Hello and thank you for beginning to read this, this is the first chapter of a fan fiction I'm writing. This is my first time posting, and a quick warning this will cross over with Settlers: Rise of an empire. I loved both games and will now present you with a feast for the imagination.


The Borderlands…

Slowly trudging through the mud and water a traveller eventually stopped under a small tree to take shelter from the rain. The downpour from the rain had left no stone untouched everything was soaked; the tree at least gave some coverage. Constant rain beat down from the cloudy skies, pounding the vegetation. The small shrubs that grew here were quickly destroyed, while all forms off animals had already fled. The swamp waters had risen due to the storm and only a few small islands remain relatively dry. The traveller pulled back his hood slightly; his face was passive, and he had light blue eyes and brown hair. No one could guess that this man once made nations quake. Kerberos paced up and down impatiently waiting for his mysterious benefactor. The rain only added to his anger and impatience. After a few more minutes of pacing a second cloaked figure made his way through the rain towards the clearing, his cloak covered the lower half of is face to his nose, while is hood obscured his eyes. Though he tried to hide it he walked with the stride of someone used to giving orders. He stopped in front of Kerberos and stood waiting for him to speak.

"Why have you dragged me out into the middle of nowhere?" Kerberos demanded, anger seeping through his voice, he hated these constant meetings.

"Watch yourself Black Knight my patience can only be pushed so far." Came the dark reply, the figure was irritated at Kerberos's outbursts.

"And as for the my reason, it is because you are a dog, and I am the master when I call you answer, it is due to my help you have rebuilt your army. Now it is time we begin our plan. It's time for the invasion." His voice was cold, and dark. But Kerberos thought he heard a hidden agenda masked by the mans dark attitude. He knew he needed this mans help, but as soon as he was no longer required Kerberos planned to take care of him 'permanently'.

"I will assemble my horde. Will you be observing the battle?" Kerberos asked, putting other thoughts aside concentrating on the now. He was shaking slightly from the cold.

"No, I will send my generals as my eyes." Came his callous reply. Kerberos eyes widened he hadn't expected he would be supervised by subordinates. He tried to hide his anger. "I don't need any generals to question my orders!" Kerberos could not hold back his anger and his words grew louder than he had intended. The figure let out a slow laugh, serving to make Kerberos angrier. Then the man began to speak again.

"They will not be watching your troops, they will be commanding my own." Kerberos was startled, he had thought the reason he had been contacted weeks earlier was because the man needed his troops, but if he had his own then that couldn't be it, then why? But before he could ask about this, the man had turned and started walking away. Kerberos watched him walk away and felt as he usually did when these meetings were over, relief he knew their partnership would not last long, but he would take any chance he could to retake the kingdom even an this uneasy alliance.


Chapter 1: An Uneasy Alliance

"There are dark times ahead, only faith and friendship will protect you… Believe in yourselves but most of all believe in each other."

An Old Dying Man's Last Words.


The Old King's Castle…

The restored Old King's Castle was beautiful. The workers had done wonders, beautiful gardens were growing in and around the castle, and the smell of spring was strong in the air, the strong scent of flowers pervaded the air. The castle was the home of King Dario. In the halls the free servants were abuzz with activity, fulfilling their daily duties. During Dario's reconstruction of the old empire he had come across slavery all over the land. After his victories he abolished all slavery, but some of the slaves in the castle had decided to follow him as free servants.

Standing outside on a large balcony Salim surveyed the country; the castle was situated atop a huge mountain range, allowing anyone clear view for miles. Even those who had been here for months were still awed by it's beauty.

The floor was made of marble from the west, the ceiling had a mural of the sky painted on it by a artist from the east, so real some people thought it was magic. The walls were adorned with items and gift received by the various cities.

Salim wore his light armour and a tunic with a small turban covered his head. He preferred functionality to fashion frowning on all the political intrigue in the castle. His skin was tanned and he had the features of a hawk, like most of his people. As a knight of Dario he had to travel all over the kingdom, he didn't mind travelling much coming from a band of desert nomads, but he enjoyed this small respite. From here he could see the ocean. And memories of his brother flooded his mind.

"I will find you Hakim." He said to himself clutching a small oriental dagger. "If I have to travel to the ends of the earth."

"What was that?" Came a gruff voice. Salim turned around and saw Pilgrim his friend for many years standing in his room. Two seemingly different people, Pilgrim a gruff miner, and Salim a desert prince a fact only pilgrim knew.

"Nothing, I was just thinking." The Nomad responded turning away from the view and entering his bedchamber, he couldn't remember the last time he had slept here. The room was of oriental design, the bed was large enough for six, and a large silk rug with strange symbols covered the floor. The real centrepiece of the room was a strange device designed by Leonardo, it was an hourglass that stretched from the roof to the ground, and by strange workings never filled or emptied.

