The Princess And Her Warmonger
The dim blue sky, a rarity in Nostalisk, was broken by the sight of what looked like a bunch of massive fireballs. They flew over the large reinforced metal and stone walls of the capital city of the Faction known as Mackarole. No sooner than they crashed into the tall buildings, burning them to the ground, did the sound of someone blowing on a horn fill the air. The next moment the large highly decorated beige gates of the city bulged under impact of an unseen ram. It only took one more hit before the gates flew down, broken. Instead of soldiers pooling inside the breached gates, a steady mist set in, making visibility low.
Finally, a soldier did step into the city. Waiting a couple hundred feet away from the breached gate, guarding the entrance to the city, was a legion of soldiers. They were the famous light infantry of Mackarole, noticeable with their orange armor, steel top hats, and their rounded silver and red shields and simple yet effective swords. However, the Commander of this legion of light soldiers wasn't a Mackarole, but a Senshi Commander by the name of Shiro Tanaka, the Fifth High Commander of the Senshi Faction.
The only thing they saw of the soldier who came through was a crude shadowy outline in the mist, and the glowing light blue eyes that give away exactly what this soldier is; A Vanyan*.
Out of nowhere the Vanyans attacked, rushing the nearby fortress and taking it out before the Mackaroles could tell what was going on. Then, the main army came. Out from the pinewood forest in front of the capital, their siege weapons and artillery not slowed down in the least despite the thick trees. Even with a total of six million soldiers in the Mackaroles possession, and the two million here, the chances that they can win this fight against the estimated eight-hundred thousand are not good, especially because of the person who is leading this army.
The lone Vanyan soldier didn't make any approach, instead just staring at the soldiers, waiting. It was clear that they were waiting for backup. Some soldiers decided to strike first and charged at them, ignoring Shiro's call. The four soldiers knew they could take on one lone Vanyan soldier, no matter how skilled and dangerous a Vanyan soldier is. Even faced with the four charging Mackarole soldiers, the Vanyan didn't move. Instead, their eyes narrowed slightly in disgust. When they got closer to the soldier, the mist started to clear up enough to make out long white hair. Then, when the first Mackarole soldier was within six feet of the Vanyan, a shadow streaked out, revealing the head of a long axe, basic in design yet sending a chill down Shiro's spine.
The axe buried itself into the head of the Mackarole soldier, killing him instantly. The other three soldiers fared no better. One of them had their throat cut open by the long axe, the Vanyan soldier moving the weapon like it wasn't the large and crude weapon that it was. The next Mackarole soldier was hit in the gut with the head of the axe, causing him to kneel over where the Vanyan soldier put his head in a one-armed headlocked and snapped his neck. The last Mackarole soldier swung his sword with a loud desperate yell which was quickly cut off when the Vanyan grabbed his wrist with their free hand, stopping him from finishing the swing, and crushed his wrist, making him drop his sword which they grabbed and used to finish off the Mackarole soldier with the broken neck. The last soldier was then cut brought down by the long axe.
Shiro let out a sigh. He knew who that was. That was no mere Vanyan soldier, and that meant that his fears are confirmed. Bloody Marrie, The Warmonger of Vanyan, is leading the siege. With her here, the number difference between the Vanyans and the defending Mackaroles won't make much of a difference. The key to winning this fight is by surprise and taking her out.
"Stay here!" Shiro ordered the Captain of the legion and ran back into the city. He is one of four Commanders located here, with the other three being further back. Since he is the highest rank, he is the one leading the armies here. If he were to die then General Koshi will take charge, another warrior from the Senshi Faction. The whole reason for being here was to discuss some plans of taking over some of the cities and land the Mackaroles own for protection. If the Mackaroles were back in their prime, something like this would never happen. Yet, centuries of fighting against the Kingdoms Faction, the Alliance Faction, and their worst enemies, Algeran, have brought this once great Faction past its knees. The final blow would be the Union and the bloody wars that happened after its fall.
The only reason why they haven't fallen yet is because the Algeran Faction has long since lost their power and haven't made contact with the outside world in years, and the other Factions are too busy recovering their own forces to focus on conquest. In a way, the time after the fall of the Union and the bloody wars is a time of peace. Most of the Factions have stopped fighting to recover their own strength, and some of them are even trying more diplomatic approaches to solve their problems. An example of this would be the recent peace-treaty between the Demons Faction and the Demi Faction, or the diplomacy happening between the Senshi Faction and the Mackarole Faction. Only, it seemed that the treaty between them may never happen now that the Vanyans are here, starting a war rampage five to six years early.
