"Ready yourselves!" shouted the sergeant, raising his rifle "They’re at 300 yards! First line rifles down, rifles down!" The first line of soldiers at the trench put down their rifles straight, and waited for the fire order "Fallen ones at 200 yards! First line takes aim!" All the soldiers of first line clenched their rifles and closed one eye, "Fallen ones at 150 yards! First line fire!" The first line fired their volley, smoke burst and hundreds of fallen corpses fell to the deep mud, "First line down! Second line rifles down and fire!" The first line crouched down and reloaded while the second line put their rifles down and pulled their triggers, more smoke burst and more fallen corpses fell to the ground "Fallen at 50 yards! Fix bayonets first and second lines, Third line rifles down and fire, then follow the previous order!" Shouted the sergeant, throwing down his rifle and drawing his sword, the third line fired and more fallen fell, then all lines fixed their bayonets. The eyes of the fallen shone blood red and the large broad muscles of the soldier’s enemies boded badly for the suddenly puny bayonets of the first line.The fallen dived upon the trench, one directly upon the sergeant, who slashed it side to side, and then thrust his blade into another fallen, retracting his blade swiftly, he swung round arcing his sword into a charging fallen, pulling out his shot pistol, and firing a bullet through his enemies’ skull.The huge amount of smoke cracked from the counter attack led by the third line. The sergeant shouted as the blunderbusses shot and ripped through the roaring mouths of the fallen ones. The constant tide of fallen ones seemed to quell and be contained by the fury of the third line, and their blood raged sergeant, whose war cry gave honour to his Empire. After being battered hard in the trenches, a fallen matriarch roared intensely, after ripping down a soldier who lunged his bayonet in vain at the matriarch, who in turn ripped the soldier down and crushed him beneath his mighty foot, the roar deafened the ears of the soldiers and the sergeant commanded his men to hold, but as his men looked up they saw the fallen beginning to retreat up the hill they descended from, and with this the sergeant flung up his blood covered sword “All men, finish any stragglers, and then form up on me!” After a lot of bayoneting fallen corpses, making sure that everyone of them was truly dead, and not just waiting for the perfect time to rise up, and tear a soldier shoulder to hip; all soldiers gathered in line with the sergeant and prepared for orders.“Men, as you know, fallen never retreat for long, and though we have beaten them here, by tomorrow, that hill will be swarming with them, and we will be overrun, we must take that hill lads, if we do, we can fortify it, and they will have to charge up a hill, giving us the advantage of higher ground, and if we can get the banner up on that hill by sunrise, reinforcements will arrive, and we will not be alone in this.”With a brief air of disbelief about the sergeant’s tough, but needed orders, the soldiers led by the sergeant marched up the bloody, corpse ridden hill.The hill was incredibly muddy, and most soldiers’ uniforms bore the mark of mud, and dirt during the march, but with the sergeant leading them, they were half way up the hill in little time.“Hold” commanded the sergeant, with his hand on his blade, the eerie silence amongst the men and the surrounding area gave the feeling of incredible chill, and soldiers who had not noticed the hot air streaming from their mouths as they took breath, suddenly shivered, and huddled closer together.The sound of a low drum, was suddenly present in the ears of the soldiers, the sergeant held his nerve and continued marching the men to the top of the hill. The drum was still lowly drumming away, but it was organized, such as a forced march or metronome continually clicking away, the sergeant knew it meant battle ahead, but couldn’t just wait for events to unfold, and he and his men slowly marched further on. Closing to the summit, a large tree stripped of all it leaves, and a previous trench dug by the last defenders were visible, a bad omen of sorts, the sergeant halted his men, with a quick hand gesture. “Quiet” whispered the sergeant, outstretching his senses to the surrounding area, he alone walked to the edge of the hill and looked down it.A huge roar battered the ears of the men, some shouting in return or clenching their ears tightly, the sergeant saw thousands of fallen ones, running around the flanks of the hill cutting off the soldiers, surrounding the entire force.“Men, take up defensive positions!” Shouted the sergeant, drawing his sword instantly. Hundreds of fallen could be seen charging up the hill from all directions, and soldiers firing back in haste, but for every one of them they downed, tens more filled their place.The battle erupted into a bloody melee, with fallen ripping the arms off soldiers, and the sergeant and other soldiers bringing down their enemies with a basic finesse.“Hold Lines, Raise the banner quickly!” the sergeant said, whilst bringing down a fallen by cutting off its head.The sergeant turned and cut into a fallen, it impaled into the body and the sergeant lost his sword, the fallen in question laughed savagely and punched the sergeant to the muddy ground of the trench, the fallen pulled out a small stone knife, and lunged it at the sergeant who caught the blade with his hand, the stone cut through his hand, so the hilt of the knife was at his palm and the tip of his blade was far through the back of his hand. Blood dripping down his arm, he looked deep into the red shining eyes of the fallen attempting to rend him, shouting loudly in defiance of the fallen’s objective he grabbed his assailant’s arm and through what ever strength of will the sergeant had with in his stubborn soul he tackled the fallen to the ground, and met his eyes with his own. The sergeant took off his metal helmet while holding down the fallen with all his might, he grabbed the helmet and continually smashed the fallen’s head, until it resembled pulp from a tomato. Looking at the