The newly promoted Sireguard Captain Valark stood stiffly to attention, alongside a few hundred other officers, these were essentially all that remained. The number of men an officer commanded had increased almost tenfold.
Despite this crisis, Valark and the rest of the officers were called from the front to attend the ceremony, the funeral of Lord Hibracht.
Soldiers marched down the long streets in colossal columns. Parades played a piteous dirge as the marched down the streets of the Evermarket. Thousands of onlookers watched sadly as the coffin, adorned with exact and beautiful heraldry, was carried along the road. Over five thousand men were in the parade, but it was a poor reflection of past events. Every spare man was at war, even this procession marched in full battle plate, none of their ceremonial gear. They needed to be ready at a moment's notice.
The procession marched past Valark and he fell in at a smart march, ignoring the pain from his newly sown up wounds. The officers marched down the road towards the mighty central palace.
The sombre party hauled the coffin through the huge doors. Valark glanced up to see, way above on a balcony, was Lord Baggro and a thin figure standing behind him. Mirador. Valark’s teeth gritted. He forced his eyes front, marching at the front of the procession and halting smartly, saluting as the king’s body was taken into the crypts, to join all those who had held his office for so many dozens of generations.
As the huge wooden doors swung closed, a man called out. “At ease and return to your posts!”
Valark filed away, alongside the dozens of other officers. But as most travelled towards the stables, where a navy of wagons were ready to take them back to the front, Valark headed to the palace. He slipped through a side door and climbed a dozen flights of stairs, nodding to the heavily armored guards, who smartly saluted as he passed. He noticed that each was wielding newly-designed halberds, much wider and heavier bladed, but much less ornate. Each also had a pistol holstered at their sides. They were getting ready for combat, bit by bit.
He pushed open the doors into the courtroom, where Mirador and Lord Baggro sat. They turned to see him.
“Captain, how good to see you.” Said Baggro gravely. “If only it had been on better circumstances.”
Mirador spoke. “I trust the security has not fallen short of your expectations?”
Valark nodded curtly. He looked from Baggro to Mirador, steeled himself, then spoke.
“Milord,” He began, placing his hand upon his weapon, “I have to voice something.”
“Very well,” Baggro said, running his hand distractedly through a thin, white beard.
“I believe that Lord Mirador was responsible for the death of the Late King.” It was bad luck to name the recently dead for one season after their death.
Baggro glanced at Mirador, wide eyed. He opened his mouth, then composed himself.
“You told him?”
It felt like a hand of ice had slapped Valark. He stared in disbelief at the two lords, one a king, the other a killer.
“You, you knew?” He breathed. Mirador was talking to Baggro.
“No, Milord, I didn’t tell him. I didn’t suggest his appointment merely for his heroism at the recent tragedy, no I wanted him close. I don’t know him well enough to see if he’d start spreading rumour.”
Mirador looked Valark, dead in the eyes. They were eyes like a cat’s, watchful and cunning, but not completely devoid of emotion, there was a sadness there.
“What I did, I did for the Republic. The Late King was mad. He had a thirst for war so deep that he forced our armies to engage the Puplori, he ignored the essence of what we stand for, it was merely lucky for him that such a purely evil foe presented itself. He had been planning this war for years.”
Valark shook his head, it was too confused, the implications to far reaching to fathom.
“Captain Valark, please, trust me.” Said Mirador.
“If you don’t believe me, read this. He wrote it up, his final decree just days before his death.”
Mirador pulled a sheet of paper from his robes and handed it to Valark. Valark unrolled the paper, read and his eyes widened in shock…
1000 Elites trained in every territory.
Last edited by HOGGLORD; 12-07-13 at 07:26 AM.