|Guardian of the Western Wall
Author: Riquez Oro PM
An abandoned project that I might pick up again if it garners enough interest. Review or subscribe, if you really want to. It'd revive this thing, surely.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Adventure - Words: 844 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 08-09-11 - id: 7271494
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
About five years after the coronation of Queen Ellimere, the neighbouring country of Ancelstierre fell upon the worst ever economic depression in its history. The budget of every government institution had to be slashed. Including that of the Northern Perimeter Reconnaissance unit. Rather than allow the myriad of beasts and dead to pass, the unit began asking private companies to protect the wall, and in exchange, they would receive prime land spots and be paid once the depression abated. Several companies and rich private investors took them up on their offer.
One of these rich private investors was Brigadier-General Sir Charles Andrews. He had earned my unusually high rank (and knighthood) during a war against an enemy some ways south of Ancelstierre. Although born in the south, he had moved north as soon as he could, and had become a charter mage. He used his money to set up excellent defences in a thousand acre section of land in the far west edge of the wall. He then built an estate, and started working on charter magic and Ancelstierran technology.
After the depression abated, the government tried to buy back its section of the wall. However, Charles liked his estate, and his access to the old kingdom. I had decided to stay. That was 15 years ago.
Now, trouble is brewing in Ancelstierre. The princess, daughter of Sameth, has been kidnapped, and greater dead are taking advantage of the uncertain times. The north perimeter is under heavier strain than ever before. Now, he and his small company of private soldiers needs to take the strain.
Chapter One – The Forges
The night was quiet. The wind moved from nowhere, flat and dull, as it had been for days on end. The dry summer heat made everything sticky, and most of the Western Perimeter Guards were miserable. Their uniforms and armour may have been a necessity, but it dry August heat, most felt they would rather die than boiled in their own sweat within their armour. Suddenly, the wind began to blow. Several of the younger guards fired celebratory shots into the air, but they were quickly silenced, for the wind blew from the north.
Immediately, several parachute flares burst into light over head, highlighting every blade of grass. The soldiers immediately got down into the trench system, and several large electric spotlights further back from the wall further illuminated the ancient stone structure. The light was not true, and it flickered with each gust of wind. From further down the wall, past the property line, there sounded an immense explosion. The men tensed. If the NPRU was using such heavy guns, there must have been a powerful free magic creature there. Suddenly, a green flare was launched, and bullets started flying. Some creature had crossed the wall.
The spotlights mover upwards, highlighting a massive murder of gore crows. The larger guns clattered to life, but they were uncertain, often catching or skipping. The archers were having more luck, dropping crow after crow. Eventually the attack ceased, as it began to rain steadily. Even the small amount of running water present in ran was enough to send the crows back over the wall to the safety of some forest. Immediately, the soldiers got to the well known duty of building a large fire on which to destroy the carcasses, lest they return to life.
Sir Charles Andrews was standing on the balcony of his house, staring at the rising smoke from the pyre. He was dressed only in a bathrobe, it being only seven in the morning. The rain still fell, but under the balcony roof it was dry, if cool. Charles turned and returned inside, shutting the mostly-glass door. The dead attempting to cross were becoming more numerous, and more powerful. The new technology would be needed now more than ever. Charles stepped into his closet, deciding to be the "general" today. The guards probably needed a confidence boost anyway. If any were still awake, that is.
After getting dressed, Charles headed downstairs, glancing at the empty king sized bed. The grand carpeted upper landing seemed rather dusty, but that made sense, as the maid service had not been in for quite a while. The summer heat had made everyone stay indoors, and nobody traveled. Even the most recent models of motor vehicles were hot and sticky if the temperature was above 18°c.
Coughing quietly from the dust mites flying through the air, Charles walked down the grand staircase into the well-appointed living room. Great tapestries depicting the building of the Royal Palace in the old kingdom covered the walls on either side of the door, and the large fireplace still had the embers of a small fire in the centre. Charles' wife, Leonie, was asleep on the sofa closest to the fire. She was holding a jar of pickles in her hands, cuddling it. Charles laughed in spite of himself. Her eyes immediately snapped open. She sat up slowly. "What are you laughing about?" She said crossly, glaring at Charles.