called one of them in a female voice.
Anjui looked over the pair. Nothing gave away who they were accept their figure. he could tell one was a male the other a women. He could also tell by the way their cloaks sat upon their figure the male had a blade under his cloak with likely an arrow and bow at the ready and a few hidden knives likely in his boot and tucked up his sleeves. The female just held a bow and arrow, and a sword at her left hip, but her cloak was partly open to her bow already being drawn. [b "I said state your business."]
Anjui looked the women dead in the face without so much as flinching or skipping a beat. [#b62e11 "I am here to see Lord Aelori."] Ado held up a scroll which he handed to the guard. Anjui watched the exchange and spoke more. [#b62e11 "Lord Aelori will wish to hear what we have to say. Hurry and deliver that to his side."] The female went to break the seal upon the scroll when Anjui stopped her. [#b62e11 "That is for Lord Aelori's eyes alone."] the female handed the scroll over to the male companion and nodded, she had her bow redrawn and ready to fire.
As the male guard disappeared several other guards appeared from the stone bridge behind them ready to kill them at any moments notice. Anjui and Ado exchanged a look and returned their gaze to the doorway. It seemed like hours for the male guard to come back, but it was ten minutes. [b "Lord Aelori will see you."] Nodding with grace the group rode through the doorway and into the city itself also bustling with life.
[center [pic https://i.pinimg.com/originals/89/2b/ef/892bef176a37209760df258701bed2f5.jpg]]
While the door was unremarkable the city was magnificent in its own right. Built it seemed taller then most trees one would think you could see the city buildings in the distances, but unless you were inside the city itself you couldn't even tell. Like the Felwood house the silverwood's capital city was butt up against a cliffside, To the east was the only doorway into the city itself. The rest of the city was surrounded by a drop into either a part of the Silver woods, or into a river that cut into the silver woods that allowed them to dock their ships inland instead of on the coastline.
Walking down the pathway Anjui paid close attention. in the center was a single fountain that was currently off, due to war coming soon it was unlikely it would be on until war was over due to elves being known to use tactics like poisoning a water source. To the right of the unused fountain was stones marked by pillars on either side which then lead into he guessed was a theatre of some kind carved into the stone itself. That or an arena either would do. To the right was a pathway that lead to a temple that was also placed right against the cliffside. Continuing down the pathway they had come the city itself came into sight. A grand estate that held not one, but four different giant homes.
[b "Each house holds one of the Lord Aelori's family members. The first one is where he stays with his wife and their children stay. The next is for his siblings and their families. The third is for his wife's siblings and their children. the very last one is where Lord and Lady Aelori's parents stay, It is also there that the soldiers that guard the city stay. Most citizens live behind that with a wall between the estates and them incase we are attacked."]
It was a smart lay out to Anjui's thoughts. Put your nobility closest to the entrance and the citizens as far from it as possible incase of an attack. The soldiers patrolled the grounds were close by and could easily go from their homes to defend the citizens instead of the estates themselves. The male guard waved his hand. [b "Lord Aelori will see you in his throne room, however I must return to my duties."] without another word the guard turned and disappeared back the way the group had come and back out the gate.
Anjui, Ado, and the four guards were stopped at the entrance into the estate. They dismounted and continued into the estate. Now Anjui understood the words his mother spoke about hoping her home was as graceful as their own. It was like they had build the city itself out of the living trees around them. while Anjui's eyes wandered the halls he knew his brother wouldn't let him stray to far. It was then the bump into his side from his brother's elbow that got him to look straight ahead. Sitting upon his throne was Lord Aelori and to his right was Lady Aelori in her own chair. On either side of them were children, likely their children. To Lord Aelori's left looked to be the crown prince and person who would inherit the crown. on either side of the noble family sat several other members of the nobility to the house. Not specifically the rulers of the house, but high nobles on the land, or lesser nobles.
[#652376 "House Aelori greats you Lord Anjui, and you Prince Ado. What is it..."] Lady Aelori was cut off when her husband threw his hand up for her to be silent. His face bright red it seemed with anger. in his hand was the scroll Ado had given to the guard earlier. [#771390 "This is fowl play; and I will not stand for it you runt. To think you can claim your house by taking it from under your parents. Then to turn around and use their claim upon my own house to claim it from under my family as well."] Gasps went out across the nobility that had all gathered around, and a look of surprise came to Anjui even from his own guards and brother.
Of course a smile played across the young elf's face. [#b62e11 "That lord Aelori is not saying I am claiming your house, it is a statement to my parents from you and the Lady Aelori written and signed by both of you and sealed stating that our two houses will be merged by marriage of the young lord Ado, to your princess Lady Tasia."] Ado seemed shook, it read on his face after all that this knowledge was all new to him. It was known however their mother was a cunning lady that always sought power for herself even if it meant using her children to get it. [#b62e11 "I am not asking for the marriage. In fact I am asking for it to be nulled, however this would tarnish your family name and the house reputation which would cause you to loose trading partners and value which would bring down your house rank probably lower then its greatest enemy."]
The Lord stood up from his seat storming down to come face to face with Anjui. [#771390 "I will not take to threats boy. Now speak what you want and be done with it."] waving his hands out from his chest Anjui's smile only grew. [#b62e11 "I want your house Lord Aelori."] it was that statement that seemed to set it off. the entire family stood up, but without word as Tasaer had his hand in the air for silence before they could speak of outrage. [#771390 "What does that mean for my family?"] Anjui locked his eyes with the lords the smile still upon his face. [#b62e11 "Nothing will happen to you if that is what you mean. You will still stay here within your estates, Your family will act as regents to the Silver woods for my family. There are minor changes that would happen and that is all."]
Lord Aelori's face went from its bright ruby red to a ghost white. His eyes flickered from Anjui to the letter and back a few times before he spoke again. [#771390 "And what would these changes be Lord Anjui?"] Holding up four fingers Anjui looked to his brother from over his shoulder. [#b62e11 "The crown of House Aelori will go to my brother Ado, as of the moment of signing to the agreement, and it will stay within his family unless he deems it necessary to go to another instead."] putting down one finger the young male paused a moment to let his words register not only with the man standing in front of him, but all of the nobility gathered.
[#b62e11 "The second change is that House Aelori will now become apart of house Masjhol which then means the banners that are flying here in the capital and in any other city shall be changed to our own. The insignia upon your soldiers and the armor your soldiers wear will be changed to match our own soldiers. This also means that your army now becomes apart of our own. While small its still useful."] The lord watched as Anjui put down a second finger holding up two still in the air.
[#b62e11 "The third, is that to make sure this exchange works correctly I shall be placing my sister Shaelia here within Shyr Tadorar for you to watch. And I shall take with me in return your young prince Mylas with us to return to Masol Thysaer. An exchange of nobility I feel would allow us to work better together as we can correspond with each other faster then taking the journey between the two capitals and dealing with formalities such as stopping to announce who we are and such. "]
Coming down from his own chair the Prince Mylas joined his father at his side. [b "And what prey tell is the exchange of prisoners for?"] Anjui looked at the young prince. He was a high elf about the same age as Anjui. They could have been twins themselves in a sense. Mylas had blue eyes, golden blonde hair that draped down to about mid back. He stood a little shorter then Anjui and Ado by maybe an inch. His ears were a little shorter as well. His figure thin, but one could tell he had the muscle tone of a swimmer. [#b62e11 "It is not an exchange of Prisoners young Mylas. It is an exchange of family. This leads me to my last condition. While House Aelori will become apart of House Masjhol, it will still retain its own nobility, however their name will become Masjhol as well. So young Mylas, you would be known as Mylas Masjhol. instead of Mylas Aelori. I will not make the same mistakes as our ancestors in allowing a single person to rule the entire people. I will make an empire out of our people, by allowing the nobility to rule the lands they hold by their own. Those only above them will be myself and my brother Ado until we pass the crowns to another. I will have House eclipse be one of the strongest houses in the elven Empire, but first you must agree or you must fall."]
Mylas looked to his father and back to their family. Taking the letter from their father's hand he read it through. Anjui took in a deep breath. [#b62e11 "They never planned on you taking the house over Mylas. They had planned on merging Aelori into Thaelyr in the near future with your older sister's marriage to my brother. He would have taken the crown instead and my mother would have expected him to pledge his loyalty to our father by blood and giving the crown of House Aelori over to our father. Your father and mother already knew what she was planning and were going to allow it to happen, they even agreed to it within the letter."]
