EarthBorn: First Days

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The New Kingdom

SKY CHANGE 1st Quarter

A Land Reborn

Gaia, Mungam and Mortem in full retreat their army broken the Colonians keep them scattering not allowing any to regroup, Mandibles that survived the battle still hunt and take down bombardiers now leashed again are led from the field with their young in tail, Tankitz atop his mighty beetle heads over to the sapien men who stand ready for more with Rune Wayke Legion Kolide and Anuk, Tankitz walking only five feet tall they look down...” So , you lot finally decided to wake up did ya? About bloody time!”...He looks at Rune who looks back...”That was a great little bit of magic there boy! Where do I get a glowy triangle thing?”...Maidon and Airon join the group on the slope overlooking the field, she immediately stands with her companions leaving Airon to stand with Tankitz, Rune steps forward to the Colonian captain...

“You won’t find one around here!” ...The men stand in stare at each other and tension fills the field...they both can’t hold their smile and they laugh embracing each others arm and man hugging Rune pulls away but leaves his hand embraced...”I cannot thank you enough Friend, without you defeat was certain here today!”...Tankitz smiles...

“I dunno about that lad, your men look pretty solid to me”...Rune laughs at the Colonian captains modesty...”Come , you and your men shall rest with us tonight and then tomorrow, we shall set out to Colonia , she will want to meet with you, all of you, we have struggled in this war alone far to long and with you its sure to get interesting!”...Tankitz walks but notices Rune and the sapiens do not move with him...”What you waiting for lads we’ve won?”...Rune steps forward...”we will rest with you friend...but not until Gaia and the metal fiend are no more, we will make for their stronghold and end them today!”...Tankitz thinks for a moment...”Then we will go with you”...Earth Thane refuses...”Commander we are grateful for your allegiance, but there are some things in the world that need to be done by certain people for it to be truly over, or it will fester into something much thirstier and deadly....this fight will be ours alone, we will convene with you after it is over”...Tankitz accepts in frustration...”I hear ya lad, make sure you do come back, this War just changed tides”...he turns and mounts his terrible beetle and returns to his men and duty...”Tankitz...the commander stops and Rune throws him longbow bow from Rifts hands...”It might inspire you”...he catches the bow and inspects it, he nods approving before carrying on...

“Now what!?” ...asks Rift as he walks with The Knights up the remainder of the slope to the overlook and looks over at the odd and ends scrambling back to their keep hoping for safety, the rest of the Sapiens follow up the slope and they all stand and look to the horizon, water runs again through the marshlands the rivers again flowing naturally soon to bring life back, with the Rock stack and Star Fathers demise the west of Titan peak will once again feed the rivers rich mineral bounty and cease to suck it dry, the Sky Change almost complete the violet begins to retreat back over black cliff the river dousing the sulphur blue magma quelling all of Mortems kingdom clean eco stability to the long pulverised people...”Now we take the fight to them!”...with no orders they all descend hell-bent on revenge, there will be no victory until they see the shepherds dead upon the ground...

They double time their way down the slopes, with no secrecy required they do not need to sneak so they follow the stragglers down the rock dashed terrain and onto the black igneous glass plains still many to join the mausoleum beneath its green hues , the keep not totally undefended but disarrayed they break away to one on one combat swords in hand, energized by the Centur these men exceed the speed and skill of the stackers, gaining enough power to block effectively instant awareness and consciousness they sense the incoming danger long before it arrives as if all have eyes in the back of their heads, they cover each other none of the sapiens fall the way in determined to get their revenge the stacker guards are easily dispatched the sapiens moving thinking and acting as one the stackers independence inconsequential, they come to the beast fields picking off any they need to be aware yet keep moving they come to an opening that’s flat and clear bearing large chunks of mountain, the front of the rocks scrape and grind open like cages carved from the stone itself they are hollow, they cannot see what dwells hidden from sight but they can feel something within these concealed caves that surround them, the smell of death pours out unseen by the eye foulness of which cannot be compared the knights halt their men and take a few steps ahead alone...”HAVOO”...all eyes look up, Domi-nos atop his troll bringing forth the creatures from within their caves of dark they roar loud and emerge from their slumbers to do their masters bidding once again, smaller then the one he rides but no less ferocious the scars of war games for Domi-Nos amusement plague their almost hairless skin, proportionate they have a hunched back uncut nails and skin thick as oak planks, fourteen feet of rare savagery corneas as red as blood they crave they stand ready to charge eight strong...”BREAK UP AND ATTACK, THEY ARE TOO BIG AND MANY TO DEFEND ALL SIDES!”...the knights take a direction each with the men breaking to groups and following a knight each they launch arrows and surround the trolls thrusting cursing and slicing with their swords , the first three felled quickly at the hands of Rune Wayke and Legion freeing up men and making Domi-nos sweat, Maidon and Airon an effective double team they take them on a duet of swift strikes, the sapiens lose only five to the brutes those knocked down gather themselves and re-join the fight, the men overwhelm the trolls they cannot bleed any more too many wounds they fall to the floor making Domi-nos back in failure once again to his lords...