"Dario wants to talk to you, something about Leonardo I think." Pilgrim began and couldn't finish speaking because Salim dodged past him in a quick run towards the throne room not listening to the rest. He hoped it was finally good news…

…Dario sat listening half-heartedly to Leonardo go on and on about the physics behind his latest invention. He sat on the large golden throne that had been a gift from the people of Folklung; they had carved it to look like his pet falcon with wings as arm rests. He had originally been ecstatic about it until he discovered how uncomfortable the chair was. The throne room was large and circular; it had been designed beautifully, by an artist named Michelangelo apparently a friend of Leonardo. A large red carpet lead to his throne with a golden lion stitched into it and hanging from the roof was a large chandelier made from hundreds of multi-coloured gems reflecting various patterns around the room. And last but not least the walls were adorned with various paintings and statues, he shuddered when he as he saw Kerberos's armour in a glass case. He wondered what he was doing in his exile. The large oak doors began to open snapping Dario out of his reverie. Salim rushed in almost tripping over a guard.

"You wanted to see me your highness" He asked regaining his composure.

"Oh yes, Leonardo has a report on the Ship Building Project." Dario answered relieved he didn't have to listen to Leonardo prattle on much longer.

"Yes, I think I am very close to creating a sea worthy ship for your highness and the Knights." Leonardo began and stopped thinking carefully about his next words. "But I seem to be missing something."

Dario was hardly surprised, every time Leonardo was close to finishing an invention he would always need something. And Dario would be the one to get it. He remembered some of the battles he had fought, and all the times Leonardo had gotten into trouble.

"And what is it this time?" Salim asked his patience waning he had grown tired with how long this project was taking. Dario could see he was distracted but couldn't figure out why.

"As it turns out a storm hit and swept away all our sulphur. Now the only place with the high quality sulphur required is near Cleycourmecia." Leonardo spoke with his usual pitched voice, over the years Dario had come to respect him almost as a part of his family.

"Assemble the royal guard it looks like we are going on a field. Send a messenger ahead, Helias is in Cleycourmecia, tell him we're going for a visit." Dario said eagerly, any chance to leave the drollness of the castle was a welcome relief.

"Salim you can come with as well." Dario decided seeing as how he was so interested in the ship project. A guard stepped forward. "And what of Mary." At the sound of that name Dario almost jumped. Memories of what she did to her land flooded back to his mind. For safety reasons she was being moved to a new location. "Pilgrim will escort her along with a thousand men to the new prison." And quickly dismissing his other appointments for the day, much to the dismay of the nobles, he headed for the armoury eager for a chance to travel.


All the preparations had been made. Dario and a hundred of his best horsemen were saddled and began leaving for Cleycourmecia. Salim rode next to him; the procession made an impressive sight one hundred heavy horsemen in their full royal regalia, golden helmets shining in the sun marching in perfect unison. While being led by King Dario, who was wearing his father's royal battle armour given to him by his father's friend Garek, it was silver with a blue cape and a combination of silver and gold shoulder pad. Even the horses were covered in glistening armour. Moving in marching formation they began riding through the streets. Men, woman, and children gathered around the roads waving at the grand procession while jostling for a better position.


At the other side of the kingdom preparations were being made, a messenger had arrived earlier that day informing them of the king's departure, since then every woman and child were out in the streets preparing the city with decorations for his arrival, banners were hung and the streets were cleared of any garbage. While the men worked to bring in the harvest from the fields. Ever since Dario's assistance a few years prior and the joining of Cleycourt and Barmecia as one city they had become the breadbasket of the kingdom. Wheat and barley fields stretched further than the eye could see. The farms provided food for over half the kingdom. Even with every man and boy of working age the fields would not be harvested in time.

Unbeknownst to them just over a mile away another type of preparation was taking place, dark clad soldiers moved carefully through the field, preparing their ambush, the fields gave them perfect cover for them. Standing on a hill not to far from the city walls Kerberos observed the people prepare the city no idea what was about to happen, still wearing his cloak he watched patiently studying the city as a predator studies it's prey. Soon his revenge would be completed, his army was hiding in the fields, waiting for the signal to strike. The promised generals hadn't arrived and he hoped they wouldn't, maybe fighting this battle would prove he was capable of commanding and being an ally, and if they did he would make sure they report what a capable leader he was.

"Only one more piece is missing from this game." Kerberos said anxiously, anticipating his victory. "Soon. Very Soon."

Now for those who have never played the game or need a little reminder here is my character corner.


Kerberos:

Title: Dark Knight

Hair: Though you never see his hair in the game I've decided on brown

Eye colour:Blue visible on the cover artwork

Weapons: A large sword, exquisitely made taken before his exile

Armour: Black armour with a lot of spikes and horns coming out of the helmet, also taken

Family connections: Son of Helias, and cousin to Dario.

Bio: Bred to be king he was crushed when Helias stepped down appointing his brother as king. He eventually joined Mordred and helped overthrow the king. Betrayed Mordred and took the throne. Defeated by Dario and exiled.

PLEASE REVIEW!

This will be my final update of chapter one.