Marrie watched the strange-looking Commander run away, going deeper into the city. Something was familiar about the Commander, but what she couldn't tell. Regardless, the walls were now breached. Now there is only the heavier walls to get past and the raiding can begin. The two walls in the heart of the city were light enough to blow up with bombs or climb over. The heavier second wall shouldn't be too much of a problem either as, once the towers are secured, it will be a breeze destroying the wall with their artillery.
"Orders?" A voice called out. Instead of turning around to greet the soldiers running up to her, Marrie waited for them to form up next to her, her eyes never leaving the city and soldiers in front of her.
"Captain Jay, go engage thee soldiers up front. Take the D-Wing* with you," Marrie said, noticing that the light infantry got three more legions coming to reinforce them, "Captain Ukaline and C-Wing* are with me."
With their orders clear, the armies moved out, one rushing past Marrie to engage the light infantry up front while the others stayed back, waiting for Marrie to move.
Vanyans, like Mackaroles, are quite noticeable. The second most common Vanyan soldiers had large round shields, dark sea green and brown armor, and a simple yet effective broadsword. The first common Vanyan soldier wear full body silver-colored armor with silver-colored scutum shields with a white cross and longswords. The biggest give away that someone is a Vanyan is their white hair and shiny glowing blue eyes.
D-Wing wasted no time at all closing the gap between them and their enemies and, when they were close enough, they slowed down, putting their shields in front of them as they got into formation, forming a shield wall with their longswords sticking out. They got closer and closer, either waiting to get in striking range or for the enemies to charge forward. Today, it was the latter. The Mackarole light infantry charged forward, most of the frontline dying before they could get close to the Vanyans, with the same happening to the second line. Even upon getting close to the Vanyan soldiers it proved difficult not to die from them, let alone get a hit off. Their shields easily reflected their swords and, if a Mackarole did get a hit off, the Vanyan armor either blocked most of the damage or the Vanyan soldier darted out of the way, only receiving a glancing wound.
Marrie watched the fight happening in the distance and smirked in satisfaction before raising her long axe and slamming it on the ground four times. After the fourth and final slam, the sound of drums and chanting filled the air accompanied by swords clanging against shields to follow the rhythm of the Song of the Vanyans*.
"With me, my fellow warriors! We shall join thy fray to the East of thy city!" Marrie yelled out, a manic glee in her eyes and voice. None of the Vanyan soldiers who heard it were disturbed. Instead, they let out a roar of agreement, bloodthirst in their eyes.
Shiro Tanaka stood with three Mackarole Commanders on top of a short building behind a heavy wood and stone barricade, watching as mages reinforced it, trying to make it better, when the Vanyans came. Upon seeing them the mages stopped and fell back. Shiro was glad he was wearing a mask since, if he wasn't, the others would have seen the frown on his face. Coming down this narrower part of the city was about nine-thousand Vanyan soldiers and one Warmonger.
Marrie was strange for a Vanyan, as in she was on the small side, only being five point five. Her hair also had slight hints of silver mixed in, as well as it being too white in some places, like snow. Finally, her skin was more tan than other Vanyans, and her eyes were more of a light blue color, an uncommon trait in Vanyan. Yet that was wear the oddities end. She had the remarkable beauty all Vanyans had, whether they be males or females, and, if one were to look close enough, they could see her muscles bulge underneath her flesh, showing her strength.
Her hair was long and ended halfway down her back, and she was wearing her dark silver-colored armor, the fancy gauntlets shaped like bones and the claws included. On her chest was a fancy blue symbol and on her waist, neatly wrapped up, was the famous chain necklace of the Warmongers; The Astrid*. On her back was a large black battle axe, the design being known as the Leviathan*, and in her right hand was a large long axe, simple in design except for the slight gloss on the wooden staff. It already had blood dripping off it.
As the Vanyans got closer Shiro waited, ordering his soldiers to do nothing. He had one shot at this and, if the soldiers attacked the Vanyans, then she wouldn't come to greet them. Yes, that's was what was happening. It is in Vanyan tradition, much to Shiro's surprise and Marrie's annoyance, to greet an enemy Commander if they don't attack first. It was also why Marrie was waiting by herself in the beginning, seeing if the Commander would come over to greet her.
Once the distance between the two armies was closer Marrie held up her hand and closed her fist, signalling for her army to stop. After a quick look back, checking to see if there was any problem with her army, Marrie walked to the middle of the two armies and waited. Upon realizing, after an uncomfortable two minutes, that she was waiting for him to come down. So, with a quick look at a group of hidden archers, Shiro jumped down to meet with Marrie. As he got closer, Marrie's expression slowly went from excitement and neutral to disgust and shock.