The gateway now free to enter they do not wait , they March weapons in hand the blood dripping from each edge it peppers the dirt like rain, shields dented and deep gauges they follow the path to the main courtyard where the shepherds showed their treachery and where Fortems body still lay crushed beneath Legions handy work they walk through the door but Kolide cannot enter with them, an unseen enchantment does not allow the eternal guard into protected domains and repels...”It appears I must part with you here, they hide behind Adams sorcery, i am a warrior not a shaman! Make sure they fall!”... They acknowledge and move on leaving Kolide alone to wait outside and wait for his revenge just a little longer...

They come to the inside keep the alter still lit by the blue sulphur magma pool not yet reached by the river, the Shepherds Mortem and Domi-nos stand ready to engage the knights in one on one combat, they appear outnumbered by the sapiens until...”NOW!”...From every concealing space the stackers come, they run for the sapien men central in the courtyard drawing them from their commanders , with the knights stripped of numbers the four minions draw their weapons and freeze in stare at the four Knights, Rune powers up his blade followed by Wayke Maidon then Legion they stand now, their tattoos glow in angry ripples waves of colours that start left to right as if connected to each other in sync the sounds of combat all around them yet it’s almost silent, the eight mighty warriors stand assessing each other picking out their foe ...The four knights go forward as four their foes run to meet them weapons in hand, they clash in a shower of sparks Legion swings Mortem dodges and connects with Mungam breaking his deadlock with Wayke and sending him rolling, the cluster breaks out four duels to the death one side to retain dominance of these lands the other, to take that dominance away and free their people, the eight exchange fast and furiously, Maidon engages Domi-nos the formidable deformed beast master, his razor whip strips flesh to the bone turning stone to rubble keeping all who dare challenge him in check , Wayke takes on the stackers King Mortem, a brute cave man powerful in arm and mind his strength and title well deserved more then a match for Wayke ,his immense bone clad hands give no movement on his weapon as if set in rock a kingly grip, Legion taking on Mungam of alloy they cause more destruction to the keep, crushing blows that splinter wood and powder rock each block and parry shakes the ground neither capable of penetrating the others defences, Mungams flaring armour merely scratches Legions yet like a hypnotic spinning top he flurries in wild spins becoming a living blade hard to get close to, Rune engages Gaia , her vines act as extra limbs sharp hard wood that carry her she pulls back onto the alter up the stairs, Rune walks up to the plateau to meet her, he walks a circle around her cutting the air with his blade...”I must give you some credit Gaia, all this is pretty impressive I must admit”...Gaia with a smug grin foes does not react instead taunting Earth thane...”well small things please small minds...it matters not this is but a small part of a large and beautiful plan, even if you were to defeat us both here today which you will not, there are more Shepherds each more powerful then the next and armies to match...they will tear you apart”...

“HA, in three days we have taken land you’ve held for millennia...defeated the star fathers the river is free once again to nourish the lands, the sapiens are now at their peak....Now where is the girl?”...

