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Yards of Doom

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Birthed from astute revenge, a barrier has been placed between the palace and the city so that none can go to the other. The curse so strong that nothing but an ancient incense can nullify its power. A king without a people, and a people without a head. The town is in chaos as greed and oppression prevail. The king must unite with his people again, good must conquer evil, and for this to happen, all the components of this incense which are scattered in different parts of the world, must be brought together, but it gets even more difficult when the component chooses its own bearer- it is a task for only the chosen ones, even those yet unborn.

Chapter 1

At Herlan's command, all the archers set their bows to launch their first attack. Vengefully, they pulled with all their strength, keeping close watch on the enemies metres away, their ears eagerly itching to hear the last order. The five thousand Gavvan calvaries and the infantrymen stood in ranks, well shielded in their helmets and iron armours. The blades of their swords glittered in the sun, showing their readiness for brutal service. In the heart of every soldier was wrath, desperation, rage, and a faint voice of fear gently speaking which they tried to surpress with courage, dignity and, of course, loyalty to the kingdom.

It was the second time that year Gavva was going into battle against it's brother, Sebud. The two kingdoms, formerly united under the name Pasha, had splitted up four decades ago after the execution of the Prime Minister, a Sebuddan, who was found guilty of treachery. This act was taken to be a way of punishing the Southern region of Sebud for their inability to meet up with the yearly remittance of farm produce. The region therefore broke away from Pasha and established a fortified kingdom and crowned Agabus their king. The remnant of Pasha was renamed after the greatest Warlord in their history, Gavva. Eight years after the division of the kingdom, Rovali, king of Gavva, passed away and Chaar, his second cousin, ascended the throne. The two kingdoms, overtime, remained enemies, waging war against each other at the slightest provacation, nurturing seeds of hatred which they passed on to their children.

The wars between the brothers were often ignited from trespassing each othe ar's territory or from stealing each other's trade partners, but this time around, they were fighting for a more serious cause: sorcery. The Sebuddans had hired a sorcerer from the coasts of Ram to help them lay hold of the gold field at the outskirts of Gavva which they had been unable to win from the last battle. The sorcerer had, with very strange powers, lifted up the gates of the city and planted it right after the gold field, thereby making the piece of land fall on the side of the Sebuddans. To exercise dominion over the field, the two kingdoms had warred aggressively at the beginning of the year but Sebuddan had had the upper hand. Now, it was the middle of the year, and they had gathered once again to finish what they had started.

Herlan looked beyond from the hill he and his men were. Before them were swords and spears like theirs, thirsty for blood, steeds yearning to gallop, elephants fully armoured, specially trained to trample on whatever came their way. They stood afar, watching as well, waiting for their enemies to make the first move.

Herlan glanced over his shoulders and saw his archers set to shoot, the zeal in their eyes too hot to be quenched,

"Fire!" Herlan ordered at once.

The bows were released and thousands of arrows were soon flying in the air, aiming for their targets. Suddenly, they were suspended in air by a strange force, then as if following an order, made a one hundred and eighty degree turn and headed back to the shooters with speed. The unexpected backfiring got the men confused. Before they could cluster together to shield, the arrows came upon them, straight into their eyes, and pierced through. About two thousand men went down.

"Charge!!" Herlan cried in anger as he watched his men fall.

The rest of the soldiers charged at their enemies, who were still standing still on the other side. Halfway, a huge sandstorm appeared from nowhere and buried the men. A few hundreds escaped the attack and fled back with Herlan to Gavva immediately.

_________________________________

Chaar swept the pile of books and scrolls on his table with one stroke of the hand. The news of defeat he had received made every gland in his body heat up.

"Will they keep cheating like this?" he ranted, "This is the second time they'll be doing this. If they are real men, why not fight with physical elements? Cowards!""

"Or perhaps, we should have gone more prepared." Faghad countered, lifting his gaze from the map in his hands. He adjusted on his seat and continued, "Since we know they now have extra forces, we should have sought for one too. You know, my lord, how powerful any sorcery from Ram can be."

"Stop talking nonsense!" Chaar snapped. He clenched his right fist and pressed it hard against his left palm, "I will never have anything to do with sorcery, it is weakness!"

"It is strength, my lord" Faghad continued, "If you really want to beat these people, you need to have what they don't have, or more than what they have, not neither of the two."

"I was there, my lord," Herlan stepped in calmly, still trembling from what he had just encountered, "I saw it all happen, it was nothing near the ordinary. If not for my years of experience on the field, I'm afraid, we would have lost more men than we have now."

"Was Agabus there? Did you see him?" Chaar asked impatiently, panting.

"The old, stunt, pale rogue!" Faghad cursed.

"Watch your tongue, you! Agabus may be dubious, but he is still my brother-in-law. My lord," Herman bent a knee, "I beg to take my leave at once, I have wounds to tend."

"You were supposed to bring me Agabus' head on a platter," Chaar said as he slowly closed up on Herlan, "You didn't kill him because you're a coward, right? Answer me!" He gripped Herlan's throat and pinned him to the wall.

"Easy, my lord, easy." Faghad intervened, patting Chaar on the back, "Let him be. He'll learn."

Chaar slowly loosened his grip on Herlan's neck, his eyes full of hate. He moved away from him back to the table and sniffed some cold air. Then, when no one was expecting, he spun around and landed a blow on Herlan's face,

"Get lost!" he yelled.

The room grew quiet as Herlan left, everything was frozen for a moment, Chaar couldn't even hear his own mind speak. Herlan had been the General of the army since the reign of Rovali. Despite the reformations over the years, he had remained one of the faithful few who stood by the crown and fought dutifully for the people of Gavva. However, one thing Chaar saw as a weakness on Herlan's part was his strong ties with Agabus, his enemy. He had always feared the two would unite one day and turn against him, hence his persistent request for Agabus' head each them they went to war, and that was one task Herlan had always failed to accomplish.

"It's not over, my lord," Faghad broke the silence after taking a last glance at the map he was holding, "Just say the word, and I shall bring the most dreadful sorcerers and sorceresses history has even had into the gates of Gavva. Then, I will know that we are ready for real battle."

Chaar pulled off his furry coat and flung it on the table, he took some steps towards the window and paused,

"I need to be left alone at once." he said.

Chapter 2

Agabus poured the last gulp of wine in the silver goblet down his throat and swallowed hard. It was one of those moments when he celebrated his victory over his foes in his own special way- drinking to stupor in his chamber. He had just taken his eight shot, but he still felt too conscious to call it a day already. By the time he would have reached the realm he wanted, his youngest wife, Dariya, would have spreadeagled on his couch awaiting his bidding. But, no, he wanted more than just Dariya, he wanted all, all his six wives to ornate his chamber, all he had to do was snap his fingers, and they would all swim in in their beautiful jingling jewelries and mesmerising spices. That was what victory was all about, nothing less.

As he poured himself another shot, there was a soft knock on the door. He looked up and frowned,

"Your hour is not yet come, I shall send for you when I have need of you." he said firmly.

"My lord, you have news from Gavva."

Heroes

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