Wednesday, 2 December 2015

The spoils of war

Pa-mai lies in ruins and in the Sepulcre to Odrianus, one of the few buildings left standing or undefiled by the Armies of the Alliance, Windrider sits alone with his thoughts. In his haste to become ruler he had clearly not thought through the situation he now found himself in.

Vassal state to Kragonia, not only was he committed to providing military assistance to Knabadug, but he had also to accept a permanent garrison within the kingdom including a detachment assigned to its capital. Windrider had also paid a very heavy price in terms of military strength, his forces having suffered irreplaceable losses in the siege. Only Sarlea's personal bodyguard of Centaur Knights had escaped unscathed and even they were not present to help maintain law and order within the city having ridden to the Timberlands to escort his new Queen to her palace.

Even though the vast majority of Pa-Mai's kin and womenfolk had escaped the butchery of the siege and sacking of the city, Windrider sought to appease those that remained by insisting that the deposed Taurian Arkan Ironhorn and his most notable commanders were buried with full military honours. This act had earnt the new King a degree of respect, albeit at a distance, but almost daily unrest in the city or in the provinces was proving difficult to put down with the limited access to resources available. The Kragonian garrison made matters no easier, pillaging to meet the needs of voracious Orc and Goblin greed.

On the coast a small force of Taurian Soldiers loyal to Ironhorn had managed to put to sea refugee-like sailing North to seek a new home, hot on the heels of their kin who had escaped days earlier.

Windriders mood was lifted somewhat when days later Sarlea made her entry into the city, followed by a retinue of Taurians and Centaurs resplendent in lavish uniforms and swirling banners. Such was the pomp surrounding this arrival that the King had not noted a separate column, much darker and much more sinister that slipped into the city stealthily under cover of falling daylight.

Within moments of arriving, Sarlea was announcing plans for a coronation, a renaming of the city and a renaming of the kingdom. Once again encapsulated by both her beauty and her guile he didn't immediately pick up on her comments about 'new' alliances, he was simply too uplifted to be in this woman's presence again.

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