Chapter 1

Apprentice Salomé
History Module Assignment 3
September 28, 107 AE

Chapter 1: Incursion
The Attack on Stargard – The Fall of Damascus

Selected Excerpts from the Chapter:

“The full Seventh Host is present under the mountains your Wisdom, with auxiliaries and support units. We have nearly 15,000 combat troops. The forces are poised to break out through a thin section of tunnel wall in a valley one hundred miles southwest of Stargard. There is a small village there called San Marcus which we shall take and use as a rear supply point. Once we have broken out we will be at Stargard within seven days.”

Archon was known for his precision and the Emperor knew this also. A moment later the shadow spoke softly once more “Six days from the arrival of the caravan, not one second more. On that day, a great mystic storm will come, and hide you from Loreil. We cannot maintain it for more than a span of days. We shall speak again, when Stargard is taken.

Damascus looked to the west side and saw the swarm of back armor advancing from that quarter. With the enemy over the north wall as well, it would be only a matter minutes until archers commanded the wall tops and rained arrows down on the beleaguered Tenth. This was a much more determined assault than the last three had been. Well, first things first.

Flames engulfed the entire mission now. Arrows flew by him every few moments and war darts as well from the captured artillery of the Tenth. Damascus had ordered those engines burned before the walls were overrun but at least one of them had been captured intact. One of their darts slammed into the beam next to his head as his arm lashed out to parry another Asyri sword lunging at him. Moving fast, he smashed open the cask heads of the mage sand the Tenth had stored in the base of the mission bell tower. He was not use to this stuff and had little faith in it although his late friend Warden Potts who had gotten it seemed to place great store in its future. Damascus recalled only that it had one attribute that he needed now.

Archon was thrown flat by a huge explosion that shook the earth below him. The air was filled with dust and for a moment he thought the same sort of trick he had done at Verticus had now been done to him. Stone and mortar rained about him as he slowly regained his feet. Through the clearing smoke, he saw where the bell tower had been, a smoking hole in the ground and no other sign of the tower or the men that had been within it. All around him dead soldiers littered the ground, caught in the blast no one expected. A few feet from him, the dead eyes of Legate Patchek looked up at him in the silent accusation of the dead for the living. Archon turned from this grisly spectacle and slowly walked to the crater before him. No trace of Damascus. No trace of the soldiers trying to get him. While he did not know how this was, he instantly accepted it and turned to this command group, also getting up from the blast. “All forces to move out at once. We are done here. We march for Stargard!”

With Tayl at the van the Third Corps slammed into them while the sky darkened again with arrows and missiles The Asyri formation melted like snow on a hot stove, and instantly Blue shouted out “FOR LOREIL AND FREEDOM!! FORWARD THE FIRST!”

Battered and weary, the First Brigade advanced on the Asyri who were currently trying to turn to their left. Blue signaled the charge and the Brigade drove into the Asyri front while Third Corps mangled their left flank. The day vanished into a blur of swinging steel and death as the Asyri faced both threats at once. It had indeed turned out to be a good day to die.

Some days later, Blue stood before a huge pyre in full dress blacks. Beside him stood the entire order and behind him stood rank upon rank of the army of Loreil. Atop the pyre was a still figure wrapped in a Warden cloak. The words had been said, and the eulogies spoken. Blue took a torch in his right hand, and touched it to the oil soaked wood, which at once seemed to explode in flame. He stepped back from the heat, and watched as the flames wreathed the still figure on the pyre.

Blue wiped his eyes “Farewell Warden Damascus. Your sacrifice saved us all. We shall remember you old friend, and remember your last stand at Alamon. May your Star join our brothers and sisters in the heavens, and may they know that until all is cold dark and ever after, there stands a Warden.”