Thursday, December 20, 2012

Aurelius the never-was-chief

‘Another story!’ cried the grubby, little orc child.
Wurgoth smiled down on his grandson. He’d had lots of them but this one was his favorite.
Young but clever.
‘Calm yourself Ori. I’ll tell you one more… Long ago, before even I was born, there was a battle. The first battle ever fought by the reunited tribes.
Five tribes were there. The ‘Broken lancers’ the ‘Blood-bottlers’, the ‘Meat-drippers’, the ‘Flesh-lump-eaters’ and the ‘Bone-crunchers’. All led by their chiefs…
All except our tribe. Chief Orestes had gone to slay the dragon and left his most trusted general: Aurelius in command of his army.’
Ori sat up. ‘That’s not true! Chief Orestes did lead his army into battle!’
The bald headed Wurgoth smiled. ‘Yes, you're right but he wasn’t there yet.’
Repositioning his aching bones in the sturdy, wooden chair, the old orc continued.
‘The four chiefs of the other tribes met with Aurelius and each one bowed to him and took his instruction without dissent.
Each of the five mighty armies was divided into two parts and the ten divisions were lead by a chief or general.
Aurelius the wise lead one of the Broken lance armies and the mighty Bodan the other. Each commanded a hundred and fifty men. Boden though, like the other chiefs and generals obeyed Aurelius’ orders without question.
Each of the ten armies divided themselves around Khajag: City of the Blue prince Narcissus.
A magical barrier prevented living creatures from passing through an evil, magical barrier of lightning.
Each leader was allowed to decide upon their own plan of attack but they all knew that they answered to Aurelius.
On his signal the battle was started. Some of the groups attacked from distance with arrows. Some tried to topple the spindly towers that housed the magic. Some even charged the lightning field!
Aurelius was cleverer though. With shields raised, the majority of his division advanced upon the shimmering blue field of energy. A smaller group fired arrow upon arrow at the two figures atop the tower, preventing the evil Black-cloak from using his foul magics on the advancing orcs.
The Dragon-borns fired crossbow bolts but Aurelius’ men held their shields together so no bolts could penetrate.
When they got to the crackling energy screen, they halted and thrust their long spears through.’
Wurgoth clears his throat as he sees his little grandson’s eyes start to droop.
‘The Dragon-borns were no cowards. They wanted to fight and so they advanced. They passed though the energy shield to get to our warriors. They were seemingly unhurt but this didn’t surprise Aurelius. In fact Aurelius smiled, for now, in the open, his Broken-lancers outnumbered the spread thin troops of the Dragon.
The battle was furious and unrelenting. Orc and Dragon-born alike died by the sword and spear. Aurelius though had superior numbers and the Dragon-borns had no reinforcements because they were fighting battles on all sides.’
‘And then what happened?’ Asked the young orc in awe.
‘Then?’ Wurgoth smiled. ‘Then, when only a score of Dragon-borns were still standing on our side of the magical barrier, Orestes appeared as if from nowhere atop the tower nearest them and struck the head clean from the shoulders of the Black-cloak there.’
‘Where did he come from?!’ squealed the little orc.
‘Well, that’s a different story but his actions caused the magical barrier to fail. Aurelius took advantage of the momentary confusion and charged through. He and his men killed every Black-cloak and Dragon-born they encountered but more importantly, they broke into the nearby towers and killed each mystic powering the barrier. Soon the disciplined Dragon-borns had to break formation and as soon as they did that, they were lost.’
The old orc pulls himself to his feet and kisses his grandson on the forehead.
‘Many orcs died in that battle but it was a great victory. The tribes reunited. Thereanthor’s son killed and enough treasure found to provide all the weapons needed to fight the coming war. Your great, great grandfather fought that day. He was barely more than a boy himself but he always said it was the proudest day of his life.’
The little orc’s eyes were now nearly closed, ‘Was wise Aurelius ever a chief?’
‘No my grandson. Never a chief but instead he became so much more. He became the Chief of chiefs’… ‘But that’s also another story’.

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