It was then the lady of the house stepped down and grabbed onto her son. only he wiggled out of her grip and with tears in his eyes and running down his face [b "Is this true? Do you see me as not fit to lead our people?"] Both lord and lady stayed silent. [#b62e11 "They agreed to the terms my mother laid down as long as she met theirs. It was laid down that they would still retain the lands as their own and would be considered High nobility within the house. The difference between the agreement I wish to make and the one our parents would have made is that instead of sealing the agreement by marriage we are sealing it by exchanges an important figure."]
A deep breath was let out by lord Aelori and sobs came from his wife as she went to embrace her child again repeating over and over to him that she was sorry for what they had done. [#771390 "Very well. We agree to your terms. On one more condition of our own. As your parents only had two conditions to our own one, you have four so we will have two. Your sister was banished with your parents and older siblings, allow them to return to the lands their family now have as their own. Let them still retain the name of Thaelyr, and allow them to be nobility within your house."]
Anjui looked to his brother, but the male had confusion on his face for a brief moment but nodded to his brother. Anjui returned his head to face the lord only to see his own family walk out from behind the noble family that all sat back down in their chairs. Without a blink or second thought Anjui looked specifically to his parents. [#b62e11 "I agree, however if I find out they plan or try and retake the throne of the house from under me I will have their heads. I am ruler and I will not loose my house because of sentiment for family. If need be I will take their heads myself."]
A look of despair appeared across the Felwood family, but also of a victory. They were allowed to return to their home and they would be glad for that itself.
Sitting back up properly Lunas patted the cat and preparing himself The elf strode away from the army a few feet. His legion was set up like before mostly. His archers were positioned with the cliff drop to their back, so no warg riders or orcs could come from behind and attack them while they were undefended. To their immediate right and left were the Cavalry units. in front of the archers and cavalry were spears and in front of the spears were the swordsmen.
Lunas raised his arms to his side. [#9138cc "Goddess Watch over us, and Grant us Honor in our deaths. In your name Luna I give my heart and my soul to you to forever watch over in the Glade of stars."] Returning his hands to their proper place Lunas looked across the soldiers gathered under his banner. They were all experienced and knew what laid before them, it was death, but they stared across the hills at the gathering orcs on the hill and embraced the idea of death by the blade.
[#9138cc "Moon elves of the eleven Rings. It has been my greatest honor in leading you in battle. Today shall mark the last of our banner, We shall die here that much is known to anyone here, but that does not mean we can not put up one hell of a fight and take as many of those filthy orcs with us to face punishment."] drawing and raising his sword Lunas clicked his blade against those already drawn out and placed in front. [#9138cc "For the glory of the Goddess."]
screams came from the elves. Running down the line lunas returned to the center front line of the moon elves. The screaming however had caused the orcs on the hill it seemed to pause for but a brief moment. Their cry went up and a sea of black once again came rushing over the hills rushing towards the elves. [#9138cc "Ring formation. I want the archers protected as long as possible."] While moon elves were superior cavalry units in comparison to their elven cousins their archers were still very deadly.
The soldiers were slow in forming their rings around the cliffs and placing the archers around them. [#9138cc "Wall Up."] It was to late the orcs were to close and the elves wouldn't have enough time to get their shield wall up in time for it to work. [#9138cc "Archers fire at will. Shoot the closest target if you can."] Volley of arrows went out and it would take a few orcs, but still not enough to stop the wave of advancement the orcs came. A few tumbled over the dead bodies and ended up being trampled under their fellow orcs feet, but those who just trampled their brothers didn't care there was a force to fight in front of them.
Lunas however wasn't going to allow the orcs get close just yet. Cutting into his flesh he drew the knife across his tattoo pattern which allowed the blood to flow freely from his wounds. It slowly dripped out of him, but if one paid attention the blood changed from its normal red pigment to that of a purple then to a blue. The blood still flowing on his skin had also turned a bright blue and his marks were glowing. His eyes burned like they had a moon trapped behind them.
[#9138cc "you shall be purged form this place you filth."] a light seemed to grow over the moon elves. It had caused the orcs to once again pause and find out what it was. Lunas was given the name as he was blessed by the goddess to have the power to call the moon to his aid. It allowed him to call upon the full moon and cause anything he saw as an enemy within a certain distance from him to be hit with a starlight, in actuality it was just an arrow that was launched from the moon that was summoned but it burned bright and caused most hit by it to catch on fire if not instantly dead from being split in half.
The orcs stopped just short of the moonlight. By the time it had faded however the elven wall was formed. The first row of elves crouched down and had their shields protecting their feet. the second had stepped forward and leaned down protecting the heads of those crouching down, and their own mid section. The third row also came forward protecting the heads of those leaning down and their head area. Then the fourth row went forward and protected everyone from above to make sure no arrows would take their soldiers out from on high. [#9138cc "Spears forward."] The spears went and would poke through the little bit of gaps the shields would make and stab through the enemies if they got to close. it was just like the blow fish when inflated into a ball, or a porcupine's back. [#9138cc "Hold on men we shall fight to our last."]
The waves seemed to just keep throwing themselves against the wall of elven shields and spears only to end up injured or dead. Lunas knew that the orcs would eventually have to give up as the bodies would begin to pile up and give the elves the advantage or drag them away through the frenzy which was not likely the option. The battle lasted but a few minutes before the orcs all back off. [b "Stupid elves give up and we shall spare you. We only want the tree."] [#9138cc "You will not defile Teirar Maelolaer with your dirty hands. Be gone from our lands orc or your head will be placed on a pike."] This had caused the orc that had spoken to laugh, but he went into a rage it seemed.
It was but a few seconds later that screams could be heard from the eastern part of the circle. The orcs had found a weakness to it and pulled a spearmen through the shield causing those holding up the shields to fall forward as well. Killed most likely to make sure they couldn't reform, but the gap was still growing bigger as more elves were cut down to make room for the orcs to push in. [#9138cc "Swords Forward. Protect the archers."] On their orders The swords pushed on the orc warriors that had come swarming into the now partly formed circle protecting the archers in the center, and those with their shields and spears still being pressed as well.
It was a few more moments but he heard it. The horn call in the distance signified a few things possible. The legions that had left had come back with an even bigger force as the high priestess had met them on the road and changed their orders, or it meant orcs had managed to get around the moon elf forces during the fighting earlier and they were signaling they were coming to help. Looking up the cliffside all Lunas saw was the volley of arrows let loose into the sea of orcs that was still streaming over the hills. They had indeed mustered a force that was to be reckoned with.
It was then he heard the elven accent of a wood elf call. [#9dcc38 "Fire the wind lances. I want the orcs driven back Be sure the elves down there are helped. Let the arrows fly."] the orcs were driven back, at least for now, but Lunas would have to thank his savor at a different time. Right now he had to be sure his fallen were properly taken care of.
Javi had watched as the light reflected across the glittering armor of gold from the wood elves. Bows in hand, arrows on their left hips, and swords on their right with sheilds on their backs. A single figure stepped forward from the group, her armor like everyone else was gold, a bow held in her hand arrows and sword hung at her sides with a shield on her back. [b "Lord Javi. The soldiers are ready for your command."] her voice was soothing like a light breeze sounding in a forest at night. It was peaceful, but if one didn't pay attention could be deadly.
[#9dcc38 "Thank you Captain."] he said as he gave the women a bow. She returned to the lines of warriors and seemed to blend in with the rest of the soldiers in just a few moments. Javi looked around and noticed a few carried spears instead of bows and a few had claymores upon their backs instead of shields. A group even had halberds in their grasp in one hand and a sheild or the stick end in the other. [#9dcc38 "Soldiers of the Twisted Forest. Our home is under threat, but not directly."] pausing a moment to let it register in the ranks his words.
[#9dcc38 "Our King has sent you to be under my command, and I shall not fail him. He has sent us here to the Dreamwoods to help our closest brethren in defending their homes, as if they were to fall we would be next. The moon elves are being attacked from the north by orcs that wish to burn their forest and destroy their eternity tree, the Teirar Maelolaer. We can not allow this to happen. The king has spoken and it is our mission to help the moon elves defend their tree."]
Looking over the soldiers Javi could tell who the experienced soldiers were and who the recruits were. It was the fire in their eyes and the fear that spoke on their face. Many tried to hide it and would probably do well to an untrained eye, but Javi was not known as Javi the hunter for nothing. He has a reputation of destroying scores of orcs, undead, goblins, and even humans. That fear would be his driving point. [#9dcc38 "Know that we may die, but we will die with honor, and with that honor we will be guided to the land of the ancestors. Also know you will bring honor and glory to your family."] holding up his arm that had his bow in it Javi called out in a war cry.
