Its just a story i've been working on. Its not much good, but i thought i'd post it for the heck of it. Konrad sucked in the cool, dry mountain air. He couldn’t see what Lord Mlthang had seen in this desolate plain. His Lord though, for whatever reason, had chosen to start his empire here, on this desolate tundra of the North. Not really much of an empire, he supposed, but it was more organization than had ever been established in the region. Konrad had come here less than a decade ago, more out of necessity than desire. In the Southern Lands, called the Green Lands by the Wildings of the North (among other names not fit to print), Konrad had been labeled a traitor by the Konomarrian Empire, after refusing to burn a temple full of young children and old women. After escaping a beheading, Konrad fled to the only place that would take in a ‘traitor’. He still hadn’t completely adapted to the frozen winds, after spending a majority of his life in the desert sands far to the South. Upon coming here, he’d been employed into Mlthang’s Palace Guard. He was a seasoned veteran compared to the green rookies who, similar to him, had no other place other place to go. Many of his fellow guards were of bastard races, half elves, blackbloods, etcetera; these not being accepted by main stream society. Others still were thieves, rapists or assassins, most fleeing to Mlthang’s Kingdom after being banished for their respective cities, and being branded a criminal. Mlthang’s Pledge of ‘Afu Mathon Ratar Mu Toromo’; translated as ‘None Shall be Denied these Walls,’ held true, no matter how reckless it may seem to outsiders. All races and religions, classes and occupations lived in harmony, no matter how much fire it went under from the thickly divided societies that the South mainly consisted of. Smiling slightly to himself, Konrad looked over to his partner-on-watch, Ali, a meekly built blackblood, who he had taken under his wing. He had been a bad fighter, one of the worst and was almost thrown from the Guard. Konrad had taught him much about swordsmanship and defending himself, even how to get respect for himself. Ali quickly progressed, finally getting to a place of respect in most everyone’s eyes, including his own. Looking more closely, as to make sure his eyes didn’t deceive him, Konrad simply laughed aloud. Ali, past himself, had dozed asleep on duty. No matter how kind he was, Mlthang would have both their hides for this. Walking over, he pat his gloved hand onto the young warrior’s shoulder, “Boy! You don’t want the Captain to hea-.” Standing over Ali, Konrad suddenly noticed a protrusion out of the man’s side. Konrad’s eyes widened as he took a step back from the corpse. It was an arrow. Reaching to his side for his horn, he went to signal alarm, and it was then that he felt was sharp pain in the side of his neck. Bringing the horn to his lips he blew as hard as his frozen lungs would allow. Instead of air, though, blood came pouring out of his mouth. Dropping his horn, he crumbled onto the icy earth. As he died, Konrad thought of the sea. * * * Elkean’s dry lips pressed together in something that might be called a smile. Before him sat the icy citadel of Lord Mlthang, burning in the ethereal moonlight. The entire Northern Empire, taken out in a single, well-aimed blow. As General Draamen had hypothesized, not only Mlthang, but his entire Council of Staff had been present at the Capital; and all had been executed on sight, including Lord Mlthang himself. Besides the still smoking ruins, no signs remained of the once proud fortress, not even a single prisoner to tell the tale. This battle would be remembered by one point of view- that of the victorious Cambridge Empire. If the General’s plan followed through, the remainder of the Empire would dismantle itself over the next few months. At first, they would no doubt try to stand tall, the soft, decorative Governors of the remaining half dozen fortresses. But soon enough, squalor would arise and none of the cities rulers having any actual experience in running a city or even taking care of themselves. Famine would strike first, then unemployment and finally just distrust and spite of their new governments. Mlthang was the true hero, the main reason any of them stayed to follow the empire. In result, the Wildings would again separate into the Tribal boundaries they had formed thousands of years before; the thieves and criminals would break apart and flee into their respective hovels and waste their lives away as hermits and Bastard Knights. All of this, without lifting a sword, a pen, or even a finger. It was genius. No doubt his part in Draamen’s plan would promote Elkean to General or at least give him a promotion of some kind. He had long been loyal and trustworthy tool to the Emperor and General Draamen alike, but he could hardly have been considered a war-hero. This was just the thing he needed to enforce his other, more soldierly aspects. Spitting into the thin layer of ice covering the snow drenched field, he took on last look at his burning trophy and went to join the other soldiers in the camp. It was getting late, and tomorrow was going to be a long, yet fulfilling day.