The Forsworn

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
The Forsworn has returned to the site of one of the biggest massacres. From here the Generals rule fell apart, but will it be a repeat again now that the invaders have returned?

Submitted: August 02, 2016

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Submitted: August 02, 2016

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The streets were filled with people rushing to safety. Unfortunately, that was in the opposite direction he was running with the palace guard to face the threat. However, the crowds only parted for him, with the guards having to fight to make any headway. Being a Forsworn carried a natural terror in the populace, they’d all heard the stories and Myths of his rare kind. His arrival in the city with a host of her troopers had only caused these stories to become the latest topic of conversation, with some of the oldest surviving members of the city becoming minor celebrities as people rushed to hear the stories. As long as the people didn’t get in his way so he could complete his oath, the gossip mattered little to him. 

News had reached him while he was at Nikkali’s palace that the invaders had arrived. Nikkali was the governor when the Forsworn was last here and after she rose to power, he had been allowed to keep his governorship after the general’s demise. His efficiency in tending to his little kingdom securing his life. Efficient and to the letter unfortunately, the courtly rituals and conversations had bored him to such an extent that the invaders arrival could not have come any sooner.That was not to say he was untrained in the courtesies and practices in court, for the Forsworn it was quite the opposite.It was a highly useful trait being able to notice those who should not be at certain events or those who pretended to be something they are not. Many were the tales of an aristocrat from a little heard of parcel of land was actually an assassin under the coinage of a rival kingdom. The assassins blade sent to deal a beheading blow before the first battle was fought. 

These sort of assassinations were one of the many facets of protection the Forsworn were bred to do. Incredibly rare and gifted individuals, their skills were legendary amongst the few that were aware of their existence. But all the raw power of his king was also tempered by their oaths. They easily had the skills and training to become Warlords in their own right, but the oaths shaped and contained their power so that their Masters never had to sleep with one eye open. 

He had slipped through the crowds to such an extent now that he had lost the palace guard who were still struggling against the bodies pressing them back towards the city’s inner defences. The crowds and buildings thinned as he approached the walls, the ramparts had the city watch manning them, but from his prior experience, he knew they were not enough – too few bodies to cover the stretch they were stationed on - to keep out what was inside and by their nervous pacing on the walls they knew it too.  

When the Forsworn was last here he had not arrived under the banner of her, but instead that of the General. A powerful man and at the height of his power, the General himself had strode into the city on the tour of his domains and his installed governors. Just as he did to her envoys now, Nikkali had greeted the General with welcome arms and told him of his findings, of a deep secret in the sands of the desert outside the city. The Generals greed had swayed him from the risks of being already stretched too thin and decided to pursue these findings. Forever the superstitious the General had consulted the cities Augur priests and at their council had taken the lion’s share of his troops but left the Forsworn behind, the reasons never being satisfactorily explained to the Generals protector, but not being able to deny the request. He had instead been set to the task of surveying the defences of the city. 

It was while still waiting for the General to return, that the city had been attacked by the invaders.Then as he could hear now they had waited outside the city and brayed like wild animals. The sounds setting the cities conscripted defences on edge by the wild mannerisms. These mannerisms had been suppressed when the invaders attacked as disciplined ranks and tactics had let them flow them across the cities bridge and into the city like an unstoppable tide. 

In response to the invaders of the General’s city he had left the palace as he had done now and strode into the city, hoping the invaders would try to raise a hand on him and allow him to retaliate, but they never had.The Forsworn were not soldiers and their oaths were very specific and also very complex. The basics of them were thatthey only allowed to act to defend their master or themselves, to do anything differently was to verge on blasphemy and a slow death by the Crow Court. Despite their barbarity,the invaders had appeared to know their myths and legends and just stayed out of his way, his oaths forbidding him from touching them. It had been one of the most horrific days in the cities history, the invaders devolving into acts of depravity, pulling people apart with their knives and teeth, or punching a soldier to death, of the small garrison left by the General they defended the palace, the rich, a few lucky commoners and the governor, but a few were caught outside their defensive perimeter. The Forsworn had seen people he had known for many years slowly beaten to death on the streets, men pulled apart and eaten, children thrown from ramparts in sickening catching games and all he could do was bear witness to it all. The city had never really recovered properly despite the years, the populace was decimated and only by bringing in new citizens had the city even reached the level it was now at.  

The Forsworn had reached the gates and the invading hordes braying and chanting were reaching their crescendo. They would soon they would charge and the city guards were beginning to placeheavy timber bracing against it in a vain effort to keep the invaders out. Fools, if they couldn’t go through the door, they would just go over it. The cities isolation on the river edge and low strategic value meant that while it was important for trade, it had never been one that required a large defensive investment or could afford one. The walls were compacting mud and a determined foe could easily scramble the walls if they crossed the moat. 