[#9dcc38 Thys si Eilaerys."] For the ancestors, it was a war cry the wood elves used in their own right and it was rarely used unless it was meant for a great war, and to Javi this was a great war that could take years, even centuries before they would see their homes again in the golden leaves of the Twisted forest, but if it meant they would no longer be threatened by orcs it would be worth it. the army of course answered back with the same war cry given to them by Javi.
Javi dropped his arm and climbed up onto the mount he was allowed to borrow from the wood elf stables. [#9dcc38 "Move out."] he called. pointing North towards the border Javi had an idea of what would happen. He had known the high priestess had called back the moon elf legions to the Capital, so he would meet them on the road perhaps seeing the wood elf army would turn their spirits and make the soldiers turn and fight the orcs instead of running, but either way Javi would face the orcs in the northern lands and not allow them to push farther into the Dreamwoods.
The soldiers turned into a stream of glistening gold and silver, eventually disappearing itself into the forest. Javi had fallen behind, but upon the saber he quickly found the front of the line and marched with the soldiers. The army had indeed met the moon elf legions on their march north, but seeing the sea of gold did nothing but delay them. Perhaps the moon elves believed them to be more orcs that had snuck around them and was pushing to attack from behind them. Javi haulting his own army rode out to meet with the leaders of the army of moon elves now all gathered up and ready for battle.
[#9dcc38 "Hail. I am Javi Twinshade, Commander of the wood elf army that now stands in front of you."] Seeing the three in front of him. There was an old man, Javi of course was told of this man, It was the moon elf king and their ruler. Husband to the High priestess and father to Lunas, and Maes. The second person was a female, dressed in cloth, no priestess robes. Javi could only guess this creature in front of him was Maes herself. She was easily much different in comparison to the other elves gathered around her and not only for her clothing, but minor details. Her eyes were a deeper shade of blue, her skin was a charcoal gray with a honey milk tone to it. The last person that rode forward javi wasn't told about, but the sacred look seemed to be plastered upon his face, and so was the black blood of orcs.
Javi could of course tell this must have been the newly appointed legion commander Calos. Looking at all three it seemed the king is whom spoke first. His tongue had a soft accent to it to show the difference between the moon elves and Wood elves, it had a higher pitch and sounded sort of like a light rain on wood. [#2b18d8 "Greetings Wood elf, what is it your doing in the Dreamwoods, realm of the moon elves?"] Javi looked to the group, had they not been told that the High priestess sent for aid from the wood elves before her armies were even dispatched to battle?
Conflicted in telling them his mission or to keep it hush Javi spoke. [#9dcc38 "I am here to aid our moon elf brothers and sisters in defending their land from the invading force of orcs in the north. I did not however expect to see you this far south when your border is still but a few days ride north?"] The king seemed like he wanted to speak, but his eyes kept flickering back and forth between Javi's perhaps looking for some sign on the male's face, but Javi did his best to keep a blank face. The younger male spoke of course before the king could answer. [6d3b87 "We stationed ourselves but a few hours away. We were recalled back to the capital. If you wish to help us defend our land, help us defend our capital. Within the walls the orcs will be like water on rock."]
Javi turned the phrase over and over in his head, but before he could finish her voice came to his ears. A soothing sound like that of running water just like her father. [#18a4d8 "We left Lunas at our stationed position with his legion. He was preparing to fight the orc onslaught again before we left."] Javi wanted to scream at the three of them. They left their prince and thousands of elves there just to die. Those were elves they could use to defend their capital and they left them.
Javi nodded and called over his sholder. [#9dcc38 "Tell the army to keep marching north. If the moon elves will join us is up to them, they have their orders and we have ours."] another wood elf nodded and disappeared into the forest behind Javi. The golden stream seemed to take a hard right turn and continue on their venture north shortly after this time in a hurried pace. [#9dcc38 "Join us if you wish with your legions, but we will not abandon an elf when there is possibility to help."]
Clicking his tongue his mount took off at a run and the moon elf army disappeared behind him. It wasn't a decision he would be forced to make. Defend the capital of the moon elves or help a fellow elf in need. The moon elves had the advantage of knowing the land, so where they had placed themselves must have been for a specific reason other then just to block the path of the orcs.
Leaving the Citadel's throne room and more specifically the Citadel itself Ado followed his brother Anjui the male looked out across all the forces gathered up within the mustering fields. It was all of the soldiers their lands held. Five hundred men and women that were sworn to the horsemanship. Six hundred were fashioned to the archer hood. And the remaining were spears or swords. Also within them were just a few very powerful mages.
Hearing them all pledge themselves to the crown as the ritual usually goes through just like their father and their grandfather. Knowing all of those who would follow in the line if their house still stood. Hearing his brothers words to the soldiers of his dream it meant a lot not only to Ado, but to everyone. The prince could see it upon their faces that he all of them were listening to his every word like it was honeysuckle being placed on their lips. Their eyes were like children looking up at candy. But it was when his words went out about keeping their house by fortifying the strong holds on the borders that Ado could tell the soldiers were loosing faith already in his brother.
They had but a few more moons before war season was upon them, and that is a dangerous time for anyone to be trying to build something, but Anjui even had an answer to that. He would have the soldiers help with the new fortifications to the holds, and even to the new fortifications to the capital that he would be implementing into his building plan. Looking out among the soldiers Ado watched as all the forces understood that even though they had tasks and jobs that they would normally do during the seasons they were not soldiers, but this year that was strictly set for them as construction. It was a grueling task, especially those that had never done such work before.
Ado was drawn away from the gathered forces below as the commanders and Anjui were deep into a conversation about what would happen to the capital. Ado was curious about the modifications his brother would make to their city as well. It sat at the top of a mountain and had but only one entrance and that would only allow for two people to stand shoulder to shoulder and walk up the path without worry of falling off the edge. The newest addition would cut off the pathway use by placing it at the base of the mountain.
Holding up the plans Ado looked upon the thing. [#f5990a "My brother, The house banner."] pointing towards the plans it still yet held the old family crest upon it. [#f5990a "Bring the plans."] A couple of elves came forward with a new banner between them. [#f5990a "I give you the new house banner for Starlight."] The banner went from a Green banner with a white tree upon it. To a Black banner with a Silver shield, upon the shield was a blade. at the tip of the handle to the blade was a single star.
Ado watched as his brother nodded his approval. It was then their work was put into affect. The capital would be a country in its own right being able to provide food and lodging for not only the citizens within its walls but the soldiers as well, they would no longer have to acquire food from the farms and lands the house owned outside of the capital. While the food would still be put away in the stores near by it would be used as a reserve, potentially for years of drought, or the long campaign that would be in the years to come.
Ado however was caught off guard when his brother had said he needed to act quickly before the season was over and war was upon them. It was like Anjui had everything already planned before he had taken over the house from their mother and possible even knew that his family would be banished. One day perhaps Ado would join his family in exile even though he sided with his twin brother Ado had a feeling Anjui could easily banish the older twin without any hesitation. He was ruler of the lands and hard decisions would have to be made in the future. The sacrifices he would need to make were Grand, but for the safety of the elven Isles and those people out in the world they would be in comparison dismal.
Ado had watched as the commanders all looked at the banner and approved as well. Ado played a smile to his face as his brother nodded his approval as well. [#f5990a "I am glad you approve."]
Hearing his brother's words as the man shifted out of his seat Anjui knew of the Shor Cel, but had never actually used it. The statues were not meant to actually be used as a hunting force, but more a last defense if the three passes fell to enemies and they were pushed to the Capital itself. They were lifeless, showed no mercy, and no signs of need of sleep or hungry. They were wild savage things and a horror to see. The only way to destroy them was by completely smashing the stone that created them to pieces. A loss of a limb or their head wouldn't stop them even.
Anjui watched as the nobility all ran out of the hall in mayheim. Of course he had posted guards along the route to make sure the nobility actually left instead of running around trying to find places to hide within the city. Of course far and few those hidding places were Anjui would likely know of each of them, or Ado would. As the two of them constantly ran and hid away from their trainers and their parents. As the nobility ran away from the city the few armies out in the lands began to gather outside of the citadel in the training fields.
Anjui hadn't know his brother's plans, but they would not alter his at all. He would rule all the elven people under the House he now made. Looking to his brother neither said a word, but Anjui had wanted to give his brother a few words, that would have to wait however as the four commanders came forward. [#b62e11 "Commanders; why have I recieved word that all our forces muster on the training fields here in the capital?"] Looking around at his Captains the young ruler waited patientlly for an answer.
[#ae0f1c "My Lord, News from within the citadel has reached all ears, You now rule. and the soldiers have come to pledge their loyalty to you."] the one person that had answered was the Northern Wall Captain. Nodding Anjui stood also from his seat. [#b62e11 "Well Captains lead the way."] The captains all stood and turned. Leading to the training fields all the soldiers. Those placed at the fortresses, the legions out on the field, and the guards to the fortress and few cities within the lands were all gathered. As Anjui came into view all the guards went to one knee. It was then the crowd yelled [b "Ail maesoli sai si tyrn."]
