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THE LEGEND OF THE HALF-SOUL:
THE SHADOW KING
Long ago, the Entirion Empire flourished with wealth and peace. The Entirion Empire was ruled by one individual who was selected by a council of 10 representatives. 4 races joined under 1banner. The Men, who lived in regions of Erlos, in the west, and Lanscaria, in the east, were the most populous race on the continent. The Faeries, who were once separated into 5 tribes, based on their powers, which are fire, earth, water, light, and dark, lived in the area of the Desert of Hope. The Elves, famous horse archers, lived in the area of Rogar. The Stormides lived on the Isle of Stormfen, and other scattered isles in the Sea of Storms. All was peaceful, until the Shadow King came. With his dark magic learned from a fallen dark faerie, he created a dark army with the shadow that brought death into the world. With his horde, made up of Shadow Soldiers, his winged Demorgathes, and monstrous Gargatuas, he marched over the Jagged Mountains and easily claimed the deserted volcanic wasteland to the east of the area of Lanscaria, called Xeno Noleir by the fairies. After the Shadow King came, he sent spies and planted dissent among the lords of the Entirion Empire, and the nations split apart. But, the Shadow King was not content with his kingdom, so he laid siege to the east part of Lanscaria, and the south-eastern part of Rogar. The Stormides, who were always power hungry, quickly joined the Shadow King. The Shadow King then made a vow to conquer the lands of what used to be the mighty Entirion Empire. For many years the nations of the Desert of Hope, Erlos, Lanscaria, and Rogar have fought against the alliance of the Shadow King's empire, called Kqo'Turz'Ix'Zocmuen, and the Stormides. Nearly a century of warfare has taken its toll on the nations. Now we will meet a hero hailing from Erlos whose power will either save or destroy the nations. He will be set with many choices, like light or dark, good or evil, life or death, and either justice or power.
Damon was looking at the map of the world in side his tent. A slight breeze moved his long, dark brown hair. A smile crossed his clean-shaven face. He had an idea, but it would depend where the Stormides were camped at. He stood up, and his head nearly touched the top of the tent. He was tall, so an average tent was not made for him. He stepped outside, and his brown eyes seemed to gleam in the noon suns light. The regular brown tunic he wore was moving in the breeze. "Commander Damon! Wait," shouted a voice from behind him. It was his best friend, Bothgar.
"What is it?" asked Damon.
"We've received news from the city of Lanscar," Bothgar said, his gray eyes glinted like a fire was burning in them, "They have set up traps to slow the Stormides' advance. They have been forced to halt."
"Excellent! Send out scouts to confirm their position!"
"I already have, sir, I knew you would order the scouts as soon as I told you the news.
Damon put on a face of mock horror, "Are you daring to overthrow my command? Send him to prison for treason!"
Bothgar smiled, "I only sped up the time in which they would get there."
"You know me too well Bothgar."
"Only as you know me," replied Bothgar. The sound of hooves pounding the dusty path interrupted any more conversation. There was two riders, the taller one who's name is Sisiel, came up to them. Sisiel had fair hair, and deep blue eyes.
"Commander Damon, Lt. Commander Bothgar," Sisiel said, acknowledging the two superior officers.
"First Calvary Colonel Sisiel, what's your report?" Damon asked.
"The Stormides have camped three cerestins away, at the Goragle Canyon. They're near the mouth of the river; it seems like they're waiting for reinforcements. Kaid and I couldn't get close enough to count their exact numbers, but we estimate about three thousand Stormides encamped there, plus any reinforcements that might arrive. That is all, Commander," Sisiel said.
"Thank you," Damon said, "would you like to add anything Second Calvary Colonel Kaid?"
Kaid was shorter and stockier than Sisiel, but an excellent rider nonetheless. Kaid had hazel eyes with dark brown hair. "Yes I would sir," replied Kaid, "I saw a few siege engines from where I was positioned, but I saw no one designated as a siege engineer to operate them. If I would be so bold to presume, I think that parts of the Stormide reinforcements are siege engineers. If we strike soon, the siege engines could not be used against us. That is all I would like to add, Commander Damon." The gears in Damon's head began to turn as he thought of a strategy that could easily defeat the Stormides.
"Lt. Commander Bothgar, prepare the foot soldiers to march. Calvary Colonels Sisiel and Kaid prepare the Calvary as well. Also, send a small contingent of Calvary units along with Archer Captains Thagrim and Keltic, I want them to scout out the area for good sniping spots. Tell them to send a horseman if the reinforcements arrive while they are there. Understood?" Damon ordered.
"Sir, yes, sir!" Bothgar, Sisiel, and Kaid all shouted at the same time, and then they scrambled off to complete their assigned task. Damon went to his tent. He looked for his sword, Xenochinz. He strapped on the scabbard and started to pack anything that he didn't need to carry while he rode at the head of his army. He donned light riding armor, and strapped his quiver and bow to his back. After he finished packing his equipment, he went outside to collapse his tent. He saw his soldiers hurrying about, doing the same things Damon had done. He saw his horse, Warrior, nearby. Damon whistled, and Warrior came trotting over. She had chestnut brown fur, with a white birthmark on her forehead. It looked nearly identical to the one on Damon's shoulder, a sword and a shield crossed. He saddled her, and put on his riding boots. He mounted Warrior, but then a soldier came running up to Damon.
