The Mortal Rebellion: Episode 1

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
The town Kadelvacaer is strategically placed in front of the mountains, and the Necromancer is willing to burn it to the ground to secure the victory. The Royal Government has refused to send troops to help with the defenses, so the town leaders must try to survive on their own. Experience the heroics, the pain, the bravery, and the story of the people of Kadelvacaer, the town which is slowly but surely being overrun with the undead.

Submitted: May 30, 2015

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Submitted: May 30, 2015

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THE MORTAL REBELLION

PILOT

Elias Holmquist

 

A single scream pierced the air.

 

It was the only warning the town of Briniovacaer had before the Necromancer’s forces literally brought the defensive forces to their knees. Within the hour, the turf and straw roofs were alight, and the swarms of undead swept through the houses, not ransacking and pillaging, but proverbially looking for a human life to exterminate. The most terrible memory of it though, were the cobblestone streets. Slick with blood from the fallen, it made escape impossible. Those that did make it a ways were soon covered in blood that was not theirs, and the horror of it made the panicked traffic to the town gates impassable, and therefore, a deathtrap.

Some who were smarter realized this, and to the longer yet short way to the gatehouse at the other end of the city. Once there, and having collected as many peoples as they could, they began their journey North.

One certain older women stopped and turned around, toward her home. It was a sight to behold.

The entire west wall had been demolished, and the waves of the undead made their ways around the small town. You could see their progress from the roof after roof that caught fire. In the dead of night, the clouds above were lit with the horrid orange and red light from the inferno that was the town of Briniovacaer no more.

By dawn, the survivors were well on their way to the north mountains, and to the safety of the town of Kadelvacaer. The smoking ruins of the their town was now the home to several more waves of the undead.

 

“Goddammit! Why can’t the King give me some of his troops?”

 

Commander Feyheart of the Kadelvacaer military slammed his grizzled fist down onto the mapping and navigation table. Carved from pine, the maps of the surrounding areas were glued to the surface with pine resin, offering an invaluable strategizing tool. The smooth lip where his hand now rested upon was dented. Feyheart winced inwardly. The navigation table was a gift from his son, who was now working overseas as an engineer for King Harlock’s armies. Unconsciously drifting his fingers over the dent, he composed himself, let out a calming breath, and asked his next question to the Representative of the royal government.

“My forces are stationed in three places: in the city center, on the southern wall, with lookouts on the north, west, and east, and in the forest three miles out, waiting for me to give the signal for an ambush.” He made eye contact with the Representative.

“In order for me to give that order, I need to know if the King is willing to give me the support I need for the follow up attack. If we take this chance, we may actually stop the Necromancer in his tracks, before he can over run more of the bigger towns over these mountains, and then the cities over the Ocean of Greyard.”

 The commander shouldered his way past one of the Rep’s bodyguards, to where he could see from the Rep’s perspective.

“There.” He stabbed downward at the dot labeled ‘Kadelvacaer’. “That is where we are. We are the center-” And upon saying this, he traced the trade routes of the map, which all, incidentally, ran through Kadelvacaer, and then through the mountains. “-Of all trade south of here. And we are the only major town before the mountains, and therefore if we relinquish control of this city, the Necromancer will have access to all of the goods coming from the south, as well as control of the Mountain Passes.”

Feyheart turned slowly, and looked straight into the eyes of the Rep.

 “Is that what you want? Do you want-”

 The Rep broke in before Feyheart could get to his deal maker.

“What I want, Commander Feyheart, is to ensure the safety of our King, and his lands. Your city lies on the border-”

“-With all the trade routes-”

“And therefore is not a necessity or priority to the Empire.  Commander, I am sorry to say this, but you will not receive the troops you wish for. I suggest, as a comrade, not a Rep,” at this the Rep’s face loosened and his composure shrunk, “that you withdraw your troops, and hide in the valleys of the Mountain Passes. If you do that, you may just make a stand and survive.”

 The Rep placed a comforting hand on the commander’s shoulder, and after a moment, turned at left the war room, leaving Feyheart to lean, shocked, upon his son’s table.