It meant in service to the crown, the small piece of jewelry that sat upon Anjui's head. It was what bound the land to its ruler. its people to the house, and its army to the land. It was the one simple thing that could swept away without a second thought. Of course in times of war one had to eliminate the entire ruling noble family, or during the Fall and spring festivals one could challange another for the right to rule a house. Winter was time for preservance, one usually did not leave their home unless necessary in winter The students that would go to the Temple would leave early Fall and not return until their schooling was done nearly a century later.
Anjui looked out across his soldiers. Many wore the armor of the new house he now held. Its banners replaced the old ones in every city, every fortress, every citadel the Felwood family held. Looking out across his army Anjui held up his hand. [#b62e11 "Car Thys si Tyrn."] his saying of the ancient old traditional vow. Hail from the crown. a saying so old he remembered when he father had taken the oath and would renew it every decade. Anjui called out then to the soldiers all gathered. [#b62e11 "Fair Soldiers of the House of Starlight, I have a dream, but it will require much strife and sacrifice for us to achieve it. But first we must make sure our position as a house stands secure, so while normal life would dictate you to return to your families until the last few days of spring, we have much work to do before then. First we must fortify the walls of Msol Thysaer, Pandryl Shar, Ialolys Syrdaes, and Col Kes. These must stay within our hands."]
Whispers went out among his soldiers and he could tell as a few of them would lean back to talk to another person behind them, or they would turn to their head slightly to one side to talk to the person next to them. Some would even lean forward to talk to the person in front of them. [#b62e11 "Do not worry there is still plenty of time. And to be sure that all of you are given family time I will allow for you to bring with you your families. I will even be on the construction as well."] This sent even more words through the army. Their Ruler was going to help with construction and not just give the money in for the building? And most of all he wanted all of them fortified.
[#8d3f46 "My lord what else can we do to the Capital that hasn't already been done?"] Anjui only turned to face the commanders. [#b62e11 "As it sits we have the Citadel, the noble quater, and the commons. This shall expand farther."] Holding up his hand a rolled up paper was handed to the young ruler. Opening up the paper he held it up so everyone could see. [#b62e11 "I want three more walls added to the Capital. We can hold all of our people within the city, but we can not feed them, nor can we supply even ourselves, we relly solly what we get from the farmlands between the Capital and the fortresses, but what were to happen say one of the mountain passes were to fall. We would starve out before the season would end. I want to build fields for us to survive on if we are ever to go through a siege."]
This plan seemed to surpise the commanders. Anjui had thought this through. He knew that the houses around him would push on his borders and hard. They could possible push right up to the Capital itself, but if they did that the assault would fail as the plans allowed for the citadel to be defended easily. It was placed around a single mountain it was called the Baerdaer Tylal, the Jewel Mountain. Inside they would build tunnels that allowed for them to escape to the country side far away from the city. but they would expand the walls from where it sat now with the citadel at the top of the mountain and the noble quater a bit farther down, with the commons half way up the mountain with a single pathway to the gate.
No instead he would add another wall a quater of the way from the bottom. This would seperate the commons from the soldiers. It would be a fall back defensive position, and be filled with houses of those who lived in the country side. Any free space would be used as land for farms. He would then build another wall at the base of the fortress used as another back defensce position. the land here would be used for army soldiers. Their armory, barracks, training grounds, stables, etc. Then a ring around the mountain would be dug out and a wall placed just outside of the ring as a sort of hidden trap. Another wall would be built inside the ring to block the inside from falling into the pit as well. The land between that wall and the base wall would be the farmland that the fortress itself would use to keep its self sustained. The wall would stand the tallest and thickest the Isle had ever seen. It would stand nearly one hundred feet high, and ten feet thick. The door would be forged from dwarven metal.
It was the plans that stunned not only the commanders, but it seemed Ado didn't understand Anjui's plan as it sat. [#b62e11 "The plan is simple. We will make the Capital Self sustaining, and from this point we will launch our invasions across the isle until each house is under our command."] Ado just looked at his brother Anjui returned the glance a smile upon his face. [#b62e11 "However we must complete these modifications before winter ends, as to bring my dream closer I must move our plans forward to spring."] This is what had drawn the most attention. All his commander's and his siblings eyes fell upon him in utter horror. Was the young king about to truly break tradition of the elven people and go to war with the other houses during the spring? The only person to know this answer was Anjui himself of course.
While he trusted his brother Ado, Anjui still had a feeling of unease when around his twin, it was like something was off about him and the male couldn't put his finger on it. The same with the rest of those close to him. He was their ruler now not their prince or their family. It meant what he decided was the final decision unless someone took the crown from his head and claimed it for themselves.
The morning had come to soon for Javi. It felt like he had just shut his eyes when he heard the chirp of the morning lark. They had a long journey ahead of them, but it would not be met just yet. Javi stood and stretched himself. Bending and shaking the prince awake Javi watched as the young male stood the bed clothing dropped to the floor revealing a bit to much for Javi to feel comfortable with. Turing three shades of red the male turned his back to his prince pointing only to the clothing that was on the bench folded. Before words could be exchanged the young elf left. Reclaiming his bow and arrow along with several different sized blades some curved, some straight, some angled, and a few with a mix of them. Replacing his cloak back on his body The male went out to look at the Tree that was placed within the temple some more.
Upon reaching the great tree Javi had placed his hand upon the clear trunk. It was like most other elven eternity trees. Taller then a normal tree, by several hundred thousand feet or so. The tree stood well over six miles from base to top. It's top probably had an ecosystem of its own growing, even creatures found naturally in the forest living within it. Of course he would only know of the rumors of the night elves taking and living on their eternity tree, but if that was true was only questionable. No one had seen a night elf sense their own people went into an isolation. The Teirar Maelolaer however seemed different. It's bark didn't have a wood or a grain texture, but more of a cold solid stone feel to it. It also seemed to resonate a sense of serenity, peace, tranquility. It was the silence that had drawn his attention to the tree into finer detail. The Tree itself wasn't clear like glass, but clear more like a crystal, or like a bunch of glass. So while the image on the other side could be seen, it still came more magnified then anything.
[#df24eb "Amazing isn't it?"] The voice of the high priestess surprised Javi and caused him to jump a bit. a giggle escaped her lips as she stepped around him from behind to stand to his right. [#df24eb "It's said Teirar Maelolaer is the only tree like itself. The only Eternal Tree that is unlike the others."] Looking to her the wood elf male just gave a smile and a silent nod. [#9dcc38 "That is of course if you do not count the Dwarven Eternal Tree of Duraz Undi they have placed within their Thrown city Gron Kazad. The Dwarven Stone Watcher tree has always been in Crown city, that will not change, but if legend is true the dwarves were blessed with the Eternity trees first and they gave us Elves ours upon a treaty signed between our two races."] The Priestess's eyes seemed to light up. [#df24eb "You know the people's history that is good. Our history does no good however if its not backed by facts."]
Javi returned to looking at the tree. [#9dcc38 "This is true great lady, but dawn is upon us, so Vyr and I must be getting prepared to leave to return to Soraer Thysaer. I am sure our king awaits your answer."] the priestess just waved it off. [#df24eb "He already has my answer. While you slept I sent an owl to deliver my reply, along with a request. Vyr will be returning to the Twisted woods, however you Javi will stay here within the Dreamwoods. With an army of wood elves at your back your king has commanded that you help us ward off the orcs that shall be swarming over our lands soon."]
Both confused and stunned javi turned to the priestess. Detecting no hints of decent or lies within her statement. she held up a single scroll like she knew he would question her about it, especially the young prince when he finally was told. Taking the scroll from her hands the seal upon it was authentic and the writing on the scroll was indeed in his king's hand, but it was also in Wood elf, so how the High priestess of the moon elves could read it confused him even more. Wanting to ask he handed it back, but with questionable eyes. [#df24eb "Yes I know your language. I am far older then I look. I remember the time when the Elven people were a single people, not this whole split up thing we know now. I also remember when we spoke elvish and had one unified people. Then I also remember the suffering from the day of the fall. Eci had betrayed us all..."] a shutter escaped from the priestess, but it did not dwelled as she exited the room calling back from the open doorway.
