Sacrifice

Chapter I


Two years after the departure of the remnants, Lord David found himself on the Yamarn Plain east of Athlum. War had brought him back to this spot yet again as he led Athlum's troops across the continent. Night had fallen hours ago, but he was unable to sleep. The land here seemed to breathe memories into his mind, and he would not fight them off, for these were memories he wanted to relive at any opportunity. Memories of Rush and Emma, and of an era that seemed to have been gone longer than two years. The smell of the greenery here made him feel like he was returning to a different life. One that had been laid to rest that he desperately wanted to awaken.

"Is Lord David awake?" He heard the familiar voice of Torgal from outside his tent's entryway.

"I do not believe so sir," the guard posted at the door replied quietly.

"Come in, Torgal," David called from his bunk, raising himself up on his hands. He heard a shuffling of feet outside as he slid his feet off the bed and planted his elbows onto his knees. His body suddenly felt exhausted from not sleeping, and he rubbed his eyes with the backs of his hands. He heard Torgal enter and stop near the door.

"Yes?" David asked, his voice sounding hoarse.

"An intelligence report from Bloctor concerning movement of the rebellion has just arrived. I thought if you were awake you may want to take a look at it. Are you alright?" Torgal asked, eyeing him.

"Yes I'm fine. Could you just read it to me?" David replied as he stood and made his way to the kettle and cups set on a small stool. Pressing his palm against the metal he closed his eyes for a brief second in concentration. "Spark." He pulled his hand quickly away from the kettle as it began to whistle, and poured two cups of tea. When he turned around he found Torgal's eyes still on him.

"We don't always have to do things the old fashioned way," David muttered, a small smile crossing his face. Torgal accepted the cup of tea and took a seat at a small table within the tent. David seated himself across from him.

"Reports from all major cities from the past 48 hours are showing similar activities. High ranking members of the rebellion can no longer be located by our scouts. After collaborating with intelligence members from Celapelais and Ghor we have confirmed through them that they must indeed be on the move. Given the current situation we have not been able to see if Elysion is aware of their locations."

"This isn't good," David replied, setting his tea down on the table. "The rebellion must be preparing to strike a city while we are responding to the collapse in Elysion."

In the two years since the remnants had disappeared, the world had undergone many changes. Collapses began to occur sporadically within cities that had once had guardian remnants over them. With the increase in occurrences, the Lords had been forced to seek help outside their own armies in order to protect their city. All the major cities of the world had come together and an agreement had been made that if a collapse should occur in one city, all of the Lords would send support to help. Although the Lords themselves rarely accompanied their support troops, David had chosen to travel with Torgal, Emmy, and his troops on this occasion. Elysion's collapse had begun two nights ago, and although Althum had mobilized as quickly as they could, David hoped they could arrive in time to make a difference.

"I hope Athlum is safe," David added quietly.

Torgal placed his tea back on the table. David looked down and realized he had not drunk any of it. "Bloctor and Pagus are aware of the threat. That's why we left Bloctor there in the first place."

"Yes, you're right," David agreed with him. Bloctor had taken a great deal of responsibility in monitoring the rebellion and keeping Athlum safe. David was surprised when he volunteered to head up intelligence operations concerning it, but was pleased with the enthusiasm the yama put towards his new duties.

The rebellion had formed in the months following the disappearance of the remnants. Beginning in Nagapur which had remained without a Lord following Heirmein's death, a push for democracy sprung up in the city. Baluuk was next, which had been without a Lord for some time due to the two possible heirs' inability to choose one to ascend. Some of the people had began to question the need of a Lord for each nation when there were no more great remnants that needed to be bound to a soul. The rebellion was further pushed into creation as the result of an attempt to quell the uprising in Baluuk, which had resulted in subsequent fighting and the deaths of three innocent citizens. As the organization grew in size, members were now present in every nation. Over time, they grew more and more secretive, driven underground due to the suppressive reaction of the Lords.

Although out of sight, the rebellion continued to gather followers. Then to the shock of the world, they attacked Ghor Castle just over two months ago. Although loss of life in the fighting was minimal, the Lords were forced to now deal with the organization more aggressively. The known leaders of the group, two men and a woman, were hunted by almost every nation. While the two men's identities were known, the woman had remained elusive.

"Shall I reply to him?" Torgal asked, rising from the table to take his leave. David's eyes slid closed, the last words he had spoken to Emma flashing through his mind.

"Tell them I leave Athlum in their hands, but-" he paused, not seeing Torgal raise an eyebrow under his lidded eyes. "Tell them to be careful as well." Opening his eyes, he looked up to see Torgal's face soften slightly in understanding.

The sovani nodded and silently exited the tent. Only after he left did David reach up and rub his temples with his fingers. He felt exhausted, but his mind raced with concern for home. He ran his hands through his hair, tossing it messily as he rose from the table. As he turned away from the table, Torgal's cup of tea caught his eye. The general had not touched it. After grabbing the cup and tossing it into a corner of the tent, he collapsed onto his bunk with a sigh. His thoughts drifted to Bloctor and Pagus, watching over Athlum a day and a half away as sleep slowly overtook him.


Author's Note: This is going to be my first attempt at a lengthy story. I have a lot of hope for it, and hope that you guys will enjoy it. Updates will hopefully be not too far apart, I hope once I get it going it will come easily. Please review, favorite, or message me with questions, comments or ideas!