"A Senshi? What is a Senshi doing here?" Marrie asked once Shiro came to a stop a few feet away from her. Despite the clear anger in her voice, it still remained at a neutral tone.
Shiro felt his frown deepen. Did Marrie have something against the Senshi Faction? The only time that he is aware that the Vanyans have fought the Senshi while Marrie was still alive was back during the Battle of Titan, and Shiro doubts that Marrie is one to keep a grudge like that. Besides, if she is that type then she should have a grudge against the Kingdom, mainly Sharia, The Warmonger and the Kulin Tearacloth Army, the army that stopped her.
"I am here leading the Mackarole defense," Shiro responded, seeing no reason to lie to the Warmonger.
Marrie's eyes narrowed even further and she said nothing for a long time, instead turning to silently glare at the two Mackarole Commanders up on the building. The look in her eyes, the utter disapproval, took a wack at the two Commanders more than any words could. Many Factions consider getting bossed around by the Senshi Faction as a disgrace and, unsurprisingly, the Senshi Faction lost half its land due to some Factions deciding to help out the other Factions the Senshi were in charge of. The reason why many Factions hate the Senshi Faction, and why the Senshi Faction don't know why most Factions hate them, is the matter of beliefs and reality. The Senshi Faction looks down on their so-called "crazed monstrous" neighbors who part take in endless war while they themselves fight among each other and have even enslaved an entire Faction once, something no other Faction does, seeing it as taboo.
While all these facts are present in other Factions, the people of Senshi grow up learning a different kind of honor and cultures that are almost vastly different from other Factions. And such a thing, to the Vanyans, are unacceptable.
Hatred born without even meeting each other. Vanyans have always hated the Senshi, and the Senshi were taught to fear and respect the power of the Vanyans, which hurt their pride, which in turns make them hate the Vanyans. Yet, none knew the other hated each other.
"I find that hard to believe," Marrie said, finally tearing her glare away from the two Mackarole Commanders and back to Shiro, "Where were thee when we attacked the Mackarole fort? Thy were not there, which means either thee has no army here, or is here alone..."
"....Which means thy is a High Commander, is thy not?" Marrie asked, a realization dawning on her. She didn't need Shiro's response. She already knew the answer. After all, why send a lone Commander to a foreign capital? If you want a treaty, you send a High Commander or High General and, if times are dire, a General, and Shiro doesn't look like a General.
"Yes. I am Shiro Tanaka, the Fifth High Commander of the Senshi Faction," Shiro introduced, bowing.
"Bloody Marrie, High Commander and Warmonger of Vanyan," Marrie introduced herself back, thumping the head of her axe where her heart was, a simple Vanyan salute.
'High Commander? Last time she was just a Commander.' Shiro thought, taking in this new information in stride. He still had his duty to perform. A little shocking news won't deter him. He won't let it.
"To a great, gloryful, honorable, and bloody war," Marrie said, giving the Mackarole soldiers behind the barricade a small nod before she turned around.
"...Same," Shiro said, though there was a noticeable odd tone in his voice. Marrie caught it but thought nothing of it, thinking that Shiro has never heard a Vanyan goodbye.
Marrie didn't walk to her army right away, instead waiting on high alert to see if Shiro will attack her. Her sharp ears did pick up the sound of Shiro running but, instead of running at her, he was running away from her. After waiting for a bit just to make sure, Marrie started making her way back towards her soldiers. Maybe it was the familiar sound or the sudden and frantic waving of her soldiers that made Marrie turn around. Whether the case, she did and saw the sky fill with a mix of arrows and crossbow bolts.
"Aw, fuck off," Marrie got out before she got into a battle stance and spun her axe around in front of her, catching and destroying most of the projectiles. By the time they stopped, her soldiers had managed to run up to her. Most went past while a few secured their leader. Marrie was very much still alive, even if she was coughing up blood and bleeding from her left eye. A few...fifty arrows and bolts or so isn't going to stop the feared Warmonger of Vanyan.
Though, even she was most definitely not seeing action for a while.
Seeing Marrie being dragged away, Shiro aimed a magical orange beam at her and fired. The beam went through three Vanyan soldiers but, before it reached Marrie, four tusks hit the ground in front of her, forming a protective wall. Attached to the top of the tusks was rope leading all the way over the walls, showing that it was indeed artillery that fired it. In the distance Shiro spotted the glint of an Ice Fairy*
His magic beam did nothing to the tusks, not even giving them a little burn. Rushing over to Marrie herself would be suicide. He may be a High Commander but he can't take on that many Vanyan soldiers and live. He would get cut down before he even got close to her, even with his speed.