[#df24eb "Your army awaits you in the North Ranger. I expect great things from you."] It was those words that had seen Javi off and out of the temple, out of the capital and into the woods. instead of his normal mount under him he had a frostsaber like the moon elves to lead him to where he would meet with the rangers he would have under his command. The great cat seemed to know exactly where it was going as its ears twitched searching for any sounds it didn't recognize, but found none. Its speed faster then that of even a pack of worgs chasing pray. Perhaps that is why the frostsabers were deadly creatures even on their own, a pride would kill even a dragon if given the chance and if hungry enough.
Upon arrival the cat stopped dead at the edge of a ridge that overlooked the entire wood elf ranger army that would be under the elf. Getting down and collecting his things the tiger sped away back the way the pair had come from. Likely returning to the temple and its master the priestess. The elf had to sit down he was more then surprised now. His king had put him in charge of not only the men that would normally follow him, but the entire ranger corp within the army. Looking out across the field the tents were numerous and orderly. It was like looking at a field of barley. The patch of tents caused a gold tint to the green and brown background of the forest. it meant they were at least ten thousand strong fighters if not more.
The young elf looked out and saw several groups were returning to camp, some with supply wagons. He had guessed the king had summoned the army here instead of its normal destination. Each group would bring with them their own weaponry, armor, and supplies for not only themselves but their animals. And of course many would bring more supplies incase another group did not bring enough. Eyeballing the surrounding area Javi had though this was a perfect place to set up a defense. a ridge to their back, a river to their left, and a questionable forest to their right and a clearing to their front.
finding a pathway down he eventually made his way to the camp to find out that they didn't have ten thousand soldiers there, but instead held fifty thousand rangers from all across the Twisted forest.
Lunas had waited and waited, he could tell his men were growing impatient as they did so for the orcs. Perhaps their scouts had given them incorrect information. Not that they lied to them, but perhaps it was watching them head south they would head straight to the capital of course The tree was there that controlled the forest for the most part, but to get to it they would have to first face the legions that were here. Just as Lunas went deep into thought a warhorn had blown in front of him. It wouldn't be long now. Lunas looked to his left, then again to his right, and a quick glance behind him. He did this not to check to make sure his forces were ready, but to make sure the moral of his troops were at an all time high before going into a battle they may not come back from. His speech wasn't the best, and he probably could have done better had he been given proper time, but he needed to move his forces out and do so quickly. before the orcs got to far into the Dreamwoods.
It was then the first few orcs came over the hills across the clearing. Raising his sword to the sky Lunas had only started the warcry once again that would be answered with the elven troops to bang their weaponrys against their sheilds or their breast plates, anything to cause noise which was to draw the attention of the orcs. It had worked however as a bunch of horns blew off and a sea of black came across the hill charging at their forces. The elf raised his head to the sky and closed his eyes. [#9138cc "Great Goddess watch over us today."] returning his head to level and opening his eyes he raised his hand in the air and dropped it.
The first wave of giant arrows were released into the air. Attached to them were giant cloths that would land ontop of the enemy as they ran under the thing. Lunas held out his hand after replacing his sword in its sheath. Taking a bow from a person close by it was a simple long bow. Taking a single arrow Lunas had the thing lite on Fire. Aiming at the cloth that had just landed The elf aimed far above a normal range. Letting loose the flame arrow it had cought the bottom right corner of the cloth and instantly into an inforno the cloth had become turning the orcs under it into nothing but ash. Those that had escaped ran around catching other orcs on fire and the other cloths also bursted into flames.
[#9138cc "Paer shaerysi porylys."] The elf yelled as he clicked his heels on the armor around Solia his great war cat. the creature at first went a slow pace charging forward, but eventually it hit a fast run. Lunas of course still with his bow out shot several arrows into orcs heads as they charged forward. They wore very little armor, but once in a blood rage the only way to kill the creature was to cause damage to their brain or to cut off their head. The lines met and several orcs and elves bashed against each other. The battle seemed to cloud over as more arrows were launched into the air and covered patches of the orc horde that still swepped across the hills.
With only but a moments pause the young elf kept the fight up from the back of Solia. It however wasn't long before it looked like the elves would be over run that had rushed forward with him. [#9138cc "Paer os Kysia."] he screamed out. and with many calls back to his ears he knew that his men or at least most of them were still alive. [#9138cc "Fall back soldiers. Regroup with the others."] Slicing the head off several orcs in front of him Lunas had his war glaive now drenched in the thick black liquid of orc blood. blowing a whistle Lunas looked around while defending himself from axes and spears and swords of orcs. It was when groups of orcs went flying into the air their bodies in shreds that Lunas smiled.
Solia had jumped right onto an orc in front of lunas. Letting out a loud cry from her maw. it was answered by so many others across the field from the cats the elves would come to call friend. Some of the cats had stayed near the body of their riders, while others went on a rampage and tore through as many orcs as they could before being felled themselves. The orcs however turned tuck tail and ran back over the fields and to the hill the few originally started from. the moon elves themselves even rejoined the other legions in front of the cliff.
The young elf looked out across the field from the cliffside to the bodies, the stench wifted away by the strong breese, but the lingering thought of each one of these lives he could have saved by sending in the full force. [#9138cc "Captain, Send a message to the orcs. They can collect their fallen."] the man nodded and turned to do as he was told. [#9138cc "Before you go. Captain send out parties to collect our dead, The great cats as well. We do not need the orcs making a feast out of the fallen."] the captain nodded and several elves went and started collecting the dead.
Lunas watched the small party of elves reach the orc camp and return over the hill with orcs behind them with their own beasts of course they were headed to collect their dead as well. Lunas however had his men armored and blades at their sides incase the orcs tried something funny. [#9138cc "Soldier. I need all the commanders here after the funeral rights."] nodding the mesanger was off to also do what he was told.
Nightfall had come early that day. The moon was full and would be for at least another few days. The bodies had all been gathered. Lunas watched as the prohpet Maes preformed the last rights over the bodies. She slowly removed the armor of each elf and cat as she went over them. The dead smell finally started hitting some of the soldiers gathered around. You could always tell who the new ones were as they ran off and started to throw up their guts. The smell of a corpse even just a few hours old was that of rot and decaying flesh. Flies flew around them trying to catch whatever it was they could eats. Crows swored above head waiting for the living to depart, but that was not going to happen.
Across the way at the orc camp one could heard drums being beaten and a great fire glow brightly. They had defiled the forest even more by cutting down trees to make it and they would pay for it dearly. The young elf stepped forward once Maes was done. [#9138cc "Kaer Kydaer Shi vaeres saeri tolael sai os aestali tae o taesor saes, thys ail saes tholar tystael si thyl shalaelia shor cylys."] The words of the ancient burial rights still stayed with the elf, as they were the same words spoken upon the day his father had been brought back home.
[#9138cc "Great Goddess, We return these children to your embrace. Cherish them, for in their final moments they fought breavly with honor."] Raising his head to the moon tears began to fall from the commanders eyes, but why? he didn't know any of the dead personally; he also knew that it was going to happen. This was War and war always came at the cost of lives, so why the tears? It wasn't for the lives that were lost, it wasn't for how many of them there were. It was the fact that it fell upon his decision that caused them to die.
Returning his head to its regular position Lunas raised his hand up. [#9138cc "Return them to the forest. The moon's children shall be honored by being apart of the forest their decendants shall live in. And they shall watch over them, forever."] Shortly after the funeral rights all four commanders once again gathered up, Malos rubbing his eyes tired for sleep. Maes seemed wide awake, but freshly bathed as her hair clung to her robe's back and left water to it. The king and Lunas both seemed to be the ones more prepared for it then anything. [#7f2f30 "Why call a meeting so late Lord Lunas?"]
Putting his hands on the table that now sat between the four of them he looked down at the larger map of the forest. Minature soldier figurines standing on it. [#9138cc "The scouts have reported in, More orcs mass on the northern border just outside of our forest. They mass in the Scouching sands. Its also just came in the orcs we now fight are far larger then we originally expected. They have amassed one hundred thousand orcs."] The three looked at each other then to their commander. [#6d3b87 "What are we going to do about that? That is at least ten times our size, and all they have to do is keep picking at us. We might destroy this force, but the one gathering in the north will surely be the end of us."]
Nodding Lunas held up a scroll in his hand. [#9138cc "This is a letter from the High Priestess. She has ordered us back to the capital. She wants us to also take anyone on our way back to the capital. She wishes to abandon the northern part of the forest."] [#18a4d8 "Well then we must obay her."] the other three looked to the Prophet. [#7f2f30 "We could go to the Crystal Fortress, but that would mean leaving the capital to be burnt to the ground as well."] the group chit chatted, but lunas stayed silent and listened. All of them agreed with the Priestess. Slamming his fist on the table Lunas busted out. [#9138cc "We are not abandoning the people of these woods to suffer the orcs. I am staying right here until the day I die, or until the orcs are dead."]