gaping hole through his hand, then seeing his men dying around him, arguably the outlook was pretty grim. At his feet was the banner, a regal standard consisted of red on the outside and a deep yellow on the inside, in the middle stood a stitching of the first Emperor Tarterus, with his sword held high, and leading his men to victory, the sergeant reminded himself to his own leadership, but noticing the death and carnage around him.Grabbing the banner, the sergeant ran to the peak of the hill, limping and weak due to the loss of blood, as well as the tiring battle he was in, he ran with the honor of any hero of a tale of old, and though it was all to obvious it was in vain, a man of war such as the sergeant would follow his order to the last, as in the end it was all he had to go on.Reaching the peak. Fallen corpses surrounded it, and the noise of dying men, and roaring fallen was everywhere, the sergeant raised and impaled the banner into the soft mud, as the wind carried it, instantly it looked in place, the sergeant looked at a far off surrounding hill across the valley and saw a flickering torchlight. Smiling intensely, knowing that the banner had been seen, and his death was not in vain. A large fallen one approached the sergeant. The sergeant, weaponless and weak, was a prime and easy target. The fallen was holding a dark green knife, resembling obsidian or jade, he wore a bandolier and hanging from it was all sorts of trinkets from kills he had obviously made, such as teeth, bones, and even a skull as his shoulder pad. The fallen one walked close and thrust his blade into the sergeant’s neck. The sergeant’s last blurry image was the shining red eyed, mutilated face of the fallen one, throwing down the sergeant’s lifeless corpse. The fallen one roared, and broke the banner in two; another smaller fallen one approached him holding a dark, flesh colored banner, the banner was made from human skin, and had a large red eye in the center, the eye was surrounded with runes, and by simply looking at it, you could tell it was drawn with blood.The large fallen one placed the banner impaling it through the sergeant’s head.“War be over for this night. But more blood spill later, we have done the work of The God on land. And now we have earned the right to feast.”A lot of cackles like laughs, or roars were heard after, as the fallen began searching for a good body to harvest.The moon died slowly and beckoned a new day, almost too certainly cold morn approached. *** The morning was crisp, cold air swept through the streets and buildings, and the lamps adorned on the houses flickered in the wind.The roads were cobble stones, and most looked worn from continuous horse hooves, and the merchants that were abundant on them, the warm fires lightly smoldered, giving an aura of smugness and calm amongst the awakening city.Warm smoke and steam flowed from the chimneys, and as an aerial view, the city was a warm crowded village, centered with large buildings, relics, and chapels.Towards the outside of the city, were darkened tall buildings, all of which were made of blackened timber, and all stretched into the sky, making an unblinking eye around the cityThe city was called Dilmun, capital of The Empire, set upon a large mountain near the centre of the land, ruled by an Emperor and his senate, meetings between all of them were held in times of crisis or political crisis, and were signaled by white smoke from the senate house, white smoke bellowed and the senate house was alive with bickering.Inside the senate house, the floor was grounded with countless chairs all turned to the throne in the middle, the throne its self was just an average chair bearing the Imperial Insignia of the First Emperor. By orders of the current leader, the chair was changed to be more fitting of an average person, rather then a God on earth.The round circle of the House was covered in yellow velvet robes, and drapes covered in black eagles, with dazzling bright golden eyes.“I say it is madness, for the first time since Lord Tarterus himself forged the borders of the empire we have lost ground and still you will not see reason in a higher garrison!” shouted the speaker.The chairs sat many old crinkled faces, all stubborn and frail, not men who fought for their country, and stood attention, but men willing to send their own dying mother to the frontlines then see a uniform with their name adorned upon it.“This speaker shouts loud and mighty, for a young war-mongering fool, that speaks of anarchy, violence and all the virtues a civilized society like ours stands against!” shouted a rowdy middle aged loud mouth. Lump of a man, but too proud to show it. Adorned in a silky red overcoat and a pair of long black and gold lined trousers, his speech roused the instant approval of the masses, like a dog acting loving for a treat.“Our glorious speaker speaks of war, in a nation too drunk on peace, my fair people, I say we stay intoxicated on this fine wine we have found, I say let us have another drink, and then another more!” The loudmouth’s speech raised all these noblemen to their feet, cheering the words peace and prosperity to the speaker himself.The speaker, in-raged shot up from his seat and shouted back at them.“You speak of peace with a people who eat the bodies of those who fall before them? You speak of prosperity to those men who gave their lives to a sorcerer promising gifts and powers? You speak of love to those who’s banner is made from the skin and blood of our people? I say you are shouting diplomacy to a deaf beast, I say that bickering like birds in a forest will mean the death of the people we all swore to defend! I say now that we show our enemy, and what an enemy it be that it fights an army of conscience, an army of knights, that will not back down to a few tricks of intimidation and fear, I say now we stand as men of the Heartland!” The speaker’s speech begged and deserved applause that would make a lion purr, and yet only a polite clap of disapproval was heard.“A bunch of upper class bastards” muttered the speaker, “they’ll be the death of us all.”
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