"Sir! I heard the order, what happens if we lose at the canyon?" the soldier asked.
Damon smirked and said, "It's not going to happen, we have too many brave soldiers to have that happen. I bet every soldier here could kill ten enemies single handedly."
"Sir, I'm glad I got you for a commander, you have led us to many victories over the past two years. Without you, I bet we wouldn't have won any of those battles," the soldier replied.
"No, I need you, without the soldiers I would be nothing. Do you think just because we rank high, doesn't mean we can win without you. If the commanders fought the army we face now by themselves, they would be cut to ribbons in minutes," Damon told him, "I thank you for standing with me."
"Thank you sir!" the soldier shouted, and he returned to his post. Damon smirked to himself. Everyone, even the soldiers, thought the commanders were heroes. Heroes couldn't face an army containing over ten thousand strong. Especially if the army contained those wretched shadow beasts.
"Men!" Damon called out, "The time has come. Will we flee before the enemy, or will we send them back to Stormis?"
"SEND THEM BACK TO STORMIS!!" the army shouted.
"Then let us march!" Damon replied. Damon took off his famed battle horn and blew. The clash of steel boots and armor against the dusty path signaled the beginning of the march to Goragle Canyon. They trekked until they came within thirty zeroxes of the canyon. The area was dry, with little vegetation. It was rocky and barren. In other words, a dry wasteland. Rumor had it that this canyon used to be lush until a battle with the Shadow King's hordes scorched it and made it the place it is today. The canyon echoed easily, so all of the soldiers had to be quiet.
"Find Thagrim and Keltic," Damon whispered to a short herald near him. The herald made a quick nod, and scurried of to find the twin captains. A few minutes later, the herald came back followed by Thagrim and Keltic. They looked almost exactly alike, with the same fair hair and icy blue eyes. "How is the Stormide camp?" Damon asked them.
Keltic responded first, "There are two very good sniping spots that we can use to a full extent. There are two raised areas here, and here." He showed Damon a small map of the Goragle Canyon and the surrounding area. There was small X's where the raised areas were.
Thagrim then continued, "These small raised areas can contain about thirty-five archers each, with a small guard. The areas have a good amount of plant growth that we can use for cover. We sent the usual surrender message, but no Stormide seems to want to leave the encampment."
Then Keltic continued on, "No reinforcements have arrived, and no sign showing they will appear soon. No Shadow creatures are near the camp, which is a blessing I suppose. But I have seen strange tracks near the camp, and they're fresh. It's unlike Shadow creatures to remain this hidden for this long. I just have a bad feeling about this."
Damon smiled and replied, "You always have a bad feeling about something, whether it is an enemy camp, or the beef stew the cooks serve."
"I did have some slight stomach aches after I ate that," Keltic replied, smirking, "And it never looked like stew in the first place either." This brought some more chuckling to the friends.
"On a more serious note," Damon stated, "Are you ready to make your report to the Command Council, we need to be ready soon."
"Yes we are," Keltic and Thagrim said in unison.
"Good," Damon said.
The Command Council was the six commanding officers of the battalion, Damon, Bothgar, Sisiel, Kaid, Keltic, and Thagrim.
"Thanks to Archer Captains Keltic and Thagrim, we know a little more about the Stormide camp. They are definitely waiting for reinforcements, and so far no siege engineers have been spotted, so have no worries about catapults or ballistae firing at you. I want to capture the siege engines, so do not damage them," Damon said, "We should follow the advice of the Archer Captains and use these raised areas, which are marked by red X's." He pointed to the spots on a map similar to the one Thagrim and Keltic had but larger. "The archer contingents that we will send there will contain thirty-five archers and a small guard of spearmen each, will rain fire arrows onto the camp to draw out the enemy. When I blow the battle horn once, the archers will ceasefire," Damon continued, "then the foot soldiers with a small amount of horsemen will charge, making the Stormides think this is the main body of our army. The main Calvary part of the army will be split in two, which would be positioned here and here." Damon then pointed to two spots on the map that were marked with red squares. "When I blow the horn twice, it will be the signal to the Calvary to roll in from the two sides of the canyon. This will prevent the Stormides from escaping. Their backs are to the ocean, the horsemen are sweeping in from their left and right, and footmen are to their front. Their army will be crushed in minutes, but as a precaution, if I blow the horn three times, it is the signal to retreat and the archers will cover it. Any questions?"
Keltic raised his hand and said, "So, the two horsemen components, one will be commanded by Sisiel, and the other one by me, you never made that clear."
"Yes, I forgot to mention that, but it is fairly obvious because you two are the best horsemen in the army," Damon answered. Damon looked around again, and said, "So that's it?"
Everyone else nodded.
"Good," Damon said, "Let's get this battle over with."
Damon looked at the Stormide campsite, the enemy army slightly anxious because of the surrender message and knowing there was an Erlosian army out there. He just hoped that the Stormide reinforcements arrived during the middle of the battle. That could turn the tide for worse, and the battle would no longer be a battle but a massacre. He turned and slid his helmet over his long, brown hair, knowing that his blade will turn red with blood.