It was the silence that had given him his answer, he could not expect the others to feel the same way.
The next morning the field of battle while cleared between the two parties was still bloody patches of blood from both sides still lingered on the grass. The ashes of the burnt orcs and the curtains slowly fluttered away like buttterflies in the wind. Lunas looked at his own troops standing behind him. It was his legion that had stayed. The others had done as commanded as retreated from the field to return to the capital. It would be a slaughter that much the elf commander knew, but his people wouldn't give up so easily and put up a much needed fight. He also knew that at the end of the fight the Orcs would ravage the field of battle and eat if not desecrate the elven bodies, including those of the cats that would fall.
Leaning down into the cat's back Lunas hugged Solia he believed to be one last time. [#9138cc "I am sorry Solia. I truly am. I never gave you that pat down like I said I would."] her answer back was but a soft gruff sound that resonated through her body and into Lunas.
Family was his lifeline. Ado felwood was one of but eight children to his parents. And one of the sixteen or so grandchildren his grandparents had in the elven lands. Of course that would mean that Ado and Anjui would more than likely have to face one of their relatives and perhaps very soon even. Ado had stat down next to his brother, but his focus seemed to be upon the crown he now held in his hands. Perhaps the Burden of being king to the house was something Anjui had to yet wrap his head around. Ado only perked up when he saw that Anjui had turned too looked at him. Their eyes met for a moment, and yet Anjui still could not draw words.
It was a moment of silence between the two of them, but Ado spoke first, Words rattled around in his head what is it that he could say to his brother that would allow him to understand what he was doing was far to important then to seek redemption from their parents. If it meant war with them then so be it, the war would come eventually between them anyway to unite the Crescent Isle anyway. [#f5990a “Brother you must sleep. War will be coming to our doors within a few moons, and we must prepare for it.”] Anjui only nodded as an answer.
Ado watched as his brother left the crown upon the chair he just vacated. Looking at the thing it was a simple matter, they would have their head butted with at every turn from this day. It was the events that unfolded earlier that would be the cause of it. Anjui had taken over the house and would be the ruler. Picking up the crown Ado held it in his hands running his fingers around the weaving from the crown. [@f5990a “You rule the house now brother, is it you who shall wear the crown of our people.”]
Seeing his brother pause at the door cause Ado to smile, the same devilish grin his brother had upon his face. Looking to the doorway Ado watched as his brother turned his gaze fell just over his left shoulder, his younger twin called back [#b62e11 “Yes brother, in time Taerael Airi will be under one banner again, The Sentinel will be restored.”]
His brother had gone to bed, however Ado had stayed awake and was already making plans for the rest of the nobility that were yet within their walls. [#f5990a “Guards I want the Wall Captains to be summoned. A war council shall be held.”] [b “Lord, Its far too early season to hold a war council. The season of war is but several months away.”] [#f5990a “Yes I know this, however we must discuss this plan. I am giving you an order, now carry it out.”]
The soldier saluted the prince and disappeared. A war council was usually held within the Spring time, usually it also consisted of the generals and forces they would send out into the field of battle not under the command of a royal, however Felwood had no force they could use against the other houses. Its why the family had always kept a good diplomatic standing with the rest of the houses on the Isle. [#f5990a “I need the war room prepared.”]
Several servants nodded and dashed off out of the room. It was shortly after they had disappeared the four elves had come into the room, fully dressed in armor and covered to the nail with weaponry, but their eyes were yet showed signs of sleep, Groggy and sluggish they seemed to all stumble to the table they now would hold the council of war upon.
[#ae0f1c “Lord Ado, what is the meaning of this.”] Ado held up his hand, [#F5990a “Leave us please. Anyone who is not given permission to be here you are dismissed.”] [#ae0f1c “Lord Ado What is the meaning of calling this meeting? And out of season?”] The prince yet still held up his hand. [#f5990a “Wait but a single moment.”] Having the servants bring all the maps and supplies from the war room to the chambers they now sat in the young male watched them all as they left. [#ae0f1c “Proceed.”] The four new elves all looked at the prince with confusion in their eyes. [#c85b88 “Everyone is asleep, and so should you be Prince Ado, now what is the meaning of this meeting?”]
[#f5990a “To answer All your questions, first I must ask you one question. Your Loyalties are where?”] All the captains looked confused at first. [#3c6877 “As always they are with the crown that sits in the Throne.”] The elf that had spoken was Captain Eidosar Shar, the West wall Captain. His eyes drew to Ado’s, but his hand was motioned to the crown that sat upon the cushion where Anjui had placed it. The golden Wreath crown gem glistened in the starlight as the night yet finished and dawn’s first light appeared across the land. The captains and even Ado’s eyes trailed his finger and looked at the gem itself.
Ado’s eyes returned to the captains now in front of him, each one dressed in the felwood armor they were given. [#f5990a “House Felwood has a new ruler. The young Prince Anjui has taken the Crown and the house for himself. I will see that you all give your Loyal Oath to him as he wears the crown upon his head.”] The captains all turned their face’s held their both surprise and empathy. Why though? Why would the captains be worried about what happened to the rest of the Royal family? They were given power based off their skill and until their death they would hold it. They were sworn to the crown, and whomever wore it would give them orders.
[#f5990a “My orders to you are simple captains. Gather up your legions here in the capital. I shall have all the men give their oaths to my brother or be removed like that of the nobility yet still within our walls.”] Before the captains could speak Ado held up his hand and in his most commanding voice. [#f5990a “Do this and do it quickly. And without question.”] The guards had just left and the war room supplies had just been cleared out when Anjui had reappeared in the doorway.
Taking to the ruler’s chair Anjui had just summoned forth the nobility, and the rest of the Felwood family. [#b62e11 “Bring the guests in.”] Ado watched as his brother would look over each noble as they came into the room. Agonizingly each house was lead into the hall once again, guards included. Like his brother; Ado’s eyed the nobility in front of them they were still on High alert and would not let their guards down.
[#b62e11 “Hence forth House Thaelyr is no more. These lands now belong to Masjhol”] Surprised by his brother’s words Ado looked to his brother. He wanted to speak, however Anjui kept his words going. [#b62e11 “We shall rule differently than any other house, but not without reservation.”]
Seeing his brother nod again all the guards stood aside from the nobility and in between his brother and the others. Of course the guards were still tense and the guards from the other houses all between their rulers and the guards for his brother. [#b62e11 “You all have until dusk to leave these lands, if you are not gone by said time you will be dealt with like any other Trespassers.”] Standing from his own seat Ado watched as his brother finished his words. [#f5990a “If you are not gone before dusk I will have to release Shor Cel upon you.”]
The Wild Hunt. It was a series of statues of elven heroes of the past brought to life by magic. They would hunt their target down until either their target was dead or they hit the border. While many of the heroes were believed to just be stone carvings into the outer wall of the capital, they did not know that Ado and Anjui both could easily bring them to life with but a single drop of their blood, but they could as the magic that coursed through the stone was the same magic that ran through their blood.
Betrayal that is what he had just done to his entire family, and yet it seemed to not affect him in the slightest. Looking still at the gem within the crown Anjui had only seen his twin out the corner of his left eye. Perhaps it was a good thing his brother had joined them. The young ruler had no sense of how to handle the matter. He knew the houses around him once allies would now turn against him and the house he just formed, so to keep the home he now ruled meant he would have to face against so many houses, including the possibility of his own family. First they would have to reinforce the fortress to make them suitable so they could withstand a war season.
Turning to face his twin Anjui looked deep into his brother’s ice blue eyes, Perhaps it was the thought they could pierce through his soul that kept the young king from having words with his brother. [#f5990a “Brother you must sleep. War will be coming to our doors within a few moons, and we must prepare for it.”] Anjui nodded. Placing the crown on the seat as he vacated it. [#f5990a “You rule the house now brother, is it you who shall wear the crown of our people.”] Anjui paused a moment at the door his family had been lead through but a few moments ago.
[#b62e11 “Yes brother, in time Taerael Airi will be under one banner again, The Sentinel will be restored.”] Anjui waved his brother goodnight and returned to his room at the top of the citadel. The bright red wood door standing out from the white alabaster stone walls. Placing his hand on the wood the young elf could feel the grain of it as he ran his hand down the doorway. The thing had aged very well along with that of the entire city itself. [#b62e11 “Great Fathers, I must ask for your aid, The future is unclear, but the Gods have demanded we cleanse the land.”]