Stopping at the gates he yelled anddemanded the gate commander open it. The guards rapidly undid the great oaken bolts and pushed the doors apart. As soon as they were wide enough he slipped through and onto the bridge, just as the hordes started their charge. At the appearance of the Forsworn, the front runners of the charge started to slow and stop before the hordes ever picked up any real momentum. His visage and posture was clearly one of someone who knew his craft. His chest was covered in armour emblazoned with her emblem, a token to show his current allegiance, the rest of him was kept as free from weighty armour as possible as speed had always been his kinds greatest asset. To anyone who knew the tales he was easily recognisable for what he was, if not by the mask he wore, but by the weapon he possessed. He held a polearm in one hand, its black shaft carved from a hard rare mineral which was covered in what looked like random cracks filled with gold. The polearms tip mounted an inverted “T” shaped Blade of Bronze, which shone under the desert rayslike a golden jewel. While his weapon was traditionally associated with the Forsworn, it was not very common amongst even their rare kind. Anyone who possessed one was marked as an exceptional being indeed. It was this fact more than any other that halted the front lines. 

For a short time, the invaders continued to stare at his statue like vigil on the bridge him from their now disorderly ranks. He had chosen his positioning so that the confined width of the bridge gave him an advantage and his pose left him ready to strike. The stalemate was broken when the murmurs in the ranks were quelled by a senior invader officer pushing his way to the front, his bloodshot eyes surveyed the Forsworn, quickly judged him of little threat, said some words that were indecipherable outside of invader circles and begin to infectiously laugh. He was Forsworn, if they didn’t attack him or his Master, he could do nothing, they laughed at his impotence. Today would be another blood bath and they eagerly charged towards it. 

As the officer neared the Forsworn he struck, his bronze blade swept through the officer’s legs, the razor sharp blade severing the skin, muscle and sinew as he crippled him as the haft smashed the sword from the man’s hands. Grabbing his head with his free hand he held the officer screaming off the ground. The horde seemed to hit an invisible wall, with several falling off the sides of the bridge as people behind pushed them, at this and they halted again and moved more cautiously forwards towards the pair. 

While the Forsworn were legendary, myths and tales were not the same as hard facts. Anyone hearing the stories knew only a few of the oaths the Forsworn took and certainly no one but they knew them all. This had been, for the officer at least, a horrific underestimation on the invaders part, because, while he wasforbidden from attacking others except in defence of the master, that was only if the Master still lived, once released from those oaths the Forsworn were death bound to seek justice on those that caused the masters downfall, whether directly or not. 

When the General had died, the Forsworn had wandered the desert until meeting the new power that had filled the vacuum. She had known the oaths more than any other and had made an accord with him. He would serve her and she would guarantee his oaths fulfilled, hence his return to this cursed city on her business. The invaders were long overdue his justice. 

He threw the now limp officer over the moat and reset his attack pose again. The nearest invader to him was the first to recover from the shock and swung his blade. The Forsworn simply stepped inside the attack and head butted the invader to the floor. As he crumpled into a pile he stepped forward and reset his pose, his foot crushing the floored man’s windpipe as he did so. The horror on the faces of the horde was total, they were not expecting this result, but the Forsworn knew that this was again only temporary and once it had passed they would overwhelm him, skilled or not. He controlled his breathing and waited for the next attack. Fortunately, it did not come. 

Whereas only the conscripted city guard had been there to defend the walls before as the few soldiers the General had left were only sufficient to defence the Palace. This time she had sent the Forsworn with a large contingent of soldiers and he had bought enough time for them to get to the ramparts of the city and shoot their bows. The steel tipped arrows finding easy targets within the stationary horde. A few volleys of these easily pushed the already shocked and terrified invaders over the breaking point and they started to retreat in disarray. 

As much as he desired revenge and their destruction the Forsworn watched the invaders retreat leave. He was here for a specific purpose and their time would come. He removed his foot from the dead body and reached down and pulled free some of the tattered fabric under the shining armour. The armour was immaculately cared for and as pristine as it had been in their last attack, but in contract the fabric underneath had become dirty and uncared for. Despite being faded and worn it still exactly matched those of the Generals soldiers as they had marched out to find the desert treasures. It was still the same pattern and colour of the invaders that had punched, bitten, kicked, cut, killed and eaten the cities old populace those many years before. Once they were good men and now they were monsters and the Forsworn would have his revenge.


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