"BRACE!" Shiro yelled out as loud as he could. Two seconds later the Vanyan soldiers crashed into the barricade, their Beldors* using their shields to protect themselves and strike at any mistake his soldiers make with their longswords while the Boldors* stayed behind, waiting for a chance to attack.
Shiro stepped on the barricade himself and struck out with his katana, catching one Vanyan soldier across their eyes. They stumbled back but quickly recovered, continuing the fight. His second attack went much better, catching one Vanyan soldier across their head, digging in. The Vanyan soldier stumbled back and another one took their place, allowing the injured soldier to retreat.
A Mackarole soldier to his right managed to connect his sword and hit a Vanyan soldier but, in turn, the Vanyan soldier swung ehr sword and caught him in the armpit. The soldier hissed in pain and pulled back, narrowly avoiding a longsword plunging up. As he fell back, a soldier to Shiro's left was impaled through his chest. He yelled in pain and Shiro could only watch as he was pulled off the barricade into the ground below where a boldor soldier promptly jumped up and plunged his blade into his chest, going right through the heart and killing him before retreating back to safety.
Shiro didn't have much time to think about the soldier since a sword was already coming his way. He parried the blow and shot out a magic beam at the soldier who attacked. It struck true and not only went right through the Vanyan's chest but hit another baldor behind her, killing him. While that should have been a good thing, it only filled Shiro with worry. The beam had only burned the Vanyan's chest, which meant he was already low on mana.
In Nostalisk, almost everything, especially the sentient races, were heavily immune to magic. As such one would have to put in a ridiculous amount of mana into a spell to hurt someone, and that's not mentioning the fact that they will probably be wearing armor that also helps with detering magic, and the magic detering charms, sigils, and talisman a soldier typically carries.
"High Commander! You're needed in the city defense!"
Shiro jumped back and turned to look at them and, upon noticing it was a High Captain who wasn't in the army defending here, nodded and ran up to the two Mackarole Commanders.
"Defend this place and, if you need to fall back, one of you go tell me," Shiro ordered. The two Commanders could only nod, whether it be from shame or surprise.
Shiro disappeared into the crowd of soldiers while giving a silent pray to the defenders he is leaving behind. just from the first minute or two that he spent defending the barricade, he knows that it won't last long...
....and that's not taking into account if the Vanyan artillery doesn't destroy it first.
"Artillery! Focus fire on the archers in the back! Raflers*, get up high and take out those pike legions!" Marrie snapped orders, watching the frontlines with the magic of ice fairies. Her eyes were narrowed, not out of anger, though she was still angry about not being in the fray, but out of thought.
Marrie is many things. She is a great fighter, a great cook, smart yet dumb, and most definitely has a lot of emotional problems. She is, however, not feared just for her skill in combat, but for her tactical mind as well. In fact, the entire plan to siege the capital city of Mackarole was her idea in the first place, as well as the entire plan for this war rampage. The only part that isn't is the attack on the Zhenshi Faction.
Before this battle even started, Marrie was pissed off and had already killed four Vanyan soldiers. Despite being the one who made the plan and being promoted to High Commander shortly before she showed her plan to the Senate, she was not only not in the first attack but she wasn't even aware of the attack, sleeping peacefully in her house with White.
"Daniel! Go with your group and take out that tower," Marrie snapped to a large man wielding both a battle axe and a sai knife. Normally, Commander Daniel wouldn't be with her but, since they were attacking a heavily guarded capital in the middle of their territory and a still functioning army, Marrie decided she would need him and his group of elite Marjinars*.
"On it, boss," Daniel said with a nod. Marrie only gave him a small nod in response before she focused back on the frontlines. her eyes narrowing even further upon spotting a familiar shape joining the Mackaroles.
"It seems that Senshi High Commander has come back," Marrie muttered to herself, though the others still heard it, "No matter. Thee shall not live through thee battle. Thy armies of Vanyan shall make sure of it."
Marrie chuckled darkly, her eyes glowing ever so brighter before she let out a deep breath, mist filling the air as she did so, just like the mist that poured into the breached gates at the beginning of this siege.