With silence following his words the young male pushed open his bedroom door. walking in the male looked around the room. It was a medium sized room considering many within the fortress itself. Its design was simple four walls, ceiling, floor, and a single window. The walls were white just like the walls itself, only decorated with a single bed, a vanity, a desk, and a single door which would lead into the study just off his room. Stepping to the bed it like the room was a simple thing dressed in white sheets hand woven by the common crafters. The bottom blanket was a soft fur from the white lions of Oshus region. It was also scented with a pine needle forest scent to remind one of where the creature had come from. On top of that was a simple green blanket as well. Stripping himself of clothing Anjui settled himself into the covers. Drawing them up to his chest Anjui had a hard time to fall asleep, but he did eventually fall asleep.
It was a dreamless night, but was full of nightmares instead. Images of the dark god Lesharc seemed to haunt them vividly. Whispering dark things to him, showing him images of the dying tree the white stag had told them about. [b “Your world will be corrupted, There is no stopping it. Join us and you will be spared. Join us and you and your kind will have rule of the earth once again beside the chaotic forces I shall unleash upon the world.”] Anjui only covered his ears, but it didn’t work the whispers still came in his head.
Waking with a scream Anjui was drenched in sweat. The sickly sweet smell covered his noise, but his skin crawled like the god was still touching him, rubbing his hands on the man’s body. Removing the covers the young male went to the vanity and put water into the bowl. Removing a cloth the male began to wash himself. While he would be bath later like all nobility it was a matter of pride that would affect him. He was after all ruler now and he had to keep the appearance of one. That meant he needed to have respect from the people.
Looking at himself in the mirror Anjui could tell one thing for sure he needed to get the elves united. Leshrac would be sending forces to make sure the Sentinel was forever corrupted. Perhaps soon, but it would not matter. The noble houses would not see their people under one king again, and yet that is what Anjui aspired as his dream. To reunite not just the elves on the Crescent Isle, but all of them across the world, their Empire would be vast. Soraer Thysaer, Paestyr, Taerael Airi, even the Bondryli Shyr.
It wasn’t until Anjui looked to the window that he realized that it was once again the crack of Dawn that peaked through the peaks of the mountains that would call their land borders and that soon would change. Taking the stairs back to the throne room Anjui looked out to the sunlight from within the hall. The doors had been broken, but the main frame still stood clearly for all to see.
Nodding to the guard anjui spoke [#b62e11 “Bring the guests in.”] Of course he meant the nobility that had attended the festival from last night. Slowly each house was lead into the hall once again, guards included. Anjui eyed them over a few times before speaking to the group. [#b62e11 “Hence forth House Thaelyr is no more. These lands now belong to Masjhol”] pausing a moment the young prince looked specifically at his parents. [#b62e11 “We shall rule differently than any other house, but not without reservation.”]
Nodding once again to the guards who all stood aside to stand between Anjui and the group the male spoke the words. [#b62e11 “You all have until dusk to leave these lands, if you are not gone by said time you will be dealt with like any other Trespassers.”]
It was a long trip for Lavi and his travelling partner the prince Vyr. The two elves had encountered no more orcs while traveling across their woods to the east, but that didn't mean orcs wouldn't march on their woods as well to destroy it. They had to act fast, and while Wood elves were far more vigilant on their lands and far more deadly in the woods then their elven brothers and sisters it was what made many of the other races avoid the wood elf forest of Soraer Thysaer. It was named the Twisted forest as the wood elves were forever killing anything that came into their woods without permission, even their own kind.
They all lived under rule of one. Their King Shol, the first of the wood elf lords to unite all the wood elf families under has banner and would hold it true until the very end of his reign. Even Vyr would not challenge his father's ruling unless it was with the intent to possible be killed for treason or banished from their lands. Lavi did not dare to challenge his king's rule and many of the elves did not wish to try and challenge him for the right to rule either as he was the most skilled swordsmen they had. Deadly with a bow, and even more so with their elven crafted blade he was like a one man assault unit.
Lavi had cherished his prince, perhaps a bit to much even for his own good, beyond that of even a guard would to the prince. Lavi knew it was not allowed, however the thing is the elves allowed for different things to happen in the past so the one he had now would be but no different. It was forbidden however as King Shol would not allow his child to marry a lowly elf. The rules of such a tradition was lost to history for the wood elves and would remain that way if he could.
It wasn't long before the two elves reached the edge of the Twisted Forest. The only thing that separated their lands from that of the moon elven forest of Paestyr, The Dreamwoods was but a single river. The river however would not be spotted on any map, but instead be found as a border between the two. Like the moon elves the wood elves bordered the Mysol Paeraes, only to the Northeastern part of their country. Their border shared with the desert however was far more vast then that of the moon elves, but the forests claimed by both were of equal size. It would take a few weeks it seemed to go from the wood elf capital to the border, but the trip was overall successful.
The trip from the border between the two realms to the moon elf capital Bali Toria was a faster part of the trip; it took only six days. The vailed city was famous even outside of the forest itself, as many traders from the other races ended up there and called in a marvel of its own. Considering that the capital itself was the second largest known elven city in the world, with constantly full of life Bali Toria was a widely held jewel to the people. All over people flocked to get blessings from the Goddess of the moon and the other companions, but that wasn't all it held close at hand the largest known Eternity tree on landmass known as the Teirar Maelolaer.
The crystal sentinal was rumored to be the only tree to be completely see through. Crystal clear like it's not even there. The only give away that the tree actually was there is the faint light it gave off of itself, and the Deep vivid royal blue coloration to the leaves at the top of the tree. To see it up close Javi considered it a work of wonder, of course the High priestess would not give away the secrets as to how the tree became Clear as it did when all the others held similar traits to one another with slight differences.
It was however the voice of the High Priestess that pulled Javi from looked at the tree itself which was in the middle of the temple grounds to Eluna. [#df24eb "Hail Wood elf brothers. I have heard you come from afar."] Javi bowed to the lady and Vyr followed suit, in which they were returned with a bow from the priestess as well. [#df24eb "Come follow me and we can discuss the matter of why you have come over a meal."] It was then a rumbling noise came from both wood elf stomachs and they understood they had eaten very little sense their departure. It was then the creatures they took up to riding started rumbling under them as well in displeasure.
Dismounting both elves quickly unstrapped their bags, saddles, and the reigns from their cat like mounts and let the creatures disappear into the forest. Both Javi and Vyr knew they would come back when called upon. [#df24eb "This way if you please."] taking up a steady pace the two followed the great lady into the temple, around the tree's base and into a single room chamber.
[#df24eb "Can we have food brought for the guests please."] called the priestess to whomever stood outside. Before either male could speak however the lady put up her finger in a pause moment. As food was brought in the room was as dead silence. It wasn't until the servant left and the door closed behind them the priestess allowed her hand to return to her side. [#df24eb "Now tell me. Prince Vyr, Ranger Javi what has brought you here to Bali Toria?"]
In-between scarfing down bites of bread and cheese the two spoke. [#108417 "There is a massive army..."] [#9dcc38 "Of course gathering in the north..."] [#108417 "They will be coming down across the Mysol Paeraes..."] [#9dcc38 "And soon.."] The priestess nodded. [#df24eb "go on."] pausing for a moment both the prince and the ranger took long gulps of whatever liquid was in their cups. One could have given them liquid poison and they wouldn't have cared as long as it was liquid, no instead it was a refreshing glacier water likely from the pool close by. [#9dcc38 "They will push into Paesstyr and burn it as they go. The orcs are but a single force moving in a grand war that is going to happen, but first they need to destroy us and separately, otherwise our forces combined will be to great for them to fight."]
The lady didn't flinch or move or show any signs of emotion when she was being told. [#df24eb "I have sent four legions to the north to deal with invading orcs, but reports tell me its only warbands gathering around."] The prince nodded but went on. [#108417 "Yes, but these war bands are all coming together instead of fighting one another. They are going to create one giant warband under a single orc who will lead them. A gathering has already happened and many of them travel across the desert now to join with their fellow orcs north of here."]
It was then the priestess eyes went wide. [#9dcc38 "This can not be allowed High Priestess. you must gather all your legions and march them north, a war is coming and it will not be stopped so easily. We must show force this time and expand the forests to cover the southern half of Abor and help the other races here to insure that war stays away from our homelands."] The priestess stood up a smile playing acorss her face. [#df24eb "Of course. I shall send out the call to our army at once, but you both must be tired from the long journey rest and stay for the night. You can ride out to return to your king with the news that we shall join them in the war to come."]
Vyr gladly accepted the invitation to stay the night, but Javi was scares about it, hesitant perhaps, but it seemed off that the priestess would shrug off such a thing. Javi was cautious, but he also accepted the invitation to stay for the simple fact that someone had to stay and watch Vyr to make sure the prince didn't get himself killed, or worse turned into a reason for war.
