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The Northern Wars

by Kelson Hayes 6 months ago in Fantasy

The Plan

DUNKIRK, LEGION

Spring, 1E79

“Remember; everything must go according to plan if you want your son back unharmed- we've already had enough mishaps.” Mathias said to Robin quietly, under his breath, as they made their way through the grandiose streets of the Legion capitol. Several weeks had passed since the Calais riots and they hadn’t allowed those weeks to pass by idly. Ever since the trio had managed to sneak and bribe their way into the capitol they’d used that time to plot the next stage of the plan that was culminating as it continued to come to fruition. Meeting at the house of Frederick, a friend of Edwin’s in the capitol, the trio held up and plotted the days away, making the necessary arrangements with their fellow contacts throughout the capitol leading up to the present.

The streets were relatively empty and devoid of life as the party of pair traversed the narrow cobblestone roads that led them into the town centre. They crossed paths with a handful of lone passersby and couples rushing quickly to their own destinations, though they were few and far between. Robin and his Mathias would have found it odd under normal circumstances, but given the current state of the kingdom it was understandable. Shortly after the King had declared his war against the north, imperial insurrectionists and their Ahglorian allies staged protests revolting against his rule in the surrounding towns outside the capitol. There were riots in the streets and all around the townsfolk fought back the imperial guardsmen who sought to contain the uprisings as they unfolded. King Delaunay declared martial law in response and placed the towns under strict military supervision, leaving Dunkirk relatively vulnerable after sending the majority of the capitol’s troops to deal with the Northern War and imperial riots respectively. As a result, a strict curfew had been enforced and gatherings and groups of more than two were prohibited.

Shortly after Mathias' arrival in the capitol, the trio had been greeted by unexpected and bitter news, though it wasn’t entirely hopeless. Claude was dead and Stefaan had been captured by the imperial guard. He was being delivered to the capitol where he would be tried and executed for treason along with several others amongst the ringleaders of the Calais riot. So it was that they'd made arrangements to overthrow the execution that was to take place in Dunkirk's city centre on that very day. The small band of men hurriedly made their way towards the imperial square where the hangings were set to take place even as sounds of unrest greeted them faintly in the distance.

The sounds of fighting could be plainly heard in the distance. Shouts, cries, and the clash of steel echoed throughout the empty streets of Dunkirk and Robin picked up his pace as he raced to the heart of the rebellion. Mathias tailed closely behind him and before long they found themselves standing on the fringe of the brawl between the citizens and soldiers. Several groups of townsfolk rushed individual guards and dog-piled them to he ground before stripping the King’s men of their weapons and armour, simultaneously beating the men to death as they did so. Many of the rebels even armed themselves with the weapons of the fallen to take up against the reinforcements who sought to avenge them.

All around rioters marched upon the castle as they shouted out at their imperial oppressors in protest. The King’s guard tried their best to prevent the rebels from overrunning the exterior wall of Dunkirk’s battlements, but to no avail. Seeing the futility of their own actions, some of the soldiers fled behind the iron-gated safety of the exterior castle wall that their braver compatriots protected. The masses rushed the decorative gates and pinned the Legionnaires down between themselves and the iron gate. Lashing out, the Imperials hewed down a handful of the insurrectionists before falling back to strike again with renewed strength.

Robin spotted Stefaan in a lineup of bound convicts in the distance and he made his way with his fellow rioters towards the stage where the chain-gang of convicts awaited trial before the gallows. Robin and the rioters easily overpowered the troops unfortunate enough to be assigned to the trial duty and Stefaan joined into the skirmish along with his fellows after being freed from the gallows where they’d nearly been hung. Together they fought their way into the heart of the uproar as Robin, Edwin, Mathias, and Frederick pushed their way through to meet them. The group had brought no weapons with them on their travels except for a tiny stone dagger Robin had stowed away in the sole of his boot. He appeared to be an unarmed civilian during his travels, though that guise was no longer necessary as his journey had come to an end and the time for fighting was now at hand. Robin slashed the throat of a soldier who lunged at him and the man choked on the ground. He gurgled on his own blood momentarily before he was trampled carelessly beneath iron boots and civilian shoes alike.

Turning around, the Ahglorian huntsman dodged the deadly swing of an imperial blade. Taking the opportunity to counter-attack, Robin thrust his stone dagger up and under the chin of his opponent from below the arc of his sword. The guard fell dead and Robin sought out a new challenger to test his skill against. Everywhere the sounds of battle were rife as it continued to rage on all around. The citizens fought against the soldiers without hesitation or regard for their own lives. They were not fearless; each of them fought for something greater than themselves and that was what gave them their bravery. They fought for the freedom of their people as well as liberation from the King’s tyrannical rule. Orders were shouted by the acting captain of the watch and he boldly told the rioters to cease and disperse in the name of King Louis Delaunay IV. He stated that if they were to surrender they could leave with their lives. The rioters had stopped momentarily at the command and their silence was immediately followed by laughter after hearing the captain’s brief speech.

“Surrender or die!” one of the imperial soldiers shouted out with finality in response, echoing the words of his captain.

“You’ll be lucky if we let YOU live!” one of the protesters shouted over the laughter of his companions and they continued their assault with full strength.

There was no stopping the masses now that they’d launched their attack upon the King. Even more citizens were beginning to pour out of their houses to join their fellow residents in the uprising that was steadily engulfing the city centre. From within Castle Dunkirk the King’s advisor told him the news of what was occurring outside his gates. He plotted to himself alone of what was to be done about his mutinous subjects within the safety of his castle walls whilst his men all died as they fought to protect him outside. Presently, a soldier rushed into the castle begging for an audience with Delaunay. King Louis was taken out of his brooding mood, blatantly irritated by the interruption.

“My lord, insurrectionists are surrounding the castle- we can’t hold them off-” the soldier stammered at the foot of the king’s throne.

“What’s this- a deserter at my feet? Execute him.” King Louis IV dismissed the soldier and he was dragged away immediately, screaming, by the interior guard into a backroom. The echo of his scream as they beheaded him lingered in the air for a moment. King Delaunay took advantage of the lapse in sound within his keep to think of what was to be done about his current dilemma.

Fantasy

About the author

Kelson Hayes

Kelson Hayes is a British-American author and philosopher, born on 19 October 1994 in Bedford, England. His books include Can You Hear The Awful Singing, The Art of Not Thinking, and The Aerbon Series.

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