As dawn turned to day, the Commander sat in his chair in his office. His clean, polished desk held no blemishes, and his ink and parchment were set to one side. He stared at them for a moment or two, then hastily took up two parchment papers; one for the order to withdraw his troops in the forest to return to Kadelvacaer, and one to send to his son overseas.

By midday, he had finished both letters, and had sent both off, in opposite directions.

He hoped desperately that he was making the right choice.

And it turns out, he had, because as soon as the troops had returned to within the walls of the town, a lookout cried the sharp words, “Alert! The undead have been spotted! Alert!” And so the taking of the town Kadelvacaer would ensue.

 

A loud trumpet sounded, and the warning bells in the three bell towers tolled simultaneously. The commander, amidst the chaos of the battle room, was calm and thoughtful. This was it. This was where they would make their stand. And what better way to give your life than to fight for your home, your town?

The commander thought of the table in the war room, meticulously handcrafted by someone he dearly loved, and realized that if he lost the battle, he would never get to look at its glistening wood side and be reminded of his son’s stark brown hair, or at the detailed hand drawn maps of the countryside, and think of his son’s eyes, that he and his mother shared.

A pallid trance took hold of the Commander, and he stood, slowly from his chair in the corner. In a minute, his defining presence filled the room to the brim. Dust motes floated into view in front of the windows, and the rustle of papers came to a halt. A deep silence followed, and then the commander cleared his throat.

 “I know many of you have heard that the undead troops of the Necromancer are preparing to do battle with our fair town. That they wish to take it forcibly, overrun it, destroy it, just like they did to Briniovacaer. Well, I don’t know about any of you, but this is my home. I was raised here as a boy, grew up here, joined the cavalry, served my time, then became the officer you see standing before you today. Some of you have never seen the death of a comrade, or watched a squad next over get destroyed. But I have.”

He made eye contact with all of the frightened pairs of eyes in the room, some of whom he knew, some of which he did not. These men and women needed to given a talk, a encouraging speech about victory. But how could that be given when the fear of death death stank in the room like so many dead cattle?

The commander paused, and sighed.

 “I have seen men die horrible deaths. I have seen women die horrible deaths. I have seen so many terrible things that sometimes I forget what it’s really about. Those that gave their lives, at the hand of their enemies, died for a cause. In my day that was so the Empire could get more land. Now, we fight for the right to live.”

 Feyheart nodded, knowing he was about to play his trump card.

“Through that door, in the war room, there is a handcrafted table with hand drawn maps glued to its surface with pine resin. The wood is unlike any other ever seen this south of the mountains. The ingenious of it is unparalleled by any other.”

The commander paused, then murmured in a croaky, shaky voice, “But that’s not the important part. The important part was that it was made by my son, who is now working as an engineer, in the capital city. If we lose this battle, I will never get to look at that table and think of him again. I will never be able to send him letters telling him that I love him. And I won’t be able to wrap my arms around him as tight as I can when I see him next.”

Feyheart looked up at the listening bodies before him.

“It’s up for you to decide. We are all fighting for our right to live, to survive. To Thrive! That’s what we’re doing. But what why are we doing it?”

Now for the punch.

“So as you go out and defend those you love, the things you do, and your town, think. As you fight the undead, their cohorts, and the Necromancer himself, think. You aren’t doing this for the right to live. You’re doing it for love. The right to love life.”

Some awed faces were appearing in the room now, and Feyheart decided to finish his speech off.

“WE FIGHT FOR LOVE! FOR THE LOVE OF LIFE, AND THE LOVE WE HAVE FOR EACH OTHER! LET’S SLAUGHTER THE BASTARDS WHO THINK THEY CAN TAKE THAT AWAY FROM US! AND LET’S SHOW THEM THAT WE CANNOT BE BROKEN! THAT WE WILL NOT BE DEFEATED, AND THAT LOVE WILL ALWAYS WIN, AS IT HAS DONE, AND SO WILL AGAIN! TODAY!”

Throughout the build up, more and more yelps of satisfaction and excitement echoed through the crowd. By the time Commander Feyheart was done, the whole room was alive with whistles and cheers and battle cries.

The Commander smiled. As everybody began to go back to work with a vengeance, he muttered under his breath, “And I’m proud to do it with you.”

 

END OF PILOT

 


© Copyright 2019 Elias Holmquist. All rights reserved.

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