“Oh you mean the first girl, she’s safe...youl have to get me to find out where though”...Rune charges cutting her deadly vine away deadlocking his blade against hers, she breaks away and glides around the floor her vines constantly harassing Rune with snake like strikes each being severed with ease, her sorcery failing she jumps down from her coiling vine and engages Rune in barbaric fury...Domi-nos pulls his blade and closes the space his whip now secondary, he is too strong for Maidon with his overwhelming mass and reach he leans into his strikes making parry’s a risk, she takes a few blows but she is not in danger she is waiting for her opportune moment to counter, the beast master swings his sword too hard revealing his back for a brief moment she seizes the chance, pulling her flail back like a whip she connects her weapon directly with Dominoss revealed spine shattering the vertebrae bringing the Stacker general down instantly, he twitches still alive but incapacitated...Mortem cannot get Wayke to stand still, wearing himself out in his lust to kill the Knight he is slowing and breathing heavy, Wayke seeing his foe tiring takes slices as he rolls blocks and dances around slowly bleeding the Stacker King out, now too wounded and sore to move Mortem falls to his knees Wayke stands in front of the kneeling King and takes stance for the final blow, he readies taking seconds to aim and use the right feeling and moment he rages forward burying his Axe deep into Mortems forehead before kicking him to the dirt yanking his blade back out...Legion and Mungam do not tire, powered by mechanics their energy endless, with no one gaining the upper hand Legion changes his mentality he must get his hands on the Shepherd to end this, he throws his hammer at the Alloy shepherd taking his eyes off Legion long enough for him to get close getting a hold of the shepherd, he takes the titans wrists in his palms and they wrestle for dominance, Legion face to face with Mungam scans his brain database and selects his ploy...Silver back...his shoulders rise up and turn inwards giving him superior standings Mungams expression now of fear as One legion presses harder and harder down on the shepherd his legs have nowhere to go he tries in vain to push back, with one final breathe Legion screams mercilessly into the face of the Shepherd as he slowly crushes him against the ground, his legs give in breaking at the knees everyone hears his pain, Gaia looks around to see Legion with her brother in his hands helpless, Mungam looks to her for aid but powerless facing Thane she gaze into his eyes as Legion bends him unnaturally folding his arms across his torso further then any ever could he boots the fallen God in the back face to the floor unable to pick himself up, Legion raises his right boot and stamps on Mungams head before kicking him across the floor lifeless and mangled as the facial bone matter and claret pours Gaia screams, the screams of losing a sibling it sends her into a frenzy, Rune reacts in kind going all out to kill the Shepherd she is on the back foot unfocused her attention fractured Earth thane slices her across the belly drawing the plant sap ooze that is her blood, fallen and disarmed she does not plea, even in the face of death she does not show fear...”You will not kill me this day, but rest assured we will meet again!”...black smog raises beneath her Rune acting to try and deliver a killing blow but he is too late she is but mist floating out of reach a phantom now beyond his blade, he watches Gaia glide deeper into the cliff before fading into the darkness, Earth thane powers down his blade and turns to face his men with his war face still on show ,they stand victorious in the courtyard awaiting word from their new Leader all eyes fixed upon him he looks around at the aftermath proud and exhilarated full of adrenaline...

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH”...he punches the air sounding his victory cry, all join the sound carries far and wide heard from the battle field across the plains all the way to titan peak and beyond signalling the final strike has been delivered, the Stackers influence gone the lands free from tyranny this once prison that keep them locked away through a Sky Change now becomes their new Kingdom and stronghold, a place to start from and oasis of sanctuary...

The Knights descend into Mortems Huge mountain cave with the remaining Sapien soldiers it is too dark to see anything but the echoes give away the gravity of its vast size it will need torches before its knowledge is revealed, all is too black except for an opening alight by the second dawn today, a new dawn at the far back across to rock pooled interior an exit to the other side of the mountains unseen for eons by Sapien eyes, it like a priceless trinket to the likes of Rift and Anuk they get to the edge and look out for the first time, awe climbs across the natives while a grin climbs across the knights the sight to behold, the world is open for the taking!...

THE BEGINNING

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