This is my first attempt at crafting a tolerable fanfiction of some quality, so bear with me if anything seems a little off. I originally thought of an idea to draft some sort of fiction depicting the tactician's method of deploying soldiers into battle. To me, it was rather odd for a tactician to tell his troops, "Use your sword against the ax-wielding bandit because of your advantage in the weapon's triangle and dodge his counter attack."
I'm not certain if this fiction will contain romance or not. If the reader is kind enough to review this piece of drabble, feel free to suggest something. I'll also be tweaking the storyline of Fire Emblem a bit, to create a few more plot twists. Please don't sue me if I changed a detail that you are rather particular about.
And finally, for the record and sparing myself of repeating this every chapter, I do not own Fire Emblem or any of the characters in it.
Hammer of Terrascars – Prologue
"Reform the line," a man muttered softly, "This rabble will be cleared soon."
"At once, General," an aide-de-camp replied, turning on his heel after a brief salute to relay his superior's orders.
The said general sneered in disgust at the slaughter that lay before his eyes. It had taken nearly half a year for his division to track down these measly insurgents, who had fled recklessly across the Etrurian border in hopes of surviving the wrath of the Magic General. The heretics and rebels, proclaiming themselves the Terrascars, had declared the current Etrurian government to be 'incompetent' and 'unfaithful' to the needs of the people and rallied all who wished to establish a new order. Needless to say, the aristocrats in power weren't particularly peachy about this and sent an army to quash the revolution.
"Of all the blasted war hosts and regiments in Etruria," the general grumbled, "They had to send us, the Silver Vanguard who have never lost a battle, to do their dirty work. We could be actually testing out our mettle against a halfway decent opponent near the Caledonian Isles instead of wasting our time with peasants who can't even hold a sword correctly in their hands."
Half a year, half a stinking year the army had spent hacking their way through pathetic traps and ambushes supposedly in place to stall pursuers. The only minor technicality was that the ambushes were composed of idealistic young men with no weapons training whatsoever. Naturally, it took less time to butcher their sad resistance than it took to organize the ambush.
The soldier jumped as the bushes rustled behind him. With a swift metallic scrap, his naked sword sprang free of the encumbering sheath before he realized who he had just drawn his weapon on. His petrified aide was quaking in his shoes before him, though trying to keep a brave face on despite the blade held one inch from his rapidly paling face.
"This had better be good," the officer growled, "You know not to jump me like that. I had thought one of those adolescent idiots had actually succeeded in breaching our encircling ring for an assassination attempt."
The aide licked his dry lips before managing a reply, "M, my apologies, s-sir!"
The general waved his hands at the apology, "Report."
"As you suspected, beyond the forest where the Terrascars have built their fort, lies an encampment of Sacaen nomads. It is not yet determined whether the nomads will be aiding the Terrascars if the rebels are attacked."
The general grunted, "Unfortunately for us, Sacaen nomads are quite fierce in a fight, and could deter us from finishing our task at hand. They are also quite honorable, and the Lorca Chief will not sit around while those poor Terrascar bastards are being attacked. What must be done must be done for the better of Etruria."
"B-but, using bandits, sir? Surely some of our own forces could be sent to parley with them and prevent them coming to the aid of the…"
Further speech was curtailed by a glare from the general, who merely asked, "Did you succeed in sending the gifts to the nomads? That is all I require."
Gulping nervously, his aide stammered back the reply, "Y-yes, s-sir. T-the Lorca didn't suspect anything from our disguised caravan train. I chanced to overhear that what we presented was to be the special on the menu tonight."
Smiling grimly, the general turned to survey the lands before him, turning his back on the trembling aide, "Those poor fools, completely unsuspecting that we just sealed their doom. As planned, the poison within will immobilize their strength just enough so that even untrained bandits will finish the job. Meanwhile, our full force currently surrounding the Terrascar fort will move in and demolish the building, leaving no one alive. Fulfill your duty, corporal, and let me do mine."
Seeing that further argument was useless, the aide saluted and walked off into the gloom to relay his orders. The attack would begin at midnight.
Without even a whisper of a warning, the bandits came upon the unsuspecting tribesmen. Caught in the open and weakened from the treacherous poison, the Lorca were completely surprised and unable to defend themselves from the onslaught. Maddened by bloodlust and greed, the savages slew all they could find, down to the last innocent woman and child. Those who could find the strength fled from the ambush, shattered by their experience and knowing that their tribe was doomed.
One, however, fled astride a horse weeping only for her slain parents. Proud daughter of a chief, she would've stayed with her courageous father to the end given the chance. Fate intervened, and the young girl named Lyn would escape the fate of her clan.
Hearing the screams of the betrayed nomads, the general gave the order to attack. Though he commanded a war host of a thousand men, only three hundred would actually participate in the finishing struggle. The remainder would be watching that none escaped from the purge.
Drawing his own sword, the youthful commander led his men straight towards the compound. To maximize stealth and silence, the entire attacking squad was stripped of the heavy plate mail customary of knights and lance-wielding pike men. Equipped with only light chain mail and their weapons, the force stole across the thick undergrowth before arriving at the hastily built Terrascar fort. Only three dozing guards stood between them and the gate.
At a swift hand signal, three javelins split the night air. Aimed with skill and care, all three struck their targets, though not yielding the same effect. Two of the guards expired wordlessly with only a small sigh of surprise. The third, however, was only struck in the thigh. Coming awake instantly, the hapless guard screamed at the top of his lungs.
"ATTACK! WE'RE BEING ATTACKED! BAR THE G—"
A sword stroke quickly finished the task that the javelin failed to. Despite this, the element of surprise had been lost and the defenders were rallying. Cursing, the general pondered his possible actions. Several of his men were trying to bash down the gate, but the inhabitants inside had already barricaded the door in a futile attempt to keep the invaders outside.
"Damn, General!" one of the soldiers spat out, "We can't break through this door without some serious siege equipment, and we don't have in this entire army!"
"General? Are you alright?"
"Yes sir… WHAT?"
"I said burn it, raze it to the ground."
The man paused for a second, and then grinned wildly, "Ah, I get it! They're trapped inside, if we set fire to this wooden fort, they'll be forced to come outside!"
"Correct, now get to your task."
Seized with the enthusiasm of completing their mission and returning home after half a year's campaign, the men eagerly set flint to the tinder and flung several dozen flaming torches onto the compound. Smiling smugly, they awaited the besieged to evacuate and surrender.
"Wouldn't it be great if those idiots burned to death in there?" one mocked.
"Hah, would save us the time of hauling their stinking carcasses back to Etruria!"
"Nah, maybe I could procure one as a slave, those sell for quite a bit around these parts."
As if some cruel demon of destruction had heard these mocking words, the impossible came true. Already weakened from the fragilely built compound and the raging fire, the roof came crashing down as the entire fort folded in upon itself. Truly ensnared within their own flaming fort, the damned could do nothing but howl in agony as the merciless inferno scorched them to crisp. The soldiers, as if immune to the pleas of the trapped, continued to crow at the plight of the rebels.
Save one. One sword plummeted to the soft earth from numb fingers, as a pair of eyes almost willed the nightmare to remove itself from his gaze. Stumbling away from the wretched building, the tortured soul discarded first his weapons then his armor and fled from the disgrace he had just participated in. In his horror-filled mind, a soft but determined vow swore he'd never subjugate the innocent to such barbarity ever again…
The prologue is now complete, please review if you wish.