It seemed days on the march did not damage or weaken the resolve of the moon elf army. They would rest a few minutes every couple of hours, allowing their wagon animals and war mounts and the soldiers to rest, but otherwise they pushed on. The capital Bali Toria lay far behind them. The Vale city was home to the moon elf royalty, including the largest known Temple to Eluna the moon goddess. They had long passed elven civilization as the walls of Bali Toria were the farthest northern moon elf settlement. It was forever expanding with the moon elf territories, at least that was up until the most recent discovery. Just outside the forest lay the Mysol Paeraes. The Scorching Desert lay at the most northern part of the moon elf territories and they would expand no farther as to push into the desert was to invoke the wrath of the gods and goddesses. They had for the most part kept to the forest as it was, forcing the other races out somewhat. Of course they had allowed fawns, and the more neutral or friendly races to stay, but the orcs, goblins, and trolls had to go of course.
It was on one of the breaks that Lunas had been called for. [#6d3b87 "Lunas. The other Commanders are setting up a war council."] nodding Lunas was petting his giant nightsaber behind the left ear which had caused her to give the cat's version of a pur. the low rumbling from her belly made it seem like she was growling. The moon elf captain stood there however waiting. [#9138cc "Very well. I am on my way."] lifting the great cats head off his lap the creature's eye opened up to appear at Lunas with both curiosity and disappointment.
[#9138cc "I will give you a proper rub down later Solia. For now I am being called."] The cat understood of course, as it seemed the thing would go with him to it. Like many of the commanders to the moon elves the mounts were fierce fighters and more loyal then a soldier. the creature strode next to Lunas as he made his way across the makeshift camp. While they weren't stopping for a sleep time, they would rest for a bit, and have a meal while here along with feed the animals. The ox teams especially sense they carried the heavy loads of supplies that traveled with the army across the lands, and they would need to be at full strength when they reached the Desert, as there they would make camp, potentially even going through the desert to face the orcs in their own territories.
In the center of the camp stood three moon elves of reputation and renounced. The first to draw attention was Captain Calos Malos. He was announced to the group as Commander of the Phoenix Legion. A newly formed legion, many of their forces came from the personal guard of the priestess and the royal family. While the other commanders didn't approve of the decision they could not deny the ability the royal crest had upon the moral of the men, and even more so to see the crest of the priestess with them as well gave them confidence the Goddess was watching them. [#9138cc "Commanders. I am here, what is this about?"]
The first to talk was an older male. his features showed his age unlike most elves he had wrinkles upon his face like that of a much older generation, his hair turned from its natural dark black or brown to a snow white like the moon. His skin sun kissed with a permanent tan tone to it. [#2b18d8 "Reports are flowing in that Orcs are raiding the northern border villages. Its there most of their forces are found, however Orc warbands have been spotted in our northwestern borders as well."] nodding Lunas went and looked at the last commander.
a Young elf priestess, supposedly the daughter to the high Priestess who gathered the forces of the moon elves together for the call of war against the orcs in their lands once again. She was said to be a prophet, a seer to their people, but more so it was her presence that inspired the army more so then having even the king here on the field of battle with them. [#18a4d8 "What the king says is true. The wood elves can only stop so many orc bands coming from the west, Because of this we believe stationing our army in the northwestern corner of our nation will allow us to launch preemptive strikes against the orcs who came into the forest."]
[#9138cc "Captain, what do you think of this plan?"] the male just stood there looking over the map. [#6d3b87 "I believe we need to place our legions in separate parts of the forest, the orcs are coming in at the wood elf territories, the northeastern border along with raiding the northern villages. We need to protect our people, while keeping out any other potential new threats."] Lunas looked across the group. He knew the king would have a plan of his own, but he needed to hear everyone else's. Of course Lunas was appointed head of the campaign, and so his word was final, even over the kings.
[#9138cc "Tell me Lord King, what is your thoughts?"] the older man seemed to pause a moment thinking over his words before speaking. [#2b18d8 "I believe splitting our army apart into the legions is a good idea, but we would have to split one of those legions in half to march from the north down south chasing the orcs that are already in our lands we would have to pincer then into making a mistake. If we just chase them down eventually they will reach a big city and either destroy it which will cause great devastation to our people. Or they will reach the Teirar Maelolaer and burn it. If the Crystal Sentinel burns so will the rest of the forest if it doesn't decay first trying to heal the tree. I believe also while having a legion on the wood elf border and another on our northern border is a good idea, to place them in a single spot each would leave many parts wide open. We need to keep a constant patrol on these parts."]
Nodding Lunas looked down at the map in front of him. [#9138cc "Very well. The plan...."] before he could speak any farther a messenger came screaming across to camp. [b "Orcs sighted to the west of the camp. More came in from the wood elf territories. A massive army seems to be forming and the orcs in our territories are joining up with them."] Taking in the new information Lunas nodded. [#9138cc "I want the soldiers to be prepared to move out. Maes, Malos I want scouts from each of you sent out. I want an assessment of numbers on our enemies. before we go into a battle. My Lord Shol I would like for your scouts to find a good ambush location, the more High ground we have the better for our battle plan. If we can pin them into a valley or a ravine would be the best, even a place where we can reach High ground. I want this done before any more plans are made."]
The group nodded and set off to work all giving their orders to the men. Lunas even gave the orders of his own to his men. He wanted groups of ten patrolling the northern border while they faced the larger threat to the west. They couldn't have orcs sneaking up on them while they were fighting another foe, an attack from behind and front would destroy moral potentially. [#9138cc "If any orcs come into our territories from the north I want to know right away. The sooner I get this information the quicker we can react to it. Do not engage the enemy if they come, no matter if its just a few of them or not."] While it meant less men he would be taking into battle, it also meant less possibility for them to get ambushed themselves.
He would sacrifice having one hundred men in his legion which while a small number could be the tip of the scale and balance in the favor of the enemy now. The decision weight would be heavy to carry if they lost many lives to the fight all because he was being overly cautious. Those one hundred would be paired in ten to patrol the northern border each group had a mile wide patrol area they had to keep an eye on, so while their border was small it was still a target that could be hit if they weren't paying attention.
Later during the day the men all stood ready for battle, their commanders all checking the men armor and weapons. The beasts even seemed ready for battle as their armor rattled and clanked as they moved around. [#9138cc "Legions of the Tyl aer listen to me. Look to your left."] the elves seemed to listen to Lunas's command without question. [#9138cc "Look to your right."] the soldiers all turned their head to the other side. [#9138cc "Understand not all of you will return to your homes in the coming of days. Your death will not be in vain, the orcs have invaded our homeland, and caused terror among the villages, and wish to destroy our forest. The Goddess has called upon us to put a stop to this. If you fall know you will be in the hunting grounds of the Goddess with her at your side. Now Let us make the Orcs pay for every inch of the forest they have touched with their filth. The High Priestess will see them from our lands, but before she can I will see them gone."]
an Uproar of cheers came from the soldiers now standing in front of Lunas as he stood there speaking to them. [#9138cc "Paer shaerysi porylys."] Lunas screamed at the army and in return they screamed it back at him. Turning on his great cat Lunas patted her mid section with his hind legs and the army moved forward. They would have the advantage as they would choose the field of battle and know it well. The choice was the Rolling hills of the Carith province. It was the area just south of where the orcs gathered. They would cut off their reinforcements from within the forest itself, while laying an ambush for the orcs when they moved south towards the capital.
The terrain was an easy overlay. Lunas and his legion stood in the middle of the battle line. To his left sat the king on his white snowsaber and his legion made mostly of Calvary, with a mix of swords. To Lunas's right was Captain Calos and his newly formed legion. mostly consisting of halberds and spears. Then behind them was Lady Maes with the archers and mages. Their backs to the cliffs. On top of the cliffs sat ballista and Arbiters. both siege type weapons that would shoot large arrow type projectiles. The arbiters would throw six medium sized arrows, while the ballista would throw one giant arrow. both would inflict damage as the enemy came charging at them. now all there was to do was wait, but where was the enemy at? They should have been marching south by now? where they waiting on more forces before trying anything? Perhaps the elven army had been spotted already and if that was the case their ambush was already screwed even before being launched.
No that wasn't it. Orcs weren't smart enough to send out scouts, no they must have had a dispute between who would lead them all into the south. It would not surprise the young elf if that was the cause of the delay orcs didn't like listening to those who they could kill. Of course that required a show of strength usually in the form of a battle to the death between the current leader and that of the challenger, or well any challengers. It could go as a free for all battle with all of them in the ring, or it could go one on one until only one victor stood out among them all. Usually the first was chosen simple to appease their blood god.
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