An army approaches…
As the first rays of dawn stretched over the plains of Vinland a weary member of the Trinity Militia let out a brief sigh. It had been another uneventful night on watch, and yet he felt on edge. Earlier on, as the moon reached its peak in the night sky, he could have sworn he’d heard the rustling of armor from beyond the gates. He tossed a couple of flaming torches from atop the walls to try to illuminate the areas that the moonlight couldn’t quite reach, only to find nothing.
“It’s just yer mind playing tricks on ye,” he told himself. But it wasn’t. The sun had come to reveal the source of those faint sounds. The long shadow of an army was cast out towards the Kingdom. Archers accompanied by Infantry, thousands of them, all flanked by a huge slithering beast. He had never before seen a Basilisk in the flesh, and it was every bit as terrifying as he had been lead to believe.
“Raise the gates,” called Eriodna as her horse charged through streets full of nervous onlookers. She had convinced the King to let her go as an emissary to meet with the force that had somehow amassed just outside of the Kingdom walls overnight. Veros and Kaladan followed closely behind. They were a compromise. She had wanted to go alone but the King refused, leaving only one other option on the table: the full force of the Trinity army.
Standing at the head of the army on the other side of the gate was the Celestial Hunter she had encountered before. He shouted something that Eriodna couldn’t quite make out, but the impact of his command was clearly visible. Thousands of troops stepped to attention in an instant, their coordination and discipline like nothing she had ever seen, even from the Holy Order of the Trinity.
“You’re early,” she said, dismounting from her steed. “And with a force that we did not expect. Our King is not impressed.”
“These lands are ours, and we ride on our terms not yours,” he responded, though the threat in his voice trailed off somewhat as Veros dismounted his steed and stood towering over him.
“Veros,” said Eriodna, “let us not rush to hold the door open for Death. We have spoken well before and can do so again.”
The Celestial commander stood defiantly, his eyes fixed on the slits in Veros’ helm. “We wish to speak with your King, for we must assess all threats to our lands. We have heard whispers that your presence here is driven by Amut and her undead army.”
“You expect us to simply let you into our keep?” responded Eriodna.
“We do,” said the Celestial, finally pulling his gaze away from Veros. “And I should also remind you that if we were intent on the destruction of this settlement you would all be dead by now.”
Eriodna knew what to expect next. Veros rarely spoke but took the words of others seriously. This Celestial commander’s tone would not sit well with him, but she wouldn’t know how he would react until it was too late. There was a brief silence and then, with speed uncharacteristic of someone so large, Veros reached his giant gauntlet covered hand towards the Celestial’s throat. His longsword seemed to just materialise in his other hand. A giant piece of steel, that for most would require two hands to hold steady, pointed squarely at the bridge of the Celestial’s nose.
The Celestial army responded in kind with staggering speed, stringing their bows and drawing their lances. Eriodna couldn’t help but shudder at the faint sound of an entire army mobilising within a single heartbeat. Then came a gut wrenching roar. Through the ranks of soldiers came a beast so large that it eclipsed the morning sun. Huge talons, each claw the size of a man, tore up the earth from underneath as it dashed towards the envoy. The snarling beast reared it’s head as one of it’s claws landed mere feet from where Eriodna stood. Shades of blue and purple glistened in the sun as the full weight of its body crashed down before them with a thud, followed by another deafening roar.
“Veros, no! Let him be,” Eriodna called.
His tenacity had gotten many troops killed over the years, but this could lead to the death of a Kingdom, thought Eriodna.
“Your friend here is a warrior. I’d very much like to see what lays behind the mask,” said a voice that seemed to float through Eriodna’s mind. Unsure of whether others had heard it too she looked to Kaladan, who seemed to be frozen, mouth agape, at the sight of the Basilisk.
That voice again, but this time Eriodna was sure that everyone else had heard it. She didn’t recognise the dialect, though it was almost certainly ancient and Celestial.
Out from the behind the Basilisk stepped a woman. She was dressed in what appeared to be ancient Celestial finery – though this garb was thoroughly battle worn. She raised her hand, maintaining eye contact with Eriodna as she did. Behind her the Basilisk seemed to fold in on itself and slink back into the ranks of soldiers from whence it came. The stunned silence that followed was broken only by the sound of a Celestial commander hitting the ground and gasping for air, having finally been released from Veros’ grip.
Tags: #commander, #kingsoftherealm, #kotr, Digit Game Studios, mmo, mmorts, news, sneak peek,
Published: September 21, 2017
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