Marrie, like almost all Vanyans, have something known as 'cold-breath', or Vanyan breath. Due to the frigid coldness they call home, Vanyans have a built in 'cooling system' that rarely activates when it's cold, but activates when out of sub-zero temperatures. Because of this, every now and then, or on purpose, a Vanyan will release a breath, or small cloud, of freezing mist, this process helping the Vanyan body keep itself cool while taking out all the excess cold liquid and air the cooling system created and getting rid of it. With this system, Vanyans can even survive in arid boiling hot deserts despite being born and raised in the true cold of the North.
"Jacob! Is thy next wave ready?" Marrie asked, turning to a somewhat old yet still fit and big man equipped in the wear most boldors have, only his outfit had turquoise and very light grey added to the mix too.
"Yes. Shall thee go get them?" Jacob asked, standing to attention.
"No...No, wait eleven minutes then go get them. Use thy clock instead of guessing unless things get really bad out in thee frontlines," Marrie informed Jacob, her expression back to normal and her right hand pointing to a clock standing on the table, the dark stone of the clock being shaped like a cavernous tower, though the fake-gold centerpiece was the same.
"Got it, mylord."
With that out o the way, Marrie was now faced with what to do next. And, judging from how the Cleric* is nearly done healing her wounds, she has a pretty good idea.
Cleric: The North and West name for healing mages, or just healers. Unlike healing mages down East, clerics wear white robes instead of robin eggs' blue.
Baldor: Common Vanyan soldiers equipped with scutum shields and drimwright longswords, longswords that are shorter than normal longswords so they can be easier used with one hand. They are recognizable for their silver-colored full body armor and white cross on their shields.
Boldors: The second common infantry of the Vanyans, these soldiers are better at fighting while not in a tight formation, setting them apart from their counterparts. They are still, however, just as deadly to fight.
Song of the Vanyans: The chanting song the Vanyans sing while on the march and in battle is both a tactic to lift their own spirits, make their enemies tremble in fear, and, by Marrie, used as a defense mechanism. She taught the Vanyan armies the song and drilled it into their brain so much that, if even the smallest part of the song stops playing, the entire armies of Vanyan will be alerted and turn to see what the problem is, making a sneak attack on the Vanyan armies impossible as long as they are close together.
Astrid: A necklace worn by the named Warmongers. The chain is gold or silver-gold in color and pendant is a round device that can open up, revealing whatever the Warmonger puts inside. On the outside of the pendant is a large 'W' on both sides, signally that the owner is, in fact, a Warmonger. People who aren't a named Warmonger and have this are instantly a target, not only from the Warmongers but from others who know that the Warmongers will pay to get the necklace back.
Wings: Used by the Vanyan Faction and their allies, each Vanyan army is known as a wing, each one having a letter telling them what wing they are in. Great for strategy.
Vanyan Faction: A Faction that lives the farthest North where it is so cold that many originally thought it was impossible for anything to survive there. One of the most feared Factions, known for their might, technology, and unwavering loyalty and tenacity, this Faction goes on war rampages every now and then, going into the land below to wreak havoc. Unlike their allies, the Vikings, Vanyans don't raid other Factions because they need supplies. In fact, they have more than enough to sustain themselves. They do it for the simple reason to strike fear in the other Factions, making sure they will never forget or try to mess with the Vanyans. Despite the big threat they pose, no Faction has successfully dealt a blow to Vanyan cities. Not only is the Vanyan Faction have arguable the strongest armies in all of Nostalisk, but the cold wilderness they call home makes it virtually impossible to attack them.
Marjinars: The elite assassin class of the Vanyans, they don't look like assassins. They are big, muscular, and look like a Viking or Vanyan warrior. Yet, they are, in fact, assassins. Fast and agile, equipped with many tools, and hard hitters, they are a challenge many foes have failed to past. There have only been two leaders of this new kind of assassins, and their current leader, Commander John Daniel, is the current second leader and the only one who has challenged the "secret" leader of the Vanyans, the Warmonger, Marrie.
Ralfers: These unique ranged units of the Vanyan Faction were made by Elsdor Ashton but were never really used due to how little their unique weapons do unless used in a certain circumstance. However, they soon rose to power after Elsdor's daughter, Marrie Ashton, saw their use and used their accurate weapons to take out other ranged units and light armored legions. The weapons are very similar to design in the Goblins' gunners, though the Vanyans and goblins both state that they didn't copy the idea from each other.
Ice Fairies: These are an extremely small species of fairies and, despite being Fae, they work for the Vanyan Faction. Due to their small size, they are used to help support the Vanyan artillery, helping them nail accurate shots. They are treated just as fairly as any other Vanyan despite their short size.
Leviathan: The name of a Vanyan God, weapons designed to look like it are black or dark blue and highly decorated, with many curves and small rigid patterns.
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